To say that this story was a long journey would be an understatement, to date this story tops all other stories in terms of length and just shy of two hundred pages on my word program. Blowing the previously longest story, The Ruins, out of the freakin’ water by over forty pages. Oh my holy! When I started writing this one, I had no idea the trek and endurance trial I was in for, but I’m glad to say it was worth it in my opinion. And so the incredible thank yous begin in chronological order of their occurrence in the story (like usual). For starters, much thanks to actress Brenda McDonald for her portrayal of Teyla Emmagan’s dear friend Charin. When writing this story, for some reason I kept envisioning the character of U’dana with the face of Charin. I felt it would be something to kind of throw Teyla but also make her feelings on this mission more personal than usual. And it turned out spectacularly well. Thanks to Brad Wright as the writer of the Stargate SG-1 film Continuum for the scene in which Daniel gives a pep talk to his alternate self. It seemed the perfect correlation for the part in this story that I referenced it in. The perfect in depth moment of what Daniel cold possibly think about during the personal crisis of the story concept of what would have been Stargate SG-1’s third movie, Stargate Revolution. Revolution’s story concept since its release has become a pretty big controversy among Stargate fans and I couldn’t help but bring that controversy here and try and illustrate how this might affect the characters of the Stargate Universe as much as it affects the fans. Thank you for allowing this to be a possibility. Another thanks goes out to Peter DeLuise for writing Stargate SG-1’s “Affinity”. It was one of the episodes that I believe Daniel would of course think of when trying to come to terms with all the possible ramifications of the story concept for Stargate Revolution. Teal’c living out in the open on Earth was a given reference. Thank you so much for making it possible. In line with that thinking, thanks have to also go out to Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie for the Stargate SG-1 tenth season episode “Moment Mori” that I also referenced in that scene. It seemed to have exactly what I was looking for in Daniel’s ruminations about how the world would handle the revelation of Vala along with Teal’c. And also another heartfelt moment that would again show how incorporated Vala has become in SG-1 how her and Daniel’s relationship has evolved, along with more of the revelations that were supposed to come in Revolution. For especially Joe’s blog from which a lot of that information came from, I’m so thankful for your daily writings. More gratitude also goes to Disney’s animated Peter Pan movie for the cannon reference material here, considering I have no clue about firing any sort of siege weapon that could possibly be similar to a cannon and one of the kids at the daycare I worked at was watching this movie, I had an ‘Aha!’ moment. Eternal thanks beyond measure for the save here. I have great appreciation for actress Linda Ko for her Atlantis character as both Doctor Carson Beckett and Doctor Jennifer Keller’s head nurse in the Atlantis Expedition and for her last name which I applied to her character Marie who up until now has had no last name. Incredible thanks to the History Channel’s fantastic television series Ancient Aliens, in particular their Second Season Final Episode “Alien Contacts” which featured the Penniston Code and it’s revelation about Hy-Brasil (spelled in this story in that of the Ancient Irish language rather than the modern one). It was great inspiration, and the starting off point, for this story as well as a terrific story/plot twist. Go for the Ark of the Covenant, which has always been something that’s bugged me since the Ark of Truth SG-1 movie and its Holy Grail storyline for the show’s ninth and tenth seasons, and then get the other Atlantis! Awesome! When writing an Atlantis story, how can anyone pass up the chance to take a shot at Earth’s second mythical Lost City? This story is also grateful to Emilia Clarke for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s series Game of Thrones, based off of the book series written by George R.R. Martin, whom the character of the Celtic Horse Goddess Epona is based off of in this story. Ironically enough, when trying to picture in my mind what Epona looked like, I couldn’t help but keep thinking of Dany, kept picturing her in her Dothraki garb. And the more I thought about it, I liked the idea of someone so young being a village Elder… and how that would throw Sheppard and his team. Also thanks go out to the Game of Thrones’ series costumer, Michele Clapton, for the fantastic costumes worn in the series. What a fantastic reference for this story and character in particular. Much thanks to Brad Wright, again, and Robert C. Cooper for their story idea for Stargate Atlantis’ First Season Episode “Hide and Seek”, especially Robert C. Cooper for writing the episode. When I was trying to come up with the best way to introduce the Worm God of Celtic mythology, my research into the description of him kept leading me to think time and again of the energy creature from that very episode. I couldn’t help but think that that would be a totally awesome ‘coming full circle’ sort of a thing to include here. And throwing in the concept that what the Ancients had originally caught and imprisoned was a child form or even infant form of the species the Worm God is. Thank you so much for making that possible in this story and adding new dimensions to it. I am much, much indebted. And a not unrelated thank you to the Special Make-Up Effects man, Chris Walas, who made the Face Melting Ending Scene in George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark possible. When it came to picturing how an eyeball made out of organics and energy would be ripped apart at its very molecular level, I kept visualizing this scene specifically, especially the eyeglasses wearing Nazi. So I figured why not draw on it for inspiration since it already was for me and Sheppard is a big movie buff. Why should the Alien movie be the only movie he references to his friends and teammates? My next thanks, although unadultered reverence would be a better description, goes to Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd, for the Dragonriders of Pern and Dolphins of Pern book series as well as Jody Lynn Nye for her work with Anne McCaffrey and illustrators Todd Cameron Hamilton and James Clouse for the companion to the Dragonriders series and reference book The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern for the source material of the Weyr and their appearance. And also for the beautiful and tragic story of about a Weyr which I referenced in this story. When my mother first told me this story, tears streamed down her face and, as I listened, tears streamed down mine. The story also reminded me of Elizabeth Weir’s sacrifice and her character’s hardships as leader of the Atlantis Expedition, beautiful and tragic. I willingly admit that the Weir character was never one of my favorites, but the truly honorable and dignified and heroic way off the series as a regular character that she was given is nothing less than one of the most respectable moments in the Atlantis series and arguably in science-fiction as a whole. There’s no disputing its relevance and haunting of the characters of Atlantis’ flagship team and I couldn’t pass on the chance to pay it homage here in as comparable a way. Thank you Anne for the honor. My second to last thanks goes to the incredible Jim Fitzpatrick for his “The Silver Arm” book, the majority of which was the inspiration for this book along with his incomparable illustrations. I continually reference the Silver Arm gauntlet in this story as a beautiful piece of artistry and craftsmanship because that’s what the artwork of your book is to me as well as the wonder of your storytelling. Thank you so much, there aren’t enough words despite the ones I’ve spoken in thanks to you here. The last and most important thanks of all of course goes to my mother, but not for the usual introducing me to writing and always encouraging me in it, no, my thanks are for introducing me to her favorite fantasy/ science-fiction book series The Dragonriders of Pern and for the fact that she gave me my Irish heritage and raised me and continues to raise me in it. Your great knowledge of our bloodline that you personally traced back through historical records that date back almost eight hundred years and required you to wear just shy of full-on Hazmat gear to handle blessed me with the information to do this story and do it as properly and honestly as I possibly can. I am so enamored of your mind and heart and am so honored to be the daughter of a good Irish woman. I hope this story makes you proud… as much as I am proud of you for everything that you are and everything that you do. I am blessed.