Warnings: Some people die.
Wordcount: About 360 words.
Characters: Wraith, Rodney, John
Summary: Everything can be done if you hunger enough for it.
Notes: Inspired by the Astronomy Picture of the Day from 2006 July 11, and the one from 2008 November 1.
Click for full size cover at ringspells's LJ.
They had been trapped, but they found a way out.
Out of space. Out of the flesh. Out of perpetual hunger. But not out of the hunt. They were greater than matter and energy, but they were still the hunt, and the hunt was still them, and rules could no more constrain them than laws can constrain the sea.
The Ascended Wraith culled most of the galaxy in a single terrible minute.
There were no hive ships breaching space, no darts seeking their prey, none of the familiar monsters of all-too-real nightmares. Skies became dark all over the galaxy, and billions of ghoulish phantoms hugged billions of terrified humans, and took them away to a place beyond space and nearly beyond time.
They fed upon them for a century of agony. It felt longer than that to those humans unlucky enough to remain sane.
When all the food was gone, and the humans had had time to repopulate the galaxy again, the Wraith returned to it. They found nobody.
No living human at all.
They screamed in frustration as much as their victims had screamed in pain. They tore apart worlds looking for their prey. They found nobody.
The Wraith went back to the beyond, to sleep, rage, and wait. Devoid of the hunt, they haunted other, perpetually unsatisfying planes.
* * *
In a moon orbiting a ringed planet in a system in the outermost fringe of the galaxy, a moon almost filled with gods-defying Replicant cloaking technology, millions of cryopreserved bodies, and two sarcophagi brought from a galaxy far away...
"How much longer, Rodney? I feel I'm going crazy."
"Relax. I told you, it's still way too early for the Goa'uld healing technology to... you know... affect us. It has only been a few decades."
"A few decades with you."
"Ha-ha. Funny. It's not like the Ancients left much information about how to build a weapon to kill Ascended beings. Which, let me tell you, is pretty much as hard as it sounds."
"I know. Just finish the weapon so we can bring everybody here back to their homes."
I am already home, neither of them said.