A Son's Greatest Loss

They said he didn't see it coming. And just like that, his best friend took the blow. Now they were both gone – her life, husband and lover; and her dear friend, advisor, and brother. She stood, not understanding how her legs were supporting her body, and watched as the two stretchers were slowly carried through the blue shimmer toward her. Already she was crying, deep inside as well as openly, for to see him like that tore her apart and tossed her away. She was supposed to believe that the military commander hadn't seen the danger. She was supposed to believe her new second in command. She was supposed to believe everything – but she didn't.

Her mind was wrenched back to reality when she saw her five year old son try to run to his father. She caught him around the middle and crouched down so she was level with her son. "No, sweetie, no."

The son began to sob. "Daddy!" She closed her eyes and cried with him, her throat threatening to close on her and end her life so she could be with him. But where would that leave their son? "Daddy," the child said again, falling back onto his mother heavily. She felt a hand rest on her shoulder and she stood and faced the owner difficultly.

"He's gone, love," the Scot said sadly, tears beginning to mar his face as well. The young boy left his mother and the doctor lifted him up and hugged him, his nephew. "He's gone." With his other arm the Scot pulled his leader into a sad embrace, letting his figurative sister cry on his shoulder.

The leader who had once been brave and composed was now falling apart in her brother's arms. "He can't be gone, he just can't!"

The young boy closed his eyes and shoved his head into the Scot's neck as they carried his now-fallen father past. His mother loved the fact that their son was the spitting image of the man she loved so much. The gene was stronger, if that was even possible, in the young child, now making him the only one on the city who could completely control it. The Scot was proud of the fact that his nephew's speech was taking an unusual turn and morphing into the heavy accent he had carried all his life.

The mother and leader would, in later years, look on her son's accent as a gift to her brother and her son's image as a gift to his father. In later years the mother would look upon her child and see her husband, the man who had fallen in battle.

Of course, the emotion shown for the fall of her husband was much greater in comparison to her grief over the loss of her dear friend, the one who had taken the full blow and died trying to save her husband. The greatest loss resulting from this man's death was the loss of a great advisor, caring brother, and brilliant scientist. Aside from the fact that this man had once owned the smartest brain in two, possibly three galaxies, the leader was most stricken by the fact she would never again speak to two of the men she cared for the most.

From the beginning she knew it had been not her wisest choice to get involved with the charming, handsome, and comical military man, and she knew that this day would come. For her it had come too quickly. Five years ago they had been married on the one city they called home, and five years ago she had given birth to their joy. She would never again have the joy of mussing the already untidy black mop on her husband's head. She would never again be able to hold him as closely as she once did. Never again would her life be the same without the charming, handsome and comical military man she had married.

A week later the leader and her son sat in their quarters, getting ready to attend the heart-wrenching memorial ceremony for both the fallen military commander and head of sciences. She knew in her heart the son would bear the brunt of the loss, losing his father and other uncle at such a young age. It would be his greatest loss. The son stood silently, crying, as his mother dressed him sadly.

"Mummy," he said softly with the voice that was meant to care for everyone, the voice that epitomized the Scot.

"Yes, honey?" the leader replied sadly, sniffing away tears and trying to be strong.

"Is Daddy coming back?"

This made the leader want to cry even harder. "No, dear, he's not." She finished dressing her son and pulled him into a sad hug. "He can't come back." She mussed up the naturally untidy hair that looked exactly like his father's until some of it stuck up habitually and stayed there. "He can't. Someday you'll understand."

But the child did understand. He was surprisingly smart and intelligent for his age, perhaps an attribute that had rubbed off on him from the fallen doctor of sciences. "Mummy, what happened to Daddy?" It was the only thing the child did not know. He understood and recognized that his father was dead, although he did not want to.

The leader and mother thought for a long while, thinking of the best way to word her sentence so the child would not be frightened of their home. "Daddy... Daddy was murdered," she choked out, the tears making wet streaks down her face. "Uncle tried to save him, but he was murdered too." She didn't want her son to grow up under so much death, however she could not return to the one place she had ceased calling home six years ago. The City was their home, and their only home. Her son would never permanently live on her Homeworld. The son was a true-born Lantean and could never be called a native to Earth.

The child was silent, vaguely understanding the concept of murder. Perhaps the understanding had been caused by constant influence from the Satedan, Athosian, and Sathosian in their midst, but the child did not reply to his mother's words.

The leader stood and silently cried, the Scot's arm sadly around her waist and her hand grasping her son's. Her husband and dear friend would not be taken to Earth, the planet they also had ceased calling home six years ago. She would accompany both caskets to a planet called New Athos with her son, brother, the Satedan, Athosian and Sathosian for the burial ceremony.

The young boy was named after his father, the name that would control the City and the name that would be the greatest man to ever live on Atlantis.

John Sheppard.