On a strange planet, Ronon and Teyla investigate rumors about a trio of warriors who have successfully fought the Wraith. To Ronon's delight, the three turn out to be his old military comrades from his devastated homeworld, Sateda.
Until now, Ronon had believed that the two men, Tyre and Rakai, and the woman, Ara, had died during a particular battle that he himself barely survived. The three explain that they hid from their enemies and have been on the run ever since, battling the Wraith wherever they could. Ronon feels profoundly driven to reunite with such trusted friends.
Far away on Earth, Colonel Samantha Carter says goodbye to her own trusted comrades on SGÃ�1. Then she journeys to the Pegasus galaxy to become the new leader of Atlantis. The city has just relocated to a new planet, and, thanks to the sacrifice of Carter's predecessor, Elizabeth Weir, the deadly Wraith and Replicators are at war with each other, giving Atlantis and humans throughout the galaxy a respite from attack.
Carter is determined to be a strong, decisive and caring leader. She faces her first challenge almost immediately, when she must deny Ronon permission to bring his Satedan friends to the city. In order to keep Atlantis's new location a secret, Carter has forbidden all off-world visitors from entering the city. Unhappy that his loyalties must be split between Atlantis and his old friends, Ronon considers leaving the city for good to live with his own people.
As he contemplates this decision, he persuades Carter and Sheppard to authorize a joint mission based on information provided by Tyre, Rakai and Ara. According to the Satedans, Wraith scientists at a research outpost are attempting to override the command within the Replicators' programming that compels them to attack the Wraith. If the Wraith succeed, the war will end and both sides will again target the galaxy's humans. To prevent that, Sheppard's team joins the Satedans on a dangerous strike against the Wraith base.
The mission goes badly. The Atlantis personnel are quickly surrounded and captured, and the Satedans go missing. Ronon alone escapes back to Atlantis through the stargate. Carter authorizes a rescue attempt immediately and personally joins Ronon on the mission.
They fight their way back into the Wraith base, where Ronon is relieved to find Tyre, Rakai and Ara Ã� until the Satedans pull their guns on him. For horrifying reasons of their own, they have become worshippers of the Wraith, and they've set him up. Now, while Carter struggles to rescue Sheppard's team, Ronon must battle to the death against the friends who have betrayed him.