Champions Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Thirteen


The World Symphony had changed.

The Great song heralded by one that was mortal and yet not. She was the Nephalim. Bound in her was the strength, the grace, and the wisdom to bring forth the greatest of soliloquies. In her an alliance was born between the immortal Malakim and the mortal of human kind.

The act of pure mercy had saved the life of the Queen; an entire race of people had lifted up this single woman and lionized her. She was their new hope. She was an icon, from without a tale once thought of as myth. To welcome her, the Queen had given her a single band of fighters. Her song rose amongst the populace and more joined a new choir, the Eighth Choir, the children of the Nephalim, called the Grigori. They were a myth no long.

Now the empire, lead once by a choir of seven had been led by a single voice. But now the solo was joined by another voice. The solo turned to duet. The harmony was perfect, there was no discordant here.

The Nephalim had not realized how far reaching her voice in the World Symphony had become. 200,000 souls resounded to her, yet this forever-young woman thought perhaps it was a slight exaggeration.

Samantha Carter, Colonel in the United States Air Force had given fifteen years to the Stargate Command. Now forty-five she sought a new quest: to keep her family safe. A hunter had been sent to earth to destroy the lives of the SGC, bent on destroying the young colonel further.

It did not have the intended effect.

200,000 Malakim souls, more then half of them trained in the art of military factions; all of them capable of summoning up the powers of the World Symphony rose up and took off to defend their Nephalim. This same empire that had given her a single band of warriors, now had given Samantha control over a military base on a planet named for the choir that followed her.

Here a new militia would arise. Here a new song was generated, even the World Symphony with its new harmonics, would bring forth a new order, a new hope for the angelic race of Malakim. What Osiris and her companion Usiel had intended on destroying so many lives only forged a deeper strength in the steel of the Malakim and their Nephalim.

"My God," Sam said as she first laid eyes upon the citadel on Grigori.

Rising above the clouds were precipices of great jagged monuments, further still were the towers, portcullis and torrents of the great city. Indeed, it was a city, this aerie. Like fine spun glass, crystal and snowflakes bore a frail facade. But frailty was its appearance only; in fact it was exceptionally sturdy and well constructed. Triennium and diamond, marble, mythril and antimantium had lent to the strength of the construction as well as to its beauty. Like all Malakim architecture the citadel on Grigori was both exceptionally functional and more then pleasant to gaze upon.

Cassandra stood close to her friend Boudicca, touching the taller woman on the wing. "What's it called?' her voice was a whisper in the viewing of something greater then herself. A part of her gave a thought to school and past lessons on ancient Athens.

"It has yet to be named, Cassandra. That task is left to the Liege Commander. This citadel of training has evolved from what it once was. One time it was used to train the great Wings of the Empire. Then it was retired. And now we have resurrected its structure to become the new Stargate Command and Academy."

Sam turned to the captain of the Samantha Carter, "Wait, I have to name this place?'

"Yes, my liege," Boudicca said, her wings folding tightly to her body, the feathers brushing against Cassandra, causing the mortal to catch her breath, because of feelings she wasn't wholly ready to feel.

"This is a kinda big thing…. I mean… what was its name?" Sam asked. "It did have a name right?"

"It was called Incarna."

"However, as Boudicca has stated that name is no longer acceptable. For where this was once but an academy it is now a city-state," Razeal pointed out.

Cassandra looked at the vista below them and felt her breath catch once more ; the words she spoke were not spoke to any particular ear that might have heard but rather a rhetorical comment. "It kinda reminds me of Minus Tirnith or Rivendale," she said. "Very Tolkien-ish."

"You're right," Janet said looking at the Malakim architecture.

"My mom read me stories from Kalevala, when I was little," Sam commented. " It's considered to be the Finnish national epic, woven together from oral songs of the nomadic Finish people. I think Tolkien was greatly inspired by this book when he wrote his own. It's filled with a lot of adventures in the umbra realms," Sam felt the hand of her wife stroke her long back, giving her support in the memory of Rebecca the senior. "Mum was British but she always had this deep fascination for Nordic myths," Sam softly chuckled "I think she would have gotten on well with the Asgard."

The Malakim heard this from their beloved liege and without a vote it was unanimously decided. "Kalevala, it is," Boudicca said.

"Oh, wait I didn't mean to say that we should name this place Kalevala. There isn't a reason why we can't just call it Incarna. Wouldn't the Queen be a little… I don't know... agitated that we named this city. It's a bit presumptuous don't you think?"

"Why?" Zaira asked, her teal wings shrugging.

"We built this city, in your name Samantha. We brought it back out of the dust and fortified it. The naming should be your right," Turel pointed out. " Perhaps then, out of respect to the Mother of our Liege, we shall call this new city after the epic stories she so loved. New tales of epic proportions will be struck upon parchment within the walls of this new city."

"Okay, Kalevala it is," Sam smiled. Once more her mind wandered to her deceased mother. Rebecca Carter the elder would be beside herself right about now. 'For you Mama,' Sam sent a silent prayer to the memory of her beloved mother.

Even as the stingray shaped Malakim vessel closed in nearer to the city, the mortals could only watch in amazement. Sam's blue doe eyes widened when she saw a spiral that appeared to be made out of coral and crystal seemingly grow out of the depths of the mists, as if born from it.

"Whoa," Janet said, "that… that just came out of nowhere."

"Even now, Liege Healer, Kalevala grows," Pumah, said.

It was as the golden wing angelic spoke of. Below there were sections of the aerie city that grew, not unlike the Tok'ra crystal caverns. The difference, however, was that Malakim structures were breathtakingly beautiful.

"Boudie? " Cassie said as she touched the taller woman on the arm, "You said there are like 200,000 Malakim…. Is that true?"

"Indeed. When we of the Blue Wing left to rendezvous with the Liege there were those already loyal to her that would leave Hy-Basil for Grigori. As the academy was closed down it needed renovation, as did the village outside its gates. But with the increase of Malakim and the generation of the Grigori as the Eighth Choir, it was necessary to expand the original area of the village."

"It is beautiful," Janet, echoed the thoughts of her wife and eldest child.

"Beauty with a purpose. It is whispered in the shadows that Usiel has returned. That his power, his malice grows from within. It is whispered that he means to take the harmonies of the World Symphony and become its master. He desires to bring the Great Song to himself," Boudicca started. "The Eighth Choir will be the frontline defense against this darkness. This place will be our fortification."

"Then he means to rule you all," Sam said logically concluding.

"Would it be that simple, Liege. His objectives are not so clear. He desires great power and yet what he will do with it whence it comes it is not so defied. He's rather like a kit with a hoard of sweets he has no desire to share, nor does he wish any to know he has such a hoard," Razeal said.

"So how dangerous is he?" Cassandra commented.

"Very," Turel said in her typical monotone voice. "He is the most vile and dangerous of all Remnants. He is the first of the Fallen and he has a charisma that bends the song within another to his will. He makes you feel thin. Stretched, like too little butter spread across too much bread. He creates discordance amongst the beauty of music. He is the worst sort of darkness; the sort you do not realize is there until it is too late. He is an infection that spreads like a disease."

A note from of the Minister of the Guild of Alien Affairs office, summoned Councilor Hashul to her offices. Hashul was white maned with canary yellow wings. Her crimson eyes bore the darkness of stress as the middle-aged Malakim had been poring over the documents sent to her by Colonel Paul Davies concerning the alliance.

Nachmiel, Minister of the AAG was an older female, whose lilac eyes showed her wisdom and age. Her silver wings and chestnut hair belied her several thousand years of life, in such a way it was almost impossible to detect just how old she was.

Nachmiel carried herself almost always in a pure formal manor, even when off-duty which also pointed to her age. She was in fact a thousand years older then Queen Novalis herself.

Hashul was to take her first meal with Nachmiel; inevitably the conversation would be centered on the treaty, the Nephalim, and what Queen Novalis expected.

Hashul entered the chambers, her brilliant yellow wings only slightly pressed to her body, revealing her courtesy in the presence of a higher ranked official. "Minister, you do bid me to your audience."

The white maned Elder said, standing on pure formality, as Nachmiel would have it no other way, "Yea, and now I bid you welcome. Sit and share a cup of tea."

Hashul did as ordered. "Our meeting with the Liege Commander's ambassadors begins anon, within the confines of the mountain."

She watched as her superior prepped the water for the dark green tea the Minister so enjoyed. "Oh bitter day to be so long houred in talk pressed under a tonnage of rock, and not to feel the air," grumbled Nachmiel. She passed one of the cups of fine china to her junior officer and placed the other upon the table before her as she poured the steaming contents from the white porcelain teapot.

"Perhaps an alternative, Minister, to meet here upon our own vessel." Hashul offered. Her yellow wings shrugged helplessly.

"And press our advantage to have their council unfurled in the wind?"

"Aye Good Minister."

"I think they would desire neutral ground. They stay their presence from our territory even as we theirs, yet under the mountain is designated as neutral territory." Silver wings slumped back a bit in the realization she would have to suffer the compressed air of the mountain base.

The avian race did not do well in the confines of the walls beneath the surface of the earth. It caused them to be on edge and more then a little unnerved. For the angelics it was unnatural to be so separated from the air. How could the mortals live beneath the earth?

"The Mortals will bring to light the Nephalim."

"The Nephalim… " Silver wings plumed out in agitation. "Look, you; the World Symphony might have slowed its tempo within the Queen's presence. But Novalis is Queen still, and therefore begs our allegiance. You should not turn our hearts to this slip of a girl, merely because she has been decreed Nephalim. She has not lived so long to know the companion of wisdom. Nephalim or not."

"How now! You should not disparage the Nephalim so."

"I disparage her not, good Councilor, I say only, that she is a mere child. Great Song, my own granddaughter is twice her age and not yet out of adolescence." Nachmiel uttered in a voice soft with her own conviction.

"Mortals age differently, Minister. She is indeed older in their counting of year then Queen's exiled daughter," Hashul pointed out.

"She is still a child yet. And children are impetuous and easily wear their hearts and minds upon their sleeves. And therefore easily swayed to the getting of adventure and great deeds to be put in to a Bard's song. She purposes her quest to be rid of Usiel."

"Do we not all answer to this, Minster Nachmiel?"

"All in our own ways. Ours is a different battle Hashul. Perhaps even yet a greater struggle then those that carry a sword in hand and a battle hymn upon the tongue. They are brave in their battle-set but Great Song wills alliance we make among the narrow minds of those that Our Queen deems fit. Therefore we too must be of same mind. We will yield much or we will fail. And failure is not an option."

"Much disgrace be had if mortal kind do turn us away, Gentle Minister. But how answer us, when the question is put, what of the Nephalim?"

"In truth, Hashul, in truth. She is with us, their support or not. We must deal honestly with them. I believe not in the Nephalim, for they are but fanciful tales told to wide-eyed kits, but a legion of worlds within the Empire believe her sprit true. Unwise is the diplomat that forgets her own people's faith."

"Faith… it is this faith that has created the Grigori."

"Make yourself clear Hashul, your words are those of a feeble old man spinning tales."

"I am stymied by your refusal to see the Nephalim. Do you not hear the Symphony?"

"Enough people believe, that which is fanciful becomes less dream and more real until even the World Symphony changes its melody. Admittedly Samantha saved the Queen from death, and has earned the station she holds with the Blue Wing."

"And yet you disagree with the turning of the Grigori."

"It troubles me that there is a turning, Hashul. It troubles me that the Queen is in compliance. My task before me now is in the setting of an allegiance betwixt the Empire and mortal kind. It is their choosing if they accept the Liege Commander is no longer theirs to control. And if they do not, the Malakim will bid them ado." Lilac eyes leveled slightly. "Tell me Councilor, who are my rivals in negotiations?"

"Colonel Paul Davis, Herald of the SGC has sent a small profile of each of the representatives of the Mortal government. There is a request that Senator Kinsey join the table, along with Ambassador Debra Granger as well as Doctor Daniel Jackson."


"No?" Red eye blinked, not understanding the words of the Minister.

"I trust not Daniel Jackson. He would play upon the Empire as minstrels play upon the harp, request the smiling lad."

"Jonas Quinn."

"He has true heart and is eager to settle dissidence where ever it breeds. Though he smiles a great deal, but then he is young."

"Tell me, why this suspect of Daniel Jackson?"

"I see him and I can see folly in his eyes, Good Councilor. Overcompensation for his past trespass yet never a confession. Though I know not what hides within him, he is not of moral fabric. How now, tell me of the others who sit across from me."

"General Jack O'Neill by proxy and familiarity of the Liege Commander. They met with us prior to the conference with their Potentate."

"Mortals call their potentate by title…President. An awkward name for their leader." Silver eyebrows bunched into a frown. "Curious as to why they do not name this potentate by Prime Minister." Nachmiel frowned. She had been a long time negotiator and she knew those that called themselves president tended to rule their dominion not unlike a place of commerce. In that respect, they would be looking to what they could gain most with very little cost to themselves. Also, presidents tended to be misers as all proprietors of large corporations were. This too would be taken into consideration. Those under the President would strive to show their favor and some would be frugal, judgmental curmudgeons. Under the false pretence of their government, all the wile they would be playing at being power mongers. Without looking at the profile, Nachmiel reasoned that whoever this Kinsey was, would be such an individual.

"Jonas Quinn handed me this tome. He was rather insistent it would be of interest."

"Indeed?' Lilac eyes looked to the leather bond ornate book.

"Minister, Malakim is not the only empire to come face to face with fancy, myth and faith." Saying that, Hashul turned the pages in the book to a portrait of a winged warrior carrying what looked to be a sun sword exiling two mortals, one female, one male from a vast garden.

Another page revealed yet another nude male mortal in a wrestling contest with yet another winged warrior. There was a picture of a warrior with a sun sword standing before a robed male and his diminutive equine. Still another picture revealed a great battle between two armies of the winged warriors. And there were a dozen more in its like. The last image Nachmiel viewed, a winged warrior of great radiance speaking to a penitent female clad in blue and white robes.

"Is seems the Mortals are not unfamiliar with our kith as we were led to believe." Nachmiel said.

"There is more Minister. Jonas said that this Kinsey in particular was his father's son…. In that he will be presumptuous and assuming. He is prejudgmental and will have already formed his opinion without listing to reason." Red eyes twinkled in mischievousness. "Jonas said something about pressing Kinsey's fanatical 'right winged-bible thumping-holier-then-thou-mentality'. Jonas eluded that Kinsey would have a great fear of us."

Nachmiel opened the book once more and it fell to a picture depicting what looked like Goa'uld mother ships and a dark winged figure slaughtering scores of swarthy skinned peasants. The blurb under the horrific image was 'A Cry went out in Egypt that had never been heard before or since.'

"Indeed." Nachmiel commented, committing the image to her mind. "They deify our kith, even as we have lionized Samantha. This is indeed very useful. My thanks be to Jonas for his superlative aid. Allow his superiors to acknowledge he is in the favor of the AAG."

"I heed and obey Minister Nachmiel." Canary yellow wings folded tight against the body signifying the councilor's compliance.

A knock sounded on the other side of the chambers.

"Enter." Nachmiel said.

A young fresh face of a woman that could be no more then thirty-five stepped in, her green wings fanned out once before settling tight against her own body. Her hand went to her chest and with a slight bow her gold eyes shifted so they might not look the minister in the face. Once in a Wing always in a Wing. She rose her coal black mane, in hearing her name spoke by her CO.

"Herald Lamach, what news?" Nachmiel said formally.

"The Mortals bid me call you and fetch you back to the Mountain. The screening of the Asherak and Zataarc is nearly completed."

"All this while it has been Hashul that had been overlooking this tedium." The Minister said with a bored dull light in her lilac eyes.

"Yes, Minister," A dip of jet mane. "But the mortal's believe they are close in their findings. And they are insistent that, as Minister of the Guild of Alien Affaires, you witness the final hunt."

"Go hither and relay to them I will come anon."

"I heed and obey, Minister." The green wings shifted once more in the repose of subservience. Lamach turned to leave the other women alone.

"Come Hashul, we have this hunt to put behind us, if we wish to proceed into negotiations with any expediency." Nachmiel said now standing up. Her Silver wings fanned out to their full eighteen-foot wingspan in a full body stretch.

"Perhaps you should do that before this Kinsey." Jibbed Hashul. "Causing them to become ruffled will add to the demonstration of our might."

"You would have me display such a garish spectacle?" a white eyebrow rose into the tawny forelock.

"Stretching might seem base to use, Minister, but it will terrify a lesser soul." Hashul pointed out.

Nachmiel laughed. "Aw see, fortune favors me in my choice to appoint you my councilor." she chuckled again. "I can see this mortal's face now becoming ashen in the viewing of my wings full spread. What fool these mortals be, if so deceived by such a base display of posturing." The old angelic chuckled once more, as if viewing children at play.

They passed several streets each bearing the simple name of the shops cloistered there: Baker, Cobbler, Tailor, Butcher, Mercantile, Painter Street and so on. There were squares that contained inns, pubs, and of course restaurants all under the guardianship of the Hospitality Guild. The city of Kalevala would bear investigating soon. A whole month's salary could be blown at some of the shops. Sam couldn't help but wonder if there was a shop that sold something like motorcycles because she would definitely miss hers.

It was fascinating to see the organization of the city. Woodwrights, goldsmiths, lampwrights, blacksmiths, locksmiths and scribes, all had their places; As did the sages and weavers, candlemakers and tillers, stonewrights, waterwrights and armorers. Even the street traders had their own sections. Along the avenues of each trade stood a guildhouse. To the outside eye the guildhouses bore a striking similarity to a city hall, complete with massive stone lions that held in their paws a shield with an oak in full bloom upon it.

Those who belonged to a guild but not a trade such as Healers, Military, Rouges, Academia, Mercenaries, Pilots had their own guildhouses sprinkled about the city.

As the group passed through the avenues they could see at first hand the construction of buildings. In one hand of a crimson winged fair-haired woman was what appeared to be a lace doily. Her eyes were closed and her other hand was stretched out with fingers spread. In front of her, a mound of quartz crystal several meters tall stretched to the sky. The mineral stretched, twisted and grew. It was an explosion of visual wonder. The mound now bore such a likeness to the lace held in the woman's hands that should one take a caliber to measure the scale it would be in perfect measurements. The mystery of the perfection of architecture was now solved.

The flying buttresses of some of the buildings were like trees whose bows held up the roof. On other sections, it was iconic heroics holding aloft the buildings just as Atlas holds the world upon his back. Angelic forms were not the only visage pillars to be used; mythic creatures also lent their stone backs to support the buildings, dragons, great hunting cats, horse-like beasts, even marine creatures lent their likeness to the pillars. There were no straight lines, all were curved, all organic and flowing richly carved pure elegance. Celtic knotwork married to Art-Nouveau that had an affair with Gothic architecture.

The avenues themselves were cobbled with green marble, veined with gold. Broad streets were paved with hewn stones, now widening upward, climbing in short flights of well-laid steps to many domiciles.. Beside the way in a marble channel a stream of clear water flowed, sparkling and chattering. At long last they came to the crown of the hill. There stood a high spring gushed in the likeness of a lion's head; beneath was a wide basin from which the water spilled and fed the falling stream. Up the green terrace was a staircase of ebony marble, high and broad, and on either side of the topmost step were stone –hewn benches.

Boudicca led the champions up the stairs, then through the labyrinth of corridors until they reached the gates of the citadel proper. Up a flight of stairs and along another corridor they went, finally coming to a halt outside one of several adjunct doors.

"The lift will ascend you to the upper levels of the Aerie." Boudicca explained.

"We take a lift to go more than twenty-eight levels below the earth, a lift to take us up won't be that different." Janet said.

"Our Lieges, in anticipation for the …er…wingless we made the majority of the academy, ground based. Of course, the chambers where more academic training occurs is within the safe walls in the aerie." The massive Malachi commented as he pointed to the bastion high within the clouds.

In a broad sweep of his arm he gestured to the forest of buildings along the walk. "Here are the dormitories, further ahead the domiciles for those who have a family they wish to reside with. However, Liege Commander, we have taken the liberty to create for you and your consort a domicile in the like fashion of that which you live in on Hy-Basil."

"Lieutenant Fraiser, because of the status you carry within your team, we have given you private apartments along the avenue of officers. The Blue Wing will also live along the lane." Turel pointed out. "The Blue Wing have a slightly higher status amongst the Gigori because of our closeness to you, Liege Commander. And thus so do those who serve under you in your own team."

"And in anticipation of the mortals that might wish to join us here in this new SGC, we have intermingled the Malakim with Mortals to better integrate our kiths. Razeal was insistent upon this."

"Integration makes for better harmony." The young angelic anthropologist said. "Our people can not be divided between the winged and unwinged."

"Makes sense." Sam said agreeing with the idea behind the dormitories.

"Razeal, forever the diplomat." His mate Rahabim laughed, her blue eyes twinkling.

"Every Wing needs one." Razeal said. "And my task will be greater when the Minister of the AAG has completed the negotiations."

Seeing the puzzled look upon Cassandra's face, Boudicca stepped up to explain.

"The minister is a Mercurian and Mercurians are very capable in feeling true empathy whereas the rest of us have only an elementary knowledge of others' emotions. The Mercurians so excel that they have an intimate knowledge of other's inner song :simply put, they 'read' them. They know a soul's deepest sin and greatest triumph; they know what troubles and what sooths. They know the darkest sadness and the brightest joy. This is why Mercurians are our trusted ambassadors.

"The AAG has and will always be headed by a Mercurian. Nachmiel has been Minister of the AAG for eons. She was old even when Queen Gabriele was empowered. Now, of course, she is training her Councilor, her 2IC if you will. Hashul is an appropriate diplomat and younger, she is of the Queen's age. She will become a fine Minster of the Alien Affairs Guild since Nachmiel is near retirement. Her retirement has, of course, been sung for hundreds of years," Boudicca was laughing.

"Kinda like Hammond before Jack took over," Cassie said.

"So, you have an entire Guild that does nothing but ambassadorial duties?" Janet asked.

"Of course. Do you not have such a division?" Razeal commented. "As was said before all professions have a Guild. The Alien Affaires Guild deals with these hefty political liaisons. The Mercurians enjoy such things." There was a smile on his face. Razeal of course belonged to the afore mentioned choir, it was one of the reasons he got along so well with Daniel.

"Politics have their place but, Liege Commander, would you and Liege Healer not wish to see the training grounds. Or…or...or... the Citadel of Healing?" Ever excitable the young Zephon asked, her silver wings fluffing in her hyper-ness. "I think they are more interesting than boring old politics," the young woman made a noise of distaste that sounded not unlike the Fraiser-Carter children when they were told to eat Brussel sprouts in order to eat their desserts.

"Why don't you lead the way Zephon," Sam commanded.

Those words thrilled the young Ofanim. Her silver wings shuttered in her barely contained excitement as she sprinted ahead of the ladies of SG1 and the rest of the Blue Wing.

The tall blonde leaned down to her wife, whispering. "She's a little like Rebecca."

Janet ran her fingers maternally through her young daughter's red-gold locks. "I am just thankful your little one doesn't have wings, she'd be hard to keep up with."

"Hum," Sam nodded in agreement.

"Mommy, Mama can I go with Zephon? She's a lot of fun." The object of the women's conversation piped up.

"Sure," Sam and Janet said at the same time.

Giving a brilliant smile, the tot was off running, and catching up to grab the redheaded angel's hand into her hand "Come-on Zippo let's race!"

And off they went. The angelic, of course, keeping watch of her strides so that she was at least several paces behind the child. Fortunately, the only traffic in the avenues was pedestrians, so Rebecca was in no danger of being hit by upcoming vehicles.

Before them now were the vast dark double doors barring the gates of the training grounds. Emblazoned on each door was something that made Sam stare. It was something she had not seen since she was a young girl in her Grandfather Carter's home, in England.

"That's the Carter Coat-of-Arms!" she said.

The background hue was azure with golden combating lions gleamed as if alive. Upon the shield bore the crest of a rampant black dog. Blue eyes fastened upon the shields as her fingers traced the lines of the sculpted lion forms.

"Victrix Patientia Duris." Sam whispered the motto of her family. "The Victorious Endures Suffering." She turned to Boudicca, the woman she identified as an authority on the rhyme and reason of the Malakim. "Why? Why use the Carter coat-of-arms? The Grigori have their own banners…."

"In homage, Liege Commander, for you are the Nephalim. It has vast meaning to the Grigori as it allowed the choir to feel, as they truly are apart of something greater then themselves. A like Coat-of-arms is emblazed upon the doors of the Citadel of Healing for Janet's own heritage."

The flash of Janet's own blazon flashed in her minds eye. It was an oak tree, half emerald, half silver, and centered on the shield with the green half shown against a silver background, the sliver half shown against emerald. It symbolized strength, life and protection.

The others fully realized just how iconic the Malakim were. Everywhere the mortals' eyes fell, they could see the lions and oak trees. In fact, the pillars between the gates were, on closer inspection, massive twenty storey tall lions whose backs were pressed against a forty storey tall oak tree. Their paws were stretched, acting as great hinges for the gates

The Gates, which were so intimidating, could be opened by even the five year old Rebecca, but they could withstand the barrage of scud missiles. Indeed, they opened with a whisper of sound.

Beyond the gates, Malakim soldiers were training. There were platoons drilling and several wings of seven warriors flying in formations, turning this way and that in airborne battle maneuvers. Still others were practicing skills with ground and aerial martial arts. It was a spectacle to behold as they witnessed the sparring being played out before them. Far across the compound still other Wings practiced their skills of the World Symphony.

"Wow, look at them, it's like watching the X-Men cartoons or movies." Cassie said as she watched one of the Malakim warriors cause the water molecules in the air to freeze and rain down upon the 'enemy' forces like shards of raze-ice. Another summoned the earth to rise up in spikes, impaling the forces, while another caused tiger-traps to collapse under the feet of the enemy soldiers. And still another summoned the mist to tendril in causing the enemies to become blind.

It was obvious that the 'enemies' were automatons. However, the effectiveness of the attack was impressive. The Malakim didn't have firearms per se. They had for a side arm their sun swords, but nothing in the like of the P90's or the Aries Predator. Yet they were not without weaponry.

The droids would fire zats, and staff weapons, which the sun swords effectively deflected, but gun powdered ballistic were yet another matter. If gun power was deployed, the Malakim through up energy barriers reminding the ladies of SG1 against the Goa'uld body shields.

It was a juxtaposition of power and realization of just how terrifying the angelic warriors could become when they had the elements behind them. It was breathtaking. Stone, metal, wood of the earth, rose up and obliterated the enemies even as the winds, rain, mists and snow would assault them from above. Mock Deathgliders were downed as a rush of electrical storms stuck the hulls time and again.

The mortals watched as yet another mock-Deathglider was snatched out of the air, by the vines of trees suddenly sprouted from the earth. They saw legions of foot soldiers taken out completely by a flood of water from a streambed. The Malakim warriors were safe as they were airborne and unencumbered by the retaliation of the earth as it struck out against the enemy.

This form of battle was most efficient. Over the tour the humans were able to see just how adaptive the Malakim were when summoning the World Symphony. Sandstorms, raging forests, snaring razor-grass of the planes, rockslides, tempests, and blizzards, whatever environment a Wing of Malakim found themselves in they were trained to utilize it as weapons against their foes. It was truly an incredible thing to see and an even more impressive thing to hear. For even as the Wings battled against their mechanized foe their voices cried out in the most inspiring war hymn.

Even as the architects steadily built the city their voices lent power to the call of the World Symphony. All of Kalevala was filled with song. In the Citadel of Healing, the aria was found to be soft, likened to the tune of dulcimers, harps and violins. Here, the music brought a smile to the soul and a healer of Janet's caliber knew that a contented heart eased pain and suffering. She knew that this gentle music also inspired a battle, but it was not to battle metal and war, but to battle diseases, illness and pain.

When Janet saw her own family's Coat-of-Arms upon the doors of the Citadel of Healing her dark doe eyes filled tears. The silver and emerald oak tree transposed on its opposite color would be synonymous with healing as the caduceus was on Earth.

It had not been forgotten that it was due to Janet's great skill as a healer that the Queen herself was still able to fly. Had it not been for Janet, Novalis would have only one heart and two lungs, and her wings would be unable to carry her aloft. It was a law of ancient time that a Queen must be able minded, able bodied and of strong spirit. If she lacked any of the three she could not rule. Janet had made sure that Novalis would rule for a long time. Since that time the shield of the Fraiser family came to mean healing. Now it seemed that upon certain avenues and along certain streets the silver/emerald oak tree was a popular icon, for it seemed to be everywhere. More popular still was the oak and lions together.

Janet was oddly enough both amazed and not when she saw the Malakim health facilities. In many respects they were likened to the sick bay on the Gwihir. Some of it reminded the petite doctor of her own hospitals back home. And it definitely had a feel of a military medical facility.

Her office was a large octagonal chamber whose walls were filled with ceiling to floor bookshelves. Hundreds of books all containing medical texts, both for the Malakim and human physiology, filled the shelves. There were even some tomes to be found by Malakim medical personal on the species of Nox, Asgard, the Ancients, and the Goa'uld.

"To heal allies and to know your enemy, and that which can harm him greatly or heal most efficiently." Turel answered the question behind Janet's dark eyes.

Tucked in one of the corners were two skeletons, one human and one Malakim.

"What doctor's office is complete without one?" Sam snickered as she saw the skeletons.

"Not one I can think of," Janet answered grinning.

Janet wasn't one for ornamentation, but the office was a testament to Malakim art. It was opulent in décor with gilded lamps and woodworking. The oak desk itself could have been Edwardian, with its lion clawed legs. Atop the desk was a state of the art computer terminal; it was a juxtaposition of modern technology and antique furnishings. There was a long table made out of the same richly polished wood that held magnificent high-definition microscopes, diagnostic screens and other various compiled medical equipment. There was even a holographic generator so that Janet could bring up a 3-D picture of whatever internal organ she wanted to study, of whatever patient was under her care.

The only other furnishing in the office, besides the two chairs opposite her deck, was a large black leather sofa. Hardcopy files were discreetly hidden in one of the bookshelves that acted like an over sized humidor Push a book and the shelf receded behind the bookshelf to the left revealing a long wall of filling cabinets.

"This place is incredible." Janet said.

"Should you wish to change anything, please feel free to do so," Boudicca said. "This, after all, is your office."

"Thank you, but I think everything is perfect. The only thing I'd do is to place a few pictures of my family on my desk and put up my credentials on the wall."

Next upon the tour was the Command Aerie itself. The high security of the base was rival to that of Hy-Basil. Despite the fact that most, if not all, of the citizens of Kalevala knew of the Stargate (as the majority of them had transported through it), only those with clearance were given permission to enter the Command Aerie without a heavy escort.

The Command Center of the Grigori SGC like that of the Malakim on Hy-Brasil. The DHD was in a control booth away from the gate, as it was on Earth. The Gate itself was unlike the familiar gates across the galaxies for this one the Malakim had to create. But the creation of a gate was not unheard of; Orlin had made one years before, but then of course he belonged to the Ascended…the Ancients. The Tollen, with the aid of the Nox, had also build one of their own. So, the discovery that the Blue Wing crafted the Grigori Gate was remarkable but certainly not farfetched

Upon inspection of Sam's office in the Command center, they discovered that it was much the same as Janet's. The major difference being, here the books in the shelves pertained to everything in the fields of physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. Sam of course had no skeletons in her office but she did have an abundance of star charts. In fact, there was a holgenerator for every sol-system in the Malakim empire as well as a massive chart of the Gate system. She too had an extremely powerful computer upon the desk that was a twin to Janet's own.

"You know how dusty this office is going to get?" Cassandra said as she made herself at home on the large sofa. "I mean Colonel Samantha Carter in an office and not in a lab, yeah right. Not going to happen."

Sam mockingly scowled at her eldest daughter.

"Mama has an office at home, Sassy." Rebecca argued.

"Yes but how often dose she use it save to check her e-mail? Mum is always in the labs."

"We anticipated this event." Turel said. The tall angelic moved to the shelves behind Sam's desk and like Janet's hidden filing alcove, there was an alcove here as well. This one led, not to an antechamber filled with patient files, but to a fully equipped laboratory that shamed the labs on the Samantha Carter.

"Whoa! This is pretty cool." Sam breathed.

"Oh wonderful, now my wife will never come home." Janet joked.

"Mama, you're not going to stay here…." said Rebecca near to tears.

"Oh baby, Mommy was kidding," the tall blonde picked her daughter up and hugged her close. "Of course your Mama will come home. See …we are going to live here from now on," Sam placed a kiss on the red-blonde locks. "Remember the house we saw earlier? That is our home, Honey. We are going to make a new life here on Grigori."

Part 14

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