118 THE GIFT
Transcript by Callie Sullivan.
ATLANTIS. NIGHT TIME. In the Gateroom, guards are patrolling. Up in the Control Room, a couple of technicians are sitting at their desks, looking bored. Other guards are wandering along the gantries above the Gateroom. In his lab, Rodney is drinking coffee and looking at a laptop. In his quarters, Aiden tosses restlessly in his bed. John, in his quarters, is sleeping more comfortably. In her room, Teyla is asleep. Then, in the corridors, we see a Wraith walking along. It walks to the door of Teyla’s room and the door opens. The Wraith walks inside and over to Teyla’s bed. It looks down at her for a moment, then slams its hand down onto her chest. Teyla gasps and cries out, trying to fend it off. It roars ... and Teyla wakes up. She looks around the room, panic-stricken for a moment, then sits up in bed, checking that she really is alone. She jumps out of bed and hurries out of the room, making her way to John’s quarters. When she reaches his door, she calls out.
TEYLA: Major Sheppard! Major!
(When he doesn’t reply, she opens the door and walks in. She goes over to his bed and pulls back the bedcovers to find John lying there, old, skeletal and dead. He has clearly been harvested by a Wraith. Teyla stares, gasping in horror, then turns at the sound of a snarl. A Wraith is standing behind her. It seizes her by the arms. She gasps ... and wakes up in her own bed. Again she sits up in bed, looking around her in dread.)
GYM. Teyla and John are training with Athosian fighting sticks. Unlike the last time we saw them in “Hot Zone”, John has the upper hand this time. On two occasions they spar and John manages to overwhelm her – on the second occasion he accidentally hits her quite hard. She grunts with pain but as John stares in shock, she straightens up.
SHEPPARD: Going easy on me, huh?
TEYLA: I assure you, Major, I am not. Continue.
(They spar again. This time John manages to grab her and throw her to the floor. Again, he stares in surprise as she lies on the ground.)
SHEPPARD: You OK?
SHEPPARD: Are you sure? Cos it’s usually me picking my butt up off the mat.
(Teyla reaches out her hand for him to take and haul her off the floor.)
TEYLA: Truthfully, I have not been sleeping much – and when I do, I have been having nightmares about the Wraith.
SHEPPARD: Well, you’re not the only one.
TEYLA: It has not been so bad since my father was taken. (She packs her sticks into her bag as John looks concerned for her.)
CONFERENCE ROOM. Elizabeth is addressing a large group of the Atlantis crew, both scientists and marines.
WEIR: According to Doctor Zelenka’s calculations, we have less than one week before the Wraith arrive. I want options.
McKAY: You mean, besides crying ourselves to sleep. (Zelenka looks at him.) Well, not me! I haven’t slept in days.
WEIR: And what do you have to show for your sleepless nights, Rodney?
McKAY: Well, since we’ve got here, we’ve uncovered a number of defensive weapons systems beyond the shield. Wh...
ZELENKA (interrupting): We think our best option is the control chair.
McKAY: I was gonna say that.
ZELENKA: Yes, but you were taking too long as usual.
McKAY: Yes, but the point is, this may not be our best chance.
ZELENKA: Name a better one.
McKAY: Of course, like the shield, power will be our biggest problem.
ZELENKA: We haven’t even been able to initialise the chair yet, much less determine whether we can meet the power requirements to run it.
WEIR: OK, keep me posted. Sergeant Bates: where are we with our Alpha site?
BATES: We’ve completed the ground and aerial security sweep and are ready to begin establishing base camp. We’re just awaiting final inspection by Major Sheppard.
SHEPPARD: Right after lunch.
WEIR: Good. Teyla: are the Athosians getting prepared for an evacuation?
TEYLA: Yes – but many believe there is no other world that is safe from the Wraith.
WEIR: They want to stay?
TEYLA: As we have heard from our allies and seen for ourselves, there are cullings happening all over the galaxy. My people have spent their lives hiding from the Wraith.
WEIR: Yes, well, the difference here being we do intend to destroy the city rather than let it fall in the hands of the Wraith – and if it comes to that, anyone left on the mainland will be cut off from the Stargate for good. Now, thanks to Rodney’s discovery of the Gate’s control crystal (Rodney raises his hand and waves in acknowledgement) we at least know we’ll be able to take that with us and hopefully use it to access Earth again some time in the future.
TEYLA: We understand that, Doctor Weir.
WEIR: I’m sorry, wh...?
TEYLA (sounding irritable): I am merely saying the people of Athos wish you to know that if we are going to stay and fight, they too will help defend the city of the ancestors.
WEIR: Well, that is very honourable, but I ...
KAVANAGH (interrupting): Oh, please! We can’t possibly consider staying and fighting.
SHEPPARD: I disagree. I think it’s entirely within the realm of possibility.
KAVANAGH: There are tens of thousands of life-sucking aliens in highly advanced spaceships on their way here to destroy us, and we have – what? – two hundred people, most of whom are scientists who’ve never even fired a gun before.
McKAY: Shockingly, first time ever I’ve found myself having to agree with Kavanagh.
SHEPPARD: All I’m saying is, let’s not give up – just yet.
McKAY: Now what was that we were supposed to all remember? It was something important ... uh, oh yes, that’s right – the Alamo!
SHEPPARD (trying not to smile): Granted you guys are scientists. No-one’s considering putting you guys on the front line, but science can turn the tide of war. Look at the ... A bomb.
ZELENKA: Not exactly our proudest moment.
WEIR: The fact is, the Wraith aren’t here quite yet, and until that moment I would like everyone to remain focused on what it is they do best. Like I said off the top, if there are any options, I want them. That’s all.
BALCONY. Teyla is sitting at a table with a tray of food in front of her. She seems to be only picking at it. A blonde woman walks onto the balcony with her own tray of food. She walks over to Teyla, who is gazing out over the ocean.
(Teyla turns and looks at the woman, apparently not sure who she is.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Kate. Heightmeyer.
TEYLA: Yes. Right. I knew that. I’m sorry.
HEIGHTMEYER: No problem. Mind if I join you?
TEYLA: No, of course not.
(Kate smiles and sits down at the table.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Strange how the memory just goes away when we’re tired.
TEYLA: You are a doctor, right?
HEIGHTMEYER: Psychologist, actually.
TEYLA: And that is ... different than Doctor Beckett?
HEIGHTMEYER: Quite, yes. Um, I deal with the mind. I try and help people deal with emotional problems like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic distress. (Teyla looks suspiciously at her.) Well, needless to say I’ve been pretty busy since we got here.
TEYLA: I can imagine. (She smiles falsely.)
HEIGHTMEYER: I’m sure that you do a lot of the same things that I do for your people. But it must be very hard on you, always having to keep such a brave face.
TEYLA: From strength comes hope. Without hope, my people would be lost.
HEIGHTMEYER: You must feel you have to be outwardly strong for us as well. Teyla, I know that your value and your loyalty have been questioned by a few here in the past. What I’m trying to say to you is, if you ever need to talk, I’m here.
TEYLA: Did Major Sheppard ask you to speak with me?
HEIGHTMEYER: Yes, he may have ...
TEYLA (standing up): I am sorry. I do not mean to be rude, but I’m fine, really. (She picks up her tray and starts to walk away, then stops and turns back to Kate.) I appreciate your concern. (She walks away.)
CORRIDORS. John is geared up and walking towards the Gateroom. Teyla, similarly geared up, runs to catch up with him.
SHEPPARD (stopping and turning around to her): Teyla.
TEYLA: What did you tell Doctor Heightmeyer?
SHEPPARD: Exactly what you told me – that you couldn’t sleep because you were having nightmares.
TEYLA: I confided in you.
SHEPPARD: You’re a member of my team, which makes you my responsibility, and I only told one person whose job, by the way, is to deal exactly with this sort of thing.
TEYLA: There is nothing wrong with my mind.
SHEPPARD: Nobody said there was.
TEYLA: I have a hard enough time getting your people to respect me without them thinking I’m crazy!
SHEPPARD: Nobody thinks you’re crazy and everybody respects you.
TEYLA: That is not the point.
SHEPPARD: Look, Teyla, you may wanna sit this one out.
TEYLA: What do you mean?
SHEPPARD: Rodney’s staying back, and Ford and I are just gonna check out the Alpha site one last time before we have to move in.
TEYLA: Should we evacuate, my people will be forced to that planet as well.
SHEPPARD: And I’ll make sure it’s safe for everyone. Look, Teyla, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you, God forbid. But you yourself admit it: that you’re a little off your game. You snapped at Doctor Weir this morning in the Briefing Room for no good reason. Now you’re biting my head off for caring that you might need help in dealing with the fact that it’s been three days since you’ve had any sleep.
TEYLA: I’m sorry. But I do not need any help. The Wraith are coming. What I need is to do something.
SHEPPARD: OK, good! I suggest you take a nap. (He turns, walks into the Gateroom, then turns and waves up to the Control Room. Someone starts to dial the Stargate. Teyla looks irritated and walks away.)
TEYLA’S QUARTERS. Teyla takes off her gear and lies down on her bed. She lies there for a few moments, looking around the room, then sighs and gets off the bed.
KATE’S OFFICE. The door to the office slides open to reveal Rodney inside, just about to leave the room. Kate is sitting at a desk nearby, looking at a notebook. Rodney stares at who’s on the other side of the door.
TEYLA (equally surprised): Doctor McKay!
McKAY: I was just, um ... (He gestures towards Kate, then hesitates, clearly not wanting Teyla to think that he, of all people, should be in need of counselling. Eventually he lowers his voice to almost a whisper.) We’re seeing each other.
TEYLA: You and Doctor Heightmeyer?
(Rodney walks out of the room so that he can talk even more quietly to Teyla and so that Kate can’t hear him.)
McKAY: Well, you know how much I love women with great ... um ... minds. Just, um, just don’t say anything to anyone?
TEYLA: Your secret is safe with me.
McKAY: Very good. Excellent. (He walks away. Teyla hesitates, then walks into Kate’s office.)
TEYLA: Doctor Heightmeyer?
HEIGHTMEYER: Teyla. Come in.
TEYLA: I am sorry to bother you. I-Is it alright if I ...?
HEIGHTMEYER: Of course. Please, have a seat.
(They sit down. Kate looks at Teyla, waiting for her to speak first.)
TEYLA: I guess I’m not really sure how this is supposed to work.
HEIGHTMEYER: Just relax. Tell me whatever’s on your mind.
TEYLA: I have been having bad dreams. I feel ... (she hesitates for a long time) ... Everyone on this base is probably afraid. I do not know why I am bothering you. (She gets up and starts to walk away.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Have you always been able to sense the Wraith?
(Teyla turns back towards her.)
TEYLA: Yes, since I can remember.
HEIGHTMEYER: What does it feel like?
(Teyla comes back to her chair and sits down, taking off her earpiece and microphone.)
TEYLA: It feels like a deep cold that comes from within. I first felt it when I was a girl. I could not breathe, and I did not know why, and then we heard the Darts.
HEIGHTMEYER: Do you feel that way now?
TEYLA: I have had a knot inside me for some time now.
HEIGHTMEYER: As I understand, though, the ships are still a great distance from Atlantis. Can you really sense them from so far away?
TEYLA: This feeling is a little different than in the past. Perhaps it is because it is always there now – I am getting used to it. Never before in my lifetime have so many Wraith been awake.
HEIGHTMEYER: Do many of your people have this ability?
TEYLA: Some. Among those few, some can sense the Wraith stronger than others. I have always been among the first to know they are coming.
HEIGHTMEYER: That makes you special. How does that make you feel?
TEYLA: I do not know. I suppose I have not given it much thought.
HEIGHTMEYER: Why not?
TEYLA: Why do some people have blue eyes and others brown?
(Kate smiles understandingly.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Tell me about your nightmares.
FLASHBACK to Teyla’s nightmare. The Wraith walks along the corridors of Atlantis to Teyla’s quarters. The door to her room opens and the Wraith enters. It walks to her bedside. The camera pans round to show the Wraith’s face – it has Teyla’s own face but her hair is long and white, her face is thin and she has the same scarring as the Wraith that attacked her in her earlier nightmares. Teyla wakes up and sits up in bed, disturbed by the dream.
TEYLA: I-It was me.
HEIGHTMEYER: You were standing over yourself?
TEYLA: I-It was me, but it was not me. I was a Wraith.
HEIGHTMEYER: The truth is, people waste a lot of time trying to interpret their dreams. They’re really just another way our brain thinks when we’re asleep. There are no hidden meanings. In fact, we tend to forget most everything we dream about. Our conscious mind is capable of deciding what’s most important to us.
TEYLA: Well, the fact that on some level I see myself as a Wraith is very disturbing to me.
HEIGHTMEYER: I think this special ability that you have, this talent for sensing the Wraith, connects you to them in your mind – maybe in a way you would like to deny. You said you hadn’t really given it much thought in the past – I don’t think that’s true.
TEYLA: What am I supposed to do? I cannot change it.
HEIGHTMEYER: Probably not – but the unknown frightens us. We all like to feel in control, even though most of the time our power over most things is just an illusion – but I find the more we know about something, the more we can convince ourselves we are in control of it.
INFIRMARY. Teyla is talking with Carson.
BECKETT: I ran every test I could on all of you from the get-go. Physiologically, you and your people are the same as we are. I have no explanation for any of your special super-powers.
TEYLA: I only have one.
BECKETT: I’ve seen you fight, my dear.
TEYLA: I have previously traced this ability as something that is passed on through family lineage. Does that not make it biological?
BECKETT: It would seem so, but without genetic samples from everyone in your family tree, I would have little to no chance of identifying the specific characteristic that causes the anatomical response. (Teyla shakes her head, not understand him.) It’d be difficult.
TEYLA: Any chance you would have time to fly me over to the mainland?
BECKETT: If you’re willing to take your life into your own hands! (Teyla nods, smiling.) I’d love a break.
(A Puddlejumper flies over the ocean towards the mainland.)
MAINLAND. ATHOSIAN VILLAGE. In a tent, Teyla sits at the table holding out a bowl as an elderly woman spoons soup into it.
CHARAN: You’ve changed, Teyla.
TEYLA: My hair is shorter. (She eats a spoonful of the soup.)
CHARAN: Ah, it’s more than your hair, dear. I can still see the little girl who used to paint me beautiful pictures while she sang the songs of the Ancients.
TEYLA: I have not been that girl in a long time, Charan.
CHARAN: No, but even Teyla, leader of the Athosians, always found the time to come and visit with poor old Charan.
TEYLA: I have missed your tuttleroot soup!
CHARAN: But I suspect it’s more than my soup that has brought you here. You’ve come to pluck me from my tent and take me to yet another world.
TEYLA: Not yet, but it seems we may have to evacuate again soon – at least temporarily.
CHARAN: Did you allow yourself to expect different?
TEYLA: I still believe that we can one day be free of the Wraith.
CHARAN: You can save such stories for those whose bones aren’t failing them.
(Teyla looks down, then looks up at Charan again.)
TEYLA: Charan, do you know why I can sense the Wraith coming?
CHARAN: You were born to it. There have been a few in every generation.
TEYLA: I know, but has no-one ever wondered how that is possible?
CHARAN: Some believe it was a gift from the ancestors.
TEYLA: And you?
CHARAN: Your father asked me not to tell you.
TEYLA: My father ... is not here any more.
(Charan hesitates for a moment, then speaks.)
CHARAN: No other living Athosian knows of this – for good reason.
TEYLA: Please, tell me anyway.
CHARAN: My grandfather used to tell a story no-one had ever heard the like before or since about the few who once returned.
CHARAN: There was a planet. As was expected, every so often the Wraith came, villagers were taken; but there, on this particular planet, on several occasions ... the taken came back.
ATLANTIS. ELIZABETH’S OFFICE. Teyla is telling Charan’s tale to Elizabeth and John.
TEYLA: Some believed the ancestors had returned their loved ones to them – that they had been blessed with a gift that made them unwanted by the Wraith. Others even told tales of how the taken had somehow vanquished the Wraith. But soon the taken began to be feared.
TEYLA: They spoke of hearing voices. Many began to behave strangely. Some became violent, even murderous.
WEIR: Well, it doesn’t sound like the Ancients were responsible for that.
TEYLA: No. The villagers turned on the taken. It was a massacre. All but a few were killed. The rest were ostracised, sent away. And after that, no others that were taken from that village ever returned again. But those few who survived – they are the ones who Charan believes passed on the gift.
SHEPPARD: And one of the taken that survived was ...
TEYLA: ... my lineage. I have the address to the planet where this happened. Charan says the village is long gone. All that is left are ruins but ... still, I wish to go there.
TEYLA: I believe this must be coming to light now for a reason. Maybe we can find evidence of what really happened.
WEIR: Look, Teyla, there are a lot of things that we need to get done.
TEYLA: Maybe there is a way to fight the Wraith that we have yet to discover. Perhaps my ancestors were simply not enlightened enough to recognise their gift for what it was.
(Elizabeth looks at John. He shrugs.)
SHEPPARD: Doesn’t hurt to take a look around.
ALIEN PLANET. NIGHT TIME. John, Teyla, Rodney and Aiden have travelled to the planet Charan spoke about. Lightning and thunder can be seen and heard overhead, although it’s not raining. The team are wandering around the ruined village with torches.
FORD: Sir, there’s nothing here.
SHEPPARD: I know.
FORD: Well, it’s dark. Shouldn’t we be getting back?
SHEPPARD: Give her a minute. (He looks at Teyla some distance away, who is investigating an old piece of pottery.)
FORD: Sir ...
SHEPPARD: Ford, I need her to put this behind her; get some sleep – we all do, so whatever it takes.
(Rodney wanders up, looking at an energy-detecting device. It is beeping.)
McKAY: I’ve got something here.
McKAY: I dunno. I’ve got a little ... (He trails off and walks towards a rock wall.)
FORD: You’ve got a little what? (He grins and calls after Rodney.) Hey, McKay, you’ve got a little what?! (John turns and shoots him a look. Aiden’s smile fades.) What? (John pulls a face and follows Rodney.) Oh, it’s OK when you guys make fun of me!
(John reaches Rodney.)
McKAY (still walking towards the rock wall): I’m getting a faint energy signal. Getting stronger. (He reaches the wall.) Coming from here.
FORD: There’s nothing here.
(John and Teyla are running their hands over the rock wall.)
McKAY: Well, the magic Ancient device hasn’t lied yet.
SHEPPARD (turning away from the wall): It’s solid.
McKAY: Well, there’s definitely something weird here.
SHEPPARD: Weird how?
(Behind them, Teyla touches the part of the wall that John had previously touched, and disappears from view as if she has just walked through the solid wall.)
FORD: How about that?!
SHEPPARD: Teyla! (He runs to the wall and puts his hand on it, but it’s solid.) Teyla?!
McKAY: Maybe she got a good running start – you know, really slam into it.
(John turns round and throws Rodney a black look. He turns to the wall again and reaches out to touch it but the wall vanishes. On the other side is Teyla, one of her hands raised as if she has just touched the wall.)
SHEPPARD: How’d you do that?
TEYLA: I do not know – I was just looking for a way out.
(The four of them walk inside. It’s a large chamber with a corridor leading deeper into the rock. The corridor looks eerily familiar.)
FORD: Looks like the inside of a Wraith ship.
McKAY: What the hell were they doing here?
ATLANTIS. RODNEY’S LAB. Rodney is hooking up a small device to a laptop. Elizabeth comes in.
WEIR: Sheppard said you think you found a Wraith laboratory?
McKAY: Certainly looks that way – some sort of hidden, secret facility. It’s obviously been abandoned for a very long time. I was able to, uh, pull this, uh, data recorder from one of the computer consoles. (He shows her the device he was hooking up.)
WEIR: D’you think the Wraith were experimenting on the people of that planet?
McKAY: Well, I have no idea. Hoping this thing will tell us.
WEIR: Why the need for secrecy? The Wraith can take people at will and do whatever they want with them.
(Rodney’s laptop beeps and data appears on the screen.)
McKAY: Here we go. (Elizabeth comes round the table so she can look at the screen.) There. (Rodney looks at the text.) Now, that, uh ... that means absolutely nothing to me. You know, the last time I saw the contents of one of these, it showed galactic positioning systems for ships – it was more a picture than symbols.
WEIR (looking at the screen): I wonder ... (She trails off.)
McKAY: Just so you know, you didn’t actually finish that sentence out loud.
WEIR: Well, this is obviously a language.
McKAY: Wraith language?
WEIR: That would make sense. I’d like to have a good look through this.
McKAY: Oh, well, knock yourself out. I’ve gotta get back to the control chair anyway. (He leaves the lab as Elizabeth continues looking at the screen.)
KATE’S OFFICE. Kate is talking with Teyla.
HEIGHTMEYER: Why do you think you could access the doorway when no-one else could?
TEYLA: I don’t know.
HEIGHTMEYER: Is it because only a Wraith can enter a secret Wraith facility?
TEYLA: I’m not a Wraith.
(Kate leans forward, staring intently at Teyla.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Tell me – what does it feel like to be a Wraith?
(We see Teyla – she’s a Wraith again.)
TEYLA (in a deep, ominous voice): I feel hunger.
(Teyla wakes up in bed, covered in sweat. She gasps, then whimpers.)
CONTROL CHAIR ROOM. Rodney, Carson and Zelenka are standing near the dais on which the chair stands. Carson is staring at the chair in dread.
BECKETT: Don’t you remember what happened last time I sat in one of those?
McKAY: There’s nowhere near enough power in the thing to do anything.
(Zelenka pushes Carson onto the dais.)
BECKETT: Then why bother? Gentlemen, it’s quite late.
ZELENKA: We are trying to determine exactly how much power is required to operate the systems that are controlled by the chair.
McKAY: And in order to do that, it needs to be on.
BECKETT: You have the gene now!
McKAY: Yeah, but I can’t be trying to analyse the feedback data while I’m concentrating on keeping the damn thing activated!
BECKETT (to Zelenka): Why don’t you analyse it?
ZELENKA: Well, I could analyse it, but Rodney doesn’t think that I ...
(Elizabeth comes in, looking at a clipboard in her hands.)
WEIR: Gentlemen, how’s it coming?
McKAY: Well, not good!
WEIR: Well, I’m sorry, but this won’t help. Carson, I need you.
BECKETT: Oh, thank God! (He walks towards her.)
McKAY: Yeah, but we’re using him!
BECKETT (to Elizabeth): What is it? Is someone hurt?
WEIR: You were right.
BECKETT: Lovely! About what?
WEIR: Your theory of the Wraith evolving after the Ancients arrived in Pegasus galaxy ...
(Carson smiles, delighted that he was right. Rodney rolls his eyes and folds his arms in disgust.)
McKAY: Oh, you’re kidding me!
ZELENKA (holding out his hand to Rodney triumphantly): Pay up.
BECKETT (to Elizabeth): How d’you know?
WEIR: The Wraith language – it’s a derivative of Ancient.
McKAY: Well, that doesn’t categorically mean ...
WEIR: Rodney, please. (She looks at Carson.) That’s not why I need to see you. I’ve been able to translate the first part of the log from the Wraith data device.
BECKETT: Really? (He and Elizabeth leave the room.)
McKAY (irritated): Alright, we’ll try Doctor Kusanagi.
McKAY: Thank you!
LAB. Teyla comes in to see Elizabeth and Carson still pouring over the information on the laptop.
TEYLA: Good morning. (They both look up at her, rather wide-eyed and tired.) You look like I feel.
WEIR: Uh, well, we’ve been up all night.
TEYLA: You wanted to see me?
BECKETT: You’d better sit down.
TEYLA: What is it?
(Elizabeth and Carson look at each other uncomfortably.)
WEIR: Well, I translated the first part of the log that you brought back, and ... are you sure you don’t wanna have a seat? (Teyla just looks at her. Elizabeth takes a deep breath.) The Wraith were conducting experiments on your ancestors. I-It was just one Wraith, actually, and he was doing it against the wishes of the other Wraith, which was why he was doing it in secret.
TEYLA: What was he doing?
BECKETT: I think he was trying to make their food source more compatible with their species.
TEYLA: I do not understand.
BECKETT: It was very easy to miss. In fact, I couldn’t even make the kind of comparison necessary to isolate the specific strand. We needed Wraith cells, which we eventually got, (Teyla sighs and looks away) but then we need a full mapping of the genetic code contained within those cells, which wasn’t even fifty percent complete ...
TEYLA: Please! (Elizabeth and Carson look at each other again.) Tell me.
BECKETT: You have some Wraith DNA in your genetic make-up.
CONFERENCE ROOM. Elizabeth and Carson are breaking the news to John, Rodney and Aiden.
SHEPPARD: You’re saying Teyla’s part-Wraith?!
BECKETT: A very small part.
WEIR (to John): Which makes her about as different from us as you, because of the Ancient gene you possess.
McKAY: Well, and some other things!
FORD: Still, Bates is gonna go nuts over this.
SHEPPARD: Let’s just keep this one under our hat.
WEIR: Well, obviously Teyla’s very concerned about how everyone will react.
McKAY: So you think this Wraith scientist was trying to make humans what? More tasty?
WEIR: The log seems to indicate that he was looking for a way to make the feeding process more efficient.
(John raises his eyebrows.)
McKAY: But I thought you already said they had a number of genetic characteristics similar to humans.
BECKETT: They do – but they’re still much closer to the bug creature that attacked Major Sheppard than to us.
SHEPPARD: Hey! I thought we weren’t gonna mention that any more.
WEIR: Also interesting is the fact that the Wraith language appears to be a derivative of Ancient, which seems to suggest that the Wraith evolved after the Ancients arrived in Pegasus.
BECKETT: My theory is that the Ancients unwittingly allowed humans to evolve on a planet with, uh, (he looks apologetically at John) insect species on it. At some point the insects fed on humans and somehow incorporated our DNA into theirs. The Wraith are an evolution of that combination.
FORD: So what you’re saying is the Ancients actually created the Wraith?
BECKETT: By accident.
McKAY: Or negligence.
WEIR: Well, either way, it doesn’t matter.
BECKETT: Ultimately, the more we know about Wraith physiology, the closer we get to a biological weapon that can attack the Wraith and leave humans unharmed.
McKAY: Yes – but for the moment all we know is that the Ancients might have accidentally created the Wraith, and why Teyla can sense them coming. I mean, fabulous mystery solved, but neither of which help in any way stop them from coming!
WEIR: Rodney’s right. Let’s get back to work.
McKAY: Thank you!
KATE’S OFFICE. Teyla is having another session with Kate.
TEYLA: I know that it is not my fault. There is nothing I can do about it. The fact is, I am really no different now than I was yesterday or last week.
HEIGHTMEYER: But you feel different.
TEYLA: Yes. I-I think the thing that I am most worried about is how people will perceive me. My father told people that it was a gift – I was special, but in a good way. I could help my people by warning them of the Wraith’s approach. He did it to protect me, but in many ways I think that it is why they first turned to me as a leader.
HEIGHTMEYER: As you just said, you’re no different than you were yesterday.
TEYLA: Yes – but now they have reason to fear me.
ELIZABETH’S OFFICE. Rodney and John come in to see Elizabeth.
McKAY: Alright. Even with Major Sheppard in the chair we weren’t able to, uh ... (Elizabeth, who is reading a laptop, raises a finger.) What? What is that? (He raises his finger in the same way that she did. Elizabeth gestures to the screen and Rodney walks round the table to stand beside her and look at the screen.)
WEIR: Yeah, something you said made me wonder.
McKAY: I thought we decided there were more important things than ...
WEIR (interrupting): Why did the Wraith scientist stop the experiments?
McKAY: What would I have said that would make you think that?
WEIR: I don’t remember.
McKAY: Well, it’s-it’s-it’s a good point – I’m just wondering what I said. (Elizabeth looks at him.) What’ve you got?
WEIR: Well at first, I thought it was because the other Wraith caught him.
SHEPPARD: They didn’t?
WEIR: No – according to this, he stopped on his own.
McKAY: See, now you’ve got me wondering why the rest of the Wraith didn’t want these experiments taking place in the first place.
McKAY: Especially since they were supposed to be intended to improve things for everyone.
WEIR: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
McKAY: I just said it.
SHEPPARD: Will you stop?!
WEIR: Alright, here’s the most interesting part. The Wraith communicate with each other using some sort of telepathic network.
SHEPPARD: I noticed that.
WEIR: Well, thankfully, they can’t seem to read the minds of humans, though.
SHEPPARD: That’s good, but what does this have to do with the Wraith stopping the experiments?
WEIR: Because by combining even small amounts of Wraith DNA with humans’, the scientist was giving the humans Wraith mental abilities. The subjects of his experiments were able to hear the Wraith communications.
SHEPPARD: Then the stories that Teyla told – the voices that the people heard were ...
WEIR: ... were Wraith, exactly. It must have driven them mad. The Wraith scientist couldn’t find a way around it, so eventually he gave up.
McKAY: I don’t understand. I mean, why let them back into the general population, then?
WEIR: It seems he thought that interbreeding with normal humans might dilute the effect.
McKAY: And before he realised he was wrong, it was too late.
WEIR: When the other Wraith did find out what he had done, they wiped out all the people on the planet – but not before several of the test subjects had already been ostracised and forced to leave.
McKAY: OK – so how does this help us?
WEIR: Teyla may have more than just the ability to sense the Wraith coming.
McKAY: What, you’re saying you think Teyla may be able to ... tap into this Wraith psychic network?
SHEPPARD: If she can, we’ll be able to gather all the intel we ever needed about them.
TEYLA’S QUARTERS. Elizabeth and Kate are telling Teyla what they have learned.
TEYLA: I have never been able to hear the thoughts of the Wraith before.
WEIR: Well, according to the notes, all the test subjects who were given the Wraith DNA, they had the ability.
HEIGHTMEYER: It’s possible it’s because you’ve never actually tried before.
WEIR: You didn’t know you could read Wraith minds – and quite frankly, who’d want to? Look, Teyla, I would not even consider asking you to do this if I didn’t think it could potentially provide us with some vital information.
TEYLA: I just ... do not know what to do.
WEIR: Well, Doctor Heightmeyer has a theory.
HEIGHTMEYER: I think it’s possible that, over time, through several generations, people with your ability have developed a mental barrier to the thought projections of the Wraith – sort of a self-defence mechanism. If we can get past that ...
HEIGHTMEYER: We have a treatment process called hypnosis.
WEIR: Doctor Heightmeyer can lead you through it, and Doctor Beckett will remain on hand at all times to monitor your physiology.
TEYLA: The Wraith are still very far away, are they not?
WEIR: Yes, they are – and McKay, he does have some doubts about the range of this telepathy.
HEIGHTMEYER: But, as you said, you can sense the Wraith now. Now, if that’s merely a bleed-through effect into your consciousness of a greater latent ability, then it may be worth trying to break the barrier; though, to be perfectly honest, it’s not something I would ever recommend doing under any other circumstances.
WEIR: But these are far from normal circumstances that we’re in, Teyla.
TEYLA: If I can somehow provide us with something – their strategy, a weakness – I see no other choice.
(Elizabeth nods. Teyla sighs nervously.)
INFIRMARY. Teyla is lying on a bed. Carson is just finishing attaching monitor leads to Teyla’s head and arms. Kate is sitting on the side of the bed.
BECKETT: OK – I think we’re ready.
HEIGHTMEYER (to Teyla): Are you? (Teyla nods.) OK, I want you to breathe, nice and deeply and try to relax. (Teyla takes a deep breath and releases it.) Doctor Beckett’s gonna administer a mild sedative. (Carson pulls the cap off a syringe with his teeth.) Now, if this works, we should still be able to communicate with each other. (Carson injects Teyla in the arm as she looks at him anxiously.) Remember, we can wake you at any time using a very low-grade electrical current. It won’t hurt at all. Just say “out” and we’ll end it. (Teyla nods her understanding.) Now, focus on this light as I speak. (She holds up a penlight and shines it into Teyla’s eyes.) You told me that the feeling that you get from the Wraith is a cold, dark feeling deep inside you. I want you to think about that. Look for it in your mind. (She lowers the penlight.) Now close your eyes and listen to it. (Teyla closes her eyes.) Don’t resist. Go to that place where it lives. (Carson looks at Teyla anxiously. Elizabeth and John, standing nearby, watch her closely.) What do you hear?
(Teyla concentrates for a few moments, then shakes her head.)
HEIGHTMEYER: You told me that your father was taken by the Wraith. Do you remember sensing it that day?
HEIGHTMEYER: Think back to that feeling. Now listen. What do you hear?
(Teyla’s eyes roll under her closed eyelids.)
TEYLA: Noise. Voices. So many voices, whispering.
HEIGHTMEYER: Listen closely. Listen for one.
(Behind her closed eyes, Teyla has a misty vision of Wraith on board a ship.)
TEYLA: I can see!
HEIGHTMEYER: Tell us what you see, Teyla.
TEYLA: I am on a ship. (She sees more Wraith.) I am walking.
SHEPPARD: She can actually see what’s happening?
HEIGHTMEYER: If the Wraith can project their thoughts, then that may include what they’re seeing.
TEYLA: There are other Wraith – and they do not notice me. (Her vision continues and she describes it.) I am in a room full of people being preserved so that they can be fed upon. (In her mind, she walks towards a man trapped in Wraith webbing. She reaches out and slams her hand into his chest. He screams.) I am feeding! (The man continues to scream.) I am killing him!
WEIR: Stop. Beckett, stop.
(As Teyla convulses on the bed, Carson administers the electrical current and Teyla sits up, gasping.)
HEIGHTMEYER: It’s OK! It’s OK – you’re here, in Atlantis.
WEIR: Teyla, I ... I have no right to ask you to do this. (She looks at her apologetically and then walks away.)
TEYLA (grabbing at the monitor leads): Get these things off of me.
BECKETT: You’ve got it – settle down, Teyla. (He gently eases her back down onto the bed again and reaches for the leads as Kate jumps off the bed and John follows Elizabeth out of the room.) I have to take this off.
CORRIDOR. Elizabeth and John are walking away from the Infirmary.
WEIR: I can’t put her through this, John. I know it was my idea but it’s too much to ask.
SHEPPARD: You may feel differently once the hive ships show up.
(Teyla runs out to join them.)
TEYLA: Doctor Weir. Why did you make them stop?
WEIR: Excuse me?
TEYLA: I was on one of the hive ships that is headed here. I could hear them. I could see. It was working.
WEIR: You were watching them feed.
TEYLA: Yes – I actually felt one of them feed, but I can handle it. I can help us – I know it.
WEIR: Teyla, I never should ...
TEYLA (interrupting): I’m going to try again.
LATER. In her mind, Teyla is walking through the hive ship with other Wraith in front of her. In the Infirmary, Teyla is back on the bed with her eyes closed. She describes what she sees.
TEYLA: I am walking through the ship. (We see her walk into a room where three Wraith are working a console.) I am in some sort of control room. (On the bed, she takes a deep breath and opens her eyes. Kate looks at Carson, who raises his hands in an uncertain gesture, uncertain of what’s happening. Teyla looks around the room, then raises her head, glaring fiercely at Kate. Her voice is deep and savage.) You are all so pathetic.
(Kate gets off the bed nervously and backs away.)
SHEPPARD: Something tells me that’s not Teyla talkin’.
TEYLA: Nothing can stop us.
WEIR: Wake her up.
(Carson administers another electrical current. Teyla convulses on the bed, her head arcing back, then she brings her head back down and speaks in the same savage voice.)
TEYLA: You are all going to die.
(Carson increases the charge and pushes the button again. Teyla convulses again, then flops back down onto the bed, gasping. Everyone stares at her anxiously. After a couple of moments, Teyla looks around her, bewildered, and speaks in her normal voice.)
TEYLA: What happened?
CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth, John and Kate walk through the room.
HEIGHTMEYER: Doctor Beckett has her sedated and she’s resting comfortably. She seems fine, but I would like some time to let what she’s been through sink in. She may still be in shock. I have no idea what the long-term psychological effect will be.
SHEPPARD: She said she could see some type of control room – maybe a map, an attack plan. She just needs to get a better look.
WEIR: John, you were there. A Wraith had control of her.
(Alarms sound and the Stargate begins dialling in. They run back into the Control Room.)
TECHNICIAN: Incoming wormhole!
(The Gate finishes dialling and the wormhole kawhooshes behind the shield.)
TECHNICIAN: Getting Sergeant Bates’ IDC. It’s the Alpha site.
(Bates can be heard over comms. The sound of gunfire can also be heard.)
BATES (over comms): This is Sergeant Bates. Code Red! We’re under attack – we’re coming in hot!
WEIR: Lower the shield.
(As the shield is lowered, John runs down into the Gateroom, grabbing a P90 off a guard as he goes. Bates and another soldier run through the Gate and join John, turning to aim their weapons at the Gate. Other soldiers run through the Gate as weapons fire comes through around them.)
MARINE: Move it! Move it!
(Bates realises that all his men are through.)
BATES: That’s it – we’re clear!
SHEPPARD: Raise the shield!
(The shield activates and the Gate shuts down.)
WEIR (from the Control Room balcony): Is everybody OK?
BATES: All offworld personnel accounted for.
SHEPPARD: I guess that planet isn’t safe any more(!)
BATES: They showed up by ship and dropped some sort of device by the Gate as we were leaving.
SHEPPARD: I’ve seen it before – they’re tagging the planet.
BATES: If we’re gonna evacuate Atlantis, we’re gonna need a new place to go.
(Elizabeth comes down the steps to join them)
WEIR: That planet was supposed to be uninhabited. What do the Wraith want with it?
BATES: I don’t know! It’s almost like they knew we were there!
(John and Elizabeth look at each other.)
INFIRMARY. Teyla is still lying on the bed.
TEYLA: I was close. I was so close. I really think if I had another chance ...
(Aiden is sitting at her bedside.)
FORD: Hey, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone around here.
TEYLA: I think this could make a difference. I saw a hologram – I think it was a map, maybe even a battle plan.
FORD: We know their battle plan. I mean, they’re comin’ to wipe us out.
TEYLA: I’m not so sure that is true. They want something from us.
FORD: Yeah. They wanna eat us.
TEYLA: No. Something more – they’re desperate.
TEYLA: Yes. It is surprising. They are confident in their dominance over us, but mainly because there are so many of them – too many to sustain for long. They have all awakened early and there is not enough food to go around. It was just a feeling – the voices were so hard to separate.
FORD: You don’t remember one of them speaking through you?
TEYLA: No, but I remember the feeling just before it happened. Next time ...
FORD: I don’t think Doctor Weir’s gonna let there be a next time.
CONFERENCE ROOM. John and Elizabeth have explained the situation to Sergeant Bates.
BATES: If what you’re saying is true, then chances are it was Teyla who gave away the location of our Alpha site to the Wraith!
SHEPPARD: I don’t think there was time.
BATES: You don’t know that they didn’t have a ship in the general area.
WEIR: Look, I admit, in retrospect, asking Teyla to connect with the Wraith may have been a mistake.
BATES: With all due respect, I don’t think there’s much doubt about that!
SHEPPARD: Take it easy, Sergeant, it’s not like she wilfully gave away our position.
(Aiden walks in.)
FORD: She wants to try again. Look, she says she was getting close to something big – something she’s convinced we need to know.
WEIR: No, I’m sorry. The problem is, I’m not sure Teyla’s thinking what’s best for herself.
BATES: Or that she could compromise us further!
SHEPPARD: At this point, we have more to gain from the Wraith than they do from us.
FORD: She wants to do it. Fact is, there may not be anything we can do to stop her from trying. So isn’t it better if we’re all there?
INFIRMARY. Everyone is ready for another try.
HEIGHTMEYER: OK – close your eyes and relax and listen for the voices.
(Teyla does so and finds herself walking through the Wraith ship again. She walks into the control room and activates some controls. A hologram map appears above the console. Then she turns her head and a nearby Wraith roars at her. On the bed, Teyla writhes.)
(Teyla’s closed eyes roll.)
WEIR (to Carson): Break the connection.
(Carson pushes the button three times in quick succession.)
BECKETT: It’s not working.
(Carson jumps up and goes to her.)
(Teyla’s eyes snap open. She looks at Carson, then punches him across the room. She jumps off the bed and grabs the drip stand beside the bed, snapping the top half of it off. As John ducks out of the way, she swings it at the monitors beside the bed and smashes them, sending sparks flying. She looks at John, still ducked down, and slams the stand across his back. Aiden, who had been standing further back, runs towards her but she throws him across the room. She turns towards Elizabeth and looks at her for a moment, then starts to walk towards her. At that moment, a Wraith stunner beam hits her in the back. She convulses. A second beam hits her and she collapses to the floor, revealing Sergeant Bates standing behind her with the Wraith stunner still aimed at her. Carson and Kate run to her and turn her over. Elizabeth helps Aiden to his feet, then she and John turn to look at Bates, who is looking very pleased with himself. Reluctantly, Elizabeth nods her thanks to him.)
CONTROL ROOM OUTDOOR BALCONY. Elizabeth and John are talking.
WEIR: I can only hope we haven’t caused her psychological damage.
SHEPPARD: Teyla’s one of the strongest people I know. The fact that she’s been able to hold it together until now after what she’s been through in her life ...
(Carson comes out with a sticking plaster over his left temple.)
BECKETT: Oh, there y’are. Major. Doctor Weir.
WEIR: Carson – how are you feeling?
BECKETT: Oh, doozy of a headache but I’ll be fine. Teyla’s awake – she wants to see both of you.
INFIRMARY. Carson, Elizabeth and John walk over to Teyla’s bed.
BECKETT: Teyla? You thirsty? Can I get you some water?
TEYLA: No. (As John walks over to her.) I am so sorry. I really thought I could throw off the ...
SHEPPARD: No, no, it’s fine.
WEIR: We are concerned that the Wraith can connect to you at will, though.
TEYLA: It has never happened before. And, no, I am sure I have to connect with them first. I saw their plans – the route their ships are taking to get here.
WEIR: That’s good!
TEYLA: There is more. They do not just want Atlantis. They know about you.
WEIR: What do you mean?
SHEPPARD: Sumner. The female Wraith wasn’t just feeding on him – she was interrogating him.
TEYLA: That is why they are all waking up. That is why they are coming here. They know that Atlantis is the only way to get to a new, rich, feeding ground.
(John looks round at Elizabeth and Carson.)