My Family,

By

Torren John Emmagen Sheppard

My name is Torren John Emmagen-Sheppard and I'm eight seasons old. Yeah, it was tough to learn how to write that two foot long name as a kid. And, yeah, my parents weren't married when I was born, hence the two last names. Heck, I was the first newborn that a lot of the Atlantis expedition members had seen for years when I was first born. And, because I'm the son of an alien, the Powers That Be, aka the IOA, want to ensure that I'm not going to be a threat to anyone on Earth, should I be allowed to reside there with my parents. So, they've routinely been sending school assignments via the Daedalus for me. Yeah, life sucks eggs, as my dad says. Right now, the PTB want me to write an essay on my family members and so forth. When Dad heard about it, he got mad and I heard him tell Mom that they were trying to prove that I wasn't supposed to be allowed to come to Earth. So, in all fairness, I'll give this my best shot.

First and foremost, my Uncle Rodney. Or Rod, as he pays me to call him. He actually delivered me on a Wraith hive ship. My mom was kidnapped by this horrible Wraith/Human guy, named Michael that wanted to use my mental powers for his own twisted and tortured…Sorry, my mom caught on that I was being too quiet, so she read over my shoulder. I now have to inform you that he was really only interested in my DNA. Dr. McKay (Uncle Rod) was a part of the team that found my mom. He was given orders to get my mom to safety, so he did. Halfway there, she went into labor. She always says that I have impeccable timing! Anyway, Uncle Rod helped deliver me in a safe area, then my Uncle Ronon came in and saw what happened, so he carried both me and my mom to where my dad was. Well, he carried my mom, who carried me.

Uncle Ronon. Wow, a study in contradictions. Gentle enough to rock me to sleep as a baby, yet strong enough that I could jump into his arms from twelve feet up in the air and not be scared. He also married my Aunt Jennifer, who's totally cool. Anytime Uncle Ronon and I start wrestling inside, Aunt Jennifer just joins in. She likes to wrestle mainly with Uncle Ronon, though. Or at least that's what he says. Whenever he does though, she goes red as a nucan root! Mainly, I know that if anything were to happen to my mom and dad, Uncle Ronon would be there for me.

Aunt Jennifer is married to Uncle Ronon, duh, and is a doctor. She's the one that took care of me right after I was brought off the hive ship, didn't even tend to Uncle Ronon first, like she usually does. My dad mentioned that, not me. She's expecting her and Uncle Ronon's first baby at any day now. If I'm allowed to go to Earth, I might not see my cousin for a long time. They don't know what it's going to be, boy or girl, although Aunt Jennifer wants a boy like his dad, and Uncle Ronon wants a girl like her mom. They've got names picked out for either one, he picked the girl name, she picked the boy name. Rulim Kev Dex after Uncle Ronon's dad, and Sykee Jennifer Dex. Aunt Jennifer wants me to explain that the pronunciation of Sykee is the same as the pronunciation of "Psyche". That was Uncle Ronon's mom's name.

My Aunt Sam is married to my Uncle Jack, and both have two kids. Twins, actually. Two girls, three years younger than me. Uncle Jack likes to kid that one day he and my parents could be related, but for right now, Kylie and Kena are just my cousins. Bratty, annoying, play-with-Barbie-constantly, cousins. Aunt Sam is on her third baby though, and Dad teases Uncle Jack that it's going to take another four kids to catch up with my parents, who have seven. Whenever Dad says that, he always adds that he couldn't keep his hands off my mom, and she hits him, not hard, anywhere she can reach. Aunt Sam says that this will be the last one, however. It's a boy. Uncle Jack wants to name him Jack Junior, but Aunt Sam just laughs it off. She wants to name him Donovan Rhys, and Uncle Jack gagged when he heard it. He says if it's a boy and she names him that, he'll go on strike. She told him to enjoy sleeping on the couch.

My mom. Amazing, wonderful, leader of her people, and yet she still makes me eat green foods that my dad says would make rabbits puke. She fought to stay on her team while she was pregnant with me until she realized that she was putting me in a ton of danger. So, she took some much-needed rest until I came. She was really worried about her people having been taken by the Wraith, actually by Michael but she didn't know it until she got kidnapped by him as well. He had my birth father there as one of his minions (Yeah, Michael had minions!!) and he tried to help my mom get free but Michael stopped him. My birth father got away from Michael and finally turned away from the dark side to talk to my mom. She told him that she would always care about him, but that she needed to think about my safety. I got to stay with Uncle Ronon then, because she wasn't sure how my birth father would react to what she had to say. He agreed with her though that they had nothing in common but me, and they parted ways amicably. Three days later, he went through the gate and disappeared, never to be heard from again.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had he stayed. If he had fought for me as was his right.

Would I be a different person?

Would Mom?

When I ask her these things, she tells me that I don't need to worry, and that I need to eat my greens. I don't see how that helps.

So, I ask my dad, John Sheppard.

John Sheppard. A braver man I have yet to meet. Where Uncle Ronon is a rock when I need him to be, I feel that my dad is home. All the things I associate with safety is what makes up John Sheppard.

I asked him if I would be different if my birth father had stayed, and he said that I would definitely be a more different thinking person. I know that living with Kanan would have made me more afraid, a constant reminder of what was almost done to me, and the things that were done to my mom. Sometimes, I can hear her crying as my dad hugs her, and I wonder if she sees me as the thing that took away my birth father. She never says it, but I still wonder. I asked John once, and he told me that I was the best thing that happened to my mom. He said that her face lit up when she spoke of me, and he said that she was always touching her stomach where I was sleeping whenever people weren't looking. I know he's right. Mom hugs me constantly, and at eight that's not something to be proud of! Dad married my mom when I was nine months old, and six months later they were welcoming my little sister Charin into the family. Dad still carries the picture of us around in his shirt because he says that it's so cute. I was holding her on mom's lap, and she was yawning. Then we adopted Lyllin from the Athosian settlement because her mom was my mom's best friend. Lyllin's mom died in an illness that swept through the Athosian settlements. Then, there's Chance. Dad talked Mom into naming him that after he was born two months premature and kinda' sick, so Aunt Jennifer gave him a ninety-ten chance of surviving. But, the squirt pulled through, and then we found Hana as a baby on a picnic on an unpopulated world. Mom said it was a common practice among some planets to drop their unwanted children off to die. She fell in love with Hana on the way home, and Dad said that he could see in her eyes that this was going to be another little sheep for the bigger Sheppards (meaning him and me) to take care of.. Three months later, she was officially a Sheppard. Rhyley came two years later. My buddy, my scapegoat. I can usually talk people into believing that he starts everything, and gets into everything that I do. Then, just three days ago, Mom and Dad added Uncle Lorne's son to our brood. Uncle Lorne secretly married Mom's cousin, Aunt Seya, and had a boy, Jeyson, just six days older than me Unfortunately, Aunt Seya and Uncle Lorne were killed in a Wraith attack, Dad saw the bodies himself. Mom cried, the first time ever that I had seen in public. When Jey came to live with us, he didn't talk to anyone for a long time.

I think if we go live on Earth, I'll lose the opportunities that I have here to grow and mature. I feel that it should be my choice to decide where I want to live. Dad says he won't make any decisions until we talk to him first, and I think I'll ask to stay. I'd have more fun here, anyway.

The one thing I have to say to the IOA about their many questions on the Pegasus Galaxy is this:

You guys can just suck it. That includes you, Woolsey.

******

John Sheppard grinned as he read over his son's homework assignment that night, Torren fast asleep on his bed. Torren had been the only one to withhold his final decision to stay in the Pegasus Galaxy, The others had already chosen to stay, Torren, as was his wont, procrastinated until the last day. John gently covered his son and pressed a kiss to his hair, then went to send off the assignment along with his resignation papers.

Finis