Team Atlantis World Building Challenge - Centia

On LiveJournal, there is a community called stargateland. This is a place where three teams (one for each Stargate show) compete for points by completing various challenges - graphics, writing, puzzles and games. You have to join to be able to see the challenges and the resulting artwork and fic, though most people post their work on their LiveJournals.

The world building challenge asked each team to create a world - in the case of Team Atlantis, this would be a planet in the Pegasus galaxy - and to produce fanworks to show this world to others. As a team, a world called Centia was developed and artwork, fic etc was produced to represent this world and the interactions between the local population and people from Atlantis. As a team, it was decided to keep this work gen.

I offered this page on my website to collate all the work after the challenge had ended and points had been given, so that people who are not part of stargateland or teamatlantis can find all things Centian in one place - and so that team members could link here from their LiveJournals if they wished.

All of the work hosted on this page is done so with permission from the person who created it. I have provided, where possible, a link for feedback purposes. There is also a .pdf document containing all the following artwork available here that I would encourage you to take a look at as well!

Frulz by gottalovev
Karvas by race_the_ace
Damoni by gottalovev
Artwork by eirenealetheia
Mission Report #045869 by a_blackpanther
Dr. Matthew Corrigan's Report About Centia by stormylullabye
Centia Map by stella_pegasi
Glowing Trees by clwilson2006
Historical Tale by somehowunbroken
It's Something by race_the_ace
Mission Reports from Major Lorne's Team by elfycat
Artwork of Lieutenant Reed's report by haruechan
Once Bitten... by x_varda_x
Photos of Sheppard's team and Dr Weir on Centia by muses_mistress
In Flight by lears_daughter
John and Pegasus crazed_delusion
Centia Memo by leesa_perrie
Memo from Elizabeth by leesa_perrie
Bond by stella_pegasis
Artwork of team and Elizabeth after hair dying ritual by x_varda_x
Artwork of Ronon after hair dying ritual by stella_pegasi
Artwork of Ronon after hair dying ritual by stormylullabye
Artwork of Queen Viona by a_blackpanther
Jaylitha by Leesa Perrie

Frulz by gottalovev

Frulz feels the thought bounce from one person to the other: one of the Visitors has taken a saddle without saying anything and is taking it into the trees. The little one, Ona, saw it and relayed the thought to her friends, who then shared it to their own, a ripple causing a wave. Frulz doesn't think it reached the adults yet and he tries his best to stop the flow.

Wait, wait and see.

He feels his own message diffuse, bounce and echo, calming the worries and raising the curiosity.

So they follow the stranger, the one who they can almost hear and with the blood pure enough to light the youngest trees. As they all thought he seeks an xhalantribariat, approaching it with care and soft words. The xhalantribariat lets him touch it, tail twitching, and after minutes the stranger is ready to go.

That he doesn't know what he's doing is obvious for everyone to see. Frulz winces as he gets tossed around, and wonders why an adult would do such a foolish thing as riding an xhalantribariat. Not that Frulz has never done it, he'd loved it as a child, but he's almost a man now and he must be responsible. He laughs as it goes from bad to worse but then the man is falling and Frulz's heart follows. If he dies, they will be in so much trouble for not noticing the adults. Fortunately the stranger falls in the river and seems in one piece if not a little worse for wear.

When the xhalantribariat comes back for him, the Visitor adjusts the saddle and climbs right back on, which shows a strength of character that commands respect. Frulz climbs as fast as he can to the canopy, needing to see more.

After an adjustment period, the show Frulz witnesses is awe inducing. The stranger rides the xhalantribariat like he's done it all of his life, laughing and intent, more alive than anyone Frulz has ever seen. Suddenly, riding an xhalantribariat doesn't seem like a child's game anymore, and Frulz longs to be in the sky, too. He watches and watches and diffuses the images for everyone to see: no one with such pure a passion can be bad. Frulz feels the impact of his message on all Centians, and he knows that more than one climb to the canopy to witness it too. Soon the images come in surround, mixed with admiration and some badly concealed hints of scorn that Frulz can only associate with jealousy.

But all good things come to an end and the stranger, Colonel Sheppard is bounced back to him, brings his mount back to the ground and rests against it. He lets the xhalantribariat go and takes his saddle back where he took it, most probably thinking his escapade has been unnoticed.

Frulz watches him walk back the village and swears that soon, real soon, the sky will be his again, too.

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Karvas by race_the_ace

Karvas loved the forest on Centia. It was so vast, and filled with such beautiful life. Sometimes the sunlight would trickle down through the treetops warming his skin, leaving an indescribably warmth in his heart. From his time as a boy, he would take long strolls through the woods, preferring the presence of ancient trees to many of his fellow Centians. It wasn’t that he didn’t like them--he did. He simply much preferred to have some time alone and apart.

If Karvas was lucky, he might spot a Pegasus, and be allowed within its reach to gaze at its beauty.

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Damoni by gottalovev

Damoni sighs as he puts his aquamarine tunic and grabs a plum Uyat to eat on his way. Another day where he'll need to play nice with the Atlanteans and the mere idea makes his skin crawl.

He is not amused as their antics.

He is not intrigued by what they call technology.

He doesn't find the wonder for their planet in some of them endearing.

He doesn't think that they could be interesting allies.

In fact, that's what irks Damoni the most. Why could they not just have let the strangers look around and then leave once they had their fill, as was the Centian's way? They were safe from the Wraith when they were invisible. Now every Centian is exposed because their existence is known. The strangers could send the Wraith as soon as they step out of the portal, and the Centians would not be prepared because they cannot see what is in their mind, in their hearts.

Damoni shudders just to think about it. Such opacity is unnatural and no one will be able to convince him of the contrary. Not even Huna, who seems to find them all so charming, telling him over and over that there is no need to condemn people for a crime they might never commit. And no, not even Alithianne who worships the ground they all walk on, just because they give her that treat they call chocolate.

No, Damoni will stand strong and watch, unmoved, unbiased and ready to react to protect his people. Someone has to do it.

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Artwork by eirenealetheia

Centia Pegasus

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Mission Report #045869 by a_blackpanther

Mission Report #045869
By: Dr. Elizabeth Weir, PhD.
Date: March 1st, 2006
Location: P3J-359

Objective: Meet with the leaders and council members of planet P3J-359, known as Centia, to discuss possible alliance and trade agreement.

Mission background: The people of Centia have an unusual lifestyle for a planet in the Pegasus Galaxy. Due to their semi-organic ancient integrated-technology, they have been able to defend themselves from the Wraith, which has, in turn, allowed them to evolve as a society to the point where they are today – well beyond any other Pegasus civilization we have encountered so far. A prosperous society with unusual customs, they would make an excellent ally against the Wraith.

Their political system is close to that of a constitutional monarchy. Their leader is the king or queen, a title handed down through birth. However the future king or queen must undergo extensive training and schooling to prepare for their role, and the new leader comes to power when the previous king or queen decides to step down. The ascension to power will only happen if both the council and the current monarch agree that the trainee is ready. Marriage is not necessary for either Queen or King to ascend to the throne.

The council is made up of 20 people, each serving a specific role, similar to that of ministers on Earth.  The council members are elected every two years, and anyone may run for a position on the council. In spite of this, they do not seem to have a concept of political parties.

The Centian Constitution is very short, more like a set of rules to be followed and never broken, and no one is above this constitution, not even the monarch or the shaman. It is accompanied by two other books one in which their history is recoded and another detailing the application of the above constitution. These laws rarely seem to need enforcing, most likely due to their unique telepathy.

Two of the council members are specially delegated to making sure the books are kept up to date and enforced.

Currently, the leader of the Centians is Queen Viona, who is rather young considering the long lifespan of the Centians. Her husband, King Loresom is only consort.

Mission overview: Shortly after arriving on the planet and checking on our science team temporarily camped there, I was taken to meet the council and Queen Viona. At first, the topic of discussion was the different aspects of our culture and theirs. Both the council and the Queen seemed quite interested in Earth customs, science and history, as well as how we came to inhabit Atlantis. After that, I was told about their own history1 and culture2. When the topic of a possible alliance was brought up, the suggestion was met with resistance and skepticism. Some of the council members thought we have nothing comparable to trade with Centia. Thankfully the Queen seemed more willing to listen, and, by the end of the talks I have managed to convince a majority of the council members that an alliance could be beneficial for both our people. However, that is not yet enough, as their custom requires at least three quarters of their council to agree to a treaty. A gesture of good faith on our part might be required.

1 Full description in Appendix A
2 Full description in Appendix B

Summary: The negotiations went as well as can be expected, and the Centians seem somewhat favorable to an alliance, in spite of initial misgivings.

Recommendations: Continued negotiations working towards a mutually-beneficial agreement.

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Dr. Matthew Corrigan's Report About Centia by stormylullabye
(to see the full affect, with appendices and photos, check it out here)

An Overview of the Culture of the Centian People

Written at the request of Elizabeth Weir, commander of the Atlantis Expedition

Prepared by Dr. Matthew Corrigan, Ph.D

I.    Introduction
The Centian people have made their home on the planet called Centia (planet designation P3J-359) for many hundreds of years. The planet is constructed mostly of dense rainforest, with a large sea. A basic map of the area around the Stargate was drawn up and can be seen here.

The planet was at one time an outpost of the Ancients, who constructed a tower there similar to the center spire of Atlantis at a site now called Lescre. The Centian planet is plagued by hurricanes, due to the large volume of water surrounding the land. The Ancients included defense mechanisms in the tower, as they did everywhere they established an outpost. The tower, according to Centian lore, was blown apart in a particularly vicious hurricane when the tower’s caretaker failed to raise the shield in time (Appendix A). The bits of the tower were blown into the forest, and allowed for the defining feature of Centia: Ancient technology that has actually grown into and become part of the trees.

The initial discovery of Centia by the Atlantians was made by Major Lorne and his team. The team was exploring and David Parrish, the botanist on Major Lorne’s team, noted the strange crystalline growths on the trees. Major Lorne, who has the ATA gene, then touched one of the trees, which lit up. The team stayed to explore this further, and the Centian people eventually emerged from the forest peacefully to engage Major Lorne and his team in dialogue. Full details of Major Lorne’s mission to Centia can be found in Appendix B.

The Centian people exhibit a form of telepathy. The link exists among all members of the community, and does not appear to behave like the ATA gene; the telepathy is not stronger in any person than another. Although, it is interesting to note that the Centians all carry the ATA gene. The telepathy is most commonly used to spread messages around the community. The most unique feature of this mental link is the power to create suggestions to those wishing to come through the gate. If one intends harm to the Centian people or planet, they are not allowed through to the planet. In this way, the Wraith have been kept away from Centia for many years. Another interesting feature of the Centian people is their ability to heal. It is not known whether this ability is present in all Centians or only a select few, but they have been observed using the ability. An example of this is presented in Appendix C.

The planet of Centia itself is very peaceful. The rainforests are lush and full, and the civilization the Centians have developed works seamlessly with nature and the animals who share the planet. Often, the Centians will take walks through the forest as an alternate to meditation. Here we can see Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard’s team, along with Elizabeth Weir, commander of Atlantis Expedition, in the Centian forest. Additional photographs of the forest can be found in Appendix D.

II.    Dynamics
The Centians are a very open and trusting people, in general. Their civilization is constructed of open-air buildings, with very few walls or doors. In fact, the only enclosed place in the entire settlement is a spiritual center. The shaman is the only person who is permitted to enter this space.

The familial responsibilities on the planet of Centia are communal. The children live with their biological parents, but the social responsibilities of parenting are shared by all of the adults in the community. Over the course of a week, children take their meals in several different homes, each adult sharing in the responsibility of preparing the food. Likewise, the children gather during the day to play and ride the xhalantribariat, which resemble winged horses, and the adults seem to have a rotation of who will supervise the children during this time. Notably, only the children seem to be permitted to ride the xhalantribariat, one of which can be seen here with Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard.  Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard shared a personal account, which can be found in Appendix E.

The government is headed by a king and queen. Directly under the king and queen is a shaman, who takes the throne if the king and queen are unable to serve and do not have any offspring. If the king and queen have offspring who have been sufficiently trained, that offspring takes the throne instead, as noted in Elizabeth Weir’s mission report. The shaman is also in charge of educating the children about the history and rituals of the Centians, and is the leader of all religious activity. The shaman is also the only member of the Centian community who is prohibited from taking a partner and having children. Currently, the Centian government is comprised of Queen Viona, King Loresom, and Shaman Fugara. The only other people in positions of relative power seem to be Huna and Damoni, who serve as assistants to Shaman Fugara and have been working with the Atlantians.

The Centians are a peaceful people. When they first observed the Atlantians exploring their planet, they engaged Major Lorne’s team without weapons (after a period of observation in which they apparently determined the team was not a threat) and extended an offer of friendship. Since the acceptance of that friendship, the Centians have been trusting overall. It must be noted that not all of the Centians believe outsiders to be trustworthy. In particular, some have raised concerns over the behaviors and actions of Damoni, who has been observed avoiding contact with the Atlantians except when ordered to interact by Shaman Fugara.

III.    Food and Eating Practices
Eating practices on Centia seem to be remarkably similar to those on Earth in many ways. Visitors to the planet are welcomed with a ceremony in which bark tea is  consumed. The tea tastes of citrus and is slightly bitter. Those who are greeted with a bark tea ceremony and who do not partake in the tea are not viewed as friends unless they can otherwise prove themselves trustworthy (as experienced by Dr. Rodney McKay, who could not drink due to his citrus allergy, noted in Appendix F).

In feasts, which are held commonly in celebration of holidays, the Centians serve mainly fruits, vegetables, and grains. Many of the fruits and vegetables served are unique to Centia and have not been found elsewhere in Pegasus. They are all grown and prepared on the planet, as the Centians lack trading partners and thus access to outside foods. One of the fruits, however, is similar to an Earth plum, and is called Uyat. It is plentiful and is prepared in many different ways. At these feasts, people partake with abandon and share generously with friends and neighbors. Bark tea is the primary drink served at these gatherings, although there is also a drink called Liwa, which is alcoholic and consumed only by the adults, and Uyat juice for children. Thus far, there has been no documented instance of meat consumption on Centia. This inspired new protocols for Atlantian teams travelling to the planet, which can be seen in Appendix G.

IV.    Art
Art is expressed very differently on Centia than it is on Earth. There are no pictures hung or painted on walls in the Centain settlement. Rather, the Centians use art to construct their clothes and to style their hair. The Centians all dress in brightly colored tunics and trousers, with the exception of the king and queen, who wear brightly colored robes. The Centians dye their hair many different colors, as well. It is said that the Centians engage in this type of art in order to ward off the Wraith, who used to cull their planet. This concept is examined and explained in depth in Appendix H. Though the Centians have not been culled in many decades now, due to the protection of the Ancient shield and their ability to use their mental link to keep the Wraith at bay, they still engage in their tradition of brightly colored dress.

The Centians also encourage outsiders who visit their world to take on colors. When an outsider partakes in a hair-dying ceremony, held in front of the entire gathering of Centians, including the king and queen, that outsider is deemed a friend. Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard’s team partook in a ceremony such as this, which provided for the strong relationship the Atlantians now enjoy with the Centians. More pictures are included in Appendix H.

V.    Customs
The Centian people celebrate many holidays and throw many festivals throughout the year. Some of these include: Festival of the Xhalantribariat, which is celebrated during the birthing season of the animals; Day of Junari, which is thrown in honor of the rulers; Festival of the Trees, which celebrates the protection given to the Centian people by the Ancestors; and Day of Remembrance, an homage to Centians who have died protecting others. Each of these days is celebrated with a feast and storytelling by the shaman.

At the age of seven, children begin their education. The first step in that education is learning about the history and rituals of the Centian people. This is taught to the children by the shaman, who uses a collection of tales to assist in teaching. The tales are told to the children as a fairy tale would be told to a small child on Earth. Each story has a moral, and the children discuss this with the shaman before moving on to the next story. An excerpt from this book can be seen in Appendix A. The children’s education proceeds from there under the guidance of the adults in the community. Each adult shares a tale with the children, continuing in a rotation for years until all of the knowledge of the community is passed on. The Centian people are unique in that none are specialized in any field, save the shaman, and all knowledge is shared with everyone.

The Centian people are peaceful by nature, but they do continue to share knowledge of fairly advanced fighting tactics. These tactics, such as sword fighting, are practiced occasionally, and always taught to the younger generations. They also keep an advanced and plentiful stock of armor in their settlement, just in case a need should arise. The Centians were kind enough to allow Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard’s team access to the armor, which can be seen here.

VI.    Religion
It is hard to get a grasp on the Centian’s ideas regarding religion. They have a shaman, Fugara, who is central to their religious practices, and believe in a higher power of some sort. However, among the Centian people it is taboo to discuss religion. Speaking about religion is seen as disrespectful to the aforementioned higher power and is thought to bring ill will to the people. I believe it may have something to do with the Ancients (referred to as “the Ancestors”), as the Centians harbor a great amount of respect which borders on reverence for them. Hopefully with further relations we will be able to learn more about this aspect of the Centians.

Note on Preparation
This report was compiled following several personal visits to the planet Centia and with access to various mission reports and personal accounts from others who have visited the planet, some of which are provided in the appendices below.

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Artwork by x_varda_x 

Warriors and team

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Centia Map by stella_pegasi


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Glowing Trees by clwilson2006

Glowing trees

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Historical Tale by somehowunbroken

In the years of the Ancestors, many cycles ago…

This is a tale of our history. This is the story of the protection gifted to us by the Ancestors.

When Janshu the Wise and Tanral the Benevolent ruled these fair lands, the grand City of Lescre was known as the Jewel of Centia. Fair Lescre was the center of all wisdom in Cantia; from its great universities came astounding feats of science, from its libraries majestic works of poetry and song, from its merchants and vendors fine wares and decadent treats. Lescre was truly the heart and soul of Centia, and its pride and joy, the very life of the City, was the Tower.

The Tower was built by the Ancestors themselves, long before Clever Janshu and Kind Tanral rose to their thrones. They left behind instructions for their descendants, telling of great shields and powerful weapons, for they knew that the time would come when those descendants would need those protections.

The care of the Tower and all its wonders was, in this time, a man named Werrel, who found himself in charge of a great many things. One of his tasks was the use of a most curious instrument left by the Ancestors which, when used correctly, could predict the rain and wind and even the Great Storms that ravage our fair lands to this day. Werrel was no fool, but neither was he the most learned of men, so he failed to recognize the importance of such an instrument. It was, therefore, in this time that a Great Storm arose and struck Centia without warning.

The Storm slammed into the City of Lescre before the Protection of the Ancestors could be called into place, and the devastation was thorough. The libraries were thrown into the sea, the universities were dashed upon the rocks, and the great Tower of Lescre was shattered and driven, piece by piece, into the forest. Our rulers, Shrewd Janshu and Compassionate Tanral, were among those lost in the storm; indeed, we Centians barely survived as a people.

It was many cycles before we discovered the changes. The Tower was gone, yes, but it was still present in spirit; indeed, it lives on even today in the trees of our forests. Over time, we learned to call forth the Protection of the Ancestors from the trees and to send bright streaks of light flying through the air in times of distress. The Tower was destroyed, yes, but the Ancestors saw fit to make their protection last even without the grand structure.

The Ancestors have always protected us; may they continue to do so.

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It's Something by race_the_ace 

Evan Lorne stepped through the gate with Parrish, Coughlin, and Reed right behind him. His P-90 was heavy in his hands as he looked around. The LSD in his hands showed four blinking dots where Evan’s team was standing, and several other blinking dots further out. Evan just hoped it wasn’t more flying monkeys. He swore that Sheppard’s team would get those next time.

“Let’s move out,” Evan commanded.

His team kept their guard high as they explored this new world. It was labeled in the database as a planet of interest, if only for it’s floral and somewhat unique fauna. Evan was particularly interested in seeing a Pegasus.

“Wow, this place is gorgeous,” Parrish sighed happily. As the botanist of the group, David often thought planets were gorgeous. Evan usually had a hard time seeing past the giant dinosaurs, mega-volcanoes, rabid panthers, and angry villagers.

“Geek heaven, Doc,” Coughlin commented. His eyes traveled along the tree tops, high above the forest floor.

The area was dense with trees, and even though there was plenty of shade cover, Evan could feel the heat seeping in through his uniform. But it was the humidity that was killing him. He was a San Francisco boy, born and bred; something for which his team liked to jab at him. He had no experience with humidity whatsoever.

“How far in do you want to go, Dave?” Evan asked.

Parrish shrugged. “I have a feeling it’s going to get hot soon. It’s almost midday here,” he said, gesturing towards the sky. “Let’s not park it too far from the gate. Carson will have all of our hides if we come back dehydrated again.”

“That wasn’t our fault,” Reed put in.

Evan laughed. “Try telling him that.”

So they found a place a kilometer or so from the gate. A tiny clearing, barely large enough to hold all of the equipment that they had brought with them. Evan wasted no time in setting up a perimeter, sending Reed an Coughlin to survey the immediate area.

“What are those things on the trees?” Evan asked, squinting. He pointed to a small crystalline growth on the trucks of nearby trees.

David dropped the rest of his stuff and moved closer to one. “Fascinating,” he mumbled. His camera was out and he was snapping pictures before Evan could even blink. “Major, can you hand me the scanner in my bag?”

Evan rolled his eyes. “I’m not your maid, you know.” But he got it anyway.

“Uh-huh,” Parrish answered, absently-mindedly. He was too busy studying the growth. “You know, I think Dr. McKay would really be interested in this.”

“Oh, no,” Evan warned. “Not again. You say that, and then I’m the one who has to deal with the fallout when Colonel Sheppard’s team gets here and your special rock is nothing but a rock. You need to be beyond sure, this time.”

“You’re so dramatic, Evan,” David said with a grin.

“Be sure,” Evan repeated.


It was day five before Evan inadvertently leaned against a tree and it lit up brighter than his grandmother’s house on Christmas. Evan froze and David, who had been rambling nonstop about the apical dominance of this particular tree and how there was such a small amount of auxin within the tree, that it shouldn’t have been possible for the tree to be large, especially when compared to the amount of cytokinin present, looked up, eyes wide at Evan. “Don’t move,” he ordered.

Evan, who had the instinct to always move when things he touched lit up, looked uneasily back at the scientist. “Are you sure?”

“Yes!” David exclaimed. “Reed! Go back to the gate, dial Atlantis. Tell Dr. Brown we need her here ASAP.”

Reed looked to Evan for confirmation, and when Evan nodded, he sprinted off in the direction of the gate.

“Wanna fill me in on what’s going on?” Evan asked.

“I’m not sure, but I think the tree is somehow responding to your ATA gene.”

“My gene?” Evan asked baffled. “This tree is Ancient?”

“I have no idea,” Parrish said. “But I’ve been touching this tree for five days, and it’s never lit up like this. Yesterday Coughlin leaned against it for an hour and it didn’t do anything, but then you go and touch it with your gene shooting out hands, and it lights up like a Panellus stipticus.”

Evan groaned. “I thought we put a moritorium on plant references.”

“It’s a tree fungus that glows in the dark,” David said dismissively. “Now, think ‘on’.”


It turned out that no matter what Evan thought at it, the tree didn’t do anything but light up. And while that was a pretty cool special effect, it wasn’t really anything to write home about; especially as, according to David, there already were trees back home that light up.

“There has to be a connection,” Parrish muttered.

“I agree,” Katie Brown chimed in.

It was day seven and this time, there were a whole slew of botanists along with them. Evan felt like he was the bored teacher on a field trip, constantly counting kids to make sure they didn’t lose any.

“This sap is remarkable,” Dr. Jensen put in. “The way it forms these crystals.”

“Yeah,” David said. “And I haven’t seen very many, but they sort of look like the control crystals we use on Atlantis.”

“Maybe that’s the connection,” Katie mused. “Rodney said that they never really figured out where the Ancients got all of their crystals. Maybe they had harvested them from trees.”

“For some reason I can’t imagine the ancients sitting around chopping down trees just to get this stuff,” Reed put in. Evan had to agree.

“Well, they came from somewhere, and they’re definitely recognizing your gene,” Parrish shot back. “How else would you explain it?”

“I’d say… it’s been nine days, and you still don’t know what it is and what it does, and with every second this is looking more and more like something Dr. McKay should be investigating, or Dr. Zelenka. Not a crazy plant guy.”

David rolled his eyes at the moniker. “I’m not crazy. And besides, you said it yourself, it’s your ass on the line if Dr. McKay gets here and it turns out to be nothing.”

“But you don’t think it’s nothing, right?” Evan confirmed.

Katie turned to look at him. “We definitely think it’s something.”

In the distance Evan heard a twig snap and he whirled around P-90 at the ready just in time to see bodies emerge from the forest.

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Mission Reports from Major Lorne's Team by elfycat

Mission Report #042918
Team Leader: Major Lorne
Date: Feb. 8th, 2006
Location: P3J-359

Objective: Assess planet for potential technological, mineral, or agricultural resources. Make contact with any native populations and engage in initial trade negations if possible

Objective Outcome: Planet contains several possibilities for technological resources, including crystalline growth structures. A member of the engineering department should examine the growths to determine potential value. Population seems willing to engage in trade but has requested that leaders from Atlantis be part of the trade delegation.

Sequence of Events:
Arrived on P3J-359.
Established base camp.
Guarded Doctor Parrish while he examined local flora.
Accidentally activated Ancient tree.
Sent Lieutenant Reed to request more botanists.
Doctor Brown and Doctor Jensen arrived and assisted Doctor Parrish.
Guarded Dr's Brown, Jensen, and Parrish as they examined the trees.
Were approached by the native population, held a tea ceremony with them while discussing potential trade between our peoples. Natives appear to be peaceful. Threat level zero.
Returned with team and Doctor Brown to Atlantis.

Recommendations: Send an engineer to examine crystalline structure that appears to be activated by the ATA gene. Send Colonel Sheppard's team and Doctor Weir to engage in trade negotiations with the native population.

Mission Report by Doctor Parrish.
Planet P3J-359

Fauna: The animals on this planet were particularly fascinating. Some of the mutations that we encountered resembled figures from Earth mythology (the Pegasus was of particular note, especially interesting, their wings can support their body mass.) as well as a variety of small shelled arthropods and other insects who were colorful in nature. We heard the calls of several birds in the rainforest habitat, and while there was rustling in the branches overhead, we were not able to see any of the birds. Major Lorne did not permit us to approach the Pegasus creatures, so we only saw them flying from a distance. They seem to be able to cover vast distances in the air without setting down. (please look on the database in the botanist subdirectory at photos 1429 though 1514 for examples of the fauna discovered on this planet). I reassured the Major and the Lieutenant multiple times that we were unlikely to be under attack from any "monkey-like" creatures in the forest this time. Doctor Carson and some of the biologists would undoubtably be very interested in a closer examination of the animal life found here.

Flora: While there were an abundance of flowers and moss that were spread over the area around the Stargate, the most interesting aspect was the trees, of which Major Lorne was the first to take note. There appeared to be crystalline growths found on the majority of the trees (please see photos 1515 through 1728 for pictures of crystalline growths and root and leaf structures on the planet); growing in a fashion that seems at odds with the trees themselves. I could find no chemical indication within the trees to indicate how exactly the crystals were being grown. Major Lorne activated one of the trees by leaning on it (and once again I ask that a memo be sent out to military team members about crushing potentially valuable/dangerous flora while on missions), causing it to light up. I believe that Major Lorne's ATA gene is the cause of the manifestation as neither myself nor Reed or Coughlin affected the trees in any such fashion. Doctor Brown and Doctor Jensen will be submitting their own reports on the trees and the crystals as well as the samples we took.

Recommendations: I would suggest that Doctor McKay or Doctor Zelenka examine the crystals for potential integration with Atlantis' technology. I would also like to go back to the planet to do further investigation to the root structures of these trees.

Mission Report #042921
Lieutenant Reed.
Date: Feb. 8th, 2006
Location: P3J-359

Objective: Assess planet for things Atlantis could use. Don't get shot/mauled/attacked by monkeys. Don't let Doctor Parrish get shot/mauled/attacked by monkeys.

Objective Outcome: No one was shot/mauled/attacked by monkeys. Doctor Parrish found a lot of crystals, Major Lorne found some people.

Sequence of Events:
'Gated to P3J-359.
Pitched tents and hauled equipment.
Guarded Doctor Parrish.
Walked the perimeter of the camp.
Checked for monkeys.
Guarded Doctor Parrish.
Major Lorne made a tree light up.
Retrieved Doctor Jensen and Brown from the 'gate.
Escorted them back to camp.
Guarded the botanists.
Major Lorne discovered friendly natives; a first, I'm sure.
Came back to Atlantis.

Recommendations: Another team should return to this planet. And they should take Doctor Parrish with them.

(Note to Reed: You need to work on your report writing skills; didn't they teach you this at Officer's Training? Rewrite this and resubmit it before Doctor Weir makes you rewrite it. -- Colonel Sheppard)

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Artwork of Lieutenant Reed's report by haruechan

Reed's Report

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Once Bitten... by x_varda_x

Rodney pressed a few buttons on his scanner as he spun on the spot in the forest.  He abruptly stopped spinning with an: “Ah ha!”

The rest of Rodney’s team stood nearby, along with the Centian guide - a tall, thin woman called Ethalia who was watching him curiously.  She asked in a calm voice, “What have you found with your device, Dr McKay?”

He ignored her as he looked at the flashing lights.  He started to walk before they could stop him and came up to a large tree that towered so high above them that its top disappeared into the canopy.  He grimaced and stalked around the base of the tree, the others following.

Sheppard called out, “What is it, McKay?”

“I don’t know yet!  That’s why we’re out here investigating.  These strange trees could be hiding all sorts of things.  Ancient outposts and tech, ZedPMs and the like.”

“Anything?”  Ronon asked in a bored way as he shared a look with Ethalia.  She gazed back at him with the same serene calmness that bordered on disinterest.

Teyla was scowling at her, no-one should be that calm and graceful, especially around Rodney who was aggravating to the point of violence inducing even the most patient person.

Rodney reached out towards the tree.  “It’s a power reading, and it’s coming from right… here.”

Ethalia’s eyes widened and Sheppard called, “Don’t touch it, Rodney!”

It was too late though, as Rodney hand found the tree.  He immediately cried out and recoiled, clutching his hand to his chest and stepping backwards so hastily that his feet caught in the tangled undergrowth and he tumbled backwards.

There was an equally harsh screechy roaring coming from the tree trunk and Ethalia went over to the tree and spoke softly, “Be still and calm.  He meant no harm towards you.”

The high pitched roaring stopped and Ronon frowned, “What is it?”

Ethalia looked around at them, “Dr McKay touched a tree beast.  Invisible to those who do not know how to find them, but very aggressive when threatened.”

Rodney was still lying on the ground and his face was very pale. Where he held his hand to his chest, there was blood leaking around the edges of his grip. Sheppard crouched down next to him, a bandage already in hand and ready as he grabbed the scientist’s shoulder. “You alright, Rodney?”

“It bit me,” Rodney said, his eyes wide and shell shocked.  “Oh, no.  It’s not poisonous is it?  Will I lose my hand?  I need my hands for doing… stuff.”

Ethalia looked down at him, “It is poisonous.”

What little colour was in Rodney’s cheeks faded away entirely.

She came over and crouched down, reaching out towards him.  “Let me see.”

Rodney reluctantly uncurled his damaged hand from himself and tightly closed his eyes so he did not have to look.

Ethalia took the hand in her own.  There was a crescent shaped bite mark and although his hand was still intact, it was bleeding profusely.  Ethalia closed her eyes and sung a low song that made the hairs stand up on the back on Sheppard’s neck and sent a shiver through him that he would rather not describe in too much detail.

Ronon shifted uncomfortably and Teyla kept her expression carefully neutral.

They all looked on in wonder as the bleeding stopped and the wound sealed.

Ethalia cleaned away the blood using leaves she had gathered from the forest floor and her voice changed from melody to words, “Rodney, you may open your eyes now.  You are healed.”

Rodney screwed his eyes more tightly closed and said, “No no no.  I’m dying!  Although it’s now strangely pain free.  Oh no!  Isn’t that what happens just before you die?  It all fades away to nothing!”

Sheppard grabbed Rodney’s hand from Ethalia’s grip and hauled the scientist upright.  He was so shocked that his eyes flew open and he looked around at them wide-eyed and terrified.

“You’re fine,” Ronon said.

“I am glad you are not going to die today,” Teyla said.

Rodney peered down at his hand and then at Ethalia.  “Uh, thanks.”

“It was no hardship.  Perhaps you will not mistake the invisibility of the tree beast for a power source again.”

Rodney nodded numbly, “Not today, no.”

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Photos of Sheppard's team and Dr Weir on Centia by muses_mistress

team on bridge

woman in forest

John and Teyla in forest

team in forest

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In Flight by lears_daughter 

The first time John Sheppard rode a pegasus—as the Atlantis Expedition had taken to calling the winged horse-like creatures whose real name started with an x, ended with a t, and had about twenty letters in between—he made it a quarter of a mile before Bessie dumped him into the river.

Fortunately, there was no one around to witness his embarrassment.  The river had a strong current, but it was swimmable.  Sheppard kicked and spluttered his way to the surface, fighting the weight of his waterlogged BDUs and boots.  His sunglasses swept away downstream, along with his last stick of gum and the Powerbar he always carried around in case Rodney went into hypoglycemic shock.

Eventually, Sheppard managed to half-swim, half-drag himself to the muddy riverbank. Panting, he flopped onto his back, his eyes closed, and felt Centia’s heat press down on his skin—an oppressive heat that would do nothing to dry him off since the air was so humid one could almost swim in it.

A furnace-hot, sweet-smelling puff of air struck his face, making him yelp.  His eyes flew open and his hand went for his sidearm, only to pause when he realized that the culprit was his errant pegasus, who was standing over him, her soft nose inches from his face.  Bessie snorted—he could swear she was laughing at him—and mouthed his soggy hair, either in apology or to see if it tasted good.

“They told me you were tame,” Sheppard told Bessie accusingly.  “Tame, my ass.”  He pushed her snout away and combed his fingers through his hair, knowing it was probably a lost cause.

The Centians had seemed amused by Sheppard’s obvious interest in the pegasi.  They never used the winged horses for hunting, and riding them was considered a young person’s sport.  In the end—probably because he had never been very good at concealing boredom and his presence was no help at all in the negotiations—Queen Viona had suggested that Damoni, one of the liaisons assigned to assist the Atlantians in their study of the Centians’ culture and planet, give Sheppard a few flying lessons.

Well, of course Rodney had scoffed, Teyla had smiled that smile that said that Sheppard was still a child, and Ronon had clapped him on the back and told him that, on Sateda, all the horses were carnivorous.  All the while Sheppard had kept a cocky smirk on his face, the one that said, Flying horses?  Bring ‘em on.

He knew what they expected.  He’d boasted often enough that he could fly anything, and he’d yet to be proven wrong.  Hell, he could fly spaceships with his mind, and he’d logged an impressive number of hours in just about every helicopter and plane known to man.  His team—Weir, Carson, and Lorne and his team, too, for that matter—wouldn’t expect the fact that the pegasi were animals to make any difference.

But Sheppard had known better.  Even for someone with his natural talents, learning to pilot a new flying machine was rarely as easy as learning to fly the puddle jumpers had been.  The only way that he could really shine on his first lesson was if it wasn’t actually his first lesson.

Hence this secret outing.

To be honest, Sheppard had thought that this would be easier than it was turning out to be.  He’d had extensive riding lessons as a child and had naively assumed that the pegasi were as similar to horses as they looked.  Instead, he’d found that Bessie wore a harness instead of a bridle, that she didn’t respond at all to having her sides prodded, and that apparently if her saddle belt was tightened as securely as a horse’s, she would have trouble breathing properly while flying.

All of which had combined to land Sheppard in the river.

Bessie—as he’d named the pegasus he’d purloined after slipping away from yet another rousing game of “touch the trees and see what happens”—heaved a sigh and turned her head to preen one of her long wings, her teeth combing through the surprisingly stiff feathers.

“Is that a hint?” Sheppard asked, pushing himself painfully to his feet, his boots squelching with river water that had pooled inside.  He stroked her other wing, tugging a few feathers straight.  “You want us to fly again?”

He wasn’t exactly eager at the thought of freefalling without a parachute twice in one day, but maybe this time she wouldn’t toss him off.  And he knew that Damoni would make his lesson tomorrow as difficult as possible—the Centian seemed to dislike the Atlantians, for reasons that were unclear to them—so he wanted to get in a little more practice before then.

He walked around her wing to lean against her side.  When she didn’t seem to mind, he reached down to loosen the saddle until it had enough slack to make him nervous.

“Try not to toss me this time,” he said.  He let out a groan as he stuck his foot into the stirrup and slung his leg over her back.  Oh, he’d be sore tomorrow.  He picked up the reins—had to remember that they weren’t for steering, that they were only there to give him something to hold onto—and gingerly pressed his knees against the back of her wings.

She let out a piercing cry that was closer to a raptor’s than a horse’s, galloped two steps along the riverbank, and leapt into the air, her massive wings pumping hard, sides heaving with exertion.

Sheppard adjusted to the feel of her a lot more quickly this time, now that he’d discarded his previous assumptions.  He found that it was easier for her to gain altitude if he sat back instead of standing in the stirrups, and that all she needed to guide her was a gentle nudge against her wing.  After a few minutes he found himself grinning, feeling the rush of cooler—though still not cool—air through his hair, his blood rushing through his veins.

Without warning, Bessie banked left, nearly sending Sheppard flying, but he held on for dear life and managed to keep his seat.  A moment later she banked right, and he realized that this was her way of toying with him.

“You want to play?” he challenged her, wrapping the reins around one hand.  “Let’s play.  Just know that if you loop-de-loop me, I’ll loop-de-loop you.”

Holding his breath and hoping he wasn’t about to be flung off again—they weren’t over water anymore, and he had a pretty strong suspicion that falling into a copse of trees would be detrimental to his health—he ceded all control to her.

He’d thought they had been going fast before, but as she surged forward now he realized that he must have been unconsciously holding her back.  Her wings working hard, she veered further right, then left, then swooped down—leaving Sheppard’s stomach in the upper atmosphere—until her hooves brushed against the tops of the trees, startling a flock of massive crimson butterflies into flight, before she began to climb back up.

After that, time became meaningless.  They dove, they whirled, sometimes fighting the wind and sometimes letting it propel them.  Every now and then Bessie found a thermal and let it carry them for a while, her wings outstretched, before she grew bored and flapped away.  Sheppard relaxed into her movements, learning how to best avoid hindering her, and let his mind carry him away.

He remembered glorious afternoons cantering through the fields surrounding his parents’ house.  He remembered when his mother had first taught him to ride, leading his pony by the bridle while he sat proudly on its back and conjured up wild adventures to tell Dave later.  He remembered breaking his arm after he and Rockford stumbled on a hurdle, how his father had wanted him to quit riding—“I can’t afford for my heir to break his fool neck for a sport”—and how he’d refused.

He remembered how it was riding that had made him want to fly.  And now, here, in Pegasus, he could do both.

His original plan had been to fly back and land in the middle of the Centian’s largest clearing, showing off, but somehow that no longer sounded appealing.  Instead, when Bessie’s breathing started to become labored he directed her toward a clearing he was pretty sure was abandoned.  They landed gracefully and Sheppard dismounted as smoothly as if it hadn’t been twenty years since the last time he’d ridden a horse.

Trembling with fatigue from the long flight, Bessie bent her graceful neck and took a bite out of a purple rabbit-thing that tried to dart past.  Wincing a little at the subsequent crunching sounds, Sheppard draped his arm across her back and buried his face in the juncture where her wings met her body, her heat almost searing his skin.

Eventually, he pulled away and went about removing her halter and saddle.  If she were a horse he would brush her down, but the Centians didn’t have any tools for doing so, and anyway, Bessie trotted away the minute the saddle was off her back.  He didn’t try to stop her.  He knew he’d be seeing her again soon.

Yawning, Sheppard returned the tack to the racks where the Centians stored them, in the shelter of a massive tree.  Then, feeling content despite his aching body, wild hair, and disheveled clothes, he made his slow way back to his team.

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John and Pegasus crazed_delusion

John and Pegasus

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Centia Memo by leesa_perrie

To: The so-called botanists of Atlantis
From: Your boss - you know, the one you forgot to warn about the citrus plants

Subject: Are you trying to kill me? If so, please choose something less horrible than anaphylactic shock as your method of murder!

Okay, so I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock, but I could have! Fortunately for you, Ronon tasted the Centian's 'bark tea of friendship' before me and detected the faint trace of citrus. As it was, Teyla had to do some of her diplomatic talk thing to explain that I was not indicating any unfriendly intentions by not partaking of the tea, but merely wishing to remain alive and well.

This could so easily have avoided if the report about the bark tea in question and its citrus content had been brought to my attention before I left on the mission to Centia. In future, all such reports must be personally delivered to myself and marked as urgent.

Unless, of course, you really are trying to kill me. In which case, don't. Or do you want Atlantis to fall the next time we're attacked, due to the lack of my genius level intellect? Who do you think would save you if I wasn't around? Radek? I wouldn't bet on it myself!

For your own sakes as well as mine, all citrus related food items on any planet I am about to visit must be brought to my attention, immediately! As it is, I suggest you avoid any personal training offered to you by Teyla and/or Ronon for the foreseeable future.

And don't come complaining to me about cold showers or other temperature related problems with your quarters. I'm too busy - see Radek.

Dr Rodney McKay, PhD, PhD

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Memo from Elizabeth by leesa_perrie

A few reminders to expedition members visiting our new allies, the Centians.

1. Under no circumstances will you refer to the Centians as elves, Vulcans or any other fictional or non-fictional race that have pointy ears - and certainly not while you are on Centia, even if you believe there are no Centians nearby to confuse or offend with such comments. 

2. You are also under no circumstances to refer to Colonel Sheppard as half-Centian or make any other reference to his ears.

3. Do not eat anything on Centia that contains meat.  While it has not yet been confirmed that they are vegetarian, so far no meat has been served by them at meals and so, to avoid any possibility of offence, we shall assume them to be so and become *vegetarian while on their world.

4. Be polite at all times. Do I really need to stress this, people? And no, Dr McKay, you are not an exception to this rule.

5. Remember that this is their planet and be respectful of the Centians and their culture. The trees and ruins are fascinating and may prove to be useful to us - but they belong to the Centians and not to ourselves. Always remember this.

Please try to follow normal offworld guidelines, the above are reminders and additions to them. I do not wish to hear of offence caused by anyone visiting Centia. Keeping good relations with the Centians is of utmost importance to us all.

Dr Elizabeth Weir

*note to team leaders – please ensure that all MREs and other supplies that your team, and any accompanying military personnel or civilians carry on them are checked for meat content. If you are using a puddlejumper, please ensure all rations onboard are vegetarian. Thank you.

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Bond by stella_pegasis

Dr, Elizabeth Weir forced herself to take a deep breath, and then immediately regretted doing so. Thick, humid air, air that seemingly had a mass of its own, filled her lungs. She was hot; the sleeveless shirt she was wearing clung to her, resembling wet tissue instead of cotton.

Elizabeth was returning to the pavilion the Centians had offered them for repose. Attached to the pavilion by a covered walkway, was another structure, similar in size that provided privacy for sleeping and bathing. Climbing the steps to the lounge area, she found Dr. McKay, sitting lotus style on one of the over-sized, soft-cushioned chairs scattered around the space. Hovered over his pad, the scientist glanced up when he heard her footsteps.

With an impish look on his face, he asked, “How was your morning conversing with the council?”

Flashing an aggravated glare at Rodney, she sank down onto one of the large lounging benches. The pavilion was octagonal in design and quite spacious. Its structure assembled from beautifully carved posts of a darkly stained wood. Colorful patterns of flowers, seen all over the community, were inlaid in the dark wood planks on the floor. Elizabeth looked toward the high, thickly thatched roof, watching the sheer panels of brightly hued fabric that fell from the ceiling blowing in the breeze.

“Well, what do you think? Negotiating with telepathics, or whatever this ability is they have, is quite humbling. I feel like they are talking among themselves even with me in the chamber. They are lovely people; however, their patience is limitless. I thought I could be patient but not so much.”

“You have to successfully negotiate for those trees. If we could cultivate our own crystals, there’s a lot of broken equipment on Atlantis, we could restore. So, hang in there, let them discuss you in front of you.” Rodney’s right index finger had been twirling in the air, but returned to pound on the pad.

“I wish it were that easy, but our a, favorite shaman, Fugara, threw a bit of twist into the negotiations today.” The tone of her voice, pointedly sarcastic, caused Rodney to look up again.

“What did he, she…whatever, what did Fugara do that has you so out of sorts?”

As Elizabeth was answering Rodney’s question, Colonel Sheppard and Ronon were approaching the pavilion. They had been touring the boatyard along the river. Their guide for the tour, Damoni, had shown them how the Centians built the long, elegant boats they used to navigate between villages and out to sea. As they approached the pavilion, it became apparent that something was amiss. They heard Rodney’s high pitched voice along with Elizabeth’s monotone reply, which only meant there was a problem.

“Oh, you cannot be serious?”

“Yes, I am, Rodney.”

“Well, I’m not going to do it.”

“Not going to do what, McKay?” At the sound of Sheppard’s deep drawl, Elizabeth and Rodney turned toward the pavilion entrance.

“He’ll do it.” Rodney leaned back in the large chair, pointing to Sheppard.

Sheppard flashed a phony smile at McKay and a questioning look at Elizabeth. “I repeat, not going to do what?”

Reaching into a cooler they had brought from the jumper, Sheppard pulled out a cold bottle of water, tossing one to Ronon. Sweat was running down his neck, and he tugged his wet, black tee-shirt away from his body. Slouching down on the bench opposite Elizabeth, he waited for an answer.

She looked at him, then over at Ronon, and began to explain. “During this morning’s council meeting, Shaman Fugara raised a concern. The shaman informed the king and queen, and me that the children are unsettled regarding our visit. When he explained what their worry was, King Loresom and Queen Viona concurred that the children’s’ issue would have to be addressed before we moved forward.”

“So, what’s their problem?” Sheppard queried.

“As you know, they live a somewhat communal life here. All the adults are responsible for all the children. While they maintain a family unit of sorts, the children come under the shaman’s direct protection when they reach seven years old. That’s when the shaman begins to teach the children about the history and rituals of their world.”

Sheppard looked concerned, “Rituals, are we talking about, some kind of hinky, ritual, sacrifice going on here?”

Elizabeth grinned, “No, not that hinky.”

“No, I would say humiliating. Wouldn’t you agree, Elizabeth?” Rodney winced as he unfolded his legs and sat straight in the chair.

“Humiliating, what would the Centians do to cause humiliation? They’re like the hippies from the Sixties, ‘peace and love, man’,” Sheppard observed.

“I suppose humiliation is a perception in this case. The shaman teaches the children about a time when visitors from other worlds regularly traveled to Centia. It was a peaceful time. The Centians graciously shared the abundance of their world. They willingly traded the plentiful fruits and berries, the vibrant dyes made from the native flora, and the silken fabric they make from the tenava plant with their allies. They held great celebrations with their visitors during those times. However, every thing ended when, as they describe it, darkness descended from the sky; a darkness that took many of their people.

Ronon said roughly, “The Wraith.”

“I assume so. At least, from the description their story gives of pale-haired monsters. We know already their history relates that the Ancient’s visited here, building a “tower” in the grand City of Lescre. Their history, also tells of an incident much later when there was a fiery crash from the stars, which came after the darkness, and of visitors who lived among them for a short time. The crash destroyed the podium, DHD, that allowed them to use the Ring of Life, the stargate. Fugara reported that the legend says the visitors from the ‘crash’ repaired the podium and departed.”

Rodney was snapping his fingers, “Elizabeth; we have to take some of these trees to Atlantis to examine. The reports that a hurricane destroyed the tower and scattered pieces of it across the jungle and the forest at the base of the mountain range are intriguing. How the ancient devices could have intermingled with the vegetation of this planet is fascinating. You know, Damoni told me the other day that after many years, the Wraith stopped coming. We know they were actively culling several times during those thousands of years. Something prevented the Wraith from coming back. Besides, no one had gated in until Lorne and his team. Domani said that the gate watchers over the years reported the gate lighting up, but no one ever coming through. The gate had to have recognized Lorne’s ATA gene and let him in. We have to have some trees.”

Elizabeth cocked her head, “You know what they want us to do, Rodney.”

Rodney frowned, and Sheppard demanded, “What, what do they want us to do?”

“One of the rituals began after the pale-haired ‘monsters’ appeared. The Centians wanted to make themselves as different as they could from the ones who caused the darkness. They began making their clothes, their surroundings as colorful as they could to disassociate from the horror. They also began to dye their hair the vibrant colors, as they still do today.”

Sheppard seemed a tad disgusted. “I wondered why all they had all the funky colors in their hair, reminds me of clowns.” He noticeably shuddered at the vision.

Elizabeth continued, “Fugara said that when the ones who fell from the sky came, they bonded as friends. They held a ceremony to honor that bond, and the visitors dyed their hair as a demonstration of friendship. Then the visitors left. Until Major Lorne's team and the scientists walked through the gate, they’ve been alone.”

Sheppard leaned forward, “So, what are you’re telling us, that the Centians want to dye our hair?”

“The children don’t understand why we haven’t taken part in the ritual, why our hair is still one color. So, yes, they want us to dye our hair. I managed to negotiate a small reprieve. The council believes that it is important for the children to understand the bonding of friendship. They are not convinced that this is a ritual they should carry forward. However, for now, for the children’s sake, only one of us will have to dye our hair.” She smiled slyly at Sheppard.

Sheppard stared at her, speechless for a moment. When he found his voice, he was stuttering, “E-Eliz-Elizabeth…you are not suggesting that I let…let them dye my h-hair, are you?”

“Well, the council decided that neither Teyla nor I needed to undergo the ritual, and since you are the military leader of Atlantis, it should fall to you.”

Sheppard was shaking his head back and forth, “No, I’m not, let Rodney do it.”

Rodney’s eyes widened and he started sputtering, “Me, why me? Like Elizabeth said, you’re the military leader, you should do it.”

“I’m not doing it, Rodney. You do it.”

“I’m not doing it either. You…order one of your Marines to do it.”

“I can’t order someone under my command to this. And…and …besides, I am the commander of the military, I can’t run around looking like a clown.”

“Oh, flyboy, like anyone would notice with that mess you have on your head? Vanity, thy name is Sheppard.” McKay said smugly.

“I am not vain, McKay.” His words were very quiet and measured. “You do it, you don’t have any hair…the dye would grow out, or fall out, in no time.”

Giving Sheppard a snarky look, McKay brightened, “Kavanaugh, let’s force Kavanaugh to do it. He’s got that long, stringy, dirty blond hair; he could use a dye job.”

“I thought you like blonds, Rodney,” Sheppard snarked back.

“Bite me, Sheppard.”

Rodney’s finger was in the air, an indication he was about to launch into a major rant, when Elizabeth said, “Excuse me, gentlemen, but I’ll make the decision regarding which one of you has their hair dyed. There will be no argument. Colonel, I…”

“I’ll do it.”

Elizabeth, Sheppard and McKay turned in unison toward the only other person in the pavilion. Ronon Dex.

Elizabeth inhaled deeply, releasing her breath slowly, “Ronon; I can’t ask you to do this. Are you certain you want to?"

“Better than listening to those two,” Ronon replied, matter-of-factly.

Elizabeth glanced at her military commander and her science department director, both of them stunned and no doubt, quite relieved that Ronon had volunteered.

“I should do this, I’m from Pegasus, and you aren’t. Besides, unlike them, I’ll still look good,” Ronon grinned.

Elizabeth attempted to stifle a laugh, but she couldn’t. As she collapsed into the soft pillows scattered on the lounger, laughing uncontrollably, she had a glimpse of Sheppard and Rodney looking very sheepish.


The evening’s festivities were being held at sunset. The Centians had spent the entire afternoon preparing food, and setting up an area near the center of the community for the ritual to take place. Elizabeth had spent part of her afternoon with the king and queen, answering questions about Atlantis. The Centians were more than inquisitive about the descendents of the ones who fell from the sky.

Sheppard, Ronon, and Rodney had walked to the Centian farming area to check on Teyla. She was touring the cultivated fields with Huna. Huna was the partner of Damoni, the Centian, who had served as the guide for Sheppard and Ronon earlier in the day. The Atlantians’ needs were being attended to by the couple, who served as assistants to the shaman. Walking back to the pavilion, McKay was gleefully telling Teyla about Ronon’s upcoming adventure, in-between bitterly whining about the heat.

Teyla was smiling as she listened to Rodney. When he finally got to the part where Ronon had volunteered, Teyla seemed quite pleased.

“I agree with Ronon, as natives of the Pegasus galaxy, it is our responsibility to take part in these things.” She turned to Ronon, “I am proud of you for doing this.” Ronon simply nodded.

“Ronon wouldn’t have needed to volunteer if flyboy here hadn’t backed out of his obvious responsibility.” McKay was grinning, his head bobbing back and forth.

Sheppard wiped the sweat off his forehead using his wristband. “Look’s who’s talking, you certainly weren’t volunteering.” At that moment, he was more concerned about losing his sunglasses when he rode the Pegasus, Bessie. He really missed them in the tropical glare.

Shaking her head at the two men, she said, “I believe that neither one of you were very anxious to participate in the ritual. However, it has been decided. I believe you can stop fighting about it.” Both men quieted after her comment, but she knew that neither would let the other forget.

As the hour approached, Fugara arrived, leading Ronon off to be prepared. Sheppard wasn’t very happy about Ronon being led away without one of them with him. Elizabeth chastised him about worrying so much. Sheppard, however, was happy when they arrived at the ceremony.

It seemed that the entire population of the main community village was present for the ritual. As the Atlantian approached, the sight of the Centians en masse was breathtaking. They were tall, most as tall as Ronon, and were thin but muscular, their physiques resembling Colonel Sheppard’s. Both the men and women wore their hair shoulder length or slightly longer, and past the age of seven, dyed their hair with multiple bright colors. The bright tones made their naturally bronzed skin glow.

The Atlantians, however, found two characteristics of the Centians most intriguing. One was highly visible, their pointed ears. From the time Major Lorne’s team returned from their initial visit to Centia, the base had been abuzz with comments about ‘the ears’. Base personnel amused themselves circulating jokes about the Centians’ ears. They made comparisons regarding the Elves from Lord of the Rings, to Spock, as well as speculation that Colonel Sheppard was related to the Centians. Colonel Sheppard not been amused, but his team and Dr. Weir privately seemed to find that comment extremely amusing. However, Dr. Weir had sent a directive to the expedition members to cease all comments, including jokes about half-Centians.

However, the most intriguing aspect of the Centians was the fact that they possessed the ATA gene. Dr. Beckett had made a quick visit to take some preliminary information. He was planning on returning later for a more comprehensive examination. His initial findings concluded that the Centians did possess the gene. As individuals the gene’s strength did not appear to be nearly as strong as Colonel Sheppard’s. Beckett felt that while the gene was weaker in the Centians, collectively they could concentrate their abilities, most likely enhanced by the technology of the Ancients, which had somehow intertwined with the flora of the planet. The doctor also felt that the Centians long life span, estimated between 100 and 200 years, might contribute to their ability to use the gene. That the longer they lived, the more ‘in-tune’ they became with the blended Ancient technology. The one thing he did know is that the Ancients must have developed personal relationships with the ancient Centians and passed the gene off to their offspring. The result was the striking and intriguing people who had gathered for the ritual and feast.

In the center of the community, many of the comfortable cushiony chairs had been placed for seating. Long tables were laden with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and bread, all colorful and appetizing. A large something was roasting over an open pit on the far side of the area. The Atlantians were unable determine if it was a gigantic pumpkin-type vegetable or meat. The anthropologists believed the Centians were vegetarians. So far, they had only been served vegetarian food at meals. Torches of varying heights, and what appeared to be hundreds of candles, illuminated the area. The vibrant colors of the Centians clothing and the billowing fabric walls of the pavilions gave the entire setting the look of a jewel-encrusted crown.

Bark tea was being offered to all when arriving. Sheppard laughed as Rodney nearly ran the other way when offered a cup. The citrus sensitive Dr. McKay had already had a close run in with the tea which contained the heinous ingredient. Not a tea drinker, Sheppard actually liked the flavor of the bark tea, and accepted a cup. Rodney was a bit miffed that he was drinking the foul brew, but that simply made Sheppard enjoy the tea more.

Weir and her team were chatting with Huna, her partner Damoni choosing to remain apart from the Atlantians. The celebration commenced when a melancholy moan resonated from a large seashell announcing the arrival of the king and queen. Once the royal couple was seated, the community children swarmed through the assembled crowd, from all directions. They converged on a small tent made of vibrant purple silk that sat along the perimeter of the area. As the children softly sang, Fugara and Ronon emerged from the tent.

Ronon was now dressed in the silken pants and tunic that all, save the king, queen, elders and council members, wore. The silk was gold in color and, in the candlelight, the fabric’s sheen glistened as though it was gold. Shaman Fugara wore robes of the same golden fabric.

Fugara was an enigma to the Atlantians. A person of nondescript gender never referred to as he or she, with a voice neither feminine nor masculine. Fugara was only Centian with hair of one color; the shaman’s hair was a deep vivid blue.

Fugara led Ronon to a chair that sat on a low dais in the center of the celebration. Two of the children, one called Alithianne, the daughter of Huna and Damoni, and the other child a boy named Nomi, were attending the shaman. Sheppard had nicknamed Alithianne, ‘Alice’ because her name was difficult to pronounce and quickly many had begun to call her that. The children waited for Ronon to sit. They then draped him with a shawl made from the same fronds used for the thatched roofs, although these were green and pliable.

Fugara stood before Ronon and spoke to the crowd. “Centians all, for the first time in thousands of years, we are honored to be visited by those from other worlds. In honor of our new friendship, our brother from our stars, Ronon Dex will undergo the bonding ritual. This bonding will seal our friendship with the ones from Atlantis.”

Four Centian children came forward, each carrying a small pottery pitcher. One by one, they approached Fugara, passing their pitcher to the shaman. Pouring the contents of each pitcher over different areas of Ronon’s hair, the shaman created a design of color. With each pitcher of dye, Ronon’s dread-locks became a work of art.

When finished, Shaman Fugara stepped away and unveiled Ronon completely to their view. The Centians roared their approval. The tall Satedan’s hair was now a cornucopia of color. Colors of deep red, gold, forest green, and sapphire blue streaked throughout the long dread-locks. Where the colors bled together, subtle magentas, purples, yellow-greens and teal hues were revealed.

Sheppard and McKay were being quiet, neither choosing to comment. They both overhead Elizabeth's whispered comment to Teyla, “Ronon was right. He looks good.”

Exchanging glances, Sheppard and Ronon appeared to be wondering if they had made a wise choice in not volunteering. Looking again at Ronon, both men definitely seemed relieved that they were not the Atlantian with the newly dyed hair.

King Loresom and Queen Viona, who had been surrounded by many of the children during the ceremony, rose from their chairs and joined Ronon and the shaman. Queen Viona placed a large flower in Ronon’s hair and stood on tiptoes to kiss his cheek. The King turned to his subjects.

“This is a monumental day for the Centian people. On the anniversary of this day forward, we will feast and celebrate the bonding of our people. Our visitors have made the children, and those who care for them, very happy. However, before the feast begins, the children have another tiny request. They would like to see all of our guests with at least a small amount of color in their hair. That way our bonding will be complete. Please join me.” He motioned to Elizabeth to come forward.

“Elizabeth, you’re not going to let them do this.” Rodney’s protest cut short when Elizabeth glared at him, effectively shutting him up.

She shifted her glare to Sheppard, “Not a word from you either; we are all going to do this.”

She turned, and walked toward the king, Teyla behind her. Rodney and Sheppard both took a deep breath and followed; Sheppard muttering, ‘crap’ under his breath.

Rodney whispered, “This is so not fair.”

Four chairs were brought for them to sit in. As soon as they were seated, the children brought more pitchers of dye. Instead of the shaman applying the dye, the children painted the dye on their hair, moving the thatched shawl from one to the other.

When the children finished the Centians cheered, pleased with the results. Teyla’s bronze hair looked stunning, a bright gold streak lying along the left side of her head. Elizabeth’s dark hair displayed a deep red stripe framing her face. Rodney had a wide, cobalt blue band of color from his forehead to his neckline. However, the children had the most fun with Sheppard. His thick, messy hair fascinated them. They placed double streaks of emerald green in the hair that fell across his forehead, then dyed the tips of the spiky hair on top of his head as well.

As they headed for the food tables, McKay snickered, “Flyboy, no one would need radar to see you coming.”

“Yeah, like your ‘Mohawk’ wouldn’t scare anyone away.” Sheppard tossed back.

Ronon and the shaman joined Teyla and Elizabeth as they watched Sheppard and McKay walk away.

Elizabeth smiled at the shaman, “Shaman Fugara, thank you so much for helping in our little plan.”

The shaman eyes twinkled, “Always ready to assist our friends; now I must join the children.

Teyla laughed, “Once we discovered that one crucial bit of information, this became a whole lot more fun.”

Ronon was grinning, “When are we going to tell them that this isn’t permanent dye, and that this will wash out in a couple of days?

Elizabeth was grinning broadly, “Not at least until the morning. I want them to suffer just for a while. Come on, let’s go enjoy some good food and get to know our new allies.

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Artwork of team and Elizabeth after hair dying ritual by x_varda_x

dyed hair

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Artwork of Ronon after hair dying ritual by stella_pegasi


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Artwork of Ronon after hair dying ritual by stormylullabye


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Artwork of Queen Viona by a_blackpanther

Queen Viona

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Jaylitha by Leesa Perrie

I, Jaylitha, write this down for posterity in the one hundred and fiftieth year of my life.

When I was a mere slip of a girl, just days before my eleventh year of age, the people from Atlantis came to this world to trade and study the trees that protect us, as well as the Ancient ruins nearby. It was an exciting time for all! But for me, it was the start of so much more.

One of the Lanteans, as we came to call them, caught my interest from the start. A man called Maccai.  To an eleven year old child he seemed so exotic - more so than his companions. He spoke often and at great length about many things, though mainly of complaints and insults. My foremost mother was shocked, I felt it through our connection most keenly, and muttered that he needed lessons in tact. I was not sure what tact was back then, but I liked Maccai as he was, and said so. My foremost mother merely sighed. 

She did that a lot, I seem to recall.  Perhaps I was a difficult child, full of curiosity? Yes, I think now that I was. And rebellious too at times! The community must have suffered great trials, my foremost parents the most, in raising me!

I spent as much time as I could trailing behind Maccai, following him around the village and to the ruins, even though that was not allowed - you see, rebellious indeed! But I found Maccai most intriguing - so different from my own people.

I will admit it, he was my first childish crush! Though now that I think back to that time, I seem to recall a haunted look on his face whenever I appeared. And that there was much teasing from his companions about his 'young scientist'.

I was not sure what a scientist was back then, but Maccai was a scientist, so I figured it was no bad thing.

And oh, how many questions did I ask Maccai about the trees that protected us! How did they work? Why did they work?  Could I get them to work? Would they ever stop protecting us? Could I fix them if that happened?

So many questions - no wonder he looked so haunted at the sight of me! Surely, I was a most annoying pest - more annoying than the zinnit flies that plague us in the spring months! And curious too - more curious than a vergrilden, who must investigate thoroughly any new thing that appears within their view! I must have been his worst nightmare! More so than most, as I soon gleaned that he did not like children - though back then I did not think myself a child. Eleven was virtually grown up in my childish eyes.

Ah yes, I was arrogant in my youth too! I did not take part in the dying of hair that the children insisted on, as I was far too grown up for that - though I secretly watched, with the same excitement as them.

To the surprise of many, not least of Maccai himself, I learned quickly, and in time I became the most knowledgeable of Centians regarding the trees and the Ancient ruins. Knowledge that I have passed on to younger generations over my many years.

In the end, I think that Maccai was proud of his 'young scientist'. I like to believe so, anyway, though I'll never know for certain.  Time passed, you see, and I grew up, had children of my own, as the faces of the Lanteans who visited our world changed.

I never did find the courage to ask the new ones what became of Maccai. His life was rife with danger and I feared the worst. No, much better to imagine him old and grey with age, with grandchildren to torment him and make him proud.

Just like me, when I was young.

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If you wish to leave feedback, please click on the links provided or email me and I will try to pass your comments on.

The team have decided to open Centia to anyone who is interested in using the planet and its people in their fic, art etc - so long as you keep to the spirit of the world we created, that all work is gen in content and that you contact myself so that I can add a link here and also let the team know about your work.

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