Champions Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Three

Turning Point

Janet was on her feet before Jack O'Neill had finished his orders, hopping out of the briefing room and stepping in front of O'Neill and Cassandra in a single stride. Her speed even surprised the goliath Jaffa inside the room.

"Who the hell…" Colonel Paul Davies snarled, his shoulders set, ready to start with regulations and protocol if Fraiser so much as blinked wrong. But the Doctor was already below with the seven Malakim warriors.

The strangers upon seeing the petite doctor folded their wings tight about their body in acknowledgment of her status amongst their race. Doctor Janet Fraiser was not only the CMO of Stargate Command but she was the Liege Healer, married to the Liege Commander Champion of Hy- Basil.

"Liege Healer Janet." The orange winged Briel bowed her head in respect. "We come bearing a message."

The SFs could only stare at the winged beings in utter astonishment. Working at the SGC many had come face to face with aliens and transplanted humans but most had only seen the Goa'uld and Tok'ra, both very human in appearance. Some had seen the Nox and the Asgard but to see a manifestation of an icon of one's religion tended to stun a person. Once more the first words out of the angelic beings had been that they bore a message. More then a couple of SF's crossed themselves at the sight of the Malakim. There was not a pair of human eyes that did not look to the diminutive doctor. Who was she to these folk that they would give her the respect due to a potentate?

When O'Neill, Daniel, Colonel Davies and Teal'c were spotted the Angelic's wings plumed outwards, giving them an even more intimidating stature. Janet was the only soul next to Samantha Carter the angelics would curry favor for.

"So these are the Malakim." Paul Davies commented from the side of his mouth to O'Neill.

"Yeah." The silver haired general answered then moved forward. "You know a phone call would have been nice." O'Neill commented as he approached the seven warriors. "No one calls any more."

Briel's orange wings fluffed outwards. Obviously the Adjunct was perturbed to be addressed by the male. O'Neill had forgotten the winged race was purely matriarchal, not a single male held power over a female. When Carter came into their world, after saving the life of Novalis the queen, the winged race had assumed that humans were as Matriarchal as they were and thus never accepted O'Neill as a person of power. To know he had rank above the Liege Healer let alone the Liege Commander was inconceivable.

"Our business is with the Consort of the Liege Commander, not you." Briel said dryly. "However, it is the duty of this office to recognize you are to be given the respect due the Liege Commander's second in command."

Davies, who was all protocol, stepped forth and bristled. "General O'Neill commands…"

"Can it Davies, trust me it's easier this way." Jack held his hand up stifling the other man. "I learned the hard way. Besides they are a little protective over the Doc and Carter."

"I see." The spokesperson to the Joint Chief's commented softly as he drew his attention back to the angelic beings and Doctor Fraiser.

Jack turned to Daniel. "Get Carter on the horn she needs to get down here now."

"Right, on it Jack." Daniel scurried to the control booth where he would find the closest outbound phone.

"What has happened?" Janet asked Briel.

The tall female looked at all the faces around her then back to Janet. "Is there another place for discussions?"

"The briefing room?" The redhead suggested, already guiding the way to the stair well that would lead to the control room and from there the metal spiral stair case to the upper level briefing room.

The twelve, with Daniel making thirteen, filed in and stood before the tables with the soft high back leather chairs, which the Malakim gave dubious looks to.

"Please sit." Jack offered as he moved to the head of the black and walnut table, where General Hammond had once sat before retiring.

"We will remain standing." Briel said.

Hebe, Borease, Tailtie, the giant Bulstrode, young Ahern, Sabire, and Rakrir the CMO of the Gwihir moved their wings in such a manner it looked like a shrug of the shoulders.

Jack was a little confused at first as to why the Malakim refused to sit, then Janet looked at the high back chairs and to the tall angelics, with their wings the comfy chairs were simply impractical and impossible to sit in without a great deal of discomfort. She recalled on Hy-Basil that all the chairs were benches, low backed seats in the like of sectary chairs or ancient roman style couches.

"Sir if I may suggest alternative seating arrangements…perhaps a few chairs from storage could be brought up like the ones in the Command Room?"

It dawned on the silver haired general and he ducked his head at the faux-par of etiquette. Of course the angelics could not sit in the leather chairs. He moved out of the briefing room and came back a moment later with a smile. "It's taken care of."

The black winged Hebe turned to the doctor assuming she had sent her junior officer to requisition the new seating arrangements. "We thank you for the trouble."

After fourteen years Jack had learned etiquette when dealing with aliens. He let the slight of protocol slide. He trusted his senior staff not to allow such a breach of command to go to their heads. He knew the Malakim would defer to female officers and more importantly to Janet Fraiser and Sam Carter, who the winged beings seemed to idolize. At least they appeared to hold her in as high a regard as the Asgard held Jack O'Neill.

Once everyone was settled, Janet knew it was up to her to commence the briefing with he Malakim since they would give no lead to O'Neill. The diminutive physician turned to the guests of the SGC and pinned with her dark doe eyes. "You said you come bearing a message."

"From on High, yes." Adjunct Briel answered. Her voice, as with all Malakim, seemed to have a lilt to it as if a second voice was whispering in a singsong fashion. It was similar to the Goa'uld double voice but, where the snakehead's voice was menacing, the Malakim's was lyrical and pleasant to the ears. "It is of great shame we report the Samantha Carter has gone missing. In fact all evidence reports that she was stolen by the Liege Commander's own Wing."

"The Samantha Carter?" In hearing those words, Janet Fraiser went to Def-Con One. All alert status. But the Bond with her wife was strong and close…Sam wasn't off world or at least it didn't feel as though she was. Even offworld Janet and Sam could feel each other through their empathic Bond: a connection given to them by Nafrayu of the Nox six years ago. Though the further the distance the more phantasmal the Bond became, however it was always present.

"Colonel Carter isn't missing." Janet affirmed. Though she was still at full alert.

"Forgive me, I meant not the Liege Commander but the ship named for her." Briel bowed her ember maned head.

"Wait, Carter has a ship named after her?" Jack smirked lithely he couldn't wait to bait the tall blonde over the fact the angelics named a ship after her. He wondered if it would be blown up as the Asgards' O'Neill had been.

"Indeed." It was the blue winged Tailtie who answered. "The Samantha Carter is the most advanced scientific exploration ship we have. She is the flagship of all the scientific exploration vessels of the Malakim fleet. She is also the most advanced ship we have in the Empire."

"And the Blue Angels stole her?" This came from Paul Davies.

"Blue Wing." Briel answered. "They are the Liege Commander's own Wing. Loyal to her and her alone. It has been hypothesized they would take the ship in to hyperspace and pilot her here to the Tau'ri homeworld, to City –State Colorado Springs to insist that Liege Commander Samantha comes back into service. They are fiercely dedicated to The Liege Commander and as such have become listless with nothing to do but guard the ship named for her. They hunger to serve her and it is believed that they intend to do so with the Samantha Carter."

"So this is a preemptive warning." Cassie concluded.

"Partly, but the Blue Wing, even in their misguided attempt to restore the Liege Commander, they will do no harm to her." Briel assured the others. At most her words were directed to Janet assuring the woman that her consort would not come to harm.

"Just how powerful a ship are we talking about here?" Paul Davies asked thinking he might be able to bring something to the Joint Chiefs. The Malakim science vessel seemed to be the perfect offering. Since Colonel Samantha Carter's affiliation with the Malakim Empire, Davies and the Joint Chiefs had looked for something they could exploit. This situation with the taking of the ship by the Colonel's own squadron seemed to be a perfect opportunity.

Orange feathers ruffled at the question issued from the male at the opposite end of the table. For some reason Briel had a complete mistrust of the puny man. "It is a need to know information. Disavowing any information regarding the Samantha Carter will be given only to approved personal. You, whoever you are, are not listed among them." The Adjunct retorted, "We do not answer to you, human. So keep your tongue."

"I apologize for my junior." O'Neill said, taking yet another note out of Hammond's book of 'How to deal with tense situations and aliens.' "He spoke out of turn, it will not happen again." O'Neill glared at the Joint Chief's adjunct, who slunk lower in the large black chair. Paul wasn't a bad man; in fact he had stuck his neck out more then a few times for the SGC program. Still, etiquette when dealing with aliens was needed and keeping peace with eight-foot tall angelic warriors with physonic powers was more then enough reason to placate them.

The literally ruffled feathers settled. Briel excused the obvious very young human male for his eagerness. For no mature adult would speak out of turn in a conference, at least it was so with the Malakim.

"Excuse me Adjunct Briel but you came here to warn us that Sam…er Colonel Carter's Wing will try to coerce her back into active service?" Janet asked.

"Not physically of course." Briel answered, her wings folding tight against her body in the sign of submission. "Entice her would be a better adjective I think. The ship named for the Liege Commander is seriously advanced technologically. It would intrigue the scientist in the Liege Commander greatly."

"You can say that again." Janet commented thinking of the Malakim flagship Gwihir. If the Samantha Carter was anything like her, Sam would be in love with it. A science vessel named for her, Sam would be enticed and intrigued and more then curious. Sam was also an adrenaline junkie and would love to take the ship out for a spin.

"There is also another possibility." Briel muttered softly.

Hebe took her cue and spoke. "Since the Battle of Chimera we have had fleets patrolling the badlands between the Empire space and the Diabolicals. We have engaged in no less than fifteen skirmishes, and several dogfights with our one-warrior fighters. It is not unreasonable to assume the Blue Wing took the Samantha Carter into the badlands to invoke vengeance in her name."

"Sam wouldn't approve." Janet said. "She doesn't play the revenge game."

"This is typical of Knight behavior." Borease said calmly, her silver wings pressing close to her body as she spoke to the Liege Commander's consort. "No Champion would 'play the revenge game.' But the Liege Commander has many followers. She is something of an icon in the Malakim Empire for her resurrection of the Queen."

"It is so. Liege Commander Samantha Carter's name, the name of her consort and their daughters have been added to the Great Song. The legacy of their life will continue for all eternity," said the young Sabire who herself was in awe to be in the same presence as that of the Liege Healer. She could never imagine herself in the same presence of that as the Liege Commander. "It is reasonable to think that the Blue Wing,) inspired by their devotion and passion for the Liege Commander, would seek to hunt down and destroy all who harmed her."

"Because of what the Liege Commander means to the Empire, the Queen is negotiating with the Asgard for rights to assist in the protection of the Taur'ri home world and the City-State of Colorado Springs, and namely the Liege Commander's base of command." Burial said. "The actions of the Blue Wing, if they intend upon hunting, will lead to complications with the negotiations. It is hoped that the Blue Wing is simply eager to reveal the new ship to the Liege Commander and entice her back into active duty. They have been quite distraught with their own inactivity."

It was at that moment Daniel decided to step back into the briefing room. "I got a hold of Sam, she said she'd be in as soon as she can. She has Rebecca…"

At the mention of her wife and child, Janet looked up to her CO. "Rebecca has a minor case of the flu."

"Daniel get Carter back on the horn and tell her she can bring Little Bit here, hey she may need to see a doctor." He flashed a lopsided grin to Janet.

"Tailtie, Borease…assist the Liege Commander." Briel ordered.

Both lean angelic women stood and bowed their heads.

"What?" O'Neill questioned as he watched the silver winged Borease and blue winged Tailtie skirt around the table and touch what looked to be bracers upon their arm.

"Whoa...hey! Hey where are they going?!" The silver haired General rose to his feet.

"To assist the Liege Commander." Briel said, as if she were explaining something to a dull-witted child.

The man stared and tapped his wrist. "But …they simply can't walk or fly out of here….I mean… sure ¾ of the world believes in some sort of angel but…to see one….that could cause a whole lot of problems I'd rather not get into. And the NID would have a field day with you guys."

"Personal cloaking devises will be engaged. Liege Commander designed them we simply amalgamated the units into our armor." Briel said. "They will not be seen."

Dark eyes lit up in pride at the accomplishments his top officer and best friend had done. "Ah right." Then he rolled his eyes. "And I suppose they have a phase-thingy too that will allow them to get out of the base." Jack continued, referring to the Tollen's phase-shift hand devices.

"It is so. We have traded technology with the Tollen ambassadors."

Jack rubbed his forehead trying a preemptive method to rid himself of the headache he knew would hit him between the eyes. 'God and Hammond actually liked this diplomacy crap.' "Yeah how'd I know?" It was a rhetorical question.

On a minor level it irked the General that the haughty Tollen would trade technology with the Malakim who were warriors and not pacifists. Still they were on fairly equal grounds technologically speaking. And the near Bashido-code of honor was something to take in to consideration. It was abhorrent to the Malakim to engage in battle with a lesser-advanced race in order to conquer them. Jack had to laugh at himself more often then not, he thought the Malakim were the Jedi Knights come to life. With their code of ethics it wasn't surprising that the Tollen had made an alliance with the angelic warriors.

"I don't think Sam needs assistance getting here." Janet said holding her hand up. "She's fine on her own so we'll wait for her."

At that the two young warriors reclaimed their seats. They would not disrespect the tiny featherling consort of their Liege Commander. Besides, they had heard stories that she had picked up and thrown one of the Knights of the Blue Wing into a wall because she would not comply with the Liege Healer's wishes to fly into danger to go after the Hero of the Empire. If that tiny mortal could throw a Malakim, they were not exactly eager to anger Janet Fraiser.

"As you wish." Briel said a little disgruntled, her wings uncomfortably folded forcefully tight in submission.

"This must be grave indeed your majesty if you have come in person. We are accustomed to your Alien Relations Guild when dealing with intergalactic policies." Said Thor of the Asgard. He was sitting in his half-egg shell of a hover chair, his large black eyes studying his tall lithe counterpart from across the clear- topped conference table.

Queen Novalis had arrived at the Asgard summit shortly after her adjunct departed for the Tau'ri home world. She had come because more then the granted protection rights were now at stake. Because of the Actions of the Blue Wing the gravity of the situation of the Malakim Empire had become more dire and more exposed to outside forces. Novalis needed both the backing and assurance of the Alliance. But, more than that, she needed the guaranteed presence of the Liege Commander Samantha Carter.

"I can not stress enough the importance that Colonel Samantha Carter has upon our people. We wish to maintain a very peaceful relationship with you and the others of the Alliance." Queen Novalis said as she looked into the black orbs of the Asgard Supreme Commander. "The Malakim Empire is not asking you to capitulate the protection of the Tau'ri home world, only allow us to safeguard the City-State Colorado Springs."

Thor faced the Queen. "Your Majesty, we too hold Samantha Carter in great regard. If it was not for her ' stupid' idea our world would have been lost several years ago to the Replicaters. She saved our planet which we are eternally grateful for." The gaunt little grey being raised one of four exceedingly long digits. "However our guardianship of Earth is none-negotiable. The Tau'ri homeworld is in our protectorate according to the treaty with the Goa'uld system Lords. The fact the Tau'ri home world still exists is evident our protection is adequate."

"For the world it is. For Liege Commander Samantha it is sorely lacking. I am being blunt Supreme Commander for I will not bring to you lengthy and irrelevant platitudes. Neither of our egos needs to be stroked." Came the Queen's crisp voice

The tiny Asgard tilted his large head. "Agreed."

"A contingency guard for the Liege Commander's city-state, her command base, and her kith and kin is what we ask, what we will do. If nothing else, all we ask, is to become guardians over Samantha, her family and SG1."

"You would do this regardless." Thor sighed

The tall silver-winged woman nodded. "We will. Already the warriors, the knights known as the Blue Wing, a Wing assigned to the Liege Commander seeks her out. Samantha Carter has an affect on people; she inspires them to reach greater goals, greater heights. She has an impact upon all those who meet her, this impact has altered the view of the Malakim Empire with the Alliance and the struggle against the System Lords."

Again the tiny Asgard leader found himself agreeing to the winged woman. "She has a unique spirit within her." He said. "A promising intelligence." Thor thought Samantha was an icon among the Tau'ri. Granted, the Asgard favored O'Neill but the tall blonde woman held a special place amongst his people and Thor's own heart.

"If we do comply with the Malakims' wishes, what then?" large black eyes blinked.

"Then we assist the Asgard in protecting their world and Samantha Carter. We will also offer an alternative. Our Empire has been engaging in skirmishes along the badlands, as you know, with the Diabolicals. What happened on Chimera was a catalyst for the Malakim to become further involved with the galactic struggle against the System Lords. As such we have devised a global protection grid that will shield a celestial body as well as act as an early warning device. We will offer such technology to the Tau'ri so that they may protect their solar-system.

"In addition we have several planets within the Gate System that we will allow Tau'ri colonization. This will not hinder the Alliance's treaty with the Diabolicals and they will be under our protection. In fact we will assist in the construction of a Tau'ri Stargate Command Base and training grounds upon one of Hy-Basil's uninhabited forest moons. We will build a Stargate and with the Liege Commander's aid, our own physicists will create a dial up interface with all of the computations of the Gate systems."

The tiny being blinked his rather large black orbs. "Why would you do this?"

"As I said Supreme Commander Thor, Samantha Carter, and her consort Janet Fraiser are exceptionally important to the Malakim Empire. We care for Samantha as if she were the heir apparent to the Empire itself."

Thor was completely taken by surprise. Once more huge black eyes blinked. Any words he had wanted to say died in his throat.

The Queen rose from the floating cup like chair, her silver wings fluttering as if to stretch. The Asgards were smaller then featherlings…and thus their accommodations were not well suited for someone who stood eight inches over seven feet. During the entire time of the conference she had to sit at the edge of the chair to accommodate her massive wings; it had proved most uncomfortable.

"Is she?" The Asgard leader finally managed.

"She is important to the Empire; that is all you need to know." Novalis emphasized. Her wings stretched up and outwards to their full eighteen-foot length before settling against her lanky body.

"This will be discussed further amongst the other Allies. The Tok'ra will be interested as well as to what you have to offer. The Malakims' now direct involvement will tip the scales of power."

"I will send my head of the Alien Relations guild to assist in negotiations. But bear in mind, regardless of your acceptance of our involvement, we will still offer to 'trade' technology with the Tau'ri as they are our allies. And we will still give them rights of colonization in our Imperial space."

"Perhaps we should convene on another date once the Tau'ri and Tok'ra representatives have been made aware of your proposal."

"Logic suggests Supreme Commander that you would do well to persuade your colleges into compliance with the Malakim Empire. Anubis and his following System Lords are regaining power in dire force. If we are to conquer them for all time, this defense treaty must commence."

The Asgard Supreme Commander took in the Queen's words with high regard. He had known Novalis for a long time though their encounters were few. "The Nox and the Furlings will be interested in the Malakim involvement."

"My dignitaries of the Guild of Alien Relations have already been deployed to speak with them. But because the Tau'ri homeworld is in your quadrant of space we thought it prudent to converse with you before we presented our offering to Liege Commander Samantha Carter and her world."

Thor was even more intrigued as to why the Malakim had such great esteem for the brilliant and enigmatic human woman to the point where she was lionized. In fact the angelic race had deified her. Why? Thor was now more then ever determined to discover the reason for this phenomenon in Malakim pragmatic thinking. Perhaps the best course of action would be to speak direct with Colonel Carter and the rest of SG1. Why was Samantha Carter so important to the Empire?

"I will be in contact with you Queen Novalis in regards to the Summit of Allies. None I am sure would be adverse in the presentation of the Defensive-Early-Warning-Grid or the offering of Colonization. After all we have no control over the individual worlds or the alliance they make on an intergalactic scale." Thor remarked almost blandly.

The Queen smiled ruefully. "The list of options in fighting the Diabolicals has grown thin. Bear this in mind when you judge our position to assist the struggle. I was there Thor three thousand years ago when the Diabolicals ruled and raped the Tau'ri world. I was there during the first war of the heavens. I remember. Who will you turn to Thor? The Nox? They are withdrawn and pacifists knowing nothing of war. The Furlings? They are more xenophobic than the Nox; none have seen them in a thousand years. The Ancients? One of their own betrayed all, and now is one of the greatest threats we have faced in an eon." Her wings arched again in a show of dominance and pure confidence. "The Malakim have fought the celestial power of the Diabolicals for ages long past. I have fought them! The Malakim are strangers yes and friends as well to the Allies. We bring forth the demise of the Diabolicals but only as one. We are bound to rise up together to unite and bring them down. This war has been long in wanting."

"Asgard, Tau'ri, Tok'ra, Ancient, and Malakim . . . a most formidable force indeed." Thor admitted. "Perhaps then we will strike a bargain."

"You show wisdom Thor, for one so young." The queen uttered in the softness of a ballad. "May you have the power to wield it."

The reaction to Colonel Carter's presence in the briefing room was immediate and astonishing, at least to the standards of Colonel Paul Davies. In parade unison they rose from the chairs with wings tightly pressed against their bodies and their heads bowed as they all descended to one knee. It was a Warriors' greeting of their superior. Then slowly they all rose but their wings remained pressed in submission. Their faces reflecting the sensation of being star struck.

"Do they always do that?" Davies said, addressing Cassandra who was sitting closer to him.

"Yep, it annoyed her at first, but now she kinda dismisses it as they do so out of respect not fear. At least now they rise before being told, before they remained on their needs until the Colonel told them they could. A compromise."

Paul Davies knew the winged warriors had a special place in their hearts for the enigmatic Samantha Carter, but he had no idea it boarded on reverence. He himself had a difficult time not equating these beings with those he grew up with his Catholicism. And to see them bow down to Samantha Carter was a bit unsettling.

It was Briel who first approached the Liege Commander, her red mane falling about her like tendrils of flame. "I am Adjunct Briel, we met only the once when you restored the Queen to us."

"Yeah I remember." Sam said, flashing a friendly though hesitant smile.

Briel's orange wings flared open for a second in her excitement. To have been remembered by this woman was a feeling of elation. Of all the souls she had encountered, of all the Malakim that crossed her path, the Liege Commander had remembered her! Then, as if recalling who she was, and her position, the young adjunct settled into a modicum of professionalism.

" So someone want to tell me what is going on?" Piercing blue eyes studied the gathering before her.

It was Briel who started to answer all of the young colonel's questions. She would pause at each new question Sam generated. The adjunct carefully explained the missing science vessel was in truth the flagship of the science guild. She even handed Sam something akin to a palm-pilot; the basic statistics for the Samantha Carter were displayed on its small screen. Sam, to say the very least, was more then impressed with what she read.

Basically, there was a crew complement of 30 Wing Officers, 100 Enlisted Crew, and 50 Civilian Guild members.

There were 15 decks on the ship and most of them dedicated to the sciences. The ship had three Astrometric labs, a sickbay as well as three med labs, three engineering labs, a hydroponics bay, and Hololab simulators. It was also equipped with Asgard influenced transportation devices. It could give high-resolution sensor scans up to 17 Light Years, with the Medium Resolution Range being at 33 Light Years.

She also had Naquaada reactor generated mutilphasic-cloaking device and advanced diagnostic capabilities coupled with auto regenerative features.

The Samantha Carter also had mutilphasic shielding and deuterium plating impervious to almost all energy weapons capable of phasing out of normal space. The weaponry had impressive ion cannons and phasers, and Naquaada torpedoes.

A Hyperdrive Slush Naquaada Reactor powered the ship; its fuel consisted of Cold Naquaada, and anti-Hydrogen, fuel replenishment: was Heavy Liquid Naquaada
The sublight engines were powered by Slush Naquaada Reactors. Basically the ship was awesome.

After Sam collected herself from the excitement she spoke, "A very impressive ship. I can almost see why the Blue Wing would want to take it. But you think my coming to Hy-Basil will somehow cause the Blue Wing to turn around and surrender?" Sam looked skeptical. She read over the stats once more and had to admit she wanted to see this ship.

"If it was your voice asking them to be recalled I think it would have a very impacting effect." Briel said. "They hijacked a vessel of the royal fleet which, while not treason, is of course a court martial offence. The Queen is willing to forgo prosecution if you are able to convince them to surrender the vessel. Though we place no blame on you Liege Commander it was your legend that fueled the fire of their mutiny."

Sam remained silent for a while. A tiny portion of her imagination had to laugh despite the gravity of the situation. Her former Wing had stolen a vessel and not just any vessel but the most advanced and sophisticated exploration ship of the Malakim Empire, that just happened to be named for her. And they had done it, it was theorized, to entice her back into servitude. Sam had to give the Blue Wing credit it had indeed intrigued her, she was more then excited to see this ship and what it was capable of.

"Excuse me." Cassie said but can't you just track this vessel, you know follow its Ion trial or some sort of EM pulse?"

It was the teal winged Chief Engineer of the Gwihir who answered. "The Engineering Guild has indeed developed one method for reliably tracking a ship through hyperspace. The Malakim Empire has hyperspace-tracking devices that must be directly installed aboard the ship, which is to be tracked. Although it's range is far too short to directly signal even the most sensitive hyperwave arrays across interstellar distances, it will disrupt the fixed hyperwave communications beams of the holoweb, when the vessel passes very near or through a thread. These interference signals are registered and collated to establish a good estimate of the ship's position and trajectory within about one parsec. However the Empire would be unable to track the Samantha Carter."

"Let me guess the Samantha Carter doesn't have one of these do-hickies?" Jack asked.

"It was not installed, no. Not yet." The young Engineer said shaking her black mane. "At the time it was not considered a critical component." Her red eyes glanced to Briel as if to give an apology. After all Sabire had been the main engineer for the ship and she thought the homing beacon irrelevant.

"So you want us to try and trek the Samantha Carter through the Stargate?" Paul Davies asked. "Beat them to whatever planet they are going to. Is the wormhole of the Stargate faster then a Hyperdrive? How does that work out anyway?"

"Well that is a counterpoint." Sam said as she turned her attention to the table. "See the Stargate network is over 120,000 light years in diameter. Since the Stargates are fixed on planetary surfaces, their alignment must take account of both regular orbital motion and the gradual orbital variations that planets and star systems experience over the millennia. Without precise astrometric calibration, the Stargates will fail. We've seen this before. That is why in the beginning the permutations didn't work because they hadn't been updated. Hyperspace is an aspect of the universe, which is experienced by objects, which move superluminally relative to the galactic background. Objects in hyperspace only move superluminally relative to realspace."

Janet looked at her lover and smiled. 'Oh yeah she is on top of her game! And look at her she knows she's good. You go-girl, I love to watch you when you're like this.'

Sam swallowed and tried to make the none- scientists understand the physics involved with the ships, hyperspace travel and Stargate travel a little more fundamental. Of course, it was a well-known fact that if you asked Colonel Samantha Carter how, you'd better actually want to know how because she would definitely tell you. It was quite apparent that Paul Davies had forgotten that little tidbit of information.

"A starship can exist comfortably above or below lightspeed but cannot pass through lightspeed via ordinary physical means. However, all of ordinary physical existence becomes imprecisely defined below a certain subatomic scale. The leap beyond the lightspeed may be an event, which exploits a kind of quantum-mechanical effect, in order to slip from subluminal to superluminal speed without ever being at intermediate speeds. In one respect the jump to hyperspace is similar to . . ..."

"Carter! It's still early!" O'Neill grumbled, "I am sure we are all extremely fascinated by this, but in a nutshell…please."

Janet saw frustration and a slight phase of anger cross her lover's face. She loathed it when she was asked to explain something and was then cut off mid-explanation. Most of the time it was O'Neill that cut her off because he had lost the thread several steps back. Over the last fourteen years the forever-young CMO had come to learn an elementary understanding of Quantum Physics to the point she enjoyed hearing Samantha talk about it. There were times when even Janet became stymied because a lot of it was above her ken, still she had to admit that seeing her lover work was always a small prideful moment. One such moment was now.

"In a nutshell we could jump to a world with a Stargate on it and yes we may 'beat them there' but, we would first have to know where they are going. And secondly, what if the world they are going to doesn't have a gate? To hunt them down you would have to first hypothesize where they might have gone and if possible jump there or, if not, deploy ships. I imagine this had already been done."

"It has." Briel said as she was still awe-struck by the sheer intelligence of the Liege Commander. Now more then ever she supported her Queen's decision in regarding the wingless Liege.

"So the next question is do you have a ship comparable with the Samantha Carter?" Daniel asked.

"Within three years the medical vessel the Janet Fraiser will be finished." Sabire said with a small hint of a smile on her face. She had met the doctor on the Flagship Gwihir and had since then grown quite fond of the fiery spirited small one. All faces, including Sam's, turned to the surprised physician. "But even our Galaxy Class warships do not have the speed nor the maneuverability of the Samantha Carter."

"So we're talking about an Asgard ship trying to out fly something like Voyager or the Millennium Falcon?" Jack questioned with a raised gray eyebrow.

The Malakim looked dumbfounded and utterly lost by the comparisons. Sam put a hand up and shook her head to the angelics. "Essentially sir."

Looking at the data in the palmpilot for what had to be her seventieth time, Sam lifted her gaze to her wife, then to her eldest daughter, and thought of her youngest. "I'll go, but I have a few conditions before I comply."

"My host has amazing recuperative powers that are hers alone." Xad-Arion commented as she flexed the wings that still would not bear her weight. She had, however, discovered that she could now glide very short distances. It would not be long at all until she was capable of full flight.

"Recuperation is not all the Malakim possess." Selmac-Jacob retorted. "We are fortunate Nirrti had not considered the Virtues instead of breeding her own Hok'tar."

Xad-Arion gave her companion a wiry look. "That is not amusing."

"Maybe not, but we would be in a world of shit if she had." Jacob-Selmac commented.

Purple feathers ruffled then settled calmly against the lean muscular back. "The Malakim have remained untouched for thousands of years." Arion-Xad said confidently, the double Goa'uld voice dropping away to the lyrical voice of the angelic. It was a voice Jacob-Selmac thoroughly enjoyed hearing. "For three thousand years my mother fought many wars against the Goa'uld. In fact she lead the charge: it was she who was responsible for the demise of Ra before he took a new host on the Tau'ri homeworld. She always felt, because she hadn't annihilated him, that she had failed. It was then she started to train me to take the throne."

"And you were to take her place." Jacob-Selmac placed a comforting hand upon the seemingly young woman's shoulder. Chronologically of course Arion (before the Blending) was several hundred years older then Jacob, yet she appeared ten years his daughter Samantha's junior.

"That position no longer belongs to me. In fact there is another chosen for the position." Arion-Xad quirked a smile. "Though I doubt the council would agree to the Chosen."

"Who?" Jacob-Xad whispered knowing by now that the subtle shift of feathers in the wing was an apt way to read the body language of his tall companion.

He could by now tell when she was bored, angry, excited, saddened, ecstatic or content. Her wings only pressed against her body tightly, in what could only be seen as submission, when High Councilor Garshaw was in her presence. Yet, when others like Anise came to her, the wings flared open in both anger and a display of domination.

Right now as the name of the 'Chosen' was on the tip of her mind, the wings, as if having a mind of their own, pressed hard against her lanky body.

"This person. . .this woman…" Jacob knew it could only be female in control as the Malakim were severely matriarchal, " must be extremely important."

Black eyes brightened. "Indeed she is. In fact she has had a large impact upon the Malakim Empire that could not have been foreseen. She had great conviction of character and was a warrior of virtue that is not often found amongst the mortals."

"Wait a minute are you saying this heir is a human?"

"A Tau'ri yes. Someone of your acquaintance."

"Stop beating around the bush, who is it?"

"Liege Commander Samantha Carter."

"Holy Hannah!" Jacob-Selmac's brown eyes widened then flared in the glowing gold of the symbiote "Sam. . .My little girl is the heir to the Malakim Empire!"

"Not exactly.. . .but her position within the Empire is essential. As is the presence of her consort, Liege Healer Janet Fraiser." Arion-Xad answered. "It is difficult to explain."

"Is Samantha aware of her unique position amongst the seat of the Empire." Selmac-Jacob asked with double voice.

"I can not tell you what I do not know. When I was exiled she did not." Purple wings shrugged. "It is irrelevant that she has this information or not, her position with in the Empire is not something that can be altered. In fact the Queen herself had summoned the power of the World Symphony to insure it. It cannot be undone." Black eyes almost narrowed in what could be called a frown.

It was one of those moments in life when you realize just how surreal, real life can become. No logical explanation given in the pure acceptance of what lies before you. A case in point seen years ago, Jacob Carter lay on a stone slab facing a dying portly white haired old woman with a symbiotic parasite in her body. It was pure acceptance of that fact that Selmac was now co- habiting an old general's body.

The fact was the Malakim Empire had placed a great deal of investment into Samantha Carter and Janet Fraiser for saving the life of their Queen? Why? SG1 had not only saved the life of Thor, but rescued Heimdall as well. This fact however had still not placed the Taur'ri upon such a high plane as the Malakim had Sam. Jacob was now more then curious as to the significance of his daughter and the angelics. A Queen did not always allow her subjects to know the motives behind her actions, even if the subject happened to be her daughter. And so it was yet another surreal fact that Arion-Xad didn't know all that Sam was to the Empire. But a father was a father, even if he was blended with a Tok'ra. Jacob-Selmac was concerned.

He had not been told the complete story of Samantha's torture, only that she had been a prisoner of the Goa'uld and Remnant alliance and that Malphas had believed that Samantha was key to his success.

Jacob was once more intrigued by the impact his little girl had on this enigmatic alien race. Both the villainous Remnants and the more enlightened side had declared she was a turning point within the Empire.

He was also a bright man and he knew there was more to the tale then he had been told, a lot more that Arion and Anise left out. The Carters were a stubborn lot and when they had their mind set on something they were not likely to let it go until there was a resolution.

For the last three months he had pressed Arion to tell him more. It got to the point where even Selmac was irritated. The Tok'ra had become protective of Samantha over the last seven years and it knew what its 'brethren' the Goa'uld were capable of. Given it was also the oldest and wisest amongst the Tok'ra it also knew what the Remnants were capable of. Selmac's knowledge alone stirred Jacob in his quest for answers.

Arion was regretful but she had been sworn to secrecy concerning the incident by none other then Samantha. And so, it would only be Samantha's word that would release the information from her. Xad adhered to the agreement however unwillingly. Xad had always admired the Virtues as they were sometimes called. The Malakim put great stake into honor, to break ones honor was to bring tremendous shame. Such dishonor created dissidence within the World Symphony and the Great Song was more then difficult to hear. To be severed from the Great Song was worse then having one's wings cut. No Malakim could survive the severance; no Malakim could suffer the deafness.

Jacob had his own ideas. He knew his little girl had been severely tortured. It was one of the pleasures the Goa'uld held, the torture of their enemies. And Samantha had a lot of Enemies amongst the Goa'uld. There wasn't a System Lord that didn't curse her name and her lineage. To that end Jacob took great pride.

The former general looked to his tall companion as they were walking down one of the crystalline corridors. "Why don't you come with me on this mission?" It was Selmac that was speaking now. "It has been a while since we've worked together. We always made a good team Xad."

The young angelic's face smirked as her hand was placed at Jacob's neck, her thumb gently stroking the warm flesh. "We were more then teammates" Xad responded. "My host is not adverse to reawaking what we had Selmac and given some of the physical responses of your host I could say the same for Jacob." The smirk had developed into an all-encompassing smile. The purple wings flittered in such away that it could only be interpreted as a come hither expression.

Velvet brown eyes lifted as the lanky blonde walked into the office of the infirmary. Janet settled her breath but said nothing as Sam came to sit near her at her desk.

"You're angry." Sam said softly.

"No." A crisp reply sounded, as if Janet had little time to spare for ideal chitchat. "I'm fine." Janet tucked her head down pretending to bury herself in the folders before her.

"Now I know you're mad." Sam placed a hand upon the paper work gaining her lover's attention.

"I am not mad!" Janet said without patience as she shifted the files out from under the long fingers.

"I can feel it" Sam wasn't about to give up.

With an exaggerated sigh, Janet closed the medical files she had been trying to read and pinned her wife with a cool glare. "Okay so I'm mad. Christ Samantha!"

Sam knew she was in trouble for her wife rarely used her proper name.

Janet took another deep breath. "Sam you only took three months down time, you're still recuperating from what you went through on Chimera. Medically you're not ready for active duty. As a matter of fact." She held up the file she was working on. "As CMO I am recommending you be removed…"

Blue eyes flared with inner rage then stilled. "Baby-Mine. Look, I've always supported your opinions, always tried to back you up because I felt you were right. But I am not going back into active duty. This is a diplomatic mission only Janet. I am just going to go to Hy-Basil and send a message on subspace frequencies through the Malakim space to get Blue Wing to return. I won't even leave the palace or our château we have there. And besides you're coming with me, as is the rest of SG1. Nothing is going to go wrong lover, we'll be in the heart of the Malakim Empire. I am not going to be engaging the Goa'uld or the Remnants. All I am doing is making a long distance phone call."

Janet closed her dark eyes. Sam had made a valid point. And besides with tens of thousands of winged warriors that rallied to the hero of Hy-Basil they would be indeed protected and then some. Sam was so sure of the protection they would receive on the Malakim home planet that one of her requests was for Rebecca to accompany them.

Part 4

Return to Stargate Fiction

Return to Main Page