Writing 101, Day Seven: Give and Take

Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

The briefing room was charged with energy.  No one spoke as Elizabeth read over the scouting report.  Around the table sat members of the off-world team as well as leaders of Atlantis.  Jillian and the three soldiers that made up her team stood quietly inside the door as the results of their latest experience were discussed. 

“Dr Weir,” Teyla began, “we must take swift action against these traitorous people.”

Still Elizabeth sat.  Her controlled breathing evident in the rise and fall of her chest.  Jillian locked eyes with John for a moment in an effort to gage the situation. 

“Dr Weir!” Teyla spoke with more volume, demanding to be heard.

With one final calming breath, Elizabeth closed the report before her.  “Teyla, I understand your anger.”

“Of course I am angry.  These people are selling out the people of my planet and those of the entire galaxy.  They are handing the Wraith their meals on a platter.”

“Major Corvin.”  Elizabeth turned her attention to the leader of Jillian’s team.  “What threat to Atlantis did you find among these people?”

Every eye turned to the young soldier for an explanation.  “They are an advanced civilization, but they made no indication of wishing to betray Atlantis.”

Teyla stood from her seat at the table.  She walked up to Corvin and stopped with her face inches from his.  “How can you know that?  Did they swear fealty to you?  These people are willing to betray anyone in order to give the Wraith what they want.  It is how they have remained safe for many generations.”  Receiving no answer, Teyla turned and glanced at everyone in the team.  When her eyes fell on Jillian, she must have perceived some unspoken understanding.  “What aren’t you saying?”

Once again, Jillian looked around the room.  “It’s nothing.  Just some observations about the people we encountered and thoughts on their reasons for not turning against us.”

“What observations could you have made?  You have known these people for so little time.  Yet they have been known to my people for generations.”  Teyla was pacing the floor now.  The color had risen in her cheeks as her argument picked up steam.  “We have always known of the spies among us but never have we been able to determine their native race or their home.  They are now within our reach!”

With her hands folded before her on the table, Elizabeth watched Teyla progress up and down the room.  “Please Teyla, have a seat.  Let’s hear what Jillian has to say.”

With that, every eye in the room turned to Jillian for answers.  She met John’s eyes and he gave a smalll nod of encouragement.  In Rodney’s eyes, she found more of the same, so she began.  “This civilization is ruled by hierarchy.  They belive themselves to be above the rest of those here in the Pegasus Galaxy. This allows them to believe it is their right to surviive while sacrificing the lives of those beneath them.”  Out of the corner of her eye, Jillian saw Teyla’s eyes narrow and fists clench. 

“Doesn’t that put us in danger?”  The question came from Elizabeth. 

“That same idea of a hierarchy of humans actually works for us.  Once we let it be known that we reside on in Atlantis, they seemed to assume we were natives.  It caused them to look at us with a different kind of respect.  We didn’t realize the special treatment until we had learned of its advantage to us.  y that time, we didn’t see a reason to correct them.”

Teyla could take it no longer.  “You gave away our position and trusted these people with information about this world?”

“Teyla, calm down,”said Elizabeth.  “We are protected here.”

“Yes, we are.  But what of those on the mainland?  We must strike against these people before they put the lives of my people in danger!”

Elizabeth fixed a calm look on Teyla until she had her say.  Turning back to Jillian, she said, “I read in the mission report that you feel there is a possibility of working with these people.  What would you hope to gain?”

“It is our belief, based on the negotiations we have already conducted, that these people would be willing to help us locate Wraith Hive ships…”

“Allowing us to hit them where it counts,.”  John finished the thought on everyone’s minds. 

“You cannot be serious.  These people are not to be trusted!”  Teyla was standing again.  “What will keep them from betraying us?”

“Dr Weir, their belief of us as Atlanteans will force them into a place of submission to us.  It would be against the laws of their society to harm us or even wish to do so.” 

Elizabeth stood and placed her palms on the table before her, “I will allow the delegation to meet with us.  But it will be off world on a nuetral planet.   They may be able to help us, and we can use all we can get.  That is all.”

As Elizabeth turned to leave, Teyla made a move to stop her.  “Teyla, that’s my decision.”