blue flamingos

Five times Sam opted for military action rather than diplomacy

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Gen, PG

Year/Length: 2009/ ~745 words

Spoilers: SGA S4 and 501

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.



The Kluthans seemed like a perfectly nice people, and they certainly had a lot to offer Atlantis in terms of trading goods. What they didn't have, as far as Sam could tell, was a system of government which let them make decisions in less than a week. The IOA would have loved it. Sam, with three of her people lost somewhere in the forests that covered eighty per cent of the planet and were home to vicious rhino-like animals, and natives who wouldn't let her bring in jumpers without going through the government decision-making process, was less impressed.

The Kluthans locked their gate against Atlantis, which Sam hadn't known they could do, and turned two of their trading partners against the city. Sam didn't care: she had her people back, and no-one had gotten hurt. Firmly in the win column.


The Haptrans were amongst Sam's favorite people to visit, not least because they treated her like a scientist. The alliance between them and Atlantis was purely diplomatic, no trading at all, very little material benefit to Atlantis, but the Haptrans had a lot of connections, and who knew when those might come in useful? She doesn't find out that the planet's been invaded until a week after it happens, when Lady Gadrej's first consort, Lady Nhilla, escapes through the gate with word.

Sam has a battalion of pissed off marines – they like the diplomatic dinners on Haptra – at her disposal, and the element of surprise. Liberation in time for tea, and she finally feels like Atlantis is holding up its side of the alliance.


She's got someone who's kidnapped all the Athosians, a bunch of wraith hell-bent on destroying the populated worlds of Pegasus, and a virus spreading through human populations. Add in all the little details of being in charge of a base when she's barely been in charge of a gate team before, and the last thing Sam's in the mood for is anyone else causing trouble and trying anything with her people.

She drops the shield for an expected trading party of four and gets twelve people, all armed, streaming through instead, and she doesn't think twice before she orders the shield up again. She barely hears the thud of bodies hitting it over the sound of marines disarming invaders. It's only much later, when the invaders are locked up and she catches Sheppard's expression as he looks at her, a mix of horror and something that might be awe, might just be respect, that the reality hits her.

She makes it back to her quarters before she throws up; maybe there's something to be grateful for in the transporters after all.


Moss and Jefferson had been dead for two hours before Sam heard about it, on a gate-call from a diplomat who'd visited Atlantis, and recognized the two marines amongst the bodies in a bank robbery gone wrong.

"That was a fucking liberty day," Sheppard said when she told him, slumping back into his chair, exhausted and sad. "Do we know who shot them?"

It wasn't military action in the generally understood meaning of the term – she didn't send a troop of marines through to shoot their way to answers, or drag the people responsible back through the gate for a military trial. It sure as hell wasn't diplomacy either, twelve marines, plus Sheppard, Lorne and Ronon, sweeping in and offering their services in tracking down the people responsible. Apparently, the town elder took one look at their armed and dangerous crew and turned grateful for any help. Sam, knowing she's being irrational over a one-off, strikes the planet from the list of safe off-world away days.


Everyone says the wraith are the wraith and there's no solution to be found in talking, that it's like your hamburger turning around and trying to reason with you. Sam's always sort of thought that actually the surprise of her hamburger trying to reason with her might just do it, and, also, everyone's clearly lying, because Atlantis has tried plenty of times to reason with the wraith. They're *working with* the wraith who drained Sheppard's life out of him. Clearly talking is an option, one that she tells herself she'll use, if she's ever in the position of needing to.

She keeps believing it, right up until she's looking at the ship where Teyla was being held. Then she doesn't think twice about ordering it destroyed.

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