‘Part IV Summary: By morning Martouf is healed and Lantash is tired.  They begin to
learn of one another.  He and Lantash go with the old couple to the Valley of the Light.  
Much happens there.  Groups have been raiding the city, finding both adults and children
hidden in “safe rooms”.  The scouting parties have been gathering whatever they could find
that they would need in their new home.  It is decided that they will go to a world that the
Tok’Ra sometimes take survivors to.  There is a small group there and not doubt they would
welcome the larger group joining them, for with more hands the work would be less.  They
manage to send most through the Chaappa’ai, but some Lantash and Martouf take by ship
along with some of the supplies.  Several thousand people escaped and all of them were
relocated.  Some choose to join the Tok’Ra, and one of them is Anole and Hiber’s
granddaughter…Rosha.  

Coronau – Crown
Mer Cariad Kea – My Dear One  
Cariad – Dear
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication

________________________________________

Take With You My Love - Part IV
The blending of Lantash and Martouf  
Lantash and Martouf – POV – Into the Future

________________________________________

It did not take long for the sun to dry him except for his hair.  He pulled on his clean
clothes and headed back to the little shepherd’s hut.  It might not be much, but it had
given them shelter and cots to sleep upon, and they could not ask for more.   

Martouf sighed to himself, hating to bring up the subject of Justin, but it must be
finished.  His family he could neither cremate nor bury.  Justin, on the other hand, could
have either.  He must ask Lantash which he should do before he became dormant.  

“Lantash?  Are you still awake?”  

“Yes, I will be for a few more minutes as I am preparing to finish our blending.  What may I
do for you?”  

“Nothing for me,”
Martouf stated quietly and softly.  “However, you must tell me that which
you wish done for Justin.  I can do whatever you will.”  

“Nothing more needs to be done, Martouf, but thank you for thinking of it.”  

Martouf frowned.  “This is not like my leaving my family where they were without burial,
Lantash.  We are in the forest.  Something will come and find the, the body.  I—well, I
assumed you did not want that to happen.”
 Martouf felt uncomfortable.  

Lantash ‘shook’ his head.
 “That will not happen, Martouf.  Justin is Wiccadian, as he told
you.  He will be taken.  We need do nothing further for him.  It would not surprise me to find
him gone when we return.  You spoke to the Goddess of the Mysts of Time for him, and he
shall not be left behind here.  I promise you that is true.”  

Martouf blinked in surprise.  “You mean the Goddess will come and—and—take his
body?”  

“Ah, not exactly, but, yes, I suppose…in a way.  His body will become one with the Mysts
and then it will return to his home-world where he will someday be reborn.  Your request for
him will be granted.”
  

“That never happens to us.  I mean, our bodies stay behind.  I do not understand.  If they
have the same deities as we, then…”
 His voice trailed off in confusion.  

“Your deities are similar, and though not exactly the same, still your request was heard by
the Goddess of his people.  As for why his will be taken when yours are not, it is because
your people are very young compared to Justin’s, Martouf.  His people are quite ancient,
and by that, I do not mean the race that is sometimes referred to as the Ancients.  I simply
mean they were born of the Mysts during the beginning time, but after the First-Born and
some of the ‘others’, which are known as the First Five Races.”
 

“Your people will be reborn anew, but as infants.  Justin, well, he will have a choice of
where, or if, he will again be born and if he does, it will probably be as an adult.  I believe
he will, but I do not know that with absolute certainty.  It will be his choice as I said for he
is of the Eldaren.  The Eldaren were the first to walk upon their world when the Mysts
birthed them and gave them substance and form.  Of them, there are The Twelve, their
siblings, and their direct descendants.  All are considered to be of the Eldaren of Wiccadia.  

“I cannot even tell you with any certainty exactly how old Justin was.  That he was not
born within the first five ages of the Mysts, I know, for that is considered the Myst or
beginning time and that is when the First Five Races were born of the All.  Because the All
gave birth to the First Five Races during the first five Ages, I believe that he was born
during the sixth age, but that is only speculation on my part.  Nor can I tell you the times or
length of the Ages of those born of either the All or the Mysts.  All of that is shrouded
within the minds of the First-born and the All.   The Wiccadians are from the second
Beginnings, which came from the Mysts, some time after the Beginning time in which the All
gave birth to the First born of the Five Races.  I admit it is somewhat complicated.”  

“I cannot explain it, for I do not completely understand it myself.  However, it will happen.  
His body will not remain here.  As I said, we need do nothing more for him than you already
have.”  

“I see.  In that case, perhaps I should awaken Hiber and Anola, if they are not already up,
and have them eat and ready themselves to continue our walk to the Old Temple.  The
sooner we arrive there, the sooner we will complete our tasks and be able to return to—to
wherever it is we need to return.”   

“I am sure that would be a wise decision.  As for where we will return, we were on our way
to the Tok’Ra base.  I only hope it has not had to move since we were last in contact with
them.  If it has, then it could take time to find them.”  

“Do they often have to move?  

“Only when a System Lord finds out where a base is.  We have several bases so that we
are not all together at any given time.  Some have remained undetected for many years,
while others have had to move often.”
 

Martouf frowned at him.  
“Is it always the same bases that have to find new homes then?  
If so, then there must be an informant among you.”   

“Yes.  There was, but he is dead.  It has not happened since he was caught.  That does not
mean that it cannot happen again.  I do not believe that the base has moved; I am simply
aware that it is a possibility.”  

“I see.  That is good to know.  How long has it been since you were at the base?”  

“Well over a year, now.  The last I heard, our group has not had to relocate, and before I
left on this mission, it had been many years.  We must hope it remained and continues to
remain that way.”   

“We will.  For now, though, you should rest.  It will not take long to eat, and then I must
awaken you.  Sleep for now.”
 

Lantash agreed,
“Yes, I will in a moment or two, I have almost completed our blending.  
Thank you.”  

Martouf stepped into the small orchard behind the little hut and picked some fruit for his
breakfast.
 “You are welcome.  I hope you like fruit.”  

“I do, but if I am dormant, I will not taste it anyway.”
 

Martouf nodded, realizing he already knew that.  In fact, he suddenly became aware of
knowing many, many things he had never known before.  Then he felt Lantash drift off
into his dormant state, but now he could still feel him.  His moment or two was over, and
they were now fully blended.    

Martouf was excited about all the new knowledge he had gained, but he had no time at
the moment to revel in it.  He could do that later.  For now, he had things he must do.  
Eating his fruit, he turned, walked back to the hut, and went inside.  

He went first to the cot and saw that Lantash had not lied to him.  Justin was gone.  Only
his clothing remained.  

Martouf stared in shock for a few moments, and then he realized that he was now joined
with a being who had seen and lived through much in his two thousand years.  He should
become used to seeing things that were beyond human comprehension.  No doubt, he
would learn that a great many things that he believed impossible, were not impossible at
all.  

He realized the old couple was awakening, so he folded the clothing that had remained
and placed it into his satchel.  As clothing, it was ruined, but the cloth that was intact
might be used for something.  His people would have had time to gather little and even
small things could be an important item for them.

He found the water bucket and made his way to a spring that emptied into the stream.  
After filling the bucket with the clean water, he took it back to the hut.  

He wondered if the old couple would think he was crazy when he told them what had
happened to the other man.  Maybe he should say he died and that he had taken care of
the body?  He wasn’t sure what to say to them.  

For that matter, what was he to say about his own healing?  The truth.  There was no
other way.  He sighed and hoped they knew of the Tok’Ra, so that he would not have to
explain that he now had a Goa’uld that was not a Goa’uld within him.  

He turned back to the hut.  Whatever was going to happen was going to happen.  All he
could do was his best.  

He entered the hut to find the old woman staring at the cots in both amazement and
distress.  She had not awakened as she had planned to do, and somehow during the
night her two patients that had been near to death had gotten up and left, she assumed,
together.  

As he entered the room, her eyebrows rose in what was obviously a question as she looked
at him in astonishment.  “Highness, you are awake and—recovered.  How can this be?”  

Martouf walked over and set the bucket down on the washstand next to the sink before
turning and motioning to both of them to be seated.  When they finally did, he, also, sat
down, facing them.  

“I do not know if you are aware of the Tok’Ra?”  He asked softly.  At their nods of
understanding, he continued, “The man that followed us here last evening, Justin, was
Tok’Ra.  As you know, he was very badly injured.  So badly injured that his symbiote
could not heal him.  They were both dying.”  

They again nodded their understanding, so he pushed onward with his explanation.  “My
injuries, although killing me, were not bad enough to cause my death if I had been able to
reach the priestesses.  Justin felt that his symbiote could heal me if I was willing to take
him and allow him to live instead of dying with him.”  

“One of my father’s dying wishes was that I join the Tok’Ra and fight the Goa’uld.  It was
also the direction I had chosen for myself, before I learned of his request, so joining with
Lantash was something I wished very much to do.  As you can see, he was able to heal
me, and he is now resting himself.”  

“While it will mean that I shall be with the Tok’Ra, I will first make arrangements for you
and the remainder of our people, to go to a safe world and start over.  I will not stay with
you, but I promise you that I will see you safely there.  If we cannot go through the
Chaappa’ai, then we will take his ship and go to a world where you can all stay.”  

The old woman looked at him with tears running down her cheeks.  “I am very grateful to
them, Highness.  And while I wish you were coming with us, I understand your desire to
fight the Goa’uld, and so, I will not try to change your mind.”  

“I am relieved that you are alive.  We will know that our king is somewhere in the
universe fighting this evil.  Someday you or your children may return.  That would be a
good thing.”   

He smiled at her saying, “My name is Martouf.  Please use it, for it is the only title I will
use now.  There is no longer a throne or a king on this world.  Lantash is my symbiote’s
name should you need, or desire, to talk to him.”  

“For now though, I suggest that we eat something quickly and be on our way to the
Temple.  There is an orchard in the back and the fruit is good if you wish to eat some of
it.  As you know, I brought water from the spring.  It will not take more than a few hours
to reach the Temple, but I would like to leave as soon as possible, if you please,” he
requested softly.  

Both of them nodded their agreement.  Less than an hour later, they were on their way,
making much better time now that they did not have a person to carry with them.  

They had not asked about Justin’s body, and he had not told them anything.  They must
have assumed that he had taken care of it.  Perhaps thinking that he had used his zat’nik’
tel and disintegrated it.  It would have been an option had they been desperate, but
thankfully that choice did not have to be made.  Thinking of it now, he wished he had
done so to his family even though it could well have alerted the Jaffa to his presence even
more than covering them had.  

For that, they might have believed a servant had been overlooked and therefore done
what they saw as their duty to their king and his family members.  No doubt, they would
not have been excessively concerned if they believed that was all it was.

Martouf had awakened Lantash as they readied to leave the little hut.  
“Lantash, we are
almost ready to proceed to the Temple.  Lantash?  

“I am awake, thank you, Martouf.  Are they comfortable with you now being Tok’Ra?”  

“Yes, they are very relieved that I am alive and well.  They seemed to understand about the
Tok’Ra because I had little to explain.  Why did you have me awaken you, Lantash?”  

“So that we would both be very alert in case the Jaffa spread out into the countryside.  I do
not wish to run into a patrol of them.  They will travel a long way in search of anyone that
might have escaped.”  

“I see.  In that case, it is just as well that we will be evacuating the people.  The Temple
has never been discovered, even when the Goa’uld ruled here.  We do not know why they
cannot see it or why they avoid the Valley of the Light, but that is how it is.  Unfortunately,
it is also against our beliefs to hunt in that valley and we cannot bring ourselves to live
there.  It was meant as a refuge only, as far as we know, and that is all for which it has
ever been used.”  

“Often, when two Goa’uld would fight over this world, the people that could would simply
disappear until it was over.  The Goa’uld tried to find out where they all went, but they
were never able to access it even when shown where the opening was.  They simply could
not pass the entrance.  They tried to destroy it, but they could not, so they made laws
against going there.”  

“Sometimes I think that our reluctance to live or hunt there is from that rather than the fact
that it was a refuge.  Nevertheless, I never knew that for a fact.  My father felt the same
way about it.  We are a long-lived race, so it is not so many generations back to when the
Goa’uld were here.  Even so, the only information we have is what I just explained to you.  
We have never found any other recorded history about it although there were some tablets
found long ago.  I do not know exactly what happened to them, but I suspect they were
replaced in the underground chamber where they were found.”  

“That is interesting, Martouf.  I hope there is nothing there that works against a symbiote
or we may have to allow our companions to gather the people and bring them to the ship.  
We will move it as close to it as we can, but it will still take some planning if that is how we
must work.”  

“I do not believe there is anything like that.  Tok’Ra have been there before.  At least, they
have been in the Valley of the Light, so I am quite sure they have been within the temple as
well.”  

“Good, then there is one less obstacle in our way.  The old woman is having trouble
walking, Martouf.  We must carry her.
”  

Martouf hesitated, then nodded before moving to her side.  “Anola, you are in pain.  I will
carry you.”  He told her quietly, just before swinging her up and into his arms.  He and
Hiber could walk much faster than she could, although Hiber was as elderly as she.  He
did not seem to have the painful joints that she obviously had.  

She squawked as she automatically threw her arms around his neck.  “Oh, Highness, no,
you must not.”  

“Martouf.”  

“What?”  

“My name is Martouf.  And you are very light, you know, even more so now that I have the
added strength of the Tok’Ra.  Do not fidget, you will make carrying you uncomfortable
and difficult,” he told her calmly.  

She appeared to freeze in his arms and though he said nothing more to her, it was quite
some time before she relaxed.  

He smiled as she finally laid her head on his shoulder and fell into a light doze.  He could
not believe how very light she felt or how very strong he felt.  He knew that he would be
able to carry her without tiring overmuch.  Another benefit to being Tok’Ra.  

Hiber walked quietly with him as they made their way through the wood.  Martouf was
very aware of Lantash keeping watch as they walked along.  It was quiet and serene here
in the forest, as if the day before had never happened.  It was redolent with this false
sense of peace, and therefore it could lull one into a false sense of security.  

He was very thankful to Lantash for insisting on being awake and adding his enhanced
senses to protect them.  

If they could continue at the pace they had set, they would reach the Temple more quickly
than he had expected.  He doubted that Hiber could keep to it though he seemed to be
fine.  “How are you doing, Hiber?  Do we need to rest?  Do not,” he said sternly, “lie to
me.  I wish the truth, please.”  

“I am doing quite well, Highness.  I was a gamekeeper in the Palace Forest for many years
and walked long distances in the wood and mountains daily.  I have continued to walk
long distances even though I am now on a pension.”  

“Well, I was on a pension.  I do wonder what I will do now.  We brought what gold we had
with us, though; we know that if we leave here we will need something with which to
begin again.  We will not be the only ones in that situation.  We have faced hardship
before; I do not doubt that we can face it again.  We are a hardy people,” he said as he
shifted the pack on his back.    

“I wish that I could tell you, Hiber.  I brought all the gold I could get into the satchel and
still have room for my mother and fathers personal effects and a change of clothing.  I am
hoping that the others will have taken things from the manor house as I ordered them to.  
It is my hope that there will be enough to give everyone some, so that they are not
destitute along with everything else.”  

“Would you like for me to carry either Anola or the satchel, Highness?  I am still quite
strong, and I believe I could carry her, or the satchel, for a while.  She is small and weighs
little, as you said.  Small but mighty,” he told him, with a smile in his voice.  

Martouf sighed.  “Martouf, Hiber.  My name is Martouf.  I am no longer using a title for
there is nothing left to tend and care for.  As for carrying either of them, no I am doing
quite well thanks to Lantash.  I am amazed at the extra strength.”  

“As for Anola being small but mighty, that is true.  She is very like the nanny I had when
I was very young.  She, too, was always forbidding me to do things.  As for you, you must
concentrate on keeping a good steady pace so that we will reach the Temple as soon as we
possibly can.”  

“Yes, Sire.”  

Martouf sighed again, but did not try to correct him.  Frowning to himself, he wondered if
insisting they call him Martouf was a mistake.  

“I believe it is, Martouf.  They have nothing left, and the world, as they knew it, has
disappeared.  You, as who you were, gives them a thread of hope to hold onto.  You are
still here.  Their monarchy is still alive, albeit without a Palace or a throne.  Still, even with
nothing, you are a symbol to them.  Allow it them, if it gives them peace.  It hurts you not at
all, but it gives them much comfort,”
Lantash counseled quietly.  

Martouf ‘nodded’ in response before answering,
“I believe that I was coming to that very
conclusion, also, Lantash.  It has just occurred to me that perhaps I should not take one of
the last familiar things they have known away, when everything else, too, is gone from
them.  I wonder if they had family or if they were already alone in the world?  If so, it will
not be such a shock to them at this time.”  

“I am surprised that Anola could have carried me so far, Lantash, but perhaps that is why
she is having such a difficult time walking and moving around today.  I am surprised at her
strength.”  

“I am sure that is one reason she is having trouble today, Martouf.  Her ability to carry you
so far was no doubt due to her desperation.  Humans can do many things in certain
circumstances that they cannot normally do.  I am glad that her emotions gave her the
necessary strength.”  

“Yes, as am I, Lantash.  As am I.
”  

“Do you know if there were many others that escaped, Hiber?  The priestesses did not tell
me how many they knew about.  Of course, we do not know if they actually escaped and
were able to make their way to the Temple without being captured or killed,” Martouf said
quietly.   

Hiber sighed deeply, before answering, “I believe there were many, but I know no
numbers.  I saw many fleeing with children and what little they could carry.  While the
Jaffa were taking prisoners, many did manage to leave.  Afterward, anyone they found
they killed.  We saw many dead in the streets.”  

“We waited until late dusk to leave our home.  We were lucky as we had one of the old
hiding places in our home from when the Goa’uld were here centuries ago.  It has been
used for storage for the centuries since then, and so, while still ‘hidden’, it was kept up
well.  The Jaffa walked through our home, but did not find us.

“We saw them destroy the Army installation from the sky before the invasion started, and
we knew then what was happening from the old stories that were told.  I am an historian
as a hobby, so I have read many accounts of the past.”  

“So many did not understand what they were seeing and know enough to flee.  We waited
to see if our sons and daughters would arrive but they did not.  We sent all of the younger
grandchildren into the mountains with the eldest of our grandchildren that were at home
today.  We can only hope that they will be awaiting us there.”  

“The eldest wished to stay and fight, but we sent her to take charge of the children, and
any other children she found along the way that were without a caretaker.  We can only
hope that she gathered many for they will be the only thing that will keep our people
alive.  Most of the young women and men were either captured or killed.”  

“The eldest of our granddaughters would not normally have been home today and neither
would our eldest grandson, but her place of work was shut down while they did some
work on the roof and he was home suffering a slight indisposition.”  

“She is very levelheaded and a good hunter and tracker.  I made sure she had both gold
to start anew with and weapons with which to defend them.  She knows these woods from
years of rambles with me, so if anyone could get our grandchildren away safely, it was
her.  Our grandson, also, is very good at those things, although not as good as his
cousin.”  

“It is our belief that many of the children escaped, as I told you, for those that realized
what was happening sent their children away with a family member.  We will know when
we arrive at the temple.”  

“Thank you for telling me Hiber.  It gives me hope for our people.  I am sorry about your
sons and daughters, though.  It saddens me that so many families have been lost or
separated.”  

“I was on an outlying estate conducting some long put off business and knew nothing
about the attack until the Palace steward come to tell me.  I returned to see if my family
was alive and that is when I was wounded.  My mother was still alive, but she died shortly
after I found her.  None of the children in the Palace survived.  They were all killed.”  

“We were told last night that it was possible an attack was being planned, and I believe
that by tonight my father would have put the army on alert.  He never had the chance to
do so.  I regret very much that we did not act at once instead of wondering if it was rumor
or truth.”  

“It is not your father’s fault.  He had to give it thought, not jump to conclusions, and panic
the people over nothing if it proved to be untrue.  As for your family, I am sorry for your
loss, Highness, but we must thank the Goddess that you were away.  For without you,
there would be no hope at all.”  

“Hiber.  Hiber, you know I cannot stay.  I cannot remain with my people.  They must learn
to tend to and care for themselves.  It sounds as if most of the survivors will be young
enough that they can be brought up into a different world, a world without Royalty.”  

“You must all strive for this.  Your new home should be run by the people, for the people.  
Do not fall into allowing one person to rule.  While it is true that my father was a just
man, as were most of his forefathers, not all men, or women, for that matter, are just.  Do
not allow any one person to set themselves up as your leader.”  

“You choose who shall lead you.  If I was going to be there to see to it, I would also be sure
that women are in your government, for they have insight that men do not always have.  I
wish you to see to it that happens if it is at all possible.  We have had women in positions
of power within the monarchy, so you may use that as a reason to include them in your
government.  You may even find that a woman, perhaps one of the priestesses, would be a
good person to set in charge until you have a formal idea of how you wish your new world
to be run, and perhaps even then you will choose a woman.  It would, perhaps, be best at
first so that there will be fewer tensions within the population that is left.  

There is also the very real possibility that others will already be on the world where you
go, so it will have been their world first, and you may be subject to their laws and
government.  We must wait and see.”  

Hiber walked beside this young man who was now his Liege.  After a time, he said slowly.  
“I understand, Sire.  You are thinking of the evil of Mikelin, your brother.  He was never
your brother, you know.  Never doubt that.  None of his blood flows through your veins.”  

“The people would have revolted against him, and Pietrik would have been crowned.  He
would have been a good and just king as was his father before him.”  

“Your father worried for naught.  The Army would never have followed Mikelin.  Perhaps
that is why he went to the Goa’uld.  I must assume he is the cause of this, as no one else
would have done such a foolish, stupid thing so recklessly.”  

“Yes, I believe he was behind this, Hiber.  I believe, also, that my father was always afraid
that if he denied him the throne that he would ally with the Goa’uld.  He did it anyway, so
my father’s care was for naught.  Mikelin is dead, by the way, killed by the Jaffa.  I cannot
say that I am sorry, for I am not, but neither will I allow bitterness for what might have
been to cloud my life.”  

“He is dead and gone; his evil has been punished.  I may always hate him, but in a way,
his insane greed, malevolence, and utter stupidity have given me a true purpose in my
life.  This is what I am meant to do.  Fight these beings that are so full of hatred and
evil.”  

“I understand, and I agree with you, my Lord.  None of us can afford to let hatred guide
us, regardless.  I will always hate him, but it shall not rule my life anymore than it will
rule yours.  Fight them you must, for evil such as they are must be stopped.  It cannot be
allowed to flourish.  It cannot be ignored nor placated, for it would only grow stronger and
more evil.”  

“You would make a fine leader, if you were to stay,” he said quietly, “but I understand that
you must go.  We will not forget you, your mother, or your father.  You are much loved by
the people, Lord Martouf, for you have never been known to be other than polite, kind,
and generous.  We will keep you in our requests to the Goddess, and we shall ask her to
aid and protect you.”  

Martouf swallowed the lump that had arisen in his throat and with Lantash’s help, he
pushed the rush of emotion away, still his answer was heartfelt.  “Never will I forget my
people, Hiber.  I will remember you always, and you and Anola will hold a special place in
my heart, for without you, I would have died along with my family.  I thank you both from
the wellspring of my heart.”  

He felt Hiber clasp his shoulder and glanced over at him.  The old man’s lips trembled for
a moment before he mastered his own emotions, saying, “I remember hearing your
mother use that phrase.  She would always end her addresses to us with a request to the
Goddess.”  

“She would say, “My good people of Avoreyon, I end with a wish from the wellspring of my
heart to the Goddess of the Mysts of Time that she help and protect each and every one of
you.  May you all have her guidance and support in your endeavors, and may you have
her love and comfort in times of trials.  May the wellspring of your hearts be full of her
love and kindness.”  

He paused before saying softly, “I heard her speak many times, and always she said that.  
We always felt as if our hearts were full after listening to her.  She was a wonderful
woman, your mother, and a good and fair ruler, as was your father.  You have nothing to
be ashamed of in your lineage, Highness.”  

He stopped again, as if unsure of his next words.  Then he asked, “Were you aware that a
vision was visited upon the priestess when you were birthed?  And that the priestess
named you?”  

Martouf caught his breath, not breathing for a moment, as he heard the old man’s words.  
“I—my mother told me as she lie dying.  I was very—upset at the time, and I only
remember parts of it.  I believe that when I think on it, I will remember more, although
she had little time left; I do not know if she told me everything.”  

Hiber nodded.  “I am an old man Highness, older than your father by many years.  We are
a very long-lived race compared to some, though, as was mentioned earlier, so I may have
many more years ahead of me.  I must confess that at this time, I am very glad we are, so
that I am here to tell you that which you should know.  I will tell you what was related to
me, for I agree with your mother, and it is time for you to be told.  I was in the Palace the
night you were birthed for as I said I was gamekeeper there for many years.  You were no
more than five or six when I retired from your father’s service, for I was getting on in years
even then.”  

“Your mother labored very long with you.  It was a difficult birth.  You were born with a
caul over your face.  Those who are superstitious said it meant you would someday be
able to speak with your mind to others.  The priestess saw more in it than that though, as
she was given a vision by the Goddess as you were delivered of your mother’s womb.”   

“She named you Martouf Destinyon Avery’en at the moment you entered the world.  She
told your mother, and thus, the others in the room—your father, and the attendants, that
you would be a beautiful child that would grow to be a beautiful adult, both within and
without.  

“You would be kind and gentle, caring of the people and those in need of help.  You would
be courageous, determined, and strong willed but never demanding or arrogant.  She said
that within you the best of each of them, your mother and your father, would meet and
blend into a delightful person, charming and cheerful.”  

He stopped for a moment before continuing, “Then she said that you had a special destiny
in the universe, but not on your homeworld.”  

She said that the day would come when you would join your soul and life to another’s.  I
believe that came to pass last night, Highness.  She said that the one you would blend
with, and blend is the word she used, would be a strong warrior and an exceptional being;
caring, strong, pure of heart, and loving, and though sometimes arrogant, still this being
would be worthy of your love and devotion.”  

Again, he stopped to think through his words.  “She said that you would someday leave
this world to go with your, I believe Lifemate is the word she used.”  

Martouf made an inarticulate sound beside him.  “What is wrong, Sire?”  

“Nothing, Hiber, it is just that…the Tok’Ra consider their hosts their Lifemates or Life-
partners.  They are, they believe, Soulmates, sharing much, and caring for each other to
the best of their ability.  They come to love one another completely.”  

Hiber nodded.  “Yes, that would fit with what the priestess described.  She said that you
would come to love one another above all others and that each of you would be willing to
give your life that the other might live.”  

As Hiber paused once again, Martouf almost whispered, “Was there anymore?”  

“Yes, after that she told them that by joining, blending with this being you would become
a warrior against the darkness that was moving across the worlds and devouring them
and enslaving the peoples.”  

“Defeating that evil would become your life-quest, and you and your Lifemate, will fight
many battles on many lands while fighting it.  I believe she meant the Goa’uld, my lord.  
So this is what you are meant to do; this is the beginning of the prophecy spoken at your
birth.”   

“As you see, some of the people knew long ago that you would someday become a
Warrior
of the Light.
 It was foretold, as I said, at the moment of your birth.  None of your people
will expect you to stay once the priestesses explain it.  This is what you are meant to do.  
It is your path in this lifetime.  So be it.”

He frowned again, saying, “There was one other thing.  It was told to Anola by one of the
attendants.  She overheard it, but she felt she was not supposed to hear it, for they
thought her gone from the room, but she was just outside the room.”  

“The priestesses told your mother and father that you would be blessed by a bonding with
‘those born of the Mysts’.  I do not know what that meant, but according to what she
heard, you would become mates to two of the ‘
Myst Walkers’.  I can tell you no more than
that, Highness, for I do not know these Myst Walkers.”   

Martouf shook his head.  “I do not know of them either, Hiber, but perhaps it has
something to do with the Goddess.  Perhaps we will dedicate our lives to her.”  He paused
before concluding, “It may also have meant something totally different.  Since the person
was not in the room, she may have missed some information that would make the
statement obvious and nothing exciting in any way.”  

Then his face lightened.  “It could also be a place, Hiber.  She may not have heard it
correctly and therefore, did not understand that it was a place where we would take our
mates.  Perhaps the Tok’Ra have two mates and that is a place they go to bond.”  

Hiber looked skeptical, but he did not refute what Martouf said, instead pointing out, “We
are almost to the Valley of the Light, my Liege.  Are you certain you do not wish for me to
take Anole for a time?  We must climb the path to cross into it.”  

Anola moved saying forthrightly, “No, neither of you will carry me any farther.  I am much
rested, and you will put me down at once, your Highness.  Furthermore, do not tell me
your name is Martouf again.  I forbid it.”  

Setting her down at once, Martouf bit back a smile at her words.  “I would not think of
going against your wishes, Anola.  You may call me anything you wish.”  

She stared at him suspiciously, suspecting that he was humoring her.  She could see
nothing in his face to lead her to believe that though, so she let his remark pass
unchallenged.  She turned from them as they began the climb.  “There is a spring not far
from here.  We should fill our water container, Hiber, if you need to.”  

“Yes, we need to replenish it, though it is not far now and there are also springs in the
Valley.  Still it is an uphill walk for quite some way now.  It is well that it is a fairly gentle
slope and therefore not extremely difficult.”  

Martouf nodded his agreement.  They would stop at the spring and rest, for they had not
taken so much as a short stop, and he suspected that, though he would not say it, Hiber
needed to rest.  

“I need a break, and I could use some fresh cold water, could not you, Hiber?  Although
Lantash has healed me completely now, still I have not gained back all the blood I lost,
and I find I am becoming fatigued.”  

“Yes, sire, I would be glad of that as well.  I should have seen to it that you rested earlier.”  

“It was not needed until now, Hiber.  It is only now that I am beginning to feel the need to
rest.  This seems a pleasant place to do so.  Fresh, cold water sounds very enticing at the
moment, and I am sure that you feel the desire for it as well.”  

Hiber nodded his agreement.  His liege did not look as if he needed anything, but he
would not tell him so.  No doubt, in his usual kind and thoughtful way, the young king
was attempting to allow Hiber to believe that they were stopping for him, when in reality
he was stopping for Hiber.  Furthermore, his lord would be correct in his suspicion.  He
was getting tired, and the water and a rest sounded good to his very old and tired body.  
He would not try to dissuade him.   




Thirty minutes later, they began the hike up the mountainside.  It took little time to reach
the pass under the mountain that led into the Valley beyond.  They stood outside and
looked at it briefly, checking for signs of Jaffa, before they entered the passageway.  Light
came from somewhere though they had never been able to tell exactly where it came
from.  Lantash looked closely at the walls.  They reminded him of the Tok’Ra tunnels in
one way and yet, they did not.  

He was surprised at how short the walk seemed, although it took them almost an hour.  
They came out on the other side and saw the Temple shining in the sunlight.  It was very
beautiful and very serene.  It was also extremely large.  

Every bit as large as one of the pyramid landing platforms that could hold a mothership, it
was shaped nothing like it.  It was instead an immense castle-like structure with many
spires and rooms.  It was breathtakingly beautiful in the sunlight.  They began their walk
down the path.  

Martouf smiled slightly remembering coming here as a child and his father taking him for
a walk along the twilight path to a spot upon the side of ‘Elysium Mountain’ to watch the
sunset around the temple.  Never had he forgotten how beautiful it had been.  

Seeing the images as Martouf allowed him to share the memory, Lantash realized that he
could hear the birds singing and see animals scampering about obviously unafraid of
them.  He could see why.  It was an astoundingly peaceful place and it was as lovely as
Martouf’s memories of it.  It reminded him of somewhere else but he could not seem to
remember what it was.  All he knew was that it invoked a feeling of complete safety and
comfort.   

As they reached the large open area in front of the building, the doors opened, and one of
the priestesses came out to greet them.  Seeing the scion, she smiled and tears ran
unchecked down her cheeks.  “Thank the Goddess.  We feared that all of you had been
executed, regardless the prophecy.  We should have known that you still lived, and, in
fact, we prepared for your arrival, even as we doubted.  You have met your lifemate, my
Lord Martouf?”  

Martouf knelt on one knee, head bowed for a moment before rising, as he said,
“Greetings, Annalise.  Yes, I have blended with my lifemate, but I would not have done so
had Hiber and Anola not carried me into the wood to hide me.  I was badly injured and
could go no farther myself.  My Lifemate’s host was mortally injured, but he found us
before his time was gone.  He passed his mate into my care, and I have given myself unto
him.  Our hearts now beat as one.”  

“Yes.  So it was foretold.  Come.  Your people await you.  I will explain that you cannot
stay, Highness.  They will understand that you cannot refuse to leave.”  

“No, I cannot, but first I will see my people safe, however many of them there are.  Tell
me, Annalise, did any of my mother’s family survive?”  Has Corrin returned from warning
them, or was he too late to do so, do you know?”  

“They are here, my Lord, but your grandparents did not survive long after reaching the
Temple.  I am sorry.  They were very elderly and even though they were cradled by others
on the
hossek’s, it was too much for them.  They will not leave the Temple; they will be
joining their daughter.  She was the light of their lives, and now that her light is
extinguished; theirs followed.”  

“They did ask me to tell you, if you did survive, that they loved you, and that your parents
loved you more than you will ever know.  They said to tell you how very proud of you they
were and not to mourn for them.  They will be at peace and with their daughter where
they will be happy.”  

Martouf sighed, nodding, and he was surprised to feel Lantash embrace him and send
him such caring soothing feelings.  
“Thank you, my mate.  It helps me much, I assure
you.”   

“We shall do it often for one another through the coming years.  I heard what Hiber said to
you.  I believe we will be together for a very long time.  You and I were meant to meet it
seems, and Justin knew this as well.  It is why he was truly happy to pass me unto you.  I
understand his feelings better now.”  

“I am glad, Lantash, for I know that he loved you deeply.  I can share his love with you, all
of the loves you have felt and had through the years.  It is a wonderful gift that you give to
your Lifemates.”  

“A gift.  A pleasant way to phrase it.  Thank you, Martouf, my mate.”  

Martouf smiled for him before he answered the Priestess, “I understand, Annalise.  The
children?  My cousins?  Did any of them survive?”  

“Yes, and they are being cared for by their parents who, I am afraid, are quite unhappy,
for the servants refused to allow them to leave and join the fight.  They, ah, forced them to
come.”  

“I will talk to them.  They must be made to realize that their fighting would have gained
us nothing but their deaths.  They would have fought, the Goa’uld would still have
prevailed, and thus they would only have left the children completely orphaned.  There
was no need.”  

“Could I have prevented it, I would have told them all to hide rather than fight.  I must
apologize to all of my people, for I was not at the Palace, and therefore, I could not fight for
them, nor instruct them to hide, enter the mountains, and then to leave and make their
way to this Temple.”  

“No, Highness, they will be very happy that you were not there and so were not executed
with the others.  Come.  I will take you to your grandparents, and then I will find you
something to eat.  Your grandparents brought what they could, and it is to be distributed
among the people, in answer to your instructions.  They said that what you decreed for
yourself; they could do no less.  It will be a help.”  

“Some of the men and women that are good trackers and hunters went back last evening
and scouted out the city.  The Jaffa had patrols in some places, and in some, they did
not.”  

“They managed to accumulate many things that will be needed.  They were able to make
several trips even into the daylight once they knew where the Jaffa were.  The Jaffa are
hunting for our people of course, but as always before, they miss the way to the Valley of
the Light.”  

Martouf nodded.  “We will go over what we have and do not have, and what you will still
need and do not need.  Have the Jaffa taken over the manor or any of the other estates?”  

Annalise shook her head.  “No, they have not.  Dreckon and Corrin left shortly after
Corrin returned from spreading your commands to the people to come here.  They said
that you told them to take things of value so that each person would have something with
which to make a new start.”  

“Corrin said something about the gold state dinner settings.  I believe they were going to
attempt to take that for it would hold a great deal of gold.  One plate alone would support
a large family for several years, at least until they could start again.”  

Martouf smiled.  “Good.  I had intended to go and get that myself if the Jaffa did not stay
at the estate.  There are other things of great value there and at Arsennia.  We must try to
get what we can for the people before we leave.  Lantash agrees.”  

“Lantash?”  She asked, obviously bewildered.

“I am sorry.  Lantash is the name of my symbiote, my lifemate.”  

She nodded as understanding came.  “I see.  I am pleased to know of him.”  

“Depending on what the Jaffa do and how many survivors there are, we will either go
through the Chaappa’ai or take his ship.  How many have survived that you know as of
now and are any still arriving?”  

“There are about three thousand adult survivors.  Three to four times as many children as
that.  There were many more than I believed there would be.  Many are from the outlying
areas.  Arsennia was not hit until later, after Corrin warned them, and it was the same in
some of the other outlying areas.  It seemed to me that the Jaffa did not have very good
information about anything outside of the city and Palace itself.”  

“Corrin continued from one to the other until he had warned them all and given them
your messages.  He rode long and hard and has earned many peoples respect.  He
deserves it.”    

“Many of the more well to do families brought things of value to be shared among the
people just as your grandparents, and you are doing.  Their offerings for the good of all
have been set aside for distribution later.  None of them left themselves destitute, so you
need not worry about that.”  

“The Loanmaster cleaned out his vault and had as much transported as possible.  He is
going to continue to make loans to people, and take no payment until they are settled and
have their own lives in order.  As he said, he has enough of his own to live upon even if he
never works again.  The least he can do is see to it that the survivors can live without
fearing they or their family will starve to death.  And as he said, at least he still has his
children.”  

“Many of those from outlying areas did not join the fighting.  Corrin told them all that your
instructions were to come to the Temple, not to fight a losing battle.  They would be
needed on the new homeworld.  Therefore, many of the surviving adults, other than the
elderly, are from the outer areas.”  

“Thankfully, from all walks of life, from teachers to shoemakers to farmers and the
loanmaster.  I believe our people will survive, Highness.  It will take many years, but since
you have joined with a Tok’Ra you will see the day when they are a viable thriving people
again, I assure you.”  

“I hope so, Annalise.  They must learn to govern themselves.  There will be many changes
in their lives.  However, they are a solid, industrious people.  They will, with this many of
them, and so many children, make a new world bloom.”  

Lantash told him softly,
“I know a world that is unpopulated except for some other
survivors of attacks, Martouf.  It is an untouched world except for them, and it is not on the
Goa’uld’s list of known worlds.”  

“If you wish, we can take them there.  The survivors will greet them gladly, for they are a
small group and though the world is fertile, and the climate favorable, it is still hard for
them because there are so few of them.  They have not even named the world themselves,
therefore if your people wish to do so, I am sure they will not mind.  It will, in all probability,
be a relief and come to seem more permanent for them, for there are so few of them that
their populations are not viable.  With your people, they will not have to worry that their
children will have no future.”
 

Martouf nodded.
 “It sounds better than the world I would have taken them to, for it is an
established world.  An entirely new world that they can mold for themselves sounds much
better.”  

“Yes, I agree.  Especially with so may survivors.  I am very happy that it is so, Martouf.  
While it is a small percentage of your people, still it is a viable group.  With the others
already there they will not have to interbreed with one another to closely.  That is a good
thing for both your people and the people that are already living there.”  

“I had not thought of that, but you are correct.  I am very glad that there are enough of
them to be able to recover from this.”  

“They will recover, and over time no doubt we will take more survivors there.  Often the
populations we move are very small tribes and groups, but we try to move those which have
similar values to the same places rather than mixing those that are too disparate.”  

“That makes sense.  I take it you have more than one world that you take them to then.”
 

Lantash showed Martouf a quick list of worlds.
 “Yes, I see that you do have several.  That
is a good thing I believe.”  

“Yes, and often we find worlds that are abandoned because the Naquadah has been
depleted.  Those are prime safe worlds, for the Goa’uld, once the mineral is depleted and
the world’s usefulness is over, tend to simply forget they exist, unless, as is the case with
your world, someone reminds them that there are other valuable minerals available there.”  

“I believe that Mikelin was vocal on the many gold mines your world possessed.  That was
a very major mistake on his part.  The Goa’uld do not share.  Had he simply offered to be a
satellite, and therefore boost Arawn’s importance, he would still be alive today.  Greed and
pride are what killed him.”   

“I am quite sure he was very vocal about it.  Bragging and one-upmanship were favorite
sports of his.”  

“I am sure they were.  They are dangerous sports to play in when one plays with the
Goa'uld.”
 

“Yes.  I agree.  The sad thing about it is that although there is abundant gold on my world,
you must know where it is.  I am sure he did not tell them that.  Moreover, they will not find
it, for they cannot enter there anymore than they can enter here.  Perhaps, someday, they
will tire of hunting for it, and it will once again become a safe world for the Tok’Ra.”  

“They should not have killed him out of hand for few know where it is, and they will not
find out from the people.  We mined it, and the profits are what paid the pensions for the
elderly and disabled.”  

“I worry for the elderly, for they cannot begin again. I hope they brought whatever they had
in their homes with them if they could.  If they did not, or if they had little or nothing to
bring, or time to get to it, then I will do what I can for them.”  

“Furthermore, the priestesses will see to it that the young take care of the old.  It has
always been thus, and our pensions were simply a bonus, a thank you for simply being
alive and on our world, except in the cases where there was no family to care for them.  
Then, of course, it was much more than that.”  

“Our family has always believed in doing this, as far back as our history as the ruling
family goes.  We have always cared what happened to our people, for they are our
responsibility.  One I will now no longer have, and I find it saddens me greatly.”  

“It is a very likely possibility that if the Goa’uld do not find it they will leave.  In the
meantime, we should make an effort to rescue the people that will be brought back.  How
we accomplish that will depend on whether they leave a Jaffa presence or simply make the
gate inaccessible for a time.  We will simply have to wait and see.”  

“If we are lucky we will be able to rescue them, although often we cannot.”
 Martouf could
hear the regret in Lantash’s voice over their inability to help them all.  

“I do understand, Lantash.  Do not be concerned that I will blame you if we cannot help the
remainder of my people.  If we can rescue the survivors that are here at the Temple, it will
be a wonderful event, I assure you.  I will be grateful and so will they.”  
 

“As far as your responsibility toward your people, you will still have it, and they will still
trust you, but it will be in a different way.  Now your responsibility is to help them become
independent of you.”  

“You will succeed, Cariad Kea, and they will thrive.  You shall see.  Their lives will be
different, as will yours, but they will love you still.  Furthermore, you will always care
deeply for them and their fate.  It is as it should be.”  

Lantash smiled at him for a moment before commenting, “Someday you will return to
check on them and you will find small stout Martoufs and dainty, beautiful Martoufettas
and Martinas running and playing about, for many will remember you by naming their
children after you.  It will be one of the ways in which they show you their caring, pride,
and respect for you and your family.  No doubt some will bear both your mother and
father's names as well.”
 

Martouf shook his head at Lantash’s comments.  
“I sincerely doubt that anyone would ever
name a child after me.  After my parents, perhaps, for they were well-loved.”  

“I will look forward to seeing that happen.  My mother’s name was Elsbetta Arosa.  Rose of
Elsbett is what it means, and so she was.  A lovely rose, full of fragrance.  My father, as
you know, was Martoel Allesandre.”  

“The youngest of my three older brothers, was named Allesandre.  He disappeared while
with the Army and was never found.  He was an historian, and amateur archeologist, and
wished nothing more than to be with his books and his artifacts.  I miss him still, for we
were quite close despite the age difference.”  

“We shall see, and the future will tell the tale.”
 

The priestess broke into their conversation, saying, “We have lain your grandparents in
here, my Lord.  When you are ready, we will take care of what is left to do.  Take as much
time as you wish with them.”  

“Thank you, Annalise.  If you would, when everyone has returned from their missions,
please have them gather, and let me know, for I have made some plans for the future.”  

“Some may not wish to follow them, and that is their choice.  I will not force them to go
with me.  Please assure those that do not wish to leave, but prefer to cross the mountains
that they will be allowed to do so, even though I feel it would be a mistake.”  

“Lantash tells me that the Jaffa will spread out quite far looking for survivors.  I am not
sure that even crossing the mountains will keep them safe if they choose to remain on our
world.”  

“I will see that they are all apprised of your thoughts on this matter.  I will also tell them
that you are willing to relocate them to a safe world.”  

“If you feel the need, my lord, there is a sleeping chamber two doors down the hall that
has been prepared for you.  Those of us that knew of the vision at your birth could not
believe you died.  We are very relieved that you did not.”  Her voice was soft and her
sincerity obvious.  

Martouf smiled at her gently.  “I thank you for that.  I did not know of the vision, until my
mother told me as she lie dying, and then, Hiber told me what he knew of it.  He was a
gamekeeper in the Palace Forest at the time of my birth, so he was there the night I was
born.  He knew most of it I believe, although you can tell me again later, in case he did
not know all of it.”  

“I will be more than happy to do so.  I will send someone for you when everyone is here.”  

Martouf nodded and the priestess started to leave but suddenly remembering something
he called to her, “Annalise?  Did Hiber and Anola’s grandchildren arrive here?  His eldest
granddaughter was to bring them.  Are they safe?”  

Turning back as she opened the door, she nodded.  “Yes.  They all arrived safely, and
their eldest granddaughter is part of the mission to collect supplies.  They should return
soon, rest, and then possibly leave again after resting and depending on circumstances in
the city.”  

“There were three others that were older, a grandson of about twenty-five, who was home
ill with a chest complaint, which we healed, and two other granddaughters also in their
early twenties.  They are staying with the younger children while she is gone.”  

“They gathered many, many children that had no one to care for them as they left the
city.  They are also checking safe rooms when they re-enter the city, and have found some
young ones that were left there by parents trying to lead the Jaffa away from them.”  

“We gave those that returned the locations of all of the houses that had safe rooms, and
they have checked in almost half of them.  They should finish tonight.  They have also
brought in some people that were injured and left for dead that were not.  Most of them
will survive, I believe.”     

Martouf sighed as the pain of their loss bit into his heart again.  He nodded tiredly.  “That
is good.  Thank you for telling me.  I should go back and help them.”  

“You are most welcome, but you are wrong.  You should not return to the city or the
Palace.  Let others do that.  The people need you here for the moment, please believe that,
for it is truth.  I will talk with you later, Highness.”  She bowed her head respectfully and
quietly closed the door.  

Some time later, Martouf made his way to the sleeping chamber and lie down on the bed.  
He wondered idly how everything stayed so perfect here in the temple as if taken care of
by invisible hands.  It was almost as if time did not pass here.  

He thought of his grandparents.  They had been very elderly as his mother was born late
in their lives, much as his younger sisters had been to his parents.  For that matter, he
had been born somewhat late in their lives as well, though he had not been a surprise.”  

As he thought about it, he was amazed that they had survived the trip here at all.  
Perhaps he should not have insisted…no, it was better that they pass over here, than at
the hands of a Jaffa.

They had looked serene lying there.  They, too, had been good people, undeserving of
their fate.  One more thing to hold against the Goa’uld.  One more thing for which to claim
recompense from them.  

He sighed, suddenly feeling immeasurably tired.  Lantash was lulling him to sleep though
he did not know it.  It took little time for him to accomplish his task and help Martouf into
a healing sleep.   




Martouf awoke slowly to a melodious humming in his mind.  It took him only a moment to
realize that it was Lantash.  
“Good evening, Lantash.  That is a very soothing tune you are
humming.”  

“I am glad you like it.  It will probably be how I awaken you, since it seemed to do so gently
and easily.  Unless there is an emergency when quickness counts, of course.  Then I will
not be so gentle, I am afraid.”  

“I would not expect you to be in those circumstances.  They have not come for us yet?”  

"They were just here.  Everyone will be gathered in an hour.  Our meal will arrive shortly.”  

“I should not allow them to wait upon us.”  

“You are wrong, Mer Cariad Kea.  Allow them to take care of you, Martouf.  It gives them
pleasure to tend to you; it is another one of those things that give them stability at this
time.”  

“Yes, I suppose it does, Lantash.  I am glad you are here to remind me of that.”  

“So am I, my mate.
”  A warm embrace emphasized his words.  

Martouf found that he was already becoming very fond of Lantash, and he could feel
Lantash’s feelings growing toward himself, as well.  He sent a caress back to him,
surprised at how easily the gesture came to him, and smiled at his new mate.  They were
doing well, so far.  He did not doubt that they would do well into the future.  

Moreover, he found that he was beginning to look forward to that future just a little.  It
was a relief to feel a small tingle of excitement after all the anguish and despair.  He knew
it would not last long at this point in time, for he was still mourning deeply, but soon,
after he had faced and helped his people, and become used to the Tok’Ra tunnels, he
would begin to look more forward than back.  That small tingle of excitement would return
and grow, as he began stepping into the future.  He would hold onto that knowledge.  

“I believe that you will find it easier than you believe you will.  You are dreading it because
you assume that the people will fault you for your part in the destruction of their lives, and
they will feel that you are deserting them.  They will do neither.  Your people will
understand what has happened.”  

“I do not know how you can feel so sure, Lantash.  I suppose that most of my emotions
come from guilt.  We knew, you told us, and we did nothing to save our people, ourselves,
or our world.”  

“Yes, it is the quite misplaced guilt in which you are drowning that is causing your
emotions to be so desolate when you think of your people.  We were the ones that made the
mistake, Martouf.  We knew that it was Mikelin, and we failed to tell you.”  

“We did not wish to be arrested for ‘false accusations’ or some other charge.  Accusing the
son of the king of treason is a serious thing.  We should have done so anyway and taken
our chances.”  

“We should also have insisted that we talk privately to your father.  Since we knew it was
Mikelin, and we had heard rumors of him, we should have known that he would contact
Arawn.”  

“However, up until now, we have been assuming that he notified him.  There is the chance
that Arawn intended all along to strike when he did, and the more thought I have given to
that scenario; the more I believe that is what happened.  I am quite sure now, that it would
have made no difference in when Arawn struck.”  

“It mattered not to him if Mikelin knew the exact day and time that he was going to attack,
for he planned to dispose of Mikelin anyway.  I believe that Justin and I miscalculated, and
that is what caused the fall of your world.  If anyone should be feeling guilt, it should be
me.”   

“To use Anola’s expression, Lantash…You will not feel guilty; I forbid it.  You are in no way
to blame for our refusal to take the threat more seriously.  We should have considered that
if he was planning it for three days time, that three days could change and become either a
faster or a slower attack.”  

“No, you are not to blame.  Perhaps—perhaps neither of us can accept it.  This was meant
to happen.  Now, we must simply deal with the aftermath, and then we must do the best we
can do for the people that have survived.”  

Lantash listened to Martouf’s words and suddenly felt better.  He was correct.  This was as
it was meant to be.  So be it, then.  They would do what they could do and forget about
placing blame or wallowing in guilt.  Both would waste entirely too much emotion that
could be put to better use.  

Martouf made his way toward the banquet hall, knowing that it would be large enough to
hold all of the people.  As they walked, he and Lantash talked about when and how to
achieve the transfer of this many people to the new homeworld.  

“It is a short trip by ship.  Not over several hours.  The Chaappa’ai would be shorter of
course, but it would mean carrying everything back to it.  We can bring the ship into the
Valley and load it with whatever personal affects and equipment they have managed to
accumulate.  If the Jaffa leave the Chaappa’ai unattended, we could send many of the
people through it while we take many of the supplies by ship.”  

“Yes, that is true and would be the simplest; however, we do not know if the Chaappa’ai
will ever be left unguarded.  It has only been one day; it could be many more before they
leave it.  We cannot wait around forever for them to leave.”  

“We can stay for quite sometime, they do not know that I am on my way back to the
tunnels, so no one is expecting me at a set point in time.  Why do we not see what the
people would prefer to do?  They might prefer to leave as soon as possible, and so put this
behind them as soon as they can, in which case we could begin to take groups right
away.”  

“The ship will not hold a great many people at once, but it can still be achieved, it will
simply take much longer to relocate everyone by ship than gate.  Perhaps the groups that
returned to the city to gather more supplies will know something.  They have returned
according to Annalise.”  

“Yes, of course, you are correct, Lantash.  The people should help to make this decision.  It
will make them feel that they have some control over what it happening to them.  I am sure
their feelings of helplessness in the face of the invasion is causing them a great deal of
anxiety, and they are already feeling much sorrow and mourning for those that did not
escape but were captured, or killed.”  

“I know it would be me if you were not calming me constantly with something.  I can tell
when you release it into my bloodstream for I immediately feel less tense.”  

“I am allowing your body to produce more of certain hormones and chemicals that it
manufactures itself for those purposes.  I am simply encouraging it to step up its
production and release of them.”  

“I see.  That makes sense and I thank you for doing it.  I appreciate being able to remain
calm and in control while I deal with these events and circumstances.”
 

“You are welcome, but I believe that you would manage to remain calm and in control even
if I was not here, Martouf.  I already know that you are a very strong individual, although
you are not yet aware of your inner strength of purpose and determination.  You will learn
in time.  Here is the Banquet Hall, and there is Annalise.”   

“It is time, Martouf.  Your people are waiting.  You will do very well, I have no doubt of that,
but I am afraid you will find this to be emotionally taxing.  I will shield you from your
emotions as well as I can, but there is no way I can keep all of them pushed away.”  

Martouf nodded his acknowledgement.  “I understand, Lantash.  Whatever you can
accomplish will be appreciated.”  

Annalise walked up to them and said softly, “I have already told them, my Lord.  They
understand, and no one is upset that you will not be staying with us.  Certainly they wish
you could, but they all understand your duty now is to avenge your world, your family,
and their families, as well.”  

“I believe that if you simply tell them what the options are, they will help you to decide on
the best course if you wish them to.”  

“Yes, I will wish to know their opinions and preferences.  Lead the way, please, Annalise.”  

Martouf talked, but his speech was short and heartfelt before turning to the future.  He
gave the people their choice of the options and then, as a closing statement he said.  “I
wish, from the wellspring of my heart, that there was someway that I could change what
has occurred, but I cannot.”  

“If I could be of more help to you by staying, then I would do so, but I do not believe that
you need me as badly as the Tok’Ra need soldiers.  I am a soldier.  They need hosts who
are willing to share their bodies, their thoughts, and their lives.  They need hosts who are
willing to fight, and I am willing to do all of those things for the remainder of my life.”  

“I am told that it was meant that I would someday leave this world to take up the fight
against the Goa’uld in the larger universe on a larger scale.”  

“I am willing and eager to do so, but I feel a great deal of heartache to be leaving you
alone to make your own way.  I hope that the day will come when you can forgive me for
leaving you in a time of need.”   

“I will always keep each and every one of you in a special place in my heart, for though I
will not be the one that governs and cares for you, still, I will consider you my people, and
I will care about what befalls you.  I will return when I can, and I will help when I can.  
Please believe me.”   

“You are my people, and you have given me much to be proud of these last two days.  
Your courage and fortitude in the face of disaster has lifted my own spirits more than you
can know.  I sincerely thank you for that.”  

“I will conclude with the words of my mother, for her words express my feelings to and for
you;   “My good people of Avoreyon, I end with a wish from the wellspring of my heart to
the Goddess of the Mysts of Time that she help and protect each and every one of you.”  

“May you all have her guidance and support in your endeavors, and may you have her
love and comfort in times of trials.  May the wellspring of your hearts be full of her love
and kindness.”

“I will add my own wish for you.  I wish that all of you will remember our loved ones with
not only the pain of loss, but with the light of love, for your love and laughter, your
remembrance and joy, will light their way into the
Mysts of Time and the more love,
laughter, and joy you feel, the brighter their lights shall become.  Do not mourn too long;
do not extinguish their light.”  

“I thank you all for everything you have done the last two days to help one another.”   

Martouf bowed his head and the room was silent as Hiber came forward.  

“Your Highness, if I might speak,” He said solemnly.  

At Martouf’s nod, he continued, “We, all of the adults here, spent a goodly amount of time
talking together, as you paid your respects to your grandparents.  I made free with your
words to me, and I told them of your wishes and hopes for us, for your people.”  

He cleared his throat, before saying, “We have every intention of carrying out your wishes
and hopes for us, Highness.  We understand what you want for us, and we will do the best
we can to live as you have directed us.  We all know that you belong with the soldiers of
the Tok’Ra now.  We, none of us, feel you are deserting us.  You are not.”  

“We will rebuild and learn to survive and thrive in our new homeland that is a promise we
make to you.  We also wish to extend our heartfelt sorrow at your own loss of your family.  
We regret deeply that we can do nothing to help you, other than follow your wishes.  
However, since that is all you have asked of us, that is what we shall do.”

“We have a request to make of you, Highness, and that is that you never feel that you
have left your duty behind.  You have not.  You will have done everything in your power
for your people, and we can ask no more of you.  Remember always, my liege, you will
take with you our love and our respect.  We wish you the protection of the Goddess, and
we will ask it of her for you always.”  

Hiber sat down and Martouf bowed his head in acknowledgement before saying, “I will
take those thoughts and warm emotions with me wherever I go.  You have given me a
great gift.  I thank you, from the wellspring of my heart.”   

Martouf stepped down from the small platform he had been standing on as he addressed
his people.  He had seen Annalise leave after one of the other priestesses had come in and
whispered to her, obviously urgently.  Something must be wrong.  He hoped the Jaffa had
not somehow found this valley, but then common sense told him that if that was the case
they would have come for him, not the priestess.  

He talked to each of the people he met as he walked around the room keeping part of his
attention on the door, in case he should be needed.  Many greeted him with obvious
affection and many with tears, but he could find no resentment in any of them.  His relief
was enormous.  

“I believe I attempted to tell you that you had no need to fear their reaction.  They can
understand, and they also know that you will have done all you can for them.”  

“I am very glad you were proven to be correct, Lantash.  I will rest easier knowing how they
feel.”
 

He finally found a quiet corner and sat down in a chair, listening to the people as they
milled around.  The teams that were doing the scouting and rescue work had brought in
many more much needed supplies, and they were heading back again in an hour or so.  
They had all gathered and catalogued the items they had and made new lists of what they
believed they might yet need, if they could get it.

The map the priestesses had of all the homes that had ‘safe rooms’ in them had been
invaluable.  They had found many more children and some adults that were staying with
them, afraid to leave the room and unable to tell what was happening.  They succeeded in
bringing them here to the temple.   

There were no Jaffa guarding the Chaappa’ai.  It was a fair walk from the city and the
Palace.  That meant that unless the Jaffa left the city and the Palace, they would have no
way of knowing it was activated.  The people agreed that they might very well be able to
reach it and send many people through it.  It was being considered a viable option at this
point.  As long as they knew where the Jaffa were, they could use it.  

He and Lantash were going to bring the ship into the valley and then some of the people
would start loading it as soon as they arrived with it.  They would take their first load of
supplies and passengers shortly after that.  

It would all work out for they would make it work.  The survivors were determined.  There
were many children and those children must be raised.  They were all in shock and many
had lost both parents, although some still had at least one.   

Moreover, those same children had to have a stable home life.  They would make one for
them, and they would see to it that the trauma did not ruin their lives.  

There were still adults that had escaped arriving.  Many hoping and beseeching the
Goddess that their children were already here.  So far, none of the parents had been
disappointed.  There were also adults arriving with their children, not only their own, but
those of other people, both friends, family, or neighbors.  Some they simply found hiding
and brought them along with them.  It would all work out in time.  All it would take was
time, and that they now had.  

The room quieted as Annalise entered with something in her arms.  She smiled as the
people turned to her.  “We have the first of the new citizens that will be moving to New
Avoreyon.  His name…is Martouf.  Martouf Allesandre.”  

Suddenly there were smiles where none had been.  Then spontaneous applause broke
out, and many of the people closest to Martouf turned to him and unhesitatingly clapped
him on the shoulder or clasped his arm letting him know they approved whole-heartedly
of the name being bestowed on the new babe.

Martouf stood stunned, while Lantash chuckled softly in his mind.  
“I will not tell you I told
you so, however...”
he allowed his voice to trail off.”  

“You may say it if you wish to, since it is obvious that you are correct.  I must see the new
mother,”
 Martouf answered as he walked swiftly to Annalise.  

“Would it be acceptable that I congratulate the new mother?  Is she alone in the world
now, Annalise?”  

The priestess shook her head.  “No, her husband is with her.  She was going into labor
when the attack began so he gathered her and what he felt they might need and came to
the temple outside of the city.  When we all left the temple, they came as well.”  

“She has been in labor on and off since yesterday.  The resultant anxiety from the attack
caused her labor to be longer and more difficult than it would normally have been.  She is
asleep now, but I will tell her that you sent her congratulations.”

“Please tell her as well that I am greatly honored by the fact that she would name her son
after myself and my father.  Tell her that I thank her for that honor.”   

“I will, I assure you.  Now you should rest some more, Highness.  If you are to start taking
people and supplies later, you will need to rest.”  

Martouf shook his head.  “First we will go and retrieve the ship and bring it here.  Then I
shall rest before we take the first of the people.  I will probably sleep when I return while
they load the first of the supplies on board.”  

She nodded, saying, “I see.  That will work out as well, I am sure.  Now I must get back to
the new mother.  If you have any needs, feel free to ask any one of the priestesses or the
servants that came from the temple.”  

“Thank you but we are fine and we will be leaving shortly.  Good evening, Annalise.”  

“I will no doubt be asleep when you return for I have not had any rest for many hours…so
I will say goodnight.  If I am needed do not hesitate to have me awakened.”  

“I will.  Goodnight.”  

Lantash spoke soothingly,
“It will work out, Martouf.  Come, let us gather what we need as
far as weapons and supplies, and begin our walk to the ship.  I do not believe it is very far
from here.”  

“Good.  We have much to do, and the sooner we can get the ship here and load it, the
sooner we can begin to accomplish what must be achieved.”  

“I agree, Cariad Kea.  Several days from now, we will be on our way to the tunnels.  I know
you do not believe we will be able to complete this move that quickly, but I believe we will.”  

“I hope so, Lantash.  I am becoming anxious to arrive there and begin our new life.  It will
help to put this behind me, I believe.  I hope it will help you as well.  

“I believe it will.”  

“Then we are agreed, I have our weapons, and we can now leave to retrieve your—our
ship.  

“Yes.  We can, Martouf.  It is time to go.”
________________________________________

They would be leaving the Old Temple within the hour.  In the end, it had taken five days
to relocate all of his people, the supplies, and the necessities they gathered.  They had
managed to take the
hosseks, farm animals, and as many pets for the children as could
be found.  Most of the people went through the Chaappa’ai though some had gone in the
ship with the supplies, as it made each trip delivering what they would need once they
arrived there.  

The Jaffa did not put any guards on the Chaappa’ai assuming that everyone was dead or
hiding in the mountains.  They were content to stay in the city, and since they came by
ship, had not bothered to even find the Chaappa’ai.  They did not expect the people to be
able to access the Portal, not realizing they knew not only what it was, but also, what its
use was.  Since it was rarely used, there were no well-beaten paths leading to it to
indicate that the people knew it as other than some odd stone from the past.  All of which
they would have seen…had they bothered to look.  It worked out very well that they did
not do so.

Martouf and Lantash were relieved.  They took the time to hover, cloaked, above the gate
keeping watch as the people departed.  Scouts hid in the forest between the city and the
Portal to keep watch there as group after group went through it to their new home world.  

They had worked all night this time to send the last of the people through the Portal.  The
scouts were the last through, others having taken their belongings through earlier for
them.  

When the last of the people stepped into the blue of the event horizon and it shut down,
they turned the ship back to the Old Temple, and now they were here gathering the very
last of the assorted belongings.  Theirs—and several others.  

Martouf and Lantash had been surprised when several of the young men and women, as
well as several older ones, recently bereaved by the loss of a mate in the attack, chose to
go with them to the tunnels and join the Tok’Ra.  

Lantash talked to every one of those volunteering individually, and he painted a picture of
hardship, torture, and death.  It was not an easy life, he warned them.  They all agreed
that it did not sound as if it would be an easy life.  Now, what did they need to bring with
them?  

In the end, Lantash finally agreed to their wishes and told them they would be welcomed,
for hosts were not abundant, and they were needed badly.  

Many of the older children, those left orphans by the attack, also wanted to come, but
Lantash said no.  If, when they reached their majority, they still wished to blend and
become Tok’Ra, then they would be welcomed.  

For now, they must wait to be sure it was what they truly wanted when they reached
adulthood.  At the moment, they were too young to be sent on missions, as well as being
too young to make that kind of irrevocable decision; it was a decision that would change
the remainder of their lives, and was, therefore, not one to be taken lightly.  

He told the adults the same thing, and they agreed that it definitely was not a decision to
be made lightly.  Then they proceeded to decide what they might need and what they did
not.  

Several of the young men and women, were leaving families behind, parents, brothers,
and sisters.  They felt strongly about fighting the Goa’uld.  Several of the older men and
women that were now without mates or children felt the same way.  They could go to the
new world, but their closest relatives were gone.  They wished to fight the evil that took
them.  

As Lantash told them, they always needed hosts, and so, these volunteers were now
waiting in the ship as Martouf and he gathered what remained in the Old Temple of the
few belongings they had.  The group had only been waiting for them to return from
keeping watch at the Portal.

They retrieved many valuable things as well as equipment and tools that would be
practical, during their forays over the last few days.  The people would be taken care of
financially, at least, and they would have what they needed to start anew.

Martouf also saved some things of sentimental value.  Most of it, Hiber and Anola were
going to keep for him.  

The Coronau were locked into a chest along with many other symbols of the monarchy
they had saved in their searches of the different estates.  They would be kept, and
someday put on display somewhere for the younger ones to see.  

Martouf’s mind returned to dwell on the new volunteers for a moment.  Hiber and Anola’s
eldest granddaughter chose to go to the Tok’Ra.  Her grandparents did not object.  In fact,
they encouraged her, saying that they owed the Tok’Ra for saving their scion, and they
had other grandchildren that were old enough to care for the younger ones.  

Not only that, but also two of their own children and their mates had escaped from those
that were taken prisoners, and they hid in the temple, until they could make their way to
the Old Temple in the Valley of the Light.  The young priestesses had come with them to
the Old Temple, since no one had come to the Temple near the city for three days.  

He and Lantash had been surprised to meet Hiber and Anola’s granddaughter.  She
would make a good operative; they could tell that already from what little they had seen of
her abilities in the missions back into the city, the Palace, Arsennia, and the main estate,
Avery’en.     

She was quite lovely.  They were looking forward to getting to know her better.  She had a
very unusual and pretty name as well.  Rosha.  

His mind went back over the last five days and all that had transpired.  He felt Lantash’s
caress and loving support and returned both to him swiftly and lovingly.  They were
becoming very close, very quickly.  He was happy that it was happening so swiftly.  

They gazed out the beautiful arched window of the Old Temple in the Valley of the Light
as a new day dawned.  For a moment, they both allowed sorrow to fill them…for Justin,
for his parents, his brothers, his sisters, and his people.  Martouf was beginning to realize
that he was truly blended completely with his lifemate.  No doubt, if love ever came to
them, they would love as one.  It was a comforting and comfortable feeling, knowing that
they would love in that way, but for the moment, they mourned as one.

However, they both knew that there was no point in drowning in their sorrow and grief.  
That, while no doubt emotionally gratifying on some levels, would accomplish nothing.  

Staring out at the beauty spread out before him, Martouf realized that this was not the
end of everything.  True, it was an end to life as he knew it, but it was not the end of his
life or what was now his new life’s work.  

He watched as the sun spread the glory of its first golden rays across the meadow and
mountainsides, kissing the morning into wakefulness.  Lantash held him gently from
within, caressing him softly.  His Lifemate.  

He straightened his shoulders and facing the morning, he turned toward the future, calm
and serene.  No, this was not the end, at all:  this was but the beginning.  


Fin  

Take With You My Love is a prequel to Blood of my Heart, Beloved of my Soul, the
first book of the Tok’Ra Legacy Series.  


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