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                                      STARGATE SG1

                                      Episode 305

                                    "LEARNING CURVE"

                                           By

                                     Heather E. Ash




               Building with a Stargate. Children appear to be excavating. We 
               close in and see Daniel is also there.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Thank you. That's perfect Zaren. Just 
                         like that.
 
               
               The chevrons start to unlock. The Gate is a browny pink colour.
 
               
               
                                     DANIEL
                         It's okay. It's just my friends returning.
 
                         
               
               The Gate opens and Jack and Teal'c step through.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Hello children.

               
               Daniel comes down a stepladder.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Daniel? No child labour laws here on 
                         Orban?
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         No, these are Urrone. They're like apprentices 
                         to the adults. They're everywhere. It's 
                         just how they do things. Look at this.
 
                         
               
               He passes something to Jack.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Chalchiutlicue. The Aztec goddess of 
                         water. They don't even know what they've 
                         got here. Who knows what we're gonna 
                         uncover. That is if General Hammond 
                         said yes. He did say..
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         He said yes.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Colonel O'Neill. You are most punctual. 
                         Both Merrin and I are eager to participate 
                         in this exchange between our worlds.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Major Carter is eager as well. She's 
                         really looking forward to it. So's Teal'c.
 
                         
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         I will share my knowledge of the Goa'uld 
                         freely.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Teal'c's eager on the inside.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Then if you are ready to leave..

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Kalan, I was under the impression we 
                         were bringing back one of your naqahdah 
                         reactors.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         This is the device.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         That little thing? Okay. Daniel, have 
                         fun. I know you will. Teal'c, make friends. 
                         As always.
 
               
               Teal'c goes to the DHD and starts dialling. The Gate engages.
 
               
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Folks. To Earth.

               
               SGC corridor. Hammond and Carter are walking to the Gateroom.
 
               
               
                                     CARTER
                         They're one of the most impressive societies 
                         we've come across Sir. They've managed 
                         to accomplish in a few decades what 
                         it took humans over a century to achieve.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Sounds like these people might make 
                         good allies.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         I think so. They're not quite up to 
                         the Goa'uld level of technology yet, 
                         but given a few years..
 
               
               Jack, Merrin and Kalan step through the Gate and come down the 
               ramp. Jack continues to stand by Sam while the Orbanians make 
               a greeting.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Thank you for this exchange General 
                         Hammond. I am sure it will be fruitful 
                         for both of our worlds. Major Carter; 
                         please allow Merrin to present you with 
                         this Naqahdah reactor. You may study 
                         it for the duration of our exchange.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Thank you.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         If you will allow, I would like to offer 
                         a tour.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         The exchange has been made. We will 
                         return to Orban now.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You just got here.

               
                                     CARTER
                         You can't leave. Someone needs to teach 
                         me how to use this thing.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Please explain what you mean by this.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Teaching? Uh, explaining how the reactor 
                         functions- its components, its construction.
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         I do not have this knowledge.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I will. teach you.

               
               Jack and Sam look surprised.

               
               OPENING CREDITS

               
               Elevator. Sam, Jack and Hammond are in the elevator with Merrin.
 
               
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Major Carter will show you the lab. 
                         But before you get started, I'd like 
                         you to visit our infirmary.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         It's standard procedure, nothing to 
                         be afraid of.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         You must screen newcomers for potential 
                         pathogens. Of course.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         So Merrin, I understand you're a reactor 
                         expert?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Yes.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         How old are you?

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I'm eleven. How old are you?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         So Merrin, I understand you're a reactor 
                         expert.
 
               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               Daniel is uncovering a mosaic around the DHD that has been covered 
               by stone.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         This is my son Tomin. He is also Urrone. 
                         Teal'c, you will please tell him of 
                         the Goa'uld.
 
               
                                     TOMIN
                         You are most generous to offer your 
                         knowledge, Teal'c.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Kalan, there was an apprentice here 
                         earlier- Zaren. Do you know where she 
                         went?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Zaren is not here. It was past her time 
                         to experience her Averium.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Averium. Is that like a graduation?
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         That is an approximate definition. Dr 
                         Jackson, you expressed an interest in 
                         viewing the city. It is advantageous 
                         to see the Pyramid of Suns in daylight.
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Yes. Absolutely.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Teal'c, you will please remain here 
                         with Tomin.
 
               
               Kalan and Daniel walk off. Teal'c turns to find Tomin looking 
               up at him.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         What is your purpose?

               
                                     TOMIN
                         I am making an observation of your physical 
                         characteristics. Dr Jackson tells us 
                         you were once a warrior in the service 
                         of the Goa'uld.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         That is correct.

               
                                     TOMIN
                         I think I understand now why the Goa'uld 
                         are so feared.
 
               
               Infirmary

               
               Janet is taking some of Merrin's blood.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Hurts a little bit, huh? You are being 
                         very brave.
 
               
               Jack walks in and stands by Sam.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         How's are little rocket scientist doing?
 
                         
               
                                     FRAISER
                         We are almost done, Colonel.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I am not a rocket scientist.

               
                                     CARTER
                         I think what Colonel O'Neill means is 
                         that you're very smart.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         You find my intelligence level unusual?
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         No. There are lots of intelligent people 
                         around here. Just not as young as you.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         You mean you were not always as smart 
                         as you are now?
 
               
                                     FRAISER
                         No. We spent a long time in school to 
                         get to this point.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Please explain what school is.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Uh. school is a place where you go to 
                         learn. A teacher gives you information 
                         and you take different classes to learn 
                         different subjects.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         So this is how you and Dr Fraiser became 
                         scientists?
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Mm-hm.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         You aren't a scientist?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Oh no.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Then you are not as smart as Major Carter 
                         and Dr Fraiser?
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Well it depends on what you mean by. 
                         Okay, no. I'm not. But while they were 
                         stuck in school, I was out doing other 
                         things, like, having fun. You do know 
                         what fun is, don't you?
 
               
               Merrin shakes her head.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Okay, fun is.what you do to make yourself 
                         happy. Like music, games. It's whatever 
                         you do when you're not learning to be 
                         a rocket scientist.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I'm here to teach Major Carter about 
                         the reactor.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Sounds like fun to me!

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Whatever. Go ahead, knock yourself out
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Come on, Merrin. I'll show you the lab.
 
                         
               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               Teal'c and Tomin are sitting on the steps to the Gate.

               
                                     TOMIN
                         But you have found hosts for other Goa'uld 
                         in the past as First Prime to the Goa'uld 
                         leader.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         I have vowed to battle the Goa'uld and 
                         to free my people. If I allow the symbiote 
                         that I carry to be implanted, I would 
                         be perpetuating all that I oppose.
 
                         
               
                                     TOMIN
                         What happens if you do not find a host 
                         for this Goa'uld?
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         It will die.

               
                                     TOMIN
                         If the Goa'uld dies, then you will die 
                         as well?
 
               
               Teal'c nods.

               
                                     TEAL'C
                         That would be unfortunate.

               
               Outside the Orban gateroom

               
                                     DANIEL
                         I should have known by the murals but 
                         the construction of your pyramid confirms 
                         it.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Dr Jackson, I do not understand.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Teotihuacan. It was a city in pre-Columbian 
                         South America, even bigger than ancient 
                         Rome. Which wouldn't mean anything to 
                         you, but it is significant.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         But you said we were Aztec.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         No, these people predated the Aztecs.
 
                         
               
               Daniel and Kalan come into the Gateroom.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Okay, look. These pictures form a narrative. 
                         Whatever's under this platform may tell 
                         us exactly how your people came to be 
                         on Orban.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         You will explain this to Tomin.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Okay. Teotihuacan flourished for centuries 
                         as a religious and economic mecca before 
                         suffering a great upheaval in 750 AD, 
                         I think that your people could be the 
                         descendants of that civilisation.
 
                         
               
                                     TOMIN
                         Do you believe the arrival of the Goa'uld 
                         caused Teotihuacan's downfall?
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Yes!

               
               Carter's lab

               
               Sam is holding some handheld gizmo.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Okay, that's the converter, right?
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         The heating element.

               
                                     CARTER
                         What? W.. When did we talk about the 
                         heating element?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         In the very beginning when I described 
                         the fodinaire.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh man. It can't be this hard.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I will begin again.

               
                                     CARTER
                         No, wait. Let's try this a different 
                         way. How about we break everything down 
                         into its most basic components? Let's 
                         start with the reactor casing. What's 
                         it made of?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         The fodinaire attaches..

               
                                     CARTER
                         No. I'm sorry Merrin. We'll get to that 
                         in a minute. Right now, I just need 
                         to know what materials make up the reactor 
                         casing. It'll have to block radiation 
                         so we'll make it lead lined. See? This 
                         is easy. And the casing material would 
                         have to measure..
 
               
               Janet walks in.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Major? If you don't mind, I'd like to 
                         see Merrin in the infirmary again. Just 
                         a couple of follow up tests.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Okay.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Okey-doke.

               
               They leave.

               
               Briefing room

               
               Sam, Jack, Hammond and Janet are standing around a monitor.
 
               
               
                                     FRAISER
                         Merrin's bloodwork shows trace levels 
                         of silicon, trinium and some other element 
                         I have never seen before. Now I think 
                         it's a mineral but it definitely not 
                         found on Earth.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Okay, even I know that's bad.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Well I found out what's responsible.
 
                         
               
               She clicks a button and a picture comes up on the screen.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         What?

               
                                     CARTER
                         A nanite.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         She's got nanites in her blood?

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Yes. However, it still didn't explain 
                         Merrin's abnormally high neuropeptide 
                         levels. So I did a computer enhanced 
                         MRI. You ready for this one?
 
               
               She clicks again.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         There's millions of them. They've infested 
                         that little girl's brain.
 
               
               Infirmary

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         I put the base on a threat com bravo. 
                         Doctor, get blood samples from everyone. 
                         I want to know how far those nanites 
                         have spread.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         My nanoprocessors are harmless to you.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Merrin, we've run into these little 
                         beggars before and they're anything 
                         but harmless.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         We encountered a civilisation in which 
                         the Goa'uld used a similar method, nanocytes, 
                         to accelerate the age of a population. 
                         Colonel O'Neill was adversely affected.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Oy!

               
                                     MERRIN
                         These nanites were created by Orbanians 
                         in an Orbanian laboratory 49 years ago. 
                         All of my people have them. It is the 
                         way we acquire knowledge.
 
               
                                     FRAISER
                         Wait a minute. So you're saying, Merrin, 
                         that all Orbanians brains look like 
                         this?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Each citizen receives a nanite after 
                         every averium. Urrone children are given 
                         millions more nanites at birth because 
                         we are required to learn vast amounts 
                         of information very quickly. This must 
                         be done in infancy before neural pathways 
                         are established.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         So. these nanites act as additional 
                         synapses?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Yes. But that is all they do. They do 
                         not age us and cannot leave the brain.
 
                         
               
                                     FRAISER
                         But, Merrin, we found one of these nanites 
                         in your blood.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Well if a nanite malfunctions, it is 
                         programmed to disconnect from the brain 
                         and be absorbed into the blood stream. 
                         Those are inactive and incapable of 
                         harming others. I am sorry if I have 
                         alarmed you and I understand if you 
                         wish me to return to Orban.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh, I don't think that would be necessary. 
                         Do you, General?
 
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         If you think that's it's safe, Major 
                         Carter, then you can continue to work. 
                         But I still want those blood samples, 
                         Doctor.
 
               
                                     FRAISER
                         Yes Sir.

               
               Merrin leaves with Sam.

               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               Daniel has uncovered what looks like a snake on the mosaic surrounding 
               the DHD. Kalan is looking at it. Tomin walks in.
 
               
                                     TOMIN
                         Father? I wish to undergo the Averium 
                         immediately.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Tomin, it is six months until you turn 
                         12.
 
               
                                     TOMIN
                         I am concerned by what Teal'c has told 
                         me of these Goa'uld. If they learn of 
                         our existence, they will destroy us. 
                         The studies I have made to learn about 
                         defence technologies must now be put 
                         to use, so that Orban can begin preparations.
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         I will notify the elders. You have learned 
                         well, my son. I am proud.
 
               
               Carter's lab

               
               Merrin is looking at a plant.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         You study botany as well, Major?

               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh no. Those are just decoration.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         That does not look like a Naqahdah reactor 
                         core.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Yeah, well. I had to improvise, seeing 
                         as we're only using a microscopic amount 
                         of Naqahdah. How about you sketch it 
                         for me?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         What?

               
                                     CARTER
                         Draw me your reactor core. Give me an 
                         idea of what it looks like.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I don't draw.

               
                                     CARTER
                         You don't draw? Everyone draws.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         No. It is not something I am required 
                         to do. I've never had to draw before.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh. Well, it's, uh. it's pretty easy. 
                         Here. See?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         What is that?

               
                                     CARTER
                         It's a picture of me.

               
               Merrin looks down. It's a stick figure with a bit of hair.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Well, I know it doesn't exactly look 
                         like me, but it's just a basic representation. 
                         See, that's all I need from you- just 
                         a basic representation of the reactor's 
                         core.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         All right. But this paper is not large 
                         enough.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Okay. How's this?

               
                                     MERRIN
                         That will do.

               
               Merrin starts to draw.

               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               Teal'c walks in to Daniel who is chipping away at some stone.
 
               
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Kel mel Daniel Jackson.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Look at this. This proves the Goa'uld 
                         were here some time in the last few 
                         hundred years. Now we just need to figure 
                         out why they left.
 
               
               Daniel shows Teal'c the underside of the slab showing a jaffa 
               head piece.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Dr Jackson, I brought the tools you 
                         asked. Teal'c, you will please tell 
                         Solen methods to fight the Goa'uld: 
                         which weapons and strategies have been 
                         effective in their defeat, also anything 
                         in your experience as First Prime to 
                         Apophis that would be of assistance.
 
                         
               
                                     SOLEN
                         It is an honour to accept your knowledge 
                         Teal'c.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Perhaps it would be better for Tomin 
                         to return.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         He is unavailable. Solen will learn 
                         now.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Tomin is already familiar with the subject.
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         He has given us his knowledge. Please, 
                         you will talk to Solen.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Well Teal'c has a point, if they've 
                         already established a rapport.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         I have told you it is impossible for 
                         Tomin to be here. He has gone through 
                         the Averium. Please, Teal'c. Begin.
 
                         
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         I would like to see Tomin immediately.
 
                         
               
               Carter's lab.

               
               Jack walks in.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Merrin. What are you doing?! Get down.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Colonel O'Neill, I need 15 sheets of 
                         paper at least 48cm by 23cm.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Well that's fine. Why don't you just 
                         ask.. Excuse me.
 
               
               Sam is asleep on the desk.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Major.. CARTER!

               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh. Oh, uh.. Merrin, I am so sorry. 
                         Wow! These are amazing.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I cannot represent the reactor core 
                         on a three-dimensional plane, so I depicted 
                         several layers of the reactor's interior. 
                         With additional supplies, I can finish 
                         the remaining layers.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Cross sections. Of course! If I scan 
                         these into the computer I can come up 
                         with a three dimensional representation 
                         of the reactor's interior.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         All right! Will you two give it a rest? 
                         Both of you. You've been at this for 
                         24 hours. You need rest.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I do not need to. Urrone children require 
                         little sleep.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Okay, now I am jealous.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         All right, Carter, you sleep. Young 
                         lady, if not sleep. Fun.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         No, I need 15 sheets of paper at least 
                         43cm by 28cm.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         15?

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Colonel O'Neill? I require some of these 
                         pencils as well.
 
               
               Orban building

               
               Daniel and Teal'c are in a room with Tomin who is sitting on 
               a bed.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Do you not recognise me? It is Teal'c. 
                         Kalan!
 
               
               Kalan walks in.

               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Explain this Averium.

               
                                     KALAN
                         It is the ceremony in which an Urrone's 
                         nanites are removed and then distributed. 
                         Each adult and each non-Urrone child 
                         then receives an injection containing 
                         one nanite, which becomes part of his 
                         or her synaptic network, adding to those 
                         nanites received from previous Averiums.
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         So when you say he gave you his knowledge, 
                         you meant it literally?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         It was a beautiful ceremony. Now you 
                         have seen. We must resume our work Dr 
                         Jackson.
 
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         What will become of Tomin?

               
                                     KALAN
                         He stays here with the other past Urrone.
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         That's it, you. you. Don't you play 
                         with him?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         What is play?

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Interacting with him, teaching him new 
                         things.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         These children cannot be taught.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Have you ever tried?

               
                                     KALAN
                         Oh yes, but past Urrone children cannot 
                         receive new nanites. The brain rejects 
                         them.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Well, have you ever tried teaching them 
                         without nanites?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         What do you mean?

               
               Daniel and Teal'c look at each other.

               
                                     KALAN
                         There is no need for concern. These 
                         children are well cared for.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Kalan, this is your son.

               
                                     KALAN
                         My son is here now.

               
               He points at his head.

               
               Briefing room, SGC

               
               Janet, Teal'c, Jack, Sam and Hammond are there.

               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Kalan says that Tomin is not brain damaged, 
                         but clearly he was not himself.
 
               
                                     FRAISER
                         Well if the nanites have taken over 
                         the learning process and prevented the 
                         brain from developing a normal amount 
                         of synapses, then there's a good chance 
                         their removal would make these children 
                         infant like.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         What's the difference if they keep 'em 
                         locked up in a room?
 
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         So once Merrin returns to Orban, she 
                         will undergo this Averium and her nanites 
                         will be removed?
 
               
                                     FRAISER
                         Yes.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Then maybe she won't return to Orban.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Colonel..

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         General, she's going back to get her 
                         brain sucked out! And I dare anybody 
                         to phrase it more delicately.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Sir, I agree with you. But we can't 
                         just keep Merrin here can we.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Why not? We'd be saving her life.

               
                                     FRAISER
                         Okay, why don't we simply just try asking 
                         Kalan not to harvest Merrin's nanites?
 
                         
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         I do not believe the Orbanians will 
                         understand the reason for your request. 
                         They do not see this as wrong.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Well then we need to make them understand.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Teal'c, return to Orban. Colonel, before 
                         we risk an interplanetary incident, 
                         I'd like to try the diplomatic route 
                         first.
 
               
               Jack looks disgusted.

               
               Orban

               
                                     KALAN
                         how can you make this demand?

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Kalan, no one is demanding anything.
 
                         
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         We do not believe the Averium is in 
                         Merrin's best interests.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         It is most certainly in her best interests- 
                         for her and for her people.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Okay. You see, in our culture, we don't 
                         believe in doing anything that results 
                         in harming a child.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         We do not harm our children, Dr Jackson. 
                         You have seen Tomin, you have seen how 
                         well he is cared for!
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Okay, I think we can work this out. 
                         We just need to sit down and discuss 
                         some alternatives.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         There are no alternatives! Merrin must 
                         undergo the Averium. You will return 
                         her immediately!
 
               
               Sam's lab

               
                                     MERRIN
                         The Averium is a great honour.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Merrin, I know that's what the adults 
                         have told you. But when they take out 
                         these.. nanite things. they also take 
                         out everything that makes you - you.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         But my people will have my knowledge.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         But you won't.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I do not understand why you are so concerned.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Merrin, we just don't think you realise 
                         what you'll be giving up by going through 
                         the Averium.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         It is a great honour to be chosen.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Will you please stop saying that?

               
               Hammond and Teal'c approach the door.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Colonel? A word please?

               
               Jack walks over to them.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Teal'c.

               
                                     TEAL'C
                         Kalan refused our request. Daniel Jackson 
                         remained behind to try and alter his 
                         position.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Good. That'll give us a chance to make 
                         Merrin understand.
 
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         She's already refused amnesty, Colonel.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         General, it's obvious the little girl 
                         has been brainwashed. We can't send 
                         her back without at least trying.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Teal'c, do you forsee any danger to 
                         Dr Jackson if her stays on Orban.
 
                         
               
                                     TEAL'C
                         I do not believe Daniel Jackson will 
                         be harmed.
 
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         I'll give it 48 hours.

               
               Hammond and Teal'c walk off. Jack goes back into the lab.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         So Merrin, looks like you'll be spending 
                         a little more time with us.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Please return me to Orban.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You do understand we're trying to help, 
                         right?
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I don't need your help.

               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               Kalan is trying to dial out.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Kalan, you can't do this.

               
                                     KALAN
                         If you will not return Merrin to us, 
                         I will retrieve her myself.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         If you don't transmit a special code 
                         they will close the iris and you won't 
                         get through. You will die.
 
               
                                     SOLEN
                         Please explain this iris.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         I will explain it, but only to you. 
                         (meaning Kalan)
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         If you will not explain it, then transmit 
                         the code.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         I'm sorry.

               
                                     KALAN
                         You claim to love knowledge, yet when 
                         you find something you don't like, you 
                         demand that we change to please you!
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         No, it is not to please me! You are 
                         an incredibly advanced society, why 
                         can't you find a better way to educate 
                         your people?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         There is no better way than the Averium!
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Even if that means giving up your son?
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         It was the happiest day of my life when 
                         Tomin was selected to be Urrone. I knew 
                         even before he was born that he would 
                         make an incredible contribution to our 
                         society.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         And you never once thought otherwise?
 
                         
               
                                     KALAN
                         Not once. And neither did Tomin.

               
                                     DANIEL
                         And what if Merrin does?

               
                                     KALAN
                         Merrin is one of only a few Urrone children 
                         and the only one to have spent ten years 
                         learning the Naqahdah technology. Without 
                         her Averium, the people who have been 
                         awaiting her knowledge to continue their 
                         research, they will have to wait 12 
                         years for another Urrone to learn.
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Well, I didn't know that.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Merrin does. She does not question her 
                         duty. It is you, Dr Jackson, who are 
                         misguided to think you can convince 
                         her otherwise.
 
               
               Sam's lab

               
                                     CARTER
                         Come on! Why, why, why aren't you working?
 
                         
               
               Merrin comes in accompanied by an SF.

               
                                     SF
                         She insisted on seeing you Major.

               
                                     CARTER
                         It's all right, thanks. Hey.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Major Carter? I need you assistance. 
                         You must tell General Hammond to let 
                         me return to Orban.
 
               
               Sam looks away.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         I thought as a scientist, you would 
                         understand.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Merrin, you're only eleven. Half the 
                         interesting things in my life didn't 
                         happen till I turned 15.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         What kind of interesting things?

               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh..just, uh.. stuff.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         If it were possible, I would give you 
                         one of my nanites, and then you would 
                         know it's all right.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Thank you, but I don't think that would 
                         make a difference.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         You are finished?

               
                                     CARTER
                         Almost. Once I ran a computer simulation 
                         based on your sketches, I thought I 
                         could adapt the design to my materials. 
                         But the current is being diverted before 
                         it reaches the core. I think the shielding 
                         might be diverting power.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Major Carter..

               
                                     CARTER
                         Unless.. Hey, hey, hey! The trinium 
                         is absorbing the current.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Correct. All.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Wait! Sorry, let me. Okay, by reversing 
                         the polarity..
 
               
               She flicks a switch and it lights up.

               
                                     CARTER
                         That's it! We're in business!

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Why wouldn't you let me give you the 
                         solution?
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         What would have been the fun in that?
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Fun?

               
                                     CARTER
                         Well yeah. Figuring something out on 
                         my own, especially if it's been eluding 
                         me a while. It's far more satisfying 
                         than having the answer given to me.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         But not as efficient.

               
               Hammond's Office.

               
               Knock at the door.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Come in.

               
               Jack walks in.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You.

               
               Daniel and Kalan are sat in front of Hammond's desk.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You wanted to see me Sir?

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Kalan has come to escort Merrin back 
                         to Orban. Before you say anything, know 
                         that I have already granted his request.
 
                         
               
                                     DANIEL
                         I don't like it either Jack, you don't 
                         know the effect this is having on the 
                         Orbanians.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         What about the effect it's having on 
                         Merrin?
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Your Dr Jackson has come to realise 
                         Merrin's importance to her people.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Her importance as a vegetable?

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Colonel!

               
                                     KALAN
                         If you would try to understand.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         No! I won't. The way you treat your 
                         children is absurd. You don't deserve 
                         them.
 
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Colonel O'Neill!

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Request permission to be excused, Sir!
 
                         
               
               He's out of the door before Hammond can reply.

               
               Carter's lab.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Okay, clear.

               
               Merrin and Sam put protective glasses on.

               
               A wave radiates outwards from the reactor and Sam and Merrin 
               step back. Alarms go off.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         We did it! Let me record these readings.
 
                         
               
               Jack walks in.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         What the heck was that?

               
                                     MERRIN
                         The reactor worked.

               
               The phone rings. Sam goes to answer it.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Carter.

               
               Jack makes signals that he and Merrin are going. Sam nods.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Yes, sir. We're fine. Yeah, it was just 
                         the reactor. No sir, just an initial 
                         energy pulse. There's no threat to the 
                         base.
 
               
               SGC corridor.

               
               Jack and Merrin are walking followed by the SF.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         It's all right Airman, I've got it.
 
                         
               
               The SF walks off as Jack and Merrin reach the elevator. The alarms 
               also stop.
 
               
               Jack swipes his card and they get into the elevator. Jack presses 
               the number 1.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         You are taking me to the surface?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Yes. Look, you came here to learn, right? 
                         There's something I have to show you, 
                         but I have to take you off the base 
                         for it.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         You do not have permission. Do you?
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         No. I don't.

               
               Hammond's Office.

               
               He's on the phone.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         In the future, Major, before you activate 
                         any device that includes, the word reactor 
                         in it, I would appreciate it if you'd 
                         notify me.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Of course Sir, it won't happen again.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Good. Now I'd like you to bring Merrin 
                         to my office.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Oh, Colonel O'Neill just left with her.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Thank you Major.

               
               He cuts the call off and begins a new one.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         This is Hammond. If Colonel O'Neill 
                         attempts to leave, you're ordered to.. 
                         How long ago? I see.
 
               
               He puts the phone down.

               
               School

               
               Jack and Merrin walk up to the school.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         This is a school?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         It's part of it. We call this the playground.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         What is it for?

               
               The bell rings.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Well just watch.

               
               The kids come running out.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Bambinas! Pizzeria! Mamma Mia!

               
                                     BOY
                         Colonel Jack, what are you doing here?
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Playing hooky. Kids, I want you to meet 
                         my friend. Her name's Merrin. Think 
                         you can show her around while I talk 
                         to Mrs Struble?
 
               
                                     MRS STRUBLE
                         Colonel O'Neill! The kids have been 
                         asking when you're coming back to see 
                         us. How's Cassandra enjoying junior 
                         high?
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         She's doing fine. She loves it. Listen, 
                         do you have room for another student 
                         this afternoon?
 
               
               They look across at Merrin who is playing catch, or not catching.
 
               
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         She's.. visiting. from out of town.
 
                         
               
                                     MRS STRUBLE
                         We have art scheduled after recess.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         That's perfect.

               
               Classroom

               
               Merrin is looking at the paint.

               
                                     MRS STRUBLE
                         Your assignment is to paint something 
                         you love. Now, it could be a person 
                         or.. an object. Just use your imaginations.
 
                         
               
               Merrin gets some blue paint and looks at the girl's next to her.
 
               
               
               SOME TIME LATER

               
               Jack walks round and sees a girl has painted him.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         I look fat.

               
               The girl giggles.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Colonel O'Neill?

               
               Merrin has painted a Naqahdah reactor.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         This brush is too wide to accurately 
                         render the wires.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Okay, let's try this again.

               
               He rips the paper off the easel.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Something you love. Something that's 
                         not a machine, okay? Remember those 
                         flowers in Major Carter's lab? The ones 
                         on the desk? Paint one of those. Go 
                         ahead.
 
               
               Merrin starts to paint in the bottom corner of the sheet. Jack 
               pokes his head back around.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Bigger! Big.

               
               SOME TIME LATER

               
                                     MERRIN
                         There is no purple.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Use red.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         If I could have another cup.. I could 
                         mix the blue with the red.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Make the flower red.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         But those flowers were purple! You ask 
                         me to draw a flower but you do not give 
                         me the means to do this accurately.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Merrin.. listen to me. It doesn't have 
                         to be exact. Paint me a flower. I don't 
                         care what it look like. Here, use this. 
                         And don't stop with one. Paint the whole 
                         garden!
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         But..

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Ah! Paint.

               
               SOME TIME LATER

               
               The classroom is empty but for Merrin and Jack. Merrin has finished. 
               She picks up her pad and sits on the window ledge next to Jack.
 
               
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Nice. Who's that?

               
               He points to a stick figure.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         It's a representation of Major Carter.
 
                         
               
               Jack smiles.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Of course it is.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Is it right?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Oh yeah. It's way more than right.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Thank you Colonel O'Neill, for teaching 
                         this to me.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You're welcome. Merrin. All you have 
                         to do is ask. I'll find a way to make 
                         it happen.
 
               
                                     MERRIN
                         I have a duty to my people. My knowledge 
                         is important to them. You did promise.
 
                         
               
               SGC- corridor outside Control Room

               
                                     CARTER
                         Unfortunately the test used up the last 
                         of our naqahdah, but we'll find more.
 
                         
               
                                     HAMMOND
                         At least we've got a working prototype. 
                         Colonel?
 
               
               Jack is waiting in the Control room.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         I'm not here to cause trouble, Sir.
 
                         
               
                                     MERRIN
                         Colonel O'Neill?

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         I have something for you.

               
               He hands her a Big Box of crayola crayons.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         They're beautiful. Thank you. You are 
                         mad at me for not staying.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         No. No, I'm not.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         Then you understand.

               
               Jack doesn't say anything.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         Major Carter, please take Merrin down 
                         to the Gate room. I'll be there momentarily.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         Yes, Sir.

               
               They leave.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         You've already given me more than enough 
                         reason for a court martial.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         General, for a few hours today, I got 
                         to show that little girl how to be a 
                         kid. If you want to punish me, go ahead.
 
                         
               
               Hammond leaves.

               
               Gateroom

               
               Daniel, Sam and Teal'c are there.

               
                                     MERRIN
                         On behalf of the citizens of Orban, 
                         I'd like to thank you for the experience 
                         you have given me and to my people. 
                         I have learned much in my time here.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         So have we.

               
               Kalan and Merrin turn to walk through the Gate while Jack watched 
               from the Control Room.
 
               
               Control Room

               
               Daniel, Sam, Jack and Teal'c enter.

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         We've just received a transmission from 
                         Orban. Kalan asked for all of you to 
                         go there right away.
 
               
                                     DANIEL
                         Is something wrong?

               
                                     HAMMOND
                         You'll find out when you get there.
 
                         
               
               Orban Gateroom

               
               SG-1 come through the Gate to be met by Kalan.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Thank you for coming!

               
                                     DANIEL
                         What's wrong?

               
                                     KALAN
                         Oh, nothing is wrong! I will show you!
 
                         
               
               Orban Former Urrone Area.

               
               The children are playing hopscotch, throwing a ball, juggling 
               etc.
 
               
                                     KALAN
                         Come! Look! Isn't it wonderful?

               
               Tomin is skipping.

               
                                     KALAN
                         Solen.. Solen. Colonel O'Neill, this 
                         is my son, Tomin. I am teaching him. 
                         All of the past Urrone children will 
                         now learn in the 'old fashioned way' 
                         as you might say. He will know all that 
                         you have done for Orban. Oh, I.. I drew 
                         this for you. To express my gratitude.
 
                         
               
               Jack opens the paper and it's the same stick figure Sam and Merrin 
               drew.
 
               
                                     CARTER
                         Isn't that..

               
                                     KALAN
                         Me!

               
                                     DANIEL
                         Kalan, when did all this start?

               
                                     KALAN
                         Last night, after Merrin's Averium.
 
                         
               
                                     CARTER
                         She must have known this would happen 
                         once her nanites were transferred.
 
                         
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         This is what she learned.

               
               Sam looks round.

               
                                     CARTER
                         Colonel.

               
               He follows her gaze to see Merrin colouring on the wall with 
               the crayons he gave her. He goes over. Teal'c goes to Tomin who 
               reaches out to touch his tattoo.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Hi Merrin.

               
               She just looks at him.

               
                                     O'NEILL
                         Okay. I guess we'll just have to get 
                         to know one another all over again.
 
                         
               
               He picks up a crayon and starts to draw. Merrin scribbles over 
               it.
 
               
                                     O'NEILL
                         You're right. What was I thinking? Have 
                         you ever seen a dog? Dogs are my favourite 
                         people. Some have tails, some don't. 
                         Not a lot of purple dogs.
 
               
               CLOSING CREDITS

               
               THE END

Learning Curve



Writers :   Heather E. Ash
Genres :   Sci-Fi  Action  Adventure


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