In Washington on Earth, Richard Woolsey and Colonel Telford meet with Ambassador Ovirda of the planet Langara, Woolsey wants to use Langara’s naquadria core to open a wormhole to Destiny
and send through supplies, but Ovirda notes that the last two planets have been destroyed by a catastrophic chain reaction. His scientists believe that Rush’s solution is inherently dangerous, and Woolsey calls in Rodney McKay to give a presentation on their new process.
, Rush plays chess against Amanda, who is in the ship’s computer but able to project herself to him. She objects when he points out that she’s more than a flesh-and-blood person, but is forced to admit that he’s right. Amanda realizes that there is a way to become a real person.
Ovirda cuts off Rodney before he can give his presentation. The ambassador explains that he wants time for his scientists to go over the data, but Telford warns that there is no time. The Lucian Alliance knows that they can use the facility on Langara to create a wormhole to get to Destiny
, and they won’t take no. Ovirda suggests that they dismantle the facility, and asks Earth to protect them from the Lucian Alliance if they think they’re at risk. The ambassador refuses to yield on the point and hopes that Telford is wrong. Once the Langaran delegates leave, Telford announces his suspicion that they are working with the Lucian Alliance and they have to move. They meet with Young, who is on Earth in another body via the communication stones. He has reports from listening satellites around Langara showing that they’ve exchanged transmissions with the Alliance. Young believes that the Alliance is preparing another attack on Destiny
, and they want McKay to run his presentation on the ship.
McKay arrives on Destiny
in Brody’s body, and Young notes that Rush was supposed to switch with him instead. Vanessa informs her commander that Rush didn’t show up as discussed, and he goes to look for the scientist while Vanessa escorts McKay to meet with Eli, the person he’ll have to convince. Young finds Chloe, who explains that Rush is in the neural interface chair and said that he was going to take the day off. Johansen admit that it’s dangerous to wake him up, and he is emitting high levels of delta waves. Young tells them to find out what’s going on.
Via the chair, Rush is experiencing sex with Amanda. He asks her what conditions that she put in, and Amanda says that she created simple parameters allowing him to come and go as he wants. She offers to take him exploring... later.
Young finds Greer exercising in the corridor and tells him to go back to the infirmary.
McKay argues with Eli about the calculations, and Young asks if they’re okay to go. Eli says that they are and the colonel tells them to begin, assuring McKay that he can come back later once they’ve created the wormhole from Langara.
Back on Earth, McKay meets with Woolsey, Young and Telford. Woolsey would rather negotiate, but Homeworld Command believes that the Alliance will move on Langara in a matter of days. The diplomat insists that he won’t assist in any military assault, and Young says that they are planning a peace offering, not an attack.
Back on Destiny
, Young checks on Rush, and Johansen explains that he’s in a coma. The colonel tells her to check on Greer and she runs to the infirmary, and Eli and Young try to figure out what has happened to Rush. Young tells Eli to bring him out of his coma and leaves.
Johansen tells Greer that he has a fever from infection, and he’ll have to take it easy. When she notes that she’s surprised he’s the one who got sick instead of Volker, Greer says it’s a good thing because he’s strong.
The scientists try to figure a way to bring Rush out of the chair, and Eli gets an idea. He has them go back through the logs and explains that Rush has uploaded his consciousness into the Destiny
Amanda and Rush tour the empty virtual Destiny
, and Amanda notes that time is relative to her but she sometimes feels lonely. He promises that she’ll never feel lonely again and they kiss. Rush suggests that they can interact with the real-world systems, but Amanda explains that the system is isolated. She asks him to keep the process secret for now and Rush agrees, and then he says he has to go. However, he assures her that he’ll be back. They go to the virtual neural interface chair and Rush sits in it so he can return to his body. However, nothing happens: Rush is trapped.
At the naquadria plant on Langara, Woolsey and an aide pay an unexpected visit through the wormhole. Woolsey explains that they have gifts for Ambassador Ovirda and the plant’s chief administrator, Halpurn. The head of security insists on inspecting them first, unaware that they’re communication stones. When he touches them, he switches places with Scott on Destiny
, while Scott enters his body. Scott escorts Woolsey to Halpurn, and they invite him to examine the stones. He switches with Young, and the team on Langara prepares to welcome SG-4 and SG-4 when they arrive.
Amanda tries to work out a way to send Rush back, but he warns that she can’t do it from within the isolated system. He can’t leave and she goes to tell the crew what’s happened, after assuring herself that he’ll be okay.
Eli calls out to Ginn but gets no response. He figures that Rush is doing the same thing that he and Ginn discussed earlier, about figuring out a way to interact in a physical manner. She said it would be dangerous and disappeared, and Eli hasn’t seen her since.
Young poses as Halpurn and okays the arrival of the SG teams. He tells the Langaran staff that they’ve agreed to dial the ninth chevron and prove the viability of the connection and provide ongoing support. Scott tells the staff to give the newcomers their full support. One of the soldiers asks Scott what’s going on afterward, and notes that Halpurn said earlier that it was dangerous, and Scott claims he was bargaining.
Amanda returns and says they’ve fixed the problem. She claims that Ginn didn’t approve of bringing Rush in, and her disapproval trapped him there.
Telford and McKay arrive with the SG teams and they begin setting up the process to dial the ninth chevron. Young orders Scott to seal off the building.
Rush sits back in the chair and this time the procedure works. In the real world, Rush wakes up and goes to get a meal since he’s been in the virtual reality for 12 hours. Eli follows him and asks what it was like, and Rush tells him that the whole thing was personal.
McKay starts hooking up the new program and tells Young that it will take about an hour. Woolsey suggests that they undergo their secondary objective and Young leads him to Halpurn’s office, unaware that the skeptical soldier has overheard their conversation. While Woolsey searches the files, McKay argues with a scientist. Telford comes over and interrupts him, and then asks if McKay wants to join Destiny
’s crew and help them bring it to its former glory. McKay wonders why Young isn’t asking him, and Telford hints that he’s asking on behalf of someone else.
Amanda appears to Rush in his quarters to make sure he’s okay. She disappears and the ship drops out of FTL.
Ginn appears and tells Eli that she shut down the FTL drive as a distraction, and warns that Rush is in danger. She says that Amanda made a mistake by accident, and there’s no way out of the stimulation. When Ginn tried to reach out, Amanda subconsciously suppressed her so she can buy time to fix the problem in her original simulation processing. Ginn tells Eli to do it, but disappears before she can explain.
In the simulation, Amanda returns to Rush and says that she shut down the FTL drive temporarily to avoid an overload. She asks if she can stay but he says that he has to work. Amanda kisses him and disappears... and Rush realizes that he could feel her.
Woolsey tells Young and Telford that the Langarans have refused all offers from the Alliance, choosing to honor their alliance with Earth. Telford insists that the new information doesn’t make a difference. The phone ring and Young has no choice but to answer it. It’s Ovirda, who says that he’s on his way.
Rush walks down the ship’s corridors, passing various crewmen. He finds Eli and tells him that he should be getting him out of the neural interface chair. Eli has no idea what he’s talking about, and Rush starts lowering the shields. When Eli panics, Rush tells him that he has nothing to worry about and goes to the bridge. Amanda is there and says that he’s killing everyone on the ship, but Rush says he isn’t. They watch as the shields drop and the ship is destroyed.
Scott and the SG teams secure the building, while McKay races against the clock to begin the dial-out. Young suggests that they get out since they don’t have time to complete the dial-out, but McKay completes his work and starts dialing the ninth chevron. Scott warns the others that the Langaran forces are gathering outside. Young sends the staff out of the room, while Woolsey insists they dial Earth and avoid a diplomatic disaster. Telford refuses, insisting they need to hold off the Langaran forces until they can prove they can safely dial the ninth chevron. Ovirda and his men arrive and see through Young’s bluff. Telford begs for the chance to prove they were right, and McKay insists the power levels are as predicted. Ovirda tells them to cease or his men will open fire, and McKay points out that the mission is already a failure and things will only get worse. Young orders McKay to stop the dial-out sequence.
In the neural interface room, Eli explains that Amanda is subconsciously keeping Rush within the matrix, but he knows what Ginn wanted him to do.
Rush wakes up in his quarters, unharmed, and tells Amanda that he had to prove that it wasn’t real. She admits that she lied because she didn’t want to lose him, and Ginn got through to Eli to tell him what to do. Amanda explains that she programmed the parameters of the simulation so that they would love each other. Rush tries to convince her that he loves her on his own, and Amanda warns that Eli is deleting her programs and Ginn’s. She tells Rush not to blame himself for her death, and fades away as Rush declares his love for her.
Young and Scott return to their bodies, and Young explains that the Langarans have agreed to return Telford and the others in return for a guarantee of protection from the Alliance, and the removal of the Stargate. Vanessa says that she showed Halpurn and the security chief around Destiny
to see what was at stake, and Young admits that’s the only good decision anyone has made.
Young wakes up from his coma and finds himself in the infirmary. Johansen explains that he came out of the virtual reality two days ago. Eli explains that he transferred the memory where Amanda and Ginn were placed into quarantine. He insists that he did it to save Rush and walks away, disgusted, while Johansen tells Rush that he has to rest because he’s lucky to be alive.