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Inheritors preview

A reader asks, "Can you please post an Inheritors preview?"

We're still working on The Inheritors, not quite finished yet, so it's still a work in progress. But yes, I can share a little piece.



Another break from another interminable meeting, this time ostensibly for lunch, though Teyla doubted anyone would actually eat, human and Wraith alike. Certainly the Wraith would not eat, and she had no appetite, too tense from four hours at the conference table. Instead, Teyla walked out on the balcony. She would stand for a moment in the wind and sun and hope to find balance.

The bright sun caught the white caps of the waves breaking against the piers below, glittered off windows scrubbed by rain. The wind was cold, but she could feel the warmth of the sun on her face, turning her face toward it like a dayflower.

The door opened again behind her and she knew without turning that it was Alabaster, knew just as clearly that two Marines stood behind just inside the door, technically guarding the door, not the young queen. The thought lay on the surface of Alabaster's mind, a sardonic aside -- as though what? She might suddenly leap from a forty story building? Why?

*It is their job to guard,* Teyla said, mind to mind. *You would not rebuke any blade for doing his duty.*

*To guard you?*

*I do not need guarding,* Teyla said, but there was no heat in it. Alabaster knew it well enough.

Instead she rested her elbows on the railing, looking out over city and sea. Her red hair caught the sun brighter than any hue natural to humans, and she stretched out her hands, palms downwards, as though the warmth felt good to her too. For a long moment she stood thus, watching the shadows of clouds on the sea and across the City of the Ancients.

*It is beautiful,* Alabaster said contemplatively. *I have never seen anything like it, and Osprey had no memories of Atlantis.*

*No,* Teyla agreed. *Osprey was never in Atlantis.* The only memories of the City of the Ancients were her own -- her own life, her own path, her own choices -- not those of a woman dead ten thousand years.

*It is beautiful,* Alabaster said again. *One of many beautiful things they wrought. So much that was wrong, and yet so many things that are beautiful.* She turned to Teyla, her hands at her sides and she smiled in a way that no doubt disconcerted the Marines just within. *And can you say that we are not beautiful, you and I?*

Odd and strange, yes, but beautiful still, the turnings of the hive, the light on the towers of Atlantis. *All of the daughters of the Ancients are beautiful,* Teyla said, and a strange peace opened in her heart. *All of the daughters, whether the daughters of Amytas in Pegasus, or the daughters of the women of Earth, or Osprey and her kind. We are all the heirs of the Ancients.* Towers reflected sun and sea or each other, dazzling brightness. *This belongs to all of us. We are all their children.*

*Yes,* Alabaster said. She looked away, toward the sea again, and her face seemed very young, a girl of eighteen or so, which perhaps she was in Wraith years, a woman young for her service. *I do not believe you would use this weapon. I do not think it is in your heart to do so. But that is not true of everyone here, and you know it.*

*I do,* Teyla said. *But we will prevail. I have known all these people for years, and I put my trust in Mr. Woolsey and General O'Neill.*

*Then why is it not done?*

*I do not know,* Teyla said. *But it shall be. I give you my word.*

Alabaster's eyes searched her face, as though looking for some sign there which it would be improper to seek mind to mind. *And then what? Once we have defeated Queen Death, then what will we do? Shall I try to kill you, or you me?*

*I hope that the retrovirus Dr. Keller and Guide have made will give us another option,* Teyla said.

*My men are eager to try it,* Alabaster agreed. *Each of them has pledged already to give of their lives to save others who are gravely injured or ill, a heroes' pledge among their people, just as they pledge to give their lives as warriors or rescuers for those lost at sea. It is an honor among them. Do you understand this?*

*Yes,* Teyla said.

*If they must die for others they shall, or be gravely injured or lose years of their lives. They know this. But if it is possible to save others and not die, it is better. If they may save others without the sacrifice of their lives or health, they would prefer it. Are not your people the same?"

*Yes,* Teyla said again, and an ache stirred in her. *It would be better if they did not have to die, even though they are pledged to the sacrifice.*

*That is what I think too,* Alabaster said. *Life must come from somewhere. We must eat if we aren't to starve. But if we could feed without causing death, and if those who have promised to pay the price did not have to pay with their lives, but only with pain that lasts a few days, perhaps….*

*…perhaps in time there might be peace,* Teyla said. *I do not know if this can be. But I know what lies in the other direction.* The pictures were there in her mind, the ruined city of Emege, the drawings of the Athosians on the walls of their refuge, Osprey burning with the pain of starvation.

*So do I,* Alabaster said.

Teyla's radio clicked. "Teyla?" John's voice was sharp. "I need you in the brig now."

"What has happened?" she asked, putting her hand to the headset.

"I'll tell you when you get down here."

Alabaster did not seem alarmed. "I shall wait for your Mr. Woolsey to open the session again. It seems your Consort needs you greatly."

"It seems so," Teyla said. She opened the channel again. "I am on my way," she said.

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Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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jo_graham
Oct. 9th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
I do! I'm evil like that! :)
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silverbullet27
Oct. 9th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
*sigh*

... torture... but a pleasure to read too ;)
jo_graham
Oct. 9th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
I love to torture readers! :)
jeyla4ever
Oct. 10th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
LOVE IT! Though I wish you had given me more John and Teyla. :)

Favorite line: "It seems your Consort needs you greatly."

*giggles* If she only knew just how much! :)
jo_graham
Oct. 10th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Well, this is a good chunk of Teyla for you! And John -- well, let's just say she'd better move her feet and get down there fast!
elffreaky
Oct. 10th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
I had , " *All of the daughters of the Ancients are beautiful,* " pop up in my head a few times while watching SGA after I read this. Of course I was supposed to be studying for midterms.... But it never hurts to have part of my mind distracted....
jo_graham
Oct. 10th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I'm glad it sticks in your head! :)
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whatthefaith
Oct. 10th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Great teaser :). Cliffhanger again! ACK! (I'm guessing John figured out what Rodney did with the weapon).

Edited at 2012-10-10 03:44 pm (UTC)
jo_graham
Oct. 10th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
You are very close! Needless to say, John has some questions about Rodney's motives!
jansma
Oct. 10th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this, Jo. It makes November seem even further away now. :P

I have a few words: Rodney, Rodney, Rodney... *sigh*
jo_graham
Oct. 10th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
It's probably going to be after the first of the year, and before you curse MGM, it's actually my fault. I'm not finished yet!
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draco_stellaris
Oct. 14th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the preview! "All the daughters of the Ancients are beautiful' - Indeed! *wonders what's going on in the brig* This is gonna be good, I can feel it!
jo_graham
Oct. 15th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
They are indeed! And I admit I was thinking of you as I wrote one section in The Inheritors....
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jedi40
Oct. 19th, 2012 09:47 am (UTC)
Rodney...Rodney you should have known John would have found the Wraith weapon gone from where he hid it and would have known you were the one that took it from it.
jo_graham
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
This was just not a good plan of Rodney's. And of course John is wondering -- is this just Rodney being Rodney, or is he still controlled by Queen Death?
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