HMS Atlantis

Inspired by LinziDay's "Modern Major Scientist"
With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan
Based on both the original libretto of HMS Pinafore and the 1982 version with Peter Marshall
Interpolated lines in italics

ACT I

It was just a normal day in Atlantis, apart from the impending arrival of both the Daedalus and the Apollo on a larger-than-normal supply run, accompanied by Mr. Coolidge of the IOA, who had some mysterious purpose in Atlantis. Suddenly, the Gateroom was full of Marines and airmen, singing and dancing merrily to the music pouring over the city's PA system:

Atlantis Military Personnel

We live on the ocean blue,
And our city ship's a beauty!
We are sober men and true
And attentive to our duty!
When the Darts scream free
O'er the bright blue sea,
We stand to our guns all day.
When in peacetime we ride
On the Lantean tide,
We've plenty of time to play.

Ahoy, ahoy, when the Darts scream free,
Ahoy, ahoy, o'er the bright blue sea,
We stand to our guns, to our guns all day.

We live on the ocean blue,
And our city ship's a beauty!
We are sober men and true
And attentive to our duty!
Atlantis, she's a beauty!
We're attentive to our duty!
We're sober men and true,
Live on the ocean blue!

[Caldwell and Novak beam down from the Daedalus. Novak immediately begins to sing.]

Novak

Hail, Lanteans all, safeguards of the nations!
Here is an end at last of all privation!
You've got your pay; spare all you can afford
To welcome Little Buttercup on board!

Caldwell: Um, Novak?

Novak

I'm called Little Buttercup, dear Little Buttercup,
Though I could never tell why.
But still I'm called Buttercup, poor little Buttercup,
Sweet Little Buttercup I!

I've snuff and tobaccy and excellent jacky,
I've scissors and watches and knives.
I've ribbons and laces to set off the faces
Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.

Ronon: Not too many of those around here.

Novak (continues)

I've treacle and toffee, I've tea and I've coffee,
Soft tommy and succulent chops;
I've chickens and conies and pretty polonies
And excellent peppermint drops.

So buy of your Buttercup, dear little Buttercup;
Lanteans, do not be shy;
So buy of your Buttercup, dear little Buttercup,
Come, of your Buttercup buy!

[Caldwell spots Ronon standing in the corridor and walks over to him]

Caldwell: What's going on around here?

Ronon: (shrug) Heck if I know. I think Kavanaugh turned on something he wasn't supposed to. McKay said he'd look into it.

Caldwell: They're singing Gilbert and Sullivan.

Ronon: Yeah, that's what McKay said. Dunno why.

Caldwell: So why isn't everyone affected?

Ronon: Maybe it doesn't have a part for everyone.

[beat]

Caldwell: You know the Apollo is due in fifteen minutes, don't you?

Ronon: Yeah.

Beckett: Aye, Dr. Novak, and well called! For you're the rosiest, the reddest, and the roundest beauty in all Pegasus!

Novak: Red, am I? And round, and rosy? Maybe, for I've dissembled well. But hark ye, my merry friend, hast ever thought that beneath a gay and frivolous exterior there may lurk a canker worm which has slowly but surely eaten its way into one's very heart?

Beckett: No, I cannae say I've ever thought that.

Kavanaugh: (suddenly entering the Gateroom and looking like he's been through one explosion too many) I have thought it, often!

Novak: Yes, you look like it! (to Beckett) What's the matter with the man? Isn't he well?

Beckett: Don't mind him. That's only poor Dick Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh: I say, it's a beast of a name, ain't it? Dick Kavanaugh.

Novak: It's not a nice name.

Kavanaugh: And I'm ugly, ain't I?

Novak: You are certainly plain.

Kavanaugh: And I'm three-cornered, too, ain't I?

Novak: You are rather triangular.

Kavanaugh: Haha! That's it. I'm ugly, and they hate me for it! For you all hate me, don't you?

[pause]

Soldiers: We do.

Kavanaugh: There!

Beckett: Well, Dick, we wouldna want to hurt any fellow creature's feelings, but you can hardly expect a laddie with a name like Dick Kavanaugh to be a popular character, now, can you, boys?

Soldiers: No.

Beckett: I mean, it's asking a bit much, isn't it?

Kavanaugh: It is. From such a face and form as mine, the noblest sentiments sound like the black utterances of a depraved imagination. It's human nature. I'm resigned.

[Sheppard walks out to the balcony above the Gateroom, looking forlorn.]

Novak

But tell me, who's the youth whose faltering feet
With difficulty bear him on his course?

Beckett

That is the smartest man in all Atlantis,
John Sheppard!

Novak

John! Oh, that name! Remorse, remorse!

Sheppard

The nightingale
Sighed for the moon's bright ray
And told his tale
In his own melodious way.
He sang, "Ah, well-a-day!"

Men

He sang, "Ah, well-a-day!"

Sheppard

The lowly vale
For the mountain vainly sighed.
To his humble wail
The echoing hills replied.
They sang, "Ah, well-a-day!"

Men

They sang, "Ah, well-a-day!"

Sheppard

I know the value of a kindly chorus,
But choruses yield little consolation
When we have pain and sorrow too before us!
I love, and love, alas, above my station.

Novak

He loves, and loves a lass above his station!

Men

Yes, yes, the lass is much above his station!

[Sheppard comes down the stairs into the Gateroom]

Sheppard

A maiden fair to see, the pearl of minstrelsy,
A bud of blushing beauty,
For whom Athosians sigh and with each other vie
To do her menial's duty.

Men

To do her menial's duty.

Sheppard

A suitor, lowly born, with hopeless passion torn,
And poor beyond denying,
Has dared for her to pine at whose exalted shrine
A galaxy is sighing.

Men

A galaxy is sighing.

Sheppard

Unlearnd he in aught save that which love has taught,
For love has been his tutor:
Oh, pity, pity me--for Woolsey's daughter she,
And I that lowly suitor!
Oh, pity, pity me--for Woolsey's daughter she,
And I that lowly suitor!

Beckett: Ah, my poor laddie, you've climbed too high! Our worthy leader's child wouldna have anything to say to a poor chappie like yourself, would she, boys?

Men: No.

Kavanaugh: No, commanders' daughters don't marry Jumper pilots.

Beckett: Dr. Kavanaugh, them sentiments of yours are a disgrace to our common nature. I'm shocked! Shocked!

Sheppard: But it's a strange anomaly that the daughter of a man who hails from Harvard may not love another who studied at Stanford. For a man is but a man, whether he flies in first class or the cockpit.

Kavanaugh: Ah, it's a queer world!

Sheppard: (pushing Kavanaugh out of the Gateroom) Kavanaugh, I have no desire to press hardly on you, but such a revolutionary sentiment is enough to make an honest airman shudder.

[Just then Woolsey comes out of his office into the control room]

Beckett: Right, lads, our worthy commander has just arrived; let us greet him as so gallant a leader and so brave a man deserves.

Woolsey

My gallant crew, good morning.

Men (saluting)

Sir, good morning!

Woolsey

I hope you're all quite well.

Men

Quite well; and you, sir?

Woolsey

I am in reasonable health, and happy
To meet you all once more.

Men

You do us proud, sir!

[Woolsey makes his way down to the Gateroom]

Woolsey

I am the leader of Atlantis now.

Men

And a good commander, too!

Woolsey

You're very, very good,
And be it understood,
I command a right good crew.

Men

We're very, very good,
And be it understood,
He commands a right good crew.

[The music suddenly skips and fast forwards to the end of the song. The singers reel for a moment, trying to find their place. Zelenka joins Caldwell and Ronon, who are watching bemusedly as Novak walks up to Woolsey.]

Zelenka: What....

Novak

Sir, you are sad! The silent eloquence
Of yonder tear that trembles on your eyelash
Proclaims a sorrow far more deep than common;
Confide in me; fear not, I am a mother!

Zelenka: Dr. Novak does not have children.

Caldwell: I know.

Ronon: Just watch.

Woolsey

Yes, Dr. Novak, I am sad and sorry--
My daughter, Teyla, the fairest flower
That ever blossomed on ancestral timber,
Is sought in marriage now by Mr. Coolidge,
The IOA's First Lord, but for some reason
She does not seem to tackle kindly to it.

Novak

Poor Mr. Coolidge! Ah, I know too well
The anguish of a heart that loves but vainly!
But see, here comes your most attractive daughter.
I go -- Farewell!

[Novak leaves]

Woolsey (watching her)

A plump and pleasing person!

[goes toward his quarters]

Zelenka: (worried) This is very, very bad for us. Kavanaugh nearly blew himself up trying to get the machine to work, and now... this is very bad. [taps his radio as he hurries away] Rodney....

[Meanwhile, outside Woolsey's quarters, Teyla is singing Josephine's ballad to Torren. Woolsey arrives from the nearest transporter, oblivious to the small crowd that has gathered to watch and to the fact that Chuck is following him to keep an eye on him.]

Woolsey: My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best today, for Mr. Coolidge of the IOA will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand.

Teyla: Ah, father, your words cut me to the quick. I can esteem, reverence, venerate Mr. Coolidge, for he is a great and good man; but oh, I cannot love him! My heart is already given.

Woolsey: (aside to a highly amused Chuck) It is then as I feared. (to Teyla) Given? And to whom? Not to some Genii lordling?

Teyla: No, father, the object of my love is no lordling. Oh, pity me, for he is but a humble pilot among your own crew!

Woolsey: Impossible!

Teyla: Yes, it is true, too true.

Woolsey: A common pilot? Oh fie!

Teyla: I blush for the weakness that allows me to cherish such a passion. I hate myself when I think of the depth to which I have stooped in permitting myself to think tenderly of one so ignobly born, but I love him! I love him! I love him! (She bursts into tears, and so does Torren.)

Woolsey: Come, my child, let us talk this over. In a matter of the heart I would not coerce my daughter; I attach but little value to rank or wealth--but the line must be drawn somewhere. A man in that station may be brave and worthy, but at every step he would commit solecisms that the military would never pardon.

Teyla: Oh, I have thought of this night and day. But fear not, father, I have a heart, and therefore I love; but I am your daughter, and therefore I am proud. Though I carry my love with me to the tomb, he shall never, never know it.

Woolsey: You are my daughter after all.

[Their radios chirp.]

Banks: Mr. Woolsey? The Apollo has arrived.

Woolsey: But see, the Apollo now approaches, manned by her trusty crew and accompanied by the admiring crowd of IOA personnel that attend Mr. Coolidge wherever he goes. Retire, my daughter, to your quarters, and take this, his photograph, with you; it may help to bring you to a more reasonable frame of mind.

Teyla: (unimpressed) My own thoughtful father!

[Teyla goes to her quarters, and Woolsey heads back to Stargate Ops to find the assembled company, augmented by the new arrivals from the Apollo, just finishing their next dance.]

Banks: Mr. Coolidge is ready to beam, sir.

[Woolsey steps out onto the balcony.]

Woolsey

Now give three cheers, I'll lead the way:
Hurrah! hurrah!

All

Hurray! hurray! hurray!

[Coolidge beams down onto the balcony, accompanied by Shen Xiaoyi.]

Coolidge

I am as important as can be,
The ruler of the SGC,
Whose praise the IOA loudly chants.

Shen

And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

[The singers falter as the music skips and stops. Coolidge recovers first.]

Coolidge: You've a remarkably fine crew, Richard.

Woolsey: It is a fine crew, Joseph.

Coolidge: A Lantean is a splendid fellow.

Woolsey: A splendid fellow indeed.

Coolidge: Never forget that they are the bulwarks of Earth's greatness.

Woolsey: So I have always considered them.

Coolidge: No bullying, I trust? No strong language of any kind?

Woolsey: Oh, never, Joseph.

Coolidge: What, never?

Woolsey: Hardly ever. They are an excellent crew and do their work thoroughly without it.

Coolidge: Don't patronise them, sir--pray, don't patronise them.

Woolsey: Certainly not, Joseph.

Coolidge: That you are their commander is an accident of birth. I cannot permit these noble fellows to be patronised because an accident of birth has placed you above them and them below you.

Woolsey: I am the last person to insult a member of my expedition.

Coolidge: You are the last person who did. Desire that splendid fellow to step forward. [Kavanaugh comes forward] No, no, the fuzzy one on the end.

Woolsey: Col. Sheppard, three paces to the front, march!

Coolidge: If what?

Woolsey: I beg your pardon? I don't think I understand you.

Coolidge: If you please.

Woolsey: Oh, yes, of course. If you please.

[Sheppard steps forward]

Coolidge: You're a remarkably fine fellow.

Sheppard: Yes, sir.

Coolidge: And a first-rate airman, I'll be bound.

Sheppard: There's not a smarter pilot in the Air Force, sir, though I say it who shouldn't.

Coolidge: Not at all. Proper self-respect, no more. Now tell me--don't be afraid--how does Mr. Woolsey treat you?

Sheppard: He's no Sam Carter, but he's all right.

Coolidge: Good. I like to hear you speak well of your commanding officer, even if he doesn't deserve it. Can you sing?

Sheppard: I can hum a little.

Coolidge: Then hum this at your leisure. [Tosses Sheppard a piece of paper that does not actually have music on it] It is a song that I have composed for the use of the SGC. It is designed to encourage independence of thought and action in the lower branches of the service and to teach the principle that an SG team member is any man's equal, excepting mine. Now, Richard, a word with you in your office, on a tender and sentimental subject.

Woolsey: Right away, Joseph. Dr. Beckett, in commemoration of this joyous occasion, see that extra Jell-O is served in the mess hall at dinner tonight.

Beckett: Beg pardon, Mr. Woolsey. If what?

Woolsey: If what? I don't think I understand you.

Beckett: If you please.

Woolsey: What!

Coolidge: The gentleman is quite right. If you please.

Woolsey: (quietly annoyed) If you please!

[Woolsey goes into his office]

Coolidge

For I hold that for SGC
The expression "if you please"
A particularly gentlemanly tone implants.

Shen

And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

All

And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!
His sisters and his cousins, whom he reckons up by dozens, and his aunts!

[Coolidge and the IOA reps leave the Gateroom.]

Beckett: Ah! Mr. Coolidge is a true gentleman, courteous and considerate to the very humblest.

Sheppard: True, Carson, but we are not the very humblest. Mr. Coolidge has explained our true position to us. As he says, an SG team member is any man's equal excepting his, and if he says that, is it not our duty to believe him?

Men: Yeah!

Kavanaugh: You're on a wrong tack, and so is he. He means well, but he don't know. When people have to obey other people's orders, equality's out of the question.

[General murmuring.]

Beckett: Kavanaugh, if you infuriate these men too far, I won't answer for being able to hold 'em in. It's a disgrace.

Sheppard: Messmates, my mind's made up. I'll speak to Miss Emmagan and tell her, like an honest man, of the honest love I have for her.

Men: Aye, aye!

Sheppard: Is not my love as good as another's? Is not my heart as true as another's? Have I not hands and eyes and ears and limbs like another?

Men: Aye, aye!

Sheppard: True, I lack birth....

Beckett: You've a berth in this very city.

Sheppard: Well said; I had forgotten that. Messmates, what do you say? Do you approve my determination?

Men: We do.

Kavanaugh: I don't.

Beckett: What is to be done with this hopeless lad? Let us sing him the song that Mr. Coolidge has kindly composed for us. Perhaps it will bring this poor lad to some sense.

[The music starts and skips past at an astonishing speed. Bewildered, everyone but Sheppard leaves the Gateroom. Sheppard goes and leans against the Gate to brood.]

Ellis: (walking up to Caldwell and Ronon) What is this?!

Caldwell: Comic opera. (at Ellis' stare) Your guess is as good as mine.

Ronon: Hey, here comes Teyla.

[Teyla enters the Gateroom, sighing.]

Teyla: It is useless. Mr. Coolidge's attentions nauseate me. I know that he is a truly great and good man, for he told me so himself, but to me he seems tedious, fretful, and dictatorial. Yet his must be a mind of no common order, or he would not dare to teach my dear father to dance a hornpipe on the conference table. [Sees Sheppard and gasps.] John Sheppard!

Sheppard: Yes, lady, no other than poor John Sheppard!

Teyla: (aside) How my heart beats! [Walks over to Sheppard] And why poor, John?

Sheppard: I am poor in the essence of happiness, lady, rich only in never-ending unrest. In me there meet a combination of antithetical elements which are at eternal war with one another. Driven hither by objective influences, thither by subjective emotions, wafted one moment into blazing day by mocking hope, plunged the next into the Cimmerian darkness of tangible despair, I am but a living ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms. I hope I make myself clear, lady?

Teyla: Perfectly. (Aside) His simple eloquence goes to my heart. Oh, if I dared--but no, the thought is madness! (Aloud, ignoring sniggers from Ronon and Caldwell) Dismiss these foolish fancies, they torture you but needlessly. Come, make one effort.

Sheppard: I will--one. [falls to his knees] Teyla!

Teyla: (indignantly) Sir!

Sheppard: Aye, though Jove's armoury were launched at the head of the audacious mortal whose lips, unhallowed by relationship, dared to breathe that precious word, yet would I breathe it once, and then perchance be silent evermore. Teyla, in one brief breath I will concentrate the hopes, the doubts, the anxious fears of six weary years. Teyla Emmagan, I am a Jumper pilot, and I love you!

Teyla: Sir, this audacity! (Aside) Oh, my heart, my beating heart! (Aloud) This unwarrantable presumption on the part of a common airman! (Aside) Common! oh, the irony of the word! (Aloud) Oh, sir, you forget the disparity in our ranks.

Sheppard: I forget nothing, haughty lady. I love you desperately, my life is in your hand--I lay it at your feet! Give me hope, and what I lack in education and polite accomplishments, that I will endeavour to acquire. [He stands.] Drive me to despair, and in death alone I shall look for consolation. I am proud and cannot stoop to implore. I have spoken and I wait your word.

Teyla: You shall not wait long. Your proffered love I haughtily reject. Go, sir, and learn to cast your eyes on some village maiden in your own poor rank; they should be lowered before your commander's daughter.

[They glare at each other as the music fast forwards. Teyla walks off in a huff.]

Sheppard

Can I survive this overbearing
Or live a life of mad despairing,
My proffered love despised, rejected?
No, it's not to be expected!

Messmates, ahoy!
Come here! Come here!

[The chorus members and Shen all run in.]

All

Aye, aye, my boy,
What cheer, what cheer?
Now tell us, pray,
Without delay,
What does she say--
What cheer, what cheer?

Sheppard (to Shen)

The maiden treats my suit with scorn,
Rejects my humble gift, my lady;
She says I am ignobly born,
And cuts my hopes adrift, my lady.

All

Oh, cruel one! Oh, cruel one!

Kavanaugh

She spurns your suit? Oho! Oho!
I told you so, I told you so.

[The music skips suddenly, but not very far.]

Sheppard

My friends, my leave of life I'm taking,
For oh, my heart, my heart is breaking;
When I am gone, oh, prithee tell
The maid that, as I died, I loved her well!

All

Of life, alas! his leave he's taking,
For ah! his faithful heart is breaking;
When he is gone we'll surely tell
The maid that, as he died, he loved her well.

[Ignoring Caldwell's incredulous stare, Ronon steps into the fray and hands Sheppard his blaster, set to Stun.]

Sheppard (putting the blaster to his head)

Be warned, my messmates all
Who love in rank above you--
For Teyla here I fall!

[Teyla rushes back into the Gateroom.]

Teyla

Ah! Stay your hand--I love you!

All

Ah! Stay your hand--she loves you!

Sheppard (shocked)

Loves me?

Teyla

Loves you!

[Ronon snatches the blaster back as Sheppard takes Teyla in his arms and kisses her.]

All

Yes, yes, ah, yes, she loves you!

Sheppard and Teyla, with Shen

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen,
For now the sky is all serene;
The god of day, the orb of love,
Has hung his ensign high above,
The sky is all ablaze.

With wooing words and loving song,
We'll chase the lagging hours along,
And if we find the maiden coy,
We'll murmur forth decorous joy
In dreamy roundelays!

Kavanaugh

He thinks he's won th'Athosian queen,
But though the sky is now serene,
A frowning thunderbolt above
May end their ill-assorted love
Which now is all ablaze.

Old Woolsey, ere the day is gone,
Will be extremely down upon
The wicked men who art employ
To make his little girl less coy
In many various ways.

Sheppard, Teyla, and Shen (and Kavanaugh)

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen,
(Old Woolsey soon, unless I'm wrong,) For now the sky is all serene;
(Will be extremely down upon) The god of day, theorb of love,
(The wicked men who art employ,) Has hung his ensign high above,
(Will be extremely down upon the wicked men,) The sky (will be extremely down upon the men) is all ablaze, (in many various ways,)
Is all ablaze, (In many various ways,)
Is all ablaze, (Old Woolsey soon will be)
The sky is all ablaze. (Extremely down upon the wicked men in various ways.)

Teyla, Shen, and Sheppard (alternating lines)

This very night,
With bated breath
And Jumper cloaked,
Without a light,
As still as death,
We'll dial the Gate.

Teyla, Sheppard, and Beckett (alternating lines)

A clergyman
Shall make us one
On M3X-510
And then we can
Return, for none
Can part them then!

All

This very night,
With bated breath
And Jumper cloaked
Without a light,
As still as death,
We'll dial the Gate.
A clergyman
Shall make them one
On M3X-510,
And then we can
Return, for none
Can part them then!

(repeated twice)

Kavanaugh

Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you've planned;
She is a lady--you a poor airman!
Remember, she is Mr. Woolsey's daughter,
And you the meanest slave that crawls the water!

All

Back, vermin, back,
Nor mock us!
Back, vermin, back,
You shock us!

[Kavanaugh leaves]

Let's give three cheers for the pilot's bride
Who casts all thought of rank aside--
Who gives up home and fortune too
For the honest love of a pilot true!

Let's give three cheers for the pilot's bride
Who casts all thought of rank aside--
Who gives up home and fortune too
For the honest love of a pilot true!

Women

For a Lantean is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird!
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word!
His eyes should flash with an inborn fire,
His brow with scorn be wrung,
He never should bow down to a domineering frown
Or the tang of a tyrant's tongue!

Men

His nose should pant and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow.

All

His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl and his face should scowl,
His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude.

[The music suddenly fast forwards through the general dance to:]

END ACT I

"Sounded like they were describing you," Ellis remarked to Ronon as everyone filed dazedly out of the Gateroom.

Ronon snorted in amusement.

"What was the idea of giving Sheppard your gun?" Caldwell asked.

Ronon frowned. "I've been standing here the whole time."

Taken aback at Ronon's apparent failure to remember having moved at all, Caldwell keyed his radio mike. "McKay, how are those repairs coming?"

"Not well," McKay replied. "I can occasionally fast forward the disc that's in there, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to get it out until the opera's over. Zelenka's trying to find this thing in the database."

Ellis sighed. "So we're definitely in for Act II."

"Yeah, I'd say so." McKay paused. "Sheppard's got a surprisingly good voice."

That startled Caldwell even more. "You can hear?!"

"Unfortunately. It's on citywide."

Caldwell, Ellis, and Ronon exchanged a look. Kavanaugh had a lot to answer for, and he would never live it down....