Chapter Eighteen Summary: They have discovered how to contact the symbiotes. Now all they have to do is implement their plan and wait to see what happens. Once they make first contact, they will begin the blendings. The hosts are anxious to begin, as well.
Amat – Love Amat Wyn – My Love Adorata – Adored Adorata Wyn – My Adored One Adorata Coeurawyn – Adored of My Heart Igisadonis - Beloved Carusawyn – My Dearest One Et Aevum – Into/For Eternity Coeurawyn – My Heart “Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communication
As she reached Daniel, they could easily overhear and understand his words, even as quickly as he spoke them. “Sam, there’s an underwater, well, resonance system, for lack of a better word. If I translated the panel correctly, and I’m pretty darn sure that I did, then once we find the device, we can manipulate it to release a series of tones into the water at different frequencies. The thing is, there is more than one of them. They’re set up in different places around this continent. We’ll have to go get Teal’c and Stevenson, maybe another SG team or some Furling Warriors. We’ll have to comb this entire continent, and we have no idea how big it is. I’m hoping that as I get farther into the translation that it’ll give us some specific directions.”
“It seems that these devices have to be set off in sequence, and in the exact same pattern, which, luckily, is supposed to be written on the device in this Temple. Speaking of that, Selmak, tell Lantash not to bother singing just yet; if I’m reading this correctly, they won’t come until they hear the tones from this.”
He sat back on his heels and looked around at the group staring at him and Sam as they now crouched on the floor in front of the panel with the writing. “I think that I can plan on translating every thing in the Temple eventually. We can’t afford to miss anything. I have a hunch that this Temple was the first one that she intended us to find. The songs and poems for here were quite deeply ingrained for you to remember, the others are going to be harder to get to and dig up. She meant for us to come here first. I’d bet on it.”
“Still, all of that aside, there is invaluable information here, and if we go slowly, carefully, and learn as we go instead of rushing I think it will tell us a lot.” He saw Jack enter the Temple and sighed with relief. He could always count on Jack to put things into perspective, even if the perspective that he put it in was sometimes a little on the fractured side.
“Jack. We’ve made quite a few discoveries, but it means that this mission is going to extend for several days, and we need backup, well, searchers. It seems that we need to search for devices that are hidden all over the continent that have to be turned on to alert Egeria’s children that the Great Battle is over, and that their siblings have arrived to take them to their Heart-home.”
Jack rubbed his neck. “I don’t know, Daniel. The general might not want to send another team here. That’s that many more people that find out what we’re doing.”
“You’re right. I hadn’t thought of that. Damn.”
“If I might make a suggestion, Colonel?” Merdwin’s voice, as smoky-smooth as brandy and as rich as liquid gold, slid across them, as always, when he forgot to take care, causing little pricks of excitement in the women and flashes of envy in the men. His eyes locked with Kat’s, and hers filled with sardonic amusement.
Mentally chiding himself for his lapse, nevertheless, he reined in his voice and continued, “I believe that the best solution would be to request backup in the form of the Furling Warriors that are at the SGC. There would be little speculation, if we suddenly recalled them to Cadwaellon, and what there was, would not even be close to the truth. Lanwin, Taesha, Colwyn, and Stephynara are still helping to train the teams to work together, so they should be available at once. There is little, or no, reason that they cannot come, and I believe that would suffice. Nor is there any reason that Janet and I cannot remain and do what we can to help. I will contact George and explain the situation.”
“Furthermore, I would suggest that, since there is very little true threat besides broken bones from climbing or tripping, that the first, say, twenty or so, volunteer hosts come through as well. We can pair them with a soldier, a Warrior, or a Tok’Ra. That way our own people are not on their own in case of accident, and neither are the new hosts with only another non-military person. It is still quite early in the day and much can yet be accomplished, if we make haste.”
Jack nodded. “So, are we headed back to the Temple on Valdellon then?”
Kataya nodded her head. “Yes, and I believe that Daniel and I will stay here. If someone would be so kind as to gather what we will need for several days, we will set up a camp. We brought enough supplies for one night, assuming that this project could well take longer than anticipated. It appears that we may have been overly optimistic of a timely ending.”
Sam nodded, “I think most of us have enough for one night. If a few of us went back and packed up enough supplies for several days - food, water, just whatever we might need, we’ d be fine here in the Temple for an extended stay, if need be.”
“I agree. Jack?” Merdwin raised an eyebrow in inquiry to see if he, too, agreed that would work out well.
“Sure Mer, why not? How about those of us that feel like trekking back get lists from those staying and working on the translations for a while, and then whoever feels like spending the night here can bring their stuff back.”
“I need to make contact with General Hammond. I wish to bring my Janet back with me to experience the purple of the night in the Temple of Coreegadon, so I will bring as much of your equipment and ours back with me when I return,” Merdwin nodded toward the three couples that would definitely be staying. He knew that Janet would never agree to miss a chance to stay overnight off world on an alien planet with her friends. It was a rare occurrence for her, and she would enjoy it immensely. It was convenient that she actually had a few days off, and Cassie was on a short vacation with a friend’s family. It made the entire endeavor much simpler than it could have been had she been scheduled to work and Cassie not already on her way to—ah, yes, to Yellowstone.
He was startled to see Kataya get up, walk to a far door, gaze out toward the forest, and then to the east, before shaking her head.
He moved to her as the others began to decide who else wanted to return. “Kataya, is something bothering you?”
“Merdwin. I am not sure, and yet, I am. You will return tonight?”
“Yes. Of course. Well, as soon as I can gather this rather gigantic list of supplies.”
She nodded her agreement. Glancing over her shoulder to be sure that they were unobserved, she turned back to him. “Come, I will walk out with you before you leave. Please be sure to bring both my Excalya and Yolan. Be sure that you and the others have your best weapons from this time on, and be sure that our food supply is ample, as well as our water, whenever we are off world. Please plan to join as many of our missions as you can, if you would, Amat Wyn. I will expect you back tonight.”
“What do you sense, Kataya? I have seldom known you to be wrong in these things. Is there a threat that comes here only at night?”
She shook her head. “To be completely honest, I do not believe that the threat is here at all, and I do not believe that we will need our weapons here, either. However, I want it to become second nature for each of us who are warriors, to become Warriors, first and foremost, once again, searchers and explorers second. I, at least, have let that slide, to become a mate and lover. And while I will continue to be so, my other abilities must come to the forefront again.”
“As for this world and the time that we will spend here, no; no, Merdwin, it is not of this world, yet I am not at ease. Something broods on the horizon in the mirror recently, but it is not clear. That it appears attached to the search for the little Queens in some convoluted way appears to be the one truth that I can discern. By that, I mean that it is not directly involved with the Queens; it is only that something touches both the search for them, and whatever it is that is building there.”
She frowned for a moment, before saying, “Our quest is still unknown, but there is danger looming, as well as a chance that it could be discovered, if we are not very, very diligent in keeping our information within our group and a few select others. Tell my father…tell my father that I sense a great threat arising…neither soon nor far into the future. He needs to know, if she has not already seen it. If she has seen it, then she will have told him, although, it is possible that my mother is not looking, for they are still reveling in being together again.”
She paused once more and her frown increased as she murmured, as if to herself, “I am very surprised the mirror has not called out to her. I am almost positive that it would be speaking to me by now, and I know that her attunement to it exceeds mine.”
She turned her head and closed her eyes as if trying to focus on something, but shook her head in the end. “I can tell you little more at this time. It will not come into focus. “I feel there is blood, much blood and death; battle, fierce and brutal, and, I believe, treachery, within the heart of the Tok’Ra. There will be chaos before the light breaks through and shines for them again. It may be very dark at times, Merdwin, but that is yet to be seen, as we can do much to mitigate it, else I would not be shown the images, as you know. However, Merdwin, the images are coming to me only in flashes. The mirror shows only the building and brooding of the coming darkness on the horizon. That I am seeing images so far in advance of the mirror showing any images at all disturbs me greatly.”
Merdwin nodded, respecting her abilities. “Yes. I can see that it would. As for now, even though there is no threat at the moment, I will return as soon as possible. Nevertheless, Kataya, we will talk of this privately with Artereos, as well as your mother. Gwynnivar’s power is greater even than yours; as a Seeress she has no peer. What you are saying could possibly concern the highest echelons of the Tok’Ra ranks.”
“Perhaps, and perhaps not. Sometimes trust is misplaced by the most intelligent of us.” She looked at him, until he sighed, agreeing silently.
Someone high in the ranks of the Tok’Ra could be doing too much pillow talk. Once they learned of the Queens, it would end up being a race to see who would reach them first. It would not be the Goa’uld. He would stay on the quest himself until it was resolved. Artereos had several good men with him, not the least of which was Samantha’s father, Llancellon. They could well take over for him until this was resolved. Artereos and he agreed on that. This was too important to allow the Tok’Ra to fail to find the Queens.
They must keep them secret as long as possible. Somehow, Artereos would have to come up with a plan to bring a few more Tok’Ra here to start training the new host/symbiotes in battle tactics and combat. Or the Furlings could train them with Brialek and Daur’rin. He would find out if there were any more that Selmak would trust with his life. As well as the ones that he would not close his eyes to sleep, if he was alone with them.
Kat’s gentle shake brought him out of his reverie. “Enough. There is no point in dwelling on it now; there will be time for that later. Go, so that you will return the soonest, but do not rush. There is no great threat to us here.”
Leaning down, he kissed her cheek. “All right, Adorata. Kat, we will safeguard them this time, I promise you. We will spread our protection over both the Tok’Ra and the Tau’ri who are so dear to you. You have lived with enough pain. I will not see you have to deal with more, you or Samantha. We will prevail. They are strong, these Tok’Ra and Tau’ri, and we have proven once to be a formidable force. We will do so again. Remember from which lineages you, Samantha, and Daniel spring.” Turning, he strode toward the Chaappa’ai without waiting for her response.
Kat did occasionally have feelings that did not turn into anything, and he could always hope this would be one of those times, but they were rarely this deep and ominous. He, himself, was seeing darkness building in the distance. Evidently, Kataya was already seeing it closer than he was. That was not an unusual occurrence, but it was one that was often unsettling. For now, they would have to wait until their sight cleared enough to see more clearly just what enemy they faced.
His lips tightened. He had work to do. He opened a link to Artereos. He might as well get things started before he even got back to the Temple. Artereos could have things well underway before he got back.
“Malek, I wish to stay. Do you wish to go back and retrieve things for us?”
“I see no need, my Gwennetha. Colonel O’Neill, Selmak, and Brialek are going. Merdwin has already returned; however, he took a formidable list with him. The Colonel’s group can bring our things back with them. You need to make out a list of things that you need. I have given them mine.”
“I will. So we are all staying, then?” She asked, obviously delighted with the idea of staying here with her family and friends. He realized that she probably had very little time to simple be with her mother. They were both Warriors, usually posted to different areas of the Universe. No wonder she sounded happy about staying here with her and Samantha.
He smiled at her, saying, “Yes, they will all return along with Janet, and possibly, Lanwin and Taesha. I do not know about Colwyn and Stephynara; although, I believe they were going to attempt to bring them here. I believe that none of the four of them will be remaining, after we have found and turned on the resonators. They will return to the SGC as soon as they can. They also plan to bring several hosts with them as well.”
As Sam and Kataya joined them, and heard Malek’s comments, Kataya added, “It is many hours before nightfall, so we should be able to get much work done on translating these walls to see if there is any other information that will help us.”
“How are you feeling, Gwennetha?” Sam asked, as she bent to look behind a panel that Daniel had managed to figure out how to remove. “I haven’t seen you to ask, since you returned from Avilion. Yesterday evening, ah, doesn’t really count, as we were all sort of preoccupied with other, um, things.”
Gwennetha laughed at Sam’s avoidance of stating exactly why they did not have time to talk to one another. “I feel fine now. I am not even feeling nauseated much anymore.”
Sam looked up and smiled. “I know what you mean. Mine seems to have calmed down to a couple of times a day and if I sip the tea, it passes quickly. I’m glad that we remembered to bring it.”
“Samantha, there is no way that Lantash and I could leave the house without it. It was only by having them brew up enough for Malek and I both, for several days, that we felt safe enough to come.” Martouf looked disgruntled for a moment before continuing, “I do not understand why it is not bothering you as much as it is us.” His voice was bordering on petulance, as it did every time he dwelled upon the unfairness of the situation.
“I’ve told you, Martouf, that I believe it is because my body is already used to having some of the hormones and chemicals in it. Therefore, only the fluctuations affect Gwennetha and me, whereas you, Lantash, Malek, and Dev aren’t used to having such high concentrations of them. I am not even sure if you even have all of them in your body. If you don’t, then those affect you simply by being in your system, and the others affect you because you are not used to having those amounts of them with which to contend. The longer they are there, the sooner your body will adjust. You are both much better already. I can see a big difference in just the last few days.”
He sighed deeply, and Malek grunted, saying, “That may well be, but it is still very uncomfortable most of the time. I cannot go for more than fifteen minutes without a sip of the tea without becoming nauseated and ill.”
Sam smiled. “A few days ago, it was only ten. So, you are getting better. It’s slow, but it’s better. Soon, it will be thirty minutes, then it will stretch to sixty, and before you know it, you will hardly be drinking it at all. You’ll see.”
He tilted his head, and then finally smiled at her. “I believe that you are correct, Samantha, and even if you are not, it does not matter. When the babes are here, it will be worth it. I have discovered that I am as anxious as Devlin for them to be born.”
“I am anxious, as well, Malek. Lantash says that we will be nervous and terrified when the time comes. I am afraid that he is correct, so I try not to think about it.”
“I have often had those thoughts myself, Martouf. Dev assures me that it will be over before we know it. He does not remember when his wife had their children, though, because they did not tell him until afterwards. I believe that it will be different this time for him.”
“From what Lantash has imparted to me, I can assure you that it will most assuredly be very different. He tells me that the labor can begin with what they call…”
“Sam, can you come here? I want you to see this.”
Sam gratefully rose to leave behind the men discussing the different aspects of childbirth, and walked quickly to him, saying, “Oh, wow, Daniel. That looks like a control panel of some sort. I hope that there are instructions.”
Daniel nodded. “There are. I think that this might contain them. He drew out a stone tablet with the usual stone page-changing object. “It gives me the willies every time I come across one of these things. All I can think of is that damned white room that I was incarcerated in.”
Sam’s eyes immediately filled with tears, “Oh, Daniel.”
“Hey! None of that. It was a long time ago, and a lot of really nasty other stuff has since taken place, so let’s just forget it, okay? Don’t cry, Adorata Coeurawyn.”
Sam smiled and touched his arm. “Okay. I just feel so guilty every time I think of that, Daniel. We were at fault. We should have suspected an alien entity, not that it was your mind. We knew you. We loved you. I’ll never forget, and I’ll never forgive myself for not thinking outside of the box and instead just accepting that idiot McKenzie’s ideas without questioning them.”
Daniel’s heart melted, and then overflowed with all the love that he felt for this woman. She was his Heartmate. The mate of his heart, now and forever, he would hold her within his, and her tears scalded him. “Stop it, Sam. We had no reason to suspect outside influence. I went nuts with that thing in there. They locked me away for my own protection as much as anything else was. Furthermore, I don’t blame any of you, except maybe McKenzie, who was a little too eager to drug me instead of trying to let me think my way through it. Okay?”
Sam sniffed and nodded. Hormones were a pain in the butt. She had no idea how Lantash and Martouf were handling this kind of reaction to things. She hadn’t seen them cry, but if things affected them in the same way they did her, well, maybe that’s why they would suddenly walk off sometimes. She hadn’t thought of that. How sweet and how terrible that must be for them. She would have to talk to them later. However, for now it was Daniel and the page-turner. “Okay. So, how about you go and see if Kat has any way that she can determine if there are any critters in that thing? Find out if it’s safe before you go waving it around.”
“That’s a good idea, Sam; I think I’ll do that now,” Daniel agreed readily to her suggestion. It made sense to him.
Daniel got up and walked over to Kat where she sat to one side, in one of the open window seats, staring across the horizon. “Hey, sweetheart, are you all right? You seem a little strung out.”
“I am fine, beloved, just admiring the view and wondering how many symbiotes Egeria left here. The lake appears to be immense.” She gave him a soft, sultry look before leaning forward to give him a kiss, “The others should return soon now.” The purring of her voice distracted him until her deep chuckle brought him back.
He grinned at her. “You don’t play fair, Igisadonis, and if they return soon, then they’ll be just in time. I think that I’ve found one of the control panels and the instructions. However, it has one of those stone page-turner thingies. Can you check to see if anyone has tampered with it? Ma’chello, remember me telling you about him and his Goa’uld killing devices? Well, he had this one that had these little bug-like things that got into you and killed the Goa’uld, unless you didn’t have one. Then they made you go crazy. I got to do that.”
“Yes, love, I remember you telling me about them, so let us go see. I do not know if I can determine anything by touching or sensing, but I will try for you. On the other hand, did you not tell me that once you had the Goa’uld marker it left your body? Therefore, even if one made its way in, it would not stay. It would simply retreat and die.”
Daniel stopped and stared at her. “You’re right. I had forgotten that. I guess I don’t need you to do anything after all.”
“I will come, Daniel, for there are others here who might not have the marker, and if there are several, they could escape and enter them, at which point, we would have some ill people to rush to the gate.”
“True.” Having reached the device, he leaned over and picked it up from the floor. Kataya took it out of his hand, surveyed it critically, attempted to sense anything in it, and then handed it back to him. “I feel nothing. If there is anything in there, I do not know what it is.”
Daniel shrugged, “In that case, I’m going to use it on this, and see if we can get this thing figured out. If we are very lucky, there are explicit directions to each of the resonators and the exact tone that will bring them in close enough to hear the songs and invitations.”
Sam answered from where he stood beside the open panel, “I hope that you’re right, Daniel. We’re all on pins and needles here.”
Daniel said nothing in reply. He was already writing in his notebook. Kataya smiled at Sam and shrugged before wandering away, knowing that he no longer had need of her abilities. Sam stepped over to him and watched from his side. As soon as he began writing down numbers, she grabbed her own equipment. They sure looked like some sort of coordinates to her.
After finishing the first page, Daniel stopped and looked at Sam. “I think that this one contains the directions to the farthest of the resonators. It’s on the farthest point of the continent, if you can call it a continent. Hardly more than a large island, actually. Well, a really, really big island.” He frowned at the figures. “It looks like it would be about a third of the size of Australia.”
“See what you can make out of this, Sam. I’ve included the numbers with the instructions for finding the exact spots that the devices will be.”
He handed her the notebook and started on the second page of the tablet. They were simple, once he figured out the first one.
Later, as the others began to return, he looked up. Sam had drawn maps, using the Temple as the starting point. Each device was set in a straight line from the Temple and the distances from one to the next was very close to being the same. She suspected that the slight variations came from the terrain and the need to place the resonators in fairly safe places and yet near to the water’s edge. They should be easy to find, and it was fairly early in the day. She set up an area and she, Jack, Kat, the Tok’Ra, and Merdwin were going over the information that he had uncovered.
They still had a chance to get a few blendings done, if it continued to be this simple to figure out. They had eight of the outlying devices pinpointed. They needed three more. Exactly how many he had left in this tablet. Then there was the next tablet. He had no idea what it was about, but he hoped that it wasn’t cautions on things about what was in this one. Sighing, he bent to his translations.
The teams set out as soon as Daniel finished and Sam charted the co-ordinates. They were transported by the Furlings. While the continent wasn’t exactly large by many standards, it was wide enough across it that it would take weeks of hiking to reach the far side. This was a concern when it came to the symbiotes as well. It meant that teams would have to remain behind for several months. Just to be sure that some symbiotes did not turn up long afterwards. A message would also be left for them, once they finally left for good. Even then, someone would check weekly. They would leave no symbiote without a host and alone on this piece of rock and water.
Once transported, the teams searched and found their devices almost immediately. None of the devices had been disturbed in the nearly two thousand years that they had been here. It was, indeed, an untouched world. Egeria had chosen well as far as her sites for the devices. She had placed them near the water, of course, but not near any large rock outcroppings or trees that might fall on them. Shields protected them, and they responded to the codes at once and dropped, giving those attempting to access them complete ease of use.
“What do we have out there, people? Everyone check in, starting with team one and give your condition and readiness.” Selmak ordered as they began to coordinate the exercise.
Those still at the Temple waited until all eleven of the outlying resonance device teams had reported in that they had full access to their device and were awaiting orders.
“Stop! Don’t start yet!” Daniel called from across the room. “Merdwin, Kat, come read this section again, to be sure that you still translate it the same way that you did before we found all of this other information.”
After rereading it they both agreed and Merdwin told him, “It appears to be the same except for this part. We do not initiate the farthest first. It should be the one to the left first, and then around.”
“I agree.” Kat walked back to Sam with the tablet and handed it to her. Looking at it, Sam was able to make out what they meant. Moaning, she went back to her calculations. Fifteen minutes later, she handed the paper to Selmak.
“The first number is the device that is to be turned on first, counting the Temple as number one, and proceeding around the circle, starting on the left. The tones are all the same. The devices are simply an announcement telling them to come home, because they have company.”
“According to what Daniel has translated, as soon as they are all turned on, they should be left on for no more than fifteen minutes. Then, they should be turned off, and whatever invitation songs or poems that you know should be spoken or sung.” She smiled at Lantash, “That’s where you get to entertain us all, Carusawyn. I’m going to let Daniel tell you the rest, because he can read it easier.”
Daniel pushed his glasses up his nose and stood, saying, “After the devices are shut off and the invitations are sung, the leader of the clutch will approach and make contact with whoever comes forward as the liaison. He has never been so far away from the Temple that he cannot arrive here within a half an hour. If he accepts that the first contact is legitimate, he will call his brethren to come forward for the choosing.”
“Then he will await the approach of the first possible host. He will examine all possible hosts, but will only choose the one that is his exact match. If there are none in the hosts that are offered, he is to be placed in a tank and given his choice first of all the hosts that are offered before all others.”
“Egeria is very specific and emphatic about this. She states it repeatedly. There must be something about this particular symbiote that’s special. I don’t know if they can have just one and give those special memories or something, but it almost sounds like that might be what has happened here.”
“As for the devices, they simply turn it on and press the indentations in order left to right as they face it. As soon as the first one is finished, they should contact us so that we can give the go-ahead for the next one to turn theirs on. The fifteen minutes is counted only after all twelve are on and working.”
Selmak nodded and spoke into his headset. Team-One, you are to turn the device on by placing the blue crystal into the corresponding opening. Then you will press the indentations from left to right, as you face the device. Step back when you have finished until we contact you to turn the device off.”
They had ten more minutes before they turned the resonators off, so Daniel walked along the white sand beaches with Kataya. It was a pretty beach. The water was actually a beautiful blue; it was too bad that the land wasn’t capable of supporting life. It was peaceful here. He wasn’t sure why, but he felt that he should mark this day and enjoy it to the fullest. This one and any other day of peace and joy that came his way.
The woman he loved more than life itself was by his side, there was a warm sun shining, and a soft, warm breeze was lifting her glorious gold and silver hair up, across, and around him. She stood still, staring into the horizon for a moment, before turning to him and smiling.
The love shining in her eyes stole his breath. Never again would he choose to delay his return to this woman. He felt that, at last, he was no longer the boy to whom the wonders of the universe were more fascinating than anything else was. His universe stood before him, a quizzical look in her eyes. Stepping forward, he grabbed her and swung her high in the air in a wide circle, laughing up at her. “I love you, Kataya. For Eternity.”
Her eyes softened, and as her feet once again touched the sand, she leaned into him, “As I love you, my Daniel. Et Aevum.”
The fifteen minutes passed and the teams shut the devices off. The teams were transported back, and the prospective hosts sat, talking with the Tok’Ra that were not immediately involved in the proceedings at the moment, absorbing all that they could of the way of life that could someday be theirs.
Eyes shone brightly. There were shy smiles, and bright smiles, nervous smiles, and charming smiles, but all held obvious longing. They grew to adulthood longing for this day, anticipating it, hoping, wishing, and praying for this day. Finally, it had arrived; it was so exciting that they could hardly believe it. They wanted this. It was their life’s ambition. To have a symbiote of one’s own, in one’s family, was an honor of such magnitude it was impossible to explain. To blend with a—a Tok’Ra—a child of Egeria, was the dream of almost everyone on Valdellon. Now that time had arrived and they were all very nervous.
They found the calm acceptance of the Tok’Ra hosts hard to understand. They would understand when they became one with their own symbiote, the Tok’Ra told them. They could barely wait. Sitting quietly was difficult, to say the least. Many paced the area around the temple, or returned inside to look one more time at the place where they would become a different being, a newborn being.
Lantash stood at the edge of the water and, once again, sang the love songs that he knew so well. This time though, his eyes did not search for startling violet orbs, but those that were a bright and sparkling blue. He sang for them now. And, they smiled back at him, telling him that they understood.
Selmak and Daniel stood in the water’s edge by Lantash, watching for the symbiote that the inscriptions said would come first. Twenty minutes after they shut off the devices, a large, lone, symbiote swam slowly up to them and stopped.
Merdwin walked up to Selmak. “Do you want to try First Contact, Sel? Or do you want Kataya or I to try to link first?”
Selmak took a deep breath and shook his head. “I want to do it. Damn it, Mer, I cannot believe this, I am shaking like a leaf in a wind storm.”
“It is a momentous occasion, Selmak. You are entitled to a few shaky moments. Perhaps Jacob would be calmer. You can take over after he begins the greeting, and you have regained your calm once more,” Merdwin suggested.
“Yes, yes, he would, and as you say, I can take over when he has allowed me to become calmer.”
As Jacob took control, he knelt in the sand and water, “Well, buddy, I don’t know if you can hear me or not. I don’t know if you can understand me, even if you can hear me. I’m gonna stick my hand in the water and offer to, ah, shake, er, your fin, I guess. So, try not to bite me, okay? It’s not nice to bite your brother.”
Jacob pulled his sleeve up and slowly placed his hand in the water, palm up. Leaning out, he let his arm down until he was leaning out and offering his lower arm and palm. The symbiote came forward slowly, obviously suspicious.
Selmak took control from Jacob at the first touch of the symbiote. With his other hand, he reached in and lightly pressed a very sensitive, pleasure-giving spot, stroking it gently.
Then he closed his eyes and allowed his senses to communicate with the other symbiote. It wasn’t as easy as it would have been if they were both completely immersed in the water, but enough came through for him to be fairly certain. These were Egeria’s children. And there could very well be a couple thousand, perhaps more, in this lake. He pulled away and turned to Kat.
“I think that he will allow you to handle him.”
Kat nodded and going forward, she knelt in the water deeply enough that he could swim into her lap and she could wrap her arms around him. Her head snapped back and she gasped, but pulled herself together at once, to concentrate on what he was saying, not on the emotions that he was stirring in her. Nor would she dwell on the fact that he had mind-linked with her. Not a common trait in the Tok’Ra, and unless she was very much mistaken, something that he did not do with Selmak a moment ago, when they communicated.
“The one on the sand beside you and the Tok’Ra commander. By what name is he called?”
“He is called Daniel.”
“He is my Lifemate. It is meant to be. You know this. I can feel it in you.”
“Daniel may never blend. You cannot wait for him to become your Lifemate.”
“I will wait. If it truly is meant to be, it will happen. If it is not, then I shall remain unblended.”
Kataya sighed deciding, to give up on convincing him for now.
“How are you called?”
“I am Darkyn. Darkyn-Threnn. Daniel is your mate. Do you not wish him to become my Lifemate because you find me repulsive?”
Kataya sighed. “I am Furling. We strive to find beauty in all creatures that are not evil by nature. You are Tok’Ra, so no, I do not find you repulsive. My Heartmate is Tok’Ra. We are not here to talk of me; we are here to explain the events which led us to discover you.”
“Yes, of course, however, finding my Lifemate is also a very important part of this day for me. You will tell Daniel that I have chosen him. At least allow him to think about it. Please. Furthermore, you may call me Darkyn. It is the name of familiarity.”
“Very well, Darkyn. I will tell him of you and your request. Now, do you not wish to know about who we are, and why we have come now?”
“Yes, of course, my lady, I wish to know all of the pertinent details. You have already, with our link, shared enough that I know that we should begin with the Great Battle and the discovery of Egeria’s legacy. In addition, while you are telling me the history leading up to this momentous occasion, I will call the children forward so that they may begin to interact with the prospective hosts. You are sure that the prospective Lifemates truly wish to have a symbiote? They must not be forced.”
Kataya smiled and showed him the smiling faces of those waiting to become hosts. How anxious and proud they seemed. “No, Darkyn, no one is being forced, of that, you may be sure. To each person that is here, it is considered a great honor to be chosen to host a symbiote. I will explain that as we go through everything as well.”
Sam stood next to the young woman as she sat on the sand with her hand in the water. There had been many symbiotes swimming by, but none had stopped at her to do more than touch her finger-tips.
“Why are they only swimming by us? I do not understand.”
“From the way the information in the Temple explained it, the symbiote will sense their compatibility with the host. We’ve figured out that there may be two thousand or more symbiotes in this lake. It could take quite a while for the right symbiote to find you.”
“It seems that they are somehow sensing you in the water, so only the symbiotes that sense an attraction to you will approach you. The others will stay away completely, allowing those that might possibly be your new Lifemate to approach you. Moreover, it is possible for you to feel as if you would not suit with one of them as well, as we explained to you. The ones approaching you are already having some response to you, something pulling them to come closer, to move nearer to you, but so far, none of the attractions have been strong enough for them to claim a true match.”
“Please don’t get discouraged. They’re probably as disappointed as you are when they don’ t feel whatever it is that they expect to feel when they meet their Lifemate.”
“I did not think of that. After all these years, it must be very disappointing for them.”
“Yes, I’m sure it is. This will not be a quick process, I am afraid. But, at least you will know that, when you do join with your symbiote there is a very good chance that it will be a very compatible blending.”
“It must be wonderful to have a friend always near. To never be lonely or lack someone to give another opinion when you have to make a decision. I have often envied my friend’s mother, who has a symbiote. She never becomes upset or panicked. She is always calm, and she always knows exactly what to do. I so look forward to having that peace of mind. There are so many times that I wonder what to do when one of my children does their best to kill themselves.”
“How many children do you have?”
“Four. Two girls and two boys. They are very… oh! She is nudging my fingers. Does that mean she thinks that she likes me?”
“I believe so. Let’s see, I want to make sure that I have the instructions right. Okay, she may not make any real moves yet, because some other symbiote might claim you, too. But you are encouraged to touch and caress her to see if you feel comfortable – or uncomfortable - with her. If your feelings seem mutual, she may go ahead and claim you, especially if her feelings are very strong. If you feel any disquiet or discomfort at all, you should remove your hand.”
“No, no, I do not feel any thing but awe. She is so soft. Oh, she wrapped around my wrist. What does that mean?”
“It means that if you accept her, she accepts you. Now you have to make the promises. She is promising that she will never shackle your body by letting go of your wrist. Next she will lift your hand to show that she will support you…”
“Now, we will go into the Temple and finish the blending. This is my mate, Martouf. His symbiote is Lantash, and they will help with the remainder of the blending. I will stay with you, too.”
“Hello. Come into the Blending Chamber. The water flows through here and soon your new Lifemate will be here. See? Here she comes,” Martouf, pointed out as he saw the symbiote enter they chamber and come toward them.
“Now, Aglade, I will help the symbiote to shed her outer body skin, so that she will be smaller and softer as she enters to join with you. After I have finished that, she will swim to you. If you still wish to consummate the blending, pick her up and caress her, place her back in the water and lie down on the platform.”
“Very good. Now, close your eyes and open your mouth. Your symbiote will do the rest.”
Martouf and Sam held their breath as they waited for the symbiote to leap. As she disappeared into Aglade’s open mouth, they let it out slightly, but still waited to see how traumatic it had been. Would she lose consciousness?
Apparently not. “She is called Suianth.” Aglade smiled brightly as she sat up. Oh, my. My head is so full of things that I never knew before.” She laughed suddenly. “She says that hers is, too. And she wants to see everything. Colors, flowers, trees, people, animals, everything. Then,” her smile wavered, “then she wants to fight the Goa’uld.” Aglade nodded. “We will, too. My children were raised knowing that we might have to go to war, and we have had good years together. I am ready. It is what I have waited for.”
She smiled again. “But, before we do that she wants to see everything else. Are we free to go?”
“You are free to leave the Temple but, if you wouldn’t mind waiting until there is a group going back to Valdellon, it would be easier on everyone.”
“No, we do not mind at all. We will go look at trees and rocks. Rocks on dry ground. Suz insists that she knows what wet rocks look like.” Smiling brightly, she left them waiting for the next prospective host. They did not have more than a minute or so to wait. It had started.
By evening, they would have close to a hundred blended, if it continued at the present rate. It was going much more quickly than they had anticipated. Even so, from what Kataya learned from Darkyn-Threnn, there were more than two thousand Tok’Ra in the lake. When he found out that there were sufficient hosts, he was overwhelmed. Egeria left the memory of hosts being hard to find.
Merdwin contacted Valynara, and she came through with another two hundred and fifty people, leaving newly made hosts to continue contacting people to inform them that the time had come for their blending. They would be blending throughout the night in the Temple of Coreegadon.
Moreover, so far, only five had needed a link to assure the blending would be a success. In three, it proved to be a good thing that they asked; they would have been compatible only in a shallow superficial way. Their interests were different and in the end, they would have been bored and unhappy with one another. The other two had proven to be simply nervous. They were good matches, and once they had the confidence of their choice backed up with a third opinion, they blended and were excitedly happy once they did.
When Kataya mentioned to Darkyn that Valynara had joined them, he requested a link with her. She came at once, happy to link with any of Egeria’s children that wished to do so.
“I am Valynara. Your mother was very dear to me, and I loved her well.”
“Her love of you was deep and true. She passed on both the concept of deep and abiding love and the ability to feel it deeply ingrained into our very being. We will love quickly and passionately. She also ingrained in us that the human body that we would inhabit was just that; a human’s body. It is the Lifemate’s body, but one which, under certain conditions, they would willingly share with us, and they would care about us, perhaps even come to love us as deeply as we would love them. She stringently stressed that it is not our body, and that fact should constantly be uppermost in our minds, for it is the most obvious way in which we differ from the Goa’uld. That, and our lack of desire for power or worship.”
He paused for a moment before continuing, “She was quite adamant that our brethren would come for us, but many gave up hoping long ago. I, too, had begun to doubt the day would ever dawn.”
Valynara smiled at him, and told him softly, “Your mother was a wonderful being, and you have much to be proud of both in her and in being her offspring. She overcame much to become what she did, for she was born and bred as a Goa’uld, which, of course, physiologically, she was…as are you and all of your kind. It took great determination and courage to change and become a beacon of hope in the universe for humanity.”
“All of her children, your older siblings, those remaining, as well as those who have passed, love, respect, and revere her, and many others respect her for what she accomplished, as well as what she worked toward achieving. The people of Valdellon hold her in great esteem, admiration, and reverence; many feel great affection and even love for her, though they never met,” Valynara felt it best that Darkyn-Threnn, obviously the symbiote’s leader, understand how very much the people of Valdellon longed to blend and have a symbiote. He would be able to assure the others that they were truly wanted.
She looked at him somberly, telling him quite firmly, her sincerity obvious in her voice, “Darkyn-Threnn, you must understand that the people of Valdellon consider it the greatest of honors to become a host and have a Lifemate of their own. Those who are hosts are very much-respected members of their society. They have hoped for centuries to find you; it is a hope ingrained in each new generation. They longed to find that your brethren participated in the Great Battle, as foretold in a prophecy of long ago. One of their most ardent desires was to blend and fight the Goa’uld. You will never lack for hosts or soldiers. The hosts waiting to blend want them so much that they are excited and can hardly await their turn to find their Lifemate. Never doubt that, for it is a fact, I assure you.”
Darkyn answered promptly, “Yes, and I understand that you did that for us over the years. We owe you much for that, not least of all our heartfelt thanks, which I now offer to you. If there is ever any way in which we can be of service to you, you have only to ask, and we will do whatever is within our power to do. Our love for you is deep and this has only deepened both our love and our respect.”
“Thank you, Darkyn. I hope nothing that terrible ever happens, though.” she smiled at him while sending him her own affection for Egeria’s children as well as her love for Egeria.
Darkyn hesitated for a moment, gathering his thoughts before beginning his revelation, “Valynara, Egeria left a message for you, should I ever be lucky enough to meet you. First, I was to tell you that Egeria loved you more than she loved any other. You were often in her thoughts and she held you close to her heart always. Then I was to tell you that she gave birth to me alone. She named me Darkyn-Threnn, and I was to tell you to remember the wars and legends of the All and of Elvenia as well as the name of Drakon-Thronn.”
“She also asked that I tell you that everything that happened to her was worth the time that she spent with you. You gave her more than she could ever tell you. She wanted you to know that still, after all these years, her love for you lives on in us, her children, for we love you as well. Through her children, her love for you will live forever. Et Aevum.”
It was an emotional talk for them. She stroked him for quite some time, while they talked of the Tok’Ra and the Tau’ri. And as they talked, he learned of Sam and Martouf/Lantash, Malek/Devlin and Gwennetha, Jacob/Selmak and Jocasta/Daur’rin, Merdwin and Janet, Artereos, and Gwynnivar, O’Neill, Teal’c, and anyone at all that happened to wander by, catching their eye, and causing him to ask questions. And so, at last, Kataya …and Daniel.
“Well, that’s over, at least for us. I think that the new Tok’Ra can handle the remainder, and they can contact someone if something happens and they need help.”
“I agree, Selmak. I see no reason for us to remain now. There are enough of the new Tok’ Ra that we can go back to our search for the little Queens and others of our brethren that might still be waiting to be found.”
“Absolutely. As exciting as this is, I believe that we would be of more use there than here,” Lantash replied.
“Well, we’re packed up and ready to head out as soon as you guys are done yammering,” Sam said briskly, as she hefted her pack and watched Martouf frown. She laughed and turned toward the gate. Kat, Gwennetha and several other women waited patiently for her. As she strode toward them, she was aware of the silence behind her, followed by swift footsteps and rapid scrambling as the men hastily gathered the remainder of their belongings and camping gear. They were on their way back to Valdellon.
“Another excellent meal, Val. I have to say that as interesting as the last few days have been, they have made me more anxious than ever to continue the hunt for the Queens. I am looking forward to resuming looking through the legends as well. I hope to find some more information on the Elvinsten’ien Wars.”
“Selmak, if you are truly interested in those ancient wars, Artereos has tomes of legends and histories. I will be happy to obtain some of them for you, if you wish,” Merdwin replied.
Selmak nodded his agreement. “I would appreciate it, thank you. I will use them for light reading at night, before I go to sleep.”
“I believe that I am going to retire to the library and look through some of the material that we have. I am not yet terribly tired, and, perhaps, it will help me to become sleepy,” Kataya announced quietly.
As the group generally agreed on what to do with the remainder of the evening, they drifted off in different directions. A few hours later in the library, Kataya, Merdwin, and Val talked quietly. The hour was late, the night quiet and beautiful, when they decided that bed was where they should all probably be.
“That sounds like a good idea, Val. I am looking forward to sleeping in a bed after these last few days, but I do not think that I can sleep well anymore without my Daniel by my side.”
“I very much doubt you will have to do so for more than tonight at most, Carusawyn. He will be here by tomorrow night. He will be just as anxious to return to you as you are to have him return,” Merdwin murmured as he held her, stroking her hair.
Kataya leaned into his body enjoying the feel of him, as she always did. It was a familiar, comforting feeling. “Yes, he will be here soon, Amat, and Janet is waiting for you. Daniel will not stay on Coreegadon any longer than is necessary to finish the last of the translations. Once he found that treasure trove of information hidden behind that panel, he had to finish it. Moreover, as close as he was to completing it, there was no point in him dragging it back here. He will be back by tomorrow night. Come, let us part tonight on a light note. The time will soon come when we may not feel so light of heart. We know that there is darkness gathering, and that we must be prepared to meet and defeat it.”
Merdwin sighed, and then acknowledged her words, “What you say is true, Coeurawyn. Therefore, we will keep watch and be prepared, but tonight we will not think of that. We will, instead, dwell on the goodness that has happened in the last few days and that continues even as we speak.”
Valynara yawned and shook her head at herself. She must be more tired than she realized. “I am off to bed, as well, Kataya. I will be around tomorrow, but I will also be going back to check on our new hosts. Sleep as well as you can without your Daniel for one night.”
“Good-night, Val. Thank you for everything.”
“You are most welcome, Amat. Good-night.
Merdwin grinned and then bowed with a flourish reminiscent of a long ago era, before taking her hand and gallantly kissing her wrist. “I will bid you good’even, as well.” Then dropping his teasing demeanor, he concluded,” However, Kataya, Adorata Coeurawyn, I will return tomorrow, and as I promised earlier, I will be remaining until this has been resolved.”
“I wish that I did not think that it was necessary, Merdwin. I hate having to take you from Janet any more than I already have. It is not fair to you. However, no matter that it is not, still, I will accept it gratefully, for I do believe that it will become necessary, and unfortunately, I do not know when. Therefore, though I am not sure it is necessary yet, we will enjoy your company and help. This time, you will be able to help more than you could before. And, I am very glad that the situation between our daughter and our sons- in-law was resolved happily.”
“I could not agree more, Kataya. Now, you should go to bed and rest. Whatever the future brings concerning Egeria’s Legacy, will wait upon tomorrow.”
“Yes, you are right, and it will. I will rest. Go to Janet. Good’even, Merdwin, Lord of Werllockian.” Kataya smiled cheekily up at him.
Merdwin kissed her gently, and then again bowed low with old world elegance and grace, before saying, his voice at its most seductive, “And may you find your rest filled with peace and beauty, Kataya, Lady of Cadwaellon,” just before he disappeared. Kataya laughed. It had been many centuries since Merdwin had attempted to do that. She wondered where he ended up this time. She certainly hoped that he had been practicing. Shaking her head, she decided to take the stairs instead of the transporter.
“Hello, love, how are you holding up? Have you rested at all? I tried to hurry, but Malek and I began discussing the ritual of the blendings. The manner in which they blended fascinated him, and he was very drawn to it. I must admit that Lantash and I were, as well.”
Sam sat up against the head of the bed, telling him, “Yes, I was, too. The fact that it’s actually done with observers is very different from the way the Tok’Ra normally do it. I was impressed with the acceptance of both the host and the symbiote at all stages of the blending, or birthing, as many called it.” She smiled at him in the soft light coming through the open windows. “I’ve been waiting for you to come to bed, Martouf. Why would you think that I would go to sleep without you?”
“I did not truly believe that you would; I only hoped that you might get some extra sleep. As excited as we were to find our siblings, I must admit that I am glad to be back here to begin our search again. I am also glad that I have you in a bed, at last,” Martouf informed her solemnly.
“I’ve been in bed every night. You should know; you’ve been sharing it with me,” Sam whispered softly.
“Samantha, you know that is not what I meant. I am glad that I now have you in a real bed instead of on the floor of a temple, or in a tent on the ground. I have been worrying, from the day that we went, that you would come to harm, or the situation that we found ourselves in would be too hard on your delicate condition,” As he spoke, he easily slipped back into nervous, worried, father-to-be/anxious mate mode.
Sam laughed at him, but gently, as she caressed his face, loving him despite, or perhaps, because of, his sweet, caring ways. His fear for her was so stark, and yet, he made no effort to hide it from her. He wasn’t afraid to allow her to see how very much he cared, how much it would hurt him, if something happened to her.
She sighed as his lips hovered over hers, and then softly settled to caress them gently. She felt the change from Martouf to Lantash as the kiss deepened. He would let his actions speak first, then after the passion, he would whisper of his care for her welfare. They were so different and yet so alike in so many ways. Moreover, she loved them both with a love without end. The kiss ended, and his arm loosened around her, surprising her for a moment, but he pulled her up onto his chest and cradled her there.
“Samantha, you know that we only wish to care for you and protect you. Caring for you is all that we can do at this time. Do not attempt to take that from us by making light of our fears for you and the kits.”
“No, I won’t, Lantash. I think that I understand, and it is okay with me, really. I was just thinking a little bit ago how wonderful it is that the two of you show me how much you care and worry. How really special it is that you don’t try to hide that fear from me, but allow me to see how much these babies and I mean to you.” She sighed softly, as she stroked his chest.
Then looking up at him, her face, and voice, were very serious as she asserted a truth to them, “You know, I remember the day that you walked through the Stargate with my dad, and I looked up and knew that I loved you. I was so astounded and thrilled. I promised myself before you arrived that if it proved to be true, and it was me, Samantha Carter, that loved you, I would tell you, and never look back. I haven’t, Lantash, not even once. I love you more today than I did that day, and I will love you more tomorrow than I do today. Clichéd, but it’s the honest truth, nonetheless.”
She paused before continuing, “Yet, a lot has happened since that day, Amates Wyn. You and Martouf have both given me the unconditional love that I thought I’d never have. You’ ve stood by me through mind-links, finding my sister, a bonding ceremony, a wedding ceremony, becoming a Katteri-enti Warrior, and changing into the Dragon of the Star, fighting a Dragon Sorceress, and leaving you, for heaven’s sake.”
She gave them a small but softly loving smile. “And after all of that, here the two of you are, still standing by my side, still loving me, still caring for me, and already, I’ve managed to drag you into a Furling mating ritual that you weren’t prepared for. Now you’ re going to become fathers, and are living through horrible morning sickness, food cravings, and emotional mood swings that probably drive you both crazy. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’ll never stop being thankful for the day that I seduced you into my bed and my body. I want to do that from now into eternity. So, don’t ever stop caring, fearing, and being there for me. It makes me very, very happy.”
He levered himself over her, settling between her thighs to lie cradled there. “I speak for both of us when I say that we will never forget that day, my Samantha. Nor will we ever forget any of the other things that you have mentioned, for each one of them brings a memory that will be with us for all time. Some are wonderful, and some are not, but all are aspects of our relationship with you.”
“But the sickness, the food cravings, and the mood swings, a trial that I find especially hard to deal with, I assure you, those things, in the end, will be cherished as will the others. Those final three memories will be special in a different way, as well, because they will also pertain to our children. Moreover, as uncomfortable as all of these things are, we would not change sharing this experience with you for anything in this world or any other. Please, believe that, Samantha, for it is quite true.”
Lantash caressed her cheeks and hair before continuing, “We do not know where the search for the little Queens will take us. Nevertheless, wherever it leads, we will travel there together, if not physically, then mentally. We hope that we never have to part again, Samantha, though I know that we would survive, just as we survived before. Just as you would survive, if we were gone. We never want to do so again, however.” He kissed her sweetly.
Sam took a deep breath, before saying, “Lantash, there is something that I need to tell you. I should have told you and Martouf before, but I hoped that we would know more by now. That is not happening though; the images aren’t any clearer now than they were a week ago, so it was decided that we would slowly start preparing all of you now.”
“I have sensed that you, Kataya, and Merdwin, are holding something back. What is it?”
Sam sighed and kissed him. “We’re seeing a darkness on the horizon of the Mirror of the Mysts. But…there is more than that. Kataya has been having “flashes,” images that are very out of focus. She can’t tell exactly what they are, but she’s getting feelings with them. They concern the Queens, the Tok’Ra, the Tau’ri, the Furling, and possibly the Goa'uld. As I said, she can’t tell that for sure. However, she says that there is brutal and bloody battle, and treachery involving the Tok’Ra. She knows that no one here is involved in the treachery. If they were, she would have felt it. So, if that thought even entered your mind, put it back out.”
She felt the tension leave him. “Thank the All. I was afraid. Never mind; it does not matter. What does she suggest, and why did she not tell me?”
“She didn’t tell you because she felt that it was my place as your lover and your wife. She couldn’t comfort and take your mind off of it the same way that I can. Moreover, she suggests that we don’t do anything right now. Merdwin’s staying here and will assist us, like he did before.”
“We could ask for no better than he, Samantha.”
“I know. Without him, I might not have returned yet, and Kataya might never have recovered. I don’t want to think of that. As for the other, that’s all I really wanted to tell you about that, and I wanted to get it out of the way before we made love, so I didn’t have to bring it up afterwards.” She ran her fingers down his chest. “There really isn’t anything that we can do now, Beloved.”
“Whatever the future holds is wrapped in the same mystery as Egeria’s Legacy, and it will become clearer as time passes and we uncover more information, just as her legacy will. We will find them. It’s just a matter of when now, not if. But for now, let’s forget all about Egeria for awhile.”
“The only thing that I want to look for and discover tonight is how wonderful you look in the starlit sky and the washes of color that are streaming through the windows. I want to feel your lips on mine. Yes, Lantash, just like that. Mm. Yes, Martouf, just like that, as well. Come my lovers, and take me to the places that only you can.”
“We will be happy to do so, Samantha, Amat. We will take you to the heavens, and visit the stars, and when we return with stardust in your hair, we will kiss it away, and then begin the journey again. Would that please you?”
“Yes. Yes, Martouf. That would please me very much.”
Darkyn swam slowly and silently along the shore of the lake. It was a beautiful night. Much like the night that he was born according to his mother. He remembered his mother quite well. She had returned often to give birth, to small clutches of symbiotes at first, and then, as time went on, the clutches became larger.
She had known then that her time was becoming shorter. It had been a long period of time between the last two times he saw her. She had been placing her offspring in different places. Moreover, she had given birth to several daughters. However, not even to him would she divulge their whereabouts.
She would often talk to him when she came, but it was not until her last appearance there that she had told him anything of significance pertaining to him. That time, she had told him about his human father. Only, he was not human at all. At least, he was, but he was also something other.
She told him that he had a special path in life and that when the time came, the minute he came anywhere near his Lifemate, he would know him. In that belief she proved to be correct for he knew him at once. The moment Daniel walked into the water; he was sure. He thought he felt it before, but once Daniel entered the water, he was sure. However, his Lifemate did not intend to blend. Well, he could not force him, but fate had a way of making things work out, as they should, so he would be patient. Sometimes, destiny changes our paths for us.
As for his human-other DNA-donor father, he knew very little about him. She had meant to tell him more, but she never returned, and Valynara did not know who he was from what he had managed to find out in their link today. The link was something that he could do with little or no trouble. It was an odd ability for a symbiote, no, a Tok’Ra, as he must become used to calling himself. No matter.
What had he been thinking? Ah, yes, his father. A man long dead, no doubt. All his mother had ever told him was that he was the handsomest man, human, other, or as he was, both, that she had ever seen. Hair black as a raven’s wing, eyes as blue as a sorcerer’ s jewel, skin the color of pale golden honey and a voice that could seduce a woman just by saying hello. He was tall, muscular, but slender, with a grace when he walked that few men could equal.
He was a master of seduction, with a manner that could charm, entice, and enthrall, but which never lent itself to breaking women’s hearts. Moreover, he was a lover such as she had never known before, a true master of a woman’s body. As he never claimed a woman’ s heart, he never gave his heart away. He never gave his because the woman that he worshipped loved another.
Ah, and there was one more important fact that she had let fall. He was a powerful, important, and well-respected man among his people, a sorcerer, or perhaps a wizard, of great power. She had sworn that his coloring was from his father’s DNA, for he was a golden color rather than the darker shade of his siblings. Perhaps she was right. He had never really seen himself, so he could not know.
When he blended with Daniel, he would find out if he had inherited any of his father’s traits. Whether he did or not was really irrelevant, but they were all he had to go on to try to find out about him. She seemed to believe that his father would be known forever. A man considered a wizard or sorcerer two thousand years ago, no doubt, went down in legend. Exploits of that kind would have been written into myths, stories to tell to children. Surely, he would have made some of the history books, or possibly books of legends and myths.
His interest in history and Daniel’s should make searching tomes of history for mentions of men with those traits and features easier. However, that was not for tonight. Tonight, he would rest among the rocks by the shining pool, so named for the way that both the sun and the stars reflected from its surface.
Yes, he would go to the shining pool. Sometimes, Daniel came there to sit and think. Kataya often joined him, but Kataya would be gone this night, back to Valdellon, so Daniel would be sitting on the rocks and contemplating what they found during the day. He would go and keep him company for a short while. Perhaps link with him and begin to become acquainted.
He knew that Kataya told him that Darkyn believed that they were Lifemates, as she had said that she would. Therefore, she did not break her word. Honorable, then, as was Daniel, and Daniel had said that he would consider it, though he had not planned to blend just yet. Someday, yes, but not just yet. Which was more hope than he expected.
They were highly compatible, though Daniel did not yet know it. Darkyn had fallen in love the moment that Kataya had touched him. Much as he had with Daniel, when he stepped into the water. Both events had surprised him with the depth of the feelings that they engendered.
He and Daniel were both interested in history and languages. He was not sure, since his experience was limited, but he felt, from his links with Kataya and Valynara, that he would enjoy the same things that Daniel did. In fact, he was quite sure of it. He was already very curious about the things that he studied. He was perhaps more of a warrior than Daniel was, but that was to be expected, and he could tell that Daniel was becoming more warrior-like through his experiences with the Goa’uld. He believed that they would find many more things in common. He really hoped that fate stepped in soon. He had been alone now for two thousand years, and he was more than ready for his Lifemate, his Soulmate and his Heartmate. He had been ready for years, centuries in fact.
He swam on toward the shining pool, contemplating the future as he went. No one knew what the future held in store, but it was sure to have some tie to the quest for Egeria’s Legacy. Of that, they could all be sure.
Daughters of the Queen is the Third Book in The Tok’Ra Legacy Series. The Fourth Book of the series, Legacy of the Queen, is a Work in Progress at this time. Due to interference from Real Life, it was on hold for a very long time, however, I am now writing on it again and hope nothing else interferes with its progress. Feedback is welcomed and appreciated. It is the only thing that lets me know whether or not I should continue the story.