Collateral Damage

Transcript

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Colonel Mitchell stands falsely accused of murder -- but he remembers committing it, thanks to technology that grafts memories into someone else's mind.

EPISODE #912
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 01.13.06
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 11.20.06
DVD DISC: Season 9, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: William Waring
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Transcript by Mary Carouthers

In Memory of Jeff Upton

ALIEN PLANET - GALAR. The city is a fully industrialized society, with skyscrapers, elevated train tracks, etc.

(Cut to Mitchell, lying on floor, just waking. Images are racing in his mind: the face of a woman at a party; a hallway; he picks up a statue; him hugging and kissing the woman; him chasing the woman; she screams; he hits her with the statue.)

(Mitchell opens his eyes; he is disoriented. He sees blood on his hands. Image of woman returns to his mind, him beating her repeatedly until he drops the statue and looks at his bloodied hands.)

(Sound of two loud knocks.)

VOICE: (in the distance) Open up the door!

(Sound of door being forced open. Two men enter the room. One pushes Mitchell face down and puts restraints on his wrists.)

MITCHELL: What the hell's going on?

(Third man enters the room, apparently the Officer in Charge.)

OFFICER: Colonel Mitchell.

MITCHELL: Yeah. What happened?

OFFICER: Bring him.

(The officer who restrained Mitchell, lifts him to his feet. They go as a group, Officer in Charge leading, then Mitchell and his escort, then the third officer in the rear. They come into the dining area where Mitchell remembers kissing the woman and now sees her lying dead with a pool of blood and the statue next to her head on the floor.)

MITCHELL: Oh, my god.

OFFICER: Colonel Mitchell, I'm placing you under arrest for the murder of Doctor Reya Varrick.


GALAR - TWENTY-FOUR HOURS EARLIER. Mitchell is in a laboratory, lying back in a chair, similar to a dentist's chair, with electrodes attached to his head and his eyes closed.

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. (He is dressed in clothing typical of the world they are visiting, and standing in Varrick's house, staring out a window at the planet's moon. She is coming out from the back, fastening her robe.)

VARRICK: I'm sorry to keep you waiting, Emissary. I wasn't expecting anyone.

MITCHELL: I apologize for coming so late. (He turns to face her.) But the Committee just completed its deliberation.

VARRICK: You've chosen a new leader for the project.

MITCHELL: Yes, we have. (He puts his glass down on a table.) Congratulations.

VARRICK: I'm honored.

MITCHELL: We expect ... (he steps toward her; leans forward; and touches the side of her arm and smiles) ... great things from you, Doctor. (He pulls his hand back after the third touch and she crosses her arms as he leans back to an upright position.) Along with your new responsibilities you will have a higher security clearance. You already know about the ring, of course.

VARRICK: (nodding) Yes, sir.

MITCHELL: What you don't know is that we've used it to visit over a dozen inhabited worlds and there may be thousands more out there.

VARRICK: My god.

MITCHELL: As Ambassador to those worlds, I've seen first hand the kind of technologies that exist in the Galaxy: giant ships capable of travel between the stars, weapons of immeasurable power. Galar is vulnerable, Doctor. The Project may be our only hope for survival.

VARRICK: (nodding) We'll do our best, sir.


LABORATORY. Mitchell's eyes fly open; he sits up quickly, wide-eyed, mouth opened. Doctor Varrick is behind him, monitoring equipment next to the chair, which the electrodes are connected to. Across the room are Teal'c, Carter, Jackson, and the Galaran Emissary, who is smiling at him.

MITCHELL: Wow.

VARRICK: (concerned) Colonel? (Mitchell turns to look at her.) How do you feel?

(Mitchell turns more to face her and sits, half kneeling on the chair.)

MITCHELL: (slight chuckle) That's just weird. (Varrick smiles at him.) I was having a conversation with you ... (He points at Varrick.) ... it was about a year ago, but we just met yesterday.

(Mitchell and Varrick face the Emissary, who begins speaking as he walks toward them, stopping in front of the platform that they are on.)

EMISSARY: I was the one who had a conversation with Doctor Varrick. What you experienced was my memory.

(Close up of Carter and Jackson, who look skeptical.)

JACKSON: That's amazing.

(The Emissary glances back at Teal'c, Carter, and Jackson.)

EMISSARY: Oh, believe me, Doctor Jackson, this is just the beginning. (He looks back toward Mitchell and Varrick.)

VARRICK: (removing electrodes from Mitchell as she speaks) The memory was copied from the Emissary's mind and spliced into yours. Once there, it was incorporated into your consciousness like a transplant organ becoming part of a new body.

MITCHELL: I could swear I was there. (Mitchell stands up and walks down off the platform to join the rest of his team.) I don't really know what we were talking about. (Stands beside Jackson; turns around; and points at Varrick.) But we were talking.

VARRICK: (walking to front edge of platform) Of course, this was just a small demonstration. We're still perfecting the process, but we believe ... (She stops just behind and to the side of the Emissary.) ... eventually the device will become an invaluable educational tool.

EMISSARY: Imagine, your most brilliant surgeons or engineers instantaneously transferring the full memory of their education ... (Camera pans to SG-1; Carter and Jackson appear uneasy.) ... and experience to young students. (Camera back on the Emissary.) You could conceivably cut their training time from years to mere weeks.

CARTER: (with a wary expression) And you say you adapted this technology from a Goa'uld memory device?

VARRICK: That is correct.

JACKSON: (rubbing chin) Uh, if you don't mind our asking -- where did you get your hands on one? (grimace)

(Varrick begins to answer, but is cutoff by the Emissary before she can utter the first syllable. She hangs her head slightly, as she holds her tongue, then focuses with the others on the Emissary.)

EMISSARY: This planet has been under the protection of the Asgard for many generations, but it was originally occupied by the Goa'uld. That device was discovered by archaeologists over a hundred years ago ... (Camera pans to SG-1; Jackson glances briefly at Carter.) ... but it wasn't until recently that our understanding of the technology ... (Camera back to Emissary.) ... advanced to the point where we could create the memory transfer. It was Doctor Varrick ... (He glances back at her briefly; she smiles in return.) ... who made the final breakthrough.

VARRICK: (smiling modestly) The Emissary's exaggerating. I was just the last in a long line of scientists working on The Project.

MITCHELL: (smiling) The last one is the one who gets it right.

(Varrick chuckles slightly, gives Mitchell a beaming smile. Camera pans to SG-1. Carter and Jackson give Mitchell an odd look. He looks back at them.)

MITCHELL: (deadpan) What?


S.G.C. - BRIEFING ROOM.

CARTER: The Galarans haven't perfected the implant technology to the point where it would have widespread applications, but from Colonel Mitchell's experience ... (She glances directly across the table at him.) ... it sounds like ... (She returns her focus to the head of the table.) ... they're well on their way.

JACKSON: (sitting to Carter's right) If they succeed it could artificially accelerate their technological advancement.

MITCHELL: I think that's the point.

JACKSON: (looking at Mitchell) I'm saying it could be dangerous.

LANDRY: (from the head of the table) We're hardly in a position to judge, Doctor Jackson. For the past nine years, SG-1 has been routinely employing technologies that are well beyond our level of advancement. (Jackson frowns.)

CARTER: The Asgard are busy rebuilding, which means they haven't been around to do much protecting. The Galarans feel like they need to play catch up.

TEAL'C: (sitting to Mitchell's left) In all likelihood, that is the reason they are seeking a relationship with the Tau'ri. They are undoubtedly aware of our success against the Goa'uld.

LANDRY: So, what exactly do they want? I mean aside from our goodwill and fellowship?

CARTER: Well, right now they have no interstellar capabilities except for the Gate itself. They've been working on hyper-drive technology, but without much success.

LANDRY: Then they want to offer this memory device in exchange for our help.

JACKSON: (carefully) Well, the Emissary was reluctant to get into specifics, I think he wanted to, uh, wet our appetite for the technology before we started bargaining.

LANDRY: Well, it worked. The Joint Chiefs are already salivating over the idea of training jet pilots in a matter of days. We need to set up another meeting.

CARTER: No need, sir. We've already been invited back for a reception in honor of the scientists, who developed the implant technology. (She looks over at Mitchell.)

MITCHELL: (smiling) I'm hoping there'll be dancing. (Landry looks at Mitchell, raising his eyebrows.) Sir.


GALAR - EVENING. We see an elevated train run along the tracks at a good speed.

RECEPTION - PRIVATE HOME. Mitchell and Varrick walk along the far side of a swimming pool, he in BDUs, she in a cocktail dress. Other people are around, mingling in small groups.

MITCHELL: (jokingly) Check that out. (Mitchell and Varrick walk past a man standing alone at poolside, staring at the water.) Even on an alien world. A wallflower.

VARRICK: (giggles) Doctor Amuro. He's worked on The Project for many years.

MITCHELL: He doesn't look like he's enjoying the party.

VARRICK: You know how it is with scientists. We spend so much time in the lab ... I think that's where we feel most comfortable. (They walk past the rest of SG-1, also dressed in BDUs. They are in a small circle with the Emissary, talking.)

MITCHELL: In your case, I find that hard to believe.

VARRICK: (slowing down, turning to face Mitchell) Are you suggesting I don't work as hard as my colleagues? (She stops.)

MITCHELL: (coming to a stop, facing her, standing awkwardly) No ... no ... god, no. (pause) It's supposed to be a compliment.

VARRICK: (giggles) Guess I'll have to take your word for it.

(Cut to SG-1 and the Emissary. Each is holding a cocktail glass.)

JACKSON: (frustrated; to the Emissary) No, it's not that I don't appreciate the potential of the technology; it's just that we're talking about your memory here. It's fundamental to your identity. (shrugs) If you can't trust it; you're lost.

EMISSARY: (facing Jackson) Your memory is already less objective than you think it is, Doctor Jackson.

CARTER: (standing to the Emissary's right) Well, he's got a point. You can just ask any cop who's had to take eyewitness testimony.

JACKSON: Yeah, but there's a difference between getting a license plate number wrong and not knowing if the four years you spent in college ever actually happened.

EMISSARY: (smiling) Yes, but that would never be the case because everyone receiving the treatment would be aware of what they were getting.

TEAL'C: (standing to Jackson's left) So long as the technology is not abused.

EMISSARY: (blasé) Well, that's a risk with all new technologies.

TEAL'C: Easily said by one who has not been the victim of such abuse. (Carter and the Emissary both smile at the comment.)

EMISSARY: (tiny laugh) Excuse me. (He walks away, past Jackson.)

(Cut to Mitchell and Varrick. Another man nervously approaches them.)

MAN: (to Varrick) Reya.

(Mitchell and Varrick look at him.)

VARRICK: Doctor Marell, this is Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell.

(Marell gives Mitchell a brief, courteous smile then looks again at Varrick.)

MARELL: (seriously) We have to talk.

VARRICK: (to Mitchell) Excuse me.

(Marell escorts Varrick away. Mitchell looks contemplative. Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c walk over to him; he turns as they approach.)

CARTER: (catching Mitchell's eye) How's it going?

MITCHELL: I don't think diplomacy is my thing.

JACKSON: (sarcastically) Oh, that's what you're doing. (Carter smiles.)

MITCHELL: (deadpan) What?

JACKSON: (shrugs) Nothing. I ...

(Jackson takes a drink from his glass; Mitchell gives him an annoyed look; Carter smiles even bigger.)

(Cut to Marell and Varrick; he hands her a folded piece of paper. She opens it; reads it; and starts looking around. She spots her target and stomps off.)

MARELL: (reaching out with one hand) Reya. Wait.

(Varrick stops next to the Emissary, who is speaking with a couple. She holds the paper up to him.)

VARRICK: (upset) Why wasn't I informed of this?

EMISSARY: (to couple) Excuse me.

(The man nods, leads the woman away. Marell walks off as well, crossing in front of the camera.)

EMISSARY: (quietly to Varrick) What?

VARRICK: (angry) You moved up the test schedule and you selected a group of volunteers. (Varrick's voice is loud enough to get Amuro's attention. He leaves poolside, moving closer to the conversation.) When did this happen?

EMISSARY: (calmly) We've been very impressed with your progress. We thought it was time to take your research to its next level. You should take this as a compliment.

VARRICK: (through gritted teeth) I notice all the test subjects are military officers. How should I take that?

EMISSARY: This is still a classified operation.

VARRICK: (deep breath) You gave me your personal assurance this project would remain under civilian control.

EMISSARY: (frustrated) And so it has. The military is simply making their contribution.

VARRICK: (shouting) Well, I've seen what those contributions can lead to. (Her voice gets SG-1's attention. They all look in her direction.)

EMISSARY: You're overreacting. And in any case, this is hardly the place to discuss it.

VARRICK: (adamantly) This conversation isn't over.

(Varrick walks toward the building. Mitchell watches her leaving.)

MITCHELL: I'll be back.

(Mitchell hustles past Carter to catch up to Varrick. Carter looks after him with a worried expression on her face. Varrick just reaches the building as Mitchell calls out to her.)

MITCHELL: Reya. Wait up.

(Varrick sighs and stops; turns to face Mitchell, placing her hands on her hips and glaring.)

MITCHELL: (arriving in front of her) What was that all about?

VARRICK: (still upset) I should have seen this coming. They're going to take The Project away from me.

MITCHELL: (calmly, crossing arms) Why would they do that? You're the one who figured it out.

VARRICK: Which means they no longer need me. (breath) I know where this is coming from; it's The General Staff. They want to control the technology without any interference from civilian scientists. (shakes head) Why am I telling you this? You're a military officer yourself. If you get your hands on the device, the same thing will happen on your planet. (She turns and steps away toward the front door.)

MITCHELL: (calling out) Hey, I'm not a big fan ... (Varrick stops and looks back at him.) ... of misusing technology on any planet. (pause) And I might be able to help you out.

VARRICK: (stepping closer to Mitchell) What do you mean?

MITCHELL: Well, obviously your government is keen on forming a relationship with mine. That gives us some leverage.

VARRICK: (surprised) You'd use your influence to help me?

MITCHELL: (cautiously) I could try.

VARRICK: (smiling, her eyes brightening) Wow. (She looks Mitchell up and down then glances back at the party.) I really don't want to go back out there. Maybe you can do me a favor and walk me home? (Mitchell gives her a surprised look. She smiles at him.) It's not far, but I don't like to walk alone.

MITCHELL: (smiling) Really?

(The Emissary is walking toward Mitchell and Varrick.)

VARRICK: (teasingly) Don't they have crime on your planet?

(The Emissary gets closer then stops without approaching them.)

MITCHELL: (excited) Oh, yeah.

(Varrick crosses the lobby to leave. Mitchell snaps his fingers, falling into step behind her. The Emissary watches them leaving together with a strange look on his face then returns to the party.)


VARRICK'S HOUSE. Varrick unlocks the front door and enters, leaving Mitchell to close the door while she steps to a bar a few feet down the hall and sets down her handbag. Mitchell pauses just inside the door with a look of astonishment on his face.

MITCHELL: Oh, wow. (Waves finger at Varrick.) Don't move. (He pivots left to look away from her at what's in that direction then he pivots back; looks at her; and begins to walk toward her, taking in the place.) The night the Emissary told you ... (Varrick leans against bar and giggles.) ... that they put you in charge of The Project he came here. (He comes to a stop across the hall from her and continues scanning the place.)

VARRICK: (smiling, nodding) That's right.

MITCHELL: (sighs) This is weird. (He turns and closes the distance between them.) I mean I know I've never been here before, but I recognize this place.

VARRICK: (smiling) Then you know where the drinks are. Help yourself. (She steps away.) And pour me one, too.

(Mitchell watches her a moment then he checks out the bar; sniffs the stopper from the decanter; glances at his reflection in the mirror behind it; pours two drinks.)

(Cut to dining area, there is a counter dividing it from the kitchen and a living room in the distance. Varrick enters from beyond the living room and stops at the counter, smiling, while Mitchell joins her from the hallway, carrying their drinks.)

MITCHELL: It's impressive. (He hands over her drink then steps past her to check out the living room.) Do all government scientists live like this?

VARRICK: (smiling) The success of The Project has brought me a few privileges. Sometimes I feel a little guilty. Most of my colleagues from my days at The Academy don't live nearly so well.

MITCHELL: Well, I'm sure you deserve it. (Mitchell raises his glass to her; Varrick drinks then Mitchell follows suit.) Wow. (Varrick giggles; Mitchell chuckles as he steps to her side and puts his glass down on the counter.) That doesn't pull any punches, does it?

VARRICK: (puts glass down) After the day I just had that's the whole point.

MITCHELL: Whew. (crossing in front of her) So, you live here on your own?

VARRICK: (smiling) Why do you ask? (She turns to face him as he leans back at her side with his hands on the counter behind him.)

MITCHELL: Well, it's a big place. I don't know just ... just curious I guess.

(Varrick steps in front of Mitchell and takes hold of the front of his outer shirt; starts playing with it.)

VARRICK: (smiling) I thought that was your clever way of asking if I was married.

MITCHELL: I'm not that clever.

VARRICK: (giggles) Well, anyway, the answer is yes, I live alone. (pause) I was married, but the job got in the way.

MITCHELL: Well, that much I understand.

VARRICK: Then we're not so different after all.

(Varrick puts her arms around Mitchell's neck and they begin to kiss.)

MITCHELL: We shouldn't do this.

VARRICK: (tiny laugh) You wouldn't have come here if you didn't want to. (She moves her hands to his shoulders and kisses him again. As they kiss she shifts one hand behind his neck and draws him away from the counter.)

MITCHELL: Mmm ... I didn't say I didn't want to.

(Mitchell leans in and kisser her, putting his arms around her then turns them around, they continue a series of short kisses.)

(Cut to view of city, same area as before, but now it is morning.)


EMISSARY'S OFFICE. Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c are being escorted in.

CARTER: (walking toward Emissary's desk) Emissary, what's going on? Where is Colonel Mitchell?

EMISSARY: (stepping to behind his desk) He's been taken into custody.

JACKSON: (coming to stand to Carter's left, Teal'c to his left) Why?

EMISSARY: He killed Doctor Varrick.

CARTER: (shocked) What?

JACKSON: (seriously) That's insane.

EMISSARY: When we found him, his blood alcohol level was extremely high. I suspect it was probably some kind of unpremeditated crime of passion. We all know they left the reception together.

CARTER: That's hardly evidence.

EMISSARY: We also found her blood on his hands, and his fingerprints are on the murder weapon, but, most importantly, he confessed.

(Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c look stunned.)


MITCHELL'S JAIL CELL. Mitchell is dressed in a simple black suit, similar to surgical scrubs, seated on a bench; Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c are standing on the outside of the bars, visiting with him.

CARTER: Cam, what happened?

MITCHELL: I don't know. I mean the whole night is just a blur. (He closes his eyes and sees the same images in his as when he woke up while he tells them what he remembers.) I just remember feeling this insane anger. I don't know why. (pauses)

(Carter takes a deep breath.)

MITCHELL: I picked up this statue ... and I hit her with it. (pauses)

(Carter closes her eyes; Jackson takes a deep breath.)

MITCHELL: She was lying there ... helpless and I, uh, (closes his eyes)

JACKSON: (confidently) It wasn't you, okay? These people can implant memories.

MITCHELL: (snapping, cutting Jackson off) I've been trying to tell myself the same thing all morning. It doesn't stop me from seeing her face. (pause) What if I told you everything that happened to you yesterday was a false memory? (pause) How would you know the difference?

(An officer approaches them, and stops to Carter's left.)

OFFICER: The Emissary would like to speak with the prisoner.


EMISSARY'S OFFICE.

CARTER: We need to talk about this so-called evidence we have against Colonel Mitchell.

EMISSARY: (crossing to stand in front of Mitchell) That won't be necessary. Colonel Mitchell is free to return to Earth.

MITCHELL: (surprised) I'm what?

EMISSARY: I'm trying to convince the Cabinet to maintain your diplomatic status but I may not succeed. (He steps away to go around to behind his desk.)

MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. If they think I'm guilty, why are they letting me go?

EMISSARY: They believe it is in the best interest of interplanetary relations to put this difficult business behind us as quickly and as quietly as possible.

TEAL'C: (seriously) Colonel Mitchell has been falsely accused.

JACKSON: (to Teal'c's right, crosses his arms) Which means there could still be a murderer out there.

EMISSARY: Let's be realistic here. Very few people have access to the memory device. Even fewer have the skills to manipulate it in this manner and none that I can think of have any motive. Colonel Mitchell should be grateful. Under our rules of evidence, he would be convicted of this crime.

MITCHELL: (steps forward, angrily) I should be grateful to walk away and have this memory stuck in my head for the rest of my life?

EMISSARY: Alright. If you agree to close the matter, we can have the incident removed from your mind and replace it with a memory of a pleasant, uneventful evening.

MITCHELL: Just like that? Forget it ever happened.

EMISSARY: Precisely. (Teal'c begins to shuffle from one foot to the other as if restraining himself.) On the other hand, if you insist on a full investigation, I won't be able to protect you. If the evidence continues to point to your guilt, you will be subject to the full force of our laws, and the penalty for murder is death.

CARTER: (steps forward to Mitchell's left and speaks quietly to him) Cameron, we need to be really careful here. We have no idea how their legal system works. We don't know what kind of rights ...

MITCHELL: (cutting her off) Sam, I need to do this. (glares at the Emissary) I want to know what really happened.


S.G.C. - BRIEFING ROOM. SG-1 (minus Mitchell) are seated as earlier with General Landry at the head of the table.

LANDRY: You can tell the Galarans that until Colonel Mitchell is returned that all trade talks are suspended.

JACKSON: He doesn't want to come back. (Landry looks surprised.) He wants to force them to conduct a full investigation.

LANDRY: I don't give a damn what he wants.

JACKSON: General, it's easy for us to sit here and be certain he didn't do it, but look at it from his point of view. No matter what we say, he ... he's still going to have the memory of murdering that woman with his own hands.

LANDRY: You said the Emissary offered to have that memory removed.

JACKSON: (sighs) Well, he'd still know that she'd been killed and I ... I'm sure he'd be curious why no one had been held accountable for it.

LANDRY: He's taking an awful chance.

TEAL'C: I believe it highly unlikely the Galarans would execute Colonel Mitchell. It would severely hinder the possibility of future relations with the Tau'ri.

CARTER: Sir, I've already spoken to Doctor Marell. He says they can use the implant technology to determine if the memory's genuine or not.

LANDRY: (looking around the table at each of them) I don't want him hooked up to that damn machine again without one of you present.

CARTER: I'll be observing the analysis. In the meantime, Teal'c and Daniel have been granted access to all the material relevant to the investigation.

LANDRY: Very well. (He stands, prompting Carter to stand as well, then he leaves.)


GALAR - LABORATORY. The officer and two armed guards escort Carter and Mitchell into the room where Doctors Marell and Amuro are waiting. They step around the console in the middle of the room to greet them near the doorway.

OFFICER: Doctor Marell and Doctor Amuro will be conducting the analysis. Now, if there's anything else you require. (Mitchell stops in front of the two Doctors.)

CARTER: (turns to face the Officer) As a matter of fact, there is. I understand a sample of Colonel Mitchell's blood was taken when he was arrested.

OFFICER: (nods) In order to determine his blood alcohol level, yes.

CARTER: We'd like a portion of that sample sent back to Stargate Command. Just to corroborate your results, of course.

OFFICER: I'll see to it. (He turns and begins to leave.)

MARELL: And take the guards with you.

OFFICER: (stops and looks back, surprised) This man's been accused of murder.

MARELL: I don't want them in my lab.

OFFICER: (to guards) You can wait outside. (He leaves; guards follow.)

MITCHELL: You fellas sure you want to be left alone with me? (Carter moves to stand at Mitchell's right side.)

AMURO: (to Marell's left) Doctor Varrick was our colleague. If we thought for one minute you actually killed her, we wouldn't be helping you.

CARTER: Then who do you think killed her?

(Marell and Amuro exchange an uneasy look.)

MARELL: Reya was going to do everything she could to oppose the militarization of The Project so they got rid of her.

MITCHELL: Why frame me?

AMURO: They assumed you'd claim diplomatic immunity and, therefore, no prosecution would be necessary. The whole thing was to be swept under the carpet.

MITCHELL: They assumed wrong.

MARELL: And for that we are grateful. (Amuro nods his agreement.)

CARTER: Can you prove the memory's false?

AMURO: Unfortunately, Doctor Varrick was the most qualified to do this work.

MITCHELL: I'm sure you'll do fine.

AMURO: (stepping back and waving to his right) Please.

(Amuro and Marell escort Mitchell and Carter around the console. Marell sits in front of it, Carter coming to stand at his left and watches while Amuro escorts Mitchell onto the platform and hooks him up to the chair. One the connection is made, three sets of wave patterns appear on one of the monitors.)

MARELL: Brain activity is extremely fluid. (Carter turns to look at him.) We can't read a memory like opening a drawer and pulling out a file. Patterns shift and mutate; one memory colors another.

AMURO: (from platform, standing to Mitchell's right) That's why it's so difficult to create a successful graft. We have to be careful not to cause too many inconsistencies.

(Carter and Marell face the platform.)

MARELL: Alright, Colonel. We need to establish a base line. What I've done is identify a series of key memories from your childhood. These are seminal moments. They stand out like signposts and they influence everything that came after them. I'm going to activate one now. (He turns back to the console. Carter keeps a close eye on Mitchell.)

(Mitchell closes his eyes and lays his head back on the chair. Amuro remains at his side, tending the monitor behind the chair. There is a flash of light as the memory is activated then Mitchell sees in his mind images of a hospital corridor. He is sitting and just as a nurse touches his shoulder, he hears Carter's voice)

CARTER: You all right?

MITCHELL: Yeah, it's just weird.

CARTER: What are you seeing?

MITCHELL: I'm in the V.A. hospital where they brought my father right after his accident.

CARTER: (deep breath) He was a test pilot, right?

MITCHELL: Yeah.


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Young Mitchell walks into his father's hospital room with a nurse behind him and stops just inside the door. His father is sitting up on his bed with both his legs gone from the knees down, bandages cover the stumps. He sees his son and uses his hands to start to turn to face him. He gets help from a nurse next to him and sits at the edge of the bed. Young Mitchell looks at the bandages then at his father's face. Older Mitchell looks down at the bandages then over to his son, who smiles at him. He smiles back.

MITCHELL: It's the first time I saw him after the crash. Scared the hell out of me seeing him like that. (Carter nods.) But, somehow, he made it seem that everything was gonna be okay. (Carter closes her eyes briefly, takes a deep breath.)

MARELL: (pushing buttons on the console) We're moving into a related memory now.

(Carter glances at Marell then resumes her watch on Mitchell. Amuro has moved to behind the chair, tending to that monitor. Mitchell blinks, flashes of light as the memory is activated.)

MITCHELL: It's a couple months later.


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Young Mitchell and his father are sitting side by side on a hospital bed with father's arm draped over son's shoulder.

LABORATORY.

MITCHELL: I'm watching the launch of the first space shuttle. I can't be more than ten years old.

IN MITCHELL'S MIND.

DAD: (excited as shuttle launches) Go, baby, go! What do you think of that Cam? Space flight. (Young Mitchell smiles.) I tell you what, if they can pull that off, the least I can do is walk again, right?

LABORATORY. (Amuro is removing the electrodes from Mitchell.)

AMURO: Well done, Colonel.

(Mitchell blinks; sits up; rubs his temple then the side of his head as he stretches his neck.)

MITCHELL: So, what's next?

MARELL: With this data we should be able to precisely calibrate the equipment, then comes the hard part.

AMURO: We'll need to run through your memories of the murder. We may have to do it several times.

MITCHELL: (sarcastic) Great.


EMISSARY'S OFFICE. An armed guard escorts Jackson and Teal'c into the room. Jackson is carrying a data crystal. They walk over, stopping in front of the Emissary's desk. He rises from his seat to greet them.

EMISSARY: Teal'c, Doctor Jackson, what can I do for you?

JACKSON: We've got a problem, uh, this data file was supposed to contain all materials relevant to the murder investigation, but large sections of Doctor Varrick's personal records have been deleted. (He hands the crystal to the Emissary.)

EMISSARY: (taking crystal) Well, she was involved in a number of our most top-secret projects. The deletions were made in the interest of national security, but I'm sure there's nothing in the missing material that has any bearing on the investigation.

TEAL'C: How are we to be certain?

EMISSARY: (offended) Because I'm telling you.

(Daniel takes crystal back; takes a deep breath; glances at Teal'c.)


LABORATORY - IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Images of Varrick at the reception then the murder then the two of them kissing then Mitchell waking up and seeing the blood on his hands then the Officer showing him Varrick's body.

MARELL: (seated at console, frustrated) We must be missing something. (Carter steps over to the console.) We've been through it three times.

CARTER: What's the problem?

AMURO: (standing beside console, arms crossed) Well, maybe we should run another diagnostic.

MARELL: (upset, pointing at monitor) That's not going to change the result. (stands and walks past Carter and Amuro) I need some air.

(Carter and Amuro watch Marell leave then Carter turns so that they are facing each other.)

AMURO: So far, we can't find any evidence that the memory's false. According to these results, Colonel Mitchell really did murder Doctor Varrick.

(Amuro and Carter glance over at Mitchell, who is still sitting back with his eyes closed, the machine active.)


CORRIDOR OUTSIDE LABORATORY. Carter approaches Doctor Marell, who is standing with his arms crossed.

CARTER: Doctor Marell, you have to continue with the analysis. Please. (pauses) Now, you know he didn't do this.

MARELL: (upset) That's not what the machine says.

CARTER: (deep breath) Look. I know Doctor Varrick was your friend ...

MARELL: (cutting her off) She was more than that, Colonel. (pause, choking up) She was my wife. (Carter looks surprised.) We've been separated for two years. (shaky) Guess I was still hoping there might be ... (pauses -- deep swallow) I can't help you.


S.G.C. - LANDRY'S OFFICE. Sergeant Harriman enters, carrying a file. Landry is seated behind his desk and looks up at him.

HARRIMAN: Sir, Doctor Lam was in surgery, but she wanted you to see this right away. (Harriman hands over a file; Landry puts down the papers he's been holding and takes it.) It's the results of the analysis of Colonel Mitchell's blood sample.

LANDRY: (opening file) Anything useful?

HARRIMAN: Yes, sir, she wanted you to know that the tripidends were negative, but the CK and the mioglobens were up. No, wait, um, the mioglobens were negative, but the CK and the tripidends were up. (shakes head) No, wait.

LANDRY: (frustrated) Walter.

HARRIMAN: Well, sir, whatever it was, it means that when the sample was taken, Colonel Mitchell had been recently, um, stunned or rendered unconscious by some kind of electrical charge.

LANDRY: (closing file) Like a zat gun.

HARRIMAN: Yes, sir, or some such similar, um, thing.

(Landry grunts then holds his hands out to his sides and raises his eyebrows at Harriman, who has nothing further to report, so he turns and leaves.)


GALAR - EMISSARY'S OFFICE. The Emissary is seated at his desk, looking at a file in front of him, presumably the report from Doctor Lam.

EMISSARY: This is hardly proof of Colonel Mitchell's innocence.

(Jackson, Carter and Teal'c are standing on the other side of his desk.)

JACKSON: (sarcastic, arms crossed) Wow, on Earth you have to prove guilt. (The Emissary looks at him, annoyed.) I know, we're not on Earth.

CARTER: At least let us talk to him.

(The Emissary stares at them for a long moment.)


LABORATORY. SG-1 is there, as are Doctors Marell and Amuro, who is on the platform by the back of the chair.

MITCHELL: (near the console, speaking to Marell) I'm sorry about Reya. (Marell stomps past him, joining Amuro on the platform.) She told me she'd been married. (Marell turns around ninety degrees.) She didn't tell me it was to you.

MARELL: (upset) Would it have made any difference?

(Pan SG-1 standing together near console: Jackson closest to door, arms crossed, Teal'c to his left, Carter to his left, then Mitchell to her left, closest to the platform.)

MITCHELL: I didn't kill her.

MARELL: Even if I wanted to help you, there's nothing more I can do.

CARTER: Why not?

AMURO: (stepping closer to others) Well, as you know we used Colonel Mitchell's own memories to establish a comparative standard, and, normally, that should have been enough to identify any false readings, but ... (glances at Marell) ... we were unable to do so, which means either the memory is genuine, or the transfer was so expertly done that the ordinary methods of detecting it are useless.

TEAL'C: What other methods are there? (Carter and Jackson glance at Teal'c.)

MARELL: Well, the only way would be to compare what happened the other night with a genuine memory of similar content and emotional resonance. (snotty) So, unless Colonel Mitchell's made a habit of killing innocent people ... (Amuro takes a deep breath, Teal'c glances at Jackson.) ... we're out of options.

MITCHELL: I may have what you need. (Carter, Teal'c and Jackson look at Mitchell, surprised. He glances uncomfortably at them.) Hook me up. (He steps onto platform and Amuro starts hooking him up to the machine while Marell goes to the console. The rest of SG-1 remain near the console to observe.)

(Cut to Amuro and Marell both standing at the console, monitoring Mitchell's brain patterns.)

MARELL: (pointing at screen) There it is.

JACKSON: What are we looking at?

AMURO: The emotion resonance pattern of this memory is very similar to that of Doctor Varrick's murder.

(Mitchell's eyes are tightly shut, his hands are tight fists against his lap, and his head is shaking side to side as the memory kicks in.)


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Mitchell is piloting a fighter plane in the sky over a desert.

MITCHELL: (over radio) Mustang Leader, this is Mustang Three. Do we have a confirmation on the target yet?

MUSTANG LEADER: Negative, Mustang Three. AWACs report we're still waiting on intel; maintain cap.

MITCHELL: I have tally. Three vehicle convoy just like the man said.

MUSTANG LEADER: Copy that, Three, we're still trying to confirm the target is in the convoy.

MITCHELL: (sound of shots) Triple A on my three, breaking left.

LABORATORY. (Marell glances briefly at Mitchell.)

AMURO: His heart rate just shot up. Breathing's shallow.

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. SOLO FIGHTER PLANE IN SKY OVER A DESERT.

MITCHELL: (anxious) I'm taking fire. Do we have a confirmation yet? (Makes another evasive maneuver.) It's not exactly the friendly skies out here, boys and girls. Can I get a confirmation on that target?

MUSTANG LEADER: Mustang Three, you are cleared hot. Repeat. You are cleared hot.

MITCHELL: We're sure about this?

MUSTANG LEADER: That's affirmative. Bump up to 1500 for reacquisition.

MITCHELL: Roger that. (Moves plane into position; flips switch) Weapon is armed. (releases bomb) Bomb's away.

MUSTANG LEADER: (anxious) Mustang Three, Mustang Three. Abort. Abort.

MITCHELL: (upset) What? No! No, no, no, no! Bomb is away. What the hell's goin' on Mustang Leader?

MUSTANG LEADER: We've lost confirmation on the target.

MITCHELL: (upset) You've got to be kiddin' me.

MUSTANG LEADER: Can you confirm hit?

MITCHELL: Stand by. (He watches the bomb make a direct hit on the convoy.) Target is destroyed. (sighs, tilts head back, takes deep breaths)


AIR FORCE OFFICE. It's the office of a Colonel M. Davidson.

DAVIDSON: Sorry about that, Captain. (Mitchell is sitting, staring at the floor.) We were relying on local allied intelligence. Obviously, someone dropped the ball.

MITCHELL: Who was the target? Was he in the convoy or not?

DAVIDSON: (sitting back in his seat behind the desk) Don't do this to yourself.

MITCHELL: Who was in the convoy, sir?

DAVIDSON: As far as we know, it was a group of refugees. This wasn't your fault.

MITCHELL: (shaky) That doesn't change the fact that I have to live with it for the rest of my life.


GALAR - LABORATORY. Mitchell's eyes fly open wide and he shoots up straight in the chair. Jackson and Teal'c look at him, concerned. Carter steps onto platform and helps Mitchell remove the electrodes.

MITCHELL: (shaky) Please tell me you got what you need.

MARELL: We're analyzing the results now. Just give us a few moments.

(Mitchell stands up and steps to the edge of the platform. Carter helps him to sit down before he falls and sits to his right.)

CARTER: (concerned) You okay?

MITCHELL: (shakes head) No.

MARELL: (smiling) It worked. The new data indicates that the memory of Reya's murder was implanted.

(Mitchell sighs, gives half smile.)

CARTER: (relieved) Thank, God.

AMURO: (standing up) I'll inform the Emissary.

MITCHELL: (stopping him) Hang on a second. We may have proved that I didn't kill her, but we're not finished, not by a long shot. (pauses, looks at Carter) I have to know who did it. (Carter nods) And I'm not leaving here until we find out. (Jackson and Teal'c exchange a brief glance.)


LABORATORY.

CARTER: What exactly are we looking for?

(Mitchell is in the chair again; Doctor Amuro is on the near side, hooking him up, Carter standing on the far side, and Doctor Marell is standing behind the head.)

MARELL: Because we know the memory was implanted, we can expect to find anomalies ... (Doctor Amuro finishes the one side and crosses behind Marell to the other side, stopping next to Carter as he continues to hook up Mitchell.) ... little moments where the brain is simply incapable of dealing with the inconsistencies that arise as the result of the graft. Often these take the form of missing time or sudden changes in the identities of people around us. Typically, they center on the splice points where the memory starts and stops.

AMURO: The problem is they can often be difficult to detect.

(Marell heads toward the console. Amuro fastens one last electrode to Mitchell then follows Marell.)

MITCHELL (quietly) Hey, Sam. (pauses and looks at her) Thanks.

(Carter smiles at him and rubs the side of his upper arm as she turns to face Marell and Amuro.)

CARTER: He's ready. (She heads over to the console to observe as she has before.)

(Mitchell closes his eyes and lays his head back.)


EMISSARY'S OFFICE. The Emissary is sitting relaxed in a chair, holding a glass with a drink in it. Jackson and Teal'c enter the room and walk over to stand near him.

JACKSON: (casually, hands in pockets) You wanted to see us?

EMISSARY: I understand Doctor Marell and Doctor Amuro were able to determine that the memory was an implant. I must say. I'm relieved. A trial could have been detrimental to relations between our worlds.

TEAL'C: Not to mention inconvenient for Colonel Mitchell.

EMISSARY: Yes, of course. I'm sure he'd like to return to Earth as soon as possible.

JACKSON: Actually, he's still in the lab.

TEAL'C: Colonel Mitchell believes that an analysis of the false memory could prove useful in determining the identity of the murderer.

EMISSARY: (deep breath) I'm sorry. (puts his drink down on the table in front of him) But I won't allow it. (He stands and walks away from them to stand behind his desk.) We've already been more than generous in putting our most important scientists and facilities at your disposal to determine Colonel Mitchell's innocence. But now it's time they got back to their business.

JACKSON: (walking to stand in front of the desk) Look, all we're asking for is a little more time.

EMISSARY: (raising his voice) The Project is already behind schedule. Doctor Marell is the most qualified to lead the research now, and his new responsibilities preclude him from participating in this investigation anymore.

JACKSON: Colonel Mitchell was assaulted. His memories were manipulated against his will, and an innocent woman was murdered. Now, I've only worked with the guy for a short period of time, but I'm pretty sure he's not gonna let this one go. (pauses) And if you want to get in his way ... let's just say ... when it comes time to decide if we want to pursue this relationship ... his opinion's gonna carry a lot of weight.


LABORATORY. Mitchell is going through the memory of the murder. As he hits her, he opens his eyes and sits up slightly to pause the process.

CARTER: (standing close to him, concerned) Cam?

MITCHELL: Nah. (nods) I'm good.

AMURO: (standing near the console) Are you sure you want to continue this? It's possible that there are no anomalies or that they could be buried so deep ... (shrugs) ... we'll never find them even if we go over it a hundred times.

MITCHELL: It's the least I can do for her now. Let's keep goin'.

AMURO: Alright.

(Mitchell closes his eyes and lays his head back.)

(Time passes, Amuro and Marell continue their analysis, seated at the console. Carter paces the room, keeping watch on them and Mitchell, but at this point, mostly on Mitchell.)

AMURO: (shaking head) There's nothing here.

MARELL: (determined) There has to be. We'll find it. (He presses a few buttons.)

AMURO: Marell, I know she meant a lot to you, but how much longer can we put the poor man through this? (waves hand at Mitchell)

MARELL: (glances briefly back at Mitchell) He wants to do it. (He presses a few more buttons then pauses) Look, we know the memory's false by comparison. There must be some other indication.

AMURO: We've been through this a dozen times. The splice points are indistinguishable.

MARELL: (frustrated) I know, but I now realize that's because he was rendered unconscious before the procedure was begun. And he was still unconscious long after it was completed. The whole thing has the quality of a dream; it's jumbled up in his mind.

AMURO: (nods) Alright. So what can we do about it?

MARELL: Focus on the inconsistencies in the memory itself.

AMURO: Well, what if there aren't any?

MARELL: (snaps) I'm wasting my time explaining this to you. Can I do my work?

(Marell's raised voice gets Carter's attention; she glances back at them with a curious look on her face then returns to watching Mitchell. Amuro steps away from the console and joins Carter in front of the platform while Marell continues his analysis.

AMURO: How's he doing?

CARTER: (concerned) Not too good. (She nods toward Marell.) Doesn't sound like you're making a lot of progress.

AMURO: Marell is determined, but ... (shrugs) ... I don't know. The graft appears to be flawless.

(Carter and Amuro both look at Mitchell, who is twitching as the memory of Varrick's murder continues to replay in his mind.)


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Varrick smiles at him and walks away then suddenly Mitchell is walking down the hall toward the bar.

LABORATORY. (Display on the monitor in front of Marell has a portion become highlighted with a flashing rectangle and alien text appears next to it.)

MARELL: I've got something.

(Amuro and Carter step over to the console.)

MARELL: (pointing at the screen) There, see?

AMURO: Yes.

CARTER: (leans in for a close look) What is it? (faces Marell)

MARELL: It's what we've been looking for. (faces Mitchell) Colonel Mitchell, can you hear me?

MITCHELL: (voice strained) Yeah. (Amuro and Carter face Mitchell.)

MARELL: We've identified a point in the memory where we think there may be an anomaly. I'm going to activate it now. I want you to tell me what you see.


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Mitchell is walking down the hallway.

LABORATORY.

MITCHELL: I'm in the house. I'm walking down the hallway.

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. (Mitchell walks past the bar and glances at the mirror, his reflection isn't clear, then suddenly he's going in the opposite direction, chasing after Varrick with the statue in his hand.)

LABORATORY.

MITCHELL: No ... uh, uh, I've lost it. Go back.

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. (Images are rewinding: Mitchell picking up the statue then walking down the hallway past the bar, sees his reflection in the mirror, still distorted.)

LABORATORY.

MITCHELL: (urgent) Stop. (Amuro and Carter look at Mitchell.) There. (pauses) Can you run it again, maybe slow it down a little?

(Marell nods and presses the appropriate buttons.)

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. (Mitchell is walking past the bar, seeing his image in the mirror, the face is blurred.)

LABORATORY.

MITCHELL: I see my reflection, my reflection in the mirror, but the face is blurred.

MARELL: It's an anomaly. The reflection in the mirror is not your own. Your brain can't deal with it. That's why it's blurred.

MITCHELL: Can you clean it up?

MARELL: I ... I think so. (He presses buttons on the console.)

IN MITCHELL'S MIND. (Mitchell is walking past the mirror, sees reflection, distorted at first, then clears a bit, then clears completely. It is Marell.)

LABORATORY. (Mitchell opens his eyes and sits up quickly looking at Marell. Marell looks at him, still sitting at the console, oblivious to what Mitchell has seen in his mind.)

CARTER: What did you see? Who was it?

MITCHELL: (glaring) It was him. (points to Marell; Amuro and Carter look at Marell; all three are surprised)

CARTER: Are you sure?

MITCHELL: (removing the electrodes and standing up) Positive. It was Marell.

AMURO: That's impossible. If he killed her, why would he be helping us? I mean, he wants to reveal the events of the murder more than anyone. (looks at Marell)

CARTER: (looks at Mitchell then Amuro) What if he doesn't know?

AMURO: (disbelieving) What? You're saying he killed her then implanted the memory in Colonel Mitchell?

CARTER: (nods) And then erased it from his own mind.

MITCHELL: Is that possible?

AMURO: Theoretically, yes, but ...

MARELL: (standing up) This is insane. (looks at Mitchell) I loved her.

MITCHELL: But she left you, didn't she? And you never got over it. (pause) Then you saw me leave the party with her.

(Amuro hangs his head.)

MARELL: (shaking his head) It ... it's impossible.

AMURO: Well, there's one way to find out for sure. If he really did erase his own memory, he would have had to replace it with something else. We can check for anomalies the same way we did with Colonel Mitchell.

MARELL: (shrugs) Go ahead. You won't find anything.


EMISSARY'S OFFICE. The Emissary is standing behind his desk; SG-1 and Amuro are standing across from him.

AMURO: We found that he had two identical memories: one from the night of the murder, one from several nights before. (shakes head) Except no two memories are exactly the same, it's like signatures. When they're identical, that's when you know that they've been forged. (shrugs) As far as he knows, he was in bed sleeping the whole time.

CARTER: (to Mitchell's right) He didn't just want to fool us, he wanted to fool himself to get rid of the guilt.

MITCHELL: (to Amuro's right) And that's what did him in.

(Emissary nods his understanding.)


LABORATORY. Amuro is pressing buttons on the console at the back of the implant chair. Mitchell is dressed in his BDUs, sitting back, eyes closed, relaxed with the electrodes in place and the machine active. Carter walks past on the far side of Mitchell, coming to stand beside Amuro.

AMURO: (smiles) We're done.

(Mitchell opens his eyes and sits up. Amuro moves in on his right, Carter on his left.)

CARTER: (putting her hand on Mitchell's back) How do you feel?

(Amuro and Carter start removing the electrodes and putting them away behind the chair.)

MITCHELL: Fine. I guess.

AMURO: I've erased the implants. You should no longer have the image you killed Doctor Varrick, but all your genuine memories should be intact.

(Mitchell recalls kissing and hugging Varrick, both of them smiling.)

MITCHELL: I still remember. (looks at Amuro) Thanks.

(Amuro, Carter, and Mitchell look across the room as they hear footsteps. Marell approaches them, smiling, with the Emissary walking in behind him.)

MARELL: Doctor Amuro. (shakes his hand in greeting then faces Carter and Mitchell) And you must be our visitors from Earth.

AMURO: (cautiously to Marell) Are you all right?

MARELL: Well, no. (pause) Obviously, you heard what happened to Reya. (Amuro gives Carter and Mitchell an uneasy look.) The accident ... I still can't believe she's really gone. But I ... I talked it over with the Emissary, and we both agreed that the best thing for me now is to get back to work. (Carter looks surprised. Mitchell gives Amuro a wary look.) It was nice to meet you.

(Marell walks away, Amuro following him. Mitchell sits forward as the Emissary comes to stand in front of him and Carter.)

MITCHELL: (quietly) What the hell is this?

EMISSARY: (quietly) He thinks she died in an accident, and he'll continue to think that fro the rest of his life.

CARTER: (disbelieving) You're just gonna let him get away with murder?

EMISSARY: (quietly) He doesn't know he killed her. There is no way to recover that memory.

MITCHELL: (standing up, getting in the Emissary's face) And that's supposed to make it okay?

EMISSARY: It was for the good of the project. (pauses) And Doctor Varrick would have understood that.

(The three of them look over at the console where Marell is sitting with Amuro standing to his left, both working.)


S.G.C. - LOCKER ROOM. A man is leaving, passes Landry on the way out the door. Landry enters the locker room and finds Mitchell the only one in there, changed into his civilian clothes, standing in front of his locker, which is still open.

LANDRY: (from just inside doorway) I read your report. (walking toward Mitchell) I'm not sure I've ever seen language like that ... (he grimaces) used in an official Air Force document before.

MITCHELL: (squatting in front of locker, rises to stand) Sorry about that, sir.

LANDRY: (stops a few steps behind Mitchell) Ah, you should have seen what Colonel Carter and Doctor Jackson wrote.

MITCHELL: (taking his jacket from the locker) Yes, sir.

LANDRY: Colonel Carter told me what you had to do to prove your innocence. (pauses and steps closer to Mitchell) Something about reliving a difficult memory. Of course, she didn't know what it was all about. She hasn't read your service record like I have.

MITCHELL: (zips jacket) I hadn't thought about it in a long time. (pauses) But I guess something like that never goes away, does it?

LANDRY: No.

MITCHELL: When it happened ... (looks at Landry) ... I almost resigned my commission.

LANDRY: (pats Mitchell on the shoulder) I'm glad you didn't. (He turns and leaves.)

(Mitchell opens his locker further and looks at picture he has taped to the inside of it. It is of him and his father, who is standing with prosthetic legs and two walking canes for support. Mitchell recalls visiting his father after the bombing incident; they are wearing the same clothes as in the picture.)


IN MITCHELL'S MIND. Mitchell and his father are walking through a park during the daytime, people pass by them periodically.

DAD: I understand how you feel, but leaving the Air Force, Son, won't change what happened, won't make you feel any better.

MITCHELL: You know, you suck at pep talks, Dad.

DAD: Well, I'm just being realistic. What else are you gonna do? Become an airline pilot? Fly the New York-D.C. shuttle five times a day and mow the lawn on Sundays?

MITCHELL: That doesn't sound too bad.

DAD: Yeah. (sighs) For someone else maybe, but not for you. (shakes head) It'd have been easier if you'd grown up to be more like your mother. (pause) But, you're just like me. Always lookin' to the horizon, always lookin' for something more.

MITCHELL: I'm not like you, Dad. I'm not that strong.

DAD: Ah, that's where you're wrong, kid. You just don't know it yet.

(Mitchell stops and watches his dad walk on ahead.)


LOCKER ROOM. Mitchell closes his locker and leaves.