SGA 2.09 "Aurora" Transcript

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2.09 "Aurora"

Episode Guide

SGA 2.09 "Aurora" Episode Guide

Précis

The discovery of an Ancient warship whose millennia-old crew lives in a virtual environment leads Sheppard and his crew into a direct confrontation with the Wraith.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

TEASER

INT—ATLANTIS MESS HALL

[While eating, Ronon watches two science crewman playing chess. Weir enters with a tray of food and sees him.]

WEIR
May I join you?

[He gestures yes, and she sits beside him, so they both have a view of the chess match.]

WEIR
It's called chess. It's a game.
RONON
They've been sitting there like that since I sat down.
WEIR
Those two, they play every single day.
RONON
Neither one of them has even blinked yet.
WEIR
Well, it's not really a game of…action.
RONON
I can see that.
WEIR
It's all about strategy. He's planning his next move…and the move after that…and the move after that.
RONON
You guys do a lot of that around here.
WEIR
Yes, we do. I take it that's not how you prefer to do things.
RONON
No. I'm leaving.

[He stands up and picks up his tray.]

WEIR
Hey, Ronon, wait.
WEIR
Look, just because we do things differently doesn't mean we can't learn from each other. And Colonel Sheppard has already invested an incredible amount of time and energy trying to make you an integral part of his team.
RONON
I mean I'm leaving the table.
WEIR

(embarrassed)

Oh.
RONON
Is that okay?
WEIR
Yes, of course. I'm sorry. I thought that—
MCKAY

(over radio)

Dr. Weir?
WEIR

(into radio)

Rodney, what is it?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Something you should see here.
WEIR

(into radio)

I'm on my way.

[She stands up.]

WEIR
I'm leaving too.
RONON
Okay.
WEIR
Okay.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Standing beside a large Atlantis display, McKay briefs Sheppard and Weir.]

WEIR
What is it?
MCKAY
That is the signature of an Ancient ship called the Aurora. With the ZPM now powering the city, we've been reactivating dormant systems. That one tracked the location of Ancient ships during the war.
SHEPPARD

(interested)

A warship?
MCKAY
Oh, see, look at his eyes, all lighting up again. It's Pavlovian. I crosschecked the logs. They were on a reconnaissance mission.

[He steps up to another display.]

MCKAY
When we activated the ZPM, the city must have sent out some kind of an automated subspace beacon, recalling ships back to Atlantis.
WEIR
How long before it gets here?
MCKAY
Well, given that it's at the edge of the Pegasus galaxy… Let me see, carry the four… 42 million years. Should we go wait on the porch?
SHEPPARD
So we take a jumper through the nearest Stargate and check it out.
MCKAY
Clever, but wrong.
SHEPPARD
There are no nearby Stargates.
MCKAY
Not within jumper distance, no.
WEIR
Which leaves us only one way to get there.

INT—DAEDALUS CORRIDOR

[McKay walks beside Caldwell.]

WEIR
Please don't force me to remind you that I do have discretionary power to utilize the Daedalus
CALDWELL
I'm well aware of the extent of your powers, Dr. Weir, and they end at the hatch of this ship.
WEIR
Colonel, do we have to—
CALDWELL
Relax, Doctor. I happen to agree. The value of an Ancient warship in our hands instead of the Wraith's is more than enough incentive for me.
WEIR
Good. Colonel Sheppard's team is ready to go.
CALDWELL
My crew can handle this.
WEIR
My team is far more experienced with Ancient technology.
CALDWELL

(insistent)

My people will only get that kind of experience by going on this kind of a mission.
WEIR

(commanding)

Not this mission. We discovered it, we check it out. Your crew can cut their teeth on something else.
CALDWELL
Fine. Have Colonel Sheppard's team ready to go in an hour.
WEIR
They're ready now.

[They arrive at the bridge to find the Atlantis team waiting, Sheppard eating a power bar. Caldwell looks with annoyance at Weir, who smiles smugly.]

END TEASER

OPENING CREDITS

EXT—SPACE

[Daedalus drops out of hyperspace.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

MCKAY

(looking at a display)

We should have visual soon.

[He joins the others at the forward view-screen.]

AIRMAN

(at starboard station)

Sir, I'm detecting a second ship.

[McKay walks back to a display, currently manned.]

MCKAY
Move.

[The crewman steps away.]

MCKAY
Oh. Looks like a small Wraith vessel.
SHEPPARD
A dart?
MCKAY
No, bigger. Some sort of a scout ship, probably after the same thing we are.
PILOT

(at port station)

It's altering course coming straight at us.
SHEPPARD
Must've seen us drop out of hyperspace.
CALDWELL
Weapons range?
AIRMAN
Five seconds…

[The display shows the ship come into range.]

AIRMAN
Target is locked.
CALDWELL
Fire.

EXT—SPACE

[The Daedalus fires missiles.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[The display shows the missiles hit the ship.]

AIRMAN
Target is destroyed.
CALDWELL
All these years, and just now the Wraith find this ship?
MCKAY
Well, all these years, the Aurora lay dormant. The signal from Atlantis woke it up, making it visible to the Wraith as well as us.
TEYLA

(looking out view-screen)

Is that it?

[The ship becomes visible.]

EXT—SPACE

[Aurora is very large but has massive damage all along its hull.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

SHEPPARD
Looks like it was in a hell of a fight.
RONON
And lost.
CALDWELL
Life support?
AIRMAN
Negative, sir.
CALDWELL
Looks like you're going to have to suit up, Colonel.

[McKay looks startled at the prospect.]

SHEPPARD
On our way.

INT—AURORA

[Sheppard's team is beamed into the ship. They are wearing their orange space suits.]

SHEPPARD
We should be just outside the bridge.

[The shine their flashlights around the room. They find a door and activate the control to open it. Behind is the bridge, its view-screen broken and the whole room exposed to space.]

RONON
You mean what used to be the bridge.
TEYLA
Colonel Sheppard…

[They see what she has found — a large room with stacks of stasis pods. There are human-looking beings inside them.]

MCKAY
Stasis pods. They're still powered up.
RONON
Stasis?
TEYLA
We found a similar pod on Atlantis. It keeps a person alive for many years in a type of frozen hibernation.
RONON
Yeah, if you call that "living."

[McKay examines a pod with an elderly man inside.]

MCKAY
This one's uniform is different from the others. Maybe the Captain?
SHEPPARD
Or the maitre d'.
MCKAY
Life-sign indicators are active. These capsules must have some kind of a shielding. That's why the Daedalus's sensors were unable to pick them up.
TEYLA
Look at all of them.

[She looks up at level after level of pods above them.]

SHEPPARD

That's just on this deck. Who knows how many more there are on the rest of this ship.
(to McKay)

Look, our time in these suits is limited. Can you get life support up and running?
MCKAY
I'm on it.

[McKay steps away. Sheppard rubs the frost off the pod of the old man.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Caldwell speaks to Sheppard by radio. The scene switches between the two ships.]

CALDWELL
They're all alive? The entire crew?

INT—AURORA

[Life support is on, and Sheppard's team has taken off their space suits. McKay is studying the pod system with his laptop.]

SHEPPARD
Well, they're in a kind of suspended animation.
MCKAY
Not entirely suspended, however. The pod has slowed their aging considerably, but the bodies are virtually moribund.
SHEPPARD
Teyla and Ronon are searching the rest of the ship. My guess is there's hundreds.
CALDWELL
Is there anything we can do for them?
MCKAY
Well, reviving them’s out of the question. The pod’s the only thing keeping them alive.
SHEPPARD
What are we going to do with them, then?
MCKAY
Wait.
SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY
There's something going on. This pod is magnetically shielded. I'm reading cortical signals.
SHEPPARD
Which means…
MCKAY

(excitedly)

The pod's equipped with a neural interface that's indicating definite brain activity, as though he were perfectly conscious. If all of these pods are interconnected, it's highly possible that these people are, in fact, communicating with each other.
CALDWELL
This has been going on for ten thousand years?
MCKAY
Possibly. It's their way of keeping their minds occupied until they were rescued.
SHEPPARD
That is one long conversation.
MCKAY

Yeah, well, more likely, the interface was reactivated when the recall beacon from Atlantis was received.
(looking at his tablet)

Either way, the neuro-feedback loop is incredibly active.
SHEPPARD
Any way to figure out what they're saying?
MCKAY

(sarcastically, holding up his tablet)

Yes, of course. It says right here. "Why is the smart one having to stop and answer so many questions?"
CALDWELL
It's a fair question, Doctor.
MCKAY
Of course it is. Being able to communicate with a living Ancient is the opportunity of a lifetime, but this system is a highly complex system, which I will have— Wait a minute.
SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY

Answering your question.
(activating his radio)

Teyla, found any more of the pods?
TEYLA

(over radio)

Yes. Many. And there are many more decks we have yet to search.
MCKAY
Are any of the pods empty?
TEYLA

(over radio)

A few.
MCKAY

(looking at a dubious Sheppard)

Perfect.

EXT—space

[Aurora floats in space.]

INT—AURORA

[The team has gathered around an empty pod.]

SHEPPARD
Are you sure this is such a good idea?

[McKay opens a pod; the platform slides out from the wall.]

MCKAY
What's the matter, Colonel? Don't trust me?
SHEPPARD
No.
MCKAY

(snarky)

Fine.
CALDWELL

(over radio)

You're proposing actually freezing yourself in one of those things?
MCKAY
I should be able to tap into the neural network without actually initializing stasis.

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Listening, Caldwell appears pained at the prospect.]

MCKAY

(over radio)

Look, it won't take long. I'll be in and out.

INT—AURORA

[Sheppard looks at McKay with a dubious expression.]

MCKAY
Look, the quickest way to figure out what is going on in there is to tap into the system and communicate directly with the Captain. Need I remind you of the obvious value in this?
TEYLA
But is it safe?
MCKAY
Would I be volunteering to go if it wasn't?
RONON
No.
SHEPPARD
Which is exactly what makes it safe enough for me to go.
MCKAY
What?
SHEPPARD
Better to have you on the outside in case something goes wrong.
MCKAY
It won't.
SHEPPARD
But if it does.

[Sheppard starts to take off his vest.]

MCKAY
It won't! How many times do I have to say this!?
TEYLA
Rodney, between the two of you, if something were to go wrong, which would be the greater loss?
MCKAY
Well, I've never thought of it that way, but… Hey, she's right. You should go.

[Sheppard looks at Teyla, who smiles mildly.]

[Later, Sheppard is lying on the platform as the team looks on, McKay with his laptop connected to the pod.]

MCKAY
Now, remember, the system creates a direct feedback loop between the processor and your brainwaves. So when you want to disconnect, you'll need to, well, really concentrate.
SHEPPARD
You mean think it?
MCKAY
Well, I think it'll probably take a little more than that, otherwise you'd be popping in and out of the thing every time it crossed your mind.
SHEPPARD
So…there's no place like home?
MCKAY
If that works for you. Now, I should be able to monitor your EEG pattern, so in the highly unlikely event that something anomalous should present itself, I should be able to disconnect you manually.
SHEPPARD
Good.
MCKAY
Without permanent brain damage.
SHEPPARD

(startled)

Rodney?
MCKAY
Well, the opportunity to speak to a living Ancient is worth the risk, hmm? Now, when I close the lid, the pod's systems should activate. Ready?
SHEPPARD
I was.
MCKAY
Good.

[McKay activates the pod on his laptop. It slides into the wall, and the upper covering lowers over Sheppard.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard becomes aware inside a representation of a brightly lit, undamaged Aurora. He is wearing a white Ancient uniform. He looks down at himself, then starts to walk. He looks at the ship around him.]

SHEPPARD
This is weird.

[A door slides open, and a young man comes through.]

CREWMAN
Who are you?
SHEPPARD
Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard. I'm part of an expedition—

[The crewman points a weapon at Sheppard.]

CREWMAN
This deck is restricted. How did you get in here?
SHEPPARD
My team discovered your ship. Your crew was in a stasis pod. We decided to tap into the—
CREWMAN

Stay where you are.
(into radio)

Security to engineering deck.
SHEPPARD
No, you don't need to call security—
CREWMAN
Stay where you are.

[Later, Sheppard walks down a corridor with the crewman and two guards.]

INT—AURORA BRIDGE IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The crewman leads Sheppard onto the bridge. A woman approaches the male in the Captain's chair. She is the First Officer.]

FIRST OFFICER
They hyperdrive construct modifications are commencing, sir.
CAPTAIN
Make certain the equations are entered in the correct sequence. We don't want to overload the control conduit.

[Sheppard watches the interchange with interest, smiling at the woman.]

FIRST OFFICER
Yes, sir.
CAPTAIN
Is this him?
CREWMAN
Yes, sir.
CAPTAIN
You wear the uniform of my crew, but I don't know you.
SHEPPARD
My name's Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard. We discovered your ship.
SHEPPARD
We found you and your crew in the stasis pods. We decided to tap into the system in order to communicate with you.
CAPTAIN
"System?"
SHEPPARD
This. This uh,…virtual reality.

[Everyone exchanges skeptical glances, clearly not understanding what Sheppard is talking about.]

SHEPPARD
You do know this is kind of simulated…

[The First Officer looks confused. Sheppard notes the guards standing behind him.]

SHEPPARD
Is there someplace more private we can talk?

INT—AURORA BRIG IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The jail door closes, locking Sheppard in. The Captain and First Officer stand outside.]

SHEPPARD

(annoyed)

It's not exactly what I meant by "private."
CAPTAIN
I want to know who you are and how you got aboard this ship.
SHEPPARD
I told you, my name's Colonel John Sheppard, part of an expedition—
CAPTAIN
What expedition?
SHEPPARD
Let me bottom-line this for you. We came from Atlantis except it's not quite the Atlantis you remember. Ten thousand years have gone by since you left. I know all of this sounds strange, but I'm telling you the truth. Right now, you're all in your stasis pods aboard Aurora. The ship's been derelict for centuries. None of this is real. I expected you to know that.
FIRST OFFICER
You don't have time to bother with this nonsense. The hyperdrive modifications are much more pressing, sir.
SHEPPARD
What kind of hyperdrive modifications?
CAPTAIN
We're attempting to modify our propulsion in order to return to Atlantis as quickly as possible. Then we'll see if you're speaking the truth.
SHEPPARD
Oh, look. The Atlantis you know doesn't exist anymore. During the war with the Wraith, the city was evacuated back to Earth—
CAPTAIN
Evacuate? Why would we do that?
SHEPPARD
Sir…the war was lost.
CAPTAIN

(growing angry)

Nothing is lost. Not yet. I have vital information concerning a weakness in Wraith technology, and when I deliver the communiqué in my possession, the tide will most certainly turn in our favor.
SHEPPARD
That's right— the Atlantis mission logs said you were on a recon mission. What kind of weakness are we talking about?
CAPTAIN
That information is reserved for the Council.
SHEPPARD
There is no Council anymore.
FIRST OFFICER
Sir, we must return to the bridge.

[They turn to leave but Sheppard speaks more loudly to get their attention.]

SHEPPARD
Wait. According to the logs the Aurora left Lantian space during the siege. That means the city had already been sunk to the bottom of the ocean. You're wondering, how could I know that?
CAPTAIN
Yes.
SHEPPARD
Because that's where it was when we found it.
FIRST OFFICER
We're wasting time, sir. You need to attend to the hyperdrive.

[They turn and leave.]

SHEPPARD
Wait! The information in that communiqué could still be incredibly valuable to us.

[Left alone, Sheppard starts to concentrate on breaking the link. He opens his eyes to find he hasn't left yet. He concentrates harder.]

INT—AURORA

[Sheppard's pod slides out, the canopy opening.]

MCKAY
So?
SHEPPARD
It worked.
MCKAY
Well, of course it worked.

[Sheppard sits up.]

SHEPPARD
For a minute, I thought I was going to get stuck there. Where's Teyla and Ronon?
MCKAY
Well, Caldwell sent them to search the ship's armory.
SHEPPARD
Yeah?
MCKAY
No. Unfortunately, it was depleted of drones. Look, so, what happened?
MCKAY
Were you able to communicate with the Captain?
SHEPPARD
Face to face. Pretty impressive in there. They have a whole virtual reality thing going on.
MCKAY
Actually, the correct term is "virtual environment."
SHEPPARD
Yeah, whatever.
MCKAY
So what did you find out?
SHEPPARD
For starters, I have to go back.

[Sheppard puts his radio in.]

EXT—SPACE

[Aurora and Daedalus hover beside each other.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Caldwell and Sheppard converse by radio.]

CALDWELL
What do you mean, you have to go back?
SHEPPARD
The Aurora was on a recon mission. The Captain was carrying a communiqué back to Atlantis. In it is vital information about a weakness in Wraith technology.
CALDWELL
What kind of weakness?

INT—AURORA

SHEPPARD
Well, that's why I have to go back. He didn't tell me. He's trying to modify the hyperdrives in order to get back to Atlantis faster to deliver it.
MCKAY
Well, did you mention that that's impossible, given that they're living in a virtual environment?
SHEPPARD
No, Rodney. That slipped my mind.
MCKAY
Well, I would have thought that would be the first thing—
SHEPPARD
Of course I mentioned it!
SHEPPARD
They don't remember putting themselves in stasis. Consequently, they had no idea who I was or how I got there.
MCKAY
Why would the pods do that?
SHEPPARD
That's a good question and another reason I should go back. What do you think, Colonel?

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

CALDWELL
Go.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard arrives back in the brig.]

SHEPPARD
Hello? Anybody there?

[A guard enters.]

SHEPPARD
Hi.
SHEPPARD
I really need to talk to the Captain
GUARD
Why?
SHEPPARD
Tell him I'm ready to make a full confession.

[The guard nods and leaves.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Caldwell is looking at a radar display showing two red targets.]

[Caldwell and Sheppard converse by radio.]

CALDWELL
Dr. McKay.
MCKAY
Go ahead.
CALDWELL
Long-range sensors have just detected two Wraith cruisers heading this way, no doubt coming to investigate why their scout ship was destroyed earlier.
MCKAY
What's their E.T.A.?
CALDWELL
A little over an hour, and I plan on being long gone by then. What's the status there?

INT—AURORA

MCKAY
I've been able to decipher some more of the program. I'm actually reading neural tracking signatures of the entire crew as they make their way through the—
CALDWELL
I meant Colonel Sheppard's status?
MCKAY
Oh. Him. Uh, yeah, well, he's…he’s still in the pod.

[McKay checks Sheppard's status as if he had forgotten for a moment.]

CALDWELL
Understood. Just be aware of the time constraints with the Wraith ships approaching. We can't risk being discovered.
MCKAY
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Ticking clock. Anything else?
CALDWELL
If he's not out of there in thirty minutes, disconnect him manually.
MCKAY

(worried)

Right.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The first officer arrives in the brig.]

SHEPPARD
Where's the Captain?
FIRST OFFICER
He has more pressing concerns at the moment. He sent me in his stead. I was told you were ready to make a full confession?
SHEPPARD
Yeah. Well, no. Actually, I just wanted to talk to him to try to convince him that we're on the same side.
FIRST OFFICER
Perhaps you would have more success if your story were not so preposterous.
SHEPPARD
It's not preposterous.
FIRST OFFICER
You say you're from Atlantis.
SHEPPARD
Yes.
FIRST OFFICER
And yet you also say that Atlantis has been evacuated.
SHEPPARD
Yes.
SHEPPARD
Well, it was, ten thousand years ago. Look, we just discovered it last year.
FIRST OFFICER
You discovered it?
SHEPPARD
We came from Earth. We found the city deserted. We set up a base, been living there ever since. That's how we found you. We saw the Aurora on one of the city's long-range sensors. But even after all these years, the Wraith are still causing a lot of problems. We've managed to hold them off for now, but we could sure use that information about the weakness in their technology.
FIRST OFFICER
Only the Captain has access to the communiqué.
SHEPPARD
Well, then, let me talk to him. I can deliver the message myself. The quicker it gets back to Atlantis, the better for all of us.
FIRST OFFICER
You seem sincere.
SHEPPARD
Yes. I am. Very sincere.

[He approaches the bars, trying to be convincing.]

SHEPPARD

(smoothly)

I would be very very grateful.

[Sheppard touches the bars and gets shocked by a force field.]

FIRST OFFICER
I'll speak to him for you.

[She leaves.]

SHEPPARD
Ow.

INT—AURORA

[Teyla and Ronon search another room full of pods. Teyla keeps her machine gun raised.]

RONON
More of the same.
TEYLA
Shh. I am counting. I do not want to lose my place.
RONON
I counted 376. No, wait. 398. I forgot about the infirmary. There was 22 in there…or was it 23?

[Teyla glares at Ronon.]

RONON
Sorry.

[They enter the next chamber and find the body of an old woman on the deck. Ronon raises his weapon as well.]

TEYLA
Where did she come from?

[They turn the body over, then Teyla sees something on the pod wall.]

TEYLA
Oh, no.

INT—AURORA

[McKay is working beside Sheppard's pod.]

TEYLA

(over radio)

Dr. McKay?
MCKAY

(into radio)

Still here.
TEYLA

(over radio)

There's something you need to see. We are two decks directly below you.
MCKAY

(into radio)

Can't it wait?
TEYLA

(emphatically)

No.

[McKay looks once more at Sheppard's pod then rushes out.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard sits in the cell.]

SHEPPARD
Guard!

[A guard enters.]

SHEPPARD
I need to talk to the First Officer.
GUARD
She gave orders not to be disturbed.
SHEPPARD
It's okay. She said she was going to talk to the Captain for me. It's been a while. I just—
GUARD
She also gave orders to ignore everything you say.

[Sheppard approaches the guard.]

SHEPPARD
Then why are you talking to me right now?

[The guard smirks and turns to talk away.]

SHEPPARD
I need to see the Captain!

[Sheppard concentrates and leaves the virtual environment. The guard is startled.]

INT—AURORA

[Sheppard's pod opens. He looks around and sees McKay is not there.]

SHEPPARD
All right. That should be enough time.

[He reactivates his pod.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The guard enters the empty cell, his weapon raised. Sheppard re-appears and takes the weapon from him.]

SHEPPARD

(grabbing the guard's remote control device)

Give me this thing.

[Sheppard steps outside the cell and locks the guard inside.]

SHEPPARD
I really don't like being ignored.

[He leaves.]

INT—AURORA

[McKay descends a ladder to meet Ronon and Teyla. Ronon is carrying the woman's body.]

MCKAY
What is it?
TEYLA
Have a look.

[Teyla takes him to a spot on the wall near the woman's pod. She shows him some black devices attached to the system.]

MCKAY
This is Wraith gear. And it's recently installed.

[McKay turns to see there is a Wraith in one of the pods.]

EXT—SPACE

RONON
There's a reason for that.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

CALDWELL
Are there any more?
MCKAY
Well, it's hard say, since you plucked us out of there the second you heard.
TEYLA
Ronon and I have searched the ship. I am certain there is only one.
MCKAY
The Wraith's tied in to the same neuro-feedback loop as the crew and Colonel Sheppard. But by the looks of it, they must have found Aurora a long time ago, certainly long enough to figure out how to access and reconfigure the system.

[They arrive at the bridge.]

CALDWELL
Given their apparent psychic abilities, is it possible the Wraith ships on the way are in communication with the Wraith aboard the Aurora?
TEYLA
No. They need to be closer.
MCKAY
She's right. We’ve already determined that the range of Wraith psychic ability is limited.
CALDWELL
So we can't risk those ships getting within that range.
RONON
I say we go back and kill it right now.
CALDWELL
I agree.
MCKAY

(emphatically)

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop. Let's not get all trigger happy. We have no idea how much of the system this Wraith is manipulating. We need to figure out what is going on before we start shooting things. For all we know, that could kill Sheppard.
CALDWELL
What's he still doing there?
MCKAY
He can come out any time he wants. There must be a good reason.
RONON
Knowing Sheppard, he wouldn't leave without getting the information from the communiqué.
CALDWELL
I still don't like it.
TEYLA
The Wraith cannot physically harm him in there, can it?
MCKAY
No… I don't think so. I don't know, but I should get back in there and learn what this Wraith is doing.
CALDWELL
You've got fifteen minutes to figure it out, Doctor.
MCKAY
Fifteen? Where do you people come up with these arbitrary numbers!?
CALDWELL
That's the time you've got to learn what you need to, Doctor.
MCKAY
Why?
CALDWELL
Because I intend to destroy the Aurora before those Wraith ships get here.
MCKAY

(meekly)

Okay.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard arrives at the Captain's office to find the Captain setting a box, likely the communiqué, on a desk.]

SHEPPARD
Hi. Me again.

[The Captain reaches for his remote control device.]

SHEPPARD

Wait. Wait, please. Just listen. Uh…
(lowering his weapon)

I'm not here to hurt anyone. I want to help you; help all of us.
SHEPPARD
I know all of this sounds strange, but just give me a chance to prove that what I'm saying—

[Sheppard is shot with a stunner from behind by the first officer.]

FIRST OFFICER
Are you all right, sir?
CAPTAIN
Yes, I'm fine.
FIRST OFFICER
Take him back to the brig.

[Two guards lift Sheppard up and drag him out of the room.]

FIRST OFFICER
He escaped only moments ago.
FIRST OFFICER
I'll see to it he doesn't disturb you again.
CAPTAIN
What if he is telling the truth? Do you not sense it, too, that something is wrong?
FIRST OFFICER
You're exhausted, sir.
CAPTAIN
True. I am in need of rest. Even more so, my crew.
FIRST OFFICER
Rest is a luxury we cannot afford, sir. The Aurora is a fine ship, but she was never built for speed. Without the drive modifications it'll take months to return to Atlantis. If we are to use this new intelligence to our advantage, we need to reach the city within days.
CAPTAIN
Then there'll be time for rest.
FIRST OFFICER
Yes, sir.

[The Captain walks out, while the first officer nods and smiles.]

INT—AURORA

[McKay, Teyla, and Ronon stand beside Sheppard's pod. McKay looks at his life-signs readings.]

TEYLA
What is wrong?
MCKAY
Delta waves.
RONON
What are they?
CALDWELL

(over radio)

Dr. McKay, are you ready to be beamed aboard?
MCKAY
It hasn't even been five minutes!
TEYLA
Dr. McKay has discovered a problem.

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

CALDWELL
What kind of a problem?

[Caldwell speaks by radio to McKay, and the scene switches between the two locations.]

MCKAY
Colonel Sheppard's EEG frequencies are decreasing. I'm reading delta waves, which indicates that he's unconscious within the virtual environment. I'm not sure how it happened, but something is definitely wrong in there.
CALDWELL
Even more reason to pull him out.
MCKAY
That would be a mistake. Look, additional data I've been able to decipher from the Wraith's biometrics receiver shows significant manipulation of the feedback loop. Something we were clearly not aware of when Sheppard went in.
CALDWELL
We were also clearly not aware of the two Wraith cruisers approaching.
MCKAY
Colonel, this Wraith is controlling the program, which means it might have booby-trapped it as well. We're talking about Sheppard's life here.
CALDWELL
And I'm talking about the lives of not only every person aboard this ship, but every person in Atlantis when the Wraith find out it wasn't destroyed. I'm well aware of what's at stake here, Doctor. Get him out of that pod or my men will. Caldwell out.

[He signs off the radio.]

[McKay grabs a connector from above Sheppard's pod.]

MCKAY
I'm going in.

[He moves to another empty pod.]

MCKAY
Look, stall Caldwell. Buy me some time — just a few minutes at the most.
TEYLA
What if you are unable to disconnect?
RONON
Caldwell's going to blow that ship whether you're in there or not.
MCKAY
You see, the thing is, Colonel Sheppard and I have sort of gotten into this habit of saving each other's lives, and it's my turn.

[He opens the pod and sits on it.]

MCKAY
It can be your turn next. Look…

[He gives a device to Teyla.]

MCKAY
Hit this to manually disconnect me. If I do not regain consciousness, go ahead and open Colonel Sheppard's pod. Have us beamed directly to Daedalus and make sure they have a medical team waiting.

[He gets into the pod.]

TEYLA
Are you sure you want to do this?
MCKAY

(nervously)

I'm sure I don't.

[He lies down in the pod.]

MCKAY

(speaking quickly)

Okay… All right. Looks like there's more than enough air in here. Right. Of course there is. Crew's been sealed inside these things for thousands of years…
TEYLA
Are you all right?
MCKAY
Yeah. It's just my claustrophobia. I'll be fine… I hope. Now, the system should engage once you send me in.
TEYLA
All right.
MCKAY
All right… So send me in?
TEYLA
Oh, yes. Good luck.
MCKAY
Right.

[The pod seals.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard is sleeping in the brig cell when McKay's voice wakes him.]

MCKAY
Where are you taking me? I told you, I'm with Colonel Sheppard. I'm a member of his team. Colonel John Sheppard, he's about so high, brown hair, a bit mussed. The term is "rakish." Oh, for—

[McKay arrives with guards, and he and Sheppard see each other.]

SHEPPARD

(annoyed)

McKay.
MCKAY
What are you doing in there?
SHEPPARD
I was about to ask you the same thing.

[Sheppard stands. The guards lock McKay inside with Sheppard.]

MCKAY
I came to help you.
SHEPPARD
I feel better already.

[They look around pointlessly.]

INT—AURORA

[Ronon and Teyla stand watch.]

RONON
Ten thousand years in one of these things, kept alive only by life support… I couldn't live that way.
TEYLA
Neither could I.
CALDWELL

(over radio)

Dr. McKay, what's your status?
TEYLA

(into radio)

Dr. McKay is…not here.

[They continue speaking over the radio.]

CALDWELL
What?
TEYLA
He had to…
RONON
He had to check something on the Wraith pod.
TEYLA
Yes. The Wraith pod. He had to check the…biometrics receiver. He needed to reconfirm the frequencies of the neuro-feedback loop.
CALDWELL
Why isn't he on his radio?
TEYLA
Well, actually, we have been having trouble reaching him ourselves. I think it might have something to do with interference from the, um, magnetic shielding of the pods.
RONON
Yeah. Shielding.
TEYLA
Ronon was just about to go and check on him, see what is taking him so long.
CALDWELL
All right, go get him. Light a fire under him.
TEYLA
Right away.
CALDWELL
I want a status report as soon as his radio is working. Caldwell out.
RONON
Nice stalling.

[Teyla smiles.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

MCKAY
Have you been unable to disconnect yourself from the system?
SHEPPARD
No. I'm still trying to get the information in that communiqué.
MCKAY
Oh, good. We thought maybe it was preventing you from exiting the program.
SHEPPARD
"It?"
MCKAY
We found a Wraith in one of the stasis pods. It's manipulating the neurofeedback program. Your EEG patterns were irregular—
SHEPPARD
You're kidding. I got stunned.
MCKAY
I didn't want to risk pulling you out until I knew more.
SHEPPARD
The First Officer.
MCKAY
What about him?
SHEPPARD
Her. She's a Wraith. She has to be. There's something very odd about her, and she keeps preventing me from talking to the Captain.
MCKAY
The Wraith we found was male. The First Officer must have been female. It took her place.
SHEPPARD
She knows I want that information, and the Captain is the only one with access to it.
MCKAY
Well, we don't need the Captain. I've been able to decipher enough of the program to overwrite the protocols. All I have to do is get to a terminal within the virtual environment, and I should be able to access any file stored within the database.
SHEPPARD
So we just need to break out of here.
MCKAY
Hold that thought.

[McKay concentrates and disappears.]

INT—AURORA

[McKay wakes up.]

RONON
What's happening?
MCKAY
Give me the tablet. The data device, right here, right here. Thank you. That's it.

[He plugs his tablet into the system.]

MCKAY
Just keep stalling, keep stalling.

[He makes inputs on the tablet.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The cell door opens. Sheppard stands. Two guards enter and point their weapons. They fall to the deck, unconscious. McKay appears.]

SHEPPARD
Hi.
MCKAY
Hi.
SHEPPARD
Nice.

[They grab weapons and control devices from the guards, then leave.]

[They move down a corridor.]

MCKAY
It should be the next hallway.

[They see a group in the next corridor. The first officer is there.]

SHEPPARD
That's her.
MCKAY
That's the Wraith?
SHEPPARD
Yeah.
MCKAY
Wow. She's hot. I mean, seriously hot.
SHEPPARD
Rodney, you're drooling over a Wraith.
MCKAY
I know. I disgust myself sometimes.

[The group leaves, and they follow. McKay finds a terminal while Sheppard closes a door and keeps watch.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Teyla and Ronon rush down the corridor to the bridge.]

CALDWELL
Where are Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard?
RONON
Why'd you beam us back?
CALDWELL
Because I was about to fire a missile into the side of that ship.
TEYLA
They are in the pods.

[Ronon looks disappointedly at Teyla.]

CALDWELL
They're both in pods now?
TEYLA
Yes. Dr. McKay went in to see if the Wraith was preventing Colonel Sheppard from disengaging from the system.
CALDWELL

(to crewman)

I want a team assembled, ready to beam aboard the Aurora to disconnect Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard.
TEYLA
No, wait. Please, just a few more minutes.
CALDWELL
ETA on the Wraith ships?
AIRMAN
Eleven minutes out.
TEYLA
I am certain he'll be out by then, and if he is successful, he will know if it is safe to disconnect Colonel Sheppard.
CALDWELL
And if he's not out by then?
RONON
Then we'll disconnect them both.
TEYLA
It would be wise to have a medical team standing by for both of them.
CALDWELL

(to a crewman)

Alert the infirmary. I want a medical team standing by.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

MCKAY
The communiqué has been erased.
SHEPPARD
Why would the Wraith do that?
MCKAY

(sarcastically

Well, it says right here. "I, the Wraith, delete this important information to keep you from seeing it."
SHEPPARD
Obviously he did it to keep us from seeing it, but why didn't it end the damn program? What's the point of continuing?
MCKAY
Oh, no.
SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY
You said they were trying to modify the hyperdrive.
SHEPPARD
So they can get back to Atlantis faster.
MCKAY
Well, according to the Atlantis database, there are two different types of Ancient hyperdrives. There's the more basic, interstellar kind, like the one the Aurora has, and then there's the more powerful, intergalactic kind similar to the one the Asgard provided us for the Daedalus.
SHEPPARD
Why would the Wraith want to soup up the Aurora's hyperdrive?
MCKAY
Because the Wraith hyperdrives are nowhere near as advanced as the Ancient hyperdrives. With all of the technology the Captain is feeding her right now—
SHEPPARD
She'll learn how to modify the Wraith's hyperdrives from interstellar to intergalactic.
MCKAY
That means they'll make it as far as Earth.
SHEPPARD
That's what this whole thing is about. Their new feeding ground, and this is just step one.
MCKAY
Even if she doesn't have all the information she needs, we need to stop her from sending what she's learned so far to the Wraith ships that are on the way.
SHEPPARD

(challenging)

There are Wraith ships on the way?
MCKAY
I'm- I'm sure I mentioned that.
SHEPPARD
No, you didn't.
MCKAY
Well, it-it threw me when she was so hot.
SHEPPARD
How many ships?
MCKAY
Two cruisers.
SHEPPARD
Can you disconnect her?
MCKAY
Him. Not from the inside, no. But I should be able to disable the pod interface from the outside.
SHEPPARD
Then why didn't you?
MCKAY
Because I didn't know what that would do to you.
SHEPPARD
Well, that's very thoughtful of you, but now she knows all about Atlantis.
MCKAY
You told her?

[McKay crosses his arms suspiciously, as if accusing Sheppard of falling for the first officer.]

MCKAY
Why?
SHEPPARD
Because I was trying to convince them that— Just go and unplug the Wraith while I talk to the Captain.
MCKAY
The communiqué is blank.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, but he might still have some intel about the Wraith weakness. Now, Rodney, is there anything else you'd like to tell me?
MCKAY

(sheepishly)

Only that Caldwell is probably going to destroy this ship at any moment.
SHEPPARD
Go!
MCKAY
Going.

[McKay leaves the environment. Sheppard runs off.]

INT—AURORA

[McKay's pod opens.]

MCKAY

Teyla? Ronon? Oh, I can't believe it. Two minutes in the pod, I'm abandoned. Come on.
(struggling to get up)

Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go. Oh… Right. Okay.

[He grabs his tablet and runs, limping from an apparent cramp in his leg.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[Sheppard climbs a ladder to the corridor just outside the bridge.]

SHEPPARD
Come on, McKay…
FIRST OFFICER
Hyperdrive modification commands have been successfully entered. Auxiliary power is now online.
CAPTAIN
Very good. Prepare to engage drive.

[Sheppard rushes in, weapon drawn.]

SHEPPARD
Stop! Your First Officer is a Wraith. She's using you.
FIRST OFFICER
Security to the bridge.
SHEPPARD
She gained access to the virtual environment by killing your First Officer and taking her place. She's getting you to modify your hyperdrive so she can upgrade the Wraith hyperdrives.
FIRST OFFICER
Don't listen to him.
SHEPPARD
They need to modify their hyperdrives to make it to my planet, Earth, and I prefer she not do that.
FIRST OFFICER
This is nonsense.
SHEPPARD
I'm telling you she's a Wraith.
CAPTAIN
Officer Trebal has served with me for many years. I can't possibly believe—
FIRST OFFICER
Sir, with your permission, I'd like to—

[Her body starts to fade out, the entire reality showing static.]

INT—AURORA

[McKay works on disconnecting the Wraith's pod.]

MCKAY
Come on… Disable.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The first officer's face begins to alternate between Wraith and Auroran before finally disappearing. The captain is in shock.]

SHEPPARD
I hope that was proof enough.

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

MCKAY
Ha!

[The Wraith's pod opens.]

MCKAY
Oh, no.

[McKay pulls his pistol and approaches the Wraith, who wakes up and startles him. McKay starts firing badly as he retreats.]

[McKay makes his way to Sheppard's pod and re-loads his pistol.]

MCKAY
Come on, come on…

[He rushes to his laptop.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

CAPTAIN
All this time, I thought we had evaded the enemy. Instead, I've been unwittingly assisting them.
SHEPPARD
No, sir, she didn't succeed. And if you tell me the information in the communiqué, we may be able to defeat the Wraith once and for all.
CAPTAIN
The information is in the ship's computer. I can give you my access codes.
SHEPPARD
We checked. It's all been erased. Can't you tell me yourself?
CAPTAIN

I'm afraid I was never made aware of the its contents, Colonel Sheppard.

The Council feared the possibility of our capture was too great. The information in that communiqué is gone.

[Sheppard shakes his head in disappointment.]

CAPTAIN
Ten thousand years… Even in stasis, our physical bodies must be…
SHEPPARD
Very old.
SHEPPARD
Too old.

[The captain looks around the bridge at his crew.]

CAPTAIN
My crew deserves to know.
SHEPPARD
Yes, they do, and I'd love to give you all the time in the world for that, but right now, there are two Wraith ships on the way.
CAPTAIN
We've longed for nothing more than returning to Atlantis…to raise a toast to home and victory. We may not return home but we will do whatever we can to ensure that victory. For that, I will need your help.

[The rush off.]

INT—AURORA

[Sheppard's pod opens.]

MCKAY
It's about damn time. What'd you do, play a round of golf?
MCKAY
We've got serious problems.
SHEPPARD
What happened? Get down!

[Sheppard has seen the Wraith approaching from behind McKay. Sheppard grabs his pistol and fires at the Wraith, hitting it repeatedly. He gets up and approaches the Wraith, weapon drawn, as does McKay.]

MCKAY
That happened. Not so hot now.
WRAITH
Our ships are coming. They will retrieve what I have learned. Earth will soon be ours.
SHEPPARD
Not if I can help it.

[Sheppard fires on the Wraith, killing it.]

CALDWELL

(over radio)

Colonel Sheppard, we're reading two life-signs. I hope that means what I think it means.
SHEPPARD
Give me one more minute.

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

CALDWELL
We're out of time, Sheppard. The Wraith ships are almost here.
SHEPPARD

(over radio)

One damn minute, and I can take care of that problem.

EXT—SPACE

[The two Wraith ships drop out of hyperspace near the Daedalus and Aurora.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

AIRMAN
Wraith cruisers just dropped out of hyperspace, sir. They're aware of us.
CALDWELL
Battle stations. Looks like we're going to have fight these guys. Bring main rail guns online.
SHEPPARD

(over radio)

Daedalus, this is Sheppard. We're ready.
CALDWELL
Beam them directly onto the bridge.

[McKay and Sheppard arrive on the bridge.]

AIRMAN
Targets are in range.
SHEPPARD
Sir, we need to get out of here.
CALDWELL
No, we need to eliminate those cruisers. The information—
MCKAY
No, no, no. We need to get far away.
CALDWELL
What?
SHEPPARD
The Captain gave me the Aurora's self-destruct code. He assures me it'll take care of the Wraith ships too, but we have to get clear.
CALDWELL
Bring sub-light engines to military thrust.
PILOT
Military thrust.

EXT—SPACE

[The Daedalus starts to move away.]

INT—AURORA VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

[The Captain addresses his crew.]

CAPTAIN
I have never been more proud than I am this moment. It has been an honor serving with you. And although we may not return to Atlantis, rest assured that the Aurora will be remembered.

EXT—SPACE

[The Aurora explodes, taking the Wraith cruisers with it.]

INT—DAEDALUS BRIDGE

[Caldwell, McKay and Sheppard watch the explosion somberly.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—WEIR'S OFFICE

[Sheppard's team and Caldwell brief Weir.]

MCKAY
We monitored all transmissions from the Wraith cruisers prior to the explosion. They never got a chance to board the Aurora or upload any of the Ancient information.
CALDWELL
Both cruisers were destroyed in the explosion.
RONON
It's too bad you weren't able to figure out the Wraith weakness.
SHEPPARD
At least we found out they had one.
WEIR
Good work. Thank you, everyone.

[Everyone starts to leave, but Sheppard stops them.]

SHEPPARD
Before we break up the party, there's something I'd like to do. It might seem a little strange, but I promised to do something when we got home.

[He picks up a bottle of champagne, and Weir steps around her desk with a tray of glasses. Everyone takes a glass.]

MCKAY
Thank you.

[Sheppard opens the bottle and pours for everyone. He raises his glass in a toast, as they all do.]

SHEPPARD
To the crew of the Aurora.

[The clink their glasses together and drink.]

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Stargate Solutions by Michelle, June 2012.

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--Michelle 22:53, 10 June 2012 (PDT)