Transcript by Callie Sullivan
An unconscious Elizabeth Weir is being wheeled on a gurney from the Control Room towards the Infirmary. Doctor Jennifer Keller runs alongside the medics, talking into her headset radio.
KELLER: She's unresponsive and her pupils are sluggish. I need you to prep the O.R. and have the scanner ready when we get there.
(A nurse in the Infirmary responds over the radio.)
NURSE: We're on it. Scanner's moving into position.
(In the corridor, the monitor attached to Elizabeth sounds an alarm and then emits a single continuous beep.)
MEDIC: She's crashing.
(Jennifer climbs up onto the gurney and starts to apply C.P.R. to Elizabeth.)
KELLER: Let's go, guys! I don't wanna do this in the hall.
(The medics continue to wheel the gurney towards the Infirmary.)
CONTROL ROOM. Rodney McKay, his face covered in cuts from flying glass, watches a wall screen as it begins to display new information. He turns and walks towards the consoles.
McKAY: Here we go. Here we go.
(John Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan watch him as he hurries from one console to another, checking each one of them.)
SHEPPARD: Got city-wide sensors back online?
McKAY: Not fully. Slowly re-booting up right now.
TEYLA: Can we contact the Apollo?
McKAY: Not yet, no.
TEYLA: Why not?
McKAY: Because sub-space communications are down. Don't worry -- I've got Chuck working on it.
(Chuck the technician presses a button on a wall panel. As he looks down at his computer tablet, the panel explodes. Chuck cringes as sparks fly all around him.)
SHEPPARD (to Rodney): Well, maybe you should be working on it.
McKAY: I've got bigger fish to fry.
TEYLA: What could be more important than contacting the Apollo?
(Rodney's eyes widen as he sees new information on his computer tablet.)
McKAY: This can't be right.
SHEPPARD: What's wrong?
McKAY: Power. We're losing massive amounts of power.
INFIRMARY. Ronon Dex is sitting on the side of a bed as a medic examines the large shard of glass sticking out of Ronon's shoulder.
DEX: Just pull it out.
MEDIC: I can't do that.
DEX: Why not?
MEDIC: We have to wait to get you under the scanner -- make sure pulling it out's not gonna cause you any more damage.
DEX (sternly): Pull ... it ... out.
MEDIC: Yeah, yeah, I get it. You're a tough guy. If you wanna pull it out, go ahead, but I'm not ...
(Ronon reaches for the piece of glass.)
MEDIC: Are you crazy?!
(The medics wheel Elizabeth's gurney into the Infirmary, Jennifer still kneeling over her and pumping her chest as the monitor continues its flatline tone. Ronon pushes his medic out of the way, stands up and walks towards the team as they wheel Elizabeth into a room. Jennifer gets down as the medics take the gurney alongside a bed.)
JAPANESE MEDIC: On three. Ready? One, two, three.
(They lift the stretcher onto the bed. Jennifer picks up the paddles of a defibrillator.)
(Everyone lifts their hands clear and Jennifer jolts Elizabeth.)
KELLER: Charge it.
POWER ROOM. Radek Zelenka checks the Z.P.M., then walks to another console.
ZELENKA: I don't think the problem is on this end.
McKAY (over radio): I don't care where the problem is. I wanna know what the problem is.
(A scientist brings a computer tablet to Radek. He looks at it.)
ZELENKA: It's in the conduits.
(In the Control Room, Rodney groans.)
ZELENKA: It looks like several of the main conduits were affected by the brush with the beam.
McKAY: Alright, that means we'll need to, uh ...
ZELENKA: Yes, yes, yes. You-you should get the ...
McKAY: I will, as soon as I've shut down all of the ...
ZELENKA: Yes, yes, yes. I will do the same thing.
SHEPPARD: Wait, wait, wait. What's going on here?
McKAY (hurrying from one console to another): Every second I waste, we're draining more power. Just trust me, we're doing the right thing here.
INFIRMARY. Jennifer is still jolting Elizabeth.
NURSE (looking at the monitors): No change.
KELLER: Let's start her on mannitol -- two hundred C.Cs I.V.
SHEPPARD: Tell me what's going on, Rodney!
McKAY: Long story short, there are a bunch of systems on right now that don't need to be, and given our current situation, they are draining the life out of the city.
TEYLA: Can you not just shut them off?
McKAY: Just ... wait ... uh ... Maybe, yeah.
(He goes to another console and starts to type.)
INFIRMARY. Jennifer is pumping Elizabeth's chest manually again.
KELLER: Come on.
CONTROL ROOM. Rodney continues to type.
McKAY: Oh, come on.
INFIRMARY. As the team continues to work on Elizabeth, her monitor continues its unbroken tone.
NURSE: She's been flat for almost two minutes.
KELLER: Come on, we need you here, Elizabeth.
(The tone changes to a rapid beeping.)
KELLER: She's going back into V-fib. (She grabs the defibrillator paddles.) Let's hit her again. Clear.
(She shocks Elizabeth. The tone changes to that of a regular heartbeat.)
KELLER: There we go. There we go. Let's check the scan.
(The medics move the scanner over Elizabeth's head.)
NURSE: Doctor Keller?
(Jennifer looks at the readout from the scanner.)
KELLER: That's not good.
NURSE: Her brain is swelling quite seriously.
KELLER: That would explain the sluggish pupils.
NURSE: Yeah, among other things.
KELLER: Give her nimodipine. Three milligrams Q4H and keep an eye on her blood pressure.
[Transcriber's note: Q4H is medical terminology for "every four hours".]
McKAY: Nothing! Well, the control grid's all out of whack. I can't shut the systems down from here. We're bleeding out!
SHEPPARD: We can shut down the systems manually, right?
McKAY: I don't think we have the time.
TEYLA: You would rather not try?
McKAY: OK, you're right, you're right. (He activates his headset.) Zelenka, we're gonna need to deploy some teams.
INFIRMARY. Jennifer and the nurse are looking at the scan of Elizabeth's brain.
KELLER: She's not responding. We're losing her.
SHEPPARD: I'm sending some of my men with your guys in case they need help. Their E.T.A. is under five minutes. Does that give us enough time?
McKAY: I don't know. What little power we had left is almost gone. We'll be lucky if we can make it through the night.
LATER. As Rodney continues working feverishly near a wall panel, John walks over and speaks to him quietly so that the rest of the crew can't hear.
McKAY (turning to him): What?
SHEPPARD: You've been making a lot of decisions without consulting me.
McKAY (a little indignantly): I'm sorry -- we're a little under the gun here. Things move fast.
SHEPPARD: I understand that, but with Elizabeth ... incapacitated, I hate to say it, but ...
(Rodney, understanding what he's trying to say, answers quietly.)
McKAY: You're in charge, I know. I'm sorry.
SHEPPARD: Just keep me in the loop.
McKAY (leading him over to one of the consoles): OK, OK. I'll give you the Coles Notes.
SHEPPARD: The what?
McKAY: Uh, the Cliff Notes.
SHEPPARD: Why didn't you just say that?
McKAY: Uh, never mind. Look, as we were leaving Lantea, we got grazed by the Replicator satellite beam, right? It impacted the side of the tower and from what we can tell, it wreaked havoc on a number of power conduits.
SHEPPARD: So? Re-route the power, then.
McKAY: Yeah, it's not so easy. Look, the ZedP.M. Room's at the base of the tower which means that the conduits in and around where the beam hit are primary conduits. They can't be routed around.
SHEPPARD: So parts of the city don't have power.
McKAY: No, no. no. The conduits weren't severed -- they were damaged. Look, it's complicated but imagine them as leaky pipes, OK?
McKAY: So you pump water through them, they leak, right?
SHEPPARD (tetchily): If you dumb this down any more, you're gonna get hit.
McKAY: Sorry. Look, the city realises that, for whatever reason, power's not making it to the outer piers, so instead of repairing the leaks, which it can't do, it increases the ZedP.M.'s output so that even though the pipes are leaky and we lose power, enough energy makes it to the end of the line.
SHEPPARD: And that's bad.
McKAY: No, that's good.
(John sighs in irritation.)
McKAY: Well, otherwise we'd lose the shields, we'd lose atmosphere, we'd all be dead.
McKAY: There are a number of systems on right now that don't need to be and they're screaming for power. We're gonna lose juice -- potentially a fatal amount -- no matter what we do, but if we can get those non-essential systems shut down, then the ZedP.M. will need to pump less power through the leaky pipes and we'll be able to put off imminent death for another ... hour or so.
SHEPPARD: Hmm. So, then, where are we at?
McKAY: Well, the teams are making good time. Uh, we've got sixty percent of the non-essential systems shut down, so ...
(An alarm sounds.)
(He and John walk over to Chuck at a wall screen. Teyla joins them.)
McKAY: What's happening?
CHUCK: The city's outer buildings are decompressing -- shutting down the artificial gravity.
TEYLA: Why would the city do such a thing?
McKAY: It's gonna collapse the shield. It's trying to save power.
SHEPPARD: We've got guys out there. (He activates his headset.) Matthews -- fall back to the tower immediately.
(In a distant corridor, Matthews is watching a couple of scientists working on a wall panel. He activates his headset.)
MATTHEWS: I don't think we're done, sir.
SHEPPARD: The city's shield's collapsing. Move!
MATTHEWS (to the scientists): You heard the man. Go! Go!
(The scientists drop their equipment and the three of them start to run. In the Control Room, the others watch their progress on the wall screen.)
TEYLA (quietly): They're not going to make it.
SHEPPARD (to Rodney): Stop it. Stop it from doing this.
McKAY: The city doesn't think it can maintain the shield unless we make it smaller. If we delay its collapse, it could fail completely.
SHEPPARD: I don't care. Override it!
McKAY: It's not letting me.
(On the outer edges of the city, the shield begins to retreat towards the central core. Bulkhead doors close automatically as the edge of the shield progresses inwards. Matthews and the scientists run down a flight of stairs.)
MATTHEWS (into his headset): We're almost there.
(In the Control Room, the others watch as the wall screen pulls up a close-up image of the three life signs depicting Matthews and the scientists. The edge of the shield races towards them from behind them.)
SHEPPARD: We're gonna lose those guys, McKay!
McKAY (angrily, frantically): D'you think I don't realise that?!
MATTHEWS (over radio): The gravity just shut down!
(In the corridor, Matthews and the scientists float off the ground as the shield edge races towards them, then passes them. Rodney, John and Teyla stare at the screen in horror as, in quick succession, the three life signs signatures on the screen go out. A moment later, the message "BIO SIGNATURES TERMINATED" appears. John, Rodney and Teyla gaze at the screen in sorrow for a few seconds.)
SHEPPARD: Tell the other teams to hurry. I don't want them out there any longer than they need to be.
(He turns and storms away.)
MIDWAY SPACE STATION. Since we last saw the Station in "The Return", the structure has almost been completed. The walls are now completely enclosed. Inside, ramps now lead down from the Stargates clamped in each end of the Station. Samantha Carter, holding a computer tablet, floats above the floor and drifts carefully towards the centre of the Station where various consoles and wall panels have been installed. Bill Lee is floating at the other end of the room.
CARTER: Hey, are you getting the same data rate inconsistencies off these flash drives? Bill? Bill?
(She turns to look at Bill just as he vomits noisily into a bag, then quickly scrunches the bag closed to prevent anything escaping.)
LEE: Oh, sorry.
CARTER (grimacing): Oh, boy.
LEE: It's this damned weightlessness.
CARTER: You know, maybe you should gate back to Earth. I can get somebody else to help me bring the Station online.
LEE: No, no, I'll be fine as soon as I can figure out how to get the gravity back on. Uh, what were you saying about the flash drives?
CARTER: It's just that every time I update the software, the drives ...
(There's the sound of a Stargate kawhooshing. On a wall monitor showing computer images of two Stargates side by side, the right-hand image shows a visual representation of a kawhoosh.)
CARTER: The Pegasus Gate just activated.
ELLIS (over radio): This is Colonel Abe Ellis, commander of the Apollo. Midway Station, please respond.
CARTER: Colonel Ellis, this is Colonel Samantha Carter. I am on the Midway Station. How did the mission go?
(Ellis is standing on the Bridge of Apollo.)
ELLIS: Well, as far as we can tell, Atlantis successfully evaded the Replicators' beam and was able to enter hyperspace.
CARTER: From what you can tell?
ELLIS: Well, they're not at the pre-determined rendezvous point.
CARTER: Really? They should have beaten you there. Actually, hey, how are you dialling us? M12-578 doesn't have a Gate. It's off the grid.
ELLIS: I've jumped to the nearest Gate to see if they've checked in with you.
CARTER: Well, I'm sorry to say that they haven't.
ELLIS: That's probably not good.
CARTER: No, probably not.
ELLIS: I'll head back, dial you again in an hour -- sooner if I hear from them.
CARTER: Sounds good.
ELLIS: Apollo out.
ATLANTIS. The city flies on, its shield now not covering the entire city. About a tenth of the outer edge is exposed to space.
(In the Infirmary, Ronon has had the glass removed from his shoulder and a dressing now covers the wound. He has a drip in his arm but is on his feet and wheels the stand holding the fluid across the floor to where a couple of medics are watching a screen which shows the O.R. The medic who treated him earlier looks round at him.)
MEDIC: Hey. You should be in bed.
(Ronon just looks at him, then looks at the screen. The camera is looking down at Elizabeth's face.)
DEX: How's she doing?
MEDIC: Her brain is swelling drastically -- more than her head can handle. If it doesn't stop, they're gonna have to perform a decompressive craniectomy. Basically, they cut out a piece of her skull and the brain is allowed to expand outside of her head.
ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. John is standing just inside the door, looking into the room. Rodney walks in and joins him.
McKAY: Any word on how she's doing?
SHEPPARD: She's still in the O.R. No real news yet.
McKAY: Right. Listen, I think we should collapse the shield right to the tower.
SHEPPARD: That'll leave us completely exposed to space.
McKAY: Yes, it will, but our power is spread so thin right now, I don't have any extra juice to come up with the solutions to the hundred or so problems that could lead us to our premature demise today.
SHEPPARD: Alright. Check with Zelenka -- make sure all the science teams are accounted for.
McKAY: Already done. We're ready.
(They walk back into the Control Room.)
SHEPPARD: Alright. Do what you need to do.
McKAY: OK. (He looks at the team in the Control Room.) Here we go.
(From a viewpoint in space, we watch as the shield retracts until it encloses only the central tower and a few buildings immediately surrounding it.)
INFIRMARY. In the Operating Room, everyone is in their operating gear. Jennifer looks down at Elizabeth as the nurse reports to her.
NURSE: The calcium channel blockers aren't having much effect.
KELLER: What's her intracranial pressure?
KELLER: Can't let her get to forty. Alright, let's prep for a decompressive craniectomy.
The operation begins. A nurse shaves Elizabeth's head as another medic helps Jennifer into a gown. Once Elizabeth's head is bald, she is laid on her side and nurses secure a clamp around her head. Later, Jennifer has removed a large portion of Elizabeth's skull and is drilling out the last pieces. Later again, she probes inside the cavity and removes a portion of skull. The nurse looks at the monitors as they beep to show a new reading.
NURSE: Pressure down to twenty-nine.
KELLER: Hopefully we'll get it under twenty-five.
CONTROL ROOM. As someone sweeps up the glass on the Gateroom floor, Rodney stands nearby looking at a computer tablet that someone has brought him.
McKAY: Hmm. Yeah.
(As the man walks away, John and Teyla walk in and the three of them make their way up to the Control Room. We see that Rodney has at last had a chance to have the cuts on his face treated and cleaned up.)
McKAY: Alright. Two bits of good news. One: I have been able to calculate our exact location.
TEYLA: Does that mean we can use the Gate?
McKAY: Sadly, no. To activate the Gate, we require that we stay within a fairly small area of space. We're moving too fast to use it.
SHEPPARD: Can we use the sub-lights to slow down?
McKAY: Well, it'd be great if they were working, but sub-light and navigation are out.
SHEPPARD: And you decided to put this in the "good news" category?
McKAY: Well, at least we're not lost any more, right? Number two: there is nothing wrong with our hyperdrive.
TEYLA: Then why did we fall out of hyperspace prematurely?
McKAY: The damaged power conduits. We had plenty of gas in the tank, so to speak. We just couldn't get it to the engine. We stalled out.
SHEPPARD: So if we repair the conduits, can we jump back into hyperspace?
McKAY: That's the idea, yes. I mean, we wouldn't be able to repair them completely, not without landing and shutting down and such, but we can definitely patch them up. Look, Zelenka and his team are working as fast as they possibly can. The problem is, we're still leaking a lot of power.
TEYLA: Even with all the reductions?
McKAY: I'm afraid so, yes.
(He calls up an image on a screen showing power levels. The top third of the chart is red; the bottom two thirds are green. A line crosses the green area a little lower than halfway down the screen. Rodney points to the line.)
McKAY: Look, this is the minimum amount of power the city requires to execute a jump into hyperspace. If we don't fix the power conduits inside of an hour, we'll drop below that level. After that, we're stuck. We'll have, maybe, thirty hours before the shields fail and we all die in the vacuum of space.
INFIRMARY. Ronon is lying awake in bed. John comes in.
SHEPPARD: You OK?
DEX: Yeah, I'm fine. They got all the glass out.
DEX: You need me somewhere?
SHEPPARD: Right here, getting better.
DEX: Alright. Well, I'm good to go.
(Jennifer comes out of the O.R. and looks at John.)
(John looks at her in dread for a moment, then reluctantly walks over to her. She puts her hand on his shoulder and steers him away from everyone else in the room. They walk over to some computer screens showing the O.R. where medics are treating a post-operative Elizabeth. One is wrapping a large bandage around her head.)
SHEPPARD: Is she OK?
KELLER: She's alive, but she's in bad shape. She's got six broken ribs, one of which punctured her lung. Amazingly, she doesn't have any spinal damage ... but her head got knocked around pretty good. She's suffering from cerebral oedema, which may have caused substantial brain damage.
SHEPPARD: What does all that mean?
KELLER: Well, it's too early to know for sure but, if she survives -- and I gotta stress the "if" ... she'll never be the same Elizabeth again.
(John stares at the computer screens.)
KELLER: I'm sorry.
(John continues to stare at the computer screens.)
KELLER: I've gotta get some things and get back in there. We're under-staffed. Most of our team's on the Apollo.
(His eyes never leaving the screens, John nods to show that he understands. After a moment he briefly glances at Jennifer, then looks back to the screens. Jennifer walks away.)
POWER ROOM. As Radek and a colleague lean on the Z.P.M. console looking at computer tablets, Rodney comes in.
McKAY: How's it going on this end?
ZELENKA: Actually, you know, remarkably well.
McKAY (pleasantly surprised): Really?
ZELENKA: Yes, yes, yes. Cannibalising parts and crystals from secondary conduits and interfacing them with primary ones is, um, it's going very smoothly. Yes, if we keep our current pace, we should be done well before we drop below the necessary power requirements to, you know, jump into hyperspace and meet up with the Apollo.
(Rodney looks amazed.)
McKAY: Well, that -- that's fantastic!
ZELENKA (smiling): Yes! Yeah, I thought you'd be happy.
McKAY (smiling): Happy?! There's actually a chance we might make it through this thing! I am ecstatic! I am gonna do a little ...
CHUCK (over comms): Colonel Sheppard, Doctor McKay. Please report to the Control Room immediately.
(Rodney's smile drops.)
McKAY: That lasted, what, like, a second?
(Despondently, he turns and heads away.)
CONTROL ROOM. John and Rodney walk in and go over to a Chinese technician.
TECHNICIAN: You're gonna want to look at this.
(They look at the screen.)
SHEPPARD: What is that?
McKAY: An asteroid belt?
SHEPPARD: Are the sub-lights still offline?
SHEPPARD (to Rodney): We're gonna need to expand the shield.
McKAY: We don't have enough power!
SHEPPARD (to the technician): How long ‘til we get there; and how long ‘til we get through it?
TECHNICIAN: About ten minutes ‘til we get there. After that, maybe two minutes to get through.
SHEPPARD: Two minutes to get through an asteroid field?
TECHNICIAN: Well, we're not passing all the way through; we're just gonna skim the edge.
SHEPPARD (to Rodney): You can't even give me two minutes of full shield?
McKAY: Don't take it personally -- I'd like them up as much as you would, but we just can't afford the power.
SHEPPARD (gesturing to the screen): Rodney!
McKAY: Look, Zelenka needs forty-five minutes to complete the repairs to the power conduits. If we raise the shield even for one minute, it'll eat up all his time. We can't do it.
SHEPPARD: OK. (He stares at the screen, thinking rapidly.) How big are they?
McKAY: Well, we're in the middle of a pretty big solar system right now, and the asteroid belt's probably made up of remnants of early failed planets, so ... you know ... building size and larger?
SHEPPARD: I can get in the Chair, fire drones and clear a path to travel through.
McKAY: In principle, a good idea, but the Chair Room is outside the shield right now and we'd never get to it. Look, we could, um ... ah, that's not gonna work. Uh, we could ...
(He trails off, unable to think of anything.)
SHEPPARD: How many people on the base have the Ancient gene?
McKAY: Twenty or so.
(He suddenly realises what John is thinking.)
McKAY: Look, no, no, no-no-no-no. That is a bad idea.
SHEPPARD: Do you have a better idea?
(He points his finger at John, thinking hard. John tilts his head at him, waiting.)
McKAY: I can't. I just, I just need some time. If you, er ...
(John turns and walks away.)
SHEPPARD: Contact everyone on the base who has the Ancient gene; tell them to meet me up in the Jumper Bay.
(Rodney, realising that he's not going to come up with a better plan, turns to the technician.)
McKAY: Well, do it.
(Sighing, he follows John to the stairs.)
JUMPER BAY. John is explaining the situation to everyone who has gathered there.
SHEPPARD: ... which means we can't raise the shield because we don't have enough power. If we don't clear a path for the city, it'll get ripped apart. So we're gonna take every last Jumper we have and we're gonna clear a path through the belt by firing our drones.
(The reluctant pilots, mostly scientists and medics, frown at each other nervously. The medic who treated Ronon earlier raises his hand.)
MEDIC: ‘Scuse me. I've really only flown a Jumper twice and I've never actually fired a live drone, so ...
SHEPPARD: You've done it in simulations, right?
MEDIC: Well, yeah, but ...
SHEPPARD: Basically the same thing. If McKay can do it, you can do it.
McKAY: Yes, look, about that, actually, I ...
SHEPPARD (talking over him): Look, I know it's dangerous. I know a lot of you haven't logged a lot of hours in these things, but right now it's the only viable option we have, or, um ...
(He trails off. Rodney, realising that he's right, continues for him.)
McKAY: ... or die.
SHEPPARD: Let's get moving.
(He walks into the nearest Jumper. Everyone else heads off into the Bay. Each one goes into a Jumper and gets into the pilot's seat. Some of them look very nervous. Once everyone is onboard, John speaks over the radio as the Heads-Up Display comes up on each Jumper's windshield.)
SHEPPARD: Alright, I've loaded a flight formation for all of you. Stay in your designated positions; take out anything that's in your path. You've got a full load of drones, so ammo shouldn't be a problem.
(Rodney looks at his H.U.D.)
McKAY: Looks like the old video game, Asteroids.
SHEPPARD: Well, whatever works for you.
McKAY: I was terrible at Asteroids. I think I actually scored zero once.
SHEPPARD: Well, there's only one way to go, and that's up.
(Rodney does not look comforted by that thought.)
SHEPPARD: Alright, everyone, let's go. Open the Jumper Bay doors.
(The roof irises open and one by one the Jumpers fly out, break through the shield and head out into space towards the asteroid belt ahead of the city. There are at least fifteen of them. They start to get into formation. John looks at the H.U.D. which shows that the line is very ragged.)
SHEPPARD: Come on, guys, stay in formation. We can't afford any gaps.
(Slowly the Jumpers move until they're all in a straight line side by side.)
SHEPPARD: Yeah, there you go. See? Not so hard.
(In the Control Room, Teyla reports.)
TEYLA: Jumpers, you should be in range in three, two, one.
SHEPPARD: Fire at will.
(The Jumpers begin to fire at the approaching asteroids. As the drones impact, rocks begin to blow apart.)
SHEPPARD: Nice shooting, people.
McKAY: There's too many of them. They're coming in too fast. We're not gonna get them all.
SHEPPARD: Alright, double up. Fire four apiece.
McKAY: I can't control four drones at the same time!
SHEPPARD: Well, just concentrate.
(Nervously, Rodney concentrates and fires two sets of drones in quick succession. At least three of them make contact and blow three rocks apart. A large rock which he missed flies past very close to his Jumper.)
SHEPPARD: Don't worry about it. You were right -- can't get everything on the first pass.
(The Jumpers fly on, continuing to blow up as many asteroids as they can, while swerving out of the way of the rocks they weren't able to hit.)
(In the Control Room, Teyla looks at the technician.)
TEYLA: Have they destroyed enough asteroids to clear a path?
TECHNICIAN: We're about to find out.
(Out in space, the Jumpers near the edge of the asteroid belt.)
McKAY: Now what?
SHEPPARD: On my mark, you, Bolton and Levine are gonna break formation and head back to the city -- take out anything that we missed.
McKAY (nervously): Oh, that sounds important. Maybe someone else should ...
(Rodney and the pilots of two other Jumpers swing their ships around in a 180 degree arc and head back towards Atlantis, firing as they go.)
LEVINE: McKay -- you've a big one on your left.
McKAY: I see it.
LEVINE: Impact in ten seconds.
(A large asteroid is heading directly towards the lower half of the central tower. Concentrating hard, Rodney races towards it and fires two drones. They both impact it and it blows apart. Rodney's Jumper is now on a clear collision course with the tower. Rodney cringes from the explosion, then grabs the controls and pulls the ship upwards into a steep climb. The Jumper skims up the side of the tower, barely missing it. Rodney sighs in relief as he flies clear of the city.)
(In the Control Room, Teyla and the others look up as they hear the sound of an impact nearby.)
TEYLA (nervously): What was that?
TECHNICIAN: Smaller pieces getting through.
(Something larger impacts the city and the tower jolts.)
TEYLA: Some of them evidently not so small.
TECHNICIAN (checking his console): Well, right now damage is confined to the outer edge of the city.
TEYLA: Let's hope it stays that way.
(In space, the main flight of Jumpers continues blowing up asteroids.)
SHEPPARD: Alright, we're through. Now we're gonna double back, pick up any stragglers.
(In the Control Room, everyone looks up as a nearby impact jolts the tower gently. A second rock hits, but this time the tower stays still. They wait nervously for a while, but there are no further impacts. Eventually the technician checks his console again.)
TECHNICIAN: That's it. (He looks round at everyone.) We made it!
JUMPER BAY. As the last of the Jumpers come in to land, John walks out of his ship and goes across to Rodney as he comes out of his.
McKAY: I can't believe that actually worked! That was amazing!
SHEPPARD: You did good, Rodney.
McKAY: Yeah! So Zelenka and his team should have the conduits repaired by now, so I think we're finally out of the woods! (He smiles happily.)
TECHNICIAN (over comms): Colonel Sheppard, Doctor McKay. Please report to the Control Room immediately.
McKAY (indignantly): Oh, come on!
(The two of them head off.)
CONTROL ROOM. John and Rodney come down the stairs.
SHEPPARD: What the hell happened?
TEYLA: The hyperdrive is offline.
SHEPPARD: I thought it was good to go.
ZELENKA: It was, but a few large pieces of rock impacted the city and one of the control arrays was damaged. We can't jump until we fix it.
McKAY (plaintively to John): I told you I was no good at Asteroids!
LATER. John, Rodney and Radek are walking along a corridor.
McKAY: The damaged conduits are on the outer edge of the city, which sadly is outside the protection of the shield.
ZELENKA: We can use the transporters to get us very close, but it will still require a space walk.
SHEPPARD: That shouldn't be too bad.
McKAY: Huh! It'll be a breeze ... with the exception of the micro-asteroids.
SHEPPARD: The what?
McKAY: We just came through an asteroid belt. The big stuff's behind us but there's still a bunch of little bullet-sized rocks out there.
SHEPPARD: Tiny rock bullets. Great(!)
McKAY: I'm sure you'll be fine.
ZELENKA: Well then why aren't you going?
McKAY: Because you've already worked out the details of the repair. You know it'll be a waste of time getting me up to speed.
SHEPPARD: Speaking of time, how much do we have?
McKAY: Well, once you've suited up, uh, fifteen minutes?
SHEPPARD: That's it, huh?
McKAY: Hey, if the patch job we did in the conduits hadn't slowed down the power loss, we'd have hit the deadline already.
(They reach a cupboard containing spacesuits. John goes to it and takes out a helmet. Radek stands back a little, staring at the suits nervously.)
McKAY: Look, you can do this.
ZELENKA (reluctantly): Right.
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Rodney is heading back towards the tower, working on his computer tablet as he walks along. Jennifer comes down some stairs and runs over to him.
KELLER: I've been trying to reach you!
McKAY: Well, you know, trying to save the city and what-not. Look, how's Elizabeth?
KELLER: That's what I wanna talk to you about. She's really bad. In fact, she's so far gone I don't think there's anything my team and I can do to heal her.
McKAY (shocked): Oh my God. Uh, are you sure?
KELLER: I've exhausted every medical possibility I can think of, and none of it's worked.
McKAY: She ... she's gonna die?
KELLER: Well, I do have one more idea, but I need your help.
McKAY: Me? What do you need me for?
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Jennifer opens a laptop and shows an image to Rodney.
KELLER: See those?
McKAY: What are they?
KELLER: Remember when Doctor Weir was attacked by that Replicator and he infected her ...?
McKAY: Nanites. Carson was able to render them inert using an electro-magnetic pulse.
KELLER: But they're still in her system.
(Rodney stares at her in amazement.)
McKAY: You're a genius!
(Jennifer shrugs nonchalantly.)
KELLER: Well, you know, trying to save a life and what-not.
(Rodney nods, and starts to type on the laptop.)
A little later, Rodney talks to John over the radio. John is already in his spacesuit, and a couple of men are putting Radek's helmet onto his head.
SHEPPARD: You wanna what?!
McKAY: Reactivate Weir's nanites.
SHEPPARD: That is a terrible, terrible idea.
McKAY: What? I've reprogrammed them.
McKAY: John, we are losing her here. Keller and her team have done everything they can. If I can reprogramme the nanites to help repair her body without trying to take over her brain, then ...
SHEPPARD: That's a big "if," isn't it?
McKAY: I am fairly confident I can reprogramme them to do only what we want.
SHEPPARD: "Fairly confident." What if they come back online and start communicating with the other Replicators? The last thing we need right now is a bunch of robot warships showing up.
McKAY: Are you listening? Look, I said I can reprogramme them to be completely harmless.
(John shakes his head.)
SHEPPARD: I am not having this conversation until you're sure. I wanna save Elizabeth as much as anyone, but she wouldn't want us risking the city, not even for her.
(Rodney looks at Jennifer sadly, knowing that John is right. After a moment, he starts to type again. Radek walks over to John and puts his hand on his shoulder to indicate that he's ready to go. The two of them walk into a transporter.)
ZELENKA: That was the right call, by the way.
SHEPPARD: Yeah, let's hope so.
(Radek pushes the wallscreen and the transporter doors close.)
MIDWAY SPACE STATION. Gravity has now been restored. Bill walks over to Sam.
LEE: Any word from the Apollo?
CARTER: No, not yet.
(She walks over to a console and sits down.)
LEE: Uh, what you working on?
CARTER: I'm actually trying to figure out a way to find or contact Atlantis.
LEE: Well, they've obviously veered off course, right? Like, when was the last time Atlantis' hyperdrives were used? Like a million years ago? Who knows what that kind of inactivity could have done to them?
CARTER: I think it's more likely that they jumped out of hyperspace too soon. They were only flying with one ZeeP.M. -- maybe McKay underestimated the power requirements.
LEE: McKay ... Either way, I know how to find them.
LEE: Yeah. We do an A.G.B. -- an all-Gates bulletin. It's like an all-points bulletin, only with Stargates.
CARTER (full of disbelief): Oh, come on!
LEE: No, no, really! We'll create a programme; we'll dial all the Gates in the Pegasus galaxy at once, then we'll try to establish radio contact with Atlantis.
CARTER: But the Atlantis Gate is off the grid.
LEE: Right! But if they're close to another Gate ...
CARTER: ... then they would have contacted us by now.
LEE (after a long pause): ... Yeah. So, uh, so what have you come up with, then?
CARTER: Well, nothing yet, but ...
LEE (indignantly): Well, at least I am trying! I'm generating ideas here -- I just ...
(Seeing Sam's expression, he trails off.)
ATLANTIS. John and Radek are walking slowly along a corridor.
ZELENKA: I'm actually surprised. The damage in this area seems to be quite minimal.
(John reaches a corner and looks around it.)
SHEPPARD: I beg to differ.
(Radek reaches the corner and looks.)
ZELENKA: Oh my.
(They turn the corner and walk forward a little. The entire wall has been ripped away and they are standing on the edge of a very long drop. About a hundred feet in front of them, the next tower has also been ripped open. Presumably there used to be a walkway between the two towers but it was smashed by an asteroid.)
SHEPPARD: Let me guess: the array is over there.
ZELENKA: I'm afraid so.
SHEPPARD: Hmm. Great(!)
(As they stand staring at the chasm between them and where they need to be, two tiny objects smash through the side wall behind them, shoot across the hall and smash through the opposite side wall.)
SHEPPARD: What the hell was that?!
SHEPPARD: Mmm, right. Alright, looks like we're gonna have to jump.
ZELENKA: But I can't jump a hundred feet!
SHEPPARD: Hey, we're in space, remember? It's not that far a distance.
(He pulls the end of a tether off his suit and links it onto Radek's suit.)
SHEPPARD: Look, I'm gonna hook you up with this tether, OK? Then I'm gonna de-magnetise your boots ...
(He flips a switch on Radek's suit. Radek starts to float free of the floor. He gulps nervously.)
SHEPPARD: ... then I'm gonna throw you.
ZELENKA: Wait! What?! What?!
SHEPPARD: Then I'm gonna de-mag my boots before the tether catches. Your inertia should pull both of us over the hole and onto the hallway. It'll be a cinch.
ZELENKA: But -- but what if you miss?
SHEPPARD: You're just gonna have to trust me, Doc. Trust me as far as I can throw you, actually.
ZELENKA (not amused): That's very funny.
SHEPPARD: Alright, let's do this.
(Grunting with the effort, he pushes Radek out into space. As Radek begins to float towards the opposite tower, John lifts off the ground and floats after him. They drift slowly towards the tower and eventually float into the hallway. Radek braces his hands on the back wall as he gently bumps into it. A moment later, John touches down too. Radek turns to him, his eyes wide.)
ZELENKA: That was -- that was unbelievable!
SHEPPARD: Let's get to work.
(He reaches up and pulls down a small toolbox which is tethered to his suit.)
LAB. Jennifer walks in and goes over to Rodney who has two laptops side by side on the desk in front of him. He lifts his hands from the keyboard of one of them and looks at the other.
KELLER: How's it going?
KELLER: Have you found a way to reactivate the nanites safely?
McKAY: Short story, yes. Long story, no.
McKAY: I'm a hundred percent certain that I can reactivate the nanites and have them help put Elizabeth back together.
KELLER: OK ...
McKAY: Problem is that they would do it by replacing her damaged cells with replicated nanites, which means the moment I tell them to turn inert again ...
KELLER: ... those cells would stop functioning and she'd die.
McKAY: Yeah. The good news is, I've been able to programme them in such a way that they would never harm her, I'm sure of that. Plus I've shut down their ability to contact the Replicators via sub-space, so both she and we would be safe, but she'd be part-Replicator for the rest of her life.
KELLER: Yeah, Sheppard's not gonna go for that.
McKAY: There's a slight possibility I might be able to make them help repair her organic cells and then shut down when they're done, but I'm gonna need more time.
KELLER: OK, I'll leave you to it then. Good luck.
(She turns and leaves.)
McKAY: Hmm. Thanks.
HALLWAY. Radek is working on a panel which he has pulled out of the wall.
ZELENKA: I'm sorry. It's taking longer than I expected. These gloves are making the work so much slower.
(Another micro-asteroid smashes through the wall nearby and whizzes past them, only barely missing them. They both turn and look at the hole.)
SHEPPARD: Don't worry about it. We've still got four minutes before the energy dips too low and we can't make the jump.
ZELENKA: So, no pressure, then.
(He continues working on the panel. Just then, a micro-asteroid smashes through the wall and rips into the side of the calf of his right leg, continuing through and bursting out of the other side. He cries out. John turns to him.)
(He walks over and supports him as Radek grimaces in pain. Globules of blood pour out of the wounds.)
INFIRMARY. Elizabeth lies unconscious in bed, her head bound, and a breathing device in her mouth. The doors open and Ronon comes in, wheeling his drip stand. Looking around to check that nobody else is in the room, he walks into the room and the doors close behind him. He walks to the side of the bed and looks down at Elizabeth.
DEX: Um, listen. They, uh ... they say you can't hear me, but I just -- I just wanted to, um ...
(He leans down closer to her.)
DEX: Um, I just, I just wanted to thank you ... Thanks for letting me stay here a couple of years ago ... because I don't know if I would still be, um ... (He hesitates, then puts his hand on hers.) Thank you, Doctor Weir.
(The monitors sound an alarm. Ronon straightens up in a panic as Jennifer and other medical staff rush in.)
DEX: Um, what'd I do?
KELLER: Nothing. It wasn't you, but you need to leave.
(She ushers him towards the door, then turns to the nurse.)
KELLER: Hang another bag of mannitol.
(Ronon backs slowly out of the room as the team gets to work.)
HALLWAY. John is still supporting Radek reassuringly.
SHEPPARD: You've been hit by a micro-asteroid. Does it hurt?
ZELENKA: It doesn't.
SHEPPARD: You're in shock.
(Radek looks down, then looks back at John.)
ZELENKA: There's a hole in my suit.
SHEPPARD: It's OK. I've dialled up controls to create positive pressure. I'm calling a Jumper -- I've gotta get you to O.R.
ZELENKA: We can't leave yet. I have to finish the repairs.
SHEPPARD: Just tell me what to do.
ZELENKA: It's too complicated. (He grimaces.) I'm almost finished. Please -- help me turn around.
(Reluctantly, John helps him turn towards the panel, and Radek gets back to work.)
LAB. Rodney is still working on his laptops when Jennifer's voice comes over his headset.
KELLER: Doctor McKay?
(Rodney sighs in annoyance.)
McKAY: What is it, Keller?
KELLER: Elizabeth's crashing. If we're gonna do this thing, we need to do it now.
McKAY: I need more time.
KELLER: We don't have more time. I can't keep her blood pressure up and if her I.C.P. continues to climb, there's no bringing her back.
(Rodney sighs, then begins to type.)
McKAY: OK, I'm transferring the programme to you now. (Completing the transfer, he grabs his computer tablet and stands.) I'm on my way.
MIDWAY SPACE STATION.
CARTER: You know, the easiest thing to do if they really did fall out of hyperspace early is to fly back over the path between M12-578 and Atlantis.
LEE: Well, that would take over a million years. That's why we have hyperspace.
CARTER: We could use the Apollo's long-range sensors.
LEE (shaking his head): No. Those long-range sensors -- they don't work in hyperspace.
CARTER: I know, but we could make a little jump, look around, make another little jump, look around, until we find them.
LEE (typing on a computer tablet as he speaks): Yeah, that's good. Uh, so using those sensors -- conservatively -- we'd have to make ... (he looks at her) ... one hundred and eighty thousand "little jumps." (Sarcastically) It'd take a few years.
CARTER: Unless they seriously augment the long-range sensors.
LEE: Who's gonna do that? It's not like they have an Asgard on board.
CARTER (smiling at him): Feel like taking a little trip to the Pegasus galaxy?
ATLANTIS HALLWAY. Radek, grimacing in pain, continues to work on the panel.
ZELENKA: Just some final adjustments.
SHEPPARD: You're doing a great job, Radek. I've called a Jumper.
(Radek inserts a crystal into the panel.)
ZELENKA: There. I'm done. (He pushes the panel closed.)
SHEPPARD (into radio): Control Room, this is Sheppard. As soon as we get inside the shield, activate the hyperspace jump.
TEYLA: I am sorry, John, but we can't.
SHEPPARD: Why not? Zelenka just finished repairs.
(Teyla walks over to the screen showing the power levels.)
TEYLA: Yes, I know. But we have just dropped below the line. We don't have enough power.
(John and Radek stare at each other in despair.)
INFIRMARY. As Radek -- now out of his spacesuit -- is wheeled in, John walks over to Ronon who is sitting on the side of his bed.
DEX: Is he gonna be OK?
SHEPPARD: I think so. It didn't hit any major arteries.
SHEPPARD: I wouldn't say that. He's still stuck here just like the rest of us.
DEX: So it's true?
SHEPPARD: We finally fixed the hyperdrive, now we don't have enough juice to go anywhere. We've only got twenty-eight hours before the shields fail.
DEX: Well, so what's the plan?
SHEPPARD: I don't know. I've gotta find McKay.
(Ronon points towards the O.R.)
DEX: He's in there.
(Just then, Rodney and Jennifer come out of the room.)
(Rodney turns to face him, immediately looking guilty, but tries to cover.)
McKAY: I heard we didn't get the array fixed in time, but-but ...
SHEPPARD: What were you doing in there?
McKAY (nervously): Look, she was dying, OK?
(John leans closer to him, his face stern.)
McKAY: Look, her heart was weak, her nervous system was fried ...
SHEPPARD: What did you do?
(Rodney turns and looks at Jennifer for a moment, then turns back to John.)
McKAY: I reactivated the nanites.
SHEPPARD (furious): DAMMIT, McKay!
McKAY: Look, you were busy! It was life or death! If I didn't act ...
SHEPPARD: Yes, she would have died, I know!
McKAY: OK, I know what you're thinking, but helping Elizabeth is not putting us at risk.
SHEPPARD: You just reactivated the Replicator nanites.
McKAY: They're harmless! Look, I am a hundred percent certain they're not gonna try to take her over or contact the others.
SHEPPARD: No, no, you can't know that for sure.
McKAY: Yes. Yes I can.
(His eyes flicker nervously, however, betraying his uncertainty.)
SHEPPARD: Shut it down.
McKAY: But ... that would kill her.
SHEPPARD: What do you think Elizabeth would want? D'you think she'd want ...
McKAY: Yes, she would! She'd sure as hell do the same for you.
SHEPPARD: Well, you obviously didn't know her very well.
McKAY: Oh, maybe not, but d'you know what? Give it some time, you can ask her yourself.
SHEPPARD: NO! It's too dangerous. Shut it down. Right now.
(Rodney looks at him for a moment, then folds his arms defiantly.)
McKAY: No. No, I'm not going to.
(John steps closer, glaring into Rodney's eyes. Rodney looks nervous but manages to hold his gaze. After a few moments, John activates his headset.)
SHEPPARD: Myers, bring an E.M.P. generator to the O.R.
McKAY: Will you please just listen to me?
NURSE (offscreen): Doctor Keller!
(The doors to the O.R. open. John and Rodney walk in, followed by Jennifer and Ronon. The nurse is nervously backing towards the wall as the sound of loud and shaky breathing can be heard from the bed. Everyone stares as Elizabeth sits up in bed.)
(Still breathing shakily, she reaches up to the bandage around her head and pulls it off. Her hair has grown back to its full length.)
WEIR: Rodney? What's going on?
LATER. Jennifer, now wearing a Hazmat suit, is running a hand-held scanner up and down Elizabeth's body as she sits on the edge of the bed. Elizabeth's face is full of despair and shock, so she must have been told what has been done to her. Outside the room, John watches the computer screen as it relays the inside of the room. Rodney walks over to him.
McKAY: The quarantine is unnecessary.
SHEPPARD (angrily, still looking at the screen): Well, you'll excuse me if I wait for a second opinion.
McKAY: OK, this is stupid.
SHEPPARD: What is?
McKAY: Look, us fighting. Look, I know you're not happy with me -- and you may have some cause -- but anyway, it's not gonna matter much if we don't figure a way out of this, right? (John refuses to look at him.) Look, we have to work together, so ... so, so, I'm sorry.
(Finally John looks at him.)
SHEPPARD: Apology accepted.
(Both of them relax a little.)
McKAY: Someone should talk to her.
SHEPPARD: Well, Teyla's in there.
(He turns and walks away.)
O.R. Teyla, also wearing a Hazmat suit, walks over to Elizabeth's bedside.
WEIR: They shouldn't have done this.
TEYLA: None of us wanted to lose you, Elizabeth.
WEIR: And what happens if the nanites are able to contact the other Replicators?
TEYLA: Rodney does not believe that is possible.
WEIR (shaking her head): No, it's reckless.
TEYLA: In my opinion, it is well worth the risk.
(Elizabeth leans closer to her.)
WEIR: You have no idea what I went through the last time. Believe me, this is a very bad idea.
CONTROL ROOM. Radek, leaning on a walking stick, is standing next to a technician and talking with him as they work on a console. John comes in.
SHEPPARD: What the hell are you doing up here?
ZELENKA: Well, there's not much point sitting in the Infirmary waiting to die, is there?
(He hobbles over to another console and sits down. Rodney is working on another console. He seems a little cowed by the argument he has had with John and won't look round to meet his eyes.)
SHEPPARD (to Radek): Alright. Where do we stand?
ZELENKA: Well, we can pretty much forget about sub-space communications. The main control array was almost completely damaged by the beam. I do, however, have another idea.
(Rodney looks up from his console, but says nothing and still won't turn around.)
SHEPPARD: Let's hear it.
ZELENKA: Now, the reason why we cannot use the power we have left to execute a short jump into hyperspace is that the city will not let us. It's a safety protocol, but I might be able to bypass it.
SHEPPARD: What does that give us?
McKAY (without turning around): Not much.
ZELENKA: Well, we wouldn't be able to get to the Apollo and we wouldn't be able to get to the nearest Stargate, but we might be able to find a habitable planet within range. I have my team running sensor sweeps right now.
McKAY (still not turning around): He's conveniently leaving out the reason why those safety protocols are in place in the first place.
ZELENKA: Yes, well, with insufficient power there is a chance that the city could be ripped apart as we try to enter the hyperspace window.
SHEPPARD: What kind of "chance"?
ZELENKA (grimacing): Fifty: fifty.
SHEPPARD: Hmm! Well, I gotta tell you, Radek, I'm not loving that idea.
(The sound of repeatedly clicking fingers can be heard. Rodney's having a brainwave. He stands up and walks over to them, still clicking his fingers.)
McKAY: Experimental Jumper. Remember when I was zapped by that machine a few months ago and I got, well, even smarter than I normally am?
SHEPPARD: The one that almost killed you? Yeah.
McKAY: Yeah, well, before I was re-set, I was very close to giving one of our Puddle Jumpers a hyperdrive.
SHEPPARD: Can you finish it?
McKAY: Yeah! ... I mean, yes, I probably can.
SHEPPARD: Alright, great. Well, we'll make a jump to the Apollo, tell ‘em where we are.
SHEPPARD: Why "no"?
ZELENKA: The Jumper's hyperdrive would be limited. We wouldn't be able to jump that far.
SHEPPARD: How far, then?
(Rodney and Radek look at each other.)
ZELENKA: Well, what do you think? Like, two?
McKAY: Yeah. Two and change, maybe.
(He leads John over to a wall screen. Radek is already calling up a map onto it.)
ZELENKA: Conservatively, maybe two thousand light years. This is a list of addresses that are within range.
SHEPPARD: Alright. We'll make a bunch of trips and ferry the crew to one of the planets.
McKAY: Again, no.
SHEPPARD: Why not?
McKAY: Well, the drive's never been tested.
ZELENKA: We'd be lucky if we got two jumps.
SHEPPARD: We'll make a return trip somewhere.
(Rodney turns and looks again at the Gate addresses displayed on the map.)
McKAY (thoughtfully): Yeah. Ideally somewhere with a few ZedP.M.s to spare. We come back, we get Atlantis fully powered.
SHEPPARD (sarcastically): Yeah, that'd be great.
ZELENKA (gazing at the map): M7R-227.
SHEPPARD: What's that?
ZELENKA: Well ...
SHEPPARD (turning to Rodney): There's a planet out there with ZeeP.M.s?
McKAY: Yeah. Yeah, we know they have a few ZedP.M.s.
SHEPPARD: And who would that be?
McKAY: That? (He points at the map.) That would be the Replicator homeworld.
(He turns and looks at John.)
McKAY: You feel up to a heist?
TO BE CONTINUED