ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 03.07.2011
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 01.30.2012
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: Peter DeLuise
Transcript by Callie Sullivan
SPACE. The episode begins where the last one ended as, outside the ship, the alien drones swoop incessantly around Destiny, pounding her with blast after blast. Explosions go off both on the ship's surface and inside, showering the crew with sparks. As alarms sound on the Bridge and the team desperately tries to respond to the various emergencies to which they're being alerted, Eli Wallace looks round to where Everett Young is huddled in the command chair.
WALLACE: There's hundreds of these things! There's no way we're gonna be able to shoot 'em all down!
YOUNG: What about the main weapon?
(Nicholas Rush, standing nearby, answers.)
RUSH: No, it's useless against the drones. The command ship's out of range. It'd just be a waste of power.
DESTINY. CONTROL INTERFACE ROOM. Matthew Scott is confronting Chloe Armstrong, who he just found inputting commands into a console.
SCOTT: Chloe, tell me what you did.
(She licks her lips nervously before answering him.)
ARMSTRONG: I sent a signal.
SCOTT: To who?
(Before she can answer, his head snaps round at the sight of Ronald Greer and two other soldiers storming determinedly towards them.)
SCOTT: No! No-no-no! Easy! Easy!
(For the moment Greer keeps his pistol at his side but the other two aim their rifles at Chloe. Scott holds out his hands placatingly to the men.)
SCOTT: Stand down!
(Greer gets into position and raises his pistol, aiming it straight at Chloe's head.)
GREER: Don't move.
SCOTT: Wait! Wait-wait-wait. Just wait, wait.
(He turns back to his girlfriend, who has her hands raised and her eyes locked onto Greer.)
ARMSTRONG (turning to him): Look, the aliens who took me - they followed us to this galaxy. They've been looking for us ever since. Now they know where we are.
OUTSIDE THE SHIP. As the alien drones continue their onslaught, three bright lights appear momentarily in the distance as three vessels come out of hyperspace. They look very familiar. At his station on the Bridge, Dale Volker sees new information on his screen.
VOLKER: Three hyperspace windows just opened.
YOUNG: More drones?
VOLKER: No, they're ships.
(He checks the readings.)
VOLKER: It's the aliens from the other galaxy.
(Everyone looks round at the command station in shock. As Young and Rush try to take in this news, Volker reports further.)
VOLKER: They're heading straight for us.
CONTROL INTERFACE ROOM. Greer still has his pistol aimed at Chloe's head.
GREER: She sold us out.
SCOTT: Just hang on.
(Greer doesn't appear to want to do that, as he cocks his pistol before putting his finger back onto the trigger. Chloe gazes back at him.)
GREER: I told you this might come down to you and me.
ARMSTRONG: I know, but not now. Not yet. I'm still in control. I did it to help us. It's our only chance.
SCOTT: What are you talkin' about?
(Outside the ship, many of the drones break off their attack and turn and race off towards the new intruders. Lisa Park reports on what she's seeing on her console.)
PARK: Half the drones just veered off.
VOLKER: They're attacking the alien ships.
RUSH: They don't discriminate. Anything that's not part of the cluster's a target.
WALLACE: We might just be able to hold them off now.
(Unfortunately the other half of the drones continue hammering at Destiny. More explosions go off on the Bridge and everyone cowers from the sparks.)
WALLACE: Sorry, sorry! Some of them are still getting through!
SCOTT (over radio): Colonel, this is Scott. We found Chloe. It looks like she may have given away our position to the aliens that took her.
YOUNG: Roger that, Lieutenant. We've got 'em on our screens.
SCOTT: Sir, she says she did it as a diversion to give us a chance to get to the command ship.
VOLKER: I was gonna say it's our chance to get the hell out of here!
RUSH: No, we'll never get out of this system - not without F.T.L.
YOUNG (into radio): Put her in a holding cell; and this time make sure she doesn't get out.
SCOTT (unhappily): Yes, sir.
(David Telford walks over to Young's chair.)
TELFORD: Everett, I hate to say it but I think Rush is right. This could be our only chance.
BRODY: There's a lot of drones protecting that command ship. If we do this, we're gonna take pretty heavy fire.
WALLACE: Maybe not. I've been thinking. They all take orders from the command ship, right, probably through some sort of sub-space communication. What if we could jam that signal, even for just a few seconds? That might give us the time that we need.
(Young looks round to Rush.)
YOUNG: Can that work?
RUSH: It just might. Let's plot a course for the command ship.
(He turns and hurries over to a console. Telford goes over to Eli's station.)
TELFORD: Eli, go. I'll help with the weapons.
(Eli runs over to join Nicholas.)
YOUNG (to the others): Give me all the speed you can muster.
HOLDING CELL. Scott escorts Chloe to a closed door. He pushes the wall panel and the door lock spins before the doors slide open. Chloe draws in a breath and steps into the small cell, then turns back to face her boyfriend.
ARMSTRONG: Believe whatever you want, Matt, but I did this for all of us.
(Scott tries to look at her but can barely meet her eyes. After a few seconds he pushes the wall panel again and the doors close. He turns to Greer who is standing behind him.)
SCOTT: Three-man detail here at all times.
GREER: Yes, sir.
(Scott walks away.)
BRIDGE. Out in space the attack continues, and not nearly enough drones are being taken out by Destiny's defences.
VOLKER: We're on course for the command ship. We'll be there in two minutes.
YOUNG: How's it coming, Rush?
RUSH: Almost there.
(Just then there's a huge explosion on the ship's surface. Consoles spark around the Bridge and everyone cringes.)
BRODY: We just lost another shield generator. We've got multiple hull breaches.
YOUNG: Seal off all affected areas. Prep the main weapon.
(Telford flicks a switch and underneath the ship the huge cannon lowers into position. More alarms sound on the Bridge.)
BRODY: Shields are failing. If we keep up this acceleration, we're gonna lose hull integrity.
YOUNG: Now would be a good time, Rush!
(Eli hovers next to Rush, fretting.)
WALLACE: Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut.
RUSH: Patience, Eli.
(He types on, and a moment later gets a positive beep.)
RUSH: All right, I've got it.
(We switch to an external viewpoint. All around the ship, the drones slow down and drift to a halt, their lights extinguishing. Destiny powers on through the new silent graveyard.)
TELFORD: Drones have stopped firing! It's working!
YOUNG: Are we in range?
VOLKER: A few more seconds!
(Everyone waits anxiously.)
WALLACE: They're gonna re-establish the signal!
RUSH: Just hold on.
(Dale's console beeps.)
VOLKER: That's it - we're in range.
(Lisa activates her console. The cannon fires four times in succession towards the approaching command ship and on the fourth blast the enemy vessel succumbs to the onslaught. Destiny veers to the left and soars past as the other ship explodes, sending burning debris in all directions.)
TELFORD: Got 'em!
YOUNG: Nice shootin'.
VOLKER: Still no sign of activity from the drones. Looks like they've all gone dormant.
(Nick stands up and walks past Eli, patting his arm.)
RUSH: See what you can do when you apply yourself?
(He looks back quirkily at Eli as he walks towards the front consoles. Eli shakes his head in relief.)
RUSH: How's it going with those aliens - Chloe's friends?
VOLKER: Two of the ships were destroyed in the battle. The other one's just sitting there.
(Nick goes to stand beside Adam Brody and looks at his screens.)
RUSH: Wow. That's giving off a lot of radiation.
BRODY: Probably just as damaged as we are.
RUSH: Well, let's hope so.
LATER. Scott walks into the Infirmary where Tamara Johansen is showing another crew member how to do a dressing on the arm of a woman sitting on one of the beds.
JOHANSEN: That's good. OK. Thank you.
(She smiles at Scott as he walks closer.)
SCOTT: How's it going?
JOHANSEN: Could be worse, I suppose. A lot of minor injuries, a couple of serious burns, but no fatalities.
SCOTT: What about Berris?
(T.J. looks over her shoulder at the corporal who had been guarding Chloe's quarters and who got brutally slammed against the wall by her in the previous episode. His left arm is in a sling and a medic is cleaning the wound on the back of his head. She turns back to Scott.)
JOHANSEN: Chloe broke his arm in two places. Did you know she could do something like that?
CORRIDOR. Adam is leading Young along.
BRODY: All right, the good news is: F.T.L. didn't take any more damage. In fact, we should have it back online pretty soon.
YOUNG: And the bad news?
(They walk around a corner to where Dale is working on an open panel in the wall.)
BRODY: Um, you're lookin' at it.
VOLKER: It's a shield emitter relay. There are four more just like it, completely burned out.
BRODY: We have to bypass 'em before we can restore full coverage ... which we need in order to jump.
YOUNG: How long?
BRODY: Couple of hours at least.
YOUNG: Keep me posted. Where's Rush?
VOLKER: Last I heard, he was heading to the Control Interface Room.
(Young turns and walks away. Dale turns to Adam.)
VOLKER: OK, wanna grab a flashlight?
CONTROL INTERFACE ROOM. Nick is sitting at his console looking at his notebook but looks round as Young walks in.
RUSH: Just going over Chloe's handiwork. (He looks at the console.) You know, she bypassed the communication panel on the Bridge. Now, that took some doing.
YOUNG: She claims she did it to help us.
RUSH (nodding): So it did - this time.
YOUNG: What do you mean? I thought you liked the new Chloe.
RUSH: Well, did I ever give the impression I didn't like the old one? Just because I took a pragmatic approach to her situation doesn't mean to say I don't care for her. If I could have done something to stop it, I would have.
YOUNG: She took out a guard twice her size.
RUSH: Yeah, and walked through a lockdown protocol like it wasn't there. Neither of us may want to admit this ...
(Young lowers his head, already knowing what he's going to say.)
RUSH: She's beyond our control.
TELFORD (over radio): Everett, this is David.
YOUNG (into radio): Go ahead.
TELFORD: I've been in contact with the Ursini on the seed ship. We've got a problem.
MESS. Young and Rush have met up with Telford and Camille Wray.
YOUNG: What the hell were they thinking?
TELFORD: They didn't trust us. They thought the second we were clear of the system, we'd be on our merry way and leave them holding the bag.
RUSH: Well, that would have been the logical thing to do.
(The others look at him. He glares back at them.)
RUSH: It's not our fight.
TELFORD: Well, it is now. With the drones deactivated, the Ursini thought it was safe to finally contact their colony. The signal that they got back was in machine language. It was another command ship. The only possible conclusion is that the colony had been found by a second cluster and destroyed.
WRAY: So they really are the last of their kind.
TELFORD: More than likely. But that's not the only problem.
RUSH: When they sent the signal, they gave away our position.
TELFORD: Exactly. More drones are coming.
CORRIDOR. Adam has apparently been shining a flashlight for Dale for some time and is now fiddling with his radio with his other hand, bored. The distraction has caused his hand to droop slightly and the light isn't shining where it ought to. Dale looks round at him.
VOLKER: Could you hold it up please?
(Adam raises his hand back into position and gets back to fiddling with his radio. Nicholas walks over to them.)
RUSH: Progress, gentlemen?
(Adam turns towards him.)
BRODY: Umm ...
VOLKER (sternly): Flashlight.
(Adam swings back into position, once again shining the light correctly as Nick walks closer.)
BRODY: Yeah, uh, we-we've run a bypass through this section. We're about to test it.
VOLKER: OK. We're good to go.
(He gets up off his knees and steps back as Adam raises his radio and activates it.)
BRODY: Park, d'you read me?
PARK (from the Bridge): Go ahead.
BRODY: Let's power up, say, ten percent.
PARK: Copy ten percent.
(She walks over to another console and types.)
PARK (into radio): OK, here it comes.
(She finishes typing and moves a slider to the correct position. In the corridor, lights come on inside the panel and the machinery begins to hum.)
VOLKER: So far, so good.
(Adam raises his radio again.)
BRODY: Let's go to fifty.
PARK: Roger fifty.
(She moves the slider to the halfway position. The humming increases in intensity for a few seconds, then sparks begin to fly. The boys duck out of the way as more sections of the machinery spark out. Adam screams into his radio.)
BRODY: Cut it cut it cut it!
(Lisa types, and the machinery begins to power down. The boys cautiously walk closer and look at the damage. Nick turns to Dale with a peeved look on his face. Dale shrugs.)
VOLKER: OK, so it might take longer than we thought.
(Nick turns and throws a look at Adam before walking away. Dale looks across to Adam.)
(Adam raises his hand back into position. Dale steps forward just as the machinery sparks out again and both of them duck back once more.)
LATER. MESS. In the Mess, the usual suspects are giving each other updates on progress.
WRAY: Wait - I thought the F.T.L. was fixed.
RUSH: Yeah, it is. Without full shield coverage, we risk tearing the ship apart the second we jump.
BRODY: How long until the second cluster gets here?
TELFORD (shrugging): There's no way to know for sure. Could be any time.
PARK: I don't suppose there's any chance of negotiating with these things?
TELFORD: It's an automated weapons system. The Ursini believe that the civilisation that created them died out a long time ago.
RUSH: They're machines. One simple directive: find alien technology and destroy it. Reasoning with them is not an option.
SCOTT: What about the Ursini? We did a tandem jump with them before - why can't we do it again?
VOLKER: Well, that doesn't solve our basic problem unless they can extend their shields all the way 'round the Destiny, which I doubt.
TELFORD: Even if we trusted them enough to try it - which I'm guessing we don't - they blew their F.T.L. by dropping out so quickly. That was a one-shot deal for them.
PARK: We managed to jam the command signal temporarily, right? Maybe there's a way of making it permanent.
RUSH: Not without a greater understanding of the technology involved.
WALLACE (absently): Maybe we should get one.
(As everyone looks round to him, he realises that he said that out loud and lifts his head.)
WALLACE: One of the drones, I mean. Right now those things are totally harmless ... at least theoretically. I'm pretty sure we could fit one of the smaller ones in the back of the shuttle.
SCOTT: Wait a minute. Wait. You want us to bring one of those things on the ship?
WALLACE: What I want is to be as far away from here as possible.
RUSH: You know, he's right. It could be very useful.
WRAY: And very dangerous.
RUSH: Well, every second we stay here's dangerous.
YOUNG: This new cluster's gonna have its own command ship, right?
RUSH: Yeah, most likely.
YOUNG: All right, so when it shows up, what happens to the drones that are already here?
RUSH: Well, that's just one of those things we're gonna have to try and find out, isn't it?
(Young nods and turns to Scott.)
YOUNG: Suit up.
LATER. Scott and Greer are in a room ready to get into the environmental suits.
GREER: So you really think this is a good idea?
SCOTT: I don't think. We don't get paid to think.
GREER: We get paid?!
(Scott grins at him. Just then Lisa walks in. She has changed into a military t-shirt and trousers and is tying her hair back into a ponytail.)
SCOTT: Hey, what are you doin' here?
PARK: I guess it's my turn to go for a ride.
(Scott nods. Greer picks up the nearest helmet and hands it to her.)
(Taking it, she smiles at him, but then she looks down at the helmet and her smile fades a little.)
Later, the three of them are in their suits but are not yet wearing their helmets. Lisa is sitting to Scott's left in the shuttle while Greer has the weapons station. Matt activates the comms.
SCOTT: All right, sir. We are all cross-checked and good to go.
YOUNG (from the Bridge): Lieutenant, be careful.
SCOTT: Copy that. Launching shuttle.
(The shuttle lifts off and heads into space.)
YOUNG: Any activity from the drones?
(Scott looks round to Lisa, who checks her readouts, then shakes her head at him.)
SCOTT: Nothin' yet.
GREER: We've got a big one coming up here. Two o'clock high.
(The shuttle cruises slowly past the large drone drifting in space. As they pass it and it doesn't react, the boys sigh quietly with relief.)
SCOTT: No reaction. Looks like Eli was right.
YOUNG: Well, that doesn't mean I want you spending any more time out there than necessary. Let's get this done and get you back inside.
PARK: I've got a candidate two kilometres dead ahead.
(Scott and Greer peer through the windshield to look at the drone they're aiming at.)
SCOTT: Let's go get it.
DESTINY. Camille approaches the holding cell, carrying a tray of food and water. She looks at one of the guards standing outside.
WRAY: Open the door.
(The guard looks round to his two colleagues, who raise their rifles and aim them towards the doors. Camille looks round at them unhappily but turns back towards the doors as the first guard activates the lock and they open. Chloe is sitting on the wall bench and looks up. Camille jerks a thumb towards the guards.)
WRAY: I'm sorry about this.
(Smiling ruefully, Chloe stands up and slowly walks over to the doorway to take the tray.)
ARMSTRONG: After what I did to Corporal Berris, I can hardly blame them, can I?
SHUTTLE. The ship lowers slowly into place just in front of the small drone, firing its thrusters to get its position right. Inside, Lisa has her helmet on and is breathing deeply and heavily as she turns to Greer who is also helmeted up.
GREER: Just breathe normally.
(She nods anxiously. He gives her a comforting smile and holds a thumb up to her.)
GREER: Are you all right?
(Smiling back at him and breathing a little better, she holds up her own thumb.)
PARK: I'm good.
(He slaps the side of her helmet cheerfully. Scott, also fully suited, turns to them.)
SCOTT: Switching off artificial gravity; going to mag boots.
PARK: Roger that.
SCOTT (sitting back down in the pilot's seat): Venting atmosphere.
(As the air hisses out of the shuttle, Lisa slowly and cautiously walks towards the rear doors of the ship. Greer has sat back down at the weapons console.)
SCOTT: Keep an eye on those screens, Sergeant.
(Lisa reaches the doors and goes up onto tiptoes to look through the small windows.)
PARK: I see it. Open the door.
(She braces her hand against the wall as Scott presses buttons at his station and the doors slide open. She steps closer into the gap and looks out at the drone floating nearby. It is slightly to the right of the doorway.)
PARK: OK, we need to move left about a metre.
(Nodding, Scott carefully works his controls. A thruster fires momentarily and the shuttle inches sideways, then a second thruster fires to stop their momentum. Lisa watches until the drone is directly behind them.)
PARK: OK, now down a little.
(Again a thruster fires briefly and the shuttle moves downwards in relation to the drone before a second thruster halts them. Lisa waits until the drone is in the correct position to come through the doors.)
PARK: Now straight back.
(Scott works his controls and the shuttle begins to reverse towards the drone. Lisa steps out of the way and the shuttle smoothly envelops the drone which drifts through the doorway and inside the larger vessel. Once it is fully inside, Scott stops the shuttle's movement.)
PARK: That's it. We've got it.
(The rear doors close.)
(Air begins to hiss into the shuttle.)
PARK: Now, slowly reinstate artificial gravity.
(Scott reaches up and presses a button. The gravity comes on all at once and the drone drops like a stone and thuds down onto the floor. Lisa flattens herself against the rear doors, panting.)
PARK: I said slowly!
SCOTT: Sorry. Is it doin' anything?
(Lisa steps forward and looks at the drone.)
PARK: I don't think so. I think we're good.
(On Destiny's Bridge, Young leans forward in his seat, apparently unable to bear the suspense any longer.)
YOUNG: Scott. I need your status, Lieutenant.
SCOTT: Sir, we've got it on board. It doesn't seem to be doing anything, so I guess we're gonna head back.
YOUNG: Nice work.
(An alarm beeps on the Bridge.)
WALLACE: Hang on.
(He goes to the appropriate console and looks at the screen.)
WALLACE: We've got movement out there.
(On the shuttle, the team have removed their helmets. An alarm sounds at Greer's station.)
GREER: Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, proximity alert.
PARK: Is it a drone?
GREER: I don't think so. Too big. Way too big.
(All three of them turn to the front windshield as a nearby whooshing can be heard. Moments later the ship belonging to Chloe's alien friends rises up into view. Lisa backs away nervously as the ship fills the whole windshield and then stops directly in front of them.)
SCOTT: Oh boy.
(He reports over comms.)
SCOTT: Uh, sir, we've got a little problem here. That alien ship - the one that survived the battle - it just parked itself right in front of us.
YOUNG: Well, what's it doin'?
SCOTT: Right now it's just sittin' there.
(He looks round at Greer for a moment, then turns to the front again. Lisa has returned to her seat.)
SCOTT: I'm-I'm gonna try something here. I'm gonna try backin' away real slow.
PARK: Are you sure that's a good idea?
SCOTT: Well, we've gotta get this thing back to the ship. We can't stay out here forever.
(Before he can activate his controls, Lisa's console beeps.)
PARK: Wait. We're getting a message.
GREER: What's it say?
(Lisa looks at her screen as two words appear on it in English. She turns her head to look at the boys as she narrates the message to them.)
PARK: “NO ESCAPE.”
DESTINY CORRIDOR. Young, Rush, Telford and Camille are standing in a corridor discussing what they have been told by the shuttle crew about the message from the aliens.
YOUNG: So they're saying that if the shuttle tries to return to Destiny or if we make any hostile moves, they will open fire.
TELFORD: What do they want?
RUSH: Our help.
YOUNG: They've intercepted the Ursini signal. They know another wave is coming.
RUSH: It's a ploy to keep us here: force us to help fend off the drones while they get their hyperdrive back online.
WRAY: But we need the shuttle. We need to study the drone.
YOUNG: I say we call their bluff: let 'em know what's happening, agree to help them only on the condition that they let the shuttle come back.
TELFORD: They'll assume we're lying. They don't know that we can't jump.
YOUNG: I don't think we give them the choice. If they're half as badly damaged as we are, they're not gonna wanna fight. They're gonna have to trust us.
RUSH: We're gonna have to trust each other. They've got something we need.
TELFORD: What are you talking about?
WRAY: What about her?
RUSH: If anyone can undo what's happening to her, it's them. They're the ones that did it to her in the first place.
TELFORD: You want us to send her over there, with all that's happened, with everything that she knows about this ship?
RUSH: We've exhausted all medical avenues. We cannot keep her on board the ship. This could be our last chance.
HOLDING CELL. T.J. has been given the task of telling Chloe what has been suggested. She stands near the open doors unhappily as she speaks to the other woman.
JOHANSEN: The colonel's not gonna force you to go, but if you don't, chances are he'll ... (she hesitates for a long moment) ... put you off the ship at the first opportunity.
(Chloe looks up at her. T.J. grimaces.)
JOHANSEN: It doesn't seem like you have much to lose.
ARMSTRONG: You've never been on one of those ships.
JOHANSEN (tearfully): I'm sorry. I wish I could have done more to help you.
SHUTTLE. Young, Telford and Rush have returned to the Bridge and Everett is telling the shuttle crew their decision.
SCOTT: With all due respect, sir, it sounds crazy. How do we know they'll do what they say? How do we even know they'll give her back?
YOUNG: Look, I know this is difficult, Lieutenant, but we've run out of options.
(Matt looks around the shuttle helplessly, but realises that there is nothing he can do to change things.)
SCOTT (unhappily): Yes, sir, if you say so.
(A console on the Bridge beeps.)
RUSH: They're sending a message.
(The two colonels watch anxiously as Nicholas waits for the message to complete before he turns to them again.)
RUSH: They've agreed to our proposal.
Shortly afterwards, the shuttle fires up its engines and turns away from the alien ship. The larger craft does nothing to stop it.
(On the Bridge, Young is about to leave to go and meet with the shuttle crew. Telford stops him.)
TELFORD: You do realise there's a good chance this is what they wanted all along? Everett, listen to me: I'm trying to contact the Ursini. They're not responding any more. The seed ship's gone dark.
TELFORD: So maybe that's something we should consider. Power down completely - everything but minimum life support. If we have no energy signature, then we're just another hunk of metal in a graveyard.
YOUNG: But even if we're not giving off E.M., we're still gonna stand out like a sore thumb.
TELFORD: I'm just saying maybe they know something that we don't. They have fought these things before.
YOUNG: Yeah - and they, uh, they got wiped out, didn't they?
(Telford shrugs, and Young leaves the room.)
DESTINY. The shuttle has docked with Destiny and the bulkhead opens. As the shuttle's doors also open, Eli, Dale and Adam push the Kino sled to the doorway, then stop and stare at the sight of the drone lying on the floor inside the ship. Dale whistles appreciatively and the three of them walk inside to take a closer look.
SCOTT: Are you sure you wanna bring this thing inside?
BRODY: Well, we need to hook it up to the ship's diagnostic equipment. It's the only way.
WALLACE: I-Is it heavy?
GREER: One way to find out.
SCOTT (to Lisa): Why don't you go grab that Kino sled?
SCOTT: All right, thanks.
(As she goes to the doorway to collect the sled, the boys look down at the drone nervously. Dale squats down for a closer look but still nobody wants to actually touch it. Finally Greer reaches forward hesitantly - still wearing the gloves of his environmental suit - and taps the drone briefly. It lets out a resounding metallic tone and everyone jumps back a little. They wait for another second or two but when the drone doesn't blow up or start ticking, they all step forward and take hold of it.)
SCOTT: On three. One, two, three.
(They all heave the drone upwards and Lisa instantly pushes the sled forward and begins to slide it underneath. Eli groans with the effort.)
WALLACE: Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, it's heavy! It's heavy!
(Lisa gets the sled completely underneath the drone.)
PARK: OK, ease it down.
(The boys dump it down onto the sled a little harder than Lisa would have liked, and as soon as they let it go the sled dips worryingly, but it doesn't reach the floor and it stabilises after a few seconds. Greer looks at the science guys.)
GREER: You'd better be sure about this.
(Eli's expression says that he is anything but sure.)
SCOTT: All right, let's move. Let's get it out of here.
(They begin to push the sled out of the shuttle.)
CORRIDOR. Camille is walking with Nicholas.
WRAY: I have to say I'm a little surprised that you of all people would be the one to suggest this plan.
RUSH: Now why's that, then?
WRAY: Well, for all we know, they're going to download every scrap of information she has about Destiny the second they get her on board.
RUSH: With Chloe back to normal, the odds of them ever tracking us again are virtually nil. Doesn't matter what they discover about the ship.
WRAY: Yeah, assuming they honour the deal.
RUSH: Well, they've no point in keeping her. If she begins to change again, we'll soon know, won't we?
WRAY: Still, if I didn't know any better, it almost looks like you're willing to put the ship and the mission at risk for the sake of one individual.
(Nick stops and turns to face her.)
RUSH: Well, that's the problem, isn't it? You don't know any better.
(He turns and walks away. Camille smiles as she watches him leave.)
LATER. Some time later, Young and Chloe walk side by side towards the shuttle, with two armed guards following behind them. Chloe's face is full of fear and dread. As they turn the corner and walk towards the shuttle entrance, Matt - now changed out of his spacesuit - stands up from where he has been sitting at the rear of the ship.
SCOTT: I'll take her over there, sir.
(Young nods and turns to leave, unable to even look at Chloe.)
(He stops, still unable to meet her eyes. She steps closer to his side, leans in and kisses his cheek. As she steps back, he finally turns to face her.)
YOUNG (softly): Good luck.
DRONE LAB. In a lab somewhere on the ship, Eli, Dale and Adam are standing side by side, staring at the drone which has been transferred onto a table.
VOLKER: OK. Now what?
(They continue to gaze at the drone for a moment, then Eli straightens up and pats Dale on the arm to make him move out of the way. A couple of boxes have been piled up beside the table and Eli steps up onto them and then onto the table so that he can look down at the top of the device. He shines a flashlight along the length of it and eventually spots something.)
WALLACE: Looks like there's a catch here.
(He reaches forward.)
(Eli snatches his hand back again with a tetchy sound.)
BRODY: D'you think that's a good idea?
WALLACE: Well, if we can't open it, we can't study it.
(He looks round at Dale, who exchanges a glance with Adam and then shrugs cluelessly. Eli looks round to Adam, who refuses to allow his face to give any opinion at all. Shaking his head, Eli looks back to the drone and reaches down to it again and depresses the catch. For a moment nothing happens, and then the central section of the drone begins to rise up. Dale cries out in alarm and Eli scrambles down off the boxes. All three of them back away nervously as the top continues to rise, revealing a control panel inside. As the device stops moving, they stare at it for a long moment.)
VOLKER: OK. Now what?
SHUTTLE. Chloe stands beside Matt as he flies the craft towards the alien ship and a large circular port in the side of it. As the shuttle gets closer and slows down, inner doors slide open at the rear of the port. Chloe looks at the opening with dread.
SCOTT: Looks like they're inviting us in.
(He looks around to his girlfriend, who gazes down at him helplessly. They realise they have no other choice, and Matt sends the shuttle forward again. They fly inside the ship and land, and Matt shuts the shuttle down. He stands up, turns to face the rear doors and slowly holds out his hand to Chloe. She takes it and they hesitantly walk forward, stopping just before they reach the doors. Chloe stares at the doors with trepidation.)
ARMSTRONG: If you would have asked me a couple of years ago where I'd be today, this would not have been one of my guesses.
(Matt turns to her.)
SCOTT: Chloe, you were right. I let it get to me. I let it change the way I look at you.
ARMSTRONG: No, it's not your fault.
(He lowers his head. She reaches out and gently puts her hands on either side of his face, forcing him to look at her again.)
ARMSTRONG: The time that I have spent on that ship - I'm not gonna lie, it's been hard.
(She strokes his hair.)
ARMSTRONG: But some of it has also been amazing, and that is because of you. If you hadn't been there, I don't think I would have made it this far.
SCOTT: It's not true.
(She lowers her hands.)
SCOTT: You're much stronger than that. You just don't know it.
(Chloe reaches out and puts a hand on the side of his face again, brushing her thumb against his mouth.)
ARMSTRONG (smiling slightly): This is my moment, OK? Don't contradict me.
(He smiles. She gazes back at him, then they move closer and kiss deeply. Eventually she pulls back.)
ARMSTRONG: I love you.
(Matt has tears pouring down his face.)
SCOTT: I love you too.
(The doors to the shuttle slide open. Chloe and Matt turn to look and see that there are two blue aliens standing outside. Chloe looks at Matt again, who nods to her encouragingly. She turns and walks slowly towards the aliens, holding onto his hand until the last moment. Finally their fingers part and she continues on alone, stopping at the doorway for one last look back before stepping outside the safety of the shuttle. The aliens stand aside for her and the shuttle doors slide closed.)
DRONE LAB. The science guys have got another panel open on the drone and have connected a laptop to it. Adam is poking around inside while Dale and Eli are at a nearby console. Nick comes in.
VOLKER: Uh, well, we've managed to crack the basic machine code, but the programming is incredibly complex.
(Adam walks over to join the conversation.)
BRODY: We're trying to isolate the sub-programme that regulates communication with the command ship, but so far no luck.
(Nick looks down at the readings on the console.)
RUSH: Oh, this is excellent work. Well done.
(Eli looks round at him, frowning. Adam and Dale look at each other in flattered surprise as Nick walks over to the drone.)
VOLKER: Thank you.
RUSH: Eli and I'll take over from here. I need you two back on shield duty.
BRODY: Uh, Kemp and his team ...
RUSH: Oh, they're very competent, I'm sure, but we're against the clock and I need to know my best people are on it.
(He turns back and looks at Dale and Adam.)
RUSH: Full report in an hour, understood?
BRODY: You got it.
(They leave the room. Nick watches them go, then walks back to the console.)
WALLACE: Wow. That was almost nice.
RUSH: Nah, they were just gonna get in the way. Let's get down to some real work.
WALLACE (smiling ruefully): Ah!
ALIEN SHIP. Scott is pacing around the shuttle anxiously, sitting down, standing and pacing again. After a while, he flips the switch to open comms.
SCOTT: Destiny, this is Scott, come in.
(He is unsurprised when he doesn't get a response.)
SCOTT: Shoot. I don't know, maybe you're reading this. I'm in some kind of hangar bay. They could be blocking the signal. Uh, the aliens took Chloe ... Jesus, only a few minutes ago. It feels like it was hours. I don't know, I guess there's no way of knowing how long this is gonna take. I-I'm not leaving without her. I just, uh ... I don't know, I ...
(He fights off tears.)
SCOTT: I just hope she's gonna be OK.
Chloe opens her eyes in a room somewhere on the ship. She's lying on her back on a medical bed and the room is dark apart from a bright overhead light. An alien finishes attaching a breathing mask to her face, similar to the one she wore in the water tank last time she was on the ship. Around the room air is bubbling up through clear columns of water. A second alien walks over and works a nearby console as the first alien picks up a slender device and appears either to inject Chloe in the neck or to take a sample from her, although the device leaves no wound. She breathes deeply and anxiously as both aliens lean forward and stare down at her, apparently inspecting the various growths that have appeared on her skin. The second creature lifts up a much larger syringe-type device with a massive needle on the end of it and lowers it down towards the middle of her upper chest. Chloe's eyes widen in terror.
SPACE. A hyperspace window opens and a huge ship exits into normal space. It looks similar to the drones and so it's clearly the command ship that everyone has been expecting. As it comes to a halt, its drones begin to deploy from all around the ship and oh my good gods, will you look at how many there are? There must be hundreds of the little buggers.
DESTINY BRIDGE. Lisa looks at her console in concern.
PARK: Second command ship just dropped out of hyperspace. Drones are en route.
PARK: Twelve minutes.
YOUNG (into radio): Rush, come in. The second wave just dropped out. They're on their way. D'you have any activity on the drone?
RUSH (from the lab): Negative. Are any of the others from the first group powering up?
(Young looks at Lisa, who shakes her head.)
PARK: So far, nothing.
YOUNG (into radio): Still dormant.
RUSH: Well, that answers one question. They're not taking orders from the new command ship.
WALLACE: That gives me an idea. Hang on.
(He runs across to a nearby laptop and starts to type.)
YOUNG: Rush, what about the plan? Can we permanently disrupt their communications or not?
RUSH (taking his radio with him as he goes to look at what Eli's doing): Well, unfortunately it seems like there's no way to jam the signal for any longer than a few seconds before they adapt - not long enough in a battle situation. We're pursuing alternatives.
YOUNG: Such as?
RUSH: Oh, you'll be the first to know. Rush out.
(Young puts his radio down and goes over to where Vanessa James is sitting at one of the consoles. He leans on the back of her chair as she turns to face him.)
YOUNG: Lieutenant, how much training have you had with these systems?
JAMES: As much as anyone else on the ship, sir.
YOUNG: Which is?
JAMES: About an hour - simulated.
YOUNG: Well, you're gonna do fine. I want you to handle power distribution.
(He points over her shoulder to her read-outs.)
YOUNG: Do not let any of the active emitter drop below critical, and stay on top of any sections that lose atmospheric pressure.
JAMES (nodding in attempted confidence): Yes, sir.
(Young points over her shoulder towards the console again just as an alarm starts to beep. She turns around and her eyes widen.)
JAMES: Oh, crap! Uh ...
(She gets to work. Young straightens up and goes over to Telford's station.)
YOUNG: David, focus your fire on any drones approaching areas where the shields are still down.
TELFORD: Copy, but they're gonna clue in eventually.
YOUNG: I know.
SHUTTLE. Scott is sitting on the pilot's seat staring out of the window in frustration. Just then he hears a sound coming from outside the rear of the vessel. He stands up and hurries towards the back just as the doors slide open and reveal Chloe outside, suspended in mid-air on her back, held in a bright beam of light. Her eyes are closed. Matt stops and stares in disbelief for a moment, then hurries closer. He stops just at the edge of the beam and looks up nervously, then steps forward and puts his arms underneath her to cradle her. The beam shuts off and Chloe drops downwards. His knees buckle for a moment but then he gets his balance and carries her into the shuttle, laying her down on one of the rear benches. He sits down next to her and strokes her face.
SCOTT: Chloe? Are you all right?
(She doesn't wake up.)
SCOTT: You're gonna be OK. I'm gonna get you home.
(He hurries towards the front of the ship. The camera lingers on Chloe's unconscious body and we can see that the aliens growths on her chest have gone.)
The drones reach Destiny and begin firing upon her. She returns fire, but soon Telford turns to Young frantically.
TELFORD: There's a lot of targets!
YOUNG (reassuringly): You've got this, David.
(Telford shakes his head, not so confident. Panels around the Bridge begin to spark out.)
(Nearby, the shuttle exits the alien ship and turns towards Destiny, swerving in and out of the drones. Some of them fire towards the shuttle and Scott is rocked in his seat as a drone explodes very nearby. He flicks open the comms.)
SCOTT: Destiny, this is Scott.
YOUNG: Lieutenant, what's your status?
SCOTT: I've got Chloe. We're on our way back, but it seems that we've got a little problem.
YOUNG: Yeah, you noticed that, did you?(!)
SCOTT: I'll take out as many as I can.
YOUNG: Negative, Lieutenant. We're not here to destroy them, just hang on long enough 'til we jump. Just keep clear of Destiny for now; they'll focus on the larger target.
SCOTT: I've got full shields, you don't. Don't worry, sir. We'll be OK.
(He sends the shuttle onwards towards Destiny, continuing to swerve around the drones and firing as he goes. On the Bridge, Telford turns around again.)
TELFORD: They're starting to realise where we're vulnerable. We're taking more and more fire concentrated on exposed areas.
YOUNG (into radio): Rush, whatever you're gonna do, you've gotta do it now!
(In the lab, Eli looks at his laptop excitedly.)
WALLACE: I got it! I got it! Look at this!
(Nick comes over and looks at the screen as Eli points.)
WALLACE (grinning): Recognition software.
(Nick looks blank.)
WALLACE: Friend or foe. Right now, the drones that were here first are ignoring the second wave because they don't have a command ship telling them which side they're on. What if we tell them that they're the enemy? We use the same I.D. tag that they used for us.
RUSH: Yeah, that could work.
WALLACE: The only problem is, if we wanna upload the new programme to the other drones ...
(He looks towards the drone on the table. Nick finishes the sentence for him.)
RUSH: ... we'd have to power this one up first.
(He walks closer to the drone, gazing at it intently as he wonders if they dare risk it.)
DESTINY BRIDGE. The drones continue to pound Destiny. On the Bridge, Young raises his radio with a look of disbelief on his face as he responds to the plan that Nicholas has just outlined.
YOUNG: You wanna what?!
RUSH: Look, there's no other way.
YOUNG: Look, if that thing starts shootin', we're not gonna be able to stop it. It'll tear us apart from the inside.
RUSH: I don't think that's gonna happen.
YOUNG (switching channel): Sergeant Greer, I need a security team in the lab where they're working on the drone now.
GREER (over radio): Roger that.
PARK: We've got a new problem. The alien ship just jumped to hyperspace.
YOUNG (sarcastically): Good for them.
PARK: No, but the drones that were attacking them: they're heading our way.
TELFORD: That's too many. We can't hold them all off at once.
YOUNG (into radio): Rush, how long 'til that programme is ready?
RUSH: Give us five minutes.
(Lisa looks round at Young and shakes her head. As if to prove her point, massive explosions go off at the rear of the Bridge. Young raises his radio again.)
YOUNG: We don't have five minutes.
SHUTTLE. The shuttle soars around to the rear of Destiny in order to line up for a landing. Scott fires repeatedly and takes out several drones, but about four zillion more of the little buggers are arriving now that they don't have the alien ship to hassle.
SCOTT: Uh, Destiny, I'm not sure if you're seeing this, but you've got a whole bunch more of those drones coming your way.
YOUNG: We're tracking them. I want you out of there.
SCOTT: Sir ...
YOUNG: I just gave you a direct order, Lieutenant. Break off now.
SCOTT (unhappily): Yes, sir.
DRONE LAB. Nicholas and Eli look up from their respective consoles as Greer and a couple of his military colleagues come in armed to the teeth. He gestures around the room and they spread out, surrounding the drone.
RUSH: What are you doing here?
GREER: Colonel's orders.
(He aims his rifle directly at the open control panel at the top of the drone.)
RUSH (cynically): So, what, if we manage to power up this drone and it starts opening fire, d'you think there's anything you can do to stop it?!
GREER: I'm sure as hell gonna try.
(Nicholas shakes his head in bemused disbelief, then gets back to work.)
JAMES: I'm getting damage reports from all over the ship! Multiple secondary explosions!
YOUNG (into radio): Rush. You're outta time. Rush!
TELFORD: Something's happening! The drones are veering off!
PARK: Sir, it's the seed ship!
(The seed ship, which we had practically forgotten about as it sat there quietly all through the episode, suddenly fires up and pulls away from Destiny. The drones peel off and chase after it.)
PARK: The Ursini are making a run for the command ship.
(Telford jumps up and comes over to look at the readouts with concern.)
TELFORD: They don't have the firepower or shields to get through.
YOUNG: I thought they were gonna wait it out.
(A console beeps.)
PARK (to Telford): Sir, we're getting a message.
TELFORD: Patch it through to me.
(He hurries over to a console and leans over it to read the message. A few seconds later he straightens up again and turns back towards Young, shocked.)
TELFORD: It says they're sorry for getting us into this. It's a suicide run.
(Everyone turns to their nearest screen and watches the graphics from the sensors as the seed ship - surrounded by scores of drones - heads directly for the command ship. Seconds later the two white dots indicating the command and seed ships flicker and then go out. Lisa turns her head towards the others.)
PARK (softly): They're gone.
(Telford stares at the screen, his face sad and full of loss. Lisa gazes at him sympathetically. He turns back to his console and Young raises his radio and activates it.)
YOUNG: Rush, we have just been given a window. Let's get it closed fast. Activate the damned programme.
(Nicholas types on his console as Greer raises his rifle again and aims it at the drone. Lights come on and its power source fires up. Eli looks at it nervously as it lifts into the air. Greer steps forward.)
RUSH: Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa. Hold your fire. Hold your fire!
(Greer holds up a fist to his colleagues. The drone lifts a little higher.)
RUSH: Eli, upload the programme.
(Eli bends to his own laptop and types rapidly. The drone's lights flicker momentarily and outside the ship all the dead drones reactivate. Their lights come on and they turn and head straight towards Destiny, firing as they go. But it's not Destiny they're firing at - it's their counterparts from the second cluster. Watching from a safe distance, Matt activates the shuttle's comms.)
SCOTT: Destiny, this is Scott. Whatever you guys did, it worked. Those drones are firing on each other. We should be able to dock now.
YOUNG: Let's make it quick, Lieutenant.
CORRIDOR. Dale and Adam are working side by side on an open wall panel.
BRODY: OK, I'm good. You good?
(He looks down at Dale on his knees beside him.)
BRODY: Are we good?
VOLKER (standing up): Yeah, we're good.
BRODY (into radio): Uh, Bridge, this is Brody. We're ready with our last bypass. You can power it up.
(Young nods to Vanessa.)
YOUNG: Let's do it.
(She turns to her console and activates it. In the corridor, Adam and Dale back away from the panel nervously as the lights come on and energy hums through it. They watch it for a few seconds, then Adam raises his radio again.)
BRODY: Looks like it's holding.
JAMES: Shields are now covering the whole ship ... but they're only at five percent power. We've just taken too many hits.
YOUNG: Well, what's minimum safe?
PARK: We've never jumped at less than ten percent.
(Young lifts his radio.)
YOUNG: Rush, this is Young. We're ready here, but we have a small problem. Shields are holding at five percent.
(Eli looks round to Nick in horror.)
WALLACE: That's not enough. We're talking about F.T.L. here. One small weak spot and the entire ship gets ripped apart!
RUSH (into radio): We don't have a choice.
(He looks at Eli to make sure that he's listening to what he's saying.)
RUSH: Even if the programme holds - and there's no guarantee that it will - the first wave's seriously outnumbered. They'll be massacred in a matter of minutes and we're right back where we started. We have to take the risk.
(Young lowers his head. While he's still thinking through the options, Matt radios in.)
SCOTT: This is Scott. The shuttle's docked.
(Raising his head, Young nods to Lisa.)
YOUNG: Let's go for it.
(With her face full of dread, Lisa turns back to her console.)
PARK: F.T.L. in three ...
(She pauses for at least four seconds.)
PARK: ... two ...
(Another nine seconds pass while the drives can be heard powering up. Lisa's voice is full of horror as she completes the countdown.)
PARK: ... one.
(And Destiny surges forward and leaps into F.T.L. flight. As the vortex appears around her, she shakes violently. Clearly she's hating the strain and is trying very hard not to simply disintegrate under the pressure. All around the ship the crew gazes upwards as the shaking gets worse, willing her to hold together. Long seconds pass as the ship threatens to fall to bits but finally, eventually, she gets the hang of it and begins to settle. The shaking lessens. Lisa looks round at Vanessa as if she can't believe it, then turns back to check her readouts.)
PARK (tremulously): Shields seem to be holding.
(She looks round at Young.)
PARK: I think we're gonna be OK.
(Young lowers his head in relief. In the lab, Nick does likewise while Eli sinks back, gazing into the distance as he tries to take it all in. With his rifle still aimed at the hovering drone, Greer gestures with one hand towards the civilians.)
GREER: You might wanna shut this thing down now.
WALLACE: Oh, right, yeah! Good idea!
(He hurries back to his laptop and types. Greer nods reassuringly to his military colleagues as the drone thuds back down onto the table. Nick sighs out a relieved breath.)
LATER. INFIRMARY. Young comes in to where T.J. is standing beside Chloe's bedside. Scott is sitting nearby.
YOUNG: How's the patient?
(Chloe smiles up at him.)
JOHANSEN: So far bloodwork is normal, the lesions are gone, and no more blackouts. As far as I can tell, she's cured.
YOUNG: Well, I'm glad to hear it ...
(He looks across to Matt.)
YOUNG: ... but just in case ...
ARMSTRONG: I know. You wanna keep me under observation for a while. (She smiles.) It's OK. I understand.
YOUNG (smiling at her): It's good to have you back.
(Matt takes her hand.)
SCOTT: Hey, I'll, uh, I'll come and see you as soon as I can, OK?
(Matt stands up and the two men head for the door just as Nicholas is coming in.)
YOUNG: Hey, how's that damage report coming?
RUSH: I'll arrange a briefing when we're ready, but it's not gonna be pretty.
(Barely pausing as he speaks, he hurries past and goes over to Chloe.)
(He sits on the side of her bed as she props herself up on her elbows.)
RUSH: You wanted to see me?
ARMSTRONG: Yeah. Matt told me it was your idea to send me over there.
RUSH: Yeah. I'm sorry you had to go through that. There was no other way.
ARMSTRONG: No, I wanted to thank you.
(Nick looks surprised.)
ARMSTRONG: You saved my life ... (she smiles) ... again!
RUSH: Well, you saved all of us. It's the least I could do.
ARMSTRONG: They're never going to give up. You know that, right?
ARMSTRONG: Whatever information they got from me, it's just going to make them want the ship even more.
RUSH: Yeah, I know.
(Chloe looks down and hesitates for a moment.)
ARMSTRONG: Before Matt came in, I ...
(She takes a deep breath and picks up one of Nick's notebooks which she had hidden under the blanket covering her.)
ARMSTRONG: ... was working on some equations, just to see if I could still do it.
(She hands the notebook to him and he looks through the couple of pages of complicated calculations which she has written down. He looks back up at her.)
RUSH: They're perfect.
ARMSTRONG: But I'm supposed to be back to normal.
RUSH: Obviously they haven't, uh, wiped your memory. You managed to retain some of the knowledge you gained. I should think that's a good thing.
(She nods knowingly and smiles quirkily at him.)
ARMSTRONG: Because I can still be useful.
RUSH: Everyone on this ship is useful, not just those that are capable of F.T.L. calculations. We all belong here.
ARMSTRONG: D'you really believe that?
RUSH: More and more every day. If Colonel Young hadn't left me on that planet to be found by those aliens; if they hadn't taken you and you hadn't been put through that transformation, well, it's more than likely we wouldn't have survived this attack.
ARMSTRONG: So everything happens for a reason.
(Nick smiles cynically, knowing that this isn't his normal attitude.)
RUSH: Yeah, well, if you'd have said that to me a couple of years ago, I'd have dismissed it as superstition - a classic weak-minded response to the overwhelming complexity of the universe.
ARMSTRONG (smiling gently): And now?
(Nick looks thoughtful for a moment.)
RUSH (softly): Well, let's just say you're not the only one that's gone through some changes.
(He smiles at her.)
RUSH: You should get some rest.
(She lies back down and closes her eyes. Nick looks through the notebook again, then raises his eyes and watches her thoughtfully.)