The Wraith are a humanoid parasitical species that feature in Stargate: Atlantis.
The Wraith were a humanoid extraterrestrial species that were native to the Pegasus Galaxy. Their origins was thousands of years ago and was traced to the colonization of the Pegasus Galaxy by the Ancients. During their colonization, they seeded many of the worlds with the Humans with one such world being native to a type of insect known as the Iratus Bug. These insects were parasitic and attacked the Humans in order to feed upon them. It was believed that this feeding led to Human DNA being incorporated into the genome of the insects itself. At some unspecified point, the Wraith species developed from this feeding cycle where they developed into a humanoid race that could only survive by feeding on other lifeforms.
Much of their earlier history is currently unknown except that they would begin a war against the Ancients for the fate of the Pegasus galaxy. The Ancients made use of their powerful warships to hunt the Wraith and moved them deeper and deeper into Wraith territory. At least three such vessels were disabled at great cost to the Wraith but they managed to gain three ZPM's in their possession. Using these potent power sources, the Wraith created a secret cloning facility in order to breed an army to swarm the Ancients with sheer numbers.
Despite the Ancient's advanced technology, it seemed that there were never ending waves of Wraith that drowned them with numbers until only Atlantis was left standing. During the war, the Ancients attempted to negotiate a peace with this foe but faced only treachery from the Wraith. Fleeing transports would be destroyed and a siege of Atlantis would begin. The powerful shield of the Ancients would protect them from harm but it became apparent that they had lost the war. Instead, the Ancients chose to abandon Pegasus, leaving the victorious Wraith with the entire galaxy.
The Wraith would begin a period of periodic culling of the Human inhabitants and destroy any civilization that grew too advanced which meant it would become a potential threat to the Wraith. While secured in their victory, the Wraith were attacked by a new foe; the Asurans, the mechanical creations of the Ancients. Its not known how long this conflict lasted but it ended when the Wraith distributed a computer virus into the Asuran base code which deactivated the imperative to attack the Wraith. The Asurans would retreat to their homeworld and the Wraith would leave this powerful foe alone.
In order to ensure their crop of Humans remained plentiful, the Wraith would embark in hibernations where a majority of the race went to sleep leaving only a few caretakers to watch over them. They would awaken at set points where they would feed on the Humans of the galaxy after which they would have slept again. This pattern was interrupted in 2004 by the Atlantis Expedition that awoke the Wraith prematurely leaving too few Humans to feed the hungry Wraith. However, the Wraith became aware of a new rich feeding ground in another galaxy where the Atlantis Expedition originates from - Earth.
The Wraith would marshal their forces and send their Hive-ships to siege Atlantis once more in order to gain the coordinates to Earth along with recovering a means to reach it. The initial siege was defeated by the defenders, however, a second larger force was approaching. The Humans resorted to trickery and used the Wraith's desperation for a new food source as an advantage. Atlantis was seemingly destroyed by the Humans that occupied it leaving the Wraith in despair. Seeing their only means to sate their hunger destroyed, the Wraith began to fracture into various facions and a civil war would be waged between the factions.
Various skirmishes would continue with the Atlantis Expedition and the Wraith attempted to capture an intergalactic starship used by the Humans in order to gain the knowledge th needed but this failed. One faction discovered that Atlantis had survived and resorted to trickery into gaining the secrets of intergalactic hyperdrive technology and the location of Earth. This force would be destroyed by the Atlantis Expedition.
At this point, the Asurans attacked the Wraith quite aggressively which caught the Hives off guard at first before retailiating. The Wraith attempted to use their computer virus weapon once again to defeat their mechanical foe but failed. They immediately learnt that the Asuran base code had been changed and the Atlantis Expedition was responsible. An operation would be conducted to capture Dr Rodney McKay in order to learn of the changes he did to the Asuran base code in order to create an improved computer virus to affect them which would be distributed through a captive Asuran. This plan ultimately failed.
As the Wraith were showing increasing resistance to the Asurans, the mechanical Replicators decided to change their tactics which involved destroying the Wraith's food supply in order to starve the race. In a desperate gamble, the Wraith known as Todd would allow himself to be captured by the Atlantis Expedition in order to ask for their help to stop the Asurans. The changes to the Asurans base code made the use of a deactivation program unsuccessful and the increasing attacks on Human worlds meant that the Asurans needed to be confronted.
Todd would negotiate with several Hives and gain seven Hive-Ships that would team up with the Atlantis Expedition and the nomadic Humans known as the Travellers to siege the Asuran homeworld itself. The attack was successful and the Atlantis Expedition created a weapon that resulted in the Asurans destroying themselves and Asuras. The Wraith would desolve the alliance with the Humans and the Hives would form various factions once again which highlighted a return to their civil war.
The Wraith appear as Humanoids that possess hair, animalistic eyes and a skin tone that ranges from pale white to pale green in colour. The race were divided between males and females which shared many attributes to Humans. Their biology is the result of a merger between Human and Iratus insect DNA which means that the Wraith share many attributes with both species.
The species are vulnerable to retroviral weapons that target the Iratus insect DNA within their genome. The result of such a procedure strips the Wraih of such qualities turning them into Human. As a side effect, the Wraith lose their memory. Without constant treatment, the Wraith begin to revert back to their true state. This being the case, the females of the species appear to possess a stronger biology and are more resistant to such an action.
The Wraith are a parastical species that require a ravenous appetite for the life force of Humans; one of the aspects they gain from the Iratus bugs. This is accomplished by slamming the palm of their feeding arm into the chest of the Human. This act pierces the skin and begins the process. A special enzyme is injected from an enzyme pouch within the Wraith's body into the Human which makes them stronger in order for them to handle the traumatic feeding process better. As the feeding continues, the Human visibly begins to age with young adults rapidly changing into an elderly appearance and finally till nothing but bones were left. The feeding process can be accomplished on fellow Wraith as well and is done so when members are starving or during the civil war among the race.
The feeding process sates the Wraith's hunger and increases their regenerative abilities which is directly proportional to how recently the Wraith has fed. The Wraith are capable of reversing the process and giving back the 'years' they have taken from their prey. This is only done so willingly to their most devout of worshippers or brothers.
The Wraith are known to use the feeding process as an interrogation tool and a manner through which they can gain willful followers. This is done so by taking the life from a prey and giving it back to them which proves to be an addictive process.
One of the interesting developments that came about in the Wraith is telepathy. This gift allows all the Wraith to be linked with one another though they do not possess a hive mind. Among their race, it serves as a potent communication tool though this became segregated when individuals with Wraith DNA, such as Teyla, were able to make use of this network. This makes a captive Wraith a dangerous foe as they can telepathically alert their brethren. A group of Wraith can combine their abilities in order to extend this telepathic summoning into space allowing them to call their brethren to aid them should they be stranded or captured.
The Wraith make use of their telepathic abilities offensively as well and are capable of generating ghostly images to their prey in order to confuse them. This ability can be ignored by people who are aware of it. In addition to this, the race can make use of telepathic probes to see into the mind of their prey though this requires open minds as the thoughts of soldiers are too rigid to get into easily. The more powerful Queens are even able to telepathically plant suggestions into their prey causing them to kneel and become helpless. Untrained or weaker telepathic minds can also be possessed through the telepathic link allowing the Wraith to control them as puppets.
The Wraith have recently been divided into at least two subspecies due to the direct or indirect machinations of the Atlantis Expedition.
The first Wraith subspecies were created through the use of a retrovirus that targets the Iratus bug's DNA that make up the Wraith. The aim of the process was to turn the Wraith completely Human thus negating the threat posed by them. The first unwilling recipient of the process was the Wraith known as Micheal and required constant treatment in order to surpress the Iratus DNA but ultimately proved to be a failure as amnesiac Wraith begin to recover their memory. These Wraith begin to revert back but only partially, appearing as a mixture of Human and Wraith. These entities are disgusted by their kind who smell the Humanity on them and are killed unless they prove to be useful making them outcasts among their kind.
The second subspecies was created by Micheal as a result of him being ostracized by his kind and his unwillingness to be Human as the Wraith hunger consumed him. In order to better protect himself, he began a process mimicing the creation of his kind by feeding swarms of Iratus bug on Humans that incorporated their DNA into their genome. Howeever, the resulting offspring were modified and their Iratus genome was enhanced to create a monstrous Humanoid insectile creature born from a cocoon stcture that would serve as the perfect soldier that would do Micheal's bidding. These insectoids did not seem to possess the ability of speech and their true range of skills is unknown. What is known that dozens of breeding facilities were created by Micheal who escaped with a brood of the creatures before they could be attacked by the Atlantis Expedition.
Culture and Society
Wraith society appears to be divided into a Hive structure with the top of the pyramid being dominated by powerful females called Queens. These female entities are the rulers of their Hive and necessary for it survival as they are capable of breeding more Wraith through a process that has not been entirely explored. Beneath the Queens lie masked drone warriors that serve as the footsoldiers of the Wraith species along with unmasked Wraith commanders who serve as lieutenants. There exists another caste known as Keepers who help in maintaining the Wraith's technology but little is known of these beings.
The Wraith are known to be a territorial species and their Queens are known not to work well with one another - feeling outrage when a rival enters their feeding ground.
Though portrayed as a monstrous foe, much of Wraith culture and society is unknown. They are capable of acts of compassion and evidenced by the Gift of Life ritual which allows a Wraith to give their life force to another. This is only done so to the most devout of worshippers or those they consider brothers.
- Todd :
- Stargate: Atlantis: