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Wraith are never ending
It was worth it...if only to see the sky again
SERIES: Stargate Atlantis
CANON POINT: Just after the battle with the super Wraith Hive ship over Earth; Atlantis landing in the San Francisco Bay.
ABOUT THE CHARACTER: Todd is a Wraith, which entails a lot. Threats of sucking the life out of you, no good sense of humor, lots of grinning, and high speeches of being your death. What Dracula would be like if he lived in space for ten thousand years at the top of the food chain. Todd is this, but in a laid back sort of way. He has his own goals in mind and does not let his pride get in the way if it means he can get what he wants, with the occasional bit of humor on the side. This has always been the case but not until recently has he been able to act on what he would really like to do.
Some decades back, he was captured and kept prisoner by the Genii, one of the top human military forces in the Pegasus Galaxy. He was tortured and even greater still, starved to the point where he was used as little more than a form of torture himself, feeding upon human prisoners the Genii took in so they could extract information from them. The Genii captured Colonel John Sheppard-the military leader of Atlantis-a little over two years back, and Todd and Sheppard ultimately gain much from one another despite what they first think of one another, enemy and prey.
At this point, Todd has lost every hope of escape from the prison and has grown quite weak. The wraith is allowed to feed upon Sheppard in increments while the Genii try and bargain with the Colonel’s life with his people of the Atlantis expedition. Todd learns much from Sheppard, that not all humans are begging morsels to be fed upon, that they hold out hope when there seems to be none, for John often speaks of how his people will not leave him behind and that rescue is coming.
After feeding upon Sheppard enough to regain his strength, Todd forms a delicate alliance to break out of the prison. They fight their way out and Todd is injured, and while pleased to see the sky after so long, he still has doubts that Sheppard’s people will come and help. A night of rest and Sheppard wakes to find Todd feeding upon him. The wraith, healed and strengthened by Sheppard’s life, fights off and kills the Genii that came upon them. John is left barely alive but enough so that Todd is able to return the life he took from the Colonel, restoring him to as he was and repaying the debt.
This whole experience is a turning point both for Todd and the people of Atlantis. Todd regains his command after many years of absence as commander, and he often calls upon Sheppard afterwards for help or to exchange information, considering the colonel somewhat of a brother, though not outright.
Todd’s first goal after his return to his people is to stop the Replicators (Nano-tech-robots that look like humans created by the Stargate builders, the Ancients) from killing his kind. The Replicators’ original program was to kill the Wraith, which was good for a time, but with so many wraith, it’s a hard task to complete. So they changed tactics and started to kill off their food supply, humans. Todd contacts Sheppard and his people and they both agree-though for different reasons-that killing humans is bad and the Replicators must be stopped. Todd stays on Atlantis and works with them for weeks trying to solve the problem. At last they come up with a solution, Todd brings his fleet of ships in and they work together to defeat the Replicators once and for all.
Todd continues to call on and respond to Atlantis for awhile on and off, though with the Replicators gone, the Wraith are back to fighting with themselves over feeding grounds. He is eventually contacted by Atlantis to talk about something to help him, and the humans of the Pegasus Galaxy. A retrovirus designed by Doctor Carson Beckett and modified by Doctor Jennifer Keller is put on the table for discussion. At the genetic level, humans and Wraith are alike, and before hitting maturity, wraith even eat normal food before the need to feed upon humans kicks in. This retrovirus would rid the wraith of that commitment and allow them to consume regular food from now on and eliminate the need to fight over feeding grounds. Todd is intrigued and decides to go for it.
However, a great hole in their fragile alliance is blown when a number of hive ships are destroyed by a machine called the Aterro Device, which causes Wraith hive ships to explode when they use their hyper drives. The Device was abandoned long ago by the Ancients, because of the very damaging side effect of causing Stargates to explode as well when the Device was on. Believing the people of Atlantis responsible, Todd is beyond furious at this betrayal, and he has his crew hijack one of their ships, the Daedalus, and fly it to the location of the device to destroy it. When the ship’s weapons fail to work, he sets the ship on autopilot to crash into the base, evacuating himself and his crew from the Daedalus and leaving the human crew to their fate. Fortunately they get the ship working again before it crashes and they destroy the device afterwards, knowing it can only cause more harm than good.
They see nothing of Todd for quite awhile after that. But then his hive ship appears over Atlantis with a cryptic message sent to them. The message however is corrupted in transmission and they only get fragments of it, though it sounds like Todd has great need of their help. Sheppard and his team go aboard to investigate and find all of the wraith, including the commander, in hibernation with no wake-up call. On the ship, they are able to also see the full message Todd sent them. In his time on the Daedalus, he took the retrovirus formula and put it to use on his crew. Finding that it worked, he inoculated everyone, even himself with it. At first all seemed fine, but then his crew started to die off due to unknown causes. As a last resort, all were put into hibernation and the ship was directed to Atlantis. He knew Sheppard and his people wouldn’t blow them out of the sky despite their bad parting last time due to the fact that any hope of distributing the retrovirus successfully would die with him and his crew if they didn’t help.
Keller finds out that the retrovirus worked, it removed their feeding slit and allowed their digestive systems to do their thing, but basically also created a type of cancer within the wraith. They wake up Todd to try and continue their work and while they find no cure for the retrovirus, Todd believes there is a way to undo it completely. An insect called an iratus bug was used in the days before wraith could heal themselves. By allowing it to feed upon a sick wraith, it would cure them. Unfortunately it would require flying to another planet some distance away, which is not possible for the city-sized ship itself-which is organic in nature-is infected too, and falling apart, clearly unable to fly much longer. Angry that Sheppard doesn't want to try and help him and his crew, Todd leaves them on their own to deal with the collapsing ship, resigned to his fate. The ship breaks in half and Todd’s entire remaining crew are lost, but without a Wraith steering the ship-for it takes some mental capacity-both himself, Sheppard and his team will die as well. On a promise that Sheppard will help him to the planet with the iratus insects, Todd lands the ship, and the wraith is grateful to Sheppard when he is let go.
Atlantis gets a surprise call from Todd a little while after. He is quite alive, cured, and back to feeding on humans. But, of course, he brings bad news. He and his crew were incorporating Ancient technology into their hive ship in order to extend the abilities of their hyper drives, which, unlike what the humans have, is very limited, which means their ultimate goal of getting to Earth-the biggest feeding ground ever-would be impossible, even within a wraith’s long life time. With the new technology however, it would only take a matter of days. But an underling betrayed him, not wanting to turn the technology over to the commander, and thus booted the commander from the ship. The hive ship is made into an uber-strong ship and after crippling every ship the humans possess along the way (including the Daedalus) nothing stops it from reaching Earth. Todd hands over some Ancient technology he managed to acquire and allows Sheppard and his people to use it to take the heavily armed ship-like city of Atlantis to Earth to stop the hive ship. Big battle ensues, the uber-hive ship destroyed, and they land Atlantis in the San Francisco Bay. Todd‘s fate after that is unknown for the series comes to an end, but without his help, Earth would have surely undergone Wraith culling. He claims in a roundabout way that he did it to get back at the underling that betrayed him.
Todd is a sophistical dangerous character. He’s perfectly capable of tearing you apart, but doesn't mind sitting down to negotiate, and even likes a good joke. You can’t read his mind and you don’t know if his next move is going to kill you or save you. However, he’s also capable of learning despite how ancient he is and how much knowledge he as accumulated in that time. He always wants more, and works hard to get it, though it may take time.
ABILITIES: Wraith have a number of abilities. First, healing and strength. They can take several rounds of bullets to the torso before going down, and they can shove a grown man clear off his feet with a single push. In pitch black, Wraith can see in infrared with the help of the pits on the sides of their nose. Much like a snake, they can track body heat.
Hibernating is something all wraith, from drones to queens, do. It allows them to skip through time more or less, without needing to deplete feeding resources. It also gives them a bit of an edge if your technology can detect life signs, for they do not show up on such detectors when in hibernation.
Longevity. It is unknown exactly how long a wraith can live. As long as they can feed and hibernate from time to time, there may not be a limit. Todd himself is over ten thousand years old. While they can die, old age is not on the list of threats.
Some telepathic abilities exist among them as well, though they can only communicate with one another as such. Only if another telepathic human/creature opened their mind to a wraith first, then both are at risk of taking control of one another. The strongest mind wins. Wraith queens have a slightly higher telepathic minds, and can manipulate a human into doing what they want. For males like Todd, its more like hypnosis, stare into his eyes long enough and you might find yourself getting too close or revealing little things.
Illusions. These are primarily used when they cull. They are able to project ghost-like mirages into your head, making you see what isn’t there and essentially corralling their herd where they want them through panic and fear.
Of course though, this all comes with the price of how they feed. A slit in the palm of their hand opens up and they more or less sucker it against the chest of a human, draining not their blood, but their very life force, leaving them as little more than a dried up corpse. If a wraith stops in his feeding while the victim is still alive, the human will look physically older. However, the trauma the human body goes through during feeding is so great, many don’t survive long afterwards. Depending on how recent the Wraith has fed determines their healing and strength abilities. They have one other lesser known ability, and that is the ability to return the life taken from a fed upon human. They reserve this for only those they deem worthy. The slit also works a sort of second tongue and sensory organ, able to taste the air, feeling the surroundings.
Wraith carry a variety of weapons from large stunners to long swords or sometimes none at all. Todd has a typical Wraith stunner which uses energy to stun the enemy and will knock a normal human out for a few hours. He also has a small knife.
THIRD-PERSON WRITING SAMPLE:
The Wraith lay sprawled on his front on the bed as though he’d been unceremoniously dumped there. He looked a bit out of place in the brightly lit bedroom, dressed in black leather from toe to neck. Slowly he stirred and sat up, taking in his obviously very new surroundings of the silk sheets, the vaulted ceiling, and the expansive room in general. Last he remembered, he was in the Atlantis holding cell, forced into wearing a ridiculous gray jumpsuit.
He got to his feet and slowly went around the room, fingers caressing-he halted immediately, knowing at once something was wrong. The wraith turned his palm face up and ran the fingers of his opposite hand over the smooth surface. No feeding slit. Had Doctor Keller inoculated him with the retrovirus again? Had she found a way to fix it so the cancer side effect wouldn’t kick in? Or…did they just put him in here to watch him die?
He’d long since accepted the fact that some day he was going to come to Sheppard and his people and they weren’t going to let him leave alive. But he didn’t expect them to leave him to such a slow fate.
Still rubbing his palm, the commander continued to walk around the room, studying the intricate detail of the paintings and carvings, wondering why they would put him in such a place. Not that he minded, this was undoubtedly a better upgrade from the shielded holding cell and metal bench. He came to the door and looked around the room, waiting for someone to stop him as he reached out and opened it. No shock barrier, not even locked. He turned the knob and swung the door open with no resistance, peering out into the hallway, and finding not so much as a guard, the wraith stepped out and closed the door behind him, footsteps silent and light despite his size.
When no armed military came barreling towards him, Todd continued down the hall, bit by bit relaxing, but determined to find someone to interrogate for answers. He stopped dead in his tracks however when he passed a broad window, and he got his first look at Paradisa, though he still assumed of course he was on Earth.
FIRST-PERSON JOURNAL SAMPLE:
To whom may read this, a log of my time here in this new place.
This morning I woke on the most luxurious of beds. The caress of silk against my face and fingertips was a far cry pleasant difference than the cool, hard metal bench I’ve been occupying in the Atlantis holding cell for the better part of what I assume about a week judging from my hunger.
This change alerted me quickly to the fact that I had been moved in my sleep, no easy task I assure you. The room is most definitely not of Lantean architecture, but of brick and mortar more akin to the worlds humans have occupied that have flourished without Wraith interlude. Perhaps I was drugged or stunned and moved. Perhaps I am on Earth. If so, this is an odd move. Giving an enemy spacious quarters? Seems suspicious. Unless of course they have hidden cameras and are watching my movements like a rodent in a cage. But why?
I quickly found that the door to the room is unlocked. Well if they wanted to contain me they’re doing a very poor job of it. I think its time wander this new place to the best of my ability.
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