Asurans

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Asurans

Summary

The Asurans were the human form Replicators of the Pegasus Galaxy that were created by the Ancients of Atlantis as a weapon against the Wraith during the Ancient-Wraith War 10,000 years ago. They were introduced in Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny". As a whole, the Asurans were wiped out when their homeworld Asuras was destroyed in Stargate Atlantis: 4.11 "Be All My Sins Remember'd Part 2", but a small group of rogue Asurans survived only to be left drifting in space in Stargate Atlantis: 5.05 "Ghost in the Machine".

Stargate References

In the Beginning...

Asuran nanites
Oberoth, the first human-form Asuran
Asurans rebuilt in isolation

Over ten thousand years ago, the Ancients were desperate to find a better way to fight the Wraith. Even though they were outnumbered, they still had a technological advantage, so they developed tiny machines—nanites—that were designed to infiltrate and destroy from within. These tiny machines were programmed with an aggression directive that made them more tenacious than even the Wraith. They were designed to assimilate organic tissue and replicate, but they evolved much faster than the Ancients thought possible when they interlocked to form more complex organisms. Soon, the artificial lifeforms looked just like their creators. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny")

The Ancients developed the replicants in a research facility on the planet Asuras, but they also had one crucial piece of their technology for programming and creating "full-grown" replicants in Atlantis. Asuras was rich in neutronium, an essential material used in the creation of the nanites. Because they developed on Asuras, the human-form replicators called themselves Asurans, and they began to build a city that emulated the Ancients. The first Asuran and the leader of his people was Oberoth. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny", 4.11 "Be All My Sins Remember'd Part 2")

The Ancients still wanted to use these machines as a weapon, even though the Asurans themselves wanted to have their programming changed so that they were no longer aggressive. The Ancients didn't fear the technology because they had programmed a directive into the Asurans so that they would not harm their creators. Consequently, the Asurans concentrated their aggression against an unlikely target, but one that allowed them to fulfill their primary directives of not harming Ancients and going after the Wraith: they developed a nanovirus that would kill the Wraith's food source: humans. This nanovirus caused brain aneurysms directly above the visual cortex in the human victims. With humans dying from this nanovirus, the Wraith would starve to death. The Ancients obtained samples of the nanovirus and studied it on Atlantis, but eventually, they deemed the Asurans a failed experiment and sent several of their Aurora-class ships to bombard Asuras. Believing that all of the nanites were destroyed, the Lantians erased all research concerning the Asurans from the Ancient Database in Atlantis. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.13 "Hot Zone", 3.05 "Progeny", 4.08 "The Seer")

The Ancients weren't thorough enough, however, and a few nanites survived. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny")

Not long after this, the last surviving Ancients left Atlantis for Earth, and Pegasus fell to the Wraith. The Wraith's newfound dominance was soon threatened, however, when the Asurans resumed their original programming and started attacking them. The Wraith reprogrammed them by uploading a deactivation virus, but this change didn't eliminate the Asurans. Instead, they withdrew to their homeworld and continued to replicate and build their society in isolation. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny", 4.03 "Reunion")

The Expedition Meets the Asurans

Oberoth probes Sheppard's mind
Weir and Niam in a mind link
Asurans' Lantian city-ship

When the Atlantis Expedition found the reference to an Ancient research facility in the Ancient Database, they decided to dial the address to investigate. To their surprise, they found an advanced and seemingly Ancient civilization that thrived for the thousands of years after Atlantis fell to the Wraith. The inhabitants introduced their planet as Asuras and themselves as the Asurans. Even though their great city was built to hold millions of people, the Asurans were not receptive to having the Expedition join them as refugees, nor were they interested in involving themselves in the fight against the Wraith. But once Dr. Weir mentioned that most of the Ancients had ascended, some of the Asurans' interest in the Expedition was piqued. Even though their leader Oberoth was not interested in ascension, there was a group, led by Niam, who wished to avoid their society's stagnation and strive for their next form of evolution just as the Ancients had done. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny")

After Weir met alone with Oberoth, the Asuran grew curious about which Ancient outpost the Expedition claimed as their new home. He confined the team and then probed their minds. McKay immediately recognized that the hand-in-the-head method of interrogation meant that the Asurans were Replicators and not Ancients. He even suspected that the Asurans and the Milky Way Replicators were somehow related, but this was never substantiated. (6.12 "Unnatural Selection"; Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny")

Once Oberoth learned that Atlantis had not been destroyed in the war against the Wraith 10,000 years ago, he launched his city-ship, which looked just like Atlantis, to go to Lantia and destroy the city. He wished to do this for retribution because the Ancients had tried to wipe them out. Niam managed to persuade Oberoth not to kill the team members and gained the leader's permission to study them further. Niam then explained the Asuran-Ancient history to Weir and Sheppard's team, but he didn't cover why the Ancients had decided that the experiment had gone "too far" and why the Asurans weren't the desired weapon. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.05 "Progeny")

Niam helped Weir and Sheppard's team escape after McKay modified the Asurans' base code to remove the aggression directive so that Niam's group could pursue ascension and Oberoth's group would stop their hostilities. (The Ancients programmed the Asurans with the inability to do this type of code change themselves.) Niam was the only one who had been updated with this change, but the rest of the Asurans would be affected during their next "merge" or update through their subspace link. Niam helped the team even further by giving McKay the passcode needed to set the Asurans' city-ship's three ZPMs to overload. For all of his help, he was invited to join the team in their escape, but once the city-ship was destroyed, Niam's programming changes were discovered by the collective on Asuras and he was reset. Sheppard sent Niam into the vacuum of space near Lantia after the Asuran attacked Weir. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.05 "Progeny")

Nanites inside of Weir
McKay uses ARG on Niam
Apollo destroys Asuran shipyards

When Niam was reset, his programming was modified by the remaining Asurans to inject a nanovirus into Weir. The nanites began to take over her mind and assimilate her body to replicate. Fortunately, Dr. Beckett deactivated the nanites in time to save her, but they remained in her bloodstream. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.06 "The Real World")

Unwittingly, the changes that McKay made to the Asurans' base code allowed the Asurans to override their "do not harm Ancients" directive, and soon the Asurans were attacking Atlantis once again. The city, however, was not occupied by the Expedition at the time; Ancients from the Aurora-class starship Tria were rescued by the Expedition and resumed control of the city, kicking out everyone except Maj. Gen. Jack O'Neill of Homeworld Security and IOA representative Richard Woolsey. The Asurans killed every Ancient in the city, but O'Neill and Woolsey managed to evade capture. Sheppard's team, Weir, and Beckett returned to Atlantis and managed to rescue O'Neill and Woolsey and recapture the city. The Asurans were destroyed with the use of Carter's new Anti-Replicator Gun (ARG) that emitted a frequency that severed the Replicators' bonds (the ARG control crystals were interfaced to the city's shield emitters). Even though this technology worked on the Asurans in the same manner as it did on Milky Way Replicators, there was still no evidence that both forms were created by Ancients. (8.02 "New Order Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 3.10 "The Return Part 1", 3.11 "The Return Part 2")

The Asurans didn't build everything from nanites like the Milky Way Replicators did, though. They used conventional material to create their cities, technology, and starships, but they did this with incredible speed. Because of the second Asuran attack, the IOA ordered the Daedalus to make regular reconnaissance runs near Asuras to see what the Asurans were doing next. When the Asurans were discovered building a massive fleet of ships, the IOA sent Col. Abe Ellis on the Apollo to deploy the Horizon Weapons Platform, a set of six Mark IX tactical nuclear warheads and four decoys, against the Asuran shipyards. They also ordered the development of a satellite similar to what the Asgard had designed that would emit the wave to disrupt the nanite bonds, but the scientists at Area 51 were having some difficulty in their design of the Planetary-Wide Anti-Replicator Weapon (PWARW). (Stargate Atlantis: 3.20 "First Strike Part 1")

Asuran satellite weapon with active Stargate
Atlantis under attack by energy beam
Weir accesses Asuran network

After the Horizon was successfully deployed and the ships destroyed, the Asurans retaliated by sending an orbital weapon that focused an energy beam through a Stargate. With no way to dial out and nowhere on the planet to hide from the beam, Weir ordered that Atlantis leave the planet. With barely enough energy, the city-ship was launched, but the power in the ZPM was so depleted that the city-ship couldn't make it to their destination and was left to drift in space. On top of that, Weir sustained a severe head injury when the beam grazed the tower during liftoff. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.20 "First Strike Part 1")

The only way to save Weir was to reprogram and reactivate the nanites within her. McKay programmed the nanites to replace damaged tissue, and Weir was saved, but she strongly opposed the actions taken to save her life because she believed it put the city in further danger. But to save the city, Weir agreed to use her Asuran nanites to link with the Asuran collective so that the Expedition could steal a ZPM from them. While McKay was reviewing the mass amount of data Weir was accessing, he found the "attack the Wraith" code and reactivated it. Although the team successfully obtained a ZPM, Weir was detected and captured by the Asurans. She ordered Sheppard and his team to leave her behind as she was lost to the Asurans. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.01 "Adrift Part 2", 4.02 "Lifeline Part 3")

The Asuran-Wraith War

Wraith capture Asuran to deactivate their attack directive
Weir's flesh-and-blood replicant
Sheppard's team meet Weir's and their flesh-and-blood replicants

McKay's reactivation of the attack code worked, and the Asurans resumed their aggression toward the Wraith. The Expedition was relieved that the Asurans appeared to be doing what they were meant by the Ancients to do a long time ago. The Wraith tried to upload the same deactivation virus, but this time, it didn't work because of the modifications McKay and the Asurans themselves had made to their base code. The Wraith captured Sheppard's team so that they could force McKay to work on a solution, but the team was rescued before any changes could be made. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.02 "Lifeline Part 3", 4.03 "Reunion")

The Asurans, true to their original solution to the Wraith problem, began to attack human worlds. A Wraith that Sheppard had met a year earlier contacted him so that they could work together to deactivate the Asurans to stop the deaths of thousands of humans. McKay worked with this Wraith, but neither fully trusted the other and they made slow progress. Because of the Asurans' aggression toward humans, McKay again came to the conclusion that the nanite virus that the Expedition had found in Atlantis a few years earlier had indeed been engineered by the Asurans before the Ancients attempted to wipe them out. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.13 "Hot Zone", 4.04 "The Seer")

In the meantime, the Asurans removed all of the nanites from Weir to create a complete Asuran body, and her human body died. She was integrated into the collective as an Asuran and was found by some of Niam's group. With her knowledge of ascension, she was made their new leader. They managed to break away from the rest of the collective that was busy with the war against the Wraith and to commence their study into ascension. They built a duplicate of Atlantis and flesh-and-blood duplicates of Sheppard's team. These "human" replicants contained copies of each member's consciousness from when they were probed upon their first encounter with the Asurans and were then updated with the information obtained from Weir herself. The flesh-and-blood copy of Weir convinced the ascension-seeking Asurans to let her and the other replicants go as soon as Oberoth's ships began to bombard their copy of Atlantis. One of the Asurans gave the team a scanner that detected all of the Asuran Aurora-class starships, and the team in turn gave this scanner to their originals. When Oberoth's group found their rendezvous point, the replicants were killed while Sheppard's team made their escape through the Stargate. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.10 "This Mortal Coil Part 1", 4.11 "Be All My Sins Remember'd Part 2", 5.05 "Ghost in the Machine")

FRAN draws Asuran nanites to her
Asuran nanite blob on Asuras
Asuras blows apart and the Asurans are destroyed

The scanner proved useful to the Expedition in tracking down and destroying each Asuran starship. The Daedalus and Apollo, both upgraded with Asgard plasma beam weapons, easily destroyed these starships. The Asurans recalled all of their ships to their home planet, and it was at this point that McKay got the idea on how to destroy them. The idea would mean that he'd have to create and program a replicator to infiltrate the Asuran city and act as a kind of magnet to draw all of the nanites into one large "blob". He used the device that the Ancients had left in Atlantis to create FRAN, the Friendly Replicator Android. FRAN was pleased to fulfill her programming, and she performed her mission without any concern for her own survival. The blob's density caused it to react with the neutronium of Asuras, and the planet violently blew apart. After this event, the Wraith who had helped the Expedition fight the Asurans ended their tenuous alliance, and the Asuran Weir and her group were free to pursue ascension without fear of being tracked down and deactivated by Oberoth. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.11 "Be All My Sins Remember'd Part 2")

The Last of the Asurans

Disembodied Weir asks for help
Weir says her final, silent goodbye
Weir adrift in space forever

The small group of Asurans who were seeking ascension settled their Aurora-class starship on a planet and began their work. Weir taught them about releasing their burden, and the replicators attempted meditation, but soon it became quite evident that they were limited by their construction. So, one of them, Koracen, began to seek a more technical solution to their problem. He came up with a process that would send their consciousnesses into subspace and completely destroy their physical bodies (this simulated ascension when the physical body is transformed rather than left behind). The process worked as it was designed, but once uploaded into subspace, the Asurans experienced hell instead of the peace of enlightenment. Desperate to find advanced technology to which they could transfer, the Asurans encountered several advanced races unknown to the Expedition, and for a brief time, they even inhabited Wraith technology! (Stargate Atlantis: 5.05 "Ghost in the Machine")

Then, Weir encountered Sheppard's puddle jumper. She hitched a ride on it to Atlantis. Once she was inside Atlantis's systems, the city started to suffer from the invasion. Her presence started to threaten the lives of the Expedition. Weir reached out to them through a keyboard, and eventually she manufactured a new replicator body using the FRAN template left over in the Ancient device from the time McKay used it last. The rest of her group, eight Asurans, arrived in the city and started overloading its systems, killing one member of the Expedition in the process. Then, when they asked for bodies like what Elizabeth had, Woolsey, the new leader of the Expedition, refused to cooperate, even when the disembodied Asurans started to sink the city. Ultimately, the Asurans got what they wanted, but their new bodies were extremely limited and couldn't replicate. Weir convinced them to build flesh-and-blood models in order to seek ascension in that way. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.05 "Ghost in the Machine")

But, Koracen wasn't happy with that solution. He broke out of the lab into which the Asurans had been confined to do their work. He felt that flesh-and-blood bodies were inferior and would die sooner than Asuran bodies. When Weir tried to talk him out of his threatening behavior, it was revealed that Weir had been the one to lead the others to Atlantis. She had claimed that she broke away from the group and was on her own. Basically, she had lied, and Sheppard confronted her. When Koracen made more threats, Weir deactivated him by disrupting the bonds that held his nanites together. It was at this point that Weir realized that she was no longer Elizabeth, but some fragment of her combined with Asuran programming, and she concluded that she could become just as much a threat to the city as her Asuran brethren. She appeared to negotiate an agreement with the Expedition to do further research off-world, but what she had actually done was deceive her fellow Asurans to 'gate to a "Spacegate", a Stargate in orbit over a planet. The final eight Asurans, including Elizabeth, were left to drift in space forever. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.05 "Ghost in the Machine")

Derivative Technology

There were two research projects conducted on Earth that utilized the Asuran nanotechnology:

Notable Characters

Oberoth's Group - Aggressive and Vengeful

Oberoth
Cetus
Talus
  • Oberoth - He was the first Asuran and the group's leader. He appeared to have the most aggression against the humans who appeared favored by the Ancients. Even when he was destroyed in the explosion of his city-ship, he was restored because he existed in the collective. Oberoth perished when his homeworld was destroyed.
  • Cetus - He was the leader of the invasion force that took over Atlantis when the Ancients from the Tria had returned home. His group killed all of the Ancients, but they were all disrupted with the city's shield generators after Sheppard's team modified them with the control crystals from their ARGs.
  • Talus - He was one of the Asurans who invaded Atlantis and killed the Tria Ancients. He led the teams that searched for survivors within the city and was the primary interrogator once all were discovered. Like Cetus, Talus was destroyed with the modified shields.

Niam's Group - Wished to Achieve Ascension

Niam
Arria
Unnamed Council Member
Asuran Weir Replicant
Koracen
Lia
  • Niam - He was the leader of a group of Asurans that wished to override their aggression directive in order to seek ascension like their creators, the Ancients. Niam worked with the Expedition to prevent the destruction of Atlantis and overriding the aggression directive in the Asurans' base code, but once his actions were discovered by the collective, he was reset. Niam was eventually destroyed by McKay with the use of an Anti-Replicator Gun (ARG).
  • Arria and Unnamed Council Member - They were two members of Niam's group who wished to ascend, but were destroyed with the Asurans' city-ship that Oberoth launched against Atlantis.
  • Elizabeth Weir Replicant - She was the Asuran version of Dr. Elizabeth Weir who had been captured by them when Sheppard's team stole a ZPM from Asuras to power Atlantis. All of the nanites that were in Weir were extracted and a full Asuran body was created for her. She became the leader of Niam's group who sought ascension. After the destruction of Asuras, the group devoted themselves to their goal, and one of them, Koracen, believed he had found a way to ascend by uploading their consciousnesses into subspace, but this process was a failure. After re-creating Asuran bodies with the same machine used to create FRAN, the group could not overcome their aggressive behavior, and Weir led them all through a wormhole connected to a Stargate in orbit over a planet, thus condemning them all to float in space forever.
  • Koracen - He was the Asuran scientist who developed the process for replicators to achieve a form of ascension in which their consciousnesses would be uploaded into subspace. The process did exactly what it was designed to do, but the subspace environment was a living hell for them, so they sought advanced technology which they could inhabit. They were led to Atlantis by what remained of the Asuran Elizabeth Weir and given new android bodies, but Koracen was not satisfied to give that body up for a flesh-and-blood model and started to behave more aggressively. Weir deactivated Koracen to stop him from threatening Atlantis further.
  • Lia - She was one of the last nine surviving Asurans who wished to achieve ascension. After Koracen was deactivated by Weir, the final eight were condemned to float helplessly in space.

Lantian Asuran-Type Replicator Androids

FRAN
Elizabeth Weir in FRAN model
  • FRAN - Friendly Replicator Android, FRAN, was built as a weapon against the Asurans by McKay using the technology left behind in Atlantis by the Ancients. Although physically the same as the Asurans, FRAN was not an Asuran by programming. McKay created her to draw all of the Asuran nanites into one place, their homeworld, so that they would be completely annihilated when Asuras was destroyed.
  • Elizabeth Weir in FRAN Model - After the rogue group of Asurans uploaded their consciousnesses into subspace as their version of ascension, they discovered that existing in such form was not true ascension but a form of hell. Weir created a new body from the FRAN model that was still recorded in the device in Atlantis so that her group could continue their research. This version of Weir and her group were sent into space so that they could no longer use the aggression that Asurans by nature could not contain.

Alliances

  • Since the Asurans were created as a weapon, they held no alliances of their own. They developed in total isolation for about 10,000 years.
  • Some of the Asurans who sought ascension befriended the Expedition, but their replicator nature prevented any long-lasting relationship.

Enemies

  • The Asurans were originally created to go after the Wraith, and they met their programming directives until the Wraith deactivated them. Once they were reactivated by the Expedition, the Asurans resumed their programming and started the Asuran-Wraith War.
  • The Asurans hated the Ancients because the Ancients tried to wipe them out.
  • The Asurans developed a deadly nanovirus that killed humans, the Wraith's food source. After being deactivated by the Wraith, the Asurans continued in isolation. But once the Expedition reactivated their attack code, the Asurans resumed their attacks on the Wraith and once again went after human populations to starve the Wraith out.

Episodes

Stargate SG-1

Stargate Atlantis

Related Articles

Characters

Keywords

Principal Actors


--DeeKayP 20:23, 1 September 2008 (PDT)