As Janus, McKay, and Zelenka enter the lab, McKay goes right to work, giving a “tour” of his lab and experiments.
“Okay, let’s begin the fun. Here, Janus, is my adapter I designed for studying and operating a Zero Point Module. I first built one about six years ago so I could make a proper interface to allow us to dial Atlantis the first time. It was already nearly depleted so we only got one use from it there.”
McKay leads Janus through his lab and shows him some other projects he worked on. Zelenka tries to interrupt McKay but is not very successful. As far as McKay is concerned there’s no one else there but himself and his Ancient counterpart until Zelenka raises his voice.
“Okay, he understands it! What we really need here is more Z.P.M.s in the city. Every time we finally get one or more, they end up being redistributed, and I’d really like to be able to manufacture them ourselves so we don’t handicap the city anymore.”
He looks at McKay.
“Is it really that hard for me to say something over you? Everytime I just….”
(He mutters to himself in Czech.)
“I know. I know. We really desperately need more Zed.P.M.s, especially now. All the Wraith know where we are now and we’ve taken in several thousand people into the city, and well, we really can’t hold anymore and do our work on just one Zed.P.M. We need more and we have to be able to make them ourselves. We know where one may be, but the people there just wanted us to find it for them to hide again. We got nothing out of it.”
Zelenka adds to the conversation.
“The last time the Ancients were here in the city was when we rescued about a hundred of them in the middle of the galactic void between our galaxies. You see, there was this ship, the Tria, and the captain’s first order was to expel us from the city. Sometime later, the Replicators attacked and they—“
“The Asurans.” Janus firmly stated towards McKay and Zelenka.
“Well, we call them Replicators since that’s what they are in essence.”
“I don’t operate with such generic references. Just because they aren’t organic doesn’t mean that they are of a lesser value than yourself. You continue to conduct your observations only towards a definition of organics being the only favorable life in the universe. Now, you wish to be able to restore the full power of this city on a permanent basis, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah, that’s why we came to my lab right?” McKay said, with a slight grin.
“If I help you manufacture new power modules, what will you do with them?” Janus asked.
“Well, first things first, we get a full three Zed.P.M. complement in the city, and then make one to give to the Daedalus to help in our fight against the Wraith.”
“That is something that you should talk to Kelzio about. Kelzio was a military commander and a member of the Lantean council. He resigned out of opposition to the bombardment of Asuras. He later disappeared altogether, leading the rest of us to believe he was killed in battle with the Wraith. Some time later, he appeared to me, and helped me hide my projects from the rest of the Lantean council.”
In the hologram room, Kelzio enters, followed by Sheppard, Ford, Ronon, and Teyla.
While the four were walking towards the hologram room, Kelzio had a look on unimpression on his face. He knew why Teyla was following them along as well, but he wanted to hear it of her own words.
“Why are you here as well, Athosian?” Kelzio inquired.
Teyla was offended by Kelzio’s question. Sheppard didn’t like that too well either, Ronon also. Ford kept a straight face, though for different reasons. He kept wondering if Kelzio and Janus knew. And he meant really knew. About how he really got off that hive four and a half years earlier.
”I am here because I am part of Colonel Sheppard’s team. I have a right to be here.”
“I explicitly asked for Colonel Sheppard, the Satedan Ronon Dex, and Aiden Ford. I did not ask you to accompany us.”
Sheppard spoke up.
“Now hold on, Teyla’s got every right to be here. You just got here. I’m not letting the two of you order us around. We’ve already been down that road.”
“Helia got what she has earned from her death. As may the rest of you. The Athosian is an impairment, a problem, and it must be corrected.”
“What are you saying?” Teyla said, angry and defensive.
“What I am stating is that there is something very wrong with you. You have within you something that is not natural. Your enemies attempted to add a form of their essence to a species that was never meant to have this. Much as their own origin is a repetition of the self-righteous doctrine of image on behalf of the Lanteans, and this includes the Alterra. Your being will be purged of it, and you all may improve your survival.”
“Does this have something to do with Teyla being part-Wraith?” Ford asked.
“Oh yes, and that will be dealt with soon.” Kelzio replied.
“Who is this being?” Teyla thought to herself. “Why does he have such hostility to me?”
As Ronon and Kelzio conversed, Kelzio said this to Teyla as well. “You were never meant to be like you are. The same is said of your mate and child.”
Teyla couldn’t understand how Kelzio was speaking to her, while he was speaking towards Ronon out loud on something else.
The lights dim in the room, and the doors shut. A hologram of Wraith ships appears.
“The main key to the Wraith is their fleets and technology. You see the heart of a Wraith force, the hive ship. Within it can dwell thousands of the creatures, and thousands more beings like yourself can be kept in storage for the Wraith to consume again and again. Should this species conquer you, Avalon will fall soon thereafter. The Wraith will head outward and consume your galaxy, which is several times the size of this one, and has many, many times the amount of people they can consume. They will become a far greater threat not only to you, but to the universe.”
As Kelzio speaks, a galactic map is displayed and it moves out to show the Milky Way as well as several other galaxies. Several indicators are shown moving toward the Milky Way.
“I will tell you this. The Wraith are in the process of regathering their hives and realigning their allegiances. They are also working on making improvements to their ships using information taken from your computer systems and databases, as well as additional technology taken from leftover Asuran and Lantean installations. You have experienced some degree of this a year ago.”
“You mean that Superhive we barely stopped?” Sheppard asked.
“Yes. The Wraith are trying to reinforce their existing ships with some technological improvements that they have gained from both you and the Asurans. You had an immense advantage with your intergalactic ships and their Asgard weaponry. You should have been eliminating the Wraith hive ships long ago, and they would have been nearly eliminated by now. There are some that ask themselves why you refrain from it. Since you refuse to fight them with your full force, they will do it themselves.”
Kelzio spoke to Ford secretly as he spoke to the whole group.
“You know exactly who I am referring to, Lieutenant.” Kelzio said. The feeling was just creepy to Ford. It was obvious that Kelzio knew how Ford actually escaped the hive.
Kelzio knew about the Starfighter League. Ford on the inside was a bit tenser at that moment.
“I won’t tell them, Lieutenant. You have my promise.”
“You’re talking about the Pegasus Asgard?” Sheppard asked Kelzio.
“Yes.” Kelzio stated, though he was actually admitting a half-truth. There was no way that knowledge of the existence of the Starfighter League would end up in Atlantis’ hands soon.
Ford could feel that too many things were hitting him in the face too quickly. Sure, only Kelzio and Janus, and likely the other Ancients they were with knew about them, but as long as Atlantis was unaware of them could he be okay with. Only he and the rest of his people that he fought with when he was away from Atlantis knew about them.
Kelzio continued to explain the operations of the Wraith.
“Didn’t you say that when you left Pegasus the first time, there were a lot more than 70 hives?”
“Yes. There were 362 hive ships, 1,181 cruisers, as well as numerous scout ships, supply ships, and their installations.”
“Over three hundred?!” Teyla said, shocked.
“Yes, over three hundred of the massive ships at the very end. After the Lantean exodus, the Wraith sent a number of ships out and began searching for any remaining advanced civilizations. Some were able to escape them. Five years later, the Wraith were under attack again. They immediately believed that the Lanteans returned in greater force, so they began reorganizing their various alliances of hives. They soon realized that the forces they were fighting were not Lantean, or even “alive” in that matter.”
“You mean the Replicators.” Sheppard said.
“The Asurans.” Kelzio stated. “I must be clear on that.”
“Fair enough.” Sheppard replied.
The hologram changes again, showing Asuras, with a considerable amount of rendered ships around the planet. The rendered ships up close appeared to be Lantean in design.
The hologram changes to show a number of Asuran ships engaged in battle with a large Wraith fleet. The Asuran ships appear to be fighting quite well against the Wraith, destroying three hive ships and shredding a number of cruisers rather quickly.
“Is this real?” Ronon wondered.
“This occurred five years after the Lantean exodus. The Asurans attacked the Wraith in full force. The Wraith were taking such severe casualties, that partway through the conflict, their cloning facility went offline.
“They ended up depleting their ZPMs, didn’t they?” Sheppard said.
“Yes, and without their cloning facility, they could no longer fully crew their ships, and ground battles ended much quicker. Even though the Wraith could build new ships, the Asurans could build them much, much faster, and keep using their greater firepower to win decisive victories. Even though the Wraith were able to destroy many of their ships as well, the Asurans could keep rebuilding them at a greater rate. This is the first time the Wraith knew real fear of an enemy. Even when Janus’ Subspace Disruptor array was online, the Wraith never took these kinds of losses.”
“Yeah, and then they stopped attacking the Wraith.” Sheppard pointed out.
“The Wraith were eventually able to disable the attack directives in the Asurans, and then they simply returned to Asuras. Unfortunately for them, the damage was done.”