A visit with a seemingly primitive culture is going uneventfully for Sheppard and his team when the locals mention that half of their crop harvest is surrendered to the Tower as a tribute in exchange for protection from the Wraith. When Sheppard asks about the Tower, the leader of the village they’ve been visiting shows them: covered in vegetation, it’s a structure almost identical to the central control tower of Atlantis itself. Rodney’s scans reveal a vast underground structure – not only is the tower identical, but so is everything else, an Ancient city-ship like Atlantis buried underground. When soldiers from the Tower show up and begin roughing up the villagers, Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon draw their weapons and stop them. A man named Otho, claiming to be a representative of the Tower’s royalty, warns Sheppard that further resistance will only result in a demonstration of power that will cost the village dearly. Sheppard stands his ground until an Ancient drone from the Tower lays waste to part of the village. Otho scans the new arrivals from Atlantis and then has Sheppard disarmed and taken to the Tower, where he is greeted by the ailing Lord Protector, who apparently has the gene needed to power the city’s systems and its drones. Sheppard grows impatient with the court intrigue, however, until Otho confides the truth to him: Sheppard has a higher concentration of the Ancient gene than any surviving member of the royal family, though among the scheming members of that family this makes him either a valuable asset or a liability to be done away with. Sheppard tries to bargain with Otho, offering medical help from Atlantis – including the Ancient gene therapy developed by Dr. Beckett – in exchange for the drones and puddle jumpers berthed in the Ancient city. But Ronon’s distaste for the villagers’ virtual enslavement may kick-start a revolution at the foot of the Tower before Sheppard can seal the deal.
written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
directed by Andy Mikita
music by Joel Goldsmith
Guest Cast: Peter Woodward (Otho), Jay Brazeau (Lord Protector), David Bloom (Eldred), Richard Kahan (Baldric), Brendan Beiser (Tavius), Chelan Simmons (Mara), Anna Cummer (Petra), Mark Gibbon (Constable)
Notes: Guest star Peter Woodward starred as the Technomage Galen in the short-lived Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade.
LogBook entry by Earl Green