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An enormous ship traveling through space begins to come to life as a Stargate in the hold activates. Lt. Matthew Scott of SG Command comes shooting through. Just as he gets his bearings more civilians and SG personnel come through the gate one at the time, propelled by an enormous energy discharge. One of the civilians, Dr. Nicholas Rush, examines the DHD device. The last person through is Colonel Everett Young, who is literally blasted out of the Stargate by a massive explosion on the other side. The Stargate shuts down from the power overload and Scott moves to examine his injured commander. Young tells Scott to assume command before he passes out from the pain. Master Sergeant Tamara Johansen tends to Young’s injuries while Scott asks a teenager, Eli Wallace, where Rush is and they’ve ended up.

Flashback

Eli is playing Prometheus, an online first-person shooter with his friend and discovers that the game has reset on him. There’s a knock on the door and Eli discovers General Jack O’Neill and Dr. Nicholas Rush on his doorstep. O’Neill explains that he’s with the Air Force and Rush tells Eli that the mathematical proof that he solved in the game is actually an ancient mathematical formula created by aliens that Rush placed in the game. They want Eli to take a job but won’t tell him anything specific until he signs a non-disclosure agreement. Eli refuses and goes upstairs to his room, but disappears in a flash of light. He finds himself aboard an enormous spaceship, the Hammond, in orbit above Earth. Rush arrives and welcomes him on board, and explains that they’re departing for a planet 21 light years away and they don’t know how long they’ll need Eli. When Eli worries about his sick mother, Rush assures him that she’ll get the best treatment the Air Force can provide in return for Eli’s services. When Eli wonders if they’ll erase his memories if he refuses, Rush admits they probably will.

Eli agrees and gets an explanation of the SGC from a recording made by Dr. Daniel Jackson. SGC’s current project is to activate the ninth chevron on the Stargate and achieve interstellar travel. Once he’s finished, Eli calls his mother, who doesn’t know where he is. He explains that he’ll be away for a while and she’ll be taken care of, and he’ll be doing the kind of things he dreamed of all his life. He then goes to the mess hall and ends up talking with Chloe Armstrong, daughter and assistant to Senator Alan Armstrong of California.

Now

Scott takes Eli with him as they explore the ship and look for Rush. Eli realizes from the writing that it’s a ship belonging to the Ancients. They find an observation room where Rush is already admiring the view, which shows that they’re traveling through hyperspace. Johansen calls on the radio to inform them that the air vents in the Gate room have shut down and Rush explains that they need to do something to reactivate the life-support system.

Flashback

Young is talking with his significant other at home, explaining that he’s been called away on a special assignment and doesn’t know when he’ll be back. She accuses him of choosing his job over her, but as they embrace she says she can’t wait any more. Young is suddenly seized with pain and collapses…

Now

Everett has a seizure and Johansen desperately tries to revive him.

Flashback

At Icarus Base, Scott is making out in a closet with a female soldier. They’re interrupted when Young calls Scott to inform him their visitors have arrived on the Hammond. Scott breaks off and runs to the introductory meeting, where Eli, Senator Armstrong, and Eli beam down. Young puts Scott in charge of Eli, who shows him around Icarus Base. As they examine the base’s Stargate, Scott explains that they are conducting their ninth chevron experiments on this particular planet because it has a radioactive core that provides the power they need to create a galaxy-spanning wormhole.

Armstrong meets with Colonel David Telford, the base commander. The Senator is visiting the base to make sure the U.S. government’s investment is warranted. Rush is eager to explain that they’re about ready to open a successful super-wormhole, using the equation that Eli completed. Overriding Telford, Rush begins an immediate test but the wormhole fails to open. Rush insists on continuing but Young overrides him. When Young points out that Rush could have killed them all, the scientist blames Eli for the failure of his equations.

Now

Rush manages to activate lights throughout the ship. Scott returns to the Gate Room to tell the others what’s going on. Armstrong demands to see Rush, blaming him for their current situation, but starts having heart trouble and takes blood thinner pills for his condition. Scott explains that they don’t have life support and takes two scientists back to help Rush and Eli.

Flashback

Rush has written out Eli’s equations on a whiteboard, much to Eli's dismay that he isn't using computers. Young invites them to join the crew in the mess and Eli is glad to accept. Rush isn't interested. At the meal, Eli tries to make himself at home and start boasting that he'll be able to make the equations worth. Rush comes in to get a quick meal and hears Eli boasting, and leaves in disgust. He goes to his quarters and looks at a photo of himself with a woman.

Senator Armstrong calls for a toast and praises his daughter until Chloe cuts him off. The base shakes as alien ships begin a bombardment.

Now

Sgt. Greer takes the two scientists to the command center. Rush is messing with the controls and Eli insists that what he's doing is highly dangerous. Rush believes he has everything under control, but Greer doesn't believe him and prepares to shoot him, saying he won't let Rush screw up again.

Flashback

As the aliens continue their attack, Young goes to a cell and releases Greer, who is being held in detention. Young then contacts the Hammond and its commander, Colonel Samantha Carter. She warns them that some of the alien gliders are slipping by them and are escorting a troop transport to the surface. Telford prepares to launch with his squadron to intercept them.

Now

Rush insists he can fix the life support but Greer doesn't believe him. Scott orders Greet to lower his weapon and the sergeant reluctantly agrees. Rush activates the circuits but nothing happens. Scott calls Johansen to tell her they're still working on the life support.

Flashback

Johansen reports to Camille Wray, the IOA human resource representative. Camille questions Johansen's decision to leave and wonders if Young knows. When Camille questions her motives, Johansen insists that she's not protecting anyone.

Now

Johansen and Camille exchange a look as they wait to hear from Scott and Rush.

Flashback

Young and his men on the surface try to bring down the alien gliders and Icarus takes heavy fire. The base's power core spikes and Rush tells Eli they need to open the ninth chevron and evacuate before the planet blows up. Thinking quickly, Eli realizes that the ninth symbol that represents point of origin isn't the one they should be using. Meanwhile, the alien gliders get past Telford and open fire on the base. Young gets his remaining men inside just before a glider crashes into the entrance. The colonel orders everyone to get to the Gate Room and prepare for evacuation.

Eli realizes that since the Stargate was from Earth, they need to set the Earth chevron in the ninth position, even though they're not on Earth. The technicians begin dialing for Earth but Rush tells them to stop, warning that if the wormhole is open when the planet blows up, the backlash could destroy Earth as well. The technician reluctantly dials the new coordinates.

As Young escorts more of the survivors through the tunnels to the Gate Room, an explosion brings down the base, trapping Senator Armstrong and some of the others behind them. Johansen tries to help one of the injured doctors but he dies on her and Young tells her to go on.

The Stargate successfully connects to the new coordinates and the crew on the Hammond detect the power surge. Carter contacts Telford and tells him they have to leave in two minutes. On the planet, Young gets to the Gate room and Rush tells him what's happened. Young disagrees with his decision and wonders why he didn't dial to another planet with range if Earth was at risk. The colonel tells everyone to stay in the Gate room.

Now

Rush activates a holographic projection of the ship's travels. It shows that the Ancient vessel left Earth several thousand years ago. They are now several billion light years away from Earth.

Flashback

Young and Greer prepare to use explosive charges to clear the rubble and free Armstrong and others. The colonel sends Scott ahead to get as many supplies as possible because they're going to have to evacuate to a different planet than Earth. Chloe insists on staying with Young and Greer. Scott grabs what he can and then returns to the Gate room. He goes through first and tells everyone else to come through every three seconds after him.

Young and Greer blast through the debris and get Armstrong and the others free. Young stays behind to contact Carter and grab a few last-minute supplies. He runs to the Gate room and leaps through into the wormhole just as the planet explodes. The shock wave destroys the alien ships.

Carter contacts General O'Neill on Earth and tells him what happened. She informs him that 80 base personnel are MIA and she couldn't beam them up out of the bunker. O'Neill tells her that none of them came through the Stargate to Earth even though Carter detected a Gate power surge.

Now

Scott has the SGC soldiers break up into teams of three and search the ship, splitting up the 23 weapons they have. He asks Armstrong to calm down the civilians but Armstrong refuses to be patronized. Meanwhile, Rush slips away with a duffel bag and only Johansen notices him. He goes to a corridor and seals himself away and removes five Ancient communication stones from the bag. He uses them to swap consciousnesses with scientist Bill Lee, who is waiting by a similar device on Earth at SGC command.

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Warning: Stargate Universe season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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