SGA 3.20 "First Strike Part 1" Transcript

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3.20 "First Strike Part 1"

Episode Guide

SGA 3.20 "First Strike Part 1" Episode Guide

Précis

Col. Abe Ellis takes the new starship Apollo on a first strike against a Replicator planet, but when his mission goes wrong, Weir must take radical action to save Atlantis.

Transcript

PREVIOUSLY ON STARGATE ATLANTIS

[Excerpts from 3.05 "Progeny", 3.10 "The Return Part 1" and 3.11 "The Return Part 2" are shown.]

TEASER

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[Weir walks down a corridor filled with infirmary supplies. Keller runs to catch up with her.]

KELLER
Dr. Weir?
WEIR
Dr. Keller. How is my head of medicine?
KELLER
Uh, acting head of medicine, actually, and that's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about.

[Weir enters a transporter. Keller follows her in.]

WEIR
Hmm? What's up?
KELLER
Uh… I need to be replaced.
WEIR
Excuse me?
KELLER
Look, after Carson…someone had to step up and take over, and I'm glad to help out, don't get me wrong, but I'm not qualified to run a department of this size. You—you need someone… better.

[The transporter opens at the corridor outside the gate room, and the two women head there.]

WEIR

(laughing)

Everyone down there says you're doing great.
KELLER
Well, "A," I'm not sure that's true and "B," it's been pretty smooth sailing over the last few weeks. I think I've been lucky.
WEIR
Well, the I.O.A. are reviewing candidates, but, to be honest, they're not that great at making quick decisions.
KELLER
Yeah, so, a week? Two…weeks? I just haven't been sleeping very well. This whole being in control thing kind of makes me anxious.
WEIR
Carson felt the same way his first few months.
KELLER
I appreciate you trying to lie to me.
WEIR
Look, I feel very comfortable with my life in your hands, and, at the end of the day, that means you're doing a pretty good job. Dealing with the pressure, it does get easier with time.
KELLER
Right.

[Weir heads up the stairs to the control room.]

KELLER

(hopefully)

Uh, how much time…exactly? Like, it'll get easier over the next two weeks, and then you'll replace me so I can go back to being a regular doctor?
WEIR
I'll keep you posted.
KELLER

(despairing)

Thanks.

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[McKay is waiting in Weir's office. He goes to meet Weir as she arrives.]

MCKAY
Can I please have someone else do these?
WEIR
Performance evaluations?
MCKAY
Yes.
WEIR
No. Year-end employee reviews are important. They're how people get promotions and raises.
MCKAY
Look, asking me to do performance evaluations is ridiculous. I am the first person to admit, I don't know who these people are, nor do I care to. Look, if you'd like, I could take you down the hall to the labs and just, uh, point at the people who annoy me more than the rest, but that's about as useful as I get.

[Sheppard enters and tosses down a tablet computer.]

SHEPPARD
All done.
MCKAY

(whining)

Aw, of course.

[Weir picks up the tablet and starts it up.]

WEIR
That was quick. Hey, John, wait a minute. You've just given everyone "excellent" and "above-average"s.
MCKAY
Ooh. Can I do that?
WEIR

(sternly)

No. I know this is not the most glamorous part of your job, but you are in leadership positions, and unfortunately, that comes with administrative responsibilities.
SHEPPARD
But everybody that works for me is excellent and above average. Do you want me to lie? Because I don't think leaders should lie, Elizabeth.

[Weir stares Sheppard down, trying to hide her amusement. Chuck enters.]

CHUCK
Dr. Weir?
WEIR
Yes, Chuck.
TECHNICIAN
The Apollo just came out of hyperspace.
WEIR
They're ahead of schedule.
SHEPPARD
Probably just trying to show off. You know, being a new ship and all.

[They head out of Weir's office to the control room.]

WEIR

(into radio)

Colonel Ellis, you've made excellent time on your first voyage here.
ELLIS

(over radio)

Thank you. I'm beaming down now.
WEIR
Very well, we'll—

[Ellis and four of his staff beam into the control room.]

ELLIS

(to staff)
Set up in the conference room.
(turning to Weir)

Doctor.
WEIR
Colonel. Welcome.

[They shake hands. Ellis spots Sheppard and McKay nearby and nods to them.]

ELLIS
Thank you. Colonel Sheppard. Dr. McKay. This is going to make things easier. I'll need to brief you all immediately.
WEIR

(concerned)

What's going on?
ELLIS
Well, I'd prefer to talk in private.

[He gestures towards the conference room. Weir nods and leads the way. Sheppard and McKay exchange looks and follow Ellis and Weir.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONFERENCE ROOM

ELLIS
Ever since the Human Form Replicators made a play for the city, we've had the Daedalus make regular reconnaissance fly-bys of their home planet.
WEIR
Yes, we know.
ELLIS
Two months ago, it took these pictures.

[Weir studies the pictures in front of her.]

WEIR
I'm sorry. What am I supposed to be looking at here?
ELLIS
Nothing.
WEIR
Excuse me?

[Ellis pulls up a different picture of the same location on the large monitor. It shows Aurora class ships being built in that spot.]

ELLIS
This image was taken about three weeks ago in the very same location. They're building ships. A lot of them.
SHEPPARD
Why weren't we made aware of this?
ELLIS
I'm making you aware of it now.
MCKAY
Well, if they're coming for us, we should start making preparations to bolster the shield. I mean, we should, uh—
ELLIS
They're not going to get here. I'm here to inform you that in precisely twelve hours, the Apollo, in consort with your team will launch a surgical strike on the Replicator planet.

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS CONFERENCE ROOM

SHEPPARD
So, uh…you're going to blow up their ships?
ELLIS
That's right.
WEIR
Just like that?
ELLIS
Just like that.
MCKAY
How the hell do you plan on doing that?
ELLIS
A set of Mark-IX tactical nukes housed in a custom-made weapons platform, code name "Horizon."
SHEPPARD
How many nukes do you have?
ELLIS
The Horizon carries six warheads and four decoys. I'm going to need you to do a final inspection before we head out.
MCKAY
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait. Six?
ELLIS
That's right.
SHEPPARD
That's not enough.
MCKAY
The Replicators are self-replicating robots, which means that they can…
ELLIS
I am aware of that, thank you, Doctor, but they're not like the Milky Way Replicators. Their ships aren't built from nano cells, they're constructed of real material that can be destroyed. Six will be more than enough for now.
MCKAY
"For now"? What, isn't this a bit like poking a sleeping dragon? Why don't we just wait till Area 51 finishes the P.W.A.R.W.s?
WEIR
Which one's that again?
SHEPPARD
Planetary-Wide Anti-Replicator Weapons.
MCKAY
Look, the Asgard were capable of creating a satellite that could wipe out an entire Replicator planet. I mean, we've had some trouble making one of our own, but, uh—
ELLIS
Look, would I have preferred taking out an entire planet at once? Absolutely. But this image is giving the I.O.A. a lot of sleepless nights. The Replicators know the location of Earth, and, with these new ships, have the means to get there. We can't just sit on our hands while the guys at Area 51 try to come up with a solution. Now, this mission's primary objective is to eliminate key military targets. We'll come back and finish once the new weapon is up and running. Doctor, I'm gonna need you to start your inspections as soon as possible.
MCKAY
Well, yeah, sure. I just—
ELLIS

(into radio)

Dr. McKay is ready to beam.
MCKAY
Well, not actually read—

[McKay is beamed out of the room.]

ELLIS
Okay. We're finished here. Thank you.

[Ellis collects his photographs and abruptly leaves.]

WEIR
Can you believe this?
SHEPPARD
No. It almost seems too good to be true.
WEIR

(incredulous)

What?
SHEPPARD
Well, if those nukes do what Ellis says they do…
WEIR

Since we won back the city, we haven't heard so much as a peep from the

Replicators.
SHEPPARD
Well, obviously, they haven't gone away.
WEIR
No, but maybe they've decided that we are more trouble than we're worth, and the threat of our A.R. weapons is enough to keep them at bay.
SHEPPARD
You don't build that many ships to make a run at Atlantis. They're headed for Earth.

[They study the picture.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir approaches Ellis in the control room.]

WEIR
Colonel, may I have a word?
ELLIS
Sure.

[She leads him into her office.]

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

WEIR
This mission is a mistake.
ELLIS
It most certainly is not.
WEIR
It is an ineffectual first strike. You've got to know how dangerous that could be for us.
ELLIS
All due respect, Doctor, it won't be ineffectual. Besides, the I.O.A. doesn't think we can wait.
WEIR
I think we should stall them. Try to open a round of negotiations.
ELLIS
They're not a race of "people." They're a weapon. Try to keep that in mind.
WEIR
Weapon or not, they're sentient. Negotiating with them could buy us enough time to get that P.W.A.R.W. up and running.
ELLIS
Usually, I'd be more than happy to go twelve rounds here about who's right and who's wrong, but it wouldn't matter. I have my orders, and you don't have the authority to tell me to stand down. So, again, with all due respect, ma'am… I have a mission to execute.

[Ellis leaves.]

EXT—SPACE

[Apollo floats in orbit above Atlantis.]

INT—APOLLO MISSILE BAY

[Zelenka and McKay stare at the Horizon missile loaded high above them.]

ZELENKA
Well, the specs check out and we've loaded the target information. They're ready.
MCKAY

Yep. It's good to go.
(sighing)

This is a bad idea, isn't it?
ZELENKA

(conspiratorially)

We could tell them they're not ready. You know, there's a fault in the guidance system or something.
MCKAY
I thought about that. They're going to have guys here to contradict us pretty quickly.
ZELENKA
Yeah…but we're here alone. We could make them not ready.
MCKAY

(sighing)

They're building an armada, Radek. I saw them. They showed me the pictures. I'd feel pretty stupid if we break this thing only to have the Replicators show up and destroy the city.
ZELENKA
Yeah. Yeah, that would be bad.
MCKAY

(sadly)

I'll tell the Colonel we're good to go.

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[Sheppard meets Weir at the bottom of the stairs.]

SHEPPARD
Hey.
WEIR
Hey.

[Sheppard waits until no one is nearby before speaking.]

SHEPPARD
Colonel Ellis has asked me to join the mission.
WEIR
I know.

[They go up the stairs together.]

SHEPPARD
I was going to stay behind in a cloaked jumper after they launch the warheads, do some battle damage assessment.
WEIR
I know that, too.
SHEPPARD
He told me that you called Woolsey and General O'Neill, and tried to get the whole thing called off.
WEIR
Yes, I did.
SHEPPARD
They didn't bite?
WEIR
They did not.
SHEPPARD
Look, I know you think we're doing the wrong thing here, but, uh…
WEIR
John. Good luck.

[She leaves him outside her office, walking into it looking upset. Sheppard bites his lip and goes the opposite direction.]

EXT—SPACE

[Apollo flies through hyperspace.]

INT—APOLLO AUXILIARY CONTROL ROOM

[McKay moves from Zelenka's to other crew members stations, checking readouts.]

MCKAY
All right. The Horizon is online. The warheads are armed. And we are ready for final sequencing as soon as we drop out of hyperspace.
ELLIS

(over radio)

Start now.

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

ELLIS

(into radio)

Open the bomb bay doors.
MCKAY

(over radio)

We're still in hyperspace.
ELLIS

(into radio)

We're coming out of our jump uncomfortably close to the planet. I don't want to waste any time. Just get it done.

INT—APOLLO AUXILIARY CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY

(sighing)

Well, you're the boss.

[He punches some controls. The bay doors open, showing the streaks that appear in hyperspace flight flickering below them.]

MCKAY

(into radio)

Ready to launch on your command. You're sure about this, right? I mean, like, this is the right thing to do?

[The conversation switches between locations.]

ELLIS

(firmly)

Not the best time for that kind of talk, Doctor.
MCKAY
Right. Sorry.
APOLLO TECHNICIAN
Coming out of hyperspace in five… four…three… two… one.

EXT—SPACE

[Apollo drops out of hyperspace.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

ELLIS
Launch the Horizon.

INT—APOLLO AUXILIARY CONTROL ROOM

[McKay presses the launch button.]

EXT—LOW ASURAS ORBIT, DAY

[The Horizon missile lowers from the opening of the hangar bay. Its afterburner ignites and the missiles fly towards the surface. It breaks through the atmosphere then breaks into separate sections. The warheads separate from the missile and fly to designated targets, exploding on the surface. Atomic clouds in the separate locations fly high into the atmosphere.]

INT—APOLLO AUXILIARY CONTROL ROOM

[Zelenka and McKay exchange regretful looks.]

MCKAY
We have detonation confirmation on all six warheads.

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

ELLIS
Sheppard, you have a go for launch.

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

SHEPPARD
Copy that.

EXT—SPACE

[Sheppard's jumper flies out of the hangar bay and towards the planet.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

SHEPPARD

(over radio)

I'm clear. Jump away.
ELLIS

Very well. Pick you up in an hour.
(to Apollo tech)

Get us out of here.

EXT—LOW ASURAS ORBIT, DAY

[Apollo flies away and enters hyperspace.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—ATLANTIS BRIEFING ROOM

[Zelenka and McKay stand in front of a monitor showing footage of the Horizon explosion. Ellis and Sheppard stand nearby.]

ZELENKA
There is so much radiation interference, it's hard to get an accurate yield calculation from the scan telemetry.
MCKAY
Please, there is more than enough data. It's not like we're trying to take out a person, here. We're taking out massive chunks of a city.
ELLIS
Someone, just please tell me if we hit our targets or not.
MCKAY
All right, if this data is right…then all of your primaries and most of your secondaries have been incinerated.
ELLIS
Excellent.
MCKAH
Huh.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard walks from the briefing room to the control room. He meets Weir coming up the steps.]

WEIR

(awkwardly)

Welcome back.
SHEPPARD
Thanks.
WEIR
I hear congratulations are in order.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, you heard right.

[Teyla and Ronon come up the stairwell behind Weir.]

TEYLA
How was the mission? Was it a success?
SHEPPARD
We did get all the ships.
RONON
I wish I could've been there to see it.
SHEPPARD
Space battles are always a lot more exciting on TV than they are in real life.
CHUCK
Dr. Weir! You're going to want to see this! We've got a contact, just came out of hyperspace.

[The group hurries to where Chuck is working by a monitor.]

WEIR
Is it broadcasting IFF?
CHUCK
No, ma'am.
RONON
Wraith?
CHUCK
Eh, It's very small. I doubt it.
WEIR
Raise the shield.
TECHNICIAN
It's taken up a geo-synchronous orbit above the city.
TEYLA
What is it?
SHEPPARD
Maybe we should have the Apollo check it out.
WEIR

(nodding)

Tell the Colonel he needs to get back to his ship.

EXT—SPACE

[Apollo floats in space above Atlantis, approaching the object.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

[Ellis comes to the bridge. The technician notices his presence.]

APOLLO TECHNICIAN
Right ahead of us, sir.
ELLIS
Shields?
APOLLO TECHNICIAN
Affirmative. Shields are up.
ELLIS

(into radio)

Okay, I've got a visual.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Everyone listens worriedly to Ellis's report.]

ELLIS

(over radio)

It looks like a satellite of some sort.

EXT—SPACE

[The satellite floats, adjusting its attitude so the center faces Apollo. A Stargate can be seen in the center of the round satellite.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

[The conversation switches between Apollo and the Atlantis Control Room.]

[Ellis blinks in surprise.]

ELLIS
It's a Stargate.
SHEPPARD
A Stargate?
ELLIS
That's right.
SHEPPARD
I thought you said it was a satellite?
ELLIS
It's both. It's a satellite, but in the middle, there's a…Stargate.
WEIR
What could be the purpose of that?
MCKAY
No idea.

EXT—SPACE

[The Stargate activates in a familiar kawhoosh.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

ELLIS
It just activated.
SHEPPARD

(over radio, surprised)

The gate?

EXT—SPACE

[A red beam weapon shoots through the active Stargate, striking Apollo's shield.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

[Sparks fly in the bridge as klaxons sound.]

ELLIS
Get us away from it!
APOLLO TECHNICIAN
Sir, the satellite is turning again.

EXT—SPACE

[The satellite spins, adjusting its attitude once again while still shooting the red beam. It directs the beam towards the planet, following a path.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

CHUCK
It's hitting the planet.

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN, NIGHT

[Steam rises as the beam moves across the water. It heads directly for the city.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The city rumbles and visibly shakes as the beam hits the shield.]

CHUCK
It's a sustained beam!
MCKAY
That is bad for a dozen different reasons.

EXT—SPACE

[Apollo fires missiles at the satellite. The satellite has a shield which deflects them. The weapon continues to fire through the Stargate at Atlantis.]

INT—APOLLO BRIDGE

ELLIS
It's protected by a shield.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The conversation switches between the Apollo bridge and Atlantis control room.]

ELLIS
Give me some options, McKay!
MCKAY
The shield's taking its power from the beam. Look, I registered a slight drop in output when you fired on it.
ELLIS
Could I get a nuke past the shield?
MCKAY
No. Probably not.
SHEPPARD
I'll get in the chair and give it everything we've got. Maybe that'll collapse the shield.
MCKAY
I said slight! As in .002. Look. I doubt any amount of firepower is going to collapse it while that beam is active.
ELLIS
Then what do we do?
MCKAY
We stand down and let me think, is what we do.
MCKAY
Just give me five minutes to get my bearings. I'll brief you.

[He moves to another station.]

RONON
McKay, it's shooting at us!
MCKAY
And the shields are holding. Look, we've got plenty of time. Just give me five minutes.

[Everyone exchanges worried looks.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

[The weapon blasts directly over the center of Atlantis, still blocked by the city's shield.]

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[Ellis has somehow been able to arrive on Atlantis past the city's shield. He and McKay walk into Weir's office, where Sheppard and Weir stand waiting.]

ELLIS
What have you got?
MCKAY
We're in trouble.
SHEPPARD
It took you five minutes to figure that out? You're slipping, buddy.
MCKAY
The satellite is basically just a stripped-down ship. There's a hyperdrive engine, a shield, and navigational systems. There's a small power source that was designed to take it to its intended target and power the shield until the gate can be dialed. But once a wormhole has been established, whoever's on the dialing side fires a beam into their Stargate and it comes out on our side, allowing them to fire on us and to power the satellite.
SHEPPARD
That's very clever.
MCKAY
Yes. As long as they can keep the beam powered from home, the weapon remains operational. Oh, and one fun, added side-bonus is that because their Stargate is in such close proximity to our planet, we can't dial our Stargate, we're stuck.
SHEPPARD
Maybe that's a good thing. The beam will turn off at the end of the gate's thirty-eight minute cycle. We dial our gate at that precise moment, we can neutralize theirs.
ELLIS
And if it's not pulling power from the beam anymore, we can collapse its shield and destroy it.
MCKAY
Sure. The problem is, I don't think it's going to shut down in thirty-eight minutes.
ELLIS
Well, I thought it was physically impossible for an artificial wormhole to stay open any longer.
MCKAY
There is one exception to that rule. The SGC has encountered attacks of this kind on their own Stargate, and, sadly, we've discovered that if you pump enough energy into it, a Stargate can remain active indefinitely.
ELLIS
That would require an insane amount of power, wouldn't it?
MCKAY
Yeah, like a black hole…or an unlimited number of ZPMs.
WEIR
So we can assume the Replicators are behind this?
MCKAY
Well, I hope so.
WEIR
You hope so?
MCKAY
Well, otherwise we've discovered yet another super-powerful enemy.
WEIR
If it is a normal Stargate, can we still contact the dialing planet?
MCKAY

(considering)

Hm, well, I'll need to boost the signal considerably to get through the interference, but, uh, yes.
WEIR
See what you can do, please.
MCKAY
Right.
ELLIS
Why would you want to contact them?
WEIR
To negotiate.
ELLIS
It's a waste of energy. We need to figure out how to destroy it.
WEIR
I'd love to go twelve rounds here about who's right and who's wrong…but at the end of the day, I'm responsible for the well-being of this city, and you don't have the authority to tell me to stand down. So, with all due respect, I think I'll place my call.

[She storms past him. Sheppard shrugs.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The monitor is filled with static as McKay adjusts some controls.]

MCKAY
All right. I think…I've got it. They're responding to the transmission.

[The screen clears showing a video transmission of Oberoth.]

WEIR

(shocked)

Oberoth.
OBEROTH
Dr. Weir.
WEIR
I must say, I'm surprised to see you.
OBEROTH
Each of us exists within the collective and can be replicated many times.
WEIR
You need to disable your weapon immediately.
OBEROTH
That is not possible.
WEIR
We had no choice but to attack you. You were building warships, they needed to be neutralized.
OBEROTH
And now…so do you.
WEIR
That assault was just the tip of the spear. We were hoping it would bring you to your senses. If you don't stop this aggression, we will be forced to launch an all-out attack.
OBEROTH
Really? Why have you waited?
WEIR
The annihilation of your people is not our goal. Ideally, we would like for peace to exist between us. But we will not stand idly by while you build ships and weapons that can be used to destroy us.

[McKay gets an alert on a wave pattern on his computer. He starts typing.]

OBEROTH
Interesting. We feel the same way about you.
WEIR
Perhaps I should remind you, every time we've met in battle, our side has been clearly victorious.
MCKAY

(warning)

Elizabeth. They're attempting to upload a virus on the comm bandwidth. I've been able to stop it for now. But I'm not going to be able to—
WEIR
Shut it down.

[The video link is cut.]

WEIR

(sarcastic)

Well, that went well.
MCKAY
Yeah, he's always been one of my favorites.
WEIR
What if the 'gate doesn't shut down at the end of its thirty-eight minute cycle?
MCKAY
Well, if they're able to maintain the energy beam's intensity, which I'm sure they will…
WEIR
And how long until our shield fails?
MCKAY

(sighing, despondent)

It's twenty-nine hours.

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

[The beam continues to strike the shield at the heart of the city.]

EXT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The thirty-eight minute window passes. The Atlantis Stargate attempts to dial, but cannot lock. It continues to attempt with an automatic redial, but cannot.]

MCKAY
Well, it was worth a shot.
WEIR
All right. We're going to need another plan.
MCKAY

Yeah. Okay.
(to technicians, annoyed)

Stop dialing. It's not working.

INT—ATLANTIS BRIEFING ROOM

[Ellis and some of his staff work at laptops in the darkened briefing room. Sheppard enters and stops at the doorway.]

SHEPPARD
Sir.
ELLIS

(to crew)

You two, give us a minute.

[The Apollo crewmembers depart. Sheppard approaches.]

ELLIS
What can I do for you, John?
SHEPPARD
We need to head back to the Replicator planet.
ELLIS
We do, do we?
SHEPPARD
If this satellite weapon is powered by its homeworld, maybe we can neutralize it at the source.
ELLIS
Well, the Apollo is in no condition to get into battle right now. That beam took a lot out of our shield.
SHEPPARD
Well, we got to do something.
ELLIS
We did do something.
SHEPPARD
I'm sorry, sir, but I can't help to think that we're somehow responsible for this.
ELLIS

(defensively)

Why, because Weir said so?
SHEPPARD
No, sir.
ELLIS
John, listen to me. I, uh…I've been over your record. I know you have your detractors, but, personally, I think you've done a hell of a job here.
SHEPPARD
Thank you, sir.
ELLIS
You should be running Atlantis, not Dr. Weir.
SHEPPARD

(self-deprecatingly)

Well…then I'd be "the man," and who would I have to rage against?
ELLIS

(chuckling)

Listen. Because of us, Earth won't have to deal with an armada of Replicator ships, so whatever happens here, we did the right thing today.

[Sheppard weighs this opinion thoughtfully.]

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[Weir paces angrily behind her desk. Teyla sits in one of the chairs in front of her.]

WEIR
I'm sorry. It's just…they didn't even consult me.
TEYLA
I imagine they felt the need for secrecy was great?
WEIR
I have the highest level of clearance humanly possible, Teyla. No, they're trying to undermine me. Some of the military doesn't like that a civilian, let alone a woman, is in charge of this city.
TEYLA
Surely, General O'Neill doesn't feel that way. And the IOA, they've backed you several times. They believe in you.
WEIR
Yes, when things are going well, but as soon as we run into a major problem, the military steps in and assumes absolute control.
TEYLA
Certainly, you don't wish to coordinate military attacks?
WEIR
No, that's not what I'm saying. Our current situation could have easily been avoided. I told them as much, but they put next to no weight behind my opinions regarding the safety and protection of this city. Yes, the IOA is happy to have me as lead administrator, but when it comes to the big decisions… If we get out of this, I think I may have to step down.
TEYLA
Give it some time. You need to step back and—
MCKAY

(over radio)

I've got something!

[Teyla and Weir share looks of support and head to the control room.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir and Teyla, and Sheppard and Ellis arrive in the control room from separate directions, joining Zelenka and McKay.]

MCKAY
We were throwing some ideas back and forth—well, he was throwing them forth, and I was throwing them back, and while he was droning on about some idea that might have worked, it suddenly occurred to me. This city has encountered problems like this before, so—
ELLIS

(sarcastic)

We don't need the history of your idea, Doctor. I'll let that be a surprise when I read your autobiography. Just tell me the plan.
MCKAY
We submerge it.
ELLIS
I'm sorry?
MCKAY
We submerge the city.
WEIR
I thought you said we couldn't submerge the city.
ZELENKA
That was two years ago before the Ancients came and activated a number of new systems. See—
MCKAY
The "how" is complicated, but I think it's possible. Look, and it's not a permanent solution—
SHEPPARD
But it'll buy us enough time until we come up with one.
MCKAY

(pleased)

Exactly.
RONON
How much time?
MCKAY
Some. As much as a week.
ELLIS
I don't understand. Why?
MCKAY

(sarcastic)

Ah, you see, the history part would have made that a lot clearer. Had you been a little more patient, I would have painted you a picture of, uh—
SHEPPARD

(warning)

McKay.
MCKAY
Ten thousand years ago, when the Ancients were under siege from the Wraith, they sank the city in order to dissipate the Wraith's energy blasts in the water. This way, the shield was able to hold far longer than it ever could on the surface. So, now, we submerge the city. The water attenuates the satellite's beam intensity, buys us some more shield time.
ZELENKA
We cannot predict how much the Replicators' beam will be attenuated. It might not buy us any time at all, though.
MCKAY
There is no way to know for sure, yes, but it's not a reason not to try.
ELLIS
All right, get it done.
MCKAY

(laughing dismissively)

Yeah, I don't think that's your call.

[He looks expectantly at Weir.]

WEIR
Worst-case scenario, we lose some power from the ZPM?
MCKAY
Oh, no. Worst-case is that we've both read the numbers wrong, we use up a ton of power, and the city doesn't submerge at all. Look, as much as I hate to say it, Zelenka is not infallible.

[Zelenka does a double take.]

WEIR
Still, I agree, it's worth the risk.

[McKay sits at his computer.]

MCKAY
All right. The city has an automatic submersion sub-routine already in the system. I'll need to tweak it a bit to work with one ZPM and, uh, disable some safety protocols. Give me an hour.

[He nods to Zelenka. They start working. The others disperse.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAWN

[As the sun rises, the beam still continues to pummel the shield at the center of the city.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir enters.]

WEIR
It's been an hour.
MCKAY
We're ready.
ZELENKA

(stammering)

Uh, no, y-you've got to do the, uh…

[He gestures frantically to a different console.]

MCKAY
Oh. Just, uh…

[McKay goes to the other console and types some commands.]

MCKAY
We are…ready.
WEIR

Good.
(to Chuck)

Get me citywide.

[Chuck keys the intercom.]

WEIR

(over intercom)

Attention all personnel. We are about to attempt to submerge the city. From what I understand, it could get a little bumpy, so this is your last chance to secure equipment and get to the designated safe areas.
MCKAY
We've come full circle, eh?
WEIR
Yeah. Feels that way… Okay. Take us down.
MCKAY
Aye-aye, Captain. Shall we?

[McKay and Zelenka type commands. The city rumbles. Weir steps out to the balcony.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

[Weir watches as the city sinks into the ocean, the shield keeping the water away. The beam continues to strike the center point, but is deflected by the shield as the city sinks down to the ocean floor.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The city makes a final heavy shaking before settling.]

ZELENKA
That's it. We're down.

[Weir reenters the control room.]

WEIR
The beam still looks pretty serious, Rodney.
MCKAY
I know. Give me a second to… Crap!
ZELENKA
I told you.
MCKAY
Thank you, Radek. Very helpful.
WEIR
What is it?
ZELENKA
The beam is breaking through the water much more efficiently than we thought.
WEIR
The water has no effect?
MCKAY

It's having an effect, but just nowhere near what we want it to. Look, that plan took us three hours to execute and bought us an additional…
(checks watch)

…ten hours.
ZELENKA
Nine.
MCKAY
Nine.
WEIR
Okay. What's the plan?

[McKay and Zelenka exchange blank looks.]

MCKAY
That was the plan.

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN BOTTOM

[The weapon still pinpoints the center of Atlantis through the ocean water.]

EXT—ATLANTIS BALCONY

[Ronon, Teyla, and Sheppard stare up at the weapon striking the shield.]

RONON
I need to learn some science.
SHEPPARD
What for?
RONON
I'm not all that useful in situations like these. If we get into a fight or need to break out of somewhere you know, kill someone, I'm your man. But a laser attacking the city's shield…I don't know where to chip in.
SHEPPARD
Well, that's why we're a team. Like the Fantastic Four.

[Ronon and Teyla looks blankly at Sheppard.]

SHEPPARD
It's a comic book, where superheroes fight crime and stuff. See, I'd be Mr. Fantastic, Ronon would be the Thing, McKay would be the Human Torch, and you'd be the Invisible Woman.
TEYLA

(affronted)

I am not invisible.
SHEPPARD
No, no. And McKay's not a human torch.
TEYLA

(accusing)

Well, how come you get to be Mr. Fantastic?
SHEPPARD
Because he was the leader, and I'm the…I'm just saying—they were a cool team, and we're a cool team, and they use their strengths to, you know…

[Ronon and Teyla look at Sheppard expectantly.]

SHEPPARD
I'm gonna go check on McKay.

INT—MCKAY'S LAB

[Zelenka and McKay stare forlornly at computer monitors. Sheppard enters.]

SHEPPARD
Shouldn't you guys be bickering or something?
MCKAY
I've got nothing to bicker about. He's run out of bad ideas…finally.
ZELENKA

(grumbling)

If we survive this, I'm putting in for a transfer.
MCKAY
Oh, please. We both know that you've done your best work under me.
ZELENKA

(insulted)

Under you? I'm my own department head, you know.
MCKAY
Please, we both know that department is a joke.
ZELENKA
What are you talking about—
SHEPPARD
Why don't you guys just make out and get it over with, huh? I mean, we have, what? Under one day to figure out how not to get destroyed by this satellite thing and you guys are arguing about who works for who?
ZELENKA
Every possible scenario ends in failure. There is nowhere on the face of this planet that that thing cannot get us.

[McKay and Sheppard exchange inspired looks.]

SHEPPARD
You don't think…
MCKAY
No.
SHEPPARD
Old girl too banged up?
MCKAY
No, the Replicators fixed all the damage we did with the drones. We just don't have the power.
SHEPPARD
But ideally…
MCKAY
It may be the only way.
ZELENKA
What?
SHEPPARD
The drilling platform. Your guys have it operational down there, right?
MCKAY
Well, it's close enough, but we couldn't bring it with us.
ZELENKA
Bring it where?
SHEPPARD
We don't need to, we just need a boost.
MCKAY
You might be on to something here.

[They take off.]

ZELENKA
Hey! What's your idea? Hey!

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN

[The drilling platform sits at the bottom of the ocean.]

INT—DRILLING PLATFORM CONTROL ROOM

[Coleman walks to her controls, talking on the radio.]

COLEMAN

(into radio)

Well, luckily, the umbilical is already in place.
MCKAY

(over radio)

Yes, I know. Look, are you capable of outputting the power we need or not?
COLEMAN

(into radio)

We just started drilling into the crust. I can get you ninety percent of the way there.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[McKay gives Sheppard a frustrated look.]

MCKAY
There goes that plan.
SHEPPARD
Can't the ZPM make up the difference?
MCKAY
Uh, no, the ZPM's a little busy powering the shield at max.
SHEPPARD
What if it didn't have to?
MCKAY
Huh?
SHEPPARD
What if we could take the strain off the shield momentarily?
MCKAY
Well, we'd need about a minute. Why? What do you have in mind?

INT—ATLANTIS BRIEFING ROOM

[Sheppard and McKay brief Ellis.]

SHEPPARD
Lantia's moon has some sizable satellites itself.
MCKAY
Asteroid-like chunks we think are leftover from a second moon that no longer exists.
SHEPPARD
I'd like you to beam up Lorne and get a flight of F-302s close enough…to nudge one our way.
ELLIS
You want to bring an asteroid towards us? Is that wise?
MCKAY
Well, today it is.

EXT—SPACE

[A squad of F-302s fly through an asteroid field.]

LORNE
All right, guys. We need to get close enough to clamp on to it. We get enough of us drilled in, we can fly it like a ship…a really slow ship, that's probably going to be a real pain in the ass to steer, but a ship nonetheless.

[The fighters clamp on with towing cables to a large asteroid.]

LORNE
Okay, let's take this big gal for a stroll. Flights Three and Four, begin your burn, full thrust.

[The afterburners fire for some of the F-302s, shifting the asteroid.]

LORNE
Son of a bitch. We might be able to pull this off after all. Flights 1 and 2, begin your burn.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir, Sheppard, and McKay enter.]

WEIR
It's working?
MCKAY
It's slow going, but, uh, yes, they're bringing it towards the planet.
SHEPPARD
They should be able to get here before our cut-off time.
WEIR
So we can actually do this?
MCKAY
I think so, yes.
WEIR
Okay. Time to tell people. Patch me into the P.A., please.

[Chuck keys the intercom.]

WEIR

(into intercom)

May I have your attention? As you all know we have found ourselves in a spot of trouble. The reality is, that no matter where we try to hide on this planet, the Replicator satellite will be able to track us. Therefore, Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard have come up with a rather ingenious way for us to escape the satellite's range altogether. In the next few hours, we will fire the city's star drive and head into space. Atlantis is leaving this planet.

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN

[The shield seems to be fluctuating a bit more under the bombardment of the beam under the ocean.]

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[Weir sits at her desk. Ellis knocks at the glass wall by her door.]

ELLIS
May I come in?
WEIR
Of course.
ELLIS
All non-essential personnel have been beamed to the Apollo.
WEIR
Good. Good.
ELLIS
Has Dr. McKay located your new home yet?
WEIR
Yes. M12-578. It's the closest non-populated, habitable planet with a large ocean. He's a bit nervous about trying to land on solid ground.
ELLIS
Ah, I can understand that. Listen, I know you don't like me very much.
WEIR
Colonel, that's not—
ELLIS
It's okay. To be honest, I'm not that crazy about you, either.
WEIR

(nonplussed)

Okay.
ELLIS
But if I've…crossed the line here or there in regards to your command, I apologize. I'm used to making the calls. But I don't want you to think I don't respect you. I do, Doctor.
WEIR
Thank you. I appreciate that. I wish the rest of the military felt the same way.
ELLIS
Well, I can't speak to that. I do know General O'Neill is awfully fond of you.

[Weir snorts a wry laugh and nods.]

ELLIS
I'd better be heading out. Good luck.
WEIR
Thanks. We're going to need it.

[Weir watches him leave and sighs worriedly.</blockquote>

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR NEAR CHAIR ROOM

[McKay and Sheppard walk up a stairwell and down a corridor.]

MCKAY
All right. Zelenka is doing a final pass over all the coding we've done, but, uh, so far, it's looking good. The underwater drilling platform's power output's been dialed up as high as it'll go, and the crew down there has been beamed up to the Apollo.
SHEPPARD
We're going to wreck that thing, aren't we?
MCKAY
What, the drilling platform? Oh, hell, yes, but, uh, thirty percent of our total power requirements are going to be consumed in the first ten seconds of flight. The station will provide us with that power right up until we snap the umbilical, at which point, we'll switch over to the ZPM. Now…if we can interrupt the satellite's beam, which is greatly taxing our power levels, we should be able to squeeze out just enough power to actually do this thing.

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

[McKay checks his tablet computer.]

SHEPPARD
How's Lorne doing?
MCKAY
He's making good time. He should be here within the next twenty minutes.
SHEPPARD
Well, I guess it's showtime.
MCKAY
You sure you can do this?
SHEPPARD
Fly the city?
MCKAY
What else could I possibly be talking about?
SHEPPARD

(considering)

I flew a V-22 Osprey once.
MCKAY
Was it as big as a city?
SHEPPARD
Well, you had to use your hands and feet with that one. This one, you just have to sit down and think "fly."
MCKAY
Okay. Why don't you just get in the chair and start your pre-flight?

[Sheppard sits in the chair and it activates.]

MCKAY
Oh, I'm going to head up to the control room, and, uh, Zelenka will monitor power output from the ZPM room. And, uh… good luck.
SHEPPARD
You too.

[McKay leaves as Sheppard leans back in the chair.]

INT—F-302 COCKPIT

LORNE

(into radio)

Dr. McKay, can you read me?

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[McKay is at a station. Teyla, Ronon, and Weir stand nearby.]

MCKAY

(into radio)

It's five by five. Lorne, are you in position?
LORNE

(over radio)

We're getting close. Are you about ready?
MCKAY

(into radio)

Zelenka, I need a go or no-go.
ZELENKA

(over radio)

We're go. All non-essential systems have been shut down. We're in the green.
MCKAY

(into radio)

You ready, Sheppard?

INT—CHAIR ROOM

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Ready as I'll ever be.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY

(into radio)

Okay, Major, make sure she's moving as slow as possible.

INT—F-302 COCKPIT

LORNE

(into radio)

Are you sure we shouldn't just to lob this thing at the satellite?

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY

(into radio)

No, they'd easily be able to navigate back into position. This is still our best bet.
LORNE

(over radio)

Copy that.

EXT—SPACE

[The F-302s detach as the asteroid moves towards the path of the beam.]

INT—F-302 COCKPIT

LORNE

(into radio)

Package is away and on course. We're heading back to the Apollo.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

LORNE

(over radio)

Good luck.

[Weir nods.]

MCKAY

Okay, calculating travel time based on current speed… That's it. We're good.
(sighing)

Here goes nothing.

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN

[The city lifts off from the ocean floor, the beam still striking at the center of the shield.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Everyone steadies themselves against the rumbling of the city-ship.]

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN

[The city rises.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Everyone waits expectantly.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard concentrates.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[McKay points to the monitor showing the beam path, and the asteroid.]

MCKAY
Asteroid is entering the beam!

EXT—SPACE

[The asteroid starts to crumble as it enters the path of the beam. It blocks the beam from hitting the city.]

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN, DAY

[The city breaks through the surface of the water.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

MCKAY

(over radio)

We're on the surface. Fire the star drive.

[Sheppard concentrates.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

[Steam rises as the stardrive underneath the city powers up.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard concentrates.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY
We're not flying high enough. It's stalling out.

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard opens his eyes and lifts his head.]

[The conversation switches between the chair room and the control room.]

SHEPPARD
It's not working.
MCKAY
What are you doing wrong?
SHEPPARD
Oh, sure, blame me. We don't have enough power.
MCKAY
Oh, sure, blame me.
SHEPPARD
It's not working. What other reasons could there be?
MCKAY
I have no more power to give you.
WEIR
Shut it off.
MCKAY
What?
WEIR
Lower the shield.
MCKAY
We're about to go into space. If you plan on breathing, we're going to need the shield.
SHEPPARD
Turn it back on at 18,000 feet. We just need a boost to get started, no?
MCKAY

(snapping his fingers)

That might work.

EXT—SPACE

[The asteroid has moved about half way across in its trajectory blocking the beam. The beam is burrowing through the asteroid.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

MCKAY

(over radio)

Okay, I did it. Give it all you got.

[Sheppard leans back, closes his eyes, and concentrates.]

EXT—ATLANTIS PLANET, DAY

[The city-ship Atlantis lifts into the air, breaking through clouds.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[The rumbling smooths out.]

MCKAY
That's it! We're flying.

EXT—ATLANTIS PLANET SKY, DAY

[The ship continues to rise into the air.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Everyone exchanges awed looks. Weir moves to look out the window near the balcony. Ronon moves a bit closer as well. An alarm blares.]

MCKAY
That's it, time's up. Raising the shield.

EXT—ATLANTIS PLANET SKY, DAY

[The shield starts to activate, encompassing the city from the outside to the center like a bubble.]

EXT—SPACE

[The asteroid has almost totally gone through the beam path. The beam finally breaks through as it reaches the edge and continues its trajectory to the planet surface, and Atlantis. The shield has not quite encompassed the central tower when the beam strikes.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir sees the red light, winces and tries to back away and brace herself as the weapon hits the tower. The windows implode and Weir and two technicians are blown backwards by the blast, Weir falling down a staircase. Ronon too is blasted into one of the control panels. Shards of glass fly everywhere.]

EXT—ATLANTIS

[The shield finally envelops the city, blocking the beam from any further damage.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Systems overload everywhere as glass and debris scatter from the blast. Teyla struggles to move.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

SHEPPARD

(concentrating)

I'm taking us into hyperspace.

EXT—SPACE

[Atlantis, now no longer in the path of the beam, powers its stardrive engine and enters hyperspace.]

INT—ATLANTIS CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard sits up and opens his eyes. The chair remains active.]

SHEPPARD
We did it.

[He looks to the technicians in the room with him. They smile and nod.]

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

McKay? Elizabeth?
CHUCK

(over radio, panicked)

I need a medical team to the control room, STAT! Multiple injuries!

[Sheppard jumps out of the chair and runs out.]

EXT—SPACE

[Atlantis flies through hyperspace.]

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[Sheppard runs in and sees injured personnel sitting on the floor. He finds Keller and medics lifting a strapped down Weir onto a gurney.]

SHEPPARD
Keller, what happened?
KELLER
Apparently, the beam grazed the tower and blew out the—

[The medic Adams is bandaging a man sitting up and conscious with scrapes on his arm and nose.]

KELLER

(sternly)

Adams! That guy just has a cut. Tell him to put pressure on it and move on. There's a lot of people worse off upstairs.
SHEPPARD

(worried)

Elizabeth? Is she going to be okay?
KELLER
I don't know yet. She took quite a fall and her pupils are sluggish. I'm going to have to get her under a scanner. I'll know more in a bit.

[She walks out with the team wheeling Weir. Sheppard runs upstairs.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard stops short and looks around in shock at the glass and sparking equipment. At first he doesn't even notice Ronon sitting against a console next to him. Ronon has a large piece of glss sticking out of his chest.]

RONON
Oh…
SHEPPARD

(crouching down)

Oh, God, are you all right?
RONON
Yeah, I've had worse.
SHEPPARD
How come no one's helping you?
RONON
I told them I didn't need any help. Other people need it more.
SHEPPARD

I doubt that.
(to Adams)

Get this man to the infirmary!
ADAMS
Yes, sir.

[Adams moves to help Ronon. Sheppard moves over to McKay, who is standing by a console; his face is covered with small cuts from the glass. Teyla stands nearby.]

SHEPPARD
Are you guys all right?
MCKAY
All things considered.
SHEPPARD
What happened?
MCKAY
The beam grazed the side of the tower before the shield was completely closed.
SHEPPARD
Damage?
MCKAY
Minimal, I think. I was able to get the shield up fairly quickly. It took the brunt of the blow.

[A klaxon begins to blare.]

MCKAY
Oh, what now?

[The ship rumbles and some lights flicker off.]

TEYLA
What is happening?

EXT—SPACE

[Atlantis drops out of hyperspace.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY
We just dropped out of hyperspace.
TEYLA
Have we already arrived at M12-578?
MCKAY
No. There's no way. It should have taken at least another few hours. The hyperdrive just shut down.
SHEPPARD
Why?
MCKAY
I don't know.
SHEPPARD
Get it back up.
MCKAY

(fiercely)

I just said I don't know what's wrong. I can't get it back up if I know what happened.
TEYLA
Where are we?
MCKAY
The middle of nowhere. There's no planets, no moons, no Stargates.
SHEPPARD
How much power do we have?
MCKAY

(looking at computer)

This can't be right.
SHEPPARD
How much?
MCKAY

(rattling)

At current consumption, we've got 24 hours of power left. After that, there's no shield. No shield, no atmosphere. No atmosphere…
TEYLA

(interrupting)

Can we use the Stargate?
MCKAY
In order to dial a 'gate, it needs to be calibrated to a specific location. We are lost. We dropped out of hyperspace way too soon. I have no idea where we are.

EXT—SPACE

[The city-ship of Atlantis floats in space, only protected from its vacuum by the shield.]

TO BE CONTINUED

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Aurora Novarum, August 2008.

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--Michelle 19:36, 19 January 2009 (PST)