Chapter Forty-one Summary: The Great Battle is over and they have prevailed. Those injured are being taken care of by Tok'Ra, Tau'ri and Katteri healing as they head for the gate. Of all of them, Martouf, Lantash and Daniel are by far the most critical. Once they reach the gate, Lanwin and Taesha give as much energy as they can to them before they head through to the SGC. Jack, Teal'c, Brialek, Malek/Devlin, and Jacob/Selmak make some promises to the Katteri that pertain to Martouf/Lantash and Daniel. The Tau'ri and Tok'Ra have some distressing and difficult times to live through before they see any daylight.
When Brialek bent to pick up Martouf, he looked at the fellow Tok’Ra on his knees beside the bloody soil where Samantha Carter had lain. The look in Jacob Carter’s eyes was one of complete desolation; he looked completely dazed. Brialek watched as Jocasta went to him and gently raised him to his feet. The man looked lost, stunned by the sudden loss of his daughter.
Frowning, he looked down at Martouf lying limp in his arms. If they did not do something soon, Jacob would also lose the man who had recently become his son. He watched as Malek made his way to them, his face carefully devoid of all emotion. He and Lantash were close. It would be a blow to him, also, to lose this man. It would not happen if he could help it. He, too, was close to these two, both of them. They had been through too much together to lose each other now, and if it was within his power, they would survive.
As they began looking around, they began to realize that they had a great many injuries. Mesmerized by the drama of the battle raging between the Dragons, and caught up in their own responsibilities, many of them were not even aware that they were acquiring wounds. Thankfully, the group of medics and some of the Tok’Ra were starting to take steps to care for those who had sustained damage. The Katteri were no longer in their battle manifestation, and they, too, were checking on comrades and doing what they could to help. As the teams came together, Jack began to count heads. There had only been two fatalities on their side. He found it hard to believe that their soldiers participated in such heavy fighting and came out of it with only injuries.
The Katteri shields had allowed them to take out great numbers of Jaffa with only injuries to themselves; there was no other explanation that accounted for it. Of course, some of those injuries could still prove to be very serious and perhaps fatal if they did not get treatment to them as soon as possible. The Dragon of the Fire and the Dragon of the Star were gone. They simply disappeared in a flash of light. He wondered if Merdwin was behind the—the retrieval of the bodies. He automatically assessed the area, his people, and their present situation. As he continued to scan the area around them, he made a heart-stopping discovery as one fact finally sank into his consciousness. It was gone; ‘where in the hell was the body of the Dragon of the Blood? Crap. Had she not been dead, and they had let her escape?’ As he stood staring at the spot where she had been lying, one of the Katteri-enti came forward.
“Thor took her body, or rather what was left of her body, with them also, Colonel O’Neill. She was dead, and the All immediately claimed and…sedated…her soul so that it will not be capable of attempting to re-enter this plane of existence. The Furling will bind it within the All. It will take time, patience, and skill, but it will be bound, hopefully, for all time. I hope and believe that our…our mothers also destroyed her power. Either way, whether completely destroyed or bound along with her soul within the All, neither will ever again be a threat to anyone on this plane.”
While half of Jack’s brain was in soldier mode and fully functional in all ways pertaining to the military side of this situation, the other portion was moving and functioning as if it was in a thick fog. As what Lanwin said penetrated that fog, he exclaimed, “Then that flash was Thor, and he took Sam and Kataya, right? Then they will be okay. Thor can…”
The Katteri looked at O’Neill with sorrow in his face, as he shook his head, saying, “I am sorry, Colonel O’Neill, but Thor does not have the ability to sustain a Katteri-enti, much less a Dragon Slayer. Please, understand,” he said softly, “our mother’s injuries were truly massive. Because of the Dragon manifestation, most of their wounds would not be visible to you; however, their own bodies sustained tremendously extensive damage. Without the Dragon manifestation, they would have died earlier during the battle.”
Jack O’Neill looked at the young man blankly before realizing that he was talking to Kataya and Lantash’s son, Lanwin. “Your mother is dead, and your father may be dying. How can you be so…” he stopped speaking, and his voice trailed off as he shook his head stopping himself. “Sorry,” he said brusquely.
He knew it was not the young man’s fault. There was no point in stating the obvious to him; his words had just shown that he was very much aware of what had happened. Damn, he had just watched that bitch kill his mother, as he stood by unable to help her. He did not need Jack, or anyone else, reinforcing that vision.
“Both of my mothers are gone, Colonel, but my mother will return as Kataya of Cadwaellon, as she has always done, and my other mother, Samantha, shall also be reborn. I do not know if it will be a short time or a long time, however, I would venture a guess that they will return together and very probably sooner rather than later.”
Nodding, Jack realized that Lanwin would not look on death as they did. To him it was not a permanent state, and even if it were hundreds of years, he would still see his mother again someday.
Lanwin was still speaking to him. About Daniel and Martouf, he realized. “My sister and I will not allow our fathers, or the Beloved of our mother, to die before they return to the Tau’ri. Then it will be up to your healers to take over. Although they are badly injured physically, it is the great emotional distress that will be the greater danger, and that you must deal with,” Lanwin said, as he turned and stepped to the Tok’Ra who carried Martouf.
He placed his hand upon Martouf’s chest, and then nodded toward the gate that opened in the direction of the area where the Chaappa’ai was located. “We will go now, please,” Lanwin stated with an air of command that O’Neill had not noticed before. He was his mother’s son when he needed to be it seemed. Good, he could leave Martouf and Lantash to him, and he could worry about Daniel.
Brialek, himself a healer, nodded grimly. He believed that he could heal the physical injuries, although they were very severe, well, actually some of them were critical. He could handle them, if he could get them back to the SGC alive. Of the chances that they would survive the mental and emotional devastation, he was not so sure. He was not sure at all. Be that as it may, he knew that the sooner they had them in a stable environment and undergoing the healing device the better it would be for them, for they could treat neither condition efficiently here.
After ascertaining how critical Martouf and Lantash were, Lanwin decided that he could leave them for a moment. He stepped to Taesha’s side, and looked upon the face of his mother’s Beloved as he lay in Teal’c’s arms.
He spoke only to her as they slowly made their way toward the gate, “How is he?” His voice was soft within her mind.
“It is very bad, but I believe our mother healed some of it as he held her. She placed as much of her life force at his center as she could, and it will help to balance him as he journeys into the All. I believe it will be enough to sustain him and his spirit for a time, at least until he finds his brothers and they begin to sustain one another. It will ensure his survival. I imagine Samantha attempted to do the same, and our fathers also have one another,” She replied calmly, nevertheless, her concern at what Daniel and their fathers were facing, was very evident.
“Even if they had not given it, the result would have been the same. The prophecy foretold that they would die and then arise again, as you know. At a minimum, they will travel far in to the All, and we have no idea how long they will be gone. As for the Beloved and our fathers, as you say, they will have one another, and if the Tau’ri continue to call to them, they should eventually return to this plane of existence,” Lanwin said gently, knowing how close his sister and mother truly were. Although they knew that their mothers would return, all of them would keenly feel the separation. Sorrow at death was a fact of life that one felt each and every time one died, even though one knew that they would see the lost one again some day.
Taesha sighed. “I know,” she said, equally softly, knowing how much his mother meant to him, “but the Tau’ri and the Tok’Ra did not understand that it was so. Lanwin, our mothers asked that we take care of their mates, and see to it that they did not give up and simply die rather than live. We must see to it that the Tau’ri and the Tok’Ra fully understand the importance of calling to them, of calling them back. It is imperative that they do everything they can to hold them to this world, for if they do not, our fathers and Daniel might very well give up and refuse to return to this life.”
“Yes, I know. We shall, and I believe that they will survive, if we get them to the Tau’ri home-world alive. After that, we must go to Avilion, to the Sanctuary, for there will be much to do to take care that our mother and Samantha are safe within the All. I am thankful that Merdwin will be there to see to our mother’s safety.”
“It will take many working day and night to bind Morgasha’s soul that it may never return to this plane of existence.” Lanwin reminded his sister of the work that would be waiting for them at Avilion.
She answered him quietly, “Yes, and then Merdwin and Grandfather will truly be free of her malevolence. At least, our mother did not have to use the greatest force of her nature power that would have also destroyed her own life force, perhaps, for millennia. I was afraid she would have to do so for a while, and I was so relieved when she was able to use a lesser force to achieve her goal.”
“I know, for I feared that also.” Glancing at Daniel’s white face, he said, “Are you going to transfuse him? Furling blood will help. I plan to do so to our fathers.”
“Yes, of course. I have already given him some; however, I plan to give him as much more as I can. I, too, realize that it can only help them.”
Looking back at Martouf and then again at Daniel, he commented briefly, “I believe that we should hurry.”
Taesha nodded her agreement, as she turned back to Teal’c, and said, “We must hurry, Teal’c. He will survive if we return him to your healers soon.” Teal’c looked down at Daniel’s still, white face as Taesha continued to speak softly to him, “He and our fathers all promised our mothers they would continue to live. You must remind them often of this promise, even though they seem as if they cannot hear you,” she stressed, as they walked a little more quickly.
Teal’c looked at her intently, and then nodded, saying, “I myself will see to it that it is done frequently, and I will remind the others to speak of it often to them, also.”
“Our fathers must remain on the Tau’ri home-world until you hear from the Council of the Table. You must also ensure that they do this."
“See that who does what?” Jack O’Neill had come up behind them, as they walked back toward the Stargate.
Lanwin answered him from where he was walking with Brialek, sustaining his fathers, “Lantash and Martouf must remain on the Tau’ri home-world, Earth, until you hear from the Furling Council of the Table. You will see that this is accomplished?”
“Well, sure if that is what is supposed to be done. Won’t Merdwin be there when we get back? I was kinda counting on him to heal our wounded, especially Daniel and your dad, er, dads.”
Taesha spoke up, as they continued to walk. “Merdwin will be needed at Avilion, the Sanctuary. There is a great deal to accomplish. Your healers and the Tok’Ra will be able to handle the remainder of the wounded. Your own medics are caring for them, even now, and the Tok’Ra, who have them, are using their healing devices. They have stabilized everyone. They will be all right once the Tok’Ra healers, and your own doctors, can see to them in a more stable environment.”
As they continued the rather long walk back to the Stargate, Jack realized that Taesha never took her hand from Daniel’s heart, and her circlet glowed constantly. Lanwin walked beside Brialek, his hand resting on Martouf’s heart. These two were sustaining the human and the Tok’Ra.
Looking around he realized that other Furling warriors were doing similar acts for other injured. He saw them walk from one to the other of the injured and touch them. He could tell they were transferring energy to their injured comrades; their circlets, too, glowed almost constantly. He remembered hearing Daniel’s thoughts during the battle through the mind link. Avenging angels he had thought. Looking at the bloodied and bruised group, he could picture wings on all of them. They certainly deserved them, for they had opposed a formidable enemy today.
He shuddered remembering the extensive injuries Carter and Kataya had both sustained…and according to Lanwin, he was not seeing the worst of them. He still had trouble believing the amount of pure power and energy that Morgasha/Bastet had wielded. Had he not seen it himself, he was not sure he would believe it. It sounded so fantastic, like a sci-fi fantasy. But then, much of their lives had become sci-fi fantasy. Still…he would never have believed that one, er, sort of person, could wield that much power. The power their Dragons had wielded together had been phenomenal to see, as well. He would see those bursts of light and energy in his dreams forever. That Morgasha had stood as long as she had against their immense power spoke of how truly powerful the First-born Furling were. He almost stopped walking as another thought entered his mind. According to Kataya, both Merdwin and Artereos were more powerful than Morgasha…even with Bastet added into the equation. He was really, really glad they were on the same side. Really.
It had not soaked in yet that Carter was truly gone. Not yet. He would not think about it just yet, because when he did, he would probably lose it. It still appeared unreal that one moment he had been holding her and the next, she and the priestesses surrounding her were gone. He looked at the still form of Daniel. Teal’c was cradling him in his arms and walking beside him, Lantash’s daughter, Taesha was sustaining him. Stop thinking, O’ Neill, he told himself. Not yet, you cannot think yet. If you do, you will never get through everything that still needs finished.
There was the gate, thank whatever gods were listening. They dialed earth, and the Katteri stood with each of the injured, giving them strength or energy before allowing them to limp or be carried through the Stargate. Daniel and Lantash were still in Brialek and Teal’c’s arms. Lanwin’s hand was on his father’s heart, his circlet glowed brightly, and you could almost see the energy pulsing through him and into his father.
He opened his eyes and nodded at Brialek. “Remember what you must do, and that they must stay on Earth, with the Tau’ri, until the Council contacts you. It is imperative that they do so,” Lanwin emphasized his points. “I believe there are plans to send ambassadors, as well as warriors to help you. We will return also, but keep him there until the Council has met. You understand and agree to do this? You will give your word on these things?” The young man asked both his voice and look intense.
“Yes, I give my word. We will see to it, and await word from the Council, before he returns to the Tok’Ra,” Brialek assured him. “I understand what must be done.”
Jacob, standing next to Brialek and Malek, nodded his head, before saying, “We will see to it, I give you my word. He will not leave the Tau’ri world, and we will do our best to keep his spirit here.”
“I thank you for that. We will return as soon as things are settled, I assure you. On that you have my word,” Lanwin bowed his head and removed his hand from his father’s heart. “Go quickly. He will still need much healing.”
He watched as Brialek stepped into the shimmering blue pool with his fathers, then he turned to Colonel O’Neill.
“I need your word also, Colonel. You will treat my father well, see to it that he has everything that he needs, and that someone reminds him often of his promise to our mother? We are aware that you do not care for him, so I must have your word of honor on his treatment,” Lanwin said, quietly, but firmly.
“Yeah, you’ve got my word,” Jack agreed. Looking at the young Katteri, he added, “Martouf and Lantash, they can kinda grow on a person, y’know? Besides, they love Carter. We’ll take care of them; you can count on it.”
Nodding his understanding of what that admission had cost O’Neill, Lanwin then moved to his sister’s side to ask, “How is our mother’s Beloved?”
She shook her head, “He is very weak and has lost much blood. I have given him as much as I can, and I have healed some of the most life-threatening areas for if I had not he would have died before we reached the Portal. Still, much damage remains. I believe he will survive, if he is taken care of, and if he can be made to remember his promise.”
She looked from O’Neill to Teal’c, “You will not forget? He must be recalled to this world, this plane of existence, and only because of his promises to our mother will he attempt to return.”
“We understand,” Teal’c said. “We are all looking into a long dark night, are we not? It is one which we must help them to traverse, so that they do not lose themselves within it.”
“Yes, and though it may be long, you must not give up,” Taesha agreed.
Jack gazed at his friend’s white, still face. His jaw clenched, and his vision blurred. Damn it, Daniel, he thought, as he pressed his fingers into his eyes.
“We will not give up,” Jack said fiercely. “He will pull through. They will pull through. We will remind them. You have our word. Are we ready to go, now?” Jack asked, becoming impatient to get Daniel back on Earth and into Janet’s hands.
“We must take care of our own. Go ahead, Colonel.”
Jack nodded and watched as Taesha removed her hand from Daniel’s heart. “We’ll leave the light on.”
As he stepped into the glistening pool beside Teal’c, he heard Lanwin say, “Please do not, Colonel, we are not coming with you.” He was already too far into the Vortex to step back. What did the young man mean? Surely, some of the Katteri were returning to the SGC with them.
On the other side chaos reigned. Medics were everywhere, but Janet Fraiser was standing watching the blue pool of the event horizon. She was waiting for Daniel and Lantash, as she had promised Merdwin. He had known they would not come through the battle unscathed.
He had not said anything about Sam and Kat before he left. Now she knew why. They would not be returning. He had known all along that they would die. She was so angry with him for not telling her. She wished he was here, so she could scream at him. She wished he was here to hold her while she mourned her friends. Damn, she hated him and loved him all at the same time.
She watched as Brialek stepped through carrying an extremely pale Martouf. Garshaw stepped forward. “We will take them to the base immediately the gate is available,” She spoke as Brialek reached her with his burden.
Jacob Carter looked up from where he had collapsed at the end of the ramp and replied, “No. They have to stay here, Garshaw. We gave our word and the Furling were very insistent that they must stay here; that they are not to return to the Tok’Ra or leave the Tau’ri world.”
“I agree, Garshaw. We did give our word. Jacob and I will stay with them, and I am sure Calise will, too. I believe it is imperative that they be around things that remind them of their mate and their promise to her to survive. I gathered from what the Furling said that they believe Lantash and Martouf are more in danger from the mental and emotional devastation than from their physical injuries, even as severe and critical as those are.”
“I, too, will remain,” Malek, announced stoically, his voice devoid of inflection, emotion, or wiggle room. There was no question and no alternative. He would stay. He would stay, and if he had to sit with them constantly, and talk to them incessantly in order to keep them here, he would do so.
Garshaw closed her eyes as if in pain. She did not dispute with Malek. She liked and admired Samantha Carter from the time they met. She remembered her telling them about Jolinar. That she sought them out, after that incident, said much about her courage and perspicacity, even then. To know that she was dead caused her pain. It was as if they had lost one of their own. Jacob and Selmak also were in great distress, she knew. “Jocasta must remain behind with you, as will Daimesh.”
Brialek nodded, saying, “Thank you. I am not sure that Daimesh will need to remain once we heal them physically, if we still have Calise and Jocasta, however, for now they are most welcome. The physical healing will take a great deal of effort and energy. They both have extensive internal injuries, and Martouf also has some extremely serious exterior injuries as well. Now, I believe that they should be taken to the infirmary, so that we can begin using the healing device on them.”
“Of course, please—go,” Garshaw, murmured, for once her emotions showing plainly on her face. She knew of no one who did not like Martouf immensely, as well as admire his even temperament and quite ample diplomatic abilities. Lantash garnered much respect and most of the Tok’Ra liked him very much as well, although no one would say that it was because of his diplomatic skill, for it appeared that he was completely devoid of any. Moreover, Lantash was both charming and charismatic...when he wished to be and he exerted himself. Martouf on the other hand, was almost always charming and likable. They were excellent soldiers and operatives with a knack for role-playing the many different characters that they developed over the years. They often wondered how Lantash could be so diplomatic, while playing one of their characters, and yet be singularly undiplomatic, when not playing a part; it never ceased to amaze the remainder of the Tok’Ra and it was often commented upon. She often wondered if it was deliberate on his part, so that the Council did not ask him to take on even more diplomatic missions, perhaps believing they went on quite enough because of Martouf’s abilities alone; if he added his own, they would never do anything else. She would not discount it, but neither would she point it out to anyone else.
They were one of the most well suited blendings she had ever seen, even including Dominic. Of course, Dominic and Martouf were very much alike. Dear Goddess, Lantash would be inconsolable if he lost Martouf as well as Samantha Carter. They would not allow it to happen. Her thoughts taking only seconds, she looked up from where she was gazing at Martouf and Lantash, saying, “Take care of both of them Brialek. They must both survive…or both die, for I do not believe that one would be able to live without the other, especially after losing their mate.”
Janet was checking them as Garshaw and Brialek talked. She looked up and broke into their conversation, saying,” I am assuming that the external injury is on Martouf’s back from the awkward way you are holding him. I am sure you realize that Lantash is probably very seriously hurt and unable to help Martouf at the moment. When you get to the infirmary, tell them I said to keep the IV’s going and start him on antibiotics. I will check him as soon as I get Daniel settled. And Brialek, I know your healing device can work wonders, but with Lantash hurt it would be prudent to at least try to keep Martouf from deteriorating further.”
Brialek smiled slightly, before saying, “I was not going to disagree with you, Dr. Fraiser, I was about to thank you for suggesting it and thinking of Martouf. If you can do something for even some of Martouf’s injuries, which will both help Martouf, and take some of the worry away from Lantash…if he is conscious, or if he awakens and realizes the extent of their injuries, then I am quite comfortable accepting your help. Although, I believe that Lantash is already aware of their extent and seriousness, as he kept Martouf conscious long enough to,” he stopped speaking for a moment and then continued, but very softly, “to say goodbye to their mate.”
“Oh,” Janet blushed, “Well, you are welcome.” Looking down at Martouf again, she said, “Go, he needs care soon.” Brialek did not need anyone to tell him again, and he made his way toward the infirmary, his burden still clasped in his arms, Malek and Jacob close beside him.
Janet turned back toward the gate as Jack O’Neill and Teal’c stepped through the shimmering pool. All were surprised when the gate shut down.
“Colonel O’Neill, where are the Katteri warriors?” General Hammond asked.
“I don’t know, sir. All they said was they will return later and that we had to keep Daniel and Martouf alive by reminding them of their promise and using our healing techniques on them,” Jack’s voice was devoid of emotion.
“I see,” said the General, although it was obvious that he did not. Janet Fraiser was shouting orders as she looked at Daniel’s still, white face. She ran along side the gurney as they rushed him to the infirmary.
Four hours later, she walked up to the group sitting quietly in the hall. “How are they?” Jack was the first to ask the question they all wanted answered.
“Martouf is in serious condition, borderline critical. We are keeping him on fluids and antibiotics. He took a massive jolt of energy to his back and it burned it severely. He has some very serious, possibly life-threatening internal injuries, and very severe bruising. I do not know how he managed to stay conscious as long as he did, but I have to agree with Brialek and assume that was due to Lantash’s efforts. Otherwise, he would have been out as soon as or shortly after it happened. In fact, I would conjecture that it happened just before…before the battle ended.”
“The healers think that Lantash is exhausted by keeping Martouf going long enough to,” suddenly, her voice halted for a moment. She cleared her throat, and taking a deep breath, she continued, “he is exhausted by keeping Martouf conscious and functioning long enough to say good-bye to Sam. They said that the energy blast injured him quite severely. He…I am sorry, but he is not in good shape. His condition is critical, but improving. As you would expect, he is simply too weak and injured to heal Martouf at the moment, but they are very sure that if…when, his condition improves, Lantash will begin to help with Martouf, as soon as he can do so. They would rather that he was completely healed first, but they say it is unlikely that he will wait that long. They do feel though that, by keeping the IV’s and antibiotics going, along with the healing they are doing on Martouf, it will help keep him from attempting to do too much, because he will know that we are treating him, along with the Tok’Ra using the healing device. It is already helping some on his back just by passing through to the internal injuries. They are working on both his and Lantash’s injuries, so it is taking a lot out of them. Brialek will handoff to Calise soon unless someone else wishes to work on them, and then he will rest. Daimesh will relieve Calise or whoever is working on them when they tire, and then it will be either Malek or Selmak, whichever is available or wishes to take over.”
“In the meantime, we will treat Martouf as we would any other human and hope he responds. They also think that if the Katteri had not given them blood and supported their life-force, they would have died before they ever reached the Stargate. They are not out of the woods yet, by any means, everything I have told you are tentative prognostications, but we should know for certain within the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours. They are reminding them that they promised,” again, her voice sank to a whisper, and she cleared her throat, “that they promised Sam they would live for her.”
Garshaw, Malek, and Jacob looked stunned by the news. General Hammond grasped Jacob by the shoulder. “Jake. If there is anything, anything at all, we can do. You know...”
“Thank you, General.” Selmak took over. I believe we will go sit with our sons,” he cleared his voice, “when we have heard of Daniel Jackson and finished up with the details that we need to cover.”
Janet nodded, and proceeded to explain. “Daniel was in surgery for a couple of hours. The knife made a mess of the muscles and did some other internal damage and well, anyway, his condition is not good. The Katteri again did some healing, and I know they gave him blood from the odd readings I am getting. Some of them are similar,” again she paused to tighten her self-control, “are similar to Kataya’s. I found the same thing in Martouf and Lantash. They have the same odd readings so I am guessing that it is from Lanwin and Taesha. I assume the priestesses that were there did some work on them as well?”
“No,” Jack O’Neill spoke up. “No, they weren’t there. Thor took them when he took—when he took Carter and Kataya.”
“Thor took them?” General Hammond asked. “Why didn’t you tell us that before? If Thor took them, then…”
Teal’c broke into the General’s comments, explaining, “I am sorry, General Hammond, but according to Lanwin, Thor would not be able to sustain a Katteri.” He spoke quickly, seeing the emotional stress on O’Neill’s face. He continued to tell them what he knew about what occurred after the battle.
“Lanwin transfused his father, and Taesha did so for Daniel Jackson. And unless I am much mistaken Kataya also attempted some healing on Daniel Jackson as he held her, right before she,” Teal’c paused, and the muscle in his jaw hardened and jerked before he was able to continue. “Taesha, as well as Lanwin, did some healing, also. So, they believe, did Major Carter on Martouf and Lantash. Lanwin and Taesha were quite insistent that the final wishes of both of their mothers be carried out.”
“Their mothers?” General Hammond asked.
“To Lanwin and Taesha, Samantha Carter was also their mother. She was their father’s mate, she experienced their birth and life through the link with Kataya, and she shared Kataya’s soul. To them, she was their mother,” Teal’c told them what he understood to be their reasoning. “It was obvious they wished to be with their mothers, but they stayed and completed their task before leaving for Avilion. They saw to it that their fathers and their mother’s Beloved survived, as they promised.” The muscles in Teal’c’s jaw jerked again as he controlled his emotions as he finished giving his information. Recalling something else, he forced himself to continue, “They also insisted that someone stay with Martouf and Daniel constantly and remind them often of their promise to their mothers. They stressed this most intensely, and insisted we promise to do this. I gave my word, and if it is necessary, I will stay with the two of them myself until they are out of danger.”
“We, also, will have someone stay at all times, Teal’c, but your offer is very much appreciated. Several Tok’Ra are remaining to care for them, so we must hope that you will be able to give your attention to Daniel Jackson, as I am sure you would wish to do. Should we need you, though, we would be honored to call upon you,” Garshaw spoke up. She then added, “If the Furling stressed this, then it must be important.”
“I agree, Garshaw,” Dr. Fraiser said. “I will take the first shift with them. As soon as Daniel is out of recovery, I will have them moved in together. Did any of you hear the promises they made?”
Both Jack O’Neill and Teal’c said they had heard them. Jocasta surprised them by speaking up, “I, too, was in the courtyard as they were saying good-bye. I heard their promises as well.”
Jacob looked at her with a haunted expression. “I heard it, too,” he said. She took his hand and pressed it warmly giving him her silent support.
Janet looked at Jocasta, and said quietly, “Perhaps we could go into my office, and you could repeat it for me so that I will know what to say to them. That may be important. I suggest that anyone sitting with them be told, if they do not already know.”
Looking at the face of Jack O’Neill, she realized he was near the breaking point. He did not love Sam Carter in the way of a lover, but she was special to him, and Daniel was more than special. He was closer than a brother was. Daniel was his best friend, despite their differences. She sighed as she turned to the one person the least emotionally involved. Before she could say anything, Jocasta spoke up. “I am willing to take on that duty,” she said softly.
“Thank you.” She turned to Teal’c, and asked, “Teal’c why do you think that Kataya was healing Daniel as she…?” She stopped speaking and shook her head.
“I do not know how, but I became linked to Lanwin and Taesha as they spoke privately about what was happening. Perhaps Taesha forgot to shut the link down to me due to the stress. For whatever reason, it happened, and when Lanwin asked Taesha how their mother’s Beloved was she answered that he was very bad, but that her mother had healed him some as he held her, and that she had placed as much of her own life-force at his center as she could. Lanwin replied that it would have made no difference, for as she was aware, the prophecy foretold that this would happen. Taesha then pointed out that the Tau’ri and the Tok’Ra had been unaware of that fact.”
“They discussed that they had been given the task of assuring that the mates of the Dragons survived. They mentioned that they would be returning to the world of the Tau'ri, but that in the meantime our healers would keep them (Daniel and their fathers) alive. If I understood correctly, they are at this time at Avilion, the Sanctuary. They mentioned binding Morgasha’s soul, so that it could not come back to this plane of existence. It seems that Major Carter and Kataya were both aware that the prophecy foretold their deaths.”
Nodding her understanding of what Teal’c had said, Janet Fraiser turned to the others, and said, “I suggest you all get some rest. I have a feeling the next few days are going to be very long. Are you ready, Jocasta?”
She was surprised when Daur’rin answered her, “Yes, Dr. Fraiser, I will come.” She said, in the soft voice that was always such a surprise in a Tok’Ra. “Just let me speak to my, that is to Jacob and Selmak for a moment, please.”
With a nod of assent, Janet said softly, “How about you come to my office in about fifteen minutes? That will give me time to change out of my scrubs and check on Daniel before we talk. And it is Janet.”
Bowing her head, she said, “Janet. Thank you; I will be there promptly, I assure you.”
“All right. The rest of you go get cleaned up, and then get checked out before you get some sleep.” Turning, she walked away.
General Hammond turned to Jack and Teal’c, “Do you think you could debrief me, Colonel, Teal’c?”
Jack nodded, and Teal’c replied, “Yes, General, whenever you wish, of course, but I wish to be available to sit with Daniel Jackson when I am needed.”
“Then let’s do it now. Garshaw, do you wish to come too?” General Hammond asked her.
“Yes, thank you, General, and I will ask one of our people to come also.”
“It will not be necessary to look for someone, Garshaw,” Selmak, spoke up. “We will come if it is to be soon. Brialek is still with our sons, and he is to be trusted completely.”
“I, too, am willing to attend if you wish,” Malek said, quietly. It would be better to have something to do than to sit in this hall, as he knew he would, and brood about Lantash, Martouf, and Daniel Jackson.”
“Thank you, Malek, and by all means, please, do attend us,” she said. Turning to Selmak, she continued, “Come to the briefing room as soon as you and Daur’rin have finished your discussion.” She turned, leaving them some privacy, as she accompanied the General, Malek, Jack, and Teal’c down the hall.
Selmak took Daur’rin’s hand in his. “Samantha Carter told me that we should cherish every moment we are allowed with everyone we love. She was speaking of our feelings for you and Jocasta, Daur’rin, and she was correct. Jacob and I should not have waited so long to tell you of our feelings for you. We have not treated you fairly, and for that I apologize.”
“I understand, Selmak. Jacob is having some difficulty coming to terms with his feelings for his Tau’ri wife and those he has for us. We understand. He is afraid that Samantha will resent us taking her mother’s place.” She looked distressed at her use of the present tense. “I am sorry,” She gasped.
Jacob came forward, and said, “You have no need to apologize. Moreover, Sam let me know, not at all subtly, that she approved of both of you. She liked you both very much, and I,” he cleared his throat as the tears threatened, “I love you. I should have told you before, and if Sam was here, she would read me the riot act for telling you for the first time in what amounts to a hospital hall. I should have told you both before this.”
Closing his eyes for a moment, he sighed. When he opened them, Selmak said, “I am sorry, but Jacob is having a very hard time right now, as I am sure you know, however he is berating me for what he calls avoidance. I, also, have deep feelings for the two of you, as I am quite sure you are aware. I believe it is love. Daur’rin, Jocasta, I hope to join you later at my son’s bedside.” He leaned forward and kissed them gently drawing comfort from their touch. He headed for the briefing room.
In the infirmary, the discussions were low-voiced between the Tau’ri and Tok’Ra that were recovering there. All had at least seen the amazing flashes of light that came from the courtyard during the battle. Many had actually seen part of the battle. Those who had been in a position to see it were still in shock. Things like that did not happen in real life, but if that was so, they had just lived a fantasy. Those who had only seen the flashes had grilled those that saw parts of it until they were all conversant on exactly what had taken place. No one doubted either their descriptions or their words. They had seen the shock on their faces and that did not come from a common ordinary battle. Only something extraordinary would cause these marines to look completely dazed and…awed.
There was a feeling of mutual respect between the Tau’ri soldiers and the Tok’Ra warriors that had often been lacking. All had gained, and all had lost in this exercise. They heard beautiful laughter where there was none, and when they closed their eyes to sleep, they saw blue and violet eyes shining brightly, as they worked tirelessly to train them to combat the Goa’uld. They could almost hear their voices telling them they could be proud of themselves and each other. They saw again the fluid movements and amazing power of the Katteri. They missed those members of their teams who had disappeared. They mourned the passing of the Major and the Warrior.
Lieutenant Simmons sat staring at the gate through the window. He did not believe that he had ever felt such disbelief. He looked over at Sergeant Davis. He was staring at it, too. Suddenly the Sergeant turned to him. “I don’t believe she is dead. I don’t believe they are dead.”
“I am not sure. I just know that I don’t believe it.” He shook his head before adding, “I think there is a lot more going on of which we are not aware. And, I know the words the Furling use. If we are getting the exact wording, then Lanwin said that Thor did not have the ability to sustain a Katteri, much less a Dragon Slayer. You do not sustain someone that is dead. You sustain someone that is still alive. I do not believe they were really dead.” He shrugged. “I don’t know what that means, either, because we don’t know much about them, but I think they are doing something. Maybe they are afraid it will not work, so they do not want to get everyone’s hopes up. Whatever it is, well, I hope I am still here when they return.”
The Lieutenant stared at him as he ruminated on his words. “I am going to ask someone that actually heard that conversation. You might be right.” He frowned. “However, I think I will try to believe they are gone from us. That way, if they are not, I will have a pleasant surprise and if they are, I will not have the pain of waiting for them to return, and be constantly disappointed.”
Sergeant Davis gazed back at him. He spoke slowly, “You could be right, at that. Maybe that is the sensible way to look at it. If it happens and they come back great, but don’t expect it to happen. Yeah, I think I will join you in that view of things. But, I still don’t think they are dead.”
Lieutenant Simmons gave him a small sad smile, “I hope you are right, Sergeant. I really, really hope you are right.”
Brialek used the healing device on Martouf and Lantash, again. He had first worked to contain the most critical of the internal injuries that Martouf had, so that they were no longer life threatening. He had not taken the time to heal them completely as Lantash was in truly critical condition, as well. He was mostly using it to heal Lantash right now for his situation was now the more critical of the two.
The Tau’ri’s medical practices, while in some ways primitive, were still sufficient to keep Martouf’s body functioning until they could get Lantash healed enough to help. And, while passing through it to reach Lantash, the healing device was helping some on the burn. He hoped it would heal soon. It was the easiest of all the injuries to heal.
They placed Martouf on his side to give access to his back and Brialek leaned forward and whispered into his ear. “Lantash, Martouf, hear me. You will not fail your mate, the Blood of your Heart, and you will not fail the adored one. You promised to survive and continue to fight the Goa’uld, and you will do so. Your mates expect it, and so do your children. You will not leave them, either.” He began the routine he had gotten into again. Healing device, and repeat promise. He would do it as many times as he had to. They would not fail in this.
General Hammond and Garshaw looked at O’Neill in disbelief. “Are you telling us that they actually did join one another? It was not just wording in the prophecy for them fighting together against her?” Garshaw asked.
O’Neill nodded. “Yeah, I thought the same thing, that they would just help each other. Actually, at first something was wrong, and Carter could not seem to change.”
“She didn’t believe she had the power in her to do it,” Jacob spoke up from the door, as he entered the room. “Then she got angry enough to challenge the All, when she realized that Kataya was going to die because she was not becoming the Dragon of the Star. That is when it happened, and that is when the whole outcome changed.”
He cleared his throat, and then he said, “They were beautiful, weren’t they?” He clenched his jaw for a moment, and then continued, “After Sam manifested, Kataya worked her way over to her, they cut each other with their swords and mixed the blood, and the energy level increased by so much I could not begin to try to guess the magnitude. The energy they contained and drew from the universe actually glowed around them.”
“In the end,” he stopped for a moment, and then continued, very softly, “In the end, Kataya harnessed both her power from the universe and the ability she had to capture and use the forces of nature. She hit Bastet with a blast that used almost all the energy she had. It left her with no defenses. She could not even generate a shield around herself, but she was smiling because she knew they had won. As Bastet was dying, she threw the last of her very considerable energy at Kataya and Sam.” He drew a shaking breath, then said, “God, Sam stepped in front of Kataya, it caught them both, and it was enough to kill them. I think Sam tried to share her shield and it weakened hers too much and the shot got her, too.”
Teal’c was staring off into space, but he suddenly spoke up as Jacob finished. “It was meant to be. As they were dying, they joined hands, and their hands became as one. Their ribbon devices melded their hands together.”
“I didn’t see that, Teal’c, are you sure?” Jack asked.
“I saw it, too,” Jacob said. “I agree, Teal'c, and I also agree that they were both aware that they were not going to survive.”
Jack looked from Teal’c to Jacob. “So, basically, you are telling us that Carter and Kataya went on a suicide mission and didn’t think it was something we should know.”
“What was the point in telling us, O’Neill?" Teal'c asked him. "There was nothing we could do, and it would have caused much pain for those they were leaving behind.”
“Whereas their suddenly dying would not cause pain,” Jack growled sarcastically.
“Those remaining behind have some very special memories instead of the dread of waiting for their deaths,” Teal’c responded, calmly.
Jacob looked at him for a moment. He thought of the last few weeks he spent with his daughter. He thought of the time Martouf and Lantash had spent with her. How happy they had all been, even knowing what they were facing, and constantly having to practice, drill and train. He remembered the look he had often observed on Sam’s face, the pure love that shone from her eyes as she looked at her husbands and, he realized, at him, too. “Thank you, Teal’c. What you say is very true. We all have some pretty special memories of the last few weeks.”
Teal’c bowed his head. Each person at the table sat in quiet contemplation, all of them remembering a moment or an event in which Sam and Kataya had played a part that for them would live on in their memories forever.
General Hammond cleared his throat, and said, “I think that unless you have some questions, Master Garshaw, that I have nothing else that I need to know right now.”
“I believe that is all for myself also, General.”
“In that case, we will adjourn. Those of you that were in the battle today go get cleaned up, let the medical staff check you out, and if you can, get some rest. I am going to go see our wounded and any other of our people who are around the base and talk to them about the exemplary job they all did today. And then, I am going to go sit with Dr. Jackson and Martouf.”
Garshaw stood and placed her hand on the General’s arm. “If you do not mind, George, I also feel the need to talk to both my people, and those of the Tau’ri, who also risked their lives for all of us, Tok’Ra and Tau’ri alike, today.”
Looking down at her, General Hammond smiled slightly and offered his arm with old world charm and courtesy. “I would be delighted if you would accompany me, ma’am,” he said, as they walked out the door.
Although the room was soon empty, it remained warm with the embers of a friendship that was learning, through death, how to live on.