Break out of the frame | Updated March 28, 2005 | Get the frame back

Kids

My apologies -- I know this is a terrible name for them, but canon doesn't provide one and I figured at least people would be able to figure out who I was talking about.

General info

SGA planet designation: M76-677. (Childhood's End)

A people whose members were all 24 or younger. (Childhood's End)

This was deliberate, and voluntarily enforced by every person by means of ritual suicide just before their 25th birthday. (Childhood's End)

There are 12 villages, all of them in contact with the others. (Childhood's End)

The villages were protected by a strong electromagnetic field that knocked out all power sources (and energy weapons, shields, etc) within range of it. The field was powered by a ZPM. (Childhood's End)

The device harnessed the planet's own electromagnetic field to function. (Childhood's End)

The ZPM was nearly depleted by the time McKay checked it out back on Atlantis. (Childhood's End)

They call the stargate the 'well' or the 'Wraith well'. (Childhood's End)

Adults were known as 'full-growns'. (Childhood's End)

They kept almost a shrine -- a 'remembrance' -- made up of Wraith bones and some other Wraith paraphernalia, to remind them of what things were like 'before' -- before their ancestors 'protected' them by instituting the Sacrifice, to keep the population numbers low enough that the Wraith would never be interested in returning. (Childhood's End)

Many of the kids used facepaint, eitehr for disguise or decoration. (Childhood's End)

They were protected by a forcefield powered by a ZPM -- it generated a powerful electromagnetic field that knocked out any ships that came within range of them, forcing them to crash. This worked on both Ancient and Wraith technology. (Childhood's End)

They called the stargate the 'well'. (Childhood's End)

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Culture

Hundreds of years ago, their people were herded and culled by the Wraith. Their weapons weren't powerful enough to fight the Wraith off, and hiding did no good.

The story they passed on to their descendants was that death at Wraith hands was too violent and terrifying, surrounded by too much hate and evil, to allow them to pass peacefully on to the 'final rest', the next world. So they decided to keep their people safe by making sure they never provided the Wraith with 'a crop worth picking', by ensuring that no one ever passed the age of 24. (Childhood's End)

They instituted  the 'sacrifice' -- ritualized suicide. (Childhood's End)

The kids believed it was because the Wraith only fed on 'full-growns', and that killing themselves before they became appealing to the Wraith was a successful strategy, since the Wraith hadn't returned in nearly 500 years. (Childhood's End)

More likely, they knew that the EM field they'd developed to protect their people -- by way of jamming all power sources, weapons, transmitters, etc., anything that worked on energy -- would quickly lose power if it had to protect too large an area, so they chose a smaller one, and instituted the ritual suicide as a draconian means of population control, to make sure that no one ever moved outside the protective range of the shield. (Childhood's End)

The people that came out of that, consisting mainly of children and teens, with a few 'elders' as leaders (those in their early 20s), was very stable, doing things the way they'd always been done. (Childhood's End)

To keep inbreeding down, children are raised away from their parents, in one of the other villages. ('To keep the family lines apart.') (Childhood's End)

They had a system of laws to keep things going. (Childhood's End)

A 'forced sacrifice' -- just what it sounds like -- had to be agreed upon by all the villages before it could go forward. (Childhood's End)

When the truth was discovered about the shield and the real purpose of the sacrifices -- population control -- all the villages agreed to suspend the sacrifices, and to work on changing some laws. (Childhood's End)

They no longer raised crops or herds, as their ancestors did -- they appeared to be pure hunter-gatherers. (Childhood's End)

Their technological level was completely pre-industrial -- bows and arrows for weapons, rope and wood ladders, etc. (Childhood's End)

All of the living quarters appeared to be treehouses of sorts, accessible by ladder. (Childhood's End)

We never saw infants/small toddlers, so it isn't clear if nurseries were also in the trees to protect the babies from predators, or if those were on the ground to keep them from falling. (Childhood's End)

Elders

This was a fluid group by its very nature, with a clear, if ever-changing, hierarchy, made up of all the '24s' in the village. The older you were, the higher up the ladder you were -- the eldest among the 24s was leader. As soon as the eldest reached the night before his/her 25th birthday, he or she would undertake 'the sacrifice', leaving room for the second-eldest to move up to eldest, and take over the tribe's main leadership. (Childhood's End)

The eldest wore a headdress as a symbol of authority -- sort of a hat with long braids. (Childhood's End)

At least some decisions were made by consensus among the elders, after they talked it over. (Childhood's End)

When Sheppard's team met them, the elders consisted of Keras (the eldest),

Sacrifice

On the eve of his or her 25th year (the night before the 25th birthday), each kid sacrificed his own life, to ensure that there was never anyone in the tribe older than 24. (Childhood's End)

They did this willingly, both for their people's sake and to ensure their own safe passage into the eternal rest. (Childhood's End)

The sacrifices ended after it was discovered that Sheppard and his team were telling the truth, and there really was a device that was shielding them from the Wraith. McKay boosted the power a titch to extend the shield, allowing for some population growth. (Childhood's End)

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Known kids

Aries

One of the village elders -- he was second-eldest behind Keras. (Childhood's End)

He was fairly eager for Keras to complete his sacrifice so he could become eldest, but at least at first, seemingly out of a genuine desire to protect his people from what he saw as the danger Keras was allowing to exist. (Childhood's End)

As it grew closer to the time of Keras's sacrifice and he didn't seem to be particularly preparing for it, Aries got edgier and edgier, eventually stirring up the rest of the village to believe that Keras was betraying everything they believed because his mind had been clouded by the 'full-growns'. (Childhood's End)

He didn't trust anyone on the team -- he believed that the presence of 'full-grown' people would bring the Wraith down upon them. (Childhood's End)

When they wanted to fix the ship, and McKay said there was something in the ruins that he wanted to check (because it may have caused them to lose control of the ship), Aries told Keras that they should be watched at all times. (Childhood's End)

Behind Keras's back, he went to at least one other elder to set in motion a 'forced sacrifice' -- basically, if the team hadn't left by that night, he wanted to kill them all to protect the villages. (Childhood's End)

When a Wraith probe appeared, Aries's worst fears were realized. He was convinced Sheppard and the rest of the team were the reason the Wraith had returned, because of their age. (Childhood's End)

He was absolutely convinced that as long as he killed Sheppard and his team, the Wraith would never return. (Childhood's End)

Casta

One of the villagers -- a little boy, around 6-7 or so (at a guess). (Childhood's End)

He was three days older than Cleo. (Childhood's End)

He was assigned with Cleo to watch McKay and Ford on their trip to the old city to look at ruins. (Childhood's End)

He helped Cleo drive McKay out of his mind with questions -- not deliberately to annoy him, but just out of natural curiosity. (Childhood's End)

When McKay finally got fed up with the questions and yelled at them, and Cleo got upset and almost started crying, Casta went in swinging, hitting McKay repeatedly in the stomach and calling him mean. (Childhood's End)

He and Cleo were the first two on their world to taste chocolate, when Ford gave them some to make up for McKay's upsetting them -- and they liked it a whole lot. (Childhood's End)

They liked it enough that they happily tracked McKay down near the EM-field device to ask him for more chocolate, and to agree to be very quiet while he worked if he gave it to them. (Childhood's End)

When a Wraith probe appeared, he and Cleo were hustled into a small cave by McKay to keep them safe. (Childhood's End)

Cleo

One of the villagers -- a little girl, around 6-7 or so (at a guess). (Childhood's End)

She was three days younger than Casta. (Childhood's End)

She was assigned with Casta to watch McKay and Ford on their trip to the old city to look at ruins. (Childhood's End)

She helped Casta drive McKay out of his mind with questions -- not deliberately to annoy him, but just out of natural curiosity. (Childhood's End)

When McKay decided to try the 'let's see who can be quiet the longest' game, she piped up to explain 'Well, I'm not a quiet person. I talk a lot.' (Childhood's End)

When McKay got fed up with all the questions and yelled at them, Cleo almost started to cry. (Childhood's End)

She and Casta were the first two on their world to taste chocolate, when Ford gave them some to make up for McKay's upsetting them -- and they liked it a whole lot. (Childhood's End)

They liked it enough that they happily tracked McKay down near the EM-field device to ask him for more chocolate, and to agree to be very quiet while he worked if he gave it to them. (Childhood's End)

When a Wraith probe appeared, she and Casta were hustled into a small cave by McKay to keep them safe. (Childhood's End)

Keras

Leader of the village, by dint of being the current eldest. (Childhood's End)

He was polite and well-spoken, curious about the strangers but not defensive. (Childhood's End)

He had children (no idea how many), being raised in another village, as per tradition. (Childhood's End)

Sheppard's team arrived on the day before his 25th birthday. (Childhood's End)

He bonded pretty quickly with Sheppard, and asked him to be a part of his cleansing ceremony -- basically just to be there to lend support. (Childhood's End)

During the ceremony, Sheppard spotted an active Wraith bracelet in the village's 'remembrance', clearly giving off a signal, and broke away to destroy it. When Aries flipped out over that, Keras intervened, saying he'd take Sheppard and Teyla to the Wraith well himself. (Childhood's End)

Instead, they went to the old city, where the team told Keras the truth about the EM device and the reason behind the sacrifices. (Childhood's End)

Before they could get the device fixed, Aries appeared and herded everyone but Sheppard (who had been out of sight) off to the puddlejumper. When Wraith probe showed up, investigating the bracelet's signal, Aries decided the 'full-growns' were to blame by their mere presence, and one of his people shot at Sheppard, Keras stepped in front of it, taking an arrow to the shoulder. (Childhood's End)

In the end, though, everyone knew the truth about the device and the population control, and the sacrifices were suspended in time to save Keras's life. (Childhood's End)

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