Atlantis data burst

From The Stargate Omnipedia

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First message heard by Earth since the initial departure of the Atlantis expedition, transmitted in 1.3 seconds using Dr. Rodney McKay's data compression technology. The transmission included city specs, mission reports, tactical assessments and a small portion of the Ancient database, as well as personal video messages.

Minus the personal messages (and perhaps the snippet of the Ancient database), the algorithm McKay devised fit everything else into point three seconds of the 1.3 second data burst. Many expedition members took the liberty of using the remaining second to record their own video messages to their family and friends back home. Lieutenant Aiden Ford was responsible for giving everyone a few minutes in front of a video camera.

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FORD'S MESSAGE
Lieutenant Ford spoke to his grandparents. He regretted not being able to explain that he was on another world (they believed he was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan). He wished them well and reminded them that they would always be in his heart.

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BECKETT'S MESSAGE
Dr. Carson Beckett recorded a message for his mother. He had difficulty telling her he loved her because he gets emotional. He hoped she was using her ointment for her toenails, which had been infected with fungus. Before his recording ended he managed to say that he did love her.

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ZELENKA'S MESSAGE
Dr. Radek Zelenka spoke (in Czech) of the rising of Atlantis, from the moment the ventral mechanism released the city from the ocean floor to seeing the sunlight through the windows. This letter was likely deleted because of security issues, but part of his message did manage to get through.

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BATES'S MESSAGE
Sergeant Bates recorded a message for his little brother, saying how he looked forward to taking him to another Lakers basketball game. He was adamant about not completing a full message because it was likely that he wouldn't see his brother again anyway. But before he was finished, he managed to say good-bye.

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McKAY'S MESSAGE
Dr. Rodney McKay recorded a lengthy message for his peers, disclosing the imminent second siege by the Wraith. What began as a discussion of "leadership" eventually devolved into a diatribe about his childhood, catching mono from kissing April Bingham in algebra club (which pulled him out of school for a month) as well as his dislike for dogs. But he eventually recorded a note for his sister, Jeannie.

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MIKO'S MESSAGE
Miko spoke of working hard on the expedition as well as the dedication of her fellow staff members. Though Rodney did not deserve it, she spent an inordinate portion of her video time sharing high praises for Dr. McKay, his competence as a scientist and resolve as a human being -- despite the fact that she couldn't make a sandwich that pleased him.

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KAVANAGH'S MESSAGE
Rather than spend his message time on family and friends Dr. Kavanagh transmitted a lengthy message to General Jack O'Neill at Stargate Command. In the segment he expressed his deep concerns for Dr. Elizabeth Weir's personal judgment and leadership skills, citing several discrepancies over the course of her career as commander of Atlantis base. Offenses included violating the Geneva Convention and lowering the Stargate forcefield at inappropriate times.

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WEIR'S MESSAGES
Dr. Weir spent a considerable portion of her video time sending her condolences to the loved ones of the expedition team's deceased. She sent a message to the parents of Sergeant Markham (who was recently killed in a Puddle Jumper by a Wraith Dart) as well as the loved ones of Dr. Dumais (who was killed by a hallucinatory virus).

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SHEPPARD'S MESSAGE
At the behest of Dr. Weir, Major John Sheppard was given the responsibility of taking care of the last of the messages for loved ones of the dead: the family (or closest kin) of Colonel Marshall Sumner. Though his brief relationship with the colonel was turbulent and uneasy, he spoke of the colonel carrying the burden of a leader -- and the wish that he was still around to help face their enemy.

McKay's data compression technology is a success, and a wormhole is opened to Stargate Command. Sergeant Walter Harriman and Colonel Samantha Carter receive Atlantis's transmission and eventually the S.G.C. use it to send backup to the Pegasus Galaxy.

Data bursts sent to Earth through the Stargate became a regular procedure after the expedition reestablished contact, in order to keep Stargate Command up-to-date with the latest developments, technologies, and mission reports.

KEY EPISODES

Letters From Pegasus - With the impending arrival of the Wraith, Dr. Weir agrees to use the resources they have left to transmit a message back to Earth -- so that their struggle over the past months will not be in vain.
The Lost Boys - Dr. Weir records a message for a data burst transmission to Earth, outlining improvements in Atlantis power consumption ... and updating her superiors on Sheppard and his missing team.