Sinister Beat by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Stargate: Atlantis or any of its characters.

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A Warrior's Spirit

The livestock were restless. The female Wraith would not drain them completely; such an action would draw attention, cause people to sit up and take notice, and such attention was unwanted. Instead, Thira would take her sustenance from several of the creatures and in that way the loss would be spread across the creatures, a move that usually did not kill, but left the creatures in a weakened, listless state; usually this number was twelve to fourteen of the creatures.

The small, slight woman had once been a Queen and a feared ruler before her capture by Michael, a Wraith-Human hybrid shunned and outcast by the others of his kind following his escape from the humans who'd changed him, experimented upon him to create this strange, new being.

Thira's first thought – and first fear – upon capture was that she was to be executed. For many hours and many days this thought consumed her, more even than the dreadful, twisting, aching hunger, loathe and shamed as she was to admit, if only to herself. In time, however, Michael's plans became plain to her, though never formally revealed.

What Michael planned to do to her was worse, far worse than death. It drove the once fearsome Wraith Queen insane four times over, until, at the end of the experimentation, she could no longer claim to be Basillia, or even a shell of Basillia – she was no longer what she'd been, but a Wraith-Human hybrid!

At the time of her escape, she'd not known that the changes that had been made to her had been done so to enable her the ability to interbreed with humans, and to birth children in the way that humans did.

What she did not know, however, became apparent with the meeting of a warrior of Sateda – perhaps the last Satedan warrior, she often pondered – in the forest the harsh, unforgiving desert, prone to month-long sandstorms, into which she'd flung herself, tired, mutated, disillusioned, and prone to fits of paralysing anger.

She was not like other Wraith, nor was she like other humans; neither party would have her, she knew. In the eyes of the Wraith, she was wrong, weak, she was an abomination, and in the eyes of the humans she was all of these things and more, she was the enemy, the culler, killer, murderer of their kinds, a thousand, a hundred thousand times over. She belonged with no one; she belonged nowhere.

In the desert, she was not searched for, not hunted, not sought after. She learnt to let go of her anger, learnt to let go of her fear.

She journeyed to a pit stop – one of many – when the caravans and their traders came by, but avoided travel to the settlements, and longed one day to visit the large city, Renmar, she'd heard of from the talk of traders. Of course, the city was as much out of bounds as the settlements.

She was Wraith, yet she was human also. She could no longer feed upon humans, though she very much wanted to.

Until, one day, she came upon a warrior, surely fatally injured, and abandoned, in the desert. He was human, her eyesight told her this. He was part what she was. Yet, he was dying, as she knew all things did in the end, and must. But unlike the traders that she'd come across, he looked at her and she meant something; he looked at her and saw that she was human too and he didn't just look past her. She was not just one more, but the only one.

Out here, in the lonely desert, she was, for a brief moment, a link to what he even then desperately clung to. Then the moment passed, and she became an unreachable memory of the past, a last memory that would be there to see him off into the next world, the next life.

Thira gazed at him and felt great sadness. A warrior should not die like this, she thought, and, at that moment, she decided that this warrior – this day – would not die like this. Another day, on another world. So she reached inside and dug out the part of her that was Wraith, the part of her that had never been warrior – had been taker, but not giver – and gave him back his life, one for one hundred thousand.

When he'd awoken, he'd not remembered what she'd done, or how she'd done so, but then the roles had been reversed, then she was the vulnerable one, and he'd looked out for her, and when she'd recovered, they'd travelled together to the pit stop, but the caravans hadn't been visiting then, so they'd journey to the next pit stop, and the next, until finally they'd come to a pit stop where the caravans had stopped and travelled with the caravans to the large city, and there, the warrior, Ronon, was able to send a message to his people, and when his people came, Thira had to hide, for fear of them discovering what Ronon had not – for fear of Ronon offering her a home with his people, close to him.

She would not hurt Ronon; she would not hurt the people he cared about, would not hurt his people. So she fled. She could not hurt him in her memories.

It had been two months passed following Ronon's departure that she had learnt that he'd left more than an absence in her soul – a hole in her heart – that he'd left something, someone to stopper that hole, to help it heal, and that that someone was a child she would name Deyzi.

Even at two years, Deyzi was a princess. Deyzi had taken neither her mother's pale complexion, nor her fair hair. She was like her father in almost every way, save that she had taken her mother's smallness. Her eyes were the colour of her hair, and her skin was pleasantly tanned, and grew darker still in the sun, but did not burn as her mother's did, nor as many other children's did, and, despite her small size, she liked to eat a lot, and was always pleased to try new foods, though she did not subsist of what her mother did. In her mother's eyes, Deyzi was perfect.

Even at two years, Deyzi did ask a lot of questions about her father. She would, she had decided, be a warrior, like her father. When she grew up, of course. And Thira knew that she would be good, because she'd had the best parents.

Title taken from Natasha Bedingfield's Not Givin' Up.