SGA 3.05 "Progeny" Transcript

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3.05 "Progeny"

Episode Guide

SGA 3.05 "Progeny" Episode Guide

Précis

An advanced civilization is accidentally discovered during the team's investigation of a purportedly abandoned Ancient testing site, prompting Weir to broker an alliance with the society's leader, Oberoth.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard watches from the balcony as a MALP enters an active wormhole. McKay sits a station. Weir is nearby, as well as other personnel.]

MCKAY
Wormhole's established. MALP is on the way.

[Sheppard walks over to McKay.]

SHEPPARD
What kind of facility is this?
MCKAY
Some sort of research outpost. Database has very little information about it, other than whatever work was being done there was completed and the place was apparently abandoned.
WEIR
Well, sounds promising.
CHUCK
We have MALP telemetry. Environmental sensors indicate viable life support. Visuals coming in now.
WEIR
Put it on screen.

[McKay, Weir, and Sheppard approach a monitor on the far wall. The image is full of static at first, then reveals several human looking people very close to the MALP staring into the camera.]

SHEPPARD
Maybe it never was abandoned.

[One of the people, Niam, holds an Ancient scanner, examining the MALP.]

WEIR
Huh. Ancients?
SHEPPARD
They've got one of their scanners.
MCKAY

(scoffing)

Well, so do we. Just because they know how to use Ancient technology doesn't mean they're—
NIAM

(over video, clearly enunciating)

I am speaking to whoever sent this machine to our home. If you intend us harm, proceed no further. But if you come in friendship, please know you are most welcome here.

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[The wormhole is active. Teyla is geared up and waiting when Ronon arrives twirling his pistol. Sheppard and McKay arrive.]

SHEPPARD
Put that thing away. I told 'em we were friendly.

[Ronon holsters his pistol and holds his arms wide, innocently.]

RONON
I'm friendly.
SHEPPARD
Is that thing set to stun?

[Ronon unholsters the pistol flamboyantly and resets it before holstering it again.]

SHEPPARD
Friendlier.

[Weir joins the group, also outfitted for offworld travel.]

MCKAY

(surprised)

Are you coming too?
WEIR
Well, Ancients or not, they are obviously an advanced society, and I would like to establish diplomatic relations with them immediately.
SHEPPARD
Well, you're the boss. Let's go.

[Sheppard's team and Weir enter the wormhole.]

WORMHOLE EFFECT

INT—GATE ROOM

[The team exits the wormhole and look around at the familiar surroundings. It appears as if they have returned to where they started.]

WEIR
What happened?
SHEPPARD
Did we make a U-turn?

[McKay pulls out his scanner.]

MCKAY
No. This is the place. We're here.

[The Stargate shuts down behind Weir. She turns, instead of a window, like on Atlantis, she sees a long corridor behind the Stargate. Niam and the others walk towards them.]

WEIR
Look.

[The others turn around.]

SHEPPARD
So…not exactly like our Gate Room.
WEIR

(cautiously)

Hello. We're the people who sent the machine to you earlier. We come in friendship.
NIAM
I am Niam. Welcome to Asuras.

OPENING CREDITS

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[Niam leads the group down a long corridor.]

SHEPPARD

(low, to McKay)

I'm still waiting to meet an Ancient race that's invented a car.
MCKAY
Hmm.
NIAM
Our destination is not much further. The High Council is eager to meet you.
WEIR
How long have your people lived here?
NIAM
We built this city thousands of years ago.
MCKAY
What, you actually built it? You didn't just find it this way?
NIAM
No.
TEYLA
And you've had no trouble with the Wraith?
NIAM
No.
MCKAY
Any particular reason?
NIAM
The Wraith do not concern us.
MCKAY

(to Sheppard)
Ah, see, he didn't answer my question.
(louder, to Niam)

I'm sorry, you didn't actually answer my question.

[Niam leads them to an outer balcony. They look at their surroundings in awe.]

WEIR
Oh my…
SHEPPARD
No kidding.

[The Ancient city-ship sits in a lake, dwarfed by a city scape that surrounds it from all sides.]

RONON
How many people live here?
NIAM
Millions.
MCKAY
Well, the-the power requirements for a city this size must be enormous! Well, plus, uh-uh, shielding from the Wraith, we're talking, what, three zero point modules, maybe four?

[Niam looks at McKay blankly.]

MCKAY
Um, sorry. ZPMs. Uh, um, uh a device that taps vast amounts of power from vacuum energy?
NIAM
Oh, yes. We have many of those.
SHEPPARD
Exactly how many is "many"?
MCKAY
"Exactly" doesn't matter. "Many" is plenty!
NIAM
Truthfully, I do not know the exact number. More than enough to suit our needs.
MCKAY
I assume that you, um, built them yourselves?
NIAM
Yes.
MCKAY

(giddy)

Yes.
SHEPPARD

(whispering)

Easy Rodney, you're slobbering.
NIAM

(smiling)

Please. The Council is waiting.

[Niam leads the way down the corridor. McKay quickly follows. The others hang back for a moment.]

TEYLA
Well, we have our answer.
RONON
To what question?
WEIR
Whether or not they're Ancients.
SHEPPARD
In which case, I've got a bone to pick with them.

[They start to follow Niam.]

INT—ASURAS HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBERS

[The Atlantis team stands before a group of people seated around tables set in a horseshoe pattern. Four people are on either side (including Niam). At the center, slightly higher table, sits Oberoth.]

OBEROTH
Where did you come from?
WEIR
We are explorers. We come from a world very far from here.
SHEPPARD
Really far. In fact…you can't get there from here.
OBEROTH
How did you happen to discover us?
WEIR
We came across an Ancient outpost that listed this 'gate address in its database.
MCKAY
But no other information, I might add. Oddly, the database neglected to include any information on a society of millions of Ancients, such as…yourselves.
SHEPPARD
Why is that?
OBEROTH
We are the last of those you refer to as "Ancients". We were once a race united in our pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment. But our paths diverged after a disagreement tore the fabric of that unity.
SHEPPARD
What kind of a disagreement?
OBEROTH
Suffice it to say, they chose to disregard our counsel during a time of great conflict, and they suffered the consequences at the hands of a relentless enemy.
TEYLA
The Wraith.

[Oberoth nods.]

OBEROTH
We parted ways with our brothers and sisters and came here, where we have thrived for many thousands of years.
SHEPPARD

(dryly)

Yeah, you've been doing a lot of "thriving."
WEIR
May I ask, what counsel did you offer that the others chose to disregard?
OBEROTH
Our Ancient brothers were arrogant. Which led them to greatly underestimate the Wraith—an enemy inferior in intelligence, yes, but vastly superior in numbers and ruthlessness.
RONON
They wouldn't have been so outnumbered if you had helped.
SHEPPARD

(low to Weir)

There's that bone I wanted to pick at.
RONON
You said they were your brothers. Where we come from, we take care of our family.

[Oberoth glares at Ronon.]

SHEPPARD
Um…what my friend is trying to say is…there's still a lot of Wraith out there, and we could sure use your help fighting them.
OBEROTH
Eradication of them is among our goals.
WEIR

(excited)

You mean you have a plan?
OBEROTH
We do.
MCKAY
Great! Let's hear it.

[McKay's smile falters at Oberoth's stern expression.]

MCKAY
Your plan, I mean.
OBEROTH

(condescending)

I doubt you would be able to grasp its complexity and scope.
MCKAY

(chuckling with false humility)

Fortunately, I'm very good with complexity.
SHEPPARD
And scope.
OBEROTH
All you need to know is that one day soon, the Wraith will exist no more.
SHEPPARD
All we need to know…?
OBEROTH
There are matters of importance for me to attend to.

[He nods to Niam, who stands.]

OBEROTH
In the meantime, you are explorers, and presumably in need of rest and sustenance. We've made arrangements for you to spend a short time among us.

[Security herd the Atlantis group out.]

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[Niam leads the group down another corridor.]

MCKAY

(annoyed)

He says the other Ancients are arrogant?
NIAM
I apologize if you thought Oberoth was condescending in any way.
SHEPPARD
How about in every way?
NIAM
It is difficult for him to see you as capable of understanding.
MCKAY
Yeah, well how many PhDs does he have?
WEIR
Er, Niam, I was wondering, your people have been here for thousands of years?
NIAM
Yes.
WEIR
Well, in that time, most Ancients we know have ascended.

[Niam stops short.]

NIAM

(intrigued)

You know of ascension?
WEIR
Well, yes. In-in fact, we always thought that Ancients were no longer around—that most of them evolved to the point of transforming into beings of pure energy—
NIAM

(excited, interrupting)

This is true!
WEIR
But I take it your people aren't interested?
NIAM
Oh, ascension's the goal of many of us. But Oberoth feels there is still much to do. We must become all that we can.
WEIR
You don't agree with him, do you?

[Niam looks around, disturbed by what he has revealed.]

NIAM
Your guest quarters are this way.

[He hurries down the corridor.]

INT—ASURAS GUEST QUARTERS

[The team lounge impatiently in the room.]

WEIR
It must have been quite a serious falling out for the Ancients to eliminate any reference to them in the entire database?
TEYLA
Unless they are lying. Might it not be possible that these people merely…discovered this city, as you discovered Atlantis?
SHEPPARD
Wouldn't be surprised. They don't seem very…Ancienty to me.
MCKAY
"Ancienty?"
SHEPPARD

(annoyed)

Yes, that's the word I was looking for.
WEIR
You think they could be deceiving us?

[Teyla shrugs.]

SHEPPARD
Well, I think Teyla's right. They could'a found the city the way it was and moved in years ago.
TEYLA
I feel they are hiding…something.
WEIR

(wryly)

Other than their plan to defeat the Wraith, you mean.
RONON
There's no plan.
WEIR
No, I don't think so either.
MCKAY
Why would they say they had a plan if they don't have a plan?
SHEPPARD
They figured out a way to hide from the rest of the galaxy, including the Wraith, and they're happy to go on with their lives just…minding their own business.
RONON
Then, whoever they are…
WEIR
I think that is what we need to find out.

INT—ASURAS HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER

[A security guard escorts Weir in. Oberoth is alone.]

WEIR
Thank you for taking the time to see me. I thought we might achieve more in a one-on-one meeting. Leader-to-leader.

[Oberoth nods, dismissing the guard.]

OBEROTH
What is it you wish to achieve?
WEIR
The establishment of diplomatic and trade relations between our people.
OBEROTH

(scandalized)

Trade?! Do you really believe that you have anything of value to offer us?
WEIR

(amused)

It's possible, Oberoth. And there is only one way to find that out. But I do know that there is something you could offer us: that is assistance with our fight against the Wraith.
OBEROTH
As I said before, we will commence our plan at a time of our choosing.
WEIR
Would you at least consider sharing with us the tools so we can better protect ourselves, until that time comes.
OBEROTH
Tools? Such as…?
WEIR
What we call Zero Point Modules, they're our power source. We are in urgent need of as many as you can spare.
OBEROTH

(interested)

Then I am to assume that this settlement of yours is of Lantian design?

[Weir pauses, considering her answer.]

WEIR
Yes. We discovered it on our travels. It was uninhabited, so we decided to establish a base there. But as I'm sure you know, sufficient shield generation requires tremendous amounts of power.
OBEROTH
Where is this settlement of yours located?
WEIR
It's on the outer edges of this galaxy, in an area teeming with Wraith hive ships, which is why we need the power modules.
OBEROTH
We are unable to part with any of our power modules. Our energy needs require the use of all of them.
WEIR
Well, would you consider offering your city as a place of refuge to my people if—
OBEROTH

(interrupting)

Many of our citizens are amused by the occasional visitor, such as yourselves, for a short time.
WEIR
But not you.
OBEROTH
No.
WEIR

(half to herself)

No.
OBEROTH
And the very idea of greater numbers over a protracted period of time is entirely out of the question.
WEIR
Now we have had some success fighting off the Wraith, and that has been with limited supplies and personnel. I truly believe that with your assistance, we might be able to—
OBEROTH

(interrupting)

I am unaccustomed to repeating myself! However, leader to leader, I will say this once again. We will eliminate the Wraith at a time of our choosing.
WEIR
And you don't care how many of my people or anyone else dies while you make up your mind to act? You said earlier that your brothers' greatest weakness was their arrogance. May I suggest it runs in the family?

[Oberoth watches her leave.]

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR AND GATE ROOM

[Niam escorts the group through the corridor towards the Stargate. They are now dressed in their tac vests and gear.]

NIAM
I'm sorry you feel you must leave.
WEIR
Yes, so am I.
NIAM
Oberoth can be…intractable.
SHEPPARD
Not exactly the word I was looking for.
MCKAY

(deadpan)

Un-Ancienty?
SHEPPARD
Not that word either.

[They reach the Stargate.]

WEIR
We will send you a message through the Stargate soon. Oh, hopefully this is just a stumbled beginning—

[Several armed Asurans surround the team. McKay raises his hands as Sheppard, Ronon and Teyla raise their weapons. Weir stands in shock. Oberoth approaches. Niam goes to stand beside Oberoth, looking disappointed.]

OBEROTH
Lower your weapons.

[Sheppard lowers his aim from chest level, still pointing it at Oberoth.]

SHEPPARD
How much lower would you like them?
OBEROTH
Do you really wish to challenge us?

[The guard directly behind Sheppard nudges Sheppard with his own weapon.]

SHEPPARD
Uhn. Maybe the floor? Heh.

[He lowers his rifle. The others follow suit.]

WEIR
Now I thought you didn't want us here, Oberoth?
OBEROTH
I don't. But you possess information that I simply must have.

INT—ASURAS PRISON CELL

[The team share a cell.]

SHEPPARD
These trade negotiations can be real murder.

[Ronon receives a shock from the shield as he tests the enclosure.]

RONON
We need to find a way out of here.
WEIR
Rodney?
MCKAY
Hmm.
WEIR
With a cell as similar to ours, is there something in the design that could offer a possible escape?
MCKAY
Are you serious? It's a jail cell!
WEIR
Yes, I know.
MCKAY
Well, the only way out of here would be to first disable the force field around the bars, which is only accessible from the…

[The force field lowers.]

MCKAY
…outside.

[Niam enters, pushing a cart full of food. Two guards follow.]

NIAM
I brought you food.
MCKAY
Oh thank god. I'm starving.

[He stands and heads to the cart, but Ronon puts a hand on his shoulder, stopping him.]

MCKAY
Oh, no, no. I can't think on an empty stomach!

[An unsympathetic Ronon merely gestures with his thumb that McKay get behind him.]

WEIR
Why are we being held here?
NIAM
Oberoth wishes to speak to you further, and he feels that he no longer trust that you'll remain in your quarters.

[Ronon casually munches on some crackers.]

SHEPPARD
Well, he's right.
RONON
Yeah, if he wants to talk to us, why doesn't he?
NIAM
He will. Very soon.
SHEPPARD
That's nice. Isn't that nice?

[Weir and Teyla nod.]

SHEPPARD
Here's a question. Who the hell are you people?!
WEIR
And don't tell us you're Ancients! We know enough about them to know they would never treat people this way.

[Ronon bends down as if to spit out a cracker. While crouched, he exchanges a poignant look with Sheppard, indicating the guard behind him. Sheppard gives a barely perceptible nod.]

NIAM
I am sorry about this. But I am certain once Oberoth is finished his discussions with you, you'll all be released unharmed.
MCKAY

(dryly)

I'm sorry, but all your credibility was lost when you locked us up.
NIAM
You left us no choice.

[Ronon spits a cracker at the guard, catching him unawares. He proceeds to attack. Sheppard and Teyla use the distraction to fight the others. They easily get the upper hand. Before Niam knows it, he's lying on the floor, Sheppard and Ronon now holding the guards' weapons on him.]

SHEPPARD

(shrugging)

Neither did you.

[Sheppard leads the way out. The others follow.]

INT—ASURAS STAIRWELL OUTSIDE JUMPER BAY

[The team head up a stairwell, Teyla holding one of the confiscated weapons on Niam, who's being kept with them.]

[Sheppard opens the door to the jumper bay, then turns to face Niam.]

SHEPPARD
You're the one we like, so don't take this personally.

[Niam starts to turn around, but gets struck by a punch to the face by Ronon. They drag him out of the doorway and run to a jumper.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[They all race inside. McKay pauses in the rear compartment to manipulate a panel.]

WEIR
What are you doing?
MCKAY
Preventing the jumper from communicating with the control room. Element of surprise.
SHEPPARD
Nice.
MCKAY
Go ahead! Dial the 'gate!

[Sheppard complies.]

INT—ASURAS GATE ROOM

[The Stargate activates. From the ceiling, the jumper bay doors open and the puddle jumper lowers into it. Sheppard flies it while Asurans fire on the vessel to no effect. It flies through the wormhole.]

WORMHOLE EFFECT

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard enters the room to find Zelenka and Weir there.]

SHEPPARD
Any sign of our new friends?
ZELENKA
Still nothing. No unscheduled 'gate activity. Nothing on the long-range sensors…
WEIR
I think it's safe to say we made a clean getaway.
SHEPPARD
Either that, or they're biding their time, waiting for the right moment to attack.
WEIR

(shrugging)

Well, we'll keep the security teams on alert, just in case. But if they were able to come after us, I think they would've done so already.

[Sheppard shrugs.]

WEIR
How is Rodney coming along with the database?
SHEPPARD
I'll go check up on him.

[He starts to leave.]

WEIR
I wonder how many other rogue Ancients are still out there?
SHEPPARD
If they're anything like the Asurans, we're better off leaving them well enough alone.

INT—MCKAY'S LAB

[Sheppard enters. McKay works on his computers.]

SHEPPARD
How's it going?
MCKAY
I've searched a good portion of the database for any indication of the Asurans, but, uh…
SHEPPARD
Still nothing?
MCKAY
Still nothing.
SHEPPARD
Maybe the Ancients didn't want to be reminded of them.
MCKAY
Yeah, but even if they deleted every reference to Asura, you'd think there'd be some hint of…
WEIR

(over comm)

Colonel.
SHEPPARD

(into comm)

Go ahead.
WEIR

(over comm)

I need you and Rodney in the control room immediately!

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard and McKay have joined the others and study a display showing over half a dozen ships surrounding the planet.]

MCKAY
Hive ships!
SHEPPARD
How'd they get so close?
MCKAY
More importantly, why are we just picking them up now?!
ZELENKA
I don't know. Everything seems to be working.
WEIR
Engage the cloak.
MCKAY
I'm already on it. Cloak engaged…now.
ZELENKA

(in shock)

They're right over the city!
SHEPPARD
How far away's the Daedalus?
WEIR
It's not due for weeks.
MCKAY
It doesn't matter. I'm counting seven ships. There's nothing they could do about it.
ZELENKA
They're scanning for us.

[There is a pregnant pause.]

WEIR
Hopefully the cloak is—
ZELENKA

(interrupting)

They're firing!

[He frantically punches at controls as the city is rocked by a blast.]

WEIR
Switch to shields!

[The city is struck again.]

MCKAY
I can't! The shield generators were hit in the initial blast!
SHEPPARD
They knew right where to hit us.
ZELENKA
The cloak has failed.

[Sheppard walks out to the outer balcony and watches the city get bombarded from above. He returns to the control room, moving swiftly through it.]

SHEPPARD
We need more fire power! I'm headed to the chair room.
ZELENKA
There are more ships arriving in the system.

[Sheppard pauses.]

SHEPPARD
How many more?
ZELENKA

(in disbelief)

Fifteen.

[Minor shorts and explosions happen in the area now. Smoke fills the room.]

SHEPPARD
We can't fight off that many. Not without shields.
WEIR

(into intercom)
Attention, this is Weir! All personnel to the Gate Room for immediate evacuation!
(to Zelenka)

Dial Earth.

[Zelenka moves to another station.]

WEIR

(to Sheppard)

John, we need to set the self destruct.

[Another explosion fires in the control room.]

MCKAY
We just lost automated systems! We'll lose the 'gate any second now!
SHEPPARD
Go! I'll detonate it manually.
WEIR
Maybe the Wraith will take care of destroying the city for us.
MCKAY
If they wanted to vaporize the city, they would've done it already! Look, if there's any part of this city left intact—
WEIR

(interrupting)

They'll know how to find Earth! I know!

[Zelenka sets up a computer. The self destruct command menu is activated. It requests an authentication code.]

ZELENKA

(to Sheppard)

Okay, enter your number. When you are ready, hit this button. At that point, you'll only have a few seconds left.
SHEPPARD
Go.
MCKAY
No, no, no, no! I can't let you do this! Not without tossing a coin or something! It doesn't seem right!
SHEPPARD
I appreciate the offer, Rodney, now get out of here!

[Another explosion hits close-by.]

SHEPPARD
Go! All of you!

[Personnel race to the Stargate. Weir, Zelenka, and McKay head down the stairs. Ronon arrives carrying a wounded expedition member. Teyla follows helping someone with a head injury limp to the Stargate.]

RONON
The other way up is blocked.
WEIR
How many are trapped?
TEYLA
We can't tell.

[They head through the wormhole. Weir pauses and looks back to the control room. Sheppard runs to the balcony.]

SHEPPARD
We're losing power! Get through the 'gate!

[Weir backs away, running through the wormhole while looking back at Sheppard.]

[Sheppard goes back to the computer with the self-destruct. He sets the code then activates it. He presses enter. He stands and closes his eyes as the counter quickly drops to zero.]

FADE OUT

INT—ASURAS CELL

[Sheppard screams in agony as Oberoth's hand pulls away from inside his head in the Replicator manner. Sheppard collapses on the cell floor. After a moment, he looks around in confusion.]

SHEPPARD

(weakly)

What the hell just happened?

[Oberoth looks at Sheppard in disdain, then steps over McKay and leaves. Other Asurans who stand over the other Atlantis team members also leave. The Atlantis team are in the same condition as Sheppard.]

SHEPPARD
Who the hell are you people?
MCKAY
They're not people. They're machines. Replicators!

INT—ASURAS CONTROL ROOM

[Oberoth enters. A technician activates some controls.]

INT—ASURAS CELL

[The team members shakily get back to their feet. They notice a vibration throughout the room.]

WEIR
What's happening?

EXT—ASURAS, DAY

[Elevated walkways retract from the city-ship. Smoke rises as the city-ship lifts off the planet and flies away, raising its shield as it goes.]

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[Oberoth walks with Niam and two female Asurans.]

NIAM
What's to become of them?
OBEROTH
We've mined everything we need from their consciousness. They're no longer of any use to us. Ending their lives seems to be the most prudent course.
NIAM
I disagree. I believe we still have a lot to learn from them.
OBEROTH

(disdainful)

Learn from them?!
NIAM
Yes!
OBEROTH
Or is it that you fear that ending their lives would end your hope of ascension?
NIAM
I do object to killing them. But it is more than that. I don't believe we've fully uncovered how much they've learned of Lantian society, nor how much of this knowledge they've passed on to others.
ASURAS WOMAN ONE
They're of no threat to us, Oberoth.
ASURAS WOMAN TWO
We see no reason not to continue our study of them.
OBEROTH
Very well, keep them alive if you wish, but I shall hold you accountable.

[He leans into Niam's personal space before walking away.]

INT—ASURAS CELL

WEIR
My head is killing me.
SHEPPARD
How'd we get back here?
TEYLA
Wh-what do you mean, "back here"?
SHEPPARD
We broke out and got to the jumper and gated back to Atlantis.

[Teyla exchanges worried looks with the others. Sheppard looks at her in alarm.]

SHEPPARD
At least I thought we did.
TEYLA

(shaking her head, shivering)

That is not what I remember.
RONON
The only thing I remember was being in a dark room, fighting hand-to-hand for hours.
MCKAY
They obviously created different scenarios for each of us during the mind probe…no doubt looking to gather information from our responses.
SHEPPARD
I thought our escape seemed too easy.
MCKAY
Oh, at least you escaped.
SHEPPARD
What'd they do to you?
MCKAY

(squirming uncomfortably)

Uh…torture. In ways too hideous and…um, intimate to recount.
RONON
Like what?
MCKAY

(annoyed)

I said: "too hideous to recount."
WEIR
I just had a horrible thought.
TEYLA
What if it is still happening?
WEIR
Yes.
MCKAY
Well, there's gotta be a way to know for sure.

[He goes over and pushes Sheppard on the side of the head. Irritated, Sheppard shoves McKay back. Everyone else watches, puzzled.]

MCKAY
That doesn't really prove anything.
NIAM
It's real, Doctor McKay.

[They turn as they see Niam and several guards enter.]

NIAM
Your minds are no longer being probed.
SHEPPARD

(dryly)

It's good to know it was just our minds.
MCKAY
Oh, please don't make me sick.
NIAM
Please, come with me.

INT—ASURAS CONFERENCE ROOM

[He leads them into a room where the outer wall opens to a balcony. They look out at the dark emptiness beyond.]

WEIR
We're in space.
MCKAY
A star drive! Of course, the rumbling sound we heard. With the ZPMs, you're able to actively fly the city!
NIAM
Yes, Doctor McKay. Watch now. We're about to open a hyperspace window.

EXT—SPACE

[The city-ship enters hyperspace.]

INT—ASURAS CONFERENCE ROOM AND BALCONY

[The team see the aurora effect of hyperspace travel all around them.]

TEYLA
Where are we going?
NIAM
Atlantis. The probes of your minds uncovered the truth, that Atlantis had not been destroyed by the Wraith 10,000 years ago as we had believed. You only came to live there from your original home, a planet called Earth.
SHEPPARD
Why didn't you just dial the 'gate and send us through?
NIAM
We're not taking you to Atlantis. Our intention is to destroy it.
WEIR
Why?
NIAM
Retribution.
WEIR
For what? The disagreement you once had? The Ancients no longer live there. We are the only inhabitants of that city.
NIAM
There was no disagreement, Doctor Weir. Only betrayal. If you wish to know the truth of who we are, I will show you.

[He holds out his hand for Weir to take. McKay reaches out towards Weir in warning.]

MCKAY
Elizabeth…?

[They all look warily at Niam. After studying him for a moment, Weir nods.]

WEIR
It's okay, Rodney.

[She takes his hand.]

INT—ANCIENT LAB AND ZPM CHAMBER

[Weir and Niam, still holding hands, are now in a lab filled with Ancient scientists. Niam starts to lead her through it.]

NIAM
The "Ancients" as you call them, were desperate in their search for a better way to fight the Wraith. Though greatly outnumbered, they relied on their technological superiority to give them a needed advantage. Soon, they succeeded in creating one. Instead of building bigger, more powerful weapons, they chose to build smaller ones. Microscopic machines designed to infiltrate and destroy from within.

[As Niam speaks, Weir notices one scientist's work displayed on a large monitor. She recognizes the microscopic machines Niam describes.]

WEIR
Nanites.

INT—NIAM'S MIND

[The image of the Ancient lab disappears. Weir and Niam are now mostly in darkness, only a light from above shines down on them. It is the limbo of Niam's mind-link.]

NIAM
In these tiny killing machines, the Ancients imbued an aggression that surpassed even that of their enemy. The technology allowed for organic assimilation and self-replication to increase their effectiveness. And replicate they did.

INT—ANCIENT CONFERENCE ROOM

[The scene morphs again into a conference room, where Weir and Niam see several Ancients staring at the figure of Oberoth.]

NIAM
They grew in numbers, evolving at a rate that took the Ancients by surprise. The molecular machines began interlocking, assembling themselves to form even more complex organisms, eventually evolving into the most effective and efficient form they knew of. This is how we were born. We took the image of our creators, yet we were far different from them. The aggression programmed into our core remained, fueling a rage we could not contain. We implored them to have this violent nature removed from our programming, but the Ancients wanted a weapon. And since their scientists included a directive prohibiting us from ever harming them, they continued the experiment. When the Ancients had concluded that the experiment had gone too far, that we would never become the weapon they desired to create, they decided to end it.

EXT—ASURAS, DAY

[Niam and Weir stand on a desolate landscape. All around them, several Ancient battle ships bombard a large city with blasts.]

NIAM
And so they chose to destroy us, to leave no trace of us behind.

[Weir looks down to find herself once again holding Niam's hand. She looks at Niam and the horror surrounding her for a few more moments, then gently lets go of his hand.]

FADE OUT

INT—GUEST QUARTERS

[Weir holds her head in her hands. The team is together in the more comfortable settings. Teyla hands Weir a wet cloth. ]

WEIR
Thank you.
SHEPPARD
Obviously, the Ancients didn't do a thorough enough job wiping them out.
WEIR
No. A few of the nanites managed to survive.
MCKAY
Which is all they needed to begin replicating again.

[Weir nods. Teyla shakes her head in confusion.]

TEYLA
Replicating?
MCKAY
This is bad. Look, they're very similar to an artificial intelligence that SG-1 encountered several years ago that evolved from a-a tiny block Replicator into human form. They may even be related somehow.
SHEPPARD
I read those reports. Stargate Command could barely defeat the human form Replicators.
MCKAY
Oh, which is why I said: "this is bad."
WEIR
The difference here is they're emulating the Ancients. Eh, they've even built themselves a version of Atlantis.
RONON
And then some.
TEYLA
Why would they do this?
WEIR
I think they look at the Ancients like…parents who betrayed them. And now they see humans as the favored siblings who receive all the parents' love. They've been seeking revenge ever since.
SHEPPARD
That's just what we need, more bad guys.
MCKAY
Which means we've probably just identified the race that, uh, created the nanovirus that nearly killed me a couple years ago.
SHEPPARD
It almost killed a lot of people.
MCKAY

(grimacing and nodding)

Yeah.
TEYLA
Were you not able to defeat that nanovirus with an…electromagnetic pulse?
MCKAY
That was different. Those were individual nanites, easy to disrupt with a simple EM pulse. These-these "things" have evolved way beyond that with, uh, interdependent organic constituents of a far greater complexity—

[As McKay speaks, the others notice an Asuran entering and become alert. McKay stops speaking and watches her warily. She glances at him, but her main attention is focused on Weir.]

ASURAS WOMAN ONE
Are you feeling better?
WEIR
Yes.

[The Asuran smiles then turns to the others.]

ASURAS WOMAN ONE
Follow me.

INT—ASURAS CONFERENCE ROOM

[The team follow the Asuran into the room Niam led them to before. This time the balcony is closed. Niam, and the other Asuran woman are there. Niam has his head bowed. The first Asuran woman nods to him. He faces the team.]

NIAM
I have an offer to make you, something that could greatly benefit us both.
WEIR
Well if the offer involves saving Atlantis, we're willing to listen.
NIAM
It does. We have achieved much since our second birth. We have evolved to take the form of our creators, built a city far grander than they ever achieved. Yet for all this, we are still restricted from reaching a pivotal point in our evolution.
WEIR
You want to ascend.
NIAM
Yes. Many among us, like Oberoth, have no desire to experience this. They are content with our present state. But there are a few of us who recognize that as a civilization, we are stagnant.
ASURAN WOMAN ONE
We seek to continue our own evolution.
ASURAN WOMAN TWO
To truly emulate the Ancients and their ultimate achievement.
TEYLA
Even though they betrayed you.
NIAM
They are our creators, and ascension is the final step to equalling them—to becoming one with them.
SHEPPARD
No offense, but, how are a bunch of machines gonna do that?
ASURAN WOMAN ONE

(affronted)

Are you so different?
SHEPPARD
Well, we're living, breathing people.
ASURAS WOMAN TWO
Constructed from cells, consuming and burning energy, governed by electrical impulses…
SHEPPARD
Hey, I didn't say I could ascend.
MCKAY
Metaphysical debates aside, what do you want from us? We're not exactly ascension experts.
SHEPPARD
Although we do know killing people isn't the best way to get there.
NIAM
We realize this. And we've done much to repress our violent nature, but yet it still remains within us. We believe this above all is what has prevented us from ascending.
SHEPPARD
What are you looking for, therapy?
NIAM
We want to rewrite our base code to remove the directives for aggression.
MCKAY

(intrigued)

Hmm.
RONON
What's stopping you?
NIAM

The Ancients put in place measures to prevent us from altering the code ourselves.
(turning to McKay)

But you can do it.
MCKAY
Me?
NIAM
During our probe of your mind, we learned that you are capable of doing this.
MCKAY
Oh that's funny, all I remember is the torture.
RONON
And what's in it for us?
ASURAS WOMAN TWO
We will stop the others from attacking Atlantis.
NIAM
And we will help you in your fight against the Wraith.
WEIR

(skeptically)

And Oberoth will agree to this?
NIAM
I believe Oberoth is attacking Atlantis as a result of that programming. If we can prove to him it can be altered…
SHEPPARD

(disbelieving)

You think he'll see the light.
MCKAY

(skeptical)

Hallelujah.
NIAM
I will do everything in my power to persuade him.
TEYLA
Why should we trust you?
NIAM

Because we are willing to trust you. By extending this offer, we are jeopardizing our very existence.
(pleading to Weir)

I saw in you compassion, Doctor Weir, someone who could come to understand our plight. Help us, and we will help you.
SHEPPARD
When it comes right down to it, we don't have much of a choice.

EXT—SPACE

[The Asuras city-ship flies through hyperspace.]

EXT—ASURAS CONTROL ROOM

[The first Asuran woman studies the panels. Other Replicators go about their duties nearby. Their ally turns to Weir, Sheppard. Teyla, and Ronon.]

ASURAS WOMAN ONE
We're drawing closer to Atlantis. Soon, we will drop out of hyperspace.

[Sheppard surreptitiously adjusts his radio and steps back.]

SHEPPARD

(low, into radio)

How's it coming, Rodney?
MCKAY

(over radio)

Slowly.
SHEPPARD

(into radio)

What's the hold up?

INT—ASURAS CORE LAB

[Niam stands beside McKay who works on a Asuras computer.]

[The rest of this conversation switches between the lab and the control room.]

MCKAY

(incredulous)

"What's the hold up?" Do you have any idea what I'm trying to do here?!
SHEPPARD
Niam gave you access to the program code, and you're screwing around with it.
MCKAY
Oh that is so…relatively accurate.
SHEPPARD
Thank you.
MCKAY
Okay, still, we're not dealing with Rock'Em, Sock'Em Robots here, we are dealing with a complex code of over three billion chemical base sequences. It's like trying to reconfigure the DNA double helix.
SHEPPARD
Okay, so, what….five minutes?
MCKAY

(rolling his eyes)

It will be done when it is done, and you applying pressure is not gonna…

[He gasps as he sees something on his display.]

SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY

(rushed)

Gotta go. McKay out.
SHEPPARD

(in harsh whisper)

Rodney, what's going on? Rodney?

[There is no answer.]

INT—ASURAS GUEST QUARTERS

[The rest of the team paces as they await McKay's return. He rushes in.]

SHEPPARD
Did you do it?
MCKAY

(triumphant)

Yes, yes, yes! I have removed the aggression directive from the base code. It is uploading to Niam as we speak. But, I discovered something else, nothing short of brilliant, I might add.
SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY

(excited)

Okay, even though these Replicators are each separate functioning beings, their basic command code is interconnected over a powerful subspace frequency. They have these, uh, periodic collective program updates or, uh, merges, they call them, where they exchange new information.
WEIR
That's how Niam hopes to distribute the new code to the others?
MCKAY
Exactly. But while I was working on it, I figured out a way to create a glitch that, on my command, should momentarily freeze them.

[He preens.]

SHEPPARD
Should?
MCKAY
Okay, will. I mean, dead in their tracks, like hitting the pause button. I mean, temporarily, until they…figure out how to override it.
RONON
How long?
MCKAY

(nonplussed)

Well, I don't know. That's why I said "momentarily".
SHEPPARD
Days? Hours? Minutes?
MCKAY

(flustered)

Well…look, it-it's minutes, but I don't know. That's what I was just saying to him!
SHEPPARD
Ten? Twenty?
MCKAY
Look, okay, fine, you want a number? Fine. Seven. Seven minutes and thirty-one seconds! You happy?
SHEPPARD
No!
MCKAY
No.
SHEPPARD
That's not enough time!

[Weir and Teyla exchange looks.]

MCKAY
Okay, you wanted a number!
SHEPPARD
A bigger number!
MCKAY
Yeah, well it may very well be longer!
SHEPPARD
Or shorter!
MCKAY
Look, I don't know! Look, you're missing the point—!
WEIR
Gentlemen, focus! Please. Will that be enough time to help us escape?
SHEPPARD

(resentfully)

It'll have to be.
RONON
Not much point in leaving without blowing this place up first.
WEIR
How do we do that?

[Ronon nods to McKay. Everyone turns to him. McKay is just staring off, thinking.]

MCKAY

Oh, that's me. Right. Surprise, surprise. Look, why don't I just go on these missions by myself, hmm?
(he starts snapping his fingers in inspiration)

I'll rig a ZPM overload.

[He races out of the room. Sheppard rubs his eyes in frustration.]

TEYLA
What about Niam? Are we not exploiting his trust?
SHEPPARD
Even if he's able to honor his end of the deal, there's no guarantee he can stop Oberoth from attacking Atlantis.
WEIR
We will offer him the chance to come with us, but we cannot leave this city intact.

EXT—SPACE

[The Asuras city-ship flies through hyperspace.]

INT—GUEST QUARTERS

[McKay works on a small Ancient hand computer. Sheppard hovers over his shoulder.]

SHEPPARD
Are you sure this'll work?
MCKAY

(holding in his irritation)

Please. Of course it will work.
SHEPPARD
Why's it taking so long?
MCKAY
Look, why do you always have to…? Look, I need to properly calibrate the frequencies. I want to make sure that when I freeze them, I freeze them all, okay?
SHEPPARD
All would be good.
MCKAY
Okay…ju-…let me finish?

[Sheppard steps back.]

MCKAY
Thank you.

[Sheppard immediately hovers over the other shoulder.]

MCKAY

Okay, here we…
(he looks for Sheppard over the wrong shoulder at first)

Here we go, in five…four…three…two…

EXT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[Replicators walk the hallways outside the guest quarters, which are guarded by two Replicators. Everyone suddenly freezes. The door opens, and the team cautiously exits.]

MCKAY
Hey! It worked!
SHEPPARD
Interesting.

[He pickpockets the guard's weapon. Ronon does the same with the other guard.]

SHEPPARD
Okay, we should move to the ZPM room.

[Ronon points his weapon at a bewildered Niam wandering the halls towards them.]

SHEPPARD
Why isn't he frozen?
MCKAY
His code's changed. Until he's distributed it to the others in the next merge, he'll be different from the rest of them.
NIAM
What happened?

[A flash of light passes throughout the area with a whooshing sound.]

TEYLA
What was that?
SHEPPARD
We just dropped out of hyperspace.
RONON
We need to move.
WEIR

(to Niam)

Come with us. I'll explain on the way.

[He follows her.]

INT—ASURAS ZPM ROOM

[A Replicator is frozen over the controls as McKay and the others enter.]

MCKAY
Now, Ronon? I could use, uh…

[He gestures dismissively at the Replicator. Ronon stares deadpan at McKay and knocks the Replicator down with one hand. McKay heads to the controls.]

MCKAY
Thanks.

[Niam heads over to where the ZPMs are out of their slots, still glowing with power.]

NIAM
You want me to go with you?
WEIR

(sighing)

You must understand our situation. If you can't stop Oberoth…
NIAM

(resentful)

I said I would do everything in my power.
WEIR
But can you promise that you will succeed?

[Niam shakes his head.]

WEIR
Our lives and the lives of all of our people are at stake here.
MCKAY
If you merge through a subspace connection, even if you're with us, you should be able to spread the new code amongst the others.

[Niam looks troubled.]

WEIR
Come with us, Niam. Ascension is within your grasp. You can't turn back.
MCKAY
Damn.
TEYLA
What is it?
MCKAY
In order to do this, I need to utilize all three ZPMs. I was hoping to bring at least one of them back with us.
SHEPPARD
Do what you can. We only have three minutes.
MCKAY

Look, I already told you, it…never mind (snapping at Niam)

Need an access code to remove the failsafes.

[Niam looks at Weir, then nods and heads over to the console and enters the access code.]

SHEPPARD
Now, how bout our weapons?
NIAM
We can recover them on the way.

[He leads them out of the room.]

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[As the group round a corner, they find Oberoth standing amongst the other frozen Replicators.]

MCKAY
Whoa!

[They all point their weapons, Sheppard breathing nervously, but Oberoth too is frozen. McKay draws closer.]

MCKAY
Hah! Not so arrogant now, are you?

[In that instant, Oberoth breaks free of the freezing glitch and grabs McKay by the vest.]

RONON
McKay!

[Ronon runs forward as Oberoth tosses McKay aside. He deflects Ronon's attack as well, throwing him to the floor with one hand. The other Replicators are slower to act. They still reach for their weapons as Sheppard and Teyla open fire with their P-90s. Ronon strikes with his pistol. The Replicators still don't seem to be able to move their legs.]

SHEPPARD
Come on!

[The team runs out and heads up the steps.]

SHEPPARD
So much for seven and a half minutes!
MCKAY
It was an arbitrary number!

[They run into another corridor, sealing the door behind them with a weapon's blast. Two Replicators are already aiming weapons at them. They stop at a standoff, Teyla guarding their rear.]

TEYLA
Colonel Sheppard!

[Sheppard turns to see what she's noticed. The door warps and a humanoid figure seems to bulge and stretch the door. Oberoth eventually pushes his way through the sealed door. Ronon is able to stun the guards and Oberoth.]

SHEPPARD
Go!

[They run again.]

EXT—SPACE

[The Asuran city-ship approaches Lantia.]

INT—ASURAS CORRIDOR

[The team hold at the end of a corridor, Sheppard checking if the way is clear.]

SHEPPARD
Ronon, set your gun to kill.

[Ronon adjusts his pistol.]

RONON
It is.
SHEPPARD

(to McKay)

Okay, start the overload.
MCKAY
What? No-no-no. Not yet. We need to be in a jumper, or clear of the city, or-or…
SHEPPARD
Jumper bay's not far. We're almost there.
MCKAY
No, no. You don't understand. Look, I didn't want them to be able to stop it. Hey, look, as soon as I trigger the overload, there'll be practically zero lag time before it blows.
SHEPPARD
"Practically?"
MCKAY
Okay, fine, so like a few seconds for it to build up power, but not…
SHEPPARD
How many seconds?
MCKAY
I don't know!
SHEPPARD
Five? Ten?
MCKAY
Again with the arbitrary numbers!
RONON
We need to move.
SHEPPARD

(to Ronon)
Okay.
(to McKay)

Start the overload, now!

[The others run by as McKay pulls out his handheld computer.]

SHEPPARD
This way!

[A klaxon blares.]

TEYLA
What is that?!
MCKAY

(while rushing by)

The sound of the city about to blow! Move!

[They reach the jumper bay area, shooting cover fire before rushing inside.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[They rush inside the jumper.]

SHEPPARD
Get the roof open, Rodney, or this is gonna be a short trip.
MCKAY
Don't wait for me!
SHEPPARD
I'm just saying, if we can't get out of the jumper bay…
MCKAY
It doesn't matter. The overload's happening now. We're about to explode.
SHEPPARD
Is the roof open!?

[McKay checks his controls.]

MCKAY
Yes. Go.

EXT—SPACE

[The city ship explodes under them as the puddle jumper flies away.]

EXT—ATLANTIS PIER, NIGHT

[A sentry patrols an outer pier of the city. He is distracted by a sudden bright light appearing in the night sky. The light quickly fades.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[Everyone cautiously looks for signs of pursuit, but they only see the fading light of the explosion.]

WEIR

Nice work, all of you.
(turning to Niam)

Thank you.

[Niam smiles shyly, then tilts his head, seeming distracted.]

WEIR
What's wrong?
NIAM
Something is happening.
TEYLA
What is it?

[Niam continues to crick his neck.]

NIAM
The others on my planet. They know what I've done. I'm being reset!
WEIR

(panicked)

Rodney, do something!

[McKay reaches for his handheld computer.]

NIAM
It's too late. They're…

[He suddenly reaches forward and starts choking Weir. Teyla and Ronon try and pry him loose as Weir gasps for breath. Sheppard's added efforts are able to knock Niam into the rear compartment. Sheppard seals the door shut.]

MCKAY
That's not going to hold him!

[Sheppard reaches forward and slams a button on the pilot's control panel.]

[In the rear compartment, the hatch blasts open, immediately decompressing the compartment and sweeping Niam into space.]

EXT—SPACE

[The puddle jumper flies away as Niam's body tumbles into space.]

INT—PUDDLE JUMPER

[Teyla helps Weir sit as she coughs and tries to regain her breath. Weir nods she's okay.]

MCKAY
I'm so sorry. I-I didn't…

[The team exchange looks.]

SHEPPARD
You okay?
WEIR

(smiling in relief)

Yeah.

[Sheppard sighs.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Sheppard enters. Zelenka and McKay are sitting at computers.]

SHEPPARD
How's it going?
ZELENKA
Still nothing.
MCKAY
Either the Ancients chose to purposely conceal every record, extremely well I might add, or they simply deleted them from the database. I'm leaning towards the latter.
ZELENKA
Perhaps they think they truly destroyed them all.
SHEPPARD
Either that, or they didn't want anyone to know they had failed.
MCKAY

(annoyed)

Again. There is nothing more annoying than people who won't admit their own mistakes.

[Zelenka slowly turns and stares at McKay in disbelief at the irony. Sheppard looks at Zelenka.]

SHEPPARD

(deadpan)

True.

[Sheppard leaves.]

EXT—ATLANTIS BALCONY, NIGHT

[Weir stands at the balcony staring at the water. Sheppard joins her.]

SHEPPARD
McKay and Zelenka are scouring the database for any information. So far, not much…as in, nothing.
WEIR
Hmm. These Replicators, they are probably already at work building themselves another Atlantis.
SHEPPARD
Now they know all about us.
WEIR

(with false brightness)

Well, we beat them this time. Maybe we scared them off.
SHEPPARD
Yeah…maybe.

EXT—SPACE

[Niam floats in space. He is still alive and conscious, staring down at the city.]

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Aurora Novarum, June 2008.

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--Michelle 21:37, 26 June 2008 (PDT)