Chapter Seventeen Summary: Sam, Martouf, Lantash, Gwennetha, Malek, Devlin, Kataya and Daniel all stay overnight in the Twilight Temple. The rest of the group begins to arrive the next morning. Soon, a team is formed and they enter the Stargate and step out on Coreegadon. It doesn't take long to find that for which they are searching. The Temple is a treasure trove of information.
Adorata - Adored Amat Wyn – My Love Amat – Love “Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communications
“Come on, Martouf, you and Lantash have to get up. It’s almost daylight, and we have to get up and get breakfast. We need to get up and around. The mission’s due to start in a few hours,” Sam shook Martouf’s shoulder and heard Lantash mumble in response.
Across the temple, she heard the sultry, dark laugh that belonged to Kat. She groaned. Good grief. They had all ended up here last night. Kat and Daniel had danced in the fire, and it had drawn her and Martouf like moths to a flame. They had gathered their things for the mission and come to the temple. It had the same effect on Gwennetha and Malek. They had turned up shortly after Sam and Martouf. Kat had sent the men back for more bed furs, dividers, and something more to fix for breakfast. The women had decided who would take which part of the Temple.
Sam frowned. There had been no question of anyone leaving. Almost as if they were performing some ancient rite, they had carefully laid out the bed furs and put up the screens that the men brought. Looking at the spots they had chosen, she was surprised. They were in a perfect triangle. She shook her head. Surely, it was just a coincidence. They didn’t really put them exactly this way for any real reason. Then why had it felt like a ritual as well as a magnificent night of making love? At times, it had seemed almost transcendental. They had played in the fire and touched the universe, become one as only the fire can accomplish.
Once they all settled into their beds, Kat began to call the fire, and she had pulled it for each of them. Sam and Gwennetha had also called theirs; the energy in the room had been off the scale, of that Sam was sure. She had never experienced anything quite like making love in that cocoon of energy. It had been an indescribable sensation. They’d only been able to savor and luxuriate in it at that level once. It had left them completely sated and relaxed.
She had lost count of the times Kat had summoned it for herself and Daniel. Of course, she was pretty sure that they didn’t make love each time, but still. And, if she hadn’t kept falling asleep, she probably could have kept count better. She grinned at herself as she nudged Martouf again. “Come on, lazy. Let’s go. It’s almost daylight. Day’s a-burnin’.”
“Samantha, you are well aware that we are not early morning risers. Give us a moment or two to open our eyes, at least. There is no emergency that would cause us to leap from our nice, warm bed. We will be more awake in a moment. I promise.” Lantash was mumbling as Martouf refused to awaken enough to talk yet. He forced Martouf’s eyes open. “You are out of bed. Perhaps if you came back, we could persuade Martouf that there is sufficient reason for him too awaken before daylight.”
“Why, you smooth talker, you. How can I resist such an invitation?”
“By all means, Sam, please do accept his invitation, so that we can be free of his whining. We do not need to arise yet. Breakfast will be simple. But soon, I agree.” Kataya added her opinion from the wall nearest the front entrance, where Sam could hear muffled chuckling, along with the rustling of rugs and blankets. Directly across from them, suspicious sounds arose from behind the screen standing there. Gwennetha giggled, only to be quickly hushed.
Sam laughed again and settled back down beside Lantash and Martouf. “Now that we have awoken everyone else, I suppose that I can come back for a few minutes. Just long enough to make you wish that you hadn’t invited me.”
“You are a torturer, my love. I believe that you enjoy making us suffer,” Lantash answered laughingly. Then he sobered, and his eyes lost their sparkle as he looked at her somberly, “May you torture us every day for the remainder of our lives, our Samantha, for even that will not be long enough to experience all the sweetness of lying in your embrace that we desire.” She sighed softly as his lips claimed hers in a soft kiss of promise.
“Maybe we don’t have to leave quite as soon as I thought that we did, Lantash. We have a little while before it’s full daylight. Everyone else is either back to sleep, or busy enjoying themselves. We could, ah, good morning, Martouf, I see that Lantash was able to convince you that there was a good reason to wake up before daylight. I was just explaining to him that we could…”
“Yes, Samantha, so we could, if, that is,” he kissed her shoulder, “you could find it,” he kissed her other shoulder, “in your heart,” he kissed her throat, “to remain,” he kissed her lips, “silent long enough.”
Sam’s only response was with her hands, lips, and tiny gasps.
“Hey campers, how is everyone? Little mothers both going with us?” Jack O’Neill looked to Artereos standing quietly in the background and asked firmly, “Is that a good idea? Should they be, you know, taken apart by this thing and put back together in their condition? What if it puts something in the wrong place?”
Artereos came forward and clasped Jack O’Neill’s arm in the typical warrior’s greeting, one hand clasping his forearm as his other hand clasped his shoulder. He respected Jack, regardless of his prejudices against other races. He truly didn’t realize what he felt, and most of it was simple misunderstanding and distrust. He had lost much in his life, but the day would come when he found something to cherish and believe in again. It would change him, but that time was not yet, although it would not be long off, and until then, one accepted him as he was.
“We have traveled through the portal since the Ancients, as you call them, erected them, and they made sure that they were safe for all manner of creatures. That does not preclude accidents, of course, which I am sure that you know, for they do happen, but then, accidents can happen even at one’s home. It is no more likely here, than there.”
Jack frowned. “How did you guys travel from one place to another before the Stargates were put up? In ships? That long ago?” He seemed skeptical.
“No, we simply made our own portals with our, ah, manipulation of energy, and the use of our crystals. However, it took a great deal of our energy, and many had to use some of our best priests and priestesses to open one if the travel was far. Some of us were able to do what was needed ourselves, however.” Artereos smiled, remembering days when things were not as simple as they were today.
“I remember that. We were trained to do that almost as soon as we could walk. It does take a great deal of energy. I remember the first time that I was able to make a path to Dragmyst. I was so excited, and then you would not let me go alone, and Dayillon would not go with me because he was reading about some musty old Elvin wars and translating the Legends about the wars that were to come.”
Kat paled. Then gasped. “Daniel, I remember you translating the Legends. There are more of them; I know there are. I was no more than ten, if that old and you were only slightly older. Moreover, I remember lying on the floor kicking my feet, trying to get your attention, being so very bored, but nothing, absolutely nothing, would get you to stop reading. Then you looked up at me and your eyes were glowing with excitement, and you smiled the sweetest smile at me. My heart and soul recognized you, and I fell in love with you that day. You started reading the Legends aloud to me, and soon, we were both translating them.” She laughed. “How could I have forgotten that?”
Daniel smiled, but his was soft, wistful. “I went with you later, after we finished translating one of the scrolls that talked about the beauty of the world called Dragmyst, and the Dragons that dwelt there. You were exhausted from making the first portal, and we became really, really distracted-”
“You became really, really distracted.”
“-and the portal closed, and you didn’t have enough energy to make another one to get us home. You had a ferocious temper, even at that age, Kataya.” Daniel looked rueful.
“What happened?” Gwennetha looked avidly from one to the other. She had never heard this story from her mother’s childhood.
Daniel flushed. “We were waiting for her energy to return, and she was meditating, you know, pulling energy. Even then, your mom could pull in some pretty impressive amounts of energy, when she was calm and serene, while she meditated. Unfortunately, she was sort of, er, upset about the portal closing, so she wasn’t able to really tune into the energy around her, and it wasn’t going well. I was acting as conduit. So, I was sitting with my arms around her, and my head was on her shoulder. I was asleep,” he continued defensively. “Hell, I was only ten or so. How amorous can a ten-year-old bookworm be? I'm not sure that I even knew what sex was yet!”
Suddenly, Kataya giggled. “A portal opened, and Merdwin came thundering through it, all anger, fire, and retribution. He took one look, and I thought that he was going to kill Daniel.”
“Yes, and at ten years of age, you were as formidable an opponent as you are today, Adorata,” announced a voice from behind them. “You did not think that I would allow you to make this first mission without me, did you?” Merdwin sauntered forward, completely at ease, his usual lazily dilettante air at full force.
He turned toward his daughter, “To finish the tale, Gwennetha, your mother slowly rose to her feet, lowering Daniel’s sleeping form to the ground and placing a protective shield around him; one which I could have blown away with one flick of my finger, but it was the act that caught my attention and calmed my ire. She then turned to face me with her hands on her hips and her jaw set.”
“And she proceeded to say to me, “If you have come to help me renew my energy, so that I can complete a passage home more quickly, then you are welcome here, and I will gladly accept your help. If you have come to yell, and be an annoyingly unhelpful, loud, and unperceptive nuisance, then you may just turn yourself around, and return the way you came. Please tell my father, and Daniel’s, that I apologize for our tardy return, but I forgot the time, during our exploration of Dragmyst, and our portal closed. I will return Daniel, unharmed, to his parents as soon as my energy is renewed, and I can summon a new portal. You may go, Merdwin.”
He laughed, “She had pulled rank on me, the devious little darling, but that would not have stopped me, if I truly had believed there was a need to remain angry. However, by the time she finished her coldly calm and rational statement of intent, I was aware that Daniel had become fascinated by something, lost track of time, and she would not force him to leave, nor would she leave without him.”
Therefore, I bowed graciously. Indicated that I had indeed come to help them and escort them back, if they wished to return. She woke Daniel up, and we returned home. Daniel's father sighed over Daniel’s absent-mindedness, and Kataya’s praised her for remaining beside her friend and defending him…and for being able to defuse a dangerous situation, without harm to either side, as well as courage for standing up to me, a larger and obviously stronger foe.”
“Her more intensive, formal training as a warrior began the next day, which was a thing that she had been requesting for quite some time. She never looked back, and when she walked into the fire to forge her soul a few scant years later, she pledged herself to fight the evil within the universe, but more specifically, the Mage Daemon Lords, and then the Goa’uld, even though the Goa’ulds coming was still far into the future.”
“And now, I believe that we have a mission to execute. Should we not gather ourselves and our equipment, so that we might be on our way?”
“We are still waiting for Valynara and a few of the hosts, Merdwin. Janet, I’m glad that you decided to come. Are you going through with us?” Sam asked, smiling and hugging her friend. She would think about the story that she just heard later. There was food for thought there. It was insight into her Furling family, a rare look at her sister’s childhood and a much, much younger Merdwin, Daniel, and Artereos as well.
“Yes, I have the next few days off, so Merdwin and I decided to come along. I wanted to be here to monitor you and Gwennetha. Yes, I know everyone says that you will be okay, but I want to see for myself, okay?”
“And I wanted to go along just to be there. To see if we found anything, of course, and, if we did, then I didn’t want to miss the excitement. I mean, this is the most exciting thing to find. The lost children of a race. A chance for them to become what they were ultimately meant to be. In a way, it’s like birth, Sam, the possible birth of hundreds of new beings. The more I thought about it, the more I just couldn’t stay away.”
“Oh, God, Janet, you have no idea. I’m exactly the same. I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it. I think we all are. I wish you and Merdwin had come last night.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Well, Kataya and Daniel decided to spend the night in the Twilight Temple and dance in the fire. Have you and Merdwin done that?”
“Are you kidding? Does a Furling know how to mind link?”
“Then you know what it does during, um, sex. You know how incredible that it makes it. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Martouf and I had the same idea. We’d spend the night here and be ready first thing in the morning. There was just something about the idea of being here when the sun came up that sounded right to us. So, we came down and Kat and Daniel were already here. Luckily, they were already redre-, well, never mind, but anyway, we told them what we felt we wanted to do, so they asked us to join them.”
“Daniel said that at first, they were just going to come down and dance in the fire, but then, they decided that they might as well stay all night, so they grabbed a couple of rugs, and the stuff that they would need for the mission. Then we turned up with our stuff, and shortly after us, Malek and Gwennetha came in with all of their stuff. We had a nice evening, and then the guys went back for the dividers and more food. After that, it was a great night, as you can imagine. We think that Daniel and Kat pulling all that energy drew us all here, but Kat thinks that it was something else. Some deeper thing within the universe that is beyond simple conscious recognition.” Sam shrugged.
“What do you think, Sam? Really think?” Janet asked softly.
Sam’s mouth opened to say that it was just the fire calling them on a subconscious level, but she closed it before she could get the words out. She tried again. “I realized this morning that we’d chosen spots for our beds in an exact triangle. We set candles at each corner of each screen, also forming triangles. Our beds were made in such a way that when we were lying on the bed, we completed a triangle with the two sides of the screen. I don’t know what I think. I’m a scientist.” She finally answered almost roughly.
“Don’t discount anything, Sam. There are so many things that we’ve learned lately that we would have put down as fairy tales and magik not long ago. They are what we, and they themselves, call sorcerers and magik wielders. You, yourself, are becoming more adept at it. No, Sam, there is no point in denying it to me. This is Janet, here. No secrets between us. You are still Samantha Carter remember? No matter what you learn to do, no matter what special talent you may develop, you have always been, and will always be, Samantha Carter, US Air Force Officer, Friend, and Colleague. Don’t ever forget that.”
“I won’t, Janet. Thank heavens that you’re still here to keep me grounded. Sometimes, I think that my life is just a story in a book. Then I look at Martouf and Lantash, or touch my abdomen, and realize that if it is a dream, I don’t want to wake up from it, ever.”
“Me either, I like this dream,” Janet answered, glancing over at Merdwin where he stood, talking amiably to Jacob and Jocasta.
“Samantha,” Martouf stepped up behind her, “Valynara has arrived. They have brought ten of the volunteers with them. The others will, she feels sure, begin to arrive shortly, not waiting for the summons as they should.”
Sam nodded, “That’s to be expected, I suppose. I hope that they aren’t all disappointed if we don’t find anything.” Sighing, she added, “I hope that we aren’t either. Anything could have happened, you know. They could have been discovered, a predator could have evolved, or the planet’s surface and climate might have changed.”
Martouf reached out and laid a calming hand around her waist. “Come, there is no reason to go over these many and sundry disasters that might, I repeat, might have occurred. Now come.”
“Yes, come on, Sam. I’m so excited that I can hardly stand still.”
Sam grabbed their hands and started toward the group at the front in the huddle, discussing something.
Jack O’Neill was shaking his head. “I see no point in all of us going through until we are sure that there is no threat there. We’ll take a team through to secure the gate and do a quick recon. Then radio the condition of the world.”
“If it’s okay, then that second wave comes through. That would be Marty, Malek, Jocasta, Janet, etc. Then, we head out looking for this Temple and the water. If we find them, and they come to us, then we radio back, and the first five or ten hosts come through. Then, we wait to see what happens once they recover and become adjusted to their new, er, living partner.”
“Their new Lifemate, Jack. We call them Lifemates.” Daniel threw out the information, as he made sure that he had everything that he might need and checked his side arm, to be sure that it was where it should be.
“Kataya, Sam, Gwennetha, and I will go through first, Jack. We will erect a shield in front of the gate for safety’s sake.” Merdwin said from where he lounged against the wall nearby.
Jack nodded his agreement. One usually didn’t argue with Merdwin, unless it was a very important point. First, because his percentage of being right was something like 100 percent and that one didn’t bet against, and second, it was similar to running into a brick wall repeatedly without a helmet and when it ended, you had a headache, were exhausted, and most likely, still doing it his way.
“In that case, I will go through when Samantha goes through.”
Another voice that had no wiggle room added itself to his, “Yes, and I shall go through with Gwennetha.”
“Fine.” Jack snapped. Again, he didn’t bother to argue. He should have known that Martouf and Malek would never leave their women’s sides and had almost expected the announcement.
“Daniel, Brialek, and Jacob, you’re with me.”
“Stevenson, Fraiser, and Teal’c, you’ll stay with Valynara and be the escort to the lake, or whatever the body of water is, if we find what we are looking for. I’ll contact you to bring them through. Any questions, anyone?” He nodded when no one had any.
Jack then looked around at the unnaturally calm faces of the ten possible hosts. “If you have any questions about the Stargate, or what’s going to happen when you go through, this would be the time to talk to these people about it. They’ve all been through it bunches of times, and they can tell you what to expect, and how it will feel. Piece of cake.”
He readied his weapon as he stepped toward the Stargate. Nodding at Merdwin, he watched as Artereos come forward and waved his hand causing the Stargate to spring to life. How did they Do that?
The first of the team stepped through. Once on the other side, a large area of shield was set up, but the landscape was totally devoid of any thing that appeared threatening. Kat shrugged at Merdwin. “We should not be overly confident, but I think that it will be safe for the rest. I will contact them to come through.”
Kat and Sam stepped forward, slowly walking, beginning to examine the area closely. Sam and Martouf began to slowly circle outward, while Kataya stayed in an almost completely straight line. Gwennetha and Malek had taken another section and Merdwin was approaching Kataya.
As he reached her, she suddenly stopped and raised her arm to halt all forward movement. At the same time, Jack and the remainder of the team came through the Chaappa’ai. It shut down behind them. Once they found what they were looking for, they would reestablish contact with the Temple.
Kataya lowered her arm, turned back, and walked toward the group that had come through, obviously not on any kind of alert. Whatever she had heard, seen, or felt had passed. “Daniel, you have the words? Lantash, you feel that you can sing and repeat these words, poems, and songs?”
“Yes, of course, but first, we must find the water on this planet. It does not seem particularly hospitable, just as we were told,” Martouf stated as he moved closer with Samantha by his side.
“True.” Sam turned and headed back toward where Kataya had stopped. “I believe that we should go this way.” Martouf fell into step beside her, wondering if she knew where she was going, or if she was simply taking the most obvious course. There were no paths of any kind that could be seen, so obviously, whatever indigenous wild life lived here was either not abundant, or did not use the same trails as they moved.
Kataya and Daniel moved to walk behind them. “You sense it as well, Samantha?” Kat asked Sam through their link.
“Yes, but what is it?”
“I believe that it is the presence of symbiotes and naquadah in the water. The others should feel it soon. When did you start to notice it?”
“Not until you stopped us, so that we would all remain silent. I still wasn’t sure what it was until you named it. Then, once I thought about it, I realized that it was much the same as I feel when other symbiotes are around. Not just one or two, but several, and I can’t distinguish one from the other. When did you feel it?”
Kat glanced at her and then to the landscape ahead of them. They were almost there. That next rise would reveal it all to them, she felt sure. “I felt it as soon as I stepped though the Chaappa’ai. They are here. Many, many, Samantha. I stopped everyone when I did because I was not sure how close the Tok’Ra could get before they, too, would feel them. I wished for them all to be here when they felt it. Now that they are here, I felt we could proceed. They should sense it soon.”
Sam nodded, but was startled from her link, when an exclamation from Lantash brought them up sharply. “They are here. I can feel them. Stars of Fire, Samantha, there are so many of them that you can feel them before you approach the water.” He turned back to the others and motioned to Selmak, Brialek, Malek, and Daur’rin to join them.
As they stood waiting, Kataya wandered a few feet into the forest. It was thick and she could not see through it. It had been the same way at the clearing where the Chaappa’ai stood. There was no point in trying to go through it, as there did not appear to be any definitive paths. They would have to follow around the edge of the hills. Going over them would be heading in the wrong direction she was quite sure.
As Kat returned to where the others stood discussing which way to go, Sam asked her, “Did you see anything in there, Kat? Were there any trails to indicate which direction the water is from here?” Sam stood absorbing the sense of the water and symbiotes while she questioned Kataya. After a pause she commented, “I don’t think that we should go over the hills. It isn’t the straightest line from the Stargate.”
“I agree, Sam, I do not believe that it is either. Let us join the others and look back toward the Chaappa’ai.”
“Let’s go.” Sam nodded, as they turned to walk back toward where the Tok’Ra were standing in a group obviously discussing which way to go next.
As they walked up to them, Daniel and Lantash turned to them. “We believe that we are going the wrong way, Amat Wyn, and should, in fact, not traverse the tops of these hills, but travel around the bottom edge of them, rather than make our way through the forest. The line from the Chaappa’ai has turned since we left it.”
Sam smiled at him and kissed him firmly, before nodding, “Yeah, I think that you’re right. We’ll do that. I’m glad you caught that, Amat, we could have gone well out of our way, if you hadn’t done so. I doubt if the forest is very wide, but it is thick. Kat took a look at it, and there are no trails or animal paths at all.”
“We should keep to the edge of the forest. That way if the hills and the forest part company, we’ll know and correct for it,” Jack stated bluntly. “I don’t want anyone wandering off and getting lost or anything. This place may seem like there aren’t any threats, but we haven’t been here long, and we don’t know if there’s any animal life, insect life, or even snakes, scorpions, or spiders that could be dangerous. Daniel, don’t touch anything, until Carter or I can check it out.”
The normal caution, coming so naturally out of Jack’s mouth, caused the SG-1 teammates to laugh and smile at one another. When the questioning looks were intercepted, they began relating the many times that Jack specifically warned Daniel not to touch anything, only to do so himself, usually to the detriment of one, or all, of them.
They talked quietly as they walked forward, their senses attuned to any outside intrusion, but not on high alert. They came upon the edge of the forest abruptly. There was no thinning to indicate the edge was near, no increasing of low growing shrubs, nothing, in fact, to alert them to what they would come upon.
Martouf, walking a short way in front with Sam, Jacob, and Malek, came to a halt, standing so still that you could not tell if he was breathing. His body was as rigid as stone, perhaps the same dazzling stone used to build the Temple standing amid the red- blood flowers. Sam took his hand, whispering, “It answers the description in the song. The red-blood flowers surround it. The white sand beaches are in front and lead off in both directions. If I’m not wrong, there are what looks to be golden statues in the Temple. I say that we go take a closer look. We won’t know for sure until we get down there and do some hands-on examining and inspecting.”
“You are correct, of course, my Samantha; it is simply a little overwhelming. We must go at once to the water’s edge as well. If your team will take the Temple and explore it, we will attempt to determine if there are indeed symbiotes in the waters.”
Sam nodded and turned to Jack, who headed at once toward the beautiful Temple. “Come on, guys. Let’s get going before the wicked witch puts us to sleep with this field of poppies or something.” Sam shook her head. Would her CO ever out-grow his addiction to quoting and references to that movie? He must have adored it as a child, but then, so had she.
Walking across the field, she watched the group of Tok’Ra as they made their way toward the water. What would they find there? They would find something. She knew that they would. She, Kataya, and all of the Tok’Ra couldn’t be that wrong.
Of course, she supposed that there could be enough naquadah in the water to set all their senses humming. However, she didn’t believe that. They would know soon now. With a last look, she entered the Temple with the remainder of their team.
Merdwin and Gwennetha had elected to come with them, so there were six of them, including Daniel and Sam. Well, it wouldn’t take more than that to secure this building.
As Temples go, it wasn’t overly large. Nevertheless, something about it was odd. It wasn’t long before an exclamation from Daniel led Jack to rush quickly to his side, before he touched something that he wasn’t supposed to.
When he reached his side, it was to see Daniel standing with hands in pockets and reading some sort of text that looked like nothing so much as chicken scratches. “What’s it saying, Daniel? Anything we should know?”
“Maybe. I’m glad that I brought my camera. Not that we can’t come back if we need to, but I want to be sure that I get it all, in case we aren’t here long enough for me to finish the translations. And, of course, I’ll want them for recording purposes,” he finished speaking as he took out his camera and proceeded to take pictures of every bit of writing on the walls, identifying each section in some code that only Daniel would understand.
Sam walked over to them and waited for him to finish before touching his arm. “I think that there are some things over here that don’t fit in with the Temple, but do fit with the song. Merdwin agrees. I’d like for you to take a look, Daniel.”
Daniel smiled at her, and then leaning in and kissing her temple in a perfectly natural gesture, he put his arm around her to escort her back. Jack followed. The wall that they were looking at was set aside from the main temple and was secluded. It was obvious that someone added it later. There were golden statues scattered throughout the Temple, but the unusual part was that this section was to one side, off the center of the room, yet not against the wall.
Golden statues stood around it in various poses of intimacy, copulation, and ecstasy. All of the either held small dragons, quite obviously symbiotes, wrapped around them intimately, or clasped closely in their arms as they bent over them, mouths open. A shallow and somewhat narrow trough was built into the room. It ran parallel with and up against what appeared to be either an altar, which it did not really resemble, or a stone couch upon which one could lounge or recline. One could lie with one’s face over the water yet still be supported by the platform.
Searching quickly, Daniel found what he was looking for. “Well, this is proof positive. This is the Temple of Coreegadon and this particular room is the Sanctuary Chamber of Lifemate Blending, where the two, host and symbiote, are to be bound for life.”
“According to these, well, instructions, for lack of anything better to call them; the prospective host approaches the water’s edge and sits down either in or very near the edge. The symbiotes will swim to the edge of the water.”
“At that time, the host should put their hands in the water and the symbiotes “will swim by them, allowing their instinct to guide them”. The prospective host should do the same, um, that is, they should “allow their instinct to guide them,” not swim by them. A feeling of uneasiness with a symbiote that touches them indicates incompatibility, the host should pull away, and that symbiote will withdraw and continue on. If two symbiotes remain, they will allow the host to pick them up and hold them. If there is still no definite decision by the host or the symbiotes, then the symbiotes come to a decision, and one will relinquish claim. According to this, that rarely happens.”
“Assuming that there is only one symbiote, he approaches the host and wraps around their wrist, only to immediately unwind and stretch out. This is a promise to the host to never shackle his body.”
“Then the symbiote will swim under the host’s hand and lift it from the water, indicating that he will always support and care for his host.”
“Then he takes the host’s hand in his mouth and presses down, but doesn’t bite, indicating that he will not harm him.”
“And lastly, the symbiote will swim onto the palm of the host’s hand and curl up there indicating that he is willing to trust him and become one being with him, accepting all that it entails.”
“According to this, once the symbiote and host have made their Lifemate choices, then whoever is overseeing the, ah, birthing, their word for what the blending is, will open the waterways so that the symbiote can enter the chamber and blend with their, in this case, first host.
“Promises are to be made to one another. The symbiote will show his continued agreement by allowing help as he removes his outer body covering, so that only the soft new skin and much smaller body is all that’s left for blending.”
“Once that is done, he will approach his life mate. To show that they are both content and determined to blend and give birth to a new being, two into one, the symbiote swims into and rests in the host’s hand once again.”
“The host strokes the symbiote, and then releases it, lies down on the stone couch, shuts his eyes, and opens his mouth, at which point the ceremony and vows are complete. The symbiote ‘takes’ its new mate as gently as possible, dispersing any pain as it goes. After they introduce themselves, and the host feels ready to stand, the birth is declared a success, and they are free to begin their new life together.”
“So the words of the song mean more than just pretty words. The prospective hosts must come here to blend. Not a major matter, and in the long run, it will make the bonding more intimate for the two of them.” Merdwin said softly, before turning to Kataya as she entered the Temple.
“You and Siesha went through a ritual before blending, did you not?”
“Yes.” She stopped to read and absorb the writing. “She did shed her outer skin, leaving it within her dying host, and we did agree verbally with certain words. As I stated, her host was dying. We had to blend quickly. Later, we went through a ceremony on her homeworld, except for the actual blending. It is a time that I will cherish always in my heart. This ceremony will be a good way to blend them to their new partners, I agree. I also like the idea of calling it a birthing. In one way, it is indeed the birth of a new being, after all.”
“I wonder what is going on out there. They have been gone a long time. Maybe we should go see.” Gwennetha said.
“I am sure that you are right.” Kataya agreed. “When I left, they were still undecided on how to sing the songs, and say the poem. I am sure that they will decide by tonight. Hopefully, before the purple night fades to daylight.”
The group left the Temple and headed for the Tok’Ra standing by the shore of the lake and looking over the words of the songs and poems. It was obvious that they had yet to settle the details of how they were going to proceed. Daniel stepped up and into the middle of them.
“Okay, guys, here’s the deal. The Temple has a blending Chamber. Therefore, the new hosts will need to come here to join with their Lifemate. There is a whole getting to know you thing at the water’s edge, and then there are things to do at the Temple. This isn’t going to be a really swift process, if we do it according to the instructions Egeria left behind. At least, it probably won’t be until we get the hang of it. I think that once it gets started it will probably smooth out and actually go fairly quickly. I also believe that this first blending may be a whole lot smoother for everyone involved, if we follow the rites described, and we all feel that we should at least attempt it.”
“Anyway, it seems that there are certain things the symbiote does to show the host what it is promising, and there are things that the host does to show that he agrees to blend with the symbiote. Then there are things that whoever is overseeing the birthing does in the Blending Chamber. I suggest that you go in and take a good look at it, and then come back and make a quick decision. We have all day to organize getting a bunch of people here, but it could take all day before one of the symbiotes hears us.”
“One of you, whoever the one that’s gonna try calling them, better get started on that. First thing that we need to know, is if there are still any sn, er, of them here. Because if there are, and if I understand Daniel right, the people back at the other Temple are gonna have to start tryin’ to round up a lot of people.” After giving his opinion, Jack hefted his P- 90, adjusted his shades, and pulled his cap down before heading for the nearest shade tree. Duty done, he would keep watch, or nap, whichever came first.
Selmak turned back, before going to the Temple. “Lantash, the debate is over. You will be the one to sing the song. First, the song that told us where to look for them. After that, you will sing the first song that we remembered. Sing it several times, and then pause for a very short time. Then sing the other one several times. Preface both of them with the address: Children of Egeria, your brethren call to you. The Great Battle is won and we have come. You have Egeria’s promise, and now you have ours.”
Lantash nodded. “I believe that you are correct. That might be the best way to approach the situation. Selmak, I believe that if Daniel has returned to the Temple, you should request that he look for some information pertaining to the calling of the symbiotes.”
He threw his arm in the direction of the horizon. “There is no way to tell how large this body of water is, but it could be days or weeks before one of our brethren is within range of hearing us. I cannot believe that Egeria would have gone to this much effort, and then not left another way to at least summon her children to come close enough to hear if a true summons was being made.”
Selmak looked thoughtful. “Yes, I see your point. I will inquire it of Daniel. Perhaps Merdwin, Kataya, and Gwennetha might have some ability to sense something, too. We will explore other avenues as well, Lantash.”
Lantash nodded and turned back to the water to begin his part of this quest. It was time to start work. He sensed Samantha walk up behind him and slide her arms around him. “I think that it will work well, Lantash. There is bound to be a little confusion at first, but once we’ve done a few, it will start to go much better.” She hugged him gently, and then caressed his shoulders, and he felt himself relax as he began to sing.
“Daniel, Lantash suggested that there might be some sort of device that would summon the symbiotes, if not up to the shore, then in close enough to see if the remainder of the summoning would be heard. He asked if you would mind seeing if you could find anything like that first.”
Daniel looked up at Selmak from his position, where he was kneeling on the floor in front of a panel. He grinned up at him. “I was just coming to find you guys. I think that I may have found something to do with that, but I’m not sure yet. Give me a little time to look it over. I’m just now beginning the translation work. I had the same thought, y’know, after looking at the size of that lake out there. There’s no way they can hear you just by singing.”
“Selmak, I don’t know how big a body of water is out there, but, if Egeria managed to come here more than once, there could be a lot of symbiotes in there.”
“We can only hope, Daniel. Certainly the size is…” Selmak shook his head, and turned away, leaving to head back toward Merdwin where he stood, talking to Kataya, Malek, and Gwennetha. When Daniel had his head buried inside ancient text trying to decipher it, there was no point in trying to hold a conversation. He wouldn’t hear a word that was said to him unless one forced his attention.”
Halfway across the room, he heard the exclamation from behind him. It was a shout of triumph. He swung back towards Daniel in time to see him race to the door and yell for Sam, motioning her to come to the Temple.
Evidently, Daniel found something. From the sound of it, it must be something important.