Spoilers: Up to Siege Part 2
Summary: Small missing scene for Sora in Siege Part 2. Working with TPTB comment of what happened to her, at least for the end part of the fic and adding in some backstory.
A/N: Betaread by Fanwoman. Written for teh_gandu/Hollyshannensangel for the female ficathon - I remembered my assignment and promptly forgot it somehow, then remembered weeks later, so here it is. Late but still written. :)
She hears the sound of gunfire and little flashes of light flicker on the opposite wall, silhouetting everything in the room for a brief second or two. She doesn't dare look out the window of her “quarters.” There are no guards today – she heard them scramble away, but she doesn't want to go anywhere. This is probably the safest place. She repeats it, wishing she could believe it was, but it's hard to know what will happen. What if Atlantis falls?
There's a massive explosion nearby, deafening her for a minute or two. Unconsciously, she draws her knees tighter to her chest as she sits on her bed. It sounds like noise is coming from all around her, confusing her. Over it all, her ears pinpoint the terrifying whine of the darts, the most memorable sound, the one she fears and despises the most.
Freedom has always been important for the Genii, not just from the Wraith but freedom in general. They don’t bow down to any other cultures or worlds. It's ironic how her current lack of freedom is what comforts her now. She hopes the guards locked the door before they left. She especially wants to believe - that McKay overrode the door commands, that nothing can get in, that maybe someone thought of her and did something to ensure her safety. They seem very insistent on treating prisoners with care, and that one idea is what keeps her away from the desperation to try and flee. Because if she gives into temptation and finds it unsecured, she will be faced with two choices: To leave, running around an alien city with no idea who and what is where – what traps they might have laid for Wraith. Or to stay, to wait meekly until it passes and pray to the Ancestors she is left undisturbed.
The second string of thought amuses her. She hasn't contemplated the Ancestors since she was a child, but then she’s had no need for faith like that for a long time. Past events have left her lacking in trust towards the higher powers.
She still remembers when she was eight and they were visiting her cousins on Haleron when a culling began. A sunny day in the field had been transformed into a nightmare as the ships had descended, clouding most of the sky over the town. She'd run away to the forest, frightened by the screams in the distance, chased by whispers and fleeting shadows among the whines of the darts.
Then suddenly, it had stopped, their business done. The ships retreated, leaving the area peaceful once more, but it was a strange calm, lacking the normal sounds – no birds singing, no carts rattling along the road. Her mother had been taken that day, and her father had barely let her out of his sight for years after. She'd never been back to visit her cousins, or any of her mother’s family at all. That had been the moment she was made Genii through and through. She'd only had her father left, and he'd been determined to prevent her from suffering the same fate.
She went everywhere he did, following him as he did his research, learning a little more each day under his guidance. It seemed like he had all the answers back then. She would ask a question, and he would know how something worked, what adding this chemical would do to that one. He never failed her. He was the one constant in her life, and as she grew, the one true person she knew. For all the lies being Genii meant, she knew her father and her place in relation to his. She did as he instructed, and everything worked as it should. She followed his ideals, accepted what he told her – there was no truth other than his. She was her father’s daughter in every way, no trace of her mother in her any more, apart from the memories of that day and her vibrant hair, a painful every day reminder for her father.
For all he'd tried, he could never be sure to keep her away from the Wraith’s grasp because here she is now, huddled on a bed in Atlantis, shivering as the smoky shadows form around her. A Wraith is here, somewhere nearby.
When her father had died, she'd felt lost, intent only on revenge; she'd had no purpose other than that which her father had given her. Vengeance had been approved by the council, deemed necessary in fact, and so she had started her training with Kolya – being put through her paces as never before.
He had challenged her, physically, but unlike her father, he had not given her the answers she sought. Even with direction, she floundered, began to wonder why her people did things the way they did. Sometimes, she could see no sense in their decisions, and Kolya's foolish change of plan had been the last straw. On that day, she had ceased to care about obedience, neither to him nor the council. The ways of the Genii had failed her.
She hears gunfire getting closer, shouts of people, and the dark wisps fade away, as if they never existed. Not long after that, the city is quiet, the same odd calm after the storm that she’d experienced back on Haleron. But they have nothing left to take away from her today, and she escapes the Wraith once more, only to find out the price she pays is different this time.
They're sending her “home,” to her people, as they describe it - a trade-off for a bomb to defend themselves with. It's time, again, to be made Genii, if she wants. No one will be forcing her; she certainly won't be allowed in the service again, not after her insubordination. Even Kolya can not stop them condemning her for disobeying orders; he's most likely been disgraced for his failure to capture Atlantis and will hold no sway on her sentence.
Maybe they'll let her go where she wants after they've finished extracting all the information they can. She hopes so because she wants no more to do with the Genii now that her father doesn't tie her to them. She'd like to sit in that field again, on a sunny day, and pretend her life had turned out differently – that her mother had lived and her father was happy, that she visited her cousins every few months and had never become a soldier for her father’s people.
She thinks of them as her father’s people because they aren't her people anymore. They only want her so they can use her. It's their way. Every man and woman is a tool for survival, never asking what they're surviving for or who will be left when it is all over. But she's asking herself these questions now, as she walks through the gateroom. Although she doesn't know the answers yet, she knows it's the first step that she has even thought to question why. Standing before the event horizon, she looks into it, seeing a perturbed - wavering - reflection of a girl she doesn't recognise.
Putting her hand flat to her chest in the superstitious way her mother used to, she makes a wish that, someday soon, she might get to know that girl a little better.