Of Duty, Atonement, and Redemption

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Title: Of Duty, Atonement, and Redemption
Author(s): SCG Gategirl
Date(s): August 2, 2006
Length: 153,709 words at FFN, 143,901 words at AO3 (unclear which ~10,000 words are not included in the AO3 version)
Genre: gen
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: chapter one at Fanfiction.net (where there are 24 parts)

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

at AO3; Wayback (in one part)

Of Duty, Atonement, and Redemption is a gen Stargate Atlantis story by SCG Gategirl.

It was recced as a lemon chicken story.


"The fallout from the Arcturus project might be more complicated than it seemed to be at first."


  • Of Hope, Loss, and Regret (2008) ("So, a little background before the snippet. The story is titled "Of Hope, Loss, and Regret" and is the sequel to my previous SGA fic, "Of Duty, Atonement, and Redemption". The story picks up several weeks after the end of that fic. Timeframe-wise, it starts after "Instinct" and "Conversion" in second two and will eventually go through through to the end of the second season. Things have progressed since the end of ODAaR, but not necessarily for the better. By his own choice, Rodney has returned to Earth, Radek replacing him on the team and taking his place as head of the science department on Atlantis. The story picks up about three months after Rodney's departure, and the beginning sections are told from two POVs—the present timeline and in flashbacks which span the three months. As it stands right now, the scene I'm including below is the opening scene to the fic. It's been given just the basic edit and will probably change by the time the fic is completed. But, it should give you at least a little hint of what's planned.")

Reactions and Reviews


I normally much prefer whump-fests, especially when they involve John Sheppard but this was a great story from start to finish, with just the occasional amusing typo to throw the reader and make him/her question what you were implying. [See the part where Teyla and Ronan join them for that last breakfast - just who picks up the mug of Athosian tea?]

As your footnote said, too much angst is just ignored by the PTB and it's up to us fans to address that situation, and you did it masterfully. Bravo and on to the next challenge, and MAYBE you could throw some whump at JS. He bears it so well. [1]
Great ending. I think that you wrapped everything up very well keeping it both believable and in character for everyone. I'm glad to read this happy ending where there are no pat endings or answers but where everyone gets a chance to go and rebuild their relationships to hopefully something even better in the end. Really a great story. I have been royally pissed at Elizabeth and John and thought only mounds of grovelling would help make things right, but mature minds prevailed for our ending with only a bit of grovelling-LOL. Really great story. And a special thanks for the way you kept updating and writing it. I hate great stories that grab me and then never end. And this was a great one with a fantastic ending. Kudos. [2]
A great ending to a wonderful story. I'm glad things didn't end rosy and perfect, they obviously have a long way to go before they'll be back on even keel. Thanks for sharing! [3]

This was very well written, though the last chapter was a major disappointment to me and this is one 'happy' ending that is likely to give me nightmares for some time: I am a complete McShep fan, but this must be the first time I ever read an SGA story that made me wish McKay would escape an abusive Sheppard and a completely unhealthy Atlantis environment. I mean, we are not talking about one ill-considered word or gesture, but a deliberate effort to break down someone over the course of weeks...

This is worse than a mistake, this is evil in its purest form and in real life one would call an exorcist or at the very least a mental health professional to deal with people like Sheppard and Weir.

I had noticed from the very beginning that McKay acts very much OOC throughout, but then most of the other characters do as well; this is no necessarily a bad thing, as this story can be best appreciated as original fiction.

It's just too bad that its ending is so very uncomfortable and disquieting. But that is the value of fiction, I guess, which is that it can make the reader care for the characters involved; if the reader cares, regardless of the emotion inspired, a work of fiction is clearly successful. [4]
Hi! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convey to you how much I loved this amazing fic and how grateful I am for writers like you who give us such wonderful stories to read!:-) It was really brilliant, it completely blew me away from the beginning and I just couldn’t stop reading to the end! The story (more like a novel, really ;-)) was very well written and the characters‘ behaviour was believable. I love fics that are so intense and full of emotion like this one. I really felt for Rodney throughout this story. He is my favorite SGA charakter, so I guess it was multiplied furthermore because of it. It was so sad to see him feeling so alone and abandoned by everyone and even being terrorized by some. I really wanted to kick John‘s ass continuously throughout the whole fic!:-( His behaviour towards Rodney was horrible. Elizabeth was not a lot better (I wanted to slap her on many ocasions). I liked that you made this story an ansamble show where everyone had an important role to play. My only nitpick is that it wasn’t said plainly in the fic if John and Elizabeth really made up the two missions in the first week just to pull everyone off the base who could console Rodney. I think (from the context of the story) that they really did it on purpose, but I can’t be sure. Can you answer me that? Anyway thank you very much for writting this fic and I hope I will read more of your high quallity SGA stories very soon!:-) [5]
I find it sad when authors completely distroy a characters portrayal just to make their favourite character look good. The character of Sheppard in you story bears no resemblance to the one on the show. You are obviously a McKay fan and are happy to degenerate any character just to make Rodney look good and for the readers to feel sorry for him. You have never once addressed the seriousness of what he actually did. He distroyed 5/6 of a galaxy and nearly killed his best friend who had given him his trust. Instead to have him act like a whinny school boy being picked on by the local bullies. As much as I am not a fan of Weir I couldn't even stomach how your portrayed her either. Sheppard is not some cold jerk like you have portrayed him and McKay is a grown man who should be able to stand up to this team leaders if he feels he is being unfairly treated. I kept hoping that this fic would explain Sheppards behaviour or that we would also see some sort of adult conversation between the two but the pettiness continued. You have succeeded in gaining most readers sympathies for Rodney while the vitriol against Sheppard and Weir rises with each chapter. If you wanted to portray the characters so out of character maybe you should have listed this as an au fic as it sadly bears no resemblance to the characters on the show. [6]
Great ending! Glad Sheppard felt guilty, he was a cretin! I haven't seen the episode Trinity yet, but I can hardly wait. Thanks for all your hard work writing this so well and keeping us all entertained! :) [7]
So, the martyrdom if Saint Rodney reaches an end. Hallelujah. [8]


This is gen, but don't let that put you off. Because of his mistake, Rodney is put under house arrest by Weir, and given a bunch of other highly unprofessional and out of proportion punishments. Harsh! Lorne, apparently in an attempt to be helpful, aids in his public humiliation, and the rest of Atlantis bangs on his doors at night and generally torments him, then he gets blown up, then he gets taken by wraith, goes suicidal, and it's all big mean John's fault! Oh, the angst! Also, this one is well written - her writing style is emotionally mature - definitely a must read, if you have a spare few hours – long!

Lemon Chicken rating – although no lemon chicken is served in this story, the angst level is high enough to give this an 8 out of 10 lemon chickens. [9]
Elizabeth confines Rodney to quarters without access to his work. With the exception of Lorne, the military takes the opportunity to harass him, keeping him from sleeping and ensuring that the only way he gets to eat is by enduring public humiliation. Only Elizabeth and John keep assigning Lorne elsewhere to keep anyone from treating Rodney decently. His house arrest is up after a week, but that doesn't mean they've forgiven him. After a cache of Ancient artifacts is found, one nearly blows up Atlantis. Rodney is blamed, even though he didn't set it off, had warned the person using to stop and had not wanted the artifacts to be used in the first place. Rodney himself feels driven to make up for blowing up a solar system, but he no longer feels wanted. When he discovers a way to save the others that will cost his own life, he takes it, but is culled by the Wraith before he can make it work. He decides to return to Earth. Which finally pulls the others' heads out of their asses and they convince him to stay. It's a gripping story, but I would have liked to see more asskicking from Rodney and more groveling from the others. Rodney deserved vindication for what they did to him and allowed to happen to him. Still a good story though. [10]

What an amazing story. The right descriptive words seem inadequate for what has truly been the most compelling of reads. Characters were brilliantly portrayed and ones such as Zelenka and Lorne came to life in a multi-dimensional way that few SGA writers have achieved until now. The pace was a cracking one even before the Wraith came on the scene and the tension between Rodney and Sheppard was an electrical forcefield!

I can only pray that you will consider writing again because you already have an audience in waiting. [11]
Amazing! I felt the same way after watching Trinity. But it all about how they write the shows. They don't really allow for a new story to have continuation with previous story line. Even so it still would have been nice to see a little more of a response from Rodney, Sheppard and Weir. There were so many undertones to much larger personal issues and it is sad to see stuff like that so underdeveloped. But you did an amazing job. Kept me reading all day, even when I had far greater things to do. But thank you for distracting me from the real world for a short bit. Keep up the great work. [12]

Wow... just wow. That was the single most amazing piece of fanfiction I've come across as of yet. I mean, it is simply mind blowing how you crawled into each of the characters' skins while having them at odds with one another and yet being fair to each one in turn.

I love Rodney slow simmering into that cold, rigid state that played such a major part in the story. You didn't rush it, or dump it all on us at once. It was like slipping into a soft, warm blanket, and, while not always comfortable, gave us exactly what we needed when we needed it. The story left me with a sense of completion and of hope.

I feel that you were loyal to the canon and the story itself. As Rodney is my favorite, I particularly enjoyed his bits. I also found myself sympathizing with the other characters, though I didn't always agree with their course of action. I like how Lorne played a bigger part than he has in other stories I've read. You made him matter. Any involvement with the other characters that weren't particularly the focus, you made matter, and that is always a refreshing experience.

I'm looking forward to your past and future work. You are an amazing and inventive writer, catching attention and holding it until the very last word. You built a dreamscape with in a fantasy land beyond the stars and imagination. You are a force to be reckoned with, and don't let anyone tell you different. [13]


So I realise I'm about two years behind the boat on this one but just wanted to leave a review, which I don't do all that often - I found this story earlier today and read it from start to finish, and I have to say I've been reading fanfiction for about 6 years now, hundreds of stories and I honestly don't think I've ever read better. I got so sucked in I wanted to cry at parts and rage at others, it felt like it was happening to me or someone I cared about and not just a story - and while I think a lot of us who read fanfiction get a lot of stick from people who don't, this story just goes to prove that its not just rabid fans who are involved in it but people capable of writing amazing, moving novels! Thanks for the story, hope to see more from you in the future! [14]
"I didn't mean for this to happen." No fucking shit. John reminds me very much of Rodney at the start of this. He didn't see the problem, because he wasn't looking. This is John's Doranda, and Rodney is his casualty. He made his bed, let him rot in it. [15]


Wow. I have to say I'm a bit stunned by this story. Your hatred for Sheppard's character seems to know no bounds. I don't know who this character is that you are portraying but its not Sheppard. You got all of this from Trinity. All I got after that episode was two men being a little awkward around each other because one of them, ie MACKAY took his friend for granted, and betrayed his trust and you have turned it into some horrible vindictive depressing Rodney love fest. What about Rodney ignoring everyone's advise and his arrogant disrespect for Radek, insisting he knew better than the ancients and putting millions of lives at risk. Do you not think Weir and Sheppard had any right at all to be annoyed with him. How can you destroy a relationship that was one of the best things about SGA and portray its characters so out of character just to suit your story. [16]

Just wanted you to know.. I hate you..

I started reading this at 10pm and could not stop till I finished it.. Its now 6am and i have to be at work in 6 hrs... You have written a very emotional story that completely draws in the reader. I actually was crying at points as i remembered points where I've felt similar to Rodney.

Your story was well written and engaging.

Though i stand by my opening statement as I did not care to relive those emotional memories.. [17]


Found your story just the other day and must admit to mixed feelings about it. The quality of the writing is first class and I think you did an admirable job of examining what could happen in this senario. Rodney's humiliation and subsequent bullying and feelings of being deserted by those he thought were his friends was outstanding and I wanted to weep and curse at the same time. I liked the fact that Ronon and Lorne kept an eye out for him and that Zelenka was one of the first to forgive him. However, IMO I felt neither Sheppard or Weir were portrayed in character- while both of them were angry with Rodney for different reasons, I do not believe they would have gone to these extremes. Weir is a diplomat - her job is to remain calm regardless of how angry she is - and the punishment metered out was excessive. John's anger was a far more personal thing and I feel he is more likely to have ignored him for a while. Having said that, I felt it was well worth reading. [18]
Hey, Nice story but if I could give you my opinion, lighten up on McKay, his actions in the Episode Trinity were no where near as bad as you made them out to be. McKay had a way to literally leapfrog the Ancients and put an end to the Wraith threat in Pegasus and he took it. He tried, it wasn't his fault that the Ancient Calculation were faulty or that the reactor discharged like it did. You see in later episodes that he did in fact make Arcturis work, he succeed. So what if he's an arrogant prick sometimes, we all forget that he's an Astrophysicist head and shoulders above everyone else in the room. one of a gifted few genius level people on the planet. Considering the average academic at that level is either schizophrenic or a savant...Rodney being egotistical is nothing out of the ordinary. If anything it's Weir and Shepherd who took the science guy out of the lab and made him a field guy. Nothing that happened in that episode was directly his fault and even if Weir had called it off in that episode, a different team would have been ordered back later, failed and they would have had to call Mckay in anyway with the same results later. [19]

I just finished reading this story and had to comment. First of all you are to be commended for some very fine writing, secondly I totally agree with the transition from Trinity to the next episode. I found it to be a disservice to the storyline, the characters, the actors, and the fans to leave it and never address what the aftermath was. Subtext can only do so much, and if it weren't for some really great fanfiction authors like you, we would have nothing to go on.

I also wanted to say that I found your portrayal of Rodney, and Carson was completely IC. I also enjoyed the expansion of Lorne's character which was done elegantly and with a light touch. Teyla and Ronon were IC but I do wonder if they would have tolerated things as long as they did, but it did make sense to the plot. And let me add your plot was very tight. You were consistent and did not meander all over the place. You kept me guessing for quite awhile, which is not an easy thing to do if I may be so bold.

All in all this piece was a great read and I find myself inspired. I would be very pleased with myself if I could but touch the level this story is on. Thank you, and please keep writing. [20]


Wow, this was just beautifully done. It drives me nuts how they take Rodney for granted, don't say thank you when he saves their butts but as soon as he messes up they jump all over his case and publicly belittle him time and time again. You did a lovely job on this story and it was wonderful to read. [21]


I'm not even sure where to start. I really wish this had been an episode, as it perfectly fits in with the fallout for Trinity, and it would have been great to truly see the fallout from Arcturus played out like this. My emotions were all over the place when reading this... tears, pissed off, laughter, hurting for Rodney... I could go on and on. I love how Lorne and Ronon were keeping guard; that is so fitting for both characters. Radek being a better friend than Rodney usually appreciates, but never afraid to stand up for Rodney. John & Elizabeth made me want to say bad things in Czech and smack them both for being so unreasonable and pigheaded. Thank you for sharing this story so that I could have the privilege of reading it. [22]


  1. Kitty, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  2. twotoe, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  3. catdeb, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  4. A, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  5. Ghani, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  6. Ocean, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  7. The Watch Stander, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  8. Sass, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  9. a rec at Stargate: Atlantis -- The Post-Trinity phenomenon
  10. untitled rec post, by Mercutio
  11. Obsessed Pam, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  12. Thea, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  13. Lilith, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  14. CatW, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  15. Chaos Babe, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  16. Neptune60, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  17. Ame Suisei, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  18. Lizlou 57, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  19. Matt, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  20. Melissa, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  21. Willow Girl 93, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net
  22. Monica, one of the 643 comments at Fanfiction.net