The Battle of Atlantis was the first major battle fought between the Atlantis Expedition and the Wraith Domain during the war between the two factions. The battle was preceded by months of skirmishes.
Prior to the battle, the Atlantis Expedition had finally been able to interface Earth's computers with Atlantis' Long range sensors when they learn that a single Wraith Dart was heading towards Lantea and the city. Doctor Elizabeth Weir had Puddle Jumpers deployed to defend the city and intercept the dart. Upon arriving at Atlantis, the Wraith dart began to scanning the Lantean structures and destroyed the Puddle Jumper that was being flown by Sergeant Markham and Smith. Eventually the dart was destroyed by the Puddle Jumper being flown by Doctor Carson Beckett and Sgt. Bates, but being the dart was destroyed, it transported a single wraith commander down into the city and the Atlantis Expedition learned that the dart also transmitted a message detailing the location of Atlantis to a fleet of 3 Wraith hive ships that would arrive at Lantea in two weeks time.
Hoping to gain intelligence on the size and strength of the Wraith fleet that was coming, Major John Sheppard and Athosian leader Teyla Emmagan used a Puddle Jumper to travel via Stargate to the planet inhabited by Orin and his people, as the Wraith would be making a hyperspace pause there. While Sheppard and Teyla were gaining intelligence, Doctor Rodney McKay was getting ready to send a message through the Atlantis' Stargate to Earth to warn Stargate Command the danger the Wraith posed and of the discoveries the Atlantis Expedition had made during their time there. Weir also had Atlantis personnel record personal messages. Following Sheppard and Teyla's return, the team learn that each hive ship acted like a carrier group, with Wraith cruisers and Darts escorting it.
A week before the Wraith arrival at Atlantis, Teyla began having nightmares about the Wraith being in Atlantis. The Atlantis Expedition began to uncover that Teyla had Wraith DNA in her due to an ancestor of hers being experimented on by the Wraith. Taking advantage of this new discovery, the Atlantis Expedition learn via Teyla that the Wraith knew of Earth through the interrogation of Colonel Marshall Sumner and that Atlantis was the only way of getting to their new feeding ground. Unfortunately the Wraith were also able to probe Teyla's mind and learned of the Alpha Site the Atlantis Expedition thus comprising the site.
During a Wraith culling of the planet Athos in 2005, several members of the Atlantis expedition, along with several Athosians, were captured and taken aboard a Hive ship. While there, Colonel Marshall Sumner was brought before the Wraith Keeper who, while interrogating him, learned of the existence of Earth and of its large human population well into the billions. Exhilarated at the prospect of a new feeding ground far richer than any planet known in the Pegasus galaxy, the Keeper awoke every Wraith in the galaxy from its hibernation fifty years prematurely in the hope that it would quickly be found.
Several months later, Atlantis' Long range sensors were automatically activated when they detected a modified Wraith Dart heading for the city. Upon its arrival, the Dart briefly self-destructing. However, before it's destruction, it was able to send a message back to the Wraith containing information about the city. Shortly thereafter, Atlantis' sensors detected three Wraith Hive ships and their escorts headed for Atlantis, which would arrive in two weeks.
Knowing that standing up to a force of that magnitude alone would be impossible, Dr. Rodney McKay devised a plan to send a message to Earth. By tying together all of their power-generating capabilities, the Expedition was able to channel just enough power into the Stargate to open a wormhole back to Earth, albeit for 1.3 seconds. In that brief time, a compressed data burst was sent which included information acquired since the Expedition's arrival in Pegasus. At the same time, Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan traveled to a planet located on the fleet's path and, in addition to helplessly witnessing a massive culling, collected data on the fleet, verifying it to be composed of three Hive ships, nine cruisers (three for each hive), and hundreds of Wraith Darts.
After discovering she possessed Wraith DNA and could thus connect with individual Wraith telepathically, a plan was devised in which Teyla Emmagan would connect to a Wraith in the inbound attack fleet to discover their plans for Atlantis. From this, it was discovered that the Wraith's primary objective was to use Atlantis to reach Earth. This discovery made preventing the Wraith from capturing Atlantis intact an even bigger priority.
In a last ditch effort to defend Atlantis before the Wraith fleet's arrival, the expedition sent a small, three-man team to reactivate one of the Ancient's last remaining Lagrangian Point satellites, which the wraith would pass by shortly after emerging from hyperspace in the Lantean system. When the Wraith fleet came within range of the satellite, the satellite's main weapon was powered up and fired. The energy beam that was released swiftly and violently pierced through the width of one of the Hive Ships, completely destroying it. However, after this first, violent burst, the satellite's power conduits began to overload, preventing it from firing again. As the Wraith fleet altered its course and came within firing range of the satellite, all remaining ships opened fire, completing destroying the satellite and killing Dr. Peter Grodin (who was still on board). With no hope of survival remaining, the expedition decided to evacuate the city and arm the self-destruct.
The Siege of Atlantis
The first wave
Moments before the final group was to evacuate the city, Stargate Command established a wormhole with Atlantis using the Zero Point Module that SG-1 retrieved from an alternate timeline buried in Egypt. Having received their message for help, Brigadier General Jack O'Neill sent a force of some fifty Marines under the command of Colonel Dillon Everett, carrying enough supplies and weapons to hold the city from the Wraith for three days until the Daedalus could arrive with the ZPM to power the city's shield. Among these supplies were RG/BBT SG military mounted guns, six Naquadah enhanced Nuclear warheads to be used as space mines, and a Mark II Naquadah generator to power Atlantis' Control chair.
While the city prepared for battle, Major John Sheppard trained Puddle Jumper pilots and deployed the space mines. However, shortly after this, the Wraith harvested several asteroids from the system's asteroid belt and accelerated them toward Lantea from a safe distance. Upon their arrival, the asteroids were all destroyed by the mines. However, as every mine detonated when in proximity to the asteroids, Atlantis' main line of defense had been eradicated. This also overloaded Atlantis' Long range sensors, leaving them blind to the approaching Wraith fleet.
After this, the Wraith sent a wave of Darts ahead of their main invasion force to attack Atlantis, as well as to transport Warriors into the city using the culling beam from their Darts. When the wave descended though the dark atmosphere of night, it was immediately bombarded by a barrage of RG/BBT SG military mounted guns, missiles, Drone weapons, and small arms fire. As the battle progressed, several Darts began making kamikaze attacks towards the city. After the skirmish subsided and the remaining Darts were eradicated, the city was left with only mild damage. However, the engagement had forced the use of the remaining Drones in Atlantis' arsenal, leaving the city with one less line of defense.
The following morning marked the arrival of the Wraith fleet as they entered orbit around the planet. Seeing no other option, Sheppard suggested that they use the Jumpers in stealth mode to deliver Nuclear warheads into the Hive ships. In preparation of enacting this plan, Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Radek Zelenka were able to rig Atlantis' Control chair to control the Jumpers remotely. Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Weir was able to contact and convince the Genii to loan them two partially complete Atomic bombs, which McKay and Zelenka were able to finish assembling. Shortly afterward, the Wraith fleet then began sending in another wave of Darts, several of which used their culling beam to transport Wraith warriors into the city. In order to combat them, several heavily armed teams of both Tau'ri and Athosians were spread throughout Atlantis. However, upon enacting Sheppard's plan, it was discovered that the Mark II Naquadah generator had exhausted itself, leaving the plan a failure before it even started. In a desperate attempt to save the city, Sheppard decided to pilot one of the Jumpers himself on a suicide mission to plant and detonate one of the nuclear devices aboard one of the two Hive ships.
Moments before the warhead's detonation, however, Sheppard was saved when the Daedalus, under the command of Colonel Steven Caldwell, rescued him via Asgard transporter. Sheppard's plan worked however and the Hive ship he targeted was destroyed. Upon informing Atlantis of their arrival, the Daedalus then engaged the remaining Wraith fleet. Several attempts to launch Mark VIII tactical warheads toward the Hive's Dart bays failed, however, as the missiles were intercepted by Darts "miles from the Hive ship". Acting on Sheppard's idea, Hermiod disabled the failsafes and the remaining Hive ship was destroyed by using the Asgard transporter to beam a warhead directly onto the Hive. Seeing how swiftly the remaining Hive was destroyed, the cruisers promptly withdrew into hyperspace to call for reinforcements. The remaining Darts then made a kamikaze run onto the city. However, after nearly being killed by two Wraith warriors and rescued by Teyla Emmagan, McKay was able to install the city's newly arrived ZPM and activate the shield moments before the Darts rained down upon the now-shielded city. The Expedition's various defense teams were then able to eliminate all of the remaining Wraith in the city, albeit at a cost of 40 personnel.
The second wave
Infuriated that they had been defeated, the Wraith responded by sending twelve more Hive ships and thirty six cruisers, no less than a full fifth of their entire population, to Atlantis. "Sick" of sitting around waiting for the Wraith to show up, Major John Sheppard suggested that the expedition "take the fight to them". As part of a plan to do just that, the Daedalus was then sent to a planet in the Pegasus galaxy to wait in ambush of the Wraith fleet, which would need to take a brief hyperspace pause at the location. Upon the fleet's arrival, the Daedalus took the Wraith completely by surprise as two Hive ships were quickly destroyed by Nuclear warheads using the Asgard transporter. However, upon trying to destroy a third Hive, the Wraith were able to produce countermeasures, which prevented a transporter lock. As the other Hive ships altered course to intercept, the Daedalus was taken "right at ‘em" and the ship's forward Railguns returned fire. Unable to defeat the Wraith's countermeasures in sufficient time, the Daedalus retreated into hyperspace and set a course for Atlantis. The ship arrived at the city moments before the Wraith fleet, but was able to take refuge under the safety of Atlantis' shield.
Upon their arrival, the Wraith fleet opened up on Atlantis with everything they had. The shields were able to withstand the onslaught, but Dr. Rodney McKay predicted that the city's lone Zero Point Module would be depleted in days. As this was too much for the defense forces of Atlantis to handle, Sheppard came up with a plan to cloak the city. In order for the plan to be successful, Teyla Emmagan was able to establish a mental connection with the Wraith and convince them that the expedition would rather destroy Atlantis than allow it to be taken. The Wraith then ceased fire moments before the Daedalus beamed a nuclear warhead above the city, in order to fake a self-destruct. After a brilliant explosion and the ensuing radiation levels dropped to a safe amount, the city was able to lower its shield and activate the cloaking generator that had been harvested from a Puddle Jumper. Immediately following this, it appeared as though nothing of Atlantis remained, ultimately causing the Wraith to retreat back into hyperspace.
After the battle, the Daedalus returned to Earth where it was thoroughly inspected and repaired. However, on the return voyage to Atlantis, a computer virus became active throughout several ship systems, which was uploaded by the Wraith during the ship's last encounter. After gaining control of the ship's navigational computer, the virus attempted to fly the Daedalus near the corona of a nearby Star, which would have resulted in the death of the entire crew. The virus would have then flown the ship to the Wraith if it, after several attempts, was not eradicated by a full systems shutdown.
As the Wraith believed the city to be destroyed, the secrecy of Atlantis became even stronger for the expedition. Over the years, the team continued to make hiding Atlantis' location a priority after this. However, it was eventually discovered by the Asurans, "Todd" and Michael Kenmore. As a result, the city was later moved to a new planet. Without enough humans to feed them, the Wraith entered a Civil War, which broke them into several waring factions.
Notes and references
- (SG1: "Threads")
- (SG1: "Beachhead")
- (SGA: "The Siege, Part 1")
- (SGA: "The Siege, Part 2")
- (SGA: "The Siege, Part 3")
- (SGA: "Allies")
- (SGA: "Rising")
- (SGA: "The Brotherhood")
- (SGA: "Letters from Pegasus")
- (SGA: "The Gift")
- (SG1: "Moebius, Part 2")
- (SGA: "The Intruder")
- (SGA: "Progeny")
- (SGA: "The Seer")
- (SGA: "Lifeline")
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