Exiles Gate 14


Exiles Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 15

The Walls Grew Thin

History is irredeemable. This created a question.

 Who was the rightful inheritor of destiny? Drop a stone into a river and given time even after the ripples have faded it would be as if the pebble was no longer there, and yet, the course of the river is forever changed. Forces, similar to this, beyond perception had, carefully orchestrated everything Sam had suffered up to this very point. The question was why?

 Janet could not answer the questions that came to her mind. Her medical knowledge cataloged the hormonal changes in her wife, but she was unable to lift the curse that had descended upon Sam. The Malakim had warned Janet that the drug therapy might render Sam has she was now. However, an emotionally retarded wife was not something the forever-young physician was willing to entertain. Nor was she likely to entertain the idea of a maddened lover. Still, Janet refused to sit by and do nothing. It went against everything she believed in as a doctor. She would heal her Samantha.

Sam had been chosen because her strength of character had matched the criteria to raise a demonic presence. In a warped way it made absolute sense, to raise the foulest of entities, use one of the most pure bodies available. Other than a newborn, a Paladin was the next 'Mortal' of pure being.

Sam was once more lying comfortably on the doctor's lap, though not asleep. She was listening to the soft notes of the angelics as they played their music. At this point, Janet had an inspirational idea. If the music of the Malakim had the power to soothe a soul it also must have the power to make joy. Indeed the angelic music had the power to create fear, as was attested to by the attack upon the Basilica. Right now the angelics were playing upon penny whistles in an almost lively Irish Jig accompanied by miniature Japanese Taiko drums.

Jack was clapping to the beat, as was Teal'c. Both Cassie and Daniel had been pulled from their seats and asked to dance by two of the Malakim. It took a mother's eye to see the interest that both Boudicca and Turelim paid Cassie was far more than platonic. Janet had nearly leapt to her feet demanding the intent of either angelic, however Sam's hand upon her thigh and the soft smile made her stay where she was.

"They won't dishonor her, my heart." It was the first cohesive thing Sam had said in a long time. "Besides Cassandra is an adult now…she'd be mad if we stormed in as mothers demanding the intentions of possible mates."

"Don't remind me." Janet groaned thinking of the twelve year old that had come into her life, then the very, very ill sixteen year old. Now here was a twenty four year old woman dancing with female and male suitors. "Still it could be worse, I mean dating an angel…" Janet paused as she felt something moving against her thigh. The dark haired woman smiled softly to herself as she felt Sam keeping rhythm upon her leg as she watched the stress relieving frolicking going on before her.

It had been a good idea for the small relaxation. It seemed that everyone needed a little R&R. And indeed Sam was becoming more and more responsive to outside stimuli in a more positive light. She still would not stray far from Janet's side, but at the very least she was able to respond to the others without fear. And since the music had started, Sam was actually speaking in normal patterns and not in Zen philosophy. This triggered ideas in Janet's mind.

Turel and Zaira's expressions carried that of children who had been told they were forbidden to play with the kooky neighbor kids across the street. They longed to join the dance, but neither one was willing to leave their post. Frankly Janet was becoming a little irritated by their constant 'mother-henning' as they hovered over her with domineering intent on keeping Janet safe. 'God sometimes you are as bad as Sam was when I first joined SG1. She was always hovering making sure I was safe, to the point where it pissed me off. But hell I loved her for it though.'

Of course now the roles were reversed and Janet was not going to relent her watch over Sam. Even if she wanted too, which she didn't, Janet would be unable to do so. For Sam had attached herself to the smaller woman as surely as Cassandra had to Sam when the child first came to earth.

Janet turned back to her original thoughts; the music, Sam's lucid mind and Turel, there was a connection to all of it. Turel had suffered the same mind / hormonal altering narcotics, now the angelic was emotionally stunted. "Zaira…um Turel, I need to ask a very personal question." Dark doe eyes rested upon the two angelics before her.

"You may ask." Turel said in her normal monotone. "But this does not guarantee I will answer."

"Okay." Janet took a breath and started again. "When you were ill and Zaira tried to help you back to yourself, was music played."

"The same songs sang to calm Liege Commander were the same we sung to my mate." Zaira answered.

"But what about this sort of music?"

The angelics looked up to the heart pounding beats of the smaller Taiko drums and notes of the penny whistles and lively voices of the angelics lost in song. "Our own healers deemed that such stimuli would cause the levels of adrenaline to raise to dangerous levels."

"Okay sure, dancing will raise adrenalin. But the notes of the music and the sheer happiness of the others, that the music invokes other hormonal responses. Seratonin and Melatonin levels rise as well. I think that has something to do with it. We all saw what those bastards did to her, right? They tried to repress her as much as possible, and if she got excitable the drugs kicked in and worked against her. But those drugs are based upon pure adrenalin feed, if her hormonal response was let's say controlled by an equally strong reaction, we might find the key to fully restoring her. Instead of calming her, which so far truly hasn't worked perhaps, it would be best to stimulate endorphins naturally. Granted, in her calmness, she hasn't tired to kill of any of us, but I still don't think trying to keep her calm is right."

"Baby girl what are you saying." Blue eyes searched her lover's porcelain face for a sign of understanding. "I have to be happy?"

"Essentially." Janet nodded. "Right now Sam you are responsive to me, to what is going on around you. Because the music provoked a hormonal release in your bloodstream you are more aware of what is happening to you. Serotonin and Melotonin in the nerve system have given you a moment of lucidity."

"However it was her detachment to reality that had proved valuable in the solving of the puzzles we have encountered." Turel logically pointed out. "We need that insight to further our progression to the' Exile's Gate."

"Look I am not going to risk Sam's mind to insanity just so we can easily cheat our way out of this tomb." Janet seethed. It occurred to her that more and more she had become not only defensive of Sam but blindly protective of her as well. Perhaps when Sam returned to normal the Napoleonic nature of Janet would subside to her normal response. But she felt as if Sam at the moment needed a champion. Both as her wife and her doctor, Janet could fill that need with laughable ease.

"Baby-girl…maybe they have a point if…the psychosis when it comes is able to solve the puzzles of this place, then we are free. And I think you are right too, right now I am more aware of my surrounding and you then I have been in a long time. So much so, as a colonel, I am feeling the need to dress down a certain lieutenant who disobeyed a direct order to return to SCG by this gate we are looking for." The blonde smiled. "I don't want to return to that dark place. Believe me lover it scares the hell out of me, but if it is the only way we can get free then I will do it."

"No." Janet shook her head and started to say more but Sam's long fingers covered her mouth.

What was once dull blue were now electrified cerulean orbs. "Jan…right now because of the raised levels of Serotonin and Melatonin I am lucid. You know the solution now. Once we return to Hy-Basil you can trigger the release again."

"Sam, how can you ask me to do this?"

"Frankly, I don't think we have a choice. The Healers of the Malakim tried drug therapy which we know won't work and we can't keep me at this state without it…not yet. I can already feel myself slipping back. Jan, once back on Hy-Basil…you can help find myself again."

Janet was loath to admit that Sam had a point without the drug therapy she may not be able to remain as lucid as she was now. Sam had brought to light the fact that the choice was taken out of the physician's hands. She also eased the lover's mind in the fact Sam had complete faith in Janet's ability to basically return her to normal. Sam's state of lucidity was due to the fact she was in a good mood.

Actually, Sam's faith was completely blind when it came to Janet and her abilities, to not only restore her to normal, but to cure her. There wasn't a time that Sam could recall that she had ever been let down by Janet's inability to medically make everything better. Despite the fact Sam was falling between the cracks of lucidity and madness, Janet her lover, Fraiser her physician would without a doubt bring her back. It was inconceivable to the tall blonde that Janet would not being her back, just as it had been inconceivable that Sam would have broken her promise and not returned to her wife.

Even though she knew that Sam's condition as it was now would not last, Janet allowed herself a small measure of relief. For a tiny moment it felt as if the old Sam was back. The doctor was more worried then she cared to admit about Sam's condition. Not only had the tall lanky blonde lost fifteen pounds from the forced starvation but she was anemic as well. Sam was also displacing her emotions to the extent that Janet felt a little out of her league in trying to find a treatment for her that would not result in Sam's interment in a psychiatric hospital. Janet knew the heavy toll that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had upon the mind as well as the heart. She had seen enough of PTSD coming out of Desert Storm and more then a few cases with SGC.

Indeed Sam had pulled so far into herself after Jolinar died within her, that Janet feared this same reaction to happen now. Sam had been tortured ruthlessly, experimented upon, traumatized and nearly put up as a sacrifice. To even suggest Janet was worried for Samantha was an understatement. The diminutive doctor couldn't help but wonder if Sam would ever return to her as she once was. The only thing Janet knew without question was the undying love she had for her wife would remain.

 Sam looked to the ever-present guardians, and shifted so she now stood. "Give me some time with Janet."

"We are regretful Liege Commander," Turel knelt before Sam her wings fluttered flat as in complete submission. "I can not comply, the Queen herself has placed us in the protection of Liege Healer."

"I am her wife." Sam said stiffly. "I can see to her safety. And Janet is very capable of taking care of herself."

"I am well aware of her power, which her size belies. Though tiny as a Malakim featherling, Liege Healer is a notable warrior." Turel still argued. Her head was still bowed low in the same subservient posture a Samurai would take with their Shogun.

"Turel there can be no safer place that our ward can be in then in the presence of her lifemate. Come we will comply with the Liege Commander's wishes." Zaira touched gently the sensitive arch of the dark wing of her lover.

Turel sucked in a sigh of air. Always literal she found it disconcerting that she would yield her post, but her mate had a point. Janet the Liege Healer could have no better guardian then her own lifemate.

"I will yield." The proud warrior said albeit reluctantly and then drew away with the other angelic.

"My aren't they protective." Blue eyes darkened. Sam folded her arms across her chest, her gaze never leaving the withdrawing Malakim warriors.

"You're cute when you're jealous." Janet couldn't help but chuckle.

"I am not jealous." Sam quickly denied. "Its just that they are always fluttering about you."

"Ahha." Dark eyes glinted in amusement. "Sammy, the queen assigned them to me. And you don't think I am a little put off by my feathered baby-sitters?" Janet touched Sam's chest laying a warm hand over the beating chest of her lover. "By the way what did they mean featherling?"

"Huh?" Sam blinked drawing her attention back to her lover. "Oh…" the blonde smiled bashfully. "Um…." She swallowed. "Basically a preteen. The Malakim cannot fly until they are about seven earth years. Their wings aren't mature enough. Sorry sweety but you are about the size of a featherling."

"Harrumph!" Janet crossed her arms in front of her chest trying hard to be miffed, but the fact that Sam was in a jovial mood waned the would be annoyance from her. In truth, Janet was only all too pleased to find that Sam was reacting in any way at all, never mind in such a positive way.

"Babe, look how tall they are…most of them stand nearly eight feet tall" Sam soothed; trying to take the sting out of the accidental slight the Malakim had given.

Janet shrugged it off easily. Hell she had been slighted about her height with a more demeaning tone by Jack O'Neill then a Malakim telling her she was the size of one of their seven year olds. She smiled thinking of the teasing Sam gave her from time to time. Sam would call her 'Little Bit' while Janet would retort with 'Blondie.'

"So what do you want to talk to me about?" Janet almost teased, but cut herself short when she saw the intensity in the blue eyes. "Sam, hon what is it?"

"Jan…" Sam stated, stopped then started again. "Give me something to sleep."

"Sam?" Janet narrowed her eyes.

"Something to keep the edge off. I...I can't take the nightmares anymore…please." Sam pleaded, her voice shaking in desperation.

Janet closed her eyes wanting to look away, wanting to look anywhere but Sam's needful eyes. "I can't do that Sam. Hon you are going through withdrawal from the narcotics your captors pumped into you. Sweety I can't give you anything…it will hurt you."

The doctor, in her exam following Sam's bath a day ago, had noticed the dilated pupils and she knew it to be drug related. Giving Samantha anything right now would countermine the healing process. "The adrenalin has spiked to very dangerous levels, not unlike it had during the time you wore the Armbands. Do you remember…the endorphin rushes made you feel so good you and the rest of SG11 became addicted to it?"

Sam nodded slowly. She remembered deep cravings for sweets and protean. She remembered the incredible rush she felt and the irritation as well. She remembered becoming defensive with Janet more then a few times. She also remembered the incredible sex she had with her beloved and the intensity of the orgasm she had felt.

"Yeah." Her voice was clipped.

"Sammy it's like that now. The cause of adrenalin is triggered differently, but the effects are the same. The Calabim designed the toxin that way; you become desperate for the rush. In essence you'd do almost anything to feel it even if it meant antagonizing your captors, so that they would hurt you. Its vile to think someone in the medical field created this." Janet shivered in the thought of a healer becoming so diabolical as to conceive of such a thing. It was like something out of a Hammer film. "Baby I can't give you any kind of meds right now. One, I don't know how they will react to the drugs your body is trying to get rid of. And two…Sam you have to fight the addiction without aid. But lover…I am here. Okay? You don't have to fight this alone and you won't. I am not going to let you go through this alone. I am here, Cassie is here and…you have Becky to go home to." Janet blinked, then smiled, as she recalled something.

"Come with me."

Sam was crestfallen that her wife wouldn't give her the sedative she needed to sleep. The part of her mind that was now rational understood. But she was still pissed off that Janet wouldn't help her out, when she so clearly needed it. Sam quietly complied with her lover. However, once Janet was asleep, Sam decided she would help herself to a sedative…just to take the edge off…

Janet had taken Sam back to their nest of sleeping bags. Both knelt upon the bedding as the doctor reached into her med-pack she took out a purple plush rabbit. "Becky wanted me to give this too you, baby." Janet smiled as she saw blue eyes brimming with unshed tears. "But she also remained me to tell you it was only a loner, like your old dog tags."

Sam took hold of the plush toy and brought it to her nose. She closed her cerulean orbs, as she inhaled the soft sweet scent of her youngest daughter. "Rebecca…" Sam smiled widely. "Baby-girl how is she?"

"Anxious to get her Mama back." Janet stroked the soft blonde locks.

Sam leaned to her lover's touch until her head was upon her lap once more. The stuffed animal clutched close to her chest. "I miss her."

"I know you do." Janet still feathered the wheat colored hair. "That's why you have to fight this need. Sam you can't give into it. You've always been a fighter; don't surrender now honey, not when you've come so far. Baby I know what you want to do, but you can't. I trust you."

"Its so hard…"

"I know love. I know. But you have to fight. It's important. You have to fight this." Janet's eyes became defiant and would no longer hold back the tears. The warm stinging tears fell down against her alabaster cheeks. "You have a family and friends that love you, they will be here for you. I am here for you, baby. I am not giving up on you so you can't give up on you!"

The presence of her wife, and the essence of her daughter upon the toy belayed all thoughts of stealing into the med-kit and taking what Sam thought she needed. Somehow Janet had known what Sam had intended. But instead of accusing her of deception she gave her a life preserver in which to hold on to.

"Sam…honey you have to let me in."

"You're here." Came a soft tone.

"No Sammy that's not what I mean. You're blocking our bond. And I know why. You can't do that and heal. Let me in sweety, I can help you kick this. Let me share the burden."

"You won't like what you see…what you will feel."

"Maybe. But don't do this alone. Let me be your strength in this."

"You are already my strength Janet. How can you not know this?" Sam was now sitting up and looking deep into her beloved wife's dark chocolate orbs. "Do you not know that you are to me? What Martouf and Jolinar shared for over hundreds of years, cannot compare to the love I have for you. Janet I told you once before that the light of the last star will blink out before my love of you fades. Janet…you were the one driving force that kept me going…I had to reach you. I had to…" Sam's own eyes blued with her own tears. "Janet you are the only reason I survived what I did. The only reason."

The smaller woman held her treasured wife tightly to her chest. Her face nuzzling into the nook between Sam's collarbone and neck, simply drawing in the rich scent of her lover. Enjoying three months of golden waves to cascade over her face, as she pressed further into the embrace. "You are my all and my everything Samantha Marie Carter. I love you." She could say no more as her words became caught in a tight throat. But she could Send her love through their bond. Every fiber of her soul pressed into Sam's allowing the tall lanky blonde to feel her heart's truth.

It was at that moment, and only that moment Janet felt they could defeat the trauma Sam had suffered. Before then she had, had so many doubts. Janet knew that Turel had suffered terribly during the curing process. Sam would not suffer such as that. Yes going cold-turkey on the lethal narcotic would have some side effects, namely DDT's. However Janet would be there every step of the way. The doctor would also put to test her theory that Seratonin, Melatonin and endorphins raised naturally would counter act the toxin the Calabim had induced.

It had been a long night and the effects of the day had taken their toll. Sam cuddled up to Janet falling into a deep sleep as her lover spooned her from behind. Normally it was the taller woman who cradled Janet, (purely because of the height difference) but this time the roles were reversed.

In the morning Janet would find herself slumbering quite soundly on a very warm mattress. It would take her a full minute to realize her bed had a heartbeat and python like restraints. Sam was holding Janet tightly to her body as if the smaller woman was a teddy bear. Becky's purple rabbit was tucked neatly between their pressed bodies. The moment was so quiet and so warm that Janet was loath to move. The young doctor was in that very happy place between dream and wakefulness, and she had no desire to wake to a cold cavern. Fortunately Sam was still soundly asleep, so Janet justified the fact she didn't have to get up yet.

It had been a long night. Twice Sam had been thrust with the force of a Naquaada reactor into the realm of nightmares. Twice Janet had pulled her from the dark abyss, humming softly the same lullaby she sung to her daughter. The last Sam would fall into a deep slumber again, holding tight the woman she loved with her entire essence. Janet locked her mind with Sam's they were of one heart. So deeply linked the two women shared the same heartbeat. The Bond flared brightly, blanketing the troubled souls in the comfort of unity.

Still the morning came all too soon. As did the need to begin their journey for the hidden Stargate

The chambers they now passed were as a basilica. Not even Notre Dame could have boasted such splendor as the underearth temple of the Remnants. Here was the Sistine Chapel married to the grandeur of Notre Dame, Westminster Abby, and. Taj Mahal All the chapels upon Earth paled in this site of the Remnant sanctuary. Marble joined to diamond. Crystal to gold. If the Remnants were indeed fallen angelics, and this buried Temple a vision of Hell, then no one not even Dante had correctly described it. Yet, this eerily beautiful place was filled with such malice, such hatred that the beauty waned in its presence. Perhaps this was indeed a version of hell. After all it was a corrupted version of the Grand Aerie on Hy-Basil. Even in the presence of maleficent corruption this domain took the breath away in its unholy beauty.

Here in the center of the cathedral was the great statue a colossal edifice of Usiel. He was lionized, deified in greatness. By his side a smaller statue of Malphas holding aloft the head of Achelous the serpent-god.

Cassandra looked upon the statues and cocked her head to one side. "Ugly." She muttered, then raised her Aries Predator and let loose the entire clip until the heads of both Usiel and Malphas were effectively decapitated from their marble necks. "Better." she shrugged then moved on.

Daniel the forever archeologist would have opened his mouth in protest of such treatment of an artifact, but his voice would not be heard. He knew the sudden burst of vandalization was a reaction to what Cassandra must be feeling. She wanted retribution for the harm Sam had to endure. After all the normally none-volatile man had struck a bound prisoner, Cassie simply beheaded marble statures in her venting of anger.

Janet looked to her lover. Sam held the __expression of a warrior looking for something to happen. It was a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Her paranoia was not going to go away just because last night she had found a moment of peace.

"Sam are you okay Hon?"

The blonde tried to smile but couldn't quite manage the __expression. "I am a little concerned."

Whenever Sam Carter became a 'little concerned' things were not good.

Janet rubbed the long back trying to convey her support and her love. "Sam, we'll get through this. I am not going to allow you to lose yourself." It was a vow. "Babe, …"

"No Jan…it's not that. I have full belief in you Baby-girl. It's something…beyond the tip of my mind. Something I am trying to remember but can't." Sam folded her arms around herself. "Janet that presence I felt before it's still around here."

Dark eyes narrowed in concern and worry. Janet repressed her worry with a masque of professionalism but the __expression was not lost on her wife. Sam knew that __expression well, Janet was more then worried. "Sam honey are you sure its not your experience with the imprisonment?"

"No." The blonde shook her head. "That's just it. But I can feel it and it's close. Jan this isn't Malphas or Achelous. I just feel something…I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the drug, maybe its just fear Janet I don't know." Blue eyes brimmed in unshed tears. Sam's normally steady voice became shaken. "Love all I know is we are in danger. A lot of danger. You have to trust me that it isn't PTSD."

Janet folded when she saw the desperation and the fear in her beloved's eyes. The doctor knew that if she even gave pretence of trust to Sam, her wife would know it for what it was. Janet had to trust Samantha without question. It wasn't a large step; after all she had trusted her before she was lucid. Why would it be difficult to trust her now that Sam was aware?

"What can you tell me?" Janet said softly.

"Only feelings." Sam looked defeated. "Malice. Pure anger and pain…I don't know if its like an empathic imprint left in this place, I only know that its close."

"Following us?"

"Maybe?" Blue eyes dropped to the floor watching black boots as she walked the path.

"Janet…it's…I can't say…I have not the words."

Janet touched Sam's chest directly over her heart. "Sam …I know what you went through. I know…what you felt. God Sam…I am so sorry." Dark eyes glistened in tears. Arion had allowed all of them to feel Sam's torture as if they had suffered it personally. The wife, the doctor could do nothing to alleviate the past wrongs, but she could make the healing bearable. She was not going to give up on her Sam. And not giving up on her meant trying to help Sam face this terror she was speaking of.

"Sam do you think that the presence you're feeling is a Remnant?" The doctor couldn't help but look over to the bound Arion.

"No." Blonde locks shook in the negative. "Its more like the feeling you get…" she stopped then started once more. "Like a little kid a creeping into a dark abandoned house you know you're not supposed to be in. Haunting, and fear.' She sighed heavily. "Like going into a Nazi death-camp…you know what happed there, and you can feel the residual malevolence. It's here Janet that same haunting malice. Death. Jan I can't explain it, I don't know how."

The smaller woman took a hold of her beloved and pulled her to the side. "Sammy you don't have to explain." Pure kindness pooled in the dark chocolate orbs. "You've been through a lot. More then one person should in a dozen lifetimes. Sweety, it's okay, I'm here. And I trust you. Cassandra, the Wing and the others…Daniel, Teal'c and General O'Neill we all trust you. You're fighting a hard battle lover let us fight the enemy. As the CMO I order you to fight this sickness. Let your teammates fight the other."

The tall blonde slowly nodded. She steadied her breath, as she did not yet trust her voice. More and more the fog was returning. Janet had taken the burden from her shoulders once again, as she had always done. "I love you." Sam said suddenly. "You've always been my rock. Always. Janet I am losing…"

Janet pulled her into a tight embrace. "No." Janet steadied herself forcing her quaking emotions down, hating the fact her eyes wept. "You are going to make it through this. You will return to Rebecca. Don't you make me try to explain this to her, that is unacceptable. Sam you fought everything to return to me, now you fight this to return to Becky. Our little girl needs both of her mothers!"

"Rebecca." Sam swallowed. She closed her cerulean eyes, as she thought of her precious child. She was a gift from the Nox. If Nafrayu hadn't intervened there would be no way that both genes of Sam and Janet could have been fused to create the child. Sam thought of the girl's unique eyes shining brightly in wonder. Heaven and earth together, the pupils divided in half horizontally, the lower half the dark chocolate of Janet, the top the sapphire of Sam. Her smile was a perfect blend of both women, though each would say it beloved to the other. Though it was evident she would become more blonde with age, she would always be tiny like Janet. Rebecca was a beautiful child and a great joy to Samantha.

"Rebecca…" Sam whispered. "I made a promise to her."

"Mamma will come back." Janet reminded her. "She's expecting to give you back your dog tags, and she wants Jessie back." Janet slipped her half grin. "Are you going to let her down?"

"No." Sam muttered. "Besides I said I'd play 'Airplane' with her."

"You know I really, really hate that game." Janet admitted.

Sam smiled. "Jan she loves it. Do you really think I'd endanger our daughter?"

"Of course not. But it makes me nervous as hell. She already is a daredevil. God the other day she tried to jump her tricycle on a ramp, playing pilot!"

Samantha smirked thinking that Becky was following in her footsteps; at least she didn't have twin C2 tanks attached to the tricycle "Well she's a little adventurous. Still she's attentive. I had to take the O'Malley's cat to the vet because Becky decided that it was limping and encased the poor thing in a Plaster-of-Paris cast. She wanted to make it feel better, because she was playing doctor. She also did the same thing to little Jimmy O'Malley because he had a scrape on his arm and decided he needed a cast too. I think she is the only kid on the block who plays doctor with your medical books, and that little microscope, trying to find maladies and cures with the real names."

"I remember." Janet stood a little taller in pride that Becky was following in her footsteps. "It's a good thing the O'Malley's have a sense of humor. Or we'd be in a lot of trouble."

"With our combined IQ's in Becky we are already in trouble." Sam commented in dry wit. "There is not telling what she will come up with."

Janet felt her own rush of hope; Sam had said she was slipping back into the fog of uncertainty. But even now Sam was clinging to what she knew was real, her family. A stanza in the song Queen Novalis had repeated stuck out in the doctor's mind.

'So sayeth Life, the world is mine.

You make great tombs of marble and stone

But you cannot entomb love

So sayeth Life the world is mine.'

Janet had started making a hypothesis on the illness that had taken her wife. Sam started to become lucid with raised endorphins. The Malakim had repressed all excitement in a misguided attempt to heal Turel. And though sane she was not whole. Janet would intentionally raise the level of endorphins within Sam's chemistry. The blonde's responsiveness last night and now, told the doctor more than her lab with all of its expensive equipment could. There was another factor Janet considered. Sam responded to Janet's emotions, practically more than her own. So her road to wellness was hinged on Janet's own mental and emotional health. It would be more then difficult to repress all of her doubts, fears and uncertainties but that was what Janet had to do if she wanted her Sam back.

"Do not entomb love." Janet said under her breath understanding the words of the poem.

Sam turned her head, her blue eyes giving the __expression of pure puzzlement. "And I thought I was the one supposed to be speaking in Zen."

Janet took a hold of her lover's arm and squeezed it. She gave her best bedside manner smile. The smile that melted Sam's heart every time she saw it. "Just a thought." The chestnut said. "The Malakim had the key all along and they didn't use it. Endorphins, raised levels of Seratonin and Melatonin…they can't be repressed. I know I'm right. That was what the poem was trying to convey.

"Hey everything okay?" Daniel asked as he softly walked up to the couple. There was concern and worry in his choirboy face.

Both women looked to him, and flashed a small reassuring smile. "We're fine." Janet said her voice was the softness she used to the infirm. "Just taking a moment."

The archeologist nodded. He wasn't aware that Sam was a little more lucid than she had been. He reached out in his brother's touch and stroked the blonde's arm. "We're pulling for you Sam. And we aren't going to let anything hurt you." He swallowed hard as he envisioned his dear friend being tortured as she had been. Yes they all had suffered many times at the hands of the Goa'uld. Sam had especially suffered for she had had the memories of Jolinar as well as her own to live through.

Yes Daniel had been taken and then phenomenally restored to his life. And more times then any of them could count they had felt the touch of the Ribbon Device, Zat Guns, Staff weapons, P90s, memory recallers and someone's fist. But what Sam had endured in the clutches of Calabim somehow seemed worse. She was locked in her own world of terror, guilt and pain. Now she was aware of where she was, but she was still on the outside looking in. Was it any wonder that she was mentally lost?

Daniel tried to smile, tried to be brave for her for she was always brave for him. "We all love you Sam." He recalled the catatonia Sam was in after Jolinar died within her, she was like that now. The only one Sam had truly responded to was good ol' doc Fraiser. No not doc Fraiser. Sam responded to her wife, Janet.

"Thank you Daniel." Sam moved a little from her lover's protective wall to give her dear friend a hug. Having her 'brother' restored to her had been one of the happiest moments in the Colonel's life. He meant so much to her as did Jack O'Neill and Teal'c. They were more then comrades in arms, they were her friends. Not only did they genuinely like each other, they loved each other. Some many people had tried to find the holes in SG1 but they never could. There was no weakness to manipulate. And it was this strength now that pooled around Sam to bring her back from the abyss.

They walked continuously downward as they had the day before, seemingly endless tunnels of stone and mineral deposits. Until at last the trek ended almost abruptly at the foothold of a wooden bridge that spanned the distance of a cavernous abyss far below. The wooden bridge was unfortunately dilapidated and in need of much repair. The sixteen gathered around giving the construct a dubious look.

"Grappling lines." Jack said as he dropped his pack to go for the necessary gear. But Cassie stepped up to him and placed a hand upon his arm. "Sir, I think there might be a better way across."

"Lieutenant unless you can sprout wings…" The General stopped and gave a sheepish look to the ten Malakim warriors. Well nine because Arion was still bound, and the muscle inhibitor made her wings paralyzed. "I see what you mean." He smiled, then nodded his consent. "Go ahead."

Cassandra turned her gray-hazel eyes to her comrades. "We need a lift across. I know it will be a tight flight, but maybe we could glide across." This she asked of Boudicca of whom she had danced with the night prior. Boudicca was essentially Cassandra's age if not a few years old in slandered years. She looked to be about twenty-six or twenty-seven; in truth she was well over hundred and fifty. The two had grown close over the months they'd worked together and Cassie at times wondered if something more could not become of her relationship with the purple haired angelic. She had to admit she had somewhat of a crush on the winged female; almost equally she had feelings for Turelim.

"I will attempt the glide across Cassandra." Boudicca said softly, and then opened her arms to carry the young human across the dilapidated bridge. With a running start, she leapt up into the air spread her wings wide and took to the air. She glided as a paper-airplane across and landed safely on the other side with no danger to show for the attempt.

This was done several more times. Zephon took Jack and Rahabim took the captive Arion. Razeal escorted Daniel and the powerful Turelim who would have preferred to carry Cassandra carried Teal'c. Pumah and Malachi flew carrying the packs of gear. The latter felt a small updraft in his pinfeathers but paid little heed to the sensation, nor did he pay heed to the small microns of dust particles falling somewhere from the ceiling above.

Next would be Janet who of course would be carried by one of her guardians Zaira, as Turel would take Sam.

As Sam was glided across she could discern the same presence as she had felt before. The pain of madness descended. She started to feel less then what she was before. Subverted by some dark force Sam pulled into herself in a desperate attempt to protect herself. She didn't know what tormented her or what sudden purgatory she found herself falling. Samantha knew only that something hounded her something just beyond the perception of her mind.

Turel shifted as she felt a breeze hit her wings.

"Something is wrong," the blue haired angelic announced.

Both females looked to the roof of the cavern.

"Oh my God." Sam uttered.

The ceiling was cracking as if it was made out of very thin ice and an elephant had decided to step upon its surface.

They touched down upon the other side of the bridge just as the roof shuddered and groaned, showering debris upon the bridge and flight path. Had the two women been a second slower the rocks would have pummeled Turel's wings, sending her and her cargo to the shattered remains of the bridge below. With the impact there would have been no way the bridge would have been able to support them. The two would have fallen to their deaths.

That was not the case. Janet and Zaira rushed the two taking their loves into their arms and pulling them deeper into a circle of safety.

"Carter, are you trying to give me a heart attack?" Jack said in his 'I use sarcasm as a defiance because I am a little scared' tone. "You don't always have to be so dramatic."

"No sir." Sam said, as Janet was still holding her.

"The unstable nature of the cavern is not the fault of the Liege Commander." Razeal said defensively. Human sardonic behavior was something he was learning. But none would be allowed to accuse his commander when it was so obvious she was innocent. Even if the cavern's collapse had been her doing there would have been a good reason for it. And he would still jump to her defense against any who might slander her good name.

Jack turned to the young warrior and apologetically offered. "I meant no offence." The general knew that the Malakim held Carter in extreme high esteem. They didn't care who her superiors were, or the chain of command of the human military. What they acknowledged was the supremacy of their Liege Commander and her word. As far as the Malakim were concerned Jack O'Neill had no authority.

"You okay Carter…Teryl?" Jack said, this time the concern in his voice was heard.

"Turel," the blue haired angelic corrected the pronunciation of her name. O'Neill was correct he did not get along with names. After all he still called Zephon, Zippo though not in her hearing.

"Good to hear. Okay Campers lets move out." The gray haired general gestured.

None of the Malakim moved. All ten of them looked to Sam for their command.

Sam nodded her consent. Only then did they start to move. They started to march in the same exacting precision as Jack witnessed on Hy-Basil. The ten warriors were completely synchronized, oddly enough without intending to be so. It was a natural for beings who lived most of their lives in the quest for the Great Song that they would be in perfect harmony with one another. They were a symphony of movement and Sam Carter was their conductor. Right now that concerned O'Neill. With Sam not firing on all rockets and in control of ten very powerful and deadly warriors it was far more then dangerous.

Carter was still trying to cling to her rock of sanity but she was slipping into the thick mist of psychosis once more. Janet could feel the uncertainty and fear rising in Sam's heart. Reaching through the Bond, the brunette encompassed her beloved with her own confidence.

Sam turned electric blue eyes upon her beloved, with a silent thank you. It was this connection that drew Sam back from the brink. More then a life preserver, Janet was a lifeboat.

The companions' march took them once more further downward until at last they would descend stone steps that were broad enough to allow three Panzer tanks to pass abreast. At the end of the steps were twin doors that had to have reached thirty feet high and at least three times that measurement across. Upon the doors was the face of a serpentine figure.

"So what Giant Aliens live beyond those doors?" Jack asked

"Is was the domicile of the Greatest of Wyrms." Razeal said.

"Not Arlys-ouliuse…whatever…that snake-dragon thing that they wanted to feed Carter too?" Jack asked of Daniel.

Janet held onto Sam tightly, expecting the blonde's courage to falter. Others of SG1 looked to both Razeal and to Daniel for answers.

"No." Zephon answered for her counterparts. "She who lived beyond this door is older then the Fiend."

"Right." Cassandra breathed. "Okay, good, no demonic Colonel eating snake things. It's a pulse. So what we ask to see the Great and Powerful Oz?"

"Who is Oz?" Turelim asked of Teal'c.

The massively built Jaffa raised an eyebrow. "A figure O'Neill refers to often. As well as a Taur'ri female named Dorothy."

"Deities?" The huge angelic was very curious.

"It's a movie." Cassie said. "Nevermind." She waved off the next question as to what a movie was. "How do we get in?"

"Knock and the door shall open." Daniel read the inscription beneath the carving of the dragon. He shrugged and knocked.

"Danny, I don't think that was entirely a good idea. I mean we don't know what's on the other side…" O'Neill was cut off as the doors indeed opened.

"Now we will know what is on the other side." This came from of all people Sam as she moved towards the golden doors. "The walls grow thin. 'Ya sure ya'bet'cha'." That said she stepped through the threshold. And was gone.

Part 16

Return to Stargate Fiction

Return to Main Page