3.05 "Learning Curve" Transcript

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3.05 "Learning Curve"

Episode Guide

Précis

As part of an exchange program with the planet Orban, O'Neill travels to Earth with an alien girl who possesses incredible technical knowledge. But by the time O'Neill discovers the truth behind the child's superior mind…it may be too late for them all.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Children are doing archaeological work in the Gate room. One of the children climbs a ladder to the platform where Daniel is working and offers him some water.]

DANIEL

Thank you.
(to one of the children)

That's perfect Zaren, just like that.

[The Stargate begins to dial up and its chevrons glow.]

DANIEL

(to the children)

It's ok. It's just my friends returning.

[The Stargate kwaooshes. O'Neill and Teal'c step out of the Stargate. Daniel leaves his work to go down and meet them.]

O'NEILL
Hello children. Daniel? No child labour laws here on Orban?
DANIEL

No, these are Urrone. They're like, uh, apprentices to the adults. They're…everywhere. It's just kind of the way they do things. Look at this.
(He produces a bracelet and hands it to O'Neill)

Chalchiutlicue, the Aztec goddess of water. I mean, they don't even know what they've got here, who knows what we're going to uncover. That is if General Hammond said yes. He did say…?
O'NEILL

(looking at the bracelet)

He said yes.

[Kalan enters the Gate room with Merrin.]

KALAN
Colonel O'Neill, you are most punctual. Both Merrin and I are eager to participate in this exchange between our worlds.
O'NEILL
Major Carter's eager as well. She's really looking forward to it. So's Teal'c.
TEAL'C
I will share my knowledge of the Goa'uld freely.
O'NEILL
Teal'c's eager on the inside.
KALAN
Then, if you are ready to leave?
O'NEILL
Kalan, I was under the impression we were bringing back one of your naquada reactors.

[Kalan gestures to the metal box Merrin is carrying.]

KALAN
This is the device.
O'NEILL
That little thing? Ok. Daniel, have fun…I know you will. Teal'c, make friends as always.

[Teal'c dials out and the Stargate opens.]

O'NEILL
Folks, to Earth.

INT—SGC, CORRIDOR

[Carter and Hammond are heading down a corridor towards the Gate room.]

CARTER
They're one of the most impressive societies we've ever come across, sir. They've managed to accomplish in a few decades what it took humans over a century to achieve.
HAMMOND
Sounds like these people might make good allies.
CARTER
I think so. They're not quite up to the Goa'uld level of technology yet, but given a few years…

[She is cut off as O'Neill, Kalan and Merrin step out of the Stargate. Kalan makes a sign with his hands and bows.]

KALAN
Thank you for this exchange General Hammond. I'm sure it will be fruitful for both of our worlds. Major Carter, please allow Merrin to present you with this naquada reactor.

[Merrin hands Carter the reactor.]

KALAN
You may study it for the duration of our exchange.
CARTER
Thank you.
HAMMOND

(to Kalan)

If you will allow, I would like to offer a tour of…
KALAN
The exchange has been made. We will return to Orban now.
O'NEILL
You just got here.
CARTER
You can't leave. Someone needs to teach me how to use this thing.

[Both Kalan and Merrin appear confused.]

KALAN
Please explain what you mean by this.
CARTER
Teaching? Uh, explaining how the reactor functions, its components, its construction.
KALAN
I do not have this knowledge.
MERRIN

(to Carter)

I will…teach you.

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

INT—SGC, ELEVATOR

[O'Neill and Carter are riding in the elevator with Merrin.]

HAMMOND

(to Merrin)

Major Carter will show you the lab. But before you get started, Merrin, I'd like you to visit our infirmary.
CARTER
It's standard procedure, nothing to be afraid of.
MERRIN
You must screen newcomers for potential pathogens. Of course.

[They step out of the elevator and head down the corridor.]

O'NEILL
So Merrin, I understand you're a reactor expert.
MERRIN
Yes.
O'NEILL
How old are you?
MERRIN
I am eleven. How old are you?
O'NEILL
So Merrin, I understand you're a reactor expert.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[People are moving boxes while Daniel works on a half-covered mosaic surrounding the DHD. Kalan enters with a boy.]

KALAN
This is my son, Tomin. He is also Urrone. Teal'c, you will please tell him of the Goa'uld.
TOMIN

(to Teal'c)

You are most generous to offer your knowledge Teal'c.
DANIEL
Kalan, there was an apprentice here earlier, Zarin. Do you know where she went?
KALAN
Zarin is not here. It was past her time to experience her Averium.
DANIEL
Averium? Is that like a graduation?
KALAN
That is an approximate definition. Dr Jackson, you expressed an interest in viewing the city. It is advantageous to see the Pyramid of Suns in daylight.
DANIEL
Yes, absolutely.
KALAN
Teal'c, you will please remain here with Tomin.

[Kalan and Daniel leave. Tomin is studying Teal'c.]

TEAL'C

(to Tomin)

What is your purpose?
TOMIN
I am making an observation of your physical characteristics. Dr Jackson tells us you were once a warrior in the service of the Goa'uld.
TEAL'C
That is correct.
TOMIN
I think I understand now why the Goa'uld are so feared.

INT—SGC, INFIRMARY

[Fraiser is taking a blood sample from Merrin.]

FRAISER

(to Merrin)

Hurts a little bit, huh?

[Merrin nods.]

FRAISER
You are being very brave.

[O'Neill enters the infirmary.]

O'NEILL
How's our little rocket scientist doing?
FRAISER
We are almost done, Colonel.
MERRIN
I am not a rocket scientist.
CARTER
Uh, I think what Colonel O'Neill means is that you're very smart.
MERRIN
You find my intelligence level unusual?
O'NEILL
No, there are lots of intelligent people around here. Just not as young as you.
MERRIN
You mean you were not always as smart as you are now?
FRAISER
No. We spent a long time in school to get to this point.
MERRIN
Please explain what 'school' is.
CARTER
Uh, school is a place where you go to learn. A teacher gives you information and you take different classes to learn different subjects.
MERRIN
So this is how you and Dr. Fraiser became scientists?
CARTER

(nodding)

Mm-hmm.
MERRIN

(to O'Neill)

You aren't a scientist?
O'NEILL
Oh no.
MERRIN
Then you are not as smart as Major Carter and Dr. Fraiser.

[Carter tries to hide her smile.]

O'NEILL
Well, it depends on what you mean by…Ok, no. I'm not. But while they were stuck in school, I was out doing other things. Like…having fun.

[Merrin appears confused by this.]

O'NEILL
You do know what fun is, don't you?

[Merrin shakes her head.]

O'NEILL
Ok, fun is…what you do to make yourself happy. Like music, games. It's whatever you do when you're not learning to be a rocket scientist.
MERRIN
I am here to…'teach' Major Carter about the reactor.
CARTER
Sounds like fun to me.
O'NEILL
Whatever. Yeah, go ahead, knock yourself out.
CARTER
Come on, Merrin, I'll show you the lab.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Teal'c and Tomin are sitting on the steps to the Stargate.]

TOMIN
But you have found hosts for other Goa'uld in the past as First Prime to the Goa'uld leader.
TEAL'C
I have vowed to battle the Goa'uld and to free my people. If I allow this symbiote that I carry to be implanted, I would be perpetuating all that I oppose.
TOMIN
What happens if you do not find a host for this Goa'uld?
TEAL'C
It will die.
TOMIN
If the Goa'uld dies, then you will die as well?

[Teal'c inclines his head in assent.]

TOMIN
That would be unfortunate.

EXT—ORBAN (DAY)

[In the distance is a large pyramid. Daniel and Kalan head back into the Gate room.]

DANIEL

(excitedly)

I should have known by the murals, but the tabuleiro construction of your pyramid confirms it.
KALAN
But Dr. Jackson I—I do not understand.
DANIEL
Teotihucan. It was a city in pre-Colombian South America, even bigger than Ancient Rome. Which…wouldn't mean anything to you, but it is significant.
KALAN
But you said we are Aztec.
DANIEL
No, these people predated the Aztecs.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Daniel goes over to the half-covered mosaic surrounding the DHD.]

DANIEL

(to Kalan)

Ok, look. These pictures form a narrative. Now what ever is under this platform may tell us exactly how your people came to be on Orban.
KALAN
You will explain this to Tomin.

[Tomin and Teal'c walk over.]

DANIEL

(to Tomin)

Ok. Teotihuacan flourished for centuries as a religious and economic Mecca before suffering a great upheaval in 750AD. Now, I think that your people could be the descendants of that civilisation.
TOMIN
Do you believe the arrival of the Goa'uld caused Teotihuacan's downfall?
DANIEL
Yes.

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[A reactor is hooked up to a computer.]

CARTER
Ok, the carocev, that's the converter, right?
MERRIN
The heating element.
CARTER
What? When did we talk about the heating element?
MERRIN
In the very beginning when I described the fodinaire.
CARTER
Oh man. It can't be this hard.
MERRIN
I will begin again.
CARTER
No, no, wait. Let's try this a different way. How about we break everything down into its most basic components? Let's start with the reactor casing. What's it made of?
MERRIN
The fodinaire attaches to…
CARTER
No, I'm sorry Merrin, we'll get to that in a minute. Right now, I just need to know what materials make up the reactor casing.

[Merrin doesn't appear to know.]

CARTER
It'll have to block radiation, so we'll make it lead-lined. See? This is easy. And the casing material would have to measure…

[She takes out a rule and starts to measure the reactor. Dr. Fraiser enters the lab.]

FRAISER

(to Carter)

Major? If you don't mind, I'd like to see Merrin in the infirmary again. Just a couple of follow up tests.

[She smiles, but Carter senses something is wrong.]

CARTER
Ok.

[Carter and Merrin head out of the laboratory with Dr. Fraiser.]

EXT—SGC (NIGHT)

[A lone airman is patrolling the area.]

INT—SGC, INFIRMARY

[Fraiser turns the computer's monitor so that Hammond, O'Neill and Carter can see the screen. It holds a picture of Merrin's blood cells.]

FRAISER
Merrin's blood-work shows trace levels of silicon, trinium and some other element I have never seen before. Now, I think it's a mineral but it is definitely not found on Earth.
O'NEILL
Ok, even I know that's bad.
FRAISER
Well I found out what was responsible.

[She hits a button and the image changes. A dark object can be seen floating amongst the blood cells.]

O'NEILL
What?
CARTER
A nanite.
HAMMOND
She's got nanites in her blood?
FRAISER
Yes. However, it still didn't explain Merrin's abnormally high neural-peptide levels. So I did a computer enhanced MRI. You ready for this one?

[She hits another key and the image changes to Merrin's MRI scan, which contains a huge amount of nanites.]

FRAISER
There's millions of them. They've infested that little girl's brain.

INT—SGC, INFIRMARY

FRAISER
I've put the base on a Threatcon Bravo. Doctor, get blood samples from everyone. I want to know how far those nanites have spread.

[Merrin, sitting on an infirmary bed, overhears them.]

MERRIN
My nano-processors are harmless to you.
O'NEILL
Merrin, we've run into these little beggars before. And they're anything but harmless.
CARTER
We encountered a civilisation in which the Goa'uld used a similar method, nanocites, to accelerate the age of a population. Colonel O'Neill was…adversely affected.
O'NEILL
Oy.
MERRIN
These nanites were created by Orbanians, in an Orbanian laboratory 49 years ago. All of my people have them. It is a way we acquire knowledge.
FRAISER
Wait a minute. So you're saying, Merrin, that all Orbanians' brains look like this?
MERRIN
Each citizen receives a nanite after every Averium. Urrone children are given millions more nanites at birth because we are required to learn vast amounts of information very quickly. This must be done at infancy, before the neural-pathways are established.
CARTER
So, these nanites act as additional synapses?
MERRIN
Yes. But that is all they do. They do not age us and cannot leave the brain.
FRAISER
But Merrin, we found one of these nanites in your blood.
MERRIN
Well, if a nanite malfunctions it is programmed to disconnect from the brain and be absorbed into the blood stream. Those are inactive and incapable of harming others. I'm sorry if I have alarmed you and I understand if you wish me to return to Orban.
CARTER
Oh, I don't think that that would be necessary…do you, General?
HAMMOND
If you think it's safe, Major Carter, then you can continue to work. But I still want those blood samples Doctor.
FRAISER
Yes, sir.

[Carter and Merrin head back to the laboratory.]

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Kalan is examining the mosaics around the DHD. Tomin approaches.]

TOMIN
Father?

[Kalan stands to face him.]

TOMIN
I wish to undergo the Averium immediately.
KALAN
Tomin, it is six months until you turn twelve.
TOMIN
I am concerned by what Teal'c has told me of these Goa'uld. If they learn of our existence, they will destroy us. The studies I have made about new defence technologies must now be put to use, so that Orban can begin preparations.
KALAN
I will notify the elders. You have learned well my son. I am proud.

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[Merrin takes one of Carter's plants from a shelf.]

MERRIN
You study botany as well, Major?
CARTER
Oh no, those are just decoration.

[Merrin replaces the plant. She examines the reactor Carter has designed.]

MERRIN
That does not look like a naquada reactor core.
CARTER
Yeah. Well I had to improvise since we're only using a microscopic amount of naquada. How about you sketch it for me?
MERRIN
What?
CARTER
Draw me your reactor core. Give me an idea of what it looks like.
MERRIN
I don't 'draw'.
CARTER
You don't draw? Everyone draws.
MERRIN
No. It is not something I am required to do. I've never had to 'draw' before.
CARTER
Well, it's pretty easy.

[She takes a pad and pencil and sketches a matchstick figure.]

CARTER
See?
MERRIN
What is that?
CARTER
It's a picture of me.

[Merrin looks at the picture, then at Carter.]

CARTER
Well, I know it doesn't exactly look like me, but it's just a basic representation. That's all I need from you is just a basic representation of the reactor's core.
MERRIN

All right.
(She accepts Carter's pencil)

But this paper is not large enough.

[Carter rummages around in one of the cupboards and brings out a larger pad.]

CARTER
How's this?
MERRIN
It will do.

[Merrin starts to sketch the reactor as Carter watches.]

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Daniel is chiselling away the last of the concrete covering the mosaic around the DHD. Teal'c enters the Gate room.]

TEAL'C
Kel mel, Daniel Jackson.

[Daniel turns over a piece of concrete to reveal a drawing of a Serpent Guard.]

DANIEL
Look at this. This proves the Goa'uld were here sometime in the last few hundred years. Now we just need to figure out why they left.

[Kalan enters the Gate room with a boy in tow and places a bag of tools down by Daniel.]

KALAN
Dr. Jackson, I've got the tools you asked. Teal'c, you will please tell Solen methods to fight the Goa'uld. Which weapons and strategies have been effective in their defeat. Also, anything in your experience as First Prime to Apophis that would be of assistance.
SOLEN
It is an honour to accept your knowledge Teal'c.
TEAL'C

(to Kalan)

Perhaps it would be better for Tomin to return.
KALAN
He is unavailable. Solen will learn now.
TEAL'C
Tomin is already familiar with the subject.
KALAN
He has given us his knowledge. Please, you will talk to Solen.
DANIEL
Well, Teal'c has a point. I mean, if they've already established a rapport…
KALAN
I have told you it is impossible for Tomin to be here. He has gone through the Averium.

[Teal'c and Daniel exchange a look.]

KALAN
Please Teal'c, begin.
TEAL'C
I would like to see Tomin immediately.

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[Merrin is standing on a chair, attempting to reach into a wall cabinet as O'Neill enters.]

O'NEILL
Merrin. What are you doing? Get down.

[He lifts her down from the chair.]

MERRIN
Colonel O'Neill, I need fifteen sheets of paper, at least 48 cm by 23 cm.
O'NEILL
Well, that's fine, why don't you just ask…?

[He stops when he sees Carter asleep, her head on her arms.]

O'NEILL

(whispering to Merrin)
Excuse me.
(to Carter)

Major Carter!

[Carter wakes up with a start.]

CARTER
Oh, Merrin I am so sorry.

[She gets up and looks at the drawings Merrin has done.]

CARTER
Wow. These are amazing.
MERRIN
I cannot represent the reactor core in a three-dimensional plane, so I depicted several layers of the reactor's interior. With additional supplies, I can finish the remaining layers.
CARTER
Cross-sections. Of course! If I scan these into the computer, I can come up with a three-dimensional representation of the reactor's interior.
O'NEILL
All right! Will you two give it a rest? Both of you. You've been at this for twenty-four hours. You need rest.
MERRIN
I do not need to. Urrone children require little sleep.
CARTER
Ok, now I am jealous.
O'NEILL

All right, Carter, you sleep.
(to Merrin)

Young lady, if not sleep…fun.
MERRIN
No, I need fifteen sheets of paper, at least 43cm by 28cm.
O'NEILL
Fifteen?
MERRIN
Colonel O'Neill? I require some of these 'pencils' as well.

[O'Neill leaves to get the supplies for her.]

INT—ORBAN, CHILDREN'S HOME

[As Kalan approaches, Tomin is sitting on top of a bunk, fidgeting, while Teal'c and Daniel stand before him.]

TEAL'C

(to Tomin)

Do you not recognise me? It is Teal'c.

[Tomin doesn't respond.]

TEAL'C
Kalan!

[Kalan enters the room.]

TEAL'C
Explain this Averium.
KALAN
It is the ceremony in which an Urrone's nanites are removed and then distributed. Each adult and each non-Urrone child then receives an injection containing one nanite, which becomes part of his or her synaptic network, adding to those nanites received from previous Averiums.
DANIEL
So when you say he gave you his knowledge, you meant it literally.
KALAN
It was a beautiful ceremony. Now you have seen. We must resume our work, Dr. Jackson.
TEAL'C
What will become of Tomin?
KALAN
He stays here with the other past Urrone.
DANIEL
That's it? You're…don't you play with him?
KALAN
Well what is play?
DANIEL
Interacting with him, teaching him new things.
KALAN
These children cannot be taught.
DANIEL
Have you ever tried?
KALAN
Oh yes, but past Urrone children cannot receive new nanites. The brain rejects them.
DANIEL
Well have you ever tried teaching him without nanites?

[Kalan appears confused.]

KALAN
What do you mean?

[Daniel and Teal'c share a concerned glance.]

KALAN
There is no need for concern. These children are well cared for.
DANIEL
Kalan…this is your son.
KALAN
My son…is here now.

[He points to his own head.]

INT—SGC, BRIEFING ROOM

[Teal'c is reporting to Hammond. Carter, O'Neill and Dr. Fraiser are present.]

TEAL'C
Kalan says that Tomin is not brain-damaged. Clearly he was not himself.
FRAISER
Well, if the nanites have taken over the learning process and prevented the brain from developing a normal amount of synapses, then there's a good chance that they're removal would make these children…infant like.
O'NEILL
What's the difference if they keep them locked up in a room?
HAMMOND
So once Merrin returns to Orban, she will undergo this Averium and her nanites will be removed?
FRAISER
Yes.
O'NEILL
Then maybe she won't return to Orban.
HAMMOND
Colonel…
O'NEILL
General! She's going back to get her brains sucked out. And I dare anybody to phrase it more delicately.
CARTER

(to O'Neill)

Sir, I agree with you. But we can't just keep Merrin here, can we?
O'NEILL
Why not? We'd be saving her life.
FRAISER
Ok, why don't we just simply try asking Kalan not to harvest Merrin's nanites?
TEAL'C
I do not believe the Orbanians would understand the reason for your request. They do not see this as wrong.
O'NEILL
Well then we need to make them understand.
HAMMOND

Teal'c, return to Orban.
(to O'Neill)

Colonel, before we risk an interplanetary incident, I'd like to try the diplomatic route first.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Kalan walks into the Gate room, Teal'c and Daniel following.]

KALAN
How can you make this demand?
DANIEL
Kalan, no one is demanding anything.
TEAL'C
We do not believe the Averium would be in Merrin's best interest.
KALAN
It is most certainly in her best interest, for her and her people.
DANIEL
Ok, you see, in our cultures, we don't believe in doing anything that results in harming a child.
KALAN
We do not harm our children, Dr. Jackson! You have seen Tomin! You have seen how well he is cared for.
DANIEL
Ok, I think we can work this out. We just need to sit down and discuss some alternatives.
KALAN
There are no alternatives! Merrin must undergo the Averium. You will return her immediately.

[He storms out of the Gate room.]

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[O'Neill and Carter are attempting to persuade Merrin to ask for asylum.]

MERRIN
The Averium is a great honour.
O'NEILL
Merrin, I know that's what the adults have told you. But when they take out these…nanite things, they also take out everything that makes you…you.
MERRIN
But my people will have my knowledge.
O'NEILL
But you won't.
MERRIN
I do not understand why you are so concerned.
CARTER
Merrin, we just don't think you realise what you'd be giving up by going through the Averium.
MERRIN
It is a great honour to be chosen.
O'NEILL
Will you please…stop saying that?

[Hammond and Teal'c appear in the doorway.]

HAMMOND
Colonel, a word please.

[O'Neill heads over to them.]

O'NEILL
Teal'c?
TEAL'C
Kalan refused our request. Daniel Jackson remained behind to attempt to alter his position.
O'NEILL
Good. It'll give us a chance to make Merrin understand.
HAMMOND
She's already refused amnesty, Colonel.
O'NEILL
General, it's obvious that little girl's been brainwashed. We can't send her back without at least trying.
HAMMOND
Teal'c, do you foresee any danger to Dr. Jackson if he stays on Orban?
TEAL'C
I do not believe Daniel Jackson will be harmed.
HAMMOND
I'll give it forty-eight hours.

[O'Neill returns to the laboratory.]

O'NEILL
Merrin. It looks like you're gonna be spending a little more time with us.
MERRIN
Please return me to Orban.
O'NEILL
You do understand we're trying to help, right?
MERRIN
I don't need your help.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[Kalan is punching the coordinates for Earth into the DHD when Daniel stops him.]

DANIEL
Kalan, you can't do this.
KALAN
If you will not return Merrin to us, I will retrieve her myself.
DANIEL
If you don't transmit a special code, they will close the iris and you won't get through. You will die.

[Kalan gestures Solen forward to receive the information.]

SOLEN

(to Daniel)

Please explain this iris.
DANIEL

(to Kalan)

I will explain it, but only to you.
KALAN
If you will not explain it, then transmit the code.
DANIEL
I'm sorry.
KALAN
You claim to love knowledge, yet when you find something you don't like, you demand that we change to please you.
DANIEL
No, it is not to please me. You are an incredibly advanced society. Why can't you find a better way to educate your people?
KALAN
There is no better way than the Averium.
DANIEL
Even if that means giving up your son?
KALAN
It was the happiest day of my life when Tomin was selected to be Urrone. I knew, even before he was born, that he would make an incredible contribution to our society.
DANIEL
And you never once thought otherwise.
KALAN
Not once! And neither did Tomin.
DANIEL
And what if Merrin does?
KALAN
Merrin…is one of only a few Urrone children. And the only one to have spent ten years learning the naquada technology. Without her Averium, the people who are awaiting her knowledge to continue their research, they will have to wait twelve years for another Urrone to learn.
DANIEL
Well I didn't know that.
KALAN
Merrin does. She does not question her duty. It is you, Dr. Jackson, who are misguided to think you can convince her otherwise.

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[Carter is still attempting to get her reactor to work.]

CARTER
Come on! Why, why, why aren't you working?

[An airman enters the laboratory with Merrin.]

AIRMAN
She insisted on seeing you, Major.
CARTER
It's all right, thanks.

[As the Airman leaves, Merrin walks over to Carter.]

CARTER
Hey.
MERRIN
Major Carter, I need your assistance. You must tell General Hammond to let me return to Orban.

[Carter looks unwilling.]

MERRIN
I thought as a scientist you would understand.
CARTER
Merrin, you're only eleven. Half the interesting things in my life didn't happen until I turned fifteen.
MERRIN
What kind of interesting things?
CARTER

(awkwardly)

Oh, just, er…stuff.
MERRIN
If it were possible, I would give you one of my nanites. And then you would know that it's all right.
CARTER
Thank you, but I don't think that would make a difference.
MERRIN

(about the reactor)

You are finished.
CARTER
Almost. Once I ran a computer simulation based on your sketches, I thought I could adapt the design to my materials. But the current is being diverted before it reaches the core. I think the shielding might be diverting power.

[Merrin looks at the reactor and attempts to give Carter the solution.]

MERRIN
M-Major Carter, I…
CARTER
Unless, hey hey hey, the trinium is absorbing the current.
MERRIN
Correct, but…

[Carter cuts her off.]

CARTER
Wait, wait, sorry, let me. Ok, by reversing the polarity…

[She fiddles with the reactor and it starts up.]

CARTER
That's it! We're in business.
MERRIN
Why wouldn't you let me give you the solution?
CARTER
What would have been the fun in that?
MERRIN
Fun?
CARTER
Well yeah. Figuring something out on my own, especially if it's been eluding me a while. It's far more satisfying than having the answer given to me.
MERRIN
But not as efficient.

INT—SGC, HAMMOND'S OFFICE

[O'Neill knocks on Hammond's door.]

HAMMOND
Come in.

[O'Neill pauses when he sees Kalan and Daniel sitting before Hammond.]

O'NEILL
You wanted to see me, sir?
HAMMOND
Kalan has come to escort Merrin back to Orban. Before you say anything, know that I've already granted his request.
DANIEL
I don't like it either, Jack, but…you don't know the effect this is having on the Orbanians.
O'NEILL
What about the effect it's having on Merrin?
KALAN
Your Dr. Jackson has come to realise Merrin's importance to her people.
O'NEILL
Her importance as a vegetable?
HAMMOND
Colonel!

[Kalan stands to face O'Neill.]

KALAN
If you would try to understand…
O'NEILL
No! I won't. The way you treat your children is absurd. You don't deserve them.
HAMMOND

(standing)

Colonel O'Neill!
O'NEILL

(to Hammond)

Request permission to be excused, sir.

[He leaves Hammond's office without waiting for a reply.]

INT—SGC, LABORATORY

[Carter is preparing to start up her reactor.]

CARTER
Ok, clear?

[Carter and Merrin put on goggles to shield their eyes. The reactor lets out a burst of energy, setting off the Base alarms.]

CARTER
We did it! I'm gonna record these readings.

[O'Neill enters the laboratory.]

O'NEILL
What the heck was that?
MERRIN
The reactor worked.

[The telephone rings and Carter answers it. O'Neill gestures for Merrin to leave the room with him.]

CARTER

(into the phone)

Carter. Yes, sir, we're fine. Yeah, it was just the reactor. No, sir, just an initial energy pulse. There's no threat to the base.

INT—SGC, CORRIDOR

O'NEILL

(to the Airman escorting Merrin)

It's all right, Airman, I got it.

[O'Neill and Merrin enter the elevator.]

MERRIN
You are taking me to the surface?
O'NEILL
Yes. Look, you came here to learn right? There's something I have to show you, but I have to take you off the base for it.
MERRIN
You do not have permission, do you?
O'NEILL
No, I don't.

INT—SGC, Hammond's OFFICE

[Hammond is on the phone to Carter.]

HAMMOND

(into the phone)

In the future Major, before you activate any device that includes the word reactor, I would appreciate it if you would notify me.
CARTER

(over the phone)

Of course, sir, it won't happen again.
HAMMOND
Good. Now, I'd like you to bring Merrin to my office.
CARTER

(in her laboratory)

Oh, uh, Colonel O'Neill just left with her.
HAMMOND
Thank you Major.

[He dials another number.]

HAMMOND

This is Hammond. If Colonel O'Neill attempts to leave, you're ordered to…
(he pauses as the other person speaks)
How long ago?
(he waits for the reply)

I see.

[He replaces the receiver and looks across at Daniel and Kalan.]

EXT—EARTH, SCHOOL PLAYGROUND (DAY)

[O'Neill and Merrin walk over to the school playground.]

MERRIN
This is a school?
O'NEILL
Part of it. We call this the playground.
MERRIN
What is it for?

[The school bell rings.]

O'NEILL
Well, just watch.

[School children start pouring out of the building.]

O'NEILL

(to the children)

Bambinos! Pizzeria! Mama Mia!

[A group of children run over to them.]

KID
Colonel Jack, what are you doing here?
O'NEILL
Playing hooky. Kids, I want you to meet my friend. Her name's Merrin. Think you can show her around while I talk to Mrs. Struble?

[The kids take Merrin away to play. One throws a ball to her, but she doesn't catch it.]

MRS. STRUBLE
Colonel O'Neill! The kids have been asking when you're coming back to see us. How's Cassandra enjoying Junior High?
O'NEILL
Oh, she's doing fine. She loves it. Listen, do you have room for another student this afternoon?

[Merrin is still playing with the other children, this time attempting to catch the ball.]

O'NEILL

(referring to Merrin)

She's visiting, from out of town.
MRS. STRUBLE
Well, we have art scheduled after recess.
O'NEILL
That's perfect.

INT—SCHOOL, ART ROOM

[Merrin is examining the blue paint on her paintbrush.]

MRS. STRUBLE
Your assignment is to paint something you love. Now, it could be a person, or an object. Just use your imaginations.

[Merrin, uncertain, looks around to see what the other children are doing. O'Neill is wandering around the room, looking at what the other children have drawn. He sees a picture one girl has painted of him.]

O'NEILL

(whispering to the girl)

I look fat.

[She giggles.]

MERRIN
Colonel O'Neill?

[He walks over to see that Merrin has painted a picture of the naquada reactor.]

MERRIN
This brush is too wide to accurately render the wires.

[He tears off the picture and crumples it into a ball.]

O'NEILL
Ok, let's try this again. Something you love. Something that's not a machine, ok? Remember those flowers in Major Carter's lab? The ones on the desk? Paint one of those. Go ahead.

[Merrin starts to paint a picture in the corner of her paper.]

O'NEILL
Bigger. Big.

[The other children have drawn their pictures when O'Neill returns to check on Merrin's progress. She has drawn the outer leaves of the plant.]

MERRIN
There's no purple.
O'NEILL
Use red.
MERRIN
If I could have another cup, I could mix the blue with the red…
O'NEILL
Make the flower red.
MERRIN

(becoming irritated)

Those flowers were purple. You ask me to draw a flower, but you do not give me the means to do this accurately.
O'NEILL
Merrin, listen to me. It doesn't have to be exact. Paint me a flower! I don't care what it looks like. Here use this.

[He takes away her brush and hands her a bigger one.]

O'NEILL
And don't stop with one. Paint the whole garden.
MERRIN
But…
O'NEILL

(cutting her off)

Ah! Paint.

[Merrin starts to paint once more. After the class has finished and the other children have gone, Merrin takes her picture to show O'Neill. She has drawn a picture full of plants and trees and a matchstick figure in one corner.]

O'NEILL

Nice.
(He sees the stick figure)

Who's that?
MERRIN
It's a representation of Major Carter.
O'NEILL
Of course it is.
MERRIN
Is it right?
O'NEILL
Oh yeah. It's way more than right.
MERRIN
Thank you Colonel O'Neill, for teaching this to me.
O'NEILL
You're welcome… Merrin, all you have to do is ask. I'll find a way to make it happen.
MERRIN
I have a duty to my people. My knowledge is important to them. You did promise.

INT—SGC, CORRIDOR

[Carter and Hammond, with Merrin, are heading for the control room.]

CARTER
Unfortunately, the test used up the last of naquada, but we'll find more.
HAMMOND
At least we've got a working prototype. Colonel?

[O'Neill is waiting for them in the Control Room.]

O'NEILL

(to Hammond)

I'm not here to cause trouble, sir.
MERRIN
Colonel O'Neill?
O'NEILL

(to Merrin)

I have something for you.

[He gives her a box of crayons.]

MERRIN
They're beautiful. Thank you. You are mad at me for not staying.
O'NEILL
No. No I'm not.
MERRIN
Then you understand?

[He doesn't reply.]

HAMMOND
Major Carter, please take Merrin down to the Gate room. I'll be there momentarily.
CARTER
Yes, sir.

[Carter leads Merrin away.]

HAMMOND

(to O'Neill)

You've already given me more than enough reason for a court martial.
O'NEILL
General, for a few hours today I got to show that little girl how to be a kid. You want to punish me? Go ahead.

[Hammond walks away.]

INT—SGC, GATE ROOM

[Daniel and Teal'c watch as Carter hands Kalan the naquadah reactor and Merrin gives him the crayons. Hammond enters as Kalan and Merrin walk up the ramp towards the open Stargate. They stop and look back to the Gate room. Merrin makes a sign with her hands and bows.]

MERRIN
On behalf of the citizens of Orban, I'd like to thank you for the experience you have given me and my people. I have learned much in my time here.

[O'Neill watches from the control room as she speaks.]

CARTER
So have we.

[Before entering the wormhole, Merrin turns back and smiles at O'Neill.]

INT—SGC, CONTROL ROOM

[SG-1 enters the control room.]

HAMMOND
We just received a transmission from Orban. Kalan asked for all of you to go there right away.
DANIEL
Something wrong?
HAMMOND
You'll find out when you get there.

INT—ORBAN, GATE ROOM

[SG-1 walk out of the Stargate into the Gate room. Kalan is waiting for them.]

KALAN
Thank you for coming.
DANIEL
What's wrong?
KALAN

(excited)

Oh, nothing is wrong. I will show you.

[He hurries out, leaving SG-1 to follow.]

EXT—ORBAN, CHILDREN'S HOME (DAY)

[A child is playing hopscotch. Former Urrone children are laughing and playing everywhere.]

KALAN
Come. Look. Isn't it wonderful?

[Tomin is skipping with two other children. Kalan interrupts them in order to introduce Tomin to O'Neill.]

KALAN
Colonel O'Neill, this is my son Tomin. I am teaching him. All of the past Urrone children will now learn, in the old fashioned way, as you might say. He will know all that you have done for Orban.

[He takes out a piece of paper.]

KALAN
Oh and I drew this for you, to express my gratitude.

[He hands the paper to O'Neill. It is a picture of a matchstick figure with blond hair.]

CARTER
Isn't that…?
KALAN
Me!
DANIEL
Kalan, when did all this start?
KALAN
Last night, after Merrin's Averium.
CARTER
She must have known this would happen once her nanites were transferred.
O'NEILL
This…is what she learned.

[Carter sees Merrin drawing on a nearby wall.]

CARTER

(gesturing to Merrin)

Colonel.

[As O'Neill heads over to Merrin, Teal'c bends down before Tomin, who touches his tattoo in curiosity. O'Neill comes to stand by Merrin. She continues to draw with the crayons he gave her.]

O'NEILL
Hi Merrin.

[Merrin looks up, but shows no sign of recognising him. O'Neill sits down beside her.]

O'NEILL
Ok. I guess we'll just have to get to know one another all over again.

[He takes a crayon and starts to draw. Merrin smiles and scribbles it out.]

O'NEILL
You're right. What was I thinking? You ever seen a dog? Dog's are my favourite people. Some have tails, some don't. I like that about dogs.

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed by Dee for Stargatefan; checked and corrected by Jay for Solutions

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