On many worlds, it was said the ‘Lanteans were not born of woman, but the promise of the Ancestors made flesh. Teyla feared the story may have begun among her own people. It was foolishness, of course. Teyla had heard Aiden speak fondly of his grandmother’s cooking, and many ‘Lanteans had shared memories of childhood games and other joys of their home world.
And yet …
Teyla’s people had been shocked to find no children in the City of the Ancestors. Dr. Weir had explained that, among their people, children were not included in potentially dangerous missions. Teyla believed that to be true. But not the whole truth. None of the people of the expedition ever spoke of children of their own. They were bound by ties of loyalty, not kinship. ‘Brother’, ‘mother’, ‘husband’, ‘daughter’– the words might as well not exist in their language.
There were no pair-bonds among the ‘Lanteans. When Teyla had observed signs of growing closeness between Stackhouse and Markham, she had offered that Halling could perform a ceremony for them. Their reaction caused her to immediately inform her people to avoid certain subjects. While the taboo was only for same-sex pairs, it was strange that the expedition did not include any pairs, and that no new pairings had been celebrated in the months she had lived among them.
Teyla brought up the lack of family connections among the ‘Lanteans with her team while they were off-world and deep in their cups, celebrating a new trade partnership with the Akee.
“Pony Express,” Rodney said glumly and unhelpfully.
“Yup,” Aiden agreed with eyes grown sad. “Orphans preferred.”
John bared his teeth. “It was a one-way trip.” He raised his mug. “Here’s to being the very best no one would miss.” The three men clinked their mugs together.
Ah. The ‘Lanteans were a people damaged, like a world after a culling. Teyla would do all she could to help them heal.