The New Girl
In Atlantis, just outside the Medical Bay...
Sheppard had been right about how everyone would respond at the debriefing. Rodney was in a panic, convinced that Serena had, in his words,
"Crossed over to the Dark Side!" Teyla was a bit concerned, but supportive in that she had faith in Serena and there by default Todd. Ronan was his usual grumbling self, though he seemed to be in favor of Serena being in charge rather then the previous Queen, though that didn't mean he had to like it. Then there was Carter, who seemed to be in complete awe at the fact that Serena had killed a Queen, let alone taken over her rather large alliance. After it had all soaked in, however, she went about setting rules and regulations for Serena to follow to the letter. Though annoyed, Serena understood that it was Carter's way of showing concern and she took her rules and did everything both Todd and Carter told her to do, especially for the last couple of months.
It had been nearly four months since the incident, and here they were; Sheppard, Ronan, Rodney, Carter, and Teyla with her newborn son in her arms, waiting outside the Medical Bay. Rodney was pacing back and forth in front of the door, while he wrung his hands and grumbled to himself that he should have never have asked Serena to work so hard. It was late the previous night that Rodney had asked Serena, or rather demanded, that she help him with an equation involving biological factors. Though it was rather simple, Serena seemed to be struggling through it until she finally gave Rodney what he needed, and then promptly fell to the floor in pain. Rodney had been so panicked, he thought that Serena was going to die, until Keller had gotten her to the Medical Bay.
"Is she ok, Jennifer? Is she going to be ok, is there anything I can do?" he'd asked in rapid succession, to which Keller simply smiled and said,
"Not unless you have experience in active labor and delivery, no Rodney." It was at that moment that McKay nearly fell to the floor in a dead faint, saying,
"THE BABY! SHE'S HAVING THE BABY NOW!?" Keller simply nodded as she activated her com. and asked for Todd to be contacted and brought to Atlantic as soon as possible.
Two hours later Todd arrived and the doors to the Medical Bay were closed to everyone other then medical personnel. It wasn't long before everyone had gathered outside the door, waiting for any news about how things were going. Though everyone was calm for the most part, McKay just wouldn't stop his nervous pacing. Finally Sheppard said,
"Come on Rodney, you're going to wear a hole in the floor if you keep this up. Besides pacing isn't going to make the delivery go any faster."
"Indeed..." said Teyla, as she bounced little Sollen in her arms gently.
"The child will come when he is ready to come, no sooner or later. Anything else and it is up to Doctor Keller, but I honestly doubt there will be any problems. After all Serena is very healthy and very strong. She'll be fine, Rodney. You'll see." she said. However, this did very little to settle Mckay, who had begun pacing again. Carter was about to try her hand at settling Rodney, when the doors to the Medical Bay finally opened. Keller stepped out with a very pleased look on her face as she nodded her head for everyone to come inside.
The Medical Bay was fairly quiet, a few nurses and doctors bustled about cleaning up what looked to be sheets from one of the beds, though the team hardly paid any attention. For as they got to the back of the room and spotted Serena laying in a bed looking exhausted, they all rushed to stand around her. Rodney was in a panic again asking a hundred questions a minute,
"Where's the baby? Are you ok? How did it all go? Were there any problems? Did the work induce you?...Why are you laughing?" Serena was laughing, she couldn't help it. Poor Rodney stood there with a look of pure dejection on his face, while Serena laughed, but she soon sobered up, saying,
"Oh Rodney, I'm fine, and don't worry I was ready to go into labor any day now, it just was on a day you asked for my help." She reached up to grasp Rodney's hand as she went on saying,
"The baby is fine." At that moment Todd walked up to the group and said,
"The child is more then fine, he is perfectly healthy by both Human and Wraith standards." They all turned to see Todd with a small bundle in his arms, no bigger then a loaf of bread. When he came closer they all could see a pinkish white face surrounded by a blue swaddling blanket. The baby's face was the same as a human's other then two small pits on either side of his nose, a tell tail sign of his father's genes, but the fuzz that they could see on his head was black like his mother's.
Everyone just stared at the little one in awe for a moment until the babe started to fuss. Instantly Todd strode over to Serena, who was already undoing her shirt, and then held out her arms for her son. Todd handed him over, and the boy latched on without any problems and laid quietly suckling at Serena's breast while she asked Todd about how things were going with the new alliance.
"They are following your orders aren't they?" she said in a stern voice. Todd couldn't help the smile on his face, for even though Serena was the unwilling Queen of the new alliance, she still held her will over them with an iron fist. And her will had been for Todd to take command for the most part, because he had more experience in leadership, though Serena agreed that she would take part in some Hive politics when he needed her help.
Todd leaned down and kissed Serena saying,
"They follow instruction well, if nothing else, your predecessor was strict in that when she gave orders she expected results. The alliance is, as you Humans would say, 'a well oiled machine'." Serena smiled and shook her head as she looked down at their son. The boy had Todd's bone structure, but Serena noted that he had her eyes on the few occasions that he had opened them so far. Though she new his eye color might change as he became older, Serena had no complaints. He was perfect in her eyes and Todd's as well, if the feelings of love, pride and contentment she felt flowing off of him was anything to go by. He had been with her through the birth, and Serena had to admit that she wouldn't have made it through if not for he's presence in her mind. The pain had been excruciating, and Keller hadn't had time to give her anything for it as she had been in active labor by the time they got her to the Medical Bay. However, when Todd arrived, she instantly felt him in her mind trying his best to divert the pain, and calm her mind so she could concentrate. After that things seemed to go fairly quickly, and as soon as Serena heard her son scream, she new everything had been worth it; coming to Atlantis, work on the project, meeting Todd, loving him, meeting his mother, even being hunted down and nearly killed by the previous Queen. All of it had been worth it just to hear her son's screams as he was finally placed in her arms.
Serena sighed lost in her thoughts until Carter's com. went off telling her that one of the teams was back and ready for a debriefing. Carter responded, saying she would be there in a few minutes. She looked at Serena apologetically, but Serena smiled saying,
"Duty calls, go on we'll still be here when you get back. You can be the first one to hold him if you like?" Sheppard pouted then saying in a mock whine,
"Hey, that's no fair, Rodney and I were here first, so we get dibs." McKay blanched at the declaration saying,
"I don't know what you're talking about, John, but I'm not holding him!" It was Serena's turn to give a fake pout saying,
"Aw...are you saying you don't like my son, Rodney?" McKay sputtered and looked at Serena as if she had just dug his grave, but soon relaxed when she giggled saying,
"It's ok Rodney, I know you didn't mean anything by it. But you are more then welcome to hold him if you get the nerve to." She said this in a joking manner, though Rodney wasn't so sure how much of it was a joke, after all he was half Wraith. As if in answer to his thoughts Dr. Keller came back in with a clipboard saying,
"Ok, all the tests are in the clear...he is a very healthy boy. Oh! and have you thought of a name for him yet?" Todd looked down at Serena with a smile, and she knew that he would be happy with whatever name she chose. So Serena looked down at her son, letting her mind brush against his, gently. Then she looked up at Keller and said,
"His name is Edan, my little fiery one." Keller smiled saying,
"It suits him, he's been a very tenacious little guy through everything that's been going on around here. Oh and there is one more thing, I did a test to see if his Wraith genes would be more prominent then his human genes, like you asked." Serena and Todd were both on the edge of their seats now to hear these results, for they would tell them whether their son would need to feed like his father.
Everyone waited on bated breath, even Carter waited by the door, having stopped to hear the results before she headed to the Gate room. However, Keller put her clipboard down and walked over to Serena. She reached out and unwrapped the baby's right arm from the swaddling blanket, and turned his hand over to reveal that his palm was completely smooth. There was no opening, not even a hint of a ridge where one might form. Just a soft curving of the heal of his hand, which dipped down into the center of his palm like it would on any Human child. Serena was nearly in tears, and Todd stared in awe, as did everyone else while Keller began to try and explain, saying,
"As far as I can tell, he has no signs of any feeding organ, and if my tests are correct he won't need one. His body is stronger, and his blood has the same healing capabilities that Todd has, but he won't need to feed in order to maintain it. The only explanation that I can think of that makes sense, is that Edan is the perfect merging of both Human and Wraith genes." Everyone stared at Keller then down at Edan in shock, and then Serena looked up at Todd with a look of realization, saying,
"Of course! That's the answer! We've been trying to find a way to either suppress or selectively render the need to feed useless, but that will only result in the trait either resurfacing or killing the subject. We need to completely cancel it out."
"How?" asked Sheppard in confusion. Edan was born without the feeding organ, but who was to say that he would eventually need to feed later down the road. Serena looked up at Sheppard saying,
"Edan doesn't have a feeding organ, and if his body is processing the nourishment he's getting from eating alone, he will never have to feed. Of course I will have to watch him for the next couple of months to be sure that's the case, but if it is...all we have to do, essentially, is activate the human genes within the Wraith making their digestive system their only source of energy to sustain them. Although I'm not saying results will be instantaneous, it will take to for them to adjust, and it may cause them to have more of an appetite then the average human, but they will be able to survive without needing to feed." There was silence for a few moments and then everyone began speaking at once.
Though it was only a theory, it was one that was worth exploring, and explore they did. In the months that followed Edan showed no signs of needing any other form of energy other then what he received from nursing or other soft foods his parents fed him. Serena worked on combining her new theory with her previous research to try and find a simple way to activate one set of genes, while shutting off another. The key was in getting the Wraith's system used to the new form of energy, and keeping the old genes completely shut down. That, Serena found, would be up to each individual Wraith, for in order for her treatment to work, the Wraith would have to develop new habits. Even if this new way of obtaining energy worked, the Wraith would still have their feeding organ, and if they lapsed back into feeding as they always have, the treatment would wear off. Just like drug addicts, the Wraith who received the treatment would have to fight off their instinctual tendencies to be free of the need to feed. It would be hard, but Serena knew it would be worth it, if only because of the look on Todd's face when he was told that he would no longer have to feed once the treatment had been in his system for a few months. Not long after that they had their first successful test of the treatment, and as news spread through the alliance of its success, Wraith came forward to ask for the treatment. It wasn't long before almost the whole of Todd and Serena's alliance had been treated and had managed to successfully sustain themselves without lapsing back to feeding.
Todd couldn't have been more proud of Serena and himself for everything that they had managed to accomplish in the year and a half they had known each other. They had a beautiful son, their alliance was all but cured of its need to feed, and Carter had just given them permission to allow their officers to visit Atlantis without the need of armed escorts. All in all Serena would call it a success, but there were still other alliances out there. Wraith who still sought the destruction of Atlantis and its inhabitants, even some who hoped to find the way back to the Milky-Way and Earth. But Serena refused to think of that right now, as her son crawled across the floor in their small Atlantis apartment, with his father not far behind making a growling noise like some large ferocious beast. No, for now Serena would catch up her son to save him from his beast of a father, and laugh while Todd attacked her instead with their son giggling in her arms. Yes, for now life was good, and whatever tomorrow may bring, Serena would remember these moments full of love and happiness.