Burden of command…
It's a dark time for Atlantis. Following the first Asuran clashes, Colonel Sheppard is buckling under the strain of command. When his team discovers Ancient technology which can defeat the Asuran menace, he is determined that Atlantis must possess it—at all costs.
But the involvement of Atlantis heightens local suspicions and brings two peoples to the point of war. Elizabeth Weir believes only her negotiating skills can hope to prevent the carnage, but when her diplomatic mission is attacked—and two of Sheppard's team are lost—both Weir and Sheppard must question their decisions. And their abilities to command.
As the first shots are fired, the Atlantis team must find a way to end the conflict—or live with the blood of innocents on their hands…
After the events of the third-season episodes “Progeny” and “The Real World,” the Atlantis expedition has been forced to accept the fact that the Asuran replicators are gunning for the city. A planet that was once the site of a major battle between the Ancients and the Wraith may hold the key to a weapon capable of defeating this new enemy—but the required energy source is at the heart of a bitter dispute between two societies on the planet. When tensions erupt into hostilities, Colonel Sheppard and Dr. Weir have to decide how far they’re willing to go, both for the planet's people and for their own...and the mounting losses are pushing John Sheppard ever closer to his limits.
An extract from chapter 7:
“Don’t just stand there and tell me it can’t be done. Find a way!”
Bristling, Rodney fired back. “What, so if I acknowledge reality, that somehow means I care about Ronon and Teyla less than you?”
“Both of you, stop it,” ordered Carson with a vehemence he rarely showed. It made an impact; Rodney's mouth snapped shut. With that hard set of his jaw, his own sadness and frustration became visible at last.
The doctor finished bandaging John's forearm before speaking again, more gently. “Listen to yourself, John. What are you really hoping to find?”
“I don’t know! But what’s our alternative? Just let them go, forget about them?”
“Forget about them, certainly not,” Carson replied, his voice solemn. “Let them go…aye, lad. I’m afraid so.”
John scrubbed a hand over his jaw, fast running out of rational points to make. Hell, he was starting to run out of irrational ones. All he had — all he knew — was the fact that his teammates were out there, and it went against everything he held fundamental to leave them, whether for an hour or forever, where they lay.
Where his mistake had led them. He'd sent Rodney's group off unarmed, and this was the result.
“God damn it,” he whispered.
Notes of Interest
- In creating a plan to resolve a hostage situation, Radek and Col. Sheppard mentioned that opening the rear hatch while the Jumper is still cloaked will reveal the interior of the Jumper. This is a goof; in the episode Letters from Pegasus, a Wraith warrior stared directly into the open rear hatch of a cloaked Jumper. However, despite staring for several seconds, the drone was unable to see the Jumper's interior. In other words, the Jumper's cloak works as a generated field, encompassing it like a bubble rather than a mechanism attached to the outer hull of the Jumper.
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