On a jungle-like planet, we see our team travelling over the uneven terrain listening to MacKay carry on about the potential dangers that surround him and his overall complaint of not finding a clearing closer to their desired destination to help cut down on the walking time.
As the team playfully shares jabs back and forth, Col. Sheppard and Ronon are the first to round a bend only to stop at the edge of a swamp. MacKay begins to complain about this as well, but falls quiet when he sees the damage remains of a puddle jumper.
Confirming with MacKay that this is the source of the faint distress signal they picked up while en-route back to Atlantis, Sheppard steps forward into the knee high swap to check things out. Ronon also follows, with Teyla and MacKay taking up the rear.
The team reaches the damaged puddle jumper and attempt to open the rear hatch – unfortunately, it only opens half way. Peering inside, Sheppard can see the outline of a motionless body slumped over the control panel. With a quick nod to Ronon, the two grab a hold of the rear hatch and manage to pull it down to give them access inside the jumper.
Sheppard steps in first, with Ronon close behind. It doesn’t take either of them long to recognize the familiar face of the body inside – a dead Rodney MacKay. Glancing back, Sheppard watches Teyla and MacKay step inside the jumper and learn of this revelation as well, causing a look of panic and confusion stricken MacKay’s face.
Before anyone can react, a sound is heard outside. Sheppard and Ronon are quick to react with their weapons poised, only to come face-to-face with a badly injured Ronon (now referred to as Alt-Ronon) who has his energy pistol pointed at the duo. Without skipping a beat, Alt-Ronon lowers his pistol and simply asks the team what has taken them so long.
(SG:A Title Sequence – Long Version)
Alt-Ronon is in dire straights. As Sheppard looks him over, he confirms to himself visually that both Ronon’s are one in the same, but with subtle differences in their appearance. Alt-Ronon has a jagged scar stretching down the left side of his face across the cheekbone and past the lips. His hair, now cut short, is the most noticeable of all the changes. Beyond that, Alt-Ronon appears weaker and reminiscent of a warrior who has just finished a lengthy drawn out battle.
After the initial confusion subsides, Teyla is the first to lower her weapon and help Alt-Ronon, who is obviously struggling to even stand. Alt-Ronon attempts to explain the importance of why he is here, but little of what he says makes any sense. He eventually falls unconscious before being able to answer any pointed questions.
The decision is ultimately made to make the trek back to their puddle jumper and have medical attention sought for their injured comrade. MacKay is the first to voice concerns that this may be some sort of elaborate trick, but they unfortunately do not have the resources with them to confirm much beyond what they can see.
Now inside the puddle jumper, Sheppard pilots the ship towards the space-gate and motions for MacKay to dial Atlantis. After a brief confirmation from technician Amelia Banks for them to proceed through, Sheppard instructs her to have medical personnel and security on stand-by for their arrival.
As the jumper emerges through the Stargate, Sheppard immediately brings it upward towards the jumper bay where the request personnel await. There is a brief shock with those involved when they realize that the patient (and possible security issue) appears to be identical to their own Ronon.
Woolsey enters the bay simultaneously as Alt-Ronon is being carried out by the medical personnel. Obviously confused, he is debriefed with what Sheppard and his team know thus far with Sheppard making the suggestion that Major Lorne and his team along with Zelenka, travel back to the planet to salvage what they can from the damaged puddle jumper and collect the body of Alt-MacKay.
As the orders are given to carry out this action, Sheppard and the team make their way towards the infirmary where they hope some answers can be learned by the Alt-Ronon, along with their genuine concern for his safety. Along the way, MacKay begins citing possible explanation to this ranging from an Asuran duplicate, to alternate dimensions, to time travel.
Approximately two hours had passed since Alt-Ronon’s original arrival to the infirmary. While his conditions were very treatable and a full recovery is suspected, Keller had to induce a coma, due to significant head trauma Alt-Ronon had received. She also explains to Sheppard that in every test she could think of running, Alt-Ronon is confirmed to be one in the same with their Ronon – albeit, the only differences being a few minor injuries that have since healed.
Accepting this, Sheppard and the team move closer to Alt-Ronon, who has now begun to stir in his medical bed. Initially confused, Alt-Ronon expresses his gratitude towards MacKay for his plan working – a plan that MacKay doesn’t fully understand.
It is here the team learns of the grim future that awaits them. Alt-Ronon begins to explain that he comes from a future where Atlantis and the entire expedition had become overrun by a species known as the Telsk’e. Sheppard explains that he has never heard of them, which Alt-Ronon explains they are the same species the team had encountered when shifting realities onboard the alternate Daedalus.
As Alt-Ronon continues the story, the team learns that in the initial battle, both the Daedalus and the Phoenix were destroyed when attempting to defend Atlantis. Though their efforts were ultimately futile, it gave the needed time for a majority of the expedition to flee through the Stargate. Alt-Ronon explains that there was a good number of the teams who wanted to remain in the Pegasus Galaxy to do what they could to stop the Telsk’e – but eventually, Atlantis was unable to be saved, and the self-destruct sequence was initiated.
Those who remained in the Pegasus Galaxy were forced into hiding, due to the ever-increasing Wraith presence and the Telsk’e search for anyone possessing the knowledge of the Lanteans. Eventually, the Odyssey arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy in search for survivors, but was ambushed by the Telsk’e before being able to escape.
The ship miraculously survived the initial encounter, but sustained heavy damage. Alt-Ronon continues to explain that ‘his’ MacKay devised a way to travel back in time in hopes of altering the impending future in some way. He further explains that the last thing he remembers before crashing onto the planet is the Odyssey being destroyed while protecting the jumper as it entered the space-gate.
Obviously alarmed by these revelations, Sheppard is alerted to the return of Lorne and his team with the indication that there is something that he should see. Alt-Ronon follows Sheppard and the team as they make their way to the briefing room.
It’s here that much of Alt-Ronon’s story is confirmed – with Zelenka having saved some of the damaged jumper’s navigational data along with a communication recording made prior to Alt-MacKay and Alt-Ronon travelling back in time.
As the team views the recording, they see Alt-MacKay in the fully functional jumper explaining to Alt-Ronon that probability of success of this mission. The jumper eventually becomes under attack and sustains significant damage itself, only to be saved by the arrival of the Odyssey that appears to be under the command of Col. Sheppard.
The static filled recording eventually becomes corrupt, but before doing so, shows Sheppard giving MacKay and Ronon the go ahead for the mission and explaining that everything is relying on them making it through. As both ships take more damage, the Odyssey is destroyed and MacKay is seen frantically tapping on the controls attempting to regain navigational control.
Alt-Ronon begins to explain that once he came to, he realized that Alt-MacKay had died and that he had no way of truly knowing whether or not they were successful in travelling back in time – not until he was discovered by Sheppard and his team.
Woolsey is cautiously skeptical and the news he has heard and makes himself confident that with the news of the impending attacks, they will be able to take steps to ensure a more positive outcome. Unfortunately, Alt-Ronon does not agree with this.
He continues to explain that from the intelligence they had gathered in the future, that the Telsk’e had discovered a Lantean warship that provided them invaluable information to counter Atlantis’ defenses. While the encounter with the Telsk’e will be inevitable, one of the key reasons in travelling back in time was to stop the Telsk’e discovery of this warship and thus removing their tactical advantage.
Sheppard cuts Alt-Ronon off and asks if he knows where the warship is. With a slight nod, Alt-Ronon confirms this and explains his intentions to help it find it before the Telsk’e do.
With that, there is a slight sense of optimism in the air.