Transcript by Callie Sullivan. Czech translation by d3u5.
PREVIOUSLY ON STARGATE: ATLANTIS
(Clips from “Grace Under Pressure”.)
A Puddle Jumper crashes into the ocean.
ZELENKA (showing an area of the ocean to Elizabeth on a screen): We now know definitely that the Jumper is somewhere in this area.
(In the Jumper, Rodney is startled by an echoing groan coming from outside the ship.)
McKAY: Are you angry, or are you hungry? (He realises that the Jumper’s transmitter is being heard by the creature.) It must be broadcasting at a, at a frequency you can hear!
(In the rescue Jumper, John heads deeper into the ocean.)
SHEPPARD: Descending through one thousand.
(Radek picks up a creature on the HUD.)
ZELENKA: Your sea monster.
SHEPPARD: It’s still swimming around in circles in the same area, which means ...
ZELENKA: I have the Jumper. The animal’s circling around it.
(John lands the rescue Jumper behind Rodney’s Jumper and extends the shield.)
SHEPPARD (over radio): All you have to do is open your door and walk to my Jumper.
(John and Radek help Rodney walk to the rescue Jumper as a giant whale-like creature swims over their heads.)
McKAY (looking up at it): Oh – hey, pal. Sorry you don’t get to eat me today.
SHEPPARD: He’s the reason we found you.
OCEAN. DAY TIME. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard (who apparently didn’t get demoted after disobeying orders in “The Return”) is flying a Puddle Jumper over the ocean on a return flight from the mainland. Doctor Radek Zelenka is sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, dressed in casual gear. Ronon Dex is sitting behind him.
SHEPPARD: Well? How’d the camping go?
ZELENKA (excited and happy): Oh, splendid. I was able to run several ground-penetrating radar tests – you know, to test the dielectric permittivity of the region’s subsurface.
(John frowns. He clearly has no more clue what Radek is talking about than your humble transcriber does – and he probably would have had to spend several minutes searching Google for the spelling too!)
(He looks round at Ronon, who is sitting with his arms folded and a sulky look on his face.)
SHEPPARD: What about you? How was the hunting?
DEX (angrily): If there was any game, it was all scared off by the noises his stupid machines made.
ZELENKA: I said I was sorry. (Ronon grimaces at him behind his back.) It was necessary for the tests.
SHEPPARD (to Ronon): You’re the one who volunteered to go.
DEX: Well, if I do something like that again, shoot me.
ZELENKA (to John): He was like this all night, you know – very agitated. Had me scared.
SHEPPARD: He’ll be alright. Get him home, get him a nice warm bath, hot meal ...
ZELENKA (looking through the windshield): Oh, no.
ZELENKA: Where’s Atlantis?
(We see what they can see. There’s nothing but ocean.)
ZELENKA: It should be right in front of us.
SHEPPARD: Well, why isn’t it?
ZELENKA: I-I don’t know.
SHEPPARD: Is it cloaked?
ZELENKA: No, no, no. They would have radioed us about it.
DEX: So what are you saying? We’re lost?
ZELENKA (looking at the controls in front of him): Wait-wait-wait-wait. (He turns to John.) Adjust your heading forty degrees south.
(John does so. As the Jumper changes direction, Radek frowns at his controls.)
ZELENKA: The navigation system is off.
ZELENKA: I don’t know. It could be any of a number of reasons, you know – clock drift, the fluctuations in the magnetosphere from the sunspots ...
(John points out of the window.)
SHEPPARD: There it is.
(They can now see Atlantis in the distance. Radek sighs in relief.)
ZELENKA (in Czech): Thank God!
SHEPPARD: See? No harm, no foul.
(He looks round at Ronon, who is back in his arm-folded, sulky posture.)
SHEPPARD: You might wanna take Teyla up on her offer of meditation lessons. Looks like you could use a little unwinding ...
DEX (irritably): Just land this thing.
ATLANTIS. NIGHT. Teyla Emmagan is sitting cross-legged on the floor with the backs of her unturned hands resting on her knees. A candle is burning in front of her. Her eyes are closed and she speaks slowly and calmly.
TEYLA: ... and then slowly exhale, allowing each breath to cleanse you, restoring your body and spirit. (She takes a slow breath.) Feel your mind clearing ... (she breathes in again) ... open to all that surrounds you.
(We see that Ronon is sitting on the floor behind and to the left of her with his hands resting on his knees and his eyes closed. Teyla takes another slow breath.)
TEYLA: Embrace the silence.
(As she smiles gently and takes another slow breath, Ronon snores loudly. Teyla opens her eyes and frowns.)
(Ronon snores again. Teyla rolls her eyes and turns to look at him, then turns away again with an exasperated look on her face.)
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Teyla walks down some stairs in the city, smiling ironically to herself. She turns a corner and walks along the corridor, then stops and looks in surprise as a woman with long brown hair and wearing a floor-length white robe walks towards her. Teyla’s eyes widen as she realises that the woman appears to be an Ancient. The woman continues to walk towards her and speaks, but her words are distorted and unrecognisable. Teyla frowns as the woman continues to approach her with an urgent look on her face, still speaking gibberish.
TEYLA: I’m sorry. I do not understand.
(The woman walks right through her. Teyla gasps. She turns, but the woman has disappeared.)
DAY TIME. Doctor Elizabeth Weir is walking down the stairs from the Control Room to the Gateroom, but stops with a resigned look on her face as Doctor Rodney McKay hurries down the stairs behind her.
McKAY: Elizabeth. Did you get my email?
(Elizabeth sighs and continues walking.)
WEIR: Which email? One of the seven today, or one of the eighteen yesterday?
McKAY: I know, I’m being unusually persistent about this, but that should only underscore its importance, yes?
WEIR: We cannot keep all three ZeePMs from the Replicator take-over, Rodney. We get one. Now, I don’t know how to make it any clearer for you.
McKAY: Well, I felt if I could just outline the reasons for keeping them – you know, bullet point, very brief ...
WEIR: It was twenty-six pages!
McKAY: I know, but if we hope to persuade Stargate Command ...
WEIR (stopping and turning to face him): OK. So tell me. Who would you deprive of the other ZeePMs? The Antarctic outpost?
McKAY: Well, no, because they need it to power the Chair to protect Earth.
WEIR: OK, how about the Odyssey, then? They’re getting the other ZeePM to help them in their fight against the Ori. Rodney, we have enough power now to raise the shield and cloak the city and dial home. Please, can you start seeing the glass as half full?
McKAY: Well, you mean one-third full.
WEIR (sternly): No more emails.
(She turns and walks away. Rodney starts to speak again, pointing to the computer tablet he’s holding, but then trails off, realising that it’s useless. He turns and walks away.)
GYM. Teyla and Ronon are sparring with Athosian fighting sticks. They are evenly matched for a while, but then Teyla grabs both his arms and headbutts him hard. As he groans and recoils, she leaps into the air, spins and kicks him hard in the waist. He doubles up, groaning as Teyla watches him, looking pleased with herself.
TEYLA (insincerely): I am sorry. You weren’t expecting that?
(Ronon looks up at her. She grins.)
LATER. Teyla and Ronon are walking down the stairs. Teyla giggles.
DEX: I was tired. Been a long day.
DEX: To be honest, I ...
TEYLA: ... you don’t care much for meditation.
DEX: Never could sit still long enough for it.
TEYLA (grinning): All the more reason for you to consider ...
(Her smile fades and she stares down the corridor. The Ancient woman is walking towards her again. Ronon looks at her face, then follows her gaze down the corridor. There’s no-one there. He looks back at Teyla.)
DEX: What is it?
(Teyla gazes at the woman as she walks towards her, speaking in the strange distorted, incomprehensible language.)
TEYLA: That woman.
(Ronon looks again but can still see no-one.)
DEX: What woman?
(The woman continues to speak unintelligibly as she walks towards Teyla with an urgent look on her face. Ronon looks puzzled as Teyla steps aside as the woman passes her. Teyla turns and watches the woman continue down the corridor, then follows her. The woman approaches a closed door at the end of the corridor. As she reaches it, the door slides open and a man stumbles out. Teyla gasps in horror as she realises that the man is hideously burned. She stumbles back in shock as a male voice speaking in the same distorted and unintelligible language can be heard. Ronon grabs hold of her.)
DEX: Hey, hey – what’s wrong?
(Teyla looks at him for a moment, then looks back to the door. It is closed and there’s no sign of the man or the woman.)
EXTERIOR BALCONY. Rodney is looking out over the ocean with a pair of binoculars. The door behind him slides open and John strolls out and goes over to stand beside him. Rodney doesn’t notice, engrossed in whatever he’s watching.
McKAY (thoughtfully to himself): Huh!
(He lowers the binoculars, then realises that John is beside him, ignoring him as he looks out over the ocean.)
McKAY: Hey. How long have you been standing there?
(John glances at him briefly.)
SHEPPARD: Hour or so.
McKAY: What?! Why didn’t you say anything? I feel like a ... (He trails off.) Oh. It’s the kidding.
SHEPPARD (holding his hand out for the binoculars): What did you wanna show me?
(Rodney hands him the binoculars and points in the direction he wants him to look.)
McKAY: Right there.
(John lifts the binoculars to his eyes and looks. All he can see is ocean.)
SHEPPARD: All that ... water!
McKAY (rolling his eyes): Just wait for it.
(Just then, a whale-like creature breaches, slapping its tail on the water as it sinks back down again. John lowers the binoculars as Rodney smiles affectionately at the creature.)
McKAY: It’s my friend. He’s back.
INFIRMARY. Teyla is lying on a bed with her eyes closed as a scanner passes back and forth over her. Nearby, Doctor Carson Beckett is watching the results of the scan on a screen with Elizabeth and Ronon.
BECKETT: The scan’s clean. No sign of any physical abnormality.
DEX: We’ve seen devices that mess with people’s minds – cause them to hallucinate things.
BECKETT: Aye, but they’ve always had corresponding neural activity to indicate a problem. No, I’m afraid for the moment anyway, there doesn’t appear to be any physiological reasons for her hallucinations.
WEIR: Then why did she see what she saw?
BECKETT: I don’t quite know.
TEYLA: Many Ancestors died here recently. (She sits up.) During the Replicator invasion the crew of the Tria were all murdered. Perhaps they attempted to ascend but were prevented from fully doing so – trapped between this plane of existence and the next.
WEIR: You mean ghosts?
(Ronon looks at Teyla with a half-cynical and half-sarcastic look on his face.)
DEX: You ask me, it’s too much meditation.
CORRIDOR. John and Elizabeth are walking along.
SHEPPARD: Is she gonna be OK?
WEIR: I don’t know. Hopefully she just needs some rest. We’ve all been through quite a lot ...
(Rodney approaches them.)
McKAY: There you are.
WEIR: Rodney, I told you ...
McKAY: Oh, no, not you. I mean Sheppard.
WEIR: Thank you(!)
McKAY: Oh, I mean, not that I don’t wanna talk to you. Well, you can be a part of this conversation. In fact, I think you’ll probably find it every bit as interesting ...
SHEPPARD (interrupting): What are you saying?
(Rodney smiles and holds up his computer tablet to show them. It has an image of his whale on it, surrounded by Ancient writing.)
McKAY: Check it out. Found it in the Ancient database. They have a whole subsection on indigenous Lantean animal life. Did you know that there was a lobster-like crustacean down there the size of a Buick?
WEIR: Hmm! (She points at the tablet.) And what is that?
SHEPPARD: That’s Rodney’s whale friend.
McKAY: Ah, but not actually a whale. Whale-like, but not a mammal. It’s a fish. It’s a big, big fish.
SHEPPARD: Did the Ancients have a name for it?
(Rodney smile fades.)
McKAY: Yeah. Flagecallus. (Off John’s and Elizabeth’s looks.) I know – they were terrible at naming things. I’ve just, um ... I’ve just called it “whale” for now.
WEIR: And why are you studying this?
McKAY: Oh, ‘cause he’s out there right now, circling the city. Sheppard and I saw him. Probably the very same whale that saved me last year when I was trapped in that submerged Jumper.
SHEPPARD: I thought Zelenka and I saved you?
McKAY: Well ... you did, technically, but only after Sam led you to me.
(John and Elizabeth stare at him.)
McKAY: Uh, it’s the whale. I named him – after Sam ... antha Carter. Personal reasons.
SHEPPARD: You named him after Samantha Carter?!
McKAY (defensively): Well, Sam’s a boy’s name too.
(John bites back a smile.)
WEIR: And how d’you know he’s a he?
McKAY: Oh, because I cross-referenced the renderings in the database with the whale outside and, you’ll see ... (he types on the tablet to pull up a new image to show to her) ... the males have a rather prominent ...
WEIR: Oh, it’s OK, never mind. I’ll take your word for it. I trust this little diversion isn’t actually cutting into your work time?
McKAY: Oh, no, no. No, of course not. No, I’m just dabbling in my free time.
WEIR: Alright, then, boys. Dabble away! (She walks off.)
SHEPPARD: So, these, uh, whales. Did the Ancients say they’re good eating?
McKAY: Oh, you wouldn’t!
SHEPPARD: I would.
NIGHT TIME. Teyla climbs into bed. She moves a burning candle on the nightstand beside the bed a little further away so that she won’t knock it over, then pulls the bedclothes over her and settles down. She lies quietly for a few moments, then her eyes snap open as she hears the strange distorted voice again. She gets out of bed, goes to the door and opens it. A figure walks past in the dark corridor. Teyla follows after it and sees the long-haired woman walking along the corridor. Teyla follows her.
(The woman ignores her, heading for the closed door at the end of the corridor.)
(The woman reaches the door and it opens. The burned man stumbles out, his face contorted in agony. The woman catches him as he begins to fall and turns towards Teyla, calling out in apparent anguish, but again her voice is distorted and unintelligible. However, this time it is much higher-pitched than before. Teyla clutches her head in pain.)
DAY TIME. Teyla is sitting in the office of Doctor Kate Heightmeyer, the base’s psychologist, whose hair is no longer blonde but mid-brown.
HEIGHTMEYER: You don’t understand what the woman is saying?
TEYLA: No. I believe she is speaking in the ancestral tongue.
HEIGHTMEYER: You said she’s afraid? (Teyla nods.) Of the burned man?
TEYLA: No. It is my sense that she’s trying to help him. Whatever it is she fears, I do not know.
HEIGHTMEYER: Did you try to talk to her?
TEYLA: Yes, but she seems unaware of me. It is as if I’m not even there.
HEIGHTMEYER: If these are apparitions, why do you think they’re appearing to you?
(Teyla shakes her head, unable to answer, then smiles.)
TEYLA: Too much meditation.
(Kate frowns, not understanding.)
TEYLA (smiling): Something Ronon said to me.
HEIGHTMEYER: Oh. Well, there are those who believe that meditation is a way of opening a door to the spiritual world.
TEYLA: If these are Ancestors trapped between planes of existence, perhaps they are trying to communicate something to me. Maybe they believe I can help them to move on.
LATER. Kate is walking along a corridor with Elizabeth.
HEIGHTMEYER: I don’t know why she’s experiencing these visions, but she’s always been one to shoulder a lot of emotional responsibility. She may be carrying some guilt over what happened to the Ancients here recently.
WEIR: Well, why? It certainly wasn’t her fault.
HEIGHTMEYER: No, no, of course not, but somewhere deep inside her she may somehow feel complicit in the actions that led up to their murders.
HEIGHTMEYER: I’ll continue working with her and see if I can sort things out.
WEIR: OK. I’ll make sure she gets some rest, even if it means taking her off the next mission.
HEIGHTMEYER: She does seem tired. She hasn’t been sleeping well, and the last few days she’s been complaining of headaches.
WEIR: Doctor Beckett gave her a clean bill of health.
HEIGHTMEYER: Well, we’ll just keep an eye on her. Hopefully it’ll all pass.
WEIR: Let’s hope so. Thank you.
(Kate smiles and walks away. Sighing, Elizabeth turns to a transporter door and passes her hand over the wall panel. The door opens. Inside is the hideously burned man, staring and gasping in agony. Elizabeth steps back, appalled, as the man keels forward ... and disappears.)
LATER. Kate is walking with Elizabeth and Teyla.
HEIGHTMEYER: So now both of you are seeing them? Why do you suppose that is?
WEIR: Well, that’s why we’ve come to you.
TEYLA: Perhaps they believe that appearing to two people will increase the chance their message will be heard.
WEIR: If, in fact, they are trying to communicate something to us.
HEIGHTMEYER: Or maybe it’s just the power of suggestion. It’s been documented that when one person sees a ghost, it won’t be long before others around them see it too. (She looks at Elizabeth.) You said it yourself: you’ve all been through a lot recently. When’s the last time you took a day off?
(Elizabeth and Teyla exchange a glance.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Exactly. (She looks at Teyla.) Have you seen any more apparitions?
TEYLA: Not recently.
HEIGHTMEYER: How are the headaches?
TEYLA: Still have them.
HEIGHTMEYER: Have you been able to sleep?
(Teyla shakes her head.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Perhaps Doctor Beckett can prescribe something for you ... (she looks at Elizabeth) ... for both of you.
RODNEY’S LAB. Rodney is studying a laptop, but looks around as John comes in.
McKAY: Ah. There you are. (He looks at the laptop again.) You are not gonna believe this. I’ve been monitoring Sam on the underwater scanner ...
SHEPPARD: Stop calling him that.
SHEPPARD: It’s creepy!
McKAY: No it’s not. Look ... (he points to the screen) ... here he is, circling the city. He’s been doing it for a while. Won’t leave.
SHEPPARD (suspiciously): You didn’t feed him, did you?
McKAY: No! Look, now ... (We see an image of one of the piers of the city, with the whale’s image a short distance away.) If I widen the scan ...
(He types and the image zooms out, showing more of the ocean. An image of another whale can be seen further away from the city, but this one is much bigger than ‘Sam’.)
SHEPPARD: Another whale.
McKAY: Yeah. Probably the mother.
SHEPPARD: That guy’s the size of a football field!
McKAY: Yeah – a Canadian football field.
SHEPPARD: So the first one was a baby.
SHEPPARD: Hey – wanna take a closer look?
(Rodney looks at him. John nods encouragingly as Rodney looks bewildered.)
McKAY: Umm ...
SHEPPARD: Come on.
(He hurries away. Rodney follows him.)
JUMPER BAY. John walks into the rear of a Jumper, to find Radek working on one of the panels.
SHEPPARD: Oh, Radek. Didn’t know anyone was here.
ZELENKA: Do you need to use the Jumper?
SHEPPARD: Yeah. Gonna check out some whales. Rodney’s on his way – he’s just taking some Dramamine but, uh ... (He looks at Radek.) Yeah, we can take another Jumper.
ZELENKA: Oh, just be careful. I’m not too sure if I’ve fixed the navigational glitch. The other Jumpers might be affected as well.
SHEPPARD: Well, we won’t go far. We’ll stay within sight of the city ... (he starts to leave the Jumper) ... plus you’ll be tracking us from the Control Room.
ZELENKA: I will? Oh, yes, yes, I will. (He pauses, then frowns at John’s departing back.) Did you say whales?
INFIRMARY. Carson takes a couple of blister packs of pills out of a cabinet and hands one each to Teyla and Elizabeth.
BECKETT: These should help, but don’t take them until you can have at least eight hours of uninterrupted rest.
WEIR: Huh! Around here?! When does that ever happen?
BECKETT: Well, both Doctor Heightmeyer and I think you should take the time to make it happen.
WEIR: Alright. Thank you, Carson.
TEYLA: Thank you.
(They leave the room. Carson sits down at his desk and starts to work on a laptop. Suddenly he hears a roar of pain. Puzzled, he looks up and wheels his chair back to look in the direction of the sound. Four medics wearing white medical clothing and white hooded masks over their heads and faces are standing at a nearby bed treating someone. The person on the bed is crying out with pain, though his voice sounds distorted. Carson stands up and walks towards them just as the person on the bed sits up, screaming in agony. He is badly burned. As Carson gets nearer, the medics and the man disappear.)
OCEAN. A Puddle Jumper flies over the ocean, then settles gently down onto the surface of the water before sinking. Inside, Rodney looks up at the roof nervously. John glances at him briefly, noticing his anxiety.
SHEPPARD: You alright?
McKAY: Yeah, I’m fine. I just never feel safe in these things underwater.
SHEPPARD: In space you’re OK?
McKAY: Yeah, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?
(John nods, then activates the comms.)
SHEPPARD: Zelenka, you there?
ZELENKA (over radio): I’m here. Hello! (In the Control Room, he looks at his screens.) Uh, the whales are deeper now, less than a kilometre from you in your two o’clock position.
(Rodney calls up the HUD. It shows an image of the two whales swimming nearby.)
McKAY: There they are. Should have a visual on them any moment now.
(He disengages the HUD again and they look through the windshield. After several seconds a shape can be seen in the distance. Rodney points.)
McKAY: There’s Sam.
(A moment later a much larger shape appears through the darkness.)
McKAY: ... and there’s Mum.
SHEPPARD: We need to get a closer look.
ATLANTIS. Ronon is walking along a corridor when he stops as he hears a strange distorted sound. He turns around and behind him a control console has appeared out of nowhere. Two scientists, dressed in Ancient clothing, are working on the console. Although they are talking, their voices are unintelligible. Ronon frowns and watches as they continue to talk gibberish. Whatever it is they’re talking about, it’s obvious that the female scientist is very agitated and frightened by what she’s seeing on the screen.
(Behind Ronon, Teyla approaches. She stops and frowns.)
(Ronon turns and looks at her.)
TEYLA: You saw them too?
(Ronon turns back to look in the other direction. The console and the scientists have gone.)
OCEAN. The Jumper is descending towards the whales.
McKAY: Alright, not too close now, OK? We still have no idea what these things eat.
(John grimaces in pain and shakes his head, then puts his hand to his eyes.)
McKAY: What? What is it?
SHEPPARD (lowering his hand): Nothing. Just got a headache all of a sudden.
(John slows the Jumper down. Rodney looks through the windshield again.)
McKAY: Where’d they go?
SHEPPARD: I don’t know.
(Rodney reaches out to activate the HUD to search for the whales but just then the water boils outside and Mum’s enormous eye appears as she passes right in front of the Jumper. In Atlantis’ Control Room, Radek sits up in his chair, startled.)
ZELENKA: Oh! They’re right in front of you.
SHEPPARD: Yeah! We were aware of that!
(Rodney grimaces in pain and puts his hand to his eyes.)
SHEPPARD: What’s wrong?
McKAY: Now my head’s hurting too.
SHEPPARD: That’s not a coincidence.
McKAY: I don’t think so.
SHEPPARD: I’m pulling back.
McKAY: Good idea.
ZELENKA: Perhaps it’s the whales’ echo location mechanism. It’s creating uncomfortable vibrations which are ...
McKAY (interrupting): Yes, Radek. We are moving away. Try to keep up, OK?!
(Radek stares as he spots something on another screen.)
ZELENKA: Oh my.
SHEPPARD: Oh my, what?
(Radek’s screen shows the Puddle Jumper with Sam and Mum nearby. In the distance, a large pod of whales is moving into view.)
ZELENKA: Uh, uh, uh, I’m detecting several more whales.
McKAY: How many more?
ZELENKA: Uh, dozens more. They’re still several kilometres away from you, but they’re heading towards you.
(John and Rodney exchange a glance. John does a double-take and stares.)
(Rodney has a trickle of blood running from one nostril.)
SHEPPARD: Your nose is bleeding.
(Rodney puts his hand to his nose, looks at the blood, grimaces and groans, and immediately pinches his nose and tilts his head back.)
HEIGHTMEYER: Now you’re all seeing them?
WEIR: We just got word that other people in the city are starting to see them, too.
BECKETT: Some see the burned man, others see the Ancient woman, and a few such as Ronon here see what appear to be scientists.
DEX: There’s something definitely going on around here.
WEIR: In every sighting, two things remain constant: all the apparitions are Ancients; and they all seem pretty worried.
TEYLA: It is as if they are trying to warn us about something.
ZELENKA (over radio): Doctor Weir?
WEIR (activating her headset): Yes, Radek?
ZELENKA: You’d better come to the Control Room right away.
WEIR: Be right there.
CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth and Radek are looking at the screen showing the approaching pod of whales and, closer to the city, the Jumper with Sam and Mum nearby.
WEIR: What’s their status?
ZELENKA: They’re moving away from the whales. Hopefully that will alleviate their pain.
(Elizabeth activates the comms.)
WEIR: John, this is Elizabeth. How are you holding up?
(In the Jumper, Rodney is still holding his nose, while John’s face is contorted with pain.)
SHEPPARD: Other than feeling like my head’s about to explode, I’m fine.
(Ahead of the Jumper, Sam swims in front of the windshield.)
McKAY: I thought we were moving away from them?
SHEPPARD: I’m trying to, but they’re cutting us off.
(Rodney groans in pain and clutches his head again.)
WEIR (over radio): What happened?
SHEPPARD: The whales are gettin’ way too close.
(Rodney passes out, crashing forward onto his control panel. John stares at him.)
WEIR: John, what’s going on there?
SHEPPARD: Rodney’s passed out. His ears are bleeding. We’ve gotta get out of the water.
(Elizabeth turns to a technician in the Control Room.)
WEIR: Medical team to Jumper Bay.
(The technician nods and hurries off.)
WEIR: John, are you alright?
(John grimaces and puts his hand to the side of his head. As he takes his hand away again, he realises that his own ears are also bleeding. He stares at his hand for a moment.)
(John puts the Jumper into a steep climb and it bursts out of the ocean and heads up into the sky.)
SHEPPARD: We’re out of the water. Rodney’s in trouble. Have a medical team ready.
WEIR: Already done.
(She looks at the screen and the approaching whales.)
NIGHT TIME. INFIRMARY. Rodney and John are in adjoining beds. Both are conscious and are opening their mouths wide frequently as if trying to get their blocked ears to pop. Carson, Elizabeth and Radek are standing nearby.
BECKETT: Their eardrums have been perforated.
ZELENKA: The whales are emitting an intense low-frequency pulse, like a sonar, as well as an EM field. The combination is very dangerous to humans, particularly in such close proximity.
McKAY (loudly): It’s the whales!
BECKETT (to Elizabeth): Hearing’s been impaired. It should heal soon.
McKAY (loudly): It’s their echo location. It’s creating very powerful vibrations. The closer we got, the worse it became.
(The others smile in amusement at each other.)
ZELENKA (loudly): Yes, Rodney, we know!
(John holds his nose and blows down it, still trying to get his ears to pop.)
McKAY (loudly): Oh!
SHEPPARD (loudly): What?
BECKETT (to Elizabeth): They should rest.
WEIR: Agreed! (She calls out loudly to the boys as she leaves.) I’ll come back.
CONTROL ROOM. The screen now shows whales heading towards the city from all sides.
ZELENKA: The whales are approaching from every direction. It appears that they’re converging on Atlantis.
WEIR: We are their destination?
ZELENKA: Yes. It appears so. The signals they emit are their way of communicating with each other. Unfortunately, the closer they get to the city, the more it may affect the people living here.
DEX: Even above the waterline?
TEYLA: We are already being affected. Several of us are experiencing headaches – not as severe as Doctor McKay or Colonel Sheppard – but if these whales get any closer ...
WEIR (to Radek): Turn on the shield.
(He goes to the control panel. Teyla walks closer to the screen and looks at it.)
TEYLA: These apparitions we’ve been seeing: if they are indeed trying to warn us of something, perhaps this is it.
(The sound of the shield deploying can be heard.)
TEYLA: I first saw the Ancient woman at the same time Rodney saw the first whale.
LATER. Elizabeth is walking along a corridor working on a computer tablet when she hears a distorted voice. She looks up and sees the Ancient woman walking toward her, talking in her unintelligible language and looking concerned. Elizabeth steps aside and the woman walks past, taking no notice of her.
INFIRMARY. Rodney is sitting up in bed and working on a computer tablet. John is lying in the bed next to him.
SHEPPARD (loudly): Pain’s goin’ away. Think my hearing’s gettin’ better too. What about you?
(Rodney continues working, apparently unable to hear him. John looks at him.)
(Rodney carries on working. John frowns.)
SHEPPARD: Canadian football league’s a joke.
(Rodney carries on working.)
SHEPPARD: Celine Dion is over-rated.
(Rodney carries on working.)
SHEPPARD: Zelenka is smarter than you are!
McKAY (loudly, still looking at his screen): Hey! I found mention of a bio-lab in the database!
(John rolls his eyes.)
McKAY (loudly, still looking at his screen): Ancient scientists used it to study animal life. We should check it out!
SHEPPARD: OK ... Meredith.
Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth walks into the Infirmary and goes over to Carson, who is examining the ears of a patient lying in bed.
WEIR: How’s it going?
(Carson walks over to her, looking concerned.)
BECKETT: More people are falling ill – headaches, nosebleeds. I’m giving everyone painkillers – hopefully buy some time until we figure out how to stop this.
WEIR: And how are you feeling?
BECKETT: My head’s throbbing a wee bit but I’ll manage. You?
WEIR (unconvincingly): I’m fine.
(Carson reaches into his pocket and hands her another blister pack of pills.)
BECKETT: Here: painkillers – just in case.
(Elizabeth takes the pack.)
WEIR: Thank you. I hope it doesn’t get ...
(She looks up, distracted, as John and Rodney, dressed, walk around the corner.)
WEIR: Hey, hey! What’s this?
(Carson turns to see who she’s looking at.)
BECKETT: That’s a damned good question. Who said you could get out of bed?
SHEPPARD (loudly): We’re feelin’ a lot better.
BECKETT: Well, I beg to differ. Back to bed, the pair of you.
McKAY (loudly): We need to check out a lab.
WEIR: What lab?
McKAY (loudly): It’s a bio-lab. Turned up in my whale research.
SHEPPARD (loudly): It’s in one of the flooded areas of the city.
McKAY (loudly): Formerly flooded. With the area finally repaired, we’re now able to access it.
(Carson frowns in pain at all the loud noise.)
McKAY (loudly): According to the database, the Ancient biologists used it to study animal life on the planet. Look, there may be some more information stored there.
SHEPPARD (loudly): Such as how to tell these whales how to get the hell outta here.
McKAY (loudly): But we won’t know that for sure until I can have a look at it.
(Elizabeth and Carson look at each other for a moment, then Carson looks back at the boys.)
(The boys head off. Just then, a technician reports over the radio.)
TECHNICIAN: Doctor Weir?
WEIR (activating her headset): Go ahead.
TECHNICIAN: Daedalus just arrived in orbit. They’re requesting permission to beam people down.
(Elizabeth closes her eyes briefly, then looks at Carson.)
ATLANTIS ORBIT. On Daedalus’ Bridge, Colonel Steven Caldwell frowns at the message he has just had from Elizabeth.
CALDWELL: What do you mean, no?
WEIR: I’m afraid things down here might get a lot worse before they get any better. It’s probably safer for you to stay up there until we can sort this problem out.
ATLANTIS CORRIDOR. Teyla walks down the stairs and into the corridor she has been in before. She grimaces and holds her head in pain as the Ancient woman walks towards her. The woman speaks unintelligibly, her voice higher pitched than before.
TEYLA: I’m sorry. I do not understand.
(The woman walks past her. Teyla cringes and clutches her head again, whimpering in pain. She watches the woman walk towards the door at the end of the corridor but before she reaches it, more sound comes from behind Teyla. She turns and sees the two Ancient scientists working at the console and talking urgently. Teyla groans and clutches her head again. Unable to bear the pain, she turns to a nearby transporter door and passes her hand over the wall panel. The door opens and the burned man stumbles out. Teyla jerks back and falls to the floor, her nose bleeding. A hand reaches down to her. It’s Ronon.)
DEX: Come on. Gotta get you to the Infirmary.
(Teyla takes his hand and he hauls her to her feet.)
CORRIDORS. Rodney and John are walking along, Rodney looking down at his computer tablet. Suddenly he stops and holds up a clenched fist in the military signal to stop. John, irritated, smacks his fist down again. Rodney looks at him, then points to a door.
McKAY (loudly): This is it!
(John glares at him for a moment, then walks to the door, which opens automatically. He walks inside, Rodney following him, and the lights come on. As John walks deeper into the room, the control consoles come on.)
McKAY: Alright. Let’s see.
(He goes over to a console and puts his tablet down. The wallscreen above the console lights up and Rodney starts operating the controls. The wallscreen activates and begins to show an erratically oscillating wave. Rodney looks at it in interest.)
CALDWELL: Did you put up the shield?
WEIR (over comms): Yes, but it only extends so far and the whales’ signals seem to be able to penetrate it.
(Beside her in the Control Room, Radek has taken his glasses off and is rubbing the bridge of his nose in pain.)
ZELENKA: Well, we might be able to manage it if there were only a few dozen whales, but we’re talking hundreds now. And they’re swimming closer as we speak.
WEIR: Doctor McKay is checking out an Ancient bio-lab. Hopefully there’ll be some information there that could lead us to a solution.
CALDWELL: And if there isn’t?
WEIR: Well, we’ll have to consider evacuating Atlantis until the whales leave.
CALDWELL: Supposing they don’t leave?
WEIR: What are you suggesting, Colonel?
CALDWELL: You’ve got plenty of drones in your arsenal.
WEIR: You’re saying we should kill them?
CALDWELL: Before they kill you.
McKAY (offscreen): They’re not trying to kill us.
(Rodney walks into the Control Room. His voice is now at a normal level.)
McKAY: It’s quite the opposite. I think they’re trying to help us.
WEIR: Help us?
(Rodney unplugs a laptop computer and picks it up.)
McKAY: Come on – you should see this.
(He starts to leave the room. Elizabeth follows him. Radek stands up.)
ZELENKA: I see your hearing has improved.
(Rodney turns and squints at him.)
(Not bothering to repeat himself, Radek just waves at him to carry on. Rodney starts to leave again, turning back to Elizabeth as he goes.)
McKAY: What is he ...?
(Radek wearily repeats his wave to Rodney to keep going. They all head out.)
BIO-LAB. Rodney is connecting cables to a console.
McKAY: It’s like a receiver calibrated to the specific frequencies on which the whales communicate.
SHEPPARD: The Ancients designed it to study whales so they could learn about their songs.
McKAY: They were studying the whales’ language, trying to assign frequencies to emotions and identify moods.
SHEPPARD: All sorts of tree-huggy stuff. Tell ‘em about the ghosts.
McKAY: Ah. Not ghosts – image projections. There appears to be a causal relationship with the whales. They may very well be what’s been projecting the images to us and this receiver should – from what I can tell so far – be able to interpret them.
SHEPPARD: Seems like we’ve been going about this backwards. The ghosts aren’t warning us about the whales.
ZELENKA: They’re not?
McKAY: No. No, it seems the whales may be using the images to warn us.
WEIR: About what?
McKAY: Ah, well, that ... that I don’t know yet.
SHEPPARD: But, judging from the way this machine is freaking out, it can’t be good.
(They all look at the oscillating wave on the wallscreen.)
INFIRMARY. A medic shines a penlight into a woman’s eyes. Carson makes his way through the room. It’s packed with patients, some of them lying on makeshift beds on the floor. He pats another medic’s back as he goes past.
(He goes over to Teyla lying in a bed.)
BECKETT: How’re you faring?
(Teyla glances at him, then looks at the bed next to her. Although we can see another member of the Atlantis crew lying in the bed, she can see Ancient medics taking the jacket off the burned man who is lying on the bed. He screams in pain and tries to get off the bed.)
TEYLA: I keep seeing them.
(He looks over to another bed. He can see the burned man on that bed as he writhes in agony while the Ancient medics try to treat him.)
BECKETT: Me too.
(Elizabeth comes in.)
WEIR: I’ve just spoken with Colonel Caldwell. The Daedalus Infirmary is ready to beam up the sickest of the patients.
BECKETT: Good. Teyla should be amongst the first to go.
TEYLA: No. I’m staying.
(She looks across at the jacket that the Ancient medics have taken off the burned man.)
BECKETT: You’re far too sick, dear.
TEYLA: He’s a pilot.
(Elizabeth looks where Teyla is looking but can’t see what she’s seeing.)
TEYLA: The burned man.
(Carson pinches his nose in pain.)
TEYLA: I just noticed his uniform. He is an Ancient pilot.
(Elizabeth looks at Carson as he turns his head. She gasps.)
WEIR: Your nose.
(Carson’s nose is bleeding. He wipes it with his fingers and looks at the blood.)
BECKETT: Oh, bloody hell. ‘Scuse me.
(He walks away.)
BIO-LAB. Elizabeth comes back in. Rodney is busy working on the console as John sits nearby watching.
WEIR: How’s he doing?
SHEPPARD: I don’t know. He’s taking a while. A lot longer than he usually takes.
(Rodney turns around, frowning.)
McKAY: He can hear you, you know!
SHEPPARD: Yeah. We know.
McKAY: OK, let’s have a listen.
(He types on the laptop that he has connected to the console. A distorted unintelligible voice can be heard.)
SHEPPARD: Who’s that?
WEIR: The woman – the Ancient woman. That’s her voice, I’m sure of it.
SHEPPARD: She’s speaking Ancient?
WEIR: No. I mean, it doesn’t sound like the language. The phonetic rhythm is similar but I don’t recognise any of the words.
McKAY: That’s because it’s gibberish ... well, to be more accurate, it’s an attempt at mimicry. Look, it turns out the receiver is also a transmitter. The Ancients weren’t just trying to learn the whales’ language – they were attempting to teach them theirs by sending them auditory and visual signals. And while they were doing that, they experienced a traumatic moment which the whales then stored in their genetic memory.
WEIR: And that’s what the images we’ve been seeing are?
McKAY: Exactly. Re-runs. Now, unfortunately, these whales are several generations removed from the incident, so they’re finding the language a bit of a tough go. It’s kind of like trying to sing the lyrics to The Macarena. You can send out the words but you have no idea what you’re singing.
WEIR: OK. So this traumatic event – I’m assuming it’s the war against the Wraith.
McKAY: That would be my assumption as well, yes.
WEIR: And, what, the whales are trying to warn us that it might happen again?
McKAY: I don’t know. Possibly.
SHEPPARD: So what? The Wraith might attack. Tell us something we don’t know.
McKAY: Ah. Interesting thing is, the Ancients seemed to be aware of the whales’ deficient mimicry skills and so they incorporated a kind of acoustic language filter into the receiver. That’s what’s been taking me so long to figure out.
SHEPPARD: Well, did you figure it out?
McKAY: Well, let’s have a listen, shall we?
(He types on the laptop. The distorted voice plays again. John smiles smugly.)
SHEPPARD: Guess the answer’s no.
McKAY: Just ... hang on, hang on. If I, um ... (He thinks for a moment, then types again. The voice plays again, but this time it’s clearer and is obviously a language.)
WEIR: Hey, wait a minute. Play that back again.
(Rodney plays the voice again. Elizabeth smiles.)
WEIR: This is Ancient. At least, I can make out a few of the words now.
McKAY (smiling smugly at John): Ha!
WEIR: “Incursus” – something was attacked, or overtaken.
McKAY: Meaning Atlantis.
WEIR: No, I don’t think so. “Adaris”?
SHEPPARD: What’s “adaris”?
WEIR: I don’t know.
CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth is standing behind Radek as they look at the screen showing the city surrounded by whales.
ZELENKA: They’ve arrived – hundreds of them.
CALDWELL (over comms): Doctor Weir.
WEIR: Go ahead, Colonel.
CALDWELL: The sick patients have been beamed up. Our Infirmary’s filled.
WEIR: Thank you. Unfortunately, more people are falling ill down here, so it’s not really making much of a dent.
CALDWELL: Listen, whether these creatures are trying to communicate with you or not, at some point you’re gonna have to deal with them. If they don’t leave ...
WEIR: I’m sure there are options besides killing them.
(Rodney and John hurry in. Rodney sits down at a console.)
WEIR: What’s wrong?
SHEPPARD: We figured it out.
McKAY: Well, actually, I did most of the figuring ...
SHEPPARD: Adaris is a ship we found in the Ancient database.
McKAY: It’s an Ancient science vessel. About fifteen thousand years ago, it ran into some trouble. The entire crew was killed except for the pilot.
WEIR: The burned man. Teyla noticed the uniform. He was an Ancient pilot.
McKAY: Which would explain the burns.
ZELENKA: What does?
SHEPPARD: The ship got hit by a blast of radiation from the sun.
McKAY: It’s a coronal mass ejection on a scale that dwarfs anything our sun has ever emitted. Apparently the sun in this solar system goes through an unusually turbulent sunspot cycle every fifteen thousand years or so. The Ancients have records of this class of CME occurring twice before.
SHEPPARD: The ship was very close to the sun when it happened.
McKAY: It’s a massive prominence. It arced up and then collapsed when the magnetic field surrounding it weakened. We’re talking an intense proton stream travelling at over four thousand kilometres per second.
SHEPPARD: Most of the crew was killed instantly but the pilot managed to open up a hyperspace window just as they were hit. He flew the ship back here, jumping ahead of the radiation wave just in time to warn everyone.
McKAY: The Ancients were able to raise the shield and extend it far enough to protect a large portion of the planet from the blast.
WEIR: So what are you telling me? This is going to happen soon?
McKAY: Not soon. It’s happening right now.
(He turns the screen of his laptop towards her. It shows a prominence curling out from the edge of the sun.)
INFIRMARY. Teyla lies in bed, barely conscious. Ronon walks over and sits down beside her.
DEX: How’re you doing?
TEYLA (smiling weakly): I have felt better.
DEX: You need any more pain medicine?
TEYLA: No. It does not seem to help any more.
DEX: Well, just hang on. You’re gonna be fine.
(Teyla sighs and closes her eyes.)
DEX: Teyla? Look at me. (He gently takes hold of her chin and turns her head towards him.) Look at me. (Teyla opens her eyes.) You gotta hold on. (He smiles and releases her chin.) Gotta teach me those meditation lessons.
(Teyla smiles wearily.)
TEYLA: You are hopeless.
DEX (smiling): Yeah. I know.
(He takes her hand and holds it. Teyla’s eyes flutter and she loses consciousness.)
DEX: Teyla? (He turns and calls out.) Nurse.
(A nurse hurries over.)
CONTROL ROOM. The image of the coronal prominence is now on a large screen.
McKAY: The magnetic field around it is already beginning to weaken. When that prominence collapses, the coronal mass ejection will occur. It’ll erupt from a very small area – a mere pinprick in comparison to the total sun’s surface, but it’ll immediately begin to fan out. Within a few million miles, the blast wave will cut a swathe wide enough to take out this entire planet.
SHEPPARD: How much time do we have?
ZELENKA: The prominence will collapse any moment now. After that, we have less than an hour before the radiation wave hits us.
WEIR: Why didn’t we notice this before?
McKAY: Because these things happen very quickly.
ZELENKA: This kind of sunspot cycle is extremely chaotic – impossible to predict. No doubt that’s what caused the glitch in the Jumper’s navigational systems.
McKAY: Not to mention our focus was on attack from the Wraith, not the sun.
WEIR: The whales were aware this was happening.
McKAY: Well, a lot of animals – whales, dolphins ...
ZELENKA: ... pigeons ...
McKAY: ... are affected by the tiniest anomalies in the magnetosphere. It’s as if their internal compasses are somehow ... uh ... pigeons?!
ZELENKA: Yeah, homing pigeons, yes. I used to raise them before coming here. We used to consult solar charts before our pigeon races.
McKAY: Pigeon races?!
McKAY: Well, it’s still somewhat of a mystery how they’re able to sense this trouble, but they do, often well before we do.
SHEPPARD: Whatever. What are our options?
McKAY: Well, the Ancients were able to raise the shield and stretch it wide enough to protect a significant portion of the planet – attenuated, to be sure, more of a thin bubble, but it was able to block out enough of the radiation ...
ZELENKA: That’s interesting, because we have found evidence of mass extinction on other parts of the planet.
McKAY: Wow! Well, now we know what caused it(!)
WEIR: OK, so our shield is already activated. What else?
McKAY: Ah. Small problem. The Ancients had three ZedPMs at their disposal and we – as you know – only have one. Maybe I was so insistent on keeping them because I too am able to sense trouble on the horizon.
SHEPPARD: Just like a pigeon.
WEIR: So we just need to get the other two ZeePMs back here temporarily ...
McKAY: Not enough time. Look, the Odyssey’s away from Earth. In the time it would take them to return, the blast wave would almost certainly have hit us.
SHEPPARD: How far can we extend the shield with one ZeePM?
ZELENKA: Well, enough to cover the city and perhaps a little bit of the ocean surrounding it, but ...
SHEPPARD: We should evacuate, just to make sure.
McKAY: We can’t gate to Earth. Look, we need the ZedPM’s power for the shields.
SHEPPARD: We’ve got the intergalactic Bridge.
McKAY: The midway station isn’t completed yet. We’d need to ferry people by Jumper. Again, no time.
SHEPPARD: Alright – we’ll send everyone to the Alpha Site and pick ‘em up when this is over.
McKAY: I don’t think you understand. Look, the shield will protect the city from the initial blast, yes, but the entire ecosystem of this planet will be damaged beyond recovery for hundreds of years. Look, we’re talking no plant life, which means no breathable air ...
(Elizabeth faints, dropping to the floor.)
INFIRMARY. John carries Elizabeth into the Infirmary and lays her on a bed.
(Carson turns around wearily, then breaks into a run towards the bed when he sees who it is lying there.)
(He takes her headset out of her ear, which is bleeding.)
(He puts his stethoscope on. John looks around the room and sees a medic pulling a blanket over the face of an Asian man lying on a makeshift bed nearby. John frowns. Carson notices where he’s looking.)
BECKETT: Sergeant Bell – developed an aneurysm from the pressure. First fatality.
(John walks over to Teyla’s bed. Ronon is standing beside it.)
SHEPPARD: How is she?
DEX: Out of time.
SHEPPARD: Guess we all are.
(He turns and starts to leave the room. Ronon turns to him.)
(John turns back to him.)
DEX: You got a plan?
(John bites his lip.)
SHEPPARD (not very convincingly): Sure.
(He heads out.)
CONTROL ROOM. Radek is looking at the wall screen which shows that the whales are clustering as close to the city as they can.
ZELENKA: Look at them! Seeking shelter under the umbrella of the city.
McKAY (working on a laptop nearby): No-no-no-no-no-no-no. We don’t have nearly enough power. Look, we can extend the shield twenty kilometres beyond the city, maybe. But it’ll be dangerously thin and there’s no way of knowing whether we can sustain it, especially in a radiation blast of fifty thousand rem.
(John activates his headset.)
SHEPPARD: Colonel Caldwell? This is Sheppard.
CALDWELL: Go ahead, Colonel.
SHEPPARD: I think we have a plan.
(Rodney stands up, frowning.)
McKAY: We do?
POWER ROOM. Rodney sighs as the ZPM rises up out of its slot.
McKAY: This is not a good plan.
SHEPPARD: Sure it is.
McKAY: You realise just how close we’ll have to get to the sun?
SHEPPARD: Pretty damned close, I’m thinkin’.
(He picks up the case for the ZPM and opens it.)
McKAY: Suicidally close. I mean, we’ll be toast.
SHEPPARD: That’s why we’re taking the ZeePM – to give the Daedalus’ shield an extra boost.
McKAY: OK, OK – you want to deflect the coronal mass ejection away from the planet.
SHEPPARD (taking the ZPM out of its slot): Like an umbrella.
McKAY: OK, listen to me. (He picks up his computer tablet and starts to draw on its screen.) This ... (he draws a big circle in the bottom right hand corner) ... this is the sun; and this ... (he draws a small squiggle in the top left hand corner) ... this is us.
(John frowns at the drawing as he puts the ZPM into its case.)
McKAY: A bolt of energy unlike anything you could possibly comprehend is gonna shoot out of the photosphere at a tremendous velocity, OK? (He draws a line coming out of the sun and heading towards the dot depicting Atlantis.) It is immediately gonna start fanning out ... (he draws lots of lines fanning out in different directions from the line) ... like so.
SHEPPARD (impatiently): I know.
(He goes over to the power console and bends down to retrieve something.)
McKAY (drawing a curve across the emission line to depict Daedalus’ shield): Which means that we will have to be really close to the surface of the sun if we wanna intercept that stream and deflect it before it can start spreading out.
SHEPPARD (popping back up into view for a moment): I know, Rodney! (He bends down again.)
McKAY: No, no, I don’t think you do. I don’t think you fully grasp the reality of just how damned hot it gets that close to the surface of the sun.
(John has retrieved a small device from the console and comes across to the case with it.)
SHEPPARD: That’s why we’re taking a ZeePM – to strengthen the shields.
McKAY: From the blast wave, yes, but even with the shields at that strength, the build-up of residual heat behind it could cause serious problems for the Daedalus ... (he points to himself) ... and everyone inside it.
(John puts the device in the case and closes the lid.)
SHEPPARD: “Could”. “Could” cause.
McKAY: OK. Tell me ... (he shows John his drawing again) ... if this is such a great plan, why didn’t the Ancients do it?
SHEPPARD: They were in the middle of a war! They probably didn’t have a ship available at the time. And, like you said, they had three ZeePMs.
ZELENKA (over radio): Rodney?
McKAY (irritably): What?
ZELENKA: The prominence has begun collapsing.
(John picks up the case.)
SHEPPARD: Colonel Caldwell, we’re ready.
(Rodney grimaces. A transporter beam envelops the pair of them and whisks them away.)
Daedalus breaks orbit and heads towards the sun. Inside the ship, Rodney is connecting the ZPM to the shield generator.
SHEPPARD (over radio): How’s it going, Rodney?
(Rodney rolls his eyes in irritation.)
McKAY: You know, this might look easy, but it’s actually a little more complicated than just flipping a switch.
(He walks across the room, trailing a cable behind him, and pulls open a panel of crystals.)
CALDWELL: Hurry up, please. We’re there.
McKAY (his eyes wide): What, we are already?
CALDWELL: Not far to go.
(Rodney rolls his eyes again and gets on with connecting the cable to the crystals. Daedalus heads closer to the sun. On the Bridge, everyone is bathed in bright sunlight. Caldwell takes his place in the command chair while John stands nearby.)
CALDWELL: Position, Doctor. The shields are up. We need the extra power from that ZeePM now.
McKAY (irritably): Yes, yes. I just need to ...
(He turns from the crystal panel and trails off as he sees the wall screen.)
McKAY: Oh no.
McKAY: The prominence is fully collapsing into the photosphere. Brace yourselves.
(He grabs his tablet and starts working on it. On the sun’s surface, the emission bursts out and heads into space. John stares.)
McKAY: ZedPM is online.
(The emission heads towards Daedalus and impacts its shields, which deflect it away in all directions. Caldwell squints as the bright light envelops the shields and the ship vibrates under the strain.)
CALDWELL: How long will this last, Doctor?
McKAY: Anywhere from a few seconds to several hours.
SHEPPARD: Hours?! You never said anything about hours!
CALDWELL: We’re building up serious heat behind the shield.
McKAY (plaintively): I told you this wasn’t a good plan!
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. Ronon is looking at a laptop with Radek. Both of them look strained from the consistent headaches.
DEX: How’re they doing?
ZELENKA: Well, according to my calculations, the blast wave should have hit us by now but I’m reading no discernable increase in radiation.
(Ronon stares at him. Finally Radek realises and turns to look at him.)
DEX: So they’re doing good?
ZELENKA: Yes. So far, anyway.
SPACE. The emission continues to blast Daedalus’ shields. Rodney is looking at readouts on his tablet.
McKAY: Temperature inside the shield’s rising too fast. I’m already detecting several failed sensors on the bow.
CALDWELL: If this thing keeps going, the heat build-up could damage the hull.
McKAY: Not “could”. It’s already damaging it.
(An alarm beeps.)
McKAY: We have a breach in the 302 Bay.
(Caldwell turns to his right-hand man [not Kleinman – is he on vacation somewhere sunny? I bet it’s not as sunny as this is!])
CALDWELL: Seal it off.
(The man complies. From an external viewpoint we see the wall of the 302 Bay rupture and debris spill out. In the shield room, another alarm beeps.)
McKAY: Another breach. Deck four – we’re venting atmosphere.
(John and Caldwell stare grimly, unable to do anything. A few seconds later, the emission fades and the light level on the Bridge diminishes somewhat.)
(He walks nervously towards the front of the Bridge. In the shield room, Rodney stares in surprise.)
McKAY: It’s over.
SHEPPARD: And we’re not toast.
McKAY: We’re not toast!
SHEPPARD: Good plan, huh?
(Rodney smiles in delight, then heaves a sigh of relief.)
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. The wall screen shows only a few whales still visible, and they’re all heading away from the city. Radek reports to John and Elizabeth.
ZELENKA: Most of them are gone now. They began dispersing almost immediately.
SHEPPARD: Without so much as a thank you.
WEIR (loudly): No – thank you!
(She smiles and walks away. John narrows his eyes and looks at Radek suspiciously.)
GYM. Teyla is sitting on the floor in her meditation pose with her eyes closed. Ronon walks in and squats down beside her as the doors to the gym close noisily behind him. Teyla smiles ruefully, opens her eyes and turns to look at Ronon. He smiles back.
DEX: How’re you feeling?
TEYLA: Much better.
DEX: Walked the whole way over here – didn’t see one ghost.
TEYLA: Nor did I. (She smiles at him again, then closes her eyes.)
DEX: Mind if I join you ...?
TEYLA (opening her eyes again): If you fall asleep one more time ...
(She points to the Athosian fighting sticks leaning against the wall. Ronon looks at them, then stands and walks over and picks one up. He smacks it experimentally against the wall, then brings it over and offers it to her as he sits down on the floor beside her.)
DEX: Hit me with that.
(Teyla takes it, looking at it thoughtfully as Ronon settles into position, then smiles at him.)
EXTERNAL BALCONY. Rodney is standing and gazing out over the ocean. John comes out and walks over to him.
SHEPPARD: They’re gone, Rodney.
McKAY: Not all of them.
(He points out to the ocean where the water is disturbed in one area.)
(As John looks, a fin raises out of the water as if waving, then splashes back down into the water.)
SHEPPARD: Let me guess: your buddy, Sam.
McKAY: I like to think so. I like to think he’s saying goodbye.
SHEPPARD: Makes sense. He saved your life, now you’ve saved his. You’re even.
(He pats Rodney on the back and walks away. Rodney smiles out into the ocean.)