Chapter Twenty-four Summary - Sam and Kataya do a deep mind link, the first step towards the changes Sam must make to become the Warrior she will need to be to fight Bastet. This chapter is PG-13.
Adorata Coeurawyn – Adored of my heart- an endearment Sevesh Lok Twin – rite of release
Kataya cleared her throat, “Actually, although we manifest as dragons, the correct description of what we are is Dragon Slayer. Please understand that you do not have to follow this path, Samantha. If you wish to follow another path, that is your right, for the All never forces a soul to follow a certain path. You have free will, and you have the right to refuse this one.”
Lifting her head from her hands, she asked, “And if I refuse what happens?”
“Nothing. You will simply continue your life as if none of this was told to you.”
“Right, I just go on with my life as if there is not this horrible evil thing out there waiting to destroy life as we know it.” Sam jumped up from where she was sitting to pace the small confines of the room. Jerking to a stop, she wrapped her arms around her stomach, while taking deep breaths to try to calm herself. Unable to stay still for long she resumed her pacing. Forcing herself to stop again, she pushed shaking fingers through her hair and managed to ask, “What about Bastet, er, Morgasha? What will happen if I do not do this?” She watched Kataya closely as she answered, wanting to catch each expression.
“We will call her Bastet for simplicity’s sake, although we know we mean both of them. We will still attack her, but I will battle her on my own. Artereos believes I can win, though you did not bond with me or take part in that portion of the Great Battle.”
Sam picked up a magazine lying on the table and read the title, ‘Archeology Today’. Of course, she thought irrelevantly, she was in Daniel’s quarters. They would not have need of this magazine anymore if Bastet won. There would be nothing left to study. She folded it and slapped it against the palm of her hand as she resumed pacing, the circles she walked mimicking the spinning of her thoughts.
Throwing the magazine aside, she said, “So if I do not want to take part in this, I can just step back and let the rest of you take on Darth Vader’s evil twin sister and not give it another thought. Yeah, I will just go and take a long hot bath and hope everything comes out okay.”
She shook her head and took another deep breath. “I cannot just walk away, Kat. I am not made that way. I am a soldier and Bastet needs to be stopped,” she shrugged, continuing, “so I guess I go with it.” She looked at Kataya and realized she was watching her with sympathy and something else in her gaze. Suddenly, it hit her. Love. Kataya was looking at her with love.
Then she was really hit hard as she realized that the woman looking at her that way was more than just a good friend. Oh, God, this woman was her sister. They shared a mother and soul threads. In the way of spirit twins, she had said. Twins their souls; sisters their mother. Duh.
Suddenly, Sam felt calmer. She needed to listen and think, not react. She turned to Kataya and as she reseated herself, she said, “I am sorry. I need to hear everything you have to say, not let my emotions bounce off the walls. I need to be as prepared as possible when we battle her.”
Kataya took Sam’s hand in hers and smiled briefly before she continued, “Before you can make any decisions, you should know two more things. Bastet will die, Samantha, and her soul will return to the All where, hopefully, it will be bound for all time. The other thing you need to know is that, while Bastet will die, it is very likely that we shall, also. Should that come to pass, then our souls will be given a choice as to what we wish to do as always.”
Sam sat in a thoughtful silence for a long time, before she said, “This is what I was born to do, and this is what I will do. She must be stopped, and I believe the All made both of us because we need each other to do this.”
Kataya nodded, saying, “It is imperative, both in our personal lives and the upcoming battle that we stand united. Our combined power will be quite formidable, Samantha. However, there are painful things we must go through, things you must see and learn, before we can use our joint power. I will not accept your decision until after we have linked, and I am sure that you understand and accept all aspects of what it means to be Katteri-enti.”
“You must understand what Lantash means to me, and I must understand what Daniel means to you. It is not a coincidence that my Soulmate is your Heartmate and vice versa. Our shared soul threads have led us here, and we must fully comprehend each others feelings.”
“You mean link like we did when you let me hold Lantash?” Sam asked.
“Yes, but it will be painful, Samantha, not just emotionally, but physically as well. The physical pain will be from my heart, because Lantash and I have not performed the Sevesh Lok Twin yet. I will shield you from as much of it as I can, and if we link right away, the pain will not be as bad as it will be by tomorrow or the next day, for it will continue to worsen until we go through Sevesh Lok Twin, the releasing ritual. You must promise me that you will tell Lantash nothing of what is happening to me. If you cannot promise me that, then I will not do the linking.”
Sam agreed, “I understand, Kat.”
“All right. We each will see scenes that have made deep impressions on our minds and souls. You will be seeing my mind, my heart, and my soul as I will be seeing yours.”
Sam nodded again.
“First you will look into the distant past and see moments of my other lives and times with Daniel as well as my times as Merdwin’s lover.”
A shadow of great sadness and pain passed across Kataya’s face. “There will be some disturbing memories, Samantha. I will hide nothing from you, so it is possible you will find memories that will be painful emotionally as well as physically.”
“You will see and feel Lantash, Dominic, our happiness and our love. You will feel how much they meant to me. While you look at and feel my memories, I will see your memories and your times with Daniel and feel what you feel for him.” Kataya paused, “You will most likely also see memories of Bastet and my children, both with Merdwin and Lantash, who are also now your stepchildren.”
“There will be many different scenes from my different livings, but mostly it will pertain to the things that affect us. You will come to understand about Gwynnivar and Llancellon; why she entered the cloister, and why your coming will allow her to realize that she was part of the prophecy. That what she did was probably an imperative, that is, it is something that must happen at some point in time, and had she refused Llancellon and their love, you would not have been born, and Bastet might have won the battle, if it even took place yet.”
“It’s almost frightening,” Sam said quietly.
Kataya looked thoughtful. “If it truly frightens you, perhaps I could show you without the emotions. You are a brilliant woman, Samantha. You could understand these things.”
Sam shook her head, saying firmly, “Understanding is not necessarily the same as truly knowing. I wish to experience it so that I will know. I think it is necessary for us to join, isn’t it? That is where this is leading, isn’t it? To our spirits joining?”
“Because your soul contains threads of mine in order for us to be called together at the correct time, we are what are known as spirit twins. Because of this, we will need to bond in mind, spirit, and heart,” Kat said.
“If you decide you wish for the joining, then we will travel to Avilion, the Sanctuary, and Merdwin will perform the rite to join our spirits. Once our spirits have joined, then we will begin your training in earnest.”
“If I only watched the scenes and didn’t experience them, then we wouldn’t be as strong or have as much power would we?” Sam asked shrewdly.
“No,” Kataya admitted. “We would not.”
“I believe we are going to need as much power and strength as we can possibly have, so I want to do everything necessary to see to it that we have what we need,” Sam stated decisively. “I don’t believe we can afford to lose from what you’ve explained.”
Kataya nodded. “All right, it will be as you wish. I must tell you that I will see your feelings and memories of being a warrior, your memories and feelings for Daniel, and your memories and feelings for Lantash and Martouf. These are the things that have drawn us together.”
“I must release Jolinar’s memories, as well. Now that you know your own feelings, you can safely combine and accept her feelings as part of yours.”
Sam nodded thoughtfully, and then asked, “Are you sure I can do what has to be done, Kat? I mean, you have had millennia to prepare for this. You already know how to use the power in you. I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it.”
“As we link minds, you will learn much from me. You need to experience what it means to be Katteri-enti before you make a final decision. The link is the first step, and once you have learned what it means to be such a Warrior, then I will accept your agreement, if you still wish to follow through with it.”
“Once we have completed the link and learned of one another, and, if you agree, we will go to Avilion for the ritual of the joining. You will learn about your powers and how to use them, and you will learn all you need to know to be able to battle Bastet.”
Sam looked closely at Kataya. “You’re worried about something. What is it?”
“I am concerned about the physical affect on you, and to be honest, on myself. You must understand, Sam, that with this link you will come to feel as if there is no difference between us. We will both feel as if we are one another as we experience each other’s lives. The deeper into the link we go, the deeper the feeling we are one being will become. I will believe I am you, and you will believe that you are me. I think we should have Merdwin here as a precaution. He has the skills to enter our minds and retrieve us from one another should that become necessary.” Kataya made her statement calmly, but Sam could tell that she was uneasy about what was going to happen.
“If you think we should have him here, then it’s okay with me. Do I need anything?”
“Yes. Get your circlet and sword. It is not the one you will carry when you manifest, but neither is the one I normally use. I will contact Merdwin while you go to get them.”
Sam nodded and left. Kataya searched for Merdwin and found him in his quarters talking to Jack O’Neill.
“Merdwin, I have talked to Samantha. She has agreed to the link. I believe you should be here,” Kataya said to him.
“I can come now. I will see if Daniel can distract Jack.”
Kataya’s amusement was plain, as she answered, “All right and that will also keep Daniel occupied.”
Sam re-entered the room, and Kataya indicated that they should sit on the cushions she had placed on the floor. As she lit the candles and placed her circlet on, she said to her, “Merdwin will be here shortly. Light the candles on either side of you, put your circlet on, and place your sword across mine on the floor.”
A knock on the door heralded Merdwin’s arrival. He greeted the two women, and removed the floor-length cape he had been wearing. Sam sat in stunned silence, as he stood before them.
Dressed in skin-tight breeches and a tunic of black trimmed in gold, he was wearing the Katteri-enti Warrior uniform, but over it, he wore the robe that designated him as a High Priest of the All. A golden medallion with archaic symbols on it hung from an intricately woven chain around his neck. Daniel would love to see that, Sam thought irrelevantly. He carried a large tome, a scepter of some sort, and several other archaic looking pieces that she could not identify. Sam shook her head and smiled at him. “It’s no wonder Janet is the most envied woman on base. If I didn’t love Martouf and Lantash to distraction, I’d be right in there with the rest.”
Merdwin colored to a dusky red, as he said, “Our rites and rituals have been with us since the myst-time. It is, perhaps, time we changed our mode of dress. We have not changed it since your so-called medieval times. It is comfortable, and we find it pleasing to look at.”
“So do we, Merdwin. Trust me, especially the female half.” Sam grinned saucily at him.
Kataya quietly interrupted, “Samantha and I must accomplish this, the first rite of the joining of our spirits. Do you wish to preside? I assume you do, since you are dressed so.”
“I believe it might be best if I did. That way you can focus on the link, while I attend to the chants, and if the link becomes too strong and overwhelms you, I will be aware and take the necessary steps to release you.”
“All right,” Kataya nodded her agreement, her relief evident. She sat across from Sam on the cushions. “Sam, clasp my wrists, and close your eyes until the link is established. If you wish, once the link is made, you can open them. Merdwin will be doing the chants for us, as he said, so that we can focus.” She took a deep breath, and asked, “Are you ready, Samantha?”
Sam was nervous, but she nodded, as she swallowed, and tried to calm the butterflies fluttering in her stomach. Merdwin lit some type of incense, and she became aware that she was beginning to feel as if she was floating. Whatever lay ahead would be both exciting and terrifying in ways she had never dreamed. Sam took a deep breath and relaxed into the sounds and scents that surrounded her.
As she breathed in the scent of the incense, she listened to Merdwin as he recited something that sounded very much like an ancient spell of some sort. It was not long before she heard the sound of the large book closing, and she listened as he began to chant in the low melodious tone that Kataya always used.
Before long, Sam became aware that she was standing in a lovely wooded glen. She could hear water running, and in the distance, she could see the gleaming spires and turrets of a castle. Flags fluttered atop them in the breeze, and even at this distance, she could make out the Lion Rampant upon crossed swords.
She followed a path, and as it came to the stream, she saw deer-like creatures grazing beside it. She stopped and held her breath, as she realized that across the stream stood a beautiful white Unicorn, a creature that wasn’t supposed to exist in her world. Small woodland animals scampered away or eyed her curiously. An arched stone bridge crossed the stream, and Sam walked across it and into the courtyard of the castle where a Stargate sat on a raised dais. The people there were dressed like Kat and Merdwin. There was no doubt that she was in Kataya’s mind, and she became aware of a voice talking to her.
“Welcome to Cadwaellon, Samantha. This is my home. You are accessing my memories now. All you have to do is look and walk around. The scenes will change as you focus on different places and people. Our link is completed, and you have access to all of my memories and feelings. You will soon be fully engaged in what you are seeing and feeling, and you will probably not be aware that I am in your mind as you are in mine.”
“I understand,” Sam, answered her. She looked around and stepped forward; as she did so, the scene changed. She was in the courtyard still, but it had changed. The gardens were different than they had been. This is the way the gardens had looked millennia ago when Kataya had been in her first living.
Sam also realized she was feeling as Kataya had felt at the time this memory had taken place. It was happening just as Kat had said it would. Their emotions had joined, and she was both Sam and Kataya. It was an odd sensation to know she was Sam, and yet, to also know that she was Kataya. She knew that soon even that feeling would change, and she would simply be Kataya. It was happening so rapidly that she felt panic rising within her.
Suddenly, Merdwin’s voice was there soothing her. “Samantha, it is all right. I will not allow you to lose yourself for all time. I promise; I will be with you. This is normal. Simply allow it to happen, and I will ensure that at the proper time you return to your own body. Do you understand? Can you trust me to do this?”
Sam didn’t have to give it much thought. She instinctively trusted Merdwin; he would keep her and Kataya safe, as he had always done. “Yes, Merdwin, I trust you and I understand. Thank you.”
Sam found herself sitting on a stone bench in the rose arbor talking to her mother. “You have recognized your Soulmate, Daughter,” her mother was saying to her.
“Yes, I have, but Father may be displeased,” she said quietly.
“Will that make a difference to you?”
“I do not believe it will.”
“He is the perfect mate for you, Kataya. Your father will approve.”
She shook her head. “He will expect me to take a Warrior as a mate, will he not?” She asked.
Gwynnivar smiled at her daughter. “No, he will expect you to take a mate that makes your soul complete. Above all else, he wishes for your happiness with the mate of your soul and heart, and he will agree that the one your heart and soul have chosen will be the perfect mate for you. The one you believe to be your mate has spoken to you?”
“He believes himself unworthy of the daughter of the Warrior Artereos. He will not speak to me of this.”
“Then it is up to you to speak to him.”
“I have attempted to do so. He will not allow me to say anything about our feelings for one another. We only argue when I try to bring it up. He insists that he is not the one for me. He is stubborn once his mind is made up; he believes Father could not approve of him, and that I would grow tired of a mate who was not a Warrior like myself. He thinks it would shame me.” She looked across the courtyard at the sandy haired, blue-eyed man leaving a building with his arms full of books. Dayillon. She felt great sadness and vexation over how to convince him that his soul was special, and his brilliant mind was a gift she would encourage and admire. To be his acknowledged mate would fill her heart with pride.
As she started to go toward the young man, the scene changed again, and for a moment, Sam was aware of herself as Sam, as she realized the man she had seen was Daniel. He looked much as he did now for his features were similar. He was the same, yet different, and she decided he was more handsome this living.
The scene changed again and she was once more Kataya. She watched as Dayillon approached Artereos, who was sitting at his desk and looking up at the young man standing before him.
“Sire, my father told me that you had requested that I wait upon you to discuss something of importance. How may I be of service to you?” He asked, as he stood before the man who was his people’s leader.
Artereos looked steadily at him before replying, “My Lady, Gwynnivar, tells me that you will not speak to our daughter of what is in your heart and soul, nor will you allow her to speak to you of these things. I hope you are not going to try to convince me that she is not the mate of your heart and soul, Dayillon, for I would not believe you.”
As the young man prepared to make his statement on the situation, Artereos shook his head. “I find it hard to believe that such a brilliant young man could be so incredibly backward, when it comes to his personal affairs and feelings. We must hope that Kataya will be able to cure you of that.” He sighed as he watched the color infuse Dayillon’s face. “I fail to understand how you could possibly believe that I would not find the son of one of my oldest friends perfectly acceptable and desirable as a mate for my daughter.”
“She deserves a mate she can be proud of. Someone who is respected by others. I am a scholar, not a Warrior.”
“Dayillon, she deserves a mate who will complete her soul and love her unconditionally. I believe that is you. You are a warrior of causes, a brilliant, giving, caring man; a man who will love and care for my daughter with a love that few would be capable of giving. You are respected for your intellect and your abilities. However, more important than that others respect you, is that your mate respect you. If Kataya did not find you worthy of respect, she would be the first to deny the pull of her soul.”
“Now. I have spoken to your father. He has no objection to Kataya for you as a mate, and we have sealed the agreement. If you have objections, I suggest you take them up with him. I will inform Kataya of the agreement.” As she gasped in astonishment at such an archaic way of settling things, she stepped forward, and the scene again changed. She was in a bower of roses in the garden, and the young man, Dayillon, was standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders.
“Kataya, I have been ordered by my father and yours to speak to you. I am sorry. I tried to convince them that you would be happier with another, a Warrior, but they would not listen. It is up to you to refuse me. They will believe you if you tell them you wish for another.” She could hear the regret in his voice.
“Then perhaps you should ask, so that I may give my answer and be done with it,” was the terse response.
“As you wish.” He cleared his throat. “Kataya.” Suddenly the calm, controlled voice broke and became husky with desire and pain. “Kataya, my love, my blood burns in my veins with a fire and passion for you that I cannot deny. My heart and my soul are incomplete without you. You are the woman, the mate. It is my wish that you become mine for eternity. My most ardent desire is for our souls and hearts to entwine and join and for you to become my eternal mate. I have such love for thee, Blood of my Heart. Come to me, join me, and walk with me into eternity.”
The relief that flooded her was immense. He had said the words of the Soulmate, and he had meant them. Their fathers had only forced him to say that which he wanted to say. She turned to him and reached up to touch his face.
“Dayillon, my love; you are the Beloved of my Soul. You are the other half of my soul and my heart. You are the man, the mate. It is my wish that you become mine for eternity. I, also, ardently desire that we entwine our hearts and souls, and that I join you as your eternal mate. I, also, have such love for thee, Beloved of my Soul. I will come to you, join you, and walk with you into eternity.”
She watched the stunned look that came over his face. He had truly not believed she cared for him. As he lowered his lips to hers, she felt that first sweet kiss and knew the power of their desire, one for the other. The bemused look on Dayillon’s face when they at last drew apart was so identical to the one he still wore to this day after they had kissed deeply, that she laughed softly. Her Dayillon had not changed and neither had her love for him. It was as deep and true as always.
She watched as scenes from the millennia of her livings played out. She spoke again the argument that would last for thousands of years, the disagreement over entwining versus joining of their souls that was still a matter of tension.
She saw herself as a young squire not yet given her rank, for although she could fight as a Warrior; she could not yet manifest during battle. She saw herself receive her first clasp of rank and again felt the pride of wearing it.
Then the scene changed and, suddenly, she was in the midst of a battlefield. There was weapons fire, energy, and sorcery all around them. She watched as the Katteri Priestesses and Priests went from one Warrior to another either healing or helping them to pass to the All if the injury was to grave to heal.
She was angry as she watched her comrades fighting and dying because of this Mage Daemon and his evilness. She manifested, and as she felt the changes in her body she looked down at the claws, the long deadly nails, felt the incisors and knew that her eyes gleamed with green and purple fire. She watched herself become Katteri-enti.
As she drew her sword and entered the field of battle, she was aware of the immense power that flowed through her. The feeling was stunning and exciting all at once. The enemy was overrunning their position, and all around her Katteri-enti were manifesting and going into hand-to-hand combat; it was a truly awesome, yet terrible sight. She dodged the blow from the Cor’pesie Deamon in front of her and threw up her personal energy shield. He could not touch her now, and she began to attack with a vengeance. Reaching out her hand, she slit his throat and absorbed his life force.
She saw the surprise in the Cor’pesie Deamon’s eyes as he realized he was dying. Taking the last of his life force, she encountered the next, and the next, and they fought until bodies littered the field of battle, both Katteri and Cor’pesie Deamon, and still they had not taken the most important thing. As the Priestesses and Priests gathered their comrade’s bodies so they could take them to Avilion, she joined the group looking for the Mage Daemon Lord and his prisoners.
They headed for the stronghold. Once inside they again met with fierce resistance. One group fought toward the torture chamber and dungeons where the prisoners would be, but she was with the group that fought their way into the presence of the Mage Daemon Lord. Somehow, she ended up facing the Mage, and it was the two of them. Then it was just her, and the Mage Daemon Lord lay dead at her feet. She stood over him and looked at the blood around her. Moreover, she looked at the blood on her hands and wondered if they would ever come clean.
She had learned how to manifest and to kill in the way of that Warrior millennia ago. However, she realized that while she did not like many things about being that Warrior, she was not willing to give up fighting against the evil of the Dark Mages then, nor the Goa'uld now.
Therefore, she spent more time at Avilion, the Sanctuary, and learned how to increase and harness her energy and power. She realized this was the one thing as strong as her love for Dayillon, this knowledge that the Dark Mages and, in the future, the Goa’uld, must be controlled at all costs.
She lived on earth with her parents, when they thought her father had been killed. After several years, her mother joined with her Heartmate, Llancellon. A perfect baby girl and boy were born to them, and the girl was named CsillaBellawyna Morna’Catira. Though she loved them both, she loved her little sister more.
Even then, her little sister and Dayillon shared a special bond; she loved to sit and listen to them argue points of science or history. She watched the little blonde girl grow into a beautiful woman, and she was sad when her first living ended, and Csilla chose to go forth among the species that she could choose from, to be reborn, and learn the life lessons she would need.
Moreover, she lived through the time, both joyful and sad, when Artereos returned to them. Her mother felt so much guilt that she chose to enter the cloister at Avilion, the Sanctuary, regardless how much Artereos assured her he understood the bond between her and her Heartmate.
She learned much of the Furling way of acceptance and love, at that time, and would always be grateful to her father for showing her the importance of love in the course of one's livings. She understood why he chose to wait for his Gwynnivar to return, rather than seek a new Soulmate, taking only Heartmates in the interim, and she knew that soon Artereos and Gwynnivar would be reunited. Once Morgasha/Bastet was defeated, Gwynnivar would realize the important part she and Llancellon had played.
She was there as she and Dayillon each died over the intervening years. Moreover, she was at the last parting over five hundred years ago, the parting where Dayillon had died fighting by her side, not long after she lost the kits that she was carrying. She lived only long enough to taste revenge by winning that battle. The double loss was more than she could bear.
She was reborn into a new life, with neither kits nor Dayillon in it. She had yet another sweetly loving affair with Merdwin, but this time, she knew both the joy and the sorrow that accompanied the birth of her kits with him. Yet always, she searched for Dayillon.
She finally knew the true joy of a perfect blending when she agreed to join with her Tok’ Ra symbiote, Siesha. She lived the years of friendship and had full awareness of the joy that came from that pairing. They had many years of just the two of them before they met their Heartmates.
She watched as the Stargate came to life, and a man and woman stepped through the gate. It was herself, and she was laughing up at the man. Although he was truly handsome, even beautiful, and his expression was exceptionally sweet, his features were not truly animated, until his eyes flared and his features came to life. Then he became absolutely breathtakingly handsome.
She realized she was looking at Lantash and his host Dominic. She also knew she was deeply in love again. Not the all-encompassing love she had for her Beloved, Dayillon, but the deep and passionate love she knew for the Adorata Coeurawyn, the ‘Adored of her Heart.’ There was so much joy and love between them, and it grew until it was almost a living, breathing entity between them. She had seen herself with other Heartmates and lovers over the millennia she had lived, but none had meant what this one did. The love she had for them was second only to that she held for Dayillon, of that she was sure. And only the love she held for Merdwin was as close to the depth of love she felt for Dayillon, Dominic, and Lantash.
She experienced the act that caused Siesha to die that she could live and give them the vengeance against Bastet that was their due. Bastet had a hand in it being necessary that Siesha give her life for her, for an Ashrak caused Siesha’s death.
She watched, and experienced, the birth of the two kits she had with Dominic and Lantash. Taesha and Lanwin. She took part in the argument when Lantash and Dominic had wanted to name the daughter Kataesha. She had finally given in on the understanding that she would be called only Taesha. She knew their joy as parents, as they watched these children grow into beautiful beings.
She was aware of the pain and foreboding when Dominic left for Bastet’s stronghold. As the story played out in her mind, and she saw it all, and experienced it all, she thought she would die herself. She watched herself as she leaned down, kissed him for the last time, and whispered words of love that no one else should have heard. She again felt the depth of emotion she held for him, and realized how very, very much she had loved this good, gentle man, who asked so little for himself. Furthermore, she knew in her heart, that because she had called him by the name of the Soulmate, he had been truly content, even as he died.
She spoke the promises that bound her to say nothing to Lantash and heard the others promise the same. The horror of what she was about to do clawed at her mind, and she was terrified of herself, as she saw the cold-blooded way in which she calmly reached out her clawed hand and slit her lover’s throat. He gazed at her with love and trust shining in his eyes, a small smile on his lips, giving her the strength to do what she must do, knowing she would keep her vows to him. She watched herself withdraw the life force from Dominic; she watched as she took his soul and placed it, shielded and safe, within her own soul-place. Then she completed the task; she ripped open his neck, detached Lantash, and cradled him in her arms.
There were tears then. She watched as she came to the decision, and she began to pull more energy from the universe than she was supposed to be able to, in order to support his life force. His injuries were so severe that even with the energy she was pulling, she felt the ebbing of their life forces, and still she would not give him up. She knew that the life force she gave to Lantash before entering the Chaappa’ai was enough to leave her severely depleted when they reached the other side; she did not care. Only Dayillon’s deaths had hurt her more.
Suddenly, they were there, and the priests and priestesses were everywhere around them. She could feel their energy sustaining them. She stayed cognizant of the purpose around them, and she stayed with them until they agreed to take more of her life force and use it to sustain him.
When that was done, she slipped into the life that was neither living nor yet death, and remained there allowing them to sustain her, until they told her he would survive. Then she began to fight for her own life, so that she could return to him. Artereos and Merdwin returned and reminded her of her purpose and so, for that, she manifested as the Dragon and healed quickly.
She held him often in her arms as he healed, and they gathered strength. When the day came that he could blend with Justin, she was overjoyed. Life was back to normal or as normal as it would ever be again. She relived the next thirteen years and knew the joy they had in each other and their children.
Then came the call from Artereos. They needed her and her expertise in the Pegacian System, and it was time for Lanwin and Taesha to begin their formal training with him. They needed her at home. However, the Tok’Ra needed Lantash and Justin here, and so she left, and her life became a grim travesty of life, with nothing in it for her, except the fight to win the war.
She felt sorrow when she heard that Justin had been killed, but joy that Lantash survived. She heard the news of Lantash when he and his new host met a new mate, and with that, though she cried, still she found some peace, for she knew he had found a new Heartmate, and he was happy. From that point on, never did she allow his name to be spoken in her presence. It was the only way that she could survive her loss of him.
So, the years dragged on. She watched herself become more and more the expert and formidable Warrior. She knew the fear she engendered in the opposing forces, and slowly, they began to win the war there.
Then came the day she heard of Thor's request, and she requested the assignment knowing it would send her to the Tau’ri. Although she questioned that it was the right thing to do, still, something told her she must go there.
She felt the almost overwhelming joy when she realized that her new assignment would bring her to her Dayillon. Her Daniel as he now was called. She felt the long first weeks before he understood who and what she was. She experienced the joy of their first mating after all of the years, since they had last been together, as well as all of the subsequent ones. Making love to Daniel was a truly exquisite and beautiful experience, and she reveled in remembering it.
Then, the pain of seeing Lantash again for the first time tore through her heart. She saw her heart, how it was bleeding, how the pain was growing, and it hurt so deeply that she cried out.
Suddenly, Sam found herself waking up lying on Daniel’s bed with Merdwin leaning over her looking at her with concern. She looked over and saw Kataya lying on the floor.
“What happened?” Sam whispered to Merdwin.
“You were both deeply into each others minds, Samantha, and I had to force a parting. I am sorry you had to be forcibly parted, but it was not completely unexpected, I assure you.”
Sam was doing her best to get up and off the bed. She could tell that the stones on her circlet were glowing, and she realized that she was pulling energy into herself without trying. It was clear that some of the changes in her were already taking place.
Someone was pounding on the door, wanting in. “Merdwin, take care of Kat. I am fine.”
“She will be fine, Samantha. She is simply weak right now; once the Sevesh Lok Twin is performed, she will improve rapidly. I promise you,” he stressed his words as he saw how very upset she was. Straightening, he strode to Kataya and picked her up knowing that taking care of her would help to lessen Samantha’s more immediate trauma. Giving her something to do would help even more to bring Samantha fully into herself.
Jerking his head toward the door, he said to Sam, “If you feel strong enough, please let Daniel in, before he breaks the door down.”
Daniel almost fell into the room, followed by Jack and Teal’c. “What in the hell caused you to cry out, Carter? We were standing just outside, and it sounded as if you were in pain.”
Sam looked at her friends, and her look was that of someone whose life had been turned upside down. “Samantha,” Kat whispered from the bed, “You promised you would not tell Lantash. You must keep your word.”
Sam walked back to the bed where Kataya now lay, “Why? Why won’t you tell him?”
Kat smiled slightly, before saying, “It is the way of the All, Samantha. He must choose for himself. I cannot and will not force him to make a decision. Surely, you understand that now? Neither the All, nor I, will force him—or you.”
Sam looked at her with wide, anxious eyes. “I understand,” she whispered. She looked around the group gazing at her. “Listen, if you guys don’t mind, I think I’d like to go, um, rest.” She pulled in a ragged breath, turned, and almost ran from the room.
“What the…” Jack O’Neill exclaimed, as he watched his 2IC bolt from the room. He turned to the others, and asked, “Is she okay?”
“I would seriously doubt it, Jack,” Daniel spoke up. “She’s had a whole lot of stuff thrown at her in, what, two, three hours, tops? One of us should probably follow her and see if we can help.”
“She might accept help from you, Daniel, but I think she needs someone else right now,” Merdwin said.
“I will go find Martouf and tell him that Major Carter is in need of his assistance, “Teal’c spoke up.
Merdwin shook his head at Teal’c’s words, and said, “I do not think that is really what she needs either, Teal'c, although no doubt, he would be a comfort. I was thinking that perhaps someone else would be better. I think Samantha needs a friend, a close female friend, not a lover. I have taken the liberty of contacting Janet and directing her to Samantha’s location.”
Jack looked at Merdwin with relief showing plainly on his face. “She didn’t go to her lab?” He frowned. “Carter always goes and plays with her doohickeys when she’s upset.”
“Not this time, Colonel. She will need more than a doohickey to reconcile herself to this, I am afraid,” Kataya sighed, and closed her eyes.
“Merdwin,” Daniel said, urgently.
“She is only sleeping, Daniel,” but he frowned down at her. “Stay with her please. I think she just needs the rest, but to be safe, I would like you to stay with her.”
Daniel rubbed his face and looked at Jack. “I think you’d better tell the General that we need to wait as long as possible before we contact the Tok’Ra.”
Looking at Kataya and then at Merdwin, Jack nodded and headed for the door. He stopped and looked at Merdwin for a moment, before saying, awkwardly, “You’ll let us know if Carter, you know, if she needs anything, right?”
Jack turned to Daniel, who sat with Kataya’s hand in his. He watched his friend’s face, before saying, “Listen Daniel, if you need to talk or anything, well, you know.” He was getting more worried about Daniel with every hour that passed. Kataya had Merdwin to take care of her. Sam had her dad, Martouf, Lantash, and now, Merdwin and Kataya, but Daniel only had Daniel. Well to be honest he had Kataya, too, but she was a large part of the problem. He frowned at the wall, and then he stared at Daniel.
Daniel looked at Jack and shook his head. Along with Teal’c, he was standing, staring at him, as he sat beside Kataya on the bed. He knew without them saying it what was bothering them. They were worried about him
“Jack, I appreciate your concern, but I really will be all right. I know what I’m facing, and I still wouldn’t trade my time with her for anything in this or any other world,” Daniel said, as he contemplated the tip of his shoes. Looking up at the two men who were looking at him with their worry plainly in evidence, he smiled slightly at them. “I really am okay with this; you guys don’t need to worry about me.”
“I believe you are a strong man, Daniel Jackson, but I also believe that the events we are about to encounter could be extremely stressful, indeed, are already stressful. We wish you to know that we are available should you need anything.”
“Thank you, Teal’c. It means a lot to me to know that the two of you will be there for me. And although we haven’t really spoken much about…” his voice trailed off tiredly, but he waved his hands to envelope everything and everyone present and not, indicating what he meant with them.
As Jack noted his friend’s obvious pallor, the worry on his face, and the emotional tension emanating from him, he realized that Daniel wasn’t sleeping, and somehow, he knew it wasn’t bedroom gymnastics keeping him awake. He wasn’t sleeping because of the worry, tension, stress, whatever; he’d seen it before. He just didn’t know what to say to get him to stop it, if those words even existed. So, he said what he knew his friend would understand. “Daniel, you know, if you…well, anyway, all you gotta do…you know”
Daniel looked up, “Yeah, I know, and hey,” he sent a small smile to Jack. “I will.”
Nodding as he grasped the door handle, Jack said, “Yeah…yeah, I know,” he cleared his voice, and continued, “and listen if you, you know, I’ll be…well, you know.” He looked at the wall opposite, as he hunched his shoulder as if uncomfortable.
Daniel looked at the door and said, “Hey, I understand, you don’t have too…really.” He coughed. “Really, I’ll be…and I’d…well you know.”
“Yeah,” Jack said. “Anytime, Daniel. And Carter…I’ll, well…you know.” He rubbed the side of his face.
“I know. I know.” Daniel smiled at him.
As Jack and Teal’c left, Merdwin turned to Daniel. “I have never heard so much said, in such an incoherent way, and yet be perfectly understood by everyone present.”
Merdwin followed Jack and Teal’c’s example and exited the room. Daniel smiled softly before lying down beside his mate to watch over her. He was worried about Sam, but Jack would check on Sam, he knew, and he could rest easier knowing that Jack, a small smile tugged at his lips, and Teal’c, were worrying and watching over all of them.