The team find an ancient 'ancient' warship with the crew still on board but sustained only by stasis pods from which they cannot be revived without killing them. While the team try to salvage what they can from the 10,000 year-old ship, Rodney stumbles upon the fact that the crew have not been sleeping for the last 10 millennia but for some of that time have been engaged in a virtual reality simulation. Shepard decides to join to find that not only to the crew believe it to be real, but a wraith has joined the simulation to ascertain the secrets of ancient hyper-drive technology. There ensues a game of virtual chess as Shepard and the unknown Wraith move the crew like pawns to try and beat each other to vital knowledge whilst preventing the other from reaching it and in Shepard’s case also saving the ship and possibly crew. In the end it's up to Rodney to place his life on the line again to save members of his team, by entering the virtual world to get Shepard out, and it is good to see some decent character development on his part, the 'old' Rodney was so much of a coward it was annoying, but this one can come out with lines like "Colonel Shepard and I have kind of got into the habit of saving each other's lives and it's my turn" to Ronan without it sounding clichéd and in fact meant whole-heartedly. Whilst Shepard & McKay will never be the same as O’Neill and Jackson, the relationship and camaraderie has a distinct personality that is fun to watch and one which will last and grow with time into something uniquely it’s own.
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