SGA 5.17 "Infection" Transcript

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5.17 "Infection"

Episode Guide

SGA 5.17 "Infection" Episode Guide

Précis

A distress call from a hive ship over Atlantis leads the team to discover a Wraith crew in stasis, with all hands stricken with a disease caused in part by Dr. Keller's gene therapy.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

PREVIOUSLY ON STARGATE ATLANTIS

[Scenes from 5.10 "First Contact" and 5.11 "The Lost Tribe" are shown.]

END EXCERPTS

TEASER

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[McKay, Ronon, Teyla, and Woolsey are amongst the personnel in the control room, watching a monitor showing a hive ship approaching their planet.]

RONON
How long until they get here?
MCKAY
Just a matter of minutes.
WOOLSEY
Are we prepared to cloak the city?
MCKAY
Yes, I've made all the necessarily modifications. But, for the record, I still say the shield is a better idea.
TEYLA

(admonishing)

Rodney.
MCKAY
Look, that cloak offers us no protection whatsoever. If that hive opens up on us—-
WOOLSEY
How could they do that? They'd have to know our exact position on the planet.
MCKAY
What, you're assuming they don't? Look, we've been tracking them for days. They're headed straight for us. I think it's safe to say they've got some inside information!
WOOLSEY

Even so, it's better not to confirm our location until we know for sure. No sense in giving them an easy target to shoot at.
(into radio)

Colonel Sheppard, what's your status?

INT—CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard sits in the control chair.]

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Standing by.
WOOLSEY

(over radio)

Be prepared to fire drones on my mark.
SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Copy that. Just say the word.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

WOOLSEY

(sighing)

Well, I suppose we're as prepared as we can be. Engage the cloak.
MCKAY

(grumbling)

Right.

[McKay types some commands.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

[The city disappears from view.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

MCKAY
Okay. Cloak's engaged. They should be here momentarily.

[They wait.]

EXT—SPACE

[A hive ship exits hyperspace and approaches Atlantis.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Everyone watches as the ship holds position above the planet.]

WOOLSEY
What's happening?
MCKAY

(puzzled)

Nothing. From what I can tell, they're just sitting here.
TEYLA
Do they know we're here?

[The computer beeps.]

MCKAY
Whoa, hang on. We're receiving a transmission. It's a file of some kind.
WOOLSEY
Pull it up on a fire-walled computer.
MCKAY
Yeah.

[McKay moves to a different computer and types some commands. Wraith characters appear on the screen.]

RONON
What's it say?
MCKAY

It's nothing…just a random bunch of…
(snapping fingers)

Wait a second.

[He types some commands.]

WOOLSEY
What is it?
MCKAY

(intrigued)

Well, it's encrypted. Using the same kind of algorithm we use on the Daedalus.

[The screen resolves into video of Todd.]

TODD

(on video screen)

Hold your fire….gene therapy developed…by Doctor Keller…formulation…my crew.

[The garbled transmission shuts down.]

MCKAY

(puzzled)

I don't know. It's like the file's corrupted somehow.
TODD

(on video screen)

Initial results…but nothing was able to counteract the disease…Help us.

[The transmission completely shuts down with a file error displayed.]

WOOLSEY
What on Earth does that mean?
MCKAY
I have no idea.

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

INT—CHAIR ROOM

SHEPPARD
What do you mean, "you didn't understand him?"
MCKAY

(over radio)

The file was corrupted. We were only able to catch a few words here and there.
WOOLSEY

(over radio)

Though, from what we could tell, it seemed like he was asking for our help.
SHEPPARD
With what?

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

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

MCKAY
Something to do with Jennifer's gene therapy?
SHEPPARD
We already gave him a chance to test it. He double-crossed us.
RONON
I say we blow him out of the sky.
WOOLSEY
I can't say I disagree with you. Though I do find it odd he would just show up here, knowing that would likely be our reaction.
TEYLA
And why send a file? Why not just radio us directly?
MCKAY
Whatever he wants, it must be really important.
TEYLA
Perhaps we should…answer back. Tell him that we did not receive the file properly?
MCKAY
If we do that, we might as well just drop the cloak. Then they'll be able to trace our radio signal and know exactly where we are. No. We might be able to do it from the jumper, though. You know, approach the hive cloaked and communicate with them from there.
WOOLSEY
But then they would be able to pinpoint the jumper's exact location.
MCKAY
Yes, but the jumper's a lot more maneuverable than the city. Look, besides, this isn't the first time we've flown up to Todd's doorstep in a jumper.
WOOLSEY
Any chance you could clean up that video? Piece together more of what he's saying.
MCKAY
No, there's too much data missing. That is as good as we're going to get.
WOOLSEY
All right. Colonel?

INT—CHAIR ROOM

[Sheppard is already walking out of the room.]

SHEPPARD
On my way.

EXT—SPACE

[A puddle jumper cloaks as it flies away from the Atlantis planet.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

SHEPPARD

Coming up on it now.
(into radio)

This is Colonel John Sheppard. Please come in.

[There is no response.]

SHEPPARD

We didn't receive your video transmission correctly. Please respond.
(to McKay)

Are they getting this?
MCKAY
They should be. I mean, there's no reason why they—

[The console beeps. McKay looks at his screen.]

MCKAY
Whoa.
RONON
What is it?
MCKAY
I'm not picking up any life signs on board.
SHEPPARD
What?
TEYLA
I believe Rodney is correct. I have also not been able to detect the presence of any Wraith. I thought it was because we were too far, but this makes more sense.
SHEPPARD
It does?
RONON
This better not be a Wraith ship from another reality.
MCKAY

(annoyed)

We've been tracking their approach for a few days now, remember? It didn't just pop into our space like that other Daedalus did. Look, we know that they don't show up on our scans when they're hibernating. I'd say that's probably a more logical explanation.
SHEPPARD

(dubious)

Hibernating? All of them?
MCKAY
Well, they could've preprogrammed the ship to fly here on its own, enter orbit, even send a prerecorded signal.
RONON
Why?
MCKAY
Well, there's only one way to find out.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

BANKS
We're receiving a signal. It's Colonel Sheppard on a secure channel.
WOOLSEY

Patch me in.
(into radio)

Colonel, what's happening up there?

[The conversation switches between the jumper and Atlantis.]

SHEPPARD
Well, the Wraith have thrown us a little curve ball here. We've got no life signs on board. We think they're hibernating.
WOOLSEY
Why would they do that?
SHEPPARD
That's what we'd like to find out but it means boarding the ship.
WOOLSEY
Are you sure that's wise? What if it's a trap?
SHEPPARD
Well, if it is, it's a pretty lousy one. If they ambush us, you can still take 'em out from down there.
WOOLSEY
Sacrificing your lives.
SHEPPARD
I'm flattered you think Todd would go to such trouble to kill me. Look, taking out a hive ship is always a good idea as far as I'm concerned, but we did come all this way…and got all dressed up.
WOOLSEY
All right.

INT—HIVE SHIP CORRIDOR

[The team cautiously explore.]

SHEPPARD
No sign of 'em yet.
MCKAY
Why is it that I find empty hives even creepier than the ones that are full of Wraith?
SHEPPARD
Trust me, we're better off this way.
RONON
Bridge should be up here.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[The team enters. McKay moves to the controls.]

MCKAY
All right. Just…give me a few seconds.

[He moves to a control station.]

MCKAY
All right.

[He works with the systems.]

MCKAY
Well, I was right. They're all in their hibernation pods.
RONON
Where?
MCKAY
There are several large chambers in the aft section of the hive. The weird thing is, though, if I'm reading this right, they haven't given themselves a wake-up call.

[Teyla glances over, concerned.]

RONON
What are you talking about?
MCKAY
Well, the normal operating procedure would be to leave a few crew members awake so that they could monitor the pods and bring the others out when it's time. But since they all went in, I would assume there'd be some kind of an automatic or timed shut-down protocol, but I can't find one.
TEYLA
So…if we do not wake them…?
MCKAY
Then they never will.
RONON
Sounds good to me.
TEYLA
Do you not find it odd that Todd would leave himself and his entire crew to our mercy? Especially after our last encounter.
RONON
Maybe he's not as smart as you think he is.

[The power flickers, the generator shutting down.]

SHEPPARD
What was that?
MCKAY
Some kind of power fluctuation. I'm reading minor malfunctions in several of the ship's systems. Hang on…I got Todd's video file. It looks like it's intact.
SHEPPARD
I thought you said it was corrupted.
MCKAY
Well, it must've happened in transmission, some kind of a glitch in the comm system. The original, it's all there.
SHEPPARD
Let's see it.
MCKAY
All right.

[He taps some controls and the video appears.]

TODD

(over video)

Hold your fire! We mean you know harm! Allow me to explain our presence here before you take any action. If you are seeing this message, my ship has arrived safely at Atlantis. I am coming to you because my crew and I have been stricken with a disease— a complication to the gene therapy developed by Doctor Keller…
MCKAY
Wait a second. We didn't give them—
TODD

(continuing, over video)

…I acquired some of the formulation while my crew and I were occupying the Daedalus…I admit, I wanted to see if it would actually work. And it did. The initial results were nothing short of astonishing. See for yourself.

[He holds up his feeding hand. It has no opening, and except for the long fingernails and greenish tinge, it looks human.]

TODD

(continuing, over video)
I was so impressed, I decided to treat my entire crew. It was only then that we began to notice problems. The first group…grew sick and died. Before long, others began to get sick as well. Our natural healing ability was unable to counteract the disease. I come here as a matter of last resort…
(weakly, as if very ill)

I realize we have had our differences of late…and you may be reluctant to…help us. But remember this—if we die, any hope you may have of distributing this treatment in the future dies with us … The choice is yours.

[The team look very disturbed.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—WOOLSEY'S OFFICE

[Sheppard's team has returned and gives Woolsey a report.]

SHEPPARD
All right, so…now that we know what happened, we can just fire drones on them, and close the file and move on.
WOOLSEY
You said his feeding hand was clean, which means the treatment worked, at least for a while.
SHEPPARD
Well, then it started killing them, so I don't know if they're going to exactly line up for this one.
WOOLSEY
Which is why we need to find out exactly what went wrong. We need to examine every scrap of medical data on that hive. We may even need to revive a few of the Wraith so Doctor Keller can perform a complete physical evaluation. I'm sorry, but the IOA is strongly committed to the development of this gene therapy. It's one of the only things they all agree on. If it's simply not workable, so be it. But they're going to want to see some proof.
RONON
I say it works fine. It kills Wraith. What more do you want?
WOOLSEY
You're suggesting we keep the formula as is and find a way of exposing them involuntarily.
RONON
Why not? Get rid of the Wraith once and for all. Don't tell me the IOA would have a problem with that.

[Woolsey nods in consideration.]

SHEPPARD
The problem is in the delivery systems. We just went down this road with Beckett's retrovirus.
TEYLA
And even if we do succeed in weaponizing the treatment. It is unlikely that we would wipe out the Wraith entirely. At best, we would…weaken them.
RONON
I don't have a problem with that.
TEYLA
On the other hand, if we do succeed in eliminating their need to feed, we might be able to convince their entire population to take the treatment willingly.
WOOLSEY
Either way, whether it's perfecting the formula as a treatment or a weapon, we need to gather as much information as we possibly can, which brings me back to the same conclusion…
SHEPPARD
We need to go back up there.
WOOLSEY
This time, have Doctor Keller accompany you, as well as Major Lorne's team and another unit of marines.
SHEPPARD
Are you still not sure if it's a trap?
WOOLSEY
Let's just say I've learned to exercise an abundance of caution when dealing with Todd.
SHEPPARD
All right.

EXT—SPACE

[The hive ship floats in orbit above the Atlantis planet.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Lorne watches a marine walk by and approaches Sheppard.]

LORNE
My men have established a perimeter. They'll be checking in every hour.

[The power flickers.]

SHEPPARD

(keying radio)

Rodney?

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[The power flickers again.]

MCKAY

(into radio)

I know! I know! Power fluctuations. Look, it's like I said. Some of the ship's systems are acting up a little.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

SHEPPARD
Well, get it fixed.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

MCKAY

(impatient)

Yeah, give me a few minutes.

INT—PERIMETER HIVE CORRIDOR

[Williams hears a noise in the corridor he's patrolling. He moves to investigate. As he watches, a wall starts to dissipate.]

WILLIAMS

(into radio)

Major Lorne, this is Lieutenant Williams.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, LORNE AND SHEPPARD'S LOCATION

LORNE

(into radio)

Go ahead.
WILLIAMS

(over radio)

Sir, you wanted us to report anything…unusual?
LORNE

(into radio)

Yeah, that's right, Lieutenant. Whaddya got?
WILLIAMS

(over radio)

Well, sir, I was standing watch, and I heard a noise, and…

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, WILLIAM'S LOCATION

WILLIAMS

(continuing, into radio)

Well, the wall is melting.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, LORNE AND SHEPPARD'S LOCATION

[Lorne and Sheppard exchange bemused looks.]

LORNE

(into radio)

I'm sorry. Come again?
WILLIAMS

(over radio)

Wait a minute, I think it stopped.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, WILLIAM'S LOCATION

WILLIAMS

(continuing into radio)

Stand by.

[He leans in closer. As he looks through the opening. A deformed Wraith appears in the opening and attacks Williams.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, LORNE AND SHEPPARD'S LOCATION

LORNE
Williams, come in. Lieutenant, please respond.

[He exchanges worried looks with Sheppard.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, WILLIAM'S LOCATION

[The Wraith soldier drags Williams away, leaving his P-90 lying on the floor.]

INT—HIVE LAB

[McKay enters the area where Keller works.]

MCKAY
How you doing?
KELLER
I…

[She gives a frustrated sigh.]

MCKAY
Ooh, that good, huh?
KELLER

(despondent)

I don't know. I mean I…I guess I'm making progress. I found out what was killing them.
MCKAY
You did?
KELLER

(nodding)

Mm-hmm. The treatment worked exactly like it was supposed to do. It eliminated their feeding hands, it activated their digestive systems just like it did in the simulation. But, unfortunately, it also created a…virulent, cancer-like disease at the same time that it was weakening their immune system. That's what killed them.
MCKAY
Well, is there anything you can do about it?
KELLER

(dejected)

I don't know. Maybe. It's…possible.
MCKAY
What?
KELLER
I just feel like I'm in over my head.
MCKAY
What are you talking about?
KELLER
I look at you, and Colonel Sheppard, the rest of the team. You guys are so used to making decisions that affect the lives of…thousands, and even millions of people. I'm not so used to having the fate of the galaxy hang in the balance.
MCKAY
Oh that. You get used to it. It helps to have a massive ego.

[Keller gives a small smile.]

MCKAY
Look, I don't know much about Wraith physiology, but I know you. And if anyone can make this work, you can.

[He steps up behind where she's sitting and starts massaging her shoulders.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

LORNE
Well…this is his last known position.
MARINE

(calling from further over)

Colonel! We got something over here.

[Lorne and Sheppard arrive. The marine points to the P-90. Sheppard looks at it.]

SHEPPARD
It hasn't been fired.
LORNE
Should I call up for some more personnel to help track him down?
SHEPPARD

No, I got a better idea.
(keys radio)

Rodney?

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

SHEPPARD

(over radio)

Are the ship's schematics loaded into the life-signs detector?
MCKAY

(into radio)

Yeah, I did it when I first got here. Why?

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

SHEPPARD
Well, we're going to need them.

[Later, Sheppard and Lorne patrol the corridor using the detector. Lorne is holding it.]

SHEPPARD
Anything?
LORNE
No, it's just us.
SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Ronon, Teyla, anything on your end?

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA AND RONON'S POSITION

[Teyla holds another detector as she and Ronon explore another corridor.]

TEYLA
I'm afraid not, Colonel.
SHEPPARD

(over radio)

All right. Stay in touch.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, SHEPPARD AND LORNE'S POSITION

[Lorne looks at the schematic on his detector and the wall in front of him.]

LORNE
What the hell is this? It's supposed to be an open corridor.
SHEPPARD
Let me see.
LORNE
Here.

[Lorne hands Sheppard the LSD and feels the wall.]

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Rodney? This schematic you gave us is a piece of crap.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[McKay is working at stations there.]

MCKAY

(confused)

What are you talking about?

[The conversation switches between the bridge and the ship's corridors.]

SHEPPARD
There's a dead end that's not on the map.
MCKAY
That's impossible.
SHEPPARD
Look, I am staring at it right now.
MCKAY
Look, I don't know what to tell you, all right? I pulled that schematic directly from the ship's database.
SHEPPARD

(sighing)

Great. We have to double back.
TEYLA
Colonel Sheppard, this is Teyla, please respond.
SHEPPARD
Go ahead.
TEYLA
We found Lieutenant Williams.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA AND RONON'S POSITION

[Teyla and Ronon stand near Williams's body.]

TEYLA
I'm afraid he's dead.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, SHEPPARD AND LORNE'S POSITION

[Sheppard and Lorne exchange worried looks.]

SHEPPARD
What happened?

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA AND RONON'S POSITION

RONON
Um, he was attacked.
SHEPPARD
By who?
RONON
I don't know. But whatever it was, it tried to eat him.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, SHEPPARD AND LORNE'S POSITION

SHEPPARD
You mean, feed on him?

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA AND RONON'S POSITION

RONON
No, I mean eat him. With teeth, like an animal.

[He exchanges disturbed looks with Teyla.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, SHEPPARD AND LORNE'S POSITION

SHEPPARD
All right, uh…radio back, try to get somebody to pick up the body. In the meantime, we're going to have to figure out who the hell this is.

[Lorne spots something on his LSD.]

LORNE

(interrupting)

Colonel.

[He shows Sheppard another life sign approaching them.]

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Hang on. We got something. Move back to our position.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA AND RONON'S POSITION

[Teyla and Ronon exchange rueful looks and head out.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, SHEPPARD AND LORNE'S POSITION

[Sheppard and Lorne explore a corridor warily, Lorne keeping an eye on his detector.]

LORNE
Sir? In here.

[Lorne opens the door, and they cautiously enter. They see nothing. They move around the room separately, their weapons raised.]

SHEPPARD
Another dead end.
LORNE
Well, this doesn't make any sense. The signal's right on top of us.

[Sheppard studies one of the waterfall monitors in the room. The deformed Wraith tackles him, throwing him to the ground, and making him lose his rifle. Sheppard struggles to keep the Wraith from biting him.]

[Lorne fires his rifle, causing the Wraith to release its hold on Sheppard. Sheppard scrambles back, unholstering his sidearm. Between Lorne's continued fire and Sheppard's pistol shots, the Wraith finally falls dead as Ronon and Teyla arrive.]

TEYLA
Is everybody okay?
SHEPPARD

(breathless)

Yeah, I think so.
LORNE
What the hell is that?
SHEPPARD
A Wraith soldier without the mask.
LORNE
I didn't think they ever took those things off.

[Sheppard checks the body, including the right hand, which is now human-like.]

SHEPPARD
No feeding hand, remember? How else is he going to eat?

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

[Sheppard's team, Lorne's team, and the other marines have joined Keller.]

MCKAY

(sarcastic)

Oh, great. So now we have to contend with starving Wraith who are just learning to use their teeth?
KELLER

(upset)

This is my fault. I'm the one that took away the only practical feeding mechanism they ever knew.
SHEPPARD
All right, look. I admit that it's a little disturbing, but it's not like they were man's best friend before. This is just a different version of the same thing. The question is, how did it get out?
MCKAY
Well, the power fluctuations. They must be more widespread than I thought.
RONON
So?
MCKAY
So, there must be a-a safety protocol of some kind. When there's an interruption of the power, the pods shut down and automatically release their occupant.
KELLER
But… you stabilized it, right? I mean, all the other pods are fine?
MCKAY

(weakly)

They might be? I'm…I never actually figured out what was wrong, so…
TEYLA
Is there any way to determine if any of the other pods have been compromised?
MCKAY

(defensively)

Well, I don't know. Maybe? We could always go down and look.
SHEPPARD
I got a better idea. Let's get the hell out of here.
KELLER
Except I haven't finished sorting through the relevant data. I mean, the IOA…
SHEPPARD
The IOA can sue me. Let's go.

[He leads the way. Everyone follows.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[They head down the hall, two marines carrying Williams on a litter. Ronon keeps looking around nervously.]

SHEPPARD
What?
RONON
I know this is the way because we came by here this morning. But it just looks different.
SHEPPARD
You're probably imagining it…

[They run into a dead end.]

SHEPPARD
Or not. McKay?

[McKay heads forward and looks at the wall.]

MCKAY
Where the hell did that wall come from? That wasn't there when we came in!
SHEPPARD
How's that possible?
MCKAY
I don't know.
SHEPPARD
We need to figure out another way out of here.

[McKay checks his computer.]

MCKAY
Uh…okay. Looks like, if we go back the way we came a bit, that we should be able to hook up with another corridor that loops around the other side of the dart bay.
SHEPPARD
Lead the way.
MCKAY
All right, well…

[He leads them back down the corridor.]

MCKAY
All right, this is it. Through here, about a hundred meters, then we are there.

[He opens the door. There is a several storied chasm with no way across.]

KELLER
Oh, my god.
SHEPPARD
Oh, this…this is not good.
MCKAY
You're telling me. The dart bay's on the other side of that. This is the only way out of here.

[Everyone looks worried.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[Everyone has double backed to the bridge.]

SHEPPARD
Anyone want to tell me how a giant hole magically appears in the middle of a ship?
MCKAY
Actually, I have a theory about that.
KELLER
You do?
MCKAY
Look, these glitches we've been experiencing, they're not confined to power regulation. They're in every major system.
SHEPPARD
I wouldn't call them "glitches." This is major renovation!
MCKAY
I know. But think about it. The Wraith ships are basically organic, right? I mean, they are capable of self-regeneration when they're damaged. But not just the hull. The same systems regulate internal structure as well, so if those systems are malfunctioning along with the others…
TEYLA
You think the ship is repairing itself incorrectly?
MCKAY
Not…repairing so much as…reconfiguring. Look, before he was killed, Williams said he saw the wall melt. We've experienced it ourselves. I mean, dead ends popping up when they're supposed to be open corridors.
KELLER
And this "reconfiguration" has completely cut us off from the dart bay?
MCKAY
From what I can tell, yes.
SHEPPARD
All right, get on the horn to Atlantis. Tell 'em to send some jumpers and combat engineers. We need to figure out how to get the hell out of here.
MCKAY
Actually, I can't do that because the communications systems are now completely offline.
SHEPPARD

(aggravated)

Rodney!
MCKAY
Look, what do you want me to do? I mean if I knew what was causing this, I could do something about it, but these malfunctions are showing up everywhere! I mean, they seem to be entirely random!
RONON
So we're stuck here?
MCKAY
For the time being, yes. Now, I do have an idea. We revive Todd.
RONON

(incredulous)

What?!
MCKAY
He knows more about this ship than anyone. Maybe he can help me figure out what wrong with it.
RONON
You do remember the last Wraith that came out of one of those pods ate one of our marines?
MCKAY

(dismissive)

He was just a warrior drone. Look, we've long suspected that they spend the majority of their life under the controlling mental influence of the other Wraith. It's not surprising if you remove that influence, they revert to an animal state. But that shouldn't happen with Todd, theoretically.
KELLER
Yeah, but you're forgetting one thing. I haven't found a cure for the disease that was killing them. I mean, we take him out, and…he might not last long.
SHEPPARD
Well, that's the one thing I like about the plan.

[An alarm beeps.]

MCKAY
Great.

[McKay checks a terminal.]

MCKAY
Okay, so navigation's acting up. Look, whatever we decide, we gotta do it quickly because I cannot stay ahead of these malfunctions for much longer.

[Sheppard bites his lip.]

INT—HIVE HIBERNATION POD AREA

[Ronon, Sheppard, and Teyla stand outside Todd's pod.]

RONON
You sure about this?

[Sheppard readies his rifle. Teyla deactivates the chamber. Todd awakens and takes in the situation.]

TODD
Sheppard…
SHEPPARD
How are you feeling?
TODD
I did not think you would come.
RONON

(deadpan)

What are friends for?
TEYLA
Your ship is malfunctioning. We need you to fix it.
TODD

(caustically)

You woke me for this?
SHEPPARD
That's right. We've got work to do.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[Todd works some controls. McKay approaches. The rest of the team is nearby.]

MCKAY

(hesitantly)

You know, I did…I tried that already.

[Todd snarls at McKay, who steps back, hand raised.]

MCKAY

(sighing)

Okay, all right. You know what? Just go ahead. Boy, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the pod this morning.
TODD
This makes no sense. These systems are behaving erratically.
MCKAY

(annoyed)

Well, that's what I've been trying to tell you!
TODD
What have you done to them?!
MCKAY
I haven't done anything! They've been acting all screwy since the moment we came on board!

[Todd stares at McKay, thinking quickly.]

TODD
Nothing's responding the way it should. It's almost as if…
SHEPPARD
What?
TODD
No. It's not possible.
RONON
What's not possible?
TODD
I believe I know why this ship is malfunctioning.

EXT—SPACE

[Todd's hive ship floats in orbit.]

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

[Todd and Sheppard's team, except for McKay, have joined Keller and marines in the science lab.]

KELLER

(incredulous)

The disease is in the ship?
TODD
It is the only explanation that makes sense.
SHEPPARD
All right, if you say so.
KELLER
How is that even possible?
TODD
During the process of…hibernation, there is a continuous exchange of fluid between Wraith and hive. The disease must have been transmitted in this manner.
SHEPPARD

(sarcastic)

Great. So we're flying around in a giant tumor.
RONON
With no way off.
TODD
As time goes on and the disease progresses, more and more systems will become affected: inertial dampeners, life support, hull integrity…
TEYLA
Can we land it?
TODD
Landing a hive is a tricky proposition in the best of circumstances. Under these conditions, I would not recommend it.
RONON
So, what do we do?
TODD
There is only one thing we can do. We must cure this disease.
KELLER
Wait a second. I've barely scratched the surface on what went wrong here. I mean, it could take months to analyze the data.
TODD
At the current level of the ship's degradation, I estimate we have four days before it becomes uninhabitable.
SHEPPARD
Well, you better get to work.

[Todd growls and sniffs, then turns away.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[Sheppard's team and Lorne rejoin McKay. Some marines stand guard outside.]

SHEPPARD
How's it going, Rodney?
MCKAY

(annoyed)

Well, aside from the fact that every time I try to fix something, something else breaks? Fine.
SHEPPARD
So we can expect more of these power fluctuations?
MCKAY
I think it's more than likely. It's probably going to get worse.
SHEPPARD
Then we've got a problem.
RONON
The other Wraith.
SHEPPARD
We can't afford to let them get out anymore.
MCKAY
Well, I have been able to identify that safety protocol I was talking about. I won't be able to override it completely, but I should be able to make a few key alterations.
SHEPPARD
Yeah? Like what?
MCKAY
Well, I mean the simplest thing to do would be to make it so the pods don't release the Wraith when they shut down. That would kill them. Basically, suffocate them.
RONON
Great! They're Wraith!
MCKAY
Yeah, but are they? I mean, they've taken the treatment. They no longer feed.
LORNE
Tell that to Lieutenant Williams.
TEYLA
What about Todd? If significant numbers of his crew are killed, he will demand to know why.
SHEPPARD
Just another malfunction. Do it.
MCKAY
All right.

[McKay enters some commands.]

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

[Todd groans and huddles over a console.]

KELLER
You all right?
TODD
It will pass.
KELLER
I'm sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen. I honestly thought the treatment would make things better for everyone.

[Todd laughs heartily.]

KELLER
What's funny?
TODD
I find it amusing. Human apologizing to Wraith.
KELLER

(caustic)

That's because you don't understand compassion. You just view it as a sign of weakness.
TODD
Isn't it?
KELLER
No. Not by a long shot.
TODD
Ah. I'm not sure Colonel Sheppard would agree with you.
KELLER
Colonel Sheppard's a soldier. I'm a doctor.
TODD

(patronizing)

Ah, yes. His job is to take lives, and yours is to save them.
KELLER
No, his job is also to save lives. He just has a different…set of tools.
TODD
Hmm.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

MCKAY
All right…I've created a program to override the safety protocol. You sure you want me to do this?
SHEPPARD
Go ahead.
MCKAY
All right.

[He types some commands. The monitor shows power shutting down in all but one small area.]

TEYLA
What is that?
MCKAY
It's one of the hibernation chambers. It's not accepting the new command.

[He tries again.]

MCKAY
No, it's no good. I can't access it from here.
SHEPPARD
How many of them are in them?
MCKAY
Well, it's one of the smaller auxiliary chambers, so…a-a couple of dozen at the most?
SHEPPARD
All right. We're going to have to figure out another way to deal with these guys.

[He reaches into a pack and pulls out some C-4.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Sheppard, Lorne, Ronon, and Teyla head down the corridor. Teyla pauses, sensing something.]

TEYLA
Colonel…

[A Wraith warrior appears behind them. They fire on the Wraith, killing it.]

SHEPPARD
Well, that's not a good sign. Let's move.

INT—HIVE HIBERNATION POD AREA

[The lights flicker as they arrive.]

LORNE
Power fluctuations.
RONON
More of them might be out.
SHEPPARD

Oh, this is what I was afraid of.
(keying radio)

McKay?

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

SHEPPARD

(over radio)

We just figured out why you weren't able to access the last chamber.
MCKAY

(into radio)

What? What is it?

INT—POD CHAMBER

SHEPPARD
We're too late. The pods are opened.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

MCKAY
How many got out?

INT—POD CHAMBER

[Sheppard looks at the levels of empty chambers, about 22 in all.]

SHEPPARD
All of them.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Sheppard briefs his team, sans McKay, Lorne's team, and the other marines.</blockquote>

SHEPPARD
All right, we're going to split into teams. We're going to divide each deck into four sections. We're going to sweep through starting from this position. Don't take any chances. Shoot anything that moves. Everyone clear?

[They nod.]

SHEPPARD
All right, let's move out.

[Ronon and a marine move along one area.]

[Teyla spots a Wraith and shoots it. She and Ramirez continue on.]

[Sheppard and his marine run into two more Wraith and kill them.]

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

TODD

(intrigued)

It says here you attempted to use the Iratus DNA in your treatment.
KELLER
Yeah, I thought using the pure DNA of an Iratus bug would help prevent the deterioration of your Wraith abilities. Got the idea from Michael if you can believe that, but unfortunately it didn't work, so…

[She notices Todd's distracted expression.]

KELLER
What is it?
TODD
I have an idea.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Sheppard patrols with his marine, checking all the Wraith are dead.]

KELLER

(over radio)

Colonel Sheppard, come in please?
SHEPPARD

(into radio)

This is Sheppard.

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

KELLER

(over radio)

You need to come down to the lab right away. Todd needs to speak to you.
SHEPPARD

(irritated, over radio)

I'm a little busy right now. Can it wait?
KELLER
Apparently not.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

SHEPPARD

(to marine)

Meet up with Teyla and Ramirez until I get back.

INT—CORRIDOR OUTSIDE HIVE SCIENCE LAB

[Keller meets Sheppard outside the science lab.]

SHEPPARD
What's so damn important?
KELLER
He says there's a way to fix this.

INT—HIVE SCIENCE LAB

SHEPPARD
Fix what? Cure the disease?
TODD
Not cure it. But undo it.
SHEPPARD

(impatient)

What are you talking about?
TODD
As you know, healthy Wraith have an inherent ability to heal themselves of almost any ailment. But this has not always been the case. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, there was…a treatment of last resort.
SHEPPARD
All right, spare me the history lessons.
TODD
A terminally ill Wraith…could…occasionally …restore himself to perfect health…if he allowed an Iratus…"bug", as you call them, specifically a queen, to feed on him.
KELLER
And you're just bringing this up now?
TODD

(speaking with difficulty)

The process was abandoned long ago because it is dangerous, almost always resulting in the death of the Wraith in question. I only…consider it now because…it would appear that we are…beyond…hope. Now there is…a planet less than three days journey where we will find what we need.
SHEPPARD

(incredulous)

McKay can barely keep this thing in orbit, and you want to take it into hyperspace?
TODD

(with bravado)

Oh, I can manage it.
SHEPPARD
Well, forget about it. We're going to come up with a solution right here.
TODD
This is the only way to save my crew.
SHEPPARD
Well, we're not leaving.

[Sheppard and the other Atlantis team members start to leave.]

TODD
At least do me the courtesy of being honest. This is not about you not wanting to risk a jump to hyperspace in a damaged ship. You do not want me to go because I'll be restoring the lives of hundreds of unhealthy Wraith, including myself.
SHEPPARD
Well, I got to admit, that did cross my mind.
TODD
This disease is your responsibility. If I had not agreed to meet with you to discuss this "innovation" of yours, my crew and I would not be in this predicament!
SHEPPARD
Well, I might be feeling a little more charitable if you hadn't tried to kill half my people last time we decided to trust each other!

[Todd leaps forward, raising his feeding hand instinctively. The marines raise their rifles. Sheppard stands his ground as Todd realizes he cannot feed.]

TODD
You…owe me this, Sheppard.
SHEPPARD

(coldly)

I don't owe you anything. Get him out of here.

[Two marines escort the shocked Todd out of the room.]

KELLER
Well, I guess I can't count on his help anymore.

[The ship rumbles and falters.]

KELLER

(fearful)

What was that?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Sheppard. You're going to want to get up here.
SHEPPARD

(to Keller)

Keep working.

[Keller gets back to work.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[Sheppard joins McKay on the bridge just as there's another shaking rumble.]

SHEPPARD
What the hell was that?
MCKAY
It looks like Todd's estimate of how long the ship's going to last is a little off.
SHEPPARD
What are you talking about?

[McKay shows Sheppard a schematic of the ship on a monitor.]

MCKAY

You remember that hole we saw? It's getting bigger, it's beginning to threaten the hull integrity, but that's not the biggest problem. See that?
(he points at another terminal)

That is a line of structural weakness right across the width of the hive. If there's an explosive decompression, this entire thing could be ripped in half.
SHEPPARD

(worriedly into radio)

This is Sheppard. All teams fall back. Fall back immediately.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA'S AREA

[Teyla's in a firefight with Wraith.]

TEYLA

(shouting into radio)

We are not finished dealing with the Wraith yet!

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

SHEPPARD

(into radio)

Just leave 'em. The hull's failing. Get the hell out of there!

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, LORNE'S AREA

LORNE
All right, you heard the man. Let's move!

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, TEYLA'S AREA

TEYLA
Let's go! Let's go!

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, RONON'S AREA

RONON
Come on! Hurry up!

[They are ambushed by Wraith. The marine goes down. Ronon turns to help but he too is tackled. His gun is knocked away and he struggles to keep a Wraith from biting him, punching it several times in the face. Teyla's team arrive and shoot the Wraith.]

TEYLA
Are you all right?
RONON
Ach. Yeah.

[He looks over to where a marine checks Ronon's colleague and shakes his head.]

RONON
Let's get the hell out of here.

[He gets to his feet with a groan. They run and meet up with Lorne and another marine struggling with a closed door.]

TEYLA
What is it?
LORNE
The door's jammed. It won't open.
TEYLA

(into radio)

Rodney, this is Teyla, We are stuck behind a door that will not open. Can you help us?

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

MCKAY

(into radio)

Look, the controls are malfunctioning. I can't seem to override them. Just give me a minute.

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[They hear sounds of movement coming towards them.]

TEYLA
We might not have a minute, Rodney.

[Wraith descend on their position again and they are locked in a firefight.]

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR, BRIDGE SIDE

[Sheppard jogs to the other side of the door. He hears gunfire from his friends, but he can't get it open either.]

SHEPPARD
Oh, crap.

[He tries to pry the door open.]

INT—HIVE SHIP BRIDGE

[An alarm begins to sound. McKay checks the monitors.]

MCKAY

(panicked)

Oh, no. Uh, guys? You need to get out of there now. You hear me? Get out of there now!

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Teyla, Lorne and the others provide cover fire. Between Ronon and a marine's efforts on one side, and Sheppard's on the other, the door is able to be pried open.]

SHEPPARD
Go, go, go, go, go, go, go! Go!

[The others back away into the door, giving each other cover fire as they reach safety. Sheppard also provides cover fire, then escapes with them. The door closes before a Wraith can follow.]

EXT—SPACE

[The hive ship breaks in half horizontally across the ship.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

MCKAY

(frantic)

Sheppard! Come in! Please!

INT—HIVE CORRIDOR

[Everyone catches their breath in relief.]

SHEPPARD

(breathless)

Yeah, we're here.

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[The conversation switches between the bridge and corridor.]

MCKAY

(relieved)

Oh, thank god. Then I take it the bulkhead held?
SHEPPARD
Yeah, for now.
MCKAY
Look, I was able to seal off the section so we won't depressurize, but you need to get down here…

[Alerts sound on the bridge.]

MCKAY
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
SHEPPARD
Oh, what now?
MCKAY
The force of the ship's tearing itself apart. It's shifted our trajectory. We're headed straight for the planet!

[Everyone exchanges worried looks as the ship shudders.]

EXT—SPACE

[The front half of the hive ship tumbles out of orbit towards the surface of Atlantis, nearly nose-down.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[The rest of the Atlantis team arrives on the bridge; Keller is still in the science lab.]

SHEPPARD
What's our status, Rodney?
MCKAY
I would say "screwed" is an apt description.
SHEPPARD
Are we going to burn up?
MCKAY
No, we're going to survive reentry. In fact, it'll even slow us down a little. But nowhere near enough.
RONON
Can you get us over the water?
MCKAY
Land, water—at the speed we're traveling, it's not going to matter. We're going to be vaporized on impact!
SHEPPARD
We've got to do something!
MCKAY
Like what?
SHEPPARD
Now think!
MCKAY

(focusing)

I don't know…okay, right. Forward maneuvering thrusters. They should be unaffected, but they're not getting any power, because the propulsion conduits have been ripped in half. All right, look, I may be able to reroute power to them, so they can slow our descent.
SHEPPARD
All right, now you're talking.
MCKAY

(despairing)

The only problem is, I haven't a clue how to do it! Look, I mean, even if the systems weren't all malfunctioning, it would still take me a few hours to create that kind of work-around.
SHEPPARD
All right, just keep working on it.

[Sheppard starts to run out of the bridge.]

RONON
Where the hell are you going?
SHEPPARD

(not stopping)

To go get some help.

[McKay sighs and grumbles to himself as he turns back to the controls.]

INT—WRAITH BRIG AREA

[Sheppard jogs up to Todd's cell. Todd sits on a bench, facing away from the door.]

SHEPPARD
Get up.
TODD

(not facing him)

You can't quite leave me be.
SHEPPARD
Look, I don't have time to play games. You know what that shaking is?
TODD
Oh, I can guess.
SHEPPARD
We've lost orbit. We're entering the atmosphere, which means in a few minutes, we're going to slam into that planet!
TODD

(shouting)

A quick death will be a welcome reprieve!
SHEPPARD
Aw, I didn't think you were such a quitter. Look, you get this ship on the ground, I'll take you to your bug planet.
TODD
And you expect me to believe that?
SHEPPARD
My word.

[Todd rises and faces Sheppard.]

TODD
And my crew?
SHEPPARD

(reluctantly)

They're dead.

[Todd growls.]

SHEPPARD
The ship sheared in two. We lost the entire rear section.
TODD

(furious)

If we had gone to the planet when I suggested it, none of this would've happened!
SHEPPARD
We would've never made it there, and you know it. The hull was too badly damaged. Now, I understand you're pissed off about your crew, but we're about to join them unless somebody manages to slow us down, so are you going to help us out?

[Todd snarls at Sheppard.]

INT—HIVE BRIDGE

[Sheppard and Todd enter the bridge. Teyla is manning the helm, McKay next to her.]

TEYLA
We're in the atmosphere. Altitude on hundred thousand feet. It is of no use. I can't control it.
TODD
Move aside!

[McKay stumbles back. Teyla lets Todd take the helm and moves to another station.]

RONON

(to Sheppard)

You sure about this?
SHEPPARD
What can he do? We're in a free fall.
TODD
I believe I can successfully create a bypass that will deliver power to the forward thrusters, but it will take a few moments.
MCKAY
Hey, you just take your time.
TEYLA
Impact in fifteen seconds.
TODD
Not if I can help it. Firing thrusters!

EXT—ATLANTIS ORBIT

[The ship begins to slow as the thrusters fire.]

INT—HIVE SHIP BRIDGE

TEYLA
Forty thousand feet, still descending too fast.
MCKAY
It's not enough!
TODD

(roaring)

Instead of criticizing, perhaps you could work at getting me some more power!
MCKAY
I'm on it!

[McKay rushes to another station.]

TEYLA
Twenty thousand feet, still too fast.
SHEPPARD
Angle the thrusters, try to get the ship level. We can fly her across the water. Trust me, I've done this before.

[Todd growls skeptically.]

TEYLA
Ten thousand feet.
MCKAY
That's it. That's all the power we've got!

[Todd hisses.]

EXT—ATLANTIS SKY, DAY

[The ship starts to level off, now flying less steeply but still descending over the water.]

INT—HIVE SHIP BRIDGE

[Everyone looks anxious as the ship vibrates around them.]

TEYLA
Two thousand feet!
MCKAY
This is it! We're about to lose inertial dampeners.

[They all brace for impact, including Keller still in the lab.]

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN, DAY

[The ship skims the water before settling into a relatively gentle crash, the impact wave moving outward around the ship.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[A monitor shows the crash site. Woolsey stands by Banks's station.]

BANKS
They just hit the water. I've got the coordinates.
WOOLSEY
Relay them to the rescue jumpers immediately.

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—WOOLSEY'S OFFICE

[Woolsey sits in a chair reading. Sheppard enters, moving slowly.]

WOOLSEY
Colonel. Good to see you back on your feet. How's the rest of your team?
SHEPPARD
You know, recovering. We took quite a jolt when we hit the water.

[Sheppard sits in a chair next to Woolsey.]

WOOLSEY
I can imagine. You were lucky. By the time Major Kersey and his team were able to blast their way down to your position, the hive, what remained of it, was already half full of water. It sank minutes after they extracted you.
SHEPPARD
Mmm. Wish I was awake to see that.

[Sheppard glances at the monitor near them. It shows Todd in an isolation ward in the infirmary.]

SHEPPARD
How is he?
WOOLSEY
Not well. He hasn't responded to any treatment.

[Sheppard looks troubled. Woolsey closes his book.]

WOOLSEY
I received your request.
SHEPPARD
And?
WOOLSEY
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but…weren't you the one who wanted to destroy his ship when it first appeared?
SHEPPARD
Mmm, sounds vaguely familiar.
WOOLSEY
And now you want me to go against protocol and let him go.
SHEPPARD
Well, he is the reason we're alive.
WOOLSEY
I realize that Colonel. He's also the reason you were in danger in the first place, not to mention an incredible security risk.
SHEPPARD
All right, look. He's probably going to die anyway.
WOOLSEY
And if he survives?
SHEPPARD
If he survives, he's going to remember what we did. Like it or not, he's the best ally we've had in the fight against the Wraith. If we ever get around to perfecting this gene therapy, we're going to need his help to deploy it.
WOOLSEY
You realize this is the kind of decision that could cost me my job?
SHEPPARD

(shrugging)

Well, aren't they all?

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[Sheppard stands before the active Stargate. Todd is escorted to him by some marines.]

TODD
I appreciate your decision to let me go.
SHEPPARD
A deal's a deal.
TODD
I will remember this, John Sheppard.

[Sheppard studies Todd as Todd gives him an enigmatic smile then steps into the wormhole alone. Sheppard looks on as the gate shuts down.]

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Aurora Novarum, December 2008.

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--Michelle 12:18, 7 December 2008 (PST)