Infection

Transcript

Summary | Production | Transcript | Fan Reviews

After Todd's hive ship shows up over Atlantis transmitting a distress call, the team discovers that he and his crew have been stricken with a disease they helped create.

EPISODE #517
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12.05.08
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 04.26.10
DVD DISC: Season 5, Disc 5
WRITTEN BY: Alan McCullough
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
DOWNLOAD NOW:
  Amazon    iTunes

Transcript by Callie Sullivan

ATLANTIS. Richard Woolsey, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex are in the Control Room watching the wallscreen which shows a ship approaching the planet.

DEX: How long 'til they get here?

McKAY: Just a matter of minutes.

WOOLSEY: Are we prepared to cloak the city?

McKAY: Yes, I've made all the necessary modifications but – for the record – I still say the shield is a better idea.

TEYLA: Rodney ...

McKAY: Look, that cloak offers us no protection whatsoever. If that Hive opens up on us ...

WOOLSEY: How could they do that? They'd have to know our exact position on the planet.

McKAY: What, you're assuming they don't? Look, we've been tracking them for days; they're headed straight for us. I think it's safe to say they've got some inside information.

WOOLSEY: Even so, it's better not to confirm our location until we know for sure. No sense in giving them an easy target to shoot at. (Into his radio) Colonel Sheppard, what's your status?

(John Sheppard is in the Chair Room sitting in the Control Chair. It is reclined and activated.)

SHEPPARD: Standing by.

WOOLSEY: Be prepared to fire drones on my mark.

SHEPPARD: Copy that. Just say the word.

(Richard closes his eyes briefly and takes a deep breath.)

WOOLSEY: Well, I suppose we're as prepared as we can be. (To Rodney) Engage the cloak.

McKAY (unhappily): Right.

(He sits down and types. From an outside perspective, the city disappears as the cloak activates.)

McKAY: OK. Cloak's engaged. They should be here momentarily.

(Out in space a hyperspace window opens and a Hive ship emerges from it and heads towards New Lantea. In the Control Room Richard looks at the wallscreen.)

WOOLSEY: What's happening?

McKAY: Nothing. From what I can tell, they're just sitting there.

TEYLA: Do they know we're here?

(Rodney's console beeps.)

McKAY: Whoa. Hang on. We're receiving a transmission. It's a file of some kind.

WOOLSEY: Pull it up on a firewalled computer.

McKAY: Yeah.

(He moves to another console and types again. Random Wraith lettering appears on the screen.)

DEX: What's it say?

McKAY: It's nothing, it's just a random bunch of ...

(He pauses, then clicks his fingers.)

McKAY: Wait a second.

(He begins to type again.)

WOOLSEY: What is it?

McKAY: Well, it's encrypted, using the same kind of algorithm we use on the Daedalus.

(He types some more and the screen changes to an image of Todd the Wraith.)

TODD: Hold your fire ...

(The image jumps.)

TODD: ... the gene therapy developed by Doctor Keller ...

(The image jumps again.)

TODD: ... the formulation ...

(It jumps again.)

WOOLSEY: What's going on?

McKAY: I don't know. Looks like the file's corrupted somehow.

TODD: ... was unable to counteract the disease ... Help us.

(The picture disappears and the screen shows the message “FILE ERROR”.)

WOOLSEY: What on Earth does that mean?

McKAY: I have no idea.


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The team in the Control Room have explained the situation over radio to John in the Chair Room.

SHEPPARD: What do you mean, you didn't understand him?

McKAY: The file was corrupted. We were only able to catch a few words here and there.

WOOLSEY: Though from what we could tell, it seemed like he was asking for our help.

SHEPPARD: With what?

McKAY: Something to do with Jennifer's gene therapy.

SHEPPARD: We already gave him a chance to test it. He double crossed us.

DEX: I say we blow 'em out of the sky.

WOOLSEY: I can't say I disagree with you, though I do find it odd he would just show up here, knowing that would likely be our reaction.

TEYLA: And why send a file? Why not just radio us directly?

McKAY: Whatever he wants, it must be really important.

TEYLA: Perhaps we should answer back – tell them that we did not receive the file properly.

McKAY: If we do that, we might as well just drop the cloak. I mean, they'll be able to trace our radio signal and know exactly where we are. No. We might be able to do it from the Jumper, though. You know, approach the Hive cloaked and communicate with them from there.

WOOLSEY: But then they will be able to pinpoint the Jumper's exact location.

McKAY: Yes, but the Jumper's a lot more manoeuvrable than the city. Look, besides, this isn't the first time we've flown up to Todd's doorstep in a Jumper.

WOOLSEY: Any chance you could clean up that video – piece together more of what he's saying?

McKAY: No, there's too much data missing. That is as good as we're gonna get.

WOOLSEY: All right. (Into radio) Colonel?

SHEPPARD: On my way.

(He sits up in the Chair, which deactivates, then stands up and leaves the room.)


LATER. A Puddle Jumper heads into space, cloaking as it goes. Team Sheppard is on board.

SHEPPARD: Coming up on it now. (He activates the comms.) This is Colonel John Sheppard, please come in.

(There's no reply.)

SHEPPARD: We didn't receive your video transmission correctly. Please respond.

(He looks at Rodney.)

SHEPPARD: Are they getting this?

McKAY: Well, they should be. I mean, there's no reason why they w...

(He trails off as he looks at his console.)

McKAY: Woah.

DEX: What is it?

McKAY: I'm not picking up any life signs on board.

SHEPPARD: What?!

TEYLA: I believe Rodney is correct. I have also not been able to detect the presence of any Wraith. I thought it was because we were too far, but this makes more sense.

SHEPPARD: It does?!

DEX: This better not be a Wraith ship from another reality.

McKAY: We've been tracking their approach for a few days now, remember? They didn't just pop into our space like that other Daedalus did. Look, we know that they don't show up on our scans when they're hibernating. I think that's probably a more logical explanation.

SHEPPARD: Hibernating? All of them?

McKAY: Well, they could have pre-programmed the ship to fly here on its own, enter orbit, even send a pre-recorded signal.

DEX: Why?

McKAY: There's only one way to find out.

(John sighs and activates the comms. In the Control Room, Technician Banks reports to Richard.)

BANKS: We're receiving a signal. It's Colonel Sheppard on a secure channel.

WOOLSEY: Patch me in.

(Amelia does so.)

WOOLSEY: Colonel, what's happening up there?

SHEPPARD: Well, the Wraith have thrown us a little curve ball here. We've got no life signs on board; we think they're hibernating.

WOOLSEY: Why would they do that?

SHEPPARD: That's what we'd like to find out, but it means boarding the ship.

WOOLSEY: Are you sure that's wise? What if it's a trap?

SHEPPARD: Well, if it is, it's a pretty lousy one. If they ambush us, you can still take 'em out from down there.

WOOLSEY: Sacrificing your lives.

SHEPPARD: I'm flattered you think Todd would go to so much trouble to kill me. Look, taking out a Hive ship is always a good idea as far as I'm concerned, but we did come all this way ... got all dressed up.

WOOLSEY: All right.


LATER. The team is on board the Hive ship and making its way cautiously through the corridors.

SHEPPARD: No sign of 'em yet.

McKAY: Why is it that I find empty Hives even creepier than ones that are full of Wraith?

SHEPPARD: Trust me, we're better off this way.

DEX: The Bridge should be up here.

(They make their way onto the Bridge.)

McKAY: All right, just give me a few seconds.

(He goes over to one of the consoles.)

McKAY: All right.

(He activates it and looks at the screen.)

McKAY: Well, I was right. They're all in their hibernation pods.

DEX: Where?

McKAY: There are several large chambers in the aft section of the Hive. The weird thing is, though, if I'm reading this right, they haven't given themselves a wake-up call.

DEX: What are you talking about?

McKAY: Well, the normal operating procedure would be to leave a few crewmembers awake so that they could monitor the pods and bring the others out when it's time but, since they all went in, I would have assumed there'd be some kind of a automatic or timed shutdown protocol but I can't find one.

TEYLA: So if we do not wake them ...

McKAY: ... then they never will.

DEX: Sounds good to me!

TEYLA: Do you not find it odd that Todd would leave himself and his entire crew to our mercy? Especially after our last encounter.

DEX: Maybe he's not as smart as you think he is.

(The lights all around the room fritz momentarily.)

SHEPPARD: What was that?

McKAY: Some kind of power fluctuation. (He looks at the screen.) I'm reading minor malfunctions in several of the ship's systems. Hang on ... I've got Todd's video file. Looks like it's intact.

SHEPPARD: Thought you said it was corrupted?

McKAY: Well, it must have happened in transmission – some kind of a glitch in the comm system. The original – it's all there.

SHEPPARD: Let's see it.

McKAY: All right.

(He types and Todd's image appears on the wallscreen.)

TODD: Hold your fire. We mean you no harm. Allow me to explain our presence here before you take any action. If you are seeing this message, my ship has arrived safely at Atlantis. I am coming to you because my crew and I have been stricken with a disease – a complication to the gene therapy developed by Doctor Keller.

McKAY: Wait a second. We didn't give them ...

TODD: I acquired some of the formulation while my crew and I were occupying the Daedalus. I admit – I wanted to see if it would actually work ... and it did. The initial results were nothing short of astonishing. See for yourself.

(it raises its right hand and shows the palm to the camera. The feeding slit has disappeared.)

TODD: I was so impressed, I decided to treat my entire crew. It was only then that we began to notice problems.

(It pauses momentarily, beginning to look weak and tired.)

TODD: The first group grew sick and died. Before long, others began to get sick as well. Our natural healing ability was unable to counteract the disease. I come here as a matter of last resort.

(It sighs wearily.)

TODD: I realise we have had our differences of late and you may be reluctant to help us. But remember this: if we die, any hope you may have of distributing this treatment in the future dies with us. The choice is yours.

(The transmission ends.)


ATLANTIS. John, Teyla and Ronon are with Richard in his office.

SHEPPARD: All right, so now that we know what happened, we can just fire drones at 'em, close the file and move on.

WOOLSEY: You said his feeding hand was clean, which means the treatment worked – at least for a while.

SHEPPARD: Well, then it started killing 'em, so I don't know if they're gonna exactly line up for this one.

WOOLSEY: Which is why we need to find out exactly what went wrong. We need to examine every scrap of medical data on that Hive. We may even need to revive a few of the Wraith so Doctor Keller can perform a complete physical evaluation.

(Annoyed, John sits down on the arm of one of the chairs.)

WOOLSEY: I'm sorry, but the I.O.A. is strongly committed to the development of this gene therapy. It's one of the only things they all agree on. If it's simply not workable, so be it, but they're going to want to see some proof.

DEX: I say it works fine. It kills Wraith – what more do you want?

WOOLSEY: You're suggesting we keep the formula as is and find a way of exposing them involuntarily?

DEX: Why not? Get rid of the Wraith once and for all. Don't tell me the I.O.A. would have a problem with that.

SHEPPARD: The problem is in the delivery systems. We just went down this road with Beckett's retrovirus.

TEYLA: And even if we do succeed in weaponising the treatment, it is unlikely that we would wipe out the Wraith entirely. At best, we would weaken them.

DEX: I don't have a problem with that.

TEYLA: On the other hand, if we do succeed in eliminating their need to feed, we might be able to convince their entire population to take the treatment willingly.

WOOLSEY: Either way, whether it's perfecting the formula as a treatment or a weapon, we need to gather as much information as we possibly can – which brings me back to the same conclusion.

SHEPPARD: We need to go back up there.

WOOLSEY: This time, have Doctor Keller accompany you, as well as Major Lorne's team and another unit of marines.

SHEPPARD: You're still not sure if it's a trap?

WOOLSEY: Let's just say I've learned to exercise an abundance of caution when dealing with Todd.

SHEPPARD: All right.


HIVE SHIP. As marines carry equipment onto the ship, Major Lorne reports to John.

LORNE: My men have established a perimeter. They'll be checking in every hour.

(The lights fritz momentarily. John activates his headset radio.)

SHEPPARD: Rodney?

McKAY (from the Bridge): I know, I know. Power fluctuations. Look, it's like I said: some of the ship's systems are acting up a little.

SHEPPARD: Well, get it fixed.

McKAY: Yeah, gimme a few minutes.

(The lights fritz again. In a corridor, one of the marines, Williams, looks around as the lights flicker and he hears a sound nearby. Aiming his rifle cautiously, he walks towards the sound. Rounding the corner, he stops and frowns at the sight of a wall in front of him. Parts of it are slowly disintegrating. He activates his headset.)

WILLIAMS: Major Lorne, this is Lieutenant Williams.

LORNE: Go ahead.

WILLIAMS: Sir, you wanted us to report anything unusual.

LORNE: Yeah, that's right, Lieutenant. What have you got?

WILLIAMS: Well, sir, I was standing watch and I heard a noise and ... well, the wall is melting.

(Lorne and John frown at each other.)

LORNE (into radio): Sorry? Come again?

WILLIAMS: Wait a minute – I think it stopped. Stand by.

(He walks closer to the wall, where a large hole has now appeared in the middle of it. He steps closer still, and suddenly a bald Wraith appears on the other side of the wall, roaring as it reaches for him.)

LORNE: Williams, come in?

(He hears nothing but static.)

LORNE: Lieutenant, please respond.

(In the corridor, the Wraith drags Williams away, leaving his rifle lying on the ground.)


LAB. Jennifer Keller has set up her equipment in a room. Rodney walks in.

McKAY: How're you doing?

(Jen makes an exasperated noise as she sits down.)

McKAY: Ooh, that good, huh?

KELLER: I don't know. I mean, I guess I'm making progress. I found out what was killing them.

McKAY (sitting down): You did?

KELLER: Mmm-hmm. The treatment worked exactly like it was supposed to. It eliminated their feeding hands, activated their digestive systems just like it did in the simulation, but unfortunately it also created a virulent cancer-like disease at the same time it was weakening their immune system. That's what killed them.

McKAY: Well, anything you can do about it?

KELLER: I don't know. Maybe. It's ... possible.

(Rodney looks at her expression, which isn't confident.)

McKAY: What?

KELLER: I just feel like I'm in over my head.

McKAY: What are you talking about?

KELLER: I look at you and Colonel Sheppard, the rest of the team. You guys are so used to making decisions that affect the lives of thousands and even millions of people. I'm not so used to having the fate of the galaxy hang in the balance.

McKAY: Oh, that. You get used to it. Helps to have a massive ego.

(Jennifer smiles.)

McKAY: Look, I don't know much about Wraith physiology, but I know you, and if anyone can make this work, you can.

(He stands up, walks behind her and puts his hands on her shoulders supportively as she gets back to work.)


CORRIDORS. John and Lorne are searching for Williams.

LORNE: Well, this is his last known position.

(A marine calls out from a short distance away.)

MARINE: Colonel, we've got something over here.

(They hurry down the corridor where a couple of marines have found Williams' rifle lying on the ground. John kneels down and picks it up.)

SHEPPARD: It hasn't been fired.

LORNE: Should I call up for some more personnel to help track him down?

SHEPPARD: No, I've got a better idea.

(He activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: Rodney. Are the ship's schematics loaded into the life signs detector?

McKAY (from Jen's lab): I did it when I first got here. Why?

SHEPPARD: We're gonna need 'em.


LATER. Lorne is holding a life signs detector as he and John continue the search.

SHEPPARD: Anything?

LORNE: No, it's just us.

SHEPPARD (into radio): Ronon, Teyla, anything on your end?

(Teyla and Ronon are searching elsewhere. She looks at her own detector.)

TEYLA: I'm afraid not, Colonel.

SHEPPARD: All right, stay in touch.

(Lorne looks at his detector and frowns. It shows two life signs – his own and John's – but there's something wrong with the map.)

LORNE: What the hell is this? It's supposed to be an open corridor.

(He leads John forward to a wall in front of them.)

SHEPPARD: Let me see.

LORNE: There.

(He hands the detector to him. John looks at it, then activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: Rodney? This schematic you gave us is a piece of crap.

McKAY: What are you talking about?

SHEPPARD: There's a dead end that's not on the map.

McKAY: That's impossible.

SHEPPARD: Look, I am staring at it right now.

McKAY: Look, I don't know what to tell you, all right? I pulled that schematic directly from the ship's database.

SHEPPARD: Great(!) (To Lorne) We have to double back.

TEYLA (over radio): Colonel Sheppard, this is Teyla. Please respond.

SHEPPARD: Go ahead.

TEYLA: We found Lieutenant Williams. I'm afraid he's dead.

(She and Ronon look down at Williams' body lying on the floor. We can only see his leg, but it's covered in bloody wounds. It looks as it if has been gnawed.)

SHEPPARD: What happened?

DEX: Um, he was attacked.

SHEPPARD: By who?

DEX: I don't know, but whatever it was, it tried to eat him.

SHEPPARD: You mean, feed on him?

DEX: No, I mean eat him, with teeth, like an animal.

SHEPPARD: All right. Uh, radio back, try to get someone to pick up the body. In the meantime, we're gonna have to figure out who the hell this is.

LORNE (looking at his detector): Colonel.

(He hands the device to John who looks at it. As well as their own signals, there is a third one a couple of corners away from them.)

SHEPPARD: Hang on, we've got something. Move back to our position.

(He and Lorne move off cautiously in the direction of the signal, while Teyla and Ronon also get going. John and Lorne follow the signal. Lorne, holding the detector again, reaches a doorway and calls to John.)

LORNE: Sir. In here.

(He steps forward, touches the door panel and steps back and he and John aim their rifles as the doors open. They go into the room and spread out as they progress forwards. The beeping from the life signs detector becomes more rapid. They look around but can't see anyone.)

SHEPPARD: Another dead end.

LORNE: Well, this doesn't make any sense. The signal's right on top of us.

(Frowning, John walks towards a wall of mist cascading downwards. He steps closer, and the bald Wraith bursts through the mist and throws itself at him, knocking him to the ground. Lying on top of him and snarling savagely, it tries to claw at him and bite him as he struggles to push it away from him. He gets his hands around its throat and manages to push it upwards and Lorne then opens fire with his rifle. As the hail of bullets pushes it backwards, John snatches out his pistol and fires at it as well. The Wraith falls back, John scrambles to his feet and he and Lorne continue to fire until they're sure it's dead. As they look down at it to make sure it's not going to move again, Teyla and Ronon hurry in.)

TEYLA: Is everybody OK?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I think so.

LORNE (looking down at the Wraith): What the hell is that?

SHEPPARD: A Wraith soldier without the mask.

LORNE: I didn't think they ever took those things off.

(John kneels down to the Wraith and turns its right hand over. Its feeding slit has gone.)

SHEPPARD: No feeding hand, remember? How else is he gonna eat?


LATER. Everyone has returned to the Bridge.

McKAY: Oh, great(!) So now we have to contend with starving Wraith who are just learning to use their teeth?!

KELLER: This is my fault – I'm the one that took away the only practical feeding mechanism they ever knew.

SHEPPARD: All right, look: I admit that it's a little disturbing, but it's not like they were man's best friend before. Just a different version of the same thing. The question is: how'd it get out?

McKAY: Well, the power fluctuations. They must be more widespread than I thought.

DEX: So?

McKAY: So there must be a safety protocol of some kind. When there's an interruption to the power, the pods shut down and automatically release their occupant.

KELLER: But you stabilised it, right? I mean, all the other pods are fine?

McKAY: They ... might be. I ... never actually figured out what was wrong.

TEYLA: Is there any way to determine if any of the other pods have been compromised?

McKAY: Well, I don't know! Maybe! Might as well go down and look.

SHEPPARD: I've got a better idea. Let's get the hell out of here.

KELLER: Except I haven't finished sorting through the relevant data. I mean, the I.O.A. ...

SHEPPARD: The I.O.A. can sue me. Let's go.

(He leads everyone away, two of the marines carrying Williams' body on a stretcher. As they continue along the corridors, Ronon looks around suspiciously.)

SHEPPARD: What?

DEX: I know this is the way because we came by here this morning, but this looks different.

SHEPPARD: You're probably imagining it.

(They round a corner and find a wall blocking their way.)

SHEPPARD: ... or not. McKay!

(Rodney comes around the corner.)

McKAY: Where the hell did that wall come from?! It wasn't there when we came in.

SHEPPARD: How's that possible?

McKAY: I don't know!

SHEPPARD: We need to figure out another way out of here.

(Rodney looks down at his computer tablet and calls up a schematic of the Hive.)

McKAY: Uh, OK, looks like, uh, if we go back the way we came for a bit, we should be able to hook up with another corridor that leads round to the other side of the Dart Bay.

SHEPPARD: All right, lead the way.

McKAY: All right.

(He leads the team back and they progress onwards until they reach a doorway.)

McKAY: All right, this is it. Through here, about a hundred metres and we are there.

(He trots over to the doors and swipes the wall panel. The doors slide open and reveal a massive cavern on the other side which disappears downwards as far as they can see.)

KELLER: Oh my God.

SHEPPARD: This – this is not good.

McKAY: You're telling me. The Dart Bay's on the other side of that thing. This is the only way out of here.


LATER. Everyone has returned to the Bridge.

SHEPPARD: Anyone wanna tell me how a giant hole magically appears in the middle of a ship?

McKAY: Actually, I have a theory about that.

KELLER: You do?

McKAY: Look, these glitches we've been experiencing: they're not confined to power regulation. They're in every major system.

SHEPPARD: I wouldn't call them “glitches.” This is a major renovation!

McKAY: I know, but think about it. The Wraith ships are basically organic, right? I mean, they are capable of self-regeneration when they're damaged. But not just the hull – the same systems regulate internal structure as well, so if those systems are malfunctioning along with the others ...

TEYLA: You think the ship is repairing itself incorrectly.

McKAY: Not repairing so much as reconfiguring. Look, before he was killed, Williams said he saw the wall melt. We've experienced it ourselves: I mean, dead ends popping up where there are supposed to be open corridors.

KELLER: And this reconfiguration has completely cut us off from the Dart Bay?

McKAY: From what I can tell, yes.

SHEPPARD: All right, get on the line to Atlantis. Tell them to send some Jumpers and combat engineers. We need to figure out how to get the hell out of here.

McKAY: Actually, I can't do that because the communication systems are now completely offline.

SHEPPARD: Rodney!

McKAY: Look, what do you want me to do? I mean, if I knew what was causing this, I could do something about it, but these malfunctions are showing up everywhere. I mean, they seem to be entirely random.

DEX: So we're stuck here?

McKAY: For the time being, yes. I do have an idea. We revive Todd.

DEX (laughing in disbelief): What?!

McKAY: He knows more about this ship than anyone. Maybe he can help me figure out what's wrong with it.

DEX: You do remember the last Wraith that came out of one of those pods ate one of our marines?

McKAY: He was just a warrior drone. Look, we've long suspected that they spend the majority of their life under the controlling mental influence of the other Wraith. It's not surprising that if you remove that influence, they revert to an animal state. Look, that shouldn't happen with Todd – theoretically.

KELLER: You're forgetting one thing: I haven't found a cure for the disease that was killing them. I mean, we take him out and he might not last long.

SHEPPARD: Well, that's the one thing I like about the plan.

(An alarm beeps on the console.)

McKAY (hurrying over to the console): Oh, great(!)

(He looks at the readout.)

McKAY: OK, so navigation's acting up. Look, whatever we decide, we've gotta do it quickly, 'cause I cannot stay ahead of these malfunctions for much longer.


HIBERNATION CHAMBER. Standing outside Todd's hibernation pod, Ronon turns to the others.

DEX: You sure about this?

(John clearly isn't sure at all but knows that there's no other choice. He raises his rifle and aims it at the pod as Teyla types onto a nearby console. The partially opaque screen melts away and tendrils attached to Todd disconnect from its body and retract into the pod. Todd opens its eyes and looks as them as John raises his rifle higher.)

TODD: Sheppard.

SHEPPARD: How're you feelin'?

TODD: I did not think you would come.

DEX (sarcastically): What are friends for?

TEYLA: Your ship is malfunctioning. We need you to fix it.

TODD: You woke me for this?

SHEPPARD: That's right. You've got work to do.


BRIDGE. Todd is working on a console. Rodney walks over.

McKAY: No, I did ... I tried that already.

(Todd turns its head and snarls at him.)

McKAY: OK, all right, you know what? Just go ahead.

(He turns away and walks over to the others.)

McKAY: Boy, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the pod this morning.

TODD: This makes no sense. These systems are behaving erratically.

McKAY: Well, that's what I've been trying to tell you!

TODD (angrily): What have you done to them?

McKAY: I haven't done anything! They've been acting screwy since the moment we came on board!

TODD: Nothing's responding the way it should. It's almost as if ...

(It stops and thinks.)

SHEPPARD: What?

TODD: No. It's not possible.

DEX: What's not possible?

TODD: I believe I know why the ship is malfunctioning.


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The group has moved to the room which Jennifer is using as a lab and Todd has explained its theory to her.

KELLER: The disease is in the ship?

TODD: It is the only explanation that makes sense.

SHEPPARD: All right, if you say so.

KELLER: How is that even possible?

TODD: During the process of hibernation, there is a continuous exchange of fluid between Wraith and Hive.

(John's face screws up in an “eww!” expression.)

TODD: The disease must have been transmitted in this manner.

SHEPPARD: Great, so we're flyin' around in a giant tumour.

DEX: With no way off.

TODD: As time goes on and the disease progresses, more and more systems will become affected: inertial dampeners, life support, hull integrity.

TEYLA: Can we land it?

TODD: Landing a Hive is a tricky proposition in the best of circumstances. Under these conditions, I would not recommend it.

DEX: So what do we do?

TODD: There is only one thing we can do. We must cure this disease.

KELLER: Wait a second. I've barely scratched the surface on what went wrong here. I mean, it could take months to analyse the data.

TODD: At the current level of the ship's degradation, I estimate we have four days before it becomes uninhabitable.

SHEPPARD: Well, you'd better get to work.

(Todd snorts at him, but does as it's told.)


LATER. Shortly afterwards, John, Teyla, Ronon and Lorne return to the Bridge.

SHEPPARD: How's it going, Rodney?

McKAY: Aside from the fact that every time I try to fix something, something else breaks, fine!

SHEPPARD: So we can expect more of these power fluctuations?

McKAY: I think it's more than likely. Probably gonna get worse.

SHEPPARD: Well, we've got a problem.

DEX: The other Wraith.

SHEPPARD: We can't afford to let 'em get out any more.

McKAY: Now, I have been able to identify that safety protocol I was talking about. Won't be able to override it completely, but I should be able to make a few key alterations.

SHEPPARD: Yeah? Like what?

McKAY: Well, the simplest thing to do would be to make it so that the pods don't release the Wraith when they shut down, but that would kill 'em – basically suffocate them.

DEX: Great! They're Wraith!

McKAY: Yeah, but are they? I mean, they've taken the treatment; they no longer feed.

LORNE: Tell that to Lieutenant Williams.

TEYLA: What about Todd? If significant numbers of his crew are killed, he will demand to know why.

SHEPPARD: Just another malfunction. (To Rodney) Do it.

McKAY: All right.


LAB. Walking across to a console and inserting a crystal, Todd grunts and doubles up over the console. As it grunts again, grimacing against the pain, Jennifer looks up from her microscope.

KELLER: You all right?

TODD: It will pass.

(It straightens up and turns around to her.)

KELLER: I'm sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen. I honestly thought the treatment would make things better for everyone.

(Todd chuckles briefly, then walks to another console, still laughing wryly.)

KELLER: What's funny?

TODD: I find it amusing, human apologising to Wraith.

KELLER: That's 'cause you don't understand compassion. You just view it as a sign of weakness.

TODD: Isn't it?

KELLER: No, not by a long shot.

TODD: I'm not sure Colonel Sheppard would agree with you.

KELLER: Colonel Sheppard's a soldier. I'm a doctor.

TODD: Ah, yes. His job is to take lives and yours is to save them.

KELLER: No – his job is also to save lives. He just has a different set of tools.

TODD: Hmm!


BRIDGE.

McKAY: All right. I've created a programme to override the safety protocol. You sure you want me to do this?

SHEPPARD: Go ahead.

McKAY: All right.

(He activates his console. The others watch as five areas are lit up on a schematic of the ship on the wallscreen. One by one, four of them go out, but then a circle appears over the fifth area.)

TEYLA: What is that?

McKAY: It's one of the hibernation chambers – it's not accepting the new commands.

(He types on the console again.)

McKAY: No. It's no good. I can't access it from here.

SHEPPARD: How many of them are in there?

McKAY: Well, it's one of the smaller auxiliary chambers, so a couple of dozen at the most.

SHEPPARD: All right, we're gonna have to figure out another way to deal with these guys.

(He goes over to one of the crates they brought on board with them and opens it. Opening the lid of a small box inside, he takes out a block of C4 explosive.)


LATER. John, Ronon, Teyla and Lorne make their way along the corridors. Teyla pauses as she begins to sense something.

TEYLA: Colonel?

(She turns around and a Wraith drone comes into view, snarling. John, Lorne and Teyla open fire on it, then Ronon fires his blaster at it. The combined attack sends it crashing to the ground.)

SHEPPARD: Well, that's not a good sign. Let's move.

(They hurry on. Just as they reach the chamber, the lights fritz.)

LORNE: Power fluctuations.

DEX: More of them could be out.

(They go inside and stare.)

SHEPPARD: Oh, this is what I was afraid of.

(He activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: McKay. Just figured out why you weren't able to access the last chamber.

McKAY (from the Bridge): What? What is it?

SHEPPARD: Too late. The pods are open.

McKAY: How many got out?

(John shines the light from his rifle around the area. More than twenty pods are visible.)

SHEPPARD: All of them.


LATER. Everyone but Rodney, Jennifer and Todd has gathered together.

SHEPPARD: All right, we're gonna split into teams. We're gonna divide each deck into four sections. We're gonna sweep through, starting from this position. Don't take any chances, shoot anything that moves. Everyone clear? All right, let's move out.

(The groups begin their sweep. Teyla and a marine called Ramirez are the first to encounter a drone and she guns it down. They move on. John and his team mate find another couple and kill them.)


LAB. Todd is looking at a computer tablet.

TODD: It says here you attempted to use the iratus D.N.A. in your treatment.

KELLER: Yeah. I thought using the pure D.N.A. of an iratus bug would help prevent the deterioration of your Wraith abilities. Got the idea from Michael, if you can believe that, but unfortunately it didn't work, so ...

(She looks up at Todd as it gazes down at her intently.)

KELLER: What is it?

TODD: I have an idea.


CORRIDORS. Jen's voice comes over the radio.
KELLER: Colonel Sheppard, come in please?

SHEPPARD: This is Sheppard.

KELLER: We need you to come down to the lab right away. Todd needs to speak to you.

SHEPPARD: I'm a little busy right now. Can it wait?

KELLER: Apparently not.

(John looks at his team mate.)

SHEPPARD: Meet up with Teyla and Ramirez 'til I get back.

(The man nods and John heads away.)


LAB. John comes in.

SHEPPARD: What's so damned important?

KELLER: He says there's a way to fix this.

SHEPPARD: Fix what? Cure the disease?

TODD: Not cure it, but undo it.

SHEPPARD: What are you talkin' about?

TODD: As you know, healthy Wraith have an inherent ability to heal themselves of almost any ailment, but this has not always been the case. Hundreds of thousands of years ago there was a treatment of last resort.

SHEPPARD: All right, spare me the history lessons.

TODD: A terminally ill Wraith could occasionally restore himself to perfect health if he allowed an iratus bug, as you call them – specifically a queen – to feed on him.

KELLER: And you're just bringing this up now?

TODD: The process was abandoned long ago because it is dangerous, almost always resulting in the death of the Wraith in question. I only consider it now because it would appear that we are beyond hope. Now, there is a planet less than three days' journey where we will find what we need.

SHEPPARD: McKay can barely keep this thing in orbit and you wanna take it into hyperspace?

TODD: Oh, I can manage it.

SHEPPARD: Well, forget about it. We're gonna come up with a solution right here.

TODD: This is the only way to save my crew.

SHEPPARD: Well, we're not leavin'.

TODD: At least do me the courtesy of being honest. This is not about you not wanting to risk a jump to hyperspace in a damaged ship. You do not want me to go because I'll be restoring the lives of hundreds of unhealthy Wraith including myself.

SHEPPARD: Well, I've gotta admit – that did cross my mind.

TODD: This disease is your responsibility. (Its voice begins to rise in anger.) If I'd not agreed to meet with you to discuss this innovation of yours, my crew and I would not be in this predicament!

SHEPPARD (equally angry): Well, I might be feeling a little more charitable if you hadn't tried to kill half my people last time we decided to trust each other!

(Roaring in fury, Todd charges towards John, its right hand raised to strike. Two marines raise their rifles and aim them at it, while John stares at it impassively. It stops just short of him, its hand still raised, then looks at its palm as it realises that even if it wanted to, it couldn't harm John that way. Grimacing, it lowers its hand and glares at him.)

TODD: You owe me this, Sheppard.

SHEPPARD (calmly): I don't owe you anything.

(He addresses the marines while his eyes never leave Todd's.)

SHEPPARD: Get him out of here.

(Todd stares at him helplessly as the marines move to its side and usher it away.)

KELLER: Well, I guess I can't count on his help any more.

(The lights fritz.)

KELLER: What was that?

McKAY (over radio): Sheppard. You're gonna wanna get up here.

SHEPPARD (to Jen): Keep working.

(He leaves the room while Jennifer goes back to her station and gets back to work.)


BRIDGE. The ship rumbles ominously as John comes in.

SHEPPARD: What the hell was that?

McKAY: It looks like Todd's estimate of how long the ship's gonna last is a little off.

SHEPPARD: What are you talkin' about?

McKAY: Remember that hole we saw? It's getting bigger. It's beginning to threaten the hull integrity. But that's not the biggest problem.

(He points at a wallscreen where a green line is flickering across a cross section of the Hive.)

McKAY: See that? That is a line of structural weakness right across the width of the Hive. If there's an explosive decompression, this entire thing could be ripped in half.

(John activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: This is Sheppard. All teams, fall back. Fall back immediately.

(Out in the corridors, Teyla shouts out over her own and Ramirez's gunfire as they shoot down approaching drones.)

TEYLA: We have not finished dealing with the Wraith yet!

SHEPPARD: Just leave 'em. The hull's failing. Get the hell out of there.

LORNE (to his team mate elsewhere on the ship): You heard the man. Let's move.

TEYLA (to Ramirez): Let's go, let's go!

DEX (to the man he's with): Come on, hurry up!

(Everyone starts to race towards the front of the ship. A drone hurls itself at Ronon's colleague from a side corridor and bundles him to the ground. Ronon turns and heads back towards him but another drone charges at him and they too crash to the floor, the impact knocking his blaster from his hand. He punches it viciously in the face a couple of times, then automatic gunfire hits it in the back and kills it. Teyla has arrived. Ramirez fires repeatedly at the other drone, knocking it off the marine. Teyla goes over to Ronon as he sits up.)

TEYLA: Are you all right?

(Ronon groans.)

DEX: Yeah.

(They both look across to Ramirez as he stands up from checking his colleague and shakes his head.)

DEX: Let's get the hell out of here.

(He drags himself to his feet and they all run off. They meet up with Lorne and his colleague who are trying to get a closed door open. The wall panel isn't responding.)

TEYLA: What is it?

LORNE: Door's jammed. Won't open.

TEYLA (activating her headset): Rodney, this is Teyla. We are stuck behind a door that will not open. Can you help us?

McKAY (from the Bridge): Look, the controls are malfunctioning. I can't seem to override them. Just give me a minute.

(He goes to another console and types on it. In the corridor, Teyla looks around anxiously as Ronon and a marine try to tug the doors open and the ship groans ominously.)

TEYLA: We might not have a minute, Rodney.

(Her eyes widen as she senses approaching Wraith, and a moment later a lot of drones run into view. She and the marines open fire on them.)

(On the other side of the closed doors, John runs to them and tries the wall panel but it won't respond. He stares anxiously at the doors as he hears the gunfire on the other side.)

SHEPPARD: Crap!

(He jams his fingers into the gap between the doors and tries to pull them open.)

(On the Bridge, Rodney looks up anxiously as the ship vibrates and groans. Looking at the wallscreen showing the cross section of the Hive, his eyes widen.)

McKAY: Uh, guys? You need to get out of there now. D'you hear me? Get out of there now!

(Ronon gives up tugging at the doors and draws his blaster. The marine beside him ducks down and Ronon turns away from the doors, aims his blaster over his shoulder and fires at the wall panel. It explodes and he and the marine turn back and start tugging at the doors again while the others continue firing at the approaching drones. At last Ronon and the marine – with help from John on the other side – manage to part the doors.)

SHEPPARD (yelling over the gunfire): All right, go, go, go-go-go!

(One by one the others retreat through the doorway. Lorne is the last to come through as John covers his escape by firing at the oncoming drones. He too turns and runs as the doors begin to close. A drone races towards the doors but they close before it can reach them.)

(From an external viewpoint, the Hive ship begins to split in half. The two halves separate and the front half drifts away a little and then tilts downwards towards the planet below. On the Bridge, Rodney yells anxiously into his headset.)

McKAY: Sheppard! Come in, please!

SHEPPARD (in the corridors): Yeah, we're here.

McKAY: Oh, thank God! I take it the bulkhead held?

SHEPPARD: For now.

McKAY: Look, I was able to seal off the sections before they depressurised but you need to get down here n...

(He stops as alarms sound and new information appears on the wallscreens.)

McKAY: Oh no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

SHEPPARD: What now?

McKAY: The force of the ship tearing itself apart – it's shifted our trajectory. We're headed straight for the planet!


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Everyone runs onto the Bridge.

SHEPPARD: What's our status, Rodney?

McKAY: I would say “screwed” is an apt description.

SHEPPARD: Are we gonna burn up?

McKAY: No, we're gonna survive re-entry; in fact, it'll even slow us down a little, but nowhere near enough.

DEX: Can you get us over the water?

McKAY: Land, water – at the speed we're travelling it's not gonna matter. We'll be vapourised on impact.

SHEPPARD: We've gotta do something!

McKAY: Like what?!

SHEPPARD: Well, think!

McKAY (high-pitched in indignation): I don't ...! (He screws his eyes up for a moment and thinks quickly.) OK, right. (He hurries to a console.) Forward manoeuvring thrusters – they should be unaffected, but they're not gonna get any power because the propulsion conduits have been ripped in half. All right, look, I may be able to reroute power to them so they can slow our descent.

SHEPPARD: Now you're talkin'!

McKAY: The only problem is, I haven't a clue how to do it! Look, I mean, even if the systems weren't all malfunctioning, it'd still take me a few hours to create that kind of workaround.

SHEPPARD: Just keep workin' on it.

(He starts to hurry out of the room.)

DEX: Where the hell are you goin'?

SHEPPARD: I'm gonna go get some help.

(As Rodney grimaces and gets to work, John runs to the cell where Todd has been left. It is sitting on the bench in the middle of the cell with its back to him.)

SHEPPARD: Get up.

TODD (not turning around): Leave me be.

SHEPPARD: I don't have time to play games. You know what that shaking is.

TODD (half turning its head): Oh, I can guess.

SHEPPARD: We've lost orbit. We're entering the atmosphere, which means in a few minutes we're gonna slam into that planet.

TODD: A quick death will be a welcome reprieve.

SHEPPARD: I didn't think you were such a quitter. Look, you get the ship on the ground, I'll take you to your bug planet.

TODD: And you expect me to believe that?

SHEPPARD: My word.

(Todd stands and turns to look at him.)

TODD: And my crew?

(John bites his lip, then decides to tell the truth.)

SHEPPARD: They're dead.

(Todd hisses quietly.)

SHEPPARD: The ship sheared in two. We lost the entire rear section.

TODD (storming angrily towards the doors): If we'd gone to the planet when I suggested it, none of this would have happened!

SHEPPARD: We would have never made it there and you know it. The hull was too badly damaged. Now, I understand: you're pissed off about your crew. But we're about to join them unless somebody manages to slow us down, so are you gonna help us out?


BRIDGE. Teyla is working the flight controls, her eyes closed in concentration.

TEYLA: We're in the atmosphere. Altitude one hundred thousand feet.

(Todd walks onto the Bridge, followed by John.)

TEYLA: It is no use. I cannot control it.

TODD (loudly): Move aside!

(Rodney and Teyla get out of its way and it takes over the controls. Teyla goes to another console.)

DEX (to John): Are you sure about this?

SHEPPARD: Well, what can he do? We're on a freefall.

TODD: I believe that I can successfully create a bypass that will deliver power to the forward thrusters, but it will take a few moments.

McKAY: OK, you just take your time.

TEYLA: Impact in fifteen seconds.

TODD: Not if I can help it. Firing thrusters!

(The thrusters begin to fire around the outside of the Hive.)

TEYLA: Forty thousand feet. Still descending too fast.

McKAY: Not enough!

TODD: Instead of criticising ... (it turns and glares at him) ... perhaps you could work at GETTING ME SOME MORE POWER!

McKAY (his eyes widening): I'm on it!

(He hurries to another console.)

TEYLA: Twenty thousand feet and still too fast.

SHEPPARD (to Todd): Angle the thrusters; try to get the ship level. We can glide her across the water.

(Todd looks at him.)

SHEPPARD: Trust me. I've done this before.

(Todd snarls.)

TEYLA: Ten thousand feet.

McKAY (turning from his console): That's it. That's all the power we've got.

(Todd closes its eyes and concentrates, snarling with the effort. Outside the Hive, the thrusters begin to tilt the ship.)

TEYLA: Two thousand feet!

(Todd bares its teeth as it hurls all its concentration into the ship.)

McKAY: This is it! We're about to lose inertial dampeners!

(The team brace themselves mentally and physically as the ship vibrates drastically and Todd continues to concentrate, its eyes rolled up into its head. The Hive, now almost level with the ocean below, tilts one last time and crashes belly-down onto the water before skating across the surface, pushing up an enormous bow wave in front of it. As the wave washes over the camera the view clears and the Hive can be seen, stationary and resting on the ocean's surface.)

(In Atlantis' Control Room, Richard and Amelia look anxiously at a wallscreen as it shows the position of the Hive in relation to the city.)

BANKS: They just hit the water. I've got the coordinates.

WOOLSEY: Relay them to the rescue Jumpers immediately.


MUCH LATER. Richard is sitting in an armchair in his office, reading a book. He looks up as John walks in.

WOOLSEY: Colonel. Good to see you back on your feet. How's the rest of your team?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, recovering. Took quite a jolt when we hit the water.

WOOLSEY: I can imagine.

(John walks over to another armchair and sits down.)

WOOLSEY: You were lucky. By the time Major Kersey and his team were able to blast their way down to your position, the Hive – what remained of it – was already half full of water. It sank minutes after they extracted you.

SHEPPARD: Hmm. Wish I was awake to see that.

(He looks at a wallscreen nearby showing Todd sitting on the side of a bed in the Isolation Room.)

SHEPPARD: How is he?

WOOLSEY: Not well. He hasn't responded to any treatment.

(He puts a bookmark into his book and closes it.)

WOOLSEY: I received your request.

SHEPPARD: And?

WOOLSEY: Forgive me if I'm wrong but weren't you the one who wanted to destroy his ship when it first appeared?

SHEPPARD: Mmm, sounds vaguely familiar.

WOOLSEY: And now you want me to go against protocol and let him go.

SHEPPARD: Well, he is the reason we're alive.

WOOLSEY: I realise that, Colonel. He's also the reason you were in danger in the first place – not to mention an incredible security risk.

SHEPPARD: All right, look: he's probably gonna die anyway.

WOOLSEY: And if he survives?

SHEPPARD: If he survives, he's gonna remember what we did. Like it or not, he's the best ally we've had in the fight against the Wraith. If we ever get around to perfecting this gene therapy, we're gonna need his help to deploy it.

WOOLSEY: You realise this is the kind of decision that could cost me my job?

SHEPPARD: Well ... aren't they all?!

(Richard smiles.)


LATER. GATEROOM. John is standing in front of the open Stargate as two marines escort Todd towards him. As Todd reaches the Gate, John looks at the marines and they turn and walk away. Todd turns to face him.

TODD: I appreciate your decision to let me go.

SHEPPARD: A deal's a deal.

TODD: I will remember this, John Sheppard.

(It smiles at him slightly, then turns and walks into the event horizon. John turns and watches as the Gate closes down behind it.)