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Stargate Reimagined: Part I (A Screenplay)
#1
Since 1999, I've been a fan of the original Stargate film. It's one of my favourite movies. I used to watch it religiously back in my teens, so much so that I basically memorized the film. Over the years, though, I've come to see just how imperfect it is; aside from some flat characterization and the unfortunate "white saviour" trope, there're a plethora of plot holes and wonky logic at work which've come to vex and befuddle me.

In writing this screenplay, my initial goal was to scrape away all the barnacles from the plot, to cast the story as-is in its best possible light without changing any of the main story beats. However, that changed along the way; what began as a tribute to Stargate — a love letter to the film which has been a constant companion for so very long — ended as an inversion. My story mirrors the original, but it's a decidedly more cynical reflection.

Aside from the film itself, I used the film novelization as the main source of information and inspiration in the writing of this script; many scenes are directly lifted from it. I'm no longer a big fan of Stargate SG-1, so I haven't incorporated many SG-1-specific characters or elements into this story; don't expect Samantha Carter or Teal'c to make an appearance here (the former is set to appear in Parts II & III, though, whenever I get around to writing them).
Rock over London, rock on Chicago. Remington electric razor — cleans you, thrills you, may even keep you from getting busted.
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#2

FADE IN

On catacomb walls.

Upon the walls, bathed in torchlight, are painted murals. Though similar in style to those created by the ancient Egyptians, these are cruder and less colourful. The scenes they depict are of a beneficent deity descending from the heavens to Earth in luminous glory, blessing the sons and daughters of Man with science and civilization.

TITLE: STARGATE

FADE TO

A shot of the sun blazing a fierce yellow in the clear blue sky.

ZOOM OUT & PAN DOWN

To a panoramic shot of the regal Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities building.

SUPERIMPOSE: "CAIRO, 1967"

INT. EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES BUILDING/EGYPTIAN INTERIOR MINISTER'S OFFICE — DAY

The office room — well-lit and elaborately decorated — is inhabited by a pair of men: PROFESSOR PAUL LANGFORD and the EGYPTIAN INTERIOR MINISTER. E.I.M — a plump Egyptian in a fine white suit with a meticulously waxed mustache — is seated behind a grand ebony desk, while Langford — a bean-thin Swede with a thin white mustache clad in his own fine white suit — stands before it.

The two men are engaged in a conversation already in progress when a loud rapping is heard at the office door. E.I.M barks something in Arabic and the door opens. A thin, dark-skinned man in a simple uniform enters.

DELIVERY BOY: (in Arabic, subtitled) I have a message for you, Professor Langford. From Mr. Taylor.

PROF. LANGFORD: Taylor, eh? (beat; subtitled) Alright, give it to me.

The delivery boy hands a sealed envelope to Langford. The Swede opens it and withdraws a folded piece of paper.

E.I.M: (to delivery boy; subtitled) You can go now.

As the thin man leaves, Langford unfolds the paper.

CUT TO

Close-up of the note, which reads:

"Langford,

Sitting down? We've got something. Probably a tomb. Too soon to tell. Excavation continues. Very exciting. I suggest you get your aristocratic hind-end out here. AT ONCE. And don't bring any of those pudding heads from the ministry. Let's keep this quiet for as long as we can.

Taylor."

INT. ROLLS ROYCE — DAY — TRAVELLING  

Professor Langford is seated in the back of a black Rolls Royce with his daughter KARIN. Folding the note in his hands, Langford looks up, taking in the breathtaking view of the sparkling Nile river and the Giza Pyramids beyond Cairo's conjested downtown.

KARIN: (in Swedish, subtitled) What do you think they've found, Daddy?

PROF. LANGFORD: (subtitled) I don't know, Little Bird. We'll have to wait and see, won't we?

Langford looks down at his fancy white suit.

PROF. LANGFORD: (subtitled) I really should have stopped to change out of these ridiculous clothes….

EXT. GIZA PLATEAU — EXCAVATION SITE — DAY

The Rolls Royce comes to a stop at the edge of a rock shelf. Langford climbs out and starts up the slope of loose rock and silt, Karin following close behind. Reaching the top, the father/daughter duo surveys the landscape sprawled out before them.

KARIN: (points; subtitled) Daddy, the treasure's over there.

Langford follows the girl's finger. Though the entire surface of the shelf is painted with the telltale signs of archaeological excavation, most of the site's present activity is centred around the far end of the shelf, where dozens upon dozens of workers are working at a frenetic pace, carrying away bucket-loads of loose rubble and bringing in hydralic winches.

PROF. LANGFORD: (subtitled) We'll go see Ed Taylor first.

Langford and his daughter make their way to a large tent. There, a small group of men with ED TAYLOR stand hunched over a low table off to the side of the tent entrance.

PROF. LANGFORD: (approaches Taylor) Ed, if we’ve found a pet cemetery, I quit.

TAYLOR: (to Langford) We can't decipher this writing. Take a look.

Taylor steps aside, making room for Langford. Laid out over the table top is a large sheet of paper with charcoal rubbings of strange glyphs.

KARIN: (pushes in between father and Taylor) Those aren't real hieroglyphics.

TAYLOR: At least not the ones we're used to.

PROF. LANGFORD: (edgy) Taylor, where did these symbols come from?

TAYLOR: I'll show you.

Motioning for the professor and his daughter to follow, Taylor leaves the tent. Working their way through the maze of excavated parcels, they soon come to the far end of the shelf, under a low rock wall beyond which lies the pit where the workers are congregating. There, resting in the sand, is a large coverstone. Chiselled from a single large slab of sandstone, the coverstone is perfectly circular, 7 metres in diametre. The surface is engraved with etchings, each subdivided into distinct sections: a round centerpiece with three surrounding rings. The centerpiece contains an elaborate cartouche housing eight strange glyphs; the inner ring contains a series of concentric lines, some of the intersecting points of which are clearly marked while others are not; the middle ring contains lines of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic text; the outer ring contains thirty-nine unrecognizable glyphs — eight of which match those contained in the central cartouche.

TAYLOR: It's a coverstone, the largest one I've ever seen. (beat) When you bury something with a rock this size, you mean to keep it buried.

Langford begins circling the large coverstone, inspecting the engraved surface carefully, then climbs atop the stone to scrutinize the centerpiece. The archaeologist furrows his brow and strokes his chin, deep in thought.

PROF. LANGFORD: Very queer. (beat) This inner band is somewhat legible: this one here could be the symbol for years ... a thousand years ... heaven, the stars or something like that ... lives Atum, first god. (cont'd) But what in the world do you make of these outer symbols?

Before Taylor can answer, a shout rings out from the large pit. Leaving the large round stone, Langford, Taylor, and Karin begin making their way around the stone wall to the pit beyond.

As the three enter the pit, they see the workers engage their winches, hoisting something out of the ancient earth surrounding it. As the strange object is pulled erect, the workers prop it up with padded wooden poles, allowing it to rest upright on a ninety-degree angle.

KARIN: (looks up at father; amazed) It's one of God's bracelets!

The unearthed artifact is a perfectly round ring composed of some sort of black stone, its entire surface engraved with meticulously wrought designs. 6.7 metres in diametre, the ring is lined with nine wedge-shaped jewels set apart at even distances and contains an inner ring etched with the same thirty-nine strange glyphs found on the coverstone's outer ring. As sunlight hits it, some of the ring's natural iridescence shines through its thick layer of brown dust.

PROF. LANGFORD: (to Taylor) What in the world is that? 

TAYLOR: I wish I knew….

The two archaeologists turn to one another, dumbfounded. Their eyes suddenly light up and they clasp hands roughly, broad grins breaking out across their faces.

PROF. LANGFORD & TAYLOR: (in union) We did it!

As the workers finish securing the large black ring, one of them notices something in the earth. Stepping into the depression where the ring had lain, he points down into a crack running through the bedrock.

WORKER: Look at that! There is something buried underneath!

The workers erupt into excitement; they all crowd in in an attempt to uncover what their comrade has spotted. Shouting orders to the workers, Taylor takes off in a run towards them.

PROF. LANGFORD: (places hands on Karin's shoulders; in Swedish, subtitled) You are not to move from this spot.

Langford rushes off to join Taylor with the workers. Karin stands there, impatiently rocking back-and-forth on her heels, before deciding to disobey her father's orders and join him at the site. Pushing through the workers, Karin grimaces as she makes her way to the epicentre of the frantic activity. There, Karin finds Taylor directing three men as they pull up and remove slabs of broken stone, revealing what it is the workman glimpsed.

KARIN: (subtitled) Fossils!

In the open cavity the workers uncovered lies a horribly twisted figure embedded in the stone. Though its body is humanoid, its exoskeletal head is unmistakably nonhuman; it sports the flinty eyes and wicked beak of a bird of prey. Clasped in the fossil’s one exposed hand, standing out against the surrounding sandstone, is a gold pendant on a chain, the design of a stylized human eye engraved in its surface.

PROF. LANGFORD: (angry) Karin!

The professor hurriedly crosses over to his daughter. Hoisting her up, he carries the girl away from the unearthly discovery and the throng surrounding it. Setting Karin down, pulling her alongside him, Langford leaves the pit. As they return to their Rolls Royce, another — this one white — pulls up alongside it. The side door opens and a foppish bureaucrat steps out. This man is the EGYPTIAN UNDERSECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES.

E.U.S: (tips hat) Good afternoon, Mister and Miss Langford. Has anything interesting happened today?

Langford and Karin exchange glances.
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#3

EXT. GOWER STREET — INDUSTRIAL AREA — NIGHT

A heavy rainfall pelts the ground of Gower Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

SUPERIMPOSE: "LOS ANGELES, 2014"

DANIEL JACKSON, a 35-year-old man with dark brown hair and John Lennon glasses, walks alone down the street, miserably carrying a heavy book sack through the rain. Unshaven and clad in a faded green fishing hat, he looks positively destitute; only the long cashmere trench coat he wears gives him any air of respectability.

Turning the corner, Daniel passes by a pair of disreputable women — one short and skinny, the other tall and fat — and comes to a small convenience store. Adjusting the sack to redistribute its weight, the wet man steps through the door.

INT. CONVENIENCE STORE — NIGHT

As Daniel enters, the shopkeeper — a large man with a shaved bald head and a big handlebar mustache — puts down his copy of Gamines Galore, greeting his customer with a large, toothy grin.

ARZUMANIAN: Mr. Dan, my friend, what's happen'?

DANIEL: Amen ench shat ahavor ar. Nrank char hasskanum yes enchkar khalatse em. (beat) So I was hoping to get a bottle of wine, but I don't know when I'll be able to pay you back.

ARZUMANIAN: I got idea. Yes kpoknem. You come in next day, I tell you. Okay?

DANIEL: I'll be here. Thanks.

EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE — NIGHT

Daniel exits the store, a bottle of cheap red wine in a paper bag in his hand. Stuffing the bottle inside one coat pocket, he adjusts his sack again and continues on his way.

EXT. TKENCHENKO'S TIRES — NIGHT

Daniel walks across a largely empty parking lot to the open doors of Tkenchenko's Tires, a garage set in a short, squat building. Stepping inside, he walks past the owner, Vladimir Tkenchenko, who is busy working on a rusty Lexus. Seeing the sodden man in his pitiful state, the mechanic shakes his balding head with disapproval. Ignoring Tkenchenko, Daniel crosses over to the shop's business counter. There, filing her long, red-violet nails with her red-violet lips upturned in a smile of contentment, is a pretty woman. Sporting blonde-streaked brown hair and garbed in a bosom-hugging red-violet sweater, she's not much younger than Daniel.

DANIEL: Any mail for me, Svetlana?

Svetlana, noticing Daniel for the first time, abruptly stops filing her nails, chipping one in the process. The smile quickly flees her face.

SVETLANA: Goddammit, Daniel! Look what you made me do! (beat) I just got a manicure!

DANIEL: Why're you filing your nails if you just got a manicure?

SVETLANA: (narrows eyes) Shut up.

Svetlana reaches under the counter and brings out two items of mail. She hands them to Daniel.

DANIEL: (half-smiles) Isn't tonight Thai night?

SVETLANA: Get bent.

Frowning, Svetlana takes out her iPod. Placing the earbuds in her ears and turning it on, she ignores Daniel once again.

DANIEL: It's been a pleasure, sweet Svetlana.

Turning his back to the cold woman, Daniel goes through his mail. The first item is a phone bill with the words "FINAL WARNING" printed in big red letters at the top, the second a missing children's card. Sighing dispassionately, he stuffs the items into a coat pocket — not the one holding the booze — then leaves the garage, stepping back out into the pouring rain.

Taking a seat on a pile of beat-up old tires, Daniel spies a filthy homeless man arguing with a cat and a tough-looking chauffeur guarding a sleek limousine across the street. Sighing again, he props his chin up on his balled fists.

DISEMBODIED VOICE #1: (V.O.) Ignores long established facts….

DISEMBODIED VOICE #2: (V.O.) Jackson is either misguided and incompetent or he is engaging in substance abuse….

DISEMBODIED VOICE #3: (V.O.) This is the sort of archaeology we expect to find in The National Enquirer….

EXT. SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE — DAY (FLASHBACK)

Though the sky is heavy with gray cloud, no rain is yet falling.

INT. SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE/CONFERENCE HALL — DAY (FLASHBACK)

A LARGE AUDIENCE made up of Egyptologists, miscellaneous scholars, and a few scattered reporters sits in rows of seats, facing a large stage. On the stage, a dignified-looking man in his late sixties/early seventies — DOCTOR AJAMI — stands facing the audience, while Daniel — dressed in the same clothes seen earlier minus the hat, coat, and moisture — sits on a chair behind him.

DR. AJAMI: (cont'd) He graduated with his Master's at the age of twenty, speaks eleven different languages, and I fully expect his dissertation to become the standard reference on the early development of Egyptian hieroglyphics. He has written several seminal articles on the comparative linguistics of the Afro-Asiatic language groups and, of course, on the development of the Egyptian language from the Archaic Period to the Old Kingdom, which will be his topic today. Please welcome one of Egyptology's most promising young scholars, Daniel Jackson!

Rising from his chair, Daniel takes Ajami's place before the audience. From there he spots two aging professors: the pudgy PROFESSOR RAUSCHENBERG and the lanky DOCTOR TUBMAN, snickering to one another.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: Ah, another wunderkind.

DR. TUBMAN: Not quite up to Sir Alan Gardiner.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: But let's hope he's not another Wallis Budge!

Daniel quickly looks up toward the ceiling, coughs into his hand, then points in Rauschenberg's direction.

DANIEL: Sir, what kind of car do you drive?

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (confused) A Ford.

DANIEL: A Model T?

A number of audience members laugh at Rauschenberg's expense. The professor takes it all in stride.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (smiles) I'm not quite that old. I drive a Focus.

DANIEL: (scratches chin) I see. Power steering and power brakes?

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (grins) Don't forget power windows!

DANIEL: So, in the unlikely event that a long-dormant volcano erupts in Santa Monica this afternoon and we're all exhumed hundred of years later by wunderkind archaeologists, there's really no chance of them dating you and your car to the early part of the last century?

DR. TUBMAN: (frowns) What are you driving at?

DANIEL: Henry Ford starts out modestly — one could say primitively — with the Model A, then he slowly develops his product into the sophisticated technology we enjoy today. Which leads to my central question about the ancient Egyptians: Why didn't their culture "develop"? (beat) I believe the evidence shows that their arts, their sciences, mathematics, technology, and techniques of warfare were all there, complete from the beginning.

The audience members begin murmuring amongst themselves. Daniel gives them a moment then resumes.

DANIEL: (cont'd) What I want to argue here today is that the Egyptians of the Archaic Period somehow "inherited" all of these arts and sciences, then, after a short "getting acquainted" period, we see the full flowering of what we call ancient Egypt. (beat) Their writing for example. The hieroglyphic system of the first two dynasties is notoriously difficult to interpret. The common wisdom holds that it is a crude version of the more complex writing we find later, at the time of the Old Kingdom. But, what I have tried to demonstrate in a series of articles, is that this early language is a fully developed system, a combination of phonetic and ideogrammatic elements. If this is true, they were able to move from crude cave paintings to a complicated system for describing the world and themselves in virtually no time at all, a few generations.

Pausing, Daniel watches as the first group of scholars rises from their chairs and moves toward the exits. Rolling his eyes, he continues.

DANIEL: Let's take another example. The theme of today's conference is the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Dr. Ajami coughs politely and nods, wordlessly reminding Daniel that that is the theme and silently admonishing him to stick to it.

DANIEL: (cont'd) The same argument applies to Khufu's Pyramid. Most scientists believe that this masterpiece of engineering must have been the result of generations of practice. According to this theory, Djoser's Step Pyramid at Saqqara, the so-called Flat Pyramid, and the large tombs at Abydos are seen as warm-ups, learning exercises that lead to the infinitely more complex and precise Great Pyramid. (beat) As many of you know, I don't subscribe to that theory. In my view, the Great Pyramid must have come first, followed by the lesser structures just mentioned. The evidence supporting the traditional sequence of construction is based on folklore and written records that were made hundreds of years after the fact. (beat) The scant evidence we do have suggests, in my view, that the people living along the Nile were slowly forgetting how to build these structures, getting worse and worse at it with each passing generation.

A number of audience members giggle at Daniel's proclamation while a few others stand and walk out.

DANIEL: (cont'd) Unfortunately, the many attempts to determine the construction dates of the pyramids using C14 tests haven't given us conclusive results. Enough conflicting data exists to justify just about any theoretical position. But ask yourselves this question: All the lesser pyramids are heavily inscribed with the names of the pharaohs who ordered their construction. The mastabas surrounding the pyramids are blanketed with hieroglyphs announcing the names and titles of their owners, lists of offerings, construction dates, which gods they worshipped, the musical instruments they played, etc. Typically, we find painted histories in these tombs extolling the many godlike qualities of the persons buried there. And yet the greatest pyramid of all, Khufu's, has no writings whatsoever. Not a mark anywhere, inside or out. Does that make any sense?

A tall, gaunt man — the English PROFESSOR ROMNEY — rises up, interrupting Daniel.

PROF. ROMNEY: It's an interesting theory, Dr. Jackson, one that most of us are familiar with.

Someone begins humming the Twilight Zone theme, cracking some of the audience members up.

PROF. ROMNEY: (cont'd) You suggest that the pyramid wasn't built for a pharaoh because there was no name in it. But what about Vyse's discovery of the quarryman's inscription of Khufu's name written inside the relieving chamber, sealed since its construction?

DANIEL: (sighs) That discovery was a joke, a fraud perpetrated by Vyse himself.

The audience erupts into loud, vehement dissent. Some boo, others leave.

PROF. ROMNEY: That's too easy, Dr. Jackson. If you had done your homework, you wouldn't have to defame the good reputation of dead men to support your ideas.

DANIEL: (takes off glasses; wipes smudge from lens) Before leaving for Egypt, Vyse bragged that he would make an important discovery that would make him world famous. Using his father's money, he hired an elite team of experts and brought them to the Giza Pyramids. But after several very expensive months, they had nothing to show for their efforts, so Vyse fired the lot of them and imported a gang of gold miners from his father's South American mining operation. Less than three weeks later, they "discovered" what forty centuries of explorers, grave robbers, and scientists could not find — the secret room "sealed since construction". (beat) In this otherwise empty room, they found the very thing that made Vyse's reputation: the long-sought-after cartouche with Khufu's name. The cartouche appears on three walls of the chamber, but, strangely, not on the wall Vyse sledgehammered into rubble to enter the room. The name is written in a red ink that appears nowhere else in ancient Egypt. It is astonishingly well preserved and, incredibly, it is misspelled.

PROF. ROMNEY: Well, what can you expect from an illiterate quarryman?

Daniel turns his back to the audience, strides over to the whiteboard behind him and, picking up a marker, draws a cartouche containing a hieroglyphic inscription.

DANIEL: This is the inscription Vyse claims to have found in the relieving chamber. Now we all know, if we're done our homework, (narrows eyes at Romney) that Vyse carried with him the 1828 edition of Wilkinson's Materia Hieroglyphica published in Amsterdam by Heynis Books. (beat) Diligent students such as yourself, Professor, will not have failed to notice that in the very next edition the publishers included a loose-leaf apology listing the errata in the previous edition. This list includes the hieroglyphs for the name "Khufu". They misprinted the first consonant of the name. It should look like this….

Daniel crosses out the cartouche and draws another containing a nearly identical line of hieroglyphs beside it.

DANIEL: (cont'd) What an exceedingly strange coincidence that the cartouche Vyse discovered is misspelled in exactly the same way! (beat) If a quarryman had misspelled the name of the pharaoh, especially inside his burial chamber, he would have been put to death and the wall would have been torn down and rebuilt. (sarcastic) But I'm sure you knew all this already because you look like a man who takes his work seriously.

PROF. ROMNEY: (sneers) You sound like a bad television show.

With those words, Romney turns and leaves for the exits. The majority of the audience remains seated, however, and are now far more interested in what Daniel has to say.

DANIEL: (runs hand through hair) Now if we could get back for a moment. Perhaps the real origins of their civilization lay buried in the wadis of the Western Sahara —

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (O.C.) Doctor, if I may….

Daniel looks around, searching for the owner of the voice with his eyes, until he spots a 56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN standing back at the far end of the conference hall. Dressed in all-black with a gold pendant bearing the design of a stylized human eye clasped around her neck, she has shoulder-length blond hair and an accent that, while largely American, contains a Swedish tinge.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: Let me first say that your command of the facts is impressive.

DANIEL: (smiles) Thank you.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: I just have one question: Who do you think built the Great Pyramid?

DANIEL: (loses smile) I have no idea who built it or why.

A collective groan of disappointment goes up from the audience. The woman, however, just nods briskly, apparently satisfied with the answer. She then turns around and leaves.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (in posh English accent) The lost people of Atlantis?

A number of audience members break out in riotous laughter. They begin collecting their belongings and start leaving in droves.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (cont'd) Or Martians, perhaps!

DANIEL: I didn't say that.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: (drops accent) No, but you were about to.

DANIEL: You're missing the point entirely.

Half the audience has left at this point, with the other half beginning to follow its example. Desperately hoping to find a way to salvage the lecture, Daniel hurriedly begins rifling through his stack of notes.

DANIEL: (frantic) Geological evidence dates the Sphinx back to the Neolithic Period. Knowing this to be true, we must begin to re-evaluate everything we've come to accept about the origins of ancient Egyptian culture….

The few remaining audience members depart, leaving Daniel and Dr. Ajami alone together on the stage. Ajami, clearly disappointed, approaches Daniel with his hands clasped tightly together.

DR. AJAMI: I'm very, very disappointed with you, Daniel. I thought we had an understanding that you wouldn't discuss this nonsense here today. I took a risk presenting you here today, tried to do you a favour, but now I'm afraid you've killed your career. Goodbye.

Ajami leaves the stage, leaving Daniel truly — finally — alone in the deserted conference hall.

DANIEL: Are there any questions?

EXT. TKENCHENKO'S TIRES — NIGHT

DANIEL: (deadpan) I'd like to meet that nice lady again. Fix some tea, have a little chat, then slowly strangle her to death.

Daniel rises to his feet, takes off his waterlogged hat, wrings it out, then places it back on his head. Turning around, he heads back to the crumbling building.

INT. DANIEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING — NIGHT

Daniel ascends the stairwell leading to the second floor of the ramshackle building. Making his way down the short corridor, he suddenly halts dead in his tracks, dropping his book sack. There the door to his apartment stands wide open before him.

INT. DANIEL'S APARTMENT/ENTRY HALL — NIGHT

Daniel cautiously steps inside his apartment and, wary of potential threats, reaches into his coat and pulls out the bottle of wine. Brandishing it like a club, Daniel presses himself up against the wall, listening for sounds, then leaps into his living room.

DANIEL: YAH!

There, going through the loose papers strewn atop his old mahogany desk, is the same middle-aged woman in black from the conference.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (nonchalant) Come in. (beat) Your cleaning lady must be taking the year off.

Perplexed, Daniel slowly steps forward, tossing the bottle unceremoniously onto a duct taped recliner.

DANIEL: Uh ... is there ... what the hell are you doing in my apartment?

The mature lady, her attention now diverted to a marble bust of a lovely Egyptian woman situated atop Daniel's desk, picks the graceful sculpture up and begins examining it, turning it slowly over in her hands.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: Now this is a truly beautiful piece of art. I'd guess 14th century BC, probably from the area around Edfu. (looks about shabby apartment) How did you ever manage to afford it?

DANIEL: (nervous) Please, be very careful with that.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (carefully places bust back on desk) I've come to offer you a job.

DANIEL: (frowns) What kind of a job?

The lady leaves the desk, moving over to a wall adorned with a medium-sized photograph. In the photograph are three figures: a handsome blond man built like a linebacker, a willowy woman with auburn hair, and an eleven-year-old Daniel Jackson; the three figures are posed in a group hug, broad smiles on their faces.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (turns to Daniel) Your parents?

DANIEL: Foster.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: Oh, that's right. Your parents died in that plane crash back in ... what was it, '87?

DANIEL: (sarcastic) Ah yes, let me think. Yes, I believe it was '87. An excellent year for a fiery death, wouldn't you say?

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (ashamed) I'm sorry. It was —

DANIEL: (angry) No, really, if it would amuse you, let's definitely have a chitchat about the way my parents died!

Daniel stares daggers at the woman, who averts her eyes. Fuming, he walks past her into his small kitchen, opening the refrigerator and peering into the wasteland within.

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: My name is Karin Langford. I have some very early hieroglyphs I'd like you to work on.

Concluding none of the few foodstuffs left inside his refrigerator are fit for human consumption, Daniel closes it and rejoins Karin's company.

DANIEL: Since when is the military interested in Egyptian hieroglyphs?

KARIN (56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN): (cocks eyebrow) Military? What makes you think this has anything to do with the military?

DANIEL: The chauffeur across the street was sporting a crew cut. An oddity on the streets of Hollywood, wouldn't you say? (beat) I think I'm too old to run off and join the Army.

KARIN: (grins) Very impressive, Doctor. (loses grin) Look, I wish I could explain everything to you, but there's a certain amount of secrecy involved with this project.

DANIEL: Well maybe you can divulge this much: Why should I take a job I know nothing about?

KARIN: Your landlord mentioned he'd served you an eviction notice, there's a stack of unpaid bills on your desk, and your grants have run out. Now, it looks to me like young Dr. Jackson needs a job, and after your talk this afternoon, I wouldn't sit home waiting for the phone to ring. (beat) But there's an even better reason you should come to work for me, Daniel.

DANIEL: (smirks) And what might that be?

KARIN: (unclasps handbag; pulls out large brown envelope) To prove that your theories are right.

Karin hands the envelope to Daniel. Taking the envelope, he pulls open the tab and pulls out the contents. There in his hand are several black-&-white photographs of the unusual coverstone her father's expedition had uncovered in Egypt. Going through the photos, Daniel's mouth falls agape.

KARIN: (pulls photos from Daniel's hands) That's enough for now.

Sliding the photos back in the envelope and the envelope back in her handbag, Karin withdraws another envelope — a white envelope emblazoned with the Air Force logo. She hands it to Daniel, who tentatively takes it.

DANIEL: What's this?

KARIN: Travel plans.

Opening the envelope, Daniel peers at the contents.

DANIEL: Denver? (sneezes) Look, as you can imagine, I'm not real big on flying.

Without a word, Karin walks past Daniel to the open apartment door. She turns to Daniel, a slight smile on her lips.

KARIN: Get over it.

She steps out, closing the door behind her.
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#4

EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBOURHOOD — DAY

An intensely sunny day, though it is late fall, the temperature is scorching, causing rippling waves of heat to rise from the baking sidewalks and roads. Except for a few pets resting here-and-there on the lawns of their homes, there is no outdoor activity going on.

SUPERIMPOSE: "YUMA, ARIZONA"

A navy blue sedan drives past the front yard of a home where a large Border Collie sits panting under the shade of an elm tree. The dog, half-interested in the vehicle's passing, regards it with a slow turn of its head.

EXT. O'NEAL HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

The sedan pulls up to a pretty two-storey house with a modestly landscaped front yard, braking in front of the garage. The front doors click open and TWO OFFICERS in crisp blue uniforms — one TALL and one SHORT — step out, regarding their surroundings as if on a recon mission. They stride to the front door, the tall one in front. The short officer, a black folder tucked under his arm, regards the garage. A boy's red-&-teal bicycle leans against the wall beside the garage door, obviously neglected and disused. The tall officer — his tag identifying him as MAJOR SILAS ANDERMAN — knocks on the door. Moments later the door opens a crack and a PRETTY BRUNETTE in her early fifties peeks out from behind the chain.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: Mrs. O'Neal?

The door is quickly closed again. The two officers exchange glances. As Anderman goes to knock again, it swings open, revealing the full form of SARAH O'NEAL. She regards the pair with an icy glare. The officers, intimidated by her cold eyes, unconsciously shrink back.

SARAH: (cold) Wipe your feet.

Sarah disappears inside the house. The officers exchange glances again before following her inside.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/ENTRY HALL — DAY

The two officers enter the immaculate interior of the house, closing the door behind them. Stepping deeper inside the house, they find the living room on their left; perfectly clean and tidy, it is also completely empty. On their right they find the kitchen.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/KITCHEN — DAY

The officers find Sarah busy slicing raw meat on a cutting board.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: Mrs. O'Neal, is your husband home?

SARAH: (eyes fixed on meat) Yes, he is.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: Ma'am, do you think we might be able to speak with him?

Finished with the meat, Sarah places her knife down then cleans her hands off on some paper towel. Reaching into her front shirt pocket, she retrieves a pack of cigarettes and fishes out a cigarette. Lighting it with a green plastic lighter, she puts it to her lips and takes a deep drag.

SARAH: (exhales) You can try.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/TYLER O'NEAL'S BEDROOM — DAY

A MAN sits inside the dim interior of what appears to be a teenaged boy's bedroom. Among the various items we see taking up space within the room are a Seventh Seal poster above the headboard of the room's bed; a small shelf packed full of books and magazines; various LEGO models; sports trophies; and a catcher's mitt complete with softball. Seated in an armchair, the man is shirtless and unshaven, his hair long and greasy, his face perfectly devoid of expression. Staring straight ahead, eyes fixed open, he grips the stock of an uncocked Smith & Wesson Model 29 loosely in his hands.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/HALLWAY — DAY

As Anderman and his comrade stride down the hallway toward the bedroom, they pass several framed photographs on the white wall to their left. All the photos depict images of life, love, and happiness among friends and family.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/TYLER O'NEAL'S BEDROOM — DAY

Perched atop the small shelf is a framed photo of a thirteen-year-old boy in a softball uniform, standing with a beefy, red-mustached man in a coach's uniform. The boy, tossing a softball in the air, is beaming into the camera. The boy is Tyler O'Neal, the last tenant to inhabit this room.

Sensing the officers' arrival, the unshaven man quickly hides the Model 29 beneath the armchair cushion. The two officers tentatively enter the bedroom. The man they seek, though well aware of their presence, pays them no heed, continuing to stare straight forward.

SHORT OFFICER: Pardon us, Captain O'Neal. We're from General West's office.

For the first time, JACK O'NEAL turns his head to the officers, regarding them stonily.

SHORT OFFICER: (holds out black folder) We're here to inform you that you've been reactivated.

O'Neal rises from the chair, turning to them. Maj. Anderman, turning around, closes the bedroom door.

EXT. O'NEAL HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

The front door of the O'Neal residence opens and the two officers step outside. As they return to their car, it is apparent the short officer no longer carries the black folder on him.

From the kitchen window, obscured behind a heavy curtain, Sarah peers out at the two officers as they leave.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/TYLER O'NEAL'S BEDROOM — DAY

The door creaks open and Sarah peers in. Her husband is no longer there. Slowly she leans back out, closing the door once again.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/HALLWAY — DAY

Sarah steps back from the bedroom door. At this point she hears the faint sound of the shower running from the bathroom. A troubled expression worn on her face, she goes to another room — their bedroom.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/O'NEAL BEDROOM — DAY

The bedroom door swings open and Sarah enters. She stiffens. There, lain out on the king-sized bed like a corpse prepared for burial, is her husband's neatly pressed uniform. Resting beside it, like a profane idol dedicated to an obscene god, is the black folder.
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#5

EXT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN — SUNSET

Though an access road, another navy blue sedan reaches the entrance tunnel into a military installation hidden deep beneath the mountain.

SUPERIMPOSE: "CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN COMPLEX, COLORADO"

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/ENTRANCE TUNNEL — SUNSET

The sedan parked, Daniel climbs out. A big, muscular non-commissioned officer in a crisp blue uniform — MASTER SERGEANT ADAM KAWALSKY — is there to greet him.

KAWALSKY: Daniel Jackson?

DANIEL: Yes?

With a large grin, the sergeant takes Daniel's hand and gives it an eagre shake. Daniel winces from the strength of his grip.

KAWALSKY: I'm Sgt. Adam Kawalsky.

Daniel sneezes.

KAWALKSY: (frowns) Cold?

DANIEL: Allergies. Always happens when I travel. (beat) So, is this an Army base?

KAWALSKY: I'm not authorized to discuss that.

DANIEL: (grins) No, seriously. Is this like a camp for Army scholars, a think tank or something?

KAWALSKY: Until you sign the non-disclosure agreement, sir, I'm not at liberty to discuss that subject.

Circling around behind the sedan, Kawalsky finds Daniel's large book sack along with two bulging suitcases inside the open trunk.

KAWALSKY: (eyes sack) Help you with that?

DANIEL: Careful. They're books and they're really —

Without any visible effort, Kawalsky hefts the sack out of the trunk single-handedly.

DANIEL: (cont'd) heavy.

With Kawalsky carrying the book sack and Daniel carrying the suitcases, they start towards the entrance.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/ELEVATOR — TWILIGHT

Daniel and Kawalsky enter an elevator. As the doors close, Kawalsky slides a keycard through a slot and — pressing the button marked "18" — the box begins its descent.

KAWALSKY: (hands stick of gum to Daniel) Equalizes your ear pressure.

Daniel takes the gum and, unwrapping it, stuffs it in his mouth and begins chewing nervously.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/CORRIDOR #1 — TWILIGHT

The elevator finishes its descent and the doors swish open. Emerging, the sergeant leads the Egyptologist down a sterile hospital-type corridor.

Coming to a pair of doors, the non-com raps on them both.

KAWALSKY: Dr. Meyers — Shore — are you in?

The doors open. The first individual to emerge is DOCTOR GARY MEYERS, a tall, chunky man of about thirty-eight. Dressed in pressed black slacks and a beige sweater, he should look studious and serious, though he comes off more as the boisterous type. Shortly following is BARBARA SHORE, a 48-year-old Texan woman in a midnight blue jumpsuit. Tall and sexy with wavy black hair, she wouldn't look at all out of place on a fashion runway.

MEYERS: (grins) You must be Jackson. (offers hand) I'm Dr. Gary Meyers, Ph.D on loan from Harvard.

DANIEL: (shakes Meyers' hand) Dr. Meyers. Of course — you specialize in comparative linguistics. (beat) I read your thesis on Sumerian cuneiform's influence on the early development of Egyptian hieroglyphs. (grins) I can't say I fully agree with your conclusions.

MEYERS: (smiles) Neither do I on your theories.

BARBARA: I'm Barbara Shore, the token astrophysicist on the team. Hello.

DANIEL: Hi.

Barbara shakes hands with Daniel then turns to Kawalsky.

BARBARA: So Kawalsky, you overgrown testicle, isn't it about time you reintroduced us to our illustrious host and let us know just what it is we've all hauled ass here for?

KAWALSKY: (sighs) If you'll follow me….

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/COVERSTONE ROOM — TWILIGHT

The twin doors of the coverstone room swing open and Kawalsky escorts Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara inside. Seeing the immense room's main attraction, their mouths fall agape. There — beyond three long tables outfitted with various artifacts, documents, and advanced computer equipment — is the large sandstone coverstone recovered from the Langford excavation, secured high above on the far wall. Standing there, like a high priestess within the Holy of Holies, is Karin Langford.

KARIN: (turns to new arrivals) Glad to see you all made it.

The three scholars approach Karin slowly, eyes transfixed on the coverstone.

DANIEL: Where did you find this?

KARIN: Giza Plateau, 1967. (beat) As you can see, there are two rings of glyphs. The inner tract of writing is an extremely early form of hieroglyphs and we've managed to make preliminary translations of it, but the outer one has been giving us the fits. The symbols, as you can see, are unlike anything we've ever found before.

DANIEL: Could be some form of hieratic.

MEYERS: Maybe cuneiform.

KARIN: Like Champollion with the Rosetta Stone, we thought the two scripts might be parallel translations, but if they are, we can't find the similarities. It doesn't help that it's written in a circle without any discernible punctuation.

DANIEL: Alright, I understand why Gary and I've been brought on board, but what's Barbara's role in all this? An astrophysicist's expertise doesn't exactly lie with 5000-year-old Egyptian tablets.

O'NEAL: (O.C.) My report says ten thousand.

The six people in the large room quickly turn towards the owner of the voice. Standing behind them, black folder in left hand, is Capt. Jack O'Neal. In his crew cut and immaculate uniform, he is the very picture of self-assurance and command.

KAWALSKY: (snaps to attention) Sir!

KARIN: (to Daniel) Barbara was brought in to analyze the concentric lines etched on the coverstone. There's evidence they hold geometric significance. (to O'Neal) Do I know you?

O'NEAL: (opens folder; withdraws document) I'm Capt. Jack O'Neal from Gen. West's office. I'll be taking over from this point forward.

Kawalsky approaches the captain, who hands him the document to look over.

DANIEL: (to no one in particular) Wait a second — ten thousand years?

MEYERS: (to Karin) I'm sorry, but that's impossible. Egyptian culture didn't even exist —

KARIN: (attention on O'Neal) Radiometric dating's been conclusive.

DANIEL: This is a coverstone. Was there a tomb underneath?

KARIN: No, not a tomb. We've found something far more interesting — the primary reason I wanted you for Project Giza, Barbara. That's —

O'NEAL: Excuse me, but that information's become classified.

BARBARA: Karin, what the hell is goin' on here?

KARIN: I'm not sure.

O'NEAL: (to Kawalsky) Effective immediately, no information is to be passed on to non-military personnel without my expressed permission.

DANIEL: We've just come from across the country. What exactly is it you want us to do here?

O'NEAL: You're all translators and analysts, so translate and analyze. (to Kawalsky) Sergeant, I want all information not directly pertaining to this tablet to be removed from this workspace and brought to my office immediately. Until that happens, you are the only individual authorized to be in this room.

With that last command, O'Neal turns and leaves. Wasting no time, Karin follows after him.

BARBARA: (smirks) Who was that masked man?

DANIEL: (approaches Kawalsky) You guys can't be serious about restricting us from information. I mean, if we're going to have any chance of figuring out what this stone says, we're going to need information. Otherwise, what the hell are we doing here?

KAWALSKY: (sullen) Your quarters are over there, directly across from the hall. If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to ask.

DANIEL: (angry) Didn't you hear what I just said‽ How am I supposed to decipher this thing without any information‽

KAWALSKY: (frowns) I have my orders.

Kawalsky points toward the double doors, silently ordering Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara to leave the room at once.

DANIEL: (shakes head in disbelief) Do you always follow orders? Always?

KAWALSKY: As a matter of fact, I do.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/CORRIDOR #1 — TWILIGHT

Capt. O'Neal walks through the corridor at a brisk pace, Karin keeping pace right behind him.

KARIN: Capt. O'Neal, I think you owe me an explanation. I was personally assured by Gen. West that I would have complete autonomy.

O'Neal stops. Turning around, he regards her with hard eyes.

O'NEAL: Plans change.

KARIN: Apparently. I'd appreciate some elaboration.

O'NEAL: The way I understand it, the folks at headquarters find things have gotten a little lax around here. And now you've brought in more civilians.

KARIN: (stern) Captain, they were approved.

O'Neal remains silent.

KARIN: This doesn't have anything to do with them, does it? (beat) What's this all about? Why'd they bring you in on this project?

O'NEAL: I'm here in case you succeed.

This time Karin remains silent.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 22/MESS HALL — NIGHT

Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara are seated close together at one of the small tables taking up space within the mess hall. Beyond them, four solitary enlisted men having meals by their lonesome, and a sandy-haired civilian member of the personnel arguing with a cook over the lemon content in the lemon chicken, the room is eerily empty.

DANIEL: (cont'd) Why bring us in on this project? Why recruit an Egyptologist, comparative linguist, and astrophysicist if you're only going to cuckold them? If there's a method to their madness, I fail to see it.

MEYERS: I suppose that's why "military intelligence" is an oxymoron.

BARBARA: OOPArts are fine and dandy like sour candy, but they're not subjects the military goes gaga over — not unless there's somethin' important about them, somethin' exploitable. (beat) Mark my words, studmuffins — the coverstone is to the Staff of Ra what whatever-it-is is to the Ark of the Covenant.

Meyers whistles the tune from Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Nazis melt and everyone at the table chuckles.

BARBARA: Why don't we open up some, get to know a little more about each another? (turns to Meyers) I nominate Meyers.

MEYERS: (smiles) Oh, I don't think so, Doctor. It was your idea to open up; you start.

BARBARA: Oh, very well. (punches Meyers playfully in arm) As you can both doubtlessly guess, I'm a thoroughbred Texan through-and-through. I grew up on a ranch with my Mama and Pop — both of whom are still kickin', thank God — and my brothers Kenny and Laurel. Laurel has a daughter — my niece, Mistress — who's the cutest little carrot-top in pigtails. A bona fide Annie of Green Gables. (beat) She's just darlin'.

MEYERS: I don't like subscribing to stereotypes, but you don't strike me as the astrophysical type. What got you into the game?

BARBARA: I guess you could say I've always had a connective streak, for want of a better descriptor — an eye for connectin' the proverbial dots which make up our reality. (beat) It started when I was a little girl, just this little skinny thing of seven. The family had taken a trip to Florida, and one day at the beach I was just runnin' a stick through the wet sand of the shoreline — I had it in my head that this was the way to catch a fish — and I just happened to spy trash some litterbug had left in the sand. In my mind's eye, I saw an isosceles triangle — an honest-to-God isosceles triangle. Lord, it was frightenin'.

DANIEL: (incredulous) Frightened ... by a triangle.

BARBARA: (gives him evil eye) It's not that I saw a triangle; it's that I recognized the mathematical significance of it. Me, a girl of seven still learnin' how to carry numbers. (beat) I didn't understand it, but I could recognize it, and that's what scared me. (beat) But later it began to fascinate me. And the more it happened — in different places, different circumstances, with different shapes — the more fascinated I became. Here I was, seeing all these random, disconnected items joinin' together, forming concrete shapes ... shapes which were random, disconnected items in-and-of themselves, just waitin' to be interconnected in ever bigger shapes. (beat) I fell in love with discoverin' these shapes, of uncoverin' their secrets, of seein' the universe in its entirety. I suppose, in the end, I wanted to see my personal universe in its entirety as well. (beat) That's the cut-and-dry of it. (to Meyers) Now it's your turn, Big Bear.

MEYERS: (blushes) When it became apparent I'd never compare to Plácido Domingo, I went with my second love and chose the pursuit of comparative linguistics.

DANIEL: (deadpan) That's it?

BARBARA: (smirks) A man of few words, our darlin' Gary is.

MEYERS: (shrugs) What you see is what you get.

BARBARA: And other cliches, I'm sure.

Daniel chuckles. Meyers just frowns.

MEYERS: And what's your story?

Daniel falls silent and still, face going stoney.

BARBARA: (places hand on Daniel's shoulder) Hey, shug, don't become an icicle on us now.

DANIEL: As a kid, my biggest dream was to become a cartoonist. (beat) I'd gotten into comics when I was around six and I just fell in love with sequential art, but my parents were scholarly types; they tolerated my hobby but didn't exactly approve of it. (beat) The day came when I decided I wanted to take art lessons. Mom and Dad agreed to sign me up, but they kept putting it off. I got fed up with their excuses and one night I ... blew up, just had a great big tantrum. (beat) That was the evening of their flight.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Meyers reaches under his sweater and pulls out a bronze flask.

MEYERS: This is our first night as a team. I suggest we propose a toast. (unscrews cap) To Project Giza. (takes sip)

Meyers hands the flask to Barbara.

BARBARA: To Project Giza. (takes sip)

Barbara hands the flask to Daniel.

DANIEL: To Project Giza. (takes gulp)
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#6

CROSSFADE TO

A shot of Cheyenne Mountain silhouetted against a red sunset.

SUPERIMPOSE: "FOURTEEN MONTHS LATER"

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/COVERSTONE ROOM — SUNSET

In the long months which have passed since Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara joined Project Giza, the entire layout of the coverstone room has changed. A portable stereo, a coffee machine, a small refrigerator, stacks of volumes on Egyptian hieroglyphs and other Near East writing systems, and a scaffold erected under the coverstone have all been brought in; the room has been wallpapered with charcoal rubbings and photo enlargements of the coverstone's engravings; and the floor — along with various available spaces — have been carpeted with discarded junk food packaging. Daniel and Meyers stand at a whiteboard inscribed with a copy of the coverstone's inner line of writing, arguing fiercely over how it should be translated, while Barbara tries — with faltering success — to ignore them and concentrate on the computer program she is running. The camaraderie the three scholars initially established is long gone.

DANIEL: (cont'd; angry) This is all wrong!

Daniel rubs away a word Meyers has written under a set of hieroglyphs — "TIME" — and replaces it with "YEARS".

MEYERS: (outraged) I beg your pardon!

DANIEL: You used Budge, didn't you? (aside) Why do they keep reprinting his books?

MEYERS: Just because you have an irrational disdain for conventional methodology —

DANIEL: (facepalms) Not this again. (beat) I do not have "an irrational disdain for conventional methodology."

MEYERS: (cont'd) Oh yes, you do! You're a hair's breadth away from being another Graham Hancock or Zecharia Sitchin!

DANIEL: Oh, great comparison, Meyers! Great! Why not go all out and brand me the Second Coming of Erich von Däniken‽

Meyers turns back to the whiteboard, pointing at a section Daniel has translated.

MEYERS: The word "qebeh" is followed by an adverbial "sedjemenef" with a "cleft" subject.

DANIEL: So‽

MEYERS: (incredulous) "In his sarcophagus"? (shakes head) I don't think so. I think "sealed and buried" is a little more accurate.

Meyers rubs out Daniel's translation, replacing it with his own. Daniel stares at the older man as if he just killed his beloved pet dog.

MEYERS: (triumphant) There! (beat) Beginning here, it reads: "THOUSANDS OF YEARS INTO THE SKY IS ATUM, FIRST GOD. SEALED AND BURIED FOR ALL TIME, HIS ..." (falters) door to heaven?

Daniel sighs dramatically, looking to the ceiling as if for deliverance from God Himself.

MEYERS: (strokes temple) No, that doesn't feel right to me. Maybe —

DANIEL: (losing control of temper) Give me that pen, you —!

The two men begin grappling for the whiteboard marker. Barbara — reaching the ends of her endurance — bolts upright from her station with a cry of frustration.

BARBARA: That's it! I've been listenin' to your bickerin' since the cock crowed! You wanna continue actin' like infantile asswipes‽ Fine! You can compare schlongs without me to referee. I'm goin' to bed.

With that final word, the tall raven-haired woman storms out, leaving the two men by themselves. After a moment they pull away from one another. Though the worst of their rage is spent, their eyes still burn with mutual resentment.

MEYERS: (holds marker out before Daniel's eyes) You want the marker, Little Orphan Danny? (hurls marker at whiteboard) There you have it!

With that final word, Meyers also storms off. He pushes through the twin doors the very moment Kawalsky enters balancing three trays of food on his arms, nearly knocking both the master sergeant and his load over.

KAWALSKY: Meyers! Hey, Meyers, dinner! Turn on back, man!

Meyers refuses to heed the military man's call. Shrugging as best as he can under the circumstances, Kawalsky makes his way into the interior of the room, setting two of the trays down on the edge of a table.

KAWALSKY: (holds tray out) Dinner, Jackson.

DANIEL: (moody) Good morning, Sergeant.

Daniel ignores the proffered food, choosing instead to make his way over to the scaffold.

KAWALSKY: It's almost 2000 hours. (looks at trash scattered throughout room; frowns) Why don't you guys clean this place up a little?

DANIEL: (climbing scaffold) That information is classified.

KAWALSKY: (rolls eyes) Give it a rest, Professor. (sets tray down on plastic crate) I'm going into town. Is there anything you need?

DANIEL: (looks down at Kawalsky from atop scaffold) Yeah. You could pick me up a point of reference. And maybe some context. (beat) No, seriously, Kawalsky, just give me ten minutes alone with the goddamn janitor. I'm sure he knows more about what was buried under this coverstone than I do.

KAWALSKY: (sighs) That might be true, but the janitorial staff has clearance.

DANIEL: Look, Sergeant, you people want me to solve this puzzle for you. You want me to decipher this stone that no one else has been able to read. But you won't give me enough information to do my job.

Kawalsky notices an untouched lunch tray sitting on the floor. Walking over to it, be bends down and picks up a cold sloppy joe, giving it a sniff.

KAWALSKY: Have you people got a problem with the food around here?

DANIEL: (cont'd) How about this. What if someone anonymously slipped an unauthorized copy of a report under my door? They'd never know who it was. They'd never even know I got it! I'd figure this thing out and we could all go home happy.

KAWALSKY: Jackson, do me a big favour and get off my back. You know I'm under the strictest orders.

DANIEL: So disobey orders!

KAWALSKY: (shakes head) It must be hard to always be the smartest guy in the room.

Swiping the bag of French fries from Daniel's tray, Kawalsky leaves. Exhausted, Daniel lies down on his back atop the scaffold, staring up at the ceiling.

FADE TO

The coverstone room, several hours later. Daniel is still there but has left the scaffold for a chair on the floor. A camcorder, set up on a tripod before him, is currently recording his latest log entry.

DANIEL: (cont'd) No matches whatsoever. I've yet again exhausted all reference material in comparing the symbols in the cartouche against all known writing samples from the period pre-&-post. Still no similarities. (beat) I'm never gonna get paid.

Daniel shuts the camera off. Stretching, he yawns, then gets up and lethargically staggers over to the coffee machine. As he picks the pot up, he finds it all but empty.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/CORRIDOR #2 — DAWN

Daniel exits the coverstone room, the empty coffee pot dangling at his side. Making his way down the empty corridor, he passes the night guard — Airman 1st Class Higgens — who is stationed at his desk post.

A1C HIGGENS: What's up, Doc?

DANIEL: How's it hangin', Higgens?

Daniel stops at a water fountain. Placing the rim of the pot under the spout, he begins filling it with water. Waiting for the pot to fill, Daniel glances back at Higgens. The guard is reading a paperback novel: Stargate by Pauline Gedge. Brow furrowing, Daniel stops filling the coffee pot and places it on the floor. Sauntering over to Higgens, he leans in over him, scrutinizing the book cover closely.

DANIEL: Good book?

A1C HIGGENS: Yeah….

Without another word, Daniel hurries back to the coverstone room.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 18/COVERSTONE ROOM — DAWN

Daniel strides over to the whiteboard he and Meyers had been arguing over earlier. Picking up a fresh marker, he rubs his tired face, regarding the "DOOR TO HEAVEN" translation Meyers himself had felt inadequate. With only a second's hesitation he erases the line, replacing it with one of his own.

Completely and accurately translated, the inscription now reads: "THOUSANDS OF YEARS INTO THE SKY IS ATUM, FIRST GOD. SEALED AND BURIED FOR ALL TIME, HIS STARGATE."

CROSSFADE TO

The interior of the coverstone room, which has undergone a dramatic transformation since we saw it last. Though still cluttered with tools, equipment, documents, and various knick-knacks, the floors — and various other surfaces — have been swept clean of junk food packaging. The only person in the room is Barbara, who is busy running another computer analysis on the coverstone's concentric lines.

SUPERIMPOSE: "PRESENT DAY" [2016]

The twin doors swing open and Daniel comes sauntering in. The Egyptologist has undergone a stunning transformation since we saw him last. With a short, stylish haircut, new glasses, and an outfit consisting of a black turleneck sweater worn with crisp blue jeans and blue high-top sneakers, he looks like an entirely different person.

DANIEL: (nods to Barbara) Good morning, Barb.

BARBARA: (raises hand) Mornin', Danny-boy.

DANIEL: (looks about room) Where's Meyers?

BARBARA: McKay's suspicions proved correct. The lemon chicken's not to be trusted.

DANIEL: (pained) Ouch!

Walking over to the bookcase, Daniel regards the titles on the shelf.

DANIEL: We really need to get some new books.

Barbara half-smiles.

DANIEL: (approaches Barbara) So, how are the new calculations coming along?

BARBARA: (sighs) We'll just have to wait and see.

DANIEL: (looks at coverstone) I thought decoding the hieroglyphic text would lead us to the answers we've been seeking, but it's only brought more questions.

BARBARA: Well, I'm takin' a break.

Sliding over to another computer, she opens a web browser.

DANIEL: (cocks eyebrow) Taking a break? We just got here.

BARBARA: (chooses search engine) You just got here. I've been runnin' P-TMPJDOPERW/53669 since 0530.

DANIEL: (watching Barbara surf 'Net) I'm surprised we've been able to get away with surfing the Internet on company hours.

BARBARA: I suppose allowin' me to ogle jpgs of Crissy Moran fingerin' herself is their way of saying "We're sorry for giving you the shaft."

Daniel cocks an eyebrow at her comment.

BARBARA: Just a little dirty humour for a dirty mornin', as my ex used to say. I'm 100.96% AC.

Focusing her attention back to her computer, she types "UHoroscope" into the search bar and presses "ENTER". Her screen immediately goes black and a white diagram of the Zodiac fades into existence. There, arranged in a ring around an anthropomorphized sun, are the signs for Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

DANIEL: (scrutinizes computer screen) An astrophysicist who follows astrology. That's got to be up there with fundagelicals who believe God is dead.

BARBARA: (smiles) I know it's all just so much bunk, but what can I say? I've always had a superstitious streak.

Daniel rolls his eyes good-naturedly then leaves Barbara to her hobby. As he passes the table stacked with photos and documents, he suddenly halts. There, out in full view, is a photograph of the coverstone's inner ring of marked-off concentric lines. Turning from the photo, he looks up at the coverstone itself, eyeing the physical etchings. Without haste, he picks the photo up and rushes back to Barbara's side.

DANIEL: (sets photo down between Barbara and keyboard) Barbara, look at this.

BARBARA: (looks at photograph) The ring of concentric lines. (eyes Daniel) We've been introduced.

DANIEL: (points at screen) Look.

BARBARA: So?

DANIEL: Can't you see it?

Barbara looks back to the photo, then to the computer screen, then back to the photo. She doesn't get what Daniel is driving at. Suddenly, her eyes light up with understanding. The images of the coverstone's ring of lines and the Zodiac diagram are unmistakably similar.

DANIEL: Remember the last line in the inscription? Of the stargate?

BARBARA: You think the lines make up some sort of early Zodiac, a diagram of the stars?

DANIEL: A gateway to the stars.

Without a moment's hesitation, Barbara returns to the computer she was working on earlier, cancelling the run of P-TMPJDOPERW/53669. Typing a command into the keyboard, she calls up a fresh display of the coverstone's concentric lines.

DANIEL: Remember, if this is a star map, it'll be a map of the stars as they were seen ten thousand years ago. You'll have to adjust for stellar drift.

BARBARA: You don't have to remind this astrophysicist of that, Danny-boy.

Barbara goes to the menu of the computer program she is running and chooses an option. Seconds later it begins comparing the concentric lines to the night sky of Egypt as seen in 8000 BCE. The analysis soon ends, "NO MATCHES FOUND" appearing on the screen in big red letters.

BARBARA: Maybe we're underestimatin' the original designers. We're assumin' they operated on the same limited playing field other primitive cultures operated under, but maybe they didn't. (beat) This could still be a star map, just not meant to be viewed on a two-dimensional plane.

Barbara enters new commands in the computer program. Almost immediately, the ring of concentric lines is realigned into a series of three-dimensional forms and compared against star charts of the nearby galactic neighbourhood in the same configurations. After a few minutes the simulation comes to an end. "ONE MATCH FOUND" appears on the screen in big green letters.

BARBARA: (grins) Tiger, we've just hit the jackpot!

There, displayed in ultra-high definition, is a spherical map of the Milky Way Galaxy 7000 light-years out from Earth. An uneven blue line — starting at Earth and running out to various stars and systems before coming to an end-point in the constellation Auriga — runs through the length of the map.

BARBARA: It's locked onto a point in the M37 cluster. (beat) That's on the other side of the galaxy.

Daniel looks up at the coverstone, focusing on the central cartouche containing the eight unusual glyphs.
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#7

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/ENTRANCE TUNNEL — DAY

Arriving from beyond the checkpoint, a black Cadillac limousine pulls into the tunnel and comes to a stop at the complex entrance. The doors swing open and SEVERAL HIGH-RANKING OFFICERS from all over the country and different branches of the military step out into the open. At the centre of this group, a pace ahead of the others, is GENERAL W. O. WEST himself. In his mid-sixties with iron gray hair and a mustache over a firm upper lip, he is a man respected and feared by those who serve under his command.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/CORRIDOR #1 — DAY

Capt. O'Neal stands at attention before the closed elevator doors of Level 27, hands clasped tightly behind his back as he stares fixedly at the red-orange numbers counting down on the readout above. Once the readout falls on 27, the doors slide open, allowing West and his cadre out into the open corridor. Finding the captain there, the general approaches him, reaching out to shake the younger man's hand.

GEN. WEST: (grins) Jack O'Neal. How the hell've you been, airman?

O'NEAL: (deadpan) I've been good.

Turning around, O'Neal, West, and the other high-ranking officers begin walking up the corridor.

GEN. WEST: How's Sarah? I've heard you two haven't been on the best of terms since you took this assignment.

O'NEAL: (blunt) We're separated.

GEN. WEST: I'm sorry to hear that.

O'NEAL: Some days are better than others, but I'm getting used to it.

Coming to a fork in the corridor, the troupe of military men make a turn to the left.

GEN. WEST: (under breath) I've got a few things to tell you that I couldn't put in the report.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/CORRIDOR #2 — DAY

Daniel and Barbara take an alternate route to the same destination O'Neal and the others are headed for. Barbara carries an external hard disk drive under her arm with stoic grace while Daniel sips from a mug of coffee nervously. They soon come to their destination. Standing at the door is Kawalsky, who greets them both with a casual smile. As they file past him into the room beyond, Daniel hands his mug out to the big sergeant.

DANIEL: Uh, here, can you take this?

Kawalsky accepts the mug with all the enthusiasm of a parent having to handle their baby's used diapers.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/BRIEFING ROOM — DAY

As Barbara and Daniel enter the long, rectangular room, the Egyptologist's lips go thin with trepidation when he sees who is in wait for them at the long red-&-black conference table. Having expected to meet with West in relative privacy with maybe one or two other officers, he's unprepared for the large number of military personnel and scientific staff who have come to hear what he and Dr. Shore have to say. Among those who have come to learn what the two scholars have uncovered is Meyers, O'Neal, and Maj. Anderman.

As Barbara and Daniel enter the briefing room, Kawalsky comes in after them, shutting the door behind him. Those gathered around the table take their seats, except for Karin and Gen. West, who turn to acknowledge the two scholars.

KARIN: (waves them over) Daniel, Barbara, there's someone I'd like you to meet. (gestures to general) This is Gen. West.

Daniel and Barbara take their turns shaking the general's hand.

GEN. WEST: (eyes Daniel) Pleasure to finally meet you, Doctor. (turns to other attendees in room) All right, everybody, we've come a long way to hear this. Let's get down to it and see what these two scholars have for us.

Going to the front of the room where a whiteboard is affixed to the wall, the two ready their presentation. Setting her external drive down at the corner of the head of the table, she connects it to a laptop computer and turns it on, causing the overhead lights to automatically die. Prepared to deliver their presentation, the two scholars stand there, the bright light from the overhead projector falling upon them, regarding their audience silently for a sign to proceed.

GEN. WEST: (sour) Any time.

DANIEL: Barbara?

Barbara opens the file of their presentation. Seconds later a diagram of the coverstone is projected onto the whiteboard surface. Daniel and Barbara step aside to allow the others an unobstructed view of the image.

BARBARA: What we're lookin' at here is obviously a diagram of the coverstone.

DANIEL: The figures in the outer track, which we assumed were words to be translated, aren't, in fact, fragments of an unknown language. They're digits or formulae.

Barbara bends over the laptop and hits a key. The projected image is enlarged, the central cartouche and surrounding bands of glyphs dissolving to show the details of the innermost ring containing the concentric lines.

BARBARA: We discovered the band of concentric lines was actually an abstract map of interstellar space.

She hits another key and the ring of lines is reshaped into a spherical map of the interstellar space containing Earth and Messier 37.

BARBARA: (cont'd) When aligned in a three-dimensional configuration, the intersectin' points of the lines correspond to stars located between Earth and Messier 37, in the positions they would've been in ten thousand years ago.

Barbara hits another key and a blue line runs from Earth to a number of stars before reaching a system in Messier 37.

BARBARA: (cont'd) The marked points represent a route between our two systems.

Barbara hits a key and the map is replaced with a large image of the coverstone's central cartouche.

DANIEL: Now, if we're right, the cartouche that runs down the centre of the coverstone organizes eight of these symbols into a unique sequential order, forming an address corresponding to this location.

Their presentation finished, Barbara closes the program and closes her laptop. The overhead projector shuts down and the overhead lights come back up. The Egyptologist  and astrophysicist regard their audience, waiting for a reaction.

KARIN: (smiles) They did it.

BLONDE SCIENTIST: (excited) We suspected the device worked in such a fashion ever since Dr. Jackson decoded the hieroglyphic text. This confirms it.

DANIEL: Device?

BARBARA: What device?

A number of attendees, mostly military officers, give the female scientist the evil eye. Realizing she has let slip classified information in her exuberance, her face flushes with dread.

KARIN: (smirks) I imagine you'll have to show them now, General.

Gen. West, his stoney poker face unbroken, exchanges glances with O'Neal, who has been standing with Kawalsky at the back of the room this whole time. O'Neal, his own face set in implacable stone, merely shrugs.

GEN. WEST: (to Kawalsky) Show them.

Nodding, Kawalsky walks over to a switch box set in the wall. As he presses the green button, the whiteboard at the head of the room retracts up into the wall, uncovering a Plexiglas bay window behind it. Turning around, the two scholars move in close, their jaws dropping agape as they see what lies beyond. Meyers, not wanting to miss the action, quickly rises from his chair and joins them at the window.

Beyond the pane of Plexiglas is a large room. A former missile silo, it has been reconfigured to house something with far greater dangerous potential. Standing near the far back end of the room, held erect by four pneumatic support arms with a steel ramp running through its torus, is the unusual stone ring recovered from the Giza Plateau several decades ago, its black substance now cleaned and polished, contours gleaming with iridescence.

MEYERS: What the hell is it?

DANIEL: (awestruck) It's our stargate.

Karin, who has remained seated this whole time, turns to Gen. West, an eyebrow arched. Without a single word being said, he understands what it is she wants.

GEN. WEST: Go ahead.

She smiles.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/OPERATIONS ROOM — DAY

Having come down a spiral staircase, Karin, Daniel, Barbara, and Meyers enter the operations room. Located directly beneath the briefing room, the operations room is lined wall-to-wall with advanced computer equipment and staffed with a handful of civilian technicians. Sitting at a large computer console set up in front of a large bay window overlooking the gate room is MITCH STOREY and JENNY TAYLOR-ALLAN, the two senior technicians responsible for operating the stargate itself.

KARIN: Let's give the wheel a spin.

MITCH: No problem.

Mitch enters a command into the console and an apparatus of motorized rubber wheels clamped around the bottom portion of the stargate begins turning the heavy inner ring in a slow clockwise direction.

MEYERS: You found this thing in Egypt?

KARIN: Yes. My father found it buried under the coverstone when I was a child. It's composed of a crystalline element unlike any found on Earth. (beat) Okay, Mitch, let's take it for a test drive.

Mitch enters a new command into the console, initializing the dialling sequence which will encode the eight symbol address into the stargate. The ring turns until the tile bearing the first glyph is positioned under the topmost jewel, at which point both it and the bottom left jewel split open, the central crystals, the engraved grooves running along the sides of the jewels, and the glyph tile lighting up white. The jewels snap closed and a low harmonic hum begins resonating from the gate.

JENNY: Chevron One is holding. Chevron One is locked in place.

The topmost chevron goes dark again and the ring slides to the next glyph. As the next three glyphs are entered into the gate, with Jenny calling each one out, the harmonic tone emanating from the stargate builds in both pitch and volume.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Five is holding. Chevron Five is locked in place.

As the fifth chevron is engaged, the tone coming from the gate changes to such a pitch and volume that both the room containing it along with the operations room begin vibrating, causing everything not bolted or otherwise secured down to dance and jitter around. As Mitch's open can of root beer rattles its way off its perch, Daniel grabs it, keeping its contents from spilling.

MITCH: Gracias.

DANIEL: De nada.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Six is holding. Chevron Six is locked in place.

MEYERS: (worried) I take it these vibrations are a natural part of the gate's operation?

KARIN: This is why we've never entered the full combination before; we were fearful the device was a weapon. We put it off until we could learn more.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Seven is holding. Chevron Seven is locked in place.

As the rooms continue rattling, the eighth symbol in the address is rolled into position under the topmost chevron. Both it and the top right chevron snap open, lighting up along with the glyph tile.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Eight is holding….

The two chevrons snap shut and the harmonic tone again builds. The topmost chevron goes dark.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Eight is locked in place.

The personnel in the operations room take in one, collective breath, anticipating the end result of the dialling sequence. Nothing happens. The stargate — eight of its nine chevrons and eight of its thirty-nine glyphs glowing white — just stands there, motionless. After a minute the stargate disengages, the chevrons and glyphs returning to their previous dark state, the harmonic tones dying to nothing. Everyone in the operations room releases a collective sigh, clearly disappointed.

BARBARA: (dumbfounded) The map, the translation ... we were certain!

Daniel just stares at the ring of iridescent black stone, his right hand on his hip and his left on the back of his head. Uncertain, he turns to Mitch.

DANIEL: Start the ring back up.

Mitch turns to Karin, eyes inquiring.

KARIN: (shrugs) Humour him.

Mitch obeys. Once again the inner ring spins. Eyes intent on the centre monitor, Daniel watches as the glyph tiles slide across the screen. As a certain glyph slides into position, the Egyptologist holds his hand up.

DANIEL: Stop!

Mitch complies and the ring freezes. There, front-and-centre, is a glyph resembling a large inverted "V" with a small circle perched atop it.

FLASH CUT TO

A shot of the coverstone's cartouche.

There, situated directly beneath the cartouche, is a hieroglyphic depiction of two human figures with tall staffs at hand standing on either side of a pyramid.

FLASH CUT TO

A close-up of Daniel's face.

DANIEL: I can't believe we missed it!

BARBARA: What?

Daniel turns away from the monitor to his three colleagues.

DANIEL: The combination consists of nine symbols, not eight! We were missing the ninth symbol!

MEYERS: But there's only eight symbols in the cartouche.

DANIEL: No, no, don't you see? The ninth symbol isn't in the cartouche — it's below it!

Turning back to Mitch, Daniel reaches into the front pocket of the senior technician's denim vest and pulls out a fat black permanent marker. Uncapping it, he begins drawing on the monitor displaying the arrow-shaped glyph.

MITCH: (alarmed) Hey, hey —!

On both sides of the glyph, Daniel draws a pair of stick figures holding staffs.

DANIEL: Two figures ... praying beside a pyramid ... with the sun directly above it.

Karin, Barbara, and Meyers close in around the Egyptologist, peering at his handiwork. With Daniel's additions, the glyph is now an almost-exact copy of the engraving under the cartouche.

MEYERS: He's right.

BARBARA: Can we be sure the sequence is complete now?

KARIN: Only one way to find out. (beat) Mitch?

Mitch programs the ninth glyph into the computer then reinitializes the dialling sequence. Once again the inner ring rotates, Jenny calling out as each glyph in the address is encoded into the stargate. As the chevrons lock on, the harmonic tones and vibrations build anew.

The first eight symbols have been entered into the stargate, leaving only the ninth symbol. It's wheeled up under the topmost chevron, lighting up as the pronged clamp snaps open then closed again.

JENNY: (cont'd) Chevron Nine is holding. Chevron Nine is locked in place.

The harmonic tone issuing from the stargate reaches its crescendo as the remaining thirty glyphs and all the designs etched on the stargate's surface light up white. Without warning, silver energy comes swirling into existence within the mouth of the stargate, cascading into a churning pool of glowing mercury which then bursts outward like a geyser turned on end, rushing with a big kawoosh for the operation room bay window. Several of the personnel leap back, crying out at the approaching torrent of incoming energy. Just as quickly as it came shooting out, however, the windsock of liquid energy reverses itself back into the torus of the stargate, forming a vertical pool of gently rippling silver light. Behind that pool stretches an invisible corridor leading to a destination 4,500 light-years distant.

MITCH: Tres cool.

A phone hanging on the wall left of the bay window starts ringing. Karin picks up the receiver.

KARIN: Yes?

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/ BRIEFING ROOM — DAY

Gen. West, O'Neal, and Maj. Anderman stand at the bay window, looking down at the stargate. Anderman is the man talking to Karin over the phone.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: Send in the probe.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/EMBARKATION ROOM — DAY

The large, thick door to the room slides open, allowing ten armed airmen inside. As they take positions around the gate, their guns levelled at the glowing puddle, a pair of officers wheel a Mobile Analytical Laboratory Probe — or MALP — into the room. Positioning it before the ramp leading into the stargate, they switch control over to an operations room technician.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/BRIEFING ROOM — DAY

MAJ. ANDERMAN: Record all information from the stargate.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/EMBARKATION ROOM — DAY

Its treads rotating, the MALP rolls forward, climbing the ramp to the open stargate. As it reaches the rippling mirror-like surface of the puddle, it stops. Moving forward to the liquid energy, the mechanized arm immerses itself in the puddle with an accompanying electric sizzle. As the arm disappears past the torus of the gate, the technician in control of the MALP kicks it into overdrive, pushing the probe in after its arm on a course for the unknown.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/OPERATIONS ROOM — DAY

Her dialogue with Anderman finished, Karin hangs up the phone, focusing her attention back on the stargate.

KARIN: (to Daniel) It's starting to get exciting, isn't it?

DANIEL: (to Mitch) What's happening now?

MITCH: We're waiting to see if the probe can send data back through the gate.

DANIEL: (turns to Karin) How long have you people been working on this?

KARIN: The stargate was unearthed when I was ten years old, but the Egyptian government didn't release it until '83. Then we had to wait for the British to hand it over. When we finally got hold of the gate, we had to wait to get our financing.

JENNY: Something's coming through!

Everyone in the room, their eyes transfixed on the monitors, watch as the first images from a world 4,500 light-years away come to life on the primary monitors. There, from the MALP's point-of-view, can be seen the walls of a stone chamber stretching past a peculiar-looking pedestal to a ramp to a second chamber beyond.

DANIEL: (points at pedestal) What is that? Can you zoom in?

The image of the pedestal grows larger as the MALP's camera zooms in. While its ultimate function still cannot be determined, it's clearly composed of the same iridescent black stone as the stargate, its engravings resonating the same white light.

DANIEL: Could we get a better look at it? Wheel past it then turn around?

The MALP starts forward and without much effort is directed around the pedestal. As the camera swivels around, the people watching the monitors are afforded a clear view of the pedestal. On a slanted, pronged dais, two rings of thirty-eight panels are arranged around a glowing white central hemisphere, each panel engraved with glowing glyphs identical to those found on the Earth stargate.

KARIN: (awed) That was what was missing at the dig at Giza. That was what they used to control it.

MEYERS: Let's get a look at the gate itself.

The operator pans upward away from the pedestal, affording them a clear image of the activate stargate on the other side. Like the Earth stargate, it is installed close to the back of its room, a short platform of steps leading into the energy-filled torus. As the operator starts zooming in on the stone ring, the picture grows fuzzy.

JENNY: We're losing the signal.

The stargate disengages, the energy pool unravelling into nothingness, the chevrons and engravings going dark.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 27/BRIEFING ROOM — DAY

Daniel, Barbara, and Meyers sit on the left side of the conference table, Gen. West, O'Neal, and Maj. Anderman on the right. At the head of the room, data recorded by the MALP is being projected onto the whiteboard.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: The readings tell us it's an atmospheric match. Barometric pressure, temperature, and — most importantly — oxygen. (beat) At precisely 0600 hours tomorrow, we'll re-establish contact with the probe and, provided we get it into the open, set it to make a quarter-mile perimetre sweep of the surrounding area. Once six months have elapsed, we'll re-establish contact again to download the collected data.

GEN. WEST: We're planning a short reconnaissance mission as follow-up to the probe's survey — nothing fancy. Provided no hazards are detected, an away team will be sent through to trace the probe's steps, gather whatever new intel there is to be found, then bring it back.

MAJ. ANDERMAN: However, once on the other side we'd have to decipher the markings on the gate and, in essence, dial home in order to bring the team back.

GEN. WEST: But here's the thing — I'm not going to send our men over there unless I'm sure I can bring them back. The question is, can any of you do it?

MEYERS: Why not try re-establishing contact from this side?

O'NEAL: Because once our team goes through, the entire facility will be evacuated and sealed. We don't know what might come through the other side.

BARBARA: (shrugs) Based on this new information, I don't see how we can do that. (beat) It took decades to decode the stargate with a point of reference to work from on this end; it'll be next to impossible to recreate our success on an alien world without one. We'd need —

DANIEL: (confident) I could do it.

BARBARA: What‽

GEN. WEST: Are you sure?

MEYERS: General, I may be the proverbial fifth wheel on this team —

DANIEL: (answering West) Positive.

The general exchanges glances with O'Neal.

O'NEAL: It's your call.

GEN. WEST: (to Daniel) You're on the team.

BARBARA: (shakes head) Daniel doesn't have the expertise to make a call —

GEN. WEST: (raises hand) I'm pleased with the results you've brought in, Dr. Shore, and both you and Dr. Meyers should be proud of the work you've done here. (beat) However, the time has come to pack your bags and leave this base, because officially as of now, you have both been discharged from this project.

MEYERS: (dumbfounded) You're firing us?

GEN. WEST: (blunt) Yes.

BARBARA: (angry) What game are you playin' here, Daniel?

DANIEL: I translated the text on the coverstone. I figured out the inner band was a map —

BARBARA: (enraged) We got as far as we did workin' as a team! You damn well know that! (beat) You're full of shit!

GEN. WEST: Dr. Shore, if you're finished —

BARBARA: (bears teeth) I'm not finished, big boy. Not by a long shot. (to Meyers) Let's blow this sausage fest.

Rising from their seats, the astrophysicist and comparative linguist storm out of the room. Daniel watches them go, the haughty expression on his face changing to one of discomfiture.
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#8

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/FOSSIL ROOM — NIGHT

Entering the bare concrete room, O'Neal walks over to the far end, where a guard sits at a desk before a sealed blast door. Rising to his feet, the guard raises his hand in a salute. Returning the salute, O'Neal reaches over and picks the register up from the desk, signing it. Once the guard goes over O'Neal's signature, he presses a large red button set in the top of his desk. With a low grinding, the blast door rises, revealing a smaller alcove beyond.

Stepping into the alcove, O'Neal peers in at its sole attraction: the otherworldly set of fossils recovered from the Langford excavation, installed against the back wall. Approaching the petrified creature, O'Neal narrows his gaze, scrutinizing its dark eyes and sharp beak.

FADE TO

A framed photograph retreating into a background of bright blue sky with puffy white clouds.

The photograph is of an eight-year-old Jonathan "Jack" O'Neal with his mother, father, two younger sisters, and older brother; while they are all smiling and dressed in white, he is sullen and dressed in black. As the photo grows ever-smaller, the background darkens until it turns pure black. Once the photo becomes a distant pinpoint, white cracks zigzag out from the centre of the background and the heretofore unseen pane of glass shatters into thousands of jagged shards.

EXT. PINK HOUSE/FRONT YARD — DAY (FLASHBACK)

The front window of a small, pink house behind a white picket fence shatters, raining shards of glass onto the beautiful red flowers planted below. Jack O'Neal, about fourteen years old, is standing outside the picket fence, bending down to pick up another stone to throw, when the front door swings open. The owner of the house — a spindly lady of late middle age done up like a 1950s housewife with dyed red hair — comes storming out, waving a broom above her head.

MIDDLE-AGED HOUSEWIFE: Goddamn you to hell, you little catamite!

As the woman makes her way down her front steps, Jack takes off in a run, laughing at the strife he has caused.

INT. GENERIC MIDDLE CLASS HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Jack O'Neal, now sixteen, is riffling through an ornate box placed on the mantle in the dark, looking for valuable items worth stealing. As he finds $900, he stuffs the money in his pants and turns to leave. As he moves toward the window he entered, a large rottweiler springs out of the shadows, growling as it lunges at the juvenile burglar. Spinning around, the surprised teen lashes out at the dog with his flashlight. Yelping, the canine collapses to the floor.

EXT. BACK ALLEY — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Jack, now eighteen, is with two other thugs, accosting a pretty young woman with short red hair, a black shirt, and red pants. While O'Neal is only interested in her purse, his two acquaintances have more than theft in mind.

O'NEAL: (uncomfortable) C'mon, guys, cut the shit. We got what we need. Let's get outta here before somebody catches us.

THUG #1: (sneers) Why? Red here not man enough for you, Jack?

RED: (struggles against thugs) Motherfuckers!

As the second thug covers her mouth, the first unzips his fly. Before either thug can do anything further, two uniformed police officers spring out from around the corner, revolvers drawn.

COP #1: Freeze!

Releasing Red, the thugs take off. O'Neal, moving too slow to follow, takes a bullet in the ass and goes down. O'Neal out of commission, the first cop goes off in pursuit of the thugs while his partner stays behind to read the juvenile delinquent his rights.

INT. COURTHOUSE/COURTROOM (FLASHBACK)

Jack O'Neal, still eighteen, stands in court before a stern-faced judge.

JUDGE: Which will it be: enlistment in the armed forces or a year in the Washington State Correctional System?

O'NEAL: (resigned) Enlistment. (beat) Your Honour.

INT. USAF BARBER SHOP (FLASHBACK)

Now a USAF trainee, O'Neal is receiving his first crew cut.

MONTAGE — VARIOUS (FLASHBACK)

We watch O'Neal as he is trained in infiltration, wilderness survival, assassination, the manufacture and detonation of explosives, and the blending of chemical weapons from common household materials.

INT. MILITARY BASE/COL. WEST'S OFFICE (FLASHBACK)

A couple of years have passed, and an older, far more disciplined Staff Sergeant Jack O'Neal now stands before his commanding officer: Colonel W. O. West.

COL. WEST: Welcome to Jump Two Company, Sergeant O'Neal.

The two airmen salute.

FADE TO

O'Neal and West in the same office, but some months later under different circumstances.

COL. WEST: (hands folder to O'Neal) This is your target, Jack.

O'Neal opens the folder and pulls out a large photograph of a Middle Eastern man sporting a toothbrush mustache.

COL. WEST: (cont'd) He's not to live out the week. Do you understand?

O'NEAL: (nods once) Yes, sir.

MONTAGE — VARIOUS (FLASHBACK)

SSgt. O'Neal carries out a series of political assassinations. Interspersed between these images of murder are images of O'Neal consuming large quantities of scotch whisky.

FADE TO & ZOOM IN

On O'Neal's head back-lit with blue light, his bloodshot eyes glowing red. Countless ghostly heads spin about him in a whirlwind, grinning ghastily.

DISEMBODIED VOICE #4: (V.O.) We call him "Voodoo" 'cause he only seems to come to life when Jump Two goes into action….

GHOSTS: Voodoo, Voodoo, Voodoo, Voodoo….

CROSSFADE TO

A close-up of Sarah Langenkamp's face, lit up with life and happiness.

EXT. ROCKHURST UNIVERSITY — DAY (FLASHBACK)

As Sarah and a friend make their way down the steps from one of the campus buildings, O'Neal — face downcast, attention elsewhere — walks straight into her. Colliding, the man and woman both topple to the pavement.

SARAH: (angry) Why don't you watch where you're going, jarhead‽

Rising to his feet, O'Neal goes to assist her, a sheepish expression on his face.

O'NEAL: Sorry — I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention ...

As the sergeant helps Sarah to her feet, the two students make eye contact.

O'NEAL: (cont'd) to my surroundings.

SARAH: (frowning & smiling) It's ... alright, okay.

Seeing her heartwarming smile, O'Neal can't help but smile in return.

MONTAGE — VARIOUS (FLASHBACK)

We watch O'Neal and Sarah send more time with one another. Starting off as mere acquaintances, they soon become close friends and, finally, intimate lovers.

INT. JACK & SARAH'S APARTMENT/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal and Sarah stand facing one another, faces serious. As Sarah looks down at her flat belly, placing a hand on it, O'Neal flies into a sudden rage.

O'NEAL: (shouting) You did this on purpose! You did this to me on purpose! You did this to trick me into marrying you! But I'm not going to, Sarah, you got that‽ I'm not going to!

Sarah, tears welling up in her eyes, says nothing.

INT. JACK & SARAH'S APARTMENT/BEDROOM — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Sarah is in their bedroom, stuffing items into a large suitcase.

INT. JACK & SARAH'S APARTMENT/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal, seated at a small table, morose, pours himself a glass of whisky. As he overfills it, spilling whisky over the side, he picks it up and lifts it to his eye. As he looks into the golden brown liquid, the morose expression on his face changes to one of determination. Without a word, he hurls the glass away from him. As the glass hits the far wall, it shatters, splashing whisky everywhere.

EXT. LANGENKAMP HOME — TWILIGHT (FLASHBACK)

As blizzard winds and snow beat against the house, O'Neal's car pulls into the driveway.

INT. LANGENKAMP HOME/LIVING ROOM — TWILIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Sarah, pulling a curtain back, peeks out the window at the car parked outside. Turning from the cold glass, she looks at her parents, who are seated in matching armchairs.

EXT. LANGENKAMP HOME/FRONT YARD — TWILIGHT (FLASHBACK)

The front door of the house swings open, and Sarah — clad in a purple parka — steps out. Closing the door, she approaches the car.

FADE TO

O'Neal and Sarah seated in the car behind fogged up windows, arguing fiercely.

INT. LANGENKAMP HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Sarah — along with O'Neal — enter the living room. Mr. and Mrs. Langenkamp — still seated in their armchairs — have fallen asleep. The two walk over to them.

SARAH: (shaking them) Mom, Dad — wake up. Wake up!

MR. LANGENKAMP: (awakens) What's the time?

SARAH: I have someone I'd like you to meet.

O'Neal steps forward, offering the two older people his outstretched hand. Tentative, they both take turns shaking his hand.

O'NEAL: I'm Jonathan O'Neal. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, sir and ma'am.

SARAH: (nudges him with elbow) Tell them.

O'NEAL: Sir — ma'am — I'm pleased to say that your daughter and I are getting married. (beat) We'd like your blessing.  

INT. CHURCH — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal and Sarah walk down the aisle.

FADE TO

A close-up of O'Neal's lips against Sarah's ear.

O'NEAL: (whispering) I promise that I'll love you and cherish you now until the day I die, not a moment sooner.

INT. HOSPITAL/DELIVERY ROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

Sarah O'Neal, heavily pregnant and in labour, is sitting up in her hospital bed, sweating and breathing heavily with medical staff and her husband surrounding her. Gritting her teeth, she groans as she pushes, and soon the groan builds to a cry of anguish. It all soon comes to a climax as the baby slides out into the doctor's arms.

DOCTOR: (turns to O'Neal) It's a boy.

O'NEAL: (grins) Hello, Tyler Charles O'Neal. Welcome to the brave new world.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

Tyler O'Neal, celebrating his sixth birthday, sits at the centre of the room surrounded by friends and family. O'Neal, watching the boy rip into his first present, turns to his wife with tears of happiness in his eyes. Meeting his gaze, Sarah smiles back.

INT. MILITARY BASE/COL. WEST'S OFFICE — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal stands before West's desk, looking down at the colonel who is seated behind it.

O'NEAL: (blunt) I want out of Jump Two, Wald.

COL. WEST: You're not serious, Jack. You're our best, our go-to guy.

O'NEAL: (frowns) Then you'll have to find yourself another "go-to guy", Colonel, 'cause I'm out. There's too much blood on my hands. I don't know if I can ever wash them clean, but I owe it to Sarah, to Ty, to try.

COL. WEST: (sighs) I won't back you into a corner, Jack. (beat) But know this: personnel of your calibre never really retire. One day you'll be called on for another mission. If you want to do it or not, it doesn't matter; Uncle Sam's gonna have his way with you.

EXT. O'NEAL HOME/BACK YARD — DAY

O'Neal and a twelve-year-old Tyler are playing softball out in the sun.

PAN OVER

The back yard to the front yard.

We are now several months into the future. O'Neal, behind the wheel of a minivan, pulls into the driveway. Opening the door, he steps out.

O'NEAL: You out here, Ty? Let's not be late for the game.

Leaning into the minivan, O'Neal honks the horn to rouse his son. When he gets no result, he jogs up to the front of the house.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'NEAL: Son, you in here? Ty?

Finding the living room deserted, O'Neal leaves for Tyler's bedroom.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/TYLER O'NEAL'S BEDROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal opens the door to his son's bedroom and peers inside. Though Tyler's softball jersey hangs off the back of his chair, Tyler himself isn't present. Worry creasing his face, O'Neal closes the door.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/O'NEAL BEDROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal barges into the room, eyes focusing on the nightstand on Sarah's side of their bed. The nightstand's drawer hangs ominously open.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/CORRIDOR — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal runs up the corridor, panicking.

EXT. O'NEAL HOME/BACK YARD — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal bursts through the back porch door, breaking the screen door off its hinges. Racing down the steps, his eyes focus on something lying out on the grass.

O'NEAL: (shouting) Tyler? Tyler!

CUT TO & ZOOM IN

On Tyler O'Neal's still figure sprawled on the grass. Half-dressed for his softball game, his father's gun sits in his right hand, his head bloody.

As O'Neal runs over to the corpse of his dead son, a piercing siren — one borne of O'Neal's own fractured mind — wails through the atmosphere, muffling all other sounds. Reaching Tyler's body, O'Neal drops to his knees beside it, his mouth twitching involuntarily. Taking his son in his arms, tears streaming down his face, O'Neal throws his head back, releasing a tortured, soul-shattering scream.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal, dressed in his black funeral clothes, stands facing the living room mantle, hand gripped around his Smith & Wesson — the same weapon which took his son's life. Pulling the Model 29's hammer back, he places the barrel of the gun under his chin as he looks upon a photo atop the mantle. It is a photo of Sarah in happier times, grinning into the camera.

FLASH CUT TO

A close-up of Sarah's face, bathed in harsh red light, as she screams.

FLASH CUT TO

O'Neal, his gun hand trembling.

CUT TO

The photo of Sarah.

PAN UP

To a crucifix hanging in place on the wall above the photo.

CUT TO

O'Neal, disgusted with himself, disarming the weapon and tossing it aside.

INT. O'NEAL HOME/O'NEAL BEDROOM — DAY (FLASHBACK)

O'Neal stands in the open door of his bedroom, looking in on Sarah, who is seated on the bed. Shortly after the visit with Anderman and the other officer, O'Neal's hair is still long. He is shaved and showered, though, and clad in his crisp officer's uniform. His expression sullen, he watches Sarah seated on the bed, sobbing into her hands. He wants to say something, anything, to his wife, but upon opening his mouth, he clams up. Resigned, he turns away and silently leaves.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/FOSSIL ROOM — NIGHT

Gen. West now stands beside the captain inside the alcove with the fossils.

GEN. WEST: (regards fossils) Our people tell me this thing used to be alive.

O'NEAL: I thought I was doing this alone.

GEN. WEST: (turns to him) And you will. (beat) As soon as the team completes their survey, you'll be on your own.

O'NEAL: The more people we send through, the greater the chances something's gonna go wrong. And Jackson could be a problem. He's smart. He won't go along with this plan if he figures it out.

GEN. WEST: Then it's your job to make sure he doesn't.

O'NEAL: (turns to West) General, you've opened up a doorway to a world we know nothing about.
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#9

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/DANIEL'S QUARTERS — NIGHT

SUPERIMPOSE: "SIX MONTHS LATER"

Daniel is inside his quarters, packing various books and other items of importance into a large trunk. As he places two final items — the photo of his foster parents along with a photo of his real ones — in the trunk, he hears a knock at his door.

DANIEL: (bemused) I'll be ready in a second.

KARIN: (O.C.) It's me, Daniel.

DANIEL: Oh! (turns to door) Come in.

The door opens and Karin strides in. Closing the door, she crosses her arms across her chest. We see here that Karin's physical condition has changed in the preceding six months. Dark circles have developed around her eyes; she has lost weight; her hair has thinned.

KARIN: (smirks) I thought you didn't like to travel.

DANIEL: (grins) I got over it. (loses grin) Have you heard from Barbara or Meyers?

KARIN: (shakes head) I haven't been in contact with them since West fired them from the project. Why?

DANIEL: Nevermind….

KARIN: You've been having doubts, haven't you?

DANIEL: Wouldn't you?

KARIN: West may be pig-headed, but he isn't stupid. If he had any concerns at all about your ability to decode the alien gate, he wouldn't have put you to the job.

DANIEL: I could have really used Barbara's expertise. She's made it her life's work to understand the physics behind things like the stargate.

KARIN: The first time I saw that ring being dragged out of the dust in Egypt, I knew something like this would happen — that there would be some incredible journey to be taken. And, naturally, I thought it would be I who would take it. (beat) But I'm not as healthy as I used to be, so it's going to be you instead of me. (beat) It has to be you.

Karin unfastens the gold pendant from around her neck, handing it to Daniel.

KARIN: This was found with the stargate. It has always brought me luck.

DANIEL: (regards pendant) I can't accept this.

KARIN: (strokes Daniel's cheek) Bring it back to me.

Silently, Daniel accepts the gift. Turning the trinket over in his hands, his eyes go over to his desk, upon which rests the beautiful bust of the Egyptian woman. Stepping over to the desk, Daniel picks up the valuable piece of art. Turning back to Karin, he hands her the bust.

DANIEL: You were right — this piece is from the 14th century BC. Take care of her for me.

Smiling, Karin accepts the bust.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/CORRIDOR — NIGHT

In the corridor directly outside the embarkation room, seven members of the away team — Kawalsky; TECHNICAL SERGEANT LOUIS FERETTI; TSGT. STEVE PORRO; SSGT. DEREK BROWN; SSGT. CHRISTOPHER FREEMAN; SSGT. JACK REILLY; and Daniel — stand waiting, going over their gear. As O'Neal rounds the corner, a black beret perched atop his head, the airmen snap to attention. Stopping before them, the captain looks first to his watch then to them.

O'NEAL: If anyone has anything to say, now's the time to say it.

In response, Daniel delivers a powerful sneeze into his handkerchief. The airmen turn to regard him, bemusement on their faces.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/OPERATIONS ROOM — NIGHT

Mitch and Jenny sit before the main console, the only two technicians stationed inside the room. As the last glyph is entered into the stargate and the device activates, a display of the local universe flashes into existence upon a large transparent viewscreen recently installed in the back of the room, a blinking blue spot indicating the precise location of the stargate on the other side.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/EMBARKATION ROOM — NIGHT

The security door to the embarkation room slides open and the away team files into the room. Crossing to the stargate ramp, they gaze up at the black ring and its pool of rippling silver energy. Looking down upon them from the bay window above is Gen. West and Maj. Anderman.

GEN. WEST: (through intercom) Begin final evacuation.

With all eight members of the away team gathered together at the foot of the ramp, O'Neal silently nods to Brown. Understanding this silent command, Brown takes out a large remote control. Activating it, the Field Remote Expeditionary Device — or FRED — stationed upon the end of the ramp comes to life. The large wheels of the flat-topped vehicle containing all the team's equipment roll forward and the FRED ascends the ramp, disappearing into the stargate's puddle. With the FRED through, O'Neal turns around and looks up to the bay window above, making eye contact with West. The two men lock gazes, unspoken challenge in their eyes. After a moment O'Neal breaks the contact, turning back to the stargate.

O'NEAL: Let's go.

Cradling their P90s, the airmen start up the ramp, O'Neal taking point. Up above them, West and Anderman leave the bay window as a blast shutter slides down over it.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/OPERATIONS ROOM — NIGHT

Mitch and Jenny stare out into the embarkation room, transfixed as the members of the away team make their way along the ramp in single file to the stargate. As Jenny leans forward in her chair to get a better look at their ascent, the blast shutter closes over the scene.

INT. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN/LEVEL 28/EMBARKATION ROOM — NIGHT

O'Neal makes his way up the ramp slowly, cautiously, his weapon at the ready. As he comes to the open mouth of the active stargate, he stops, looking up and down the diametre of the gate's torus, scrutinizing the liquid ripples of the ring's energy pool. Gripping the stock of his gun tightly and gritting his teeth, the captain pushes forward, slipping through the silver puddle into the unknown. The other six airmen follow after him, disappearing one-by-one into the stargate. Soon only Daniel is left remaining on this side of the gate.

The Egyptologist stands at the foot of the active stargate, regarding it with fearful awe. He reaches forward with both hands, cautiously dipping them into the silver puddle. The liquid energy washes over his hands and the expression of uncertainly on his face dissolves, replaced with pleasure. Smiling, he slowly pulls his hands from the depths of the stargate, looking his unmarred digits over.

Daniel steps forward, closing his eyes as he immerses himself in the silver puddle.

DANIEL'S P.O.V. — SLIPSTREAM

Daniel phases out of conventional existence as he emerges into a black void. Strings of white light iris in around this void and what appears to be a starfield fades into existence. Caught in a transspatial slipstream, Daniel slips and slides through this starfield, passing several rainbow halos along the way. Before long, Daniel is carried through one of these halos.

INT. OFFWORLD COMPLEX/STARGATE CHAMBER — DAY

Daniel comes hurtling out of the active stargate, glowing a bright white in the seconds its takes his body to regain tangible form. Hitting the stone steps hard, he rolls across the floor until he collides with the glowing pedestal. The scholar turns over, groaning with pain and nausea. Surrounding him, all in varying stages of gate sickness, are the seven airmen. Seeing Daniel sprawled under the iridescent pedestal, O'Neal and Brown rush over to offer him aid.

O'NEAL: (pulls Daniel up into sitting position) Jackson, it's alright — it's over. (to Brown) You stay with him.

BROWN: (gives Daniel light shake) Jackson, just listen to me. Keep moving. It wears off in a minute.

FERETTI: (grins weakly) What a rush.

Rising to his unsteady feet, Daniel turns to the stargate which bore him to this strange new world. Before he can begin examining this alien gate for characteristics which may distinguish it from its twin on Earth, the device shuts down, casting the chamber in near-complete darkness.

Having regained most of their faculties, the members of the away team switch on flashlights, illuminating the stargate chamber. It is wide and long, fashioned from basalt, it's sloping side walls leading out to a smaller antechamber which itself leads to the ramp leading to the unseen chamber beyond.

O'NEAL: (facing antechamber) Three teams. Let's go.

Passing into the antechamber, Daniel looks up to the ceiling. There, situated within a recess in the stone, is a perfectly round circle, criss-crossed with lines forming a sliced pie pattern. Daniel regards this strange feature for a moment, trying to determine its ultimate purpose, before following the others.

INT. OFFWORLD COMPLEX/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

As O'Neal's men file out into the entrance hall — an immense chamber filled with countless pillars and bright sunlight filtering in through slot-like windows — they split up into three two-man teams and begin making a sweep of the chamber for potential threats. Making their way forward, they soon come to the far end of the chamber where an open doorway to outside waits.

EXT. OFFWORLD COMPLEX/ENTRANCE — DAY

Freeman and Porro step outside, crouching down and surveying their surroundings. Beyond the stone entrance stretches a long black ramp, at the end of which rise a pair of tall black obelisks. Surrounding the entrance, ramp, and obelisks is a barren desert landscape; this landscape, stretching out as far as the eye can see, is situated under an unearthly yellow sky. Aside from the complex itself, the only sign of civilization present is a road — a long, wide, paved road which leads from the complex into the enigmatic desert sands.

Rising from their positions, Porro and Freeman make their way down the ramp. Kawalsky and Feretti follow after them, and after them, O'Neal, Brown, and Daniel. Brown, armed with analytical equipment, waves a sensor through the air.

BROWN: (reading instruments) Readings line-up with the probe's. Conditions are similar to inside. Radiation, electromagnetic and other exposures indicate normal.

Satisfied with the sergeant's report, O'Neal nods. Starting forward, he, Brown, and Daniel make their way down the ramp with the others. Daniel looks about his surroundings, awed beyond description. Leaving the ramp, the three of them join the other four team members between the two obelisks. Noticing the slack expressions on their face, they turn around, facing the entrance they just came through. Seeing what the others are seeing, they snap back. There, looming before them, situated under three alien suns, is an Egyptian-style pyramid easily the same size as the Great Pyramid on Earth.

DANIEL: (grins) I knew it.
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#10

EXT. PYRAMID — DAY

The seven airmen make their rounds about the quarter-mile perimetre surrounding the basalt pyramid. Freeman, Reilly, and Porro are going over the area beyond the north side of the pyramid with sensitive scanning equipment; Brown and Feretti are checking out the MALP beyond the south side; O'Neal and Kawalsky are checking out the area directly surrounding the pyramid itself.

INT. PYRAMID/STARGATE CHAMBER — DAY

Daniel stands alone within the dim stargate chamber, leaning over the dais which serves as the stargate's dial. Reaching out, he begins encoding an address into the device. As each pressed glyph panel lights up, the corresponding glyph tile and chevron on the stargate lights up in turn, glowing pure white. Unlike the gate on Earth, the chevrons on this gate do not split open and closed with each glyph entered, no harmonic tones are released, and the stargate itself does not vibrate.

Once the eighth glyph is punched in, Daniel looks about for the ninth: the "pyramid with sun" glyph; he fails to find it or any corresponding glyph. Concluding the large, unmarked hemispherical button at the centre of the dialling device must act as the glyph's substitute, Daniel presses it. The hemisphere illumines with white light and all the lights, glyphs, and engravings on both the dais and stargate light up. Instead of releasing a long, high-pitched tone and spewing forth the liquid silver energy which will stabilize into an extradimensional bridge to another world, the ring lets loose a low groan. It and the dialling device shut down.

Frowning, Daniel reaches into a bag at his feet and pulls out a notebook. Flipping to the desired page, he turns back to the dialling device and begins re-entering the address.

EXT. PYRAMID/ENTRANCE — DAY

Having gathered at one of the black obelisks, the airmen set down the equipment they've been carrying. Brown steers the MALP by remote control up the ramp into the pyramid.

O'NEAL: (to Feretti) Report.

FERETTI: Other than shrubs and sand, there's nothing out there, sir.

PORRO: Our findings' the same.

O'NEAL: (looks at equipment scattered about) Wrap this up and get everybody back inside. I want you people back through the stargate within the hour.

Daniel emerges from the pyramid. Visibly distressed, he makes his way down the ramp to the rest of the team.

KAWALSKY: What do you mean, "you people"? You're coming back with us, aren't you, Captain?

O'Neal doesn't reply. Turning from the others, he goes to an open case. As he starts placing equipment inside, Daniel walks up to him.

O'NEAL: Jackson, start working on the stargate.

FERETTI: (to Kawalsky) What was that all about?

KAWALSKY: I don't know, Feretti.

DANIEL: (to O'Neal) I'm gonna need some more time. I mean there's bound to be more structures here, other traces of civilization. That road has to lead somewhere, right?

O'NEAL: That would be nice, Jackson, but not this trip. Just get back in there and re-establish contact.

DANIEL: (nervous) Well, it's not that easy. We really, really, really need to look around more.

Finished packing, O'Neal closes and latches the case. He focuses all his attention on Daniel, his face hard.

O'NEAL: Your job here is to re-align the stargate. Can you do that or not?

DANIEL: (shakes head) I can't.

At this troubling statement, the other airmen turn their attention to the conversation between the Egyptologist and captain.

O'NEAL: (takes menacing step forward) You can't or you won't?

DANIEL: (takes step back) Look, I tried using our address; it didn't work. I thought at first maybe there was something wrong with the dialling device, so I dialled out manually; that didn't work, either. So unless there's something wrong with the gate itself, we're going to need another address if we're to return home.

FERETTI: What the hell are you talking about?

DANIEL: The address for this planet was marked on tablets back on Earth, right? So there must be something like that here. I just need to find it.

PORRO: (points at pyramid) The address' here if anywhere.

DANIEL: This is a counterpart to the Great Pyramid of Giza. We're not going to find any hieroglyphic inscriptions or carved relief inside. We're going to have to expand our search if we're going to find what we need.

Kawalsky walks up to Daniel, gesturing quizzically.

KAWALSKY: You didn't say anything about finding anything.

DANIEL: I assumed the combination we had would work for both sides of the gate.

O'NEAL: (disgusted) You assumed.

With these words, Kawalsky goes ballistic.

KAWALSKY: (enraged) You lying son of a bitch!

Lunging forward, the master sergeant pushes Daniel, sending him sprawling.

KAWALSKY: (cont'd) You didn't say a word about finding anything!

Kawalsky steps forward, determined to force the Egyptologist into reopening the stargate to Earth even if he has to beat him into doing it. Before he can reach the smaller man, though, O'Neal steps in his path, blocking him.

O'NEAL: That's enough. (beat) We'll establish our base camp right here. Kawalsky, organize a detail to haul the supplies out here.

KAWALSKY: (incredulous) Establish a base camp? The mission objective was to recon the quarter-mile perimetre then get back through the ring. What good is it gonna do to —

O'NEAL: That's enough, Sergeant. You're not in command of this mission.

Enraged, Kawalsky steps up to the captain, looming over him menacingly. O'Neal meets his angry gaze, daring him to step out of line. A moment passes, then Kawalsky backs down.

KAWALSKY: Brown! Feretti! Freeman! Reilly! Porro! Back inside!

Without hesitation, the airmen execute Kawalsky's order. As they start up the ramp, Kawalsky joins them, leaving O'Neal and Daniel alone together beneath the obelisks.

O'NEAL: Now you've endangered everyone's life except mine. (beat) Help the men offload the equipment.

Daniel obeys O'Neal's command sheepishly.

EXT. BASE CAMP — DAY

About an hour has passed and the base camp has been established. Erected atop the first large dune past the obelisks, the members of the away team are afforded a glorious view of the face of the pyramid. Feretti, dragging a final crate of equipment, drops it in the sand in the sun just outside the camp and takes a graceless seat under the shade of the great tarp that has been set up over each of the individual tents.

FERETTI: (fuming) I can't believe we're stuck here.

FREEMAN: Knock it off, Mr. Doomsayer.

BROWN: Yes, give it a rest — please.

REILLY: Besides, if we're not back soon, they'll just turn the gate on from the other side.

FERETTI: (incredulous) Were you asleep during the briefing? The silo's been emptied out — it's deader than a church in Denmark. If we don't turn the gate on from here, we're screwed, alright? Now I'm telling you, we're not going anywhere!

REILLY: (annoyed) Shut up.

INT. PYRAMID/STARGATE CHAMBER — DAY

Alone inside the stone chamber, O'Neal stands over the FRED, his back to the dormant stargate. Now free of its cargo, the FRED's surface appears completely bare, unmarred by any visible seams. Leaning over, the captain feels along the side of the vehicle, searching for something. Finding a hidden switch, he presses it. With a soft click, a hidden panel on top of the FRED pops open, revealing a secret compartment. Reaching inside, O'Neal pulls out a large metal cylinder. Judging by the dark LCD timer and label bearing the radiation symbol on the side, the cylinder is a thermonuclear bomb.

EXT. BASE CAMP — DAY

Trudging up the side of the dune, Daniel comes to the camp, his large, heavy trunk of books and personal belongings in tow. Dragging it over to his personal tent with visible strain, he releases the handle then plops himself down atop it. Exhausted, the scholar runs a hand across his sweaty, sandy, reddening forehead. He then begins going through his supplies for a bottle of sunblock.

DANIEL: Toothpicks ... water purification tablets ... two-ounce mylar blanket ... a sewing kit ... compass ... processed fruit rolls ... sunglasses ... breath mints ... two knives ... signal flares ... cyanide capsules ... a hammock ... string ... tape ... bandages ... first aid kit ... everything but sunblock. (turns to others) Feretti, Porro — didn't any of you guys bring any sunblock? I'm burning up out here.

The airmen ignore him.

INT. PYRAMID/STARGATE CHAMBER — DAY

Setting the bomb up atop the FRED, O'Neal reaches back inside the compartment and brings out an arming mechanism. As he slides it into a slot at the top of the weapon, the timer automatically lights up with red zeroes.

EXT. BASE CAMP — DAY

FERETTI: (points to crate he left sitting in sun) Jackson, we need that crate over here.

Sighing with exasperation, Daniel slowly rises to his feet, groaning from the effort, and begins trudging toward the crate. As he reaches it, Feretti gets up and walks over to Daniel's trunk, opening the lid. As Daniel retrieves the crate, Feretti begins going through the archaeologist's belongings.

DANIEL: (opens crate) Jesus. You guys planning on fighting a war here?

There in the open crate, nestled in neat rows, are two dozen M4 carbine assault rifles.

FERETTI: (angry) Thanks to you, we've got the time to fight one.

Reaching deep into the trunk, Feretti pulls out Daniel's book sack, heavy with thick volumes.

FERETTI: (approaches Daniel) Why don't you do something useful, Jackson, like maybe a little reading!

He heaves the heavy sack at Daniel. Before the Egyptologist can prepare himself, it hits him square in the chest and he goes sailing backward with a yelp of surprise. Hitting the sand, Daniel and the books go end-over-end down the other side of the dune. Satisfied with this small bit of retribution, Feretti grins. Turning around, he heads back to his tent, giving Freeman a high-five on the way over.

BROWN: (shakes head; amused) That's cold, man.

INT. PYRAMID/STARGATE CHAMBER — DAY

Before O'Neal can proceed further with the bomb, a flashlight beam comes playing across the ramp leading inside, alerting the captain to the presence of another. With silent haste, O'Neal pulls the arming mechanism out of the bomb, deactivating it, then places the weapon back inside the compartment. Kawalsky enters the chamber just as the captain presses the panel down, resealing the hidden compartment.

KAWALSKY: Base camp is operational, sir.

O'Neal nods, face as impassive as ever.

KAWALSKY: I want to apologize for losing my cool out there. It just seems like more is going on here than meets the eye. (beat) For instance, what was that you said about not coming back with us? What was that all about?

O'NEAL: Apology accepted.

Kawalsky just stands there, waiting for the captain to answer his questions.

O'NEAL: You're dismissed, airman.

Frowning with silent anger and suspicion, the sergeant turns away from his superior officer, returning back the way he came.

EXT. BASE CAMP — DAY

Having finished his business at the pyramid, O'Neal comes to the base camp.

O'NEAL: Come sundown, Jackson, Kawalsky, Brown and I'll start off down the road. Like Jackson said, it has to lead somewhere. (beat) Where is Jackson?

Feretti, Brown, Reilly, and Porro exchange glances, saying nothing.

CUT TO

Daniel, his near-empty book sack slung across his shoulder, makes the slow climb back up the face of the dune, stopping every now and then to retrieve one of the many heavy books which spilled out onto the sand during their descent.

Eventually completing his task and reaching the top, he sets the sack down in the sand and takes a seat, exhausted from all the exertions of the day. O'Neal can only shake his head.
Rock over London, rock on Chicago. Remington electric razor — cleans you, thrills you, may even keep you from getting busted.
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