DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
By Elizabeth Carter
A Fool's Hope
Mortals are haunted by the vastness of Eternity. So we ask ourselves will our actions echo across the ages, through the centuries? Will strangers hear our names, wonder who we are, what battles we fought, how fiercely we loved?
To cut the Gordian Knot it was necessary to think outside the box and often use the simplest means to conquer something so difficult. Something that Jack O'Neill excelled at. He would take a very complex and difficult problem and use a simple means to defeat it. Though thinking outside the box was something Samantha Carter only now after fourteen years of exposure to O'Neill's mind did well, it was a tactic that came naturally to the general. Sam was a theoretical astrophysicist, it involved extrapolating from the known to the theoretical, it was just another jump from that to going on a hunch. And both Hammond and O'Neill had said in the past that they would follow Sam's hunches over anyone else's facts any day.
It would seem that the climatic holocaust was a Gordian Knot. And it needed a more simplistic solution outside the box than any other answer to solve it. And it was a hunch that Sam had come up with concerning the emotions of the Ecomancers and Elementalists that had lead to the tragedy that befell the Empire.
Sam thought about her wife's control over her Songs which led her to think of her own abilities and her own training which helped her sort out her own Songs. She wasn't fully aware that she had been unduly influencing others. In fact Sam's training revealed she had unwittingly dominated the minds of others and their will. It frightened the tall scientist. She didn't want to be anything like a Goa'uld or the vestige of Daniel in the dream little Shifu the Harsesis had given to him, revealed to her by Usiel. Sam could not only command others but she mesmerized and even conditioned others to bend to her will. She could present great majesty, entrancement, and even summon others to her side. With her training she learned not to fear her Songs but to use them as a tool to assist her in her duties as a Prime Minister rather than a weapon of control over others.
Sam thought having that control when having to face down the Trust or their henchmen it could prove to be a non-lethal measure in containing one's foes ' Use the Force Luke....These aren't the droids you are looking for......' Of course handling one as difficult as Minister Namcheal would prove beneficial, if only to aid her in heated negotiations between the Empire and Alien dignitaries.
Sam's training didn't simply stop with learning how to control her Songs, but in how to deal with Alien governments. As leader of the Flagship team of SG1 and thus the spokesperson for Earth Sam was accustomed to first contact, but actual negotiations had been given over to the hands of the diplomats. Now Sam was the diplomat. But with Janet's song of Harmony her presence during negotiations for the alliance with Earth would be more than beneficial. How better to temper potential antagonistic situations than with harmony of the hearts?
The negotiations were far from Sam's most present thoughts. The thoughts of her impregnation with Janet's child. They were to have a baby together, but they would need the aid of Malakim Healers.
For countless generations the Malakim race had been able to utilize the process of cross-ovum fertilization to create new offspring. Because the Malakim race tended to be predominantly homosexual they had devised ways to create children without the need of sexual contact with the opposite sex. Granted if two females wanted the chance to have a male child they could utilize the sperm donated by a willing donor or a fertilization bank. Two males wanted a child they would gain the help of a surrogate mother to carry the infant to term. The DNA of the sperm would be combined into one so that the DNA of both males would be present in their child. This is not to say there were not heterosexual couples but they were not the dominant pairings.
It took little time for the Malakim healers to combine the eggs of both Sam and Janet together. Janet herself oversaw the project wanting to know how such a remarkable feat was made possible.
One of the first steps of the procedure was to make sure that the mother carrying the child was receptive, at the right place in her natural cycle. Her womb was ready to accept the implantation. The fertilised egg was also at the point where it was ready to latch on to the wall of the womb. Once it had embedded into the uterus, hormonal signals would be sent, telling Sam's body that she was indeed pregnant. The fertilized egg would grow into an embryo and then into fetus and finally a child.
Sam, escorted by her wife was led into a posh exam room. No exam room wasn't quite right, it looked more like a hotel suite in a Las Vegas Casino. There was a king sized bed with a dark purple coverlet, the floor covered in deep rich orange plush carpeting, the kind you want to curl your toes in. It was strange but the shades chosen didn't clash but off-set each other harmoniously. There was a fireplace with a low temperature fire burning giving off the perfect amount of heat. Juxtaposed between the bed and fireplace French style doors were opened to the massive balcony allowing the soft breeze scented with sweet orange and cherry blossoms, lilac and honeysuckle to waft in occasionally causing the Chantilly lace curtains to flutter. Even from the deep comfort of the inner rooms the soft roar of waterfalls could be heard, a soothing hypnotic sound. The suite was designed to soothe the up-coming mother, if she was relaxed she was more receptive.
Of course it was also designed for the mated couple to enjoy themselves in their lovemaking. Sam lay back upon the massive bed listening to the Hymn of Making. She at the moment didn't know who the virtuoso was but who ever she was had a remarkable voice. The voice would hit certain notes, making Sam's body respond in a most shocking manner. Sam felt herself growing wet, just by listening to the tones of the singer.
'How could a voice singing make you want to come?' the inner scientist argued with the inner romantic. 'It doesn't matter.... but as soon as Janet walks through that door...god I want her!'
By Malakim tradition it was necessary for the 'sire' mother to be present in the lab as the eggs form both donors were blended and engineered to be self fertilized. The necessity came from the past experiences that the sire mother often felt too far removed from the conception and progressive development of the pregnancy. However if the 'sire' mother was present during the conjoining of the two eggs into one fertilized egg, she felt apart of something. Especially if she was the one who under the guidance of the healers initiated the cross-ovum fertilization.
And thus, Janet wasn't present when Sam was feeling her most libidinous. Sexually frustrated, Sam was compelled to take matters into her own hand as it were and relieve the tension. Or continue to feel as if she were going to spontaneously combust.
Anise was mortified her creature was floundering. What the creature showed was synaptic dissonance, connective difficulties and emotional autism, as well as retaining inherited memories from Anise's own DNA. But she also had highly advanced reflexes, heightened reactions and analytical awareness. But still the creature's health was failing; not quite dead but locked so deep in torpor the Tok'ra felt her creation might never awaken.
Anise was well aware that when very injured a Malakim would slip into a deep healing hibernation. It was extremely difficult to slay a Malakim nearly as much as it was an Unas. They both regenerated at an alarming rate and suffered much before they were completely dead. Anise knew the only way to truly kill a Malakim was to pluck out both hearts, not just one, but both.
It was one of the reasons the Tok'ra had chosen the Malakim as a base for her new construct for a host body. The other of course was the enormous power the winged beings wielded. Power over the very earth of what ever planet they were on, power over the elements, to bend the will of others with thought, not having to resort to nishta. To heal with a single touch and will of heart. This was the power Anise coveted and it was so close at her fingertips, but slipping through her grasp. Together with the genetic memory of the Tok'ra and the enhanced mental capacity of Samantha Carter, the Nephalim of a very powerful empire.
Perhaps it was just a fool's hope that the host would actually survive past the first stages of creation.
"Oh aren't you just a magnet for trouble? I mean a queen going conception ceremony when her empire is in collapse, lusting after a married female ....disorderly conduct, actions unbecoming of a knight," Usiel ticked off the offences on his hand as his phantom image trailed Novalis through the corridors of the Gregorian Citadel. They or rather the queen was headed for the Chamber of Creation.
"You forgot excessive assault by slamming your face into a wall," Novalis added.
"Wait I don't recall that," Usiel frowned.
Novalis didn't wait to explain, she grabbed the back of Usiel's head and rammed his face into the bulkhead, had he been alive his nose would have been broken as would his front teeth.
As it happened the apparition merely fell back on to his back side, his black wings splayed out spread eagle. "Yes, well I suppose I walked right into that one," Usiel muttered shaking the proverbial cobwebs from his head.
"For your information, ghost, what I 'am' doing 'is' for the good of my empire," Novalis said, defending herself. Why she needed to do so to something that wasn't truly there, she didn't know. Only perhaps she had to justify it to herself. Again.
"I say, I might have actually gotten a concussion if I had been really here," Usiel went on as if Novalis hadn't said a word. "You think I'll get a knot?" He bent down so that the crown of his head could be seen by even the shortest of Malakim, "Do you see one? A knot. Oh now come on do you see one or not?" He giggled "See a knot or not! .... Oh I made a funny!" He laughed again this time a bit more dryly.
"Bully for you." Novalis grounded out between clenched teeth. She closed off his inane chatter allowing herself to feel the relaxation ebbing from the Hymn of Making. Of course the song had other effects on her libido. There were certain notes reached that made her whole being set a blaze. The need for a lover almost paramount.
"So you're going in there to hold that luscious blonde girl all hot and bothered? Won't her mate have something to say if you try to cop a feel? That delicious specimen of womanhood sitting between your legs.... by the Dark, I'm hard just thinking about it!" Usiel was by now smirking, his encounter with the wall all but a bygone memory. "Oh tantalizing," he shivered mockingly. "All wet and no place to come." He laughed at his own joke which earned him a well deserved scowl from the queen.
Once again Ambassador Debra Granger went to the SGC under presidential order, first to be briefed by Doctor Daniel Jackson, then to meet with the Malakim Minister of Alien Affairs in preparation for the meeting with the Imperial Prime Minister, in an attempt to create a treaty with the Malakim Empire.
"The Nephalim is to the Malakim, what the Dali Lama is to the Tibetan Monks. An offence to her is an offence to the entire Malakim Empire. General Samantha Carter doesn't carry herself any differently than she had, but she is revered in all Malakim eyes," Daniel tried explaining to Ambassador Debra Granger. "And she is treated like ancient Shogun, and her warriors are as Samurai. The Malakim culture is very much like that of the Samurai of Old Japan, Zen-Buddhist / Samurai-Bushido. The Malakim expect her to be treated as such. If she bows you must bow lower. If there is call to be silent in the room, by her command make sure not a sound is made by the delegation, the Malakim are severely strict in observances of etiquette and protocol. Only her word stays their hands."
"Are you telling me General Carter will strike down someone from her own nation?" the portly ambassador asked.
"No! Of course not," Daniel said quickly, "But please try to understand the Malakim are a Feudal-Matriarchal society. Ever see the movie Shogun?"
"Yes I have, and read the book," Debbie said, now gaining a picture of the Malakim people. She had met with the Malakim Minister of Guild of Alien Affairs before but now of course she was speaking with a very powerful trinity, apparently the rules changed.
"You can get the idea then. They place a high value on honor, never question the word of the Queen, the Prime Minister or the Nephalim, Ambassador to do so would be considered an act of war. And they are very upset about what they learned about what Senator Kinsey wanted to do, if we are to ever gain their favor again, we have a lot of ass-kissing to do."
It hadn't surprised Daniel that Kinsey had acted like he did, but to jeopardize Earth for his own-self gain it seemed beyond Daniel's comprehension but then again it was the Kinsey family they were talking about. They were as self-serving and self-centered as they came. Daniel shook himself out of the train of thought his mind was leading him down and got back on the task at hand, and that was briefing the Ambassador on Malakim etiquette.
"If the Queen says it is so, than it is so. The same goes for the Nephalim and the Prime Minister. Ambassador, they feel slighted for the stalled talks and what Senator Kinsey has done, we're climbing a jagged up hill here."
"Filled with hot lava and broken glass no doubt," added the Ambassador meaning to joke but it fizzled flat.
Daniel ignored the jibe, "The Queen and the Prime Minister and even the Nephalim, will have seven warriors with them at all times. The Wings are like the Secret Service and they will both kill and die for those they serve without impunity or question. Do not approach any of the three without permission and do not speak unless they give you leave to."
"So the Prime Minister and the Nephalim are likened to the ancient Shogun's got it. I assume that General Carter doesn't misuse her power?" This last bit sounded almost like a question of interrogation. "It seems she can easily misuse her position now, and to her advantage."
"You mean, has absolute power corrupted her?" Daniel translated. "No, it hasn't. In fact she's like she was when she commanded SG1 for eight years. And she's a diplomat now. She'll accompany the Prime Minister on all negotiations with Earth."
"What of Minister Namcheal of their Guild of Alien Affairs?" the Ambassador asked. "Having met with her, I think we established a rapport."
"She will be present as well, but remember refer to the Prime Minister and the Nephalim first. It's kinda like acknowledging the Vice President before the President, its something you 'don't' do. In fact I'd acknowledge the Nephalim first even before the Queen. Make sure you address General Carter as the Nephalim, and not her retired rank," Daniel explained.
"Why?" Granger once again pushed. "And if I call her anything else?"
"It would be bad, in fact they will see it as a grave insult. Right now Sam...er the Nephalim 'is' the only reason they are even agreeing to meet with us. Kinsey and to a lesser point the stalled talks angered them a bit to the point if it wasn't for the Sam, the Malakim would have turned their wings on us and left.
"Ambassador, the Malakim defeat their enemies using their own planet against them. How can you fight hurricanes, volcano eruptions, massive earth quakes, and deluges, hail the size of baseballs, or even battle against frozen partials in the air cold enough to freeze gasoline. You can't. This is how the Malakim battle most of their battles, save for those in space. You can't fight a planet that turns on its people and that is exactly what the Malakim do. And all they have to do is Sing and it happens. I've personally seen it, and its terrifying. It wasn't wise to make them wait and it isn't wise to piss them off."
"I can understand why they will not meet us if Senator Kinsey is present. But I don't understand why they won't allow you there?"
"Apparently..." Daniel stopped, the memory if Usiel's forced recall made his shudder. The Malakim felt Daniel was still guilty for his vision of his own bout with absolute power and what he had done to Sam and Janet in that dreamworld. Further more Daniel had insulted their beloved Nephalim when he had been high on the Sarcophagus and he had of course thrown Janet into a wall dislocating her shoulder. That small scream would never leave his ears, it was the same utterance of shock and pain Janet was struck with on P3X-666. Her scream always haunted him. "Some of them don't exactly trust me for something that happened along time ago. The Malakim have long memories."
"But we haven't known them for that long..."
"Apparently not if a whole race of people won't even talk to you," the Ambassador insisted.
"It's between myself, Generals Carter and Fraiser. I'm just not very popular with the Malakim."
The dark haired woman understood, if it dealt with Carter and Fraiser of course the Malakim would take their side in any offence however slight. "What of General O'Neill?"
"Well they find him amusing. And they appreciate his abrupt and abrasive truth. Just remember the things I told you and you'll be fine. Pay a lot of respect to the Nephalim and remember it's very important that you call her that." Daniel repeated his earlier warning. "Oh, and as before the Blue Wing are especially protective of General Carter's entire family, they take exception to any would be slander to Sam... they hero-worship her. And Doctor Fraiser had a special place in all of their hearts, and I think Lieutenant Fraiser....Cassandra is well I think she is seeing one of them romantically."
"Obviously they don't have the same fraternization rules as our military," Ambassador Granger said almost blandly.
"Um no, you can date even marry your CO but she expects you to follow orders regardless. Ignoring deep love where ever you find it is discordant, as is favoring their spouse or lover while in ranks is something that isn't done. As you've been briefed, the Malakim have this whole relationship with music.... discord is something they abhor. With a passion, if one can not rid themselves of discord and the dissonance that follows in its wake, drastic measures are incited, from temporary to permanent exile, to having their wings permanently removed, to sending another into what they call the Fading. It's really quite fascinating." Daniel tried to explain.
Debra soaked all the information on. She would try to shove her own thoughts about homosexuality down. She couldn't have her judgments ruin what could be the single most importance alliance since the Tok'ra. The Malakim were a force to reckon with both figuratively and literally. And things were going poorly with the relations to the empire. Not only were they facing a critical crisis, what the administration had entertained for a while in prosecuting Samantha Carter, Janet and Cassandra Fraiser had not settled well with the angelics, add to that the stalled talks and the Malakim were furious. This would not be an easy negotiation.
The Malakim, in her single encounter with them, Ambassador Granger had quickly learned they were a very passionate people. That much passion made them act impetuously at best.
"So is it a fool's hope to pray that they won't hold Kinsey's actions against us?" Granger's face was as expressionless as a shark. Daniel turned away uneasily. His hands were shaking, as he thought what kind of vengeance the angelics were likely to take 'had' the senator been successful.
"As I said we are climbing a very jagged and as you said lava covered hill here." Daniel answered.
"We are very fortunate that the Prime Minister is even allowing a meeting to take place. And they are willing to meet us here. But remember both the Prime Minister and the Queen and I guess to some extent Sam..er The Nephalim trust The Minister of the Guild Alien Affairs. Minister Nachmiel is their Ambassador."
"And they will follow her advice?" Granger was fishing for information she already possess, and Daniel was becoming agitated more and more as the conversation progressed, or rather the conversation spun its tires because they didn't seem to be going anywhere.
"Yes," the archeologist bit back a sarcastic reply 'haven't you been paying attention?' the man rolled his blue eyes. 'Way too much time spent with Jack, I'm channeling him now. Great!' he chided himself. "But the Malakim also look into the past of a people they are going to make a treaty with. They might go back all the way to say Joan of Arc and think her death discordant and compare it to Sam. A female leader...warrior leading her people to victory, a champion and when she had done so much for her people, the leaders call her a traitor and persecute her."
"Joan of Arc was French! And she lived hundred of years ago!"
"Recent history for a race that are quasi-immortal." Daniel said. "And they are not making an alliance with only the United States but our world."
"Our world...." suddenly Granger's voice became very small. It only now dawned on her this was for the planet not the country, at that moment she didn't feel so much up to the task. "So they make a judgment to make a treaty based on your history? How do you know this?"
"The Guild of Alien Affairs asked for historical documents, even textbooks that are available for anyone to read, as well as a database of historical events. They wanted to know the history of Earth's leading countries, General O'Neill ordered me to send the requested documents as a goodwill gesture. The Malakim make judgments on how the powerful nations of a world treat those of lesser or no power at all. Ancient Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and Greece, the United Nations, even the treatment of indigenous people by 'foreign-conquering' governments could very well add weight to their decision. People are creatures of habit, and the Malakim put more emphasis on the past events of a world than the current-in-your-face evidence."
"What we did in the past we will certainly do again," the ambassador concluded. "The past has a way of repeating itself but can we be held accountable for something that happened a thousand years ago? Four thousand years ago?"
"Ambassador, remember four thousand years is nothing to them, Novalis is 300,000 thousand years old!"
"I've seen pictures of her, she doesn't look but somewhere in her mid forties, maybe a very young fifty year old!"
"And without bo-tox?" Daniel smirked. "Our race is very young in comparison. The Malakim wouldn't be the first to think so."
A young race a thought shared by the Nox, the Asgard and the Tollen and a few others along the way. Even the elusive Furlings thought the Tau'ri to be very young and the very young often do not do as they were told. Daniel had a feeling that, that sentiment would come along and bite them in the ass.
The child was bound to have the combined intelligence of her mothers. And though not as perfect blend as Rebecca was right down to the shade of her hair color, the waviness of it, the colors of the eyes. She would even be a height that was precisely between that of her mothers. Rebecca was a perfect blend. A product of love and Nox good-intentions. A surprise. But oh so welcomed.
The new child was a product of deliberate acts of Malakim engineering. And equally as welcomed. The Malakim did nothing more than to manipulate the eggs of two women to generate into a new life.
"Nephalim, we need you to relax. Trust the heart of your wife, look into her eyes and feel her love wash over you," Healer Rakrir said softly. His white wings fanning out not unlike that of a swan or butterfly, the effect accented by the silver mane was hypnotic. His kind blue eyes settling upon the mothers.
Rakrir was the CMO of the Gwaihir but he was also aiding Janet in mastering her skills as a healer and in the Songs that came with it. And although it was not his talent to sing the Song of Conception, Janet had asked he be there for the conception of her and Sam's child.
Yok'sagor High Healer of Grigori Choir had the skill of Songs required to assist in the conception and impregnation process of children. They were Songs passed only to female Malakim, just as giving birth was something only females could do. Male Malakim could do the science part of it, which Rakrir had done, but as for the insurance of viability of cross ovum-fertilization it fell to female healers to Sing.
Yok'sagor knelt before Sam, her voice a soft humming that ascended into lyrical almost lulling notes of sweet softness. Her voice was in the like of the tones of a wooden Asian flute crafted by the throat of a living being.
Novalis herself knelt at Sam's right, ready to take her position marked by Janet's word. She allowed herself to be caught up in Yok'sagor's humming, the sounds of the waterfall and the drifting notes of the Hymn of Making effectively cutting off what ever it was Usiel was blathering about.
Sam and Janet both were garbed in a silken white raiment a vesture of conception dating long back before memory could recall in Malakim tradition. When parents wished to conceive a child the vesture they don prior to the act whether female to male procreation or by invitro it had always been white.
Janet as Sam had been during the birth of Rebecca would be there to bring their new daughter into the world, Janet long decided that she wanted to be a part of the conception of their child as much as she could. Novalis having been asked to take part of the ceremony was now holding Sam as would a Lamaze coach, her strong body lending support to the nervous blonde.
Janet smiled at her wife, her dark eyes reflecting her warmth, her compassion and her deep love. "We're going to have a baby," Janet cooed. "A new daughter to hold and love as we do our other girls," Her voice took on a giddiness to it.
Sam was smiling broadly she was over the moon in love with her other daughters, and a new child brought true hope to her heart, to her state of wonder. "I know baby," Sam was still smiling large. Since the first day of Janet's pregnancy, Sam had wanted to know what it was to hold a child in her womb, to feel her growing and taking form. To feel her kick and wiggle, to finally give birth, Sam had wanted it all.
Yok'sagor and Rakiri both positioned themselves on either side of Janet acting as her assistants and offering their knowledgeable expertise in the Malakim technique of invitro fertilization. Even with human techniques, Janet had never done such a thing. Remotely related the tiny physician knew the procedure for cervical exams and gave Sam her pap smear that was required for yearly physicals, as she had done with all female SGC members.
"Okay Baby, ready?" Janet was now positioned between Sam's legs, beside her on a tray a sterilized speculum to open Sam's cervix, to gain access to her wife's uterus. A small catheter was entered into the cervix, at such a time a syringe holding the embryo would force the embryo into the walls of the uterus, embedding it deeply so that it was secure and sure to grow. It was a technique perfected by the Malakim Healers.
Both Yok'sagor and Rakiri laid their hands upon Sam's abdomen directly over the area of her womb encouraging the embryo to remain healthy, viable and strong. In the Background the notes of the Hymn of Making had changed pitch and merged easily into the Anthem of Life.
Sam felt the stretching and pressure that always came with the use of a speculum after that she felt Janet's tender loving touch that always made her wet, and receptive. Sam arched her back, she couldn't help the moan that came from her throat.
Novalis bit back her own as the Nephalim pressed her lithe body into her own. Her own heat rising within her, her breathing becoming deeper, she winced as she could just hear Usiel mocking her in the distance. Refusing to fall to his baiting, Novalis concentrated her whole being to the effect Sam was creating in her.
Sam's breath hitched slightly as she felt her wife's hand upon her inner thighs. The catheter was gently removed, leaving Sam with the ghost presence of Janet's touch. Sam's blue eyes fluttered open and closed as Janet pressed her lips upon her own.
"I love you," both women said simultaneously
"We're going to have a daughter," Janet said softly. With a grateful look to Novalis for her support, Janet positioned her body so that she was now holding Sam. Her hands laid upon Sam's belly, and summoning up all the warmth in her body all the love, care and need to protect, Janet summoned her healing power, and sent it into Sam and to their growing child.
Janet had embraced her Song.
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