|Reviews for The Horizons Beyond|
| dutchsoldier chapter 12 . 1h
A very good and interesting story all considered, though I would like to point out that your analogy with the USA's ability to rain nuclear hellfire down on the planet doesn't match with the situation in the story. One of the main reasons why most other national governments don't directly fear the USA's Arsenal is the fact that pretty much every other major power on the face of the planet had enough WMD's to do the same. (To list them: Russia, China, France, India, Britain, Pakistan) In your story there is nobody else that can comparitively do such a thing, at least as far as most of the locals know.
| Keloid chapter 18 . 14h
Now that! Was a good update! I’m happy to see this fanfic wasn’t abandoned, and left at a cliffhanger (like so may others).
| Blaze1992 chapter 18 . 4/28
Damn this is both interesting and f**ked up.
However I will admit I am surprised you didn't make more OC/AU human worlds/ships, you used the asguard from MCU. So since this is part stargate I am surprised one of the worlds wasn't jaffa/goa'uld in tech/warrior culture.
Look forward to seeing where this crazy train goes.
| RoyalTwinFangs chapter 18 . 4/24
| OMAC001 chapter 18 . 4/22
Well, that was a nightmarish encounter with husks. By the way, does the telepathic barrier provide any resistance to Reaper Indoctrination?
| MarceloMuniz50 chapter 18 . 4/21
Parabéns JJ, adorei essa historia, li em 2 dias só parando pra trabalhar rs. Estou ansioso pelo próximo cápitulo.
| YouDoYou chapter 1 . 4/17
Why does your timeline show the Vorlon and Shadows exterminating the Atlanti three or more times?
| Mark1 chapter 18 . 4/17
Thank you for the update!... Was the spire reaper tech pr borg tech?
| Mark1 chapter 23 . 4/16
| AyeJimmy123 chapter 18 . 4/18
| Guest chapter 23 . 4/15
Who Are You? What Do You Want?
The core of the story is a great war between two vastly-different ideologies, the forces of order and chaos. The Vorlons represent the forces of order and believe that growth comes through organisation, discipline, cooperation, self-sacrifice, etc. They believe their role is to act as stewards and shepherds for the younger races, guiding them towards a more enlightened state by subtle interference in their natural development. Their philosophy is embodied in their question, "Who are you?", which is about somebody's relationship to other people and the universe at large.
The Shadows, on the other hand, are the embodiment of chaos. Their core belief is in the power of evolution, and that evolution is best served by disorder and conflict. By triggering wars, they think that the protagonists in those wars will be forced to make faster scientific progress then they otherwise would have, and that the winners in those wars are genetically superior to the slain and are therefore more likely to evolve and are more deserving of survival. Thus, war and conflict serves as a force to prune the undeserving away, leaving the strong behind to thrive in the aftermath. The analogy they use is that of the ant-hill. If you destroy one, then the ants would build a replacement that is superior to the destroyed ant hill. They therefore choose to execute a cycle wherein they hide away for a considerable period of time, quietly manipulating other races by stirring up conflict between them and then emerge in force to metaphorically kick over all the ant hills. Their question, "What do you want?" encourages those asked to think in selfish terms and put their own needs before those of the groups to which they have a duty.
These points of view are initially set up in the series as those of the good guys and the bad guys, but as the story progresses it becomes clear that things are a lot more complicated than that. While order is portrayed as good and chaos is portrayed as bad, it is not always the case. Order, in the form of a dictatorship for example, can be a force for great evil, and chaos can be a force for good in the right circumstances. Our heroes certainly rely on luck on more than one occasion, and luck can be considered random and chaotic. Meanwhile, the Earth government (ironically under the influence of the chaotic Shadows) try to impose a new order that is authoritarian, oppressive and unjust. The biggest issue is that both sides, the Vorlons and the Shadows, have been so wrapped up in the philosophical debate between their points of view that they are now failing in their role as mentors to the younger races. They would rather wipe out each other's disciples in a pointless all-encompassing war to try and prove to the other side that their position is the right one.
In the end, the Vorlons know who they are, but not what they want, and the Shadows know what they want but don't know who they are. In order to really be in a position to mentor the new races, you must be able to answer both questions. A truly fair galaxy should embrace both order and chaos and not fear either.
| Guest chapter 23 . 4/15
n the season 4 arc, Garibaldi is hired by a man who is going up against the Psi Corps, who can program people and easily wipe human memory. Garibaldi disappeared from Babylon 5 for two weeks earlier that year, yet the client accepts the fact that Garibaldi doesn't remember what happened to him, verified by a telepathic scan by a member of the Psi Corps. To no one's surprise but the client's, Garibaldi had been programmed to get close to him and bring him down.
In season 4 after Garibaldi is brainwashed, he develops an irrational hatred of Sheridan. While his accusation that Sheridan has started to buy into his own messianic hype is completely bogus, he has a point when he compares Babylon 5 to a military dictatorship. Technically, it's exactly a military dictatorship, albeit one that's trying to be benevolent while still keeping in mind its higher purpose.
A number of Strawman Political characters who visit the station browbeat Sheridan for not taking into account the political ramifications for Earth of his decisions. Considering that he is effectively Earth's ambassador on Babylon 5 in addition to being a military commander in a key region of space, he really should be considering the policies being pursued by his government and how his actions will impact them. He might be less inclined to do so once he finds out President Clark had his predecessor assassinated.
A religious zealot propelled by prophecy into a position of political and military power always a bad idea
In "The Long Dark" Dwight Schultz plays an EarthForce vet with cripplingly bad PTSD exacerbated by a Shadow creature. Probably referred to Vietnam originally, but with The War on Terror in the 2000s and hundreds of thousands of vets coming home barely functional...
In the continuing wake of the 2016 American presidential election, the dangers of President Clark's brand of authoritarian ultranationalism and xenophobia seem more relevant than ever before.
Byron, who is supposed to be a sympathetic character, came across as very Jim Jones in wanting to make himself a martyr. The way he kept trying to take the fall for "his" people just screamed for attention and worship. Even moreso, he seemed to consistently prove Bester right with how he acted.
There's a little hinting in one of the Psi Corps trilogy books that Byron was some kind of a conscience for Bester: Bester is pretty much scum who will use his own people as disposable tools if need be, Byron is (or was supposed to be) more concerned and responsible toward telepaths. If they'd have played this up more in the show it would have been a better dynamic. Instead Byron just looks like a batshit cult leader with an army of Vidal Sassoon terrorist hippies. We know the actor can do better, so put all the blame down to the hasty writing decisions.
Bester can be this to the heroes, at least Sheridan and the human command crew. Especially in the canon Psi Corps novels it's clear that telepaths have been brutally mistreated (with their reveal to humanity resulting in beatings, ostracizing, being locked up "for their own good" and mass murders) and we see even good guys treating telepaths like Lyta and Talia as more tools than people. Bester is not particularly nice, but as his anti-Shadow alliance demonstrates, he genuinely feels his people (telepaths) are a threatened minority at constant risk from mundanes for things like being sold to the Shadows as "weapons components." Never mind Edgars engineering a virus designed to make every human telepath part of a permanent slave class. He's ruthless and isn't any nicer to mundanes than they are to him, but it's hard say he's not Properly Paranoid. If anything the only difference between him and Byron is Byron wants to run off to a world somewhere far away, while Bester thinks telepaths should eventually supplant mundanes as the dominant version of humans.
| Guest chapter 22 . 4/15
Everyone deserves post scarcity you can practice humanitarian aid without being an imperialistic exploitive jerk
Those who want their own lives to be hard, difficult, and dangerous have no right to force that on others
| Guest chapter 21 . 4/15
No one ever conceptualized fighter carrier ships before humans did, stunning everyone. Why
Why is it that the technologically advanced asari and salarians, the militaristic turians, even the ocean dwelling hanar or the quarians with their fleet based culture never ever come up with the idea of an aircraft carrier? Even the robotic geth don't conceptualize carriers once they gain their freedom from the quarians. A closer examination of each alien species reveals why.
The asari call their soldiers huntresses, with a few being designated as commandos. The huntresses were most likely derived from hunting parties that foraged for food before the Protheans taught them agriculture, and then once they stopped foraging, the huntresses were used as local militia to guard their food stores. They most likely saw very little actual conflict with other huntresses, since cooperation and diplomacy became the norm. They evolved into spec ops types, as an overtly diplomatic culture will need problem individuals like bellicose matriarchs or ardat yakshi quietly dispatched behind the scenes, rather than amassing armies and fighting conventional wars. Therefore, the asari most likely never even conceptualized a navy before they became spacefarers. When they built a navy, it was most likely just a basic space navy intended to protect their ships, and therefore lacking tactical depth. Having never fought a naval conflict, they never realized a need for carriers. Even after forming the Citadel council, they never had to fight a large scale naval conflict themselves. Their contact with the salarians, volus and elcor were peaceful, the krogan fought the rachni war for them, and the turians fought the krogan rebellions for them, and later on the humans did the lions share of Reaper fighting. They were therefore never in a position where they had to think of using carriers as an out of the box method to win a naval war.
The salarians have much the same issues as the asari. They too relied so much on spec ops, spies and scientists to influence the outcome of conflicts, with a large number of their wars "ending before it even started", that they too never had a history of naval conflict on which to base the need for a carrier. They too, like the asari had the krogan, then the turians and finally humans to do the conventional war fighting for them.
Although the quarians built a humongous fleet to sustain them while they wandered the stars, they actually had no need for carriers, because carriers are actually a long range power projector. Carriers that are kept close to shore, or close to the bulk of the fleet in the quarians' case are useless, as those fighters may as well be stationed at airfields, or any ships' shuttle bay in the quarians' case. Carriers are meant to operate far away from the home port or home fleet and strike targets with the full complement of an airfield, targets that would have otherwise not been reachable from that airfield. In the quarians' case, they aren't inclined to strike distant targets using a lone carrier, they instead stay out of such situations to preserve their numbers, or just take their entire fleet and strike. The geth are similar as in, they just want to protect their holdings in the veil and do not want to carry out the kind of long range offensive ops that carriers are best suited for.
The hanar are ocean dwellers and we know not if they had a history of intra-species warfare. But since the ocean is a natural habitat, their "naval" conflict would have been similar to a 3-D infantry engagement or an air war, since they can swim in all dimensions in the ocean. So, they never needed carriers, not when they themselves could get where they needed to go without neccesarily using vehicles.
The volus and elcor most likely never had enough warfare in their history to discover the need for carriers. Volus owing to their Proud Merchant Race culture, traded and bartered rather than contest resources, so they never had a naval conflict, while the uber-conservative Elcor who are so deliberate to even avoid falling, most likely never got into many conflicts either. Even if they did, that conservatism would prevent such radical ideas as a fighter carrier from being given any consideration.
The Turians if no one else, should have developed carriers. After all, they are a proud soldier race where a martial outlook permeates into everything. So, a long range power projector like a fighter carrier should have been conceptualized by someone right? Especially, as a dextro species, they are more likely to have garrisons on a few planets, and would need a navy to defend and resupply them. The reason they didn't, could be biological. Garrus reveals in the third game, that turians are horrible swimmers, and so avoid large water bodies. This is most likely from the metallic carapace they evolved to mitigate the high levels of star radiation on Palaven. So, their oceans might have been too much of an environmental hazard for them to operate navies. They would have instead, just built aircraft to traverse those oceans, and built land based airfields everywhere. Instead of projecting power over their oceans with a navy, they most likely kept their power projection limited over contiguous land. This also explains why the turians didn't embark on large scale colonization after winning the Krogan war - they want to keep their colonies close by in order to be better defensible. That is why Sparatus can't fathom why humans colonize planets so far away - he doesn't get the power projection capability of a navy.
Synthesis, you have AI first a child then equal then sage, but how long until the inefficient organics less than bacteria, you don't give nukes to cavemen, MAYBE Shepard' use popularity to only upgrade when there is a problem to solve
game is set up such that a Wide-Eyed Idealist who believes that there is a Golden Ending in which you save everyone is going to be in for a rude shock. A Pragmatic Hero on the other hand recognizes that some sacrifices have to be made and can actually win in the end
he/she is the The Hero/ The Chosen One of the story. His/her entire life was framed a stereotypical action Hero's Journey in a si-fi space opera. You were born to be special; had an impressive service record in the marines; Was chosen to become the first human Spectre; Saving or dooming entire planets and civilizations; Cheated death itself; Finding love and friendship despite the merciless fires of war; Uniting the galaxy to fight as one in the war to end all wars; And finally, you march off into the final battle with the hopes and dreams of those around you, fighting for the future of every mother, every son, and every unborn child…
Well, and then Reality Ensues and his/her story crumbles around you like a ton of bricks. Primarily because the will of a single men/women, no matter how strong or determined, can stop a super advance race of genocidal starships. The only option you have left at this point is to either summit to the will of an insane cosmic AI tyrant, betraying everything you fought for; Or stay true to your moral principles, refusing to let fear compromise who you are... at the cost of dooming everyone to die and the Vicious Cycle to continue.
You are just dust struggling against cosmic winds, after all
Could the races have prepared better for the invasion during the time Shepard bought them? Yes, they absolutely could have. How? The asari had a ''goddamned'' beacon in their ''goddamned'' temple with a goddamned VI program that knew everything there was to know about the goddamned Crucible. And notwithstanding Shepard, there may have been one asari who has the Cypher and is able to activate the Beacon. But the asari wasted this opportunity. There were Crucible plans in Mars - as well as data about the goddamned Thessia beacon. But we squandered it, as TIM so eloquently put it. Heck, there were even data files on Kahje pointing to Mars and possibly Thessia (we never know if Thessia was the deleted location, but it is possible that asari operatives found and deleted it to cover up their beacon), but nobody bothered to look. Had they found the Crucible plans a month after Sovereign's defeat, they could have built that thing unimpeded, then refined the design further to eliminate the Reapers while minimizing damage to the relays. But the Council and the Alliance demonstrated Head-in-the-Sand Management at its finest, even going so far as to shut up Councillor Anderson who was warning everyone about the Reapers.
Shepard *was* the Hero, and in the end, no matter the Commander's own fate, the galaxy stopped the Cycle
The saga is a brutal confrontation of an idealistic world from a space opera, to which we are introduced in ME 1, and a merciless one explored, from the end of ME 1 to the end of ME 3. While you begin as a shining badass drifting through space on an epic quest, the discovery of the Reapers changes the tone dramatically. They are unstoppable, unknowable, invincible. Even if you get a small victory at tremendous cost by the end of ME 1, you know that it is but next to nothing compared to the true might of the Reapers. And as explored above, you do not even know how to fight them, merely how to slow them down. By Mass Effect 3, the realisation of the futility of all the efforts so far come crashing down on the whole Galaxy, and you first. Every world falls, everyone you know dies despite your best efforts and you struggle to keep the Galaxy together while waiting for a miracle.
But what do we find in all that despair, all that pointless fighting, all those quests that goes nowhere and resolves nothing? Simple happiness.
It is always by the end, just before the most dangerous mission of all, that your loved one stops what s/he is doing and come share a moment with you, because they know they might not get the chance anymore. The loyalty quests in ME 2 have little impact in the long run, because whether they die or not during the suicide mission, Liara will still find the plans for the Crucible. But you help them find peace and meaning in their lives, and they'll be happy for it for the rest of their lives, long or short. Even the couple you help bring together, the Asari and the Krogan, ends tragically. But listen to his last words, their beauty shows how wonderful those last months have been for him. His death is inevitable, the quality of his life isn't and it may improve thanks to you.
A message that may be gathered throughout the saga is "Whatever your situation, no matter how great the danger, especially if it is great, you can, must and deserve to find your own happiness"
The most vibrant moment of this may be the Citadel DLC where, while on the brink of extinction, people take the time to sit back, and smile.
Despite Shepard being the Alliance's newest Spectre candidate, they weren't the first, so they are not really the Chosen One by any reasonable measure—much less the chosen one to deal with Saren's treason and an invasion of the Milky Way by technological horrors from beyond. In other words, in the first game, Shepard is firmly The Unchosen One—just a normal soldier who goes out of their way to save the world.
And that is where the story of The Unchosen One was supposed to end: the first thing we see in the sequel is Shepard being killed by the new enemy way beyond a normal soldier's ability to withstand. But Shepard's story does not end. Recognizing their new symbolic value, the shadowy genius of Cerberus transforms Shepard both metaphorically and physically. On the metaphoric level, they undergo a metamorphosis from The Unchosen One to The Chosen One. On the physical level, the entire "normal soldier" part goes by the wayside: the new, chosen Shepard is a cyborg, combining the best qualities of human character with the galaxy's most bleeding edge tech.
But as the third and final game shows, despite their transformation, Shepard still remains a fundamentally human being. When exposed to the immense burden of wearing a Messianic Archetype's shoes, their psyche starts creaking at the seams and puts them on an ultimately self-destructive path.
On a larger scale the trilogy is the story of the unchosen species pushed way past its limits. Humans were uplifted by no one not the Protheans who studied them, not the asari who could have lived long enough to undertake a conventional journey to Sol without the use of Mass Relays and not the Salarians who uplift species all the time. When they discovered mass effect tech and started to expand, their first contact with an alien race was in the form of near unrestricted warfare. After that, they were treated like the little kid trying to sit at the big boys table. Then barely ten years after that war a different species with slavery in their culture becomes openly hostile and starts fighting a proxy war. After a costly bloody victory, they are now fighting Omnicidal robots and are the only ones who must save the Citadel from those robots. Then insecticide cyborgs start kidnapping them on masse and are told by the powers that this is an internal matter to clean up themselves. The final icing is that a race of Eldritch Abominations consider them to be their prime target for assimilation, and thereby launch their entire force at humans first before attacking anybody else. Most species would have given up in despair and become isolationist Luddites after all the trauma humanity has been through in the time since they thawed the Charon relay. And to top it all off, they now have to take on the lion's share of responsibility for defeating the Reapers - because the more militaristic races are bogged down in hopeless conventional wars, the more technologically superior have chosen to turtle up and even the chosen species decided to abnegate that responsibility. The Turians need humans' help to evacuate their Primarch despite the fact that they know how to build stealth ships like the Normandy. The Krogan need humans' help to distribute the genophage cure, even the Quarians ask for human assistance in their war with the geth, instead of the asari whose hat is diplomacy. Finally even the asari asks for humans' help in getting the Reapers off Thessia. How much responsibility can one species shoulder like that?
Cerberus says when the going gets to tough the aliens will abandon humanity which is EXACTLY what happens
| Guest chapter 20 . 4/15
Is alternate!President Hank Landry a straight up President Evil or a President Iron with a hefty dose of I Did What I Had to Do? One hand, he's all but eradicated free speech through state controlled news sources, uses F-302s against anyone on Earth that's deemed a threat, and attempts to imprison Prime! Sam Carter. On the other hand, the universe he inhabits is far worse off than Sam's, something General Hammond is quick to point out. Plus, Sam had accidentally killed her alternate counterpart, depriving Landry of one of his best scientific minds in their war against the Ori.
The NID, idiots who nearly get the Earth into a war with numerous alien races by stealing their technology or Pragmatic Heroes who are the only ones actually accomplishing the goal of acquiring technology capable of defending Earth from a Goa'uld attack? Likewise, Stargate Command's efforts to bring them down, an admirable effort to preserve Earth's alliances or just another time and money wasting venture that gets Earth no better relations then they already had with the Asgard and Tollan?
In "Prometheus", the SGC and the Pentagon commit some extremely unethical and even illegal actions to kill Julia Donovan's story about the titular ship. They spy on her, something that is expressly illegal for the U.S. military to do. They then plan on double crossing Donovan by destroying the tapes containing the footage shot during the tour. While they're Just Following Orders that probably came from the President, it's still extremely creepy with how blase everyone is about the whole affair.
For that matter, it's creepy how the entire cast is okay with keeping the secret. It was one thing when it was just the Air Force experimenting with an alien portal device, but by the end of the series Earth has a fleet of battleships and off-world bases, as a result of having been secretly at war with aliens for ten or fifteen years.
The arms dealer in "Talion" raises a valid point when he talks about how, under the reign of the System Lords, the Jaffa were revered and privileged while ordinary Humans were slaves. When Teal'c confronts him about the attack at the Jaffa summit, he gives him a brief "Reason You Suck" Speech and finishes with a raised glass and an ironic toast: "I rejoice, rejoice, at seeing you kill each other."
Senator Kinsey, in the episode he's introduced in, raises a pretty good point in regards to the Stargate programme being a huge money-sink which introduces far too many risks (attracting the attention of hostile aliens, bringing through elements which could pose a threat to humanity itself, being the only known entry point for the Goa'uld to attack Earth, etc.) with little-to-no returns to speak of. He's eventually proven wrong when the Goa'uld wind up trying to invade earth via a fleet of ships, thus necessitating the Stargate programme as their only way of striking back, but it's hard not to agree with his initial views.
To expand: during the first season, the cast had a bad case of Failure Is the Only Option when it came it acquiring anything useful. Find a device that kills Goa'uld while leaving the host alive? Have to destroy it to save Teal'c. Find an alien database full of useful knowledge? It gets destroyed. Capture a spare Goa'uld human scientists can experiment on? Have to use it to save Teal'c again. Find a handy healing sarcophagus? Yep, destroyed.
Many characters, including Kinsey in his first appearance, point out that the SGC is essentially fighting a secret war without the knowledge or approval of the American public. While the wars with Goa'uld and Ori might be justifiable, the American public still really, really doesn't like the government engaging in secret conflicts. The show never really offers a counter to this, though it's justified that it can't. The main characters are either military officers (who could get in serious trouble for commenting on government policy), civilians (who would lose their positions if they speak out), or aliens (who have no place commenting on it).
The pre-Trust NID has a point that the SGC is essentially wasting Earth's time by not being more aggressive. Like Kinsey, they point out that the SGC has a virtually zero return investment when it comes to acquiring tech capable of defending against Goa'uld motherships. They also point out that the SGC's alien alliances are not worth the effort because when the chips are down, the aliens won't come to Earth's aid in the event of another attack, which is exactly what happens. The Tok'ra and free Jaffa cut and run after the loss of the Alpha Site, the Asgard are no where to be found, and Prometheus is too little, too late against Anubis' fleet. This is however eventually proven wrong by season 10 and by extension season 2 of Atlantis as it is exactly this approach that grants them the legacy of the Asgard, making Earth the most advanced power in the galaxy and a major player in several others.
The main cast: big damn heroes adventuring and exploring new worlds while trying to make it in the Pegasus galaxy, malicious idiots that leave a trail of death, destruction and imminent doom everywhere they go or humanity's ruthless defense against a new intergalactic, genocidal threat? Or a combination of all 3?
Dr. Kavanaugh: Jerkass Has a Point or The Complainer Is Always Wrong?
Elizabeth Weir: a gifted negotiator who fights hard for her people's freedom in the face of nigh insurmountable odds or a Manipulative Bitch who bullies and threatens other cultures and people for the survival of her own, judging them by a morality that is convenient to her in order to justify her actions? Keeping in mind the number of times she's used ultimatums as a negotiating strategy
John Sheppard: Heroic, selfless badass ready to risk everything to save Atlantis and those he cares about? Or ruthless sociopath willing to commit any number of murders under the justification of "protecting his people"? He could be quite coldly manipulative at times. A noteworthy example was in "Miller's Crossing" when someone had to sacrifice themselves to a Wraith in order to save McKay's sister. McKay volunteered but Shepherd refused to let him. Instead, without even blinking, he recruited the grieving father who'd injected her with the nanites (having done so in order to motivate McKay to save his daughter's life), and talked him into sacrificing himself
There is a trend for the characters to fit both their standard interpretation and their Alternate interpretation concurrently, usually changing it up between episodes. This tends to be because the episodes are inconsistently written such that some are very intelligent and sensitive to the issues surrounding sentient life equivalency and the progression of humanity, and some are... not
Although our heroes are in general good guys who try to do the right thing, there are quite a few times where what they do is at the least soaked in Moral Dissonance and at the most downright evil - sometimes contradicting previous characterization to do so. When written at their worst they have a very human-centric perspective about sentient life such that only human and human-like beings matter, and are disturbingly willing to exploit, manipulate, experiment on, mass murder (as in killing huge numbers in cold blood) and double-cross anyone or anything that poses a threat or can be labelled an enemy species (even taking into account the requirement to act cautiously and even proactively against threats when they present themselves), even treating one of their own expedition similarly when they come back as a Replicator
In "Infection" where Sheppard comes across Todd's completely defenceless diseased Wraith hive ship where his entire crew - now having undergone a gene therapy where they can no longer feed - are in stasis pods. Originally the plan was to just leave them or blow up the ship, However, because of the ship's malfunctions there is an off-chance that they might break free from the pods. Sheppard's solution? Suffocate the hundreds of Wraith in their pods and use C4 to blow up any pods that are unresponsive to the "suffocate their occupants" command. The Team decided that if the gene therapy really was effective at killing Wraith, they should try to disseminate it to as many Wraith as possible for use as a biological weapon
On the other hand, when the non-human beings in the galaxy are mostly composed of psychic vampires who eat humans (only humans) and enjoy it, and the Pegasus version of the Replicators, who have repeatedly almost devoured and destroyed two entire galaxies - and in the case of the Pegasus versions, have at the very least shown an inclination towards Mind Rape (on good days) and omnicide (on bad ones) when dealing with humans, you can kind of see why they might be willing to cross some lines
Bates, Kavanaugh and Ellis tend to end up in this role. They usually have legitimate concerns or complaints, but because these are expressed, usually against the main characters, in a way that is distinctly in favour of their own self-interest and usually to the detriment of others that they are willing to sacrifice, the characters are presented as reactionary jerkasses. Bates seeing Teyla as a security risk and willing to essentially exile her people, hence putting them in great danger in order to protect the expedition members; Kavanaugh complaining to Weir about Weir being somewhat rude to him in front of his team when he prioritises and focuses on a course of action that puts the safety of Atlantis first no matter the risk assessment or loss of life (although what is more the issue is that in an emergency when time is crucial and lives are depending on him and his team, he takes time out to go and complain to Weir about her behaviour and how it bruised his ego, dismissing and mocking her authority in the process); Ellis undercutting Weir's authority behind her back because she challenges his opinion and his own authority, and wanting McKay to cut the exposition and get to the point in a way that pointedly bullies and demeans him). There is also a trend of portraying Kavanaugh, in his few appearances, as a coward even though every time he is up against a situation in which his fear is perfectly understandable, although he does consistently advocate a course of action that will save himself and whoever is with him while sacrificing other people, sometimes even when the risk to himself is minimal
Ellis isn't so much a Designated Villain as a Jerkass who likes to bully and harass those who make him feel inferior. He's a good man, a competent officer (as befitting his rank), and takes pride in making the right call, but doesn't like it when people who are smarter than him have an idea or explanation that he finds difficult to grasp. Both times he doesn't tell McKay to cut the exposition and get to the point, he insults and harasses him for giving a long explanation, often one that is necessary to understand what he's trying to tell him. The first time, he cut him off and then McKay had to go back and explain the entire thing all over again because he didn't understand. The second time he outright bullies and degrades Rodney in a meeting so severely that Samantha Carter has to tell him that if he ever talks like that to someone again she'll have him forced off Atlantis. And that's really saying something; Sam wouldn't defend Rodney like that unless what Ellis was saying was absolutely unacceptable, particularly considering that he and she are of equal rank
As for Kavanaugh, while he does come up with semi-decent ideas, he is also: spectacularly irritating; of the belief that he's much smarter and more important than he is - while he's smart, he's not McKay/Carter smart, as he seems to believe, nor is he an especially important member of the science team, let alone the expedition at large; prone to putting his ego before everything else, even in a crisis. His complaint to Weir in his first appearance isn't about his idea not being taken seriously, it's about his ego being bruised. He also claims, when the discussion is very much over, that it isn't, assuming that he can dictate to Weir, completely disregarding her authority
Kavanagh in 38 Minutes. His concern about the danger of the Jumper fragments killing people may well have been reasonable. Weir had no basis for thinking it wasn't other than the fact that the other scientists regarded it as a remote possibility. Yet, when he responded by acknowledging that he at least had to point it out (and without him having pushed the issue any further than that), it was actually Weir who wasted the time of the team by taking the time out of her schedule to undercut and humiliate him in front of his people. In fact, there was no indication that if Weir has simply treated his opinion like a valid scientific consideration rather than the ravings of a coward that he'd have had a problem with it. He was wrong to waste the time calling her out for her behaviour when he did, but her behaviour was also wrong. Yet the fact that he's a jerk meant that his point about her behaviour was treated as automatically wrong, rather that simply his timing in reacting to her behaviour
Except that she didn't humiliate - at worst, she was brusque, and he then went on to whine about how she'd bruised his ego, trying a power play when the clock was ticking
Michael points out the considering the Atlantis expedition's treatment of not only him but anything that isn't human or is a threat, they are incredibly similar to the Wraith. The fact is, he's right. If the Atlantis expedition had been the bad guys, their behaviour would have put them beyond the Moral Event Horizon
However, John's 'alliance' with Todd went a long way to helping to get back to moral ground, showing that yes, Michael was right, but being incredibly similar to the Wraith isn't always a bad thing. Remember, the only thing the Wraith can feed on is humans. They aren't the Goa'uld
Furthermore, as several Wraith characters point out, it's not as if they have a choice in feeding. While they do possess a digestive tract and are capable of eating regular food, they lose the ability to gain any nutrients or sustenance from it during adolescence, when their need to feed on humans first manifests. Ultimately, the Wraith are just as much victims of their own biology, as the humans they prey upon, although their culture which celebrates the feeding process is something we could have definitely gone without
At some point in the series they have a Wraith describe what it's like to go without feeding for any extended period of time (getting less "food" than they need). Once they hit their equivalent of puberty, their digestive system shuts down, and feeding on humans is the only way they can survive. It's described as a burning hunger that makes them feel like they're on fire inside. It *literally* hurts like hell, and eventually drives them crazy, shortly before they die of starvation
It would also have helped their case a bit if they'd been shown to make more of an effort to find some substitute for feeding on humans. They'd been technologically advanced enough to fight the Ancients a very long time ago; they should have been able to come up with some form of "I Can't Believe It's Not Human" by now. Potentially they could even have genetically engineered some non-intelligent humanoid life form capable of sustaining them and lived in peace with the humans
Doctor Nicholas Rush: Grieving widower who presents a facade of Insufferable Genius because he feels he needs to suffer, and is consumed with his genius and research so much that he can no longer comprehend social behavior? Or arrogant asshat who with one act of arrogance marooned over eighty people on the other side of the universe with a barely functioning ship facing constant danger?
Colonel Young: Is he The Hero, an Anti-Hero, or just another damned Cowboy Cop?
Wray: Obstructive bureaucrat with a hidden agenda or concerned administrator trying to keep everyone out of the way of the politicking of the heads of the military and the heads of the scientists?
The Nakai. Considering how obsessed they are with capturing Destiny, it's possible that their extreme malice towards Humans is because they see the crew as "stealing" the vessel away from them. Since they did not know of it being constructed by the Ancients (or its true mission), after finding out the former information from Chloe and Rush via their mind-probe, they may see their human's claim of inheritance as less valid than their long-standing claim of salvage.
In "Gauntlet", was Eli's claim that he could fix the pod genuine or was he willingly choosing to sacrifice himself to save all of his friends? Alternately, given that he repeatedly reassures everyone that he will be on the other side, was he planning on using the Control Chair to upload himself into Destiny and simply psyching himself to let his physical body die in the process?
Telford's rant makes some sense, at least on the surface, if we consider him a Straw Traitor. It falls apart when you actually take a good look at the people he's arguing on behalf of.
One could argue that Rush was entirely right that Young isn't fit for command. Yes, framing the man for murder was a dick move of epic proportions, but Rush is still their most valuable asset in terms of keeping Destiny functioning and the crew alive. Beating the shit out of him and leaving him for dead was serious Disproportionate Retribution and incredibly irresponsible.
Rush, Wray and half of the civilian crew enacting a coup in "Divided", claiming that they are essentially under a military dictatorship and subject to martial law. When we see that the marines (even Greer) fully prepared to shoot the civilians trapped on the wrong side of the line just for talking back to them, it's hard to deny that Rush and Wray are right. Especially considering that Wray and (begrudgingly) Rush are trying to prevent deaths throughout the entire ordeal.