Brief Candle

Transcript

| Transcript

SG-1 discovers a race of attractive people who age extremely rapidly. The situation becomes personal when O'Neill begins to suffer from the same accelerated aging, and must live out the rest of his life on the planet.

EPISODE #108
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 09.19.97
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 10.19.98
DVD DISC: Season 1, Disc 2
STORY BY: Steven Barnes
TELEPLAY BY: Katharyn Powers
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Transcript by Sarae
Edited by Deanna Moll-Landry
SG1 Transcripts

Scene: Alien Plant (Argos)

We see a Greek style building with columns and a few people walking around. Cut to inside the building where a man (Alekos), dressed in a toga-style outfit and wearing a wreath on his head is speaking (praying?) to a statue of a man riding on a chariot, holding a lightning bolt.

ALEKOS: Give them strength, Lord. Let their hearts beat as one.

Suddenly the Stargate activates. Alekos runs as SG-1 steps through the even horizon. They walk down the steps that lead to the ‘gate and toward the statue.

O'NEILL (gesturing toward the statue): And, who might this be, Daniel?

DANIEL: I'm not sure ... maybe early Greek, but I don't recognize the god form.

As Teal'c is coming around the front of the statue, we hear a woman (Thetyes) scream, as we see Alekos peeking from behind a column. He quickly ducks out of sight when Thetyes screams. Everyone turns at the sound and begins walking in the directions from which it came. Sounds of gasping and someone in pain continue as they discover Alekos, holding the hand of Theyes, who is sitting on the floor, in labor. Teal'c points his staff weapon, before he realizes there is no danger and Thetyes screams in fear.

DANIEL: Sorry ... we, we ... we didn't mean to scare anyone.

ALEKOS: You are not Pelops.

DANIEL: No, no, uh, you mean him? (points toward the statue) Uh, no, we're, we're visitors ... friends.

THETYES: Husband, the child is near ... please ...

ALEKOS (looking to SG-1, somewhat panicked): The midwife is gone, I do not know the birthing mysteries ... and the village is too far. Please ... help us.

SAM (after everyone looks at her): What? Don't look at me, I don't know what to do.

Thetyes screams again as we cut to:

OPENING CREDITS

Scene: Argos

SG-1 and the man are still inside the building with the Thetyes. Sam is holding her hand and helping to keep her head up. Daniel is at her other end, helping to deliver the baby. Jack, Teal'c and Alekos are out near the statue again, giving the others room and privacy.

DANIEL: Push, push ... push. (The woman is grunting and moaning.) You're doing just fine.

CARTER: Where did you learn how to do this?

DANIEL: Uh, on a dig in the Yucatan. Um, after the first one, I made friends with the local mid-wives and they taught me a lot.

CARTER: How many babies have you delivered?

DANIEL: Uh ... two ... uh, counting today.

Thetyes continues to cry and Sam whispers encouragement as the labor continues. Cut to where the guys are and we see Jack pacing near the DHD. Teal'c is standing next to the DHD and the husband is seated near by. Suddenly, we hear the sound of a baby crying. Alekos smiles and looks toward the sound. Daniel walks out, pulling off his latex gloves and all three move to meet him.

DANIEL: Alekos ... it's a boy.

Alekos pulls Daniel into a hug and runs to be with his wife.

O'NEILL: Hey, congratulations.

TEAL'C: May he grow strong and bring you honor ... (Teal'c's words slow and trail off as he realized Alekos is not listening.)

O'NEILL (quietly, smiling, to Daniel): You never cease to amaze me with all your talents.

DANIEL: Thank you. (Then he turns to survey their surroundings.) Wow, this ... place is incredible. It's like we just stepped into the citadel at Mycenae.

O'NEILL: I thought you said it was Greek?

DANIEL: Oh, uh, the Mycenae was an ancient city in the southern Peloponnesus region.

O'NEILL: Where's that?

DANIEL: Greece.

O'NEILL: Why do I do that?

CARTER (off-screen): Wait, I don't think you should be walking right now, I mean ... (we see Carter, Alekos and his family walk onto the screen and into the place where the others are.) Shouldn't you be resting? Daniel, shouldn't she ...

THETYES (smiling and holding her baby, walking toward Daniel): I'm fine. I'm fine. We wish for you all to be the first to see ...

She pulls back the blanket covering the baby's arm to reveal a birthmark on his left bicep area. It appears to be a red triangular shaped mark.

DANIEL: A birthmark.

ALEKOS (touching both his wife and his child, smiling): A tri-point. It will bring him luck. I would call him Dan-el, to honor the stranger who birthed him.

DANIEL: Oh, you don't have to do that.

THETYES: May we offer you the hospitality of our village?

O'NEILL: Well, that'd be nice. Who are you folks?

ALEKOS: We are the Chosen.

TEAL'C: Where do the gods reside?

ALEKOS (chuckling with his wife): Doesn't everyone know?

THETYES: In the sky ... of course.

DANIEL: Of course.

Scene: Argos – Outside

Alekos, his wife and SG-1 have joined the rest of the village to introduce the child.

ALEKOS (raising his son skyward): I have a son.

Voices in the crowd: Look at this. What a lovely child, lovely child.

There is much joy and celebration as people chatter with each other. SG-1 is sitting on a well in the middle of the village, observing. All the villagers are wearing toga-style outfits and wreaths on their heads, just like Alekos and wife. They are all beautiful with flawless bodies and skin.

DANIEL: Look at these people. I guess they've never hear the word unattractive here.

TEAL'C: They all look as healthy as a Jaffa.

O'NEILL: That's a good thing, right?

CARTER: I don't see anyone who looks like they're over 40.

O'NEILL (Makes eye contact with the woman who is standing near Thetyes, holding the baby. She waggles her brows at him.): Um ... do things feel a little ... 'off' here?

DANIEL: Are you crazy? It's a paradise.

O'NEILL: Yeah, sure, have an apple. What could happen?

The woman he has been unable to take his eyes off, approaches with a covered dish.

KYNTHIA: I am Kynthia. Welcome to our village.

O'NEILL: Thank you ... Jack O'Neill.

She smiles at him and opens the dish to reveal some delicacy. Jack takes a piece. She smiles at him and waits for him to try it. Daniel looks at Jack with curiosity. Jack takes a bite and smiles back at her.

KYNTHIA: It is pleasing?

O'NEILL (nods his head): Very. (Then to Daniel) You should have some.

Daniel reaches out to take a piece, but Kynthia pulls the dish away.

KYNTHIA: It is only for you.

O'NEILL: Only for me? (Jack takes the dish, smiles and nods.) Thanks.

Sam grins and looks away as Kynthia saunters off, looking over her shoulder to watch Jack. She returns to the spot where Alekos and his family are sitting and where a group of other ladies are waiting. She rejoins them and there is much talking and giggling.

DANIEL (mocking): ‘It is only for you.'

CARTER: I think you have a fan, Colonel.

TEAL'C: I believe this woman wishes to spend time with O'Neill.

O'NEILL (still eating): Thank you, Teal'c.

Sam is still giggling until Jack looks to her, then she clears her throat and loses the smile, momentarily.

DANIEL: This place must be loaded with artifacts. That statue in there, for example, must be the Mycenaean hero, Pelops, who fought from his winged chariot, hurling lightning bolts.

CARTER: Poetic way to describe a Goa'uld Death Glider.

DANIEL: Yeah, probably.

Jack has begun to notice his vision blurring. He looks at Kynthia and the cake he is eating, then at the now empty plate he is still holding.

TEAL'C: These people are obviously not laborers.

Daniel has begun to notice Jack behaving strangely, admiring the plate, or his reflection in it.

TEAL'C: I must wonder why a Goa'uld would bring them to this planet. Perhaps it was a good Goa'uld.

Jack busts out laughing, spitting pieces of the cake out of his mouth.

O'NEILL (his mouth still full): Right! Like there is such a thing.

TEAL'C (as Daniel looks at Jack with a rather surprised _expression on his face): I did not intend for my statement to be humorous.

O'NEILL (mouth still full): Trust me, they weren't. (Several women surround Jack and pull him up and away.) Hello, girls ...

SAM (rising, a bit concerned): Uh, Colonel? Where're you going? Hello?

Teal'c and Daniel also rise, equally concerned. She is approached by a local male and the others, by local females.

Man: Please, sit down.

They comply when they see that Jack has just been taken to sit at a bench several yards away. The women how had escorted Jack leave him sitting along on the bench. They disappear through a doorway into the building next to the bench. Suddenly, percussion instruments of some sort begin to play. Kynthia comes out wearing a robe of light weight material. The robe is sleeveless and she holds sticks in her hands that are attached to the sides of the robe. There are women holding the trailing edge of the robe up as she walks to stand in front of O'Neill. She looks like an angel with wings.

Voices in the crowd (appreciating the scene): She's beautiful.

Kynthia stands in front of O'Neill, the stick cross in front of her to obscure her from his view as the ladies arrange the back of the robe behind her. As the crowd quiets, the music gets louder and she begins dancing for O'Neill. The dance is not long, but before long, O'Neill can focus only on her and she walks forward to lead him into the building next to the bench. There are sounds of giggling and understanding of what is to take place in the building made by those in the crowd and SG-1 rises once again, in concern. They are approached by Alekos, who is bearing beverages.

ALEKOS: Unto ever man the creator gives 100 blissful days. It is a sin not to celebrate each and every one.

He hands one of the beverages to Carter, who raises a brow as she scrutinizes it.

DANIEL: A hundred day celebration? Guess we should pace ourselves.

Scene: Argos – Inside the building where Kynthia took Jack

Jack is lying in bed with Kynthia, kissing her. He stops rather suddenly, looking a bit confused.

O'NEILL: What, exactly, just happened?

A chime or bell is heard as Kynthia smiles back at him, though she does not answer his question. People begin to come into the building. Alekos and his family are among them. Jack is a little shocked and immediately sits up, wrapping a sheet around himself as he sees no one paying any attention to him, but rather laying down on other beds, benches, pillows – where ever in the building. He turns to ask Kynthia a question, but she is asleep.

O'NEILL (whispering): Kynthia?

He feels her neck to check for a pulse. Then he lays his head to her chest to listen for a heartbeat. He picks up a blanket from the bed and wraps it around himself as he appears to be wearing only his dog tags. He gets up and starts looking around. Just then, SG-1 comes into the room, led by Carter. She stops, dumbfounded by what she sees.

O'NEILL (looking rather confused and somewhat embarrassed): Um ... what happened?

SAM (not the least bit amused): To them or ... you?

O'NEILL (not happy): We'll talk about that later.

CARTER: I've seen parties end abruptly, but never like this.

She walks over to look at Dan-el and his mother.

DANIEL: They all just ... collapsed.

TEAL'C: It happened just as the sun set.

O'NEILL: Kynthia did the same thing. What is it? Some kind of sleeping sickness? What?

CARTER: There's no sign of fever or pain, breathing's shallow, heartbeat's slow but regular. A disease can't affect everyone all at once.

TEAL'C: It seems to be nothing more than a deep state of sleep.

SAM (turning her attention back to Jack): Now ... how about you?

O'NEILL: Let's just stick to the matter at hand. How does an entire village pass out? Something in the food? (He takes a drink from one of the goblets.

TEAL'C: We all partook of the same food.

CARTER: Except for that cake.

DANIEL: Which was only for you.

O'NEILL (looking at the goblet as a realization comes to him): Damn, she drugged me. (He gets up, still holding the blanket around his waist and begins walking to Kynthia's bed, but collapses to his knees half-way there.) Whoa!

Sam is immediately there to stop him from falling and is joined by Daniel and Teal'c as he gets heavier.

DANIEL: Oh ... he's still feeling the effects of the drug.

O'NEILL: No ... I'm just a little tired.

SAM (quite concerned): Colonel?

O'NEILL (just as he's passing out): From now on, we stick to rations.

They lower him to the ground.

SAM (sighs): No fever, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat ... just like the others.

DANIEL (taking off his glasses): What the hell is going on here?

Scene: Argos – Outside, Morning

Teal'c is looking around as the village square is once again bustling with active villagers. Sam is writing in her notebook as Jack, wearing his pants and t-shirt and looking rather hung-over, comes out of the building behind her. He puts his sunglasses on as he passes her.

SAM (following him, with smile on her face): Hey, Colonel ... how you feeling?

O'NEILL (as he continues to the well in the center of the village): Hung over ... but okay. (He removes his sunglasses.) Getting' any answers out here?

He plunges his head under the water.

DANIEL: No. They all act as if what happened last night was normal. They party until sundown. Then they fall asleep and they wake when the sun rises

O'NEILL (dripping wet and wiping water from his eyes): I'd like an explanation. Daniel, get back to that temple. See what you can find out. Take Teal'c with you. Go on. (Daniel leaves and Jack sits on the well edge once again.) Carter ... keep asking questions out here.

He puts his sunglasses back on and lies back, showing no intention to move. Sam, somewhat frustrated, shakes her head and moves on.

Scene: Argos – Inside the temple

Daniel and Alekos are walking around as Daniel video tapes the interior.

ALEKOS (indicating the statue): He is the creator ... Pelops, the giver of days. This was his home when he lived among us. We keep it as it was then and will do so until he returns.

DANIEL: And when will that be?

ALEKOS: Well, that is a mystery. Until it is revealed, it is the duty of the Chosen to rejoice and wait.

TEAL'C (who has just joined them): Why are your people called the Chosen?

ALEKOS (pointing to a mural on the wall behind them): My ancestors were so beloved by Pelops that he fashioned this garden for us. It is said he chose us and brought us here from beyond the stars.

DANIEL: Are there any writings of your history?

ALEKOS: Writings? I do not know this word.

DANIEL: Ummm ... (turning to indicate some symbols on the base of the statue) ... more of this. Writings. Do you know what this is?

ALEKOS: It is of Pelops.

TEAL'C: It is Goa'uld ... an obscure dialect.

DANIEL (moving closer to Teal'c, speaking quietly): Why didn't you tell me that before?

TEAL'C: You never before inquired.

DANIEL: Well ... you call it Goa'uld. Um, I call it linear A script. We found pictographics like this in ancient Greece and ancient Cretan, but we never completely deciphered this form.

TEAL'C: The symbols are a sequence.

DANIEL: What, like a ... combination?

TEAL'C (squatting down to press a few symbols): What is a combination?

DANIEL: Well, it's a sequence of symbols or motions ...

He stops as one of the symbols slides out, like a drawer, to reveal an odd, small tablet and a stone. Teal'c picks up the tablet and the stone as Daniel stands by doing his best impression of a fish. Teal'c passes the stone over the tablet as Daniel moves closer to observe and Alekos drags up the rear. As the stone passes over the tablet, the symbols on it change.

DANIEL: Can you read this?

TEAL'C: I believe I can. It seems to be some sort of record, an archaic dialect. Very difficult to decipher.

Scene: Argos – On the beach near the village

Sam is collecting samples. Kids are playing near by.

Kid #1: Come on, I want to show you something.

Kid #2: Okay, I-I'm coming.

Thetyes approaches, carrying a toddler.

SAM (getting up from her squatting position): Hi. I found this shell this morning and, uh, I thought maybe Dan-el might like it. (She gives the shell a slight shake to show that it rattles.) He can use it as a rattle. You want to give it to him for me?

THETYES: Oh, you can do so yourself. This is Dan-el.

CARTER: No, no, I meant the baby.

THETYES: This is baby Dan-el.

Sam looks down at the toddler before her and notices the triangular birthmark on his arm.

Scene: Argos – Back at the well in the village

Dan-el is sitting between Sam and his mother on the well edge.

O'NEILL: Okay ... that's not possible

THETYES: Do you not have children who change and-and grow?

O'NEILL: Well, yeah, sure we do ... but not like that.

CARTER: Thetyes, how old is that boy? She points to a teenager who is talking with a few young ladies.

THETYES: That is Phillippos. He is 12.

CARTER: Okay, well, he's a little big for 12 years old, but ...

THETYES: Years ... what are years?

CARTER: Uh, well ... uh, I-I guess it would be a little different for each planet, but a year is basically the time it takes for the globe to complete one orbit around the sun.

O'NEILL: Right ... let's just keep this keep this simple, okay? Where we come from, there are 365 days in one year.

THETYES: No, no ... we have no such counting of time on Argos. Phillippos is 12 days old.

Jack and Sam look at each other in shock.

CARTER: Wha ... ? How old are you?

THETYES: Twenty-one days.

O'NEILL: And, uh ... Kynthia?

THETYES: Thirty-one days.

Scene: Argos – Inside the temple

Daniel, Teal'c and Sam are sitting on the floor near the statue, talking.

DANIEL: I think Pelops brought humans here to be lab rats. From what we've been able to translate so far he wanted to know how humans evolve, so he shortened the life span to about 1/250th of normal.

CARTER: So, instead of having to wait a hundred thousand years to see how human physiology evolves, he could do it in a hundred?

TEAL'C: That is correct. Pelops wanted to determine what the human host body would become in the future, and perhaps accelerate the process.

CARTER: How did he do it? Was it genetic alteration?

TEAL'C: We do not know. It is an archaic dialect.

SAM (noticing that Daniel will not look at her): Daniel?

DANIEL: Okay ... I didn't want to say this 'til I was absolutely sure but ... I think he may have created some kind of virus ... and viruses are often spread through bodily contact.

CARTER: Some are and some are airborne ...

DANIEL: ... But I think that this one isn't.

TEAL'C: What has drawn you to this conclusion?

DANIEL: Because only one of us passed out last night, and that was Jack.

Sam, shakes her head, and puts it in her hands, momentarily, before glaring back at Daniel.

Scene: Argos – Outside, near the well

All of SG-1 are returning from the temple. As usual, the village is bustling with activity and all seem to be happy.

DANIEL: You have to give them credit for one thing ... they do enjoy life.

TEAL'C: Perhaps it is because they do not have much life to enjoy.

O'NEILL: Great! So now what you're telling me is this virus – which, by the way, I do not have – is deadly?

DANIEL: Well, if the kids age five years in five days, what happens when they reach 100 days?

Just then, Jack drops to his knees. Once again, Carter is there to break his fall.

CARTER: Colonel? Colonel?

His head flops into her lap and she cradles it in her arms, removing his sunglasses. Daniel looks around to notice that all the villagers are beginning to lie down and that the sun is setting.

O'NEILL (looking up at Sam): I guess it wasn't the cake.

CARTER: Maybe it was your physical contact with Kynthia.

O'NEILL: Get back to Earth, Captain. Figure this thing out.

Wormhole travel SFX

Scene: SGC – Sam's Lab

Janet walks in to find Sam sitting at a computer and near an isolation container.

FRASIER: Tell me you brought the blood back in sealed containers.

CARTER: Yeah, of course I did. What is it?

FRASIER (sighs): I'm not sure. First I ran a routine check for antibodies ... nothing. So then I thought, all right, maybe this alien bug found a way to hide from the immune system, so I ran a protein analysis. (She pulls a disk out of her pocket and hands it to Sam.) Take a look at what I found.

Sam puts the disk in the computer and we see the screen on the monitor change.

FRASIER: All right, these are the blood samples you brought back. Now, look at the strange particulate in there. So that's from one of the Argosians? (Sam nods. Janet presses a key on the keyboard. The screen changes again and we see magnification of the image as well.) Now ... that's from Colonel O'Neill.

CARTER: Wow ... what is it?

FRASIER: Something we don't have a word for ... yet.

CARTER: Well, how come the Colonel has way more of it than the Argosians?

FRASIER: Maybe because he started out older than they did ... sort of like a-a head start for whatever this thing is.

CARTER: I'd better wake up General Hammond.

FRASIER: Yeah.

Scene: Argos – Temple

The ‘gate begins to activate. Daniel runs down the stairs away from it.

DANIEL: Jack! Carter's comin' back! (He runs into the entry corridor and waits as Jack approaches.) Jack ...

We see Jack appear. He looks much older than he did before. His hair is greyer and his hairline is receding somewhat. His hair is longer and his combed straight back. Carter comes through carrying a large container. She slows as she sees Jack ... somewhat stunned by his appearance, she is speechless.

O'NEILL: Welcome back, Captain. So, what did you find out? (Sam stares at him for a moment, mouth open.) Come on now, don't keep the elderly waiting. It's rude.

She puts the case down, still trying to comprehend his altered appearance.

CARTER: Uh, it isn't a virus.

O'NEILL: All right ... what is it?

CARTER: Well, Dr. Fraiser and I came up empty. She's still working on it ... but it's gonna take time.

DANIEL: Time ... is something these people don't have, Captain.

O'NEILL: Nor do I.

CARTER: Colonel, there's something else. You're blood sample showed way more organisms compared to the Argosians.

O'NEILL: How many more?

CARTER: Maybe on the level of a hundred times more ... and they are multiplying.

O'NEILL: Which means?

CARTER: It-it means the organism – or what ever it is – seems to be compensating for your natural age. You've already lived way longer than anyone with this, for lack of a better word, disease, ever should.

O'NEILL: Cut to it, Captain.

CARTER: At the rate your changing, by the end of two weeks, you'll be the equivalent of 100 years old.

O'NEILL: So, in two weeks I'll be dead?

CARTER: Not if I can help it. I'd like to set up a lab here.

O'NEILL: Negative, Captain.

CARTER: We may be able to retard the aging process long enough to find a cure.

O'NEILL: I want you to pack up and head back to Earth. Now. All of you. That's an order. We're not gonna bring another disease back through that ‘gate.

TEAL'C: I will remain here, with O'Neill. I cannot be affected by ... whatever this is.

O'NEILL: I don't need company. I need a cure ... and Daniel needs help translating that Goa'uld tablet thing. It might hold the answer.

DANIEL: Jack ...

O'NEILL: And don't you dare say good bye because you damn will better be coming back ... soon. Now, get outta here. All of you.

He walks away leaving them all in the temple.

Scene: SGC – a medical lab

Sam is looking at images of the blood samples on a computer again. She has magnified the image greatly. Janet is in the lab with her. Teal'c and Daniel are in the observation deck above, watching

CARTER: Oh my God ...

FRASIER: What?

She stops what she is doing and goes to join Sam.

CARTER: They're not multiplying. They're replicating.

DANIEL (through the microphone): What's the difference?

CARTER: Living organism multiply ... machines replicate.

TEAL'C (through the microphone): Machines inside the body? How is that possible?

CARTER: They're molecular devices that take atomic particles from their environment and use them to make more of themselves.

FRASIER: You're talking nanotechnology ... Sam nods.

DANIEL: You know anything about that?

FRASIER: No. (Sighs)

CARTER: Yes. When I was at the Pentagon, I worked for a year with a group that studied nanotechnology. We were looking at it for a lot of different uses. One of them was medicine ... creating artificial immune systems, repairing individual cells, even manipulating DNA to stop the aging process.

FRASIER: It sounds like Pelops succeeded in what you were experimenting with, only in reverse. Nice guy.

Scene: Argos – Temple

Jack is sitting in the temple, looking at the statue of Pelops. There is a fire roaring in some vessel and he is sitting in what appears to be Pelops' throne. He has aged more than the last time we saw him.

O'NEILL (to the statue): What're you lookin' at? Think you're hot stuff, doing this to me from six billion light years away?

KYNTHIA (who appears from behind the statue): Can you really talk to the great Pelops?

O'NEILL: Sure ... why not? Just a piece of rock. Not so great, anyway.

KYNTHIA (coming out from behind the statue and looking around): You're people ... they have gone?

O'NEILL: Yeah ... they have gone.

KYNTHIA: Then, you will leave also?

O'NEILL: No, I'll be here for a while.

KYNTHIA: I am glad. (Sitting on the pillows at the foot of the chair and placing a hand on his knee.) I would like to learn of your customs.

O'NEILL (in a fairly dark mood): Maybe some other time, hmm? I've kinda got a lot on my mind.

KYNTHIA: But you ate the marriage cake ... came to my bed ...

O'NEILL: Marriage cake? (Kynthia nods.) Kynthia, you thought we were married?

KYNTHIA: By all our customs, yes.

O'NEILL: Sweet ... (sighs) Kynthia, wh-what you were feeling wasn't really love. That takes time. I mean, you can't get to know someone in one day.

KYNTHIA: ‘Unto every woman the creator gives 100 blissful days.'

O'NEILL (raising his voice, slightly): Kynthia, will you stop that? You're creator was not a god, and he certainly didn't give you life. He took it away.

KYNTHIA: We are the Chosen. He made this place for us ... to be happy ... to love.

O'NEILL (practically yelling now): To be experimented on! I mean, look at me! I'm 40 years old ... or I was. That's ... thousands and thousands of days.

KYNTHIA (visibly upset): You do not tell the truth.

O'NEILL: The average human life span is 60 or 70 *years*. Some people live to be 100 *years*.

KYNTHIA: It is not possible.

O'NEILL: Pelops was an alien who used your people! He shortened your lives to satisfy his curiosity!

KYNTHIA (looks to the statue, then back to Jack): No.

She gets up and runs out of the temple.

Scene: SGC – Medical Lab

Sam and Janet are working on the isolation container. Sam has her hands in the gloves that allow her to manipulate objects inside the container.

CARTER: We've given the nanocytes some live tissue to interact with, but they aren't touching it. The only thing they appear to do is make more of themselves. So, how are they causing the aging on Argos?

FRASIER: Maybe there's something on Argos that they need to make them do another task, something in the air or, uh, in the food.

Sam puts down one of the instruments she was holding and suddenly notices that layers of her gloves are flaking off. She quickly pulls her hands out of them and closes the doors, isolating the nanocytes inside the container as a containment breach alarm sounds.

TEAL'C (over the microphone): Is there a problem, Captain Carter?

CARTER: I-I don't know! (She turns and washes her hands in a sink.)

FRASIER: It's eating through the rubber. (We see the gloves almost completely destroyed inside the isolation container.)

CARTER: Oh, God!

FRASIER: What? What is it?

CARTER: They're trying to spread.

Scene: Argos – Temple

Jack is still sitting in the same throne. He appears to be much older now. His hair is white, much longer and thinner. His face is more wrinkled and he has a scraggly beard and mustache. He is holding a notebook and pen and we see that he has written ‘Dear Sara' on the paper, but nothing else. He closes the notebook and throws both to the floor.

ALEKOS (who has just appeared in the temple): Is it true that you have lived thousands of days?

O'NEILL: I should have kept my mouth shut. But wouldn't you rather know the truth.

ALEKOS (turns to look at the statue): Why do we deserve this?

O'NEILL: He can't hear you.

ALEKOS: We are good people. We love each other and this land you have given us. Why?

O'NEILL: Science, progress, knowledge ... (He waves his hands ... unable to give better answers.) Alekos, what would you do if you had thousands of days ahead of you?

ALEKOS: I would walk out into the world, beyond the borders of the Chosen.

O'NEILL: Why?

ALEKOS: To see what is there. Now one knows. Pelops has forbidden us ever to leave.

O'NEILL: And how has he done that? He's nothing but a big piece of rock. He's a statue.

ALEKOS: He will strike us down, it is taught.

O'NEILL: No, he will not strike you down. Trust me on that, will you? Look, go on out there. Take a walk. See what's there. Go on ...

ALEKOS: Then I could return and teach the people what I know ... and in their thousands of days they would learn more and teach their children.

O'NEILL: Now you're talkin'.

The sun sets and rises again. Kynthia walks into the temple, looking for Jack. She finds him sitting at the top of the steps to the ‘gate. He is facing the ‘gate with his back to her. His hair is very white now and very long.

KYNTHIA: Come back to the village. It is not good to be always alone.

O'NEILL (still facing away from her): Whatever time I have left, let me spend it in my own way.

She walks up the steps to sit by Jack.

KYNTHIA: But you do not spend it. You waste it.

O'NEILL: I don't think reflecting on my life, or trying to figure out how to get the rest of it back, is a waste.

KYNTHIA: You are angry.

O'NEILL: Yes. Yes I am. Aren't you now that you know the truth?

KYNTHIA: What can we do but live in the way we always have? We do not have thousands of days. But we treasure every moment.

O'NEILL: I know, Kynthia. But in my heart ... I'm a military man, a warrior. That's my life. To which my ex-wife will attest.

KYNTHIA: You love her still? (No answer from Jack.) And now, because of me, you will never see her again.

O'NEILL: You meant no harm.

KYNTHIA: Then let me give what I have taken. The time of one heartbeat can become an eternity.

She smiles and kisses him.

Scene: SGC – Briefing Room

General Hammond joins SG-1 and Janet at the table.

HAMMOND: I'm sorry, people, my decision is final.

FRASIER: Sir, neither of us show any evidence of the nanocyte.

CARTER: We can keep working here in total isolation.

HAMMOND: All blood and tissue samples are to be incinerated and pulverized. Work on the Argos project stops now.

DANIEL: General, you are condemning Colonel O'Neill and the Argosians to death.

HAMMOND: Captain Carter, these thing appear to possess artificial intelligence. Correct?

CARTER: Yes, sir. That's the only way they could adapt their programming to their situation.

HAMMOND: Which means they could adapt themselves right out of this facility.

CARTER: Sir, if we destroy the samples we will have nothing to work from.

HAMMOND: I'm sorry. The risk is just too great. The order is final.

He gets up to leave.

DANIEL (so close to losing it): Sir! (all stop, including Hammond) We cannot just leave him there.

HAMMOND: Dr. Jackson, Colonel O'Neill is one of the finest men it has ever been my pleasure to serve with. It will be a great loss to this country and to all of us in this room, but I am sure he would not hesitate to make the same decision for himself that I'm making now.

Scene: Argos – Temple

Jack is watching a recording on a what appears to be a mini DV player that has been sent through the ‘gate.

SAM (on the video): We're working with computer simulations and practical simulations. Realistically, sir, I'm afraid it might take years.

DANIEL (on the video): The General says that ‘gate travel to Argos is strictly off-limits for the next few, uh, millennia ... but we can send objects through, so if you need anything ... just call. (then to his colleagues) Say something.

TEAL'C: Colonel ... I've learned very much from you. Thank you.

CARTER: You know, good-byes really suck.

Jack rewinds the recording.

Scene: Argos – Temple

The villagers are brining offerings to the statue. Jack, looking quite old and frail walks up to Alekos and his family. Dan-el is now a pre-teen.

O'NEILL: Excuse me, what are you doing?

ALEKOS: You're people do not have enough knowledge to help us. We must ask Pelops to return.

O'NEILL (growing agitated): Oh, for crying out loud! (He picks up a dish and smashed it to the ground.) Ol' Pelops doesn't give a rat's ass about things like love! His kind kidnap people like you and take them to other worlds to be used as slaves!

ALEKOS: Pelops thinks of us as his slaves? (All look around, confused and hurt.) Then I will no longer be one of the Chosen.

The crowd gasps at his statement.

THETYES (in tears): Nor will I.

O'NEILL: That's the message you ought to be sendin'.

Next we see many of the villagers pulling on ropes to bring down the statue of Pelops. When the statue falls, at first they hug each other in fear of what will happen. When nothing happens, their confidence grows.

ALEKOS: He-He did not strike us.

There is laughing and much relief.

Scene: Argos – the beach near the village

Jack and Kynthia are walking on the water's edge at dusk.

O'NEILL: So, you like older men, do ya? Wh-what is it?

KYNTHIA: We should go back. We have gone too far from the village. Pelops forbids it.

O'NEILL: He's gone, Kynthia. He's gone. It'll be okay, I promise.

Jack takes her hand and the continue their walk.

Scene: Argos – Beach

It is now night. Jack is playing tic-tac-toe in the sand with Kynthia.

O'NEILL (as she wins another game): Aw, hell. Have to teach you a game I can win.

KYNTHIA (laughs): It is good to see you smile. Tell me, will you live the rest of your days without making love?

O'NEILL: Oh, God, I hope not. Ah, we'd probably just pass out. (then it occurs to him that it is dark and they are still awake) Why aren't we unconscious yet? It shoulda happened already Kynthia. Why aren't we asleep?

Scene: Argos – Village

Jack and Kynthia arrive at the village and it is daylight, but everyone is still asleep.

KYNTHIA: No one has awakened.

O'NEILL: Except for us. Why? How important is this rule that no one can leave the village?

KYNTHIA: It is Pelops first law.

O'NEILL: Then whatever it is that knocks us all out at night is right here.

KYNTHIA: What?

O'NEILL: I'll bet you and I stayed awake because we walked out of range. The cure could be as simple as just ... getting' the hell outta Dodge. We stay out of proximity, no sleep. They all stay here, they get no wake-up call. There's got to be some other variable, some other change.

Scene: Argos – Temple

Jack and Kynthia walk in. We can hear a faint electronic beeping. Jack notices a light flashing on a device in the bottom of one of the overturned stones. He pulls it out and looks it over.

O'NEILL: Excuse me. I've got a phone call to make.

We see the wormhole SFX again.

Sam, Teal'c and Daniel arrive, wearing hazmat suits. Jack greets them before they can set their stuff down.

O'NEILL: Welcome back, kids. It's damn good to see you again. (They all stare at him.) Don't worry. Aside from a little prostate problem we won't go into, it's not so bad.

He motions for them to follow him.

Later ...

SAM (referring to the device Jack found): I was right. It's a transmitter.

DANIEL: Uh, there were two sets of glyphs that were quite tough to translate until Teal'c realized they weren't words.

TEAL'C: They were, in fact, numbers.

CARTER: Two different frequencies: One to put the villagers to sleep and to activate the nanocytes, the second one to shut it all off for the day.

DANIEL: When you broke the statue, you must have damaged the wake-up call.

O'NEILL: Can you recalibrate this thing to wake these people up?

CARTER: No, sir, it's useless. I'm gonna have to use the equipment that we brought with us. I've loaded the frequency. I'm switching it on now.

There is a humming from the equipment and, shortly, the villagers begin waking up. Upon waking, they are immediately concerned.

Voice in the crowd: The sun ...

THETYES: Alekos, the sun is already turning.

ALEKOS: Why did we wake so late?

Later ...

TEAL'C: Our tests indicate that your body has been cleansed of the machines that plagued you.

CARTER: I figure the immune system must attack them if they aren't operating.

DANIEL (to Kynthia): From now on, you and your people should age at a normal rate.

KYNTHIA: What about Jack?

O'NEILL: Me? Oh, I'll probably move to Florida, get into a little retirement home of some kind.

CARTER: You'd look pretty out of place there at your age.

O'NEILL: Why? I look like my grandfather.

CARTER: Look is the operative word here. If our hypothesis is right, the nanocytes in your system were only meant to imitate aging. They weren't meant to start the process in a full-grown adult.

O'NEILL: What are you sayin' to me?

CARTER: Without these little buggers in your system to maintain the changes, you should return to normal within a week or two.

KYNTHIA: That is wonderful news.

O'NEILL (sitting down with Kynthia): I don't know. I was kinda looking forward to a little shuffleboard with the fellas.

KYNTHIA: Then you are leaving?

Jack looks to his teammates, letting them know he would like a moment alone with Kynthia. Sam nods her head to the others, indicating that they should follow her away from there.

KYNTHIA: You will not be staying with me then?

O'NEILL: No, I won't.

KYNTHIA: What will happen to us now if Pelops returns?

O'NEILL: Well, I don't think that's gonna happen. But just in case, we'll send some folks by now and again to check up on you.

KYNTHIA: My heart would be glad if you were one of them.

O'NEILL: Sweet Kythia, I've learned so much from you. I'll treasure every day of my life, because of you.

KYNTHIA (smiling, sadly): For thousands of days?

O'NEILL: I sure hope so.

KYNTHIA (laughs): That is almost forever.

O'NEILL: Almost.

He gives her a kiss on the cheek.