[identity profile] dangermars.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Athosian Woman (the silver chromatic remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] siegeofangels
Summary: The Twelve Eternals of Athos.
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Characters: Teyla Emmagen, OC Athosians
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Original Story: A Woman of Athos by Zvi ([livejournal.com profile] witchqueen)
Note: Thank you to my betas.

1. Tla the Questioner

Tla's first word, her sister told her once when she had tired of Tla's questions, was why, and if she had known that answering that one question was going to bring how and when and where like a swarm of gnats, she would have kept her own mouth shut, questioner, now be quiet and pass me that mortar.

Keep quiet Tla could not, though, and asked why does the water disappear when I spill it in the dust? and how do I get bigger?

When the strange birds flew overhead, glittering like ice in the darkness, she wanted to say, Where do the people go when the light comes over them? but when she turned to ask, there was no one there.

As Tla grew older, she did not stop asking questions, although now she said things like how do we fight? and where can we hide?

2. Tenko the Trickster

His grandmother called him Tenko. Never mind that Tenko had long been gone, that Tenko's trick-playing was only in her memory.

"We needed Tenko," she said as she worked her cloths. "A darkness came over our people when they took him. But I see him in you, child," she said, and touched his face with one finger.

He thought about this, as he quietly spiked his age-mates' food with chiku powder. Thought about it, as the entire band laughed at the blatting noises he made, as people smiled at his dancing, and when he had completed his initiation rites and stood before them as a man, he said, "I will be called Tenko."

3. Diga the Arguer

"We twelve are decided, then?" Tiko said, and everybody looked at Diga, because if Diga wasn't happy with something all of them were going to hear about it for the rest of the year.

Diga fiddled with the lace of his shirt. "We must keep in mind," he said, "that we do not create this Council for ourselves, to make our voices heard; nor do we create it to lead the people who sit around fires outside this place waiting for us."

"But--" Dero interrupted, and Chana shushed her.

"We create this council for those who follow us," Diga continued, "and for those who gude us. Think of them, as you consider; you must be sure that Lota, and Garu, and Tenko, and the rest, must all wish for a place in your children's children's world; that they wish to be Eternal."

He picked up his cup, and took a sip, and the only sound was the whirring of the insects in the trees outside the council tent.

"I am certain," Diga said; "Diga says yea to the Council."

4. Lota the Thinker

"I think," Lota said, and oh, Lota's brother thought, here we go again, "I think that it is time for the Council to discuss the question of the tuttleroot."

"Lota," her brother, who was Etu that year, said patiently, "there is no question. There are tuttleroots or there are not."

"Ah," Lota said, "but the tuttleroot waits for us, does it not? We put it in the ground and when we come back the next year there are more."

"So?" Etu said.

"So, why do we only ask the tuttleroot to wait? Why do we not ask the gana trees? Think of it, an entire village planted and waiting for us when we return," Lota said.

"The Wraith will learn," Etu said.

"The Wraith care nothing for tuttleroots or gana trees or deefruit," Lota told him. "And then there would always be a place for us to go, and plentiful food."

Etu sighed, and tossed another skinned root on the pile. "You're tired of peeling tuttleroots too, aren't you?"

"Terribly," Lota said.

5. Tana the Storyteller

"Long ago," Tana said, "the Twelve Eternals gathered to create the Council."

There was a general rustling as the twelve of them settled on their cushions of sweet rushes, or in their piles of cloths. It was a hot, lazy day, and no one particularly minded hearing Tana tell the story of the Council. There was a slight breeze coming in under their Council canopy and licking at hot skin, and a couple of the members closed their eyes to listen.

"They created the Council to guide our people, that there would always be balance among us and harmony in our ways," Tana said, and the Council nodded sleepily.

"But they did not intend for our people to be guided from a distance--" and at this the rest of the Council began to look at one another sharply-- "but rather to guide themselves through the Eternals."

"Tana," Tla said, "what are you saying?"

Tana said, "I am saying that twelve of those in the southern settlement have been Called, and that I announce my willingness to stand with them as they create their own Council."

6. Garu the Lover

"So," the girl said, giggling--what was her name, again? "Garu is the reason you are not apprenticed?"

"Mm," Garu said, applying himself to the delicate skin at the side of her neck, "yes, the entire year, Garu, Garu the Lover."

She kissed him then, and there was a short flurry of sweetrush in the summer field.

"Although," he said, "it's largely a ceremonial position."

"Oh?" the girl said.

"Yes--mmm--yes, the king has need of us every so often, but really most of the time we may do as we wish."

"That's lucky," the girl said.

Garu smiled, and slid one hand down over her hip. "Yes, it is, isn't it?"

7. Chana the Artist

Chana told people that she was working on a pictoral history of the earliest cave etchings--a fine hobby for a noblewoman, they said.

A fine reason for her to leave the city for weeks at a time and have silent hysterics in the wild with only her maid there to see, she thought.

She never told anyone that Chana had Called her; never tried to find a Council. She sometimes passed old women with blind white eyes on the street who claimed to be Dero or Gleena or Jeyu, always gave them a coin and hurried on; if she had told anyone of the real reason for her sudden decision to go and copy old carvings, they would have thought her--

A madwoman. As she must be.

And so she never spoke the name of Chana aloud, but drew Wraith ships and simple people-figures in her notebooks and prayed to Chana every day to leave her.

8. Jeyu the Mourner

He was Jeyu, although there were enough followers of the Old Ways that there were dozens of people claiming to be Jeyu every year.

None of the others were in such high demand, though. Jeyu--for the short time he was Jeyu the Mourner, and not Pili Martsuben as it said in his birth record--commanded thousands, crowds of people packed into halls to hear his songs of mourning and loss and subtle blame.

The Old Ways were the only path to safety from the Wraith, he said. And he sang about enemies in the night, and loss, and fireworks in the darkness; and girls wept into their delicate shawls at the beauty of his face and his music, and went out the next day to buy imitation Ancestors' jewelry and books about the Council of Twelve.

9. Dero the Healer

"Dero has called me," she said through her tears. "You don't understand."

Her mother threw up her hands at the words. "I understand, Ina. I understand that you're throwing away your life--"

"--staying here would be throwing away my life!" Dero cried. "The only way to be safe from the Wraith is to renouce this, to leave the cities, to go and live as the Ancestors meant us to live. You may come with us," she pleaded.

Her mother only looked terribly, terribly sad. "Ina--Dero. Please. Please don't go."

"I have to," Dero said, simply, and picked up her bag and left, and joined the thousands of others who were leaving the cities in the wake of the most recent culling.

Several weeks later, as Dero was cursing the rain and the cold and the farming, she heard Wraith overhead. That night, when the flames of the city climbed high enough to light the face of Tenko, she held him close and rocked him, and whispered to him that they were safe.

10. Etu the Hunter

"Etu the Hunter," he said nervously, and the meeting of the Council--his first--was open.

"It has been a bad year for deefruit," Tana said. "We must think of moving."

"There are plenty deefruit at the eastern camp--" someone started, and trailed off into silence. The eastern camp was seldom occupied save in emergency; the eldest among them could never sleep peacefully there.

"We have a surplus of tuttleroots," Etu heard himself saying. "Perhaps we can trade the Minarans for grain."

Garu chuckled and said, "Etu hunts more than game." An old joke.

Etu flushed--there was, indeed a girl among the Minarans who, if he had anything to say about it, would come back to Athos with him one of these days--but said, smiling, "Feed the stomach, feed the spirit."

11. Tiko the Protector

Tiko, in preparation for being Tiko, had spent an entire year sleeping during the day so he would know the stars and know when a Wraith-star had arrived. He had sat a month silent, listening to others so he would know when anger was about to strike and explode like fire. He had learned as many stories as Tana would tell him about each of the Athosian camps and which ones brought fortune and which brought misfortune.

He was not prepared, however, for this: carrying a squirming child under each arm, and yelling for the third to precede him back to camp.

"It was the city that brought destruction to the Athosian people," he said to the child-on-his-right, "the city that brought the Wraith upon us."

He took a deep breath. "And so help me," he said to the child-on-his-left, "if I see you near it again, you will--LEETA!"

Honestly, some days.

12. Gleena the Teacher

She was not Gleena.

Teyla had reached for Gleena, tried to touch her, to answer her Call, but Gleena was beyond her grasp.

Perhaps Gleena meant to be: perhaps she had decided to stay on Athos, within view of the ruins that reminded her what once was; perhaps she was simply tired of being an Eternal and ready for her well-deserved rest.

Perhaps Gleena would Call someone when she was good and ready. Once she knew who her compatriots were. Teyla considered this as the puddlejumper flew her back over the sea to Atlantis.

The Council would not break, Teyla thought, sure of it; it was older than time itself, and would weather the move from Athos like a gana tree in the spring wind. (Like the trees the Atlanteans called white pine.) Whether the place was different, or whether new Eternals took the place of the old, Teyla's people would remain and keep the Council.

The puddlejumper landed, and Teyla stepped out, tracing the steps she knew in her sleep, the hallway, a short flight of stairs, and then the gate and the great shining city were before her, and she took a deep breath, and knocked on Elizabeth's door.

13. Teyla the Wanderer

"Hush, child," her mother said, and stroked her hair softly. "Teyla watches over those whom she Calls. Listen to her, follow her hand. She will guide you to a new place, or back home, as she will. As you are needed to do."

The girl sniffled a bit, and dried her eyes, and embraced her mother, and then went out to where the craft was waiting for her.

The young man sitting at the controls of the ship wore a shoulder patch with the insignia of Free Atlantis, and his eyes were the same stormy blue as the sky. His smile was sweet as he introduced himself: he was Adam, he said.

"Hello," she said. "I am Teyla the Wanderer."

The End


Date: 2007-04-22 03:39 pm (UTC)
ext_21:   (Teyla Emmagen)
From: [identity profile] zvi-likes-tv.livejournal.com
This sort of story is exactly why I love remix (hell, why I love fanfiction.) This is an amazing story told in an amazing way, and I love it.

I love the structure, and I love how some of the stories you tell are about the historical Eternals and some are about people who have been called, and I love, love, love, love that Teyla becomes one.

You did an excellent, excellent job.


Date: 2007-04-29 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Oh, I am so, so glad that you like it. I had a ton of fun writing it.

I love how some of the stories you tell are about the historical Eternals and some are about people who have been called

I really wanted to get at how the Council changed over time, and at least attempt to reconcile the Athosians' current social system with the ruins of their world and a tribal council. I'm so glad it came out as a coherent story.

Teyla becomes one.

The funny thing is, I can't quite remember deciding that she should; she just sort of raised an eyebrow at me and took the thirteenth slot.

Again, I'm so glad you liked it, and thank you very much.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] panisdead.livejournal.com
Oh, this is really cool.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cesperanza.livejournal.com
This is really wonderful; god, I get a shiver from the way you make Teyla a spirit of legend. BRA-VA.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com

Thank you very much. And your comment makes me think that when Teyla was little, her father took her to a fortune-teller, who took one look at Teyla and said, "They're gonna tell legends about you."

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] witchwillow.livejournal.com
Given that I lived with [livejournal.com profile] witchqueen as she tried to write her story and how much I loved what she'd created (she hears daily my gripe over the Athosians being ignored) - I can brightly say this is just plain wonderful.

And I love how it echoed my own thoughts that Teyla couldn't find Gleena because she already had a calling.

Extremely and fantastically well done!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I had an incredible amount of fun writing this and coming up with Athosian history. I really want to do a DVD commentary of this.

And I love how it echoed my own thoughts that Teyla couldn't find Gleena because she already had a calling.

That hadn't occured to me, but it makes SO much sense: she's Teyla. Gleena's all, "Kid, you already got a job."

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minnow1212.livejournal.com
This is pure awesomeness, evocative and deep, and the ending! With TEYLA!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you! And yes! TEYLA. Heck, she's already a legend.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-24 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melayneseahawk.livejournal.com
Lovely. I really like this.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm glad it worked.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lastscorpion.livejournal.com
What a wonderful remix!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 10:29 pm (UTC)
trascendenza: izzy from shadowhunters in bright colors. (Default)
From: [personal profile] trascendenza
Oh, this is such a wonderful remix and a gorgeous look at how these things shift and evolve through time. Plus, &TEYLA.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
Thank you! I loved getting to dig deep into the evolution of Athosian culture throughout its history. And Teyla rocks.


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