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When a group of Ronon's people enlist the team's help in raiding a Wraith weapons facility, Ronon reconsiders whether his future lies in Atlantis or with his friends.

DVD DISC: Season 4, Disc 1
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: William Waring
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Transcript by Callie Sullivan

OFFWORLD VILLAGE. Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan, wearing long leather coats, walk into a village. A villager, seeing them approach, jumps up from the bench where he was sitting and runs over to them, smiling.

VILLAGER: Praise the gods you've finally arrived.

(He smiles at Teyla and walks around her, admiring her.)

VILLAGER: And you are far more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

(Teyla and Ronon frown at him uncomprehendingly.)

DEX: Excuse me?

VILLAGER: You have not come for the arranged marriage?


(The villager lowers his head in disappointment, then perks up and smiles at her again.)

VILLAGER: Would you perhaps be seeking a husband?

TEYLA (firmly): No.

VILLAGER (disappointed again): Oh. Then what brings you to our town?

TEYLA: We've heard of strangers who recently arrived -- a rough-looking group boasting of many Wraith kills.

DEX: Yeah, we think they might be Satedan.

VILLAGER: Ah, yes. You mean the three loud-mouthed drunkards who spend their days carousing at the tavern.

DEX (smiling): Sounds like my people.

VILLAGER: They've taken rooms at the local inn.

TEYLA: Thank you.

VILLAGER: You are most welcome. (He walks closer to her.) And should you ever reconsider your desire for a husband ...

(Ronon walks towards him threateningly. The man turns and runs off. Ronon turns back towards Teyla.)

DEX: All right. I'll check the inn; you check the tavern. (He walks away.)

TEYLA: Sounds good.

(She goes to the tavern and enters. She walks over to the bar and smiles at the barkeep.)

TEYLA: Hello. I'm looking for three individuals who recently arrived. I've heard they are voracious eaters and drinkers, and apparently they've been quite vocal about their recent successes against the Wraith.

(Before the barkeep can speak, a man stands up from a nearby table and walks over to her.)

TYRE: These people you're looking for -- they're either very brave or very stupid.

TEYLA: How so?

TYRE: Well, if word of their bragging got back to the Wraith, it could be very bad for them.

TEYLA: I doubt they need to fear a Wraith overhearing their conversation.

TYRE: Of course not. But the Wraith don't always need their own ears to hear.

TEYLA: Do you know the people whom I seek?

TYRE: Sorry. I mind my own business -- which is something you might want to consider.

TEYLA (smiling unpleasantly at him): And you might want to consider offering your unsolicited advice to someone who actually cares to receive it.

(She turns to walk away but Tyre seizes her wrist. Teyla glares down at his hand.)

TYRE: An attitude like that could get you hurt -- or worse.

(He smiles at her smugly. Teyla promptly swings her free hand at him but he blocks it. She pulls her other hand free and punches him in the face. Instantly a man and woman sitting at a table nearby jump up and hurry towards them. Tyre aims a roundhouse kick at Teyla's head but she ducks down below his leg. The woman, Ara, kicks Teyla's legs from behind. She stumbles forward, but recovers her footing and trades a couple of blows with the other man, Rakai, before swinging back to defend herself from another kick aimed by Ara. Tyre watches the fight, smiling. Teyla holds her own for a while against the other two but eventually they overpower her and push her back against the bar. Ara draws a knife and holds it against Teyla's neck.)

ARA: What's the first to go -- the ears, or those pretty eyes?

(The distinctive sound of Ronon's blaster powering up can be heard.)

DEX: How about your head?

(Ara and Rakai turn and look at Ronon standing in the doorway aiming his blaster at them. As he sees their faces for the first time, he smiles in delight and lowers his blaster.)

ARA: Ronon!

DEX (holstering his blaster): Ara! Rakai!

(Releasing Teyla, Ara laughs in delight and runs towards Ronon, hurling herself into his arms. He hauls her off her feet, hugging her, and Rakai runs over and wraps his arms around both of them, all of them whooping happily. Teyla grimaces and holds her jaw as Tyre strolls over to join the reunion.)

ATLANTIS. Radek Zelenka is walking along a corridor looking at a computer tablet he is carrying. Rodney McKay walks over, smiling.

McKAY: Hmm. Heard the rumour?

ZELENKA: No. What rumour?

McKAY: Oh, never mind. Forget I mentioned it.

(He walks on down the corridor. Radek turns and follows him.)

ZELENKA: Wait. What is this about?

McKAY: No, it would be irresponsible for me to say anything. (Immediately) All right, look, if you're gonna twist my arm, the I.O.A. have made their final decision. They've chosen the new leader of Atlantis.

ZELENKA: Well, who is it?

McKAY: Well, there's been no formal announcement, but word is they're going with their foremost expert in Ancient technology and Replicator activity. (He points to himself with both hands, smiling smugly.) Who does that sound like to you?

(Radek's eyes widen in horror.)


McKAY: Yes! Who else?!

ZELENKA: Well, I heard they were leaning towards someone with a science background ...

McKAY: And why not? It's about time that one of us ended up in a position of real power.

ZELENKA: Oh, oh, and by us, you mean you.

McKAY: Exactly. (He stops and looks thoughtful.) It's kinda scary, though, you know? I'll be making decisions that don't affect just the city but the entire galaxy.

(Radek looks at him, appalled.)

ZELENKA: Yes, scary. Very scary.

McKAY: On the other hand, a leader never second-guesses himself. I'm up for the challenge. I know I am. I'm gonna make them proud. Radek, I'm gonna make you proud.

(He clicks his tongue at him and walks away. Radek watches him go, his face full of horror and dread.)

CONTROL ROOM. John Sheppard is talking to a wallscreen.

SHEPPARD: The Wraith/Replicator war is in full swing. From what I hear, the Replicators are kicking some serious ass in their last offensive.

(Samantha Carter's face is on the wallscreen. The Stargate is open and she is talking from Stargate Command.)

CARTER: Well, that's good news, John. Well done.

(Rodney walks over.)

McKAY: Hey.

SHEPPARD (to Sam): I'll have the reports ready for you.

McKAY: Sam! Uh, what's new? (He smiles expectantly.)

SHEPPARD: Just making preparations for the change in command here.

McKAY: You don't have to tell me. I already know.

CARTER: Really?

McKAY: I just wanna say that I think the I.O.A. could not have made a better choice.

CARTER (smiling): Thanks, Rodney!

McKAY: No-no-no-no-no-no, you are too kind ... (His smile begins to fade.) What?

(Sam tilts her head at him questioningly. Realisation begins to dawn on Rodney's face.)

McKAY: Uh, “thank you, Rodney.” No-no-no, wait a minute. You mean that ...

SHEPPARD: Yeah. She's our new boss.

(Rodney stares at Sam, who smiles and shrugs at him. Rodney tries to smile back but totally fails to mask his disappointment.)

OFFWORLD VILLAGE. Teyla, Ronon, Tyre and Ara are sitting at a table in the tavern. Tyre is drinking from a tankard.

DEX: I thought you guys were dead.

TYRE: Believe me, so did we.

TEYLA: How did you manage to survive the Wraith attack on Sateda?

(Rakai brings four more tankards over and hands them out before sitting down.)

TYRE: We weren't there.

TEYLA: I don't understand.

RAKAI: When we first made the decision to fight back against the Wraith, we didn't just wait for them to come to us. We started running ops against some of their known strongholds.

TYRE: They were quick strikes -- get in, hit ‘em hard, get out; only on this particular occasion we kind of messed up the “getting out” part.

DEX: I saw the Darts at your position.

TYRE: What you didn't see was that we'd found a network of caves in the hillside. When the Wraith attacked, the entrance collapsed and we were sealed in. It took us three days to dig our way out.

RAKAI: And by then the place was crawling with them. It was obvious they were gearing up for an attack. It took another two weeks before we could fight our way through the Gate and by then, it was too late.

ARA: When we got back to Sateda, there was nothing left.

DEX: I'm sorry. I should have never left you behind.

TYRE: Don't be an idiot, Ronon. When you took Second Squad back to the Gate, you had no way of knowing those Darts were gonna come through.

RAKAI: And if we'd have gone back with you, then we would have died in the attack on Sateda along with everybody else. The only reason why you survived was ‘cause they made you a Runner.

DEX: You heard about that?

TYRE: A while back, we started hearing stories.

ARA: They said you were seven feet tall and had the strength of five men.

DEX (smiling): People like to exaggerate.

RAKAI: They also said you killed a hundred Wraith.

DEX: That part sounds about right.

(Rakai grins and chuckles.)

TYRE: Well, then ... (He raises his tankard.) To the misery of our enemies, and the reunion of friends come back from the dead.

(Everyone else raises their tankard and they clash them together.)

DEX: Oh, yeah!

EARTH. STARGATE COMMAND. Sam, wearing her dress blues, sadly closes the lid of a case down over her SG-1 uniform. Teal'c is standing at the doorway watching her.

TEAL'C: On the day I left Chulak, Master Bra'tac said to me, “Draw from your past, but do not let your past draw from you.”

(Sam turns to him as he walks into the room.)

CARTER: That's good advice. Still, I know I'm gonna miss this place -- and all of you.

TEAL'C (smiling): I would have been offended had you felt otherwise.

CARTER: Ten years is a long time.

TEAL'C: It has been ten years well spent. We have defeated numerous enemies and overcome many threats.

(Sam smiles.)

CARTER: It was never dull.

TEAL'C: We have accomplished much here, but now it is Atlantis that is in need of you.

CARTER: Yeah. Part of me's looking forward to going, but there's part of me that thinks that maybe it's too soon -- that I'm leaving my work here unfinished.

TEAL'C: Your work will continue, only in a different place. You have been bestowed an incredible honour, Colonel Carter, and I believe you should embrace it. And know this: though we may not be leaving with you, SG-1 will never be far away.

(Sam's eyes are full of tears.)

CARTER (her voice breaking): So I can expect you guys to come and visit some time?

TEAL'C: Undomesticated equines could not keep me away.

(Sam laughs, walks towards him and hugs him.)

CARTER: Nice call-back.

(Over Sam's shoulder, Teal'c's face is full of sadness.)

TEAL'C: Indeed.

(Sam hugs him for a little longer, then pulls back and wipes her eyes.)

CARTER: All right. Time to go.

(She picks up a small case, and she and Teal'c leave the room.)

ATLANTIS GATEROOM. As various scientists and technicians stand on the stairs and on the balconies, John trots down the stairs to join Rodney, Radek and another technician standing at the bottom of the stairs. John looks at the small basket which Rodney is holding.

SHEPPARD: What's that?

McKAY: It's a selection of fruits from the various worlds we trade with. I thought it'd be thoughtful.

SHEPPARD: Try “lame.”

McKAY (annoyed): Really? And what would you suggest?

SHEPPARD: Y'know, maybe some flowers so you could brighten up her quarters.

McKAY: Hmm, flowers.

(He hands the basket to the technician.)

McKAY: Here, take this ... and go.

(As the technician walks away, John smirks. The Gate begins to dial in, then kawhooshes. Sam walks through the event horizon. A marine near the Gate walks over to her, nods and takes her case from her. She smiles at John, Rodney and Radek as they approach her.)

SHEPPARD: Colonel Carter, welcome to Atlantis.

CARTER: Thank you. It's nice to be here.

(She smiles at him, then includes Rodney and Radek in her smile. The three men turn and back up a little so that Sam can face the other members of the expedition.)

CARTER: Uh, I want you all to know how honoured I am to accept this appointment. I've come here fully committed to this expedition, to Atlantis, and most importantly, to each and every one of you. I look forward to working with all of you. Thank you.

(As the gathering breaks up, Rodney turns to her.)

McKAY: Nice speech.

CARTER: Thank you. I also do weddings and award shows. Book early to avoid disappointment.

SHEPPARD: Shall we go check out your new digs?


(As John walks away, Sam turns to Rodney.)

CARTER: Rodney.

McKAY: Sam.

(Sam follows John while Rodney gazes appreciatively at her backside. Radek turns, sees what's doing and frowns. Rodney tries to look innocent.)

OFFWORLD TAVERN. Still sitting at the table, Ronon is wearing a wristband which has a pattern of holes in it. Rakia has set up a small kit beside his arm and is repeatedly tapping a needle into his wrist, tattooing a pattern onto his arm. Ronon's face is tensed against the pain. As Rakia continues to tap the needle into the same spot, Ronon winces.

DEX: Ow!

(He slaps Rakia around the face. Ara, partway through taking a mouthful of ale from her tankard, chokes with laughter.)

DEX (to Rakia): Stings, doesn't it?!

(Ara giggles. Ronon grins at his friends.)

DEX: What the hell have the three of you been doing all these years?

TYRE: Oh, eating, drinking, killing Wraith.

RAKAI: We've hit ‘em more times than I can count. Racked up a pretty nice body count.

ARA: Not to mention the twelve Darts we've downed.

RAKAI (pointing at her triumphantly): Ah!

(He goes back to tattooing Ronon's wrist.)

TYRE: We're armed, we're mobile, and occasionally we get some pretty good intel.

DEX: Oh, well, sounds like a pretty nice run. (He and Tyre clash their tankards together.)

TYRE: But there have been a few sacrifices.

DEX: Yeah, what do you mean?

TYRE: There were five of us who came out of that cave alive, but we lost Morika on the first assault against the Wraith, and then Hemi last year.

(Ronon sighs sadly.)

ARA: It hasn't been easy. We don't have much to work with, but we make do. Sometimes it's not enough.

DEX: Yeah, well, I might be able to help. I've got the manpower, the equipment. My friends and I, we can ...

(He trails off as he looks at Teyla, who looks back at him pointedly.)

DEX: Uh ... Anyway, um ... (He raises his tankard again.) To Morika and Hemi.

TYRE: To Morika and Hemi.

RAKAI: To Morika and Hemi. Morika and Hemi.

(They all clash their tankards and drink.)

ATLANTIS. SAM'S QUARTERS. Various cases and boxes have been brought to the room. A black leather jacket with the Atlantis arm patch is lying on the bed, together with a open case containing Sam's new everyday uniform, and a crate containing -- amongst other things -- a framed photograph of Jack O'Neill. Sam, who has now taken her dress jacket off, carries a small plastic box across to a table as a technician brings another box into the room and puts it down.

CARTER: Thank you.

(The technician nods and leaves the room again as Rodney walks in, holding a small bunch of flowers.)

CARTER: Hey, Rodney, come on in.

McKAY: Ah, I've brought you a little something to spruce up the place.

CARTER: Well, thank you. That's very sweet. (She points.) There's a vase right there.

(As Sam walks away to continue unpacking, Rodney smiles and turns to the table containing the vase. He stops and stares at the sight of the basket of fruit which he had been carrying earlier, which is also on the table. Sam turns and sees what he's looking at.)

CARTER: Oh, Colonel Sheppard dropped that off. Apparently it's a sampling of fruit from the homeworlds of our various trading partners.

McKAY: Oh.

CARTER: I thought it was a really thoughtful gesture.

McKAY: Son of a b... (He angrily dumps the flowers into the vase, then turns to Sam, pulling himself together.) Anyway, look, I just came by to welcome you to Atlantis, see how you're settling in and, you know, if you needed anything, and, uh, did I mention I was seeing someone?

CARTER: I'm sorry, what?

McKAY: I'm seeing someone. Yes, I only bring it up now because you're here now and we'll be working together a lot more and, you know, I just thought with our past ...

CARTER: Our “past”?

McKAY: Well, you know, the unrequited lust that's been hanging over our heads for what seems like forever. (He laughs and shoves his hands in his pockets.)

CARTER (shaking her head): Rodney ...

McKAY: I just don't want things to be awkward between the two of us, you know, uh ...

(He trails off as Sam looks stunned that he should still believe that she is in any way attracted to him.)

McKAY: ... kind of like they are now.

(Sam smiles uncomfortably.)

CARTER: Rodney, I'm sure we'll be fine.

McKAY: Oh, of course! I mean, I'll be fine; I'm just, with you ...

(Ronon walks in and goes straight over to Sam.)

DEX: I hear you're in charge.

McKAY: Uh, Ronon, this is Colonel Carter. Sam, this is Ronon. He's ...

CARTER: Satedan, and a member of your team. Of course. (She walks closer to Ronon.) What can I do for you?

DEX: I wanna bring some friends to Atlantis and apparently I've gotta clear it through you first.

CARTER: Unfortunately, some new security procedures prevent me from allowing any off-world visits to Atlantis for the time being.

DEX: On whose authority?

CARTER: It was a directive from the I.O.A.

DEX: Well, they don't need to know.

McKAY: Ronon, she's a ...

(Sam holds up her hand to indicate to Rodney that she can manage this.)

CARTER: I'm sure you understand what a precarious position we're in here. It is imperative that the location of this base remain a secret.

DEX: And it will. They're my people -- I'll vouch for them.

CARTER: I'm sure you can, but for now we're on a new planet with a new set of rules.

DEX: And a new person in charge.

(He walks closer to her, looking down at her sternly. She holds his gaze.)

DEX: Weir never would have doubted me.

CARTER: OK, first of all, Ronon, I'm not doubting you. These new regulations apply to everyone on this base. And secondly, I'm not Doctor Weir.

(Still holding her gaze, Ronon walks backwards for a few steps, then turns and leaves the room.)

CARTER: Wow! Is he always like that?

McKAY: No, no. No, actually, you've caught him on a good day.

OFFWORLD PLANET. Out in the village square, Tyre is teaching some kind of move to three small children. Following his lead, they cross their hands in front of them and then clasp their fingers together.

TYRE: OK, turn!

(The children all turn their hands to the right. Tyre points at them.)

TYRE: Work on it!

(Ronon walks over.)

DEX: Hey.

TYRE: Well, that was fast. (To the kids.) OK.

(He walks over to Ronon.)

DEX: Yeah, I said I would be.

TYRE: You could've taken your time. We like it here. We're thinking of staying on a few more days.

DEX: Then where will you go?

TYRE (shrugging): Wherever. That's one of the nice things about not being tied down. You go where you want and you leave when you're not wanted.

(Ronon grimaces.)

DEX: Yeah, well, I was hoping my people'd show a little bit more hospitality, but ...

TYRE: Don't worry about it. I understand. Not everybody gets an invitation to Atlantis.

(Ronon stops, then lowers his head briefly.)

TYRE: Don't look so surprised. You travel as much around this galaxy as we do and sooner or later you'll start hearing rumours about new people in the city of the Ancients and a Runner who joined them.

DEX: Man, I'm sorry. I wish I could have been straight with you from the start.

TYRE: They placed their trust in you and you proved them worthy. I wouldn't have expected any less.

DEX: Yeah, but still ...

TYRE: What? You thought they'd make an exception because it was you asking?

DEX: I'm supposed to be their friend.

TYRE: No. You're their ally, their guest. Me, Rakai, Ara -- we're your friends. I won't doubt they're good people; they helped you out when you needed it, and from what I hear, they've done more to hurt the Wraith than anyone. You've gotta respect that. But it doesn't mean you've got to commit to them. The way I see it, now that we're back together, you belong with us.

ATLANTIS. John walks onto the Control Room outside balcony where Sam is gazing over the city. She has changed into her Atlantis uniform.

SHEPPARD: Pretty impressive, isn't it?

CARTER: To be honest, it's a little overwhelming.

SHEPPARD: Coming from somebody with your record, that says somethin'.

CARTER: You know, John, your name was on the shortlist.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I know. I saw what they did to Elizabeth -- the politics and the red tape. I didn't envy her. I don't envy you.

CARTER: Thanks!

SHEPPARD: You know, for most of us, this thing with Elizabeth isn't over yet. She's still out there.

CARTER: You really believe there's a chance she's still alive?

SHEPPARD: There's only one way to know for sure.

CARTER: You're suggesting we go back.

SHEPPARD: We should have done it sooner, but the I.O.A.'s been stonewalling me. Now that you're in charge, maybe you can give me the green light.

CARTER: I'm sorry, but it's too dangerous.

SHEPPARD: It's no more dangerous than the last time we went in.

CARTER: Circumstances were different, plus you had an advantage then that you don't have now.

SHEPPARD: Well, she's the one who gave us that advantage. The only reason we're here is because of what she did.

CARTER: Believe me, I know, and I don't like the idea of leaving someone behind any more than you do. But I am not about to send you or anyone else on a suicide mission. Now, you come to me with a plan that has even an outside chance of succeeding and I'll consider it. Short of that, John, I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do.

SHEPPARD (reluctantly): Fair enough.

GYM. Ronon, twirling an Athosian fighting stick, paces around Teyla, who is standing in the middle of the room blindfolded and holding two sticks. She turns, following the sound of his feet and the whistling made by the stick as he twirls it. He feints with the stick to her right but she just turns her head and doesn't lunge towards the sound. He then surges towards her and attacks but she fends off his blow and, as he runs past her, she wallops him across the side of his head. He drops to one knee, groaning, and puts his hand to his head.

TEYLA: You seem distracted today.

DEX: Oh, no, I'm fine.

TEYLA: What's wrong?

DEX: There's nothing. I told you -- I'm fine.

TEYLA: Very well. I suppose we should just continue training.

(She whacks him across the head again. He groans.)

DEX: There's nothing.

(Teyla slams her stick across his head again. He groans, scrambles to his feet and walks away from her.)

DEX: OK! Stop hitting me!

(Teyla pulls her blindfold off and waits.)

DEX: I'm thinking of leaving Atlantis.

(Teyla looks upset.)

TEYLA: Where would you go?

(Ronon looks at her as if to ask, “Where do you think?”)

TEYLA: Must it come down to a choice between Atlantis and your Satedan friends?

DEX: They're more than my friends, Teyla. They're my family. We've always been there for each other. You wouldn't understand.

TEYLA: I disagree. Leaving my fellow Athosians for a home here in Atlantis was a very difficult decision. I was their leader -- for some, the only leader they'd ever known. And despite the fact that I was as close as a trip through the Stargate, there were moments when I felt I'd betrayed them.

DEX: So, what, you got over it?

TEYLA: No! I sometimes still second-guess my decision. But then I remember that I can do more here to help my people and the rest of the humans in this galaxy than I ever could on my homeworld.

MESS HALL. Ronon is sitting at a table eating a meal. John comes over with a tray and sits down opposite him.

DEX: Teyla's already spoken to you, hasn't she?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, well, we had a little chat.

DEX: Hmm. So, let's hear it.

SHEPPARD: Hear what?

DEX: Whatever you've got to say.

SHEPPARD: Not gonna say anything.

DEX (not believing him): Really?

SHEPPARD: I don't have to, because you already know what I'm gonna tell you: that you're a valuable member of my team and that it would be difficult to find somebody to take your place.

DEX: Mmm-hmm.

SHEPPARD: And that you may think you're going back to find something you've lost, but there's nothing to go back to. Sateda's gone, and living on the run with your buddies isn't gonna bring that back.

DEX: You're not gonna say any of that.

SHEPPARD: I don't have to.

DEX: Look, this isn't about me trying to bring back the past.

SHEPPARD: Well, then, what is it?

DEX: They need me. They always have. I'm the one that took care of them, got them home alive whenever we went into battle.

SHEPPARD: You're one man, Ronon. You can't expect to protect them forever.

DEX: Probably not ... but that's where you guys come in. We got some intel on a Wraith target.

SHEPPARD: The Wraith and the Replicators are kind of beating the crap out of each other right now. I think it's counterproductive to run an op against ‘em.

DEX: I have a feeling you'll change your mind once you hear the details.

SHEPPARD: Let's hear it.

DEX: Not yet. I want Tyre, Ara and Rakai in on this.

OFFWORLD TAVERN. Team Sheppard are sitting with the Satedans.

SHEPPARD: You wanna hit a Wraith lab?

(Tyre nods.)

SHEPPARD: No offence, but that's awfully close to crazy talk territory.

ARA: It's a weapons research facility. From what we've heard, the place is undermanned.

TYRE: We know the Wraith are being attacked on several fronts. They don't have the resources any more to properly guard all their facilities.

McKAY: Still, she did say “undermanned” rather than “unmanned.” There is a big difference.

TYRE: It won't matter. We can handle it.

SHEPPARD: Then why do you need our help to pull it off?

TYRE: We don't, but we will need your help to get away once we're done.

SHEPPARD: I see. We're your designated drivers.

(Tyre pulls a diagram of the lab complex from his coat, opens it and puts it on the table for John to look at.)

TYRE: This is our target. It's located a good half day's journey from the Gate on foot. Having a ship would make things a whole lot easier getting us in and out before any reinforcements arrive.

RAKAI: Don't worry -- all you've gotta do is fly. We'll do the leg work.

SHEPPARD: Well, that's very considerate of you, but if we commit, we're all-in.

McKAY: And I really don't see why we would. I mean, sure, it would be great to get our hands on some new Wraith tech, but, um ... maybe if we stumbled across a stockpile, or maybe bought some off of eBay ...

SHEPPARD: I think what he's trying to say is, we're not really sure if we wanna risk our life for something like this. Maybe wait a month or two; let the Replicators and the Wraith soften each other up, then we do lunch, we talk about it again.

DEX: One of the things they're working on right now in the lab's a way to switch off the Replicator attack code.

(The rest of the Atlantis team look shocked.)

TEYLA: Is such a thing even possible?

McKAY: The code's been deactivated once before. I mean, who knows, it could have been the Wraith who did it the first time.

DEX: We can't let it happen.

TEYLA: No. If the war with the Replicators ends, then the Wraith will once again be able to direct their attention to the rest of the galaxy.

(Tyre looks at John.)

TYRE: So ... are you in?

LATER. John and Ronon walk through the village.

SHEPPARD: Your buddies seem like a perfectly capable enough bunch, but if I do this, the last thing I need is someone going off half-cocked and risking this op and, well, oh yeah, our asses.

DEX: This isn't the first time doing this job.

SHEPPARD: It may be the first time doing it with company, though, and I don't want it turning into a big pissing match.

DEX: Yeah, I'll keep my group in line; you do the same for yours.

SHEPPARD: Last time I checked, it was your group too.

(Ronon groans quietly and stops.)

DEX: Yeah.

(John turns to face him.)

DEX: Look, I was gonna wait to tell you this, but I've made my decision. Once we finish this op, I'm gonna be leaving Atlantis.

ATLANTIS. Ronon's doorbell has apparently just sounded, as he goes to the doors and swipes his hand across the wall panel. The doors open and he finds Sam standing outside. She smiles at him a little apologetically. Ronon waves his hand in a way that indicates that he'd been expecting her to come by, and then gestures into the room.

DEX: Come on in.

(Sam follows him into the room. It's rather messy, with stuff scattered all around. On the wall above the bed is a painting of three Satedans in uniform standing in the burned ruins of Sateda. The sky is red behind them. One person is wielding a sword, one is aiming his rifle, and the Satedan in the middle is holding his rifle into the air in defiance of the Wraith destruction. Ronon walks over the bed, which has a large bag on it, and starts putting more stuff into it.)

CARTER: Packing?

DEX: Yeah.

CARTER: You know, the fact that you brought all this stuff here tells me that you considered Atlantis home -- that you were happy here.

DEX: Hmm, I was. I am.

CARTER: Your friends are worried about you.

DEX: Well, they shouldn't be. I can take care of myself. (He continues packing.)

CARTER: That's not the point. When you accepted the offer to join Atlantis, you became a part of something. Like it or not, you have roots here now -- people who care about you, who depend on you. Walking away may be a lot harder than you think.

DEX: I'm not walking away. Just because I'm not a part of Sheppard's team does not mean I'm any less willing to help out Atlantis or put my life on the line for any of you.

CARTER: I'm not questioning your loyalty, Ronon, only the wisdom in leaving if, as you say, you don't wanna turn your back on Atlantis. Coordinating our efforts with you and your friends may not be so easy.

DEX: We're about to find out, aren't we?

(Sam sighs.)

CARTER: I need you to reconsider your decision to leave.

DEX: And if I don't, given everything that I know about Atlantis, you're gonna try to stop me.

CARTER: I'm hoping it won't come to that.

WRAITH PLANET. A Puddle Jumper flies through the open Stargate and cloaks as it heads off. On board are Team Sheppard and what I suppose we must now call Team Dex.

TYRE: Put us down near the south end. We'll meet less resistance if we access this place through the back.


TYRE: Once we head in, we'll take the lead. You watch our backs.

SHEPPARD: D'you know where you're going?

TYRE: Our target is located somewhere on the second level.

McKAY: Uh, maybe you could be a little more specific?

TYRE: We don't have an exact floor plan, if that's what you're asking. The whole second level is a high security sector.

TEYLA: If you are unsure, would it not be counter-productive for us to follow you?

RAKAI: It's better this way. These Wraith facilities are very confusing. We know what we're looking for.

McKAY: Oh, and we don't? This isn't exactly our first op, you know.

RAKAI: Really? How many Wraith have you killed in hand-to-hand combat?

McKAY: I hardly think that's what this is about.

RAKAI: That's what I thought.

McKAY: You know, we've taken out entire hive ships, OK? Compared to us, you are amateurs.

(Rakai starts to lunge towards Rodney but Ronon grabs him and pushes him back.)

DEX: Easy.

SHEPPARD: If we can't play nice together, then let's not. We've got a lot of ground to cover and a short amount of time, so we will follow your lead, then we'll split up into two teams once we reach the second level. Are you cool with that?

(Tyre looks round to Ronon, who nods to him.)

TYRE (to John): Yes.


(The control panel beeps.)

SHEPPARD: Approaching target location.

WRAITH WEAPONS RESEARCH FACILITY. Team Dex force the outside door open and hurry inside, aiming their weapons around. The three members of Team Sheppard follow them. They all make their way inside, John checking his life signs detector frequently. Moving onwards, Ronon guns down a Wraith guard. More guards hear the shot and head towards them but Ronon and Tyre shoot them down. Tyre finds a closed door.

TYRE: This is it.

(He starts to type on the panel by the door but nothing happens.)

McKAY: Hurry up!

DEX: I got it.

(Tyre moves out of the way and Ronon raises his blaster and fires at the panel. The panel fritzes, and the doors open to reveal a small chamber, about the same size as an elevator car.)

TYRE: Everybody in.

(While Tyre and John continue to keep watch, everybody else goes into the chamber, then Tyre and John follow. Tyre activates a panel on the inside wall and the doors close. A moment later, a Wraith transporter beam whisks them away. This is the Wraith version of an elevator/transporter and the teams rematerialise elsewhere in the facility. Wraith guards are standing nearby and turn as the teams arrive, but the humans all open fire and gun them down.)

TYRE (indicating a direction): We'll go this way; you go that way.

(John checks his life signs detector again.)

SHEPPARD: Contact us if you find anything.

DEX: Yeah.

(Team Dex starts to head off, but Ronon turns to John for a moment.)

DEX: Good luck.

(John nods to him, then he, Teyla and Rodney walk off in the opposite direction. Ronon watches them go for several seconds, then Ara calls his attention.)

ARA: Ronon.

DEX: Let's go.

(He and Ara hurry off after the other two.)

CORRIDORS. Team Sheppard make their way through corridors, and find themselves in a food storage chamber. Several humans are sealed in cocoons.

SHEPPARD: What do you think? Test subjects?

McKAY: Or the Wraith version of a vending machine.

SHEPPARD: I hate to be the guy to say it, but we can't really help these people. We've gotta keep moving.

McKAY: Right.

(Reluctantly, they leave the chamber and head off down more corridors.)

SHEPPARD: This thing's been way too quiet and way too easy.

McKAY: I kinda like quiet and easy. Makes for a nice change.

(John's life signs detector shows several signals around a corner up ahead of them.)


(As a Wraith guard comes around the corner, John opens fire on it. A second guard comes into view.)

(Some distance away, Ronon and his team hear the distinctive sound of P-90 fire. Immediately Ronon turns and races off in the direction of the sound.)

RAKAI: Ronon, wait!

(He tries to grab Ronon's arm as he runs past, but doesn't succeed in stopping him.)

(At Team Sheppard's position, more and more guards are coming around the corner. One of them gets in a lucky shot and Teyla is hit by a stunner blast. She crumples to the floor, unconscious. Still firing, John backs up, grabs Teyla's vest and starts to haul her along the floor as Rodney provides more covering fire. John drags Teyla around the corner, then runs back out and continues firing. Rodney runs to a closed door further along the corridor and tries to activate the wall panel.)

SHEPPARD: Rodney, get that door open!

(As John continues firing at approaching Wraith, Rodney keeps pressing buttons on the wall panel but can't activate the doors.)

McKAY: Ah, to hell with it!

(Stepping back several paces, he turns his head away from the door and, flinching, fires a burst of bullets at the panel. He looks at the panel but still the doors won't open.)

McKAY: Ah, come on, it worked for him!

(Nearby, Ronon races through the corridors, gunning down any Wraith that are unfortunate enough to come into his sight.)

(At the door, Rodney has now forced his hand into the wall and, to the accompaniment of unpleasant squelching noises, is trying to manipulate the fibres inside. John continues to fire at approaching Wraith while ducking out of the way of stunner blasts. At long last the doors slide open.)

McKAY: Ha! I did it!

(John looks towards him, and is promptly hit by a stunner blast. Rodney stares in shock as John slumps to the ground. A few seconds later a Wraith guard walks around the corner and looks around but seems to be unconcerned. A second guard walks over to John, disarms him, picks him up by the vest and drags him off. The first guard does the same to Teyla. A male Wraith walks into view, looks around the corridor and then walks away. Once the corridor is deserted, Rodney, who had managed to squeeze inside the fibres on the wall, opens a gap in the fibres and peers out.)

LATER. Rodney cautiously makes his way along the corridor, nearly having a heart attack when Tyre, Rakai and Ara come around a corner. He sighs in relief.

McKAY: Oh, thank God it's you three! They got Teyla and Sheppard and ...

(Rakai raises his stunner and shoots Rodney. As Rodney whines and drops to the floor, the male Wraith walks into the midst of the others and looks down at Rodney.)

WRAITH: Bring him.

(Rakai squats down and looks into Rodney's unconscious face.)

RAKAI: Who's the amateur now?

(He picks him up by the vest and drags him away.)

ATLANTIS GATEROOM. The Stargate is active. Ronon comes flying through the Gate backwards and crashes to the floor, still firing back into the event horizon. Radek, standing nearby, looks down at him in shock.

ZELENKA: Ronon! What happened?

DEX (scrambling to his feet): I need to talk to Colonel Carter right away.

(He races up the stairs as Radek watches him go, bewildered.)

WRAITH WEAPONS RESEARCH FACILITY. Teyla has regained consciousness and is standing looking around the cell that she's in. John and Rodney are still unconscious on the floor but just then John groans and starts to come round. Teyla goes over to him.

TEYLA: John, are you all right?

SHEPPARD: Bit of a hangover. (He sits up painfully.) The fact that Ronon and his buddies aren't here is a good sign.

McKAY (drowsily): Not really. (He drags himself into a sitting position.) Ronon's buddies are the reason we're here. They set us up.

SHEPPARD: What are you talking about?

McKAY: I ran into them while I was trying to esc... while I was effecting a strategic retreat. They stunned me.

SHEPPARD: Are you sure?

McKAY: It's pretty hard to misinterpret something like that.

TEYLA: Was Ronon with them?

McKAY: I didn't see him.

(The male Wraith and two guards come to the doorway. The Wraith points down to Rodney.)

WRAITH: That one.

(The boys scramble to their feet as the door slides open.)

SHEPPARD: Hold on here, guys ...

(One of the guards shoots him and he drops to the floor again. Teyla looks on anxiously as a guard grabs Rodney's jacket and bundles him out of the cell.)

TEYLA: Rodney!

(The door closes again.)

TEYLA: Stay strong, Rodney!

McKAY (nervously): I'll try.

ATLANTIS INFIRMARY. As a medic tries to treat a burn on Ronon's arm, he snatches it away.

DEX: I said I'm fine.

(Sam and Radek are standing nearby.)

DEX: I tried to radio Sheppard but got no response from him, Teyla or McKay.

ZELENKA: And what about the Satedans?

DEX: We got separated. I'm guessing the Wraith got to them too.

ZELENKA: So much for this op being a cakewalk.

CARTER: OK, we've gone from support to rescue and recovery. Doctor Zelenka, ready a Jumper.

ZELENKA: Yes, Colonel.

DEX: They'll be expecting us.

CARTER (to Radek): Make that two Jumpers.

WRAITH WEAPONS RESEARCH FACILITY. Rodney is walking along with the male Wraith, followed by the guards.

McKAY (nervously): Would you guys mind telling me where we're going? Seriously, I'm not big on surprises. Even as a kid I had to sneak a peek at my Christmas presents, ‘cause I couldn't stand the suspense. I remember this one time ...

WRAITH: We require your assistance.

McKAY: With what?

WRAITH: You tampered with the Replicator base code.

McKAY: I don't know what you're talking about.

(The Wraith looks at him.)

McKAY: ... OK, I may have made a few small adjustments. So what?

WRAITH: This is not the first time they have challenged us.

McKAY: Oh, so it was the Wraith that deactivated the attack code.

WRAITH: Many thousands of years ago. We had defeated the Ancients -- the galaxy was ours, and then these things appeared.

McKAY: I take it you're not a big fan ...

WRAITH: They are an abomination. They're not even alive.

McKAY: In other words, you can't eat them, so they're no good to you.

WRAITH: They are machines. Machines can be reprogrammed.

McKAY: OK, fine, so what do you want from me?

WRAITH: We have attempted to upload the deactivation virus once again. Our attempts have been unsuccessful. We need you to undo the changes you made so as to render the virus once more effective against them.

McKAY: Of course! I see. Thing is, that could be kinda tricky.

WRAITH: The test subject will make things easier for you.

McKAY: Test subject?

(Doors open nearby onto a lab. Suspended in mid-air inside a force shield of some kind is a male wearing a very recognisable uniform.)

McKAY: A Replicator! Oh my God!

(The Wraith grabs Rodney's jacket and pushes him inside the lab.)

ATLANTIS. A Puddle Jumper lowers down into the Gateroom. The Stargate is active. Inside the Jumper, Sam is sitting in the co-pilot's seat with Ronon sitting behind her.

CARTER: I've thought about it, and I want you to know that when the time comes, I'll respect whatever decision you make regarding your future with us.

(Ronon leans closer to her.)

DEX: This could be the one and only op we go on together.

(Sam smiles and looks round at him.)

CARTER: Then we'd better make the most of it.

WRAITH WEAPONS RESEARCH FACILITY. Rodney is working on his laptop computer in front of the suspended Replicator. The male Wraith walks in.

WRAITH: Doctor McKay. How is your work progressing?

McKAY: Uh, it's been kinda slow. I mean, re-establishing the base code's original setting isn't something I'll be able to accomplish overnight.

WRAITH: Colonel Sheppard and Teyla will be most disappointed to hear this. I'll see to it.

(He turns to leave.)

McKAY (hurriedly): I think I might be able to get it finished much sooner.

(The Wraith turns back to him.)

WRAITH: I understand your desire to delay, in the hope that it'll give your people time to mount a rescue. In fact, I just received word they're on their way ... but we are ready for them.

(He leaves the room. Rodney stares after him in dread for a moment, then turns to look at the Replicator. It is awake and moving a little inside the field, and is looking at him in hatred. Rodney grimaces and gets back to work.)

Outside the facility, a Puddle Jumper swoops past the building. Two Darts take off and chase after it. A short distance away, the other Jumper, cloaked, watches as its sister ship leads the Darts away.

JUMPER TWO PILOT (over radio): OK, they're moving away.

CARTER: Thank you, Jumper Two. (She turns to her pilot.) Take us in, Lieutenant.


(As Jumper One heads for the facility, we see that Radek is also on board, sitting behind the pilot.)

A little later, Ronon activates the exterior door of the facility and it slides open. Sam crouches down and rolls a grenade along the floor. She, Ronon and two marines duck back as the grenade explodes and kills several Wraith guards. Before the smoke can clear, she and Ronon surge around the corner and fire down the corridor in case there are any more guards left standing, then both of them step aside and gesture the marines to move out.

MARINE: Go, go!

(He and his colleague race off down the corridor as Radek enters the building, looking down at a hand-held scanner as he goes. He runs the scanner over the walls and it beeps. He points.)

ZELENKA: There's a power relay behind this wall here.

(Sam nods and gestures for him to move away. She raises her P-90 and fires a burst of bullets into the wall.)

(In the lab, Rodney looks up at the distant sound of gunfire. Shortly afterwards, the lights go out in the lab. Emergency lighting comes on a couple of seconds later. Rodney turns and stares at the force shield as it begins to fritz. The Replicator looks up in anticipation as Rodney gazes at him in dread.)

Outside the cell, gunfire takes a Wraith guard down. John and Teyla walk to the doorway as Sam and her team -- minus Ronon -- come into view and open the door.

CARTER: You all right?

SHEPPARD: Well, it's about time! Any longer and we would have had to save ourselves!

(One of the marines starts handing weapons to John and Teyla.)

TEYLA: Did Ronon manage to make it back to Atlantis?

CARTER: He did.

TEYLA: Where is he?

CARTER: We've split up to cover more ground. (To a marine) Secure the entrance. (To John and Teyla) Let's go.

CORRIDORS. Elsewhere, Ronon is racing down corridors. He swings around a corner, then sighs in relief as he sees his Satedan friends coming towards him. They all lower their weapons, and Ronon pats them on the shoulder before turning.

DEX: All right, come on. Let's get out of here.

(He starts to lead them away, but just as he reaches the doorway the male Wraith walks in. Ronon presses the barrel of his blaster against the Wraith's head.)

DEX: Where are you holding them?

WRAITH: Why don't you ask your friends?

(Slowly Ronon turns his head, to see all of his ‘friends' aiming their weapons at him. Ronon stares in disbelief.)

LAB. As Rodney works feverishly on his laptop, the sound of gunfire can be heard. The Wraith guard in the doorway raises its stunner and fires a couple of shots down the corridor but is then gunned down. Grabbing his laptop, Rodney dives for cover behind the console. John, Teyla and Sam run in.

SHEPPARD: All clear.

McKAY: All clear?! You could have shot me!

(Just then, the force shield around the Replicator starts fritzing even more badly, then disengages. The Replicator drops to the floor, landing on his feet.)

McKAY: Oh, no. Oh, no.

(As the Replicator straightens up, John, Teyla and Sam aim their rifles at him. The Replicator looks around for a moment, then starts to walk towards them. They fire hails of bullets at him, but they have no effect and all the bullet holes in his body heal instantly. The Replicator turns and leaves the room. John, taking the opportunity to reload his rifle, follows him and watches as he heads towards a couple of Replicator guards. They fire their stunners at him but again have no effect. The Replicator easily disarms them and smashes both of them to the ground.)

SHEPPARD: Let's go find Ronon.

ELSEWHERE. Ronon lowers his blaster, still gazing at his friends in shock.

WRAITH: Deal with him.

(It walks away as Ronon stares at his friends in horror.)

DEX: You're Wraith worshippers?!

TYRE: Ronon, you need to understand ...

DEX (anguished): After what they did to Sateda?!

TYRE: Sateda is gone, and so are the lives we knew. We had a choice: to die with the past, or live for the future.

DEX: What did they do to you?

ARA: They rewarded us with the gift of ever-lasting life. The same gift can be yours if you're willing to accept it. We resisted at first. We were stubborn ... but the Wraith were determined.

(In flashback, the male Wraith slams its fist onto Ara's chest, snarling. She screams as it begins to feed.)

ARA (voiceover): They showed us our futures.

(The Wraith is now feeding on Tyre, and he becomes white-haired and old. Ara too has white hair and is ancient: her eyes are blind and she is near death.)

ARA (voiceover): They allowed us to experience our life's end, pushing us to the brink so that we could see the truth ...

(Tyre's face becomes young again.)

ARA: ... then brought us back.

(Ronon looks at Tyre, whose face is filled with the memories of the horrors of that time. In flashback, Ara, Tyre and Rakai continue to be aged and then restored repeatedly.)

ARA (voiceover): They showed us again, and again, and again.

DEX (disgusted): So they broke you.

ARA: Until we finally accepted the truth, and their gift.

TYRE: Ronon, join us.

(Ronon snorts.)

DEX: You're insane.

ARA (raising her weapon and pointing it at him again): Don't let your pride get in the way ... like Morika and Hemi.

(Ronon glares at her as he realises the truth.)

DEX: They didn't die on any run, did they? They were murdered because they wouldn't turn.

TYRE: They were killed by their own stubbornness. Don't make the same mistake. Join us!

DEX: No. Never. You run -- you run. Run and get away while you can, because the next time we meet, it will not be as friends.

TYRE: There won't be a next time.

(He holsters his weapon and starts to unstrap his gun belt.)

TYRE: We'll finish this like true Satedans.

DEX (furiously): You are not Satedans!

(He starts to unbuckle his own gun belt, as does Ara. Rakai drops his weapon to the floor and kicks it aside. Ronon slaps his own legs and chest and then roars, working himself into a frenzy, and Ara and Rakai run at him, Ara screaming. He cuffs Ara aside, ducks under Rakai's intended blow and engages all three of them. The fight continues for some time, Ronon holding his own against the three of them but after he has managed to knock Rakai and Ara to the floor, Tyre leaps into the air behind him and kicks him hard in the back. As Ronon stumbles round, Tyre punches him hard in the face. The two of them trade blows for some while longer, evenly matched. Eventually Ronon manages to grab both of Tyre's wrists and holds them pinned in front of him. Glaring fiercely, Tyre slams his leg up and into Ronon's side. Ronon grunts but doesn't let go. Tyre kicks him again. Ronon grins savagely at him. It's a stalemate ... but just then behind him, Rakai stands up and pulls out a knife.)

TYRE: Rakai, no!

(Ronon looks at Rakai, then turns and glares at Tyre.)

DEX: So much for honour.

(Ara runs over to Rakai, grabbing his arm.)

ARA: No weapons!

(Instinctively in his battle rage, Rakai turns and savagely slashes his knife across her throat. She stumbles backwards, her hand to her throat as blood pours over her fingers. Gagging, she collapses to the floor. Rakai looks at her for a moment, then screams and rushes towards Ronon. Ronon, still clutching Tyre's wrists, hurls him across the room, then turns to face Rakai who slashes him across the face. Ronon stumbles back, clutching his face and screaming in pain, but he's ready when Rakai comes at him again and they struggle for the knife. Ronon grabs Rakai's wrist with both hands and pulls his arm across his own body, stretching it to its limit. He jerks the arm down, causing Rakai to release the knife, and instantly slams the knife into Rakai's chest. Blood pours from Rakai's mouth as he gasps in agony. Ronon drops the knife to the floor and pulls Rakai to him in anguish as they both drop to their knees. Nearby, Tyre gets to his feet and looks across at Ara's body. Ronon too looks at her, and then drops Rakai to the floor.)

(There's a moment, and then Ronon rises to his feet with his back to Tyre. Blood is pouring from the side of his face where he was slashed, and his mouth is bloody from the punches he has taken. He glares into the distance, then glances over his shoulder towards Tyre.)

DEX: Hasn't there been enough killing?

(Tyre doesn't answer.)

DEX (angrily): Huh?

(Without a word, Tyre backs away and leaves the room.)

CORRIDORS. John, Teyla, Rodney and Sam run along but then slow down, startled, at the sight of dead Wraith guards everywhere. The Replicator has obviously been having fun. Rodney spots something approaching out of the shadows and raises his rifle. John instantly does likewise. A moment later, everyone lowers their weapons as they see that it's Ronon.

CARTER: Ronon, where are your friends?

(Ronon looks at John, Rodney and Teyla.)

DEX: They're right here. Let's go home.

ATLANTIS. NIGHT TIME. Ronon is sitting on the bed in his quarters, looking at the tattoo that Rakai gave him earlier. He gazes off into the distance, lost in memories, then looks round as Teyla comes in, carrying a large picture frame.

DEX: Is that my painting?

TEYLA (smiling): Yes. Rodney felt that you should have it back.

DEX: I didn't give it to him.

McKAY: He helped himself, assuming that you were leaving it behind.

(Ronon looks at the painting for a moment, then props it on a chair before turning to look at Teyla. They exchange a long look, but Ronon's obviously not going to speak first.)

TEYLA: How are you feeling?

DEX: Um ... (He thinks for a moment, then smiles slightly.) All right.

TEYLA: It's nice to have you back.

DEX: Thanks. It's good to be back.

(Teyla smiles and leaves the room. Ronon sits down and gazes at the painting.)