Chapter Forty Summary: The teams are as ready as they will ever be and the day of the Battle is fast approaching. Sam and Kataya return to Avilion. While there, Artereos discloses to Sam just who Morgasha/Bastet really are. She is shocked. After they return to the SGC, Sam talks to Kataya about Artereos's revelation. She also frets because she could not yet manifest, even though Artereos, Merdwin, and Kataya all assure her that it will not happen until she is in a pitched battle situation. The day arrives and the Battle takes place. Sam takes her place as Katteri-enti and the Dragon. Warning: Character Death: As promised by the women, it is temporary. They will return to their mates.
Et Aevum - Into/For Eternity Igisadonis Animawyn - Beloved of My Soul Aima Coeurawyn - Blood of My Heart Coeurawyn - My Heart Carusawyn - My Dear One, My Dearest One Amat Wyn - My Love “Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communication
The last few weeks certainly seemed to fly by. The teams worked harder than ever after their practice run, when they managed to rescue Lieutenant Stevenson and Sergeant Martin. Brialek, the Tok’Ra healer, was helping Ellen Stevenson to heal quicker by using the healing device on her. There was a great deal of damage to her knees, legs, and pelvic area, and Tau’ri medicine alone, could not heal such severe damage nearly as well. In fact, Janet was of the opinion, that without the Tok’Ra’s intervention, Ellen Stevenson would have been out of the service on a medical discharge, something that would not happen now. As things stood now, physically, they were healing well, but especially Lieutenant Stevenson, was dealing with the mental aspects of the ordeal they underwent.
The two other members of their team requested a transfer to one of the Special Assignment Teams, and because half of their team was medically unfit for duty, the General and Colonel O’Neill agreed. They would need to join other teams in the interim anyway, so this would work out fine for the time being. When the tactics group working on the Bastet operation decided three weeks ago that they wanted one more Special Assignment Team, they added them to that one. They put in a lot of hard work to catch up with the others, but their team was declared ‘Good to Go’ two days ago.
The Major and his Lieutenant were impressed with the teams during the rescue, and now, after working with them, they were prouder yet, to be part of one. The job they had been given was an important one, they knew. The entire mission was important to them all, and its most important elements were Major Carter and Kataya. They were as concerned as the rest of the teams that Major Carter and the Warrior Kataya were missing from the daily routine. For the last three days, neither Major Carter nor Kataya had visited the training area. Rumors were rife as to the reason: Some said one of them was ill. One said the Major changed her mind about going in as Katteri. Another said that they were off world for last minute instructions and training from Artereos, something they planned to do all along. That one happened to be the one that was true.
The day before the Great Battle, they returned, but they went straight to Kataya’s quarters. Those who saw them return said that they seemed fine. Major Carter had appeared to be her normal self, and Kataya had been as serene as ever. Everyone relaxed knowing that the two returned with no problems evident.
Had they been in Kataya’s quarters, their perceptions might have been different. “What are we going to do, Kat?” Sam asked anxiously.
“We are going to defeat Bastet, Samantha,” was the placid answer. “We will go into battle. The teams will perform flawlessly, and we shall destroy Bastet. That is what we are going to do, and that is what is going to happen. Nothing has changed.”
“Yeah, I know. Not even me,” Sam said glumly.
“You will do fine. Stop worrying,” Kat said, as she smiled gently at her. “It will work out, Sam, I promise you. You trust Artereos and Merdwin, do you not? They, also, are telling you this is what will happen. We have not been wrong yet, have we?”
“No. No, you haven’t,” Sam said, still distressed. “But, are you sure I should not have stepped into the fire? I mean, I know you and Artereos say that my soul is Furling, so I do not have to, but my soul is also Tau’ri. What if that is the reason, why I cannot do it? What if I need to do that first?” Sam asked, as she became more agitated. “Even you stepped into the fire in your first living, so why don’t I need to? I really don’t understand.”
“Samantha, I was a very young woman, not long out of childhood, when I accepted my destiny, and I had many livings to go through. I stepped into the fire, so that it might forge my spirit into a cohesive whole; it would not desire to be reborn into another species, or even to come back as a kit in order to learn my life lessons. You lived my lives during the link, and you know that I have never again been a kit, and the time I spent with the different races was spent as myself as an adult. Never have I been born as other than who and what I am, Kataya of Cadwaellon, and I never shall be.”
“You were not forced to make that choice, since I have already done so. We share soul threads; therefore, in a way, you have already been through the fire. There was no reason for you to take my path, for your soul had many lessons woven into it from those my soul had learned. I thought you understood, and I am sorry that I did not help you earlier to understand why you have no need to take that step,” Kataya explained, solemnly.
“I should not have spent so much time cloistered, when I was not working with Merdwin; my spirit would have been all right without doing so. I should have spent more time with you as you went through your final practice sessions with Artereos. I am sorry that I left you so much alone, Samantha,” she said, regretfully. I did not realize that you would not understand why these things are as they are, and for that, I do apologize to you. You should not have been suffering these self doubts because of this, but thankfully, it has only been a short while. I am glad you did not try to manifest right away, and I admit I am surprised that Father did not put your mind to rest.”
“He told me it would not work before I tried, but I thought he was just trying to make me feel better, if I failed. I did not realize he really meant it, literally,” Sam said, still sounding unnerved by her failure.
“Now, I am also telling you, so please, stop worrying about what did not happen. It was not unexpected by either Artereos, or I, and we are not disturbed by it,” she explained, quickly and calmly. “Samantha, a first manifestation always takes place during battle. You got farther with it than either Artereos or I expected. You did manage some of the physical changes. The fact that you could not completely change should not worry you. As we told you, even I could not completely manifest, until I was in a pitched battle situation. You experienced my first manifestation when we linked, did you not? I am sure that you can recall the situation and my emotions. So, please, stop worrying. We did not go for you to manifest, but to be with Artereos and learn more of Morgasha,” Kataya said, sincerely and firmly.
“You didn’t learn anything new though, did you? You already knew about her and Merdwin. I still cannot believe she would do that to him. Not to Merdwin. No wonder he has never had another mate, and it explains part of why he has held so tightly to you, why he wished for you as a mate. I am not suggesting that Merdwin does not love you deeply, because he does, but still it explains a lot about him and his attitude,” Sam said, thoughtfully.
“Does it? Then explain it to me because I have never completely understood it,” Kataya replied, frowning. “Not,” she continued, “that I do not value Merdwin, and his love of me, for I do and I love him just as fiercely in return. However, it has always seemed odd that he would be fixated on me, when there were more beautiful woman all around him, many of which made it abundantly clear, through the millennia, that they were quite eager to attempt to make him happy. We have always had a close loving relationship, it is true, but…there were so many beautiful women.” She shook her head as she contemplated what appeared to her to be an aberration.
Looking amazed that Kat did not understand, she said, “It is obvious, of course. He feels safe loving you. You were everything she was, but your intentions were pure good, where hers were pure evil. He knows you will never do to him what she did.” Sam shrugged and then continued, “I believe that Merdwin has always believed that you have never loved him quite as passionately as you do Lantash or Daniel, but that you love him truly, in a very, very deep, and eternal way. You would never betray his love, Kat, never, and Merdwin has always known that on every level,” Sam exclaimed.
“Now he loves Janet. Soon, Morgasha will be dead, and he will be completely free of even the knowledge that she is out there somewhere waiting to try to kill him and her brother again. And, that is the other shock to me. I am still trying to get my mind around that. Artereos is Morgasha’s brother. She is Merdwin’s mate and Artereos’s sister,” Sam murmured, yet again, and then gasped, “Oh, no, she and Merdwin are not still mated, are they? Please, tell me they aren’t, Kat.”
“They are not. However, oh, Samantha, the pain he went through because of her treachery and betrayal. I do not know how he survived it without becoming hard and uncaring, but thank the All, he did.” Sighing as she remembered the pain of that time, she continued her answer to Sam, “The All dissolved the tie millennia ago, without requiring that they go through the Sevesh. Her treachery made it unnecessary for Merdwin to do other than request his blood be returned to him. It almost killed her, but unfortunately, it did not,” Kataya said grimly. “It is no longer important now, for we shall see to it that she is dead this time, very dead indeed, for the list against her and Bastet is long, Samantha. If she had never done anything else, for what she did to Merdwin alone, she deserves to die.” Eyes flashing and her voice laced with venom, she hissed, “When you add in the thousands of innocent lives she has taken, and then my Dominic and our Lantash, you must agree she will get no more than she so justly deserves.”
Drawing a shaking breath, Sam said, “This has to be a living nightmare for Artereos as well as Merdwin.” Sam was still trying to take in what they were about to do. Quietly she added, “I think I am still processing what she did to Merdwin. If she had managed to steal the knowledge of his power completely, and trap him in stasis where he would never have been able to escape, she would have been able to get to Artereos. It is,” she paused, and then looked at Kataya, “What we have to do is so important,” she whispered. “What if I fail, Kat? What if I can’t manifest and we fail?”
“Samantha, whether you manifest or not, Morgasha will be dead. I would prefer to do it using both our powers, however, if for some reason you cannot, then I will see to it that she is dead, no matter what I must do to assure that. Do you understand?” Kataya asked, quietly.
“No. No, I do not. If you have the power to do it alone, the All would not have brought me forth. So no, I don’t understand.”
“Samantha, Morgasha is a master Enchantress, and so am I. Merdwin taught me everything that she stole from him, as well as any new chants and spells he discovered or invented, so my power as an Enchantress is equal to hers and very possibly, it surpasses hers. It is not common knowledge, but I have been studying with Merdwin for millennia,” Kataya told her quietly. “The main problem will be the great regenerative power that she has, as I am quite sure Artereos warned you. Even though our power is quite formidable as the Dragons, still, neither you nor I, have the truly massive regenerative power that she has. The All gave it only unto the First-born. And she will also have the healing abilities of the Goa’uld.”
“However, because of our mother, I have one or two abilities that she does not, nor does she realize their true power. If I must, then I can defeat her by becoming one with the forces of nature. If for some reason you do not manifest, then I will not hesitate to do so. Please believe me, Samantha. Morgasha will be no more, one way or the other,” Kataya assured her earnestly.
Sam stared at Kataya for a long moment before saying slowly, as if thinking the idea through as she spoke, “But, you would die. Not just, die to be reborn. You would die but— you would not come back would you? That is why the All did not want that to happen. That is why they brought me forth; so that you would survive. So that we could fight her together, and you would not have to do that,” Sam said, as she realized what Kataya was truly saying.
“It would depend on how badly she was depleted and how much energy I would need to release. Certainly, if I had to use the greatest extent of the power, then the consequences would be worse.” Kataya turned, walked across the room, and said over her shoulder, as she poured herself a drink, “There is nothing that says I would die. I would certainly be very weak, probably for a long time, but I would not necessarily die,” Kataya assured her. Turning to face Sam again, she said, “Besides that, it simply will not come to pass. You will manifest, Samantha,” Kataya reassured her, “You will manifest. Artereos is quite sure of your power, and so am I. And Samantha, I have never, in all these long millennia, known Artereos to be wrong.”
Seeing that her words had somehow relieved some of Sam’s distress, she walked back to her, and said, “Sam, go home with Martouf and Lantash. Have a pleasant evening and make love to them, as if it were the first time. Give them all your love and honor them by accepting theirs. Tomorrow, and all it entails, will come soon enough. They are your husbands, your mates. Enjoy them and that fact. You have had so little time together. Please. For your sake, as well as theirs, stop worrying. Go, Carusawyn,” she told her, as she urged her toward the door.
Sam hugged her briefly. “Kat, thank you. You are right, and I am not going to worry about it any more. And, you are right about having a good evening. We should celebrate. We have been married for five weeks now. Maybe I will take some port home with me, and I should probably take some mead too. Lantash seems to prefer it.”
“Yes, the symbiotes do tend to prefer the mead, so take both,” Kataya, agreed with her.
“I can do that. See you in the morning, Kat.”
“Goodnight, Samantha. Have a wonderful evening.”
Once Sam had left, Kataya changed out of her uniform and into one of the dresses that Daniel liked so much. He would return to her soon, unless some artifact or manuscript distracted him and caused him to lose track of time. Somehow, she knew that on this day, he would not have done so. He would be thinking of her and home, as she was thinking of him, home, and the evening ahead.
Artereos had a portrait of her made from a picture that Daniel took their first evening together in their home. He would have seen to its delivery today, and it would be waiting there for them to arrive home for the evening. She hoped he liked it. After tomorrow, it might be all he had of her for quite some time. However, that was tomorrow. This was tonight, and she would do what she had told Samantha to do. She and Daniel would sleep very little this night. Both knew what tomorrow could bring, but neither would speak of it. They would revel in being together this one long night, as she had suggested to Samantha, as if it were the first time. She looked up and smiled as Daniel came through the door.
“Are you ready, Igisadonis Animawyn?” She asked, softly.
“Yes, I am, Aima Coeurawyn. Shall we?”
“Yes, my love.”
“It is breathtakingly lovely, Kataya. Thank you. When did you arrange to have it made?” Daniel wanted to know, as he looked at the beautiful portrait.
“I contacted father our first night here, when you took your images, and asked him to have it made. You mentioned that night that you wished a portrait of me, here in our home,” she reminded him softly. “I sent the images to my father and asked him to choose one, and then have it made for you. I decided to give it to you now, instead of after our joining, since it was ready early. It is the gift of my promise to join with you as your mate once again, Igisadonis Animawyn.”
“Now, you will have me with you always, Dayillon, even if I am not in this room with you. It will remind you always of my promise to return to you soon, whether from the next room or across the galaxy. You will know I am watching you and you will remember to have unwavering faith in our love and my promise,” she whispered, as she brought his lips to hers, in a kiss that caused him to forget everything, but the feel of her. “Promise me you will remember, Daniel, please, promise me,” Kataya urged him softly, bringing him back to the present.
“I will remember, love. I will cherish it, always. Will you not come to me and love me tonight, Blood of my Heart?” He asked, his voice husky with desire.
“Yes, Beloved of my Soul,” she whispered, as his lips claimed hers in another kiss that seemed to take both of them to some faraway place where only lovers could go. “Yes,” she breathed, as his shirt fell to the floor and her lips played across his chest, as her fingers found the fastening on his jeans. She would relearn every curve and muscle of him this night. When the new day dawned, they would still be awake to greet it. “Yes, my love,” she whispered once more, before they both became lost to words.
“Samantha you never cease to amaze and enchant me. I love you, Coeurawyn. Always.” Looking down at the cake on his plate, Martouf laughed gently, “Lantash and I have become extremely fond of this chocolate, in a very short time. Thank you for thinking of this. It did not occur to me that it was an anniversary for us.”
Watching her from across the table, Martouf caught his breath, as he did so often when he looked at her. She had given him more joy in these few short weeks, than he could ever remember having before. Each day that she greeted him with her smile and a kiss was a wonder to him. People often told him that when his Samantha entered the room, his face lit up, as if someone had turned a light on. He believed it, for he felt as if she brought the light with her into his life.
The joy with which she always greeted him amazed and awed him and Lantash, for it was for both of them. She greeted both of them with joy. Her caring for both of them showed in so many little ways, this evening a point in fact, as she had remembered the mead, as well as the port. He did not know how he had survived before she came into his life, and he did not know if he would survive if anything ever happened to her.
However, those thoughts were not for tonight. He had to tell himself that the mission tomorrow would go well. Bastet would be dead, and he and his Samantha would join their hearts and souls by the Furling joining rituals. Then they would be complete, bound even more tightly, if that was possible. He watched her as she ate her cake and flirted with him. Dear universe, how very deeply he loved her.
Sam laughed with him, as she ate another bite of her cake, “Well it is a pretty slim excuse for cake and ice cream, and most people would consider this more birthday type stuff, but hey, we both enjoy it, so I thought we could use any excuse to have some.” Smiling at his enjoyment of the sweet, she added, “You do know that cake and ice cream are extremely fattening. If we are not careful we are both going to end up gaining a ton.”
“Then we will just have to think of some form of exercise we could do that we would both enjoy. Something we can do together. What do you say, Carusawyn, shall we clean this up, and then begin our exercise routine?” Martouf asked lightly, as he stood and rounded the table to stand beside her.
Sam agreed, as she finished her cake and port, before turning to gather up the plates and clear the table. It would not take long, and then, they had the long night ahead of them to make more memories. She wanted this night to live for them forever as a beautiful one. She frowned thinking once again about Morgasha/Bastet. She would remember to tell Martouf and Lantash who she was tomorrow though, not tonight. She would have time before the mission, and it was something she felt he should know. He and Daniel, but she knew that Kat would tell Daniel.
Finishing their tasks, they returned to the living room and sat close together on the sofa simply holding one another, absorbing the wonder of being together. Soon he stood and offered his hand to Samantha. “Will you not come to me tonight, Aima Coeurawyn, my wife?” Martouf asked, his voice husky with desire.
She took his hand and stood. “Yes, Igisadonis Animawyn, my husband,” she whispered, as his lips claimed hers. Soon, lost in the sensual haze their love always wrapped them in, she pushed the now opened shirt off his shoulders and let her lips find their way across the glorious skin of his chest and throat, moving back to his lips. “Yes,” she breathed onto that skin, relishing and memorizing the feel of it. They had all night long to revel in one another, and they would use each and every moment of it to do so, before they greeted the sunshine of another day. “Yes, my love,” echoed softly, on the still night air.
The arrival of the nine teams on Bastet’s world went like clockwork. There were no guards on the gate, and the teams spread out to remain undetected as long as possible.
Their instructions were to use zats until it was no longer feasible. When they were close enough to the compound, teams six and seven were to set up diversions to lure as many Jaffa away as possible and once they reached the diversion, team nine was to lay down a barrage to keep them pinned there, until the other teams had taken them out.
It was imperative that they keep the link open between each of those teams, and not one member of those teams was concerned. They had spent hour after hour using this link and it had become second nature to them, which was exactly as it should be. If they managed to take out the Jaffa they had lured away, they were to make their way to the compound to give assistance there, cleaning out pockets of resistance on the way.
At this time of day, Bastet walked in a garden near the courtyard in which Kataya wished to trap her. She had to pass through it to get back inside. Teams five and four were to engage and keep pinned down any returning Jaffa to keep them out of the courtyard.
Teams three, two, and one would take out the Jaffa around Bastet and inside the compound, then assist teams four and five with the returning Jaffa. Absolutely none of the Jaffa were to be able to re-enter the compound during the battle. Team eight was medics. They would bring up the rear.
It had gone unbelievably smoothly. They had taken out a great many Jaffa quietly with zats before they realized and raised a general alarm. The fighting became more intense as the teams neared the compound, but it was nothing they had not expected. The ninth team was doing a bang-up job, Jaffa were penned down, and the teams were taking them out methodically.
The number of Jaffa the Katteri agent had said there would be was very accurate, as was the information of where Morgasha/Bastet would be at this particular time of day. SG-1 made it into the courtyard of the compound, while she was watching the other contingents close in on her and giving orders. When she entered the courtyard and saw them there, she had laughed, until Kataya had stepped forward and removed the shield she had used to conceal the fact that a master Enchantress of the Katteri was among them.
Jack turned as he heard the unearthly hiss and scream come from Morgasha/Bastet, as she realized they fooled her and that she was not facing a small group of Tau’ri, but a Katteri master Enchantress and a Dragon Slayer at that. She had sensed it, not only too late, she realized, but only when the Enchantress facing her had wished her to realized it. This one was powerful indeed, to be able to do that.
Jack wished he could watch, but they were inside the compound and now their job was to keep the Jaffa outside. Man, that woman could screech. Jack reloaded and took out a few more Jaffa. He saw some of the Katteri begin to manifest. Slipping their circlets on and drawing their swords, they were amazing to watch. There was no ban on other types of weapons this time, but they kept the swords, daggers, and circlets hidden. They fully expected the Katteri to manifest, but not until after Kataya had shown herself to Morgasha.
Never having actually seen a manifestation during battle, he had to admit it was startling to see. He hoped they were not changing too soon, and then realized that they would know when Kataya removed the shielding that hid who and what she was. They would all have sensed it by now. He turned to look and gaped at the sight of Kataya, as she and Morgasha/Bastet began to manifest. He watched as the two Dragons locked with one another in combat. Holy smoke, Bullwinkle! They really did look like Dragons in a very real way, and yet they still looked like women. If this was an illusion, it was a heck of a good one, because you could not really tell where human flesh ended and dragon began.
Kataya was a truly magnificent sight. Dangerous and pagan, the power of the Kat-entity was there, but other characteristics showed the dragon. Just as it had happened the day she manifested for Daniel, ribbon devices appeared on both arms, but as a part of her and the circlet around her head was no longer a separate piece that lay on her. It, too, was part of her, the large amethyst, embedded in the iridescent scales forming on her forehead, gleaming brightly as it glowed with the power of the universe.
Jack watched, fascinated, as a shield and sword appeared. As the energy swirled higher around her, armor began to appear, clothing her in a tunic made of gleaming iridescent scales, girded in gold. Kataya seemed to have grown taller, but he could not tell if that was reality or illusion.
He watched, almost breathless, as she pulled large amounts of energy into herself, until she seemed to glow from within. The energy swirled around her and seemed to encase her for a time in a swirling cyclone of power, before calming and steadily circling as well as entering her. Then as the energy once again became a wild and fierce entity, the feel of it in air of the courtyard became so intense he felt the hair on his arms and head raise slightly.
Jack turned his attention away and back to the fighting to protect their Dragons with difficulty. He wanted to watch, but knew he would only be able to catch bits and pieces of the battle. He hoped the energy they were about to start throwing around would not hit any of them; without a shield, they would not stand a chance. Good thing they had one.
They were somewhat protected by low stone benches and statues and their Katteri group shield being generated by Lanwin. He and Taesha had taken to using the Tau’ri weapons like ducks to water, much as their mother had. Taesha had the link, and she was doing a bang-up job of both keeping the link open and helping to fight and defend the Dragons.
He knew that soon, they too, would no doubt manifest. He soon realized it had already started. He saw their eyes begin to glow and their claws come out. No doubt, their fangs had burst forth as well. Oh, yeah, they were definitely Katteri-enti.
Daniel watched, fascinated, as the woman he loved became the Dragon of the Fire. Intellectually, he had known that her abilities to pull energy in this form exceeded greatly anything she was capable of at any other time. Nothing he had seen or imagined had prepared him for this, though. It was almost as if she had become a part of the Universe. It was beautiful, and fearsome, and he could not even imagine what it would look like when she and Sam joined their power and manifested together, but he felt sure that those who witnessed it were going to be awed. He certainly was, and it was not even both of them yet.
He watched as the Dragons fought. Morgasha/Bastet was indeed as powerful as Kataya had warned him she would be. No matter how many times Kataya struck her, still she seemed to gather power and recover. Kataya herself was in a constant haze of wildly pulsating streams and flames of energy.
As two of the Dragons fought, he became aware that Sam was not manifesting. She was having trouble.
Sam was beside herself because of her failure to manifest. No matter how hard she tried, she could not attain more than a standard energy draw. While her blasts seem to help, they were not strong enough to drain Morgasha’s power. They were an annoyance that helped draw her fire from Kataya, nothing more. And, it kept Sam busy dodging Bastet’s energy bolts, when she did turn her attention to her.
Her thoughts were frantic. I was afraid I would not be able to do it, she thought bitterly. As she watched, appalled, Morgasha struck Kataya hard enough to take her down. She attempted to draw Morgasha/Bastet’s fire to herself once more, so that Kat could recover, and she saw Kataya suddenly begin to glow with a blue-white flame. She had never seen it before, but she knew what Kat was preparing to do, and she could not let her do that. Not yet. No unless there was no other way.
Kat was turning herself into a flame of pure energy. She was drawing on the forces of nature, as well as the universe, and she would become a massive bolt of energy in order to take Bastet out. Only by doing so, she could die. Thank the universe, Sam thought, Kat still had to continue to fight, so the building of the power was slow. It was keeping Morgasha fully occupied attempting to keep her from gathering enough power to successfully change.
Watching, Sam felt anger building in her that soon changed to a pure and white-hot fury. Finally, beside herself with rage at her inability to manifest she shouted within her mind to the All, knowing it could hear and feel her. “Damn you! I am CsillaBellawyna the Beautiful Star! I am Morna’Catira the Beloved Warrior! I am Drawyn! I am the Dragon! I am the Dragon of the Star and you will not deny me! Do you hear me? How dare you refuse me my energy and power? I demand that you give me the power that is mine to command.”
And, suddenly, she knew it was true. Standing, she looked outward to the universe and shouted aloud, “I, Samantha Carter, am a Master of the power that is the All, and unto Me shall be given the energy and the power that belongs to a Dragon of the All, for it is my right, and it shall not be denied to me.” As she finally completely accepted herself as a Dragon Slayer, she knew the shock of feeling massive amounts of energy flowing into her body, and she gasped at the surge of pure power that infused her every cell.
“Carter, get the hell…down,” Jack O’Neill’s shouted command sank to a whisper on the last word, as he watched the manifestation of the Dragon of the Star begin to take place.
Sam knew she had already thrown an energy shield around herself, and she could feel the change in her appearance, as her uniform quickly melted away, and armor took its place. The silver and iridescent scales of her tunic with its silver girding flashed in the evening sunlight. She knew the ecstasy of pure power flowing into the ribbons, which appeared and became part of her body, as did the circlet that encircled her head.
Lifting the sword she now held, she watched as it glowed bright with silver and blue bolts of energy, and the blue and silver Mysts that suddenly swirled at her feel enveloped her shield until she raised it, and it gleamed in her light. On it were a Dragon and a Lion Rampant above crossed swords, and in one corner a falcon flew above a unicorn, the symbols for truth and purity. The inscription read: The Dragon of the Star of the Universe shall Prevail.
She was more than Katteri-enti. She was the Dragon of the Star, she was the Slayer of the Blood and her sister, her spirit twin, needed her, now. As the circlet on her head grew ever brighter, she felt the massive amounts of energy building, and she turned to Kataya as she heard the howl of rage that Morgasha/Bastet released, as she realized that they had kept the most important information hidden from her. This was not simply a powerful Enchantress and Dragon Slayer. These were the souls of the prophecy, they were here, and she knew she was indeed doomed. But, not without a fight. Perhaps she could not win, but she would take them and as many of their own as she could, into death with her.
Daniel watched, awed at the sight of these two truly magnificent women. When Kataya had manifested to help slow the progress of her bleeding before the Sevesh, she had seemed wondrous to Daniel, and he had thought at the time that it would be an awe- inspiring sight when they both manifested, but it had in no way prepared him for this. Her energy draw at that time had been small compared to the massive amounts of energy she was pulling and using now.
Kataya was again the golden, yet iridescent being she had been before, but so much more. Even in this pitched battle, there was poetry in her movements. Before, the flames of blues, purples, and gold swirled around her and leapt from the Myst at her feet. Now, those same flames seemed to burn hotter and brighter with reds and oranges apparent among the other colors. They leapt higher and burned intensely as they flew from her fingers, which were now indistinguishable from the ribbon devices, and they made her stunningly beautiful and glorious.
The flames flew from her sword as they laced across her body and whirled and danced around her. How absolutely breathtaking and terrifying she looked, he thought. As she raised her shield again, he read: The Flames of the Fire Dragon bring Victory and Vengeance. The emblem was the same as the one on Sam’s; only the inscriptions were different. They held the same message though, he thought; Morgasha/Bastet was toast.
As Martouf and Lantash looked at the newly manifested Samantha, they saw a glorious, pagan Amazon. The Dragon of the Star was truly majestic, as the energy she commanded sizzled and sparked from her hands, now ribbons, and sword. Always beautiful, as the Dragon of the Star, Samantha was unparalleled.
Unlike Kataya, who stood amongst flames of energy fed by the Mysts of the universe, Sam stood among crackling arcs of silver lights and bolts of the purest shades of blue lightly tinged with lavender. From the Mysts of the universe swirling at her feet, an occasional deep indigo charge would race around her body and mingle with the silver sparks that she emitted constantly.
The bolts of energy leapt from her body only to return and build ever more intense. From indigo to silver, the energy that raced and twirled around her body turned the Mysts at her feet into the deepest shades, and brightest auroras, of the skies of the universe. Together these two women were overwhelmingly stunning.
Daniel and Martouf stood enthralled by what they were seeing. Born of the universe and its power, their mates were the power of that universe and all that was beautiful in it. With the light of the slanting sun shining off them, for a moment, Daniel imagined he saw them each with wings spread wide. He shrugged mentally, knowing that dragons had wings in fantasy, but he would be more inclined to think that if there were such things as avenging angels, then they were seeing two of them now.
Martouf watched with him, and he seemed to have forgotten how to breathe. What a magnificent sight they were. “Martouf, as truly awesome as this is we must continue to protect them from outside interference. We must keep the remainder of the Jaffa at bay, until they are finished with that monster,” Lantash reminded him sharply, knowing he had to get his attention.
“Yes, of course, I am sorry, Lantash. I shall get Daniel’s attention and we will take the far wall, as no one else has thought to go there.”
“That is a very good observation, Martouf. Let us go before some Jaffa also figures that out,” Lantash agreed.
Forcing himself to turn away, Martouf shook Daniel’s arm. “We must protect them, Daniel. Much as we would like to watch them constantly and see all of this battle, we must do our part to see them through it. Quickly, we must take a stance at the far wall before some Jaffa get through there.”
Daniel looked at him blankly for a moment, before nodding swiftly and hefting his P-90. For this mission, he insisted they arm him well. Kataya had backed him up, as had Jack. It was not as if he was unfamiliar with or did not know how to use the weapon. He was actually quite proficient with it; he simply rarely felt the need to carry one. This time he did. He again nodded his agreement, and then motioned to a couple of openings in the courtyard wall that Martouf had indicated, from which they would have a view of the surrounding countryside.
The two men made their way to them in time to stop a few Jaffa from sneaking in. Daniel had a few tense moments with a Jaffa in hand-to-hand combat, but surprised himself by being the one left alive. Martouf and Daniel managed, somehow, to watch both their respective posts, and the battle raging within the yard.
Having nothing to lose and everything to gain, Morgasha/Bastet was holding nothing back. Samantha and Kataya began to do battle as they had practiced so many times, and they worked in perfect harmony one with the other. Each knew exactly what the other was about to do, and it was as if they were two arms of one being.
As the battle raged, the sight of the three dragons, locked in mortal combat, awed those watching and protecting them from those trying to enter the courtyard and help their mistress. How odd, Daniel thought, that the Dragon of the Blood would manifest and be physically beautiful. Looking at her, he saw the resemblance between her and Artereos.
Morgasha was beautiful, with deeply wavy coal black hair, deep green eyes, and golden skin. She was voluptuous in the extreme. Her energy was of black and green with streaks of red, and it swirled and flowed around her. Only her eyes showed her true malevolence. They gleamed and burned with pure, unadulterated evil. It was all Daniel could do to look upon such ugliness within such beauty.
He heard her screaming, “I will take your mates and make them my slaves. They will serve me in my bed, and you shall search for them for eternity, but they shall never escape me. I will use them to pleasure me forever.”
“Not gonna happen, bitch,” Sam said, and he heard Kataya laugh. Then he watched as Kataya worked her way to Sam and struck her lightly with her sword causing a slight cut on her arm. Sam immediately struck and drew blood from Kataya on her arm. As the two women joined the cuts and their blood mingled, the courtyard was flooded with brilliant blue and purple lights, and everyone there now realized why there had been no blood shed during their joining; it was the final ingredient needed to cause the complete union.
They joined their power, the two women glowed brighter, and the battle raged. Morgasha/Bastet again howled with rage and renewed her fight with apparently increased vigor. Each person watching was aware that they were seeing a beautiful, deadly, ballet as Sam and Kataya seemed to dance together within the flames and arcs of their energy, never once missing a step, a turn, a leap.
Jack had stopped trying to shoot Morgasha/Bastet when he realized that her shield kept out any type of firepower they had. Only Kataya and Sam could break through it. Moreover, they did, but the regenerative power of the First-born Furling blended with a Goa’uld was immense.
Martouf also watched, fascinated, as he held his post and helped to guard his mate as she battled. He and Lantash were aware that they were involved in and seeing, the greatest battle they had ever witnessed. They despaired when they had to turn their attention to the Jaffa trying to get into their position.
They were all aware of the other teams slowly, but methodically, taking out groups of Jaffa all over the compound, working their way towards them, to give support to the battle that raged inside.
Suddenly, Morgasha/Bastet tried to make a break for the doorway. Kataya threw a massive bolt of energy that caught her off guard, threw her against the wall, and stopped her forward momentum. Sam followed it up, and they began slowly forcing her towards a corner of the courtyard. Morgasha/Bastet was finally weakening. Neither Kataya nor Samantha let up as they came at her time and again.
However, Daniel and Martouf both realized that their mates were taking severe hits and they, too, were losing power and energy. Finally, forcing Morgasha/Bastet into the corner, Daniel watched as Kataya once again began to harness massive amounts of energy as Sam kept Bastet concentrating on her.
Watching her, Daniel’s memories told him not only what Kataya was preparing to do, but what the consequences to her could very well be. When he realized fully what it meant, he stood; “No,” he screamed. As their eyes met across the courtyard, she sent him wave upon wave of love, then released the bolt, which carried not only the energy of the universe, but the fury and destructive power of nature’s forces.
It pierced Morgasha’s shield, as if it was not there, and was a perfect hit in the center of her adversary’s chest. As her blood began to pour from her, Morgasha/Bastet looked first at her chest, and then at Kataya, who stood almost defenseless before her, drained of all major power sources, but smiling at Morgasha, nonetheless, for she had achieved her purpose. Morgasha/Bastet would die—by her hand. Vengeance was there for all those who had lost their lives, or loved ones to her.
With her last breath, Morgasha/Bastet harnessed as much power as she could. She raised her arm, and as her final act, she sent the remainder of her energy straight at Kataya in a huge ball of power. As she released the blast, the energy pulled her well forward toward Sam and Kataya, as she fell in death. Sam tried to step in front of her now unprotected sister to share her own shield, and the blast hit both of them with its full force. The blast went into and then through the shared shield, and it was enough to take both of them down. Spinning them around as it hit them; both fell forward toward Morgasha/Bastet and onto their backs. As the two Dragons hit the ground, not even the air seemed to move. Everyone watching seemed to freeze in place at the sound of Daniel’s scream, and all of them watched in horror and disbelief, unable to do anything to help or change what was taking place.
No one noticed that the blood of the Dragons was soaking into the ground and spreading outward, turning the soil red and forming a pool in which the blood from all three dragons mixed. From their statue like stances, they all watched as Kataya slowly turned herself onto her side, and raised her hand. Using the last of her fire energy, she sent a surge into the pooled blood, set it aflame, and fell back to the ground.
Though they all saw her do it, only the Furling realized the significance of the gesture. Kataya and Samantha had fallen close together, and now they reached slowly for each other’s hands. When they touched, and their hands entwined, each smiled as they looked at that flame, for each knew that the prophecy was complete. Morgasha/Bastet was dead. ‘And the blood of the Dragons shall be shed upon the soil, and from the fire we shall rise again and shine’.
The light of the All was safe. It would still take time for the Goa’uld to be completely defeated, but it would happen. Moreover, vengeance was unto the heart of the Dragon of the Fire, as had been promised, for at last Merdwin’s betrayal, Dominic and Lantash’s torture and deaths, and the deaths of the innocent were avenged. And though despair laid heavy upon her heart to be leaving her Dayillon when their time together had been so short, still she was joyful, also, in her heart, for one more threat to the All, the universe, and the races that dwelled there was ended.
The teams were making their way inside. The Jaffa somehow knew their queen was dead, and they were giving up. The priestesses who had come were there, and they were beside the two dragons that still drew breath, but they knew that time was short, and though they moved aside for the Dragon’s mates, they remained close enough to touch their dragon if needed. The spell the people watching had appeared to be under suddenly seemed to break and they raced towards the two beautiful Dragons lying on the ground.
Daniel ran forward, stumbling, scrambling to Kataya’s side, and when he reached her, he took her gently into his arms. As he caressed her face and touched her lips, he heard her whisper to him softly, “Daniel, Amat Wyn.”
“Sh. Hush. Conserve your strength. You will be all right. The priestesses are here. We will take you to Avilion,” he whispered softly.
“Daniel. You must promise me that you will go on. You must take care of Lantash and Martouf. They will be lost without Samantha, and they have never waited for their Soulmate to return as we have. You understand that I will someday return. They do not.”
“No, Kataya, not this time. I cannot survive without you again. I will go with you, and be reborn with you this time.”
Kataya smiled at him gently. She was becoming weaker as her lifeblood seeped away. She whispered to him, “Not this time, Coeurawyn. This time, I must go as the Dragon of the Fire, and you cannot come with me on this journey. It is one that I must go on with my spirit twin.” As Daniel looked down at Kataya and Sam’s hands, he realized that their ribbons and hands had become completely and irrevocably entwined.
“No, Kataya, please, please, no. Don’t, don’t say that,” Daniel whispered, pleaded, his voice anguished.
“You must continue to fight the Goa’uld, and you must care for those we leave behind. Promise me. Please, Coeurawyn. You will not fail the ones that depend on you.”
Daniel could hardly breathe, “I promise,” he finally whispered. Almost choking on the words, but knowing she needed to hear it all, he continued, “I will continue the fight against the Goa’uld. I swear I will seek vengeance for this, the shedding of your blood, and on that blood, I promise I will take care of Lantash and Martouf,” he managed to tell her, his voice ragged and rough with tears and emotion, but also laced with steel as he vowed his revenge. This was a promise he knew she would understand and believe.
“I love you, Kataya, Et Aevum,” his voice broke, as he struggled to speak to her.
She smiled at him, stroked his face, and touched his lips with trembling golden fingertips, as she whispered, her voice weak and husky with emotion, “I must go.” She sighed softly, and with a faint smile, she murmured for the last time, “I love thee eternally, Dayillon.” Daniel continued to hold her, though her hand fell from his face and her amazing violet eyes slowly closed. On some level, he was aware that she had stopped breathing.
Gwennetha took her mother’s hand in hers, and she looked at Daniel. “We must hurry, we have little time,” she said urgently, as she nodded to the other two priestesses, who also reached out and touched her mother. As they surrounded her, they began a low- toned chant. Daniel did not even hear them.
He stared at her face, so beautiful to him, and as far as he was concerned, although he might continue to live and breathe, the color, the light, and the joy were gone from his world. Nevertheless, the vengeance would grow and bring a light into it. Not yet, but soon, he knew.
As Martouf scrambled towards Samantha, he recalled an earlier conversation between them.
“I do not think I would be able to survive if anything happened to take you from me,” he had said to her.
She had looked at him, alarmed. Her voice was urgent, as she said, “Martouf, Lantash, you must promise me that you will go on if something happens to me. You must. Please, promise that you will continue to fight the Goa’uld.”
Martouf had frowned, “Samantha? What is wrong? Why are you saying this?” A feeling of dread was building inside of him. “If that is truly your wish, my heart, but it will be very difficult for me to do. Why are you saying this now?”
“I am a soldier; I could be killed at any time. You and Lantash know that, just as I know that it could happen to you. Both of us must be prepared for that. We are going into a fierce battle soon.”
Martouf felt as if he could not breathe, and Lantash was as stunned as he. They had known, of course, but they had not acknowledged that knowing. Once again, he felt the desolation he had lived through once before, only this time, the world was not just dark, it was black. Forcing himself to draw a breath, he looked at her. “I do not know if I can do as you ask, Samantha.”
“You must,” she whispered. “I need to know that you will remain if I am gone. That you and Lantash will take care of one another, and continue the fight.”
He looked at her helplessly. “Samantha, I do not know if I can do as you ask. Neither Lantash nor I would wish to continue without you.”
“It is important to me that you live on. Please.”
Martouf had sighed, but he finally agreed, “All right. I promise, if that is what you truly desire.”
Lantash came forward and said to her, “You are my life, Samantha, and I truly do not know how I would survive without you, but if that is what you need to ease your worry and bring you peace, then I will promise you. Moreover, I will take care of Martouf; I promise you that, also.
As Martouf held Samantha in his arms and watched as the blood seeped onto the ground, he remembered that conversation of a few weeks earlier. She had known then, he realized, that she would not survive the Great Battle. Only now did he remember promising Kataya virtually the same thing. They had known; they had both known.
He held her to him, and he heard her whisper, “You are the Beloved of my Soul. You are my eternal mates, my husbands. In time, I will return to you, I promise, but you must go on, until I can come back to you. You must have unwavering faith in my promise and my love of you. You must survive, and you must take care of and help Daniel, for he will feel the loss of Kataya, perhaps more deeply than ever before. You must help each other.”
“Samantha, the Tok’Ra healers are here. The Furling Priestesses are here, also. We will take you to Avilion. You must not give up, you must not.” He pleaded with her to hold on, to survive. “You are the Blood of our Hearts. You are our eternal mate, and we will love you into eternity,” Martouf whispered in a voice so choked with tears that he could barely speak.
Finally, he said the words she needed to hear, “I promise you that we will remain, and I will care for Lantash and Daniel. We will continue to fight the Goa’uld and do as you wish, my love.”
Sam raised the hand not entwined with Kataya’s and stroked his face gently. “You have given me so much. Passion, joy, enchantment, and a love deeper than anything I have ever known. I love you both so much, Martouf, Lantash,” she gasped as pain shot through her. When it had passed, she whispered softly, her voice full of love for them. “I will always love you, my husbands.”
As Martouf watched, her breath stopped. “No,” He whispered. “No, no.” He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up into the eyes of their son. “I swear,” he said to Lanwin, “that we will seek vengeance for this, the shedding of her blood, I swear for both Lantash and myself. The Goa’uld shall pay for this,” he whispered fiercely, before turning back and giving into his grief.
“Come, my fathers. Let the Priestesses take my mothers.”
“Your mothers?” he whispered.
“Yes, both of my mothers are almost gone. Please, you must let them take them to Avilion, the Sanctuary, for that is where the All will wish them to be taken,” Lanwin said gently, his voice laced with sympathy.
“I cannot,” he cried as he rocked the still, beautiful form he held in his arms. “I cannot do this,” he said once again, his voice achingly forlorn.
“You must. You are strong. Both of you and my Mother’s beloved, Daniel, are strong. You promised that you would not fail them.”
Suddenly, Jack O’Neill was kneeling beside him. “Martouf, look, I …” looking down at the woman/dragon lying in Martouf’s arms, he caught his breath and swallowed hard, then mentally shaking himself, he continued, “We have to go. We have to get them to the Stargate.”
Still dazed, Martouf looked numbly at these men. He could not do what they all were asking of him. His reason for living had just died. He shook his head refusing to release his burden. Where was Lantash, why was he not aiding him? Lantash? Lantash! Still on his knees, he swayed and O’Neill pulled Samantha from Martouf’s arms as he fell.
They all became aware at the same time of the large burn in his back. He was unaware that the three priestesses surrounding Samantha had begun a low-voiced chant of infusion and sustaining, and he did not see the flash of light that took Samantha, Kataya, and the priestesses.
Daniel looked blankly at him as Teal’c reached down to help him up. Standing, he looked at where Kataya had been lying only moments before, close in his arms, “She is gone,” he said blankly, and then he felt Teal’c’s arms go around him. “She is gone,” he said one more time in a harsh, broken voice before he collapsed. Only then did anyone realize that Daniel, too, was badly injured. As his jacket fell open, they could see the blood soaked shirt and vest underneath.
“Crap,” Jack exclaimed, at the sight. “Damn it, Daniel, don’t you dare die on me, too,” he whispered roughly.
Laying him on the ground, Teal’c ripped his shirt open to expose the large jagged knife wound. A medic ran up and quickly tended it by placing a pressure bandage on it and starting an IV.
A few feet away, a medic looked at the burn on Martouf’s back, and said, “This one will have internal injuries. It is medium high on his back, which means the symbiote’s injury is severe, if he is even still alive. If he is, he is not going to be doing much healing for the host, I am afraid. We need a Tok’Ra healer here,” he called, as he applied a temporary dressing. “We need to move these two out of here. Okay, IV’s started, you are good to go,” he said, as he rushed to the next person he spied with injuries.
“We should hurry, O’Neill,” Teal’c said, as he picked up and cradled his friend in his arms. His voice urgent, he added, “We may have very little time.”
No one noticed that in the growing twilight, a new star shone forth and slowly rose into the night sky.