The Return, Part 1

Transcript

| Production | Transcript

The Atlantis expedition is stunned when a ship full of Ancients returns to reclaim their home, forcing them to return to Earth.

EPISODE #310
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 09.22.06
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 11.19.07
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Martin Gero
DIRECTED BY: Brad Turner
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Transcript by Callie Sullivan

DAEDALUS. The ship is travelling through hyperspace. On the Bridge, Doctor Rodney McKay is talking to the Bridge crew who are standing watching him as he paces in front of a wall screen.

McKAY: So, I'm in Atlantis and I need to get to Earth. What do I do? Since we no longer have access to a ZedP.M. -- due to unforeseeable circumstances -- my only option would be to call the Daedalus and spend the next three weeks twiddling my thumbs waiting to get back home ... until now. (He turns and points to the screen.) I give you the McKay-Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge.

(On the screen, a horizontal line of circles appears across the width of the screen. The line is broken in the middle by a larger icon.)

McKAY: Thirty-four Gates from both the Milky Way and Pegasus Gate systems have been strategically placed in the massive void between our two galaxies. Simply enter on either side -- for example, Atlantis -- and boom! A macro that I have written specially for the occasion will command each Gate in the chain to store you in its buffer and forward you along to the next, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next until you arrive here.

(The circles depicting the Stargates flash sequentially along the line until they reach the central icon.)

McKAY: Once at the midway space station you simply exit the Pegasus Gate system and enter the Milky Way Gate system where a similar macro designed by yours truly will forward you along to the S.G.C. Total travel time, a little over thirty minutes. Cue applause.

(The crew -- somewhat reluctantly in some cases -- politely applauds him. Rodney waves magnanimously.)

McKAY: Thank you. Enough.

(The crew stops clapping.)

McKAY: The midway space station isn't completed yet so we will be testing the system today using a Puddle Jumper. Now, given the history of ...

(He is interrupted by Colonel Steven Caldwell walking onto the Bridge.)

CALDWELL: Alright, show and tell's over. The test is about to begin. Let's get back to our stations, please.

(Rodney looks slightly irked that his presentation has been interrupted.)

McKAY: Right.


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Daedalus exits hyperspace and moves towards the framework for the midway space station. Clamped in one end is a Milky Way Stargate. The camera pans along the structure, which is shaped like a large tube, and shows that a Pegasus Gate is clamped at the other end. As the camera looks along the length of the station, the Milky Way galaxy can be seen in the distance. On the Daedalus Bridge, Rodney consults his computer tablet.

McKAY: All systems seem to be ... (he walks over to Captain Dave Kleinman's position, still looking at his tablet) ... huh.

CALDWELL: What?

(Rodney looks at Kleinman's console.)

McKAY: Oh, there's a ... odd echo on the proximity sensors. Won't affect the test but, uh ... (he types on his tablet) ... yeah, we're ready to go.


ATLANTIS. In the Gateroom, the Gate kawhooshes and a Puddle Jumper lowers down from the ceiling and takes up position in front of the Gate. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard reports from the Jumper.

SHEPPARD: Gate is dialled. Forwarding macro has been uploaded.

(On the balcony of the Control Room, Doctor Elizabeth Weir looks down at the Jumper and smiles.)

WEIR: Alright, John. You have a go.

SHEPPARD: Alright, then. Here goes.

(He flies the Jumper into the event horizon.)


WORMHOLE TRAVEL. The usual sequence is punctuated with occasional bright flashes, presumably caused as the Jumper travels from one Gate to another. After some time, the Jumper bursts through the final Pegasus Gate and stops inside the space station structure. On Daedalus' Bridge, Rodney reports.

McKAY: We have a contact.

CALDWELL (into comms): Colonel Sheppard, right on time. What's your status?

SHEPPARD: Felt a little weird, but everything seems to be in one piece. Ready to proceed to next phase. Uploading macro and initiating dialling sequence.

(He starts to punch the symbols on the Jumper's D.H.D. Ahead of him, the Milky Way Gate kawhooshes. On the Bridge, Rodney looks at his computer tablet in concern.)

McKAY: Oh, no-no-no-no, this is weird. (He looks at Kleinman's console again.)

CALDWELL: Shall I tell him to stand down?

McKAY: No-no-no, it's nothing to do with the test. It's just our sensors aren't working properly.

SHEPPARD: Daedalus, ready to proceed.

(Caldwell leans over the side of his seat and stares hard at Rodney.)

CALDWELL: Do I clear him?

(Rodney is working on his tablet again and answers distractedly.)

McKAY: Mmm. Mmm, yeah-yeah-yeah, I'm sure he's fine.

(Caldwell continues to stare at him. Finally Rodney notices and looks up.)

McKAY: Uh, he's good to go, good to go, yes. Go ahead.

(Caldwell sits back in his seat, not totally convinced.)

CALDWELL: Colonel Sheppard, you have a go.

(John takes a deep breath and flies the Jumper forward. On Daedalus, Rodney looks at Kleinman's console.)

McKAY: Jumper is away.


EARTH. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN COMPLEX, COLORADO. STARGATE COMMAND. In the Control Room, Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman is sitting at the control desk while Major General Hank Landry stands behind him, waiting patiently. Major General Jack O'Neill walks over to join Landry.

O'NEILL: He's late.

LANDRY: When travelling almost three million light years, I'm not so sure there's such a thing as "late"!

O'NEILL: Right. Yes.

LANDRY: You're just mad you didn't get to fly the maiden voyage yourself.

O'NEILL: General, I am quite fond of both maidens and voyages. I mean, put the two together and ...

LANDRY: You're not a test pilot any more, Jack.

(Jack looks at him indignantly.)

O'NEILL: That's what the President said.

(As Landry chuckles, the Stargate kawhooshes.)

HARRIMAN: Incoming wormhole.

(Landry and Jack turn to face the Gateroom as the Puddle Jumper comes through the Gate and stops just inches away from the window. Jack leans forward to the microphone on the control desk while looking into the front window of the Jumper at John.)

O'NEILL: It's about time!

SHEPPARD: Sorry, sir.

LANDRY: Colonel Sheppard. Welcome to Earth.

SHEPPARD: Thank you, sir. Good to be back.

LANDRY: You know where to park. We'll debrief and go over the flight data as soon as you're ready.

SHEPPARD: Yes, sir.

(The Jumper rises up and disappears from view.)


DAEDALUS BRIDGE.

KLEINMAN: Colonel, we're receiving a data burst. Jumper Three has arrived at Stargate Command.

CALDWELL: Mission accomplished.

(Rodney is still looking at his computer tablet.)

McKAY: Yes, of course it worked. I'm already onto the next problem.

CALDWELL: Which is?

McKAY: Well, the sensors are having a hard time determining what it is, probably due to the Doppler effect.

CALDWELL: What is?

McKAY: I'm detecting a foreign object travelling at point nine nine nine the speed of light ... and it's coming this way.


LATER. MIDWAY SPACE STATION. Jumper Three comes through the Milky Way Gate and stops inside the station structure.

KLEINMAN: We have a contact, sir. It's Colonel Sheppard back from Earth.

CALDWELL: Colonel Sheppard, welcome back to the middle of nowhere.

SHEPPARD: Thank you, Colonel. I've got a take-out pizza for everyone back at Atlantis. With your permission, I'd like to upload the macro and dial out before it gets cold.

CALDWELL: Negative. We're putting that leg of the trip on hold for now. Seems like we're expecting company.


LATER. John has transferred from the Jumper to Daedalus and is sitting at a table in a briefing room with Caldwell and several members of the crew. Other crew members are standing around the walls while Rodney, in full lecture mode, is walking around the table.

McKAY: Believe it or not, moving that fast, while an incredible feat of technology, isn't very useful -- certainly in comparison to travel through hyperspace. Now, moving as fast as it is, this ship -- assuming it is a ship -- would still take at least a million years just to reach the Milky Way.

CALDWELL: That close to the speed of light, don't you have to take relativity into account?

McKAY: Exactly. The people on board -- assuming that they are people -- would only experience maybe twelve years, so a few stasis chambers and you're laughing ... I mean, they're not laughing, they're unconscious -- but, uh, you know, metaphorically.

SHEPPARD: So -- assuming it's a ship and assuming they're people ...

CALDWELL: ... what do we do about them?

McKAY: Well, we try and make contact, obviously.

CALDWELL: How do you propose we do that?

SHEPPARD: Pull up, honk the horn, try to get ‘em to roll down the window.

CALDWELL: I'm talking about attempting to match their speed. This ship is not designed to do that.

McKAY: We can't. I mean, even if we succeeded, we'd still be subject to the same time dilation effects. We'd be out of contact with Earth and Atlantis for, well, years.

SHEPPARD: Can't we overtake ‘em with our hyperdrive?

McKAY: Yes, but they would blow right past us as soon as we dropped back into normal space because our sublight engines are incapable of accelerating to anywhere near the speed of light.

SHEPPARD: So we max out the sublight engines, get as close as we can get.

McKAY: Hmm. Yes. I mean, that might work. We should at least be able to stay in range long enough to get some sensor readings, yeah.

CALDWELL: Do it. (To John) I'll let Atlantis know you're gonna be late.

(As the meeting breaks up, Rodney walks over to John.)

McKAY: Um, did you really get pizza for everyone? Because it would be a shame for that to go to waste if we're gonna, um ...

(John stares at him.)

McKAY: ... Yeah, OK, so solve this first and then ...

(He hurries away.)


LATER. Daedalus is travelling through normal space.

KLEINMAN: Sir, we've got just about everything we're gonna get out of the sublight engines.

McKAY: They're gonna fly by us in three, two, one.

(The view switches to an external perspective. A blur appears behind Daedalus and draws closer. It races past the ship -- it looks like it is a ship but its outline is difficult to make out because of its speed. On the Bridge, Rodney looks at his computer tablet.)

McKAY: Interesting.

CALDWELL: What?

McKAY: If these readings are correct -- and to be perfectly fair, they may not be ...

SHEPPARD: Rodney.

McKAY: It's an Ancient warship. It's possibly Aurora class.

CALDWELL: Who's flying it?

McKAY: I ... would imagine Ancients.

CALDWELL: But there hasn't been any of them around for over ten thousand years.

(Rodney sighs.)

McKAY: Relativity?! Look, remember, for them only a handful of years have passed.

SHEPPARD: Don't those ships have hyperdrives?

McKAY: Well, maybe their hyperdrive was damaged in a battle with the Wraith. It happened to us all the time. Maybe it conked out on the way and they were forced to continue at as close to light speed as possible. That would explain how they got a million light years away from Pegasus without having to leave a million years ago.

CALDWELL: You know the subspace drive specs better than I do, Doctor, but I'm not sure an Aurora class ship has the power to do what you're suggesting.

McKAY: Well, maybe they have a ZedP.M.

(John perks up.)

SHEPPARD: That would be worth finding out.

McKAY: OK, we need to send them a message before they get out of range and we have to jump ahead. Uh, something like, you know, "We are humans from Earth currently occupying Atlantis, uh, yada, yada, yada ..."

SHEPPARD: Why don't we just ask ‘em to slow down?

(Kleinman's console beeps.)

KLEINMAN: Colonel Caldwell. The unidentified vessel is slowing down.

SHEPPARD: Maybe they heard me.

McKAY (looking at the pilot's console): No, they saw us. They're not just slowing down -- they're slamming on the brakes something like twenty-seven gees.

CALDWELL: So now what?

(There's a flash at the front of the Bridge and a hologram of a blonde woman appears. Her clothing is similar to that worn by the Ancients on Aurora.)

HELIA: Unknown vessel, I'm Captain Helia of the Lantean warship Tria. Our ship has suffered damage. We've scanned your vessel and determined that it is capable of hyperspace travel. We've begun deceleration manoeuvres. Will you render assistance in the form of hyperspace transport?

McKAY: Well, yes! Yes, of course we will.

(The hologram doesn't turn to him or respond in any way to what he just said.)

SHEPPARD: I don't think she can hear you.

CALDWELL (to Kleinman): Open a channel.

(Kleinman does so. Rodney looks disappointed that he wasn't the first one to speak to an Ancient.)

CALDWELL: This is Colonel Steven Caldwell of the Earth ship Daedalus. It would be an honour to render assistance in any way we possibly can.

(Helia smiles at him, then her hologram disappears.)

McKAY: We're gonna meet Ancients! I mean, flesh and blood Ancients who know what everything is and how everything works! I mean, I don't even know what to ask first!

CALDWELL: Well, it's gonna be a couple of hours before we can match velocities for transport.

SHEPPARD (to Rodney): That should give you enough time to write out that list!

McKAY: Right, right! (He hurries off.)


ATLANTIS. Elizabeth is walking towards the Gateroom with Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex.

WEIR: They were battle-scarred and already well on their way to Earth when their hyperdrive finally gave out on them. They decided it was best to continue forward than go back.

DEX: How many survivors?

WEIR: Just over a hundred.

TEYLA: Word has already begun to spread amongst my people. They believe this return was foretold -- that it marks a turning in the tide on the war against the Wraith.

WEIR: Well, I don't know about that.

(Up in the Control Room, the Canadian technician walks over to the balcony.)

TECHNICIAN: Doctor Weir. The Daedalus is ready to beam down our people and the Ancient delegation.

WEIR: Thank you.

(She turns towards the Gate, zipping up her jacket. A few moments later the transporter beams down John, Rodney, Helia and several other Ancients.)

SHEPPARD: Doctor Weir, Ronon, Teyla -- this is Helia, captain of the Ancient ship Tria.

WEIR: It's an honour to meet you.

(Helia smiles at her.)

HELIA: Thank you. And from what I'm told, you've done a remarkable job preserving our city.

WEIR: We did what we could with what we had.

(Helia's face becomes serious.)

HELIA: I need to speak to the leader of your people.

WEIR: I'm in charge of the Atlantis expedition.

HELIA: You misunderstand me, Doctor Weir. I need to talk to the one who can speak for all the people of Earth.

WEIR: That can certainly be arranged, but may I ask why?

(Helia smiles, and a console rises up from the floor between her and Elizabeth. Instantly Ronon snatches out his blaster and aims at it.)

McKAY: What is that? How come I've never seen that?

(Helia walks to the console and puts her hand on it. All around the Control Room, the screens go blank.)

WEIR: Excuse me, what's going on?

HELIA: Thank you for all that you've done, Doctor Weir, but your guardianship of this city is no longer necessary. The city is now under my control.


SOME TIME (DAYS?) LATER. Jack O'Neill and Richard Woolsey of the International Oversight Advisory have travelled to Atlantis and are sitting at the table in the Conference Room. Helia stands opposite them.

HELIA: We were in a battle with Wraith cruisers. They proved too much for us so we started back to Atlantis only to be told that the final evacuation was already in progress. I decided to push on to Earth and join the evacuees. Even when our hyperdrive failed we decided to continue on.

WOOLSEY: I can't begin to imagine what you and your crew must be going through right now.

HELIA: We owe you and your people a debt of gratitude, but we've just returned home -- home to a place we thought we'd never set eyes on again -- and we need some time ... alone.

O'NEILL: You do know that we've shed our own fair share of blood defending the city from the Wraith?

HELIA: But by your own admission, you were responsible for waking the Wraith.

O'NEILL: ... Right.

(He looks to Woolsey for help.)

WOOLSEY (to Helia): And by your own admission, you are responsible for the emergence of the Wraith as a species. The fact is, if it weren't for our expedition, there would be no Atlantis.

O'NEILL: No-one's saying the city doesn't belong to you or that you don't belong here. What we're saying is that ...

(Woolsey puts his hand on Jack's arm to stop him.)

WOOLSEY: What we're asking ...

(Jack looks down at Woolsey's hand. Woolsey withdraws it, then both he and Jack look up at Helia.)

O'NEILL: What we're ... asking is that we be allowed to stay here.

WOOLSEY: There is so much that we can learn from you -- and in return we can offer supplies, manpower, the kind of support you'll need to restore Atlantis to its former glory.

HELIA: The day will come when your people will once again have a place here. But that is not this day.


ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth is standing and gazing anxiously towards the Conference Room. Rodney walks over and points to the Conference Room doors.

McKAY: You should be in there.

WEIR: I don't know what I could say at this point that would make any difference.

(She turns away from the window. John is sitting in a chair with his feet up on her desk.)

SHEPPARD: You're right. They want us out of here.

McKAY: But why? There are maybe a hundred of so of them? I mean, they could use us. They might even need us.

SHEPPARD: What if you were forced from your home by a war, only to return to find someone on your couch, eating your Cheetos, watching your TV.

McKAY (unconvincingly): Well, I'd be fine with that.

SHEPPARD: No, you wouldn't.

(Jack and Woolsey walk into the office. John gets to his feet.)

SHEPPARD: How go the talks, sir?

O'NEILL: No talks. Listening is what we did.

WOOLSEY: It was essentially a transitional meeting. They needed to know how much time we needed to vacate the city.

O'NEILL: I said forty-eight hours, unless you need more.

WEIR: No. It should be enough.

(She exchanges a distraught glance with John, then turns away.)

McKAY: That's it? We're just gonna take this lying down? We rescued them!

WOOLSEY: And they're immensely grateful.

McKAY: Well, they're not showing it!

WOOLSEY: From their point of view, Doctor McKay, they're being extremely generous. Keep in mind that when they left Atlantis, we were basically a hunter-gatherer species.

McKAY: Well, did you remind them that if we hadn't hunted and gathered them out of the void between galaxies, they would still be stuck there?

SHEPPARD: We should have left them out there.

WOOLSEY: I know you feel as though you're losing the city.

WEIR: This isn't just about losing a city, Richard. It's about losing an opportunity to talk with and learn from living, breathing Ancients.

WOOLSEY: They are willing, over time, to let us back in the city -- just not right now. That way we get all the benefit of Atlantis with very little of the risks ... (he looks at Jack) ... or expense.

O'NEILL: Yeah, it's not like we don't have our own galaxy to worry about.

(John and Rodney slump, defeated looks on their faces.)

O'NEILL: Colonel, I'd like you to supervise the withdrawal.

SHEPPARD (glancing at Elizabeth briefly): Yes, sir.

O'NEILL: Go ahead.

(Woolsey leads John and Rodney out of the room. Jack waits until they've gone, then walks over to Elizabeth.)

O'NEILL: Can I talk to you for a moment? I didn't wanna say this in front of McKay because I know he'd want the job.

WEIR: What job?

O'NEILL: The Ancients are willing to leave someone behind as a liaison -- kind of a ... ambassador, if you will.

(Elizabeth gazes at him hopefully.)

WEIR: You know I would be more than happy ...

O'NEILL: It's not gonna be you.

WEIR (angrily): Tell me someone who's more qualified for that job.

O'NEILL: I can't -- but the I.O.A. wants Woolsey.

WEIR: Woolsey?!

O'NEILL: Yeah. To paraphrase the Ancients, they think you won't be able to ... (he struggles for the right words) ... let go.

WEIR: So they're gonna just shut us out after everything we've done here?

O'NEILL: I know.

(Elizabeth sags, defeated. Jack walks closer to her.)

O'NEILL: Look, you've done a hell of a job here, and I am sorry it's ending this way.

WEIR: I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that, out of all the ways this expedition could have ended ... (she hesitates for a moment, then raises her head bravely and looks up at Jack) ... this is definitely not the worst.

(Jack offers her his hand. She shakes it.)

WEIR: Thank you.

O'NEILL: Yeah.

(He turns and leaves the office. Elizabeth sinks down to sit on her desk, her face filled with loss.)


LATER. JOHN'S QUARTERS. John shoves a bag of his possessions into a metal box, closes the lid, then sits down on the bed and picks up another bag. Ronon and Teyla come to the open door. Ronon taps on the door and John looks round to them and stands up.

SHEPPARD: Hey. You guys all packed up?

(Ronon shrugs as he and Teyla walk into the room.)

DEX: I really don't have that much stuff.

(John smiles.)

SHEPPARD: Right.

TEYLA: Most of my belongings are already with my people.

SHEPPARD: How's that going, by the way? Are the Ancients allowing the Athosians to stay on the mainland?

TEYLA (smiling ruefully): They have found a suitable planet for us to relocate to -- one with our own Stargate.

SHEPPARD: How'd that go down?

TEYLA: It was not the homecoming of the Ancestors my people envisioned.

(John looks awkward, then gestures around his quarters.)

SHEPPARD: You guys want any of this stuff? (He takes his poster off the wall above his bed.) Johnny Cash poster? Skateboard? Sudoku books?

(Teyla throws an amused smile at Ronon who is flicking through the pages of a book he has picked up. John hesitates, still looking awkward, then walks over the top of his bed to the other side. He sighs and sits down on the bed again. Ronon puts the book down as John looks at them.)

SHEPPARD: You know you guys are welcome to come back with us, right?

TEYLA: My place is with my people.

DEX: And I can't leave this galaxy until every last Wraith is dead. (He smiles.)

SHEPPARD: Well, I just had to say it out loud.

TEYLA: You too should know that we would be honoured if you decided to stay with us, John.

SHEPPARD (taking the last items off his bedside table and putting them into a box): Yeah, well, I think the Air Force has got other plans for me.

TEYLA: We also just had to say it out loud.

SHEPPARD: Right.

(He looks around the room, realising that he has packed everything. He shrugs awkwardly as he looks back to the other two.)

SHEPPARD: Well ... this sucks.

DEX: Yeah.

SHEPPARD: I'm not, I'm not ... I'm not good at ... goodbyes.

TEYLA: Our paths will cross again, John Sheppard. Of that I am sure.

SHEPPARD: Well, before our paths uncross, would you give me a hand with these boxes? I'll throw in pizza and some beer and ...

TEYLA: ... popcorn?

SHEPPARD: And popcorn!

(As Teyla laughs, Ronon stands up, grinning, wraps his arms around John's waist in a bearhug and hoists him up off the floor.)

SHEPPARD (groaning): Oh, my God!

(Ronon swings him round and dumps him back down again. They all laugh as Ronon and Teyla move to collect John's stuff.)


LAB. Rodney, Doctor Radek Zelenka and Doctor Carson Beckett are standing at a table in the middle of the room, packing stuff into metal boxes.

ZELENKA: Well, I was offered a job at Masaryk University right before I came here. I imagine I could work there if I wanted to. What about you, Carson?

BECKETT: Well, they offered me a surgery position at Stargate Command. (He looks at Rodney.) You?

McKAY: I don't know. Area 51, I guess -- tool around with as much of the database as we're able to bring back with us.

ZELENKA: You know, in a way I look forward to focusing on a single problem for a while. Being continually pulled off of research to put out fires can be, you know, frustrating.

McKAY: Ah, I suppose so. I just don't know how many times I'm gonna be asked to save the day at the eleventh hour at Area 51.

BECKETT: Oh, I'm sure it'll come up.

McKAY: Yeah, well, not as often as I'd like.

BECKETT: Well, I must admit, it's been a pleasure working with you both. In fact, out of all the people ...

(He trails off and stops what he's doing, lowering his head.)

McKAY: You are not tearing up on me, are you? (He rolls his eyes.) Oh, he is, he's tearing up.

BECKETT (angrily starting to pack again): Now you've ruined it.

McKAY (sarcastically): Oh, I'm sorry.

BECKETT: I was just about to say something.

McKAY: Well, it's not like we're not gonna see each other at the Gate.

BECKETT (angrily): No, of course not. (He closes the case he was packing, lifts it off the table and starts to walk away.) I don't know what I was thinking. (He sighs in an annoyed way.)

McKAY (in a tetchy voice): What was it?

BECKETT (stopping): What?

McKAY: What you were gonna say. Just say it. Now I'm curious.

(Carson sighs again, then turns to face him and Radek.)

BECKETT (quietly): I was going to say ... goodbye, Rodney.

(Rodney's sarcastic look fades. Radek raises a hand in farewell to Carson, who turns and leaves the room.)


NIGHT TIME. ELIZABETH'S QUARTERS. Elizabeth is packing books into a metal box. Her door chime sounds and she goes over to the door and touches the wall panel. The door opens and she finds John standing there, writing on a notepad.

WEIR: Colonel.

SHEPPARD: Doctor.

WEIR: Come in.

SHEPPARD (walking in): Well, we are way ahead of schedule, ready to head out at 0800. Daedalus is gonna take most of the gear. People and our odds and ends will make their way through the Stargate, thanks to the Ancients' new ZeeP.M.

WEIR: Good. Yes. You're taking this rather well.

SHEPPARD (still writing on his notepad): Actually, I'm pissed. For one thing, I'm only a quarter of the way through "War and Peace."

WEIR: I can't imagine what I can possibly do for a living now.

SHEPPARD: Every government in the world's gonna offer you a job.

WEIR: Yeah, but ... (she gestures around the city) ... not like this.

SHEPPARD (glancing at her): Yeah, you're right. It's all downhill from here. You've peaked.

(Elizabeth smiles.)

SHEPPARD (writing on his pad again): Life isn't fair -- it's just fairer than death.

(Elizabeth frowns, surprised at his quote.)

WEIR: Oscar Wilde?

SHEPPARD: "The Princess Bride." Good movie.

(Elizabeth chuckles. John looks up at her, then lowers his pad, looking awkward.)

SHEPPARD: You gonna be ready to head out at 0800?

(Elizabeth looks round her room briefly.)

WEIR: Yeah, yeah. I should be. You?

SHEPPARD: Just one or two ... hundred things to do. I'll see you at the Gate.

(He turns and leaves the room. Elizabeth sighs deeply, then walks over to the window and gazes out over the city.)


NEXT MORNING. 0800 HOURS. In the Control Room, Rodney is talking with Helia.

McKAY: Grounding station on the south pier's a bit twitchy -- got shot up. It wasn't our fault. You need to look at that.

HELIA: I'm sure we'll find our way, Doctor.

McKAY: No, I'm sure you will, but, um, you should also, uh ...

WEIR (calling up from the Gateroom): Rodney!

(Rodney turns and looks over the balcony. As various crewmembers walk through the Gate, carrying the last of their possessions, Elizabeth, John and Carson are standing waiting for him. Teyla and Ronon are standing facing them. Carson jerks his head at Rodney in a "get down here!" gesture.)

McKAY: Uh, right, yes, well. (He turns to Helia.) I gotta go.

(Helia hides a smile as he turns and heads for the stairs. Down in the Gateroom, Teyla smiles at the others.)

TEYLA: You have been good friends -- to all the people of this galaxy.

(Hesitantly, John walks over to her. He looks at her for a moment, then bows his head. Teyla bows hers and they touch foreheads.)

TEYLA: Farewell. (She lifts her head and looks up at him.)

SHEPPARD (softly): Take care.

(Ronon looks on, his eyes a little teary. Rodney arrives at the bottom of the stairs and smiles at Teyla as he walks past her.)

McKAY: Bye. (He walks over to Elizabeth, John and Carson.) Hi.

(Teyla and Ronon walk away as the Earth team faces the Gate. They walk towards it side by side, but Elizabeth stops just before they reach the event horizon. John, Rodney and Carson walk into the Gate. Elizabeth turns and looks around her city one last time, her face full of memories, then turns and reluctantly walks into the event horizon.)


EARTH. S.G.C. GATEROOM. Some weeks later, John -- wearing green BDUs -- comes through the Gate supporting a soldier who is limping and grunting in pain.

SHEPPARD: Get your damned weight off your foot, you'll be fine.

(They reach the bottom of the ramp and John hands the man over to a medic who is waiting for them. Landry walks in.)

LANDRY: Tell me you didn't engage the Ori, Colonel.

SHEPPARD: We didn't engage the Ori, sir. (He gestures to another member of his team behind him.) Bambus here was inspecting some curious fauna when he discovered the ground underneath him wasn't stable. He fell twenty feet into a babbling brook. (He gestures in the direction the medic just took the other man.) Wallace there was trying to help him get back up when he lost his footing and broke his ankle.

LANDRY: I see.

SHEPPARD: Never thought I'd miss Rodney McKay being a member of my team!

LANDRY: Well, chemistry doesn't happen overnight. We'll debrief as soon as Wallace is out of the Infirmary.

SHEPPARD: Yes, sir.

(The Gate begins to dial in behind them.)

HARRIMAN (from the Control Room): Offworld activation.

LANDRY: Hold on, Colonel. You may get a kick out of this. (He starts to lead John from the Gateroom.) This should be General O'Neill on his scheduled check-in from Atlantis.

SHEPPARD: He went back, sir?

LANDRY: Woolsey needed a little back-up. Apparently the Ancients find him a bit trying. (He chuckles as John smiles.) Imagine that!

SHEPPARD: Mmm!

(They go up into the Control Room as the Gate kawhooshes and Jack and Woolsey appear on the video screens.)

O'NEILL: General!

LANDRY: General!

O'NEILL: Is that Sheppard there with you?

SHEPPARD: Yes, sir.

WOOLSEY: Talks are proceeding at an acceptable pace; but the real news is that the Pegasus Replicators are heading back to Atlantis to make another run at the city.

SHEPPARD: They are?

O'NEILL: No-one here seems to be that worried about it.

LANDRY: Why not?

O'NEILL: They're Ancients!

WOOLSEY: Apparently these Replicators have a law in their base code that makes it impossible for them to harm their creators.

SHEPPARD: And they're expecting to find us.

(Woolsey nods.)

O'NEILL: According to Helia, they're gonna run into some kinda nasty surprise.

WOOLSEY: So you can pass it on to Doctor McKay that if you and he hadn't rescued the Ancients and returned Atlantis to their care ...

SHEPPARD: ... I'd have lost the city anyway.

O'NEILL: Right.

(John smiles briefly, but he doesn't look at all reassured by the news.)

O'NEILL: Well, we should get back to our talks ... and talks and talks. O'Neill out.

(The Gate shuts down. John turns to Landry.)

SHEPPARD: Sir, I'd be happy to talk to you more about these Replicator guys.

LANDRY: Naah, sounds like they've got everything under control.

(He walks away.)

SHEPPARD: Yes, sir ... I guess they do.


JOHN'S OFFICE. John throws a dart into a dartboard on the wall. We don't see where the dart lands but John's grimace suggests it wasn't a very good shot. As he throws another dart, Rodney's voice comes over a speaker on John's desk.

McKAY: I hate it here.

SHEPPARD: How's that possible?

McKAY: It's true.

SHEPPARD (sitting down at his desk): Look, they gave you everything you wanted: your own lab ...

McKAY: Yeah, it's too big.

(We see where Rodney is standing as he talks to John on his mobile phone. He is on a balcony overlooking a huge chamber. Behind him a massive generator or reactor of some sort is spinning slowly.)

SHEPPARD: ... hand-picked assistants ...

McKAY: Yeah, sycophants, every one of them.

SHEPPARD: ... even your own choice of projects.

McKAY (dejectedly): Well, that's not true.

SHEPPARD: Well, other than going back to Atlantis.

(Rodney sighs.)

McKAY: You know, the truth is, I ...

(He trails off. John looks at the phone suspiciously.)

SHEPPARD: What?

McKAY: I don't -- I don't wanna use the term "lonely," but, uh, there are certain people who ... I miss.

(John smiles.)

SHEPPARD: Me?

McKAY: You?! You I'm talking to on the phone right now and having dinner with tomorrow, so not so much, but other people -- people who I may never see again. Like, even Elizabeth -- she hasn't returned any of my calls.

SHEPPARD: I know what you mean.

(Rodney sighs again.)

McKAY: Hey -- at least you still get to go offworld with a team of your own.

SHEPPARD: Oh yeah, the best and the brightest(!) Alright, see you tomorrow night.

McKAY: Yeah, wouldn't miss it. Hey, you know, I ...

(John reaches out and switches the phone off. At his lab, Rodney takes the phone away from his ear and looks at it ruefully for a moment before closing it.)

McKAY: Yeah.


ELIZABETH'S APARTMENT BLOCK. In her apartment, Elizabeth sits on a sofa writing. An empty pizza box lies on a chair nearby, while the coffee table is covered with empty take-out cartons. Someone knocks on the door. Elizabeth gets up, goes over to the door as the person knocks again, and looks through the spyhole. When she sees who it is, she sighs, hesitates for a moment, then opens the door to reveal Carson standing outside.

WEIR: Carson.

BECKETT (smiling at her): Hullo, Elizabeth.

WEIR: This is a surprise.

BECKETT: Well, you didn't return my messages so I thought I'd just stop by.

WEIR: Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Come in.

BECKETT: Thank you.

(He walks in and looks around the room. It's quite a mess.)

WEIR: Oh, excuse the mess. I wasn't really expecting company.

(She picks up a cardigan from the floor. Carson looks at her with concern but masks it.)

BECKETT: Oh, please. I'm from a family of seven -- our home was never this clean! You look good.

(She doesn't. She's dressed very scruffily and her hair is tied back in a ponytail but still looks unkempt.)

WEIR: Ah, well, thanks for lying. How is the S.G.C. treating you?

BECKETT: It's only been six weeks so I'm still settling in, but it's good. Interesting work, kind people.

(Elizabeth glances down at the coffee table and starts to clear up the take-out cartons and crockery on it.)

WEIR: Good! That's good.

BECKETT: How about you?

WEIR (still clearing up): Oh, you know -- keeping busy.

(Carson watches her, his look of concern back on his face.)

BECKETT (casually): Oh yeah? Doing what?

WEIR: I've been doing a bit of writing -- uh, working on my memoirs.

(She straightens up again and smiles at him.)

BECKETT: Your memoirs? About your time in Atlantis?

WEIR: Yeah. So what?

BECKETT: And on what planet did you expect to publish it?!

WEIR: I suppose it's for posterity as much as anything else. And for me. Just trying to get it straight in my own head. It all went by so fast, you know?

BECKETT: Aye -- that it did.

(Elizabeth looks down. Carson walks closer to her.)

BECKETT: Elizabeth, we're all a bit worried about you.

(She laughs.)

WEIR: You're worried about me? (She sits down.) Why?

BECKETT: Well, you don't return phonecalls, and the few times that you've run into people, they say you've seemed distant.

WEIR: I'm just ... I'm just trying to move on.

BECKETT: By writing your memoirs?

(Elizabeth looks up at him, unable to answer. Carson sighs and sits down on the coffee table opposite her.)

BECKETT: Elizabeth, why haven't you taken another position?

WEIR: The S.G.C. has asked me to consult with the I.O.A. and Homeworld Securities with the ongoing conversations with the Ancients.

BECKETT: You don't need to be here for that -- you could easily take another position and consult them from a secure phone line.

(Elizabeth looks at him for a moment, then looks down.)

WEIR: I guess I'm just not ready yet.

BECKETT: Look, Rodney's flying in tomorrow. John and I are taking him for dinner. You should come.

WEIR: Tomorrow? Oh, gosh, tomorrow ... I ...

BECKETT: I'll pick you up at seven.

(Standing up, he pats her knee, then leaves.)


ATLANTIS. In the Control Room, Jack and Woolsey, together with Helia, are watching the wall screen as it shows a Puddle Jumper approaching a ship which is headed towards the planet.

WOOLSEY: That seems like a pretty big ship. You're sure only sending one Jumper up to fend it off is the right thing to do?

HELIA: It is impossible for them to harm us.

O'NEILL: I could use some enemies like that.

JUMPER PILOT (over comms): We have established communications, Commander.

HELIA: This is Commander Helia. The city you're approaching is once again under Lantean control. Stand down and return to your planet immediately, or you will be ...

(The image of the Puddle Jumper flashes, then disappears from the screen.)

WOOLSEY: I thought you said they couldn't harm you!

HELIA (to one of her crew): Raise the shield!

(The sound of the shield deploying can be heard but before it can raise over the entire city, a blast rocks the tower.)


EARTH. RESTAURANT. John, Elizabeth, Rodney and Carson are sitting at a table eating dessert. John speaks to Carson through a mouthful of food.

SHEPPARD: You should call her.

McKAY (agreeing with him): Mmm.

BECKETT: Who, Cadman?

WEIR: You guys did make a cute couple.

BECKETT: It didn't work out. May have something to do with our first kiss being through Rodney! (He mock-glares at Rodney accusingly.)

McKAY (grimacing): Oh, I thought we made a solemn vow never to speak of that again!

BECKETT: I remember no such thing!

WEIR: You know what? It's getting late.

SHEPPARD: Since when do you sleep?

WEIR: Since I got back. I've got a lot of catching up to do. But it's been lovely seeing all of you again. (She puts a hand on Carson's arm.) Thank you for getting me out.

SHEPPARD: No, we should thank you. You're taking us to dinner, right?

WEIR: Cheeky!

(John's mobile phone, which he had put on the table, starts to ring. As he reaches for it, a second ringtone can be heard. Rodney rummages in his pockets and takes his phone out as John answers his.)

SHEPPARD: Sheppard.

(Just then another ringtone starts. Elizabeth reaches into her handbag as Rodney answers his mobile.)

McKAY: McKay.

(Elizabeth takes her Blackberry out of her bag and looks at the screen. It has the message, "Incoming call -- N.O.R.A.D." She answers it.)

WEIR: Hello?

BECKETT: I didn't bring my bloody cellphone with me. What's happening?


S.G.C. BRIEFING ROOM. The four of them are sitting at the table as Landry walks across the room.

LANDRY: We got this data burst about twenty minutes ago.

(He activates a remote control and a recording begins to play on the wall screen. Jack O'Neill appears on the screen, broadcasting from Atlantis' Control Room. The recording is poor and filled with static and there are several moments when the image fritzes out completely.)

O'NEILL: Atlantis is under attack from Replicators. Somehow they figured out how to override their programming. The Ancients were taken off guard and have lost most of the city already.

(Woolsey, standing behind him, turns to something off camera and fires a pistol at it several times.)

O'NEILL: Request immediate evacuation!

WOOLSEY (turning towards Jack): They're coming!

(The screen blanks out. Landry turns to the others, who have been watching the recording in horror.)

LANDRY: They never made it to the Gate. I was informed they had a law written into their base code that made it impossible for them to harm the Ancients. How the hell did this happen?

(Elizabeth and John looks over to Rodney.)

McKAY (nervously): It is remotely possible that in trying to rewrite Niam's base code, I ... uh, we may have opened the door for them to make other changes.

LANDRY: You did this?!

WEIR: At the time we thought it was the only possible way to save the city.

SHEPPARD: How it happened doesn't matter. They may have changed it on their own. The question is: how do we fix it?

LANDRY: That's why I called you in. I have my orders. The Daedalus is already on the way. Now, what I need from you is ... (he activates his remote control again and a schematic of Atlantis appears on the screen) ... what's the best way to get a nuke past the shield?

(The team stare at each other, appalled.)

BECKETT: Well, I have no idea.

LANDRY: I didn't call you in, Doctor.

WEIR: You're going to use nuclear weapons on Atlantis?

LANDRY: It's the gateway to Earth.

McKAY: And we have an iris!

LANDRY: Yes, we do, but thanks to your Intergalactic Gate Bridge, all they have to do is rewrite your macro and they can come out anywhere in the Milky Way.

McKAY: Yeah, but those macros are very complicated.

LANDRY: They are very complicated, Doctor McKay. They just rewrote their own damned base code! I think they can handle it.

SHEPPARD: Sir, General O'Neill and Woolsey may still be alive. Now, I know the city like the back of my hand. Just give me sixty marines and some of Colonel Carter's new, um ...

McKAY: ... Anti-Replicator weapons.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, those things.

LANDRY: I'm sorry, Colonel. I have standing orders. They happen to be General O'Neill's standing orders. The Daedalus will be there in a little under four days. Now, how do I get a nuke past their shield?


LATER. The team has moved into John's office.

BECKETT: Now, those Replicator thingamyjiggies you're talkin' about ...

SHEPPARD: Let's just call ‘em A.R.Gs.

McKAY: They're energy weapons. They disrupt the link between the nanites' cells. The Replicators literally fall apart when you fire on them.

SHEPPARD: You know, uh -- hypothetically -- Teyla and Ronon'd be more than willing to help ... if we asked.

WEIR: We would need to gate into Atlantis. All they'd need to do to keep us out is activate the Gate's shield.

McKAY: Well, I did write a back door to the shield programme a couple of years ago when Kolya stormed the city, so ... I mean, it could hypothetically let us get into the Gateroom.

WEIR: General Landry was worried about the Replicators rewriting the Bridge macro to gate them somewhere else in the Milky Way. Does that mean you could change the macro -- take us somewhere else in Pegasus?

SHEPPARD: Somewhere like, uh ... just talking here ... the Athosian settlement where Teyla and Ronon are?

McKAY: We'd need a Jumper.

SHEPPARD: ... and some of those A.R.Gs.

WEIR: ... and someone to make sure Landry doesn't close the iris on us.

McKAY: Hmm!

WEIR: Hypothetically.

BECKETT: Of course!

(John shrugs in agreement.)


LATER. Elizabeth and Rodney are walking along a corridor.

McKAY: The Jumper is in its storage area under guard. We need for one of us to be added to the authorised personnel list, and there's only one guy who can do that.

WEIR: You?

McKAY: No. Why'd you think I was gonna say me?

WEIR: I don't know. Seemed like you were leading up to it.

(They reach an elevator. Rodney swipes his keycard through the wall panel to call the elevator.)

McKAY: No, sadly, Doctor Lee's been the one heading up the Jumper research project, because they refused to send him to Area 51 for me. But I think I should be able to add one of our keycards to the authorised personnel list, but I have to do that from his office.

WEIR: So?

McKAY: Well, he's in his office, so you need to distract him.

(Elizabeth's eyes widen.)

WEIR: Me?! How?

McKAY: Well, here's what I'm thinking ...

(The elevator doors open and they go inside.)


DOCTOR LEE'S LAB. Doctor Bill Lee smiles with delight at Elizabeth who is standing near to him, then grins across to Rodney.

LEE: I gotta say, I have never met a woman this into World of Warcraft!

WEIR: It's a silent passion of mine.

LEE: As it is with all of us.

(Elizabeth strolls casually around Lee, forcing him to turn with her. Once he can no longer see Rodney, Rodney takes out his keycard and turns to a computer nearby.)

LEE: I'm level seventy-five -- Mage, specialising in engineering and duelling. You?

(Rodney swipes his card through the reader and a list of names comes up on the screen.)

WEIR: Oh, wow! Level seventy-five!

(Lee smiles proudly. Behind him, Rodney turns the screen around so that it's no longer facing Lee.)

WEIR: Me, I'm only fifty.

(Behind Lee's back, Rodney spins his finger at Elizabeth to indicate that she should keep talking. He starts to type.)

LEE: Ah. Well, I had the beta of the expansion pack, so I sorta had a leg-up on most people. What's your race?

(Flummoxed, Elizabeth glances over at Rodney. Without looking at her, he holds up his hands, puts his fingers together and then pulls them away from each other, indicating that she needs to drag this out for as long as possible.)

WEIR: ... Mage.

LEE: You know, I'm trying to increase my enchanter skills, but it's just, it's not going very well. (He bows his head, shaking it sadly.)

WEIR: Oh, I disagree, Bill!

LEE: What? (He looks up as Elizabeth smiles at him flirtatiously.) Oh! Uh, Rodney ...

(He starts to turn towards Rodney, who straightens up from the computer quickly. Elizabeth instinctively grabs at the lapels of Lee's lab coat and turns him back towards her.)

WEIR: Look, I don't mean ... (she lets his lapels go and straightens them down again) ... I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so forward.

LEE: No, no, no, go on, be forward!

(Now that Lee has turned away from him again, Rodney gets back to work on the computer.)

WEIR: Well, oh, I ... look, I'm not quite sure how exactly I should put this ...

(On the computer, Rodney creates a space in the list between "Mason, John" and "Mirman, Wallace" and types in "McKay, Rodney.")

LEE: A true Mage speaks his mind ... or her mind, in your case.

(Clearing the screen, Rodney moves the computer back into its original position.)

McKAY: Wow! (He looks at his watch.) Will you look at the time?! (As Lee turns to face him, Elizabeth sags in relief.) Where does it go, huh?

LEE: What?

McKAY: Uh, we're late. We should, um ... (he looks at his watch again) ... we'll see you, Bill.

(He starts to hurry out of the lab. Elizabeth follows him quickly.)

WEIR: Bye, Bill!

(Lee tries to protest, but they've already gone.)


CORRIDOR. John, Elizabeth, Rodney and Carson, geared up in black BDUs, walk briskly along the corridor, John and Rodney both carrying rifles. They stop as Wallace -- the man who John had brought back through the Gate earlier -- hobbles around the corner on a pair of crutches.

SHEPPARD: Wallace! What are you doin' here?

WALLACE: General Landry wanted to talk to me about reassignment.

SHEPPARD: Oh, right. Sorry about that.

(Wallace looks at the others.)

WALLACE: Are you already going on missions without me, or ...?

(Carson walks towards him, putting on his best bedside manner in both his voice and his smile.)

BECKETT: You should really stay off of that ankle, son.

(He puts his hand gently on Wallace's shoulder as John casually walks around behind them.)

WALLACE: Yeah, well, when General Landry says "now", he means now.

(John looks around the corner to check that nobody is in the vicinity, then turns and activates a zat gun [a hand-held Goa'uld weapon which will stun a person with one shot].)

SHEPPARD: Sorry about this, too.

(He fires into Wallace's back. Wallace convulses and starts to collapse. John catches him while Rodney grabs his crutches. Carson helps John carry Wallace out of sight.)

SHEPPARD: Can't afford to have him tell Landry he ran into us.


JUMPER STORAGE AREA. Elizabeth, Rodney and Carson sneak to the side of the Jumper while John walks quietly to the front and peeks in through the windshield. He ducks back again at the sight of Master Sergeant Siler, one of the base's technicians, working in the rear compartment. He walks along the side of the Jumper and round to the rear hatch. Activating his zat gun, he shoots Siler, who collapses and rolls down the ramp onto the floor.

SHEPPARD (running into the Jumper): Let's move!

(Elizabeth and Carson hurry inside the Jumper while Rodney goes to a computer in the room and pulls up a screen showing an image of the Stargate and the message "Idle." He enters a Gate address, then calls out to John.)

McKAY: You set?

(John has just settled into the pilot's seat.)

SHEPPARD: Go for it.

(Rodney activates his command and then runs into the Jumper. In the Gateroom, the Gate begins to dial. Walter, sitting at the control desk, looks up in surprise.)

HARRIMAN: What the hell?! (He activates the tannoy.) General Landry to the Control Room immediately.

(In the Jumper, Rodney runs into the front compartment and sits down behind John.)

McKAY: OK, they'll be able to get through my hack pretty quickly.

SHEPPARD: It's alright -- I don't need much time.

(Landry comes into the Control Room.)

LANDRY: What's going on?

HARRIMAN: I don't know, sir. The Gate just started dialling on its own.

LANDRY: It doesn't do that!

HARRIMAN: I know that, sir.

(In the Gateroom, the Jumper lowers down from the ceiling until it is opposite the Gate.)

LANDRY: Close the iris.

HARRIMAN: I can't, sir.

LANDRY: Find a way, Walter! (He calls out to the Jumper.) Colonel Sheppard, stand down! That is a direct order!

(Before he can finish speaking, the Jumper flies into the Gate. Moments later, the Gate shuts down.)

HARRIMAN: D'you want me to try to find out where they were going, sir?

LANDRY: Don't bother. I already know.


MIDWAY SPACE STATION. The Jumper has arrived at the space station. Rodney is working on a console behind John while the others wait anxiously. Suddenly Carson's eyes widen.

BECKETT: My turtles!

(Elizabeth and John look round at him.)

WEIR: What?

BECKETT: I just bought some wee baby turtles and no-one knows to feed them.

WEIR: Well, turtles are pretty hardy. I'm sure they'll be fine.

SHEPPARD: And they make good soup.

(Carson frowns at him in disgust.)

BECKETT: I figured I'm back for good so I might as well get a pet. I'm allergic to cats and, well, I'm at work too long to be fair to a dog, so I went with turtles. I've probably killed them.

SHEPPARD: Any time now, McKay!

(Rodney turns around from his console.)

McKAY: Oh, trust me, I am going as fast as I can!

BECKETT: Poor little buggers.

(The heads-up display comes up on the windshield. John frowns.)

SHEPPARD: The Milky Way Gate just activated.

(Rodney turns around from his console to look.)

SHEPPARD: Did you do that?

(Landry's face appears on the windshield.)

McKAY: Nope.

LANDRY: Colonel Sheppard. I'm going to assume that you're still at the midway station waiting for Doctor McKay to rewrite his macro. I understand what you're doing, Colonel. Hell, I'll even call it brave. (His voice begins to rise.) But if you don't turn that ship around immediately and come back to the S.G.C., I'll see to it personally that your career in the military is ...

(John slams his hand down on a button on the front console and the H.U.D. shuts down. Elizabeth stares at him.)

SHEPPARD: That way I won't know what he was gonna say.

(Rodney's console beeps.)

McKAY: OK. OK, I've got it.

(John looks round at everyone.)

SHEPPARD: Alright. Last chance to change our minds.

(Nobody answers him, although Carson looks doubtful, but perhaps he's more worried about his turtles than what might face him in the Pegasus galaxy.)

SHEPPARD: Alright. Let's do it.


WORMHOLE TRAVEL (with occasional bright flashes).


ATHOSIAN SETTLEMENT. Teyla and Ronon are sitting in a tent with Ladon Radim of the Genii.

LADON: I knew you would never come to me so I thought I would come to you. Our relationship has been ... strained, but we need to put all that behind us now.

DEX: We do?

LADON: Well, your friends have all returned home and you've been asked to leave Atlantis. So the question is: what will you do next?

TEYLA: We are helping my people rebuild this settlement.

LADON: Yes, but the settlement seems finished. (He looks at Ronon.) Besides, is carpentry and clearing brush really the best use of your skills?

TEYLA: Get to the point.

LADON: Come work with me.

(Ronon snorts quietly and sits back.)

LADON: I understand your reluctance. In the past, the Genii have hardly been the shining beacon of hope in the galaxy.

DEX: "In the past"?!

LADON: We are growing stronger every day, and we have a number of operations planned that could seriously cripple the Wraith.

TEYLA: What do you have in mind?

LADON: Well, I am of course reluctant to go into specific details here ... (Teyla and Ronon exchange a glance) ... but suffice it to say the plans are dangerous and in need of your unique abilities.

DEX: We're not interested.

(Ladon smiles.)

LADON: Well, that's too bad ... although not entirely surprising. Give it some time, Ronon. I wonder how much joy you'll find as a tava bean farmer.


LATER. Ronon and Teyla are walking through the settlement.

DEX: I'm not gonna start working for the Genii.

TEYLA: We would not be working for them -- merely with them.

(They stop at a fire with a large pot of bubbling liquid -- presumably soup or stew -- on top of it.)

DEX: Forget it.

TEYLA: Since Atlantis was returned to the Ancestors, the Genii are the most powerful and organised group of humans fighting the Wraith.

DEX: The Ancestors'll do something.

TEYLA: True -- but they neither need nor have they requested our help. The Genii have.

(Ronon gazes at the fire, not answering.)

TEYLA: I know that you are anxious to return to the fight, but my people are farmers.

DEX: Maybe this isn't the place for me, then.

(He turns to walk away.)

SHEPPARD (offscreen): That smells great.

(Teyla and Ronon turn back in surprise as John, Elizabeth, Carson and Rodney walk out of the trees, smiling at them.)

SHEPPARD: Hope you saved some for us.

TEYLA: John! It's wonderful to see you -- all of you!

WEIR: And you.

SHEPPARD (pointing to the pot): We missed that -- whatever that is.

(Ronon looks at the four of them closely.)

DEX: Something's wrong.


LATER. In a tent, Rodney is unpacking the Anti-Replicator Guns -- which are about the same size and shape as Ronon's blaster -- and hands one to Ronon.

McKAY: They emit a directional energy beam that disrupts the connection between nanites.

DEX (taking the gun): Not what I asked.

McKAY (grimacing): Uh, yes. They work good.

DEX: Good. (He lifts the gun and sights along it.) So you need us because we know our way around the city?

SHEPPARD: I need you because you're part of our team.

TEYLA: There may be hundreds of Replicators on Atlantis by now.

SHEPPARD: We've got a plan -- a good one. I wouldn't ask you to come with us if I didn't think we could do it.

WEIR: Also, General O'Neill and Richard Woolsey were both on Atlantis when the Replicators attacked. There's a chance they're still alive.

SHEPPARD: I'll be damned if I'm gonna let a bunch of Replicators take our home away from us. So -- you with us?

(Ronon looks over at Teyla. She returns the look, then they smile at John, who smiles back.)


ATHOSIAN STARGATE. The Puddle Jumper lifts off the ground and hovers just in front of the Gate.

McKAY: OK, I think I've loaded up the G.D.O. It'll lower the shield when we dial.

SHEPPARD: Go for it.

McKAY: Alright. (He looks round at everyone for a moment.) Dialling Atlantis.

(He punches six symbols on the D.H.D.)

McKAY: And ...

(He hits the final symbol. In front of the Jumper, the Gate kawhooshes.)

(In the Atlantis Control Room, the Gate kawhooshes. The Replicators/Asurans in the Control Room turn to look.)

TALUS: What's happening? Activate the shield.

(Behind him, another ‘man' works on a console.)

CETUS: I can't.

(In the Jumper, Rodney looks at his laptop.)

McKAY: That's confirmation. The Gate shield has been lowered.

SHEPPARD: I hope this little plan of ours works.

McKAY: Ah, you and me both.

(With a grim look on his face, John sends the Jumper into the event horizon.)


WORMHOLE TRAVEL.

TO BE CONTINUED