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During an off-world mission Colonel Sheppard unknowingly becomes host to an alien entity, which infects others in Atlantis and afflicts them with terrifying nightmares.

DVD DISC: Season 4, Disc 1
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Robert C. Cooper
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Transcript by Callie Sullivan

Czech translation by Klenotka.

We open on a close-up shot of a pretty red flower, somewhat similar to a poppy. Ronon Dex apparently isn't a fan of flowers, as he promptly hacks it off its stem with a grunt of effort. He continues hacking at the plant life around him and we then see the reason. Team Sheppard is in a jungle which is thick with vegetation and Ronon, leading the team, is hacking a path for them with his sword. Apparently he has been doing this for some time, as he sounds pretty fed up as he speaks.

DEX: What are we doin'?!

McKAY: Exploring the Pegasus galaxy -- it's what we do.

DEX: You know what I meant.

TEYLA: There certainly doesn't appear to be anything here that would help in our fight against the Wraith or the Replicators.

McKAY: Come on! You guys kill me! Planets are huge, you know!

DEX: Yeah, and usually you're the one complaining.

TEYLA: Yes -- this enthusiasm is most unlike you, Rodney.

McKAY: I'm turning over a new leaf.

SHEPPARD: We did the standard fly-over in the Jumper, scanning for life signs -- nothing.

McKAY: You can't fly around for ten minutes and decide there's nothing here!

SHEPPARD: Huh -- yes, I can.

(Rodney's Ancient doohickey beeps.)

McKAY: I'm getting strange energy readings.

DEX: Yeah? From where?

McKAY: I can't pinpoint the source. The jungle's pretty thick, though -- it could be hiding just about anything.

SHEPPARD: I don't know. It's almost as if somebody in a warm, cosy room typing onto their computer sent us here for their own amusement.

McKAY: You don't really think Zelenka would do that?

DEX (grimly): If he did, he's gonna be sorry.

McKAY: Look, do you have any idea how many Gate addresses there are in the Ancient database that have no accompanying description?

SHEPPARD: Forty-two.

McKAY: No, I think it's a little more than that. Look, I don't really remember. That's not the point. Nothing -- no information at all. I say that has to mean something.

SHEPPARD: Maybe it means there's nothing worth writing about on those planets.

McKAY: Or there is, but the Ancients are trying to hide it.

SHEPPARD: From themselves?

McKAY: A lot of time has passed since the Ancients were around. You know, things change -- maybe there's something here they didn't know about.

TEYLA: You have a bet riding on this, don't you?

McKAY (trying to sound innocent): What makes you say that?

(John steps over a fallen tree trunk and promptly steps into something soft and squidgy. He sighs angrily.)

SHEPPARD: All right. That's it!

(He pulls his foot out of the mud.)

SHEPPARD: I'm calling this one. Everyone back to the Jumper.

McKAY: Aw, come on!

(Ronon grins at him.)

DEX: Face it, McKay -- you lost this one.

(They turn to head back, Rodney's face full of indignation, but just then a light begins to glow in a tree behind him.)

McKAY: Ooh! Ooh! Hello? (He points at it.) What's that, then, huh?

(The others turn to look. John walks towards the tree and we see that the light is coming from a circular group of crystals jutting out from the tree trunk.)

McKAY: Looks like some kind of a natural crystalline growth. I think that's what might be causing the energy readings.

TEYLA: Pretty!

(John looks closely at the crystals. We switch to a view from inside the crystals. John's face is reflected many times in the facets, and his voice echoes inside the crystals as he speaks.)

SHEPPARD: Looks like one of those toys you play with when you're a kid.

McKAY: What, Commodore 64?

(John grimaces.)

DEX: Triple-barrelled shotgun?

SHEPPARD (pointedly): A kaleidoscope.

(Rodney smiles at him, excited.)

McKAY: You realise what this means?

SHEPPARD: We discovered an alien fungus that glows.

McKAY: How ‘bout a power source that literally grows on trees?

(John continues to gaze at the crystals as if fascinated by them. Rodney turns to the others.)

McKAY: Look, admittedly these energy readings are pretty low level, but if these crystals could be cultivated, then ...

(He turns back just in time to see John slowly reaching out to touch the crystals.)

McKAY: Whoa-whoa-whoa, wait. What are you doing?

(As John's hand touches the crystals, a bright flash emanates from them and John is thrown backwards and crashes to the ground. He groans, winded. As the others hurry towards him, we see that the light in the crystals has gone out.)

TEYLA: Are you all right?

SHEPPARD: Aw, yeah, I'm fine, just a little shock.

McKAY: It could have been dangerous! I told you it was giving off energy.

(John looks bewildered.)

SHEPPARD: Honestly, I don't know why I did that.

(Rodney sighs, then looks at his Ancient device.)

McKAY: Well, you killed it!

SHEPPARD (not sounding very upset): Oh, really?

McKAY: It's not giving off energy any more.

DEX: Well, maybe he just scared it.

SHEPPARD: You don't even know if it was alive.

McKAY (high-pitched with indignation): Seriously, why would you touch it?

(Ronon and Teyla help John get to his feet.)

SHEPPARD: I don't know! I said that, OK? I just did. Can we leave it at that?

McKAY: OK, well there's gotta be more of them around here.

(He types on his device and starts scanning around.)

SHEPPARD: I'm gonna recommend sending a science team back here to check it out.

McKAY (indignantly): I am a science team!

(Exchanging a glance with Ronon, John turns and starts to head back, followed by Teyla. Ronon walks over to Rodney, grabs him by the back of the neck and marches him towards the others.)

McKAY (grumpily): OK, fine. Let's desert a potentially significant discovery because you guys don't want me to win a bet with Zelenka.

(Ignoring his protests, Ronon continues shoving him back in the direction of the Jumper.)

ATLANTIS INFIRMARY. NIGHTTIME. Jennifer Keller walks over to where John is sitting on the side of a bed while Teyla stands beside him.

KELLER: All your scans are clear. Blood tests are normal. As far as I can tell, you're in perfect health.

(John smiles smugly at Teyla.)

SHEPPARD: See? I told you. (To Jennifer) Thanks, Doc.

(Jennifer points at him sternly.)

KELLER: No more touching strange things.

SHEPPARD: That's good advice.

(Jennifer smiles at him, then turns and leaves. John jumps down from the bed and he and Teyla walk out of the Infirmary.)

SHEPPARD: I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted.

TEYLA: It's been a long day.

SHEPPARD: Well, thanks for hangin' out.

TEYLA: Just wanted to be sure.

SHEPPARD: I'm fine.

(He puts his hand briefly on her back as they walk along. A white glow appears on her back where he is touching her, then disappears. John lowers his hand and turns to her as he walks away.)

SHEPPARD: Get some sleep.

TEYLA: Good night, John.

LATER. Teyla lies in bed. Although her eyes are closed, she is restless and frowns frequently as if she is having a bad dream. We see what she dreaming: she is back in her tent on Athos, wearing the coat she had on when we first met her in "Rising," and she has the same hairstyle she had back then. She looks around, puzzled, and sees John sitting at a table with an assortment of food in front of him. He is chewing on something and smiles at her.

SHEPPARD: This is pretty good! What is it?

(Teyla looks around and sees Ronon standing nearby, even though he wasn't there a moment ago. He smiles.)

DEX: I knew you two were gonna eventually hook up.

TEYLA: We are not hooking up! It's just dinner.

(Rodney walks around behind her, holding his Ancient device.)

McKAY: I'm telling you, there's something in here giving off a strange energy reading.

(As Teyla watches him walk across the tent, suddenly John is standing very close to her. He couldn't possibly have got from the table to that position in the couple of seconds that passed since she looked away from him. He stares at her intently.)

TEYLA: John, what are you doing?

SHEPPARD: Colonel Carter doesn't trust you. No-one does but me.

TEYLA: What are you talking about?

SHEPPARD: What's wrong with you?

(He starts to walk around her.)

TEYLA: What do you mean? Nothing.

SHEPPARD: You've never been the same since you got into the mind of that Wraith Queen.

TEYLA: What?!

(She frowns at him as he walks away in front of her. Suddenly a man's voice cries out from outside the tent.)

VOICE: Teyla!

(Teyla turns, recognising the voice just as she also hears the sound of Wraith Darts swooping over the village.)

TEYLA: Father!

(She hurries toward the doorway of the tent but just as she reaches it, John opens the door flap and walks in. Half of his face is just as it was when he was turning into an iratus bug, the pupils of his eyes are just slits, and he is wearing the rough cloak he wore when he went to the bugs' cave. He seizes her throat with one hand and pushes her backwards into the tent and down onto a bench at the table. He glares down at her for several seconds while she stares up at him in terror, then he raises his other hand and plunges it down onto her chest.)

(In her room, Teyla wakes up, flailing and gasping in horror. Struggling to catch her breath, she puts her hand onto her chest and sobs at the memory.)

EARLY MORNING. Teyla is sitting at a table with Rodney and Ronon on the outdoor Mess Hall balcony overlooking the ocean.

TEYLA: I cannot even begin to tell you how bizarre it was.

McKAY: Please, you want bizarre? Let me tell you ...

DEX: You know what? Don't.

(John brings a tray over and sits down beside Teyla.)

SHEPPARD: Morning.

(Teyla shifts uncomfortably in her seat. John looks round at all of them.)


McKAY: Teyla had a dream about you last night.

TEYLA: Rodney. (She glares at him.)

SHEPPARD: Really?! What was it about?

TEYLA: Actually, it was more of a nightmare and I'd rather not talk about it.

SHEPPARD: Was I the dashing hero saving you from a big bad monster?

DEX: Actually, you were the big bad monster.

(John raises his eyebrows.)


Teyla (standing up): Like I said, I'd rather not talk about it.

SHEPPARD: Where are you going?

TEYLA: I'm sorry. I have a headache. I did not sleep well last night.

(She turns and walks away. John frowns round at her, then turns back to the others.)

SHEPPARD: Is she really mad at me?

(The others don't comment.)

SHEPPARD: I can't control what's in her dreams!

McKAY: Really? You think you can't control a person's dreams? My father read me "Moby Dick" when I was seven years old. I mean, seriously, what was the man thinking? D'you have any idea how long I had nightmares about being eaten by a whale?

(Ronon glances at John, then looks at Rodney pointedly.)

DEX: They haven't stopped, have they?

McKAY (embarrassed): No.

HEIGHTMEYER'S OFFICE. Teyla is sitting with Kate Heightmeyer, the base psychologist.

TEYLA: It's coming from outside. I go to the opening; I hear Darts. I pull open the tent and he comes inside. I know it's not really Colonel Sheppard, but I can't help but feel ... different towards him. Do you think it's my subconscious trying to tell me something?

HEIGHTMEYER: If there is something real going on between you and Colonel Sheppard that you feel you need to address, you definitely should. Otherwise don't let it bother you.

TEYLA: I've had horrible nightmares before -- of my father being taken when I was a little girl, the cullings since -- but none of them have felt like this. When I woke up, I could barely catch my breath. I know it sounds silly but I think I am actually afraid of falling asleep.

INFIRMARY. Teyla is sitting on the side of a bed as Jennifer finishes taking her blood pressure.

KELLER: Well, physically there's nothing wrong with you, other than the symptoms you've described, which can all be attributed to lack of sleep.

(She walks over to a nearby medicine cabinet and unlocks it.)

KELLER: These should help for the short term ... (she takes out some tablets) ... but if the problem persists, you definitely need to come back.

TEYLA: You have no idea how good the thought of a solid night's sleep makes me feel at this point.

(She gets down off the bed.)

KELLER: Oh, I think I do. I'm not sure I've had one since I got here.

(Teyla takes the tablets from her.)

TEYLA: Thank you.

(Smiling, she puts her hand on Jennifer's arm for a moment. Jennifer smiles back.)

KELLER: Don't mention it. Have a good night.

TEYLA: You too.

NIGHTTIME. Jennifer, asleep in bed, is woken by the sound of a man's voice coming from the radio on the table beside her bed.

VOICE: Doctor Keller, we have a medical emergency. Doctor Keller, please report immediately to the Infirmary.

(Jennifer turns on the bedside light, picks up her watch and looks at it, frowning, then gets out of bed. She makes her way to the Infirmary and finds Teyla lying on a bed repeatedly groaning in agony. John is standing at her bedside and a female med-tech is on the other side.)

KELLER: What's wrong?

MED-TECH: It's Teyla. She's in severe abdominal distress. Says you gave her some medication.

KELLER: I prescribed some Ambien to help her sleep. Teyla?

(Teyla, lying curled up on her side and clutching her stomach, groans again.)

SHEPPARD: Went to the Mess for a late-night snack. She started complaining about her stomach and then she just doubled over.

KELLER (to Teyla): I thought you were going to bed. Did you take one of those pills I gave you?

TEYLA (groaning): No.

KELLER: OK, just try to relax. Let me have a look.

(She and the med-tech gently roll Teyla over onto her back. Teyla screams and writhes in agony, trying to curl up around the pain in her stomach.)

KELLER (to John): Hold her for me.

(John takes hold of Teyla's arm while the med-tech holds the other. Another medic comes in to help keep Teyla's legs down. As Teyla wails in pain, Jennifer presses her fingers gently into her bare stomach, then snatches them away in shock as something writhes underneath the skin. Anyone who's seen the movie "Alien" immediately gets a John Hurt flashback. Jennifer backs away, her eyes wide in terror.)

KELLER: Oh my God.

(The something writhes again. Teyla screams piercingly. John glares at Jennifer accusingly.)

MED-TECH: Doctor, do something.

KELLER (totally at a loss): Uh ... OK ... uh, we -- we need to ... sedate her ... and, uh ...

(Teyla screams again as the creature under her skin begins to force its way out. Blood flies everywhere, spattering everyone around. Jennifer looks down at the blood on her.)


(Teyla's abdomen rips open and an enormous spider-like creature with wings starts to crawl out, squealing. Teyla's eyes are open and fixed. As the creature continues to squeal, John stares at Jennifer, a look of excitement on his face.)

SHEPPARD: Can you believe this?!

(Jennifer stares at him in horror ... then wakes up in her bed, gasping, covered in sweat, and struggling to catch her breath.)

INFIRMARY. Jennifer walks in, goes over to the medicine cabinet and takes out some pills. Closing the cabinet, she turns, then gasps in shock as she finds Ronon standing directly behind her. As she catches her breath, she sees that he has a bad cut above his left eyebrow. John walks over to stand behind him.

DEX: Sorry, Doc. Didn't mean to scare you.

SHEPPARD: We were sparring and I got in a lucky shot.

KELLER: It's the middle of the night!

DEX: Maybe for you.

KELLER: Sit down. Let me have a look.

(Ronon sits down on the side of the bed. Jennifer takes a closer look at his wound.)

KELLER: You're gonna need stitches.

(She looks accusingly at John, who shrugs apologetically.)

DEX: Guess I taught him too much, huh?

KELLER: Yeah, I guess so.

DEX (to John): You know, you don't need to stick around. I'm fine.

SHEPPARD: You sure?

DEX: Yeah. I want a re-match tomorrow, though.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. G'night! (He walks away.)

DEX: See you tomorrow.

(Jennifer watches John's departing back thoughtfully.)

DEX: Something wrong?

(Jennifer looks at him, then shakes her head.)

KELLER: No, no, nothing.

(She looks at his wound again. Ronon smiles slightly.)

DEX: I don't think he's seeing anyone, you know.

KELLER: Oh, oh, no! No, that's quite all right. ... You know, this would be easier if you lay down.


(He lays down on the bed as Jennifer picks up a pair of surgical gloves.)

LATER. His wound stitched and covered with a sticking plaster, Ronon strolls through the corridors of the city. After a while he frowns, stops and looks all around before moving on and heading into the Gate Room. There's nobody around.

DEX: Hullo?

(He trots up the stairs and turns left towards the Conference Room but can see nobody there. He turns and runs across to the Control Room.)

DEX: Is anyone here?

(There's nobody to be seen. Starting to panic, he races across the Control Room, shoving chairs out of his way, and pelts down the stairs before running back into the corridors. He runs back to the Infirmary but that too is deserted.)

DEX: Anyone?!

(Running on, he heads for a set of doors and swipes his hand across the wall panel. The doors slide open ... and on the other side is a forest. Staring back into Atlantis in bewilderment for a moment, he turns and walks slowly into the forest. Behind him, the doors and the city have disappeared. Just then, a Wraith stunner blast whizzes past him. He immediately breaks into a run and charges off through the forest, ducking out of the way as more blasts are aimed at him. As he runs on, looking around him, somebody suddenly swings a large branch into his path at chest height and he crashes into it before he can stop. The impact knocks him backwards and he falls to the ground. Holding his chest and coughing as he tries to catch his breath, he looks up as John walks out from behind the trees holding his right hand behind his back.)

SHEPPARD (smiling down at him): Hey, buddy. What are you runnin' from?

DEX: I don't know.

(John, still grinning at him, holds out his left hand to him.)

SHEPPARD: Come on.

(He brings out his right hand which is holding a large stout branch and savagely slams it down onto Ronon's head.)

LATER. Some time later, Ronon recovers consciousness and looks up. He is lying in a shallow grave dug in the forest. John is standing at the foot of the grave and has started to shovel earth into the hole. Ronon, his hands tied behind him and a gag in his mouth, looks up in horror as John continues to throw spadefuls of earth on top of him. He struggles frantically, protesting through his gag, while John, grinning at him, continues shovelling. Eventually John throws a spadeful of earth directly down onto his face.

INFIRMARY. In the Infirmary, Ronon gasps in terror and opens his eyes, grabbing at Jennifer's hand as she stitches his eyebrow.

KELLER: I'm really sorry. Did I -- did I hurt you?

(Ronon tries to catch his breath as he looks around the room, then looks up at Jennifer and releases her hand.)

DEX: Uh, no, no. I'm-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ...

KELLER: You fell asleep.

DEX: I was having the strangest dream.

KELLER: You sure you're OK?

DEX: Yeah. Go ahead.

KELLER: I'm almost done.

(She continues to stitch the wound as Ronon sighs deeply.)

DAYTIME. MESS HALL BALCONY. Jennifer is sitting at a table with Teyla, Ronon and Rodney.

KELLER (to Teyla): It was terrifying. There you were with this disgusting alien bug crawling out of your stomach, and Colonel Sheppard was acting like it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen.

DEX: That sounds like that movie.

KELLER: Yeah, "Alien." Have you seen it?

TEYLA: Colonel Sheppard speaks of it often.

McKAY: I still remember the first time I saw it. (He grimaces.) Certainly did not think it was cool.

KELLER: One time in med school, I made the mistake of confiding to my partner in biology class that it had caused my all-time worst nightmares. He actually planted a live snake inside a cadaver I was working on.

McKAY: Well, I never saw it as a kid -- I knew from the poster it was gonna be too scary. No, I was sixteen when a neighbourhood theatre had a horror revival festival. I thought, great: date, movie; so, uh, Jocelyn Rutger, third period science -- bit of a geek, but she had a great, um ... (He holds up his hands in front of him, then looks at Teyla and changes his mind.) ... Anyway -- um, you know how girls get all, uh, scared, curl up on your shoulder?

TEYLA: Your planet has some truly strange rituals.

McKAY: Anyway, I eat when I get nervous.

DEX (sarcastically): Really? I hadn't noticed.

McKAY: Mmm. So, very tense, working like a charm, Jocelyn's all freaked out beside me, I'm packing away the Goobers and the popcorn ... and then the alien bursts out of John Hurt.

TEYLA (sighing): You didn't?

McKAY: Mmm. Puked all over her.

DEX (grinning): I have got to see this movie!

KELLER: Don't you think it's strange that each of us has had incredibly vivid nightmares with Colonel Sheppard being somehow an integral part?

TEYLA: Acting most unlike Colonel Sheppard.

McKAY: Not me.

KELLER: Have you had any nightmares recently?

McKAY: Huh! Not a night goes by! Last night I dreamed that Colonel Carter invited me to her quarters for dinner ...

TEYLA: Maybe you shouldn't be telling us this, Rodney.

KELLER: Yeah, I said "nightmare," not "delusional male fantasy."

McKAY (indignantly): Wait, and listen! Turns out she was serving lemon chicken. I mean, lemon! And the only reason she invited me to dinner was to tell me that she was promoting Zelenka over me.

DEX: That's it?

McKAY: ... Then I was eaten by a whale. Don't ask how that happened.

(Jennifer frowns, perplexed, for a moment, then gets the conversation back on topic.)

KELLER: OK, d'you guys think I'm crazy? I realise they're just dreams, but first it was Teyla and then right after you came to see me, I had one.

TEYLA: And that's when mine stopped. Those pills you gave me knocked me out cold.

KELLER: And then Ronon had one while I was working on him.

DEX: What's the big deal? It's like you said, just a few bad dreams, right?

(He and Rodney get up and leave the table. Teyla and Jennifer look at each other for a moment, then Jennifer shrugs.)

LATER. Jennifer and Sam Carter walk across the Gate Room and up into the Control Room en route to Sam's office.

KELLER: I probably shouldn't have bothered you with this. I know I don't really have any hard evidence.

CARTER: Believe me, I've seen a good hunch go a long way in some pretty crazy circumstances. I'd always rather you were on your toes, especially with anything that seems suspicious.

KELLER: I know a few bad dreams isn't that significant. It's only natural given what we face on a daily basis, but this was different. It really rattled me. Coupled with the sequential pattern: first Teyla, then me, then Ronon, all with Colonel Sheppard being a significant negative presence in our dreams.

CARTER: D'you have any idea what's behind it?

KELLER: I don't know. Thing is, it started right after Colonel Sheppard touched that crystal on M3X-387.

CARTER: I thought you cleared him medically.

KELLER: I did.

(A Chinese technician walks over to them.)

TECHNICIAN: ‘Scuse me. There's an emergency situation at Crew Quarters Atrium. Security was called for and has been dispatched.

CARTER: Thank you. (To Jennifer) Excuse me. (She hurries away.)

ATRIUM. Barefoot and blinking rapidly in terror, Major Lorne is aiming his pistol determinedly at John. Marines are aiming their own weapons at Lorne as John holds his hands out to him to show that he's not armed.

SHEPPARD: Put down the gun, Major. Let's talk this out.

LORNE: Someone get an A.R.G. Now! Shoot him with it!

(Teyla and Kate are also standing nearby.)

HEIGHTMEYER: Major, talk to me. Tell me what's going on.

LORNE: Just do it! OK, wh-wh-what's the harm? I-I-If he's human, it won't hurt him, right?

TEYLA: John, what is he talking about?

LORNE: Don't talk to him! Colonel Sheppard is a Replicator.

(Teyla and Kate look at John nervously. John frowns at Lorne as he continues aiming his pistol and staring at him in terror.)

SHEPPARD: Look, Lorne, I don't know what's gotten into you ...

LORNE: Me?! No-no-no-no-no, it's not me.

(Sam arrives and walks over to the group.)

CARTER: Major. How ‘bout you lower your weapon?

LORNE: He's a Replicator!

(Sam looks at him in confusion.)

LORNE: What, you don't believe me? (He cocks his pistol.) OK, I'll shoot him, you'll see.

SHEPPARD: Whoa, whoa, that won't be necessary. I've got my hands up in a very non-threatening way.

CARTER: Call for an A.R.G.

(John stares at her.)

SHEPPARD: What, you believe him?!

CARTER (quietly): Of course not, but it won't hurt you and it might help him to lower his gun.

(Lorne promptly aims his pistol towards her.)

LORNE: You're one of them too. (To the marines) Well, don't just stand there! Shoot them! Shoot both of them!

(He turns his pistol towards John again and his stance changes -- he's about to fire. Just then an energy blast hits him from somewhere up above and he convulses and collapses to the floor. Everyone looks up and sees Ronon on the balcony above, having just shot Lorne with his stunner. As marines run over to Lorne, Teyla takes an A.R.G. from another marine and turns towards John and Sam, holding it ready but not quite pointing it at them.)

TEYLA: I take it I don't have to shoot either of you with this?

LATER. Lorne has recovered from the blast and is sitting at a table in the Isolation Room. He looks up into the Observation Room.

LORNE: I'm so glad no-one was hurt.

HEIGHTMEYER (in the Observation Room): And you don't remember anything?

LORNE: No. Honestly, I haven't had a sleepwalking incident since I was, like, ten.

(Kate turns to the others in the room.)

HEIGHTMEYER: It's quite common for someone suffering from somnambulism to perform complex activities in their sleep and remember nothing upon waking.

SHEPPARD: So you think this has something to do with the crystal I touched?

KELLER: That's when it seemed to start. Major Lorne's not the only one. In each case the person being affected reports you being a significant negative presence in the nightmare.

SHEPPARD: Well, I can't control that!

CARTER: No, but maybe something is.

SHEPPARD: What, you think someone's impersonating me in their dreams?! (He shakes his head in total disbelief.)

CARTER: Look, I've seen more than my share of alien entities that are capable of this. Colonel O'Neill was once knocked unconscious by an energy being that lived in crystal form. It took on his appearance for a while.

HEIGHTMEYER: I read at one point you were taken over by an alien entity?

CARTER: ... Yeah. Not a personal highlight.

SHEPPARD: The question is, what's the point?

KELLER (thoughtfully): Maybe it's feeding on our fear.

(Everyone looks at her. She shakes her head.)

KELLER: I'll shut up.

CARTER: No, no, it's not that big a leap. It's just we don't have any proof.

KELLER: First it was Teyla; I was next; and then Ronon after I treated him.

SHEPPARD: Well I'm the one who touched the crystal, and I've never had a bad dream.

HEIGHTMEYER: Maybe that's why you're appearing in everyone's dreams. Whatever's doing this imprinted your image onto itself.

KELLER: Now that I think about it, it's possible whatever this is, its spread may be limited by touch.

CARTER: OK, anyone who's had contact with Major Lorne since the incident needs to be isolated. If this is some sort of alien influence, we have to find a way to detect it.

CONFERENCE ROOM. Rodney stands in the doorway and folds his arms stubbornly. John, sitting behind the table with the others who know about the problem, rolls his eyes.

SHEPPARD: Sit down, Rodney.

McKAY: I'm good right here, thank you.

CARTER: All offworld teams have been contacted and instructed not to return for the time being. Gate travel will be restricted to an as-needed basis and, until further notice, all non-essential expedition members will be restricted to quarters.

DEX: Come on, is this really necessary? It's just a few bad dreams, right?

CARTER: The fact is, we don't really know what we're dealing with. We may have an alien entity on our hands capable of moving from person to person at will.

HEIGHTMEYER: And so far the only behaviour we have to evaluate suggests a certain malice. Based on what's been described to me, the personification of Colonel Sheppard in everyone's dreams is behaving much like a sociopath.

(John looks at Teyla.)

SHEPPARD: Did I have a goatee?

(Teyla shakes her head.)

HEIGHTMEYER: Right now all it's doing is causing some nightmares, but we don't know if that's the limit of its capability.

TEYLA: You're saying this is only the beginning.

HEIGHTMEYER: I've never profiled anything like this before. It will likely progress -- try to drive up the stakes, seek bigger thrills. Even if it's limited to manipulating the host's subconscious, it may be able to put someone in serious jeopardy.

SHEPPARD: So what are we talking -- Freddie Krueger here?

McKAY: Oh, come on! We don't have a single shred of hard evidence here. I mean, until we do, this thing is just a boogeyman.

CARTER: Exactly why you're going back to the planet where Colonel Sheppard touched the crystal.

McKAY (nervously): What?! Why would we do that?

CARTER: Well, just as you said, to gather some hard evidence -- see if there are any more of these things. We need to find out exactly what they are and how they work, and if possible, how to detect if there really is something inside Lorne right now. Thank you.

(Everyone stands and starts to leave the room.)

McKAY (to Sam): But, er, you said no more Gate travel. I thought that was a wise decision.

CARTER: I said on an "as-needed basis," McKay. I think this qualifies.

McKAY: Yeah, but don't you think that a science team would be better suited ...

DEX (walking past): You are a science team, remember?

McKAY: ... OK, fine, but it's a big planet, you know. We could really use some more manpower.

M3X-387. Team Sheppard, together with Radek Zelenka and some other scientists, are all wearing Hazmat suits as they follow the route that John and his team took before.

ZELENKA: I still can't believe you're making me do this.

McKAY: Ah, you lost the bet! There's definitely something on this planet.

ZELENKA: Yes, but I distinctly said "of value." I hardly call this particular discovery valuable.

(Having stepped over the fallen tree trunk, John leads the team toward the tree.)

SHEPPARD: Over here.

(Rodney laughs triumphantly and pats Radek on the back.)

McKAY: Ha ha! There you go! You'd better get started.

ZELENKA (grumpily in Czech): It´s always me who has to do this. (In English, sarcastically) "Better get started." Yeah, sure(!)

(He walks over to the tree and starts to examine the dead crystal. Near where Teyla is standing, a crystal lights up in the trunk of another tree.)

TEYLA: Rodney!

McKAY: Mmm? (He turns, sees the crystal and walks towards it.) Don't look at it! And whatever you do, don't touch it.

TEYLA: I wasn't even thinking about it.

(Rodney holds up his Ancient device and starts to scan the crystal.)

McKAY: Radek, we've got a live one here.

(Radek turns and looks at it.)

ZELENKA: It could be useful to compare the two.

McKAY: That's just what I was thinking.

ZELENKA: But be careful. It could be dangerous to try to harvest one with an active entity in it.

McKAY: Hmm. Once again you've read my mind. However, when you've finished there, I say you give it a shot.

(Radek turns back to the dead crystal and grimaces. John shrugs at him.)

ZELENKA: Yeah, "give it a shot"(!)

(He nervously holds up a couple of hammer-like devices so that he can cut the dead crystal out of the tree.)

ATLANTIS SCIENCE LAB. The dead and the live crystals have been brought back and placed into two containers. Various monitors are inside the containers, touching the crystals. Jennifer squints into the container holding the live crystal, then straightens up.

KELLER: You really think it was safe to bring a live one back?

ZELENKA: Oh, those containment tanks are non-conductive. We believe it needs conductive material in order to travel.

McKAY: And having an active crystal allows us to calibrate these hand-held sensors to detect the energy signature it's associated with.

ZELENKA: Hopefully we'll be able to determine if somebody is actually carrying one of these creatures around inside of them.

McKAY: Ah, as long as it doesn't know what we're up to, otherwise you'd think it would just transfer out of somebody before we could scan them.

ZELENKA: Yeah, yeah, assuming of course they're not only capable but are conscious and aware at all times.

(Unseen by either of the men who are working on various devices and computers, Jennifer slowly starts to walk towards the live crystal's container, gazing at it in fascination.)

McKAY: It's demonstrated some pretty sophisticated intelligence so far.

(Jennifer bends down to get closer to the container. From a perspective inside the crystal, her face is reflected many times in the facets, and Rodney's voice echoes inside the crystal as he speaks.)

McKAY: It even had basic avoidance skills.

ZELENKA: We're gonna have to modify our scanners to operate at a range large enough to ... (He stops, then clicks his fingers.) Wait a minute. (He turns towards Rodney.) We could calibrate the city-wide life signs detectors.

(Jennifer starts to reach her hand out to touch the container.)

McKAY: Oh, yes, Mr Wizard(!) We're just gonna snap our fingers!

(Jennifer's head whips round as Radek grabs her hand and pulls it back from the container.)

ZELENKA: What are you doing?

(Jennifer looks startled.)

KELLER: I don't know. (She looks at the container.) It's mesmerising. (She looks at Radek again.) You said it was safe.

ZELENKA: We said, "We think." Still ...

KELLER: I don't know what I was doing. I can't believe that I was suddenly overcome by the compulsion to wanna touch it.

McKAY: Yeah, we think that's how it, uh, ropes in its victims.

(Jennifer stares at the container in shock, then looks at Radek. He shakes his head at her, looks at the container briefly, wrinkles his nose in distaste, then goes back to his console.)

ISOLATION ROOM. Radek and Lorne stand facing each other as Radek runs a hand-held scanner over Lorne, then looks at the readout. He looks up to the Observation Room and shakes his head at Sam and Rodney.

McKAY: It's not in him.

CARTER: You said the entity needed conductive material to travel, right?

McKAY: Well, based on the ... (He trails off, then stares at Sam.) It's the power conduits!

(Sam nods.)

McKAY: They run through pretty much the entire city!

CARTER: It could be in anyone.

CONTROL ROOM. Teyla walks out onto the outside balcony, then stops and stares upwards at the sound of a terrified gasp.

TEYLA: Kate! What are you doing?

(Kate is standing on the balcony railing facing Teyla, bracing herself with one hand on a stanchion. She looks petrified.)

HEIGHTMEYER: I don't wanna die!

(Teyla tries to smile reassuringly.)

TEYLA (gently): Good. Come down from there.

(Kate wobbles back and forth on the narrow ledge. The drop behind her is horrifyingly long.)

HEIGHTMEYER (plaintively): I can't.

TEYLA: Why not?

(Kate stares at her desperately.)

HEIGHTMEYER: Help me, please!

(She sobs. Teyla starts to walk towards her but suddenly John steps in front of her, seizes her arms and holds her back.)

TEYLA: John, stop it. Stop it -- I have to help her!

(As she struggles to break free of his grip, John smiles in satisfaction.)

TEYLA: What are you doing? John, get out of the way!

HEIGHTMEYER (anguished): Teyla! Teyla!

TEYLA: Kate!

(We see through Kate's eyes as she screams, loses her grip and slips off the ledge. She falls downwards, with us still looking through her eyes. As we fall, our body revolves so that we're now facing downwards. The city below rushes towards us. We plunge towards a walkway and everything goes black as there is the sickening sound of an impact.)

Inside the city, doors open and Jennifer walks into someone's quarters. She stops at the sight of Kate, wearing a nightdress, lying on her bed with her eyes closed, with Teyla standing at the foot of the bed. Teyla looks at Jennifer in dread.

TEYLA: She did not report for duty and I cannot wake her up.

(Jennifer walks over to the bed and activates a hand-held scanner. She looks at the readout as Teyla looks at her with no hope in her eyes. Jennifer stares up at her in shock and confirms Teyla's worst fears.)

KELLER: She's dead.

(Teyla's eyes fill with tears.)

CONTROL ROOM. Sam steels herself, then nods to a technician who activates the city-wide tannoy.

CARTER: This is Colonel Carter. If I could have your attention please. I'm very sorry to have to tell you that we have lost a valuable member of the expedition today.

(In her quarters, Teyla sits on her bed and listens sadly to the announcement.)

CARTER (over tannoy): Doctor Kate Heightmeyer meant a great deal to all of us. Her death is nothing short of tragic.

(In his quarters, John sits on the edge of his bed listening.)

CARTER: I'm also sorry to have to report that the threat we face is still in our midst and until further notice, the full lockdown protocol will remain in effect. Try to remain calm. We are doing everything we can to ensure everyone's safety and to resolve this situation quickly. Thank you.

(She nods to the technician again, who deactivates the tannoy. Jennifer is standing nearby and Sam walks over to her.)

KELLER: That was good. I mean, horrible, obviously -- terrifying and horrible -- but I just meant that you sounded strong. I'm sure they were at least a little reassured hearing your voice. But you don't need me to tell you that.

CARTER: A day like this, it doesn't hurt. Thanks.

JOHN'S QUARTERS. John is now lying on top of his bed. After a while, he makes a decision, gets up, goes to the door and swipes his hand over the wall panel. The doors open and he starts to walk out, but stops at the sight of Teyla standing just outside.

SHEPPARD: I was just about to come and see you ... but I wasn't sure if you wanted to see me.

(Without saying anything, Teyla walks closer and puts her arms around him, laying her head on his shoulder. Hesitantly, John puts his arms around her and holds her as she cries.)

CONTROL ROOM. Radek walks into Sam's office where she is sitting at her desk.

ZELENKA: Uh, Colonel Carter? Excuse me. I think I've managed to calibrate the city-wide sensors.

(Sam stands up and follows him out into the Control Room.)

ZELENKA: I mean, if it is working properly, you know. We had some trouble with the, um ... (He waves his hand, not bothering to explain as they reach the wallscreen.) We have a positive reading.

(A red dot is flashing on the screen.)

CARTER: Do we know who that is?

(The screen zooms in on the source of the signal until it shows the room where it's emanating from.)

ISOLATION ROOM. The doors open and Rodney walks in to find Radek inside.

McKAY: What do you need me for? (He looks around as he realises that the walls now have a black covering.) What's with the rubber walls?

ZELENKA: I'm sorry, Rodney. I have to go.

(He walks around Rodney, giving him a wide berth, and heads for the doors as Rodney rolls his eyes.)

McKAY: Oh, you've got to be kidding.

(As Radek leaves the room, an armed marine walks to the outside of the doorway and swipes his hand across the wall panel to close the doors. Rodney turns and looks up into the Observation Room where Sam and Jennifer are looking down at him. Sam waves to him apologetically. Behind the girls, John walks in and joins them at the window.)

SHEPPARD: It's in Rodney?

CARTER: The Isolation Room has been lined with insulating material to prevent the entity from transferring out of him and into someone else.

KELLER: If we're right, we've got it trapped.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, but that doesn't help McKay much, does it? If this thing kills people in their sleep ...

CARTER: No, we've got to find a way to get it out of him.

McKAY: Someone wanna get me some coffee? I'm already feeling a little tired here.

KELLER: I could give him something to keep him awake for a while, but it'll only work for so long before we start putting him at risk of pulmonary failure.

CARTER: Yeah. Believe it or not, I've been there before, too. Do what you can. We'll try to come up with something. (She calls down to the Observation Room.) Hang in there, McKay.

McKAY: Oh, thanks(!) Like I have much choice.

SAM'S OFFICE. Sam and John walk in.

SHEPPARD: D'you think it knows it's trapped?

CARTER: I don't know. Why?

SHEPPARD: Maybe there's a way to ... I don't know, reason with it.

CARTER: Being in Doctor Weir's old office made you think of that, didn't it?

SHEPPARD: Normally I just shoot the bad guys.

(Teyla and Ronon come in.)

DEX: We just heard.

TEYLA: There must be something we can do.

CARTER: That's what we're talking about. (She turns back to John.) OK, let's say for a second that you could somehow communicate with it. What were you planning on saying?

SHEPPARD: I don't know -- I hadn't gotten that far.

CARTER: It strikes me that if it feeds on fear or -- worse -- likes the thrill of killing its host, then ... it would take the last chance it had.

SHEPPARD: To kill McKay.

(Sam sighs and lowers her head.)

SHEPPARD: What about survival? It's trapped. Will it die without a living host to transfer to?

CARTER: I was hoping not to find out.

TEYLA: We could give it a chance to leave -- go home.

CARTER: Back into the crystal.

SHEPPARD: Sure. Why not? Send it through the Gate back to its planet.

CARTER: I've heard of people being talked through waking dreams before. Maybe -- maybe McKay can be hypnotised into a state where he could somehow communicate with it.

TEYLA: He has successfully meditated into an altered state before.

SHEPPARD (grimacing): Yeah, that was after he was genetically altered.

DEX: I'm sorry -- what? You want McKay to ask this thing to leave?!

SHEPPARD: We are talking about McKay. Scary things are not exactly his strength.

CARTER: And he is up against a creature apparently capable of manipulating his subconscious.

SHEPPARD: I wish there was a way for one of us to get in there.

CARTER: Into McKay's dreams?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, you know, help him out; give him a little moral support. Come on -- all the things you've seen, you've never come across a way for one person to get into another person's dreams?

(Sam is way ahead of him and has been having a lightbulb moment for the past few seconds. Without saying anything, she heads out to the Control Room.)

DEX: Where's she going? What's going on?

SHEPPARD: I don't know, but I think I'm about to see a side of McKay I never wanted to see.

TEYLA: It does not have to be you.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, well, it's my bad idea.

(He hurries out after Sam.)

DEX: What was?

(Teyla follows the other two.)

DEX: What?

(He sighs and follows her.)

ISOLATION ROOM. Rodney and John are lying on two adjoining beds that have been brought in. Jennifer, Radek and some other scientists, all in Hazmat suits, are setting up equipment. Sam, Teyla and Ronon are up in the Observation Room watching the preparations.

CARTER: We first encountered the technology ten years ago on a planet where the survivors of a holocaust were living entirely in a virtual world created in their minds. Since then, we've managed to modify it for use in the V.R. training of S.G. team members. It only took some minor calibrations to tune it in to subconscious activity.

DEX: So Sheppard is actually gonna see McKay's dreams?

CARTER: Well, to be honest, the technology is untested for use in this manner. Dreams are much more random than conscious thought. It may be difficult for the system to translate what's going on in McKay's brain so that Colonel Sheppard can understand it. I'm just hoping that the two of them will be able to interact somehow.

(In the Isolation Room, cables trail from the container holding the dead crystal to leads attached to Rodney's temples. He looks across nervously to John.)

McKAY: You sure about this?

SHEPPARD: Not really.

(Rodney gestures to his own head, looking both plaintive and apologetic.)

McKAY: I'm pretty screwed up.

SHEPPARD: You're tellin' me!

KELLER: We're ready if you are.

(Rodney looks across to John again.)

McKAY: Thanks.

SHEPPARD: I haven't done anything yet.

McKAY: For trying. And don't say I didn't warn you.

KELLER: Administering sedative.

(She activates a drip into Rodney's arm, and his eyes almost instantly close. Radek activates the device which will link Rodney's and John's minds. John frowns.)

SHEPPARD: Nothing's happening here.

KELLER: He's not dreaming yet.

(The camera homes in on Rodney's face and he begins to dream.)

Rodney is strenuously rowing a small boat across the water. It's pouring with rain and he is soaking wet. Lightning flashes and thunder rumbles. Stopping for a moment, Rodney looks over his shoulder at his destination -- Atlantis, which is miles away across the ocean. As lightning continues to flash, Rodney shakes his head in frustration, then starts to row again. Suddenly there's a strange, echoing combination of a groan and a wail. Rodney stops rowing and stares in horror to his right as the back of an enormous white whale breaches not far from the boat before sinking back into the water.

McKAY: Oh boy. (He starts to row again.) Nice whale. Nice whale. You're my friend. You don't wanna eat me.

SHEPPARD: Give up.

(Suddenly John is sitting in the stern of the boat facing him. He folds his arms and smiles smugly at Rodney.)

SHEPPARD: You'll never make it. You're too weak.

McKAY (angrily): Well, thank you! Thanks for the encouragement! Way to help out!

SHEPPARD: Why would I wanna help you?

McKAY: Because I thought you ...

(A second John speaks from the seat behind him.)

SHEPPARD: It's not me, Rodney. Don't listen to him.

(Rodney turns and looks at him, then looks at the other, alien John in front of him.)

ALIEN SHEPPARD: You're pathetic. You might as well jump in.

(Bewildered, Rodney looks round to the real John.)

SHEPPARD: Don't be afraid.

McKAY: Oh, I have to get back. (He starts to row again.) I have to get back. That's my only chance.

ALIEN SHEPPARD: You're gonna die out here.

SHEPPARD: Shut up! Don't listen to him, Rodney.

McKAY (looking round at him): That's easy for you to say! Why don't you help me row?!

(Instantly and without transition, John is sitting beside him and they're each holding one oar. Rodney looks bewildered at John's disappearance from behind him, then looks round to find him beside him. He looks round to the front of the boat again briefly as John starts to row.)

SHEPPARD: You know, this really isn't as strange as you led me to believe.

McKAY (now rowing as well): Oh, yeah? (He points over his shoulder.) What about that?

(John turns to look at the place where he was just sitting. Now in the seat is a clown wearing a fright wig, full clown make-up with a sad, down-turned mouth painted on his face, clown clothes, a big floppy bowtie and white gloves. John turns and glares at Rodney.)

SHEPPARD: I hate clowns.

(They face the rear and start to row again.)

ALIEN SHEPPARD (smiling smugly): You can paddle all you want. You're not going anywhere.

McKAY (to John): He's right! I'm gonna die out here!

SHEPPARD: He wants you to be afraid. Don't give him what he wants. He can't really hurt you.

ALIEN SHEPPARD: That's where you're wrong.

(We switch to a high view over the top of the boat. From the depths of the water, the giant white whale -- and we are talking way bigger than Sam's Mum in "Echoes" -- races towards the surface underneath the boat. As it nears the surface, it opens its massive mouth and surges up out of the water, snapping its jaws closed over the boat.)

ISOLATION ROOM. In the Isolation Room, John -- his face covered in sweat -- opens his eyes and looks around as a single continuous tone can be heard.

SHEPPARD: What happened?

KELLER: Clear!

(Beside him, Rodney's shirt has been pulled up and Jennifer is shocking him with a defibrillator. The continuous tone carries on. John sits up and pulls the leads from his forehead. Radek turns to him as Jennifer starts administering C.P.R. to Rodney.)

ZELENKA: He's in cardiac arrest.

(He puts an airbag over Rodney's face and starts to pump air into him. Jennifer pumps Rodney's chest for a little while longer, then slowly lifts her hands away as the monitor's tone remains unchanged.)

KELLER: I'm sorry. I've done all I can. He's dead.

(John stares up at the Observation Room where Sam, Ronon and Teyla are looking down in horror.)

LATER. John walks slowly along the corridor, still in shock. He stops and gazes into the distance, lost in thought and grief. Just then, Teyla walks over to him.

TEYLA: This is all your fault, John.

(John frowns, confused at her anger. Ronon walks over, glaring at him.)

DEX: If you hadn't touched that stupid rock, McKay'd still be alive right now.

(Sam arrives.)

CARTER: I thought you were gonna help him.

SHEPPARD: I tried.

(Jennifer walks over.)

KELLER: Some friend you are.

CARTER: Colonel, you've been compromised. I'm relieving you of duty.

(Bewildered, John looks around ... and sees the alien version of himself standing a short distance away, glaring at him.)

SHEPPARD: Son of a bitch!

(He runs towards his alien doppelganger and hurls himself at him. His impetus throws them both into the wall and they plunge straight through it without disturbing it.)

ISOLATION ROOM. In the Isolation Room, Jennifer applies the paddles to Rodney's chest.

KELLER: Stand clear.

(Radek lifts the airbag clear. She shocks Rodney, then looks at the monitors as they start to emit the sound of a heartbeat. Rodney opens his eyes and looks around blearily.)

KELLER: Oh, it's OK, it's OK. Just try to relax.

McKAY: What's going on?

KELLER: You were in cardiac arrest.

McKAY: The entity.

ZELENKA: It's in Colonel Sheppard.

(They look across to John lying unconscious on the next bed.)

GATE ROOM. John and his doppelganger crash to the floor in front of the active Stargate, the alien lying on his back with John glaring down at him. The alien hurls him off and throws him across the floor. They both scramble to their feet.

SHEPPARD: You can quit now. I'm not afraid of you.

ALIEN SHEPPARD: Oh yes you are. I'm the one thing you are afraid of. You failed your friends. You brought this on them and there is NOTHING you can do to stop it.

(Furious, John runs at him, aiming a couple of punches but the alien ducks out of the way and then punches him hard in the face. They continue to fight but the alien quickly gets the upper hand, elbowing John in the neck and then kicking him hard in the stomach. John doubles up and tries to raise his head, groaning breathlessly. The alien grins and goes to kick him again but John ducks back out of the way. They trade a few more blows, then the alien delivers a roundhouse kick to John's head. He crumples to his knees. The alien patiently waits while John starts to haul himself painfully to his feet but before he has completely straightened up, the alien punches him hard across the face. John sinks to his knees again, groaning. He drags himself up onto his feet, holding his nose in pain, and stumbles towards the alien and swings a punch at him. The alien easily ducks out of the way and swings around behind him with the intention of slamming his arm into his stomach, but John anticipates it, swings around and grabs his arm and spins him around to face him. He aims another punch at him but the alien blocks it and slams his fist hard into John's face. As John reels back, stunned, the alien grabs him, picks him up and hurls him across the room. John slams into the wall so hard that he leaves a dent in it as he falls.)

(Barely able to stay conscious, John nevertheless tries to push himself upwards as the alien walks casually towards him, smiling. He seizes John's jacket and hauls him to his feet before throwing him all the way up the stairs. John crashes down at the top. Weakly, he rolls over onto his back as the alien walks slowly up the stairs. John sits up and wearily drags himself to his feet again. However, he is unable to defend himself as the alien punches him across the face again.)

ISOLATION ROOM. In the Isolation Room, Jennifer looks at John's monitors in concern.

KELLER: His heart rate is dangerously high.

CARTER (from the Observation Room): Can you wake him up?

KELLER: I could try, but in his physical state, that could make things worse.

ZELENKA: Yes, and the entity would still be in him.

(Rodney is still lying on his bed propped up on one elbow. Suddenly his eyes widen.)

McKAY: Hook me up to him again.

At the edge of the Control Room, another punch from the alien sends John slamming into a wall. The alien walks towards him, glaring fiercely at him. He aims another punch at him but John ducks out of the way just in time and the alien's hand slams into and through the wall. He pulls it out instantly, spins round and punches John again. They trade more blows but soon John is punched to the ground again. Resolutely, he starts to stand but the alien back-hands him down. Still John hauls himself to his feet. The alien kicks him hard in the stomach again. Groaning, John stumbles backwards and the alien leaps into the air and kicks him again, sending him smashing through the railing and down onto the floor of the Gate Room. The alien takes an impossible flying leap off the balcony and lands on his feet on the Gate Room floor.

ALIEN SHEPPARD: Get up. Come on, John. FIGHT!

SHEPPARD (weakly): No. That's what you want.

ALIEN SHEPPARD: It's your fault Heightmeyer's dead. Your fault McKay is dead.

McKAY (offscreen): I'm not dead.

(The alien turns in surprise to see Rodney walking down the stairs, smiling smugly at him. The alien glares and starts to walk towards him. He grabs Rodney by the jacket and slams him against the wall. Rodney grimaces in pain as the alien glares into his face.)

ALIEN SHEPPARD: You can't win.

(Rodney smiles slightly.)

McKAY: Yes we can. You're vulnerable to electric shock. That's why I'm still alive. You left before you could finish the job.

(As he finishes speaking, electricity surges through the alien, who screams and stumbles backwards. John sits up and stares in surprise.)

SHEPPARD: What the hell was that?

(In the Isolation Room, Jennifer administers another shock from the defibrillator to John's bare stomach.)

(In the Gate Room, the alien falls to his knees, electricity arcing through him. He groans in agony. As the electricity fades, the alien gazes blankly ahead of him as John gets to his feet and walks towards him. The alien looks around at him but is too weak to do anything to protect himself as John grabs his jacket, hauls him to his feet and starts to spin him around to build up impetus. After several revolutions, he builds up enough speed and hurls him through the event horizon of the open Gate.)

(Behind him, Rodney has lost track of which Sheppard was which as they were spinning around each other.)

McKAY (nervously): Which one are you?


McKAY: Good you or bad you?

SHEPPARD: Me me. (He points a little nervously at Rodney.) Is that you you?

McKAY: I think so.


McKAY: Yeah. (He looks around the Gate Room.) OK, this is really weird.

SHEPPARD: You're tellin' me!

McKAY: I really thought there'd be more hot girls.


(Rodney looks around the area again, disappointed.)

McKAY: Huh.

ISOLATION ROOM. In the Isolation Room, the crystal is glowing again. Radek disconnects the cables leading to Rodney's head as Jennifer takes the leads off his temples. Rodney opens his eyes and looks round at John just as he opens his eyes. John looks across to Rodney as Rodney lets his head sink back onto the pillow in relief. John looks up into the Observation Room where everyone up there is looking relieved too, then lays his head down again.

M3X-387. The team is back on the planet in their Haz-mat gear. Two of them empty the two glowing crystals onto the ground. All around them, crystals embedded in other trees begin to light up as if welcoming their friends home. The team looks around nervously as more and more crystals begin to light up. We switch to a view over the top of the jungle and can see hundreds of crystals lighting up for miles around.

McKAY: Hey. I have an idea. How ‘bout we get out of here?

SHEPPARD: Sounds like a plan.

ATLANTIS. NIGHT TIME. John is sitting alone at a table on the Mess Hall balcony. He has a bowl of nibbles in front of him and is reading a magazine. Teyla walks over to join him and smiles as he looks up at her.

TEYLA: Couldn't sleep.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, me too.

(As Teyla pulls out a chair and sits down, Rodney arrives with a plate full of food.)

McKAY: Thought I'd have a little snack before I ...

SHEPPARD: Yeah, we couldn't sleep either.

(Ronon arrives and sits down with them. Shortly after, Sam and Jennifer walk in and sit down, too.)