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The Avengers -- Braided Stories

A reader says, "I'm going crazy waiting for the next Legacy book! Please, please, please give me something new to chew on!"

Ok! We are waiting for The Avengers at MGM, but here is a little piece to tide you over. In which Teyla and Eva Robinson compare notes, as Teyla has just told her the Athosian story of the Changeling Girl and her dreams about it.




Eva took another sip of coffee. "In a very real sense, we become who we dreamed of becoming. We inhabit the story we tell about ourselves. But beyond that, myths and legends often are a way of passing down things that happened in the distant past."

"You're saying the changeling story may be true?" Teyla asked.

"I'm saying there may be a seed of truth in it. And you know that on some level, and your subconscious is trying to help you put the pieces together."

"And when I do?" Teyla asked.

"Then you tell the story."

Teyla was silent, and Eva rested her chin on her fingertips. "Let me tell you a story," she said.

"Truly?" Teyla smiled again, odd and fleeting on a Wraith face. "I will hear your story, Dr. Robinson."

"This is a story about both of us, and as far as I know, it's true." Eva marshaled her thoughts and began. "Once, a long time ago on the steppes of Central Asia, there was a woman. Her people were nomadic like yours were, pastoral people who followed their herds on the open seas of grass. They lived in tents and yurts built of animal hide, and they left no buildings."

"One day, in the last years of the war between the Ancients and the Wraith, the Ancients came among them and took her away. She came here, to the Pegasus Galaxy." Eva took a deep breath. "We don't know if she came alone, or with many of her people. We don't know if she came willingly, as an ally or a soldier or an explorer. Maybe she came as a wife or a lover. Maybe she came as a daughter. Or maybe she came as a drugged captive in the hold of a cargo ship. We'll never know how she came. We just know she did. And we know one other thing about her."

"What is that?" Teyla asked.

"She had a baby, a little girl. Maybe she had more than one. Maybe she had ten children. But she had at least one daughter, because through her daughter her mitochondrial DNA comes down to you. It passes through the female line, and like twenty percent of the people here that Carson has tested, yours comes from Earth. Yours comes from the steppes of Central Asia." Eva laced her hands around her coffee cup. "We know something else. When Atlantis fell, when the Wraith destroyed their civilization, she lived. Somehow, in everything that happened, she wasn't killed. She and her daughter survived. We know they did, because you are here, you and Torren who carry her mitochondrial DNA. She stands among your foremothers as surely as the Queen who gave you her Gift."

"You are the story," Teyla whispered. "It's in your blood." She looked up, her eyes meeting Eva's. "And what happened to her kin?"

"The ones who stayed on Earth went in many directions," Eva said. "There are people all over the world who have the same type. Some of them went east, and the type shows up in Siberia and northernmost China. Some went west, to the very edge of the known world, to Ireland and Cornwall and Brittany. And some went south, the most of them. The type is most common among the Pashtun peoples in Iran and Afghanistan." Eva smiled. "Our mitochondrial DNA tells a powerful story. We are all, every person on Earth, descended from a single foremother an incalculably long time ago, and all our DNA is a variation on hers. We call her the African Eve, and you're her daughter as much as I am. Once, a long time ago, there were two sisters and they said goodbye to one another. My foremother stayed in Africa, and yours began a long trek northwards, the first step on a journey of millions of lightyears." She leaned forward, meeting Teyla's eyes. "But the important thing is that it began with two sisters."

"No," Teyla said, and her eyes were hooded. "It began with three sisters." She lifted her face and shook her head. "I am standing on the edge of something so enormous and so terrible that I do not even know how to phrase it." She let out a long breath, her face inscrutable in its mask of plastic surgery. "I think I begin to see what Elizabeth meant, and it is a story so dark with blood that I recoil at it. I do not know what to do with this story."

She got up and paced to the windows, stood with her hands against the glass, looking out at the snow. "I will give you a story," she said at last. "Not the dark one, but the one everyone knows. The one all of my people know." Teyla paused, her long green claws against the falling flakes outside. "Once, long ago in the beginnings of time, there were the Ancestors, and they dwelled in paradise. There was no hunger and no war, no danger and no illness. And yet they were discontent. And one among them said, 'Let us make children in our own image, that we may joy in them, and in their precocious follies delight.' And so they did. Ten men and ten women they made, each in the image of one of the Ancestors, tall and short, dark and fair, blue eyed and brown eyed. And they awakened them in paradise, and took them to their hearts."

Teyla did not turn from the window, swirling snow half obscuring the towers outside. "This is what we believe of our origins. We were conceived in love by the Ancestors. We were nurtured as any baby beloved by its parents, sheltered from the storms until we were grown. We were the children of love." She raised her head, her long black hair falling down her back, and Eva could not see her face. "We Athosians say that our first foremother was Amitas. It was not until I came here that I learned that her name has meaning in Ancient." Teyla turned. "Her name is Beloved." Teyla shook her head. "I do not know how to carry this story."

"I can't tell you that," Eva said. She met Teyla's eyes. "Except that I expect you'll tell it at the right time, to the right person."

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
emmtob
Mar. 8th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
WOW! This just makes me want more! :) I am so looking forward to this! :)
jo_graham
Mar. 9th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad! I love this book and I loved writing it.
thesistersweb
Mar. 9th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
once again im amazinged at your writing style.

i really cant wait for the next book...maybe on the 23rd? XD
jo_graham
Mar. 9th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it! I wish I knew when The Avengers would be out. It's all up to MGM at this point!
jansma
Mar. 9th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
*makes plaintive mewling noise* Is it the end of March yet?

You know, what I particularly like about this is the sense of dread there is. I likes things that are a bit dark and twisted. :D
jo_graham
Mar. 9th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
It is a little dark and twisted. And Teyla is Queen Steelflower again. Yes, definitely dread....
miso_no_tsuki
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
Whee! Another chunk of SGA-joy! This all sounds so good and in many ways better than canon because you have the time to delve into the background material instead of looking for another explosion to hold that fickle demographic's interest!
Thank you!
jo_graham
Mar. 11th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it! I think it's a lot of fun.
splinter067
Mar. 10th, 2012 08:31 am (UTC)
Asgard weaponry
This next book sounds absolutely delightful, I read the first 3 in 3 days. Was almost late to work each occasion. My only question/concern is there have been no mention of Asgard weaponry in the first three books. Is this an intentional oversight allowing for more dramatic story telling? I know it's minor and I apologize, but I felt the Hammond, and Daedalus incident in the book was a little confusing using only railguns.
jo_graham
Mar. 11th, 2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Asgard weaponry
I'm glad you enjoyed the books! Thank you!

I didn't write the battle in Allegiance, Melissa did, so I'm not sure what her reasons were for the specific tactics. You could ask her at mescott!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )