Finding Home

Ronon has to decide where his home truly lies - with a blue-eyed doctor or a village claiming to be his people.


8. 8

Even though Crieve said he was Satedan by life bonding to a Satedan woman, Ronon certainly wasn't taking any chances. Claiming to be Satedan and actually being one were two different things. Glaring at Crieve, Ronon unholstered his gun and gestured for him to go through first. Ronon was making damn sure that the bastard didn't have plans of deep-sixing his ass into space. Laughing and shaking his head, Crieve went through without any hesitation. After the merchant disappeared, Ronon quickly followed.

He was alert and had his gun at the ready when he emerged from the other side of the Star Gate. With a quick flip of his thumb, Ronon set the weapon to kill just in case there was an ambush or if Crieve finally decided to make his move. Ronon scanned the area for any threats. His keen senses did not pick up any signs of danger. Nothing. Nothing except Crieve casually standing several feet away by the DHD with his arms crossed over his chest and a smug look upon his face.

"Satisfied?" he said looking around then back at the gun wielding Satedan.

"And you would have trusted me if it'd been the other way around?" Ronon growled at the merchant.

Eying his traveling companion, Crieve leaned his head slightly to the left as if pondering the question then replied, "Not in a million years."

Satisfied only with the adequate answer, Ronon slowly holstered his weapon.

Walking up to the gate, Crieve touched the red crystal to the event horizon once again and the gate closed. He explained, "By shutting down the gate in this manner, the coordinates that I had entered are now erased from the DHD's memory on the other side. No worries about being followed. We have just simply disappeared." He placed the crystal back in the pocket of his robe, smiled and faced Ronon with his arms spread open wide and exclaimed, "Welcome to the New Sateda."

The late afternoon sun shown down upon them. A light wind escorted thin white clouds lazily across a polished blue sky. Ronon looked the terrain over. It was like any other habitable planet he'd been to before - nothing special.

Standing next to the Star Gate, he saw rolling green hills and valleys to his right. In the distance he could see snow-capped mountains. To his left there stood a massive dense forest. The wind brought the smell of an ocean not too far off. A small flock of birds flew chattering over head. Ronon noticed several deer peeking out of the forest before the scent of the two men had them scurrying back for cover.

New Sateda. Ronon was excited but still very skeptical.

Shucking off the robe and sash, Crieve flung them over his left shoulder. "No need for these anymore. Now are you ready to meet your people?" Frowning and looking at Ronon he asked, "I do not even know your name."

"And there's no need for you to; not until I see for myself that this isn't some sort of trap you're leading me into."

"Trap?" Crieve sounded insulted. "You were looking for me, remember? If anything, I should be weary of you."

Both men faced each other. The unspoken truce between them was on shaky ground. A muscle in Crieve's jaw ticked as he glared at Ronon who had his hands fisted by his sides. Each daring the other to make the first move. Finally the tension was broken when Crieve stepped back, mumbled something about keeping a promise then turned and started walking down a well worn path away from the gate. Ronon thought the merchant referred to the alley way and the promise made there, but the look on his face before he turned away had Ronon doubting it.

"How far to this settlement?"

"Nearly six leagues from here." Crieve replied over his shoulder.

Looking up at the single sun in the afternoon sky, he added, "We better hurry. I would like to make it back home before dark. My wife gets quite lonely without me and I have been away from her for far too long." He chuckled to himself as he strode along the path.

As before the two men walked in mutual silence for most of the way. Finally Ronon's curiosity got the better of him and asked one of the many questions tumbling around in his head, "Are there any men my age among the survivors?"

"Not many. As E'dru had mentioned before, the men were either to old or too young when we came upon them those six years past. Out of the nearly 100 Satedans maybe eight were warriors in their prime as you are now. Luckily for us, that day most were out hunting game and the four women were off alone away from the camp and their protectors."

"So the rumor is true? There are nearly one hundred of my people?" A hundred out of millions! Ronon thought.

Crieve remained silent to the point where Ronon thought he hadn't heard the question.

Eventually Crieve softly spoke, "There were a little over that number when all came to live here. However, with the hardships endured - constantly moving from planet to planet, little to no food or water during that time and just the heartbreak of losing everything - nearly 25 to 30 people died the first year here. Another 10 or so the next. Some died by natural causes and others by their own hands."

Ronon frowned. He couldn't believe that any true Satedan would take their own life. They were a proud people. Honor above all else. However, that was before the wraith; before everything was stripped from them.

Crieve shrugged, "As we both know, life happens. Old ones die. New are born. The community is growing on its own now. Births are beginning to out number deaths. " Crieve smiled at the latter statement. "And when I travel for supplies, I also search for other Satedans."

"Have you found more." Ronon asked with some measure of hope.

"Unfortunately, no. You are the only one I have come across in all this time."

Crieve suddenly stopped at the base of a hill. "Do you hear that?" the man asked excitedly.

Ronon tensed and looked around for danger; his hand resting on the butt of his gun. He saw nothing out of the sorts, but heard a slight roar of a river. He looked at Crieve who had a huge grin on his face, he clasped Ronon on his shoulder and said, "Just over that hill are your people and your destiny." Without another word, Crieve sprinted the short distance to the top of the hill. As he looked down to the other side, his face lit up.

Ronon cautiously followed. He kept his eyes on the other man as he crested the hill, then turned his attention to the valley below them. What Ronon saw took his breath away.

A river that started several miles up a small mountain stair-stepped its way down at different intervals towards the valley below. Once closer to the base of the mountain, the water fell a good 300 feet over a rock ledge creating a spectacular waterfall. Faint rainbows danced above the mist as the river fell and collected into a small crystal blue lake which then drained off into a slow flowing river that cut through the lush valley. Ronon expected that the river drained out to the nearby ocean.

Ronon saw people swimming in the lake, women washing clothes along the rocky edge of the waterfall and children playing throughout the village. Their laughter brought a smile to his face and hope to his soul.

"Welcome home!" Crieve stated as he walked down the slope of the hill and onto a dirt road leading into the settlement. He turned and saw Ronon still standing in the same spot. Crieve yelled over his shoulder, "You coming? Are you not in the least bit interested of who you might find here?"

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