Chapter Six Summary: The Furling Warrior arrives at the SGC along with a few attendants. Daniel Jackson and Janet Frasier are both surprised and stunned, and neither of them are particularly pleased. Both believe that the universe is playing a very Not-so-amusing cosmic joke on them. Time will tell them whether this should be played for laughs—or if these two people really are the Soulmates they have been looking for all of their lives.
"Italics" – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic communications
Major Samantha Carter was in the infirmary getting the wound in her leg checked and chatting with her friend, Dr. Janet Frasier.
“It is looking good, Sam. It wasn’t bad to begin with, and, since it was not infected, it has healed very quickly. Daniel did a good job, and you are cleared for duty,” Janet Frasier looked up and smiled at her friend as she finished her examination. “Just be glad the guy wasn’t an even worse shot. He might have done some serious damage.”
“Thanks, Janet.” Sam laughed lightly, as she answered, “I wonder if the poor guy will ever live it down. They were really giving him a hard time. I have to admit, I am glad that it has healed. I am ready to get off world again. There sure is not anything to keep me hanging around home. It is not like I have a killer social life.”
“You could have if you wanted too. There are men all over this base that would kill to go out with you. Lieutenant Simmons’s is not the only heart you have broken. Or,” she drawled out in a teasing way, “You could go visit your father.” She threw a sideways smirk at Sam. “I am sure he would love to see you. While you are there, you could—” She was cut off halfway through her sentence by Sam.
“All right, Janet, I get the picture, and the answer is no. I am clearer on my feelings in that direction, but I just don’t know if I am ready to bring it out in the open with him, er, them. I am going to give it a little more time. Maybe the next time they are here, or we have an assignment there, I will get to spend a little more time alone with him…them.” She sighed in frustration. “You know what I mean. I would like to see if I can get them to give me a little more encouragement than a ‘Lantash and I both care for you, Samantha’.” She sighed. “Knowing me, I will blurt it out unexpectedly at a totally inappropriate time and scare him, um, ‘them’ to death. If not that, then embarrass them, and myself,” Sam said, sounding disconsolate.
Janet laughed at her. “First, let’s agree that we can say ‘him’ or ‘them’ and mean the two of them. It will be simpler, for both of us, even if it is not exactly grammatically correct. Second, I don’t think he would be scared, honey, or embarrassed. I am not saying he would not be a lot of things, but scared ain’t one of them,” she said in her best southern drawl. “Myself, I would put money on relieved, excited, wildly happy, and walking on air. Now, you are finished, but I have to take some reports to General Hammond. Would you care to walk with me?”
Sam jumped down from the table, reached for her BDU pants, and smiled at her. “Sure, why not? I need to go check on some stuff in the control room anyway. Although, you would think that as much time as I have spent on the computers while we have been on downtime that there would not be even one more thing I could do to them.” Janet snorted her disbelief. Everyone knew that Sam could Always find something to do to the computers. Sam shrugged and grinned at her. What could she say? She was a geek.
“Okay, let me pick up my files, while you get dressed, and we will be on our way,” Janet said over her shoulder, as she walked away. Sam dressed quickly and joined her in her office.
The two friends left Janet’s office and headed for the control room. Sam slanted a wicked grin down at her friend. “You know, since I am supposedly leaving all these broken hearts in my wake, maybe you should go around and pick up some of the pieces. You know, do the gentle, soft, caring, sympathetic woman thing. What do you think?”
“I think you are a wicked, evil woman, Major Samantha Carter. Cold, heartless, unsympathetic, and unfeeling.” She ruined her speech by starting to giggle at the idea of applying those words to her friend. “Besides, I know exactly what my ideal man is, and believe me, he is not on this base,” she said emphatically. “Not even close.”
“Describe him,” Sam demanded, intrigued.
“He is tall, elegant, and darkly handsome with gorgeous mesmerizing eyes. He would be kind and witty with an excellent sense of humor and he would have an air of power, but he would not be a bully. He would use it to help people. And, of course, the biggest of the big, he would love me, honor me, and cherish me and only me. He would consider me a part of his soul.” She paused, as she cast a look over at Sam, and grimaced. “He sounds like the hero in a fairy-tale. I think my momma read Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to me one too many times.” Then she grinned, as she said, “A pretty tall order, wouldn’t you say? But, hey, we can all dream.”
“Well, yes, it is a pretty tall order,” Sam said slowly, “but not an impossible dream. At least, I don’t think so. I mean, look at Daniel. He is perfect. We just have not had the good sense to fall in love with him. Or him with us for that matter.” Sam looked thoughtful as she made her pronouncement. She frowned at the direction her thoughts were taking. Shaking her head, she dismissed them.
“He only fits tall and handsome.” Janet’s voice broke into her reverie, succeeding in banishing the remainder of those odd thoughts.
“Minor detail. A point for compromise,” Sam countered firmly.
Janet looked thoughtful, and then she brightened. “Ah-ha. What about Daniel’s obsession with his work? His passion is spent on ancient artifacts and alien cultures. Not to mention that he speaks 20-something languages; you would never know if he was making love to you or insulting you,” Janet said, determined to find fault with Sam’s choice.
Sam responded airily, “You could tell by the tone of his voice, and he would teach you all the love words in the different languages.” Sam grinned triumphantly, and then relented. “I have to admit that there is some truth in the part about his work, but he fills the majority of your criteria.” She ticked them off on her fingers. “He is tall and handsome. He is kind and witty with a great sense of humor. Most importantly,” she said almost too softly to be heard, “if Daniel loved you, he would love you and hold you close to his heart, as if you were everything, including a part of his soul.”
She stopped for a minute, and then waved her hand in a dismissive manner. “All that, however, is irrelevant. We have already determined that neither of us had the good sense to fall for him. Therefore, that still does not solve the problem of tall, dark, and handsome. Where are you looking for him?” She asked curiously.
Janet laughed merrily, and winked at Sam, “I am waiting for him to come through the Stargate and carry me away, of course. Preferably, of course, he would be on his white charger or maybe even his enchanted unicorn.”
“Well, I suppose that is better than lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” Sam laughed at the scenario Janet had described. She would not mind being carried off on a unicorn herself. If you were going to dream, you might as well dream big, and for some reason, she could see Martouf and Lantash on a huge powerful beast like that. She caught her breath at the vision that arose at the thought, and then she chided herself for being silly.
Glancing at Janet, as they continued down the halls, she said, “Why don’t you stop by the control room when you finish with the General, and we can go have a cup of coffee or something? Maybe we can even entice Daniel to leave whatever dusty, musty, old manuscript he is presently enthralled with to come join us. What do you say?”
“Okay, I will just pop into the General’s office. If he is not there, I will just leave these files and come join you in a few minutes. If he is in, it may be a little longer.”
“No problem. What I have to do should not take long, but, as we pointed out earlier, I can always find things to putter with on the computers. I will wait,” Uttering those words, Sam headed towards the control room.
Jack O’Neill sailed his twenty-fifth paper fighter at the target. Dang! He had come extremely close that time. He reached for another piece of paper. Maybe he should read it first? It might be an important memo. Nah, not likely. Number twenty-six coming up.
He sighed to himself. He really should be working on the few reports he had left to finish. SG-1 had been placed on stand-down for the past week, while Carter’s leg healed. He had actually caught up with most of the paperwork that always seemed to pile up on his desk.
He just couldn’t seem to settle today. He felt itchy, tense, and unsettled, like something was about to happen. It had been unusually quiet around the SGC for the last few weeks. In fact, it had been quiet ever since Thor was here and dropped his little bombshell. He frowned. Nah, not even Thor could arrange a lack of injuries and problems. In the past few weeks, Carter was the only one to receive an injury on any of the teams. Perhaps he was just being paranoid. He needed something active to do. That was probably all it was. He just wasn't used to being cooped up in an office like this. It was driving him to see shadows where there were none.
Maybe he should go see Daniel. Yeah, now that sounded like a plan. He got up and headed toward the door. He crumpled the memo in his hand into a ball, turned at the door, and shot it toward the wastebasket. His right arm pumped the air. Yes! Three points!
Daniel was quietly enjoying his coffee and the ancient manuscript that SG-10 had brought back two days ago from P34-257. It appeared to be in an old earth dialect related to Welsh. He was quite confident that he would be able to translate it as soon as he had just a few more of the unusual symbols and letters figured out. It should not take him more than a couple of hours, as long as Jack did not turn up.
Daniel groaned. Jack. Crap, what time was it? Oh, no. Jack should be turning up anytime. It was almost 13:35. Having been in his office for a couple of hours, in fact ever since their early lunch, the one Jack had insisted on at 10:30 this morning simply because he was bored, he would be climbing the walls by now, ready to look for distraction. Again.
Daniel sighed. Maybe he could find Sam and see if she would like some coffee, and maybe he could talk her into distracting Jack for him. Yes, that sounded like a plan. Sam would help him out, and he would get to enjoy her company while they had coffee. He and Sam really got along well; she was fun when she let herself relax, and intellectually they were well matched, even though their interests were different. He wondered why she was so often in his thoughts in this way recently. He did not think they were meant to become involved, but he caught himself thinking of her a lot. Shaking his thoughts of Sam off, Daniel headed for the door, hoping he could make it out of his office before Jack caught him.
Jack looked around Daniel’s office. Daniel was not there. Where was he? Daniel was always in his office at this hour when they were on base. Jack frowned. Maybe he had run out of coffee and went to get some. He would wait.
He wandered around Daniel’s office picking up things, examining them, and misplacing them. He looked through a stack of magazines. Archeology Today. No way. Jack skimmed Daniel’s numerous books, deciding to read something while he waited. Reading the titles, Jack knew they would only increase his boredom by a factor of ten. He didn’t need a nap; he needed something fun to do. He sighed. Where was Daniel? It was 13:45.
Maybe he would go see what Teal’c was doing. They could have a few rounds of boxing or something. Setting the two statues he had been looking at down on the wrong tags, he left the room. Daniel would just have to miss his scintillating presence this afternoon. He wondered if he should check the mess first, but decided not to. He would just head straight for Teal’c’s. Maybe Daniel was at Teal’c’s, too. He thought about that for a moment and then shook his head. Nah.
When the knock sounded on Teal’c’s door, he automatically answered it. He had forgotten that they had been earthbound for a week, and that his friend would be roaming the SGC halls by now looking for relief from his boredom. O’Neill was a warrior of great strength and cunning, and Teal’c admired him immensely. However, O'Neill, in full boredom mode, was something even Teal’c would avoid if he could. This time, he had made an error in judgment. He had answered the door.
“Hey, Teal’c, Whatcha’ doin’?” Jack chirped as soon as Teal’c answered his door.
“I was watching the History Channel, O’Neill. They are dedicating numerous shows right now covering the events of June 6, 1944. It was a great undertaking, was it not? An enormous army built from the forces of different countries. The Americans, Canadians, and British were the major contributors in the D-Day Operation, were they not?” O’Neill’s eyes were beginning to glaze already, so Teal’c continued. “Over three years in the planning. America was fighting a two-front war. Were you aware—” Teal’c began, only to be interrupted by the Colonel.
“Uh, yeah, Teal’c, fascinating. I didn’t know you were interested in American History.”
“This has become my adopted world, O’Neill. I believe it helps me to better understand the Tau’ri if I understand their history. To that end, I have been studying not just American, but World History. It just happens that today I was watching something that pertained to the United States. Do you not agree that a working knowledge and understanding of this world, and it’s past and present governments is relevant?” Teal’c smiled slightly, as he looked quizzically at O’Neill.
“Sure, great idea, Teal’c. Hey, listen, I just stopped by to see if you have seen Daniel. I stopped by his office earlier and he wasn’t there. You know,” he said in a somewhat confiding manner, “he would be a better person to discuss this stuff with than me. Why don’t we go see if we can find him?”
“An excellent idea, O’Neill.” Re-entering his room, Teal’c turned the TV, which was actually tuned to the Sci-Fi channel, to off, as unobtrusively as he could. At least he had muted the sound before he answered the door. Sometimes duplicitous tactics were necessary. Smiling to himself, he quietly followed his friend from the room.
Once in the hall, he questioned, “Where do you think we should look for Daniel Jackson, O’Neill?”
“I don’t know. I checked his office and he wasn't there. We know he came in today; we all had lunch together,” he responded. He thought for a moment. “He might have gone to the mess for some coffee, I suppose. We ate kind of early today, so maybe he wanted a snack, and went to get some pie or cake. Cake sounds good to me, too. How about you? Does cake sound good to you? Think we should look there first, Teal’c?” he asked.
“That would probably be a wise first choice, O’Neill,” Teal’c answered. Suddenly, the klaxons were blaring. “Unscheduled Off-World Activation,” came over the speakers. “Or, then again, perhaps not.” Before he had finished speaking, the two men had turned and headed for the control room.
As Sam entered the control room, she noticed General Hammond standing by Sergeant Davis and Lieutenant Simmons. He was staring at the Stargate; he seemed preoccupied.
In fact, he was deep in thought. Things were quiet at the SGC. It was running like a well- oiled machine. It was functioning exactly like it was supposed to. Yessiree, Bob. Things were ticking right along. Nothing out of the ordinary or bizarre had happened for over three weeks. Smooth as glass. Teams were leaving and returning right on schedule with no injuries except for Major Carter’s leg over a week ago now. No little gray aliens showing up, keeping the iris open, and springing surprises on them. Yup, picture perfect. All the i's dotted and the t’s crossed. Things here at the SGC could not have been better. Yeah, right, he thought.
It just was not normal, and all hell was going to break loose. He could feel it coming, which was why he was prowling about outside of his office. He was waiting for something; he just wished he knew what.
Janet Frasier stepped into the control room to let him know she had left some files on his desk and to let Sam know she was ready to go get coffee. Daniel was with her. He had been looking for Sam to see if she wanted to go get some coffee, and incidentally, distract Jack for him. Janet joined them, and the three friends were just getting ready to leave when it happened. They headed toward the observation window.
“Unscheduled Off-Word Activation.”
“Do we have any teams off world, Sergeant?” General Hammond inquired.
“Yes, sir, but we are not receiving an IDC,” Sergeant Davis answered the general, and then added the dreaded words, “The iris will not close, sir.”
General Hammond leaned over and bellowed, “Defense teams to the gate room. Move it, people. Get that iris closed, airman,” he ordered tersely.
“Yes, sir, I am trying sir,” the Sergeant said.
Lieutenant Simmons stood to allow Major Carter to slip into the chair next to Sergeant Davis.
“Thank you, Lieutenant,” she murmured, as her fingers flew lightly over the keys. “It is not a malfunction on our end, General. It is being held open by whoever is coming through. I can’t close it, and the energy signature is the same as it is when Thor uses the gate.” She stood up and stepped back to stand between Daniel and Janet.
“But, we have not lost power like we do when it is Thor,” Lieutenant Simmons stated, as he resumed his post.
“That is true, Lieutenant,” Sam murmured in agreement.
Jack and Teal’c entered the control room just in time to hear the General respond, “In that case, we have no choice, but to wait and hope it is Thor.”
It was not.
All eyes were on the Stargate as a group of people stepped through the event horizon. Three men and three women, wearing the black and gold uniforms of the Katteri-enti walked sedately down the ramp, stopped near the end, and stood at attention.
Before General Hammond could ask them to identify themselves, four more people stepped through the gate, carrying various cases, trunks, and boxes of what appeared to be luggage. They carried no weapons and the six in front, though soldiers, showed no signs of drawing theirs. The four with the, er, well, luggage, made their way as far forward as they could without crossing the invisible line made by the guards, set down the articles they carried, and returned to retrieve the portmanteaus, trunks, and crates that had followed them through. They made quick work of stacking and organizing everything, and then they turned to watch the event horizon, as if they were expecting something more. “Looks like someone is planning on a long visit,” Jack remarked under his breath.
Another couple followed closely behind the four attendants and the last of the luggage. The woman carried a large ornate cushion on which lay a beautifully crafted sword with a jeweled hilt. They, too, walked calmly toward the end of the ramp, stopped, stepped to the side, and turned to face the gate expectantly.
A tall, handsome man with an air of tightly leashed power about him was the next to step through the event horizon. Seemingly negligent, he stood relaxed as he glanced around him briefly. To anyone watching closely, it was obvious that no detail had escaped those deceptively languid looking eyes. He knew exactly where each and every possible threat might be. Satisfied with what he had perceived, he turned back toward the event horizon.
Sam and Janet both choked off gasps of disbelief. He was everything Janet had described to Sam earlier about her perfect man. Sam looked down at Janet, and whispered, “I guess you were serious about the gate, but the unicorn is missing.”
Janet appeared to be speechless. She was however, emitting a few gurgling sounds and shaking her head in denial. They heard a strangled gasp from Daniel and turned to him. He was staring at the ramp with a shocked, stunned look on his face. They turned to look back down at the ramp to see what could have engendered such a response from him.
Only Sam knew what he was seeing. A woman had stepped through and was placing her fingertips on the arm that the tall, elegant man was offering her. She was wearing a gown of deep violet blue, not a pure blue, but then, in a dream, color was sometimes hard to tell for sure. The gate shut down. Sam was not surprised when the woman looked up at the control room, and her gaze went directly to and locked with Daniel’s. The moment seemed to stretch to eternity, but it could only have lasted a few seconds. Her lips curved, she smiled slightly, and walked down the ramp.
The officers and soldiers of the SGC were startled and bewildered. A medieval tapestry had just come to life on their ramp. These people could have stepped from the pages of T. H. Whites ‘The Once and Future King’. They honestly were not sure what to think. The group on the ramp certainly did not appear to be offering a threat, but you never knew. They held their positions, but for some reason, they felt uncomfortable doing so.
The woman looked at her guards and in a voice obviously used to command, she ordered, “Katteri guard, defenses down, at ease.” Her guards left their defensive positions immediately and moved to form a column on her left. They were no longer a wall of flesh between her and the soldiers in the room, but neither were they so far away that they could not intervene if needed. If they found the situation unsettling now that there was nothing between her and the people in the gate room, it would remain unseen. Their faces were carefully neutral.
Kataya lifted her head and looked directly at General Hammond. “Do I address General George Hammond of the SGC, planet Earth, home of the Tau’ri?”
“You do,” General Hammond answered.
“I am Kataya of Cadwaellon. I believe you have been expecting me.”
“Of course. We will be right down. Defense teams, lower your weapons,” General Hammond ordered, before turning to leave the control room.
The General and SG-1 left the control room and headed for the gate room. Jack could be heard muttering, “Swords? They use swords? Jeez.”
“I would not be too quick to judge, Jack. Thor specifically cautioned us to be careful not to allow our first impressions to influence our opinions into underestimating them,” Daniel reminded them quietly. Sam shot a quick glance at him. He seemed to be regaining his composure. Good. She had really been concerned there for a little while. She was a tad spooked herself. The only thing missing was the man to one side of the ramp and the color of the dress was slightly off. Still, it sure looked a whole lot like his dream.
“That is true, sir,” Sam spoke up. “He said not to be deceived by what appears on the surface. My guess is that those “swords” do a whole lot more than cut and stab.”
“I’ll play nice, I promise,” Jack said under his breath, as they entered the gate room. He plastered what he hoped was a pleasant smile on his face and went to meet the new addition to SG-1.
As the General and SG-1 approached the ramp, Kataya assumed the position of formal greeting, as did the others in the group. Kataya stepped forward, but she did not expect a formal reciprocation of her gesture.
She did, however proceed with the formal greeting.
“General Hammond, I bring greetings from Artereos of Cadwaellon. It is his sincere hope that this endeavor will be the beginning of an honorable and fruitful friendship that may mature into a mutually beneficial alliance.” She paused, and then continued, “As a gesture of his sincerity, I have been asked to present to you this sword.” Gwennetha stepped forward and offered it to Kataya. She picked it up from the cushion and offered it to General Hammond.
The General hesitated for a moment, and Kataya quickly reassured him, “It is completely safe, General Hammond. It has not been activated yet, and although it is sharp, its only real use, at the moment, is decorative. Merdwin,” she nodded to the man beside her, “will be happy to calibrate it to your energy pattern, and instruct you in the weapon’s activation and use.”
The General stepped forward, accepted the sword, and made a small sound of astonishment. “It is very lightweight. The President,” he began only to be interrupted.
“It is for you, General Hammond. A gift from one Warrior to another.”
“In that case, all I can say is thank you. Please convey to the Warrior Artereos that I am extremely honored by his gift.”
She nodded. “Your message will be delivered. I believe I should introduce you to my people.”
Nodding to each in turn as she introduced them she started with her replacement, “This is Commander Beldwin, my second in command, Merdwin, Lord of Werllockian, second in command to Artereos, and Representative Gwennetha, Lady of Wiccadia and Cadwaellon.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you,” the General responded to the murmured greetings. “I would like you to meet some of my people. This is Colonel Jack O’Neill, my second in command, Major Samantha Carter, Colonel O’Neill’s second in command, Dr. Daniel Jackson, our expert on archeology, ancient cultures and languages, Teal’c, our expert on Goa’uld culture, language and tactics, and Dr. Janet Frasier, our Chief Medical Officer.”
Again, greetings were acknowledged. Kataya noticed that Merdwin kept glancing at Dr. Frasier. He had a slightly bemused look on his face. This could become interesting, but for now, she needed to turn her thoughts to the more immediate arrangements that had to be made.
“Would it be possible for someone to show my people where to take my belongings?” She asked the general.
“Of course. Lieutenant Simmons, would you please show these people to the VIP room that has been given to Ms. Kataya?”
“Kataya, please, General,” she smiled at him.
“Very well. Perhaps we could all go to the briefing room?”
“Certainly. However, I must hand over my command. It will only take a few minutes,” Kataya stated firmly.
“That would be fine,” General Hammond responded.
Kataya proceeded with her last official acts. Turning to the Commander that had accompanied them she said, “Second Commander Beldwin. I am taking an extended leave from the service of my World, to join with the Tau’ri in their fight to protect this world, and this galaxy, against the Goa’uld. They will now command my sword and my allegiance. For this reason, it is my honor and my duty to relinquish my command into your very capable hands.” Taking the clasp that Merdwin held out to her she said, “It is truly an honor to present to you this clasp, which bestows upon you the Rank of First Commander, Katteri-enti Warrior, Pumaterra Class. It was an honor serving with you, Commander. These are my witnesses. It is done.”
He returned her salute. It was indeed done.
She turned to her daughter as she slid a beautiful gold signet ring from one of her fingers.
“My daughter. I have chosen you to take my place in our Government. I give you this, the seal of office. I know you will serve well and with honor. Remember, always, that with great power come great responsibilities. You will not fail. These are my witnesses. It is done.”
She smiled, as she turned to the General. “Now I need to send my people home. Would you please show Merdwin the Dialing Device so that he can do that?”
“Janet can show him, and then bring him to the briefing room. I did not misunderstand, did I? He will not be leaving yet, right?” Samantha Carter smiled at Kataya as she asked her question.
Kataya knew immediately that she was going to like this blond woman with the lovely, bright blue eyes and confident smile. They were already working toward the same goal. “That would be perfect.” She sent her a slight nod of understanding. “Go ahead, Merdwin; I want to wait to see Gwennetha off.”
Looking at the petite auburn haired woman Merdwin murmured, “It would be a pleasure, to be guided by such a charming and beautiful woman.”
Kataya smiled to herself. Merdwin was definitely going out of his way to be at his most charming. She had never seen him react this way to any other woman. He was being more charming than lightly flirtatious as he did with most women. This was a very encouraging sign indeed.
Janet shook free from her daze and cleared her throat. She threw a look at Sam that promised retribution later. “If you will just follow me, it is right this way.”
“I can think of nothing else I would rather do, Dr.” He paused for a moment, “Janet, was it not? And, I am Merdwin.”
“Ah, um, okay, Merdwin. So, have you known Kataya long? That was a silly question, of course you have. The control room is just up these stairs.” Dr. Janet Frasier was seriously flustered, and she mentally berated herself to get a grip.
As they entered the control room, Janet almost rushed over to Sergeant Davis. “Sergeant, please show Mr. er, Lord Merdwin, how the dialing computer works. He needs to send his people home.”
“Merdwin,” he corrected her smilingly.
“Right. Would you care for a glass of water or something?” Janet asked.
“That would be most pleasant, Janet, thank you.” He turned to Sergeant Davis. “They will go to a safe world that is closer to our home world first. There will be less energy consumption that way.”
Janet joined him at the window and handed him one of the two glasses of water she held, smiling at him and wishing she were drinking brandy. She needed something strong to help her regain her composure. He smiled his thanks and turned to type in the glyphs. They both watched as the chevrons began to spin.
“As to your question the answer is, as you guessed, yes. I have known Kataya since the day she was born. Her father is my dearest friend. She, too, is a very dear friend, and the mother of my children.”
Janet choked on her water, threatening to spit it all over the computers and the control room window.
“Are you quite all right, Janet? Is there anything I can do for you?”
She shook her head, caught her breath, and blushed. When she felt she was in sufficient control again, she said, “No, no thank you, the water just went down the wrong way. I am fine now.” She paused and then, deciding being direct was the best way to handle this, she continued, “I, ah, did not realize that she was your wife.”
Merdwin looked puzzled. “Wife?” He frowned slightly in thought, then his countenance lightened and he replied. “Ah, you must mean my ‘mate’. No, she is not my ‘wife’; I have no ‘wife’. We were never joined. Her father wished for grandchildren. We accommodated his wish. We are very good friends.” He smiled down into her rich sherry brown eyes. She really was a beautiful woman. And, she was bewitching him. He would have to see if Kataya would need anything brought later. He would enjoy visiting Earth again. Janet found herself smiling back at him.
Sergeant Davis cleared his throat. “Um, excuse me, sir,” Sergeant Davis said quietly. When that elicited no response, he tried again, a little more loudly, “Ah, sir, er Lord Merdwin, sir!”
“Yes, Sergeant?” Merdwin answered while still smiling at Janet.
“Sir, I believe that one of the ladies is trying to get your attention,” The Sergeant said to him, even though he had the distinct impression the man was not really hearing him.
“She already has my attention,” he murmured. “Oh, you mean one of the ladies in the gate room. I apologize.” He sent an apologetic grin to Sergeant Davis, and then he looked through the window. Gwennetha was laughing up at him and shaking her head. She indicated that she was leaving.
He heard her voice laughing within his mind. “This one must be very enticing if you cannot hear your own daughter talking to you.”
“Yes. Good-bye for now, Gwennetha, I will return soon,” He sent back to her.
“Good-bye, Father. Take your time; there is no hurry to return home," Gwennetha sent as she smiled at him.
In the gate room, the soldiers, their new Commander, and the attendants were standing patiently, waiting to go home.
Kataya turned to her daughter. “Keep in touch.”
“I will. The link works both ways, mother.”
Kataya nodded her understanding. “Go now. The Commander is waiting,” She told her, as she smiled at her daughter’s response. Kataya was notorious for forgetting to keep in touch.
As Gwennetha joined the others, the soldiers saluted her one last time, her daughter blew her a kiss, and they all turned, faced the undulating blue pool, stepped into the shimmering light of the event horizon, and were gone.
SG-1 and General Hammond had been quietly talking as their guests prepared to depart. Sam tried to motion to Janet to head for the briefing room. Giving up, she indicated to Sergeant Davis that they were to head that direction. He shrugged and indicated his willingness to try. The grin on his face spoke volumes, as did the answering one he received from Major Carter.
Still smiling slightly, Kataya turned towards General Hammond and SG-1. “Now, where is this ‘briefing room’ you were telling me about?” She asked. “Perhaps now that the formalities are over, we can adjourn there.” She smiled more fully at them all, as she addressed her remarks to the General.
“Right this way,” he said. Kataya sent one last look up towards the control room. Yes, life was about to become very interesting.
Once everyone arrived and they were seated around the briefing room table, General Hammond took charge of the group.
“I am sure you know, Kataya, that Thor did not tell us very much about you. The reality is, we are pretty much in the dark about you, your people, your customs,” he spread his hands and waved them in an encompassing gesture, as he finished his thought, “everything.”
“I see.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Hopefully, we will soon come to know and understand each other. I will do whatever I can to make the transition easier on all of us,” she assured him.
“Of course, we will do the same. Perhaps one of the things we should discuss is the telepathic abilities you possess,” General Hammond put forth the one thing they did know about her. There had been some discussion about that ability, and it had been mentioned that perhaps she would be able to read their minds. It had made them a little leery of it. He hoped he could find out without having to come out and ask her. It just seemed, well, a little rude.
“Of course, but if you do not mind I have a question,” She replied, as she looked at the General.
“Am I right in assuming that Thor did not discuss this arrangement with you, but simply presented it to you as,” she frowned in thought, thinking of first one phrase and then another until she hit on the one that seemed correct, then said, “a done deal, I believe is the correct wording?”
Colonel O’Neill answered her. “Okay. Here is the deal. Thor showed up here about three weeks ago. Told us what they had done. He said you would be a great help because you are this Katteri-enti thingy. Which, by the way, he did not explain. He also said you were telepathic and empathic, and he strongly suggested we accept you, or it would cause an intergalactic incident.”
Kataya laughed. Jack stared at her. “I am sorry, Colonel O’Neill, I apologize most profusely, but it is just…that is so typical of Thor. He is a dear little man, but he forgets that we are not all programmed to think in logical, unemotional ways. I hope you can bring yourself to forgive him and us.”
Jack shrugged, and if truth was known, let out a breath he had been holding. Obviously, he had not insulted her, which was probably a good thing in the circumstances. Therefore, he said, almost cheerfully, “Hey, I consider Thor a buddy. If he says we should try this, I am willing to try it. I’m just being a little cautious until I see this stuff and know what we are dealing with.”
“I have no quarrel with your reasoning, Colonel. You are doing no more, or less, than I myself would do in similar circumstances. No astute, able leader would be content to walk into this situation and not be extremely skeptical and suspicious. I expected something like this, and I am not disappointed.”
“We, also, wish to ‘give this a try’ and believe me, Colonel, we too, hold Thor in high esteem. I, myself, have a great deal of affection for him. This will be a learning experience for both of our cultures. Perhaps one day we can exchange others of different specialties and interests.” Her glance rested briefly on Dr. Frasier.
“If you wish us to demonstrate the telepathic abilities you must agree to the link. It will be temporary at this point and we will not enter your minds and rummage around. Is everyone agreeable to this?”
Everyone at the table looked at each other, skepticism and reluctance evident.
“Perhaps I should explain more fully. You will not automatically be able to read one another’s thoughts. It will take time to learn to use the path I will build for you to follow. Perhaps if one of you wanted to try it with me? You might feel more comfortable one on one.”
Daniel, who had been unusually quiet, saying nothing until now, suddenly spoke up. “I will try it. What do I have to do?”
“Simply be willing to listen and respond. Learning to activate a quiescent link will take time and practice.”
“Do I need to shut my eyes? I think I will just shut my eyes,” he stated, as he closed his eyes.
“If it makes you more comfortable, then please do shut your eyes,” She said, but he was the only one to hear her.
“How long do you think it will take before we can talk to each other without talking aloud?” Daniel asked.
“Dr. Jackson…Daniel, the link is active,” Kataya replied quietly.
“What next? Will I suddenly start to hear you in my mind?” He asked, as the others at the table looked at him oddly, and Kataya smiled.
“You no longer need to answer me aloud, Daniel.”
“Okay, so what do I do to send my thoughts? Am I sending my thoughts? Hey, I am really sending my thoughts to you,” Daniel said, excited to realize what was happening.
Kataya’s ‘voice’ was tinged with gentle amusement. “You are speaking and sending, Daniel. Stop speaking aloud now, and just ‘think’ your thoughts to me.”
“This is not what I expected.”
“I know. You thought I would be able to read your mind. I could, but this is just a link to allow us to talk to each other. To read your thoughts is forbidden except in the most extreme of emergencies, unless requested, or we have express permission. If I invaded your mind to read your thoughts, you would be immediately aware of me attempting to do so,” She explained some of their beliefs and restraints to him.
“I understand. How long do we need to keep doing this?”
“Until you feel comfortable in explaining what it is like to the others in your group.”
“I think I could do that. What happens when I open my eyes?” He wanted to know.
“Nothing,” she responded indulgently. “Try it.”
“Okay.” Daniel opened his eyes. “What do I do now?”
“What would you like to discuss?” She asked him.
He stared at her. “I don’t know.”
“All right. Let us see if I cannot come up with something interesting, about which we could talk. Do you enjoy your work?” She tried to find an innocuous subject to discuss that would keep her away from the things she really wanted to ask him, but would give him a plethora with which to reply.
“Yes, I do. It is fascinating finding so many different cultures throughout the Galaxy, possibly beyond. There is just so much to learn about. I would—” He stopped abruptly. “You are correct; this is not difficult at all, is it?”
“Not this type of linking. The difficult part will be training you to use the link, or path, I set up for you for yourselves to use without me being involved. If everyone can accept it as easily as you have, I believe it could be a great help to you. And, if we can find at least some of you that are sensitive enough to learn to activate the links themselves, without being trained at the Sanctuary, it will be even better.” She ‘replied’ enthusiastically. “Do you feel comfortable enough to explain this feeling?”
“Yes, I believe so,” Daniel answered, aware of her, as he had never been aware of another person.
“Then we will continue our conversation, so that the others can contribute to it.” She smiled at Daniel.
“What kind of distance can you cover doing that?” He asked her, forcing his thoughts into business-like lines.
“Two of our people can do it over extreme distances. With untrained minds, I do not know. We will have to experiment to see. I am sure we will be able to use it on any world we would happen to be on no matter how far apart we might all be. I am not sure how many light years through which we will be able to maintain the link. Of course, if massive amounts of energy are used, you can go much farther.”
“What is it like, Daniel?” Sam asked suddenly. She was concerned for her friend. There had been an odd inflection in his voice, as if he was preoccupied, but striving to appear as if he was not.
“It is no different than sitting here talking,” Daniel told her. “It didn’t appear to be intrusive at all.”
“I assure you, Major Carter, there is no invasion of privacy. Your thoughts are your own and only by specific invitation would any of us enter them.” Kataya frowned slightly, obviously considering something. She nodded, as if satisfied with her conclusion. “I think it may take several sessions both individually and as a group before you feel comfortable with the idea and the actuality of it. Once we can establish a strong link and you learn how to access it, I believe you will find it will have many benefits.”
“I agree.” General Hammond replied. Glancing at his watch he continued, “I suggest that, since it’s already late afternoon, we postpone this discussion until tomorrow. I am sure you must be fatigued and would like to see your quarters and get something to eat.” He paused, and turned to Merdwin. “We would be very pleased if you would remain also, Lord Merdwin. We can have a VIP room ready for you in less than 30 minutes.”
Kataya spoke up before Merdwin had a chance to answer. “How very kind of you, General, and what an excellent idea. Merdwin still needs to calibrate your sword, and I am sure that there will be questions that he is the more qualified to answer. I will just contact my father to let him know not to expect Merdwin back tonight.” She smiled at all those at the table.
Reaching into a pocket, she pulled out a large amethyst and set it on the table in front of her. She rested her hands on either side of the stone, palms up with her hands in the greeting gesture. Shortly, the stone began to glow, as did the stones in the circlet on her head.
“The Tau’ri have invited Merdwin to stay for a while.
“Has he accepted?”
Amused, Kataya replied, “I accepted for him, but he did not object.” She felt her father’s astonishment.
“You are agreeable to this?”
“Definitely. There is a woman here. He was instantly attracted and is having difficulty looking at anyone else.”
“I begin to see. Perhaps, this would be a good thing.” She felt his acceptance and understanding.
“I believe so.”
“You may tell Merdwin that I will not need him for several days, if the Tau’ri need him for anything. Should something come up, I can always call on Dayilwin or Llancellon.”
“I will certainly do so. Everyone returned safely?”
“Yes. They did. Our agents all have their assignments and are on their way to achieving their goals. With any luck at all, we should begin to get reports in within the next few weeks.”
“That is good news, Father. They are all excellent at their jobs.”
“Yes, they would not be members of the elite guard if they were not.”
“I know. I really must go. I am holding up this meeting”
“Keep Merdwin for a while. I will talk to you later. Take care, my daughter.”
“I will. You take care as well.”
Love was sent both ways and then they ceased contact.
As the stones ceased to glow, Kataya came back from light years away. “Does Artereos need me to return?” Merdwin asked.
“No. In fact, he said he would not need you for a while, so you are free to stay if the Tau’ri wish it. He said that should something come up he will call on Dayilwin or Llancellon.”
“That is very good news.” General Hammond stated. “We would be very pleased if you would stay for a while, Lord Merdwin.”
“I would be honored, General. Thank you for the invitation.”
“That’s settled then. Kataya, I would like to officially welcome you to Earth.”
“Thank you, General. I feel sure that the coming days and months will be an enlightening experience—for all of us.” As she said the last few words, her eyes met Daniel’s. She did not hear the General tell them they were dismissed.