DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc., they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended, absolutely none what so ever. Also Malakim words a combination of Tolkien's elvish, Nordic and Celtic (because is sounds so cool) no copyright intended on this either.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is the 3rd book in the Exiles Gate world. I am blatantly defining TPTB; I guess this is falls into an AU now. But I won't accept the death of Janet Fraiser. And the events in 7th-8th seasons are going to be changed significantly. First off JANET IS NOT DEAD, Kinsey is dead during 9/11 to keep with my own fanfic-fannon, but his son is around. And I want to play with the Wraiths in my Malakim world. Dedicated to my very own beloved angelic, of whom I love very much.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Elizabeth Carter
"Tonight we remember those who gave their blood to defend many worlds. We remember their names in song, in deed. The wind will forever utter their Song. Hail the victorious dead!" Samantha Carter Nephalim of the Malakim Empire, Colonel of the United States Airforce and Stargate Command stood upon the dais, a silver grail in her hands as she made a toast in salute to the felled warriors in true Malakim fashion.
All lifted their tankards to the brief words of the Nephalim and drank deep the wine. The sleepless malice of Usiel had been crushed by the power of the Nephalim. She had summoned the power of the Harrowing and indeed became that power. So in terror was Usiel the First Fallen that he cowered before the might of the Nephalim, and he moved not as Novalis cut through his shell of a body and removed his hearts.
The only way to ultimately slay a Malakim was to remove their heart. Beheaded, blown up in explosions and they merely sank into the Fading. But to destroy a Malakim one had to pluck out the twin hearts. Only together had Sam and Novalis felled the Dark One. And only Janet brought Sam back from the Abyss from the Fading and the Sundering. Only this small one's courage could defeat the dark, for no other Song could be made heard in the Nephalim's ears save for that of her beloved wife. Only by Janet's will did Sam pull back from the Dark, and the coldness that had stolen away her heart was warmed again. Only Janet had the strength to take Sam from the Harrowing and make her look again to the light.
The tiny doctor was anything but diminutive in her grace, poise and dignity as she stood to the Nephalim's right. She was hailed to the winged warriors of the Malakim Empire as the Consort and royal in her own regard. She was honored as greatest of Healers within the Empire, for none could compare to the compassion and command that was contained within that very small frame.
Janet was a little taken by pleasant surprise when she felt a soft kiss upon her cheek from her wife. "Have I told you lately how magnificent I find you? Or that I love you?" Sam whispered into her delicate ear.
"Oh I think its been at least....... a couple of hours." Janet turned the slight kiss into one of pure passion. Capturing her wife's angular chin between her hands, Janet pressed her lips to Sam's, her tongue not asking admittance into Sam's mouth but dominating it. Causality there was no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Janet knew this, she knew one's only hope, the only peace was to understand why. And Janet knew why which gave her power. Sam moaned as she felt Janet's tongue slip between her teeth and run across her teeth, and drew her tongue into the heated mouth of her wife.
Even as Sam's hand shifted to cup Janet's breast mindless to where they were, or the fact a full swing celebration was going on around them or that their youngest daughter was seated next to her. Janet however had full power of the situation and pulled away.
"Later." Janet both commanded and promised.
Sam slumped into full pout mode.
Janet only giggled, enjoying the rich power she had over her beloved. She leaned closer but instead of initiating another kiss, Janet rubbed her nose against Sam's in what was known as an 'Eskimo Kiss' "Becca can barely get me to bend with a Carter-pout you think you can, missy?"
"When you think I'm cute, I do." Sam jested.
Janet grinned. "Later. When we don't have to play host, and we don't have little pitchers watching us."
Sam glanced past Janet to see Rebecca talking to a Malakim child she had befriended. They had their heads together snickering as the very young do, oblivious to everything outside what they deem important.
"Okay I got one for you B'Elath. I learned it on earth." Rebecca commented.
"What?" the white haired child asked, her pale yellow wings fluffing in curiosity.
"Say, silk, silk, silk" Rebecca said.
The yellow wings shrugged, "silk, silk, silk"
"What do cows drink?'
"Milk" the girl answered.
"No, they drink water, they give milk!" Rebecca chuckled in a near perfect impression of her mothers. They pushed each other gently as friends do, giggling over the riddle.
Janet smiled, she knew Sam had used that same bit on Jack O'Neill who has answered just like the little girl. Of course it was to test if the General was listening to what Sam was telling him at the moment. Teal'c on the other hand had answered 'water' when O'Neill in turn asked him. It was commonsense wrapped in a bunch of words.
Jack and Sam had gone back and forth about such things, the General betting on whether or not Sam would stay late for work, go on a mission when everyone had down time, and Sam betting him if he could without aid finish a Times crossword puzzle. It seems that Rebecca had picked up her Mama's habit of the game-play.
As previously as they had done after the Battle of Chimaera the Malakim hosted a grand celebration, including the feasts, dancing, fire-leaping, and the taiko drums, the music and songs. It was a celebration, and wake. It was the perfect release. It might be cliched but the Malakim fought hard, battled hard, and thus they played hard and long into the night.
Even as drink and food was relished, the celebration had more of a direction to the Nephalim and the Liege Healer's defeat over the First Fallen. First it was thought none could truly defeat Usiel, for he willingly allowed himself to Fade time and again, and it was difficult to exorcize a dream. He would find a new way into the Corporeal world be it a cult of fanatics worshiping a Great Wyrm, or the resurrection of his old body by infernal means. Prophecy declared that only the Nephalim could be his undoing, and she had been.
Now came the Queen of the Malakim with her Crimson Wing bearing ornamental raiment of war. Novalis was arrayed in shining golden mail, her ruby cuirass was overlaid with gold and set with gems of red and diamond. The giant Balustrade to the Queen's left and Minister of Defense, Kidumiel to her right each held a chest constructed of cedar in their arms, obviously meant to be gifts for Samantha Carter and Janet Fraiser. But what enticed the gathering wasn't the Crimson Wing bearing gifts, or even the dominating presence of the Queen herself, but the twin cerulean maned, white furred, winged lions padding proudly at the heels of Novalis.
From their first glimpse of the magnificent beasts, the party seated at the High Table were in awe. These winged great felines were easily twice if not three times the size of those golden wingless twins to be found on the plans of Africa. Janet recognized the beasts immediately from the Grand Hall at Hy-Basil. There had been a tapestry hanging in the foyer of the audience chamber of Novalis mounted upon one of them as they flew over a destroyed city that was Chimera. A statue of the mount had also been appreciated by the small doctor.
'Does the Queen actually ride on a winged lion?' Janet had asked of Turel.
'When the mood suits me,' the Queen had answered for herself.
To see the creatures in Malakim fine art was one thing, but to actually see them up close was beyond surreal.
"Oh wow!" Rebecca gasped. Quick as a wink the girl ducked under the great table of the hall and dashed for the lions, only to be caught up in her Mama's arms. As soon as Sam heard her little girl she knew what Rebecca would do. The girl had a lust for adrenaline as much as Sam herself and took daring adventures well at least daring for a six year old verging on seven. Sam vaulted over the table as a lioness herself and snatched her baby up into her arms and spun her around so that her own long lean back was facing the monstrous sized beasts.
"Aw Mama!" Rebecca pouted, "I want to see them!"
"You will. But rushing headlong into lions, not exactly a smart thing to do Little Bit." Sam abolished her girl. "And you will only see them if Queen Novalis allows it, they are hers."
"Samantha, I must correct you on one fact, the beasts belong not to myself, but are gifts to you and Janet."
Janet a mere step behind her wife looked to the massive felines now sitting upon their haunches, looking almost statuesque in the like of the stone lions in Trafalgar's square under Nelson's monument, for they were as large. Not believing her ears, Janet demanded clarification.
"What? They're ours?"
"They are to be your mounts. Forgive this for I mean no insult. But you are wingless and bound to the earth." This to a human was merely a fact for a Malakim it was a derogatory slur. It was a blemish for a Malakim to be wingless and grounded for only the Exiled were thus. "It is unseemly for the Nephalim and Liege Healer to be earthbound. They will bear your slight weights so that the wind be yours."
The women were agog. Only the very youngest of the Carter-Fraiser seemed to know what her feet were for. She squirmed out of Sam's arms, landing neatly upon her feet and tried once more to go to the lions only to be caught up again. This time in Janet's embrace.
"Mommy! I want to see our lions! Can I name them? Can I? Can I? Can I? I already know; Aslan and Bagheerha. See bestest names ever!" Rebecca exclaimed. "Oh please! I want to pet them."
Novalis smiled, "I assure you Nephalim, Healer the pumacia are quite safe for your featherling. They have been trained with her in mind as they are very tolerant of excitability of featherlings."
Both mothers wouldn't be moved, the very idea of Rebecca being a snack for a lion or pumacia wasn't a very appealing idea at all. The adventurer in Sam however took a step forward, her arm around her child as they both reached up to the pumacia to Novalis's right. The great beast sniffed at the lanky blonde and it was at this particular moment that Rebecca decided she was not as brave as she had first believed and cowered behind her Mama. Sam on the other hand was enamored with the magnificent feline.
She stepped closer stroking the thick blue mane, her face brightening into a brilliant 'Carter-Cheshire' smile. "He's incredible." Sam cooed. "Rebecca come on sweety he's okay."
Janet herself knelt before the pumacia to the left of the Queen, her hand sinking into the thick white fur. "Wow they are really soft." Janet said. Like a domestic cat, the great feline tilted its head into Janet's hand nearly toppling her slight frame over.
"I think he likes you." Sam chuckled enjoying the view of her wife making a great cat purr. 'Of course with those talented hands, she makes me purr.'
Seeing both her mothers petting the pumacia, Rebecca stepped forward, her hand no longer shaking as she reached to touch Sam' mount and then Janet's ride, her own version of the Carter smile in full display. "I like them Mommy," Rebecca turned to Janet. "Can we ride them?" Just like Sam, Rebecca was a miniature adrenaline junkie. "Please, Mama you take me on the bike all the time and let me ride up front. Can I ride Aslan with you?" She beamed the heart-stopping Fraiser smile knowing that sometimes it worked on her Mama.
"Soon, Honey. Mommy and I have to become used to the idea of riding them and then we have to make sure its safe for you." Sam said.
"Oh I am sure they are safe for kids, Mama or Queen Novalis wouldn't have said its okay for featherlings and I'm a featherling." the girl shrugged.
Of course she was drawn into a deep embrace by her mama. "You little charmer."
"She gets that from you." Janet smirked.
"Oh I don't know, you are a terrible flirt when you want to be." the blonde countered. "But you, Little Bit, won't be flying anytime soon."
"Aw!" Rebecca stomped her foot, "That's so unfair."
"Not even Malakim children fly on their own until they have grown into their wings." Novalis said, her silver eyes shimmering as she looked upon the child in amusement. Kits and featherlings were so eager to fly when they had a life time ahead of them filled with the wind.
Rebecca seemed to take the Queen for her words and dropped the subject. Besides Mama did say after they determined it was safe, she didn't say she couldn't ever ride. So it was all good. Seeing the child relent the Queen turned back her eyes to the woman as they became more and more acquainted with the pumacia. "They do have names that they are accustomed to." the Queen said softly not wanting to hurt the little one's feelings. "They are responsive to them, but I am sure that you may refer to them as Aslan and Bagheerha if you desired, Little Bit."
Rebecca grinned. "So what are their names?"
"This," she patted Sam's mount "Is Kha'antar the other is Elladan. They are twins and well suited for each of their mistresses' needs. Kha'antar has a more aggressive demeanor when in flight with a Wing, in the foresight of a battle. Elladan is more assertively aware of others around him, should his mistresses find herself on a search and rescue mission. Both however are perfectly safe for the smallest of kits to around them. Since before the War of Chimaera, Nephalim, Liege-Healer they were trained to protect those of your family. There is no need to fear they will bring harm to your featherling."
"I take it the pumacia are more or less domesticated," Janet said, "not just wild animals bred in captivity?"
"They have had a connection to the Malakim for thousands of years, much like your own felines and canines you have tamed and brought into your home. The pumacia serve also as palace guardians. And though they can not speak their empathic sendings can be 'heard' if a mind is receptive. Their emotions are often detected in colors in the minds eye, and they have the intelligence of a five year old featherling."
"Dolphins and whales have that kind of intelligence, hell parrots have the intelligence of a three year old." Sam commented. "But how will they adapt to humans versus a Malakim handler?"
"As I said Samantha, Kha'antar and Elladan have been imprinted with your scents, and your presence, so that they have easily adapted themselves to wingless handlers. They are yours. Reach out and touch their minds."
"We're only empathic with each other and Rebecca." Sam murmured.
"The World Symphony will give you the needed skills. Janet has already touched Elladan's mind, Samantha." Novalis uttered softly.
Indeed Elladan was more responsive to Janet's presence, not flinching as she moved to his side as if to mount his back. Sam felt a twinge of jealousy that Janet had summoned the World Symphony without so much as flinching. The blonde was ever reluctant to feel the ebb of the Great Song flow through her, for the last time she had summoned the power she had become the harbinger of doom. That was something Sam wanted to avoid and thus went to great lengths to ensure it would not happen again or that she would be so tempted.
Novalis felt and saw the reluctance to tap into the energy of the Great Song and use the World Symphony in the Nephalim's blue eyes, and it saddened her. This reluctance in the Nephalim could not be allowed to thrive and block her entirely. Perhaps a bit of intervention was called for
"Samantha, I would have word with you in seclusion." Novalis said her arm going for the blonde's to lead her away from the party, the pumacia and her family and out onto the balcony where a bit of privacy but Sam would not be moved.
Sam turned to Rebecca and whispered in the girl's ear. "Becca, go see Cassie for a moment, Mamma and Mommy have to do a bit of Tall-talk."
"Can I bring .......um..I forgot their Malakim names....Aslan and Bagheerha to show Sassy?" the girl said eagerly."
"Sure thing," Janet answered.
They watched a moment as the girl walked between the massive blue maned pumacia to her sister and Boudicca.
Sam brought their attention back to the subject at hand saying: "Whatever it is you wish to say, you will say it in front of my wife, Your Majesty. I keep absolutely nothing from her, nothing, we share everything. Janet is my equal if not my better. I am the Nephalim but through me, she is also, I mean no disrespect but I will not tolerate her being treated any differently." The will in the blue eyes set deep and unquestioning into the matriarch of the Malakim.
Novalis wondered if Samantha knew how much she pulled from the Great Song to dominate those around her, if at all. Having the Presence of Will herself, or rather having had access to it the Queen knew just how easy it was to tap into the essence of the World Symphony and command others. Up until now, Novalis herself and Janet had been immune to domination by the Nephalim. And yet Novalis got the distinct feeling that Samantha was mentally blocking her connection. This troubled the queen greatly.
Looking upon the diminutive form of Janet and back to the lanky athletic form of Samantha, the queen smiled. "Of course, and there can be no offense where none is taken. It is just that Janet be treated with the same reverence afforded you, Nephalim." The Queen's wings shifted, showing her concern for the words yet spoken. She escorted the two further away from the party. Novalis spoke in a tone reserved for their ears alone, for it was not for public consumption. "Why now do you shut the Sound of the World Symphony, Nephalim?"
"Because the needless deaths." Samantha said "We always speak of those that give their lives for their country, for their worlds but this is different, Novalis. They died for me, because of me. They died in my name!"
"You are the Nephalim, Samantha." Novalis commented as if her words were answer enough "We do not yet know of the full purpose of the Nephalim. Needless were none of the deeds you have done in life, Samantha. The worlds are filled with peril. Those that gave their Song to the War did so with gladdened hearts, for they know their Voices would add to the Great Song. We lament for their loss, but not for their passing. The grief is still too near, remember always their touch, their sound. Our quest was fulfilled because of their giving of their Song." Novalis uttered softly, knowing how heavily burdened the golden haired woman's heart was. "Samantha we exist now without the Dark of Usiel and his minions because you felled him to the Abyss."
Sam looked up to the sky and missed the familiar constellation of 'Jan'a'I' renamed from Gemini. "I don't want to touch that kind of power again. I don't like using the Ribbon Devices, and I don't like using the Harrowing."
"So say all of pure hearts when such power comes to them to wield. In loves touch you set it aside and took hold of a greater force. Your wife is the Light for you in Dark places when all other lights go out. She gives you a great gift, it is no wonder you see no other, will take no other even in name. You rose above the height of all your mothers of mortals kine, there is so much left for you to do."
"Unite our people, mortal and Malakim, the Gregorii and the rest of the Choirs." Sam said.
Janet pressed her hand to the small of her wife's back sending through the bond they shared all her strength. Janet knew better than anyone the toll Sam's heart took from touching and using the darker powers she had access to. It was not only emotionally painful for Sam, but the blonde carried the guilt, the discord of her own soul so deeply it actually physically taxed her body. Janet wasn't about to allow Novalis to pressure her Sam into using a mystical power she wasn't prepared to use.
"Yes." Novalis shook her head. "There is a great courage that is needed now Nephalim, when doubts are more abundant than wisdom." the voice of Novalis became almost hushed. "A shadow and a threat have been growing in my mind. Battle that spills blood is terrible indeed, but battle of politics is so much more deadly. It is why the Malakim have sought solitude. We would not join the Alliance as the others would wish. Asgard, Nox, Furling and Ancient asked this of us but we would not go. That song was not ours to sing."
"And now?" Sam asked.
"That is entirely up to you, Nephalim. You wield the Song of the World Symphony now, not I. You not I touch the Great Song and give its utterance to the Choirs." Novalis said in a voice thickly laden with remorse and lament.
"What?" Blue eyes darkened in not understanding the words she had heard.
Janet herself could only stare amazed at the Queen's utterance. She could only wonder what this could mean for Sam. And suddenly her mind flashed to the prospect of Novalis insisting upon a marriage of names, if only to keep a connection to the power she had lost.
"I have paid the price of using the Word of Unmaking, Nephalim." Novalis hung her lavender head, "I am deaf to the World Symphony. I can not wield the Sound of the Great Song, Samantha."
Sam stared wide eyed at this revelation. Somehow she knew it was true, she had felt it, but even still she denied it was so because Sam knew she was not yet sure of her command over the World Symphony.
"I would have Faded if not for you, a fate I did not long to touch." Novalis' voice wavered, her strength would not betray her to her tears, "Worse it is, than to be deaf to the World Symphony. I would not go mad in that Dark abyss. Samantha I willingly used the Song of Unmaking knowing I must pay a heavy toll, but not knowing what that payment was. The Malakim though they do not know it, and can not fully know is that you my 'Beloved Nephalim' are their sole connection to the World Symphony."
Janet bristled at the Queen's familiarity which she felt comfortable to use endearments with someone's wife. The way Novalis said 'Beloved Nephalim' was not in league with Rudyard Kipling's use of 'Best Beloved'. Janet had to grow accustomed to the singular truth that single lonely aliens were drawn to Sam. First it was merely males then the females became involved, even other officers had a thing for Sam. But the blonde's eyes were set upon Janet alone, her heart was given freely into the doctor's safekeeping, and so it was Janet would tolerate the infatuations of others for her wife.
Novalis however, rose the ire within Janet because this woman was yes beautiful, courageous, generous and powerful to top it off she had a bond to Sam just as potent as Janet's own Nox created empathic connection. Because of Novalis, Sam and Janet had become quasi-immortal. And that was a very powerful bonding.
Sam cut a glance to her wife and was slightly amused that her mind decided to invent virtual wings for the tiny woman. She envisioned those dark red wings to flare out in her chagrin over Novalis' easy familiar manner. 'If you don't watch out, Novalis she'll let you have it and won't hold back.' The tall blonde wrapped her arm around her wife's waist in a silent proclamation of just whose 'beloved' she was. 'I have been and always shall be yours, Janet.' Sam thought, 'there can never be anyone else.'
Novalis must have picked up the protective vibes Janet was setting off, for her head tilted as she acknowledged the petite woman. "Gentle Healer, please understand the Great Song now ebbs around your wife, there will be many now who will sense it and view her beloved as surely as you are."
"More so than before, because of this single connection Sam has to the Great Song." Janet surmised. "The connection to the Great Song is protean, changing from one user to the other and nearly impossible to contain but readily disbursed. That's why everyone has a different will over the World Symphony. Some Ecomancers, others Elementalist, Illusionists, and so on. The strongest connection is now Sam."
Novalis seemed reluctant to speak of it, she was after all now tone deaf to the source of harmony of Malakim life. The Great Song wasn't mere religion the Malakim followed, it was the essence of every living thing, everything that existed, everything that contained mitochondria cells contained the World Symphony. It was the Great Song that allowed the Malakim to manipulate the World Symphony and thus everything around them from the granules of earth, to air to plants to a person's body and soul. To be silent as most humans were to it, would be a severely difficult thing for one born knowing its touch. It would be as a new amputee. Placing Novalis' situation in this context, Janet suddenly had more sympathy for the despondent Queen.
The more Janet thought upon the words Novalis had spoken the more she became aware of the Great Song around her. Like General O'Neill and Major Sheppard and several others, Janet had the Ancient gene, and like Sheppard, she did not need it to be activated, as Sam had.
Xenobiology expert Dr. Carson Beckett had created a retro-virus that introduced and activated the rare gene in others of Stargate project so they might interface with the Ancient technology. The gene had been dormant in Sam but with Beckett's technique, Orlan and Nafraou's tampering Sam became very aware of the World Symphony. Janet could feel the thrumming of the music in the World Symphony, surrounding her wife, and knew that the Queen was right, others would be drawn to Sam as they once had to Novalis.
A part of the physician grew concerned that once more Novalis would suggest the marriage. Yes it would be in name only and not consummated but the Empire would see it as the only marriage the Nephalim had that was of any importance. The marriage to Janet, their daughters and any children to come would be secondary if acknowledged at all. And that was discord Janet was unwilling to allow to exist. She would not be placed on a shelf because of the popularity of a celebrity wedding.
Once again, Novalis proved to acknowledge Janet's discontent. "I know of the disfavor in which the proposal of marriage was received." Novalis stated. "And the child as well."
"I won't do that to my marriage, to my wife or kids. Novalis, I do care about you, and have come to cherish our friendship but I will never betray Janet. Ever." Sam said in a voice that carried the lyrical tones Novalis once held when her will was issued to dominate all others.
"I will not ask that of you." The queen smiled, now knowing that Sam was becoming more comfortable with her power, as long she didn't use the World Symphony for militant purposes, or in any form of malice. "Instead, I will welcome you into my House. There is an ancient custom of the Malakim, that allows for a House to adopt another into it."
Both humans looked to the Queen with intrigue and curiosity. Both mildly amused for they were a little too old be fostered into a new home. Still politically it was the most sound path.
"I have no heir Samantha, save you. I adopt you, Janet and your children into my House, and we create a perfect unification. A union not only for our worlds, the Empire and the world of your mortals but also the choirs. The Grigori will be legitimately recognized as a true eighth choir and put to rest any civil dissidence, in the wake of the War. There will be jealousy in the other Choirs for the Grigori is the Nephalim's own choir, but if you are adopted into my House, that will be a minimal concern. The House of Thrones, welcomes you both. So what say you, will the House of Carter-Fraiser unite with my own?"
Both the wingless women shared a look. This third option to the dilemma of unification solved several political issues before them. The alliance with Earth, the Grigori, and the Malakim Throne to the Nephalim. The Malakim were in short one of the most powerful allies Earth had, the adoption into the House would solidify that union.
"The honor would be ours." It was Janet that answered for herself and her family.
"Yes it would, be a great honor to be adopted into your house Novalis." Sam echoed her wife.
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