SGA 4.04 "Doppelganger" Transcript

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4.04 "Doppelganger"

Episode Guide

SGA 4.04 "Doppelganger" Episode Guide

Précis

Sheppard encounters a psychopathic crystalline entity that takes on his likeness in his team's nightmares.

Guide | Transcript

Transcript

EXT—ALIEN JUNGLE, NIGHT

[Sheppard's team hacks their way through the dense foliage.]

RONON

(frustrated)

What are we doing?
MCKAY
Exploring the Pegasus Galaxy. It's what we do.
RONON
You know what I meant.
TEYLA
There certainly doesn't appear to be anything here that would help in our fight against the Wraith, or the Replicators.
MCKAY
Come on! You guys kill me! Planets are huge you know.
RONON
Yeah, and usually you're the one complaining.

[McKay scoffs.]

TEYLA
This enthusiasm is most unlike you, Rodney.
MCKAY
Well, I'm turning over a new leaf.
SHEPPARD
We did a standard flyover in the jumper, scanned for life signs—nothing.
MCKAY
You can't fly around for ten minutes and decide there's nothing here.
SHEPPARD
Mmm, yes, I can.

[McKay's scanner beeps.]

MCKAY
I'm getting strange energy readings.
RONON
Yeah? From where?
MCKAY
I can't pinpoint the source. The jungle's pretty thick though. It could be hiding just about anything.
SHEPPARD
I don't know. It's almost as if someone in a warm, cozy room typing at their computer sent us here for their own amusement.
MCKAY
You don't really think Zelenka would do that?
RONON

(ominously)

If he did, he's going to be sorry.
MCKAY
Do you have any idea how many gate addresses there are in the Ancient database that have no accompanying description?
SHEPPARD
Forty-two.
MCKAY
No. I-I think it's a little bit more than that. Look, I don't really remember. That's not the point. Nothing. No information at all. I say, that has to mean something.
SHEPPARD
Maybe that means there was nothing worth writing about on those planets.
MCKAY
Or there is, but the Ancients are trying to hide it.
SHEPPARD

(dryly)

From themselves.
MCKAY
A lot of time has passed since the Ancients were around. You know, things change. Maybe there's something here they didn't know about.
TEYLA
You have a bet riding on this, don't you?
MCKAY

(innocently)

What makes you say that?

[Sheppard steps into a swampy hole. He grits his teeth.]

SHEPPARD
All right. That's it.

[He pulls his foot out of the muck.]

SHEPPARD
I'm calling this one. Everyone back to the jumper.
MCKAY
Aw, come on!
RONON
Face it, McKay. You lost this one.

[They all turn back. As McKay turns he notices something on a tree trunk light up.]

MCKAY

(excited)

Oh? Oh! Hello, what's that, then?

[They all turn around. Sheppard joins McKay, who is studying the object with his scanner. It is a group of crystals nestled on the trunk.]

SHEPPARD
Well, it looks like…some kind of, uh, natural crystalline growth. I think this might be what's causing the energy readings.
TEYLA

(intrigued)

Pretty.
SHEPPARD
Looks like one of those toys you play with when you're a kid.
MCKAY
What, a Commodore 64?
RONON
Triple barrel shotgun?
SHEPPARD

(rolling his eyes)

A kaleidoscope.
MCKAY
You realize what this means?
SHEPPARD
We discovered an alien fungus that glows.

[Sheppard becomes fascinated with the device, his face reflected in its many facets.]

MCKAY
How 'bout a power source that literally grows on trees. Look, admittedly, these energy readings are pretty low level, but uh, if these crystals could be cultivated? Then…whoa-whoa, wait. What are you doing?

[Sheppard reaches forward and touches the device. The instant he touches the object, a spark happens, and he's thrown several feet through the air. He lands on his back with a groan. The crystals darken. Teyla is the first to reach him.]

TEYLA
Are you all right?
SHEPPARD
Uh, yeah. I'm fine. Just a little shock.
MCKAY
That could've been dangerous! I told you it was giving off energy!
SHEPPARD
Yeah, honestly, I…I don't know why I did that.

[McKay checks his scanner.]

MCKAY

(annoyed)

Well, you killed it!
SHEPPARD

(unsympathetic)

Oh, really?
MCKAY
Well, it's not giving off energy anymore.
RONON
Well, maybe you just scared it?
SHEPPARD
You don't even know if it was alive!
MCKAY
Seriously, why would you touch it?!

[Ronon and Teyla help Sheppard to his feet.]

SHEPPARD
I don't know! I said that, okay? I just did! Now, will you leave it at that?

[McKay starts fooling with scanner.]

MCKAY
Okay, well there's got to be more of them around here.
SHEPPARD

(impatiently)

I'm going to recommend sending a science team back here to check it out.
MCKAY
I am a science team!

[Sheppard nods to Ronon, and Sheppard and Teyla start heading back. Ronon grabs McKay by the back of his tactical vest and herds him back.]

MCKAY
Okay, fine. Let's desert a potentially significant discovery just because you guys don't want me to win a bet with Zelenka?!

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[Sheppard sits waiting on an exam bed. Teyla stands next to him. Keller approaches.]

KELLER
Well your scans are clear. Blood tests are normal. As far as I can tell, you're in perfect health.
SHEPPARD

(to Teyla)
See, I told you.
(to Keller)

Thanks, Doc.
KELLER
No more touching strange things.
SHEPPARD
Well, that's good advice.

[Keller heads back to her duties. Sheppard gets up and he and Teyla leave the infirmary.]

SHEPPARD
I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted.
TEYLA
It's been a long day.
SHEPPARD
Well, thanks for hanging out.
TEYLA
Just wanted to be sure.

[Sheppard pats her on the back reassuringly. A strange glow appears and disappears where his hand touched her.]

SHEPPARD
I'm fine. Get some sleep.

[He parts ways with her.]

TEYLA

(calling after him)

Good night, John.

INT—TEYLA'S QUARTERS

[Teyla sleeps restlessly.]

INT—ATHOSIAN HUT

[Teyla looks around the setting. She is dressed in formal Athosian gear, her hair like it was before she met the Atlantis team. She turns around to find Sheppard sitting at a table, eating from bowls of fruit and other foods.]

SHEPPARD
This is pretty good. What is it?

[Ronon appears next to her.]

RONON

(smugly)

I knew you two were going to eventually hook up.
TEYLA
We are not hooking up! It's just dinner!

[McKay wanders by with his scanner.]

MCKAY
I'm telling you, there's something in here giving off a strange energy reading.

[Ronon has been replaced by Sheppard. His casual manner is gone. His posture is threatening as he stands in front of her.]

TEYLA

(warily)

John…? What are you doing?
SHEPPARD
Colonel Carter doesn't trust you. No one does but me.
TEYLA
What are you talking about?
SHEPPARD
What's wrong with you?

[He starts circling her.]

TEYLA
What do you mean? Nothing.
SHEPPARD
You've never been the same since you got in the mind of that Wraith queen.
TEYLA

(unnerved)

What?

[Screams and Wraith darts as from a culling are heard outside the tent.]

TEYLA'S FATHER

(calling from outside)

Teyla!
TEYLA
Father!

[She goes to the door. As she reaches for the tent flap, it's shoved aside. Sheppard is there, partially transformed by the Iratus bug. He reaches out and grabs her by the throat, pushing her back onto the table. Pinned, she watches as he reaches forward with a "feeding hand" and grabs her brutally.]

INT—TEYLA'S QUARTERS

[Teyla awakens from her dream by sitting straight up, gasping and clawing at her chest to push the non-existent hand away. She gasps and cries in relief.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAWN

INT—ATLANTIS MESS HALL

[Teyla, McKay, and Ronon sit at a table eating breakfast.]

TEYLA
I cannot even begin to tell you how bizarre it was.
MCKAY
Please, you want bizarre? Let me tell you.
RONON
You know what? Don't.

[Sheppard joins them.]

SHEPPARD
Morning.

[He sits down with his tray. Teyla stiffens and shifts slightly away from him. Ronon and McKay say nothing, but just look at Teyla.]

SHEPPARD
What?
MCKAY
Teyla had a dream about you last night.
TEYLA

(admonishing)

Sheppard.
SHEPPARD

(intrigued)

Really? What was it about?
TEYLA
Actually, it was more of a nightmare, and I'd rather not talk about it.
SHEPPARD

(teasing)

Was I the dashing hero saving you from a big bad monster?
RONON
Actually, you were the big, bad monster.
SHEPPARD
Really?
TEYLA
Like I said, I'd rather not talk about it.

[She stands.]

SHEPPARD
Where are you going?
TEYLA
I'm sorry. I have a headache. I did not sleep well last night.

[She glares at McKay and Ronon and leaves. Sheppard watches her go, concerned. He turns back to Ronon and McKay.]

SHEPPARD
Is she really mad at me? I can't control what's in her dreams!
MCKAY

(scoffing)

Really? You think you can't control a person's dreams? My father read me Moby Dick when I was seven years old. I mean, seriously, what was the man thinking? Do you have any idea how long I had nightmares about-about being eaten by a whale?
RONON
They haven't stopped, have they?
MCKAY
No.

INT—HEIGHTMEYER'S OFFICE

[Teyla meets with Heightmeyer.]

TEYLA
It's coming from outside. I go to the opening. I hear darts. I pull open the tent, and…he comes inside. I know it's not really Colonel Sheppard, but I can't help but feel different towards him. Do you think it's my…subconscious trying to tell me something?
HEIGHTMEYER
If there is something real going on between you and Colonel Sheppard that you feel you need to address, you definitely should. Otherwise, don't let it bother you.
TEYLA
I've had horrible nightmares before. Of my father being taken when I was a little girl. The cullings since. But none of them have felt like this. When I woke up, I could barely catch my breath. I know it sounds silly, but…I think I'm actually afraid of falling asleep.

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[Teyla sits on a bed. Keller takes off a blood pressure cuff.]

KELLER
Well…physically, there's nothing wrong with you. Other than the symptoms you've described, which can all be attributed to lack of sleep. These should help for the short term. But…if the problem persist, you definitely need to come back.

[She unlocks the medicine cabinet and takes out some pills.]

TEYLA
You have no idea how good the thought of a solid night's sleep makes me feel at this point.

[Keller hands her the pills.]

KELLER
Oh, I think I do. I'm not sure I've had one since I got here.
TEYLA
Thank you.

[She waves the pill bottle, then claps Keller gratefully on the arm as she leaves.]

KELLER
Don't mention it. Have a good night.

[She watches Teyla leave.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—KELLER'S QUARTERS

[The radio beside Keller's bed squawks to life. She opens her eyes.]

MEDIC

(over radio)

Doctor Keller, we have a medical emergency. Doctor Keller, please report immediately to the infirmary.

[She turns on her bedside lamp and looks at her watch. She gets out of bed.]

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[Keller rushes in. She is still in her nightclothes. Teyla lies on a bed, groaning in agony. Marie and Sheppard are on either side of her.]

KELLER
What's wrong?
MARIE
It's Teyla. She's in severe abdominal distress. Said you gave her some medication?
KELLER
I prescribed some Ambien to help her sleep. Teyla?

[Teyla cries out in distress.]

SHEPPARD
Went to the mess for a late night snack. She started complaining about her stomach, and then she just doubled over.
KELLER
I thought you were going to bed. Did you take one of those pills I gave you?

[Teyla rolls her eyes and writhes.]

TEYLA
No.
KELLER

(soothingly)

Okay, just try to relax. Here, let me have a look.

[Teyla turns onto her back, screaming in pain.]

KELLER
Hold her for me.

[Sheppard, Marie, and a medic hold Teyla down. Keller starts feeling around her stomach. Something moves under Teyla's skin. Keller jumps back in shock.]

KELLER
Oh my God!

[Keller backs away. The thing stretches Teyla's skin further. Teyla screams. Keller meets Sheppard's eyes, he appears to find this all entertaining.]

MARIE
Doctor, do something!
KELLER
Uh…okay, uh, we need to…sedate her. And uh…

[Teyla screams again. The thing breaks through her stomach, spraying blood everywhere, even on Keller, who is several feet away by this point.]

KELLER

(horrified)

Oh God!

[A giant spider-like insect climbs out of Teyla's corpse. Sheppard looks delighted.]

SHEPPARD
Can you believe this?

[Keller stares in shock.]

INT—KELLER'S QUARTERS

[Keller bolts upright in bed, breathing heavily.]

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[The room is empty. Keller enters and heads directly for the medicine cabinet and unlocks it. She grabs some Ambien, sighing heavily. She turns around to find Ronon and Sheppard directly behind her. Ronon has a cut on his forehead. She jumps back in alarm.]

RONON
Sorry, Doc. Didn't mean to scare you.
SHEPPARD
We were sparring. I got in a lucky shot.
KELLER
It's the middle of the night!
RONON
Maybe for you.
KELLER
Sit down, let me have a look.

[Ronon complies. Keller looks at the wound.]

KELLER

(admonishing)

You're going to need stitches.

[She looks over at Sheppard, who is trying not to look amused. Ronon seems to be equally unfazed.]

RONON
Guess I taught him too much, huh?
KELLER
Yeah, I guess so.
RONON

(to Sheppard)

You know, you don't need to stick around. I'm fine.
SHEPPARD
You sure?
RONON
Yeah. I want a rematch tomorrow, though.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Good night.

[He hurries out. Keller has been watching the exchange, especially Sheppard, very warily. Ronon turns back and sees she's distracted.]

RONON
Something wrong?
KELLER

(snapping out of her reverie)

Hmm? No. Nothing.

[She goes back to studying the wound. Sitting on the bed, Ronon is still much taller than she.]

RONON
I don't think he's seeing anyone, you know?
KELLER
Oh! Oh no. That's quite all right…you know, this would be easier if you lay [sic] down.
RONON
Okay.

[He does so, and Keller prepares to start stitching the wound.]

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR

[Ronon walks down the corridor, a flesh-colored bandage on his forehead. He notices no one is around. He enters the Gate Room.]

RONON
Hello?

[He wanders through the Control Room, which is also empty.]

RONON

(yelling)

Is anyone here?

[Panicked, he starts running. He leaps down the stairs and starts running through more corridors.]

RONON
Anyone?!

[He gets to a door and waves it to open. The door opens, revealing a forest. The atmosphere is cold and foggy. Ronon looks around, then goes into the forest.]

EXT—FOREST, DAY

[The forest surrounds him, with no way back to Atlantis. Laser blasts start to cut through the trees at him. Ronon dodges and runs to avoid the blasts, which come from everywhere. A stick appears out of nowhere, knocking him in the chest. Ronon falls to the ground, his breath knocked out of him. Sheppard appears from behind the tree, one hand behind his back.]

SHEPPARD
Hey, buddy. What are you running from?
RONON
I don't know.
SHEPPARD
C'mon.

[He puts out his hand to help Ronon up, then hits him in the head with a large stick. Ronon blacks out.]

[Ronon regains consciousness to find himself bound and gagged and lying in an open grave. Sheppard stands above him shoveling dirt inside. Ronon tries to cry for help and struggles to throw the dirt off of himself, but Sheppard keeps shoveling it into the grave.]

INT—ATLANTIS INFIRMARY

[Ronon awakens with a start, grabbing Keller's wrist from where she works on his forehead.]

KELLER
I'm really sorry. Did I-did I hurt you?

[He looks around to find himself lying on the infirmary bed.]

RONON
Uh, no. No. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…
KELLER
You fell asleep.
RONON
I was having the strangest dream.
KELLER
You sure you're okay?
RONON
Yeah. Go ahead.
KELLER
I'm almost done.

[Keller gets back to work.]

EXT—ATLANTIS, DAY

INT—ATLANTIS MESS HALL

[Keller sits at a table with Teyla, McKay, and Ronon.]

KELLER
It was terrifying. There you were with this disgusting alien bug crawling out of your stomach, and Colonel Sheppard was acting like it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen.
RONON
That sounds like that movie.
KELLER
Yeah, Alien. Have you seen it?
TEYLA
Colonel Sheppard speaks of it often.
MCKAY
I still remember the first time I saw it. I certainly did not think it was cool.
KELLER
One time in med school, I made the mistake of confiding to my partner in biology class that it had caused my all time worst nightmares. He actually planted a live snake inside a cadaver I was working on.
MCKAY
Hmm. Well I never saw it as a kid. I knew from the poster it was gonna be too scary. No, I was sixteen when a uh, neighborhood theater, had a, uh, horror revival festival. I thought, you know, great, date movie. So, Jocelyn Rutger, third period science, uh, bit of a geek, but uh, she had a great…

[He starts to gesture, then realizes his mixed company.]

MCKAY
Anyway. You know how girls get all…scared, curl up on your shoulder?
TEYLA
Your planet has some truly strange rituals.
MCKAY
Anyway. I eat when I get nervous.
RONON

(dryly)

Really? I hadn't noticed.
MCKAY
Mmm. So…very tense. Working like a charm. Jocelyn's all freaked out beside me. I'm packin' away the Goobers and the popcorn. And then, the alien bursts out of John Hurt.
TEYLA
You didn't.
MCKAY
Mmm. Puked all over her.
RONON

(grinning)

I have got to see this movie!
KELLER
Don't you think it's strange that each of us has had incredibly vivid nightmares with Colonel Sheppard being somehow an integral part?
TEYLA
Acting most unlike Colonel Sheppard.
MCKAY
Not me!
KELLER
Have you had any nightmares recently?
MCKAY

(pleased)

Not a night goes by. Last night, I dreamt that um, Colonel Carter invited me to her quarters for dinner.
TEYLA
Maybe you shouldn't be telling us this, Rodney.
KELLER

(smirking)

Yeah, I said nightmare. Not delusional male fantasy.
MCKAY

(irked)

Wait! And listen! Turns out she was serving lemon chicken. I mean, lemon! And the only reason she invited me to dinner was to tell me that she was promoting Zelenka over me.
RONON
That's it?
MCKAY

(squirming)

Then I was eaten by a whale. Don't ask how that happened.
KELLER
Okay, do you guys really think I'm crazy? I realize they're-they're just dreams. But…first it was Teyla. And then right after you came to see me, I had one.
TEYLA
And that's when mine stopped. Those pills you gave me knocked me out cold.
KELLER
And then Ronon had one while I was working on him.
RONON
What's the big deal? It's like you said, it's just a few bad dreams, right?

[Ronon and McKay leave. Keller and Teyla stay and exchange concerned looks.]

INT—ATLANTIS GATE ROOM AND CONTROL ROOM

[Keller walks with Carter up the staircase and along the balcony to Carter's office.]

KELLER
I probably shouldn't have bothered you with this. I know I don't really have any hard evidence.
CARTER
Believe me, I've seen a good hunch go a long way in some pretty crazy circumstances. I'd always rather you were on your toes, especially with anything that seems suspicious.
KELLER
I know a few bad dreams isn't that significant. It's only natural given what we face on a daily basis. But, this was different. It really rattled me. Coupled with a sequential pattern. First Teyla, then me, then Ronon, all with Colonel Sheppard being a significant negative presence in our dreams.
CARTER
Do you have any idea what's behind it?
KELLER
No, I don't know. Thing is, it started right after Colonel Sheppard touched that crystal on M3X-387.
CARTER
I thought you cleared him medically.
KELLER
I-I did.

[A technician approaches Carter.]

TECHNICIAN
Excuse me, there's an emergency situation at crew quarters' atrium. Security was called for and has been dispatched.
CARTER

Thank you.
(to Keller)

Excuse me.

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR NEAR CREW QUARTERS ATRIUM

[Lorne stands in his bare feet, blinking. He holds a Beretta, aimed at Sheppard. Sheppard stands with his hand raised. Other personnel stand frozen, including Teyla and Heightmeyer. A few security forces have guns aimed at Lorne.]

SHEPPARD
Put down the gun, Major. Let's talk this out.
LORNE
Someone get an ARG, now! Shoot him with it!
HEIGHTMEYER
Major, talk to me. Tell me what's going on.
LORNE
Just do it! Okay? Wh-wh-what's the harm? I mean, if-if he's human, it won't hurt him, right?
TEYLA
John, what is he talking about?
LORNE
Don't talk to him. Colonel Sheppard is a Replicator.

[They all look at Sheppard, who stands nervously there.]

SHEPPARD
Look, Lorne, I don't know what's gotten into you.—

[Carter arrives.]

LORNE
Me?! No-no-no-no-no-no-no. It's not me!
CARTER
Major, how 'bout you lower your weapon.
LORNE
He's a Replicator! What, you don't believe me? Okay, I'll shoot him. You'll see.
SHEPPARD
Whoa, whoa! That won't be necessary. I've got my hands up in a very non-threatening way.
CARTER
I've called for an ARG.
SHEPPARD

(shocked)

What, you believe him?
CARTER

(sotto voce)

Of course not, but it won't hurt you, and it might help him to lower his gun.

[Lorne points his gun at Carter.]

LORNE
You're one of them, too. Well, don't just stand there. Shoot them! Shoot both of them!

[Ronon shoots Lorne from the balcony above, with his stunner. Lorne drops to the floor with a pained cry, dropping his gun. Sheppard holds his arms out still, in shock. The ARG has finally arrived. Teyla takes it.]

TEYLA
I take it I don't have to shoot either of you with this?

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Lorne sits alone at a table looking up at the observation room window.]

LORNE

(contrite)

I'm so glad no one was hurt.

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION OBSERVATION ROOM

[Heightmeyer, Carter, Keller, and Sheppard are all there.]

HEIGHTMEYER
And you don't remember anything?
LORNE

(over comm)

No. Honestly. I haven't had a sleepwalking incident since I was like ten.
HEIGHTMEYER
It's quite common for someone suffering from somnambulism to perform complex activities in their sleep, and remember nothing upon waking.
SHEPPARD
So, you think this has something to do with the crystal I touched.
KELLER
That's when it seemed to start. Major Lorne's not the only one. In each case, the person being effected reports you being a significant negative presence in the nightmare.
SHEPPARD
Well, I can't control that!
CARTER
No, but maybe something is.
SHEPPARD

(skeptical)

What. You think someone's impersonating me in their dreams?
CARTER
Look, I've seen more than my share of alien entities that are capable of this. Colonel O'Neill was once knocked unconscious by an energy being that lived in crystal form. It took on his appearance for a while.
HEIGHTMEYER
I read at one point, you were taken over by an alien entity.
CARTER

(uncomfortable)

Yeah. Not a personal highlight.
SHEPPARD
The question is, what's the point?
KELLER
Maybe it's feeding on our fear.

[Everyone looks at Keller.]

KELLER

(embarrassed)

I'll shut up.
CARTER
No, no. It's not that big a leap. It's just…we don't have any proof.
KELLER
First it was Teyla. I was next. And then, Ronon, after I treated him.
SHEPPARD
Well, I'm the one who touched the crystal, and I've never had a bad dream.
HEIGHTMEYER
Maybe that's why you're appearing in everyone's dreams. Whatever's doing this imprinted your image onto itself.
KELLER
Now that I think about it, it's possible whatever this is, its spread may be limited by touch.
CARTER
Okay. Anyone who's had contact with Major Lorne since the incident needs to be isolated. If this is some sort of alien influence, we have to find a way to detect it.

INT—ATLANTIS BRIEFING ROOM

[Sheppard's team, Heightmeyer, and Keller all sit in the briefing room except for McKay, who's standing by the entrance, not getting close to anyone.]

SHEPPARD
Sit down, Rodney.
MCKAY
I'm good right here, thank you.

[Carter arrives and sits.]

CARTER
All offworld teams have been contacted and instructed not to return for the time being. Gate travel will be restricted to an as-needed basis. And until further notice, all non-essential expedition members will be restricted to quarters.
RONON
Come on. Is this really necessary? It's just a few bad dreams, right?
CARTER
The fact is, we don't really know what we're dealing with. We may have an alien entity on our hands capable of moving from person to person at will.
HEIGHTMEYER
And so far, the only behavior we have to evaluate suggests a certain malice. Now based on what's been described to me, the personification of Colonel Sheppard in everyone's dreams is behaving much like a sociopath.
SHEPPARD

(to Teyla)

Did I have a goatee?

[Teyla shakes her head.]

HEIGHTMEYER
Right now, all it's doing is causing some nightmares. But, we don't know if that's the limit of its capability.
TEYLA
You're saying this is only the beginning.
HEIGHTMEYER
I've never profiled anything like this before. It will likely progress: try to drive up the stakes, seek bigger thrills. Even if it's limited to manipulating the host's subconscious, it may be able to put someone in serious jeopardy.
SHEPPARD
So what are we talking, Freddy Krueger here?
MCKAY
Oh come on! We don't have a single shred of hard evidence here! I mean, until we do, this thing is just the bogeyman.
CARTER
Exactly why you're going back to the planet where Colonel Sheppard touched the crystal.
MCKAY
What? Why would we do that?
CARTER
Well, just as you said. To gather some hard evidence. See if there are any more of these things. We need to find out exactly what they are and how they work, and if possible, how to detect if there really is something inside Lorne right now. Thank you.

[She stands, dismissing them. McKay approaches her.]

MCKAY
But, uh, you said, no more 'gate travel. I-I thought that was a wise decision.
CARTER
I said on an as-needed basis, McKay. I think this qualifies.
MCKAY
I mean, don't you think a science team would be better suited…

[Carter looks surprised.]

RONON
You are a science team, remember?

[He slaps McKay on the shoulder as he leaves. Carter follows Ronon out.]

MCKAY
Okay, fine. But it's a big planet, you know? We could really use some more manpower!

EXT—ALIEN PLANET JUNGLE, NIGHT

[Sheppard's team and Zelenka trudge through the jungle. This time they all wear full haz-mat gear.]

ZELENKA
I still can't believe you're making me do this.
MCKAY
Ah, you lost the bet. There's definitely something on this planet.
ZELENKA
Yes, but I distinctly said "of value." I hardly call this particular discovery valuable.
SHEPPARD
Over here.

[He leads them to the tree with the darkened crystal. McKay slaps Zelenka on the shoulder.]

MCKAY
Ha ha! There you go. Better get started.
ZELENKA

(mutters in Czech)

"Better get started." Yeah, sure.

[Teyla notices a lit crystal on a nearby tree.]

TEYLA
Rodney!
MCKAY
Hmm?

[He turns and spots the active crystal.]

MCKAY
Don't look at it. And whatever you do, don't touch it.
TEYLA
I wasn't even thinking about it.

[McKay approaches and runs his scanner over the entity.]

MCKAY

(to Zelenka)

Radek, we've got a live one here!
ZELENKA
Uh, it could be useful to compare the two.
MCKAY
That's just what I was thinking.
ZELENKA
But be careful. It could be dangerous to try to harvest one with an active entity in it.
MCKAY
Mmm. Once again, you've read my mind. However, when you're finished there, I say you give it a shot.

[Zelenka turns back to the first entity with a nervous grimace. Sheppard shrugs sympathetically.]

ZELENKA
Yeah, give it a shot.

[Zelenka prepares to go at it with a pick and hammer.]

INT—ATLANTIS SCIENCE LAB

[Keller looks at the active crystal. It is in a sealed glass case with electrodes running from it to monitoring screens. The inactive crystal is similarly set up in a separate case. McKay and Zelenka work nearby.]

KELLER
You really think it was safe to bring a live one back?
ZELENKA
Ah, those containment tanks are non-conductive. We believe it needs conductive material in order to, uh, travel.
MCKAY
And having an active, uh, crystal allows us to, uh, calibrate these hand-held sensors to, uh, detect the energy signatures associated with it.
ZELENKA
Hopefully, we'll be able to determine if someone is actually carrying one of these creatures around inside of them.
MCKAY
As long as it doesn't know what we're up to. Otherwise, you'd think it would just, uh, transfer out of somebody before we could scan them.
ZELENKA
You're assuming, of course, they're not only capable, but are conscious and aware at all times.

[Keller becomes drawn to the active crystal. She begins to lean closer.]

MCKAY
It's demonstrated some, uh, pretty sophisticated intelligence so far. It could have basic avoidance skills.

[Keller's face appears in the multiple facets of the crystal as she continues to lean closer.]

ZELENKA
Yeah, well, we're gonna have to modify our scanners to operate on a range large enough to…wait a minute, we-we could calibrate the city-wide life signs detector to—

[Keller starts to reach her hand forward to touch the tank.]

MCKAY

(sarcastic, interrupting)

Oh, yes, Mr. Wizard! We're just gonna snap our fingers and…

[Zelenka grabs Keller's hand and pulls it away from the tank.]

ZELENKA

(concerned)

What are you doing?

[McKay also looks over, suddenly alert. Keller seems to snap out of her fugue.]

KELLER
I don't know… It's mesmerizing. You said it was safe!
ZELENKA
We-we said "we think". Still…
KELLER
I don't know what I was doing! I can't believe it. I was suddenly overcome by the compulsion to want to touch it.
MCKAY
Yeah, we think that's how it…um…ropes in its victims.

[McKay walks away. Zelenka grimaces and goes back to work, leaving a shocked Keller to stare at the crystal from a further distance.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Zelenka scans Lorne from a safe distance, then looks up at the observation window and shakes his head.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION OBSERVATION ROOM

[McKay and Carter are watching.]

MCKAY

(worried)

It's not in him.
CARTER
You said the entity needed conductive material to travel, right?
MCKAY

Well, based on the, uh…
(suddenly realizing)

It's the power conduits! They run pretty much through the entire city!
CARTER
It could be in anyone!

[They both hurriedly exit.]

EXT—ATLANTIS BALCONY, DAY

[Teyla steps onto the balcony to find a panicked Heightmeyer balancing on the edge of the balustrade.]

TEYLA
Kate? What are you doing?
HEIGHTMEYER
I don't want to die!
TEYLA

(soothing)

Good. Come down from there.

[Heightmeyer tries to move but is petrified. The city is spread out many floors below her.]

HEIGHTMEYER
I can't.
TEYLA
Why not?
HEIGHTMEYER
Help me, please!

[Teyla steps forward, but suddenly Sheppard is there, blocking her path. He holds Teyla back.]

TEYLA
John, stop it! Stop it! I have to help her!

[Sheppard holds her in place, smiling evilly.]

TEYLA
What are you doing? John, get out of the way!
HEIGHTMEYER

(terrified)

Teyla! Teyla!
TEYLA
Kate!

[Heightmeyer screams as she falls backward off the tower balcony, falling many stories toward a pier below.]

FADE OUT

INT—HEIGHTMEYER'S QUARTERS

[Keller enters the room to find Teyla standing over Heightmeyer's bed. Heightmeyer is in her negligé lying on the bed, eyes closed.]

TEYLA

(upset)

She did not report for duty, and I can't wake her up.

[Keller approaches with her scanner. Her eyes widen as she reads the findings.]

KELLER
She's dead.

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Carter stands in the center of the room, bracing herself. She nods to the technician, who keys the intercom.]

CARTER

(over intercom)

This is Colonel Carter. If I could have your attention, please. I'm very sorry to have to tell you that we have a lost a valuable member of the expedition today. Doctor Kate Heightmeyer meant a great deal to all of us. Her death is nothing short of tragic. I'm also sorry to have to report that the threat we face is still in our midst, and until further notice, the full lock-down protocol will remain in effect. Try to remain calm. We are doing everything we can to ensure everyone's safety and to resolve this situation quickly. Thank you.

[While she speaks, others, such as Teyla and Sheppard, have been listening in their respective quarters. Sheppard looks particularly disturbed. Carter nods for the technician to shut down the intercom. Keller has been leaning on a nearby wall, listening.]

KELLER

(to Carter)

That was good. I mean, horrible, obviously. Terrifying and horrible, but I just…meant you sounded strong. I'm sure they were at least a little reassured hearing your voice.
CARTER

(nods and lowers her head)

Hmm.
KELLER
But you don't need me to tell you that.
CARTER

(with a rueful small laugh)

A day like this, it doesn't hurt. Thanks.

[Carter continues to her office.]

INT—SHEPPARD'S QUARTERS

[Sheppard lies on his bed restlessly. He gets up and heads to his door. As he opens it, he finds Teyla on the other side, about to ring.]

SHEPPARD
I was just about to come see you, but I wasn't sure if you wanted to see me.

[Teyla embraces Sheppard and silently weeps. He hesitantly returns the hug.]

INT—ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM

[Zelenka heads over to Carter's office where she's working and calls to her.]

ZELENKA
Uh, Colonel Carter? Excuse me? I-I think I've managed to calibrate the city-wide sensors.

[Carter gets up and joins him in the control room.]

ZELENKA

(nervously)

I mean, heh, if it is working properly, you know. We-we had some trouble with the um…well…we have a positive reading.

[He calls up a display that shows a red dot in one part of the city.]

CARTER
Do you know who that is?

[They zoom in on the display.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[McKay enters and immediately notices the room has been lined with rubber mats. Zelenka waits for him there.]

MCKAY
What did you need me for? What's with the rubber walls?
ZELENKA
I'm sorry, Rodney. I have to go.

[Zelenka hurries out, avoiding McKay's eyes. McKay watches him leave and an armed guard outside closing the door.]

MCKAY
Oh, you've got to be kidding.

[He looks up to see Carter and Keller looking down on him from the observation window.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION OBSERVATION ROOM

[Carter waves at McKay. Sheppard arrives. He looks down into the chamber in surprise.]

SHEPPARD
It's in Rodney?
CARTER
The isolation room has been lined with insulating material to prevent the entity from transferring out of him and into someone else.
KELLER
If we're right, we've got it trapped.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, well, that doesn't help McKay much, does it? If this thing kills people in their sleep…
CARTER
No. We've got to find a way to get it out of him.
MCKAY

(over comm)

Does someone want to get me some coffee? I'm already feeling a little tired here.
KELLER
I can give him something to keep him awake for a while, but it'll only work for so long before we start putting him at risk for pulmonary failure.
CARTER

Yep. Believe it or not, I've been there before, too. Do what you can. We'll try to come up with something.
(over comm)

Hang in there, McKay!
MCKAY

(petulant)

Oh, thanks. Like I have much choice.

[Carter exchanges looks with Sheppard, and they leave. Keller looks back down at McKay, who paces nervously.]

INT—CARTER'S OFFICE

[Carter and Sheppard enter.]

SHEPPARD
Do you think it knows it's trapped?
CARTER
I don't know. Why?
SHEPPARD
Maybe there's a way to…I don't know, reason with it.
CARTER
Being in Doctor Weir's old office made you think of that, didn't it?
SHEPPARD
Normally, I just shoot the bad guys.

[Ronon and Teyla arrive.]

RONON
We just heard.
TEYLA
There must be something we can do.
CARTER
That's what we're just talking about. Okay, let's say for a second that you could somehow communicate with it. What were you planning on saying?
SHEPPARD
I don't know. I hadn't gotten that far.
CARTER
It-it strikes me that if it feeds on fear, or worse, likes the thrill of killing its host, then…well, it would take the last chance it had.
SHEPPARD
To kill McKay.

[Carter sighs and nods.]

SHEPPARD
What about survival? It's trapped. Will it die without a living host to transfer to?
CARTER
I was hoping not to find out.
TEYLA
We could give it a chance to leave. Go home.
CARTER
Back into the crystal.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, sure, why not? Send it through the 'gate back to its planet.
CARTER
I've heard of people being talked through waking dreams before. Maybe…maybe McKay can be hypnotized into…a state where he could somehow communicate with it.
TEYLA
He has successfully meditated into an altered state before.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, that was after he'd been genetically altered.
RONON
I'm sorry, what? You want McKay to ask this thing to leave?
SHEPPARD
We are talking about McKay. Scary things are not exactly his strength.
CARTER
And he is up against a creature apparently capable of manipulating his subconscious.
SHEPPARD
I wish there was a way for one of us to get in there.
CARTER

(intrigued)

Into McKay's dreams?

[She appears to have an idea taking shape while Sheppard talks.]

SHEPPARD
Yeah, you know, help him out, give him a little moral support. Come on, all the things you've seen, you've never come across a way for one person to get into another person's dreams.

[Carter rushes out to the control room.]

RONON
Where's she going? What's going on?
SHEPPARD
I don't know, but I think I'm about to see a side of McKay I never wanted to see.
TEYLA
It does not have to be you.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, well it's my bad idea.

[He follows Carter out.]

RONON
What was?

[Teyla follows Sheppard.]

RONON
What?

[A frustrated Ronon follows the others.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION OBSERVATION ROOM

[Carter, Ronon and Teyla watch as personnel in haz-mat gear, including Keller and Zelenka, set up monitors and equipment in the isolation room below. McKay and Sheppard each lie on gurneys.]

CARTER
We first encountered the technology ten years ago on a planet where the survivors of a holocaust were living entirely in a virtual world created in their minds. Since then, we've managed to modify it for use in the VR training of SG team members. It only took some minor calibrations to tune it into subconscious activity.
RONON
So Sheppard is actually going to see McKay's dreams?
CARTER

(wincing)

Well…to be honest, the technology is untested for use in this manner. Eh, dreams are much more random than conscious thought. It may be difficult for the system to translate what's going on in McKay's brain so that Colonel Sheppard can understand it. I'm just hoping that the two of them will be able to interact somehow.

[They both look down into the other room.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Sheppard and McKay have leads attached to their heads and cardiac monitors. McKay has an IV. They look at each other across the gurneys.]

MCKAY

(to Sheppard)

You sure about this?
SHEPPARD
Not really.
MCKAY
I'm pretty screwed up.
SHEPPARD
You're telling me.
KELLER
We're ready if you are.
MCKAY

(to Sheppard)

Thanks.
SHEPPARD
I haven't done anything yet.
MCKAY
For trying. And don't say I didn't warn you!
KELLER
Administering sedative.

[McKay falls asleep. Sheppard looks around.]

SHEPPARD
Nothing's happening here.

[Keller watches a monitor.]

KELLER
He's not dreaming yet.

EXT—ATLANTIS OCEAN, DAY

[McKay rows a rowboat in a terrible lightning and rain storm. Atlantis is in the far distance. McKay hears a whale. He stops rowing and sees the whale breach the surface.]

MCKAY
Oh boy. Nice whale. Nice whale. You're my friend. You don't want to eat me.
SHEPPARD
Give up. You'll never make it. You're too weak.

[Sheppard sits in the stern of the boat, facing Rodney, arms crossed. He has on his black uniform rather than the sweater Sheppard was wearing in the isolation room.]

MCKAY
Oh, thank you. Thanks for the encouragement. Way to help out!
SHEPPARD
Why would I want to help you?
MCKAY
Because I thought you—
SHEPPARD
It's not me, Rodney. Don't listen to him.

[The real Sheppard sits in the bow of the boat behind McKay.]

DREAM-SHEPPARD
You're pathetic. You might as well jump in!
SHEPPARD
Don't be afraid.

[McKay looks between the two Sheppards and shakes his head, trying not to panic.]

MCKAY
Oh God…I have to get back. I have to get back. That's my only chance.

[He starts rowing again.]

DREAM-SHEPPARD
You're gonna die out here!
SHEPPARD
Shut up! Don't listen to him, Rodney.
MCKAY
That's easy for you to say! Why don't you help me row!

[Before McKay can turn back around, Sheppard appears beside him, taking an oar. McKay looks at Sheppard in surprise, then tries to row in rhythm with him.]

SHEPPARD
You know, this really isn't as strange as you led me to believe.
MCKAY
Oh yeah? What about that?

[He points behind them. Sheppard turns and sees a frowning clown sitting in the bow.]

SHEPPARD
I hate clowns.
MCKAY

(looking around)

Ah!

[They redouble their rowing efforts.]

DREAM-SHEPPARD
You can paddle all you want to. You're not going anywhere.
MCKAY
He's right. I'm gonna die out here!
SHEPPARD
He wants you to be afraid. Don't give him what he wants! He can't really hurt you.
DREAM-SHEPPARD
That's where you're wrong.

[From below them, a huge whale with shark-like jaws comes straight up out of the water and swallows the boat and its occupants whole.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Sheppard wakes, sweating, and starts to sit up. A monitor nearby flatlines.]

SHEPPARD

(disoriented)

What happened?
KELLER
Clear!

[She uses the defibrillator on McKay, who doesn't respond. Holding a respirator, Zelenka turns to Sheppard.]

ZELENKA
He's in cardiac arrest.

[They perform CPR on McKay, but the monitor still shows no response.]

KELLER
I'm sorry. I've done all I can. He's dead.

[In shock, Sheppard looks up at the observation room to the others' shocked faces.]

INT—ATLANTIS CORRIDOR

[Sheppard moves slowly through the corridor, still in shock. He stops as if he can't go on. Teyla approaches quickly.]

TEYLA
This is all your fault, John!
RONON
If you hadn't touched that stupid rock, McKay would still be alive right now.
CARTER
I thought you were going to help him!
SHEPPARD
I tried.
KELLER
Some friend you are.
CARTER
Colonel, you've been compromised. I'm relieving you of duty.

[In the background, Sheppard sees his dream doppelganger watching.]

SHEPPARD
Son of a bitch.

[He runs and tackles the other Sheppard. They fall through the wall as if it is an illusions.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

KELLER
Clear!

[Keller uses the defibrillator on McKay. A sinus rhythm starts. McKay soon regains consciousness and looks around in confusion.]

KELLER
Oh, it's okay! It's okay. Just try to relax.
MCKAY

(disoriented)

What's going on?
KELLER
You were in cardiac arrest.
MCKAY
The entity…?
ZELENKA
It's in Colonel Sheppard.

[They all look over at Sheppard, lying unmoving on the bed.]

INT—DREAM ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[The two Sheppards have landed on the floor of the Gate Room. Dream-Sheppard smirks as throws Sheppard off of him. They break apart and stand. The wormhole is active.]

SHEPPARD
You can quit now. I'm not afraid of you.
DREAM-SHEPPARD
Oh, yes you are. I'm the one thing you are afraid of. You failed your friends. You brought this on them, and there is NOTHING you can do to stop it!

[Sheppard attacks, and they exchange blows and kicks. Dream-Sheppard gains the advantage, knocking Sheppard to his knees. Sheppard still doesn't quit, but he is losing quickly. Dream-Sheppard throws him into a wall. He lands on the floor, dazed. Dream-Sheppard picks him up by the shirt and tosses him all the way up the staircase to the control room then walks up the steps after him. Sheppard barely gets to his feet before the punches again fall.]

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Keller studies the monitors above Sheppard's gurney.]

KELLER
His heart rate is dangerously high.
CARTER

(from control room)

Can you wake him up?
KELLER
I could try, but in his physical state, that could make things worse.
ZELENKA
Yes, and the entity would still be in him.
MCKAY
Hook me up to him again.

INT—DREAM ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[Sheppard is able to land some punches, but Dream-Sheppard still has the advantage. He kicks Sheppard several times, finally knocking him over the railing and back onto the Gate Room floor. Dream-Sheppard leaps after him, landing on his feet.]

DREAM-SHEPPARD
Get up! Come on, John. Fight!

[Sheppard remains curled in a semi-fetal position while Dream-Sheppard approaches him.]

SHEPPARD
No. That's what you want.
DREAM-SHEPPARD
It's your fault Heightmeyer's dead. Your fault McKay is dead!
MCKAY
I'm not dead!

[Dream-Sheppard turns to see McKay walking down the staircase. Enraged, Dream-Sheppard rushes McKay, knocking him into a pillar.]

DREAM-SHEPPARD
You can't win.
MCKAY
Yes, we can. You're vulnerable to electric shock. That's why I'm still alive. You left before you could finish the job!

[An electrical shock courses through Dream-Sheppard. He releases McKay and backs away, yelling in pain. A surprised Sheppard sits up.]

SHEPPARD
What the hell was that?

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Keller is using the defibrillator paddles to shock Sheppard. She does it again.]

INT—DREAM ATLANTIS GATE ROOM

[Another shock courses through Dream-Sheppard, who's fallen to his knees. Sheppard gets up and grabs his doppelganger. They spin around as Sheppard gains momentum before tossing the other into the wormhole. McKay nervously approaches the survivor.]

MCKAY
Which one are you?
SHEPPARD
Me.
MCKAY
Good you or bad you?
SHEPPARD
Me me! Is that…you you?
MCKAY
I think so.
SHEPPARD
Thanks.

[They both look around.]

MCKAY
Okay, this is really weird.
SHEPPARD
You're telling me.
MCKAY
I mean, I thought there'd be more…hot girls.
SHEPPARD
Yeah.
MCKAY
Hmm.

INT—ATLANTIS ISOLATION ROOM

[Zelenka sets the controls on the containment chamber where the entity has now returned to its crystal base. Keller removes the leads from McKay's head as he awakens. Sheppard also wakes up. They look at each other then settle back onto their pillows. Everyone in the control room is relieved.]

EXT—ALIEN PLANET JUNGLE, NIGHT

[The team, wearing hazmat suits, drop the two active crystals onto the forest floor. A strange song comes from them. All around the team, more crystals begin to light on neighboring trees, spreading throughout the jungle.]

MCKAY
Hey, I have an idea. How about we get out of here?
SHEPPARD
Sounds like a plan.

EXT—ATLANTIS, NIGHT

INT—ATLANTIS MESS HALL

[Sheppard sits at a table in the otherwise empty room. He eats a snack and reads. Teyla approaches.]

TEYLA
Couldn't sleep.
SHEPPARD
Yeah, me too.

[She sits down.]

[Later, McKay joins them with a full tray.]

MCKAY
I thought I'd have a little snack before I uh…
SHEPPARD
Yeah, we couldn't sleep either.

[Soon Ronon joins them as well.]

[Later, Keller and Carter round out the table.]

FADE OUT

END CREDITS

Transcribed for Solutions by Aurora Novarum, January 2009.

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--Michelle 06:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)