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Hors d'atteinte

SCENE: Shot of Jumper racing past a planet, two Wraith Darts on their tail.

SHEPPARD: I count two...how about you?

FORD: Yes sir. I recommend shooting back anytime now.

SHEPPARD: I'm trying. The hit must have caused some damage. McKay?

MCKAY: I'm on it.

TEYLA: Where did they come from?

MCKAY: *moving into back* She's right. The Darts are short range fighters. There's probably a hive ship around here somewhere.

TEYLA: Then we need to get out of here.

SHEPPARD: Yes we do.

FORD: The Stargate is the other way sir. On the other side of the planet.

SHEPPARD: Yeah now we're taking the scenic route. McKay?!

MCKAY: I'm almost there *Fiddling, shots fired*

FORD: There's one on our tail!

SHEPPARD: Thank you. I know all about that one. Keep your eye on the other one.

MCKAY: Okay. You should have weapons now.

SHEPPARD: Negative.

MCKAY: You sure?

SHEPPARD: Positive.

MCKAY: I'm pretty sure I fixed it.

SHEPPARD: Well obviously you didn't! *another shot hits them*

TEYLA: Perhaps we could lose them in the atmosphere of the planet.

FORD: Two more darts on our two o'clock.

SHEPPARD: I see them. McKay?!

MCKAY: It's not like I'm holding back on you!

Shot of jumper and behind some darts. And behind them this huge amount of like electricity which seems to be coming from the planet's surface. This electricity destroys a dart. Then hits the jumper.

SHEPPARD: Hang on!! *bright light hits, it disappears*

TEYLA: The Wraith darts have been destroyed.

SHEPPARD: Ah that's a good thing.

MCKAY: *Coming back.* I thought for sure we were dead. Anyone think we were dead?

FORD: What the hell was that?

MCKAY: Some sort of energy weapon.

SHEPPARD: Well what do you say we find out?

********************

SCENE: Still in orbit of the planet

MCKAY: So just to confirm we're all still definitely not dead.

TEYLA: I feel very much alive.

MCKAY: Good. Same here.

SHEPPARD: Wish I knew what that was.

FORD: Looked like lightning.

SHEPPARD: Space lightning?

MCKAY: I already said it's some sort of energy weapon. One that apparently destroys Wraith darts.

FORD: Nice but...why them and not us?

MCKAY: Well assuming that we're still alive...and there doesn't seem to be any damage as a result of the pulse, I think we can safely conclude that ah...um...um...I got nothing. *ford turns away* I got nothing to conclude. I'm just...talking for the sake of talking.

SHEPPARD: You're sure you're ok?

MCKAY: You know how much I hate certain death?

SHEPPARD: You're alive.

TEYLA: Could something like that be...naturally occurring?

SHEPPARD: My money's on not naturally occurring.

FORD: Like a weapon the Ancients left behind?

SHEPPARD: Yeah and any weapon that powerful would have to be powered by...

MCKAY: A zero point module.

SHEPPARD: That's right.

MCKAY: Right well we need to get down there.

SHEPPARD: I got to put down, check for damages anyway...before we head back to

Atlantis.

Shot of Jumper moving in for a landing. Then through Ford's binoculars at a civilization.

FORD: If there's a weapon down here sir, these folks didn't build it.

SHEPPARD: Not these kids... Picking up anything?

MCKAY: I'm picking up everything. Just nothing worth mentioning.

SHEPPARD: These folks look familiar to you Teyla?

TEYLA: The Stargate is in orbit Major...my people could never have ventured here.

SHEPPARD: Right. What say we venture? *They head off*

Shots of the people. They all have tattoos. One man is wearing a red robe. He sees them and runs off to a house...all the people stop, looking at them.

SHEPPARD: Hi. It's ok...we're friendly. Hi.

TEYLA: It is likely they have never seen anyone from outside their village.

ZARAH: *another man dressed in red* Welcome *waves* I am Zarah. One of the abbots of Proculus.

SHEPPARD: John. John Sheppard. This is Teyla, Lieutenant Ford and Doctor McKay.

ZARAH: Please come *He leads off, they follow. The villagers following too. Zarah and John and his team all sit at a table* This is the first time - at least in my own lifetime - that people from another land have come to us.

SHEPPARD: Oh we came by ship *Zarah raises eyebrow* Flying thing. Allows us to move from one world to another.

ZARAH: Another world?

TEYLA: From among the stars you see in the night sky. We are peaceful explorers.

ZARAH: Well then glory to Othara for bringing you here safely.

FORD: Othara?

ZARAH: The provider and protector of all. Surely you know.

TEYLA: Othara is known by many names among the stars.

MCKAY: Is...Othara around? We'd love to talk to him. We're...friends.

ZARAH: Othara is friend to all. And with us always. *puts his hands together* Even now.

MCKAY: Of course. *puts hands up* Hi Othara.

TEYLA: What Doctor McKay means is that we wish to offer our thanks. We were attacked by the Wraith and would have been killed had it not been for Othara's intervention.

ZARAH: Wraith?

SHEPPARD: Pale skin, sunken eyes, suck the life out of you with their hands.

ZARAH: We have never encountered such beings.

FORD: Never?

TEYLA: And there is no mention of them in your history?

ZARAH: None. I can assure you that for many thousands of years we have lived here in peace.

SHEPPARD: Could you excuse us for a moment?

ZARAH: Of course please...*tells them to stay* I must tell the other abbots of your arrival before we go to meet with Chaya.

SHEPPARD: Chaya is?

ZARAH: The high priestess of Othara. *kisses his hands* This is a great day for our people *leaves*

SHEPPARD: Ours too. *After Zarah has left* I'm not kidding, this could really work.

TEYLA: I agree Major. Every inhabited world I have encountered in this galaxy has been ravaged by the Wraith.

MCKAY: Well this planet is protected by an Ancient weapon. This confirms it.

FORD: Does it?

MCKAY: Well there's no other explanation. I mean the power requirements of something like that must be...astronomical. Only a zedPM could generate that.

TEYLA: And yet they do not appear to be technologically advanced...

FORD: Unless that guy was lying. But he doesn't seem like the lying type.

SHEPPARD: Yeah so...automated defenses?

TEYLA: Imagine a world where displaced refugees from dozens of planets could come and live in peace without fear of being culled by the Wraith.

FORD: Maybe we could negotiate some kind of treaty...

MCKAY: We just get access to that weapon. Better still that ZedPM. Not that we'd

steal it or anything.

SHEPPARD: Let's just try and stay on our best behavior.

MCKAY: I'm always on my best behavior.

SCENE: Shot of the team walking with a group of monks, along a field.

MCKAY: How much farther?

ZARAH: Not very.

MCKAY: Oh good...*slows to fall into step with Ford* See we could of taken the jumper.

FORD: The exercise is good for you...come on.

SHEPPARD: Chaya sure does live pretty far from your people.

TEYLA: It is not uncommon Major for clerics to live apart from their community.

SCENE: Shot of a beautiful woman tending to her plants in a type of Garden, the monks enter with the team following behind.

ZARAH: Glory to Othara *bows*

CHAYA: Welcome. You may rest.

ZARAH: Thank you sister. *they move off, Sheppard stares in awe*

CHAYA: You're new to Proculus.

SHEPPARD: Yes. We're...uh...we're brand new in fact. *puts out hand* Major John Sheppard.

CHAYA: *she takes it* I am called Chaya Sar *turns to the others* and you are...Teyla, Lieutenant Ford and Doctor McKay.

FORD: How did she know that?

MCKAY: Oh please... One of the abbots ran ahead.

SHEPPARD: It's a pleasure to meet you Chaya

CHAYA: You must be tired after your long journey. Shall I prepare some tea for us?

SHEPPARD: I was hoping you were gonna say just that. *she smiles*

SCENE: Chaya's Garden

CHAYA: And where do they come from these...Wraith?

SHEPPARD: They seem to be everywhere in this galaxy. And they appear to have been on top of the food chain for a very long time. *drinks*

CHAYA: It's terrifying. Truly terrifying. My heart goes out to your people Teyla.

TEYLA: It is not only my people who suffer Chaya. The Wraith have awakened from a long sleep...and this entire world is safe from the culling that has already begun. Even Atlantis with all its wonder may not survive the onslaught. It is our hope...that Othara could grant...sanctuary here on Proculus.

CHAYA: Sanctuary...for so many?

SHEPPARD: Well...we're not talking about everybody in the galaxy showing up at your doorstep.

FORD: This planet is pretty big ma'am...

TEYLA: And it is largely uninhabited.

MCKAY: More importantly it's protected by that weapon of yours...

CHAYA: Weapon? I'm aware of no such thing on Proculus.

SHEPPARD: *glances at McKay* You sure about that?

CHAYA: Yes.

MCKAY: Oh please...

SHEPPARD: *whispers* Rodney. Best behavior.

MCKAY: This is as good as it gets, Major. Chaya, the only reason we are alive is because of a powerful energy weapon that emanated somewhere on the surface of this planet, it destroyed the ships that were shooting at us. That weapon is what's keeping the Wraith away.

CHAYA: No Doctor McKay. It was Othara who protected you.

MCKAY: Othara.

CHAYA: Yes Othara saw you were in need.

SHEPPARD: Chaya...there are a lot of people who are just like...you and me...who are in need because of the Wraith...What you have here-what Othara has provided you with here is a very rare thing. *McKay rolls eyes* but we have a lot to offer too...That's what friends do they share. I think we could help each other.

CHAYA: I understand. I shall consult with her now. *she stands and so do they*

Please stay here, I don't know how long this will take.

SHEPPARD: Thank you.

*Chaya leaves.*

MCKAY: What Othara provides for you? Are you buying into this??

SHEPPARD: Rodney what religious people don't take their religion seriously?

MCKAY: We didn't imagine that weapon Major. We saw it with our own eyes and we saw what it was capable of.

SHEPPARD: Yes we did.

TEYLA: Perhaps Chaya is just unaware of the weapon's existence.

FORD: Or she knows...and she wants to keep it a secret from us.

SHEPPARD: Doesn't strike me as the lying type either. *McKay snorts, silence*.........Ok let's just see what...Othara has to say. *Sits*

MCKAY: So...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain hmm?

SHEPPARD: Exactly. *lies down*

SCENE: Chaya and monks return.

CHAYA: Major. *Sheppard gets up* We have relayed your request to our divine mother and though she does not doubt the righteousness of your mission...I am afraid she cannot countenance any other people but hers settling here.

MCKAY: And you really had to chant all that time to come up with that.

SHEPPARD: McKay.

TEYLA: Is there any way we can ask Othara to reconsider?

CHAYA: Othara understands and sympathizes. These Wraith are a scourge among our stars but she has to place the lives of her people first.

MCKAY: Well *stands* I think we both knew what you were going to say long before you even went in there.

CHAYA: *Not a happy camper* We prayed for Othara's guidance.

MCKAY: And what did Othara say? You're hiding behind your religion to justify your complete and utter selfishness.

SHEPPARD: Rodney...

MCKAY: If Othara existed she would be ashamed of herself.

ZARAH: We ask only to be left alone. And in peace.

MCKAY: So... untold thousands possibly...millions of people will die out there when they could have been saved. All in the name of Othara. How very very peaceful of you.

CHAYA: You should be grateful to Othara. *looking off not at him, obviously pissed:P*

MCKAY: This is a waste of time.

CHAYA: *turns to Sheppard* Othara regrets that she cannot help you.

MCKAY: And I'm sure those were her exact words.

SHEPPARD: That's enough! Head back to the jumper. I'll be there in a minute.

MCKAY: Why?

SHEPPARD: Because you're not helping.

FORD: Yes sir. *gives McKay a look, the three head off*

SHEPPARD: I apologize.

CHAYA: He acts only in accordance to his beliefs as do we.

SHEPPARD: But Rodney is right about one thing. This really is about lives...human lives. Sooner or later the Wraith are gonna show up in Atlantis and when they do...

CHAYA: You're a warrior.

SHEPPARD: Well...I don't know about warrior.

CHAYA: It is your vocation Major. You will fight.

SHEPPARD: I'll try. But knowing what we're up against and the odds......look. I'd appreciate it if you would ask Othara to consider...that we are her people...even though...we come from very far away we're the same...we're human...which means we're not strangers...we're family...*a strong breeze blows* Woah...

CHAYA: Evening breeze.

SHEPPARD: I was kinda hoping it was a sign from Othara.

CHAYA: Your words are most compelling Major Sheppard.

SHEPPARD: Thank you. I was going for compelling.

CHAYA: Do you truly believe we are family?

SHEPPARD: We are. I can prove it to you.

CHAYA: How?

SHEPPARD: Come back to Atlantis...*Zarah looks up* see who we really are...Once Othara learns more about us...

CHAYA: This is acceptable.

ZARAH: *walks over* Chaya please...you cannot leave.

CHAYA: Othara is with us always...no matter where we are Zarah. *another stronger breeze, she puts her hand to his chest*

ZARAH: I understand. *walks off*

CHAYA: I am ready.

SCENE: Atlantis Gateroom

WEIR: Welcome to Atlantis. *shakes Chaya's hand*

CHAYA: Thank you.

WEIR: I hope you don't mind but our doctors do require a medical exam of all offworld team members and our visitors but after that perhaps you would like a full tour.

CHAYA: I would love that.

TEYLA: Major Sheppard has already promised to do so.

WEIR: Of course he has.

SHEPPARD: Of course I have.

WEIR: Please if you'll follow me to the infirmary...*walks off Chaya behind and then Sheppard*

MCKAY: Maybe I should tag along in case you have any questions the Major can't answe-

SHEPPARD: *holds hand up* I think I can handle it Rodney.

MCKAY: There are a lot of systems you know absolute-

SHEPPARD: Got it covered. *walks off*

MCKAY: *looks at Teyla, who walks off* Fine.

SCENE: Infirmary, Chaya lays on a bed, as she's x-rayed Beckett at lap top.

BECKETT: Hold still just a minute more *machine shuts down* Well my dear. It seems you are just as lovely on the inside as you are on the out. If health is synonymous with beauty ... You can get up now.

CHAYA: How does this device do what you say it does?

BECKETT: It creates images of the tissues inside your body, and they are picture perfect.

CHAYA: Did you bring these machines back from your world?

BECKETT: Some... Others are Atlantean technology that we figured out how to use and a few...*glances round, steps closer in a sort of whisper* well I haven't the vaguest idea what they do. Hopefully one day I'll have the chance to meet one and I'll ask them myself.

CHAYA: Do you know what happened to them?

BECKETT: Well...some returned to Earth after the war with the Wraith. That much we know. But we also know that some of them ascended.

CHAYA: Ascended?

BECKETT: To a higher plane, where they exist only as energy. Are all the people of your world as healthy as you?

CHAYA: Yes.

BECKETT: No disease, ailments? No-one ever breaks a leg?

CHAYA: *she shakes head* Such things are rare but my people heal quite rapidly.

BECKETT: Really?

SHEPPARD: *walks in* Are we done?

CHAYA: Are we?

BECKETT: *nods* Healthiest patient I have ever had *she jumps off bed* Off you go love. *patting his shoulder, Sheppard offers his arm and off they go*

SCENE: Weir's office, heading to control room

WEIR: Where are we at?

MCKAY: Either she knows where the weapon is and she's playing us, or she has no idea. In which case we are wasting our time.

WEIR: So what do you suggest?

MCKAY: Take another team back in the jumper. Scan the planet for energy signatures. Chaya's people won't have a clue what we're doing from orbit unless they are a technically advanced race which they pretend not to be. Which has happened before...*they stop*

WEIR: Did you find anything abnormal? I mean something that would suggest they are more advanced than they claim to be?

MCKAY: No. They're either pathetically pre-technological or ...brilliantly post technological.

WEIR: And there's no way this can be a natural phenomenon?

MCKAY: Well a perfectly timed, directed energy burst that only affected the Wraith ships?

WEIR: That's a no?

MCKAY: That's a no.

BECKETT: (on radio) Doctor Weir I have those results.

WEIR: Thank you Carson we're on our way They both head off.

SCENE: Walking through some corridor.

CHAYA: How many of you are there?

SHEPPARD: Counting all the Athosians on the mainland...might get a couple of hundred, which leaves a very large empty city...Right now we're living in one section because we don't have the power to spread out more than that. *looks at her* What do you think so far?

CHAYA: I think it's wondrous. *Shifts* but ultimately the decision is up to Othara. *doesn't look at her* You're not a believer are you?

SHEPPARD: Look Chaya *they stop* I respect that you believe. Look I can't talk to Othara. I can only talk to you so let me ask you this...What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if your people were in trouble and we could help you? Would you just take no for an answer?

CHAYA: *stares, then places a hand on his shoulder walking* It must have been very hard to live your entire life under the shadow of the Wraith.

SHEPPARD: *they walk through some doors* Don't misunderstand me...Teyla and her people have known the Wraith forever...but when I say we're new I mean...we just got here...from another galaxy...a planet called Earth.

CHAYA: Earth? *looks almost as if she knows it*

SHEPPARD: Very far away. You know those clusters of stars you see in the night sky? *she nods* Some of them are called galaxies and they're even farther away from you than the stars. Earth is in one of those galaxies.

CHAYA: You came through the Stargate?

SHEPPARD: That's right.

CHAYA: And can you not simply return?

SHEPPARD: Well not simply. *head up some stairs* We knew going into it that it was probably going to be a one way trip...but we thought what we would find here would be worth the risk.

CHAYA: *enter gate room* And is it?

SHEPPARD: So far. Ask me again when the Wraith show up *walking up to control room*

SCENE: Infirmary

BECKETT: *they all looking at Chaya's work-up* Blood work shows no viral, bacterial or parasitic infections. MRI reveals no tumors or cancers. No heart defects of any kind. Blood pressure 130 over 70. Total cholesterol 107. She's in perfect health...

WEIR: I'm happy for her......Why did we need to see this?

BECKETT: Because Doctor she's too healthy.

MCKAY: What does that mean?

BECKETT: There's no trace of any diseases or congenital conditions that you typically find in pre-technological societies. No rickets, no fungi, STDs...

WEIR: Perfect health.

BECKETT: Aye. And from what she told me... this might be the norm among her people.

MCKAY: *thinking* But she is human?

BECKETT: Oh without a doubt.

WEIR: So how is that possible?

BECKETT: I can't say that for certain without visiting the planet myself, but if this data's accurate, then people on Proculus live in optimal health for a very very long time.

MCKAY: You make it sound like some sort of...of...of...

BECKETT: Paradise? Aye because it is.

WEIR: And that's a problem...because...?

BECKETT: Because...human life, quite simply Doctor Weir...is more fragile...than that. I don't care what galaxy we're in... it's unnatural. *Weir and McKay share a look*

SCENE: Balcony, day.

CHAYA: Oh the ocean air is so invigorating.

SHEPPARD: Plenty of that here, most of the planet's ocean. *they look out to the water*

CHAYA: Surely there is enough land to resettle the refugees.

SHEPPARD: Oh there is...just can't guarantee their safety.

CHAYA: Even though you control all of this?

SHEPPARD: I'd be lying if I said we controlled it all... This place is so far beyond us in so many ways. For example Atlantis does have a shield that can withstand anything the Wraith can throw at us but we have no way of powering it up...we can't risk taking in any more refugees than we have. *looks at her* Come with me. *they head off*

CHAYA: Major Sheppard...

SHEPPARD: I'd prefer if you called me John.

CHAYA: John...how did you make enemies of the Wraith?

SHEPPARD: That was my fault.

CHAYA: Yours?

SHEPPARD: I basically woke them up trying to rescue some people they captured, they didn't take too kindly to that.

CHAYA: But you saved your people?

SHEPPARD: Most of them.

CHAYA: That is how you know for sure they are coming back.

SHEPPARD: Yeah we just don't know when. *enter control room, pointing stuff out* Main control console. Environmental support systems. Communications. This...*walks over to something Grodin's fiddling with* This is...uh *mouths what is this?*

GRODIN: Sorry Major we don't have the faintest idea what *Chaya rests her hand on it and it lights up* what...--*looks at Chaya* This is a new piece of equipment we found in another section of the city. It hadn't yet been initialized.

SHEPPARD: You think she has...

GRODIN: She has the gene.

CHAYA: *insecure smile* Did I do this? What does the machine do?

GRODIN: We don't know, not yet anyway.

SHEPPARD: Atlanteans are good at lots of things, but writing instruction manuals wasn't one of them. We should probably wrap this tour up. I know Doctor Weir is anxious to talk to you *they walk off, Grodin watching them go*

CHAYA: Will I see you after that?

SHEPPARD: *small grin* And during.

SCENE: Briefing room

WEIR: *walking round briefing table by Sheppard and Teyla* What we're proposing is a kind of land lease in which refugees rendered homeless by the Wraith could resettle on Proculus. In return we can offer you services and knowledge of benefit to your people.

CHAYA: Such as?

WEIR: Well you've seen what technology we possess here...we can help you down a path to a more industrialized society, but at a pace that will maintain your planet's ecological balance.

CHAYA: Your scientific knowledge is impressive Doctor Weir but we have no need of it. Othara provides us with everything we require.

SHEPPARD: Well food just doesn't show up on the dinner table.

TEYLA: You do plant all your own crops?

CHAYA: Of course we do.

WEIR: We can show you ways to increase your crop yield.

CHAYA: We grow all the food we need to live. Anything else would be gluttony.

WEIR: *Leans forward* Building materials then...

CHAYA: We have abundant timber and iron ore to forge what little metal we need. Othara is kind.

WEIR: *sits, pretty frustrated now* There must be something.

CHAYA: What my people value most is spiritual knowledge. What can your culture provide in that regard?

WEIR: *looks at Teyla then Sheppard* Earth's people don't share a single spiritual belief we...embrace a number of different religions and philosophies: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam...

SHEPPARD: Hinduism... Kwanzaa. *Weir frowns at him, he frowns*

CHAYA: Interesting. Tell me about them.

WEIR: All of them?

CHAYA: Yes they sound fascinating.

WEIR: *Sheppard nods* Well...I am hardly competent to discuss all of Earth's religions...but I can offer you some resources. With very little training you could have complete access to our historical database.

CHAYA: That would be wonderful. *All grinning at each other.*

SCENE: Control room.

MCKAY: *runs up to Grodin.* You got it working?

GRODIN: Yeah.

MCKAY: Well...do we know what it does?

GRODIN: It would appear to be an internal-external biometric sensor array.

MCKAY: See now...sadly I understood that. Where did all those Saturday nights go?

GRODIN: *turns screen to him* These seem to be the bio-signatures of everyone in Atlantis.

MCKAY: How can you tell? I can't make head or tail of that mess.

GRODIN: I've been working on deciphering the Ancient logarithms. I suspect that this was designed primarily as an early warning system to signal any alien presence in the city. The Wraith...

MCKAY:...And you're saying that it activated when our visitor touched it?

GRODIN: Which must mean that she has the Ancient gene.

MCKAY: Or it was initialized already and only activated because it was detecting her. I mean she could be some kind of an alien and this thing knows more about her than we've been able to decipher. Look someone should be keeping an eye on her.

GRODIN: Major Sheppard is.

MCKAY: Oh...I'm sure he is.

GRODIN: Not entirely for the reasons you think. Doctor Weir asked him to.

MCKAY: I'm sure she did. *hurries off*

SCENE: Nice shot of Atlantis at night, Teyla and Sheppard walking down corridor, Sheppard with picnic basket in hand.

SHEPPARD: Doctor Weir wanted me to make sure that Chaya saw everything.

TEYLA: Everything.

SHEPPARD: Well...not everything uh...Chaya mentioned she wanted to see the best view of the city at night which I think is at the top of the south west pier and...and since it's such a long walk I thought I'd...bring along a few provisions.

TEYLA: Continuing our efforts to secure a treaty. <:P>

SHEPPARD: Exactly. Yeah.

TEYLA: As our ambassador.

SHEPPARD: *puts hand to chest nodding* I'm an ambassador and she is a... diplomat.

TEYLA: On a late night...*searches for right word* picnic?

SHEPPARD: Yes.

TEYLA: *grins* I know that as ranking military officer here in Atlantis that you feel a heavy burden of responsibility...but you are allowed to have feelings for others...

SHEPPARD: *laughs* Ah no...this is a...this is an ambassadorial diplomatic picnic outing thing.

TEYLA:...Without having to justify that to anyone. Goodnight Major. *heads off*

SHEPPARD: Goodnight...Teyla. *heads off looking behind him*

SCENE: Heading up from gateroom to control room

WEIR: You want to send her back?

MCKAY: All I know is she's not who she's pretending to be.

WEIR: You know this because?

MCKAY: What I'm not allowed to have intuition?

WEIR: *throws him a sharp look* You? No.

MCKAY: Oh.

WEIR: I asked Major Sheppard to keep an eye on her.

MCKAY: Well *laughs* which is like asking the fox to guard the hen house.

WEIR: *stops* What?

MCKAY: Look the biometric differential is not insignificant Elizabeth. What I'm saying is...*quietly* the woman set off an alien alarm.

WEIR: Come on you don't know that for certain. Now Grodin says *McKay sighs* you are nowhere close to understanding what the nature of that device is.

MCKAY: There are too many unknown variables. There's the energy weapon, the fact that they claim never to have seen the Wraith...what about the fact that she's essentially a text book *Weir rolls eyes and walks off to office* case of healthy.

WEIR: All very mysterious yes. But what does it prove?

MCKAY: That we should give her a one way ticket back home.

WEIR: *comes back out* There is obviously something very...different about her yes. But that doesn't necessarily make her a threat.

MCKAY: It doesn't rule it out either.

WEIR: Then for the moment I think what we can gain by securing a treaty is worth the risk of her being here. *walks off*

MCKAY: Fine.

SCENE: South-west pier

CHAYA: *eating strawberries* Mmmm this is delicious.

SHEPPARD: Well enjoy it while you can because it's the last of what we have. *Lies back on elbow*

CHAYA: Then I am honored.

SHEPPARD: When McKay finds out he's gonna kill me.

CHAYA: Othara will save you.

SHEPPARD: *grins* Oh good. *she laughs*

CHAYA: Such wondrous things. I can't imagine you'd want to do anything but eat all the time with such a variety of foods.

SHEPPARD: Well we manage to pull ourselves away somehow.

CHAYA: I've been learning much about Earth. Doctor Weir has got me on your information machines.

SHEPPARD: Elizabeth's got you on a computer already huh?

CHAYA: *nods* I am fascinated by your many religions. So many beliefs, so many philosophies.

SHEPPARD: Yeah we got a few of those.

CHAYA: So many contradicting faiths.

SHEPPARD: That's a bit of a mess. *sits up* More?

CHAYA: Yes please.

SHEPPARD: *pours* We uh...traded for grapes. The Athosians...Teyla's people- they make this on the mainland.

CHAYA: I wasn't really truthful with you about something. *his face falls* On Proculus when I told you I did not feel lonely, coming here and being with you *small smile on his face* reminded me what it was like not to be alone. (John looks uncomfortable. He stands up and wanders around the balcony for a while, then turns and faces her.)

CHAYA: What?

SHEPPARD: Well, I mean ... nothing. It's just that ... this is the first time I've been in a romantic situation with a woman from another planet, and it just strikes me as really, um ...

CHAYA: Wrong?

SHEPPARD: No! God, no! Just, just funny. I'm sorry - I-I just thought that I would, uh ...

CHAYA: You said it yourself. We're both human.

SHEPPARD: Yes, we are. And I'm really glad you didn't say 'family', otherwise I'd have to leave.

CHAYA: You don't (John sits down on the floor next to Chaya.)

SHEPPARD: I'm not going anywhere (He takes her face in his hands and kisses her.)

CORRIDORS. John comes out of someone's quarters. As he walks away, Rodney, who looks as if he's been lurking around waiting for him, greets him.

McKAY: Major.

SHEPPARD: Rodney. What are you doing up so late?

McKAY: I was just, um, I couldn't sleep, so I was going back up to the Control Room to do a little research. What about you?

SHEPPARD: Oh, no thanks.

McKAY: No, I mean what were you doing up so late?

SHEPPARD: I'm always up late, Rodney.

McKAY: Word of caution? The whole Captain Kirk routine is problematic to say the least, let alone morally dubious.

SHEPPARD: What routine?

McKAY: The romancing of the alien priestess? It's very 1967 of you. Actually, I'm surprised ...

SHEPPARD (interrupting): If and when anything I do becomes your business ...

McKAY: It becomes my business, Major, when an alien woman who is clearly not who she claims to be has the ranking military officer wrapped around her little finger!

SHEPPARD (threateningly): Don't go there, McKay.

McKAY: I'm sorry - I know I'm not normally Mr Sensitive, but you gotta believe me when I say there is something about her. I know it's intangible but I can feel it.

SHEPPARD (angrily): I said don't go there!

McKAY: It's just a matter of time before I prove it, Major. (At that moment the door to the quarters that John just left opens and Chaya is standing there.) I'm just recommending that in the meantime you keep your .. (He stops, realising that Chaya is listening. He and John turn to look at her. Chaya stares angrily at them for a moment, then turns and walks back into her room. John follows her.)

MORNING. CONTROL ROOM.

WEIR: Did you sleep last night?

McKAY: No. (He walks over to a laptop.) This is the data from the biometric sensors. I can't tell you exactly what all these signatures mean but look at this. (He points to two readouts.) These are ours and this, this is hers. There's a distinct difference.

WEIR: She was born on another planet in another galaxy.

McKAY: They're different from Teyla's too.

WEIR: That doesn't mean ...

McKAY: Elizabeth, she's not what she seems to be.

WEIR: I sense nothing but a very honest and spiritual person.

McKAY: Alright, there may be a way to find out. You're opening negotiations with her this morning, right? (Elizabeth nods.) OK, well let me sit in. I'll pretend to be taking notes on the laptop when really I'll be scanning her for anomalies: radiation, EM scans, energy signatures. That way, if I *am* crazy, you and I are the only ones who need to know. What's the harm?

WEIR: Alright, but be discreet.

McKAY: I'm *Mr* Discreet!

CONFERENCE ROOM. Elizabeth, John, Rodney, Teyla and Chaya are there. Rodney has secreted sensors under the table. He activates them and then works on his laptop as the others talk.

CHAYA: I admit to being impressed by most of what I've read of Earth religions: the Torah, the Koran, the Talmud, the Bible. Most of them reveal a diverse and deep desire to grasp the divine.

WEIR: So we do have something we can offer you.

CHAYA: But I've also been reading about your history. Even now, somewhere on your planet, you are at war.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, that's true.

WEIR: I made no attempt to hide that fact from you. Chaya, we are definitely not perfect.

CHAYA: There's a lot about you as a people that I find disturbing.

TEYLA: Can that not be said of any people?

CHAYA: No. Every soul on Proculus is free from the hatred and the anger people from Earth seem to feel for each other.

SHEPPARD: Come on, we're not all that bad, you know that.

CHAYA (smiling and briefly putting her hand on his): I do.

WEIR: We're not talking about the people on Earth. I'm talking about every member of my expedition team here in Atlantis; and I'm talking about the friends we've met since coming here, like Teyla's people (Chaya leans forward and glances briefly at Rodney.)

CHAYA: There are some among you - yourself included, Doctor Weir - that I know Othara will welcome with open arms. But there are others ... (She looks more pointedly at Rodney.)

WEIR: I handpicked every member of this expedition, and I know Teyla feels as confident about her own people.

CHAYA: I'm sure.

WEIR: At the end of the day, this is a matter of trust.

CHAYA: Yes, it is, Doctor Weir. (She looks at Rodney again.) Have your scans found anything yet, Doctor McKay (Rodney looks startled.)

McKAY: Um ... uh ... actually, no. (He closes the lid of his laptop.)

SHEPPARD: What the hell is this?

WEIR: I'm sorry, Major. There was cause for legitimate concern as to ...

CHAYA: ... whether I was or not who I claimed to be.

WEIR: I'm sorry, Chaya. I honestly felt it would do no harm.

McKAY (rising to his feet): Stop apologising, Elizabeth. How did she know?

SHEPPARD (angrily): McKay!

McKAY: She's an Ancient, Major.

SHEPPARD: She's what?!

McKAY (looking at Chaya): I'm right, aren't I? The perfect health, the energy weapon, the fact that she has the gene. It's the only logical explanation.

SHEPPARD: What the hell are you talking about?

McKAY (to Chaya): I just don't understand the act. I mean, you must know we'd give just about anything to talk to you, to learn from you. I mean, what is it?< What, are you checking us out?

CHAYA: I see that in my desire to come to Atlantis, I have revealed too much of myself.

WEIR: He's right?

McKAY: I'm right?!

CHAYA: I *am* what you call an Ancient. And it is also true that I can never offer your people sanctuary. But you are wrong as to why I came here.

SHEPPARD: Why *did* you come here?

CHAYA: You, John.

SHEPPARD: Me?

CHAYA: I have lived in solitude for so long that when you asked me to come to Atlantis, I ...

McKAY: Oh my God, he *is* Kirk!

SHEPPARD: This was never about, uh ... (He looks at the others.) Could we just have a moment to ourselves here?

WEIR, McKAY and TEYLA (simultaneously): No!

CHAYA: That's alright. I've stayed here long enough. (She stands and leaves the room. John glares at the others in the room, then stands up and follows her. Outside the Conference Room, Chaya is tottering away, looking faint.)

SHEPPARD: C'mon, Chaya. You and your people are the reason we came here in the first place.

CHAYA: I can't. (She holds out a hand to him, stumbling.) I can't. (She starts to collapse. John catches her as she faints into his arms.)

SPACE. PROCULUS. Wraith Darts fly through the Stargate.

ATLANTIS. Chaya recovers and stands up out of John's arms.

CHAYA: No.

SHEPPARD: What the hell was that?

CHAYA: They're coming for them. I should have never left them.

SHEPPARD: What's going on?

CHAYA: I'm sorry, John (Her body begins to glow and she turns into a glowing entity. Behind her, the Gate kawhooshes. In her new form, Chaya flies through the Gate, which promptly closes again. Elizabeth, Rodney and Teyla, who have just come out of the Conference Room, stare in amazement.)

SHEPPARD: I'm taking a Jumper back to Proculus.

WEIR: What just happened?

SHEPPARD: There's only way to find out.

WEIR: Go.

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The Gate kawhooshes. Above it, the Jumper Bay floor irises open and a Jumper hovers down into the Gateroom.

WEIR (over comms): Major, are you sure you know what you're flying into?

SHEPPARD (into radio): Pretty good idea. The Wraith are attacking Chaya's people.

WEIR: You can't hope to defend them with one ship!

SHEPPARD: I don't think I'll have to (The Jumper flies through the Gate.)

SPACE. PROCULUS. There are many Wraith Darts flying around. John fires a couple of energy drones which destroy two of the Darts. Suddenly there's a glow inside the Jumper and Chaya appears, standing beside John.

CHAYA: What are you doing here?

SHEPPARD: I'm here to help you.

CHAYA: Help me?

SHEPPARD: To defend your people.

CHAYA: Leave. I will take care of this. (She changes back into her glowing form, then disappears. Shortly afterwards, the huge burst of energy radiates up from the planet's surface and wipes out all the Darts, leaving the Jumper untouched. John turns the Jumper and heads to the planet's surface.)

TEMPLE. As John runs around the temple looking for her, Chaya walks into view.

SHEPPARD: Is it Chaya, or Othara? I'm just curious.

CHAYA: When I was a mortal, I lived here. This was my home. When those of us who you call the Ancients ascended, we were supposed to leave behind us all human ties. Some of us found that difficult.

SHEPPARD: So you couldn't stand by and watch your people getting wiped out by the Wraith.

CHAYA: When their terrible fleet approached, I lashed out with my mind and with a single thought destroyed them all. The others of my kind did not approve of such interference in corporeal matters. And so I was exiled. My punishment was the unending protection of this world.

SHEPPARD: Why pretend to be human at all?

CHAYA: So that time to time I may walk among the people - know them as the good and kind souls they are. For thousands of years, I have come and gone to the villages, never staying too long to get attached to anyone ... until I met you.< I have never regretted the choice I made all of these years - until now. I am permitted to safeguard my people, but my people only. This is my punishment.< This is what *makes* it punishment. If your people came here for my protection, the Others would stop me. Do you understand? I can never help your people.< (She turns and starts to walk away, but John runs round to stand in front of her again.)

SHEPPARD: I'm not sure I'm gonna let you walk away that easily. And I'm not just talking personally here, although that's definitely part of it. There is so much more we can learn from you.

CHAYA: I *can't*, John. The Others won't allow it. It's their highest law to never interfere. I am bound by those laws, however much I wish to help you.

SHEPPARD: So, uh, we can never ...

CHAYA: I can never leave.

SHEPPARD: Well, I could come and visit - (he smiles) if you don't mind flirting with somebody from another species.

CHAYA: We're not as different as you think.

SHEPPARD: I think we're more different than *you* think.

CHAYA: I can show you.

SHEPPARD: Show me?

CHAYA: By sharing each other. We will know each other as well as anyone ever can (John swallows nervously.)

SHEPPARD: OK. Gotta get the car back by midnight, though.

CHAYA: This will only take a few moments. (She steps closer to him.) Just close your eyes (The lower half of her body begins to glow. The glowing light expands upwards until it reaches her shoulders, then envelops John's body up to his chest.< After a few seconds ...)

SHEPPARD: This ... is ... cool!

The End



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