Chapter Twenty-three Summary: Martouf awakens from a nightmare that Lantash is having of his time spent
in Bastet's torture chamber.  His chest is still hurting even after he wakes Lantash.  Selmak relates to Lantash
everything he needs to know about the time when Dominic died as well what the prophecy means to them.   
Selmak also points out to him that he and Daniel will be very important in helping Sam and Kataya as they go
forward toward the Great Battle.  Meanwhile, Kataya tells Sam what is happening and how it pertains to her.  
Her reaction is...pure Jack.  

Sevesh Lok Twin – Rite of release of a binding
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic communications

Martouf awoke with a start, sweating.  The dream he had awakened from had been a
nightmare, not one of his own, but one that was actually Lantash’s dream.  Even awake,
he saw the scene as it played out in Lantash’s mind and it definitely was not pleasant; not
in any way, shape or form.  It was obviously a scene of torture with Lantash and his host,
a man Martouf had never seen, as the victims.  Lantash’s dream continued to play out as
Martouf watched and in the dream, they were coming for him again.  Martouf began to try
to awaken Lantash.  He could not allow him to have to dream of this horror in his past.  

“Lantash.”  He frowned when he did not answer him, and tried again, “Lantash!”

Martouf winced as Lantash yelled as he awoke.  “I am sorry; Lantash, you were having an
extremely vivid and painful nightmare.  My chest is still hurting,”
Martouf spoke to him
softly.  It was not often that Lantash’s past intruded into his dreams this way.  He could
feel their hearts beating wildly.  

As Lantash’s agitation calmed, he asked Martouf,
“Are you all right?  I hope I did not
distress you too much.  I am sorry that my nightmare entered your mind.”

“Do you remember what you were dreaming about?”
 Martouf asked him.

“Bastet, and the time we spent being tortured,” Lantash replied promptly.

“Yes.  I do not know how you survived that,” Martouf answered, with obvious sympathy.

“I almost did not.”  Martouf could feel Lantash’s agitation begin again.  “Are you still feeling
the pain in your chest, Martouf?”
 He asked abruptly.

“Yes, I am.  Why is it lingering?”  Martouf was puzzled, as the pain induced by one of
Lantash’s dreams rarely lingered.

“I am not sure, but I am working on it.  Try to go back to sleep, Martouf.  I will stay awake,”
Lantash assured him.

Martouf rolled over and looked at the woman who lay there.  Samantha slept beside him.  
They had roused one another from sleep many times to make love time and again.  It was
almost dawn, and his desire for her had not been quelled, however this time, he simply
watched her sleep for a while.  As he felt himself growing sleepy again, he reached out and
pulled her gently into his arms.  She snuggled into his embrace, but did not awaken.  He
was glad, as they had to be up and on base early today, and they would not get much
more sleep.  Still, he knew that neither he nor Lantash would change any part of the
previous evening and night.  It would live in their memories forever as one of the most
wonderful nights of their lives.  

Jacob stood at the door of Sam’s lab and watched as Martouf kissed her good-bye.  She
glowed as brightly as the diamond, sapphire, and topaz ring on her finger.  He sighed as
he looked at his daughter and thought about the complicated turn their lives had taken.  
They had a little less than eight weeks before they had to go into battle.  Knowing what
Sam was and that he still had to tell Lantash and Martouf made him feel a little bit
queasy.  Thank the Universe that Sel would actually be the one to explain everything to
him, because he was not sure he would even know where to start.  He waited patiently as
they stood murmuring together for a few more moments before exchanging yet another
one last kiss.  

He and Selmak had a long discussion the previous evening following the gathering in
Merdwin’s quarters.  As Selmak had given free rein to his memories of the time of Kataya
and Lantash, Jacob had begun to understand at last why the situation was as it was.  He
came to respect Kataya, the Warrior, who made hard choices and carried them through.  
He also began to realize everything through which Lantash had lived.  What he had lost
and given up might well have broken a lesser man.  Even though Lantash had some very
tough times after Kataya and his children left, he still worked through it with the help of
his comrades and friends.  After watching Sel’s memories of eighty years of almost perfect
happiness be followed by such deep mourning, his respect for Lantash had risen higher
than ever.  He seriously hoped that this time there was no call for him to make yet more
sacrifices.  For one thing, that would mean that something had happened to Sam, and
that was something that Jacob did not even want to contemplate in the abstract.  

Jacob knew that he would be proud to have him for a son-in-law.  At least, he hoped he
would be able to call him that someday soon.  As solemn as he felt, his ever-ready sense of
humor came to the fore.  His lips quirked wryly, as he said to Selmak,
“If someone had
told me I would be happy to see my daughter married to a snake, I would have told them
they were nuts.  It just goes to show that life has some weird practical jokes to play on us
and that the Universe and the All have rather warped senses of humor.”

Selmak’s amusement was apparent as he answered him, “I am glad you can now
contemplate the event with equanimity, Jacob.  Of course, you could always change your
wording and call us small dragons as the Furling do.  I must admit that I much prefer it
when called a dragon rather than a snake.  While not exactly aesthetically pleasing to the
eye, at least dragons do not have the rather evil connotation to the Tau’ri that snakes
appear to have garnered.”

Jacob grinned at him saying, “Yeah, I can see your point.  The truth is that you do look
more like a dragon than you do a snake.  At least, I have never seen a snake that looks
like a Tok’Ra.  In fact, I can’t think of anything much that looks like a Tok’Ra really.  
Anyway, it is not relevant.  Whether you look like a snake, a dragon or a fish doesn’t
matter; it is what you are in side that counts.  The Tok’Ra are nothing like the Goa’uld.   
Now there are your true snakes with all of the evil connotations in tact, if you ask me. They
certainly deserve that title along with every evil association that goes with it,"
Jacob said
the last decisively and turned back to his contemplation of his daughter.  

He respected her for her ability to stay balanced and focused with all of the turmoil
around her.  He only hoped she would remain on that same even keel once she found out
the purpose she had been born to fulfill.  That whole concept still made him shaky, and
he hoped she would handle it better than he was because the truth was that he was not
handling it well at all.  And that had nothing to do with thinking she might not be his
daughter.  He realized that she was his in every way; neither Kataya nor Merdwin needed
to worry that he would reject her.  Hell, he loved her more than ever, if that was possible.  
Before yesterday, he would have said he could not love her more, but now he knew
better.  He loved her more fiercely than ever.  

Following Jacob’s thoughts Selmak commented,
“Samantha shall handle it quite well,
Jacob.  No doubt, there will be some emotional scenes, tears, and soul-searching, but
remember that her soul is Furling, as well as Tau’ri, and it will see to it that she
understands.  I suspect that one of her first fears, however, will be about that which you
were just ruminating.  Her first thoughts will be to wonder if you still love her.  I would
suggest a little extra affection would not go amiss this morning.  When she looks back on it,
she will realize that you were reassuring her in the only way you could at the time.”

Jacob nodded his agreement before saying, “Yeah, actually, I had some similar thoughts
before you woke up this morning, so I agree with you.  I suspect that you are correct about
her understanding this whole situation, too, Sel.  While she might not accept the idea at
first, she will eventually and it probably will not take her long to come to a decision about it,
either.  She will accept the assignment without a second thought.  That is just the way she

“I am quite sure we are both correct in believing those things, Jacob.  Now, here comes
Samantha.  She is probably going to see Kataya,”
Selmak answered swiftly as he saw Sam
begin to turn toward them and the door.  

Sam gave Martouf and Lantash one last kiss apiece before turning toward the door.  Her
father was standing there and she realized that she had not even been aware of his
presence.  She was so caught up in Martouf and Lantash that she was not noticing
anything else when they were around her.  That would have to stop, but in the meantime,
she would enjoy the feeling while it lasted.  Shrugging mentally, she proceeded to walk
toward the door, and then she stopped in front of her dad.  He caught her in a long, hard
hug, resting his cheek on the top of her head, for a moment, before giving her a swift kiss.  
“Sam, we will talk later, after you talk to Kataya, okay?”  Jacob asked.

“Sure, Dad if you want to.  I do not know how long it will take for Kat to talk to me, but I
will plan to see you then, and we can talk.”

“Sure thing, kid.  I will be looking forward to it.  And Sam, I really am happy about you,
Martouf, and Lantash.”  He caught her in another hard hug, gave her another swift kiss,
and then he smiled at her, although his heart was heavy with thoughts of what she was
about to learn.

As she left the room, Jacob turned to Martouf, who was surprised to see Selmak take
control and say, “Martouf, I need to speak with Lantash.  Let us go to your assigned
quarters, as this is a very delicate subject, and I do not wish to be disturbed or overheard.”

Martouf frowned, but his eyes flashed as Lantash took control.  Bowing his head in
acceptance, he answered him, saying, “As you wish, Selmak.”  Although he was frowning
within, he did not allow his inner turmoil to show.  Selmak rarely asked to talk to
someone privately unless there was a problem or some news that was not good.  “My
quarters are this way,” he stated, as he headed out of the lab.

“Selmak is acting rather odd, Lantash.  This must be important.  Do you think it concerns
our relationship with Samantha?”
 Martouf sounded puzzled and a little apprehensive.

“I do not understand why Selmak would wish to talk to us of Samantha.  I suppose there
could be a problem with the Tok’Ra accepting her as our mate, but that seems highly
unlikely.  Perhaps it is not about Samantha that he wishes to talk.”
 Lantash added
puzzlement to his disquiet.

“I do not believe that the Tok’Ra would have a problem with our taking Samantha as a
mate, either.  Everyone knows how we feel about her, and there has been no one hinting
that our mating would be a cause for disapproval,”
Martouf pointed out the reasons why
that did not seem a logical reason, though they were both aware of these circumstances.  

“I suspect that we will find out that it is something altogether different.  It is possible there
has been some bad news from the Tok’Ra, though I would not think the information such
that he would not wish to be overheard.”
 Lantash pondered the possibilities but nothing
appeared to feel correct.    

Each of them were lost in their own thoughts, as they walked swiftly down the hall and
opened the door to their quarters, allowing Selmak to enter first.  After closing the door,
the men sat down at the small round table.  Lantash did not wait for Selmak to begin the
conversation, “What is it that you wish to say to me?  If it is concerning Samantha, then I
must inform you, Selmak, that we have mated, and our bond is binding on us.  We wish
for General Hammond to perform the Tau’ri marriage ritual for us.”  He frowned again,
this time outwardly as well, as he again felt that it made no sense for Selmak to be
discussing Samantha with him.

His instincts proved true when Selmak said, “I am not questioning your relationship with
Samantha; that is for Jacob to do.  However, I feel that you have another relationship that
must be taken care of before you can be fully bonded to her.  It is your relationship with
Kataya that I wish…”

“Kataya is my Heartmate, Selmak.  I do not think that…”

Selmak’s eyes flashed, as he said curtly, “You will give me the courtesy and respect of
listening to what I have to say, Lantash.  The discussion last evening was long and
informative.  What I have to tell you of Kataya, and your rescue from Bastet’s torture
chamber, should have been told to you long ago.  Unfortunately, as you will see, that was
not possible.”

Lantash sat up straighter as he looked piercingly at Selmak.  “Are you telling me that
Kataya has finally spoken of what happened there?  That you know why she allowed
Dominic to die rather than me?”

“Yes.  It came out last night at the gathering we had in Merdwin’s quarters.  Allow me to
tell you the entire story, Lantash.”  A sympathetic light entered Selmak’s eyes, as he said,
“The truth is bitter, Lantash, and there is much for you to forgive.”  He slashed the air in a
gesture of negation before saying, “Not Kataya, she did what she had to, and she has lived
with it for a very long time.  She blames herself and yet, she would have to do exactly the
same, should it happen again.  She knows that and you will, too.”  

Selmak proceeded with a stark retelling of the events, which he found almost too hard to
repeat without emotion.  As he spoke, he watched the emotions move across Lantash’s
face.  There was nothing of his usual stoicism in his demeanor now.  He was listening to
the information in a stunned silence, but Selmak could see the emotions warring as they
worked their way forward.  He knew that Martouf would be doing his best to help, but he
doubted that there was any way for him to do so.  Lantash would have to experience the
emotions and work through them on his own; it was the only way he would be able to
come to terms with them.  He would also have to speak to Kataya about the situation
before he could finally lay these ghosts from his past.  

“Lantash, Daniel told us of Kataya and Dominic’s last conversation as Dominic was dying.  
We know now what actually took place.”

He repeated what Daniel had told them, and when Selmak finished speaking Lantash sat
as if frozen.  He sat with his fists and jaws clenched and his head bowed.  Drawing a
ragged breath and raising his head, he looked at Selmak, his eyes filled with pain.  “I wish
to be absolutely sure I understood what you said.  Dominic knew that he was beyond
Kataya’s power to heal and requested she kill him, take his soul, hold it, and then have
the soul spinners at Avilion spin it into mine that he might live on in me.  He wished her
to take his life force, so that he would die more quickly, and he made her and the others
swear never to reveal to me what had occurred.”

At Selmak’s nod, he bounded to his feet and began to pace the room.  His voice shaking
with emotion, he cried out to Selmak, “Why?  Why would he make her promise that?  Why
would he not go to the All and be reborn as it was meant to be?”  He stopped pacing only
to turn once more toward Selmak, asking him in a voice filled with both an agony of
emotion and a deep bewilderment, “How could he do this, Selmak?  How could he do this
to us?  To Kataya?  To me?  Why?  Why, would he do this?  I thought he…no, I know that
he loved me, he loved us both almost beyond reason,” Lantash’s voice broke as he asked
the questions, and it was obvious that he was in an enormous amount of emotional
torment and anguish.

Selmak shook his head sadly.  “He did not want you to know he could not survive for you.  
He told Kataya so.  Lantash he loved you very much, and you are more aware than anyone
of what he felt for Kataya.  This was his way of living on for you and for her.  It was what
he wished to do.  He wished to be reborn into your soul.  It was what he requested of
Kataya, and she went to great lengths to see that his last wish was carried out.”

Suddenly, Lantash was angry.  “Then why force them to promise to keep it to themselves?  
Did he think I would truly hold it against him that he had not been able to survive what
we had been through?  I almost died, as well.  I know what we endured.  Not just once,
but many times,” he snarled harshly, as he once again began to pace the room.  “Why
make Kataya suffer all those years before I realized that she was not lying?  Dominic knew
me well enough to know that I would wonder why she saved me, and not him, and that I
would feel betrayed by her because of it.  It took several years for me to come to my senses
and stop blaming her for something she could not control.”

“He also knew that your love for her was strong enough to overcome any sense of
betrayal.  He never doubted that you would forgive her.”  Selmak paused, and then
continued, “Dominic and Kataya both feared that in your grief over his loss, you might
take your own life in an effort to free his soul to be reborn.  Only by keeping the truth
from you could they insure that you would not do so.  For both of them, the most
important thing was that you survive and hold what was left of Dominic’s soul.”  

Selmak sighed.  “There is more that you must know.  In a way, it relates to what
happened long ago to you, Dominic, and Kataya.  Lantash, Kataya is more than a Katteri-
enti.  There is a prophecy from the Myst-time of the Furling, spoken by the All.”  He
proceeded to recite the entire prophecy.  

Lantash shook his head when he had finished.  “You are telling me that
Kataya is this
Soul, this Dragon of the Fire that will join with a spirit twin and defeat Bastet?”

Selmak stood and walked over to him.  Placing a hand on his shoulder, he spoke quietly,
“Yes.  She is.  Moreover, she could have manifested and saved both yourself and Dominic.  
However, she would not take the chance that she would be discovered and alert Morgasha
to the presence of the Soul.  So she allowed Dominic to die, actually helped him to die,
and she would do the same today.  She feels great guilt over this Lantash, but she had no
choice.  There was too much at stake for her to reveal herself.”

Taking a long breath, he paused, and then started to speak again, “The second soul of the
prophecy, the Dragon of the Star, has been born.  Lantash, it is Samantha.  We have all
been drawn here, at this time, to fulfill the prophecy.  But, while it is true that you and
Daniel have been drawn here by the prophecy, you have also both been called because
you are the mates of their souls; Each of you are both Soulmate and Heartmate, and as
such, it is to you that they will turn for a place where there is love, comfort, and peace.  
You and Daniel may be called upon to make great sacrifices during this time."  Selmak
paused, and his voice when he spoke was soft with compassion, "One of them that you
must make is to free Kataya from your vows.”  

“Lantash, Kataya will not force you to go through the Sevesh.  I believe you need to
request that you see into her heart.  As her mate, you have the right to demand that she
show you.  It may answer all of your questions, and I have no doubt it will convince you
that going through the
Sevesh is imperative.  Merdwin believes that it is perhaps the part
of Dominic’s soul that is keeping you from going through the
Sevesh Lok Twin.

Lantash nodded.  What other sacrifices would he have to make?  Had he not made
enough?  That Samantha was the other soul, told him more than any words could ever
tell, that the sacrifices could be great indeed.  She was in great danger, and he knew,
instinctively, that he would not be able to sway her from her path once her decision had
been made.  She and Kataya, the two women that meant the most to him, would fight this
demon, and they would win.  However, at what price to them?  Moreover, what price
would he and Daniel pay for their love of these two women?  He knew his heart was
already breaking, and he had much more yet that he had to do.  

He must seek out Kataya and then Samantha.  They were correct, of course, and although
he would like to deny it, he must go through the
Sevesh.  Now that he knew that it was
Dominic’s soul that was refusing to let him do it, he could work through it.  First, he must
insist on seeing into her heart, as Selmak had suggested.  Only then would that portion of
his soul that was Dominic’s be convinced that it must be done.

Turning slowly back to face Selmak, he nodded, as he said, “I will seek her out.  Where is
she now?”

“According to a message I received mentally from Merdwin a short time ago, I imagine they
are just beginning the first rite of joining, the mind link.”

Lantash sighed heavily, and then said, “Then it has started, and Samantha has already
made her decision.  While we would have wished that she had discussed it with us, there
is nothing more to be said.  We must accept it and become the safe haven she will require,
must we not?”  He looked at Selmak with both sorrow and determination in his face.  

“I believe that is so, Lantash.  You knew Kataya for a long time.  You have not known
Samantha for that length of time, but do you think discussing it with you would have
made a difference in her choice?”

“No, which is why I feel we must simply move forward and do all that we can to help her.  
Kataya could never be swayed, without very firm logic, once she decided, and I believe
that Samantha is the same.  She will not see that she has a choice, even though the All
does not force a path on a person.  She will simply see evil that needs to be destroyed, and
knowing that she has the power to destroy it, she will do whatever it takes to accomplish
her goal.”  

Selmak looked at him a moment, before replying, “I believe that if you look around you,
here and on our own base, you will see a multitude of people who fit that description.  Do
we not go forth almost daily to fight the evil of the Goa’uld?  Would you change her
decision if you could, knowing it is one you yourself would make, as you have proven on
more than one occasion?  It seems that you are fated to love strong willed women,
Lantash.  Jolinar and Rosha, Kataya and Siesha, and now Samantha, all within the last
two hundred years.  What of those before?  Were not all of the women you have loved the
same?  Perhaps, you are drawn to them because you are strong within yourself, and
therefore, you are strong enough to be what they need,” Selmak pointed out.

“Perhaps what you say is true, Selmak,” he said.  Sighing, he continued, “The answer to
your question is no.  No, I would not change her decision if I could, for to do so would be to
force her to go against what she feels and knows to be right.  You are also correct about
the others who are willing to do that which must be done.  I have come to have respect for
many of the Tau’ri and to like many of them.”  

“It does not make the acceptance of Samantha’s decision any easier, however, even
knowing that I myself would make the choice she has made.”  Again, he paused before
saying, “I probably should not feel so, but—I feel as if there is nothing I can do for her.  I
do not like this feeling of helplessness.”  Thinking over other times he had felt that way,
he said, “It never gets easier to accept even after being in the position to feel it so many

“Do not underestimate the role that you have been given.  To be the mate of the Dragon is
a heavy burden.  Yours will be the heart she turns to for comfort and support.  You will
not fail her.”

“I will do my best, Selmak, of that I give you,” his lips quirked, “and Jacob, my word.”

Selmak nodded, and said, “Merdwin was brief only saying that they were linking their
minds, and that they would learn to fully understand one another.  Samantha and Kataya
will both be emotionally drained by it, if I understand correctly, what will take place.  I
believe Merdwin is performing the rite, so they will be safe.”  

As Lantash looked at him questioningly, he said, “They are entering each other’s minds,
Lantash, I imagine Merdwin will be there to separate them should they become too deeply
immersed in one another.  He did not seem concerned about it; it was simply a
precaution, nothing more.”  He paused before adding, “Merdwin is no longer a rival,
Lantash.  You must start to see him through different eyes.  I think he could be a source of
both information and support for you and Daniel.”

Lantash smiled wryly, “Yes, I had already figured that out.  I believe I should see Kataya
as soon as it is possible.  I realize that the situation between us must be resolved soon.”  
His voice was heavy with regret.

Selmak regarded him quietly, before saying, “Lantash, we of the Tok’Ra are often as guilty
of not saying that which we should, as the Tau’ri, one of which I often chide for not
speaking of things that should be spoken.  Because I realize this, I wish to tell you
something I should have told you long ago.”  As he stopped speaking, Lantash looked at
him in surprise.  

“Selmak, it is not…”

“Yes.  It is necessary.  As you know, you are respected and liked among our people.  The
fact that it is obvious does not preclude saying it.  But, I also wish you to know that I,
myself, both like and respect you and I will be proud to be able to claim you and Martouf
as my sons.”  Clearing his voice, and changing the subject abruptly, he asked, “Should we
not discuss who to ask for the Tok’Ra to send to us?”

“Yes, we should, and in a moment, we will.”  Lantash reached out slowly and placed his
hand on Selmak’s shoulder, as he said, “It will also be a source of great pride to me, to be
able to claim you and Jacob.  I thank you for your words, Selmak; coming from you, they
mean a very great deal to me.  Now, perhaps you are correct, and we should make our
decision about who to request be sent here.”

With his words, Jacob came forward as did Martouf.  Jacob was the first to speak, “Before
we discuss that, I want you to know that everything that Selmak said, well, I agree with it,
he just said it before I had the chance.  I would also like to tell you that I am happy for
you and Sam.  I know you will do everything you can to make her happy.”

Martouf bowed his head in acknowledgement.  “Thank you, Jacob.  We will do our very
best to insure that Samantha is happy with us.”

Jacob smiled, and said, “Okay, now on to the other stuff we need to discuss.  There is no
question, but that we must ask to see Garshaw.  I am also of the opinion that we should
ask for Malek, Daimesh, Brialek, and Calise.  What do you think, Martouf?  Can you think
of anyone else we would ask to see, if we thought we were dying?”

“I believe it would be very odd if you did not request to see Jocasta and Daur’rin, and I
think it imperative they be included in this list.  Not only do you and Selmak have a well-
known relationship with them, they are excellent warriors, as you know.”  Martouf
watched, as a slight dusky hue entered Jacob’s face.  He continued, after a moment, “If we
wish to be discreet, I think that at this time only those you have formed close bonds with
should be called: Jocasta, Malek, Daimesh, and perhaps Calise.  The others can be sent
on missions and then come here.”

Jacob looked thoughtful for a moment, before saying, “I believe you are correct, and that
those five would be more than enough at this time.  Afterwards, it would not seem odd if
Jocasta or Malek stayed behind here.  We will contact them when Merdwin lets us know
that Sam and Kat are finished and okay.  We thought that perhaps they should be at the
briefing when the Tok’Ra come through.”

Martouf nodded his agreement, then hesitated, before stating, “Jacob, if you and Selmak
do not mind, I believe that Lantash wishes to talk to me, and I feel strongly that he needs
a space of time to absorb all that has been revealed to him.  Do you know how long it will
be before they finish the mind link?”

“No, but I would expect a couple of hours, at least.  Daniel might know.”  

Martouf was obviously listening to something being said to him.  As his internal
conversation finished, he said, “When we are finished talking, we will go in search of
Daniel to see if they have finished the rite, and we will see you in the briefing room when
the other Tok’Ra arrive.”

Jacob clapped him on the shoulder, saying, “I will see you later then.”  When he reached
the door he turned back for a moment, “Martouf, if either of you need to talk or anything,
well, you know, I am willing to listen.”

Martouf smiled briefly, “Thank you, Jacob.  Your offer is much appreciated.”

Jacob nodded, and then quietly closed the door.

Kataya stood in her quarters and contemplated her belongings.  She had begun gathering
her things for her move to Daniel’s quarters, and to his home, very early this morning.  
She wanted to make sure that among the belongings that she took were things that he
could look at and remember her, so that if something were to go wrong with this mission,
he would be left with good memories of her.   

Though Kataya would be giving up her quarters, Merdwin would be keeping his, in case
he needed to remain on base; he would need somewhere that he could retire to at the end
of the day.  

A knock sounded at her door, and she called out for them to enter.  It was Sam.

Kataya smiled, as she greeted her friend.  “I am glad you are here, Sam.  I was going to
contact you shortly, anyway.  How was your evening?”

Sam turned a light shade of rose, but that did not stop her reply, “It was wonderful.  
Martouf and Lantash asked me to marry them.”  She laughed softly, as she continued; “I
guess my dad has been telling them about my mom, his courtship of her, and when he
proposed to her.  Martouf and Lantash wanted to follow the earth custom for me.  It was a
very special moment.”

Kataya smiled at her.  “It must have been very romantic and also very emotional.  I am
very happy for you, Samantha.  He will make you a wonderful mate.  Is that ring from
him?  It is very beautiful.”

Both women turned as the door opened, and Daniel, looking tired, came in.  

“Hi, Daniel,” Sam greeted him.

“Hi, Sam.  How are you today?  Did you have a nice evening?”  He asked, as he came
forward and gave her a hug.  He noticed her ring and whistled softly.  “Wow, now that is
beautiful, Sam.  It matches your eyes.  Martouf and Lantash’s gift, I assume.  
Congratulations, Sam, I am truly happy for you.”  He gave her another hug and a swift

“I had a very nice evening, thank you,” Sam said, somewhat primly.  

Daniel grinned at her.  “I will bet it was,” he said, as he watched the blush rise in her
cheeks.  Turning to Kataya, he asked, “Do you know yet what you want to leave on base
and what you want to take home?”

“Those boxes are to stay here, and the rest will go home.  Is that all right?”

He nodded and said, “Yes, that is fine.  There will be someone here to get them later
today.  I saw Jacob and Martouf heading to Martouf’s quarters to talk about contacting the
Tok’Ra.  He said I should let you know that they will be contacting them soon, so that you
and Sam can talk before they get here.  I am sure he will tell Martouf and Lantash what
was discussed last night.”  He walked over to give her a light kiss.  Wrapping her arms
around him, she deepened the kiss, but did not keep him in it long enough to befuddle
his mind.  Much.  She turned him and headed him toward the door with a pat on his

“I will talk to you later, Beloved.  You are correct in saying it is time that I talked to

Reaching the door, he stopped and blinked at Sam.  “Oh, bye, Sam.”  

Both women smiled at him as he shut the door.  “Poor Daniel.  It really isn’t fair of you,
you know.”

“He is very passionate, Samantha, and because he feels so swiftly and strongly, it is easy
for him to lose himself.  It truly is unfair of me to do it, but I must admit, it is a wonderful
feeling to see that look and know that I am the one who is able to bring it to his face.”  

Sobering, she sighed, “Although I would prefer to talk of our respective mates all day, I am
afraid there are serious things I must discuss with you.  Come sit over here by me on the
sofa and get comfortable.”

Sam agreed.  She knew the time for her to find the answers to her questions had arrived.  
“I have been having some very vivid and odd dreams, Kataya.  I keep seeing an older man
with white hair and intense green eyes and a beautiful blond-haired woman.  There is
also an extremely handsome blonde man.  They are dressed much like you when you are
not in uniform.  I haven’t told anyone about them because I thought they were just my
imagination working overtime.  But, it is not that, is it?  Do you know who they are?”  She

Kataya took Sam’s hand in hers.  “I am going to tell you who they are, but more
importantly, who you are.  The older white haired man is my father, Artereos of
Cadwaellon, and the woman is my mother, Gwynnivar of Wiccadia.”  She paused, before
saying softly, “And she is also your mother.”  She held up her other hand, as Sam opened
her mouth to speak.  “Let me say what must be said, and then I will answer your
questions.  The blond man is your father.  Before I go farther, I will tell you that they are
the parents of your first living.  Your soul is Furling, Samantha, and they are the parents
of your soul.”  

“Jacob Carter and his wife are your birth parents of this living, and you are flesh of their
flesh.  Your soul also contains threads of Jacob’s and your mother’s souls, so you are truly
theirs in every way.  Nothing will ever change that.  Only your soul is not completely Tau’

“At your last death, you came here to be born as a Tau’ri.  We now know it is because of
the prophecy, which I will tell you more of momentarily.  First, I wanted to get the facts of
your birth out of the way, especially, since you have dreamed of your soul’s parents.”  

As Sam sat quietly with her eyes wide, Kataya softly squeezed her hand.  “Jacob knows,
Sam.  We told him last night when my father, Artereos, gave the order to explain the
prophecy and what it means to everyone involved.”  

“I have much to tell you about what is happening, what it means to everyone, and how it
affects us all.  Most of all, I must explain how it all pertains to you.”

Sam cleared her throat and looked at Kat with pleading in her eyes.  “My dad,” she
cleared her throat again.  “How did my dad take all of this?  He was pretty upset about the
mate thing and now,” she paused, “this.  Was he, was he okay?”  She finally whispered.

Kataya sighed.  Samantha had not said what she really wanted to know.  Her heart was
asking; does he still accept me?  Does he still love me even if I am different?  “I am afraid I
do not really know how he took it at the time, Samantha.  I was somewhat upset myself
after talking about Bastet, and Lantash’s rescue.  Once I gave them my information, I
retired to meditate.”  

“I believe from what Daniel later told me that he thought your father was overwhelmed
and had not had time to really grasp everything.  If you are asking my opinion, then I will
tell you that I believe that your father loves you very much, and he will support whichever
choice you make.  Samantha, you may ask Merdwin, if you do not believe me.  You are
Jacob’s daughter in every way, and I believe that he knows this.  Did he not seem all right
to you this morning?”  

Sam thought for a moment, and then said, “Actually, if anything he seemed more loving.  
He—he hugged me a couple of times and kissed me.  I remember thinking at the time that
it was a little, um, odd.”

“Then in his own way, he is reassuring you that you are indeed his daughter and always
will be, regardless of whatever else you are.”

Sam nodded her acceptance of Kataya’s statements, and then asked, “You are sure of all
of this, Kat?  The things you are going to tell me, I mean?”

“Yes.  We are.  If you feel you are ready, I will start with some background.”  

“I think I am as ready as I am going to be.”  She took a deep breath.  “Let’s get to it.”

Kataya lost no time in beginning her explanations, “Alright.  Although you are a very
young soul, you have greater abilities than most due to the special circumstances
attending the birth of your soul.  I am an ancient soul, Samantha, in that I was born
millennia ago of a First-born soul of the All.  Most First-born kits are considered ancient.  
Daniel is one of us.  Although you are born of a First-born, your soul is much younger
than ours is because your first living was only a millennium and a half ago.”  

“Because of this, when the Soul Spinners at Avilion did the weaving of your soul, many
life lessons were included so that you would be ready when the time of the Great Battle
was come.  The time is upon us.”  Kataya watched Sam’s expression and knew she
understood what she was saying on a deeper level than merely intellectually.

Sam nodded, so Kataya proceeded to relate what Merdwin had told the others the night
before, but to his explanation of the Furling life cycle she added, “The Rituals and Rites of
our people are shrouded in the mysts of time.  That they have profound meaning to us is
unquestionable.  Those of us who are both Wiccadian and Furling have very strong ties to
both worlds.  The Furling are an ancient and powerful race whose very essence and
beginnings are entwined with the dawn of all that is and all that will be.  The Furling
draw their life force from the forces of the universe.  The Wiccadians draw from all living
things: The forest, the sun, the rain, the oceans, the moons, the stars, the very soil we
tread upon…our very essence is made up of those things.”  

“It is important that you understand this, as your soul, like mine, is both Furling and
Wiccadian.  It is the spirit soul of Gwynnivar that enables us to remain undetected by the
First-born Furling and gives us some mastery of the forces of nature.”  She stopped
speaking to gather her thoughts.  

“You said there is a prophecy.  What does it say?”  Sam wanted to know.

Kataya nodded and repeated the prophecy.  

Sam frowned.  “We saw the three dragons in the mirror.  I thought they were signs of some
kind that meant we would prevail.  What do they really mean?”

Kataya looked at Sam lovingly and somewhat sadly.  “I am the Dragon of the Fire,
Samantha.  You are the Dragon of the Star.  The prophecy says that you and I shall bond
and join our power and defeat the Dragon of the Blood, who is Morgasha, also known, as
Bastet.  There is other information that goes with the prophecy that pertains to you and
me,” she continued.

“When the time was right, the All brought forth the second soul to guarantee the prophecy
would be fulfilled and that Morgasha/Bastet would not succeed.  That soul was spun from
the soul of Llancellon, one of the greatest warriors of the First-born, and the spirit soul of
Gwynnivar the Wiccadian.”

“Also spun into the second soul were threads of The Soul, another name I am called by
the All, so that at the proper time they would be called, one to the other, and they would
bond in the way of spirit twins, which they are.”  

“This second soul was born of Gwynnivar and her Heartmate, Llancellon and was named
and known by the All as CsillaBellawyna Morna’Catira Drawyn.  In their separate forms,
they mean beautiful star, beloved warrior and dragon.  When put together they mean—
Dragon of the Star.  Slayer of the Blood.  That soul is you, Samantha.”

Sam looked at her and shook her head as if to clear it.  “I know what it is; I am asleep and
dreaming.  I am going to wake up now and tell Martouf and Lantash all about this really
weird dream I just had.”  She pinched herself and jumped when it hurt.  “Okay, I am not
sleeping.”  She muttered, “Just as well, I would probably wake up with Daniel and a
hangover.  So, not sleeping.”  

“Then, somehow, I have wandered into an alternate universe.  That has got to be it.”  She
turned to Kat.  “Okay, I am in the wrong reality.  If you will just show me where the mirror
is, I will head that way so I can go back to my own plane of existence.”  Kataya shook her
head.  “Not an AU.  Okay so,” she looked at Kat and laughed shortly, “you are telling me I
am a, what, a, Dragon?”  

She laughed again and then looking into Kat’s eyes, she closed her own.  “You are not
kidding, this is not a dream, and it is not an AU.  There is no alarm clock, no mirror, and
no yellow brick road.”

“I am a Dragon.”  Opening her eyes she looked around her at the familiar gray walls and
said, “Well, as Jack O’Neill would so succinctly say; “Aw, Crap.”  She lowered her head
into her hands.


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Blood of My Heart, Beloved of my Soul

Chapter Twenty-three