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Author's Chapter Notes: John visits Spyros, the planet where Elizabeth met her death.

Thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far.
Big thanks again to my Beta Susan for her excellent help and advice.

hapter 7

There was one other mission John needed to attend to, before going after Kolya, to visit Spyros the planet where Elizabeth’s execution had taken place. Colonel Carter had voiced her reservation. Radim however realised John needed this for closure. He couldn’t deny feeling a sense of relief however when Colonel Carter advised him that John’s team would not be going alone. Major Lorne’s team would also be there in case back up was needed.

At a scheduled meeting in Atlantis, they planned the mission to Spyros carefully. Radim and a few of his men would be the first to step onto Spyros to test the water before the Atlanteans ventured onto the planet. Colonel Carter felt there was a distinct possibility that Kolya may have said something that would put the villagers on their guard against a possible attack by the Atlanteans.

Although the villagers had taken exception to Elizabeth’s death, according to Trovell’s statement, the alliance was still intact although the Genii had left soon after Elizabeth was shot. It therefore didn’t appear as if Radim would have any problem being accepted by the villagers. He was Genii and wore the same uniform as Kolya.

Radim expected his enquires to take a few days, and initially it was slow going, until Radim mentioned Elizabeth’s name in front of Rosa the village healer. He was stunned by the information she gave for him and knew he needed to get Sheppard over to Spyros immediately.


The Colonel stepped through the stargate on to Spyros. He was immediately struck by how damp and cold the day felt and pulled the edges of his jacket together although he still shivered slightly

He noticed Radim standing a few feet away, talking to a tiny robust woman in her late fifty’s. Sauntering over to them, he felt unnerved when he realised the woman’s piercing eyes and intense stare were for him alone. It was as if in that short time of contact, she was looking in to the very depths of his soul.

He was startled therefore when she stepped forward and laid a hand on his shoulder, her expression a mixture of sadness and admiration. “You are as she described, and she also was right when she told me you would find your way here, no matter how long it took you. Your wife was a special person John Sheppard; she remained strong and proud to the very end.”

John stepped backwards as if burnt by her touch. Finally, his composure regained he looked down at her, his eyes ablaze. “My wife....how do you know who my wife was?”

Teyla stepped forward and laid a restraining hand on the Colonel’s shoulder.
“John may be you should listen to what she has to say. She seems to be speaking kindly of Elizabeth.”

Taking a moment to really look at the woman Sheppard realised Teyla was correct in her assumption her appearance didn’t appear to be that of someone who showed malice. Instead her smile appeared to proclaim her understanding and her eyes held kindness. Could he trust her though, he’d freely given his trust in the past only to have his fingers burnt. It would take more than a kind words and a sympathetic look to earn his trust. The fact this woman had also been present when Elizabeth was executed left a bad taste in his mouth. His eyes narrowed, but his tone was void of emotion, apart from slight sarcasm. “So...are you implying you spoke to my wife, Elizabeth?”

The healer’s gaze remained steady however and if she noticed the sarcasm she didn’t comment. She deepened her smile “Yes and please call me Rosa.” She was about to say more but John interrupted her before she had the chance.

“Were you here when it happened, when they killed Elizabeth?” he snarled
Rosa’s smile vanished in reaction to the accusation in John’s tone

“How could you do it, stand by while they murdered an innocent woman and her unborn child. How could you do nothing to prevent it...?”

As Rosa looked at John the brightness left her eyes and they misted over but her attention didn’t falter. “I was here on Spyros when Elizabeth died but by the time I reached her it, was already too late.” She lifted her chin up, and straightened her posture. “I also have to admit, in the beginning when Commander Kolya first brought Elizabeth to our planet, I had no time for her. I foolishly believed him when he said she was a ruthless killer who had even tried to kill her own unborn child as it was encumbrance to her and to her work.

John’s answered in a cold voice “Elizabeth would never endanger the life of our child. She longed for the day she’d hold our child in her arms.” His lip curled up in a sneer. “If you’d taken the time to get to know her you would have worked that out for yourself instead of taking the word of a ruthless mercenary like Kolya.”

“If you will allow me, I’ll explain but we can also take a slow walk back towards the village. This as I am sure you have noticed is not one of our finer days.” Rosa replied in the same calm tone.

John felt like he’d already heard more than enough and he felt the bile rising in his stomach. But the reason for the visit in the first place was to hear how she died and absorb finality from it. However there was another reason, he needed to see where she was buried. His desire was to take Elizabeth away from here and bury her on the mainland, with the Athosian who she’d developed a kindred ship with. There she’d never be alone and he could visit frequently. So for the time being he’d listen to what the healer had to say and try to swallow the hatred that was building up inside of him.

His expression solemn, John gave a reluctant nod, indicating to Rosa to continue.

For a moment it looked as if she was going to place a hand on his arm but his expression seemed to stop her and she simply continued talking.“As you will see shortly the people of this planet are simple and seek only peace. However the Wraith have caused untold hardship and terrible fear. Many a family has been ripped apart by ruthless cullings.” She paused contemplating her next words. “Then a race of people arrived on our planet offering us a life line, the offer of protection against the wraith in return for sanctuary. “

Rodney mumbled “The Genii”

Rosa nodded her expression hardening slightly. “ At that time it felt as if they were a god send. They seemed to be genuine and trustworthy and took care they didn’t cause any upheaval in the village. The soldiers camped a short distance from the village on the other side of that hill.” She pointed to a slight hill just outside the village. And everything would have been fine, I’m sure, but for the arrival of their Commander. He had with him a prisoner who he said was in urgent need of my attention. The prisoner was Elizabeth.

Teyla spoke softly “You were the healer whose care Elizabeth found herself in?”

Rosa looked taken back for a moment but Teyla explained how she’d come by the knowledge. “A Genii soldier by the name of Trovell was arrested, and found to be one of the Genii with Kolya, the Genii leader and was the one who first came seeking sanctuary.”

Teyla frowned at Rodney then returned her attention to Rosa. “You said you didn’t take to Elizabeth straight away, why?”
Rosa’s eyes dropped to the ground a sour expression contorting her features.

“Because of Kolya.” she sadly shook her head, “although if I’m truthful... I can’t say that’s entirely true. Some of the blame sits squarely on my shoulders. I should have remained impartial at least until there was definite proof.”

“What did Kolya say about Elizabeth that caused you to dislike her before you even spoke with her?” John questioned through gritted teeth.

“John I realise how hard this is for you to listen to and what I am about to tell you may even be harder, but if you can bear with me for just a little longer. What I am describing was only my initial feelings and they changed. It was Elizabeth herself that made me change my option. If you want I can simply miss out Kolya’s version.”

As much as he’d like to say yes, John knew he needed to hear it. It was better to hear it from Rosa than give Kolya the satisfaction of revealing his sordid version.

This time Rosa stopped walking and took hold of both john’s hands but instead of fighting it he found a strange comfort in her touch. As he observed her he was shocked to see the pain she was fighting hard to hide.

His voice was gruff as he spoke “I need you to tell me everything.”

She gave him an encouraging smile before dipping her he’d to acknowledge him.

Kolya’s explanation described her as having committed crimes against the Genii as a whole and against him personally. According to Kolya they were supposed to have been in a relationship and the child she was carrying was his. He said he only found out her treachery by accident, that he’d found her trying to kill their child by purposely throwing herself down some stairs. He said he subsequently found out that this had happened on a number of occasions but worse still she was then linked to the murders of a family that had befriended her. They had somehow discovered her double dealing and when they threatened to betray her she killed them. She was to remain on Spyros were she could be kept under supervision until the child was born. Kolya was then taking his child and Elizabeth was to be handed over for trial.” Rosa sighed deeply her expression one of remorse “ I am so sorry John “when I look back on it now, I should have realised, it was just Kolya was so convincing.”

Teyla placed a hand tenderly on the elder woman’s arm. “You only believed what you were told and you didn’t yet know Elizabeth.”

“No, I didn’t, but I wish now I did, because a few days later Kolya left and didn’t return for several days, leaving only a handful of his men. If I had realised Elizabeth’s innocence then we could have helped her escape. Instead I reluctantly tended to her injuries which Kolya said, were caused by her own attempts at freeing herself of her child.

“You said you believed Elizabeth... eventually... so why not when you first spoke with her. You’re not telling me Kolya was there 24/7” snapped Rodney

Rosa responded quietly, “Possibly if she’d spoken to me at that time I may have believed her, but she never uttered a sound. Not even when I treated her injuries instead she suffered her pain in silence. Later on she explained she feared for her child. She could handle them hurting her, but not if she lost the child because of it. She felt if she remained silent she’d give them no reason to punish her.”

Rodney, red faced after hearing the inhumanity served on Elizabeth, snapped back “How could you not see the truth? Come on, anyone seeing Kolya then seeing Elizabeth, would know who the innocent one was.”

Teyla was the one who stepped in once again to act as peace maker. “Rodney we were not present and as such it is unfair to pass judgment.”

Opening his mouth in an attempt to argue his point Rodney was effectively cut off with a growl from Ronon. Instead, the disgruntled Astrophysicist walked on ahead grumbled under his breath.

Teyla gave the healer an apologetic smile “Please Rosa, I’m sure Colonel Sheppard wants to hear what you have to say, I apologise for the interruption.”

Acknowledging her acceptance she continued “Nothing changed for about a week but gradually I started to notice things that didn’t add up. For one thing Kolya’s arrogance and cruel nature became more apparent. He’d also insist on taking Elizabeth daily to where he was camped, for questioning. She’d frequently be returned to my care with new injuries. Injuries he denied any knowledge of but instead blamed Elizabeth for.

John looked confused for a moment “So he allowed her to remain in your care instead of imprisoning her in the confines of his camp. Why, that’s not normal for him?”

Realising they were nearly at her cottage Rosa slowed down. She wanted to be finished with this before she reached her home. There was something John needed to see but he needed to find out about Elizabeth first. “Anyway I returned one night, late, intending only to retrieve important paper work I’d left laying where Elizabeth was being kept. It was a small building at the side of my house and I used it to treat people so there was a bed in it and it was also secure, the reason Kolya allowed her to remain there. I unlocked the door quietly so as not to disturb her as it was late, Elizabeth was curled up on the bed weeping. It was the first feelings she’d ever displayed and only because she didn’t expect to be found. She was apprehensive when she saw I’d discovered her but by this time I was having serious doubts regarding Kolya’s description of her. She’d never once attempted to harm the baby in my presence and she’d ample opportunities. Thankfully she eventually opened up. Whether it was because she longed for someone to confide in, or just couldn’t bear the silence any longer, I don’t know. When she started she couldn’t stop, not until she’d told me everything starting from her row with you the day before her capture, of being dragged out of your arms by Kolya and how they had accused her of crimes against the Genii themselves. I was shocked and couldn’t believe how wrong I was about her, but she didn’t hold it against me. That’s when I decided I’d do whatever I could to help her and her child escape from Kolya’s clutches.”

John smiled sadly “That was so typical of Elizabeth; she’d forgive anyone as long as she felt they meant it.” He breathed deeply as he felt the pain building up in his chest. “Why did you not do as you promised, there must have been time enough to help her escape even before she gave birth.”

Rosa head drooped as the feelings of regret and sorrow returned to haunt her. “John if you only knew how much I wished for the same, and I did try, frequently, but she didn’t want to risk the life of your child. With her ever advancing condition she was terrified that she’d be caught, and that they’d kill not only her but the child she was carrying also.”

Giving an anguished cry, John replied “She should have realised that if Kolya wanted both of them dead he’d have done it sooner. It was obvious he was keeping Elizabeth alive as he was anxious to get his hands on our child. She should have taken the chance. He glared at Rosa accusingly “You should have made her.”

“I’m sorry Colonel but that wasn’t the only reason, she was adamant she wouldn’t attempt to escape at the expense of myself and my people. She refused to discuss it, even when some of the villagers, who realising the situation, tried to persuade her also.”

John voice held accusation. “You were many against one. If you’d really insisted she wouldn’t have been able to resist. Not all of you.” He clenched his fists, tormented by what could have been. His voice was trembling as he felt a burning sorrow that was making it hard for him to breath. His voice was hoarse as he attempted to speak “How could you let this happen?”

Radim laid a hand on John’s arm but John shrugged it off as he shot him an icy glare his eyes blazing.

His team, aware that John was on the verge of losing all reason, immediately stepped forward to intervene but Radim continued unperturbed.

“Colonel if you’d only listen for a little longer before you condemn these people.” Radim paused to take a breath. “You of all people know what Kolya is capable of. Rosa and her people wouldn’t have stood a chance against them and you know yourself Elizabeth wouldn’t want that. There would have been horrific bloodshed and still no guarantee the outcome would have been in the least favourable.”

Teyla gently pulled Radim back, “Give him a minute, John has already realised the truth in what you have said.”

Looking closely at John everyone quietly breathed a sigh of relief, for the dark manic look had dispelled. However in doing so in its place was left a near broken man.

Rosa knew the one thing that Elizabeth had left behind in her care would be the means to partially repairing John’s present state of mind. Speaking softly she told him how Elizabeth had every faith that he’d eventually find his way to Spyros. How she’d entrusted something she held dear to her heart into Rosa’s care until the day he arrived. Looking at him a soft expression on her face, she motioned with her head for him to follow. “Come, I will show you. What I have for you is safe in my home and that’s where we will head now.”

John and Rosa walked on ahead, whilst Ronon, Rodney and Teyla followed only a short distance behind. Radim walked on his own, an unseen smile on his face, for he was aware of the surprise awaiting John. This was the reason for his extended presence on Spyros, the motive behind his request for the Atlanteans to make haste to Spyros.

Rosa led Sheppard into a small dimly lit house; John immediately sensed its homely and welcoming atmosphere. He didn’t have time to dwell on it for long however, Rosa was beckoning him to follow her into another room, to the left of the one they presently occupied. She also gestured for John’s team mates to follow.

As the Colonel followed her, he heard a faint but very distinctive cry and he froze in astonishment. His eyes darted between Rosa and the small bed that had the appearance of a cot. With dawning certainty he knew, this was Elizabeth’s last gift to him, one she knew he would treasure and protect for the rest of eternity.

Rosa bent down to retrieve a little bundle wrapped in a soft bright coloured blanket; John’s eyes however were glued to the inside of the blanket. Staring out from within the confines of the blanket was a tiny little face with sparkling green eyes and an abundance of dark curls the likes of which he’d never seen on a child so young. It was the child’s eyes though that had him mesmerised for they were the double of Elizabeth’s. He knew then, without a doubt, this was their child and Elizabeth’s last living legacy. Their child had miraculously survived.

Rosa took a step forward, “John Sheppard this is your son, Connor Jonathan Sheppard

Chapter End Notes: Next chapter will be up as soon as I fix a few problems and get it beta read.

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