SGA 2.06 "Trinity" Transcript

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2.06 "Trinity"

Episode Guide

SGA 2.06 "Trinity" Episode Guide

Précis

McKay may have found a new and potent source of energy for Atlantis based on un-perfected Ancient technology.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Puddle Jumper comes through a space 'gate above the planet.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[Sheppard's team is aboard.]

MCKAY
I'm just saying, as a team veteran, to the new guy—heavy lunch before mission departure, bad idea. I mean, even with the inertial dampeners, this whole flying thing is best done on an empty stomach.
RONON
Yeah, well, I've got a pretty strong stomach.
MCKAY
Hey, I can eat frozen dinners without thawing them, and sometimes it even affects me.
SHEPPARD

(annoyed)

McKay, are you reading anything?
MCKAY
Oh. Nothing. Life signs from the planet are negative.
TEYLA
Then it is a shame. From what we read in the Atlantis database, the Dorandans were a wonderful race of people.
MCKAY
Well, the database is over ten thousand years old. You can bet things have changed around here.
RONON

(seeing something)

Sheppard.

[There is a large debris field ahead of the Jumper.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

SHEPPARD
Okay. That's not something you see every day.
TEYLA
There was a great battle here.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[They pass by larger pieces of debris.]

TEYLA

(voiceover)

That is a hive ship.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

RONON
That was a hive ship.
SHEPPARD
Something put a lot of holes in it all right. We should check it out.
MCKAY
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What if whatever put holes in it wants to put holes in us?
SHEPPARD
Like you said, a lot's changed in ten thousand years.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Jumper descends through the debris to the planet.]

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

[The Jumper skims a ruined city. Thunder and lightening strike it.]

MCKAY
That would explain the lack of life signs.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

RONON
This is what usually happens when you fight back.
SHEPPARD
These folks took out a fleet of Wraith ships. I'd say they did a pretty good job fighting back.
MCKAY

Hold on. I'm picking up faint energy readings, coming from (pointing)

there. Well, that explains how they would be able to put up such a good fight.
SHEPPARD
How?
MCKAY
Because…they were Ancients.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[The Jumper maneuvers to a large building that remains.]

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

[A large building remains. It appears to have a large weapon on the roof.]

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[The team descends a ladder into the dark facility. They look around with flashlights.]

MCKAY
Definitely Ancient design. Their latest stuff, too. Their latest being ten thousand years old.
SHEPPARD
It looks a lot like the labs we've found on Atlantis.
RONON
So this was one of their outposts?
TEYLA
Yet the ancestors made no mention of their presence here in their database. Why?
SHEPPARD
Well, let's find out. Can you power it up?
MCKAY
Working on it.

[McKay works on an Ancient tablet while the others search around.]

SHEPPARD
I've got two bodies here.
RONON
I've got three more over here. Whatever happened here, no one came back to claim the dead.
SHEPPARD
Can't tell if they were fed on by the Wraith.
RONON
Yeah, something killed them.
TEYLA
Something killed everyone on this world.
SHEPPARD
Then why is this outpost, if that's what it is, still intact? It doesn't make sense. What do you think, Rodney?

[The power comes on, and the lights.]

MCKAY
Hah. Sorry, I wasn't listening, but it just struck me that this is an Ancient outpost. Why would the Wraith leave it intact?

[The others exchange glances.]

SHEPPARD
That's a good question.
MCKAY

(examining tablet)

Huh. All right. So…

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard and his team walk through with Weir.]

WEIR
So it's a military research facility?
SHEPPARD
From what we can tell, it's a ground-based version of the satellite weapon we used to destroy that hive ship.
MCKAY
With one major exception—firepower. I mean, if that single outpost is responsible for destroying an entire Wraith fleet—
WEIR
And you're sure it was this weapon than destroyed all those Wraith ships?
SHEPPARD
It had to be. There's nothing on the planet that suggests the Dorandans had anything capable of inflicting anywhere near that much damage.
TEYLA
If we could learn of such technology, we could defend other worlds from being culled.
RONON
It didn't save the Dorandans.
MCKAY
Yeah, but at the end of the day, the outpost was still standing, and that means, uh… Well, I'm not sure what that means, but it means something definitely worth finding out.
WEIR
Colonel?
SHEPPARD
He's right. It's definitely worth sending a research team back.
MCKAY
Good! Well, give me Optican and Collins, and Zelenka, if he's over the stomach flu. We'll try to access the computer's logbooks, see if we can decipher them—
WEIR
Okay. Okay. Easy sell. Go.
MCKAY
Oh. Good.

[McKay rushes out. The others exchange looks at his enthusiasm.]

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR

[Teyla and Ronon meet up.]

RONON
Teyla. Um…I heard you were heading off-world on a personal mission.
TEYLA
To Belkan, yes.
RONON
Sounds interesting.

[She smiles at him, and he returns the smile.]

TEYLA
The Belkans possess a particular disease-resistant strain of flax seed, which would double the yield of our crops on the mainland. In exchange, I intend to offer Athosian manpower to aid in their harvest. Still interested?
RONON
Uh, this place…has everything I could want, don't get me wrong, but, uh—
TEYLA
Sometimes you feel the need to go somewhere else.
RONON
Anywhere else.
TEYLA
I know the feeling.
RONON
So?
TEYLA
Bring only weapons you can conceal.
RONON
I'll keep it to a bare minimum.

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[Many scientists are at work. Sheppard arrives and goes to look through an observation window into a large chamber, lit from above.]

ZELENKA
I'm telling you, at least point-oh-nine percent.
MCKAY
Oh, please. Please, move the decimal place. I mean, it's impossible, for God's sake.
SHEPPARD
Have we figured out what this is?
MCKAY
No.
ZELENKA
I wouldn't say no. No, we have a theory.
MCKAY
But we don't know yet.
ZELENKA
No, but based on the shielding around the chamber, what else could it be?
SHEPPARD
Have you tried turning it on?
MCKAY
That's what we're working on.
MCKAY
The problem is that there's no direct link between it and the main power control systems, which, among other things led us to theorize it's an ancillary power supply for the weapon systems.
SHEPPARD
Cool.
MCKAY
See that? See? See the way he lights up at the mention of that? It's like Dr. Vogel at the mention of pastry.
SHEPPARD
They found out a way to soup up their space guns?
ZELENKA
Yes, but it's much more than that.
MCKAY
The sticking point is that there's no tie between the power generator and the primary capacitor.
ZELENKA
Yeah, meaning they would have to channel the power directly into the weapon.
MCKAY
Which, I'm sure, means nothing to you.
SHEPPARD
It means they could fire multiple bursts without having to store up more power for the next firing sequence.

[McKay is reluctantly impressed.]

MCKAY
Yes. Very good.
SHEPPARD
Which leads me back to "cool."
MCKAY
Mm.
ZELENKA
Yes, but it only makes sense if we're right.
SHEPPARD
About what?
ZELENKA
Tell him.
MCKAY
Not yet.
ZELENKA
Come on, McKay. You read the equations. What else could it be? An Ancient typo?
MCKAY
Well, we know they're not perfect, because they're all dead.
MCKAY
Look, I just… I don't want you to get all excited over nothing.
SHEPPARD
Well, maybe you're right.
MCKAY
All right, I'll give you a hint. It seems the Ancients were experimenting with high-energy physics on a level that we've never seen before.
SHEPPARD

(underwhelmed)

Wow.
MCKAY
Yes, "wow." I just…I want to be sure.
SHEPPARD

(humoring them)

I'll do my best to wait.

[He leaves.]

INT—CONFERENCE ROOM ON BELKAN

[Teyla and Ronon negotiate with the Belkans.]

TEYLA
The manpower that you are demanding is outrageous. You would turn my people into nothing more than indentured slaves to serve your farms.
HENDON
It would seem that you have nothing else of value to trade but your people.

[A man enters with a tray of drinks.]

TEYLA
Mattas… You know full well my offer is fair.
MATTAS
I'm sorry, Teyla. If you had something of more value to offer… Technology, weapons…
TEYLA
You've heard my terms.
HENDON
Hmm. Then our business is done here.

[Ronon angrily stabs the wooden table with a knife.]

RONON
She said her offer is fair.

[They stand and face each other across the table.]

HENDON
I say it isn't.
RONON
Well, I say it is.

EXT—BELKAN VILLAGE, DAY

[Ronon and Teyla exit the building into the primitive village. They are carrying bags of seeds. Teyla drops hers and turns to face Ronon.]

RONON
What?
TEYLA
I had the situation under control.
RONON
It didn't look like it.
TEYLA
So you came to my rescue? You have no idea what is at stake during these negotiations. My people depend on me.
RONON
They were taking advantage of you.
TEYLA
No, they were not, but that is what I wanted them to think. A negotiation is a delicate process. The words spoken are often meaningless.

[Mattas sees them from a nearby staircase.]

MATTAS
Teyla!

[Mattas goes inside to come around to mee them.]

RONON
Do you want me to—
TEYLA
No.
TEYLA
Go. Gather our things. I will meet you at the gate.
MATTAS
It was a mistake to force Hendon's hand. You'll only pay for it next time.
TEYLA
I know.
MATTAS
Your friend is not Athosian?
TEYLA
No. Ronon is the only survivor of a world named Sateda. He saved the life of a friend of mine. In return, we offered him sanctuary.
MATTAS
If Sateda is his home-world, then he is not the only survivor. There is a man in this village who also claims to be from there.

[Teyla is shocked.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The 'gate is active.]

WEIR
What have we got, Sergeant?
TECHNICIAN
It's Colonel Sheppard, Ma'am.
WEIR

(over radio)

This is Weir. Go ahead, Colonel.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Puddle Jumper flies back through the debris field toward the orbital Stargate.]

SHEPPARD

(over radio)

We're on our way back. Rodney wants to fill you in.
WEIR

(into radio)

I take it you've found something interesting.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY

(into radio)

Interesting? How about the greatest discovery of all time?
SHEPPARD

(into radio)

He's pretty excited.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

WEIR

(into radio)

So I hear. He couldn't even wait until he got back.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY

(into radio)

I wanted to send an encoded data-burst directly from the outpost to the secure network in my lab while the gate was active. Now.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

TECHNICIAN
Receiving transmission. Transferring data.
WEIR

(into radio)

Care to fill me in so I can be excited too?

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

It's a weapon—
MCKAY

(into radio)

It is much, much more than a weapon. We think we've stumbled across the Ancients' last great discovery. It was too late to win the war for them, but if I can finish the work they started—

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

WEIR

(into radio)

What is it?

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY
It is the ultimate power source. Something that would make zero-point modules seem like alkaline batteries in comparison.

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[Col. Caldwell has arrived.]

MCKAY
It was called Project Arcturus, and from what we can tell, its ultimate goal was to render ZPMs obsolete.
WEIR
How?

[He uses the large displays to illustrate.]

MCKAY
A zero-point module is an artificially created region of subspace-time. It's kind of like a miniature universe in a bottle.
ZELENKA
It extracts vacuum energy from this artificial region of subspace-time until it reaches maximum entropy.
CALDWELL
So what's different about this thing?
ZELENKA
Project Arcturus was attempting to extract vacuum energy from our own space-time, making it potentially as powerful as the scope of the universe itself.
CALDWELL
This strikes me as something the Ancients would've tried first, even before ZPMs.
MCKAY
And they may have, but extracting zero-point energy from our own universe is…well, it's definitely trickier.
WEIR
Explain "trickier."
ZELENKA
Well, because we actually have to live in our own universe, it presents a whole range of problems.
CALDWELL
Well, obviously it's not that easy, or Atlantis wouldn't still rely on ZPMs.
SHEPPARD
Well, you're right. The Ancients couldn't make it work.
MCKAY
I said I wanted to do all the talking.
SHEPPARD
Come on, Rodney. Arcturus was a total failure.
MCKAY
Failure, yes. Total, no. Look, the Ancients were losing the war against the Wraith when work on Arcturus began. If they could have made it work it could have turned the tide of war. I mean, we're talking about their own Manhattan Project.
SHEPPARD
The outpost was ordered by the Ancients in Atlantis to defend the Dorandan people using their weapons powered by this new power source.
ZELENKA
Yeah, yes, but despite their strong reservations that it was not ready to be tested under battle conditions.
SHEPPARD
Well, the point is, the Wraith won.
MCKAY
Yeah, but the Dorandans still inflicted massive damage on the attacking Wraith fleet.
SHEPPARD
I'm not saying they didn't put up a hell of a fight.
ZELENKA
The logs indicate there was a major malfunction.
MCKAY
Well yes, the Ancients in the bunker were forced to shut everything down, including the weapon.
SHEPPARD
The Wraith sent more ships, the Dorandans got wiped out.
CALDWELL
So if the malfunction hadn't occurred, the Ancients would've saved the planet?
MCKAY
Definitely.
SHEPPARD
Possibly. Don't sugarcoat this Rodney.
MCKAY
The Ancient scientists running Arcturus were rushed into testing before they had perfected a means of effectively controlling the power output. I believe if they'd had more time, history would've played out differently on that planet. Possibly in this galaxy.
CALDWELL
I won't deny that this is something that we'd dearly love to get our hands on, but the Ancients were a pretty bright bunch.
MCKAY
And desperate and losing a war they'd already been fighting for a hundred years. More importantly, they were—they were, like, this close.
WEIR
And you believe you can finish their work?
MCKAY
I do.
ZELENKA
We do.
SHEPPARD
They do.

INT—MCKAY'S LAB

[McKay issues instructions to his staff in a montage.]

MCKAY
All right, I need everyone's attention, please. What we've got here…
MCKAY
I need this code divided into sections and each one double-checked…
MCKAY
No, you're not listening to me!
ZELENKA
It's not going to—
MCKAY
I'm telling you this one right here is wrong.
MCKAY
The whole point here is that these numbers here need to be corrected.
MCKAY
Unless they're corrected—there you go. Simulation failed.

[They keep running simulations that all file.]

EXT—DORANDA, NIGHT

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[Sheppard takes a heavy case from a scientist on the ladder.]

MCKAY
That's heavy. So, I need that over there. Thank you.

[In a tube-like passageway, Zelenka and another scientist work. McKay speaks to Zelenka over the radio.]

MCKAY
I want you to pull the crystal. Pull it when I say go, all right?

[Zelenka pulls the crystal, and the power shuts down. Later, McKay is in the command access tube and Zelenka is in the Ancient lab.]

ZELENKA
I think we have it.

[McKay puts the crystal in, and the command access tube lights up. In the lab, Zelenka smiles.]

ZELENKA
That's it!

INT—BELKAN VILLAGE PUB

[Teyla and Ronon walk to the bar.]

TEYLA
We are looking for a man named Solen. Do you know him?
BARTENDER
Upstairs.
TEYLA
Thank you.

[They walk up the stairs to where a group is gathered at a table, listening to a man telling a story.]

SOLEN
Was I afraid? Of course I was, but my people were counting on me. Now, I was alone, and I was low on ammo, but I managed to take out the three Wraith guards and gain access to the ship.
RONON
Liar.
SOLEN

(angrily standing up)

What did you say?
SOLEN
Ronon?
RONON

(smiling)

There were two Wraith guarding that cruiser, and he wasn't alone.

[They embrace.]

RONON
Uh, Teyla Emmagan, Solen Sincha. We served in the same regiment on Sateda.
TEYLA
I am honored.
SOLEN
You two make a nice match. Congratulations.
TEYLA
We are friends, nothing more.
RONON
For years, I believed I was the only survivor.
SOLEN
So you don't know about the others?
RONON
What others?
SOLEN
Before the city fell, a few of us managed to make it to the shelters west of the capital. Over three hundred civilians found their way there, too. When we emerged, we realized there was nothing to salvage, so we left. All of us.

[As he speaks, Ronon becomes quiet, as if stunned.]

TEYLA
To where?
SOLEN
Some came here, some went to Manaria.
RONON

(smiling)

Three hundred.
SOLEN
Drink, Ronon, and rejoice—you're not alone!

[They hug again.]

SOLEN
Yeah!

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

MCKAY
Everything's been triple-checked. Power levels are holding steady in all computer simulations.
SHEPPARD
Fire it up.
MCKAY
All right. Attention, all personnel. Stand by for power-up on my mark. Three, two, one… Mark.

[The power source in the chamber powers up.]

INT—BELKAN VILLAGE PUB

[Ronon and Solen are laughing and drinking, clearly intoxicated.]

SOLEN
Oh, man. To see Kell's face when he sees you… Yeah, it's true.
RONON
Kell's alive?
SOLEN
And his family. They settled on Belsa. Run this big trading operation over there.
RONON

(sobering)

When were you going to tell me this?
SOLEN
Honestly? I was going to wait until you drank a little more.
RONON

(smiling)

Then you've seen him?
SOLEN
Yeah, he comes around now and then to trade weapons with the Belkans. He's got his own private army now.
TEYLA
Is this Kell a friend?
SOLEN
Oh, he's more like kin. He was Ronon's Task Master during his military training. There is no closer bond.
RONON

(smiling but perhaps uneasily)

None.
SOLEN
To reunions.

[They clang their tankards together.]

RONON
To reunions.

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[McKay and Zelenka are in the main lab.]

MCKAY
Radek, talk to me.
ZELENKA
I'm picking up some minor power fluctuations. Chamber temperature's holding steady. There it goes again.

[Sheppard is watching the power source through the observation window.]

SHEPPARD
Is everything okay?
MCKAY
Everything's fine. The containment bottle was designed to automatically compensate for any sudden changes in energy output.
ZELENKA
This never happened in the simulations.
SHEPPARD
Maybe we should abort.
MCKAY
I said it's fine. Collins. See if you can boost more power to the field manually.
COLLINS
You got it.

[Collins leaves. McKay makes more entries at his console, Sheppard looking on with worry.]

MCKAY
Okay.

[Collins enters the command access tube where the crystal controls are. He removes a panel. He's wearing protective glasses as the light is very bright.]

MCKAY
Prepare for test firing, on my mark.

[In the command access tube, a power wave bursts through the far wall and envelops Collins. He falls to the floor, screaming and writhing.]

ZELENKA
Levels just spiked into the red!
MCKAY
What?
SHEPPARD
Shut it down! Shut it all down!
MCKAY
I'm trying.
ZELENKA
The interface is not responding.
MCKAY
All right, I've already switched to back-ups.
ZELENKA
The levels are going off the scale!
SHEPPARD
McKay!
MCKAY
I have given the command to shut down. Something's creating an overload.
SHEPPARD
Then we should evacuate.
MCKAY
Just give me a few seconds.
SHEPPARD
We may not have that time.

[The power sounds start to diminish, and Zelenka's displays show the energy flow returning to green levels.]

ZELENKA
Wait. Wait. Wait. It's stabilizing. The generator is offline.
SHEPPARD
What the hell just happened?
MCKAY
Obviously there was a surge of some kind… Look, Collin…Collins!

[They rush to the command access tube door.]

MCKAY
Collins!

[They open the door to see Collins has died, his hands covered with red burns.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS BRIEFING ROOM

[Beckett hands out reports.]

BECKETT
Officially, my report will indicate Dr. Collins died due to radiation exposure, causing severe burns to well over ninety percent of his body.
WEIR
But it was more than that?
BECKETT
Aye, much more. To be honest, I have no idea what sort of radiation it was. I've never seen or heard of cellular decay this massive, not when exposure only lasted mere seconds.
SHEPPARD
Collins' next of kin have been notified.
WEIR
Good. What went wrong?
ZELENKA

(using a display to illustrate)

We're still analyzing data from the test. All we know for certain was there was a massive power surge, which in turn caused the containment field to expand asymmetrically in the direction of the command access tube. As to why…
CALDWELL
How about human error?
MCKAY
Excuse me?
CALDWELL
Well, according to your report, during the tests, Dr. Collins made an adjustment to the containment field. Isn't it possible that he triggered the surge himself?
WEIR
Are you looking for a scapegoat, Colonel?
CALDWELL
Not at all, Doctor. I'm admittedly looking for a rationale that would allow Dr. McKay to continue his very important work. Is there something wrong with that?
MCKAY
No. Collins knew the system just as well as any of us. He wouldn't have made that kind of mistake. Everything was going well, and everyone did their job.
WEIR
Then what?
MCKAY
I don't know. In terms of physics, it shouldn't have happened.
ZELENKA
We're still analyzing the data from the accident. It's going to take time—
MCKAY
What I do know is the device did what it was supposed to do.
SHEPPARD
No, Rodney, it didn't.
MCKAY
Well, apart from the obvious containment issues—
SHEPPARD
It overloaded, and you couldn't stop it.
MCKAY
But we won't know for sure until we go back down there and try again.
SHEPPARD
Try again? Are you serious?
MCKAY
Yes.
SHEPPARD

(incredulous)

A member of your team is in the morgue.
MCKAY
And I am responsible for his death. Yes, I am painfully aware of that. I sent him in there, and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life.

[Sheppard nods slightly in understanding.]

MCKAY
But we have a responsibility to understand what happened and learn from it.
ZELENKA
Rodney, we don't even know what went wrong.
MCKAY
Which is why we have to go back there.
WEIR
I know how important this is to you, Rodney, but we knew when we came to Atlantis that we might encounter certain technologies which, for the moment, are out of our reach.
MCKAY
It's not, in this case.
WEIR
You have the data from your first attempt. You can run all the simulations you want.
MCKAY
Come on, Elizabeth, you really think the military's going to let this go, huh? At the very least, we should be the first ones in there to spearhead the research—
WEIR
That's what this is about? You want to beat them to it? I'm sorry. The answer's no.

[She leaves, followed by Beckett and Zelenka. McKay remains, clearly upset.]

INT—ROOM IN BELKAN INN

[Teyla steadies Ronon as the make their way into the room.]

RONON
I'm not tired. Why did we leave?

[She lets him fall onto the bed.]

TEYLA
I believe you've had enough.
RONON
I believe I have.
TEYLA
Good night.

[She starts to go.]

RONON
Teyla.
RONON
There are three hundred of my people.

[He puts his hand to his face, clearly moved. Teyla closes the door behind her.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—SHEPPARD'S QUARTERS

[Sheppard opens his door to find McKay standing there.]

MCKAY
Harry K. Daghlian.
SHEPPARD
Who?
MCKAY
He was a scientist. Worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. He was only 26 years old. Accidentally irradiated himself while performing a critical mass experiment on two half-spheres of plutonium. It took him a month to die, and while his body was slowly shutting down from radiation poisoning, you know what he did with his last thirty days? Hmm? He worked. He tried until his last breath to understand what had happened to him so that others could learn from the tragedy. So that his work, his death wouldn't be rendered meaningless.

[Sheppard nods but appears skeptical.]

MCKAY
Now, have you considered what would've happened if they'd just shut the project down after that?
SHEPPARD
This is different.
MCKAY
Is it? Collins' death is a pointless waste of life unless something comes of this, and I'm not sure that I can… I think I know what happened.
SHEPPARD
Let's hear it.
MCKAY
Can I come in?
SHEPPARD
No.
MCKAY
The Ancients had it wrong. Our mistake was using their equations. Look, I just did the calculations again myself. I did them three times just to be sure, and I am positive the problem is in the automatic containment protocols.
SHEPPARD
Okay, what's your fix?
MCKAY
I'm proposing that we adjust the field strength manually.
SHEPPARD
You saw how fast it spiked on you.
MCKAY
So we don't operate the generator at anywhere near its potential. Look, there's no need to be greedy. Even operating at fifty percent, it'll still generate the power of a dozen ZPMs.
SHEPPARD
How come the Ancients didn't figure this out?
MCKAY
Maybe they were caught up in the heat of battle, or maybe they thought they needed as much power as they could get. Maybe they weren't smart enough.
SHEPPARD
And you are?
MCKAY
No, I didn't say that, but I have the benefit of hindsight, they didn't.
MCKAY
Look, this is big. This is the wheel, the light bulb…the hot dog big.
SHEPPARD
Best-case scenario?
MCKAY
I win a Nobel Prize.

[Sheppard smiles.]

SHEPPARD
Worst-case scenario?
MCKAY

We tear a hole in the fabric of the universe— (seeing Sheppard's alarm)

Which is much less likely to happen than the Nobel Prize. I mean, look, the risks are nothing compared to the potential benefits. Elizabeth will listen to you. I've never asked this of you before, but I think I've earned it. Trust me.
WEIR
I've already made this decision, John.
CALDWELL
If Dr. McKay says he's solved the problem, I don't see why we don't give him another shot.
WEIR
Isn't the Daedalus about ready to head back to Earth?
CALDWELL
Yes, we are, but I think you should know the Pentagon has taken a very keen interest in this vacuum energy.
WEIR
I'm sure they have, but the Pentagon doesn't make the decisions here.
CALDWELL
I may not have the power to overrule you on this, but when I get back to Earth, I'm going to be making the recommendation that Dr. McKay be allowed to continue his work to the highest authorities. Ultimately, Dr. Weir, this won't be up to you.
WEIR
Can Rodney guarantee that the same thing won't happen?
SHEPPARD
Nobody can do that.
WEIR
Then what's changed?
SHEPPARD
According to him, it's the Ancients' calculations that were wrong, not his.
CALDWELL
If McKay is that confident, I don't see why—
WEIR
Confidence is not something Dr. McKay is in any short supply of.
CALDWELL
With good reason. If anyone can do this—
WEIR
The Ancients could not do this. I mean, that's what it keeps coming back to for me.
CALDWELL
Isn't it possible that you have placed the Ancients on such high a pedestal, that you can't even consider the possibility that they may be wrong?
WEIR
Why are we mincing words, Colonel? You want the weapon.
CALDWELL
Yes. I do. A weapon that could effectively eliminate the Wraith threat is very attractive to me, and to the people that I work for. I'm not hiding that fact. But there's more to it, isn't there? No more hunting for ZPMs. The shield at full strength. Faster, more powerful ships…how about a power source that can provide the energy needs for an entire planet? No more fossil fuels.
WEIR
I get it, and if it worked as advertised, it would be wonderful. I'm trying to tell you… I know Rodney McKay, and there are times when I have to protect him from himself.
SHEPPARD
I can do that. Let me go back with him, just him and me. You can activate the Stargate any time you want to contact us by radio.
WEIR
He really sold you.
SHEPPARD
He asked me to trust him.

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[Sheppard and McKay hook up laptops to the Ancient equipment.]

MCKAY

(very confident)

I appreciate your support, Colonel, but don't worry. I try to make it a habit not to make the same mistake twice.
SHEPPARD
That was a joke, right?
MCKAY
No. I offer you my personal assurance that a surge like the one that happened before is inconceivable.
SHEPPARD
Do you want to run some power-up simulations first?
MCKAY
How about I carry out my plan, and you keep the hot coffee coming? I was, uh, joking again, right? Now, where were we?

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR

ZELENKA
Dr. Weir, I need to speak to you right away.
WEIR
What is it?
ZELENKA
I've finished going over the accident data. I think I know why the Ancients abandoned this technology.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The Stargate is active.]

WEIR

(into radio)

Colonel Sheppard, this is Atlantis.

[The scene shifts between the control room and the Dorandan lab as Zelenka, Weir, Sheppard, and McKay speak via radio.]

SHEPPARD
Go ahead.
WEIR
Is Dr. McKay with you?
MCKAY
Of course I am, but we're a little busy getting ready to run a test here.
WEIR
Actually I would like you to delay the test firing.
SHEPPARD
Why?
WEIR
We have reason to believe that the weapon's power source—it may not be controllable at any power level.
MCKAY
Radek?
ZELENKA
Rodney.
MCKAY
Okay, we have been over this. I am doing this manually, at half power. It's a cakewalk.
ZELENKA
It don't think it matters how much cake you walk on. I've been doing calculations of my own, and I believe the very act of trying to contain vacuum energy from our own space-time creates an environment where the laws of physics cease to apply.
MCKAY
What are you on about?
ZELENKA
As power output increases, new and exotic particles are continuously created and destroyed inside the containment chamber, interacting with each other, and with the field itself. Eventually, particles are created that cannot be predicted in this space-time. And they breach the containment field as hard radiation.
MCKAY
And as long as I'm monitoring the energy output manually, I can stop that before it happens.
ZELENKA

(intensely)

You cannot predict something that is inherently unpredictable.
SHEPPARD
Rodney?
MCKAY
I know what I'm doing.
ZELENKA
Rodney, I am trying to tell you as a friend, I have serious doubts.
MCKAY
Well, you're wrong. Sorry, but there it is. And to bring this up now when I'm about to do this smacks of nothing but professional jealousy.
ZELENKA

(shouting in frustration)

Fine. Kill yourself, just like the Ancients did!
SHEPPARD
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean by that?
ZELENKA
I believe if the overload is allowed to continue, the weapon acts as a sort of release valve to prevent catastrophic containment failure. The Ancients barely managed to shut it down, and they lost their lives in the process.
WEIR
What we're suggesting is that the Wraith didn't kill everyone on that planet. It was the weapon itself.
SHEPPARD
That would explain why this place is the only thing left standing.
MCKAY
Congratulations, you've solved the mystery of how the Ancients screwed up ten thousand years ago. It doesn't mean that I will do the same. Look, I don't know how else to say this, but none of you are capable of understanding this on the same level that I do. And Zelenka, that includes you.

[Zelenka throws up his hands in frustration.]

WEIR
Rodney, I cannot afford to lose either one of you. Now, tell me, can you do this?
MCKAY
Yes.
SHEPPARD
Are you sure?
MCKAY
Yes.
SHEPPARD
Are you sure you're sure?
MCKAY
I said yes!
SHEPPARD
Because if you're wrong—
MCKAY
I'm not!

[They stare at each other for a few moments.]

SHEPPARD
We'll call you back after the test. How does that sound?
WEIR
You'd better.
MCKAY

(to Sheppard)

I won't let you down.

[Sheppard gives McKay a hard look and walks out.]

EXT—BELKAN VILLAGE, DAY

[Teyla and McKay walk through.]

TEYLA
How are you feeling?
RONON
Fine.
TEYLA
We should really be getting back. Dr. Weir will be expecting us.
RONON
Kell is here.
TEYLA
What?
RONON
He's meeting with Hendon right now. Solen just told me. I have to see him.
TEYLA
And you would like me to arrange a meeting.
RONON
After yesterday, I don't think I'd get very far if I asked myself.

[Teyla nods.]

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[McKay and Sheppard work at separate consoles.]

MCKAY

(confidently)

Okay, this is good. My equations are working like a charm. Power level is at forty percent, just to be on the safe side. I think we're ready for our test.
SHEPPARD
Where do you want the weapon targeted?
MCKAY
The debris orbiting the planet.
SHEPPARD
Sounds good.
MCKAY
Bringing the weapon online…now.

[In the containment chamber, the power source pulses. The sound grows louder.]

SHEPPARD
What's that?
MCKAY
An energy surge. It's fine. I can regulate it.

[His display shows temperatures moving into the red area.]

SHEPPARD
I thought you said you could contain—
MCKAY
The temperature inside the containment field is well within acceptable parameters. I'm staying ahead of it.

[The display shows the temperatures continuing to rise.]

MCKAY

(becoming concerned)

The levels are rising in the chamber.

[Turning to Sheppard.]

MCKAY
Re-route power from the secondary systems to the containment field.
SHEPPARD
I'm thinking we need to abort.
MCKAY
I can compensate. Just give me a minute.
SHEPPARD
It's overloading. Just like last time.
MCKAY
There is no logical reason this shouldn't be working!
SHEPPARD
McKay.
MCKAY
None of this should be happening! Look, the energy levels are spiking at a rate far greater than anything I predicted.
SHEPPARD
Shut it down!

[McKay turns to look at Sheppard as if in disbelief. He shows a moment of doubt, then turns back to his computer.]

MCKAY

(angrily)

Fine.

[In the containment chamber, the energy pulses much more than before. McKay makes inputs to his computer, but nothing happens.]

MCKAY
It doesn't make any sense.
SHEPPARD
What's wrong?
MCKAY

(shocked, facing Sheppard)

I can't shut it down.

EXT—BELKAN VILLAGE, DAY

INT—CONFERENCE ROOM IN VILLAGE

[Ronon sits with his back to the door. Kell enters.]

KELL

(to Teyla)

I am Kell from Sateda.
TEYLA
Teyla Emmagan of Athos. Thank you for granting us your time.
KELL

(seeing Ronon's back)

If we are to trade, I would know all the members of your party.
TEYLA
Of course. In fact, that is why we are here.

[Ronon turns and approaches them.]

KELL
Ronon?
RONON

(shocked)

Hello, Kell.

[Ronon pulls his weapon and shoots Kell in the chest, killing him. All of Kell's men point their weapons at Ronon and Teyla. Teyla pulls her knife.]

TEYLA
Ronon, what have you done?
RONON
We all know who this man was, what he was. If anyone here believes he should be avenged…here I am.

[The men lower their weapons. Ronon walks out. Teyla follows.]

EXT—BELKAN VILLAGE, DAY

[Teyla catches up to Ronon and stops him, pushing him against a wall and holding her knife to his throat.]

TEYLA
You just used me to murder an innocent man.

[Ronon pulls her hand away.]

RONON
He deserved worse.
TEYLA
You said he was like a father to you.
RONON
Kell commanded several infantry divisions on Sateda. And when the Wraith came, he ordered thousands to their deaths just to save himself. He was…he was a traitor and a coward. My only regret is that his death was quick.
TEYLA

I understand. In your place, I might have done the same… But believe me when I tell you that the others would not. We must not speak of this when we return to Atlantis. (threateningly)

And if you ever use my friendship in such a way again, I will not be so understanding.

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

[The Ancient weapon sitting on top of the building is swinging and firing energy bursts into the sky.]

INT—ANCIENT FACILITY ON DORANDA

[The facility is rocked.]

SHEPPARD
What was that?
MCKAY
The weapon's discharging to prevent a catastrophic overload.
SHEPPARD
All right, that's it. We're out of here.
MCKAY

(nearly shouting)

What did I just say? The weapon is firing at random targets above the planet. This is the safest place to be right now.
SHEPPARD
This place isn't gonna be safe for very much longer.
MCKAY
I can bring it back under control. Just give me a second.

[Sheppard grabs McKay by the vest and swings him around.]

SHEPPARD
No, you can't!
MCKAY

(yanking away and turning back to his computer)

One second!
SHEPPARD
I've seen this before, Rodney. Pilots who wouldn't eject when something went wrong trying to fix their planes right until it hit the ground.
MCKAY

(coming to a realization)

Okay, we need to leave. I've waited too long. The weapon can't discharge enough power to avoid a catastrophic overload. This whole planet is going to go up.

[He grabs his laptop and goes to the ladder.]

MCKAY
Not that your speech wasn't working.

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

[The weapon continues firing in all directions.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[They rush in and go to their seats.]

SHEPPARD
Okay, strap in.
MCKAY
You need to avoid flying in predictable trajectories to prevent the weapon locking onto us.
SHEPPARD
I know what I'm doing.
MCKAY
I'm just saying, be sure not to fly in a straight line.
SHEPPARD
Rodney, shut up!

EXT—DORANDA, DAY

[The Jumper leaves the planet, maneuvering to avoid the energy weapons pulses passing all around it.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY
Can I just say there's no way the Jumper can take even one direct hit?
SHEPPARD
I'll keep that in mind.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[Sheppard maneuvers the Jumper through the debris field, the weapon firing all around them.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY
Weapon's locking onto us.
SHEPPARD
How about I fly us away from the planet, and return after the overload?
MCKAY
We can't.
SHEPPARD
Why not?
MCKAY
Look, don't you understand? This explosion is going to take out three-quarters of the solar system. There's no way we can fly far enough, fast enough. We have to head for the 'gate.
SHEPPARD
Dial the 'gate.

[McKay starts dialing.]

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Jumper continues its jig-jagging flight while the weapon hits pieces of debris behind it.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

MCKAY
How do you intend to avoid getting hit on the final approach?
SHEPPARD
I haven't figured that part out yet.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Jumper is leaving the debris field; the active Stargate is ahead. With the weapons fire close, the Daedalus moves into position between the Jumper and the planet.]

CALDWELL

(over radio)

It's a good thing we stopped by to check your progress, Colonel.

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

CALDWELL

(into radio)

Make a break for the Stargate. We'll run interference.
SHEPPARD

(over radio)

Copy that, Daedalus.
CALDWELL

(to navigator)

Stand by to engage sub-light engines on my mark.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Recommend you go into hyperspace as soon as we go through. There's going to be a big bang.
CALDWELL

(over radio)

Understood.

EXT—SPACE ABOVE DORANDA

[The Jumper goes through the 'gate. Daedalus enters hyperspace just as the entire planet explodes.]

INT—ATLANTIS 'GATE ROOM

[Ronon and Teyla arrive carrying their sacks of seed.]

TEYLA
Take this grain to the storage room.

[She hands if off.]

[Above them in the observation area, McKay and Weir argue. Teyla and Ronon overhear them, exchanging concerned looks.]

WEIR
…everybody on this base. You are the smartest man we have.
MCKAY
I know!
WEIR
You knew there was a question about what you were doing. And you put your life and other people's lives at risk.
MCKAY
But—
WEIR
You destroyed three-quarters of a solar system!
MCKAY
Well, five-sixths. It's not an exact science.
WEIR
Rodney, give your ego a rest for one second?

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR

[Sheppard sees McKay and turns the other way.]

MCKAY
Oh, Colonel. Colonel! I've been looking all over for you.
SHEPPARD
I heard.

[Sheppard turns to face him, crossing his arms.]

MCKAY
I suppose I deserve that. Look, I just, um…I wanted to apologize about what happened. I was wrong. I'm sorry. And I wanted to assure you that I intend on being right again, about everything, effective immediately.

[Sheppard smirks at him.]

MCKAY
That was a joke.
SHEPPARD
Good one.

[Sheppard turns and steps into the transporter. Rodney rushes forward.]

MCKAY
I've already apologized to Elizabeth.

[Sheppard reluctantly remains.]

MCKAY
And Radek and…and I thanked Colonel Caldwell for caring enough to spy on the experiment from orbit. Sent him a nice little e-mail, actually. But I saved you till last because, um… Honestly, I would…I would hate to think that recent events might have permanently dimmed your faith in my abilities… Or your trust. At the very least, I hope I can—I can earn that back.
SHEPPARD
That may take a while.
MCKAY

(saddened)

I see.
SHEPPARD

(smiling)

But… I'm sure you can do it, if you really, really try.

[Sheppard activates the transporter controls, and the doors close. McKay smiles briefly, then sighs with some sadness.]

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Stargate Solutions by Michelle, November 2011.

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--Michelle 13:53, 6 November 2011 (PST)