Episode Three- The Ruins- Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

Teyla steps through the gate and onto the fertile soils of her people’s new planet.  The forest, emerald rich with ferns growing fresh and young from the end of spring, mosses finally free from the threat of frost or cold dew, and the leaves of the trees both pine and otherwise, stretches out on either side of the coffee-colored path of turned soil.  The DHD sits nicely in the middle of it all like a welcoming sentinel.  Kanaan steps out beside her, bouncing their son in his arms.  The gate shuts down behind them.  She looks back at the empty space where the wormhole had once been.  The same friendly sight welcomes them on the other side although with a wider greeting of soil as the forest path widens on the other side.  She feels it, this place surrounds her with warmth and welcome.  She clutches the long, black, rectangular box to her stomach just a little bit closer then looks forward again.  Colonel Sheppard and the rest of her friends, Ronon, Rodney, and Jennifer, part before the small family.  She nods at them then her and her family start off towards their village.  The journey is long and quiet except for the gurgling of her young son, Torren.  A comforting sound.  She glances at him, tends to his wanting voice, his curious mind, with Kanaan.  Her child.  Named for her father.  She reaches up and gently strokes Torren’s cheek with the side of her finger as he shows his father a leaf that the breeze had drifted down onto the top of Kanaan’s head.  Kanaan smiles.  She smiles.  And they continue to walk.

As they near the village, she can hear it, the sounds of a simple village life.  Children running through fields screaming with laughter, their parents tilling the soil or washing clothes or arranging hunting parties or cleaning fresh kills.  The simple life she had grown up with, the life her father had given her before she lost him and the life her mother gave her before she too was lost to the wraith.  Or perhaps not, but Teyla knows now that that is not possible either.  Let alone had Lieutenant Kenmore brought back with her the very thing Teyla has been keeping so desperately close to her ever since the moment Major Lorne had passed it to her, but the headstrong Lieutenant had also brought back with her four small portable servers full of information she had downloaded from every level of that despicable place as she had set charges around it.

Teyla had read the Lieutenant’s account of her return actions.  In the morgue, the Asgard had followed the Lieutenant.  She had managed to ‘jerry-rig,’ as she put it, the transporter’s controls in an attempt to stall the soldiers pursuing her.  During that time she had downloaded the morgue’s database onto one of the servers and set charges inside the room, on the computers, and outside the room, wherever the lifesigns detector’s map indicated structural integrity.  When the Asgard finally managed to ‘break in,’ as she again put it, Lieutenant Kenmore took the only other out she had in that area.  She jumped onto the metal slab, pulled the lever, carefully avoided both the machine’s blade and the Asgard’s fire, and let the slab throw her into the chute it deposited the bodies of what Teyla believes are its many victims.  Apparently the chute led to furnaces that led to the Asgard’s generators.  Lieutenant Kenmore had described the sight using a phrase that meant nothing to Teyla but had given both John and Rodney grave pause:  ‘Soylent green is made of people.’  She also described it as a ‘gold mine’ for planting explosives.  Then she used another transporter to carry her along the rest of her dangerous journey through the Asgard outpost.  Downloading databases and planting explosives and escaping run-ins with the Asgard in their formidable armored suits as she went and finally enduring that torturous chair and its operator again before returning to Athosia and subsequently Atlantis with the prize Teyla now treasures in her arms.  She glances at her son once more.  Her father’s legacy.

The trees part before Teyla and she sees the fields and her village.  Smoke is rising from some fires cooking meals or heating water for the day’s wash.  People are pushing or pulling large carts of firewood.  A few minutes later and she and her family and friends are being heralding back into the village by children dancing around them, laughing, and walked in by some of the farmers Teyla has known all her life and known her father before then.  She smiles to be back in their warm and loving arms and tears touch her eyes to know she is bringing what remained of her father back to their warm and loving arms as well.  Many of those who had come out to greet her knew and remembered him well.  As she approaches the heart of the village, she sees Halling talking to Major Lorne who she is surprised to see has apparently come before them and, as a villager moves, Teyla sees Lieutenant Kenmore standing beside him with her son standing in front of her, her hands on his small shoulders as the boy looks around him.  Teyla stops and stares.  It is the first time she has seen the Lieutenant since she was being urgently tended to by Jennifer and her staff.  Teyla watches Halling and the Major converse as Kenmore and her son look on then Halling reaches out his hands to Major Lorne, clasps his shoulders, and leans forward.  The Major accepts the traditional Athosian greeting between friends.  Halling then turns and offers Kenmore the same greeting, she looks to Lorne, he nods, and then she allows Halling to complete his sentiment again.  Halling then kneels down and repeats the ritual with her son who does not hesitate to return the sentiment peacefully meant.  Then Halling rises.  Major Lorne bows his head and they part from Halling’s company.  The Major walks pass Teyla with a polite acknowledgement of his head that Teyla returns with a simple smile and a nod of her own but the Lieutenant does not look over as she walks on Lorne’s other side with her son beside her.  Teyla watches her go, desperately wanting the Lieutenant to look over at her, all she wants is to be able to tell the Lieutenant ‘Thank you,’ but the Lieutenant does not, her son does, but the Lieutenant does not.

Reluctantly giving up, Teyla turns back around to see Halling walking towards her with a serious solemn expression on his face, Jinto, his son, at his side.  And Teyla allows her tears to flow free as she walks forward to meet them, her light green-colored, flowing dress shifting silently around the glide of her feet.  When she performed the Ring Ceremony for her dear and old friend Charin’s burial, she had always known she would wear it again but she had never dreamed she would ever wear it again to bury her father.  But as Halling had pointed out when she first contacted him with the news, as well as the rest of what remained of her people, Teyla’s father, Torren Emmagan, did not die at the hands of the Wraith but had lived beyond their malevolence.

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