8.08 "Covenant" Transcript

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8.08 "Covenant"

Episode Guide

Précis

When charismatic billionaire Alec Colson threatens to expose the existence of alien life to the world, Carter attempts to intervene and convince him the Stargate program is worthy of secrecy…and of his protection. However, a secretive organisation known as the Trust has its own agenda: to discredit and silence Colson at all costs.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

INT—OFFICE

VOGLER
Once you walk through that door, there's no turning back.
COLSON
Oh, I understand, Brian. I'm not having any doubts.

[Vogler and Colson walk through the office. Colson picks up a jacket and puts it on.]

VOGLER
Alec, it is not just your credibility at stake here.
COLSON
You're right, there. It's the leaders of the democratic free world should be worried.

[Colson walks into an elevator.]

VOGLER
Think about the people who work for this company. The shareholders.
COLSON
I am, Brian. They have a right to know the truth, as does everybody else.

[Vogler joins Colson in the elevator.]

COLSON
Trust me, we're doing the right thing.

[The doors close.]

INT—PRESS CONFERENCE

[A large number of reporters and cameramen are gathered in the room. Colson enters, acknowledging people and shaking hands. He and Vogler step up to a podium where a number of microphones are set up.]

COLSON
Thank you all for coming. As you all know, about five months ago our planet suffered a horrible tragedy. Over two thousand American servicemen and women were killed when a meteor shower disrupted global communications and hit a United States Naval Carrier Group on manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean. I'm here today to challenge the facts of that incident as they've been conveyed to the general public.

[The people present murmur, surprised at Colson's speech.]

INT—SGC DANIEL'S LAB

[Daniel is watching the press conference on television.]

COLSON
On the day in question, none of our satellites detected a meteor shower.

[Carter enters.]

CARTER
Hey, what's going on?
DANIEL
Shh, sh, sh.

[Carter leans on the desk, watching the television.]

COLSON
Now, I don't know how many governments around the world are in on this, but I do know we are being lied to and the truth is being covered up.
CARTER
Oh, oh.

[Carter looks at Daniel as he grimaces.]

COLSON
Ladies and gentlemen. There is life beyond our world. There are aliens out there and they have a technology far beyond ours and they have been intervening in our existence for quite some time.

[Daniel and Carter look at each other.]

COLSON
I have proof, and I am giving the governments of all the nations that are aware of this, 24 hours to reveal the truth…or I'm gonna do it for them. Thank you.

[Colson leaves the podium.]

DANIEL
Well. There you go.

[Daniel smiles mirthlessly.]

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Carter, Teal'c and Daniel are watching a TV report by Julia Donovan about Colson.]

DONOVAN
For those of you living on another planet for the past 20 years, Alec Colson, age 42. Net worth, over sixty billion dollars, runs a global empire of companies including communications, biotechnology, aerospace and aviation. He's number eight on the Fortune 500.

[O'Neill enters the briefing room.]

REPORTER
He personally holds over 200 proprietary patents in both the military and domestic industries.
O'NEILL
Shut it off.

[Carter turns off the television.]

O'NEILL

We know who he is.
(to Carter, pointedly)

Some of us better than others.
CARTER
We worked together briefly, sir. Colson Aviation developed the multi engine control systems for the F-302s. Colson didn't know what they were for, of course, but he is a brilliant engineer.
O'NEILL
He's also a little nuts, isn't he?
CARTER
You've test flown experimental aircraft.
DANIEL
We all go through the gate.
O'NEILL
This isn't about us.
DANIEL
Well, in a way, it is.
CARTER
The point is, sir, he's not some looney cult leader. People are taking him seriously.
O'NEILL
So, what do we think he knows?

[O'Neill opens a file containing a photograph of Colson, in flying gear.]

CARTER
He owns several Earth observer and weather satellites. Maybe it's possible they picked something up. Pictures of Anubis' fleet in orbit, or the battle over Antarctica.
DANIEL
What I don't understand is how it could have come this far.

[O'Neill reads from the file.]

O'NEILL
He's gotten the National Security speech from the Pentagon, several times. Apparently the President has called him personally.
TEAL'C
Why not merely tell him the truth?
CARTER
His personality was profiled and he was deemed a security risk.
O'NEILL
For obvious reasons.
DANIEL
Apparently his father was a newspaper reporter who was jailed during the McCarthy era. He believes pretty strongly in the freedom of speech and the rights of the people to know what the government is doing at all times.
CARTER
Leaking classified information could be considered treason.
O'NEILL
Alright, see if he can be convinced not to go public.
DANIEL
Without actually telling him anything?
O'NEILL
Right!

[O'Neill walks into his office.]

EXT—COLSON INDUSTRIES BUILDING

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

VOGLER
We've got all the major networks, over a dozen live radio broadcasts and reporters from newspapers, both legit and tabloids, all waiting for the next shooter draft.
COLSON
Brian, calm down!
VOGLER
Our stock price is trading down twenty five percent. We overextended ourselves competing for that last round of contracts. That stock price is the only thing covering our debt. And you are alienating our biggest client. We're going to have to start selling off assets, just to...

[Colson pours himself a drink.]

COLSON
What does that matter, Brian? Given what we know?
VOGLER
I don't know, I guess I'm just trying to hold on to some shred of reality.
COLSON
Well, you, along with everyone else, are going to have to start dealing with a whole new reality from now on.
VOGLER
What if the world can't handle it? What if Washington's right and we should just keep this thing in the bag?
COLSON
Trust me. The truth is always right.

[Vogler sighs.]

VOGLER
We've already caused mass hysteria. You have no idea how much chaos this could cause.

[A woman enters the room.]

FEMALE STAFFER
Alec. They're here.
COLSON
Oh, show them in, would you?

[He hands Brian the drink and slaps him on the arm.]

COLSON
It'll be okay.

[Carter and Daniel enter.]

COLSON
Lieutenant Colonel.

[He and Carter shake hands.]

CARTER
Alec.
COLSON
Radiant as ever.

[Daniel reaches forward to shake Colson's hand.]

DANIEL
Daniel Jackson
COLSON
Oh Doc! I'm a big fan.
DANIEL
Really?
COLSON
Yes, I've been following you since your early career. Pyramids as landing pads for alien ships? Fascinating.
DANIEL
Uh, yeah, that was a long time ago.
COLSON
Yeah, what have you been up to since? It's like you just dropped off the map.
DANIEL
I've been around.

[Vogler walks up behind Colson.]

COLSON
Ah. Oh, I beg your pardon. May I introduce Brian Vogler.
CARTER
Thank you for seeing us today.
COLSON
Well, shall we?

[Colson walks further into the room towards a sofa and television.]

COLSON
Why don't we start with something I'm sure we can all agree on, hmmm?

[Vogler, Carter and Daniel follow Colson, who turns on the television.]

COLSON
That meteor shower was a cover story, and a surprisingly weak one at that. Although under the circumstances, I'm not so sure I'd have come up with a better one.
CARTER
What makes you say that?

[Colson shows a recording of Anubis' fleet in orbit over Earth, followed by images of a space battle and finally, the Prometheus. Daniel and Carter look uncomfortable.]

COLSON

(pointing to the screen)

Oh! I'm guessing that's one of ours?
VOGLER
We lost contact with twelve communications and weather mapping satellites for over six hours on the day in question. When we got them back online they were able to transmit images stored in the buffers.
CARTER
Images like these can be faked.
COLSON
Or made to seem fake. I know why you're here, Sam.

[Colson walks up to Carter and Daniel.]

COLSON
The Pentagon wants me to know that people like you are going to be trying to make me look like a fraud.
CARTER
People like me?
COLSON
Very smart people. Oh, we have more than this.

[Colson gestures to the television.]

COLSON
Now obviously, I don't know everything but I do have a right to. As does everyone else.
CARTER
Anything we can say to stop you?
VOGLER
Believe me, I've tried.

EXT—COLSON INDUSTRIES BUILDING

[Carter and Daniel leave the building. Carter's mobile rings.]

CARTER

(into phone)

Carter.

INT—TV STUDIOES

DONOVAN

(into phone)

Sam, it's Julia Donovan.

EXT—COLSON INDUSTRIES BUILDING

CARTER
How did you get this number?
DONOVAN
I have my sources. Our camera track just caught you and a nice looking young man going into Colson Industries head office in Seattle an hour ago. I just saw the feed.

[Donovan is speaking quietly, obviously not wanting anyone to overhear her.]

CARTER
And?
DONOVAN
Just wondering if you had an official comment.
CARTER
Yeah, I think your coverage is a little one sided.
DONOVAN
Come on, Sam. Colson's going to out the whole operation. You don't really think Washington can contain this?
CARTER
We'll see. Look, I don't have to remind you about the non disclosure agreement you signed, do I?
CARTER

(To Daniel)

It's the reporter from the Prometheus incident.
DONOVAN
Colson doesn't seem to be worried about going to jail.
CARTER
Yeah, well, he hasn't done anything illegal yet.

[Daniel and Carter get into a red sports car. Daniel is checking his mobile.]

DONOVAN
We had an agreement. You said that if something big was going to break you would call me first.
CARTER

I will, okay?
(Carter closes the phone)

Bye, bye.
DANIEL
I've got thirteen messages from Emmett Bregman.

[Carter sighs.]

INT—COLSON INDUSTRIES OFFICES

FEMALE STAFFER
The switchboard's been jammed ever since the press conference. Every crackpot in the world is calling.
COLSON
Yeah, I've arranged security for all of you and your families.

[Colson, the woman, Vogler and a man are walking along the corridors.]

FEMALE STAFFER
Do you really think we need to be worried?
COLSON
I'd be more worried about the things we still don't know at this point.
VOGLER
I'm trying to convince him it's not too late.
COLSON
It is too late, Brian. Too late for the world to know there was a large scale alien attack against our planet which was barely thwarted. Too late for the general public to realise they've been lied to, by two different elected administrations, about the very nature of our existence.
FEMALE STAFFER
So, we're going public with everything.
COLSON
I was really hoping the Feds would come clean.
VOGLER
I can't believe Washington hasn't done more to try and stop us. Some sort of legal injunction.
COLSON
That would legitimise our claims. No, no, they're obviously going to try to play this as if we can't be taken seriously.
FEMALE STAFFER
We're one of the largest corporations in the world.
COLSON
And we're telling the truth.
VOGLER

(frustrated)

Alec! It doesn't matter who we are, or how right we are. They can stop us if they really want to.
COLSON
Oh, come on, Brian, what are they gonna do, hmm?

[Colson slaps Vogler on both arms.]

COLSON
Have me killed?

[Colson walks into his office. Vogler is obviously concerned.]

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Daniel, Carter, O'Neill and Teal'c are watching Donovan's report on Colson.]

CARTER
Well, he's gotta have something more significant than pictures.
DANIEL
I'm going over government contracts assigned to Colson's companies over the last few years. I haven't got through them all yet, but there's quite a few loosely related to R and D of alien technologies that we procured offworld.

[O'Neill turns the up the television.]

DONOVAN
We'll now head to Colson Industries.

[The television shows Colson holding another press conference.]

COLSON
Welcome, and thank you for coming.

[Carter looks at her watch.]

CARTER
24 hours to the minute.

INT—PRESS CONFERENCE

COLSON
Yesterday, I told you of our belief in the existence of intelligent life beyond our planet. I also told you that we believe several governments, including our own, have known about this and have been concealing the information for quite some time now. Yesterday, I challenged those governments to come clean. Reveal the truth. We got only silence. Which gives me no choice but to present to you what evidence I have. How do I know for sure that alien life really does exist? Ladies and gentlemen, seeing is believing.

[Colson gestures to the back of the room. The reporters turn as an Asgard is brought into the room. Cameras flash as the Asgard stands, seemingly nervous and upset.]

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[O'Neill turns from the television to face SG-1.]

O'NEILL
Well, I'd call that something.

INT—TV STUDIOES

[Donovan is making a news report, a recording of the Asgard on a screen behind her.]

DONOVAN
The world is in a frenzy after yesterday's startling revelation of what appeared to be a live alien, by billionaire industrialist, Alec Colson. Thus far there's been no official statement from the White House and sources inside Colson Industries promise that there is definitely more to come.

INT—SGC DANIEL'S LAB

[Carter is on the phone. Daniel is reading a report.]

CARTER

(into phone)

Okay. Thank you, Sergeant.

[She puts down the phone.]

CARTER
Well, we just got a message back from Thor. As far as he knows there are no Asgard currently on Earth.
DANIEL
Loki was here for years conducting experiments without the High Council knowing about it.
CARTER
Okay, here's a possibility. What if…it wasn't really an Asgard?

[Daniel looks at Carter.]

DANIEL
Looked like one.
CARTER
Didn't sound like one.
DANIEL
Didn't say anything.
CARTER
That's my point. Colson wrapped things up pretty quickly without taking any questions.
DANIEL
It was a perfect likeness.
CARTER
Imagery of little grey aliens has been commonplace on Earth for years. For that matter, Colson could have a picture.
DANIEL
So not a real Asgard?
CARTER
No Asgard we know would allow himself to be used that way.
DANIEL
It did look a little vacant.
CARTER
Still, as much as he wants the whole truth I don't think Colson would perpetrate a hoax to get it.
DANIEL
Then what was it?
CARTER
I don't know.

INT—COLSON INDUSTRIES OFFICES

VOGLER
The networks all want interviews.

[Colson, the woman and Vogler are walking through the offices.]

COLSON
Too bad our friend can't talk.
FEMALE STAFFER
Well, we know he's capable. The MRI show larynx not too different from ours. But he doesn't seem to have anything to say.
VOGLER
They also want full access for independent medical and scientific personnel to verify that it's really what we say it is.
FEMALE STAFFER
How are we supposed to convince the world of alien intelligence when this guy doesn't seem to have any?
VOGLER
We can't just trot this thing out on television with wild claims we aren't going to be able to back up. Granted, it's an amazing genetic experiment, but we don't even know that the thing is really alien.

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

[They enter the office.]

COLSON
What else could it be?
FEMALE STAFFER
All we know is that the DNA came from the Department of Defence.
COLSON
Look, we're trying to build a circumstantial case here. The more questions we can raise, the more the burden of proof is gonna shift to Washington. Sooner or later, they're gonna have to respond to the public pressure. Meanwhile, we stay quiet. The media's going nuts over this whole thing. So, let's just sit tight and see what happens.

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[O'Neill is sitting at the table as Daniel, Carter and Teal'c enter.]

DANIEL
Well, Sam was right. There's something different about Colson's Asgard.

[Daniel, Carter and Teal'c sit at the table.]

DANIEL
Seems that a Colson biotech research company was given a copy of Asgard DNA for sequencing.
CARTER
We were trying to help with their cloning problem.
O'NEILL
Colson grew a clone?
DANIEL
They weren't told it was alien DNA, it was meant to be a blind study. But they obviously took their research a little further than the contract specified.
CARTER
Asgard DNA is programmed to grow a clone to maturity in just three months. But they're essentially an empty shell until an existing consciousness can be transferred into them.
TEAL'C
It did not speak because it was not capable.
CARTER
Exactly. They probably spent what time they had with it teaching it how to walk.
O'NEILL
Well, the Pentagon has lost all patience.
DANIEL
What are they gonna do?
O'NEILL
They want us to put a stop to it.
CARTER
How?
O'NEILL
We're calling in a marker.

[O'Neill smiles as the others look confused. O'Neill looks at his watch, obviously waiting for something to happen.]

O'NEILL
Yep, calling in a marker.

[O'Neill looks around, just as Thor beams in to the room.]

THOR
Greetings.
O'NEILL
Ah!

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

[The female staffer strides through the corridor.]

FEMALE STAFFER
Excuse me!

[She enters Colson's office.]

FEMALE STAFFER
It's gone.
COLSON
What do you mean?
FEMALE STAFFER
Just disappeared right out of the lab. The alien! Computers, everything.
COLSON
How? What about security?

[Colson stands, agitated.]

FEMALE STAFFER
Nobody took it. It disappeared. We were standing right there, there was a bright flash of light, and it was all just gone.

[Colson reaches for his jacket.]

COLSON
Alright, have Ron send out the decoy car and get the plane ready for a trip to Washington. Have it ready by the time I get to the hangar.

[Colson leaves as the woman turns to pick up the phone.]

INT—TV STUDIOES

DONOVAN
You ready?

[Donovan is sitting behind a desk. Carter, in dress blues, is sitting beside her being fitted with a microphone.]

CARTER
Not really.
DONOVAN
Just try not to think about the camera. Focus on me.
CARTER
It's not that. I respect Alec Colson. I don't like being asked to discredit a man who has every right to want the truth.
DONOVAN
But you've been ordered to do this.
CARTER
Yeah.
DONOVAN
Well, if you want to go against those orders, feel free. I'll go with it.

[Theme music begins as the countdown to going on air begins.]

DIRECTOR

(over intercom)

In five, four, three, two...

[Donovan is presenting the show.]

DONOVAN

We're here with Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force.
(to Carter)

Welcome.
CARTER
Thank you.
DONOVAN
Your background is astrophysics and you're one of the military's leading scientific researchers. We're all very eager to finally hear some reaction from Washington regarding the revelation made by Alec Colson.
CARTER
Well, first of all, I can assure people that if aliens really existed, and were visiting the planet, we would know about it.
DONOVAN
So, are you saying his claims have no merit? We all saw an alien on live television.
CARTER
Yes, well, Hollywood's been helping us see things on TV, for a long time now.
DONOVAN
Are you saying that the alien wasn't real?
CARTER
It depends on what you mean by real.

INT—COLSON'S VEHICLE

[Colson and Vogler are watching the interview on a small screen in the rear of the car.]

COLSON
Notice she hasn't actually lied once.

INT—TV STUDIOES

CARTER
I can show you some advanced methods for creating realistic 3D images that we've been working on.
DONOVAN
By all means.
CARTER
We've been experimenting with technology that makes it possible for us to create anything you can imagine. Virtually.

[Carter turns to the side as a hologram of an Asgard appears next to her.]

INT—COLSON'S VEHICLE

[Colson and Vogler look surprised as they see the image of the Asgard on the screen.]

DONOVAN
Wow, that looks just like the alien Alec Colson introduced to us.
ASGARD
Greetings, people of Earth.

INT—TV STUDIOES

DONOVAN
That's amazing. He looks so real.
ASGARD
Though I look real, I have been created through the use of advanced holographic technology.
DONOVAN
That's just incredible.

[Carter waves her hand through the hologram, making the image flicker.]

CARTER
It's just a projection. You'll probably be seeing technology like this in theme park rides in a few years.

INT—COLSON'S VEHICLE

COLSON
Oh, she's good.

INT—TV STUDIOES

[The interview has ended. Donovan is reviewing the tape of the Asgard.]

DONOVAN
Not quite the exclusive I had in mind, but it'll still do huge numbers.
CARTER
You're hilarious. After everything you've been through you still care about ratings.
DONOVAN
How did you do it? I've seen visual effects before, Sam, and this was some sort of...

[Donovan is handed a message.]

DONOVAN
...some sort of alien technology, wasn't it?

[Donovan reads the message, frowning.]

CARTER
What is it?
DONOVAN

Ten minutes ago, Alec Colson's private plane was forced into an emergency landing after almost crashing on take off from Sea-Tac. The plane suffered sudden depressurisation and loss of engine power but was able to land without serious incident. Excuse me, Sam, I've gotta get on the air with this.
(to staffers)
I need something on Colson's wife and his daughter. They died in a plane crash when he was twenty four.
(to Carter)
That's why he started Colson Aviation.
(to staff)

Let's go!

[Carter's mobile rings.]

CARTER

(into phone)

Carter.
COLSON

(over phone)

Sam?

INT—COLSON'S VEHICLE

COLSON
It's Alec Colson.

INT—TV STUDIOES

[Carter looks around and walks away from Donovan and other staff. She speaks quietly into the phone.]

CARTER
Are you okay?
COLSON
News travels fast. It was close. Brian's still as white as a sheet.

INT—COLSON'S VEHICLE

[Vogler joins Colson in the back of the car and makes himself a drink.]

INT—TV STUDIOES

CARTER
How did you get this number?
COLSON
Oh, I have my sources. You know, the ground crew here found evidence the plane had been tampered with.

[Vogler prepares himself a drink.]

CARTER
Someone tried to kill you?
COLSON
Seems that way. Any ideas?
CARTER
You think I know? Why would I go on TV to publicly discredit you if I knew you were about to be assassinated?
COLSON
To make sure it didn't look like Washington had anything to do with it. A fine job you did too, by the way.
CARTER
I'm sorry, I was following orders.
COLSON
Yeah, I know. Don't worry, Sam. I don't believe for a second you were in on it. If it was our government I'm sure you were just a pawn.
CARTER
That doesn't make me feel any better. Look, Alec, I can assure you that...
COLSON
It's okay, it's okay, it wasn't my first rough landing, I'm sure it won't be my last. I won't be stopped, Sam. I promise you, one way or another, the world is gonna learn the truth.

[Colson ends the call.]

INT—SGC O'NEILL'S OFFICE

[O'Neill is sitting behind his desk.]

O'NEILL
Um, how about a hyperdrive for the Prometheus?

[Thor and Daniel are sitting in front of the desk. Daniel is making notes.]

THOR
That is something I must discuss with the High Council.
O'NEILL
Thor, come on! You said you wanted to get something nice for the President.

[Carter enters.]

O'NEILL
Carter?
CARTER
Sir, anything on who might have tried to kill Colson?
O'NEILL
It wasn't us.
DANIEL
We think that Colson may have fragments of downed Goa'uld ships recovered from the Antarctic. A subsidiary of his was involved in the salvage and the clean up.
CARTER
Are we just going to keep trying to discredit the man? I mean, aren't we the ones a little delusional to think that we could cover up an attack of this scale?
O'NEILL
What's the alternative?
CARTER
How about tell the truth?

[Daniel and Thor look at Carter, surprised. Daniel and O'Neill look at each other, puzzled.]

CARTER
I mean to Colson. Look, I know he's been profiled and deemed a security risk and obviously that's an accurate assessment but what have we got to lose at this point? He's already trying to go public, let's show him why it's so important to keep the secret. Besides, think of the benefits of having a man with his resources on our side.
O'NEILL
Well, Thor and I are meeting with the President in five minutes. I'll bring it up.
CARTER
Five minutes?
O'NEILL
Oh yeah.

[O'Neill grins at Thor, as they are both beamed away.]

CARTER
Right.

[She looks at Daniel, who just shrugs.]

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

COLSON
Two o'clock, we go live. With the pictures, pieces of the alien ship, everything we've got.
VOGLER
Alec! They tried to kill us!
COLSON
You think that didn't work in our favour?
VOGLER

(loudly)

Dying doesn't work in our favour!

[Suddenly, Colson is beamed out of the office. Vogler and the female staffer stand in shock.]

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Colson materialises in the room, with Thor. As Colson sees Thor, he steps back in shock.]

COLSON
Okay. What just happened?

[Carter and Daniel walk towards them.]

DANIEL
Well, in layman's terms, we beamed you up and then down again.
COLSON
Where am I?
CARTER
Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado. You know Daniel, of course.

[Colson and Daniel shake hands.]

COLSON
Yeah, hi.

[Carter gestures to Thor.]

CARTER
And this is Thor.
THOR
Greetings.
COLSON
Ah, so this is a real one.
CARTER
Yep.
COLSON
What happened to the clone?
THOR
It will become a host to an Asgard consciousness whose physical body is failing.
COLSON
Okay.
THOR
Now, I must take my leave. General O'Neill said he will see you all tomorrow.

[Thor is beamed away.]

COLSON
Huh…wha?
CARTER
I want to show you something.

[Carter opens the blast doors at the window, to show the Stargate. Colson comes to stand next to her.]

CARTER
We call it a Stargate.

INT—SGC VIP ROOM

[Colson is on the phone.]

COLSON
I'm okay, Brian. I promise you, I'm fine. I'll be back in a couple of days.

[There is a knock at the door.]

COLSON
I've got to go. Alright, bye.

[Colson puts down the phone as Carter enters the room.]

CARTER
Ready?
COLSON
Wow! Look at you.
CARTER
Yeah, soldier Sam.
COLSON
I get a uniform too?
CARTER
Yep.

[Carter throws a bundled up uniform to Colson.]

COLSON
Alright!

INT—SGC GATE ROOM

[The gate is dialling out. Colson enters, joining Carter at the base of the ramp. As the Stargate activates, Colson steps back as the event horizon whooshes out. Carter smiles and starts up the ramp.]

COLSON
Whoa! So, where are we going?

[Colson follows Carter onto the ramp.]

CARTER
P4X-650. We have an offworld base there.
COLSON
And how far away is that?
CARTER
640 light years.

[They stop at the event horizon.]

COLSON
Really?
CARTER
Let's go.

[They walk through the gate, and travel through the wormhole.]

INT—ALPHA SITE GATE ROOM

[They step out of the gate into a large building. Colson looks at the gate as it shuts down. He looks at Carter in amazement.]

COLSON
Didn't feel a thing.
CARTER
You were de-molecularised.

[An officer walks up to them.]

CAPTAIN
Welcome to the Alpha site.

[Colson and Carter step down from the Stargate platform.]

CARTER
Alec Colson. Captain Sheffield.

[Colson and Sheffield shake hands.]

COLSON
Well it's…it's nice.
CARTER
Our last Alpha site was destroyed in an attack. We decided to build this one inside a mountain, like the SGC.
SHEFFIELD
This is all a bit spartan but it's our home away from home.
COLSON
I guess I was just expecting something a little more, I don't know, otherworldly?

[Carter opens blast doors, to show an F-302 in a hangar. Colson steps into the hangar, but stops in amazement.]

COLSON
Now that…that's more like it.
CARTER
It's called the F-302. Alien-human hybrid.

[They walk towards the aircraft.]

COLSON
So this is what the MECs were for?
CARTER
Yeah, thanks to you it's capable of leaving the atmosphere and returning. We used a number of these to defend Earth five months ago.

[Colson reaches up to touch the aircraft.]

CARTER
This is just one of the many advancements we've made as a result of technology procured through the Stargate. You wanna take a ride?

[Colson smiles and nods.]

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

[Vogler is in the office, standing at a terminal with a disc in his hand. The woman, noticing that he is there, enters.]

FEMALE STAFFER
Brian, what are you doing?
VOGLER
Alec wants all the evidence that we have about the alien cover-up duplicated, and secured off premises. You can get started on whatever we have left on the clone research.
FEMALE STAFFER
Okay.

[The woman leaves just as Vogler's mobile rings. Vogler check that no-one is in the office, then answers it.]

VOGLER

(into phone)

Vogler. I told you, I don't know where he is. I have a meeting with the SEC this afternoon. I understand. Don't worry, it'll work.

[Vogler, looking worried, ends the call.]

INT—ALPHA SITE HANGAR

[The F-302 leaves the hangar.]

INT—F-302

[Carter is flying the plane, with Colson in the rear seat.]

COLSON
Beautiful.
CARTER
Yeah.
COLSON
Must be hard, keeping all this secret. I don't know how you do it.
CARTER
I think of all the fear it would cause, the potential chaos.
COLSON
Ah, but what about all the greater meaning you could bring to people's lives? Just knowing that all this is out here.
CARTER
What's out here is an enemy so advanced, so evil, it's a miracle we haven't been wiped out or enslaved yet. We've been very lucky so far. I think most people would have a hard time living with the threat of constant impending doom.
COLSON
Oh, right, the old if you had cancer argument. Would you want to know you were gonna die, or would you rather live out your final days in blissful ignorance?
CARTER
Yeah, I guess I don't really buy it either.
COLSON
Well, I'd rather know, and try to cure it. If I couldn't do that, then I'd try to make my final days as meaningful as possible.
CARTER
You want a turn?
COLSON
I thought I was going to have to ask.
CARTER
Switching to co-pilot control. Go ahead, she's all yours.

[Colson takes control of the aircraft and flies into a roll.]

CARTER
So, what do you think?
COLSON
Amazing! She manoeuvres like an F/A-22, and feels like a 747.

[Carter nods in agreement.]

CARTER
That's the inertial dampeners.
COLSON
Alright, let's try this.

[He dives the plane sharply to the ground. A number of alarms start ringing and a main engine rocket fuel warning flashes.]

CARTER
Alec! Alec, pull up!

[Carter takes control of the plane and, as the aircraft skims treetops, she pulls it up.]

ALPHA CONTROL

(over radio)

Flight, this is Alpha Command. Is everything okay up there?
CARTER
It is now, we're fine. Bringing her back in.

[Carter shakes her head and sighs.]

INT—ALPHA SITE HANGAR

[The plane is brought into the hangar. Carter and Colson take off their helmets as the cockpit cover slides open.]

CARTER
Well, that was reckless.
COLSON
Ah, the 302 can handle it. I know. I may not have known its name but I helped you build it, remember?
CARTER
It was a joy ride. I took you up for a little fun.

[Carter steps out of her seat.]

COLSON
This isn't a game, Sam! What you guys are doing up here? This is life and death, for all of us.
CARTER
We know that.
COLSON
It wasn't much fun feeling out of control like that, was it?
CARTER
You don't have to make your point with my life.
COLSON
Oh, come on! We were never gonna crash. Unlike my plane back on Earth.
CARTER
I told you. We had nothing to do with it.
COLSON
Yeah, well, someone did. And if you think that, or any of this, is gonna prevent me from telling the world what they have a right to know. You're dead wrong.

INT—ALPHA SITE GATE ROOM

[Colson is studying the Stargate. Carter steps up on to the platform.]

CARTER
Alec. There's something else I need to talk to you about. There's a clandestine group of private businessmen like yourself who were informed of the Stargate program over six years ago by rogue elements of the NID. We've tried to identify them and bring them down but they are very highly connected. Former Vice President Kinsey's been linked to them. Now, instead of going public like you, they've been funding various secret endeavours, all aimed at controlling alien technology for their own purposes.
COLSON
Which are?
CARTER
You'd have to ask them. Personal profit. Maybe they think they can do a better job of defending the planet than we can.
COLSON
Why are you telling me all this?
CARTER
Because I'm guessing that's who tried to kill you. They'll never get control of the gate if the world finds out.

[Carter and Colson sit at the top of the platform steps.]

COLSON
When I was young, all I ever dreamed about was flying. I had every make of aeroplane ever built hanging from my ceiling. And then…well, I take it you know about my wife and daughter.

[Carter nods.]

COLSON
One of the down sides of celebrity. We really do have no secrets. Anyway, after the crash I vowed to make flying as safe as it possibly could be. I really thought that I could do it better than anyone else.
CARTER
But you have made a difference.
COLSON
But nothing's perfect, is it?
CARTER
No.
COLSON
Intergalactic travel. Advanced alien civilisations, humans living on other worlds? I do realise that there may be bad guys out there too.
CARTER
You have no idea how bad.
COLSON
But in the end, we have to believe in humanity. I mean, who knows, this might bring us all together as a planet.
CARTER
If we knew it would play out that way, then....
COLSON
You're afraid that knowing about the Stargate would fracture the world more than it already is.
CARTER
Yeah. Not just stop us fighting the Goa'uld but end things for good. We've seen it happen on other planets like Earth. In one case, public revelation of the Stargate caused an apocalyptic world war.
COLSON
That would be the ultimate irony, wouldn't it. You secretly save the world from destruction at the hands of alien invaders only for us to destroy ourselves out of fear, after the fact.
CARTER
Change your mind?
COLSON
Not really. I don't think it would happen.

[Colson stands and walks to the Stargate, gesturing at it.]

COLSON
And if a truth of this magnitude, about the very nature of human existence, could lead us to destroy ourselves? Then I'd say we would deserve it. Wouldn't you?

INT—STARGATE WORMHOLE

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Daniel is watching television, where Donovan is reporting.]

DONOVAN
Investigators now believe that Alec Colson created the alien hoax in order to divert attention from his real corporate financial problems.

[Carter and Colson enter.]

DONOVAN
Colson, who has still made no public statement...

[Daniel turns off the television.]

COLSON
Corporate financial problems? What's she talking about?
DANIEL
The story broke about an hour ago. The President's halted trading on the markets. Your company's stock had fallen eighty percent, the Dow was down over 500 points on the whole.
CARTER
What's going on?
DANIEL
The SEC is investigating you for securities fraud.
COLSON
That's ridiculous!
DANIEL
They're saying there were irregularities in your company's last two financial statements.
COLSON
Well, it's not true! Come on! The timing of this…I'm being set up.

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

[Vogler is sitting on a sofa, drinking. Colson and Carter enter.]

VOGLER
What's she doing here?
COLSON
She wants to help, Brian.
VOGLER
Oh, good. Why? Does she have a time machine so that we can go back and undo everything?

[Colson sits in an armchair next to Vogler.]

COLSON
Brian. Brian, what's going on?
VOGLER
You wouldn't listen. You wouldn't stop.

[Vogler stands, angry and upset.]

COLSON
So you admit you did this?
VOGLER
You go off on your adventures, you fly your planes, you drop by every now and then with a bright idea. Ever since we were kids you were always biting off more than you can chew, and I'm always having to bail you out.
COLSON
So you doctored the books?

[Colson stands, angry.]

VOGLER
I had to. I had to do something. I told you, we were over extended. The stock price was the only thing keeping us afloat, and you wouldn't listen.
COLSON
No, I don't believe this.
VOGLER
Alec, who…who do you think told the SEC?
COLSON
Why? Why now? What difference could it make, Brian, once the truth came out...
VOGLER
Alec, I almost died in that plane too! I still have a family. They tried to kill us.
COLSON
Who?
VOGLER
Did you really think that they were gonna let you tell a secret like this?
COLSON
Brian, what are you talking about?
VOGLER
They call themselves the Trust.

[Colson looks over at Carter, who looks uncomfortable. Vogler, who is almost in tears, sits.]

VOGLER
Look, all I know is they're very powerful. And, they think that Washington abdicated its duty to protect the planet, maybe even caused the problem in the first place. They see it as their responsibility to step in.

[Colson sits in front of Vogler.]

COLSON
We can fix this.
VOGLER

(quietly)

It's too late, it's done. It can't be undone.
COLSON
Brian, we'll both go to jail.
VOGLER
Yeah, but my family will be safe.
COLSON
What about the rest of the people that work for this company? What about their families?
VOGLER
Why weren't you thinking about them three days ago?
CARTER
How did they know? How did the people who threatened you know that you'd cooked the books? How did they know that there would be enough to indict both you and Alec?

[Vogler doesn't respond. Colson looks at Carter and Vogler, pondering.]

COLSON
They got to you six months ago.

[Vogler is in tears.]

VOGLER

Alec, they knew what you had. Don't ask me how. They had to make sure they could stop you. You were wrong, Alec.
(quietly)

You were not…this shouldn't come out. The world's not ready.

[Colson walks over to Carter.]

COLSON
There must be something we can do.
CARTER
You signed false financial statements.
COLSON
I mean about the people who tried to kill us!
CARTER
All I know is that they operate above the law and that they've threatened people's lives before.
COLSON
Then we have to bring them down.
CARTER
We've tried, believe me.
COLSON
Well, we have to try again.

[Colson looks over at Vogler, who sighs, hopeless.]

INT—SGC CORRIDOR

[O'Neill and SG-1 exit an elevator.]

CARTER
So, Colson's convinced Vogler to arrange a meeting with his contact and wear a wire. Hopefully, we'll get enough to connect him to the rogue NID and then flip him for someone bigger. We're co-ordinating with Agent Barrett.
DANIEL
At the very least it may restore Colson's public image.

INT—SGC O'NEILL'S OFFICE

[They enter the office.]

CARTER
Well yeah, especially if it turns out that someone in direct corporate competition with Colson Industries was pulling the strings.

[O'Neill sits behind his desk, Daniel and Carter sit in chairs in front of him and Teal'c leans against a desk.]

CARTER
Unfortunately, without further evidence, Brian Vogler's word alone isn't going to be enough to undo all the damage already done to the company.
TEAL'C
What of Brian Vogler's safety?
CARTER
He's under close surveillance. His family's been taken into protective custody.
O'NEILL
Well, I guess the secret is safe…again.
DANIEL
For now.

[The phone rings.]

O'NEILL

(into phone)

O'Neill.
CARTER

(to Daniel)

You know, I wouldn't count Colson out just yet. He still feels really strongly that the world should know the truth.

[Daniel nods.]

O'NEILL

(into phone)

Alright, thank you.

[O'Neill puts down the phone.]

O'NEILL
Surveillance just found Brian Vogler, dead, in his bathroom.
CARTER
What? How?
O'NEILL
He hanged himself.

[Carter, Teal'c and Daniel look shocked and upset.]

INT—COLSON'S OFFICE

[Carter enters and walks up to Colson who is sitting on a sofa, holding a handgun. Carter sighs.]

CARTER
Alec?

[Carter pauses as she sees the gun, then goes to sit next to Colson.]

CARTER
I'm so sorry about Brian.
COLSON
I killed him. I might as well have put the gun against his head and pulled the trigger myself.
CARTER
You couldn't have known.
COLSON
You saw how scared he was. I know what his family meant to him. He was never going to do anything to put them in any danger.

[Carter glances at the weapon.]

CARTER
Alec.
COLSON
He was my best friend.
CARTER
He betrayed you.
COLSON
No. I betrayed him.

[Colson raises the gun in emphasis.]

CARTER
Why don't you put the gun down.

[Colson looks at the weapon and sighs.]

COLSON
My life's over, Sam. Everything I worked for, everything I believed in, held to be true...
CARTER
Still exists. Apparently, Congress is looking into providing relief. The companies, the employees will survive.
COLSON
While I go to jail for something I didn't do?
CARTER
Back on the Alpha site you said, no matter what, you would rather make whatever time you had left meaningful. I'm here to give you that chance.
COLSON
How? By making all the indictments against me just disappear?
CARTER
I was thinking more along the lines of making you disappear.
COLSON
The problem with a guy like me, no place on Earth I can hide.
CARTER
Who's talking about Earth?
COLSON
Oh, no. No, I couldn't let you do that.
CARTER
Believe me, I wouldn't be here without the approval of my superiors. The President wasn't responsible for what happened to you but he's also not sorry that you were publicly discredited. Please, Alec, come with me. You can still make a difference. He who fights and runs away...

[Colson puts down the gun.]

COLSON
Lives to fight another day. And no-one will ever know.
CARTER
Welcome to my world.

FADE OUT

CLOSING CREDITS

Transcribed by Helen for Stargate Solutions 27 October 2004

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--Helen 16:17, 26 Oct 2004 (PDT)