Transcript by Callie Sullivan
ATLANTIS. As we see an establishing shot of the exterior of the city, Ronon Dex's voice can be heard. He sounds very stern and very purposeful.
DEX (voiceover): Eyes straight ahead. Focus on me.
(The view shifts to the interior of the gym. Ronon is staring straight into the camera -- or, rather, into the eyes of the person standing opposite him. He glares at the other person sternly.)
DEX: Never ever look away from your enemy. It shows weakness. Are you weak?
(We see who is standing opposite him. It's Doctor Rodney McKay, wearing a white karate-type suit with a yellow belt around his waist. The belt holds a large black pad in place which is protecting Rodney's stomach and chest. Both the men are holding a single bantos stick in front of them with both hands, ready for combat. Rodney looks very plaintive and is almost trembling as he faces Ronon, although he is trying desperately to hide his fear.)
McKAY: Uh, no.
DEX: Good. Then you're ready?
McKAY: Um ...
(He shifts his feet slightly to get into a better stance. Immediately Ronon screams ferociously and rapidly raises his stick over his head. Instinctively Rodney does the same, looking up at Ronon's stick. Ronon immediately brings his stick around to the side and, before Rodney can defend himself, hammers him hard across the stomach. Rodney doubles up.)
DEX: McKay, what did I say? Don't take your eyes off me.
(Rodney whimpers breathlessly.)
DEX: You've gotta anticipate the next move.
(Rodney continues to whimper.)
DEX: You alright?
(Rodney nods and coughs while giving him a weak thumbs-up.)
DEX: Alright, well, I'll try to ease up so I don't hurt you. (He pats Rodney's shoulder.)
McKAY (weakly): Thanks.
DEX: You're gettin' better.
(The doors to the gym open and Doctor Elizabeth Weir and Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard come in. Rodney glances round at them, then looks quickly back at Ronon, raising his stick in front of him in preparation.)
SHEPPARD: How are the ninja lessons going, Jet Li?
McKAY (still watching Ronon): What do you want?
WEIR: We lost contact with the Taranans.
DEX (locking eyes with Rodney as the two of them square up to each other): You mean the volcano people?
SHEPPARD: Supervolcano people.
McKAY: What happened to them?
WEIR (sarcastically): Well, we don't know.
SHEPPARD (equally sarcastically): Seeing how we lost contact with them.
WEIR: They usually check in from time to time from their new settlement.
(Ronon lifts a hand and points at his own eyes to signal to Rodney to continue focusing on him, not the other two.)
WEIR: We've been sending them food, medical supplies.
SHEPPARD: It's the least we could do since getting the Orion blown up.
WEIR: But we haven't heard from them for a few months. I tried to contact them by radio but no response.
McKAY (still concentrating on Ronon): So send a M.A.L.P.
SHEPPARD: We just did. Everything looks OK but the settlement's a couple of kilometres from the Gate, so we don't know anything yet.
WEIR: I want you to check it out.
McKAY (irritated): What?
(He lowers his stick and turns towards her. Ronon promptly brings his stick around and thumps him hard across the stomach again. As Rodney doubles up, John winces sympathetically.)
(Breathless, he points at his own eyes and then points at Ronon.)
McKAY (in a high-pitched squeak): Eyes.
DEX: Eyes. Yes.
SHEPPARD: You may wanna change first.
(Rodney straightens up painfully, nodding. He puts his hand on his stomach, turning slightly, then cowers as Ronon steps towards him, but Ronon just pats him on the shoulder and leaves the gym.)
TARANAN SETTLEMENT. Team Sheppard, now joined by Teyla Emmagan, have arrived through the Stargate and are looking across a wide valley to a collection of buildings some distance away.
McKAY: They've got a lot done in the short time they've been here.
TEYLA: They are hard-working people. I've made several trips to assist them in getting settled.
(John activates his headset radio.)
SHEPPARD: This is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard from Atlantis calling anyone in the Taranan settlement. Please respond.
(He waits a few seconds but there's no reply, and no sign of movement from the settlement.)
SHEPPARD: I thought I'd give it a shot. Alright, let's go.
(He puts his sunglasses on and the team heads off towards the settlement. Some time later they reach the village and go inside one of the buildings, aiming their weapons cautiously.)
SHEPPARD: Anybody home?
McKAY: Well, it looks like they abandoned the place.
DEX: Well, maybe they found somewhere better to live.
TEYLA: But they left everything behind. Why would they do that?
(John switches on a computer on one of the tables.)
SHEPPARD: Let's get these work stations powered up. Maybe we can figure out where these people went.
(Rodney activates his life signs detector which begins to beep.)
McKAY: Oh. I got something. A single life sign.
TEYLA: Where is it?
McKAY: It's, uh, below us. (He adjusts the setting on the detector to show a vertical rather than horizontal perspective.) Quite a way below us.
SHEPPARD: They built underground?
TEYLA: No. One of the previous civilisations that lived here was similar to the Genii, living below the surface to avoid detection by the Wraith. They left behind several underground passages but the Taranans didn't utilise them.
McKAY: Yeah, well, someone is.
SHEPPARD (to Teyla): How do we get there?
(Teyla points and then leads the team away.)
LATER. Ronon slides down a rope into the tunnels, the last of the team to do so. Rodney is already checking his life signs detector.
(Rodney points straight ahead. John leads the team in that direction. They progress down the tunnels -- some of which are obscured by steam coming from pipes above their heads -- checking all around them as they go. Ronon kicks down a metal grating to get a better view of a small room on the other side. There is something that could be dried blood on the walls. He checks the area out carefully but there's nothing else there and so he follows the others. They move on. Teyla pulls open a metal door and looks inside a dark room.)
(Ronon pulls the door open wider to get a better look.)
(John goes inside to look at what's hanging from the ceiling. It's almost like skin in appearance, though it's a dark red colour, with veins running through it.)
DEX: What is that?
TEYLA: Looks like a cocoon of some sort.
DEX: What's inside it?
(John cautiously walks closer, shining the light from his rifle at the cocoon. It has been ripped open and there's nothing inside.)
SHEPPARD: Well, whatever it is, it's not inside any more.
(Outside the door, Teyla and Ronon look down the tunnel anxiously. Rodney checks the life signs detector again. It still shows one life sign not far away. He and John look at each other nervously.)
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth walks over to the Canadian technician.
WEIR: Has Colonel Sheppard's team dialled in with a status report yet?
TECHNICIAN: Not yet, but they haven't been gone that long.
WEIR: Go ahead and dial them.
(The technician nods and begins to dial.)
TARANAN TUNNELS. Elizabeth's voice comes over the radio as the team progresses along the tunnels.
WEIR: How's it going there?
SHEPPARD: I think I know why we lost contact with the Taranans.
SHEPPARD: They're gone.
WEIR: What?! All of them?
(The team reaches a junction. Rodney indicates to John to turn left.)
SHEPPARD (into radio): Looks like it. The entire settlement is deserted. Rodney's picked up a life sign underneath the tunnel. We're tracking it, but we don't think it's human, though.
WEIR: Why not?
TEYLA: We discovered a large cocoon in one of the rooms under the settlement and we think whatever hatched from it is what we're detecting.
WEIR: Did you just say “cocoon”?
SHEPPARD: Yeah, it's like a big slimy ...
McKAY: It's a pod.
SHEPPARD: Well, I was gonna say “egg”, but who knows what the hell it is?
WEIR: I'm sending in back-up.
DEX: We can handle it.
WEIR: I know you can handle it, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'll send in a team of marines to assist you.
SHEPPARD: Alright. If you feel the need.
WEIR: I feel the need. Weir out.
(The team continues on, turning yet another corner.)
SHEPPARD: It's a hell of a complex down here.
DEX: It's like a maze.
McKAY (looking at his detector): We're closer.
SHEPPARD: How far?
McKAY: Forty metres. It's stopped moving, so we're gaining ground on it.
SHEPPARD: Alright, good. (He swings around briefly to look at the others.) Look, if it makes any sudden moves ... (he swings back around and continues walking forward) ... I want you to make sure that ... (He stops, frowning.) Where's Ronon?
(The three of them turn back around to see that Ronon is no longer with them. Teyla aims her rifle back down the tunnel.)
(Ronon has gone into a room off the tunnel. He coughs and covers his mouth and nose with his hand.)
DEX: In here.
(The others hurry back along the tunnel and go into the room that Ronon has found. They stare in shock at the sight that greets them. There are many dead people lying on the floor. They are piled up on top of each other as if they've been dumped there. Some of them have looks of horror on their faces as if they died in terror or agony.)
McKAY: Oh my God!
(Teyla gasps in horror.)
(Rodney and John squat down to look at the bodies more closely. Each of them has a bloody injury in the same place.)
SHEPPARD: Wounds on their neck -- all of them. Does this look familiar?
McKAY: It looks disturbingly familiar.
SHEPPARD: You don't think, uh ...
(He and Rodney stare at each other in shock for a moment, then John looks up as he realises that Ronon is missing again.)
SHEPPARD: Ronon? Oh, for God's sakes!
TEYLA (calling out): Ronon!
DEX (from another room): In here.
(The team hurries into the next room to join him.)
SHEPPARD: You can't wander off like that. You gotta ...
(He trails off as he sees what Ronon has found this time. The room looks like a laboratory. In the middle of the room is a table with a large container on it. Suspended in a green liquid inside is a very familiar sight. John stares at it in dread.)
SHEPPARD: Oh, no.
McKAY: Iratus bug!
SHEPPARD: I hate those things.
McKAY: That explains why the wounds looked so familiar.
TEYLA: What is it doing here? Iratus bugs are not indigenous to this planet.
DEX: Well, somebody brought it here.
McKAY: Let's hope it's the only bug they brought.
SHEPPARD: So, some kind of a Wraith experiment?
McKAY: Well, I doubt the Taranans did this to themselves.
TEYLA: I do not sense any Wraith in this settlement.
(Rodney checks his life signs detector. It shows the single life sign moving quickly towards the four dots that indicate him and his team.)
McKAY: Oh, our little friend is on the move. It's headed right for us.
SHEPPARD: How fast?
McKAY: Very fast.
DEX: It knows we're here. (He starts to head out of the room.)
SHEPPARD: Ronon, stun.
DEX (turning back angrily): Why?
SHEPPARD (firmly): Stun.
(Annoyed, Ronon tosses his blaster up into the air, catches it and adjusts the setting. The team goes to the doorway and peers cautiously through to the room with all the dead bodies in it. Rodney's detector begins to beep faster. Suddenly John jumps as a man's voice comes through his earpiece.)
NEGLEY (over radio): Colonel Sheppard, come in.
(At the Gate, Lieutenant Negley and his team of marines begin to walk towards the settlement.)
NEGLEY: Colonel Sheppard, this is Lieutenant Negley. Do you copy?
SHEPPARD (tetchily): Yes, Lieutenant.
NEGLEY: Sir, my team has just come through the Gate and we're proceeding to the settlement in order ...
SHEPPARD (quietly): Great. Terrific. We'll meet you there. Right now I need radio silence. Sheppard out.
(Rodney looks at his detector and frowns.)
McKAY: It's stopped.
McKAY: How am I supposed to know?!
SHEPPARD: Well, where is it?
McKAY: I think it's out in the tunnel.
(John and Ronon look at each other for a moment, then John leads the team through the room of bodies to the doorway before proceeding warily out into the tunnel.)
McKAY (whispering): It's close.
(John and Ronon cautiously start to walk down the tunnel. Rodney looks nervously at Teyla, who jerks her head at him to follow them. Reluctantly, he does so and she follows him. The team continues onwards.)
(Suddenly something roars and surges out of a side door, seizing Ronon and slamming him against the wall. John spins around and sees a large black creature -- at least as tall as Ronon and standing on two legs -- grappling with Ronon. The tunnel is too dark to see the creature properly but it has large pincers coming from its face. Anyone who has seen the film “Predator” will get a touch of deja vu. The other three open fire and the monster screams and recoils away from Ronon, turning towards John and swiping him to the ground. As it turns to run, Ronon draws his sword from its scabbard on his back and slashes at the beast. Screaming, it runs off down the corridor. John grabs his rifle off the floor and fires after it as Rodney and Teyla also fire at it. Ronon grabs his blaster and sends a blast down the corridor. The monster continues running and disappears from view in the smoke coming from the ceiling. John climbs to his feet as Teyla looks at Ronon in concern.)
TEYLA: Are you alright?
DEX: Yeah, I'm good.
McKAY: What the hell was that thing?
TEYLA (looking down at the floor): What is that?
(Ronon bends down and picks up what she is looking at. It's the beast's arm which he severed with his sword.)
DEX: Ugh. It's a piece of an arm it looks like.
(He holds it up. The arm has two long narrow claws and a shorter third claw.)
SHEPPARD: Let's hope that slows him down.
McKAY (plaintively): Well, maybe it'll bleed to death.
DEX: Or just grow another arm. (He drops the arm to the floor. It lands with an unpleasant splat.)
PLANET'S SURFACE. As the team of marines heads for the settlement, the Gate begins to dial behind them. Negley turns, frowning, then yells out as the Gate activates and a familiar sound can be heard.
(The team opens fire on the Wraith Dart as it flies out of the Gate and heads towards them. It activates its transporter beam and sweeps them all up as it flies overhead.)
TUNNELS. Team Sheppard proceeds down a tunnel as Rodney checks his life signs detector.
McKAY: It's still moving away from us.
SHEPPARD: Let's hope losing a chunk of his arm slows him down.
DEX: We need to finish it off to make sure.
SHEPPARD: I couldn't agree with you more.
McKAY: Yeah, and how're we gonna do that, huh? Am I the only one who noticed that our bullets had no effect on it?
TEYLA: It appears to have a hardened shell on its back.
SHEPPARD (to Ronon): Right, set that thing to kill again. (He activates his headset.) Lieutenant Negley, this is Sheppard. How far away from the settlement are you?
(There's no reply.)
SHEPPARD: Negley, this is Sheppard, come in?
McKAY: You did say radio silence.
SHEPPARD: Negley? Respond! (Still no reply.) Great(!)
(Looking at his detector, Rodney pats John's arm to get his attention and then points to the right.)
McKAY: It's through that doorway.
(As Ronon adjusts his blaster to its kill setting, John walks to the door that Rodney indicated. He takes up position, aiming his rifle, as Rodney takes hold of the door handle. Teyla and Ronon stay further back and aim their weapons. Ronon nods to Rodney that they're ready. Rodney glances at John, then quickly pulls the door open. They make their way carefully inside, then stop and stare in horror at the sight of many cocoons hanging from the ceiling. These aren't empty.)
SHEPPARD: This is not good.
ATLANTIS. The technician walks into Elizabeth's office.
TECHNICIAN: Doctor Weir? We just received a data transmission from the Taranan settlement. Lieutenant Negley checking in.
WEIR: And how are they doing?
TECHNICIAN: Well, they've contacted Colonel Sheppard's team. They're about ten kilometres further inland from the settlement. Negley and his team are on their way to meet up with them.
WEIR: Ten kilometres inland? What are they doing there?
TECHNICIAN: Well, they found the Taranans.
(Elizabeth sighs with relief.)
TECHNICIAN: Apparently they've abandoned their settlement for a better location inland.
WEIR: What about the cocoon and the life sign they were tracking?
TECHNICIAN: There was no mention about it. It was a brief transmission -- they were almost out of range.
WEIR: OK. Good. Keep me posted.
TARANAN TUNNELS. John and Ronon come out of the cocoon room and join Teyla and Rodney who have been keeping an eye on the tunnel.
SHEPPARD: We've searched the whole room. That thing ain't in there. Just a bunch of unhatched eggs.
TEYLA: Is there another way out?
DEX: No. It's the only door to the room.
McKAY (lifting his detector): Well, then, he must have found another way out, because it is still on the move.
(John is staring up at the ceiling.)
(Rodney glances up at the ceiling nervously.)
SHEPPARD: The movie, “Alien.” They used the air shafts when they over-ran the ship.
McKAY: And then they systematically killed the entire crew one by one. Thank you for bringing that up.
SHEPPARD: They didn't kill ‘em all.
TEYLA: What do we do now?
DEX: Track this thing down and kill it.
SHEPPARD: Agreed. But first things first.
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. John attaches a block of C4 to one of the cocoons and primes it. Teyla is looking at another cocoon.
TEYLA: The structure is very peculiar.
McKAY (also looking at a cocoon): Yeah? I believe the word is “disgusting.”
(John has attached another block of C4 somewhere in the room and it beeps as he primes it. Outside in the tunnel, Ronon draws his sword from its scabbard again and looks each way down the tunnel. Inside the room, Teyla has walked over to another cocoon and is looking at it. Suddenly a black insect-like arm bursts out of the cocoon and grabs for her and Rodney.)
McKAY: Go, go, go, go, go! Sheppard! They're hatching!
SHEPPARD (attaching another block of C4 nearby): We're good. Let's go!
(In the tunnel, Ronon turns at the sound of roaring from the room behind him. He grabs the handle of the door as the other three race out.)
McKAY: Shut the door!
(Ronon starts to shove the door closed but two clawed hands push through the gap and try to force it open. John moves to the gap and fires his rifle point blank at the beast. It screams and backs off and the men shove the door closed, then the team races off around the corner. John takes out his detonator.)
SHEPPARD: Fire in the hole.
(A massive explosion goes off, blowing the door off its hinges.)
SHEPPARD: Everyone OK?
DEX: I'm good.
McKAY: I think you singed my eyebrows! D'you think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
(Carefully, the team heads back to the open doorway. John walks inside, looking around at the burned cocoons.)
(Rodney checks his detector.)
McKAY: I think we got ‘em all.
SHEPPARD: Well, that's good.
McKAY: Except for our armless friend -- he's still on the move.
SHEPPARD: Let's go get him.
LATER. The team is continuing its search. John activates his radio.
SHEPPARD: Lieutenant Negley, this is Sheppard, do you read? ... Negley, respond. ... Dammit!
TEYLA: Perhaps they encountered the creature.
DEX: And what? Killed all four of them?
SHEPPARD: No way. No creature is gonna take out four marines.
McKAY: It almost killed all of us.
DEX: But it didn't.
SHEPPARD: We need to find ‘em.
TEYLA: If they were alive, we would see them on the life signs detector.
McKAY: Not if they didn't make it to the settlement. This thing only has a range of a hundred metres.
SHEPPARD: Where's the creature now?
(Rodney looks at the detector, then looks bewildered.)
McKAY: Wait a minute. (He turns to face the way they have just come.) It's back that way.
SHEPPARD: Behind us?
DEX: You just said it was that way. (He nods in the direction they were going.)
McKAY: I did! Well, it was, but it must have ... it must have doubled back.
(John gazes up at the ceiling.)
SHEPPARD: Damned air shafts.
TEYLA: Well, obviously it knows its way around this place better than we do. Perhaps we should consider returning to the Gate.
DEX: What, you mean give up?
TEYLA: No, not give up. We can find out what happened to the marines and request additional back-up so that we may do a proper search of the settlement.
McKAY: I like this plan -- I mean, if we're taking a vote.
(Ronon turns and looks at John pointedly.)
DEX: Sounds like giving up to me.
SHEPPARD: Teyla's right. Enough of this cat and mouse. We're better off doing a full-scale sweep of this area.
McKAY: Including the air shafts.
SHEPPARD (to Teyla): Alright. How do we get out of here?
TEYLA: This way.
(She leads them away.)
LATER. The team has returned to the surface and is walking back towards the Stargate.
TEYLA: On all the worlds I've been to, I have never encountered anything like it.
SHEPPARD: Did anybody get a good look at that thing?
McKAY: Aside from its severed appendage, no. That thing moved incredibly fast.
DEX: In some ways, it looked almost like a human.
McKAY: If, by “human,” you mean clad in a grotesquely proportioned exoskeleton, yes -- very human.
DEX: I meant it looked like it had two arms and two legs.
SHEPPARD: It looked like a giant bug to me. I hate those things.
TEYLA: If it was indeed a Wraith experiment, perhaps it was created by combining the genetic elements of the iratus bug with the Taranans.
McKAY: Which is, as we know, exactly how the Wraith evolved. I mean, iratus bug bites human, human D.N.A. mixes with theirs, a thousand years go by, Wraith.
DEX: So, what? They're tryin' to create more Wraith?
SHEPPARD: That doesn't make any more sense. If they wanted to create more Wraith, wouldn't it be easier to get a male and female to, you know, get a room?
McKAY: It doesn't work that way with the Wraith, alright? At least, we don't think it does. We're not entirely sure as to the Wraiths' reproductive methods.
SHEPPARD: I don't wanna be around to watch that film.
McKAY: Anyway, look, it's probably less likely that they were trying to create another Wraith than they were actually trying to create some kind of a hybrid creature -- probably to be used as a weapon.
SHEPPARD: Super-Wraith? That's all we need!
(They reach the M.A.L.P. which is near the D.H.D.)
SHEPPARD: Well, that's the whole distance from the settlement. I don't see any sign of the marines yet.
McKAY: Maybe they went back to Atlantis.
SHEPPARD: No, they would have radioed us.
TEYLA: They must have encountered the creature. There's no other explanation for why they are not responding to us.
McKAY: If that thing took them all out, then-then that is one nasty bug ... person.
SHEPPARD: Dial us out.
(He presses the first button on the D.H.D. but instead of its usual “clunk” it just makes a dull “thunk” sound and the symbol doesn't light up. Rodney lifts his hand and presses the button again. It makes the same sound.)
(He kneels down, takes off the cover of the control panel underneath the D.H.D. and looks inside.)
(Rodney looks up at the others, his eyes wide.)
McKAY: Control crystal's missing.
DEX: We can't dial out?
SHEPPARD: Well, fix it.
(Rodney straightens up.)
McKAY: It is not a matter of fixing, OK? The crystal is just gone. Someone has removed it to prevent anyone else from dialling out.
TUNNELS. A figure wearing a black floor-length coat walks along a tunnel. It pauses for a moment as it sees the twisted and mangled door that blew off the cocoon room. It hesitates, then walks into the room. The camera pans up to show the face of this person. It's Michael. He stares around at the destruction, breathing rapidly and furiously.
DEX: Stay here?
McKAY: Hey, Elizabeth will wonder why we haven't checked in -- she'll dial up to get our status; we can request back-up, also a Puddle Jumper to come and get us.
SHEPPARD: We don't know how long that'll be. That could be hours.
TEYLA: We will be safe here. The life signs detector will alert us if the creature is nearby.
McKAY: She's right: we can set up a, a, a -- what do you call it -- a perimeter, wait it out.
SHEPPARD: We're not leaving without those marines. Let's go back to the settlement.
(He starts to head back in the direction they just came from. Unhappily, Rodney starts to follow as Ronon grins at him smugly.)
TUNNELS. The team is back in the tunnels and walking along when Teyla slows down and then stops, her gaze distant. Ronon touches her arm in concern as John turns to her.
TEYLA: I am sensing something.
TEYLA: I cannot be certain.
(Rodney looks at his life signs detector. It shows a dot not far from their four dots.)
McKAY: No. No, I've still just got the one reading. Still on the move, heading ... (He stares at the detector in surprise.) No. No, I'm picking up another life sign.
(He holds the detector towards John. It now shows another dot further away.)
McKAY: It's popped up out of nowhere.
DEX: How is that possible?
SHEPPARD: Maybe one of those eggs hatched.
McKAY: Maybe. That, or part of the settlement is shielded.
DEX: Maybe it's one of the marines.
SHEPPARD: Well, if it is one of those marines, that something Teyla's sensing is heading right toward him.
(The team gets moving again. They head down some stairs as the beeping on the detector quickens.)
McKAY: They're close.
(The team continues on, John and Ronon in the lead. Rodney notices a large opening high up on the wall and aims his rifle towards it as he passes. Teyla follows suit as she passes the opening. They move on. Teyla notices a door partially open and goes inside, shining her rifle's light around. As she gets inside the room, the door slams shut loudly behind her.)
(In the tunnel, the men stop at the sound.)
SHEPPARD: What was that?
(Rodney and Ronon turn around.)
(They run back to the door. As John starts to tug on the door's handle, steam begins to blast down on them from a vent above the door. They duck out of the way as the steam fills the tunnel. Suddenly the Super-Wraith appears in their midst, roaring.)
(Inside the room, Teyla slams her hand repeatedly against the door.)
(Outside, Ronon tries to aim his blaster at the creature but can't get a clear shot through all the steam and daren't fire randomly for fear of hitting the others. Inside the room, Teyla continues beating on the door, frantic with worry as the sound of the beast roaring continues.)
(She stops beating the door as she senses something behind her. She turns around and finds herself face to face with Michael.)
(Out in the tunnel, the men are trying to avoid the Super-Wraith. Rodney opens fire with his rifle as it approaches him. It screams. Ronon finally gets a clear shot and fires his blaster at it repeatedly point-blank. After several blasts, it drops to the floor. At the same time the steam stops venting and the tunnel begins to clear. Gasping with fear and exertion, Rodney straightens up as Ronon aims his blaster down at the beast. Once they're sure it's definitely staying down, John takes out his knife and sticks it in between the door and the wall. As Ronon aims his blaster in readiness, John prises the door open. The men go inside but although there's no other exit, there is no sign of Teyla.)
McKAY: Where'd she go?
(He lowers his rifle and looks at the life signs detector.)
McKAY: I'm reading two life signs moving away from us, but one floor up, I think. That, or more air shafts.
SHEPPARD: Let's go.
(He and Ronon head off. Rodney runs after them, still looking at his detector.)
McKAY: Wait! They disappeared.
McKAY: The life signs -- they just vanished. I was right. Part of this settlement must be shielded.
(John and Ronon start to run down the corridor.)
McKAY (hurrying after them): Wait! No! We won't be able to track ‘em.
LAB. Teyla regains consciousness as a light is switched on in the room. She is lying on a table or narrow metal bed. She tries to sit up but finds that her hands and ankles are bound to the sides of the table. Teyla looks around the room, bewildered.
(Michael walks over to her.)
MICHAEL: This will proceed much more quickly if you don't resist.
MICHAEL: Hello, Teyla.
TUNNELS. The boys are still hurrying along.
McKAY (to Ronon): You need to aim for the stomach area. It seems to be more vulnerable -- it's the soft under-belly. You were able to kill it when you hit it there before.
DEX (a little sarcastically, as he has probably already figured it out for himself): Thanks.
(They catch up with John who has reached a junction.)
SHEPPARD: Which way?
McKAY: I don't know. (He glances at his detector.) It's not showing me anything. It's useless.
(John grunts angrily.)
DEX (picking a direction at random): This way.
(The other two follow him.)
TEYLA: You are the one who's done all this?
MICHAEL: “All this”?
TEYLA: This ... experiment. You murdered those people. You allowed those bugs to feed on them.
MICHAEL: A necessary step in the process.
TEYLA: To create these creatures? Why are you doing this?
MICHAEL: Do you not recall our last encounter? How you left me to die on that desolate planet? The hive that finally rescued me -- they could tell something was different. They sensed the human in me. To them, I was unclean. I barely escaped that hive with my life.
(He walks over to a table on which are all sorts of nasty-looking surgical implements.)
MICHAEL: So now I find myself hunted by both humans and Wraith. (Having picked up one of the implements, he turns back towards Teyla.) So you can understand my need to protect myself -- to survive.
(He turns back to the table and starts sorting through the implements.)
TEYLA: It did not have to be like this. You could have lived with us.
MICHAEL: As a human? My consciousness erased by your retrovirus? (He turns back to her.) No. I will live the rest of my life as I choose. But I can't do it alone. So, having taken my cue from the experiment your people performed on me, I figured out how to reverse the process -- to create a being even more formidable than a Wraith. It began with the feeding.
FLASHBACK. In the lab, a Taranan male is strapped to the bed. He screams as an iratus bug latches onto his throat and feeds. Michael stands nearby, watching impassively.
MICHAEL (voiceover): I allowed the bug to gorge itself, to absorb as much human D.N.A. as possible. This, of course, led to the death of the subject.
(Michael carries the man's body into the room next to the lab and dumps it onto several other bodies already there, then returns to the lab.)
MICHAEL (voiceover): The timing of the feeding was critical -- ensuring that the bug laid its next egg quickly, before the genetic material could filter out of its body.
(Several large white soft eggs are on the table. Michael puts a syringe into a vial and siphons up some liquid. Tapping the syringe and then squirting some liquid out to remove any air, he injects the rest of the liquid into one of the eggs.)
MICHAEL (voiceover): The embryo then contained enough human D.N.A. for me to manipulate.
(Some time later, he goes into the cocoon room and inspects the cocoons.)
MICHAEL (voiceover): I accelerated the development, augmenting the complexity of its physiology. There were several adjustments, several mistakes ...
(He looks in satisfaction as he sees that one of the cocoons is beginning to hatch.)
MICHAEL (voiceover): ... until I finally found the perfect balance between strength, agility and resilience.
(The flashback ends.)
MICHAEL: A perfect animal to do my bidding.
(He gazes towards the door to the lab, from where a growling can be heard. Teyla turns her head slowly and sees the Super-Wraith standing in the dark doorway. It is silhouetted against a limited amount of light coming from behind it, so it's still hard to tell its complete shape, but it's enough to give you nightmares.)
TUNNELS. The boys come to the end of a corridor. There's a door in the end wall. John tries the handle but can't open it.
McKAY: Must be some kind of security lockdown. Whoever took Teyla no doubt triggered it.
SHEPPARD: Figure how to open this up.
DEX: Stand back.
(Without waiting, he fires at it. John and Rodney recoil from the blast.)
SHEPPARD: Jeez! You mind giving us a little more heads-up before you start blasting everything?!
(Ronon walks closer to the door, realising that his blaster isn't going to open it, then looks at John.)
DEX: You got any more C4?
LAB. Teyla struggles to get free of her bonds as the Super-Wraith continues to growl from the doorway.
MICHAEL: I saw how you and your team destroyed the incubation room, but don't think that's the only one in this complex -- and don't think that this is the only planet from which I'm conducting this experiment.
(Teyla stares at him in horror.)
MICHAEL: That's right. Soon hundreds of these creatures will be at my disposal, and their numbers will continue to grow so long as I have human subjects in supply. And now that you're here, I do.
TUNNEL. Ronon and Rodney have retreated around the corner from the door. John trots round to join them.
SHEPPARD: Alright, that's the last of the C4. Let's hope it's enough. (He raises the detonator.) Ready?
(He presses the button. Nothing happens.)
McKAY: What happened?
(John frowns and looks around the corner. The C4 promptly blows. He ducks back around the corner, cursing, as Rodney cringes from the noise. John looks back around the corner again.)
SHEPPARD: Alright, let's go.
(They run to the door, which has been mostly demolished by the blast, and make their way through. Rodney takes out his life signs detector, which beeps rapidly several times.)
McKAY: Woah! Serious energy spike.
DEX: What does that mean?
McKAY: We probably just entered the shielded section of the settlement.
(They continue on, oblivious to a red light flashing on the ceiling nearby.)
LAB. A similar red light flashes above Michael's head. He turns to Teyla.
MICHAEL: Your friends are coming for you.
(He looks at the Super-Wraith and jerks his head. Growling, it turns and leaves.)
MICHAEL (walking over to Teyla): They'll meet the same fate as you, one by one.
TEYLA: Others will come for us. Doctor Weir will send ...
MICHAEL (interrupting): Don't concern yourself with Doctor Weir. She thinks your team has met up with the Taranan people and all is well. One of the marines she sent to help you was ... kind enough to assist me in transmitting a message back to Atlantis.
(Teyla closes her eyes briefly and sighs.)
TEYLA: Michael, please don't do this.
MICHAEL: After what you did to me -- twice -- how could you expect anything less?
TEYLA: What happened back on the planet ...
MICHAEL (interrupting): No more excuses.
(He fetches a large box and puts it on the foot of the bed.)
MICHAEL: Your experiment failed. You decided to kill us.
TEYLA: We believed we were left with no choice.
MICHAEL: And now I am in the same position.
(He opens the side of the box.)
MICHAEL: You drove me to this.
(An iratus bug crawls out of the box and starts to make its way up Teyla's body. Teyla stares at it in dread.)
TUNNELS. The men walk down some stairs, Rodney staring in horror at what's at the bottom.
McKAY: Oh my God.
(One of the marines is lying on the floor, dead, with a bloody wound in his throat. John and Rodney bend down to him.)
DEX: Where are the others?
(He heads off down the tunnel. Further down, two more of the marines are lying on the floor with similar wounds on their throats.)
DEX: Sheppard. Over here.
(John runs over as Ronon checks one of them for a pulse. John bends down to the other one and pulls his dog tags from around his neck. A chittering sound can be heard in the walls. It's very reminiscent of the sound made by the iratus bugs in the cavern in “Conversion.”)
DEX: You hear that?
(Rodney aims his rifle towards the ceiling, his face full of dread.)
McKAY (plaintively): Oh, it sounds like bugs!
SHEPPARD (standing up): C'mon.
(He continues down the corridor, Rodney following. Ronon pauses to take the dog tags from the other marine, then reaches down and closes the man's eyes before following the other two. Rodney consults his life signs detector again as it beeps.)
SHEPPARD: Put that thing away. I thought you said it didn't work in this area anyway.
McKAY: It is -- I just, I thought I could recalibrate it to take into effect ...
(The Super-Wraith leaps out of the darkness and grabs him, slamming him up against the wall. As Rodney tries to hold it off him, John spins around and opens fire.)
(In the lab, Michael lifts his head at the sound of the beast screaming some distance away.)
(As John continues to fire, Ronon arrives and fires a blast at it. It recoils away from Rodney and Ronon homes in on it, firing again at its stomach.)
(In the lab, Michael continues to listen as the creature screams again. He puts down what he was holding and leaves the room.)
(In the tunnel, John and Ronon stand over the creature.)
SHEPPARD: It's dead.
(Rodney sighs in relief, trying to catch his breath.)
(In the lab, Teyla stares down at the iratus bug as it slowly makes its way up her body. As it climbs up onto her chest, she turns her head and yells towards the door.)
(The bug reaches her neck.)
(The bug recoils slightly from the sound, then hisses and crawls forward, lifting its pincers ready to strike. Just then, a blast from Ronon's weapon hits it and blows it to bits. Teyla gasps with relief as John runs past Ronon into the room.)
SHEPPARD: Nice shot! (To Teyla) You OK?
(He starts to undo her tethers.)
TEYLA: Yes. It's Michael. He's the one doing this.
SHEPPARD: Michael? Our Michael?
McKAY: He's alive?
TEYLA: Yes. He created the creatures and he is attempting to build an army of them.
DEX: Where is he?
TEYLA: I don't know. He ran off as soon as he heard the gunfire.
SHEPPARD: Alright. We need to come up with the best plan here.
DEX: The best plan is to kill him. (He heads for the door.)
SHEPPARD: Hey, just hang on a second.
McKAY: Maybe I should check out these work stations. Look, there might be some intel.
DEX: We don't have any time.
McKAY (loudly): Such as how many of these creatures he created and if they have any weaknesses that we might be able to exploit.
SHEPPARD: Alright. Teyla, you stay with Rodney. Ronon and I are going after Michael. We'll stay in touch on the radio.
McKAY: You can't. Shielded, remember? Look, the energy spike -- it fouls the radio communications as well.
SHEPPARD: Well, then, unshield it. (To Ronon) Let's go.
(They race out of the room. Rodney, who has a large scratch on his face from his run-in with the Super-Wraith, groans and puts his hand to it as he turns back to the work stations.)
TUNNELS. John and Ronon run along the tunnel and come to a T-junction.
SHEPPARD: You go that way, I'll go the other.
(Ronon turns and starts to head off to the left when John turns back to him.)
SHEPPARD: Oh, hey, wait. Set your gun to stun.
SHEPPARD: Yeah. We're gonna need to question him.
DEX: No. No more talking, no more questioning. I'm gonna do what we should have done the first time we captured him.
SHEPPARD: Ronon, listen to me.
DEX: No, you listen to me, John. This whole retrovirus thing was a mistake. I said it then -- no-one listened to me. It was a bad idea.
SHEPPARD: We had to try. If it worked, we wouldn't ...
DEX (interrupting): But it didn't work. Admit it. It just made things worse. How long do you wanna keep paying for it?
LAB. As Teyla keeps watch at the door, Rodney is looking through Michael's research.
McKAY: It is amazing how much work he's been able to get done in such a short amount of time. He's quite the industrious little fella ... or Wraith ... or ... whatever. What does he looks like now? I mean, is he, is he full-on Wraith again?
TEYLA: Not quite. There are still human characteristics present in him. No doubt it's why I was confused when I first felt his presence.
McKAY: You'd think that the human side of him would temper his aggression a bit.
TEYLA: Yes -- because we humans aren't aggressive at all.
McKAY: Well, certainly less aggressive than, uh ... (He looks up and rolls his eyes.) Oh, sarcasm. Yeah. Nice.
TEYLA: What Michael is doing right now must be stopped. He cannot be allowed to escape. He's far too dangerous.
McKAY: You're preaching to the choir, my dear.
TEYLA: But I understand his anger. His life has been destroyed. He no longer has a home or a family.
McKAY: He had a family?!
TEYLA: I don't know, but I've often wondered what he left behind when he was captured by us. We know nothing of his past other than that he was a Wraith.
(Rodney has linked his computer table to another console and has called up some more data.)
McKAY: A very smart Wraith.
TEYLA: Perhaps he was a scientist.
McKAY (a little distracted): Huh. Sure. Probably. Why not? One of their very best, I'd wager.
TEYLA: Like you.
(Rodney lifts his head briefly, not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not.)
McKAY: Right. (He spots something on the screen.) Wait a minute.
TEYLA: What is it?
McKAY: I think I've just figured out how to disable the E.M. interference that is causing the shielding. (He types on the screen, then activates his headset radio.) Sheppard, you there?
SHEPPARD (out in the tunnels): Hey, I'm here.
McKAY: I got the shielding disabled.
SHEPPARD: So I see.
McKAY: Any luck finding Michael?
SHEPPARD: No sign of him yet. Is that life signs detector working yet?
McKAY (having completely forgotten about it): Ooh, of course.
(He pats his pockets until he finds the one that has the detector in it, takes it out and looks at it. It shows two dots in the centre of the screen, depicting himself and Teyla, two single dots some distance away to the south west and north east of his location ... and a massive clump of dots to the north.)
McKAY: Oh, my God.
McKAY: I am reading a ton of life signs near you.
SHEPPARD: Well, define “ton” ... and define “near.”
McKAY: Uh, a few dozen. I mean, they're all bunched together.
SHEPPARD (hopefully): Prisoners in a holding cell, maybe?
TEYLA: Or worse.
(Out in the tunnels to the north, Michael walks to a door and opens it. His Super-Wraiths growl and begin to leave the room.)
McKAY (looking at his detector): Whatever they are, someone just released them and they're headed your way.
SHEPPARD: Oh, crap!
(His eyes widen as he hears the creatures growling in the distance. He turns and aims his rifle back the way he came, uncertain which direction they're coming from.)
TUNNELS. Ronon progresses onwards, aiming his blaster cautiously. As he swings around a corner, a Super-Wraith is waiting for him. It grabs him, roaring, and slams him against the wall, its facial pincers reaching for him. He pulls a knife out and stabs it. As it screams and recoils a little, he aims his blaster straight into its mouth and fires. Blood and gore spatters against the opposite wall as the creature drops to the floor. Ronon looks back around the corner and sees another creature running down the corridor towards him, growling. He draws his sword and goes out to meet it.
LAB. Rodney is looking at his life signs detector, directing John over the radio.
McKAY: Keep going, straight up the tunnel. Ronon should be coming around the corner towards you ... now.
(Someone does indeed come around the corner at that moment, but it's not Ronon. It's Michael, aiming a Wraith stunner at John. John snatches out his pistol and aims it at him.)
SHEPPARD: It's not Ronon.
McKAY (nervously): It's one of the bugs?
SHEPPARD (smiling humourlessly): Michael.
MICHAEL: Colonel Sheppard.
SHEPPARD: No offence, but I was kinda hoping never to see you again.
MICHAEL: I had hoped just the opposite.
SHEPPARD: Well, then, you've seen me. Now, say your goodbyes. But first, give me the control crystals to the D.H.D.
MICHAEL: I don't think so.
SHEPPARD: Or I can just kill you.
MICHAEL: Unless I stun you first.
(He glances up as movement can be heard in the air shafts above his head. John also glances up nervously.)
SHEPPARD: As much as I'd like to sit around chatting ...
MICHAEL: Extraordinary, aren't they?
SHEPPARD: Your army of bug people?
MICHAEL: I thought you'd be impressed.
SHEPPARD: Not so much.
MICHAEL: After all, I'm merely continuing the experiment your people began.
SHEPPARD: What then? Take over the entire galaxy? That's a little too Doctor Evil if you ask me.
McKAY (over radio): Sheppard, the creatures are closing in on you fast. You'd better get moving.
SHEPPARD: You and Teyla go to the Gate. We'll meet you there.
(John continues to stare at Michael as the noises in the air shafts get louder.)
SHEPPARD: Give me the control crystal.
MICHAEL: I can't do that, Colonel.
SHEPPARD: Just so we're clear, I have no problem killing you.
(Michael stares at him a moment longer, then slowly lowers his stunner and deliberately walks closer to John's pistol, never breaking eye contact.)
MICHAEL: And I have no problem with dying, because even if you kill me right now, I'll die knowing that you and your team did not get off this planet alive.
(Behind John, a Super-Wraith rises up as if out of nowhere, grabs him and throws him down the corridor. It races after him and jumps on top of him. As it struggles with him, Ronon comes charging down the corridor. Michael turns and runs off. John fires his pistol into the creature at close range and it screams as it is blown off him. John jumps up and he and Ronon chase after Michael. Another couple of Super-Wraiths run down the corridor towards them. Ronon guns both of them down, then he and John run through the door that Michael just went through.)
ELSEWHERE. Teyla and Rodney have reached the rope system that they used to descend into the tunnels.
(Rodney runs over to the ropes, then looks at Teyla plaintively.)
McKAY: Rope climbing's the reason I got bronze instead of silver in the ParticipACTION programme.
(A Super-Wraith growls not far away. Teyla runs back a little to look out for it, glancing back at Rodney.)
TEYLA: Hurry! They're coming!
(Grimacing, Rodney starts to climb as Teyla sends a hail of bullets back down the corridor.)
(Nearby, John and Ronon race down a corridor and are confronted by another Super-Wraith. They gun it down, then turn to see another one, which they also shoot down. Ronon quickly turns back the other way but for the moment the coast is clear in both directions.)
SHEPPARD: This is messed up.
(He looks to his left and spots something.)
SHEPPARD: This must be where they got up.
SHEPPARD: Air shafts. It's about time we used ‘em.
(He heads to the ladder and begins to climb. Ronon keeps watch on the corridor, then follows him. Shortly afterwards, John pushes open the cover to the shaft and climbs out into the night. He aims his rifle back down into the shaft as Ronon climbs out, then jumps down to the ground. Ronon goes to follow him, then turns back as Super-Wraiths growl down in the shaft. He fires three blasts back down, then jumps down. John is staring at the sight of a Wraith Dart parked not far away.)
SHEPPARD: No doubt.
DEX: Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?
SHEPPARD: I fly it; pick you, Rodney and Teyla up; we use the Dart's D.H.D. to dial the Gate.
DEX: I was thinking, “Blow it up,” but your idea's better. Get movin'.
(As John runs toward the Dart, Ronon jumps back up onto the top of the air shaft just as a Super-Wraith's claw reaches up to seize the lip of the shaft. He fires down at it and it screams and drops. Ronon continues firing as more creatures try to climb up, then turns at the sound of roaring in the forest nearby. He jumps down from the shaft and aims his blaster out into the darkness. He turns in circles as Super-Wraiths move towards him from all directions. There are way too many for him to fend all of them off.)
DEX (yelling): Sheppard!
(The Dart can be heard powering up. It lifts off the ground and soars into the sky. Ronon guns down the nearest creatures, wielding his sword with his other hand. The Dart swoops over him and its transporter beam whisks him away.)
ELSEWHERE. Rodney and Teyla are running for the Gate. Rodney's life signs detector beeps.
TEYLA: What is it?
McKAY: Life signs up ahead.
TEYLA: Colonel Sheppard? Ronon?
(Super-Wraiths roar nearby.)
McKAY: Doesn't sound like it.
(They both raise their rifles. The detector begins to beep faster. Rodney looks at it again.)
McKAY: Life signs behind us, too. It's closing in fast. Oh boy!
(The two of them stand back to back as the detector shows scores of dots approaching them from all directions.)
McKAY: We're surrounded.
(The two of them circle around nervously, keeping their backs to each other as the growling gets closer. Suddenly a Wraith stunner beam lashes out and hits Teyla, who cries out and collapses. Rodney turns in the direction the beam came from, trying to see who's firing at them. He too is struck and falls to the ground. Michael walks out of the darkness towards them. As he reaches them, he looks up at the sound of a Dart approaching. The Dart swoops overhead and its transporter beam scoops up Rodney and Teyla before screaming away. Michael is left alone, frustrated and angry.)
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. The Gate dials in. The technician checks his console.
TECHNICIAN: Incoming wormhole. Colonel Sheppard's I.D.C.
WEIR: Lower the shield.
(As the technician does so, Elizabeth heads down the stairs into the Gateroom. She hesitates when she sees only Team Sheppard come through.)
WEIR: Are you alright? Where are the marines?
SHEPPARD: Didn't make it.
(Rodney has a large and rather clumsy-looking dressing covering the slash on his cheek.)
McKAY: We barely made it ourselves. We had to commandeer a Wraith Dart just to dial out.
SHEPPARD: We ditched it on another planet. Didn't wanna risk damaging the Control Room. Daedalus can pick it up later.
WEIR: What happened to the Taranans?
DEX: They're dead -- all of them.
(He walks away.)
WEIR (to the other three): Wait a minute. Lieutenant Negley sent a message saying they'd just relocated to a new settlement.
TEYLA (shaking her head): No. It was Michael. He sent the transmission. He's the one that killed the Taranans.
SHEPPARD: We'll tell you about it in a minute, but first, is the Daedalus here yet?
WEIR: It's still a few days out. Why?
SHEPPARD: We're gonna need it to make another stop on the way.
(They head for the Control Room.)
SOME TIME LATER. Elizabeth walks out of the Gateroom, lost in unhappy thought. Teyla meets her and notices her expression.
WEIR: I just came from McKay's lab. He's been examining the research he was able to upload from Michael's experiment.
TEYLA: Has he been able to determine just how many more of those creatures Michael was able to create?
WEIR: Well, not an exact figure, no, but Rodney believes it's well into the hundreds.
(Teyla's eyes widen.)
WEIR: Yeah. And it appears Michael has similar labs on at least three different planets.
(Teyla shakes her head in shock.)
TEYLA: It is amazing how quickly he has been able to incorporate our science into his.
(Elizabeth nods, looking down miserably.)
TEYLA: What is it?
WEIR: Michael found out about the Taranan settlement through information the Wraith hacked from our database during our brief alliance with them last year. We led Michael straight to them.
LATER. ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. As Elizabeth sits at her desk, John walks in.
SHEPPARD: Colonel Caldwell just radioed. They did a full sweep of the planet. No life signs. They searched the settlement: no Michael, no creatures.
WEIR: He already dialled out.
SHEPPARD: Yeah. We got the control crystal back in the D.H.D. Rodney's trying to figure out the last address dialled but you know how long that takes.
WEIR: I'm sure Michael immediately dialled elsewhere to cover his tracks.
SHEPPARD: You can count on that.
WEIR: We need to find him. He's already too dangerous.
SHEPPARD: And I'm sure we're number one on his hit list.