Nephalim's Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Thirteen

Faded Songs

"The World Symphony has changed. You can feel it in the water. You can feel it in the earth. You can smell it in the air. Much that once was, is now lost. The Shattering is at the brink – breaking upon the shores of the aeries as typhoons of calamity.

"The Scion of Balance fell into Discord sent there by her love of the Nephalim of the Ancients. The great force of the cataclysm came not from mortals against the winged but from one of their own. She who summoned the force of the Unmaking, brought there by the power of the Sundering.

"I hear that same damn song every where I go!" Usiel growled between clenched teeth, just before he let out a hysterical laugh. "The Sundering brings forth the Shattering. The Harrowing brought forth the Sundering....boo-bloody-hoo! All those bleeding heart Ecomancers, pathetic Elementalists, can't keep back the tides of the Shattering of worlds, what good are they? Hum? Useless moulting freaks."

"There has been a shift," Novalis said, feeling the need to defend Samantha and the beplagued Ecomancers and Elementalists

"Ah yes 'that' baby," Usiel rolled his black eyes. "The Scion of Balance: the Nephalim is in discord sent there by her own mate the Nephalim of the Ancients, a healer who didn't want to embrace the Song of Healing. Now they go breed thinking it's going to fix everything. The stress of it all ripples throughout the World Symphony because Samantha ...not you is directly linked the Great Song. So all that Discord rippled through the World Symphony until everyone fell to the plague. You didn't happen to tell the Nephalim how to close her deep self from the Great Song, did you? You know until she learns to control her Song of Presence and Domination this avarice will spread through the collective notes of the World Symphony again and again. It's a plague, I tell you."

The image of the First of the Fallen, smirked, "Then again, I, myself will never tire of the dirges, the lamentations of the dying. The screams of fear, pain and the lost Faded Songs. Can you imaging being sent to the Fading because of some volcano, some aspect of a storm, never truly dead, but locked in the Pen Umbra until your Song is re-sung back to the Corporeal realm? So many angry voices lifted up in a dark choirs, is it any wonder the World Symphony has changed its pitch, its tempo?"

A fair question.

How ever much she wanted to deny it, Novalis was forced to agree with the Scourge. With all the shocking forces of Songs Fading from Malakim and Mortals, the reproductions were phenomenal, as evident in the apocalyptic climate changes. On a darker side of humor the Scourge was a part of Novalis herself, taking the form of Usiel.

How in discord with your own Song did you have to be for aspects of yourself to speak to you in the familiar forms of others or the form of a hated and vile enemy? True, Novalis regularly spoke to the Faded form of her mother, via the corporeal tether of the painting but then again that was not her own Song speaking back to her, it was indeed the essence of Gabrielle first of the House of Thrones to take the crown.

But Novalis wondered just how lost she was now? Since the summoning of the Song of Unmaking she had been floating in the ethereal of her own Song. Talking to parts of herself that had taken new forms was only apart of her Dissonance. Being cut off from the Great Song was another. But such were the wages of the use of the forbidden Song of Unmaking.

'Why in the Dark couldn't I have simply been burdened with the vision of a singing featherling? A phantom child's insatiable curiosity is far better than Usiel's constant blathering!'

Chimera's cerulean eyes measured the wingless creature before her, studying her like a cat studies a canary. 'What....?' Chimera thought to herself, wondering what her place in the world was. What she was.

"What are you?" Anise asked the question lodged in the creature's mind as if she had read it there. "You are a test construct, a clone of amalgamated donors. You exist because I made you. I gave you the mind and thoughts you have."

'Construct? A thing?' Chimera tried to wrap her mind around the words she had heard. She knew these words, their definition but still they had little meaning to her. She looked to the talking wingless creature, that the other creatures called Anise, allowed eye-contact. Her blue gaze burned Anise, seared right through her not unlike acid burning a hole through steel.

'Am I real?'

That question wingless creature didn't answer. Maybe she didn't interpret thoughts after all. "I have to run more tests, you are flawed, I must know why."

The chimera didn't like the answer she was given, if it was an answer. Right now there was little she could do about anything, the lethargy was settling in once more making her weary, weak… oh so tired. She closed her sapphire eyes unable to open them again for some time.

The Song in her mind, in her heart was so distant the chimera was unsure she heard it at all, yet something in her told her, that she should. More than that she should be able to touch it. And yet it was forever beyond her grasp.

'Songs.....' She thought to her creator, hoping that perhaps the wingless one would understand. 'I can not touch the Song...... I can not hear its notes...need to hear the Song.' but even if Anise the wingless could not hear thoughts, Chimera didn't know if she understood enough about the Song enough to even ask for it. Just what was this Song she felt she needed to hear?

The touch, the notes of the World Symphony was all important to the existence of the Malakim, in fact to all life everywhere. It was only that the Malakim had evolved to hear the notes sung by the Great Song. When cut off from it, when the notes of its opus had changed the World Symphony was thrust into chaos. So too were her listeners. All creation paid for the shifting change in aria of the World Symphony.

The tornado swept along the ridge of the village in the crest of the Incarnaian mountains near the summit of Kalevala the capital of Grigori. It had a strange gliding motion as if it were a leaf blowing along. They all moved like that seven in total, almost the way a snake moves, that same sort of sinister, question motion.

One quested right into the village square. The churning funnel ripped the aeries to pieces, sucking the structures up thousands of feet then dropping the remains like confetti that blew away in the angry random guests of wind that surrounded the central funnel.

Janet astride the great Elladan, Sam upon the bold Kha'antar, the Blue Wing at their six, streamed into the lee of the storm, racing down the valleys of the Incarna .Ahead of the flight path they witnessed a most astonishing thing. Spread out before their eyes was a vast storm, its blackness spreading from horizon to horizon all over Kanchairyu the city of the GSGC wings, lights were gleaming as if it were midnight, but the sun should still be up, the streets flooded with morning light.

In the far distance the Nephalim saw the pale iridescent streaks of hailstones. But closer that was the incredible sight, the unbelievable terrible and awesome sight. The funnel was not a funnel, but a thick black piston of a thing that towered easily a thousand feet into the sky. It was surrounded by so much dust that the actual structure of the tornado was visible. Surrounding it like satellites were tiny objects, twisting and whirling, bright against the darkness.

Janet saw sculptures, aircars, roofs, trees, and bodies mortal, Malakim alike, even that of a dragon, all flailing legs, wings and arms all sailing upward with majestic grace, then plummeting hundreds of feet down back towards the stricken city.

Over the roars of the pumacia, she thought she could hear the screaming of people. She commanded Elladan to descend lower and she heard screaming alright. No concern for herself, the healer within took over the woman – commanded her actions; the storm, which now was so close the ground was shaking.

"Hold on!" Janet cried out, "we're here to help!"

Huddled in the remains of what was once a blacksmith's shop huddled seven petrified Malakim children, they couldn't have been much older than Rebecca. But where their parents were, was anyone's guess.

"His wings are broken," a small dark haired girl with golden wings wept, fear so dominant within her she dare not move.

From her vantage point Sam could see the structure would not hold long. "Boudicca! Razeal! See to Janet! Protect her even if it costs you your own life!" P3X-666 flashed in the Nephalim's mind, she couldn't exorcize the thoughts of seeing Janet dead again.

"We heed, we obey!" came the answer of the warriors. Wings and energized personal shields would for a time protect the persistent healer.

Carter would expend all the lives of the Blue Wing even her own to make it so. Her hand went over her still flat stomach, her own life she would forfeit if it meant she would save Janet and her girls, if she wasn't carrying Janet's child. "Make a defense! Cassie get those kids out of here. Pumah the Pen Umbra is it safe?"

"No Liege," came an answering shout, "it is the same there, as it is here, worse perhaps."

The Nephalim nodded her understanding. "Turelim," Sam addressed the twin of the deceased Turel who died so that Janet might live. "Take me there."

"Nephalim, I can not comply it is far too dangerous..." the great thick male shook his light blue mane. "My oath is to protect you, and the unborn. I can not endanger you or her."

"You will do so!" Sam forced her Song of Domination upon her subordinate. "You are a strong in the ways of piercing the gauntlet of the Umbra, I need your skills. If we get across, I hope to calm this storm, if only for a moment. I will not lose my wife as she saves others. Heed my words." she turned from him knowing her will was now his, she need only glance at his twenty-foot green wings to know she would be obeyed. The massive appendages were pressed tightly to the giant's body., "Rahabim, you're with me, I need your Song."

"It is yours!" the white haired Ecomancer said.

Janet watched as the funnel moved towards the guild houses, chewing them to pieces, it made a continuous series of dull thuds, like some sort of automatic artillery piece pounding away in the distance. Then the buildings completely disappeared in a black mass punctuated by millions of white scrolls. The tornado briefly looked like a ticker tape parade arranged by Usiel, himself. Then it passed, and the building reappeared. It was a skeleton, clean trinium with a ragged bit of something dangling here and there. To Janet it was like looking at the government building from the Oklahoma bombing. She could see through it, as if it were just a still frame, waiting for its walls, its windows, all the signs of life.

Fear lanced through the physician's veins, her mind wheeling as the funnel back to P3X-666. The place she had died. The place Sam had first shown the signs of becoming the warrior Nephalim. Her song first explored in the Gateroom, where she commanded all that Janet would be saved. That she would live. Now here again in this village, patients cried out in their anguished pain, cried out for her to save them. They would not be denied. Kuwait, Bosnia the SGC, P3X-666 Janet had healed, saved lives who were teetering on the brink of death while all hell broke free and cried havoc on the living.

Her on-going training had instilled Janet in the use of her Song. She needed to summon energy from World Symphony, bilaterally take it from nature and convert it. Nature was abound in energy albeit destructive but not malicious. The storm, it had been said if one can harness the power of the storms you could power the world for months. Janet tapped into that essence now.

The tiny woman could feel the power coursing through her, as surely as the funnels had ripped through the village. Her soul filled with golden power, encompassing her completely like the steepest plunge of a roller coaster, the cascade of climax the power overcame her. Her eyes closed she titled her head back a slight gasp escaped her perfect lips, like molten gold the Song of Healing poured out her hands, into the broken body of the feathering.

Harnessed raging storms contained more energy than Janet was prepared to control, the Song did not stop merely at the boy, but worked through the other seven Malakim children, and on to the strewn broken bodies of the villagers beyond.

"Mom!" Cassie bellowed over the storm, over her own fear of being swept up in the gales of the tornados. She moved to take her mother's tiny form into her embrace, her comfort was that Elladan, Boudicca and Razeal were there to protect them.

"See to my wife." Janet managed though exhausted lips, "Boudicca, protect Sam."

"I cannot leave your side, Liege Healer even if I wanted it," the bold woman replied.

"Mama did her mind-wammy thing on them," Cassandra explained. "Until Sam thinks you're safe they can't leave your side."

Janet leaned on her eldest daughter for a moment before turning her attention to the featherlings, their pain, their injuries gone only the terror remained. A new healing began, again tapping into the destructive power of the storms, Janet called upon the Song of Comfort and Compassion. Her confidence, her tenderness became a blanket of courage to the children. Each rose and huddled near their healer, their savior.

"We need to get them out of here," Janet said to Boudicca.

But it was not the young commander who would answer rather it was the voice of a young male. "I am the father of the lad you saved. I am Tav'im. You saved me, Liege Healer. I was Faded, now made whole because of your heart." His purple hair and feathers soaked through from the torrential downpour he was utterly bedraggled. "You saved us all." He used his arm and wing to gesture to the whole of the village.

From the smoke of collapsed buildings, debris and wasted landscape, dozens of villagers, mortal and Malakim alike arose like Bela Lugosi from the grave, disheveled and wind tossed but alive. Some much more than that, as they had received fatal wounds that ordinarily would have sent them into torpor. The only way to bring true death to a Malakim was to remove both hearts.

Janet could see the blood splattered tunic of a female who had obviously been impaled. The Malakim had indeed lost a heart, but she could still function on just the one, but her wounds were too severe she had slipped into torpor and would have remained there, locked as her Song Faded. Janet had, with her enhanced essence, altered that verdict.

She had reversed death! Not by pedestrian means of equipment and drugs, but by the sheer force of her Song. Even the mortals had been pulled from the arrest of Sergeant Death. Even the dragon's shattered body the tornado had so careless flung aside was given life anew. His battered old wings fresh and remade as if he were a juvenile once more rather than the ancient he was.

Janet was astonished. How could she...SHE resurrect the dead? "I don't believe it," she uttered to herself, though Cassie, Boudicca and Razeal had all heard. "How is it possible?"

"You changed the song of the storm's destruction to healing," Razeal said reasonably. "It is a powerful wind. Its breath once destroyed but now heals."

With all the fantastic events played out before her, this actually made a bit of sense to Janet. Doctors sometimes use airborne antihistamines, antibiotics to heal those who were taken down by an airborne virus. Communal contact had "healed" those inflicted with the unnatural sight to see insectoid creatures from a different plan of existence, so why not a tornado tamed and used to heal the village it had just decimated.

With the power to call the winds an Elementalist could command the elements, the very weather to do their will. Razeal was a powerful Elementalist who had been charged to keep Janet safe. He had willed the tornado to wither away into a breeze, his Song and Janet's combined had saved dozens if not hundreds of villagers.

"We will see to the featherlings, Nephalim of the Ancients," Tav'im implored, his excitement evident in his fanning of his plum colored wings. "Thank you. Please...please there are so many others that need you that must hear your Song of Healing." Then impulsively he gathered her small form into his arms and all but crushed the life out of her with an over exuberant bear-hug of thanksgiving.

He quickly let go upon seeing the ignited sun-swords of the Blue Wing knights. His wings closed tightly against his body in submission. "My pardon, Liege Healer, but you gave back to me my family! You will forever be remembered for this day."

Janet laughed, her dark brown eyes twinkling. This was why she became a doctor. This was why she had gone into combat zones so that she might save the life of another. She enjoyed healing others, helping others, and the smiles afterwards. She didn't need the praise, but she loved the warmth of the thank you's of those who would now have a second chance.

"You're more than welcome, Tav'im," Janet said, her voice soft and gentling.

Even as Tav'im had his small family back, Janet was worried for her own. Sam and their unborn daughter had gone into the dangers of the Pen Umbra to cease the power of the storms' fury.

"Razeal, Boudicca take me to my wife." This was no soft voice, this was an order not to be denied.

Elladan grunted his disapproval of his mistress's command. His white coat was soggy his wings saturated. Fanning them out he shook his great lion's body. He had to look twice to ensure his lady was on his back, he was never certain for she weighed so little, her very tiny body little more than a kit's. Still he would protect her as if she were his own cub, even when she was terribly unfair and made him sail the soaking freezing winds. By the Mother's great whiskers he hated the frozen rain.

Katsau-Kogoro had been destroyed by the volcano Koytotakata, now tornadoes raped the lands. The village of Kanchairyu, the Incarna Valley which gave its name to the Academy had been torn asunder by the angry winds. Even so the devastation was less than anticipated given the events of the last months.

The Elementalists had regained a foothold on their Songs, the Ecomancers pushing back the blights that sought to consume the world. Since the conception of the child of the Nephalim, a new hope was growing. That hope manifested itself into the Songs of countless Wings.

Elementalists can produce meteorological effects in seconds. Their psionic abilities allow them to telekinetically move masses of air and moisture. Telekinetic manipulation of atoms and molecules could also heat and electrically charge these masses. Elementalists application of psionic forces is different than those of other Malakim and requires a specialized understanding of how weather works.

Not all Malakim can create a thunderstorm or still one. Though they have strong psionic abilities, they wouldn't know what they needed to apply their powers to. Elementalists, and Ecomancers understanding of the weather seems to be instinctive. It was their telekinetic probing of meteorological forces has given them this understanding, another aspect is that the information was hard-wired into their genes.

Turelim, was not an Ecomancer nor an Elementalist, his Song was altering the outcome of probability on the quantum level. In essence he manipulated paradox. The universe is random. Small particle of matter vibrate randomly. Randomness is particularly apparent in quantum physics.

Of all Songs, Sam understood this the most. One of her heroes would have had this gift, had he been Malakim. Erwin Schrödinger irritated the hell out Albert Einstein with his theories of quantum physics. His cat-in-the-box theory for example. In the quantum world, the cat in the box would exists in a mixed state, neither alive nor dead waiting the determination of its fate when the body is opened. Schrödinger's implication here and paradox was that as soon as the observer looks at them the electrons decide where they are. In other words, observation affects outcome.

Turelim affected events by looking at them on a quantum level and telling all those electrons to decide exactly where they want to be. For Paradoxists the point of quantum mechanics is that all matter is in a fluctuating state of probability until it is pinned down with observation. The Paradoxists influence that flux of chance and extend it beyond the quantum level all the way up to our size. If the odds are a hundred to one that an enemy will trip over his own boots at a crucial moment, the Paradoxists tips the odds so that the enemy definitely loses the footwear "bet." They directly perceived those subatomic structures and the differences.

The ability to see on the quantum level with some heightened electromagnetic sensibility, to just nudge a particle here or there via telekinesis, so much the better for affecting the outcome of events. This was also the reason all Paradoxists were able to pierce the Veil between the worlds so easily or when others could not. They simply shaped probabilities at the quantum level to their will by their perceptions. What they perceived to be true, became true.

Turelim's Song also aided those around him as he perceived their Songs would be successful, he changed the odds in the favour of his Wing, his Nephalim. Had his twin sister Turel possessed this ability she might have lived during the battle on the Imperial ship the Samantha Carter. It was not to be. Osiris had killed Turel in her attempt to murder Janet, and Osiris in turn was executed by Usiel for breaking the code of parlay.

Being close as he was to the Nephalim, Turelim's own Song was enhanced, and like the perfect cycle he in turn was able to more successful fuel the others of his Wing.

The Pen Umbra was brooding, uneasy and agitated. In her mind Sam couldn't help but make comparisons to Chimaera, the planet that had been home to the Exiles' Stargate even if it had been long abandoned. Eerily, just as it had on that distant planet, fog rolled in from the phantom coast. It came like a living creature made of damp and shadow, slipping and sliding along, bringing with it magic and danger into a place where ethereal traffic boomed and celestial life thrived in a near forever rush hour.

Chimaera had been quivering with the creeping mists, the umbra of Grigori was pulsating with it. What the white fog could not disguise in its death shroud was the gigantic black columns of the tornados that stretched between the heavens and the earth of the Umbra realm.

Something above the train-rumble lion's roar of the tornados echo pierced Sam's ears, it touched her soul, crippling it. The lament of the Faded, it was a realm of the lost. Death had a surprising tendency to blindside you. The horror of Fading was little different. Only death gave you everlasting peace when it came for you. You were dead, end of story as far as Sam was concerned, minus Sarcophagi, Nox, very determined wives or Ascended interventions. The Fading... now that was purgatory. Not yet fully dead, not alive but trapped to live an ethereal life in a void of the shadow of the world.

"I can't imagine being sent to the Fading because of some volcano, some aspect of a storm, never truly dead, but locked in the Pen Umbra until your Song is re-sung back to the Corporal realm. So many angry voices lifted up in a dark choirs, is it any wonder the World Symphony had changed its pitch, its tempo." Sam spoke to herself.

"Nephalim?" Turelim questioned his liege.

"My wife ...Janet must never hear this," Sam commanded. If Janet were to ever hear this wailing lament she would be lost to it. The Healer's heart would shatter. The visions, Janet had had whilst in the sweat lodge during the Ceremony of Belonging proved Sam's concern.

Cries went unanswered, their hurt uncomforted, their pain unhealed. Too much pain, too much hurt. All screaming crying out for her to heal them, to save them. And Janet would be helpless. She couldn't reach them. They spun away like brown leaves from the seat of a whirled merry-go-round, drifting into darkness.

Sometimes it isn't life that dies.

Janet's Song was said to be greater even than that of the Nephalim, because Sam carried the song of a Warrior. Janet's battle was with a greater foe. That of the unknown, the unseen. Her battle often was with time, for rarely was it Janet's ally. Janet is a healer....beyond all healers. That is the power of her Song. Healing and Compassion are her Great Songs. Her every essence dominates the Nephalim otherwise Carter would not have turned away from the Harrowing, the making of the Sundering.

'Seek ye well your path, Liege Healer. Guard ye well the edges of Life for lo there shall be those to seek to purloin it from those you cherish most. One will fall to death and you must allow it so; for even your compassion will decimate the greater whole. One will fall and can not pass into death, for their demise will decimate the greater whole.'

Janet had told Sam of the chilling vision of Turel, her hand reached out and touched the small woman's shoulder, as she spoke to her. "You are Balanced in your Harmony. The World Symphony is rife with Discord. There are wounds you will not be able to heal, beware Liege Healer of the Malakim of the plague of averse that infects like a disease. You pulled the Nephalim from the Abyss, and turned her power of the Harrowing benign, you resolved the turmoil the First Fallen created. You may be required to do something similar."

"Turelim, go back to the corporal world, I know my wife, don't let her pass. Stop them." Sam pressed her will on to the Malakim knight until the will became his own.

"She will want you protected," Malachi said in earnest. "I will resist any word that sends me from your side, Nephalim."

"So say we all," this came from the fiery haired Zephon.

"Then make sure my unborn daughter is safe," Sam said not including herself in the order, but she would be. Her prime concern was to her beloved wife, and her three daughters, Cassandra, Rebecca and the youngest she herself carried.

Sam raised her head filled with confidence and power. But down inside her, down around the trinium shielding that banked her heart, she was hiding. It wasn't fear she was hiding. Fear was only camouflage. Behind her fear hid the dragon.

The dread of losing Janet once gain filled her, consumed her. She remembered all too well the feeling held only days ago that Janet had lost her love for Sam. The fear she had lost her world when Janet had mounted on the back of Elladan to heal those taken by the storm. She would not lose that again. The frozen dream had taken a physical form.


It had manifested into a plague of avarice that sounded off the walls of the hearts of the Ecomancers, the Elementalists until their Songs turned against the world they lived. And so on forth to each world of the Empire. Here now in the pen umbra the shadow world of Grigori, Sam's ears rang with the discord, the Dissonance of the Faded. The lost Songs.

"Nephalim, do not let them take you!" Rahabim cried out a warning. "The Songs of the Faded, seek Corporeal life, do not let them in, block yourself. You are the Nephalim you...." the angelic seemed embarrassed to finish.

"I'm a super conductor, like the Stargate. What I feel, I pass on, what affects me affects all."

"More so here than any other place, Nephalim," Zephon answered. "This is the pen umbra, what you take with you all Malakim everywhere will touch."

The Songs of Lament threatened to overwhelm the forever young woman. The blonde gave a thought to her wife's death on P3X-666, the grave despair that had taken Sam. The desperation she had felt after the sacrifice of Jolinar. Her heart centered around the terror she felt when she had thought Cassie shot down by Zipcana.

Like oil in water, Sam saw the riptides of the umbra shift reflecting her heart's turmoil. 'Oh my god....' she couldn't let her heart feel discord, she had to shut her ears from the desperate cries of the suffering. She had to be detached, removed, but how could she turn from the suffering?

An instinctive recoil from the wails of the Faded felt like being punched, like zat blasts exploding inside her mind that left her heart, her head ringing and the world spinning around her— even to her own ears, the voices became deeper, darker, resonating from the depths of her soul, her Song.

The Pen Umbra coiled, swirling in thick mists, fogs that consumed everything until Sam was positive she was quite alone. Too silent, she couldn't even hear her own breath, feel her heart. They had warned her, hadn't they? But she was lost to the laments, the discord.

Then they screamed.

The wails so loud, so piercing, Sam was positive she had gone death.

'Janet....' her voice wanted to scream a warning, a need.

Her hands instantly went to shield the child growing within her. Up from the depths of her ferocious need to protect her beloved, her children came desire so far transcending the desperation that it sounded cold as interstellar space.

"I hear your Songs and they will pass through me!" Inside her head, was a hot vibrant fire that smoked from the depths of her fierce want to protect her wife, her family. ""You can not have her! You will not touch my wife! I will protect her!" Sam's need to protect turned to brilliant burning flames. A golden bar flashed before her eyes. It shocked Sam to see that her own hand was attached to the golden pulsating bar of energy ...a blade. Her blade, the sun sword the Malakim had given her was now ignited.

"Nephalim?" The voice belonged to Turelim. Sam turned to him her eyes shocked at the sight of him, as if she had no idea from whence he came, or why he was standing next to her. The question in her eyes reflected well for the great winged warrior answered. "Do you know where you are? Nephalim.... do you know who I am?"

Sam shook her head dumbly. She was still trying to comprehend when she had ignited her sword, only that she had a desperate need to protect her family, her wife.

Worry spread from Turelim to the others of the Blue Wing, Zephon, Rahabim, found their gaze reflected back in the eyes of Pumah and Malachi. Uncertainly passed through their hearts, had the Nephalim been aware of something they had not? She was closest to the Great Song, did she hear something behind the wailing laments of the Faded?

"Nephalim where are you!" Malachi demanded.

"Sam?" The new voice called the attention of the blonde. Not the desperate calls of the Blue Wing, not the sound of Kha'antar's roars could shake her from the strangling laments of the Faded. "Samantha!"

"Janet?" Sam pushed passed her warriors. "Janet, you can't be here! The wounded, ...the..Faded they will hurt you....take your compassion, your healing...I must protect you!"

"Samantha," Janet voice dominated Carter. "You will come back to me, now." A soft gentle touch pulled Sam from the fog of lamentation. The same gentle hand took the hilt of the energy sword from her hand and shut down the power cell. Janet returned the weapon to the utility belt around her wife's waist. "Our babies need you. Sam come back to me I need you."

The touch, the voice it was all it took, just as it had when Samantha summoned the Harrowing. "Samantha," the word became a cooing purr. The touch softer than the voice itself, "Sammy-bear." Blue eyes fell into brown orbs. "Sam, I'm a doctor, I hear the cries of the wounded all the time. Right now I hear your pain. Come with me so I can heal you."

"I have to protect you, our babies." Sam said simply as if stating a pure fact of science.

"You have," Janet's said keeping her voice low, soothing---comforting. "You protected me."

As it had for the months following Sam's torture at the hands of the Morpheus, the blonde became locked onto a single emotion. This time it wasn't fear, pain but the desperate need to protect. Only Janet could break through the shields around Sam's heart. Only her voice could filter into the blonde's mind and penetrate the despair, the pain the deep desire to protect.

"You can't protect me or our babies where you are now," Janet said, "I need you now."
Whatever the intention Sam had coming into the umbra was now lost, her life line was a pair of doe-brown eyes. A tiny body. The Nephalim was dominated. "Samantha."

Sam nodded, "Okay." It was the same weak voice she had used in the cave where Janet requested the ribbon device the blonde had used when she turned on SG-1 and General O'Neill. She had thought them demonic creatures sent to hurt Janet and Cassandra. Sam's frenzy to protect rippled in her heart as fire. She lashed out blindly believing in her heart that Janet was in great danger. She had nearly killed her friends because of the delusions.

Janet knew why that deep need remained it all came back to P3X-666. The planet where she had died. The place where all around her, others had given up hope, a place where they would have left her body because of the heavy firefight.

Sam had not.

Sam wouldn't allow it.

Against orders, against her own self preservation Sam had taken the dead body of Janet back to the SGC. Proclaimed gone by Doctor Warner, Sam had defied nature and brought Janet back from death. Suffering a stroke and her own near-death: Sam had brought Janet back to the realm of the living.

Janet's greatest fear was what if Sam was unable to save her from dying, unable to protect her. There would be no voice to pull Samantha back, no touch to gentle the fire. For now however, Janet was able to temper the flames, the furnace was made impotent.

"Samantha, I love you. I need you."

Even the storms in the Pen Umbra seemed to still as the fire in the blonde's chest had cooled. Even the Malakim became aware of hold the Nephalim of the Ancients had over their savior. How her single soft voice was asylum for the Nephalim. Her healing touch was almost enough to heal the rift in the ethereal realms of the umbra, even the Faded seemed to still their cries when they heard the compassion, the gentle healing touch of one tiny woman. A healer beyond all healers.

And for a moment everything was set right. The storm in the umbra stilled.

Sam turned her head towards the fog for a moment before trailing after Janet as the lost puppy, the healer sometimes made her into. And for that small moment the blonde believed she had seen a paled blue-gray skinned humanoid, with shocking red hair, and the teeth of a piranha.

'Figments of the Songs of the Faded.' her mind reasoned. Hadn't the Blue Wing warned her of such things? Seeing things that were both shadow and substance, both real and imagined. 'A nightmare....my Janet is safe. My babies are safe, that thing isn't real.'

Something told her to wake. She ignored it. Once she woke, the dreams would all come real. Once she woke she would exist, and there had been peace, in nonexistence. She was sorry that it might be over.

Something told her to wake. She resisted. Slowly, she registered a dim sensation. Something outside herself. Something happening to her self. No not taken, how could something be taken, if she had not already possessed it?

In spite of the cold, in spite of the brightness, she opened her eyes. She could see everything happening all around her, see it perfectly. But she could understand none of it. Something was gone. Yes missing, taken even if she had not possessed it. Somewhere in the void of none existence she had touched it, been apart of it. Why not now?

Her eyes opened wide, she saw a creature, twin voices....it hovered over her, its small eyes staring down at her. Its mouth moved, but she had no ears to hear it. She didn't want to. She wanted to hear the music the notes far off in the distance. Songs she could not grasp now. Songs she had once been apart of. The creature had taken it from her. She knew this. And her anger rose, boiling, bold, concurring, consuming. It was a new song. A band of strife playing in her ears. She closed her eyes once more and slept.

Anise stared at her creation, not even the healing device worked on her creation. Some deep genetic flaw rose and made the host body near unviable. The Tok'ra scientist was near to scrapping this construct to start over once more.

Maybe Xad ....or rather Arian was correct in her assessment, the creature she now called Chimera could not hold its form. Watching it slowly die gave Anise information on the irregularities in its matrix. Perhaps an autopsy was now in order, but Anise felt that if the thing died she would allow it to do so naturally so she could see just where she had gone wrong.

It was possible that a symbiote could cure it. That was the next possible step. Of course there was the possibility of securing a sarcophagus or perhaps there was something in one of the hidden laboratories Nirrti had strewn all over the galaxy. Anise knew about several of them. Once was relatively close however it lay in the expanse that was the Malakim Empire. A place Tok'ra were weary of. The Malakim warriors did not discern well the difference between the Tok'ra and the Goa'uld. Anise knew the winged creatures would more likely attack and ask questions latter.
It was a risk the scientist was willing to take for the moment. Her creature needed something they had, it had mumbled two words before it lapsed in to unconscienceness.

" Faded Song."

Anise needed the Malakim's aid, she wasn't likely to gain it from Arian but there were others...others like that fellow....Usiel. Yes if she could find one such as Usiel to assist her, the creature would live and so to would the ambitions of the Tok'ra.

Part 14

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