SGA 1.06 "Childhood's End" Transcript

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1.06 "Childhood's End"

Episode Guide

SGA 1.06 "Childhood's End" Episode Guide

Précis

The team discovers a primitive, forest-dwelling tribe that has been untouched by the Wraith for centuries. Unaware of the electromagnetic field that protects them from the Wraith's technology, the tribe believes that ritual suicide at the age of twenty-five keeps the Wraith at bay.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

EXT—PLANET, DAY

[A Puddle Jumper skims over a pond and trees.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[The team look out the view-screen as Sheppard pilots the craft.]

SHEPPARD
Anything look familiar to you, Teyla?
TEYLA
No. I do not believe this is a world I have visited before.
FORD
Without landmarks how can you tell?
TEYLA
It is difficult by air, but every world is unique in its own way.
MCKAY
I've read a lot of reports from SG teams on missions like this one. Specifically, the mission reports of Colonel Samantha Carter. She and I worked together to avert global catastrophe a few years back. She and I…ay-yi-yi. Anyways, what was I saying?
FORD
Mission reports…
MCKAY
Right, well, apparently, there's remarkable similarities between worlds that support life. It makes sense, really. For example, the color of the sky is just a product—

[The ship shudders.]

MCKAY
What was that?
FORD
Turbulence?
SHEPPARD
It seems to be okay now. I wonder what that was.

[He brings up the HUD on the view-screen. McKay looks at the readings.]

MCKAY
I'm getting seriously conflicted readings. It looks like some sort of powerful energy field about two thousand yards over there.
SHEPPARD
Over where?
MCKAY
Uh, 18 degrees from our current heading.
SHEPPARD
You think it's worth checking out?
MCKAY
Any significant energy emission generally indicates technological civilization.
SHEPPARD
So…you think it's worth checking out?
MCKAY

(annoyed)

I'm sorry, yes. Energy field good.

[The ship shakes again/]

MCKAY
Maybe not.
TEYLA
It's getting worse.
SHEPPARD

That's enough. I'm getting out of here. (noting no response to controls)

We're not gaining any altitude. Controls are unresponsive.

[The HUD flickers out.]

SHEPPARD
The drive just went off-line. The pod's retracted. We're going in.

EXT—PLANET, DAY

[The drive pods retract, and the ship descends into the distance.]

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

EXT—PLANET, DAY

[The Puddle Jumper has come to rest after ploughing a trench through sand.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

FORD
Nice landing, sir.
SHEPPARD
Thank you.
TEYLA
What happened?
MCKAY

(over radio)

He took us too close to the energy field.
SHEPPARD
Whose idea was that?
MCKAY
Look, you've made mistakes. I've made mistakes. Let's not get caught in the blame game.
SHEPPARD
Okay, can you fix this ship or not?
MCKAY
None of my diagnostic equipment is working.
TEYLA
The sun is still high in the sky.
MCKAY
What does that mean?
FORD
We can make it back to the Stargate before dark.
TEYLA
If we intend to leave, we should start now.
SHEPPARD
Zelenka and I can return and fix it.
MCKAY
No, no, no, Major, you don't understand.
MCKAY
It's not just the jumper. None of my equipment is working, either.
SHEPPARD
All right. Let's gear up.

EXT—PLANET, DAY

[They all exit the Jumper, wearing tac vests and holding their weapons at the ready. Ford pulls out a compass.]

FORD
Check it out, sir. I think my compass has gone wonky.
MCKAY
You brought a magnetic compass to another planet in another galaxy? You have absolutely no way of knowing if this planet's magnetic field is—is… Wait a second. Let me see that.

[The needle on the compass is spinning wildly.]

MCKAY
The disturbance is electromagnetic. That probably explains why all our equipment’s out.
SHEPPARD
Which direction is the gate?
MCKAY
You're the one flying. Shouldn't you know?
SHEPPARD
All right. We should be able to figure this out.
TEYLA

(stepping forward)

I believe it is this way.
SHEPPARD
Let's move out.

[They follow Teyla's lead.]

EXT—FOREST ON PLANET, DAY

MCKAY

(looking at compass)

Hey, can we…go that way for a bit?
SHEPPARD
Why?
MCKAY
Oh, it's just…Lieutenant Ford's compass is acting weird. It might be onto something.
FORD
I'm glad I brought it along.
MCKAY
How prescient of you.

[Later, the come upon a stone pillar.]

MCKAY

(smiling)

Hello, hello. All right. Oh, yeah, definitively this way.

[The walk past the pillar and come to more stone ruins.]

MCKAY
We didn't fly over this on the way in, did we?
SHEPPARD
I don't know. I was kind of busy with the whole "trying not to get us killed" thing.
TEYLA
These ruins are very old.
MCKAY
Several hundred years at least, I'd say. Maybe more.

[The whole valley in front of them is scattered with stone ruins including pillars and arches.]

FORD
So the population here is extinct?
MCKAY
Check this out.

[He shows Sheppard the compass, which is not fluctuating less wildly.]

SHEPPARD
Okay, I give up.
MCKAY
If the disturbance is man-made, as opposed to naturally occurring, it's probably emanating from within these ruins. Somewhere…over there.

[He uses the compass to give him a hint.]

SHEPPARD
So if we find it, can we shut it off?
MCKAY
It's worth a shot. If we can shut down the field, we won't have to walk back to the gate.
SHEPPARD
I was thinking more of saving a perfectly good Puddle Jumper.
MCKAY
That, too.
SHEPPARD
All right, guys, stay here for a second, see if McKay can—

[A bunch of young people, some younger than teenagers, jump out from behind the ruins and point bows and arrows at the team. The people are wearing primitive clothing, and their faces are painted as if for hunting or war. The team raise their weapons.]

SHEPPARD
They're kids, Ford.
FORD
Yeah, with weapons pointed at us.
SHEPPARD
Lower your weapon, Lieutenant. Hey…kids.
TEYLA
We are not here to harm you in any way.
SHEPPARD
That's right, what she said. We're just—-we're friendly. Okay?
TEYLA
We arrived through the Stargate. We were only trying to return home.
FORD
I don't think they understand.
TEYLA
I believe they do.
SHEPPARD
Why are they still pointing arrows at us?
HUNTER KID
You're a full-grown.
SHEPPARD
Excuse me?
HUNTER KID
You need to see the elders.
SHEPPARD
Elders…sound good. Just lead the way.
FORD
Full-growns?

[The children lead them away while keeping their bows pointed at the team.]

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[In a wooded area, there are more children and living structures. Some dwellings are up in the trees, raised wooden walkways linking them. Someone lowers a rope ladder and two boys climb up. The children murmur about the visitor. Teyla notices an arrangement of a skeleton and some ruined machinery.]

TEYLA
Major…

[They walk over to the "arrangement". It is a dead Wraith and some parts of a ship, all whitened.]

FORD
Now, where’d they get that?
TEYLA
It looks like a shrine.
FORD
You don't think they worship the Wraith, do you?
SHEPPARD
That’d be a first.
MCKAY
That'd be disturbing.

[One of the kids approaches them.]

HUNTER KID
Wraith bones.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, we know.
HUNTER KID
Its death bird fell out of the sky years ago. We keep it here to remind us of how life used to be.
TEYLA
"Used to be"?
HUNTER KID
Before.
MCKAY
"Fell out of the sky"?
SHEPPARD
Yeah, I picked up on that.
FORD
You think whatever knocked us down knocked it down?
MCKAY
It's possible. Now, if that's the case, we need to find it.
FORD
Why?
MCKAY
Because anything powerful enough to knock out a Wraith dart is a big deal.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, that would be nice to have.

[A kid comes to whisper in the ear of the hunter.]

HUNTER KID
The elders are ready.

[The approach the rope ladder. Ford climbs up first.]

INT—VILLAGE DWELLING

[Some men slightly older than the hunters wait. Sheppard is the last to climb up and arrive.]

SHEPPARD
Hi. Nice to meet you.
KERAS
I’m Keras, one of the village elders.
SHEPPARD
I'm Sheppard, and this is Rodney and Teyla and— Did you say you're one of the elders?
KERAS
Yes.
SHEPPARD
How old are you?
KERAS
Twenty-four.
SHEPPARD
And that makes you an elder?
KERAS
How did you get here, Sheppard?
SHEPPARD
We used the Stargate to travel from our world to visit yours.
TEYLA
You do know of the Stargate?
SHEPPARD
It's a big, round…thing.
KERAS
No one has come through the well for nearly…500 years.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, well, here's the thing…Um, we're a little lost.
KERAS
And you are all older than twenty-four?
SHEPPARD
Ford, how old are you?
FORD
Twenty-five, sir.
SHEPPARD
Well, I guess so. Is that a problem?

[Keras removes his headdress.]

KERAS
Please…sit.

[The other man approaches him.]

ARIES
They are trespassers, Keras. We don't have to explain ourselves.
KERAS
I apologize.

[He gestures. They all take a seat on pillows on the floor.]

KERAS
You are familiar with the Wraith?
TEYLA
Yes.
SHEPPARD
Well, we're not friends or anything like that.
KERAS
The Wraith used to farm our planet, as we used to farm livestock and beasts of burden. Only, we were their herd.
FORD
Yeah, they seem to do that everywhere.
KERAS
Our ancestors fought them, but our weapons were not strong enough. Our people tried to hide from them, but they were always found. None died peacefully. None could enter into the eternal rest.
MCKAY
Eternal rest?
KERAS
To die at the hands of the Wraith, to breathe your last breath amongst such…hatred and evil. There's no way to move peacefully into the next world when that is your fate. My ancestors decided that to beat the Wraith, we must learn to think as they think. We ensured that we would never provide the Wraith with a crop worth picking.
SHEPPARD
By…
KERAS
None of us passes the age of twenty-four.
MCKAY
How do you manage that?
KERAS
On the eve of our twenty-fifth year, we make the sacrifice both for our people and for our own safe passage into the eternal rest.
MCKAY
What?
SHEPPARD
You kill each other?
KERAS
No. We take our own lives. And so the Wraith have not returned for nearly five hundred years.

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

INT—VILLAGE DWELLING

[The team is meeting separately from the inhabitants.]

FORD
Never in my life have I ever felt so…old.
SHEPPARD
This is without a doubt the most screwed-up way of life I can imagine.
TEYLA
They seem to accept it.
SHEPPARD
They're kids. What the hell do they know?
FORD
Kids that don't want to keep us around.
TEYLA
Because they believe our presence may bring back the Wraith.
FORD
They can't be right, can they? Would the Wraith just ignore them because they're all young? I mean, I don't eat veal, but it can't be the same thing, can it?
MCKAY
Of course it's not the same. Veal is delicious. The Wraith don't come by anymore, because when their darts fly close to the villages, the electromagnetic field takes them out, much like what happened to our Puddle Jumper.
TEYLA
Why do they not just land outside the disturbance and take the village by foot?
MCKAY
I'm sorry, perhaps I'm not being clear. Nothing works here, not their stunners, their darts…even their shields wouldn't function correctly. I mean, why would they risk their advantage when there's a smorgasbord through some other stargate?
FORD
Our guns still work, though, right?
MCKAY
Because they're relatively primitive. They don't generate an EM field.
TEYLA
We must tell them.
MCKAY
Not before I've had a chance to look at those ruins, we don't.
TEYLA

(angry)

They're sacrificing themselves for no reason.
MCKAY
What are we going to tell them, Teyla? "Listen, kiddies, everything you believe to be true is wrong, "and trust us, because we've been here for almost an hour."
KERAS
We've talked it over. You can stay until you've fixed your ship, but you must work quickly. You being here makes our people…uncomfortable.
SHEPPARD
It's fair enough. We'll work as quickly as we can.
MCKAY
There may have been something in the ruins where you picked us up that…caused us to lose control of our ship.
ARIES
They should be watched at all times.
KERAS
Aries—
SHEPPARD
No, that's…fine. Totally understandable.
KERAS
I'll choose two of the villagers to keep an eye on you.

EXT—FOREST ON PLANET, DAY

[Ford and McKay walk back to the ruins. Two children follow alongside McKay, talking to him.]

CLEO
Casta says you're a hundred years old? Are you?
MCKAY
Who's Casta?
CASTA
Me.
MCKAY
Where are you getting your information, Casta?
CASTA
Why are we going to the old city?
MCKAY
I've got to check something.
CASTA
What kind of thing?
MCKAY
It's grown-up stuff.
CLEO
What's a grown-up?
MCKAY
Someone who's older than you are.
CASTA
I'm three days older than Cleo. You can tell me.
MCKAY
Nice try, but you're not a grown-up.
CLEO
But you just said someone that's older than me is a grown-up.
MCKAY
I don't need you to tell me what I just said, okay?
CLEO
Okay.
CASTA
So, why are we going to the old city?
MCKAY
Ford, a little help here.
FORD

(laughing)

What are you talking about? You're a natural.
MCKAY
Let's see how long we can be quiet. Who could be quiet the longest, huh?
CLEO
Well, I'm not a quiet person.
MCKAY
That's not quiet, that's talking.
CLEO
Well, I'm not a quiet person. I talk a lot.

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Keras shows Sheppard around.]

KERAS
Do you have young?
SHEPPARD
Me? No…not yet, anyway. Do you?
KERAS
Oh, yes. They're raised in one of our other villages.
SHEPPARD
Other villages?
KERAS
To keep family lines apart.
SHEPPARD
Got it. How many villages are there like this?
KERAS
Twelve. There are a few larger than this one, but more are small in number.
SHEPPARD
And they all make the sacrifice?
KERAS
Yes. We all do, as have the many before.
SHEPPARD
No one ever…
KERAS
What?
SHEPPARD
Well, decides not to go through with it, takes off, runs away?
KERAS
There has been hesitation.
SHEPPARD
Well, I bet.
KERAS
We can be…persuasive when the time comes.
SHEPPARD
I know what that means. Look…I've got to tell you. I—I don't understand this at all. Where I come from, we value life more than…well, almost anything else. Lieutenant Ford, he's just a year older than you. Do you know what he would have missed out on if his life was over a year ago?
KERAS
You know, we're not all that different. It's just that…I would rather have twenty-four years of peace than a life of fear.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, but what if there's another way? Naturally, when the time comes.
KERAS
The time comes.
SHEPPARD
Well, of course it does. That's part of being alive.
KERAS
I mean, for me. Tomorrow is the first day of my twenty-fifth year.
SHEPPARD
Tomorrow?
KERAS
Yes. That’s why I lead the council of elders. I am oldest among the twenty-fours.
SHEPPARD
You mean tomorrow, you…
KERAS
Tonight.
SHEPPARD

(surprised but not disagreeing openly)

Tonight?
KERAS
Our way was put in place long ago, and it works. It's not for me to question it. Tonight, I die.

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Elsewhere in the village, near a pond, Aries speaks to a young woman.]

PELIAS
How many?
ARIES
Four. They claim they're alone, but we can't be sure. There may be more.
PELIAS
And you've given them time to repair the ship?
ARIES
Against my strong objection, yes.
PELIAS
So this is Keras.
ARIES
Who should be readying himself for his sacrifice, not troubling with the full-growns. I will be the eldest by tomorrow but that may be too late.
PELIAS
What do you want to do?
ARIES
They came through the Wraith well, Pelias. If they stay any longer, the Wraith will come back, and all our sacrifices will be for nothing. This calls for action. They must be forced to leave.
PELIAS
I need time to talk to the other villages.
ARIES
We have little of it.
PELIAS
You know the laws, Aries. It's bad enough we're leaving Keras out of this. A forced sacrifice must be agreed upon by all the villages.

[Other villagers are watching them argue.]

ARIES

(to others)
Leave us!
(to Pelias)

You talk with who you need to talk. I will give them until the end of this day to leave. If they do not…

[Pelias looks at him in shock.]

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[McKay walks around with the compass. The two children are in his path.]

MCKAY
Hey, hey, coming through. Thank you.
CLEO
What's that?
MCKAY
It's a compass.
CLEO
What's that?
MCKAY
Used for determining direction on Earth. I'm using it to—
CASTA
Where's Earth?
MCKAY
Listen, Cleo—
CASTA
Casta.
MCKAY
Whatever. Aren't you supposed to be observing? Do you understand what that means, observing?
CASTA
Observing?
MCKAY
It means you're supposed to watch. You're supposed to stay out of my way and watch.
CASTA
Why?
MCKAY
Because.
CLEO
Because why?
MCKAY
Because I say so.
CLEO
Why?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Because I can't get any work done with you two buzzing around, asking stupid questions in your stupid little voices. Now sit down and shut up!

[Cleo starts to cry.]

MCKAY
Oh, don't. Do—don't.

[Casta starts to hit McKay.]

CASTA
You're mean!
MCKAY
Thank you for finally noticing.

[McKay starts lightly sparring with Casta.]

MCKAY
Okay, you want to go? You want to go, huh?
FORD

(breaking them up)

Okay, okay, okay. Okay, you've got a real gift with the kids. Do you do birthday parties?
MCKAY
Look, I have a purpose here, okay? You deal with them. Excuse me. Thank you.

[He pushes them aside and walks away.]

FORD
It's okay. It's okay. He's upset, because you're smarter than him. You guys know what chocolate is? No? This is going to be huge. Okay, come with me. We're going to go over here, and we'll leave the mean, old man alone.

[Nearby, McKay looks at the compass, which is now nearly still and pointing North. He walks that direction.]

[Rodney makes his way to a shallow cave whose entrance is covered by foliage. He enters. Under some leaves is a chest-high device with glowing orange panels.]

MCKAY
Oh, yeah. Okay.

[He pushes a button, and a ZPM rises out of the device.]

MCKAY
Hello, hello.

[He looks out side to see Ford giving the children chocolate.]

FORD
It's really good, huh? Do you want some more?
MCKAY
Major.

INT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Sheppard is sitting beside Keras.]

SHEPPARD

(surprised)

McKay? My radio's working.
MCKAY
Which is how I'm able to speak with you, yes. Do you have a second?
SHEPPARD

(standing and stepping away from Keras)

Tell me you found the field generator.

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[McKay starts walking toward the Jumper with Ford.]

[The rest of the conversation switches between McKay and Sheppard's locations.]

MCKAY
I found the field generator. And obviously, the off switch. Better than that—-the device is powered by a zero-point module. It's definitely possible the EM field's been on-line for centuries. As far as I know, only a ZPM is capable of powering it that long. I've shut it down. Everything's working now.
SHEPPARD
So you've disabled the shield?
MCKAY
Just temporarily. I need to get the ZPM back to Atlantis, see if it's worth taking.

[Teyla has joined Sheppard in the village.]

TEYLA
We cannot just take it. It is their only source of protection against the Wraith.
MCKAY
There's no evidence that the Wraith have been here in years. Besides, if this is a fully functioning ZPM, we can bring them all back to Atlantis. How hard could that be?
SHEPPARD
Hard…but a ZPM could give us the power to make a lot of problems go away.
MCKAY
Exactly. I need to get it back to a lab.
SHEPPARD
How do you plan on doing that?
MCKAY
Well, I've had the gene inoculation, and you've already given me a flying lesson.
SHEPPARD
It's going to take more than a shot in the arm and a five-minute lesson.
MCKAY
Listen, I'm not going to be dog fighting Wraith darts. Ford and I can handle it.
SHEPPARD
All right, fine, you can go, but get back to me before tonight. We sort of have a…a deadline.
MCKAY
Right.

[McKay and Ford head to the Jumper.]

INT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

TEYLA
I think it is dangerous to leave the villages unprotected.
SHEPPARD
McKay's got a point. The Wraith haven't been around in a very long time.
TEYLA
This is reckless, Major. You must see that.
SHEPPARD
Come on what are the odds they're going to show up in the few hours it takes McKay to run those tests?

[At the Wraith shrine, a device on the dead Wraith's wrist starts flashing.]

[In the village, Aries approaches Sheppard and Teyla.]

ARIES
Why were the guides sent back to the village?
SHEPPARD
Were they?
ARIES
Yeah, they were.
SHEPPARD
It must have been nap time.

[Aries approaches Sheppard aggressively.]

ARIES
You think this is a joke, Sheppard?
SHEPPARD
I don't find much of what's going on around here to be that funny.
KERAS
What's wrong?
ARIES
Two of the full-growns are out unwatched.
KERAS
It's fine, Aries.
ARIES
You should be getting ready for tonight, Keras. The cleansing ceremony is set to begin, and you have—
KERAS
Fine. I'll go ready myself.

[They both walk away.]

TEYLA
What were they talking about?
SHEPPARD
He's supposed to sacrifice himself tonight.
TEYLA
Keras?
SHEPPARD
I tried to talk him out of it.
TEYLA
If we tell them about the field that protects their villages—
SHEPPARD
I'm working on that, but we can't do anything until we figure out what to do with the ZPM.

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—MCKAY'S LAB

[Weir speaks to McKay as he works on the ZPM.]

WEIR
This is a very bad call, Rodney.
MCKAY
Why?
WEIR
You just told me this ZPM, it powers their defenses against the Wraith.
MCKAY
Yep.
WEIR
You don't see the problem with stealing it?
MCKAY
It wouldn't be stealing so much as…look, if it's any good to us, we can bring them here.
WEIR
All right, for one, we don't even know how many of them there are.
MCKAY
Well, I hardly doubt there'll be more than a few hundred.
WEIR
What? Hey, we're barely getting by here ourselves.
MCKAY
This is a big, empty city, and we have the mainland now.
WEIR
Rodney, we can't just visit planets, take away their defenses, uproot their cultures, and bring them all back here to Atlantis.
MCKAY
If they have a ZPM, yes, we can.
WEIR
Oh, my God, how morally superior you must feel.
MCKAY
Elizabeth, they live in trees. Atlantis would be a big step-up for them. Plus, they could stop killing themselves for no good reason.
WEIR
Are they killing themselves for no good reason?
MCKAY
Yes, they are. The EM shield is what's keeping the Wraith away, not the sacrificing.
WEIR
Okay. You said that the sacrifices began at about the same time you think the shield went on-line.
MCKAY
More or less.
WEIR
So if the people who built the shield are the same people who implemented the suicide pacts, perhaps the two things aren't as disconnected as you think.
MCKAY
Huh. Well…maybe.

INT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Sheppard walks with Keras.]

SHEPPARD
One more day, that's all I need. I'll have a much clearer picture then.
KERAS
A clearer picture of what?
SHEPPARD
Long story. Stick around, and I'll tell you.
KERAS
I'll be honest with you, Sheppard. There's nothing I'd like more than to spend more time talking with you…But it's not possible.

[He starts to walk away.]

SHEPPARD
What if you're wrong? What if a day doesn't matter? What if a year doesn't matter?
KERAS

(turning back)

And what if it does? I'd never rest peacefully knowing that I was the reason the Wraith returned to this planet.
SHEPPARD
You could live a full life.
KERAS
You're a warrior among your people, one who is trained to defend and protect them.
SHEPPARD
I guess you could say that.
KERAS
Would you not willingly give your life if it were necessary?
SHEPPARD
It'd have to be really necessary.
KERAS
How is the sacrifice so different?
SHEPPARD
So this is just going to go on forever?
KERAS
As long as the Wraith don't return…yes.

[He turns away then comes back.]

KERAS
Would you stand witness?
SHEPPARD
Me? Well, wha—what do I have to do?
KERAS
Just…be there as I prepare. We gather the strength from those close to us for the sacrifice to come.

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[McKay approaches Weir on the stairs.]

MCKAY
Dr. Weir… The bad news is it looks like the device harnesses M7G-677's unique electromagnetic field. It probably wouldn't work for us.
WEIR
Assuming we were considering stealing from them.
MCKAY
Uh, not much point to that, either. The ZPM is almost depleted.
WEIR
So it's worthless?
MCKAY
I wouldn't say that. It's enough to give us…oh, the shield at full power for a few hours, which would be handy if the Wraith ever attack. Now, it could continue doing what it was doing for quite some time, but, uh—
WEIR
So it is of more worth to them than it is to us.
MCKAY
Probably.
WEIR
Definitely.
MCKAY
Fine. There's another thing.
WEIR
Uh-huh?
MCKAY
I think I have a theory about the suicide pact.
WEIR
Yeah? What is it?
MCKAY
I'm not sure how much power this thing had to start with, but whoever built the EM device knew it wouldn't be able to power a field large enough to cover the whole planet for very long.
WEIR
So it was built to protect a smaller area.
MCKAY
More or less the area around the villages. But if the population got much larger than they are now, there's a chance the kids would move out of the field and may become susceptible to a Wraith attack.
WEIR
So the suicide pact is…
MCKAY
Population control.
WEIR
Wow, that's a little severe.
MCKAY
A little? I mean, the point is they believe if they die in fear and turmoil, they don't get to go to their version of heaven. Now, while this, at the very least, guarantees that they die in peace, it's…Well, it's a religion, and a pretty ridiculous one at that.
WEIR
Well, that's not a judgment we can make for them.
MCKAY
No?
WEIR
No.
MCKAY
No.
WEIR
Now, I'd like you and Lieutenant Ford to return the ZPM and get their device back on-line.

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Keras stands as one villager walks around him with incense and another paints his face with white paint. Keras looks afraid. Sheppard looks on somberly.]

MCKAY

(over radio)

Sheppard, it's McKay.
TEYLA

(into radio)

This is Teyla. Major Sheppard is…unavailable.
MCKAY

(over radio)

What does that mean?
TEYLA

(into radio)

Keras has asked him to take part in the cleansing ceremony.
MCKAY

(over radio)

That doesn't sound good.
TEYLA

(into radio)

Are you back?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Ford and I are back at the old city. I'm just going to put the ZPM back.
TEYLA

(into radio)

Good. I'll let Major Sheppard know.
MCKAY

(over radio)

I've parked the jumper outside the EM field, so we should be able to leave as soon as I've finished.

[Sheppard suddenly notices the flashing wrist device on the Wraith skeleton.]

SHEPPARD
Teyla!

[He runs toward it and puts his hand over it.]

TEYLA

(into radio)

Major Sheppard has just found a Wraith bracelet that has already begun transmitting. We need that field returned as soon as possible.

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[Hearing this, McKay and Ford run toward the device.]

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Sheppard rips off the arm bone that has the bracelet and throws it on the ground.]

ARIES
Stop him!

[Sheppard fires at the bracelet with his pistol, destroying it. In reaction a bunch of Aries' men rush over and grab Sheppard, dragging him to his knees.]

SHEPPARD
Sorry. I—I—I had to do that.

[Teyla pulls her gun to protect Sheppard.]

TEYLA

(into radio)

McKay, we need it on now!

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[McKay and Ford run the last distance to the device.]

FORD
Move!
MCKAY
I'm coming!

[They arrive at the shield device. McKay pulls the ZPM out of his pack and places it on the device. He pushes a button to activate it, but nothing happens.]

FORD
Well, what are you waiting for?
MCKAY

(puzzled)

Well, that should be it.
FORD
It should be what?
MCKAY
Far be it for me to cause a panic, but—
FORD
What did you do? What did you do?
MCKAY
There's the slightest possibility that in my haste, I may have broken it.

EXT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

ARIES
How dare you defile our remembrance?
SHEPPARD
It was necessary.
ARIES
Necessary? You broke the laws. You must be punished!
KERAS
That's not up to you, Aries.

[Keras reaches out to stop Aries, who pushes him off.]

ARIES

Neither is it up to you anymore!
(to Sheppard)
You've had enough time. You must fix your ship and go! (to the crowd)

How long do they expect us to play chance with our lives? Every second a full-grown is in our village is a second we are no longer safe from the Wraith. They must leave now! Yeah!

[The crowd yells in agreement.]

KERAS

(to Sheppard)

I'll take you to the well.
SHEPPARD
You don't understand.
KERAS
You're not safe here.
TEYLA
McKay and Ford are in the ruins.
KERAS
We'll pick them up on the way.
SHEPPARD
Have they put the ZPM back?
TEYLA
There's been a setback.
SHEPPARD
What did McKay do?
KERAS

(to the crowd)

Friends, please… The full-growns have agreed to leave and never come back. I will take them to the well myself. All of this will be over soon…and we can get on with the ceremony.

[Everyone calms down. Sheppard is allowed to stand.]

ARIES

(to one of his men)

Make sure they get there.

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[Sheppard and the others arrive at the shield generator, where McKay is working to re-insert the ZPM.]

SHEPPARD
Please tell me you have this working.
MCKAY
I don't know what I did. These things are usually plug and play. This device must be using an older version of Windows.
SHEPPARD
Get to the point.
MCKAY
What I'm saying is there's a sequence to reinstalling the ZPM which I haven't gotten yet.
KERAS
None of that matters now. Just grab what you can and come with me. Aries will be sending men behind us.
FORD
What made the bracelet start broadcasting?
TEYLA
I do not think it was anything we did.
FORD
It's possible it was like an emergency beacon that activated when the dart crashed. The EM field’s been keeping it quiet ever since.
SHEPPARD
So it must have begun transmitting…as soon as McKay turned off the field.
KERAS
Listen to me. We have to move on, now.
TEYLA
We cannot do that.
SHEPPARD
Keras, this is hard to explain but we can't go anywhere until we fix this device.
MCKAY
We.
KERAS
You'll just have to abandon your ship. You're risking your lives if you stay.
SHEPPARD
This is not about our ship. It's about the protection of your villages.
KERAS
What?
FORD
Keras, the reason our ship went down, the reason the Wraith dart crashed so long ago, it's because of this device.
MCKAY
It renders all electromagnetic-based technology inside the shield inert.
KERAS
I don't understand.
SHEPPARD
What they're saying is that the Wraith didn't stay away because of your sacrifices. They stayed away because of this shield.
KERAS
That can't be true.
MCKAY
That's not entirely true, actually. The shield doesn't protect the whole planet. It doesn't have enough power. I believe the idea of the sacrifices was brought in so your society never left the confines of the shield. Look, the sacrifices play a part in your survival, but not for the reasons you believe.
KERAS

(in shock)

It's impossible.
SHEPPARD
I can prove it to you, but you have to give us time to bring this device back on-line.

INT—VILLAGE ON PLANET, DAY

[Aries addresses the crowd.]

ARIES
Keras is weak. I doubt his oath to the sacrifice. The full-growns have clouded his judgment.

[A boy rushes up and whispers something to him.]

ARIES
They're stopped in the old city, and are not moving on. Gather the bows and the spears. We will rid ourselves of them now once and for all!
CROWD
Yeah!

[The boys take up weapons in preparation.]

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[Everyone waits for McKay outside the small enclosure. McKay comes out of it.]

MCKAY
Coming through, coming through. Excuse me.

[He picks up two bags of his supplies.]

MCKAY

(going back in)

All right. And again. Still in the way. Thank you.
KERAS
This will never work.
SHEPPARD
We don't have much of a choice.

[Aries and the boys arrive, their bows drawn.]

ARIES
This is not the well, Keras.
SHEPPARD
Um…it—it's my fault. We just received word from McKay that our ship's just been repaired. In fact, he's back there right now waiting for us. We were just…saying goodbye to Keras.

[As he speaks, McKay overhears and limits his movements.]

ARIES
You think I am a fool?
SHEPPARD
No…I just think you're a little cranky. Look, if you want to escort us back to the ship, you can watch us leave.
ARIES
Lead the way.

[Sheppard, Teyla, and Ford walk through the crowd and lead them away, leaving McKay hidden near the field generator. He confirms they are gone.]

MCKAY
All right.

[He gets back to work. Then he hears rustling outside. He pulls his pistol. Cleo and Casta appear.]

MCKAY
Oh…oh, you scared me.

[He puts his gun away.]

CLEO
You scared us.
MCKAY
Sorry.
CASTA
It's okay. We came to see if you left any chocolate.
MCKAY
Uh…yes, yes, of course. What? Oh, you want some.

[He pulls a bar from a pocket and holds it up.]

MCKAY
Okay, you can have this… but you've got to promise to let me work, okay?
CASTA
Okay.
MCKAY
All right. Quietly.
CLEO
Come on.

[The children leave.]

EXT—CLEARING NEAR PUDDLE JUMPER, DAY

[The team, minus McKay, and the boy soldiers arrive.]

TEYLA
Do you intend to leave McKay behind?
SHEPPARD
No, we'll just circle around until he gets the device back on. He'll show up.

[A cylindrical probe moving very fast comes near. It makes Wraith-type sounds.]

ARIES
It's too late. We're too late!

[The probe comes to a hover above the Puddle Jumper and shoots a beam at it, probably as a probing action. Sheppard and Ford fire on it, and it retreats. The boys crouch in fear.]

FORD
What the hell was that?
TEYLA
It was too small to be a dart.
SHEPPARD
It's a probe of some kind.
FORD
It probably came to check out the signal from the Wraith bracelet.
SHEPPARD
We've got to take it down before it gets back to the gate.

[He turns to face the boys, who now are surrounding and aiming arrows at him.]

SHEPPARD
Hey, boys. Let us take that probe down, or we're all in deep trouble.
ARIES
Even if you were able to destroy it, more will come.
TEYLA
That is not true.
ARIES
Why do you think they're here, Sheppard? You. The Wraith have sensed a crop worth harvesting, and they've come to claim it.
SHEPPARD
Keras, tell them that we've got to take this thing down before it gets back to the Stargate.

[A scout turns up to Aires and shakes his head.]

ARIES
Where's the other full-grown?
KERAS
Aries…there's a device that shields us from the machines of the Wraith. The sacrifices might have—
ARIES
He'll be in the old city. Go.
KERAS
Aries, listen to me.
ARIES
You've let your fear of the sacrifice put our entire people in danger, Keras.
TEYLA
You have been protected from the Wraith by a shield.
FORD
We turned it off by accident.
SHEPPARD
But the good news is if we get it back up, the Wraith will never come again.
ARIES

(threateningly)

There's only one thing I have to do to make sure the Wraith never come again… Kill you.

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[McKay keeps working.]

MCKAY
Come on.

[Cleo and Casta stand nearby licking chocolate from their fingers. Cleo hears something outside.]

CLEO
Somebody's coming.

[It is the scout, Neleus, and another boy. They aim their arrows at McKay, who points his pistol back at them.]

NELEUS
What is this? You must come with us now.
MCKAY
I can't do that. Listen…I need to finish my work here. I've seen how the Wraith deal with other planets, and they don't care how old you are. I need to get this device turned on, and I am so close to figuring it out, so just give me one more shot. Look, both of you, go to your rooms! You're not buying this, are you?

[They hear the probe outside. Neleus and the other hunter go outside the enclosure to see it. McKay gestures to Cleo and Casta.]

MCKAY
Hey, psst! Come on, come on.

[They come inside the ZPM area with him. McKay looks up and sees the probe.]

MCKAY
No.

EXT—CLEARING NEAR PUDDLE JUMPER, DAY

[The stand-off continues.]

FORD
Sir, I don't like where this is headed.
SHEPPARD
Easy, Ford… Nobody's shooting just yet…
FORD
Yet.
SHEPPARD

And nobody's going to, either.
(circling slowly, his gun raised)

Aries…you have no idea what you're up against here.
TEYLA
The weapons we carry are more powerful than any you have ever seen.
SHEPPARD
She's telling the truth. They do more than make a lot of noise. They will kill you.

[Aries is not convinced.]

EXT—RUINS ON PLANET, DAY

[Neleus and the other hunter try to shoot down the probe with their arrows while McKay continues to try to get the ZPM to activate. He pushes a series of buttons, and it lights up. The probe drops to the ground, inert. The hunters come into the enclosure.]

MCKAY
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

[The ZPM drops into the device, now fully activated.]

NELEUS
It works.
MCKAY
Of course it works.
NELEUS
I must tell Aries. Come with us.

[The hunters leave. McKay leans down to speak to the children.]

MCKAY
Hey, you guys okay? All right, head back to the woods. You're gonna be fine.

[He shoos them out, then sighs.]

EXT—CLEARING NEAR PUDDLE JUMPER, DAY

ARIES
Your presence has brought the Wraith. All our ancestors' sacrifices, you've undone, all because you refused to leave when you were told to.
SHEPPARD
It's not that simple.
ARIES
Yeah, it is that simple.

[He nods to one of his mean, who has a crossbow.]

KERAS
Aries, no.

[Keras steps in front of Sheppard.]

SHEPPARD
Keras!

[Keras is hit in the right shoulder with the arrow from the crossbow.]

FORD
Sir?

[Sheppard lowers Keras to the ground, Teyla assisting.]

SHEPPARD

Hold your fire!
(to Aries)

Look what you've done.
ARIES
He's as guilty as you are.
SHEPPARD
Ford?
FORD
Ready, sir.
SHEPPARD

(angrily)

We will defend ourselves, and believe me, you don't want that!
ARIES
Archers, ready!
NELEUS

(running into the area)

It works! Aries! It works! The device works! The device they speak of is real. I've seen it.
ARIES
What?
NELEUS
McKay fixed it, and the Wraith bird fell right out of the sky.
ARIES
That doesn't matter—
NELEUS
Aries…it works.

[McKay comes running up the trail.]

SHEPPARD
Are you all right, McKay?
MCKAY

(panting)

Tryin' to catch my breath…
SHEPPARD

(to Teyla)
Get the medical kit from the jumper.
(to Keras)

You're going to be okay.

[Sheppard gives Aries a solemn, grim look.]

EXT—CLEARING NEAR PUDDLE JUMPER, DUSK

[Later, Keras is standing near a small campfire with a sling on his arm. The young hunters and Teyla are gathered around. McKay, Sheppard and the two small children arrive from the ruins.]

MCKAY
I've been able to boost the coverage by over 50% without much of a power increase, so that should be enough for a sizable population growth.

[Cleo keeps pulling at his sleeve, and he does his best to ignore her by brushing her hand away.]

KERAS
Thank you, but you have no idea how long the shield will last?
MCKAY
There's no way of knowing, no but there's a good chance you'll be a grandparent before it…before it goes.

[Keras smiles at McKay and his antics with the children.]

SHEPPARD
We'd be happy to come back and check in on you every now and then. In fact, Ford would be happy to come back and explain how to be a 25-year-old.
KERAS
I'll look forward to it.
SHEPPARD
You'll have to get used to a few things now that everything's changing around here, but we can talk about that next time we visit. Just promise me you'll stick around.
KERAS
I will.
TEYLA
Have all the villages agreed to suspend the sacrifices?
KERAS
They will require us to change some laws, but for now, yes.
FORD

(coming out of back of Puddle Jumper)

Sir.
SHEPPARD
Oh, right. Here.

[He tosses a bag of something to Keras.]

KERAS
What's this?
FORD
Well, where we're from, you get presents when you turn a year older.

[It's a bag of chocolate.]

MCKAY

(to children)

See him there.
SHEPPARD
Happy birthday.
MCKAY
There you go.

[McKay follows the rest of the team into the Jumper. He waves vaguely at the kids.]

KERAS

(handing out chocolate)

Here you go. One for you.

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Michelle, November, 2009.

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--Michelle 05:49, 5 November 2009 (UTC)