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Stargate Reimagined: Part I *COMPLETE*


After several years of planning, this is to be my first endeavour at creating my own Stargate continuity, starting with a script remake for the original 1994 film.

While I plan on staying true to the mythos and spirit of the original movie (this isn’t going to be an SG-1ized version of the film) I’m not going to follow the “popcorn flick” formula Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich adhere to – I like action, but I like depth and characterization more.

I plan on staying close to the storyline of the original film – and will be using the novelization as my primary source of inspiration – but the nature of how Daniel is inducted into the stargate program and how the stargate coordinate system works will be heavily reworked.

This is a work in progress, so don’t expect regular updates.



On the walls within a grand cathedral.

Upon the walls, bathed in varicoloured light passing down through an unseen prism-like skylight above, are vibrantly coloured murals. Though nearly identical in style to those created by the ancient Egyptians, these are composed of intricately-arranged precious gems instead of ink drawings, emblazoned with unrecognizable cursive script rather than the familiar hieroglyphs. 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.



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


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



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 Arab in a fine white suit with a meticulously waxed moustache – is seated behind a grand ebony desk, while Langford – a bean-thin Swede with a thin white moustache clad in his own fine white suit – stands before it. The two men are engaged in a conversation already in progress.

E.I.M: (cont’d) … they present a bad omen, Paul. It would be just too great a risk to extend your permit.

PROF. LANGFORD: (tugs at the collar of his uncomfortable suit) As I have already told you –

E.I.M: (puts up one hand) I cannot in good conscience go through with it. I have already done what I can. Now is the time to put our most pressing concerns – those of personal security – first.

PROF. LANGFORD: (angry) So your solution is to pack up and leave? Just leave all we’ve struggled for to blow away in the winds?

E.I.M: (smiles) It may not be the right thing to do, but it’s the best thing to do. Take Catherine and go back home to Sweden. Allah knows it’s been forever since you’ve seen your wife. (beat) Once this political nonsense blows over, I’ll be happy to let you come back and begin again. No time will have passed at all.

PROF. LANGFORD: Oh, don’t try to bamboozle me. I’ve got your number precisely.

E.I.M: (nonplussed) My number? Paul, please –

PROF. LANGFORD: (shouting) No! You’ll listen to me now!

Langford slams his clenched fist down on the top of E.I.M’s desk, rattling the contents sitting on its surface.

PROF. LANGFORD: (cont’d) I have spent over 400,000 kronas on this excavation. I’ve given the beggars and thieves of your country paying jobs so they could put food in their families’ bellies. And then there were the promises, good sir, promises you failed to keep. Remember that financier, that Canadian fellow?

E.I.M: The Canadian –

PROF. LANGFORD: (points his finger accusingly at the Arab) Don’t you forget how you guaranteed – no, how you swore

A loud series of RAPS sound through the office door.

E.I.M (sighs) If you’ll excuse me, Paul ….

E.I.M barks out a command in Arabic and the door opens; a thin, dark-skinned man in a simple uniform steps inside.

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

PROF. LANGFORD: (subtitled) A message? What about? From whom?

DELIVERY BOY: (subtitled) I do not know the contents, sir, but it is a note from Mr. Taylor.

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

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

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

As the thin man leaves, Langford unfolds the paper.


Close up shot of the note, which reads:


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.



Professor Langford, now seated in the back of a black Rolls Royce with his daughter CATHERINE, still looking the note over.


The luxurious vehicle, currently speeding through Cairo’s congested downtown toward the zoological gardens, scatters pedestrians with loud honks from its horn as it passes. Catherine, trying to read a thick book bearing the title Ancient Egypt, squeals with mock fright at each near-collision.

The automobile soon makes it onto the highway. Folding the note in his hands, Langford looks up, taking in the breathtaking view of the sparkling Nile river and the Giza Pyramids beyond.

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

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

Langford then looks down at his fancy white suit.

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



As the Rolls Royce comes to a stop at the edge of a rock shelf, Langford climbs out of the vehicle and starts making the trek up the slope of loose rock and silt to the top, Catherine following close behind at his heels. Reaching the top of the shelf, the father-daughter duo surveys the landscape stretched out before them.

CATHERINE: (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 over at the far end of the shelf, where dozens upon dozens of FELLAHIN – Egyptian labourers – are working at a frenetic pace, carrying away bucket-loads of loose rubble and bringing in a large amount of ropes, pulleys, and cranes.

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

Langford and his daughter make their way over to a parcel of land occupied by a large tent. There, a small group of men – ED TAYLOR included – stand hunched over a low table situated off to the side of the tent’s 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 to come in close to the table. Laid out over the table’s top is a large sheet of paper covered with charcoal rubbings of strange glyphs.

CATHERINE: (pushes in between her 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 begins making his way from 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 dozens of fellahin are setting up their cranes. There, resting in the sand, is a large coverstone.

Chiselled from a single large block of sandstone, the coverstone is perfectly round and 6.7 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; and 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 up onto the stone to scrutinize the centerpiece. The archaeologist furrows his brow and strokes his chin, his mind in deep 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, creator 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 Catherine begin making their way around the stone wall to the pit beyond. As they come over into the pit, they see the fellahin pull the ropes threaded through their cranes taut. With immense effort, they hoist something out of the ancient earth surrounding it. As the strange object is pulled erect, the labourers prop it up with padded wooden poles, allowing it to rest upright on a ninety-degree angle.

CATHERINE: (looks up at her father in amazement) 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 like the coverstone, 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 with broad grins breaking out on their faces.

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

As the fellahin finish securing the poles supporting 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.

ARAB LABOURER: (in Arabic, subtitled) Look at that! There is something buried underneath!

The fellahin erupt into excitement and they all crowd in in an attempt to uncover what their brother has spotted. Shouting orders to the workers in Arabic, Taylor takes off in a run toward them.

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

Langford rushes off to join Taylor with the fellahin. Catherine 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 her way through the crowded Arabs, Catherine grimaces as she makes her way toward the epicentre of the frantic activity. There, Catherine sees Taylor directing three men as they pull up and remove slabs of broken stone, revealing what it was the Arab workman had glimpsed.

CATHERINE: (subtitled) Fossils!

There, in the open cavity the labourers have uncovered, lies a horribly twisted figure embedded in the stone. Though its bodies is humanoid, its exoskeletal head is unmistakably non-human; 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 golden pendant on a chain, the design of a stylized human eye engraved on its surface.

PROF. LANGFORD: (angry) Catherine!

The professor hurriedly makes his way over to his daughter. Picking her up, he begins carrying the girl away from the unearthly discovery and the throng surrounding it. Setting the girl down, Langford makes his way out of the pit, pulling Catherine alongside him.

Making their way back along the way they came, they soon climb down the side of the rock shelf, returning to their Rolls Royce. As they approach the automobile, another Rolls Royce – this one white – pulls up alongside it. The side door opens and a foppishly dressed bureaucrat steps out; this man is the EGYPTIAN UNDER-SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES.

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

Langford and Catherine exchange glances.



An industrial section of Gower Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The sky is solid black and a heavy rainfall pelts the ground.


DANIEL JACKSON, a thirty-five-year-old Scottish expatriate with dark brown hair and round 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 and worn-out boots, he looks positively destitute; only the long cashmere trench coat he wears gives him the air of any 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 grocery store. Readjusting the sack to redistribute its weight, the wet man enters the store.


As Daniel enters the store, the shopkeeper – a large man with a shaved bald head and a big handlebar mustache – puts down his copy of Gamines Galore and firmly places his hands down upon the counter, 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.


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


Daniel walks across a largely empty parking lot to the open doors of Tkenchenko’s Tires, a seedy-looking 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 hat and boots, 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 of them in the process. The smile quickly disappears from 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 her 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.

DANIEL: You weren’t saying that five months ago.

Frowning, Svetlana doesn’t say another word. Taking out her iPod, she puts the earbuds in her ears and turns it on, ignoring Daniel once again.

DANIEL: It’s been a pleasure, Sweet Svetlana.

Turning his back to the cold woman, Daniel begins going 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 spots 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 ….



An exterior shot of the Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard earlier that day. Though the sky is heavy with gray cloud, no rain is falling as of yet.


A large audience made up of Egyptologists, archaeologists, 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 or early seventies – DOCTOR AJAMI – stands behind a podium, while Daniel – dressed in the same clothes seen earlier minus the hat, coat, and moisture – sits on a chair to his left.

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 behind the podium. 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: I own socks older than this kid.

PROF. RAUSCHENBERG: Not quite up to Sir Alan Gardiner.

DR. TUBMAN: But let’s hope he’s not another Wallis Budge!

Daniel quickly looks up toward the ceiling, coughs into his hand, then points his finger 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 an Escort.

DANIEL: (scratches his 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 to murmur 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 gets up 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 please 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 up 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 from his feet, 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 his glasses to wipe a smudge from a 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 podium, strides over to the chalkboard behind him and, picking up a piece of chalk, 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 his eyes at Romney), that Vyse carried with him the 1906 edition of Wilkenson’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 or that ludicrous Chariots of the Gods book.

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 a hand through his unkempt 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.S.) Doctor, if I may ….

Daniel looks around, searching for the owner of the voice with his eyes, until he spots a FIFTY-SIX-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 slight 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: (the smile dropping from his face) 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 a 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 the 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: (leans forward into the podium’s microphone) Are there any questions?



Daniel in the here-and-now, sitting on the pile of tires, soaking wet in the rain.

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 toward the crumbling building.


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 to the floor with a large THUD. There, before him, the door to his apartment stands wide open.

DANIEL: Burglars.


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 out into his living room.

DANIEL: (waves the bottle above his head) YAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

There, going through the loose papers strewn atop his old mahogany desk, is the same middle-aged woman in black from the conference. Her head is turned towards him, her eyes unblinking.

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 sitting 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 at the shabby furnishings adorning the apartment) How did you ever manage to afford it?

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

56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN: (carefully places the bust back down on the desktop) I’ve come to offer you a job.

DANIEL: (furrows his brow) What kind of a job?

The lady steps away from 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.

ELDERLY 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 that lies within.

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

Coming to the conclusion that none of the few foodstuffs left inside his refrigerator are fit for human consumption, Daniel closes it and rejoins Catherine’s company.

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

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

DANIEL: The chauffeur across the street was sporting a military-style 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.

CATHERINE: (grins) Very impressive, Doctor. (drops the 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?

CATHERINE: You have no family or friends stateside, your landlord mentioned that 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?

CATHERINE: (unclasps her handbag and pulls out a large brown envelope) To prove that your theories are right.

Catherine 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-and-white photographs of the unusual coverstone that her father’s expedition had uncovered in Egypt. Going through the photos, Daniel’s mouth goes agape.

CATHERINE: (pulls the set of photos out of Daniel’s hands) That’s enough for now.


Sliding the photos back in the envelope and the envelope back in her handbag, Catherine 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?

CATHERINE: Travel plans.

Opening the envelope, Daniel peers in at the contents.

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

Without a word, Catherine walks past Daniel. Coming to the open door leading out of the apartment, she turns to Daniel, a slight smile on her lips.

CATHERINE: Get over it.

She steps out, closing the door behind her.



A panoramic shot of a suburban neighbourhood on 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 about on the lawns of their homes, there is no outdoor activity going on.


A navy blue sedan drives past the front yard of a home where a large black-and-white Border Collie/Labrador Retriever cross 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.

The sedan pulls up to a pretty two-storey house with a modestly landscaped front yard, coming to a stop 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 walk up 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-and-teal bicycle leans against the wall beside the garage door, obviously neglected and disused.

The tall officer – his tag identifying him as LIEUTENANT SILAS ANDERMAN – knocks on the door. Moments later the door opens a crack and a PRETTY ASH BLONDE in her late forties peeks out from behind the chain.

LT. ANDERMAN: Mrs. O’Neal?

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

SARAH: (cold) Wipe your feet.

Sarah turns around and disappears into the house. The officers exchange glances again then follow her inside.


The two officers step inside the immaculate interior of the house, closing the door behind them. Moving further into the house, they find the living room to their left; perfectly clean and tidy, it is also completely empty. Turning to their right they find the kitchen.


Walking inside, the officers find Sarah busy slicing raw meat up on a cutting board.

LT. ANDERMAN: Mrs. O’Neal, is your husband home?

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

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

Sarah finishes cutting up the red flesh. Cleaning her hands off on some paper towel, she reaches into her front shirt pocket and retrieves a pack of cigarettes. Pulling out a cigarette, she lights it with a green plastic lighter then puts it to her lips. Taking a deep drag, she then exhales loudly, creating a small cloud of smoke about her head.

SARAH: You can try.


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 is a Star Trek poster above the headboard of the room’s bed; a small shelf packed full of books, comic 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 face perfectly blank of expression. Staring straight ahead, his eyes unblinking, he grips the stock of an uncocked Smith & Wesson Model 29 loosely in his hands.


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


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

Staring at the photo, the unshaven man pulls back the gun’s hammer, cocking it.


Reaching the door, Anderman seizes the door knob, twists it, and gently pushes the door open.


Sensing the officers’ arrival, the unshaven man quickly disengages the Model 29 and quickly – but stealthily – hides the weapon underneath the armchair’s cushion.

The two officers tentatively step inside the boy’s bedroom. The man they seek, though well aware of their presence, pays them no heed, continuing to stare straight forward.

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

For the first time, JACK O’NEAL turns his head sideways toward the officers, regarding them stonily.

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

O’Neal – shirtless, unshaven, with greasy, shoulder-length hair and clad in a pair of wrinkled blue jeans only – rises from the chair. Slowly, he turns toward them. Lt. Anderman, turning around, slowly closes the bedroom door.


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

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


Sarah turns away from the kitchen window, looking toward the hall. Slowly, she leaves the kitchen, stepping out into the hallway. Stealthily, she makes her way down the hallway until she comes to the door leading into her son’s bedroom.


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


Sarah steps back from the bedroom door. At this point she hears the faint sound of a shower running from the bathroom. A troubled expression on her face, she quickly begins walking toward another room – the bedroom she shares with her husband. She soon comes to the door leading into their bedroom and, hesitating only for a moment, reaches out toward the doorknob.


The bedroom door swings open and Sarah enters. As she looks out at what is in front of her, her mouth drops open.

There, lain out on the king-sized bed like a corpse prepared for a funeral, is her husband’s neatly pressed uniform. Resting beside it, like a profane idol dedicated to an obscene god, is the black folder.



An overhead shot of an old black '68 Dodge Charger moving along a twisting two-lane highway deep inside the Colorado Rockies.


Daniel is hunched over the wheel, struggling to simultaneously drive the car, read a map, and sneeze into a tissue.


The back seat of the car, which is cluttered with dozens upon dozens of used tissues.


Daniel spots a large sign which reads “CREEK MOUNTAIN, U.S. GOVERNMENT SPECIAL ZONE”. He makes a turn off the highway onto a steep, tree-lined entrance road leading toward the top of a low mountain in the distance. The mountain top looms closer and closer as Daniel drives on, and in no time at all he comes to a military checkpoint.


As Daniel pulls up to the closed metal gate and rolls down his window, a guard leaves his kiosk and walks up to Daniel’s side of the car.

DANIEL: I’m Daniel Jackson. I didn’t think I was going to make it.

GUARD: Your documents?

As Daniel reaches forward to open the glove box and retrieve his documents, he sneezes loudly. Making a diversion for a tissue, he blows his nose hard, then hands his papers to the guard through the window. As the guard starts checking the papers, Daniel sneezes again.

GUARD: (glancing at the balled-up tissues taking up space in the car’s backseat) You’ve got quite a cold there, Dr. Jackson.

DANIEL: Allergies. Always happens when I travel.

Finishing his run-through of the papers, the guard unstraps his radio and speaks into it. He waits a moment for a reply, then turns back to Daniel.

GUARD: Well, your papers check out. We’ll raise the gate and wave you through.

The guard returns to the kiosk, and in a moment the metal gate slides open, allowing Daniel access to the access road beyond. Rolling his window back up, Daniel shifts gears as the car begins to stall and pushes on ahead.

In no time at all Daniel reaches a parking lot, beyond which lies an entrance tunnel cut into the apex of the mountain top.

Finding a spot close to the entrance tunnel, Daniel parks the Charger and disengages the ignition. With an intense backfire and a rough shudder, the car dies. As he climbs out and circles around the car to retrieve his belongings from the trunk, a big, muscular officer in a crisp blue uniform – LIEUTENANT COLONEL ADAM KAWALSKY – steps out of the shadows of the tunnel and approaches Daniel.

KAWALSKY: Daniel Jackson?

DANIEL: (turns toward Kawalsky) Yes?

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

KAWALSKY: I’m Lt. Col. Adam Kawalsky. (beat) Where’ve you been? Dr. Langford thought you changed your mind.

DANIEL: I had car trouble, so it took me longer than expected to get here. (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.

DANIEL: (shrugs) Alright. I guess we’ll get that taken care of once we’re inside.

Daniel turns back to the truck and opens it, exposing his large book sack along with two bulging suitcases.

KAWALSKY: (eyes the 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 into Creek Mountain.


Some time has passed, and Daniel and Kawalsky – book sack and suitcases no longer in tow – step into 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 a stick of gum to Daniel) Equalizes your ear pressure.

Silently, Daniel takes the gum and, unwrapping it, stuffs it into his mouth and begins to chew nervously.


Soon the elevator finishes its descent and the doors swish open. Stepping out, the two men begin making their way down a sterile hospital-type corridor.

DANIEL: Are you taking me to Dr. Langford?

KAWALSKY: We’re going to meet with the others, first.

DANIEL: Others?

KAWALSKY: You didn’t think you were Project Giza’s only recruit, did you?

DANIEL: Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. (beat) Still don’t, really.


The two turn a corner and Kawalsky soon stops in a corridor lined with doors. Stepping up to a pair of doors, the officer raps on both of them loudly.

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

In a few moments the doors open. The first individual to emerge is DOCTOR GARY MEYERS, a tall, chunky man of about fifty-seven dressed in pressed black slacks and a beige sweater; though he should look studious and serious, he comes off more as the boisterous type with a strong sense of humour. Shortly following is BARBARA SHORE, a forty-eight-year-old Texan woman in midnight blue coveralls; 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. (puts out his hand) I’m Dr. Gary Meyers, Ph.D on loan from Harvard.

DANIEL: (shakes Meyers’ hand) Dr. Meyers (beat) Of course – you’re a professor of comparative linguistics. Your thesis on the influence Sumerian cuneiform had on the early development of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics is interesting. (grins) I can’t say I fully agree with your conclusions, though.

MEYERS: I have similar sentiments in regard to your theories on the Predynastic origin of Khufu’s pyramid.

DANIEL: (looks about at their surroundings) Where the hell are we, anyway?

BARBARA: A goddamn nuclear missile silo. (notices Daniel’s sudden dismayed expression) Don’t worry, darlin’. The place has been completely converted, but technically it’s still a military installation, so these flyboys get to act like they own the place. (beat) Anyway, I’m Barbara Shore, the token astrophysicist on the team. Hello.


Barbara shakes hands with Daniel then turns her attentions to Kawalsky.

BARBARA: So, Lieutenant, isn’t it –

KAWALSKY: As I’ve already made clear to you, Doctor, it’s lieutenant colonel – or just colonel – not lieutenant. I wear silver oak leaves, not single bars.

BARBARA: (flirtatious) Oh, shut up, Kawalsky, you overgrown testicle. (cont’d) As I was sayin’, Lieutenant Colonel, 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 to do?

KAWALSKY: That’s why I’m here. Dr. Langford’s waiting to meet all of you in the coverstone room. Let’s go.

Kawalsky starts walking down the corridor and the three scholars hurry to follow after him.

MEYERS: I don’t get why we couldn’t have all met with Dr. Langford when we each arrived individually. This waiting game has been a pain in the ass. (turns to Daniel) No offense.

DANIEL: (half-smiles) None taken.

KAWALSKY: Seeing you all together at one time saves her the effort of repeating the same information thrice. (beat) Besides, she has a taste for the melodramatic.



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 go 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 Catherine Langford.

CATHERINE: (turns toward the new arrivals) I’m glad to see you made it.

The three scholars slowly make their way towards Catherine, their eyes transfixed on the coverstone.

DANIEL: Where did you find this?

CATHERINE: Giza Plateau, 1967. (beat) As you all can see, there are two rings of glyphs. The inner tract of writing is an extremely early form of hieroglyphics 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.

CATHERINE: 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 have been brought on board, but what’s Barbara’s role in all this? An astrophysicist’s expertise doesn’t exactly lie with five-thousand-year-old Egyptian tablets.

O’NEAL: (O.S.) 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 his left hand, is Col. 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!

O’NEAL: At ease.

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

O’NEAL: (opens his folder and withdraws a document) I’m Col. Jack O’Neal from Gen. West’s office. I’ll be taking over from this point forward.

Kawalsky walks over to the colonel, who hands him the document to look over.

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

MEYERS: (to Catherine) I’m sorry, but that’s impossible. Egyptian culture didn’t even exist –

CATHERINE: (her attention on O’Neal) The various dating methods we’ve used have all been conclusive.

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

CATHERINE: No, not a tomb. We’ve found something far more interesting. (to Barbara) There’s a secondary reason I wanted you for Project Giza, Barbara. There’s –

O’NEAL: (takes a step forward) Excuse me, but that information’s become classified.

CATHERINE: (surprised) What!?

BARBARA: Catherine, what the hell is goin’ on here?

CATHERINE: 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 all just come here from all 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) Colonel, 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, Catherine follows after him.

BARBARA: (smirks) Who was that masked man?

DANIEL: (walks up to 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 his head in disbelief) Do you always follow orders? Always?

KAWALSKY: As a matter of fact, I do.


Col. O’Neal walks through the corridor at a brisk pace, Catherine keeping pace right behind him.

CATHERINE: Col. O’Neal, I think you owe me an explanation. I was personally assured by Gen. West that I would have complete autonomy.

Hearing her words, O’Neal stops. Turning around, he regards her with hard eyes.

O’NEAL: Plans change.

CATHERINE: Apparently. I’d appreciate some elaboration.

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

CATHERINE: (stern) Colonel, they were approved.

O’Neal remains silent.

CATHERINE: 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 Catherine remains silent.



Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara are seated close together at one of the small tables taking up space inside the mess hall. Beyond them, four solitary airmen 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 bother recruiting an Egyptologist, a comparative linguist, and an astrophysicist if you’re only going to cuckold them? If there’s any method to their madness, I fail to see it.

MEYERS: I suppose that’s why the term “military intelligence” is considered an oxymoron.

BARBARA: Lovecraftian languages and OOPArts are all fine and dandy like sour candy, but they’re not subjects the military goes gaga over. Meanin’-of-life stuff is meanin’less to them unless there’s somethin’ big in it for them to exploit. (beat) Mark my words, my two big stud-muffins – 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 laughs.

MEYERS: I can’t get my mind off that Col. O’Neal. (beat) There’s something off about that man.

BARBARA: (waves her hand with dismissal) Col. Flattop’s just a product off an assembly line.

MEYERS: I doubt it. He reminds me too much of my third cousin Richard. (beat) You see, Richard served in Vietnam, was one of the soldiers who were there at the My Lai massacre. Things he saw there really took their toll on him. (beat) O’Neal has the same eyes Rich had – the same hard eyes.

BARBARA: (takes a bite from the drumstick on her plate) This palaver’s losing its pizzazz. How’s about we try a different genre?

DANIEL: Fine by me.

BARBARA: Glad to hear it. (beat) Why don’t we open up some, get to know a little bit more about one another? (turns to Meyers) I nominate Meyers, here. He likes talkin’ about kin, so now he can find somethin’ closer to home to talk about.

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

BARBARA: Oh, very well. (punches Meyers playfully in the arm) As you can both probably 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 in Green Gables. (beat) She’s just darlin’.

MEYERS: I don’t like subscribing to stereotypes, but you don’t really strike me as the astrophysicist 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 term – an eye for connectin’ the proverbial dots which make up reality as we know it. (beat) It started when I was a little girl, just this little skinny thing of about 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 some trash some litterbugs had left half-buried there in the sand. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw a isosceles triangle – an honest-to-God isosceles triangle. Lord, it was frightenin’.

DANIEL: (incredulous) Frightened … by a triangle.

BARBARA: (gives him the evil eye) It’s not just that I say a triangle – hell, apophenia makes it impossible not to see triangles everywhere – it’s that I could recognize the mathematical significance behind it. Me, a girl of seven who was 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, under 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 that 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, that I wanted to see my personal universe in its entirety as well. (beat) Well, that’s the cut-and-dry of it. (to Meyers) Your turn, Big Bear.

MEYERS: (blushes) Let’s just say that when it became apparent that I’d never compare with Plácido Domingo, I went with my second love and chose the life of a comparative linguist.

DANIEL: (deadpan) That’s it?

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

MEYERS: (shrugs) I’m an open book. 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, Dr. Wunderkind?

Daniel suddenly goes silent and still, his face growing stony.

BARBARA: (places a hand on Daniel’s shoulder) Hey, shug, Meyers’ just pokin’ some fun your way. Don’t become an icicle on us now.

DANIEL: (shakes his head) It’s not that. It just reminds me ….

BARBARA: (concerned) What is it?

DANIEL: It’s just that … well … as a kid, my biggest dream was to become a successful comic book artist. (beat) I’d gotten into comics when I was around six and I just fell in love with the medium of telling stories through sequential art. My parents, on the other hand, were scholarly types. They tolerated my hobby but didn’t exactly approve of it; comics were lowbrow entertainment, they told me. (beat) Anyway, the day came when I decided I wanted to begin taking art lessons. Mum and Dad said they’d go through with it, but they kept putting it off and off. Eventually I got tired of their excuses and one night I just blew up in their faces, just had a great big tantrum. (beat) As luck would have it, that was the night they had to take a flight to Cambridge to attend a conference. (beat) I guess taking up Egyptology was my way of apologizing to them for the things I said to them that night, of making amends ….

An awkward silence settles over the three scholars. After a few moments, Meyers reaches into the front pocket of the shirt under his sweater and pulls out a bronze-coloured flask.

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

Meyers hands the flask to Barbara.

BARBARA: To Project Giza. (takes a sip)

Barbara hands the flask to Daniel.

DANIEL: To Project Giza. (takes a gulp)



A shot of Creek Mountain silhouetted against a red sunset.



In the long months that have passed since Daniel, Meyers, and Barbara joined Project Giza, the entire layout of the coverstone room has been transformed. A portable stereo; a coffee machine; a small refrigerator; a bookcase stocked with volumes on Egyptian hieroglyphs and various forms of 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 become carpeted with the discarded packaging of countless brands of junk food. Daniel and Meyers stand at a black board inscribed with a copy of the coverstone’s inner line of writing, arguing fiercely over how it should be translated, while Barbara tries – with lacklustre success – to ignore them and concentrate on the computer program she is running. The camaraderie the three scholars initially established is obviously 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: Budge is a perfectly valid resource! Just because you have an irrational fear and hatred for all forms of conventional methodology ….

DANIEL: (facepalms) Oh, not this again. (beat) I do not have “an irrational fear and hatred for all forms of 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: (slaps the side of his own head) Oh, great comparison, Meyers, great! Why not go all out and brand me the Second Coming of Erich von Däniken while you’re at it!?

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

MEYERS: The word “qebeh” is followed by an adverbial “sedjemen-ef” with a “cleft” subject.


MEYERS: (incredulous) “In his sarcophagus”? (shakes his 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 has just killed his beloved pet dog.

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

Daniel sighs dramatically, looking up to the ceiling as if in search for a sign of deliverance from God Himself.

MEYERS: (strokes his temple) No, that doesn’t feel right to me. Maybe –

DANIEL: (losing control of his temper) Give me that chalk, you --!

The two men begin grappling for control of the stick of chalk. 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 goddamned bickerin’ since the cock crowed! You wanna continue actin’ like immature assholes?! Fine! You can compare dick sizes without me to referee. I’m goin’ to bed.

With that final word, the tall black-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 the stick of chalk out before Daniel’s eyes) You want the chalk, Little Orphan Danny? (hurls the chalk with tremendous force at the blackboard, shattering it) 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 lieutenant colonel and his load over.

KAWALSKY: (calling after Meyers) 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 the tray out to Daniel) Dinner, Jackson.

DANIEL: (moody) Good morning, Colonel.

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

KAWALSKY: It’s almost 8:00 PM. (looks about at the trash scattered throughout the room, frowning) Why don’t you guys clean this place up a little?

DANIEL: (climbing up the scaffold) That information is classified.

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

DANIEL: (looks down at Kawalsky from atop the 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, Colonel, 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 his 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 above.


The coverstone room, several hours later. Daniel is still there but has left the scaffold for a chair on the ground. 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- and Post-. Still no similarities. (beat) I’m never gonna get paid.

Reaching forward, 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, though, he finds it all but empty.


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. His brow furrowing, Daniel stops filling the coffee pot and places it down on the floor by his feet. Sauntering back over to Higgens, he leans in over him and, wordlessly, plucks the book from the guard’s hand. He scrutinizes the title closely.

DANIEL: Good book?

A1C HIGGENS: (wary) Yeah ….

Without another word, Daniel hands the book back to Higgens and hurries back toward the coverstone room.


Daniel strides over to the blackboard he and Meyers had been arguing over earlier. Picking up a piece of chalk, 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, CREATOR GOD. SEALED AND BURIED FOR ALL TIME, HIS STARGATE”.



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 spent junk food packaging. The only person in the room is Barbara, who is busy running another computer analysis on the coverstone’s concentric lines.


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 pinstriped blazer over a black T-shirt with crisp blue jeans and blue high-top sneakers, he looks like an entirely different person.

DANIEL: (nods Barbara’s way) Good morning, Barbara.

BARBARA: (raises a hand his way) Mornin’, Danny-boy.

DANIEL: (looks about the large room) Where’s Meyers?

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

DANIEL: (a pained expression on his face) Ouch!

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

DANIEL: We really need to get some new books.

Barbara snickers.

DANIEL: (walks over to Barbara) So, how are the new calculations coming?

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

DANIEL: (looks up at the coverstone) I thought decoding the ancient Egyptian text would lead us to the answers we’ve been looking for, 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 an eyebrow) Taking a break? We just got here.

BARBARA: (choosing a search engine) You just got here. I’ve been runnin’ Permutation TMP-JDOPERW/53669 since 5:30 this morning.

DANIEL: (watching Barbara surf the '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’s eyes go wide as plates at her comment.

BARBARA: (notices Daniel’s reaction) Just a little dirty humour for a dirty mornin’, as my ex used to say. (beat) I’m 100.96% AC.

Refocusing her attention back to her computer, she types “YouHoroscope” 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 the computer screen) An astrophysicist who follows astrology. That’s got to be up there with practicing Christians 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 away from the photo, he looks up at the coverstone itself, eyeing the physical etchings himself. Without haste, he picks up the photo and rushes back to Barbara’s side.

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

BARBARA: (looks at the photograph) The ring of concentric lines. (eyeing Daniel) We’ve been introduced.

DANIEL: (points at the screen) Look.

BARBARA: The Zodiac. 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 Permutation TMP-JDOPERW/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 the changes caused by 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 to compare the concentric lines to the night sky of Egypt as seen in 8000 BCE. Soon the analysis 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 on, but maybe they didn’t. (beat) This could still be a star map, just not one meant to be viewed on a two-dimensional plane.

DANIEL: Can the computer gauge potential for three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional representation?

BARBARA: Once I encode the right subroutines, yes, they can.

Barbara enters new commands in the computer program. Almost immediately, the ring of concentric lines is realigned into a three-dimensional form – first a cylinder, then a cube, then an ovoid, then a sphere – 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.

DANIEL: Where does it lead to?

BARBARA: Roughly 4,500 light-years from Earth, somewhere in the M37 cluster, on the opposite side of the galactic core.

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



Arriving from beyond the checkpoint, a black Cadillac limousine pulls into the parking lot and comes to a stop at the mouth of the entrance leading into the mountain. The doors swing open and SEVERAL HIGH-RANKING OFFICERS – all from all over the country and different branches of the military – step out into the open and begin making their way into the dark confines of the entrance tunnel. At the centre of this group, a pace ahead of the others, is MAJOR 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.


Col. O’Neal stands at attention before the closed elevator doors of Level 27, his 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 of comrades to file out into the open corridor. Seeing the colonel standing there, the general walks up to 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 airmen make a turn to the left.

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


Daniel and Barbara take an alternate route to the same destination O’Neal and the others were headed for. Barbara carries an external hard disk drive under her arm with stoic grace while Daniel sips from a mug of coffee nervously.

Eventually they come to their destination. Standing at the door, waiting for them, is Kawalsky, who greets them both with a casual smile. As they file past him into the room beyond, Daniel holds his mug out to the big officer.

DANIEL: Uh, here, can you take this?

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


As Barbara and Daniel enter the long, rectangular room, the renegade Egyptologist’s lips go thin with trepidation when he sees who is waiting for them at the long, red-and-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 Lt. Anderman.

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

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

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

GEN. WEST: (eyeing Daniel) Pleasure to finally meet you, Doctor. (turns to the other attendees in the 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.

Walking up to the front of the room where a whiteboard has been built into the wall, the two prepare 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 down. 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: (sourly) Any time.

DANIEL: Barbara?

Barbara opens the file of their presentation, and seconds later a drawn diagram of the coverstone is projected onto the whiteboard’s 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 are actually digits or mathematical formulae belonging to a form of astronomical cartography completely unknown to us.

BARBARA: Markers for a stellar latitude and longitude, you could say.

MEYERS: How’d you figure that one out?

Barbara bends over the laptop and presses a button. A second later 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 that the band of concentric lines located near the centre of the coverstone was actually an abstract map of interstellar space.

She presses another button on the laptop and the ring of lines is reshaped into a spherical map of the interstellar space between Earth and Messier 37.

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

Barbara presses another button and a blue line begins to run from Earth to a number of stars before reaching a system in Messier 37.

BARBARA: (cont’d) The marked-off points of the lines themselves represent a route, a course from Earth to M37.

Barbara presses a button and the map is replaced with a large image of the coverstone’s central cartouche.

DANIEL: The cartouche organizes a set of eight points necessary to chart the course to this destination.

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

CATHERINE: (smiles) They did it.

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

DANIEL: Device?

BARBARA: What device?

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

CATHERINE: (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 into the wall. As he presses the green button, the whiteboard at the head of the room begins to retract up into the wall, undercovering a Plexiglas bay window beyond. 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 more dangerous potential. Standing there 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. Now cleaned and polished, the onyx-black surface of the ring positively shines, its contours gleaming with iridescence.

MEYERS: What the hell is it?

DANIEL: (awestruck) It’s our stargate.

Catherine, 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.



Having come down a spiral staircase, Catherine, 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 the operations of the stargate itself. Both around the same age as Daniel, Mitch – with his shoulder-length hair, short beard, round glasses, and blue cap – is obviously the Bohemian/hipster type, while Jenny – with her long, thick brown hair, purple sweater, and close-fitting black pants – is more the girl next door.

CATHERINE: Monitors up.

JENNY: (activates the main computer monitors) Monitors are up.

CATHERINE: Mitch, want to bring up the details on the centre monitor, please?

With a push of a button, the primary monitor comes to life, displaying a live-feed video image of the portion of the stargate’s inner ring positioned directly under the gate’s topmost jewel.

MITCH: I’ve got details on.

CATHERINE: 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 to operate, turning the heavy inner ring in a slow clockwise direction.

MEYERS: You found this thing in Egypt?

CATHERINE: 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 suddenly lighting up with a white glow. The jewels snap closed and a low harmonic HUM begins to resonate from the stargate.

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 one each out, the harmonic tone emanating from the stargate builds in both pitch and volume.

BARBARA: I can only guess how many volts it takes to fire that puppy up. (to Barbara) Do you pump direct or alternatin’ current into the ring to make it run?

CATHERINE: Neither, actually. As far as we can tell, the stargate is completely self-powered, requiring no external power source for operation. The only power we need supply is to the apparatus which turns the dial, and that is rather minute.

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 to vibrate violently, 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 all over the place.

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?

CATHERINE: This is why we’ve never entered the full combination into the gate before. (beat) When Project Giza was first incepted, we weren’t operating here under Creek Mountain but in a laboratory in a base in Missouri. The laboratory walls weren’t built to withstand the intense vibrations; only two glyphs in, the entire wing in that section of the base collapsed. (beat) Many were injured and killed, including the researchers who were working on the gate. (beat) Afraid that the device might have been a weapon of some sort, we decided to put off entering the full combination in ‘til we learned more about it.

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

BARBARA: (nods toward the gate) Here it comes.

As the rooms continue to rattle, 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 darkened state and the harmonic tones dying down to nothing. Seeing this, 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 Catherine, his eyes inquiring.

DANIEL: (irate) Just start it up!

CATHERINE: (shrugs) Humour him.

Mitch obeys. Once again the inner ring of the stargate starts spinning. His 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.


Mitch complies and the ring ceases its motions. There, front-and-centre, is a glyph resembling a large inverted “V” with a small circle perched atop its apex.


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.


A close up shot of Daniel’s face.

DANIEL: I can’t believe we missed it!


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 to draw 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.

Catherine, 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?

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

MITCH: I’m on it.

Mitch programs the ninth glyph into the computer and then re-initializes the dialling sequence. Once again the inner ring rotates, Jenny calling out as each of the glyphs in the address are encoded into the stargate. As the chevrons lock on, the harmonic tones and vibrations begin to build again.

DANIEL: Let’s hope this is it.

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 with white light. 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 toward the great bay window leading to the operations room with a big KAWOOSH. Several of the personnel leap back, crying out with fear 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-coloured light. Behind that pool stretches an invisible corridor leading to a destination 4,500 light-years distant.

MITCH: Tres cool.

Going over to a computer monitor, Barbara watches a red crosshair move across a map of the nearby universe. The crosshair soon comes to stop on a familiar-looking region of space.

BARBARA: (smiles) The beam’s locked itself onto a point in the M37 cluster.

DANIEL: (nods) 4,500 light-years away.

JENNY: (reading a monitor readout) It’s got mass. It could be a moon or a large asteroid.

A phone hanging on the wall left of the bay window starts ringing. Walking over to it, Catherine picks it up and raises it to her ear.



Gen. West, O’Neal, and Lt. Anderman stand at the bay window, looking down at the stargate. Anderman is the man talking to Catherine over the phone.

LT. ANDERMAN: Send in the probe.


MITCH: (turns to Catherine) What is it?

CATHERINE: (covers the receiver) They want to send a probe through.


The large, thick door to the room slides open, allowing ten armed airmen to enter. 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 up to the stargate, they switch control over to a technician working in the operations room.


LT. ANDERMAN: Record all information from the stargate.


Its treads rotating, the MALP begins rolling forward, climbing the ramp up toward the open stargate. As it reaches the rippling mirror-like surface of the puddle, it stops. Moving forward toward the liquid energy, the mechanized arm immerses itself into the puddle with an accompanying electric-like 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.


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

CATHERINE: (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 Catherine) How long have you people been working on this?

CATHERINE: The stargate was unearthed when I was ten years old, in '67, 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. (beat) It wasn’t until '04 that Project Giza was finally approved to go ahead.

DANIEL: But then that accident happened.

CATHERINE: Correct ….

Tears suddenly begin to well up in the woman’s eyes. Though she tries to wipe them away before Daniel can spot them, the renegade Egyptologist notices anyway.

DANIEL: (frowns) What’s wrong?

CATHERINE: I told you the research team directly responsible for the experiment on the stargate that day died in the cataclysm.

DANIEL: Yes ….

CATHERINE: I didn’t tell you that my fiance, Ernest, was the team leader.

DANIEL: (shocked) God ….

CATHERINE: (cont’d) Project Giza was put on hiatus following the accident and the stargate placed back into storage. I only managed to convince the people at the Pentagon to reopen the project three years ago.

JENNY: Something’s coming through!

Everyone in the room, their eyes transfixed on the monitors, watch as the first images from a world 70,000 light-years away come to life on the primary monitors. There, from the MALP’s point-of-view, can be seen the stone walls of a long chamber stretching past a peculiar-looking pedestal to a ramp leading to another chamber beyond.

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

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 quartz as the stargate, its engravings glowing the same white light.

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


The MALP begins moving forward, and without much effort the probe is directed around the pedestal. As the probe is turned 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.

CATHERINE: (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, allowing 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 up into the energy-filled torus. As the operator starts to zoom in on the crystalline ring, the picture begins growing fuzzy.

JENNY: We’re losing the signal.

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



Daniel, Barbara, and Meyers sit on the left side of the conference table, Gen. West, O’Neal, and Lt. Anderman on the right. At the head of the room, several variations of a single recorded still image of the stargate taken by the MALP on the alien planet are being projected onto the whiteboard.

GEN. WEST: This is the last image the probe sent back to us, frozen and enhanced. You can clearly see the details of the gate on the other side.

MEYERS: (squinting his eyes at the enlarged captures of the alien stargate’s glyphs) The markings appear to match the symbols on our gate.

GEN. WEST: That’s why I wanted you to see this.

LT. ANDERMAN: The readings tell us it’s an atmospheric match. Barometric pressure, temperature, and – most importantly – oxygen.

BARBARA: Is it an M-class world, though?

LT. ANDERMAN: At precisely 0600 hours tomorrow, we’ll re-establish contact with the probe and, provided we can get it out into the open, automatically set it to make a quarter-mile perimetre sweep of the surrounding area to gather data on local terrain, microorganisms, flora, fauna, and so on. Once six months have elapsed, we’ll re-establish contact again to download the data the probe has collected.

GEN. WEST: We’re planning a short reconnaissance mission as a follow-up to the probe’s survey – nothing fancy. Provided we find no signs of dangerous bacterial or animal life, an away team will be sent through to go over the area the probe has already covered, gather as much new information it may have missed as possible, then bring it back.

LT. ANDERMAN: Once on the other side, though, 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. (beat) We don’t know what might come through the other side.

BARBARA: (shrugs) Based on this new information, I don’t see how we could do it. (beat) If 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 do the same on an alien world without one. We’d need –

DANIEL: (confident) I could do it.

BARBARA: (nonplussed) What!?

GEN. WEST: Are you sure?

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

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 her head) This isn’t funny. Daniel doesn’t have the background to make a call –

GEN. WEST: (cutting her off with a raised 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 that the inner band was a map –

BARBARA: (enraged) We got as far as we did workin’ as a team, and you damn well know it! (beat) You’re full of shit!

GEN. WEST: Dr. Shore, if you’re finished –

BARBARA: (bears her teeth) I’m not finished, big man, 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 shame.



Entering the bare concrete room, O’Neal walks over to the far end, where a guard sits at a desk before a sealed security 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 noise, the security door begins to rise, revealing a smaller alcove beyond.

Stepping into the alcove, O’Neal peers in at its sole attraction; there, bolted to the wall, is the otherworldly set of fossils recovered from the Langford excavation. Stepping up to the petrified creature, O’Neal narrows his eyes at it, scrutinizing its dark eyes and sharp beak.


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 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.


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 bright 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 destruction and strife he has caused.


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 – who until now has been lying low – 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, unconscious with a bloody wound on its temple.


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 on their minds.

PUNK #1: Nice pants you got there, Red. Tight and red. Not the only thing on you tight and red, uh, Red?

The other punk giggles hysterically.

PUNK #1: (squeezes her rump) Plump, just the way I likes 'em. (beat) You ever let anyone in your back door, Red?

PUNK #2: (giggles) Let’s show ‘er how it’s done!

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

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

RED: (struggles against the punks) You stupid motherfuckers!

PUNK #2: (covers Red’s mouth and bends her over) Time for a warm-up! Bend over and touch your toes!

As the first punk unzips his pants, two uniformed police officers spring out from around the corner with their revolvers drawn.

COP #1: Freeze!

Releasing their grip on Red, the punks take off like scared rabbits for the other end of the alley. O’Neal, moving too slow to follow after them, takes a bullet in the ass and goes down. With O’Neal out of commission, the first cop goes off in pursuit of the punks while his partner stays behind to read the juvenile delinquent his rights.


Jack O’Neal, still sixteen, stands in court before a stern-faced judge.

JUDGE: (cont’d) … but I’ll be lenient and let you decide, Jonathan. Which will it be: enlistment in the armed forces or a year in the Washington State Correctional System?

O’NEAL: (resigned) I’ll take enlistment, Your Honour.


O’Neal seated in a barber’s chair. Now a USAF trainee, he is receiving his first crew cut.


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.


A couple of years haved passed, and an older, far more disciplined Staff Sergeant Jack O’Neal now stands before ANTHONY KAMPEN, a balding major with a large mustache plastered over his bland-looking face.

MAJ. KAMPEN: Welcome to Jump Two Company, Sergeant O’Neal.

The two airmen salute.


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

COL. KAMPEN: (hands a 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. KAMPEN: (cont’d) We don’t want him to live out the week. Do you understand?

O’NEAL: (nods once) Yes, sir.


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.


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 ….


A close up shot of Sarah Langenkamp’s – the future Sarah O’Neal’s – face, lit up with life and happiness.


As Sarah and a friend make their way down the steps from the college, 2nd Lieutenant O’Neal (his exemplary feats having earned him a commission) 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 help her, a sheepish expression on his face.

O’NEAL: Sorry – I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention ….

As the lieutenant pulls Sarah to her feet, the two individuals make eye contact.

O’NEAL: (cont’d) … to my surroundings.

SARAH: (frowning and smiling) It’s … alright. Okay.

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


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


O’Neal and Sarah stand facing one another, serious expressions on their faces. 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 hear me?! I’m not going to!

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


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


Sarah, suitcase in tow, storming past O’Neal and out the apartment door, slamming it behind her.

O’Neal, seated at a small table with a morose expression on his face, 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 transforms into 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.


As the house sits out in the open, blizzard winds and snow beating against it, O’Neal’s car pulls into the driveway, coming to a stop in front.


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.

SARAH: It’s him.


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


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


Sarah – along with O’Neal – step inside 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) Sarah?

MRS. LANGENKAMP: (yawns) What time is it?

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

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

O’NEAL: I’m Jonathan O’Neal. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Langenkamp.

SARAH: (nudges him with her elbow) Tell them the good news.

O’NEAL: (to her parents) Sir – ma’am – I’m pleased to say that your daughter and I are getting married. (beat) We’d like to have your blessing.

MR. LANGENKAMP: (nonplussed) S-sure.

MRS. LANGENKAMP: (smiles uncertainly) Why not?


O’Neal and Sarah walking down the aisle.


A close up shot of O’Neal’s lips up against Sarah’s ear.

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


Sarah O’Neal, heavily pregnant and in labour, is sitting up in her hospital bed, sweating and breathing heavily with doctors and her husband standing around her. Gritting her teeth, she groans as she pushes, and soon the groan builds into a cry of anguish. It all comes to an end soon, however, as the baby slides out into the main doctor’s arms.

DOCTOR: (turns to O’Neal) It’s a boy.

O’NEAL: (grins at the newborn) Hello, Tyler Charles O’Neal. Welcome to the big, wide world.


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.


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

O’NEAL: (blunt) I want out of Jump Two, Tony.

COL. KAMPEN: You can’t be serious, Jack. You’re our best, our go-to guy.

O’NEAL: (frowns) Then you’ll have to find yourselves another “go-to guy”, Colonel, because I’m getting out. (beat) I’m sick of the killings, sick of the guilt. If I have to resign from the Air Force – if I have to leave the good ol’ US of A altogether – I don’t care; I’m getting out.

COL. KAMPEN: (sighs) Alright, Jack, alright. (beat) Personnel of your calibre never really retire, though, you know. One day, sooner or later, you’ll be called on for another mission, and it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, Uncle Sam’s gonna have his way with you.


O’Neal and a twelve-year-old Tyler playing softball out in their backyard in the sun.


The backyard on to the front yard. We are now several months into the future. O’Neal, behind the wheel of a mini-van, pulls up the driveway and comes to a complete stop. Opening the door, he steps out.

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

Leaning into the mini-van, O’Neal gives the horn a few honks, trying to rouse his son. When he gets no result, he give it up. Closing the van door, he jogs up to the front of the house, unlocking the door and stepping inside.


O’NEAL: Son, you in here? Ty?

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


O’Neal opens the door to his son’s bedroom and peers inside. Though Tyler’s softball jersey hands off the back of his armchair, Tyler himself is not present. A worried expression creasing his face, O’Neal closes the door.


O’Neal barges into the room, his eyes focusing on the nightstand on Sarah’s side of their bed.

The nightstand’s drawer hangs ominously open.

Frantic, O’Neal races over to the bed and, getting down on his hands and knees, feels around for something under it.

O’NEAL: The key – where’s the key!?


O’Neal runs up the corridor, panicking.


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 before him.

O’NEAL: (shouting) Tyler? Tyler!


On Tyler O’Neal’s still figure lying down on the grass. Half-dressed for his softball game, his father’s gun sits in his right hand, a bloody hole punched through his head.

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


O’Neal, dressed in his black funeral clothes, stands facing the living room mantle, his 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 which stands atop the mantle. It is a photo of Sarah in happier times, grinning into the camera.


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


A headshot of O’Neal, his gun hand trembling.


The photo of Sarah.


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


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


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.


O’Neal back in the here-and-now.

Gen. West, having entered the room, now stands beside the colonel inside the alcove with the fossils.

GEN. WEST: (regards the 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.



Daniel inside his quarters, packing various books and other items of importance into a large trunk.


As Daniel places two final items – the photo of his foster parents along with a photo of his real ones – in the trunk, he hears a knocking at his door.

DANIEL: (bemused) Yeah, yeah – I’ll be ready in a second.

CATHERINE: (O.S.) It’s me, Daniel.

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

The door opens and Catherine strides in. Closing the door, she crosses her arms across her chest.

CATHERINE: (smirks) I thought you didn’t like to travel.

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

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

DANIEL: (waves his hand) Nevermind ….

CATHERINE: You’ve been having doubts, haven’t you?

DANIEL: Wouldn’t you?

CATHERINE: 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 been so quick to put you to the job.

DANIEL: I could have really used Barbara’s expertize, though. She’s an astrophysicist – she’s made it her life’s work to learn the physics behind things like the stargate.

CATHERINE: Understanding how the stargate works isn’t important. Understanding the physics behind the stargate isn’t important. What lies beyond the stargate – that is important. (beat) 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 now I’ve grown a little too long in the tooth, so it’s going to be you instead of me. (beat) It has to be you.

Reaching around her neck, Catherine unfastens the gold pendant from around her neck, handing it over to Daniel.

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

DANIEL: (regards the beautifully crafted medallion) I can’t accept this.

CATHERINE: (begins stroking 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.

DANIEL: Wait a second.

Stepping over to his desk, Daniel picks up the valuable piece of art. Turning back to Catherine, he hands her the bust.

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

Smiling, Catherine accepts the bust.



In the corridor directly outside of the embarkation room, seven members of the away team – Kawalsky, LT. DEREK BROWN, TECHNICAL SERGEANT LOUIS FERETTI, TSGT. STEVE PORRO, 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 colonel 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, bemused expressions on their faces.


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.


The security door to the embarkation room slides open and the away team files into the room. Making their way to the foot of the stargate’s ramp, they gaze up at the iridescent crystalline ring and its pool of rippling silver energy. Looking down upon them from the bay window above is Gen. West and Lt. 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 toward the far wall and looks up toward 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 towards the stargate.

O’NEAL: Let’s go.

Cocking their P90s, the airmen start forward up the ramp, O’Neal in the lead. Up above them, West and Anderman leave the bay window as the whiteboard on their side slides down over it.


Mitch and Jenny stare out into the embarkation room, transfixed as the members of the away team make their way up the ramp in single file towards the stargate. As Jenny leans forward in her chair to get a better look at their ascent, a pair of armed airmen enter the room. Distracted by these new arrivals, the two technicians turn toward them.


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 stone ring’s energy pool. Gripping the stock of his gun tightly and gritting his teeth, the colonel 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. Tentatively, he reaches forward with both hands, cautiously dipping them into the silver puddle. The liquid energy washes over his hands and the uncertain expression on his face transforms into one of moderate pleasure. Smiling, he slowly pulls his hands from the depths of the stargate, looking his unmarred digits over.


Having left their stations, Jenny and Mitch now stand before the airmen before the room’s open door. Their attentions, though, are still riveted on Daniel in the embarkation room. Unamused with their dalliance, one of the airmen coughs loudly.

MITCH: (turns toward the airman with a frown) We’re going, we’re going!

Reluctantly, the two technicians leave the room with the two airmen.


Deciding to hesitate no longer, Daniel steps forward, closing his eyes as he immerses himself in the silver puddle. As he passes through into the transspatial corridor beyond, his body phases out of conventional existence as he is propelled forward at astronomical velocities.


The dimensionally discombobulated entity that was Daniel makes his way along the interior of the stargate’s beam, a swirling tunnel of black-and-white energies. Coming to the end of this tunnel, he emerges into a perfectly white void. Strings of black light iris in around this void and what appears to be an inverted starfield fades into existence.

Caught in some kind of transspatial slipstream, the phase-shifted Daniel begins to slip and slide through this starfield, passing several peculiar rainbow halos along the way. Soon, the slipstream carries him through one of the halos – a halo filled with white light.


Daniel comes hurtling out of the active stargate, hitting the stone steps hard and rolling 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 six airmen. Seeing Daniel sprawled under the pedestal of iridescent black stone, O’Neal and Brown rush over to offer him their aid.

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

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

FERETTI: (grins weakly) What a rush.

Having recovered most of their faculties, the members of the away team begin to move into action, switching on flashlights and going over their cargo. Rising to his feet unsteadily, Daniel turns back to the stargate which discharged him into this strange new world. Just as he begins to examine this alien gate for any characteristics which may distinguish it from its twin on Earth, the device shuts down, casting the chamber into near-complete darkness.

Reaching into pouches and pockets, the airmen retrieve several flares. Igniting them, they begin tossing the sticks about the chamber, illuminating its features. The stargate chamber is wide and long, fashioned out of finely carved black basalt, it’s sloping side walls leading out to a smaller antechamber which itself leads to the ramp leading out to the unseen chamber beyond.

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

Passing through into the antechamber, Daniel looks up toward 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 figure out its ultimate purpose, before finally giving up and following the others.


As O’Neal’s men step out into the entrance hall – an immense chamber filled with countless stone pillars and bright illumination filtering in from slot-like windows looking outside – 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 a doorway leading outside waits for them.


Freeman and Porro step outside, crouching down and surveying their surroundings. Beyond the stone entrance stretches a long stone ramp, at the end of which stands a pair of tall stone 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 road which leads away 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 his instruments) Readings line-up with the probe’s. Conditions are similar to inside. Radiation, electromagnetic and other exposures indicate normal.

Satisfied with the lieutenant’s report, O’Neal nods. Starting forward, he, Brown, and Daniel make their way down the ramp with the others. Making his way down the ramp, 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 from. Seeing what the others are seeing, they snap back. There, standing before them, situated under three alien suns, is an Egyptian-style pyramid. Composed of red granite, the pyramid is easily the same size as the Great Pyramid on Earth.

DANIEL: (grins) I knew it.



The six airmen make their rounds about the quarter-mile perimetre surrounding the 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 (which happens to be half-buried in the sand) beyond the south side; and O’Neil and Kawalsky are checking out the area directly surrounding the pyramid itself.


Daniel stands alone within the dimly-lit stargate chamber, leaning over the black dais which serves as the remote dial of the stargate itself. Stretching forth his hand, he begins entering a stargate 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 a pure white. Unlike with 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. Coming to the conclusion that the large, unmarked hemispherical button in the centre of the stardial must act as the glyph’s substitute, Daniel presses down on it.

The hemisphere illumines with white light, and a split-second later all the lights, glyphs, and engravings on both the stardial and the 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 crystalline ring only lets loose a low GROAN, then both it and the dialling device immediately shut down.

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


Having gathered together under one of the obelisks, the members of the away team set down the equipment they’ve been carrying; Brown himself is steering the MALP by remote control up the ramp back into the pyramid.

O’NEIL: (to Feretti) Report.

FERETTI: Nothing much to report, sir. Other than some shrubs and sand, there’s nothing out there.

PORRO: We found a nest of some nasty-looking bugs that look like a cross between a wasp and a spider. Other than that, our findings match theirs.

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

Back over at the pyramid, Daniel has just stepped out. Visibly troubled, he makes his way down the ramp towards the rest of the team.

KAWALSKY: What do you mean, “you people”? You’re coming back with us, aren’t you, Colonel?

O’Neil doesn’t reply. Turning away from the others, he walks toward an open crate. As he starts placing equipment inside, Daniel walks up to him.

O’NEIL: Jackson, start working on the stargate.

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

KAWALSKY: I don’t know, Feretti.

DANIEL: (to O’Neil) 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’NEIL: 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 with the packing, O’Neil closes and latches the crate. He focuses all his attention on Daniel, his face hard.

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

DANIEL: (shakes his head) I can’t.

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

O’NEIL: (takes a menacing step forward) You can’t or you won’t?

DANIEL: (takes a step back) Look, I tried using our address – it didn’t work. I thought at first that maybe there was something wrong with the dialling device, so I tried to dial 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: What about inside the pyramid?

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 on both sides of the gate.

O’NEIL: (disgusted) You assumed.

With these words, Kawalsky goes ballistic.

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

Lunging forward, the lieutenant colonel pushes Daniel, knocking him off his feet.

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’Neil steps in his way, blocking him off.

O’NEIL: 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’NEIL: That’s enough, Lieutenant Colonel. You’re not in command of this mission.

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

KAWALSKY: (to the other airmen) Brown! Feretti! Freeman! Reilly! Porro! Back inside!

Without hesitation, the airmen follow Kawalsky’s order. As they start toward the ramp, Kawalsky joins them, leaving O’Neil and Daniel alone together beneath the obelisks.

O’NEIL: Now you’ve endangered everyone’s life except mine. (beat) Follow the men and help them off-load the equipment and bring it out.

Daniel obeys O’Neal’s command sheepishly.



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 over 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) Weren’t you paying attention during the mission briefing, dimwit? The silo’s been emptied out – it’s deader than a church on payday. (beat) 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.


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 colonel 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 the label bearing the symbol of radiation on the side, the cylinder appears to be a thermonuclear bomb.


Trudging up the side of the dune, Daniel comes to the camp, his large, heavy trunk of books and personal belongings in tow behind him. Dragging it over to his personal tent with visible strain, he releases his hold on the handle then proceeds to plop himself down on top of it. Exhausted, the scholar runs a hand across his sweaty, sandy, reddening forehead. He then begins to go 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 … (he stops to clip them on over his glasses) breath mints … two knives … signal flares … cyanide capsules … a hammock … string … tape … bandages … first aid kit … everything but sunblock. (turns to the others) Feretti, Porro – didn’t any of you guys bring any sunblock? I’m burning up out here.

The airmen ignore him.


Setting the bomb up on its base atop the FRED, O’Neal reaches back inside the vehicle’s compartment and pulls out an arming mechanism. Bringing it over to the bomb, he slides it into place in a slot set in the top of the weapon. The timer automatically lights up with red zeroes.


FERETTI: (points toward the crate he left sitting in the sunlight) 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 the 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: (approaching 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 his head; amused) That’s cold, man.


Before O’Neal can go further with the setup of the bomb, a flashlight beam comes shining down from the opening on the far side of the chamber, playing across the ramp leading inside, alerting the colonel to the presence of another. With silent haste, O’Neal pulls the arming mechanism back out of the bomb, deactivating it, then proceeds to place the weapon back inside the FRED’s secret compartment.

Kawalsky enters the chamber just as the colonel presses the panel down, resealing the hidden compartment.

KAWALSKY: Base camp is operational, sir.

O’Neal nods, his 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 colonel to answer his questions.

O’NEAL: You’re dismissed, airman.

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


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

O’NEIL: Come sundown, Jackson, Kawalsky and I’ll start off for the road. Like he said, it has to lead somewhere. (beat) Where is Jackson?

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


Daniel, his near-empty book sack slung across his shoulder, making the slow climb back up the face of the dune, stopping every now and then to retrieve one of the many heavy books which had spilled out into 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 exertion of the day.

O’Neal can only shake his head.


Just an update: I've gone back and edited all the earlier posts to correct spelling, do some reformating and minor re-writing, and remove most of the extraneous description.


It looks like I’ll be returning to work on this screenplay soon, so in preparation I’ve made some alterations to the previously submitted entries to bring the script in line with my revised plot; I completely cut out the prologue set in 8000 BCE, among numerous other less-significant changes.

I’d just like to say that from this moment forward, the story of this remake will diverge from the story of the original film in a particularly significant way. Not to give away any spoilers, but you won’t find a white saviour narrative here.



Hours have passed, and the triple suns have dipped low in the sky, turning the sky on the horizon a deep green. O’Neil, Kawalsky, Brown, and Daniel are set to head off down the road which leads into the unexplored desert beyond the pyramid. The other men are with them to see them off.

O’NEAL: Feretti, I’m placing you in charge while we’re gone. Keep base camp secure until we return.

FERETTI: Yes, sir.

O’NEAL: (to Daniel, Kawalsky, and Brown) Let’s move.

The three men leave.


For the next several hours, the colonel, lieutenant colonel, lieutenant, and Egyptologist trudge along the long, wide, empty road. As sunset leads into twilight, as twilight leads into night, and night leads into dawn, there is naught to be seen but featureless dunes as far as the eye can see.

Daniel sneezes all the while.


Finally, the trinary suns rise, colouring the sky yellow and bathing the dry sands in bright sunlight, revealing what lies at the end of the road, several metres into the distance: the front gate of an enclosed city.

Bringing up his binoculars, O’Neal peers through the scopes.


Up close, we can see that the blocks making up the walls and gate of the city are cut from red granite, just like the pyramid. Atop the gate, shaded from the sun under a tiled roof, are a pair of watchmen. The watchmen have apparently noticed the Earthlings, as one of them quickly puts his lips to a great horn and blows, sounding a large, low, foghorn-type call through the air.

KAWALSKY: Fall back. (beat) Should we fall back, sir?

O’NEAL: What would that accomplish? We might as well meet the neighbours.

O’Neal starts off for the city gate.

BROWN: What the hell is he doing now?

KAWALSKY: Let’s trail him.

Kawalsky, Brown, and Daniel follow in the colonel’s wake.


As the Earthlings come to the gate, Daniel takes it all in, awestruck. The architecture is very similar to that of ancient Egypt.

O’NEAL: Put your tongue back in your mouth.

Daniel obeys. They all then slip inside.


As the four Terrans file into the city of Nagada, they are met with an astonishing sight; the townspeople present, numbering in the hundreds, are human. All olive and dark-skinned people of Hamitic and Nubian extraction, they wear clothes which appear to blend the styles of Bedouin and Indian dress. Busy setting up their shops and preparing for a day of commerce, they all stop what they’re doing when they spot their four unfamiliar visitors.

O’NEAL: Alright, Jackson, you’re on.


O’NEAL: You’re the linguist. Try to talk to them.

Shrugging, Daniel steps forward, placing him between his comrades and the curious onlookers. Choosing one of the onlookers at random – a fifteen-year-old boy named SKARRA – Daniel strides up to him.

DANIEL: Um … hello?

Skarra has no response to this.

DANIEL: (laughs nervously) Dan-iel. I’m Daniel. (points to himself) And you?

Met with only a blank stare, Daniel makes a formal Japanese-style bow. This meets with more success, as Skarra awkwardly returns the gesture.

DANIEL: Essalat imana. (bows again)

Skarra apparently doesn’t understand Aramaic.

DANIEL: Neket sennefer ado ni.

He doesn’t appear to understand ancient Egyptian, either.

Daniel repeats the greeting again – reciting it in Berber then Omotic then ancient Hebrew then Chadic – but none of the languages he tries seem to be at all familiar to Skarra or any of these other humans on the other side of the stargate.

Sighing with frustration, Daniel looks up to the sky, absentmindedly fiddling with the gold pendant around his neck as he does so. As Skarra notices the stylized human eye emblazoned on the pendant, he almost wets himself.

SKARRA: Naturru ya ya! (turns to his townspeople) Naturru ya ya!

Hearing Skarra’s loud proclamation, the people gathered in the market square quickly get down on their hands and knees, prostrating themselves before the Earthmen. Skarra is quick to join them.

O’NEAL: What the hell did you say to him?

DANIEL: Nothing. All I said was hello.

O’NEAL: Dammit, I told you to communicate with them.


O’NEAL: Oh, fer chrissakes, Jackson, just communicate!

Stepping forward, O’Neal pushes Daniel out of the way, placing himself directly over Skarra. Bending over, he tugs Skarra to his feet with one hand while offering a handshake with the other. When the boy fails to understand, O’Neal takes his hand and gives it a vigorous shake.

O’NEAL: Hello, Col. Jack O’Neal, USAF.

Alarmed and confused, Skarra cries out. Pulling away from the colonel, he breaks off into a terrified run, disappearing into the crowd.

DANIEL: (dry) So much for communication.

Minutes pass, and then the crowd gathered before the Terrans parts as a greeting party arrives on the scene. KASUF, a gray-bearded man dressed in a fine red robe and violet headdress, comes forth atop a hairy steed which looks like an absurd hybrid of mastodon, camel, and water buffalo, escorted by a small group of women and an honour guard armed with what appear to be flintlock muskets. Bringing his steed to a halt metres before the four offworlders, Kasuf steps down; as one of women hands him an ornate wooden staff, Kasuf approaches the Earthlings. Bowing before the visitors, he presents them a greeting, then steps aside to allow the women to come forward.

The women, dressed in simple white dresses, come bearing soft cloths and pitchers of water. Moistening the cloths, they proceed to clean the dirty, sweaty faces of the Earthmen. One of the women, a lovely twenty-year-old girl with curly black hair, attends to Daniel. As she tenderly wipes the grime from Daniel’s face, they make eye contact. Her deep brown orbs peering into his of piercing blue, Daniel is struck dumb; not only does he find this extraterrestrial woman attractive, but also strangely, inexplicably familiar.

DANIEL: Thank you.

Finishing her work, the girl bows her head once in acknowledgement, then takes a step back.

Once the job of cleaning up the Earthmen is complete, Kasuf approaches them again. Deciding now would be a good time to return Kasuf’s gesture of friendship, Daniel reaches into a front pocket and withdraws one of his 5th Avenue bars; unwrapping the half-melted bar of chocolate, he presents it to Kasuf.


When Kasuf proves oblivious to the bar’s purpose, Daniel makes a “YUM” and then an eating gesture. Finally getting the picture, Kasuf accepts the bar and takes an apprehensive bite.

KASUF: (amazed) Bonni! (smiles) Bonniwae!

DANIEL: (grins) Bonniwae.

KASUF: (ecstatic) Bonniwae!

DANIEL: Bonniewae … bonniwae ….

KAWALSKY: What does that mean?

DANIEL: I have no idea.

Once Kasuf has overcome his initial reaction to his first taste of chocolate, he utters something in his tongue, making a gesture with his arms for them to come with him.

DANIEL: He’s inviting us to go with him.

KAWALSKY: How can you be so sure?

DANIEL: Becomes he’s (mimes Kasuf’s gesture) inviting us to go with him. (beat) We were looking for signs of civilization. Obviously, we’ve found it. If we want to find the gate symbols and get back home, we’ve gotta go with them. This is our best shot.

O’NEAL: Alright, there’s no alternative. (to Brown) Radio base camp. Tell them where we are, where we’re going, and that we’re going to be staying awhile.


Back at base camp, Freeman is stationed at the radio when Brown’s transmission comes in.

BROWN: (O.S.) Base camp, come in.

FREEMAN: Hold on. (takes off headset) Feretti! I’ve got the lieutenant!

Feretti hurries over to the radio. Accepting the headset, he slips it down over his ears.

FERETTI: Yes? (beat) What? Could you repeat that, sir? (beat) Okay … yes.

Taking off the headset, Feretti sighs.

FREEMAN: So, what’s the story?

REILLY: They find anything?

PORRO: What’s happening? What’s going on?

FERETTI: They’re not coming back, okay?! (shakes head) This is not good, I’m telling you guys!