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Aftermath

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This article is about the Stargate Universe episode. For the short story, see Aftermath (short story).
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Season 1

"Aftermath" is the second episode of the second season of Stargate Universe.

SynopsisEdit

Dr. Nicholas Rush discovers the bridge, but keeps it secret from the rest of the expedition. Suffering from a food shortage, the expedition sends an Ancient shuttle to a planet near which Destiny stops. A shuttle malfunction forces the team sent to the planet to try to find a way to reactivate the disabled Stargate before they get permanently left behind.

PrologueEdit

A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base by the Lucian Alliance, and are now trapped there. During the time on Destiny, tensions rise between Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young, eventually causing a mutiny between the civilians and military. After a Nakai attack, the two groups must work together to prepare themselves for the next attack, for the crew's sake. Rush uses the Destiny interface chair to find a clue to the master code. After Colonel David Telford's brainwashing is broken, he reveals that the Lucian Alliance are coming to take Destiny. After a group of Alliance soldiers led by Commander Kiva and Telford gate to Destiny, they take several sections of the ship. During a skirmish in the infirmary, Lt. Tamara Johansen is shot in the stomach. During Telford's attempt to return control of the ship to Rush, he is caught by Kiva and the two shoot each other. Telford survives but Kiva is killed. Dannic takes control but is shot by Ginn, who returns control to Rush.

PlotEdit

Dr. Nicholas Rush is unable to sleep due to nightmares of being tortured by Commander Kiva of the Lucian Alliance. He heads to the Control interface room, where Dr. Lisa Park is currently working. As he steps up to one of the consoles, he discovers a red box with Ancient writing on it. Clearly surprised by the find, he tentatively asks Park about it. She states that the program suddenly froze. He asks why she didn't call him for help, and she says that a reset usually fixes the problem. Rush presses a few buttons and clears the error, which confuses Park, who wants to know how he did it. He instead bids her goodnight, sarcastically noting that she has everything well in hand, and quickly leaves. She asks where he's going, to which he responds that he's going for a walk and that she should call him the next time she gets in trouble. Park is left alone, annoyed by his attitude.

Rush makes his way to an elevator, which he takes to the top floor of the pyramid structure. He goes to an empty room with a large blast door and inputs a code into the door control panel, causing the blast door to slide away. Behind it is another door, ornately styled. He presses the door release button, opening the room. A small gust of wind passes as the sealed room is pressurized. The interior houses several workstations and a chair with consoles mounted on it. As he examines the chair, the entire room lights up. This is followed by the room suddenly moving, rising up from the top of the ship so the windows aren't obstructed by the hull. Rush has unlocked Destiny's bridge. He sits in the chair and begins taking notes, when he is unexpectedly confronted by his deceased wife, Gloria Rush, sitting in one of the workstation chairs. She explains that he has found the master code, and now has full control of Destiny's systems. Furthermore, she believes he has no intention of sharing this information with the rest of the crew.

Ginn interview

Wray interviews Ginn about the Lucian Alliance.

Camile Wray is holding an interview with Ginn. A Kino is recording the conversation, and MSgt. Ronald Greer is standing guard. Ginn tells Wray of the rumors she's heard regarding the purpose of the ninth chevron, legends that it will grant those who unlock it the power of the gods. Wray scoffs at the notion, asking which gods Ginn is referring to. Ginn assumes it is in reference to the ascended Ancients. She begins to speak about having control over time and space, so Wray interrupts, wondering if she really believes Destiny to be capable of such a thing. Ginn notes that it's just what the legends say. Ginn asks why Wray is here, and Wray states that she's here to get Ginn's perspective. She seems confused that Wray would want to know about her activities over the past 12 years, but obliges her. As Ginn describes it, the Lucian Alliance are warlords. On her home planet, they burned crops to force the native population into dependence on the Alliance for survival. They controlled education, and raised the children as soldiers. Two years ago, Ginn was forced into serving the Alliance at gunpoint, with the threat that her family would be killed if she didn't comply. Wray reaches the conclusion that Ginn had no choice but to serve. Ginn instead changes the topic, saying that they have not been fed well, but Wray assures her this problem is not unqiue to the prisoners. The ship's food supplies are running low, since they haven't been able to resupply in some time, and they could all starve. Ginn wants to know what will happen to them, knowing that their current situation cannot be maintained indefinitely. Wray simply says hasn't been decided yet. Ginn assumes Colonel Everett Young will have the final say. Wray takes a short look at Greer, then makes it clear that she will also have a part in the decision. Ginn argues that not all of them are bad people, and that they could contribute if given the chance.

In the makeshift prison, Colonel David Telford is escorted inside. Still healing, he limps to a box, where Varro sits next to him. He asks Telford what will be done with them. Telford reminds Varro that he is a considered a traitor, and thus wasn't told anything. Varro claims that Telford should know Young well enough to figure it out, but Telford asserts that Young has changed. Varro gets up, leaving Telford to rest.

In the Mess hall, Airman Darren Becker is serving rations of food to the crew. Dr. Dale Volker expresses displeasure at the small portions, remarking that it's hardly worth sitting down. Airman Dunning comments that things might be better if they weren't giving rations to the enemy. Sgt. Hunter Riley counters that their treatment of prisoners says a lot about them as a moral and civil society. Dr. Adam Brody and Eli Wallace are amused by his rather formal response, and Eli jokingly asks what pamphlet he read it from. Riley simply states that it is what he believes. Park comments that she has trouble sleeping with the thought that they are currently housing a group which would kill them given the chance.

In Young's room, Wray reminds Young that human resources was her job on Icarus Base. Young notes that Psychiatric evaluations are Lt. Tamara Johansen's responsibility, but Wray states that TJ needs to be given time to recover, which Young accepts. She relays a report from the International Oversight Advisory stating that the conflict with the Lucian Alliance has been escalating in the Milky Way, with intel reports that suggest a possible attack on Earth itself being possible. Young asks if she's gained any useful information from the prisoners. Wray thus far has nothing, but suggests that they might be more forthcoming if she could assure them that they would not be dumped on the next inhabitable planet as soon as they were no longer useful. Young notes that they tried to do the same thing, and wonders if everyone on-board will be ok with sharing rations until they run out of food. Wray insists they haven't reached that point yet, but Young asks how long she's willing to let the situation drag on, since this is about more than the proper treatment of prisoners. The simple fact of the matter is that the Alliance invaded the ship, and cannot be held prisoner forever. Wray insists that they're not all dangerous, citing her report, but Young dismisses the "I was just following orders" claim as an excuse by the prisoners to save themselves, having heard it before. Wray comes to the conclusion that they will be left on the next viable planet, and Young merely states that he hopes they run into one soon. He opens the door to excuse Wray.

On the bridge, the vision of Gloria is still talking to Rush, noting that his efforts to control the ship is not as easy as he had hoped. Rush notes that the ship was meant to have a crew. At Gloria's suggestion that there is a crew, he adds that the crew is supposed to know what they're doing. He states that the Ancients never intended Destiny to fly itself for so long, and is mildly surprised by Gloria suddenly having moved to the command chair. He believes there to be a purpose to the mission. Gloria notes that, despite his speculation, Rush immediately turned the autopilot back on. Rush notes that, without knowing what he is doing, he could stop the ship near another Binary pulsar or something equally dangerous. Currently, he is attempting to understand why Destiny only stops at certain planets, bypassing others entirely. Gloria suggests that they may simply be rest stops designed to give the crew a break, but are otherwise irrelevant to the mission. Ignoring the suggestion, Rush posits that environments could change over the years, becoming dangerous, but then this would assume Destiny could track the changes in real-time. He points out a nearby planet, which is classified as non-functional. Gloria simply says, "So it seems." Rush sarcastically notes how helpful she's been. Gloria starts reminiscing about their quiet walks in the garden back home. Ignoring her, Rush decides to stop the ship at the planet, as they are in desperate need of food. Gloria notes that a "big red X" is usually a bad sign. Finally fed up, Rush asks if she exists simply to second-guess him. She just asks him what he plans to do. Taking this as a "yes," Rush stops the ship.

In the control room, Eli, Brody, and Riley are confused by the sudden stop. Eli states that there must be a reason why the ship stopped. Rush suddenly walks in, telling him that the ship has stopped in range of a planet. Young notes that Riley couldn't find any gates in range, to which Rush suggests they use the shuttle. Brody is confused, wondering how Destiny could have data on a planet with no gate. Rush confirms that there is a gate, it's just not working. Riley expresses disbelief at the convenience of Destiny stopping within shuttle range. Rush angrily states that it's not magic, and that he's been trying to tell the ship they need supplies however he can. Young suggests sending a team to the planet. Rush adds that repairing the gate should be a priority. Eli notes that the shuttle trip will take an hour, and the jump countdown is set to less than seven hours. Young responds that with an active gate, supplies will be easy to retrieve, but Brody counters that they are too close to the planet to dial the gate even if it were active. Rush states that if they stop within range of the planet after the next jump, they'll have more time to collect supplies. Young asks if Rush wants to go, but Rush decides to stay. Young questions what Rush considers more important, food or his work, so Rush clarifies that there are malfunctioning systems he must continue working on.

Shuttle with passangers

The team is ready to leave.

Young decides to check on TJ, who is going on the mission to the planet, just prior to the launch, to make sure she's up to it. She insists she is, though she admits that she isn't at 100% just yet. Since they're running low on medicinal supplies, she wants to collect what she can now, just in case. She promises to take it easy. Young awkwardly states that he just wanted to make sure she'd be ok, and wishes her good luck. The rest of the team consists of Lt. Matthew Scott, Greer, Riley, Lt. Vanessa James, Dunning, Volker, Park, and Eli. Riley has plotted a course to the gate, and Scott launched after being given confirmation by Young.

On the bridge, Gloria expresses concern for Rush. Rush feels the same, noting that he "can't leave [him]self alone." Suddenly, Gloria is replaced by a vision of Jeremy Franklin, who states that Rush is missing things. A bewildered Rush says Franklin's name, and Franklin continues, noting that there is too much information here for one person to handle, no matter how smart they are. Rush asks for clarification, so Franklin points out the data on the planet. The data is extensive, Rush notes, but Franklin's specific concern is the volcanic activity and atmospheric super-rotation. This gives Rush pause. The shuttle is now a few minutes from hitting the atmosphere. Rush believes it will be fine, but is again countered by Franklin, who notes that Rush based his calculation on the optimal structural integrity of the shuttle, as taken from the database, without taking into account the wear and tear Destiny's extreme age has had on it. Concerned, Rush contacts Scott and informs him of the turbulence, assuring him that the shuttle was designed to handle it. Scott thanks him for the heads-up. Gloria has replaced Franklin, and silently stares at Rush; he says nothing.

As the shuttle enters the atmosphere, it hits extreme turbulence. Some of the walls spark and a pipe breaks, releasing steam. Rush hails Scott, receiving a response after the second attempt, confirming they passed the turbulence, much to his relief. After a short but rough ride, the shuttle makes it through, much to Rush's relief. However, the engines suddenly cut out. With half the systems suddenly offline, Scott cannot correct for the sudden failure. With no engine control, the ship rapidly loses altitude, clipping the side of a mountain with its wing, plowing through a forest, and eventually coming to a hard stop when it plows into a small cliff. Riley's window bursts upon impact, showering the room with rocks.

In the crashed shuttle, everyone begins to come to. The lights are flickering and sparks randomly burst from the walls. Scott discovers Riley pinned beneath his console, which is further covered by a pile of rocks. He calls TJ for assistance, making sure she's ok. Riley has a pulse, but is unconscious. Scott checks on everyone else. Dunning's head is slightly bloody, but he assures Scott he's fine, and everyone else has come out of the crash with little more than minor scrapes. Riley wakes up, his first instinct to free himself, only to find he can't move. TJ quickly calms him, and asks if he's in any pain. Riley tells her it doesn't hurt, and that he cannot feel his legs at all. This worries both TJ and Scott.

On Destiny, Young enters the control room, asking Brody where Rush is. Brody doesn't know, but has called him. Over the comm, Young speaks with Scott. Scott tells Young that he isn't sure what happened. He explains that Rush informed them of the atmospheric turbulence. Young interrupts, having just heard of this, so Scott clarifies that he warned them over the comm. He continues, detailing their sudden power loss after passing the turbulence. Young asks about injuries; Scott reports Riley's situation, and notes that everyone else is fine. They are working on prying the door open He notes that the shuttle is badly damaged, including a broken window, and they will not be flying it home. Rush walks in and tells Scott to find the gate and get it working. If Destiny stops within range after its next jump, they can be rescued. Scott schedules a report in 30 minutes.

Having managed to pry the door open, Eli squeezes through. Scott asks Volker if he can find the gate; Volker simply states that they'll figure it out. Eli asks about Riley, and Scott cannot give a clear answer. In private, TJ tells Scott that Riley is wedged in pretty good, and she isn't sure he should be moved. Scott notes that they'll have to eventually.

On Destiny, Wray tries to discourage Young from blaming the shuttle accident on their desperation. Young dismisses it as beyond their control. Wray has contacted the IOA once more, and they insist that Young keep at least some of the prisoners on the ship. Young does not care about their opinion. Over the radio, backup is requested in the prisoner's hold immediately. Wray and Young rush to the scene. The prisoners are trying to overpower their guards. Young enters the room and grabs the nearest Alliance prisoner, who is attacking one of his men. The prisoner elbows him, so Young throws him to the ground and violently smashes his head on the floor several times, while Wray watches in horror. He then begins to choke him. Remembering himself, Young lets go before he kills the man. Telford yells at Young to get him to stop, then pulls him up. The rest of the prisoners have been subdued.

Surface of aftermath planet

The team searches for the Stargate.

On the planet, James' team has reached the rough location of the Stargate, which is nowhere in sight. Eli notes that the Ancient remote control isn't listing any addresses. James asks if Volker is sure about the location, to which he responds that the gate would be visible if he were.

Meanwhile, Scott and Dunning are attempting to lift the console off Riley, causing him intense pain. TJ stops them, and informs Riley that she's going to try to check his legs. They lift the console once more, and TJ reaches in. Its weight is too much for Scott and Dunning to support for long, so she withdraws her hand at Scott's insistence. Her hand is covered in blood. She notes that his leg is stuck pretty good, and that the console is helping cut off circulation to the wound.

Eli's Ancient remote control indicates that Destiny has jumped to FTL, and he begins to panic, despite suggestions from James to calm down. James asks for the odds of Destiny dropping out within range of the gate; Franklin tells her that there's no way to tell. Greer, standing atop a large pile of rocks, shouts at the others that he has found the gate. Eli believes Greer is simply high enough to see it, but upon reaching his position cannot find it. Greer directs him to look down: the gate is beneath them, having been buried in a rock slide.

On the bridge, Gloria recommends Rush gets some sleep. Rush just tells her that it would be easier if she'd help him. Gloria wonders what has drawn him to the conclusion that she can help. Rush asks to speak to Franklin, but Gloria doesn't recognize the name. Rush tells her that one of two things is happening; he's either gone crazy, or the ship has manifested the images of Gloria and Franklin as a way of communicating with him. Franklin has been the more helpful of the pair. Gloria asks him what he's trying to do. Rush explains that he wants to control the jump countdown. Gloria cant help. Rush takes this as proof he's gone crazy. With no Stargates in Destiny's immediate path, Rush will have to stop the ship soon in order to rescue the stranded team, but, as Gloria notes, he'll need to concoct an explanation for the abrupt stop. He can't just drop out of FTL at will, as the drives must remain active for four hours at a time to prevent permanent damage. The next time they drop out of FTL, it will be his last shot. Gloria still recommends that he tell the others, but Rush denies that course of action. She believes it's because he doesn't trust Young, and Rush vehemently insists that Young let the Lucian Alliance take over the ship, calling him mentally unstable. Rush adds that Young is getting worse, citing the incident with the prisoner. Gloria counters that Rush's negligence is responsible for the shuttle crash, but Rush blames their desperate situation on Young, and deems him unfit for command.

James' team is busy digging out the gate, having made little appreciable progress. Scott joins them, and Eli asks about Riley. Scott explains that Riley is bleeding heavily, and the console is the only thing keeping him from bleeding out immediately. Eli wants to do something, and Scott focuses their efforts on unburying the gate.

In the shuttle, TJ asks Riley if he's in pain. He says he's fine, and asks if she's ever attended to a patient she knows he is going to die. She has. Prior to this incident, Riley had figured that he wasn't meant to die yet, given his previous close calls. Riley tells her about his own religious mother, and how his father never believed yet always went with her. He is not religious himself. TJ tells him that she won't leave him if it comes to it. Riley asks TJ what she believes; she isn't sure. She tells him about her experience on the alien planet while she was recovering from her gunshot wound. She knows it felt real, even though she can't prove it, and sees it as a ray of hope that helps her cope with the situation. Park quietly listens while resting on one of the benches.

On Destiny, Varro meets with Young. He apologizes for the behavior of the prisoners. Young informs him that the prisoners will be sent off the ship when they reach the next viable planet, and that he expects them to cooperate; force will be used if necessary. Varro quietly accepts this and leaves.

Scott has opted to simply use explosives to clear the rocks covering the gate. Eli remembers reading that large explosions can potentially cause the Naquadah in the gate to overload and explode. Volker, somewhat unsure of his own opinion, doesn't believe it will be that big. Eli asks Scott if he's sure of his decision, but Scott sees no other option; it could take them weeks to dig the gate out manually. Eli wonders if the blast will damage the gate, so Scott asks him to make a decision. Eli gives the go-ahead and Scott flips the switch. The explosion does as intended, and Eli remarks that it was pretty big.

Telford meets with Young to inform him that he used the Long-range communication device. Young decides to skip the fact that he didn't authorize that. Telford has compiled a short list of prisoners Earth wants kept on board, as they may prove valuable. Young assumes that Telford has been given orders to take command should he resist, and questions if the crew will be willing to trust Telford. Telford says that the military is expected to obey. The ship drops out of FTL. Young calls Rush, asking for his location, and leaves the room with Telford behind him.

In the control room, Brody informs Young and Telford that the countdown is set to less than three hours. The planet is still in range, but the gate is locked out. He doesn't know why the ship stopped, since there are no planets in range save the one where the team is trapped. Brody suggests trying to bypass the lockout and dial the planet, noting its a long shot. Since it's all they have to go on, Young heads for the gate room, informing Rush. Rush comes in as the gate is being dialled. Young questions Rush on his activities, so Rush explains that he was in the engine control room, having determined that the FTL is still suffering from the radiation from the binary pulsar, causing them to shut down prematurely. Young says nothing.

Aftermath gate

With the gate cleared, Eli dials Destiny.

On the planet, the gate has been almost entirely uncovered. It suddenly starts shaking, and the team assumes that Destiny is trying to dial in. Volker tells them to clear the event horizon. Destiny's address comes up on Eli's remote. Once the shaking stops, Eli dials Destiny. The gate lights up and connects successfully. Scott comes through with Eli and James. Young is glad to see them ok, and asks about the others. Scott hesitates, and tells Young that Riley won't make it.

Young comes back with Scott to see Riley. Greer is waiting outside the shuttle. He enters the shuttle alone. TJ and Park are attending to him. TJ refuses to let Riley die alone, and Young asks to be given a minute alone with Riley. TJ motions for Park to follow her out. Riley apologizes for the situation, but Young assures him this is not his fault. Riley is concerned that they may try to stay to comfort him, and his only concern is that the team leaves before the ship goes back to FTL. He's not going to be around much longer anyway. Young wants to know what to tell Riley's family, but he can't think of anything good enough. He asks for the time until Destiny jumps, and Young says that they have plenty of time to spare. Riley states that he would ask Young for his gun if he didn't think the crew would blame him for the results. Young takes it as a joke at first, but Riley makes it clear that he's in pain. Young tries to leave to get TJ, but Riley stops him. With some effort, he pins his free hand under his back. Taking Riley's cue, Young quietly suffocates him. He informs the team that Riley has passed away.

To Riley

Greer leads a toast to a fallen comrade.

Telford and Wray present Varro with the list of prisoners to remain on the ship. There are nine in total, Varro, Ginn, and Simeon among them. The rest are sent through the gate to the planet. A large gathering is held in Brody's bar, where Greer leads a toast to Riley. Scott is comforted by Chloe, who wipes a tear from his eye. Eli sadly watches Riley's video diary. TJ is alone in her quarters. Young is also alone in his quarters, drinking and silently crying.

On the bridge, Rush tells Gloria that there was nothing that could be done for Riley, so there was no reason to stay. She knows, but Rush assumes that her presence is to convince him of his own guilty conscience. He doesn't deny his responsibility; he was trying to save the lives of the entire crew, not just himself. Still, he is convinced of one thing: Destiny's name is not random. The ship has a purpose. On one of the workstations, a small message box pops up, which Rush reads intently.

The ship drops out of FTL into empty space. Brody assumes it's another short jump caused by the radiation, but Volker detects something on sensors. Rush issues a general call to meet him on the observation deck. Young and Eli meet on the way there, Eli having heard the call, too. Rush, Brody, and Volker are already present. Destiny is on-course for an unknown object, just out of visual range, which they are headed straight for.

ReferencesEdit

Afterlife; Ancient; Ancient language; Ancient remote control; Ancient shuttle; Ascension; Autopilot; Brody's bar; C-4; Christianity; Church; Control interface room; Destiny Bridge; Destiny elevator; Destiny Gate room; Destiny infirmary; Destiny master code; Detonator; Eden; Faster-Than-Light engine; Ginn's planet; God; Icarus Base; International Oversight Advisory; Jump countdown; Kino; Long-range communication device; Long-range communication stone; Lucian Alliance; Mess hall; Milky Way; Naquadah; "Not Being There"; Obelisk builder; Observation deck; Planet (Aftermath); Psychiatric evaluation; Hunter Riley's father; Hunter Riley's mother; Stargate Command; Tel'tak; Turbulence; Volcano

Notable QuotesEdit

Rush: I thought you were going to get some sleep.
Park: Yeah, so did I.
Rush: What's going on here, then?
Park: Some sort of crash. The interface is frozen.
Rush: Yeah? Why didn't you call me?
Park: Well, I was going to try a restart first. That's fixed it in the past. (Rush presses a few buttons) What did you just do?
Rush: It seems I fixed the problem.
Park: Yeah, I can see that. How?
Rush: Goodnight, Doctor Park. Glad to see you've everything well in hand.

Eli: Okay. Destiny just jumped. This is not good.
James: Oh, try not to panic.
Eli: Experience tells me that this is a very good time to panic!

Rush: [To a hallucination of his dead wife] The man [Young] is mentally unstable!

Riley: Do you believe in anything? God? The afterlife?
T.J.: I don't know. Since we've been here, we've seen... some incredible things. We know that there's so much we don't understand—beings more powerful than us.

Riley's Video Diary: "You'd figure being stranded in this ship in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of strangers would be the problem. But, that... That isn't it exactly; it's not... its not so much being out here so much as not being there... for the... the birthdays, the weddings, the funerals. The simple things, like just taking your nephew on his first day of school, you know, or taking the dog for a walk. You know, just not... being there."

NotesEdit

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Stargate Wiki has 18 images related to Aftermath.

DeathEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. November 21, 2009 entry on Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog.

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