SGA 1.09 "Home" Transcript

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1.09 "Home"

Episode Guide

SGA 1.09 "Home" Episode Guide

Précis

When Dr. McKay discovers a way to open a wormhole back to Earth, the team is overjoyed to learn that they can return to Atlantis within a month. But when the hyperdrive of the ship Prometheus is accidently destroyed, so too are their hopes of returning to Atlantis.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

EXT—M5S-224, DAY

[The Stargate is shrouded in mist. Dual columns of obelisks lead to it from either side. The team is wearing full hazmat suits as they make their way past the columns to the Stargate.]

FORD
I've never seen so much nothing.
SHEPPARD
And I've never walked so far to see it.
MCKAY
How was I to know the only structures on this planet would be in the immediate area around the Stargate?
SHEPPARD
There's the gate. Dial it up.
MCKAY
Wait. The energy readings here are exactly the same as they were a mile away.
SHEPPARD
So?
MCKAY
I really think we should stay for a while.
FORD
I thought you hated wearing these suits.
MCKAY
I do. I'm incredibly uncomfortable, but these energy readings are amazing. It's like it's coming from all around us.
TEYLA
And yet you cannot explain it.
MCKAY
Not yet.
SHEPPARD
You can't figure out a way we can use it?
MCKAY

(defensively)

Not yet.
SHEPPARD
All right. Then let's call it a mission.
MCKAY
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. There is such a thing as pure science. Not everything has to be immediately useful.
SHEPPARD
You talked me into coming here because you thought those energy readings indicated the presence of a civilization. There are no buildings, no people, no nothing. Just fog.
MCKAY
It's not technically fog. There's no actual water vapor in the atmosphere. I mean, you know, for that matter, I don't think we need to wear the hazmat gear.

[McKay pulls his hazmat helmet off and gasps in relief. Sheppard and Teyla do the same.]

SHEPPARD
Now you tell me. Dial the gate.

[McKay shakes his head in disappointment. Ford dials the gate, and it activates. McKay studies his computer pad.]

SHEPPARD
Let's move out.
MCKAY
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold on. You wanted useful?
SHEPPARD
What are you talking about?
MCKAY
When the wormhole connected, there was a wild fluctuation in the energy field. I mean, if I'm reading these numbers right, it looks like the gate is actually drawing power from the atmosphere.
SHEPPARD
So?
MCKAY
So? To the best of my knowledge, this field goes on for miles. I mean, for all we know, it envelops the entire planet. We're talking about a lot of energy here.
SHEPPARD
How much is a lot?
MCKAY
Well, in terms of joules or ergs?
SHEPPARD
In terms of…lots.
MCKAY
Well, lots and lots. Enough to open a wormhole back to Earth.

[Sheppard is definitely intrigued.]

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

INT—ATLANTIS CONFERENCE ROOM

[Weir speaks to the team.]

WEIR
I thought the Atlantis gate was the only one capable of dialing Earth.
MCKAY
It is, but that's because it's the only one with an additional control crystal that allows the eighth chevron to lock.
SHEPPARD
It's probably a security measure.
MCKAY
It doesn't matter. As long as we have the control crystal, I can make the other gate work.
WEIR
You're suggesting we remove it from our DHD and bring it to M5S-224?
MCKAY
Yes.
WEIR
Isn't that risky?
MCKAY
I'll be fine.
SHEPPARD
I think she means in terms of breaking our own gate.
MCKAY
I know what I'm doing. Besides, the control crystal is useless without enough power.
FORD
You said you didn't know where the energy on the other planet was coming from.
MCKAY
I believe it is being generated somehow in the atmosphere itself.
TEYLA
The fog?
MCKAY
Yes.
SHEPPARD
You said it wasn't fog.
MCKAY
Whatever it is.
FORD
Well, how do you know?
MCKAY

(becoming annoyed)

I don't yet, but the fog, or the mist, or whatever you want to call it, is the only thing around for miles, and the energy readings were constant.
WEIR
Okay, even if you can pull this off, we have to assume that the Earth gate lacks a power source capable of establishing a wormhole back to Pegasus. So whoever went would be taking the risk that it might be a one-way trip.
MCKAY
I'm sure someone will volunteer.
SHEPPARD
You?
MCKAY
Believe it or not, I would only go if I knew there was a good chance I could come back. At least, we can send a message to Stargate Command. Let them know that we're okay.
SHEPPARD
We've gathered a lot of intel. We should send it…if we can. Even if it's over a radio.

[Weir nods.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, EVENING

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[McKay is under the console; Sheppard sits beside it. McKay climbs out holding a crystal.]

MCKAY
All right. That's it.
SHEPPARD
So how easy will it be to put that thing in the other DHD?
MCKAY
The Atlantis' DHD is unique. It's not like there'll be an empty slot waiting for us to plug it in.
WEIR
Meaning?
MCKAY
Meaning that there may be some disassembly required.
FORD
You want to take the DHD apart?
MCKAY
I'll put it back together again.
TEYLA
Do you not run the risk of disabling the other stargate?
MCKAY
Only if I screw up, which is extremely unlikely.
SHEPPARD
Eight hundred and forty years.
MCKAY
What?
SHEPPARD
That's how long it will take us to come get you by puddle jumper.
MCKAY
But you would do that, right?
SHEPPARD
Of course we would.
MCKAY
Well, it won't be necessary. However I may require some assistance.
WEIR

(to Sheppard)

Major?
SHEPPARD

(to Ford)

Lieutenant?
FORD

(unhappily)

Yes, sir.

EXT—M5S-224, DAY

[The Stargate is active. McKay and Ford have just arrived.]

MCKAY
Atlantis, this is McKay.
WEIR
Go ahead.

[The scene shifts between McKay's location and Weir in the control room.]

MCKAY
We're ready to begin work on the DHD.
WEIR
You're sure about this, Rodney?
MCKAY
Positive. The next time you hear from us we'll be delivering the good news.
WEIR
Good luck.
MCKAY
We'll be back in time for supper.

[The Stargate shuts down.]

MCKAY

(to Ford)

All right. Let's get started.

[He approaches the DHD and kneels down beside it.]

INT—SHEPPARD'S QUARTERS

[Sheppard is sitting on his bunk reading War and Peace. There is a knock.]

SHEPPARD
Come in.
WEIR
Hi. Do you have a moment?
SHEPPARD
Yeah, sure.

[He puts the book down and sits up.]

WEIR
War and Peace. That's some heavy reading.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, well, back on Earth, when I was getting ready for this mission, I realized there was a good chance that I might be here for a while, so I figured why not bring along a book that takes a while to read.
WEIR
Page seventeen.
SHEPPARD
I'm right on schedule.
WEIR
Hmm. That's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about: home. Going home.
SHEPPARD
Oh.
WEIR
McKay is right. If this works, and we are able to establish a wormhole back to Earth—
SHEPPARD
You know, if this conversation is going where I think it's headed, you can put your mind at rest. I'm not going anywhere. I haven't read my book.
WEIR
Look, all I'm saying is that you are the person who is best qualified to brief General Hammond and the other powers that be about the Wraith threat.
SHEPPARD
Well, maybe so…but I think I'm needed here.
WEIR

(smiling)

Good.
SHEPPARD
But if you want to go, I understand that, too.
WEIR
What, are you saying, I'm not needed here?
SHEPPARD
I said I'd understand.
WEIR
Well, thank you, but I made a commitment.
SHEPPARD
Of course in all fairness, life-sucking aliens weren't part of the brochure.
WEIR
Regardless, I'm staying.
SHEPPARD
Good. Wouldn't be the same without you.

[They exchange grins.]

EXT—M5S-224, DAY

[McKay works on the DHD.]

FORD
So if this works, would you want to go back?
MCKAY
I don't think it matters what I would want.
FORD
Why not?
MCKAY
Because Atlantis can't afford to lose me. I'm their foremost expert in gate theory, wormhole physics and a myriad of other sciences too numerous to mention yet too important to ignore.
FORD
I'd love to see my grandma. She thinks I'm somewhere in Afghanistan or something.
MCKAY

(ignoring Ford)

On the other hand, if anyone's going it should be someone that commands the respect of the SGC and yet has the patience, knowledge, and determination to bring them up to speed and find a way to bring the cavalry back here.
FORD
So what you're saying is you're invaluable everywhere.
MCKAY
Granted, it would create a void if I were to go, but you can all take comfort in the knowledge that I'll be on the other side, spearheading the effort to return with reinforcements, fresh supplies, and Big Macs for all.
FORD
I feel better already.
MCKAY
Yeah, good.
FORD
Good.

[McKay misses that Ford is being sarcastic.]

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR, NEAR GATE ROOM

[Teyla approaches Sheppard.]

TEYLA
Major Sheppard. Have we heard back from Dr. McKay?
SHEPPARD
Not yet.
TEYLA
Word of the discovery has already spread throughout the base.
SHEPPARD
I've noticed.
TEYLA
It is to be expected, of course—faced with prospect of being reunited with loved ones, returning to familiar ground.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, I'd love to go back.
TEYLA
You would consider leaving Atlantis?
SHEPPARD
I just wish I knew I could gate back here. Then I'd go in a heartbeat.
TEYLA
It would be wonderful to see your world.
SHEPPARD
You could help me with the briefing.
TEYLA
I would like that.
SHEPPARD
Hey, you know more about the Pegasus galaxy than anyone. Then there's all those cool Earth things I've talked about—football, ferris wheels…

[Teyla is intrigued.]

SHEPPARD
Oh! Do you remember the last of the popcorn we ate? We can get more.
TEYLA
If we knew we could return.
TECHNICIAN
Unscheduled activation!

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Weir, Teyla, and Sheppard arrive.]

TECHNICIAN
It's a radio transmission from Dr. McKay.
WEIR

(into radio)

Rodney?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Elizabeth. I'm done. The component's installed in the DHD, and as you can see—
WEIR
Well done. Sorry, what about the energy readings?
MCKAY
Oh, same as before. All indications are that the gate's drawing power from the atmosphere, and there's enough for an eight-chevron lock.
WEIR

(smiling)

Okay, you stay put. We're on our way.
MCKAY
Right.

EXT—WORMHOLE TRAVEL

EXT—M5S-224, DAY

MCKAY
So are we, uh, ready?
SHEPPARD
What's there to be ready for?
MCKAY
Well, this is sort of a big moment, and I thought we haven't been in contact for some time. I just figured we—
SHEPPARD
We're ready.
WEIR
Go ahead.

[McKay dials the address.]

MCKAY
Please work.

[He hits the activation button. The gate comes to life. McKay smiles.]

WEIR
Stargate Command, this is Dr. Elizabeth Weir of the Atlantis expedition. Do you read? I repeat, this is Dr. Weir. Come in, please.
HARRIMAN

(over radio)

This is Sergeant Harriman of Stargate Command. Whoever you are, this better not be a joke.
WEIR
No joke, Sergeant. I'm sending my personal IDC for confirmation.
HARRIMAN
Sorry about that, Dr. Weir. We're just a little surprised to be hearing from you.
WEIR
Understandable.
HARRIMAN
The iris is open. You're clear to come through.
WEIR
Thanks, but we're not ready to risk a one-way trip.
HARRIMAN
You don't understand, Doctor. Things have changed around here. The Asgard are in the process of fitting Prometheus with engines capable of reaching other galaxies. We were manning a mission to find out what happened to you.
FORD
Is he serious?
WEIR
Are you serious?
HARRIMAN
Yes, Ma'am. Come through now, and you could be back in Pegasus inside of a month.
MCKAY
Well… who's going?

EXT—WORMHOLE TRAVEL

INT—SGC GATE ROOM

[Hammond stands at the base of the ramp.]

HAMMOND
Welcome back to Earth.

[Weir looks around, satisfied.]

EXT—CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, DAY

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Weir and McKay brief Hammond.]

WEIR
And while the Pegasus galaxy does hold many dangers, I feel its potential rewards justify the risk of maintaining a continued presence on the Atlantis base.
HAMMOND
Unfortunately, Doctor, your preliminary report has given the Pentagon cause for concern. If the Wraith are as powerful as you say, that would make them an enemy even more dangerous than the Goa'uld. There are those who believe it would be prudent to cut our losses and abandon the Pegasus galaxy altogether.
WEIR
General, you can't—
HAMMOND
We are talking about a race that defeated the Ancients.
WEIR
Over its years in operation, Stargate Command has encountered a number of threats that could well have brought about the destruction of this world. Now, that never stopped you from continuing to send teams through the gate, General.
HAMMOND
By the time SG-1 had returned from their first mission, the damage had already been done. We'd alerted the Goa'uld to our presence, and shutting down operations wouldn't have changed that. In the case of the Wraith, however, we have a choice.
MCKAY
So we're just going to turn tail and run?
HAMMOND
The Pentagon would prefer to call it "a strategic withdrawal."

[McKay huffs derisively.]

WEIR
But how can we be sure they won't come after us?
MCKAY
She's right, General. They feed on human life forms, and now they know there's a smorgasbord waiting for them here.
WEIR
I don't think we have a choice. We need to continue to explore the opportunities for technological advancement Pegasus galaxy has to offer, and not to mention our responsibility to the other humans who live there.
HAMMOND
Responsibility?
WEIR
We did wake up the Wraith. And while, yes, that would've happened eventually without our interference, our access to Ancient technology puts us in a unique position to help those people. We can't just walk away.

[Hammond sighs and pauses.]

HAMMOND
Rest assured your recommendation will be given consideration at the highest level.

INT—SGC CORRIDOR

[Sheppard sees Hammond come around a corner.]

SHEPPARD
Uh, General, sir!

[Sheppard jogs to catch up with Hammond, who has entered an elevator.]

SHEPPARD
Thank you, sir.
HAMMOND

(pleased)

Major Sheppard.

INT—SGC ELEVATOR

SHEPPARD
I'm surprised the briefing went as quickly as it did.
HAMMOND
You were very thorough, Major.
SHEPPARD
Thank you, sir.
HAMMOND
In fact, by now I thought you'd be enjoying some well-deserved R and R.
SHEPPARD
I was just going to arrange some transportation, sir.
HAMMOND
Well, consider it taken care of, Major. Anywhere you'd like.
SHEPPARD

(surprised)

Well, that's very generous.
HAMMOND
You've done your country a great service, son. You deserve it.
SHEPPARD

(pleased)

Thank you, sir.

[The elevator door opens on Level 21.]

INT—SGC INFIRMARY

[Teyla is putting her wristwatch back on.]

SHEPPARD
Well, how's our patient doing?
DOCTOR
We're all done, Major. She's free to go.
TEYLA
I was afraid you had abandoned me.
SHEPPARD
Just setting up our ride.
TEYLA
So…where are we going?
SHEPPARD
We should start by getting you a… new outfit.

EXT—DRIVEWAY ON EARTH, DAY

[Weird drives up in an older-model, red BMW convertible. She finds Simon working on a Maserati in the driveway. He is shocked to see her. She gets out of the car.]

WEIR
Hello, Simon.
SIMON
Oh, my God. When did you…

[After a moment, he hugs her.]

WEIR
I missed you.

INT—MCKAY'S APARTMENT

[The apartment is dark, and there are several dead plants. McKay enters, still in his Atlantis uniform. He pushes the play button on his answering machine.]

FEMALE RECORDED VOICE
You have no new messages.
MCKAY
Hmm, must've been a power failure or something. Anyways…

[He sits on the couch and uses the remote to turn on the TV. He digs around in the couch cushions and finds a half-eaten bag of crispy snacks. He eats one.]

TELEVISION
…There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission—

[There is a knock at the door.]

TELEVISION
If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper.

[McKay answers the door. An attractive woman is standing there.]

BRUNETTE

(smiling)

Hi.
MCKAY

(awkwardly)

Hi.

INT—LIMOUSINE

[Sheppard is seated in the back, now wearing civilian clothes. Teyla enters. There are shopping bags on the floor, and she's dressed in Earth clothing.]

TEYLA
Thank you, Major.
SHEPPARD
You're welcome.
TEYLA
I have traded in many market places on many worlds—
SHEPPARD
Countries. Countries…
TEYLA

(brightly)

Yes, of course. Countries… But here there are so many different items to choose from.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, you seemed like you were having fun. Hours and hours of fun. But you picked out a nice outfit.
TEYLA
Thank you. I wonder… If we had never suffered the Wraith, would my people have created a civilization such as this?
SHEPPARD
I'm starting to wonder about a few things myself.
TEYLA
What?
SHEPPARD
Nothing feels wrong to you? I don't mean one thing. I mean…everything.
TEYLA
I do not understand.
SHEPPARD

(to driver)

Excuse me, uh…could you take us to the Green Moss park area?
DRIVER
Sure thing.
SHEPPARD
Thank you. I think I'll have a better idea of what's bothering me once we get there.

EXT—SIMON'S HOUSE, DAY

[Weir and Simon come out to the back yard, Simon hanging back a bit. A large white dog is there and rushes up to Weir.]

WEIR
Hey, Sedge! Did you miss me? Did you miss me, girl?
SIMON
More than you can imagine.

[Simon approaches them.]

SIMON
I don't know how many times I watched that damn tape you left me.
WEIR
I wanted to tell you in person.
SIMON
No, you didn't. You were afraid I'd talk you out of it.
WEIR
I was afraid you'd try.
SIMON
When you told me you were going away, but couldn't say where, my first guess was Korea. My second guess was Israel. To be honest, the Pegasus galaxy didn't make my list.
WEIR
I am sorry.
SIMON
I know. I imagine my security clearance doesn't let you tell me what you've been doing while you were there.
WEIR
No.
SIMON
Or when you'll be leaving again?
WEIR
No.
SIMON
Well, at the very least, you could promise me that, uh, you'll take this with you.

[He hands her a small, velvet box.]

WEIR
Simon.

[She opens it. It's a necklace. He puts it on her.]

WEIR
It's beautiful.
SIMON
Looks nice.
WEIR
Thank you.

[They begin kissing.]

SIMON
Is something wrong?
WEIR
No. I'm sorry. Just when you kissed me…
SIMON
What are you talking about, Elizabeth?

[Her cell phone rings. She steps away to take the call.]

WEIR
Hello? General. What— Yes, I understand. Thank you.

INT—MCKAY'S APARTMENT

[McKay's clothes are on the floor. He's asleep on the couch, in flowered boxers and a tee-shirt that reads "I'm with Genius".]

[There's an knock on the door.]

MCKAY
Hang on!

[McKay gets up slowly and painfully. He opens the door to see Weir standing there.]

MCKAY
Oh, hey. Just the middle of a power nap, and uh, I'm not wearing any pants. I didn't even think you knew where I lived.

[He puts his pants on while talking to her.]

WEIR
Air Force.
MCKAY
Oh, right. Oh, look, I can't, um…really, um… I have a date with the girl in 302. She's been taking care of the cat for the whole time I was away, and, apparently she misses me…
WEIR

(uncomfortably)

Rodney—
MCKAY
I know, I'm trying to pawn off my cat off on a neighbor, and I end up with… What?
WEIR
I just got a call from General Hammond. There was an accident on the Prometheus. We can't go back to Atlantis.

[McKay is shocked.]

INT—SGC CORRIDOR

[McKay walks with Hammond.]

MCKAY
I was going to come home, get some rest, then come back refreshed and ready to work on a solution. But an hour ago, it hit me, like Archimedes in the bathtub—Eureka! Except I wasn't in a bathtub. I was on the couch watching a very strange Outer Limits episode—
HAMMOND
Dr. McKay.
MCKAY
Forget Prometheus. I have figured out how to establish a wormhole connection back to the Pegasus galaxy, but I'm going to need the ZPM.
HAMMOND
The ZPM has been depleted. It's of no use.
MCKAY
Actually, that's not entirely true. The last time we used it, the ZPM had to establish and maintain a wormhole back to Atlantis. This time around, all we need for it to do is to have enough energy to establish the briefest of connections—by my calculations, approximately, what, 3.5 microseconds.
HAMMOND
That hardly seems like enough time to accomplish—
MCKAY
General, when we first set foot on M5S-224, before the wormhole shut down, I picked up fluctuations in the energy field. Now, at the time, I just assumed that was an effect of the gate's residual energy signature. But having given it some thought, I realized that can't account for such sizable variances, which leaves only one possible explanation. The gate must have been energized on our arrival, meaning it doesn't just draw power on outgoing wormholes, but on incoming wormholes as well. All we have to do is make a connection. 3.5 microseconds, that's the minimal amount of time it requires to confirm a lock before the gate automatically kicks in, drawing power from the atmosphere to maintain the wormhole.
HAMMOND
You'll forgive me, Doctor. This all seems a little far-fetched.
MCKAY
Think of it like making a long-distance call to someone you know is going to accept the charges. All you have to do is dial.
HAMMOND
I'm sorry, Doctor.
MCKAY
Well, you're not going to lose anything by letting me try, are you? All I want to do is run a couple of tests.
HAMMOND

(sighing)

All right. I'll have the ZPM delivered to the lab.
MCKAY
Thank you.

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Weir walks up the stairs to the room and finds Hammond.]

HAMMOND
Dr. Weir, I wasn't expecting to see you.
WEIR
I've been thinking about what happened.

[He gestures for her to sit, and she does.]

WEIR
Thank you. I know it's a bit of a setback, but I don't think we should give up just yet. If we can get the Prometheus repaired—
HAMMOND
The Prometheus was severely damaged. We lost twenty crew-members. She won't be flying again any time soon.
WEIR
So we ask the Asgard for one of their ships.
HAMMOND
Well, I'm sure that when the Asgard are in a position to help, they will.
WEIR
General, I only came to Earth because I was assured I'd be able to get back. Now, I am not about to abandon my expedition team.
HAMMOND
I'll see what I can do, but I'm not making any promises.

INT—SGC CORRIDOR

[Ford talks to Harriman.]

FORD
Wait a minute. You've got to talk to somebody about this for me.
HARRIMAN
Look, I'm sorry. If those are the orders you received, it's out of my hands.

[McKay approaches, leading a group of men in white lab coats.]

MCKAY
If there's one thing I can't abide, it's sloppy work. If your people won't double-check their results, then there's no point in keeping them on the team.
FORD
Dr. McKay.
MCKAY
Yes, Lieutenant.
FORD
I'm being transferred.
MCKAY
Congratulations.
FORD
No, you don't understand. I was chillin' with my parents, just having a good time, and some sergeant shows up with new orders for me. I want to go back to Atlantis, and they want to ship me back to Antarctica.
MCKAY
Lieutenant, do you know something that I don't? Because the last time I checked, the Prometheus was critically damaged, and the only ZPM in our possession didn't have the power to run a car stereo.
FORD

(disappointed)

I just thought you'd be trying to find another way.
MCKAY

(unsympathetic)

There is no other way, Lieutenant. You're just going to have to deal with it.

[McKay stalks off.]

EXT—SIMON'S HOME, DAY

[Weir sits at a table on the lawn, Sedge at her feet. Simon brings two mugs and hands her one.]

WEIR
Thank you.
SIMON
Would it be so bad if you had to stay?
WEIR
I'm sorry, Simon. I know none of this is fair to you.
SIMON
It is tough to compete with the greatest adventure in human history. I don't blame you for going.
WEIR
Thank you…But I still feel guilty. And now I feel guilty about being back.
SIMON
Because of the people you left behind?
WEIR
No. I should have stayed at Atlantis. Major Sheppard should have been the one to go.

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

[Teyla and Sheppard enter. The home is nicely furnished in modern decor, with many 'toys' such as an arcade game and gold clubs. There is a modern sculpture of a helicopter, and a large poster of Johnny Cash on the wall.]

SHEPPARD
Oh, yeah. Just like I left it.
TEYLA
So much space for just one person.
SHEPPARD
Well, a guy's got to have a lot of space. I bet there's still uh…

[He opens the bar refrigerator.]

SHEPPARD
Perfect.

[He takes out two beers, opens them, and hands one to Teyla.]

SHEPPARD
Nice and cold.
TEYLA
And this is…
SHEPPARD
It's called beer.

[Teyla takes a large swig, spilling a bit. She laughs. She looks around the room.]

TEYLA
Is all this for recreation?
SHEPPARD
Yeah, I got pretty much everything you can imagine, don't I?

[He appears troubled.]

TEYLA
What is it?
SHEPPARD
I was just thinking again…about Dr. Weir and everyone else on Atlantis.
TEYLA
Of course. I am sure she is fine. As I am sure they are all fine.
SHEPPARD
Yeah. I'm sure.

[They look at the wide view from the window. Sheppard is still uncomfortable.]

EXT—CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, DAY

INT—SGC LAB

[McKay enters. A ZPM is on a table.]

MCKAY
You people have those test results for me yet?
SCIENTIST
We need more time.
MCKAY
What are you talking about? Let me see what you've got.

[He takes a folder from the scientist and looks inside.]

MCKAY
Wait a minute. What is this, some kind of a joke?
SCIENTIST
I told you, we need more time.
MCKAY
These don't even make any sense.
SCIENTIST
We don't think the ZPM has enough power to open the wormhole.
MCKAY
Well, you wouldn't know that from this, would you? This might as well say, "Bing, tiddle, tiddle, bong." It's complete gibberish. Look, get out of here. I'll do it. Go.

[Everyone leaves.]

MCKAY
You've got to be kidding me.

INT—SGC BRIEFING ROOM

[Hammond talks to Weir.]

HAMMOND
Thank you for coming in again, Doctor.
WEIR
Has there been a response to my request?
HAMMOND
Actually, we won't be needing any help from the Asgard. It turns out Dr. McKay has found a solution that will enable us to open a wormhole back to Pegasus.
WEIR
He has? Why wasn't I informed?
HAMMOND
Doctor, the Atlantis mission has been reassessed.
WEIR
What does that mean?
HAMMOND
In light of the intelligence you brought us concerning the Wraith, it's been decided that the Atlantis presence should be military.
WEIR
Our allies have agreed to this?
HAMMOND
They did. As soon as Dr. McKay can establish a wormhole, we intend to send reinforcements, along with a new commanding officer. I'm sorry, Doctor, but you've been relieved of your duties.
WEIR
Okay, wait a minute. I am not saying that there shouldn't be an increased military presence, but the mission must remain the same…and I am sure if Major Sheppard were here he'd tell you—
HAMMOND
We've spoken to Major Sheppard. He dialed in about an hour ago to check on your progress. We informed him of the situation, and he agrees with our assessment.
WEIR
He wouldn't do that, General. I know John Sheppard.
HAMMOND
Apparently, you don't know him as well as you thought, Doctor. Major Sheppard stated categorically it's the only way to ensure the security of the project.

EXT—SHEPPARD'S HOME, DAY

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

SHEPPARD
Let's get out of here.
TEYLA
Why?
SHEPPARD
You want to see Earth, right? It's out there.
TEYLA
I thought you would want to spend time in your home, visit with friends.
SHEPPARD
There is an idea.

[The doorbell rings. They go to answer. Two men about Sheppard's age are there, smiling and laughing.]

DEX
Hey!
SHEPPARD

(surprised but pleased)

Mitch. Dex.
DEX
You didn't really think you could pass through town without seeing us, did you, Shep?
MITCH
So you going to invite us in or what?
SHEPPARD

(still in shock)

Yeah, sure. What the hell?

[They enter and nod to Teyla.]

DEX
All right. Hi. I'm Dex.

INT—SGC CORRIDOR

[Weir walks purposefully down the hallway, dressed casually in a pink top.]

INT—SGC LAB

[McKay works alone on a computer in civilian clothing, a striped shirt.]

MCKAY
What is this?

[Weir enters, dressed formally.]

WEIR
Is there a problem?
MCKAY
Elizabeth.

[Now Weir is dressed in the pink top again.]

WEIR
Rodney, I need to talk to you.

[Rodney is dressed in his Atlantis uniform, with a white lab coat.]

MCKAY
Can it wait?
WEIR
No. Something is very wrong here.

[Rodney is back in a striped shirt, Weir in formal clothes.]

MCKAY
I've run a diagnostic on the ZPM. These are the results I keep getting back.
WEIR
I'm not a scientist, Rodney.
MCKAY
Well, neither is anyone else around here, apparently, otherwise they would have noticed that the laws of physics seem to have flown out the window.
WEIR
Maybe there's a problem with your equipment.
MCKAY
I checked. It's fine.
WEIR
Look, if your solution doesn't work, it's not your fault. We'll just have to accept the fact that we can't go back.
MCKAY
What?

EXT—SHEPPARD'S HOME, DAY

[There is now a party going on beside the pool. A woman jumps into the water.]

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

[Sheppard turns back from the window, an enigmatic smile on his face. There is now a big group of men and women in the room, in jovial moods.]

DEX
So our boys were pinned down. So-so hotshot here takes his chopper right over this bridge—
MITCH
And we were supposed to follow him.
DEX
Well, there's no way I'm flying a Blackhawk over a bridge with enemy tanks on it—
MITCH
Wait, with what on it?
DEX
Tanks.
MITCH
You're welcome.

[Everyone laughs at his pun.]

DEX
I still love that, man. Oh…
SHEPPARD
Yeah, that was, uh…priceless.
DEX
But, uh…we got that Special Ops team out of there, didn't we, Shep?
SHEPPARD
Yes, we did.
MITCH

(toasting Sheppard)

I'll tell you what, that was some flying, Shep.

[The doorbell rings. Ford enters, carrying a high stack of pizzas in boxes.]

SHEPPARD
Well, look who's in the pizza-delivery business.
FORD
No, sir. I just caught the guy on the way up.
SHEPPARD

I was just thinking about you. Why don't you come in? Looks like we…
(nodding)

are having a party.
MAN
Thanks.
FORD
I've got pizza.
DEX
All right.

[Sheppard unzips his track jacket as if too warm.]

INT—SGC LAB

[Weir is in the pink top, talking to McKay in the lab coat.]

WEIR
I've been relieved of my command.
MCKAY
Oh. Well, I'm sorry to hear that.
WEIR
They're going to militarize Atlantis.
MCKAY
Interesting. Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
WEIR
What, so you're just okay with this?
MCKAY
Elizabeth, how did you expect them to react when you told them about the Wraith?
WEIR
At the very least, I thought I'd be kept in the loop.
MCKAY
Oh, now you're just being paranoid. Why don’t you go home, spend some time with Simon.
WEIR
Simon?
MCKAY
Yes. He's important to you, isn't he?
WEIR
Yes. I just don't remember ever telling you that.
MCKAY
Well, how else would I have known?

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

MITCH
We didn't know what to think. I mean, this guy was supposedly one of the most ruthless warlords in Afghanistan and suddenly, he just sits down at our table.
FORD
Sir, you’ve got to hear this story.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, I was there, Lieutenant…
MITCH
Oh, yeah, you remember. Turns out he just wants to practice his English on us. Shep spent half the night talking to this guy.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, that was funny.
DEX
He wouldn't even let you get up to go to the bathroom, remember?
SHEPPARD
Then, uh, two days later, you guys were killed outside Kabul.

[Everyone falls silent, and the music stops. Everyone stares at Sheppard.]

INT—SGC LAB

[Striped-shirt McKay is talking to formally-dressed Weir.]

MCKAY
Let me see if I can make you understand, okay? These results don't just say the ZPM won't work. They say this reality isn't governed by any natural laws. It's like looking through a microscope at a cell culture and seeing a thousand dancing hamsters! It’s impossible.
WEIR
Rodney, you need to calm down.
MCKAY
No, no, what I need to do now is get very agitated, because what I'm realizing is all of this is a lie. This…and this…and this!

[He throws the ZPM on the ground, shattering it.]

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

TEYLA
What are you saying?
SHEPPARD
Their chopper took an RPG when it touched down for a medevac. There was barely enough left to bring back for a military funeral.
DEX
What?
SHEPPARD
You guys have been dead for years. Don't get me wrong. It's really nice seeing you. And you too, Mrs. Watson.

[He indicates an older woman.]

FORD
Sir, I don't—
SHEPPARD
She was my sixth grade teacher… And, I don't even remember your name, but I remember you wouldn't even date me!
MITCH
Shep, I think we should take you to see a doctor.
SHEPPARD
Oh, really?
DEX
Yeah, you're acting pretty strange.
SHEPPARD
Oh I'm acting strange, huh?

[He grabs a pistol from a man dressed in a military uniform and points it around the room. After a moment, he shoots Dex in the shoulder.]

TEYLA
Major!

INT—SGC LAB

MCKAY
Now, do you see what I mean?

[Now it is pink-shirted Weir talking to the lab-coated McKay.]

WEIR
Okay, the Rodney McKay I know would never accept the militarization of Atlantis without putting up a fight. I don't think Major Sheppard would agree to it either. At least not without speaking to me about it first.
MCKAY
Elizabeth, you shouldn't take it personally. I mean, think of it like a blessing. You have a life. You can get back to it now.
WEIR
Okay. No. I'm not buying this anymore. Who are you, really?
MCKAY

(smiling falsely)

Who am I? What do you mean?

INT—SHEPPARD'S HOME

DEX

(getting up)

You shot me!
SHEPPARD
You're already dead.
FORD
Sir, give me—

[He points the pistol at Ford.]

SHEPPARD
I'm beginning to have my doubts about you too, Lieutenant. I wouldn't put them to a test.

[He takes a swig from his bottle of beer.]

SHEPPARD

(yelling)

Now, somebody explain to me what the hell is going on here!

INT—SGC LAB

[Hammond enters.]

HAMMOND
Dr. Weir.
WEIR
Okay, no more lies. What is this? What's happening to me?
HAMMOND
There's no point in deluding you any longer.

[For a moment he becomes a greenish energy being, the returns to Hammond's form.]

HAMMOND
Now you know.

[She turns back and sees that McKay is gone.]

WEIR
Where's Rodney?
HAMMOND
The real Dr. McKay and the rest of his team reside in their own illusory worlds.
WEIR
I want to see them. Please.

INT—SGC GATE ROOM

[Sheppard, Teyla, McKay, and Ford appear on the ramp, Sheppard holding out his hand as if he still has a gun, but he doesn't. Hammond and Weir materialize in the gate room.]

SHEPPARD
What happened?
HAMMOND
I drew you together from your fractured realities.
SHEPPARD
No, I'm talking about the beer I had.
HAMMOND
Major Sheppard discovered the truth some time ago.
MCKAY
He did?
SHEPPARD
Home for the last 11 months has been a research base in Antarctica. Although I did dream about a bachelor pad like that, but—
HAMMOND
Major Sheppard seemed uniquely capable of manipulating his own fabricated reality.
SHEPPARD
When I think of the scenarios I could've thought up, I'd kick myself.
HAMMOND

The realities you experienced were fabrications of your own minds.
(to Teyla)

Since you had no memories of Earth to draw from, you shared in Major Sheppard's illusion.
SHEPPARD
I thought that was you.
HAMMOND
It is unfortunate that you all became aware so quickly. However, you may now create a fabricated reality of your own choosing in which to live out the remainder of your lives.
WEIR
What?
SHEPPARD
That's not going to work for us.
HAMMOND
I'm afraid the matter is beyond your control.
SHEPPARD
Well…we'll find a way to fight you.
HAMMOND
That would be quite impossible, Major. Even now, you are simply experiencing a shared fabrication. It will be best if you try to make a life for yourselves.
SHEPPARD
This isn't life. What do you want us to do, just pretend?
HAMMOND
I'm sorry, but that's all I can offer you.

[He starts to leave.]

WEIR
Wait. Why would you do this?
HAMMOND
To protect ourselves.
WEIR
From us?
TEYLA
We did not intend to harm anyone.
HAMMOND
Unlike you, we exist in a non-corporeal form, susceptible to the destructive effects of the Stargate on our home world.
WEIR
What destructive effects?
MCKAY
So the energy readings we picked up—they were life signs. You were in the mist.
HAMMOND
We are the mist, and every time the gate is activated, lives are lost. Over time, explorers have come and gone, completely unaware of our existence. Sacrifices are made to ensure our secrecy. But when you came back, we grew concerned. To learn your intentions, we had no choice but to enter your minds. When we discovered what you were about to do, we were forced to take preventive measures.
WEIR
But you just said you'd let others come and go. Why not allow us to do the same?
HAMMOND
Your desire to return to your home world was too strong. The amount of energy required to gate to another galaxy would have killed millions of our kind.
FORD
So when we dialed the gate—
HAMMOND
You never dialed the gate. You just imagined you did. You are unconscious, even now, on the planet's surface.
MCKAY
So none of this is real? The cute brunette. Of course, I should've known. I mean, how do you go from "You're a pig, but I like your cat" to "I missed you"?
HAMMOND
We lacked a sophisticated understanding of your world. As a result, the illusions we created from your thoughts were ultimately flawed.
SHEPPARD
The dead people were a dead giveaway.
MCKAY
Dead people. What were you doing?
WEIR
If you had just told us, I mean, maybe we could—
MCKAY
Whoa, wait. I just realized something. You're saying that our unconscious bodies are still on the planet.
HAMMOND
Yes.
MCKAY
Yeah, well, so we need food. We need water. I mean, we need food.
SHEPPARD
What he's saying is we won't live long in this state.
HAMMOND
Then I suggest you make the most of the time you have left.
WEIR
You're killing us in order to save yourselves.
HAMMOND
In order to save millions of our kind. I believe you would do the same.
TEYLA
If we do not go back, our friends will come looking for us.
HAMMOND
Others of your kind?
SHEPPARD
They'll show up. What are you going to do, kill them, too?
FORD
More will come.
SHEPPARD
Sooner or later they'll figure out how to access the gate. Then millions of your kind will die. We don't leave people behind, and if you were really General Hammond, you'd know that.
WEIR
But if you allow us to leave here, we promise we will never return, ever. You will not have to fear us ever again. I give you my word.
HAMMOND
How can you make such a promise when you so desire to return home?
SHEPPARD
Sure, we'd like to go home. We're not willing to kill millions of your kind to do it. You've been in our heads. You're in our heads right now. You should know we mean that.
HAMMOND

(after a moment of contemplation)

I understand.

[The room dissolves into green gas.]

EXT—M5S-224, DAY

[The five are lying unconscious on the ground, still dressed in their field gear. They all awaken, McKay grunting as he gets to his feet.]

MCKAY
I don't mean to sound negative, because that would be, you know, so not me… But, uh, how do we know this isn't a double fake-out? I mean, how do we know that this is—
HAMMOND

(by voice)

This is your reality. You have my word.
MCKAY
I'm starving. He's got to be right.
SHEPPARD
I wonder how long we've been out.
MCKAY
I need to get the control crystal out of the DHD. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

[He goes to the DHD.]

FORD
I'll give you a hand.
WEIR
Thank you for trusting us. Rodney, be careful with that. I want to make sure we can get back home.
MCKAY
Ah, you mean Atlantis.
SHEPPARD
I think that's what she meant.
MCKAY
How do I know she wasn't suggesting we pull a double fake-out of our own and dial Earth?
SHEPPARD
Forget the double fake-out and get the damn crystal. I'll do the dial-out.

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Michelle, August, 2010.

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--Michelle 04:19, 21 August 2010 (UTC)