201 THE SIEGE part 3
Transcript by Callie Sullivan.
Continuing straight on from the previous episode, we start with Aiden Ford and his team facing off against two teams of Wraith and their guards who have beamed down in front of and behind the team. The marines aim their weapons at the Wraith.
FORD: Take them!
(The marines open fire. Some of the Wraith go down, while others rush in and go hand-to-hand with the marines, most of whom are soon shot or tossed around and thrown to the ground. One of the Wraith guards grabs Aiden by the throat and pushes him up against the balcony. Lying on the ground badly wounded, one of the marines, realising that all is lost, takes the pin out of a grenade. The Wraith guard, still holding Aiden by the throat, raises its other hand and slams it into Aiden’s chest. The marine passes out (or dies) and the grenade rolls from his hand. A few seconds later, the grenade explodes. The shockwave throws Aiden and the Wraith over the balcony and they plunge into the ocean below.)
SPACE. PUDDLEJUMPER. The Jumper is approaching the rear of one of the hive ships. John’s face is unreadable, but he knows there is nothing else he can do. As he almost reaches the ship, an unfamiliar male voice comes over the comms.
VOICE: Major Sheppard, decloak your Jumper immediately.
SHEPPARD: What?! Who the hell is this?
VOICE: Authentication Alpha Charlie One. Decloak now.
(John complies. The Jumper becomes visible just as it flies inside the ship.)
ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM.
McKAY: Detonation in five, four, three, two ...
(He walks towards the screen showing the Wraith fleet. Carson is still standing there watching the screen. We see an outside perspective of the city as Wraith Darts still swarm around. Above the city, the sky turns a brilliant white. In the Control Room, the screen also shows a huge explosion at one of the hive ships. Carson closes his eyes in grief.)
TECHNICIAN: Target has been neutralised.
(Elizabeth bows her head briefly, then raises it again.)
WEIR (with tears in her voice): He did it.
McKAY (quietly): Yeah. He did it.
(An alarm bleeps.)
TECHNICIAN: Doctor Weir, I’m picking up another ship.
WEIR: Another hive ship?
TECHNICIAN: Negative. I’m reading ISF.
SHEPPARD (over comms): Atlantis, this is Sheppard.
SHEPPARD: What other Sheppards do you know?
BECKETT (full of relief): Oh my God!
McKAY: No, no, that can’t be. We saw the hive ship go up.
(The same voice that spoke to John on the Jumper speaks over comms.)
VOICE: I assure you, Doctor McKay, that Major Sheppard is alive and well.
WEIR: Who is this?
VOICE: Colonel Steven Caldwell, commander of the Daedalus. We are ready to assist you.
(Rodney and Carson sigh in relief.)
McKAY: Oh, thank you!
WEIR: We are very glad to hear it, Colonel. (She bends down to a laptop and types in her code to disengaged the self-destruct.) And I assume we have you to thank for saving Major Sheppard.
CALDWELL: We were monitoring your transmissions as soon as we came out of hyperspace. We couldn’t beam him in until he decloaked his Jumper.
SHEPPARD: Didn’t take much convincing!
CALDWELL: Doctor McKay?
McKAY: Present, yes.
CALDWELL: I trust you’ll know what to do with this?
(Rodney looks confused. A moment later, a bright light appears in the Control Room. When the light fades, two marines are standing there. One of them is holding a large metal box.)
MARINE: Your ZeePM, sir.
(Rodney stares in delight, then runs over to take the box from the marine and puts it on the floor to open it. Carson stares in amazement at the marines.)
BECKETT: How did they do that?!
McKAY: Well, the Daedalus is loaded with Asgard technology. The beaming technology’s the first part of it. They’ve got things like ...
SHEPPARD (interrupting over comms): Rodney. What say we get the shields back up?
McKAY: Yeah. (He opens the box and takes out the ZPM, smiling in delight.) What say we?
WEIR: We still have Wraith all over the city.
CALDWELL: After we deal with this other hive ship, we’ll assist you as soon as we can. Caldwell out.
(The scene shifts to the Daedalus.)
WEAPONS OFFICER: Sir, we have incoming enemy fighters bearing three-two-zero.
CALDWELL: All forward rail guns stand by. Launch all fighters.
(Daedalus moves forward towards the last remaining hive ship. Wraith Darts and other fighters attack. Its rail guns return fire, and its shields hold against the onslaught being fired at it.)
ATLANTIS. As Darts continue to swoop around the city, we switch to Colonel Everett firing his pistol into the Wraith attacking it. When his pistol is empty, the Wraith slams its hand into Everett’s chest. Everett screams. The Wraith roars as it begins to feed. A few seconds later, it recoils from the impact of bullets. One of Everett’s marines, lying injured on the floor, has fired into it from behind.
DAEDALUS. As the battle continues, Doctor Lindsey Novak (who “SG-1” viewers will remember from ‘Prometheus Unbound’) reports over comms.
NOVAK: Colonel Caldwell. This is Novak in Engineering.
CALDWELL: What is it?
NOVAK: Uh, Hermiod wanted to remind you that that our shield strength will be severely diminished without the Zero Point Module tied into our power systems.
(As she speaks, she walks over to an Asgard who is working on a control panel. [Note: for anyone who’s never seen an episode of “SG-1”, the Asgard are allies of Earth, and look like Roswell greys.])
CALDWELL: I’m well aware of that, Doctor. Caldwell out. (To John) Major, do you recommend any specific target on the hive ship?
SHEPPARD: One of the fighter bays, sir.
CALDWELL: It would increase the chance of secondary explosions.
SHEPPARD: That was the thinking, sir.
CALDWELL: I agree. Weaps, arm two Mark Eight tacticals. Our target is the hive ship’s main fighter bay.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Warheads armed. Target is locked, sir.
(The warheads fly toward the hive ship. Darts fire at them and deflect them enough so that they impact fairly harmlessly on the surface of the ship.)
SHEPPARD: We need to get in close.
CALDWELL: Helm, alter heading to intercept. Go to max thrust.
HELM OFFICER: Max thrust.
CALDWELL: We just need to get closer.
SHEPPARD: The Asgard gave you hyperdrives and shields. How come no offensive weapons?
CALDWELL: They don’t like providing other races with anything that could potentially be used against ‘em.
SHEPPARD: I thought they were allies?
CALDWELL: Without the beaming technology, you wouldn’t be here, Major. (He returns to his seat and addresses his Weapons Officer.) Arm two more Mark Eights.
SHEPPARD: You’re wasting ordnance, Colonel. Those missiles are being intercepted miles from the hive ship.
ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. Doctor Radek Zelenka rushes down the stairs and runs over to Rodney, who is working on a control panel.
McKAY: I brought up the shield’s subroutine. When I give the word, all you have to do is punch it ...
ZELENKA: Yes, I know what to do. Go.
(Rodney grabs the ZPM in its box and heads out. He stops at the sight of Elizabeth and two marines.)
McKAY: Whoa, whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa. What is this? This is my security escort?!
WEIR: Well, we are spread a little bit thin right now.
McKAY: OK. (To the marines) You need to know that if we come under fire, you’re gonna have to put your lives on the line to protect me.
McKAY: OK, I mean the ZedPM. You need to protect the ZedPM at all costs ... and me. (He looks back at Elizabeth as the three of them head off.) Am I wrong?
(As Elizabeth watches them go, the Canadian technician comes over to her.)
TECHNICIAN: Doctor Weir?
TECHNICIAN: I’ve lost contact with some of our people.
TECHNICIAN: I can’t get ahold of the teams led by Captain Radner, Teyla, or Lieutenant Ford.
WEIR: Well, keep trying.
DAEDALUS. BRIDGE. The second set of warheads also fail to destroy the hive ship.
SHEPPARD: Well, now we’re 0 for 2. How many of these things have you got?
CALDWELL: Only one needs to get through.
SHEPPARD: Is there any way we can deliver a warhead the same way you plucked me out of the Jumper?
CALDWELL: The Asgard have already considered that, Major. There are failsafes built into the system to prevent their use as a weapons delivery system.
SHEPPARD: You’ve got one of these Asgard on board? Can he override the failsafe?
CALDWELL: Why would he do that?
SHEPPARD: Well, his butt’s on the line just as much as ours.
(Caldwell thinks about it for a moment, then activates the comms.)
CALDWELL: Novak, I need you and Hermiod to figure out how to get a site-to-site transport lock on a set of co-ordinates inside the hive ship.
(In Engineering, Novak murmurs nervously into her mike.)
NOVAK: No-no-no-no-no-no. Sir, Hermiod isn’t gonna like that.
CALDWELL: Get it done, Doctor, that’s an order.
(Novak looks round at Hermiod for a moment, then turns away again, wondering how she’s ever going to talk him into it.)
ATLANTIS. CORRIDORS. McKay and his marine escort are carefully making their way along. One of the marines holds up his hand to stop the others as he sees two Wraith guards tinkering with a wall panel in a room ahead.
McKAY: That’s the way we have to go!
(The marine holds up his hand to quieten Rodney, then gestures to his colleague and the two of them make their way cautiously forward, one of them directing Rodney where to go. The three of them crouch down out of view of the Wraith, and the first marine makes complicated hand signals to his colleague.)
McKAY: What was that? I didn’t get all that. What do I do? Look, I’m getting good at the rolling things, maybe I can, uh ...
(The first marine again holds his hand up to silence Rodney, then gestures to his colleague, who moves carefully forward. One of the Wraith guards senses movement and comes towards them. It sniffs the air, then moves away again, into the line of the fire of the first marine, who guns it down. He ducks out of the way as the second guard comes out of the room. As it walks forward, the second marine shoots it down. The marines stand up and look around.)
MARINE 1: Clear. (Rodney stands up and starts to move forward but the marine stops him.) No, you stay here ...
(At that moment he is hit by a Wraith stunner blast and collapses. The second marine aims his rifle but is also hit by a blast. Rodney turns to see that a third Wraith guard has come up behind them. Rodney has an attack of machismo and stands to face the guard, which is aiming its gun at him.)
McKAY: So! This is how it’s gonna be, huh?! Just me?!
(Another Wraith guard comes up to join the second one, also aiming its gun at Rodney.)
McKAY: OK! That’s just fine! (He draws his pistol and points it at them, grinning in bravado.) You want some of this, huh?! Huh?!
(As he goes to fire his pistol, he presses the wrong part of the gun and the cartridge ejects and drops to the floor. Rodney stares in horror, then dives for cover as he yells into his mike.)
McKAY: This is McKay – I’m in trouble down here!
(From behind the guards, someone opens fire and guns both of them down. Rodney raises his head up from cover as Teyla hurries in.)
TEYLA: Doctor McKay? Are you alright?
McKAY: Teyla! We thought you were ...
TEYLA: My radio was broken when I was separated from my group. I have been trying to make my way back.
McKAY: Well, thank God! You were the only ... I thought I was gonna ...
TEYLA: I thought you were very brave.
McKAY: Really?! (Teyla looks at the box that Rodney has just picked up again.) Oh. I have a ZedPM.
McKAY: This may get the shields up.
TEYLA: Lead the way.
McKAY: Yeah, sure. ... Uh, after you.
(They run off.)
DAEDALUS. ENGINEERING. Novak adjusts a timer so that it reads 5 seconds. She walks nervously over to Hermiod.
NOVAK: I’ve, uh, set the timer for five seconds. Is that enough time for you?
HERMIOD: Five seconds should be more than ample. (He narrows his eyes at her, obviously unhappy with the plan.)
NOVAK: OK, look. I know you don’t approve of using technology this way, but you have to understand ...
HERMIOD (sternly): I am ready.
(Novak activates her radio.)
NOVAK: Colonel? Hermiod is ready and standing by for warhead transport. But I can tell you, he is not happy about this!
(On the Bridge)
CALDWELL: I’ll take that under advisement. (To his Weapons Officer) Are we within transport range?
WEAPONS OFFICER: Yes, sir.
CALDWELL: Transport warhead when ready.
NOVAK: Ready. (She hits a button to start the countdown and reads off the screen.) Five ... (The screen beeps. She rolls her eyes and throws an annoyed look at Hermiod.) The weapon is away.
(Hermiod mutters angrily to himself in Asgard. We don’t get subtitles, but I don’t think we really need them to know what he’s saying! - Asgard translation: When will these humans learn that there are consequences to actions?"
(From an outside perspective, an explosion goes off inside the hive ship, and the ship blows apart.)
ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. The technician sees the explosion on his screen.
TECHNICIAN: We have a kill. The last hive ship has been neutralised.
(Elizabeth smiles in relief, and turns to look at Radek, who is also smiling.)
CALDWELL: Novak, I need you to prep another warhead for transport. We need to take out those cruisers.
SHEPPARD: Sir, wait. (Standing at the front of the bridge, John looks through the windscreen as the cruisers turn and disappear into hyperspace.)
WEAPONS OFFICER: Colonel, cruisers have broken off and entered hyperspace.
CALDWELL: Seeing what we just did to their remaining hive ships, I don’t blame ‘em.
SHEPPARD: There’s still a lot of Darts out there.
CALDWELL: Alright, let’s clean this up.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Sir. The remaining fighters are regrouping.
CALDWELL: Alright, take position, stand by for defensive fire.
SHEPPARD: We’re not the target.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Major Sheppard is right, sir. The formation is headed toward Atlantis.
SHEPPARD (into comms): Elizabeth, you’ve got a problem.
(In the Atlantis Control Room, the screen is showing the approaching ships.)
WEIR: Yeah, we see that, Major.
SHEPPARD: We’re moving to intercept but I don’t think we can get there in time.
TECHNICIAN: Not a chance. They’re coming in too fast.
ZELENKA: Oh my God. Their approach is ballistic.
WEIR: What exactly does that mean?
ZELENKA: Their impact velocities will be in excess of ten thousand kilometres an hour. No part of the city can withstand that.
SHEPPARD: You’d better get the damned shield up!
WEIR (to Radek): How much time do we have?
ZELENKA: Forty-five seconds.
WEIR (over comms): Rodney, we need a shield up in forty seconds or we’re dead!
(She runs to the balcony door and looks out over the ocean. Elsewhere on the base, Rodney is preparing to insert the ZPM into its slot.)
McKAY: What, are you kidding me?!
McKAY: Cos I can’t help but thinking we’re reaching the point at which I completely snap.
(As Rodney gently manoeuvres the ZPM into position, it lights up.)
McKAY: That should do it! (He runs to a control panel.) Fire it up.
(In the Control Room, Radek shakes his head. On the screen, the Wraith fleets gets closer.)
WEIR: That didn’t do it.
TEYLA: It is not working.
McKAY: I know what she said! (He runs back over to the ZPM.)
WEIR: Twenty seconds!
McKAY: OK, snap! That’s it! You all happy now?!
(Rodney leans on the ZPM and this time it starts to lower down into the slot.)
McKAY (watching it as it goes): OK, OK, OKaaaaay. (The ZPM reaches the bottom of the slot.) Try it now!
(Radek actives the controls and smiles in relief.)
(Elizabeth gazes out over the ocean as the shield deploys around the city. The Wraith ships plunge downward and smash into the shield.)
SHEPPARD: Atlantis, this is Sheppard, come in. (There’s no reply.) Atlantis! (Again, no reply.)
ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. Radek has joined Elizabeth at the balcony door. After a moment, a static-filled radio message can be heard.
SHEPPARD (over comms): Elizabeth ... I repeat ... This is Sheppard. What is your status?
ZELENKA: The explosions must have disrupted radio signals.
WEIR (into comms): We’re still here. That’s our status.
(John sighs in relief.)
SHEPPARD: Don’t scare me like that!
WEIR: Sorry. What about the Wraith fleet?
CALDWELL: The remaining cruisers have withdrawn from the battle.
WEIR: Thank you, Colonel. Thank all of you.
CALDWELL: Glad to be of help. We’re gonna stay in geosynchronous orbit for the time being. Can we be of any further assistance?
WEIR: We could use some help with the Wraith in the city.
CALDWELL: We’ll send in some people to help with that. Daedalus out. (To John) Major Sheppard – I’m sure you’re anxious to get back to Atlantis.
SHEPPARD: Yes sir. Thank you. (He leaves the Bridge.)
ATLANTIS. ZPM ROOM.
WEIR (over comms): Rodney – you can take the rest of the day off.
(Rodney slumps with exhaustion, gets down onto the floor and lies on his back with his eyes closed and his hands folded on his chest.)
McKAY: Oh. I am gonna curl up in bed with the largest sandwich I can find.
TEYLA: Shall I just explain to the rest of the Wraith left on the base that you are unavailable to fight?
(Rodney sighs and opens his eyes.)
McKAY: Right. (He holds out his hand and Teyla takes it and helps him to his feet.) Right. (He points the way and the two of them run off.)
CONTROL ROOM. A guard is walking down the steps, then ducks for cover and aims his rifle as a white light appears in the room. He relaxes, however, when John and three marines beam in.
SHEPPARD: Secure Stargate Operations. (The marines move off as Elizabeth comes down the steps to meet him.) Well, I’m home!
(Elizabeth walks over to him, gazes at him for a moment, then wraps her arms around him and hugs him. John looks startled, and rather nervously hugs her back. After a moment Elizabeth breaks the hug.)
WEIR: Yes, you are. I truly thought ...
SHEPPARD: Yeah, yeah, I thought the same thing about you a minute ago. We gotta stop that!
WEIR: I’d like that!
SHEPPARD: So, uh, where are we?
WEIR: Well, most of our sensors are still down, but we do know there are at least a handful of Wraith still in the city
SHEPPARD: Still got some work to do.
WEIR: Before you do anything, Colonel Everett insists on speaking with you. He’s in the infirmary.
INFIRMARY. John is standing by Everett’s bedside reporting to him.
SHEPPARD: We’ve neutralised the hive ships, activated the shields, and, uh, we’ve mustered as many people as we can, making sure there’s no Wraith hiding in the shadows.
(We see Everett for the first time. He is old. His right hand, lying on his chest, is shaking and he looks very weak.)
EVERETT: Good work, Major.
SHEPPARD: Thank you, sir.
EVERETT: They’re shipping me out with the next batch of wounded. I wanna finish our conversation.
(John looks uncomfortable.)
SHEPPARD: Yes, sir.
EVERETT: I ... owe you an apology.
SHEPPARD: No, sir, you don’t.
EVERETT: I think I have a pretty good idea. I would have done the same thing as you did when you found Colonel Sumner. It’s what I wanted to tell you.
SHEPPARD: Well, none of that matters right now, sir.
EVERETT: I’m trying to say ... I wish you had been there for me. (He fights back tears.)
SHEPPARD: You’re gonna be fine, sir, once you get back to Earth ...
EVERETT: I’ve said what I had to say. Get back to work.
(John looks at him for a moment, then takes one step back and salutes him smartly and respectfully.)
SHEPPARD: Yes, sir. (He walks away.)
GATEROOM. John and Radek come in, talking as they go.
ZELENKA: Preliminary count is forty casualties, maybe more. I’m still trying to line up lifesigns readings with actual people.
SHEPPARD: There are no Wraith lifesigns?
(Elizabeth joins them.)
ZELENKA: The last one was trapped in one of the deeper parts of the city. He died trying to damage city with one of their grenades.
WEIR: Three of our men were injured. On the bright side, there was no flooding.
SHEPPARD: Have we been able to locate Lieutenant Ford yet?
ZELENKA: I’m sorry, no. We’ve searched everywhere in the city. It’s possible he may have beamed up into one of the Wraith Darts.
SHEPPARD: Let’s not make that assumption here.
ZELENKA: Major, I’m sorry – we’ve searched everywhere inside the city.
SHEPPARD: Well, how about outside the city?
ZELENKA: I don’t understand.
SHEPPARD: Well, expand the sensors. Maybe he’s in the water.
ZELENKA: Even if that was the case, there’s no chance that ...
SHEPPARD: I’m not asking you to swim out there, I’m asking you to press a few damned buttons.
ZELENKA (pressing a few damned buttons): Even if you’re right, I don’t see how ... (the screen immediately shows one human lifesign in the ocean.) Oh my God.
(John looks round at Elizabeth, who moves to activate the comms to Daedalus.)
WEIR: Colonel Caldwell? One of our men is in the ocean outside our shield, most probably injured. Can you beam him to your ship and then down to our infirmary?
DAEDALUS. Hermiod activates the transporter beam. We don’t see what arrives, but Novak stares in shock and activates her radio.
NOVAK: Atlantis? This is Doctor Novak on the Daedalus. You’re gonna need some SFs in your infirmary before we beam your man down.
(In the infirmary, Carson responds.)
BECKETT: We already do, Doctor. Beam away.
(The transporter beam activates. At the sight of what has arrived, the two marines in the room immediately aim their weapons. The camera pulls back and we see Aiden lying unconscious on the floor face to face with the Wraith guard that attacked him. It is dead – but its hand is still plunged into his chest.)
BECKETT: Good Lord! Let’s get this thing off of him.
LATER. Aiden is in bed, still unconscious.
SHEPPARD: How is he?
BECKETT: I gave him a mild sedative to help him rest – but he should be dead.
SHEPPARD: Well, he’s a tough kid.
BECKETT: Not my point, Major. He was lying face down in the freezing water for over an hour. I don’t care how tough he is.
WEIR: So what are you saying?
BECKETT: We still have no idea how it works, but during the Wraith feeding process, the victim is injected with a special enzyme. It strengthens the human body temporarily and ensures that the heart continues to beat.
SHEPPARD: Why would they wanna make you stronger?
BECKETT: So the victim doesn’t die immediately. The feeding process is so traumatic, without the special enzyme, we shut down far sooner than they like.
WEIR: They make you stronger so they can take more time to kill you.
BECKETT: Lovely, isn’t it?(!) In most cases the enzyme is released slowly into the bloodstream throughout the feeding process. I can only ascertain that the Wraith died quite suddenly and that Lieutenant Ford’s system became flooded with it.
WEIR: And that’s why he was able to survive in the water for so long.
BECKETT: Exactly. The problem is, now the enzyme is breaking down in his system. Eventually there’ll be none left.
SHEPPARD: Well, that’s not good.
BECKETT: No. In fact, I’m quite certain it’ll kill him. It’s possible his body’s become dependent on the enzyme to function.
WEIR: What’s the treatment?
BECKETT: We wean him off it, sneak his body chemistry back to normal incrementally.
SHEPPARD: Then we’re gonna have to get more of this enzyme.
BECKETT: Aye. With your permission, Doctor, I’d like to harvest it from the Wraith bodies in the morgue. I know it’s a wee bit creepy, but ...
McKAY (over radio): Elizabeth. Major Sheppard.
WEIR (to Carson): Do whatever you have to do. (She activates her radio.) What is it?
McKAY: You’re gonna want to get up here.
(John and Elizabeth leave.)
CONTROL ROOM. Rodney and Radek are busy working on laptops as John and Elizabeth come in.
SHEPPARD: Aren’t you supposed to be getting some sleep, Rodney?
McKAY: I was trying to do just that, but someone thought I should know the deep space sensors were back up and running.
WEIR: Yes? And?
(Rodney and Radek look at each other.)
ZELENKA: We’ve picked up twelve more hive ships travelling in hyperspace.
McKAY: Their course and speed will bring them here in thirty-six hours.
CONFERENCE ROOM. Colonel Caldwell has beamed down to join the meeting.
CALDWELL: Twelve hive ships?!
SHEPPARD: The cruisers that got away probably called for reinforcements.
McKAY: Our research shows there are at least sixty hive ships in this galaxy. I mean, who knows how many more could be on the way?
SHEPPARD: At least the shield’s up and running.
McKAY: That only buys us time.
SHEPPARD: I like time!
McKAY: Look, the first siege of Atlantis lasted for years. I mean, with only one functioning ZedPM, we can’t expect to hold on that long.
CALDWELL: Can we submerge the city again?
McKAY: It’s a city, not a yo-yo. Look, I don’t even know how they did it the first time.
CALDWELL: How long until they arrive?
WEIR: A little over a day.
SHEPPARD: You know what? I’m sick of this.
WEIR: I’m sorry?!
SHEPPARD: I mean, sitting around waiting for them to show up. I say we take the fight to them.
CALDWELL: We’ve got one ship, Major.
SHEPPARD: We’ve got one ship with an Asgard shield, an armoury full of nukes, and beaming technology. That evens the odds a hell of a lot.
CALDWELL: Twelve ships and their escorts.
SHEPPARD: I’m telling you, we’ve gotta send these guys a message. We’re not like the Ancients – we’re not gonna sit around and wait. We don’t back off – we have the capacity and the will to go kick their asses for a change.
CALDWELL: How do I fight a ship in hyperspace?
McKAY: The Wraith faster-than-light travel is not as efficient as the Asgard hyperdrive aboard the Daedalus. (He activates a screen to show the predicted route of the Wraith fleet.) Not only are they slower – they need to travel in a series of jumps. So, if my calculations are correct (he smiles as if to say ‘and of course they are’), they’ll make one last stop here (he indicates a point on the screen), fifty light years away, before they make the final jump to Atlantis.
CALDWELL: Doctor Weir?
(Elizabeth considers for a moment, then looks at John.)
WEIR: It will feel good to have them on the defensive for a change.
SHEPPARD: Alright then. Let’s do this.
SPACE. FIFTY LIGHT YEARS AWAY. Daedalus comes out of hyperspace.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Scanners are clear, sir. No contacts.
CALDWELL: I hope we’re on the right spot.
SHEPPARD: They’ll be here. I’ve learned to trust Rodney about these things.
NOVAK: I’ve set the warheads to go off one second after reintegration. (Hermiod grunts disapprovingly.) So, I assume you’re fine with that? (Hermiod, his back to her, takes no notice as he continues working.) OK!
ATLANTIS. ELIZABETH’S OFFICE. Teyla is sitting with Elizabeth.
TEYLA: They are angry. I can feel it. Word of our success might spread to other worlds. They want us silenced.
WEIR: You can sense that?
TEYLA: The Wraith warriors were in such close proximity.
(The door opens and Aiden walks in.)
FORD: Scuse me.
FORD: I’d like to report for duty, ma’am.
WEIR: Doctor Beckett released you?
(We get a close look at Aiden’s face. His entire left pupil is black and there seems to be some scarring underneath the eye. He looks terrible, and quite scary.)
FORD: Why wouldn’t he? I’m fine.
SHEPPARD: If we can hit the first one or two as soon as they exit hyperspace, I think that’ll send a message.
CALDWELL: Who knows – maybe they’ll surrender(!)
WEAPONS OFFICER: Sir, we have a contact.
CALDWELL: Stand by for weapons deployment. Shields at max power.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Shields up.
(The twelve hive ships come out of hyperspace, forming the shape of an arrow in the sky.)
CALDWELL (into comms): Novak, this is Caldwell. Begin deployment at your discretion.
HERMIOD: I have a weapons lock on the co-ordinates of the first enemy vessel.
NOVAK: Got it. (Into comms) First weapon away, Colonel.
(The rear ship nearest to Daedalus explodes.)
WEAPONS OFFICER: That’s a kill!
NOVAK (over comms): Stand by.
(One of the ships in the other arm of the arrow explodes.)
SHEPPARD: Alright, that’s two.
NOVAK: It’s working.
HERMIOD: Stand by for co-ordinates.
WEAPONS OFFICER: The other hive ships are altering course to intercept.
CALDWELL: Take us right at ‘em.
HELM OFFICER: Yes, sir.
(Daedalus and the fleet begin exchanging fire.)
SHEPPARD: They’re flanking us.
CALDWELL: Forward rail guns, return fire. Novak, we need to speed up the deployment of those nukes or this fight is gonna be over soon.
HERMIOD: The enemy has engaged counter-measures that are preventing our ability to transport.
NOVAK: Is there a way to counter the counter-measures?
NOVAK (into comms): Colonel, we have a problem. They’ve found a way to jam us from beaming onto their ships. We don’t know how.
WEAPONS OFFICER: Rear shield emitters are down to forty percent!
(A console explodes in the rear of the Bridge, sending a crewmember flying. John runs to help her up while others rush to put out the fire.)
WEAPONS OFFICER: Central rail gun two is out of action!
CALDWELL: Main engines to max. Foster.
HELM OFFICER: Sir.
CALDWELL: Try feeding the damaged shield from the main port.
(The barrage from the Wraith fleet continues. Two cruisers approach from behind; one takes position over the top of Daedalus.)
WEAPONS OFFICER: Sir! One of the cruisers is approaching on a parallel course.
SHEPPARD: They may intend to board us – that was their strategy when they attacked Atlantis.
CALDWELL: Shield status?
WEAPONS OFFICER: Under twenty percent.
CALDWELL: Set course for Atlantis. Engage hyperdrive.
HELM OFFICER: Hyperdrive – yes sir!
CALDWELL: This fight is over.
(Daedalus heads away from the fleet and disappears into hyperspace.)
ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth, Rodney and Teyla are listening as Caldwell reports in over comms.
CALDWELL: The bottom line is, it didn’t work.
WEIR: Well, at least you gave them something to think about.
CALDWELL: We’ll see. I doubt very much that that tactic will work again, and the Daedalus has sustained damage.
SHEPPARD: It was still the right thing to do. (Into comms) We should make it home before they do.
WEIR: I hope so. We’ll keep the porch light on for you. (She cuts comms.) OK, what are our options?
McKAY: Well, let me see – we’ve got slow death, quick death, painful death, cold, lonely death.
(Elizabeth starts to walk towards her office. Rodney and Teyla follow her and Aiden falls in with them.)
WEIR: OK, you said yourself that the shield (she looks round a bit nervously at Aiden) should buy us some time at least.
FORD: Where do you want me?
WEIR: Lieutenant, I ...
(Carson hurries in.)
BECKETT: Lieutenant – what do you think you’re doing here?
FORD: I’m fine, Doc, really. It’s cool.
BECKETT: The hell you are. You should be back in bed.
FORD: I feel great. Just drop it. (He turns his back on him.)
BECKETT: I will not just drop it. Not twenty minutes ago you were at death’s door. Now I don’t care how spry you’re feeling – you need to be under medical supervision.
(Aiden glances round at him angrily, then turns back to Elizabeth.)
FORD: I’m good to go.
WEIR: I appreciate your enthusiasm, Lieutenant, but I ...
FORD: I-I’m serious – just let me prove it. Just give me something to do.
BECKETT (taking hold of his arm): I don’t think so.
(Aiden rounds on him, grabs him by the throat with one hand and hoists him into the air, slamming him against the wall.)
FORD: Don’t push me around!
TEYLA: Lieutenant! (Ford glares ferociously up at Carson.) Put him down, Aiden – he’s trying to help you. (Aiden continues to glare at Carson, his face almost a snarl. Teyla steps closer to him.) Aiden.
(Aiden slowly lowers Carson to the ground and releases his grip on his throat. Carson gasps for air. Aiden stares in horror at what he has just done.)
FORD: I’m sorry, Doc. I don’t know why I ...
BECKETT: You need to be under medical supervision.
WEIR: He’s right, Lieutenant. We just wanna know why you’re suddenly feeling this way.
(Aiden still looks shocked at his actions.)
FORD: OK. I’ll go back.
WEIR: Good. It’s what you should do.
FORD: Yes, ma’am.
(Teyla nods to him and leads him away. Elizabeth walks closer to Carson.)
WEIR: Sedate him if you have to.
BECKETT: Aye. (He follows Teyla and Aiden.)
INFIRMARY. Aiden is lying on the bed with his eyes closed, wearing a bizarre-looking pair of sunglasses as a light screen rolls back and forth alongside his bed. Carson walks away from the bed to speak to Elizabeth and Teyla.
BECKETT: It’s starting to affect his brain chemistry.
WEIR: There’s no way you could have known that, Carson, and it’s better this than death.
(Despite the fact that they’re standing quite a way away, Aiden can hear every word they say.)
BECKETT: We need to be more aggressive – wean him off it quicker than I expected to. (Aiden’s eyes open.) It’ll be painful and arduous, but I think it may be the only option. I’ve sedated him, but he should definitely be under secure supervision.
WEIR: I’ve already stationed a guard at the door.
TECHNICIAN (over comms): Doctor Weir – the Daedalus is requesting permission to land on the east pier.
WEIR: Permission granted. We’ll meet them there.
(She and Teyla leave. As Carson turns back towards Aiden, he closes his eyes again.)
EAST PIER. Daedalus lands. Shortly after, Caldwell, John and some of the Daedalus crew walk into the city, to be met by Elizabeth.
WEIR: Welcome back to Atlantis, Colonel.
SHEPPARD: The Wraith are right behind us.
WEIR: I wasn’t expecting you to land.
CALDWELL: Until repairs are complete, the Daedalus is gonna need Atlantis’ shields as much as you do.
TECHNICIAN (over comms): Doctor Weir – the hive ships are emerging from hyperspace.
WEIR: We’re on our way.
INFIRMARY. Carson and a nurse help an injured man. The guard posted at the door makes his way through the infirmary. When his back is turned to Aiden, Aiden leaps up. The guard turns but Aiden grabs something off the table beside him and hurls it hard at the guard, hitting him in the face and knocking him unconscious. Aiden runs over to him and grabs his pistol.
FORD: Don’t move or I’ll shoot! (He walks toward Carson, aiming his gun at him.) Where’s the rest of the enzyme?
BECKETT: There is no more.
FORD: I saw you extract it – don’t lie to me. Where is it?
BECKETT: No, I’m not lying.
(Aiden fires at Beckett, only just missing him.)
FORD: Where is it?
BECKETT: You’re not thinking straight, son.
FORD: You’re all afraid of me.
BECKETT: Look at what you’re doing. We have good reason to be.
FORD: I’m gonna die if I don’t get it.
BECKETT: Aiden, you’re not gonna die.
FORD: Shut up! (Without taking his eyes off Carson, he slowly and deliberately turns his gun on the injured man.) I’m not gonna ask again.
(Reluctantly, Carson turns and walks over to a cabinet and takes out a bag of fluid.)
FORD: Is that all of it?
BECKETT: I promise you.
FORD: Toss it over. (Carson sighs, hesitating.) Toss it! (Carson tosses it over and Aiden catches it with his free hand.) Don’t follow me. (He turns and runs out of the infirmary.)
CONTROL ROOM. Alarms sound as Elizabeth, Rodney, John and Caldwell hurry in.
TECHNICIAN: They’re getting into some sort of formation.
(Rodney hurries over to a console.)
McKAY (to the person sitting there): Move, move! (The person vacates the station.)
(In space, all the ships start firing down toward the city. The shots fly down and impact against the shield. Everyone looks up nervously. After a few seconds, Rodney checks his readouts.)
McKAY: The shield’s holding under the bombardment but it’s under incredible strain.
WEIR: How long will it hold?
McKAY: Well, if they stop firing it’ll last almost indefinitely but ...
WEIR: Are we talking months, weeks?
McKAY: Days. At this rate the ZedPM will be depleted within days.
LATER. Rodney and John are out on the balcony, looking up at the bombardment against the shield.
McKAY: It’s almost pretty, isn’t it?
SHEPPARD: Almost – but not quite.
(We see what they’re looking at. The impacts are glowing red on the shield – it looks almost like a firework display. John and Rodney watch for a moment longer, then turn and walk into the Conference Room where the others are already gathered.)
CALDWELL: The Daedalus will be back in fighting form within the next twenty-four hours but I think the next engagement’s gonna have the same result.
WEIR: Even if we were able to destroy these ships this instant, more would be here in a few days, and even more a few days after that. From where I’m standing, I just don’t see how we can win this.
McKAY: Well now we know how the Ancients must have felt.
ZELENKA: Atlantis is the only way to Earth. As long as they know we’re here, they’re just going to keep coming.
SHEPPARD (thoughtfully): As long as they know that we’re here.
WEIR: What do you mean?
SHEPPARD: Zelenka just said as long as they know that we’re here, they’ll keep coming.
McKAY: Yes, he said that.
SHEPPARD: Well, what if they thought we were gone?
TEYLA: Then there’d be no reason for them to stay.
McKAY: Exactly what?
SHEPPARD: We disappear.
CALDWELL: Destroy the city, you mean?
SHEPPARD: No, we just make it look like we did.
(Rodney clicks his fingers.)
McKAY: We cloak it.
ZELENKA: Yes. Yes! The Puddlejumpers are equipped with cloaking technology which renders them invisible to the naked eye, and to Wraith scans. If we just simply remove one of the cloak generators from the Puddlejumper ...
McKAY: I wouldn’t say simply, but yes – by interfacing a Jumper’s stealth cloak generator with the city’s shield, we should be able to render the city invisible.
CALDWELL: That’s all well and good, but I think if the city were to suddenly disappear, they might be able to put one and one together.
McKAY: Which is why we fake a self-destruct. Have the Daedalus beam a nuke right above the city’s shield, and then detonate it. While their sensors are blinded, we cloak the city; when the smoke clears ...
WEIR: ... nothing but ocean.
CALDWELL: What about hard radiation?
McKAY: I should be able to calculate with reasonable accuracy how long to wait until we switch over to the cloak.
ZELENKA: But what about the displacement issue?
McKAY: It’s coparambulation – that’s the easy part!
ZELENKA (rolling his eyes): OK. What about the hard part?
SHEPPARD: Hard part?
McKAY: Um, the cloak for all intents and purposes will replace the shield, which means that we’ll be completely unprotected once the cloak’s activated.
WEIR: We’ll be completely exposed?
McKAY: Well ... yes.
CALDWELL: So if they’re not fooled by the ruse ...
SHEPPARD: ... then they destroy the city – which, I remind you, is exactly what we were gonna do anyway.
WEIR: What about the Daedalus?
CALDWELL: Well, if it doesn’t work, our shields should be sufficiently recharged to break through their lines and escape. We know we can outrun ‘em.
SHEPPARD: Alright. Let’s get as many non-essential personnel on your ship as we can – just in case.
WEIR: I love this idea. I really do – but the Wraith are aware that we have cloaking technology.
TEYLA: They are close – close enough for me to connect to them. If I can convince them that we intend to destroy Atlantis rather than allow it to be taken, just before the explosion occurs ...
WEIR: How will we know whether or not they believe you?
SHEPPARD: Well, if they stop the bombardment, we’ll know.
TEYLA: He’s right. If the Wraith believe that we intend to destroy the city, the last thing they’ll wanna do is to help us do it.
(Elizabeth nods and turns to the scientists.)
WEIR: How much time do you need?
McKAY: Oh, well ...
ZELENKA: ... a week ...
McKAY: ... a couple of hours.
WEIR: I’ll take the second estimate. Go.
CONTROL ROOM. Carson races up the steps to meet the team coming out of the Conference Room.
BECKETT: He escaped.
BECKETT: Lieutenant Ford. He was able to disarm one of the marines, and got away with all the Wraith enzyme I had left.
SHEPPARD (into comms): Ford, this is Sheppard, come in. ... Ford? I need you to come back to the Control Room, buddy, we’re all goin’ home.
(Elsewhere, Aiden has geared himself up and is packing stuff into a rucksack.)
SHEPPARD (over comms): Lieutenant, do you copy?
(Aiden activates his radio.)
FORD: You’re just afraid of me, Major. You’re afraid of what I can do now. I’m not listening to you. (He deactivates his radio.)
SHEPPARD: I’m going after him. (He runs off.)
WEIR (calling after him): Now’s not the right time!
A montage of scenes follows: Rodney and Radek work on a Puddlejumper’s cloak generator; Atlantis personnel board Daedalus; Aiden cautiously makes his way through the city, unaware that nearby John is tracking him with a lifesigns detector. And all the time, the bombardment of the shield continues.
INFIRMARY. Teyla is lying on a bed as Carson sits down beside her.
BECKETT: Now, I’m jolting you out of this the second I feel there’s a problem.
TEYLA: I understand.
BECKETT (into comms): We’re all set down here.
WEIR (in the Control Room): Good, we’re almost ready up here. Rodney?
McKAY: Ready. Radek?
ZELENKA (in the Puddlejumper): Ready to go. (He activates some controls.)
WEIR: Colonel Caldwell?
CALDWELL (on the Daedalus Bridge): Your people are securely aboard; the warhead has been armed and is ready for deployment on your mark.
WEIR: Very good. Stand by.
ATLANTIS CORRIDOR. Aiden moves cautiously down a corridor. He pauses as if sensing something, then turns and trots off in another direction. Behind a column where Aiden paused, John comes out of hiding and follows him, carrying a Wraith stunner.
WEIR (into comms): Doctor Beckett?
(In the Infirmary)
(Teyla takes a deep breath, then nods.)
TEYLA: I am ready.
BECKETT (into comms): We’re good to go.
WEIR: Alright. Send our message.
(Teyla takes another deep breath, then exhales and closes her eyes and concentrates. After a few seconds, she sees a misty image of the interior of a Wraith ship.)
TEYLA: I am on one of the ships. ... They see me. (She gasps, opens her eyes and sits up on the bed, staring straight ahead. Carson stands, looking at her nervously.)
TEYLA: The message has been delivered.
BECKETT (into comms): Elizabeth – it’s done.
(Above the city, the bombardment ceases.)
WEIR: Seems like they heard Teyla loud and clear. Rodney?
McKAY: Yeah, I think I’m ready.
WEIR: You think?!
McKAY: I am definitely ready.
WEIR (into comms): Daedalus, launch the weapon. (To the technician) Give me city-wide. (The technician activates the controls.) Attention all personnel: prepare for detonation flash.
McKAY (to the other technicians in the Control Room): Shut ‘em down! (He closes down his own laptop and other technicians do the same. He reaches down and puts on another pair of weird sunglasses, similar to the ones that Aiden was wearing earlier, while everyone else buries their heads in their arms.)
DAEDALUS. Hermiod nods to Novak. She activates her comms.
NOVAK: The weapon is away.
(Above the city, a massive explosion takes place.)
(In the Control Room, Rodney looks around the room at everyone else still protecting their eyes. As the flash subsides, he takes off his glasses and opens his laptop. Elizabeth lifts her head out of her arms.)
McKAY: If we switch to cloak before the blast radius diminishes, we’ll all be incinerated. Five seconds.
CALDWELL: Stand by to engage sublight engines on my mark.
HELM OFFICER: Standing by, sir.
(Above the city, a huge mushroom cloud is rising.)
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM.
WEIR: OK, that was definitely five seconds!
McKAY: We’re cloaked. (He moves to another laptop and opens it.)
WEIR: How can you tell?
McKAY (whispering): They’re scanning for us!
CORRIDOR. John, with his Wraith stunner braced on his shoulder, walks into an open area to see Aiden standing there pointing his gun at him.
FORD: I could have shot you a couple of times by now.
(John lowers his stunner.)
SHEPPARD: Well, I’m glad you didn’t. (Aiden also lowers his gun.) Look, why don’t you and I just go someplace where we can talk? (He walks slowly towards Aiden, who backs away.)
FORD: You’re trying to change me back.
SHEPPARD: No – I’m just tryin’ to help you.
(Aiden looks at him for a moment, then shakes his head.)
FORD: No you’re not. (He turns and walks away.)
SHEPPARD: Oh, crap. (He raises his stunner and fires it into Aiden’s back as he walks into a transporter room. Aiden flinches but doesn’t fall. He turns, glares at John and then activates the transporter. The doors close. John runs forward and the doors open again – but Aiden is gone.)
McKAY (whispering): I don’t think they’ve detected us.
WEIR (whispering): Why are you whispering?
McKAY (whispering): I dunno – it just seems like the right thing to do.
WEIR (louder): Is it working or not?
PUDDLEJUMPER. Radek walks out of the Jumper, concentrating on a hand-held device he’s holding, and doesn’t see Aiden until he punches him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Aiden picks up his rucksack from the ground and runs into a Jumper.
CONTROL ROOM. The Stargate starts to dial.
WEIR: What the hell?!
(A Puddlejumper, with Aiden at the helm, lowers down into the Gateroom. John runs into the Control Room and goes over to Rodney.)
SHEPPARD: Where’s Ford?
McKAY: I assume that’s him in the Jumper.
(As the Jumper comes level with the Gate, John runs down to stand where he can see into the cockpit.)
WEIR (to Rodney): Can they detect that?
McKAY: I don’t know.
WEIR: Shut it down!
McKAY: I can’t – the Jumper’s in control.
SHEPPARD: Ford – stand down! This is a direct order!
(Aiden glares at him for a few seconds, then activates the controls and the Jumper flies into the Gate, which shuts down behind him. John turns and looks up into the Control Room.)
SHEPPARD: Where the hell is he goin’?
WEIR: It won’t matter if the Wraith can detect the Gate activity through the cloak.
McKAY: There’s only one way to know. (He gazes skywards and waits.)
CALDWELL (over comms): This is Daedalus. Our sensors indicate the Wraith fleet is breaking orbit.
(Rodney checks his laptop.)
McKAY: I can confirm that. They’re headed for hyperspace. Look, I’m gonna keep the cloak up for a while just to be sure, but, uh, I think they bought it.
(Elizabeth nods to him, and heads down into the Gateroom to join John.)
WEIR: The Gate address’ll be in the log. There’s still a chance ...
SHEPPARD: It doesn’t matter where he goes. The second he gets to wherever he’s going, he’s gonna ditch the Jumper, turn around, and dial another address – one we can’t trace.
WEIR: We’ll find him.
WEIR: Hey. At least we’re still around to try.
SHEPPARD: Yeah. (He walks away. Elizabeth turns and heads back up into the Control Room.)
(Above the city, as the mushroom cloud dissipates, the city comes out of its cloak.)