Nephalim's Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Nineteen


Time stands still for no one. This is an accepted truth. To hold eternity in a grain of sand was yet another constant. Novalis had taken the waking nightmare in hand and knew her destiny. She knew the fate she opened herself to. This child of abominable conception would grow into a power undeniable.

"It is like an over ripe fruit, buried beneath it is a new seed we need only wait for the wind to make it to fall to perdition. In all respects the World Symphony will change soon, it is saturated."

The Queen of the Malakim heard herself speak the words, once more feel them for the truth of what they were. "Sweet music is yours now Chimera, understand it, grasp it, let it fill you, consume you. Let it lift you and make you soar."

This was no creature.

This was the dark angel born out of well intentions that would pave the way to the dark and restore balance. What Samantha was for the Light, this—amalgamated entity this… Chimera was for the Dark. And she must live. No she was alive now but she must be more than drawing breath. She had to reach her full potential.

'I uncreated a soul of pure darkness, now I must raise another to the task.' It was a bitter truth to swallow but there was no other recourse left for the Queen. If she did not restore the balance the whole of the Malakite Choir would fly and smote her for the discord, she would Fade. Already the Great Song was reeling with Discord, if she didn't put it to rights there would be more to answer for than just Fading.

'That'sss right.' hissed the voice of the Scourge, 'lest you forget your love, the Nephalim. Now see here the face of the woman you love! Turn her to the Dark, and love her. Mold her to love you, Novalis and she will.'

A moment took the Queen to consider the words of the phantasm that haunted her. She would be rid of the Scourge that plagued her, the shadow of what she might become if things were not brought to balance.

Closing her eyes once more Novalis, a queen of 30,000 years old, though to mortal eyes in all appearances she was but in her mid forties, found herself floating in the dreams of what could be. This Chimera carried the face of the Nephalim, of her Samantha, of the woman never to be hers. A woman, Novalis had fallen deeply in love with.

"You have her face, but not the love for the Healer. Even a part of the Dark, Chimera, you can love me." Novalis stepped loser to the young quasi-Malakim, "it is a shame you are destined to champion the Dark, for I could find myself drawn to love you."

Chimera felt herself pulled up and out of the fog of un-heard music. An unmistakable pull centered around the female with purple wings. At first sight, Chimera felt her body fold, her wings pressing to her body tightly as a – a - featherling to its mother. But that changes with the blinking of an eye as purple feathers touched her own gold tipped wings. A sensation which could only be described as sheer pleasure rippled through her body.

The voice cooing and purring called to Chimera enthralling her with its siren sounds. Music so beautiful it caused pain in her heart to not to hear it. The very 'presence' of this winged one, this Queen of the Wings called to her. Chimera wanted to worship her, love her. Dominate her.

Shrill harpy cries of Wingless One became long forgotten as Chimera willingly allowed her body, her soul, her Song to be lead away by this Queen.

Chimera began to understand.

Kha'antar flicked an ear lazily at the small disturbance beside him. It was far too hot and he was far too comfortable to do anything more than that. Elladan sat basking a few feet away, his breath huffing in the warm air and the great pumaica could also hear the small one, Rebecca talking to Elladan.

"Lower your head, Elladan, please. I want to comb your mane. Not going to hurt you, I promise."

There was a low pitch grumble from the big cat. If it had been anyone else taking liberties with his person then it would have been a definite snarl. But this was the Second Cub and as such, a certain forbearance was necessary.

Kha'antar twitched his ears again, making sure that nothing else was amiss. He could hear the rise and fall of his mistress's voice in the room - the nesting-den - that led off the balcony, twined around with that of her mate's. They were intent on each other, preparing for the birth of the new cub. Two of the Blue Wing were outside the doors, another two in the room immediately above, patrolling the balcony. More would be in pen-umbra, watching and waiting, able to materialize in a moment should there be the merest hint of danger.

Elladan grumbled again, huffing noisily. Kha'antar cracked open an eye to see Second Cub dart around his brother, clapping her hands in excitement. There was something… different about the pumaica's appearance.

The great cat's mane was braided on one side, the ends of each braid carefully secured with brightly colored plastic butterflies. Elladan's forbearance was at an end.

A high pitched squeal brought Kha'antar to his feet in a moment, the two women running from the internal rooms and a flurry of wings as several of the Blue Wing emerged from Pen Umbra to counter the threat.

Elladan stood, Second Cub dangling from his mouth, held securely by the waistband of her jeans. With great dignity the great cat moved forward towards his mistress and gently but firmly deposited the child – now squealing with laughter rather than shock – in her mother's arms. Her mate, her face alight with amusement, moved to remove the offending clips and tease out the braids from the mane, soothing the pumacia's ruffled dignity.

"False alarm everyone," Samantha Carter said, shaking a reproving finger at her daughter before bopping her gently on the end of her nose. "You shouldn't tease Elladan like that, sweety. You know better." She caressed the great cat's muzzle and then moved on to embrace Kha'antar, her own mount.

The great beast cast what could only be a feline smirk to his brother for the cub's frivolity and gratitude that she had not turned her attention upon him. Feeling the touch of his mistress, Kha'antar leaned his massive head into her hand nearly toppling the pregnant woman.

"Sorry, Fuzzy but I'm rapidly running out of room to hold your head like that for much longer." Sam placed a hand over the swollen roundness of her belly. Almost on cue the girl within gave a healthy kick, amiable in nature but like her sire-mother eager and full of energy. "Oohh," Sam winced slightly gaining a chagrined look in the sapphire eyes of the beast that she was not nesting like he and her mate had deemed necessary for the unborn's health. "Looks like Grace wants to make her appearance very soon."

Kha'antar had a half of mind to nudge his mistress back to the inner-den to the nest so she would have a lay-down like any sensible she-cat ready for the birthing. An even more sullen was the look of disapproval he gave to his mistress's mate. Surely the wee-Healer could command that Mistress stay within the nesting-den.

Razeal and Janet were both at Samantha's sides almost instantly as she tried to rise to her feet.

Being nine months pregnant had seriously hampered the former general's mobility, and she wanted nothing more than to give birth to her little girl. A part of the blonde woman had assumed that much of her pregnancy would not be unlike what she shared with Janet when she was pregnant with Rebecca. That was partially true, but it was not the entire story. The encumbrance of the extra weight and the constant off-balance feeling was not something Sam had experienced through the shared bond.

Her wife gave her a weary smile of amazement. "It never gets easier." Janet had once said when Sam first started experiencing the unbalance of her pregnancy now months later, that statement was proving itself true.

"Nephalim," Razeal spoke for the first time since he had entered the bedchambers. His wings shifting alerting a wise eye to his nervousness, "should you not remain in the nesting chambers as you are so eminently due?"

"Razeal, honestly I'm not some frail thing to be banished to bed because I'm nine months pregnant."

The Malakim gave a skeptical look to the Scion of Healing but the tiny woman offered no outward sign that she had altered her stand on the issue of the Nephalim needing to stay off her feet.

"Razeal, mortals differ from Malakim in this regard. Unlike the Malakim humans are not highly prone to high-risk pregnancies. Frankly we are a bit more fertile and our bodies can more readily adapt to being pregnant." Janet knew the reasons why the Blue Wing were so astonished that their Nephalim was still so active so close to giving birth. A Malakim female in her last month was cloistered away in what was called the 'nesting chambers,' for the duration of her pregnancy to insure a healthy delivery of kit and mother.

All Malakim pregnancies were considered high-risk because the angelic beings were simply so long lived that a child was a rare gift. An expecting Malakim mother had a constant wing of midwives at her call should anything rise to endanger her and the unborn. In Samantha Carter's case it was the Blue Wing that took constant vigil, not only from the dangers of the pending war with the Wraith and the battles still fought with the Ori and Diabolicals but because it was a mythic occurrence that the Nephalim was with child. This was no mere mortal heavy with her get, this was the Nephalim. She needed constant guardians. The Blue Wing would not be moved from this, and frankly Janet demanded it.

"I'm fine Razeal," Sam assured her young guardian. "Truly," a smile was flashed, one that Sam realized turned other's legs to jelly. "And my wife is here to ensure I don't do anything foolish like overextending myself. There is no danger to me or my unborn daughter." She ruffed Rebecca's hair. "Of course if Little-bit doesn't stop playing hair-dresser with pumacia the same can't be said for her." Sam snatched her teeth together mimicking Elladan's earlier snatching of the girl's belt as if she were an arrant lion-cub.

"Mama." Rebecca rolled her blue-brown eyes and tried to straighten her unruly mane of auburn curls, but to no avail.

Razeal wasn't so easily put off that his mistress was indeed fine, for indeed he viewed the Nephalim his Mistress, but he would do her bidding. Always. His love for her was almost monkish. She was his Goddess and as such Razeal worshiped her as any dutiful pious disciple would. He would follow her to the ends of the Great Song's creation, do her bidding without question. Devoted to her utterly, Razeal's zeal was as boundless as it could be dangerous.

His submission was not lost on Samantha but she dismissed it for the time being as his customary overprotectiveness and the waves of the Song of Presence. Since her return from the Summit at the Alpha Site and Earth nine months ago Sam had decided that she would not fully react to the wave of sudden "fandom" she had garnished. She had always been down to earth and pragmatic and she would continue to be so. Besides if she didn't give power to the song of Presence she was certain the novelty of her 'fandom" would soon fade and things would go back the Malakim norm. Of course there were those rare occasions when she was wrong.

What Sam truly longed to do and had tried for nine months was to speak with Novalis over the realization of the Song of Presence and what it meant to have "all the power of the Malakim."

However not even the Crimson Wing knew where the Queen had gone off too, the Wisdoms were barely helpful with their cryptic response that the Queen sought to undo the Discord she had wrought by disbanding her Dissidence and open the floodgates to a new Song of the Dark.

The Ministers of the Guilds sought their own answers as to the Queen's incommunicado. Questions Samantha Carter, Nephalim of the Empire had no answer for. And for nine months it had come to Sam to govern in the Queen's stead as dictated by her office as Prime Minister.

Boudicca phased in from the Pen Umbra, "Nephalim!" She bowed low her thick wings spreading over the floor of the bed-chamber. It was so with all of the Grigori they saw Samantha not Novalis as their true Mistress. "She comes, the Queen and bid to seek audience."

"Have her go to the library, I will meet with her there. Has she said where she has been, what kept her?"

"Nay, Nephalim, she speaks not, would you have me interrogate her prior your congress?"

"No, I need to see her." Sam ordered in a voice of her former years of commanding the flagship-team of Stargate Command. "Tell her I'll be there in a moment."

"I heed and obey, Nephalim."

Having heard the words, Razeal turned, "Nephalim, trust her not! She consorts with the Dark. She turns from the ways of her Choir."

"Razeal, I trust the Queen and so should you, she is your potentate."

"I am Grigori!" Razeal proclaimed as if that was enough to explain his loyalty. "No Grigori follows Novalis of the House of Thrones."

Samantha knew this was so as it was with all those of the Choir fashioned in her image. Yet this was something else she needed to bring to Novalis's attention.

Mortal born with all the power of the Malakim.....

"The hour is late and I fly to Grigori seeking audience with the Nephalim." came the first words out of Queen Novalis' voice.

"Why haven't you answered my hails?" Sam said not attempting to keep the disdain and disappointment from her own voice.

"Oh, I am sorry, I was detained. Evil is allowed to endure. Balance is returned to the Great Song and I can again hear the notes of the World Symphony. Worry not Nephalim - Samantha. The Shadows do hold sway over you or me."

Samantha wasn't so easily convinced of this. "Where were you?"

Novalis could not for a moment turn her silver gaze from the beauty of Samantha how alike to Chimera she was, and how dissimilar. Grace and beauty they held together, yet Chimera held primal power and Samantha's was refined strength. No she would not be easily swayed by Shadow, Dark or Novalis herself.

"I went into sabbatical seeking to right my own Discord. Could tell none of this or I would not have been lifted from the Discord. We are bound together, Samantha. Do not think I would forsake you. Tell me, child what troubles your brow and lays a heavy tax on your heart?"

"All the Power of the Malakim. I know now what this means. I can command the entire empire! This isn't something I was prepared for, or wanted. Novalis, this isn't a mere presidency, a throne over a mere country! But I wield a power of others who have power over creation! The Crimson wing set an example on my planet to show what would become of Earth if they again defied me! ME!" Sam was pacing the length of the library.

"Earthquakes in Japan and Greece, Typhoons covering the western coasts of North America, mudslides along the Colorado River, category 5 hurricanes assaulting the Gulf of Mexico Miami and New Orleans are completely submerged and there is no saving those cities. Category five tornados whipping through Europe, floods in the UK, the entire Nile River dried up! And the Amazon Forest took over, did you know that? Like some revenge of the jungle took its wrath out on the cities of Brazil until they were entirely dominated by masses of trees, vines and every manner of plant. Ice spreading over the poles covering Greenland in more ice than has been seen since before the dinosaurs.

"This was all done in my name! My Name Novalis! Seven warriors, only seven did this! Did you know they obliterated three of Jupiter's moons because the Senator tried three times to have me arrested for high Treason against my former country?"

Sam felt the breath release from her lungs, her words came an octave lower. "I ordered the Minister of Defense to send humanitarian and goodwill aid, but she refused. The GAA also refused to help because it would detract from the power of the warning. Do you know how many deaths could have come of this?" Sam swallowed the bile rising in her gorge. "I would not yield, I sent the Grigori to help. Not only to restore that which was destroyed but to stop the chain of events such climatic upheavals could create. Healers by the dozens were sent as well. Thousands were lost, but it could have been worse, much worse."

"You are young Samantha, you have dealt death but it is not yet a great mill wheel in your mind, age preserves it most fully as it grinds away the shell of life. To rise above the pull of the shadow you must first learn stewardship of others whose destiny hangs in the balance. This has always been fate of those who wish to turn base desire toward noble purpose. Anise has seen beyond the cycles to the greater purposes oflife but she chooses to turn the wheel faster to further her greed. You are grist in her mill, Samantha but you are fated to grow again.

"These are parlous times for you Nephalim, the base and deceitful tool of the Diabolical has come to a greater power ever to exist in this age. We must unite our allies if we would see it fall. Samantha, daughter of my House, this new dark is unlike any you have ever encountered, including your Replicator Doppelganger though more alike than you to her."

Sam considered the words spoke by the queen. Dark shadows spread across porcelain features as ideas formed and were half-birthed in speculation. "You've seen it. This 'new dark'. You have the power to stop it why didn't you?"

"Not I, Nephalim, or have you forgotten the Great Song has forsaken me for the Summoning of the Song of Uncreation. I did not merely destroy Anubis! I uncreated him! There is naught of himin existence save the name he took for himself. Because of that I have been shut into Discord, you know it, tell me you feel it."

Samantha's wheat-colored headed nodded but she gave no voice to her assent.

"The Dark had now been balanced, never again can such a Dark be uncreated but it can be confronted and it is in the natural order that falls to the Nephalim to do so. Not me, not the SGC, but you Samantha. You are the power of Light. Mortal born with all the power of the Malakim. She is your mirror image, your Dark balance. She can be stilled but never obliterated. Hold tight what hangs in the balance, daughter of Thrones, and Elysian peace be yours and the Empire's."

"All the Power of the Malakim." Sam's voice cut in. "As I said before, I never truly understood what that meant until recently. But then you did. You knew to rally the Wings, you knew if only to utter my name they would rise and take arms against any you set them on. My home planet."

Silver eyes turned dark. "What happened upon Terra was necessary, Nephalim." Novalis's voice grew cold and sharp. "Pretentious of you don't you think to want asylum, to need it but shy from how it comes to be? I give no quarter to those who rise against the Empire, Samantha. Neither will you. Our very name is enough to quell many skirmishes. As the Minister of Defense has oft told our aviaries no weapon can stop ours. A Wing, a single Wing can bring doom to a planet. This is how the power of the Great Song plays out."

"A small demonstration of power, and it's over."

"We have never been forced into a long standing war. Mere hundreds of lives lost versus thousands upon thousands. Greater still damage to cities, but walls can be rebuilt. If they surrender and treat with the Empire a show of benevolence is bestowed upon their lands and the Empire aids in restoring what we wrought."

"A reminder also." Sam concluded. "You can take, and you can give."

"Is this not what parents do?" Novalis asked gently. "Would you have us wage war as the Diabolicals, the Ori the Aschen or the Wraith? Now your people know what it is to face us. They know they can not win a war of vengeance against us. Seven Malakim, only seven nearly destroyed your planet play attacking key founts. If they had not stopped a chain of events of cataclysmic dimensions would have occurred. Hurricanes lead to mudslides and floods which bring their own death. Earthquakes swallow whole lands and move mountains or cause the very earth to devour its cities, tsunami's cover lands and obliterate all, droughts of mythic proportions brand its destruction into the earth for generations. And so on and so on. No weapon in creation can stop nature from its destructive course once set loose. As we have demonstrated we have shown what the natural world can do if commanded to take back what mortals have raped from them. Our battles are also quick. Within a week we conquer our enemies, make a treat and add to the Empire's growth."

"And if they don't surrender and join the empire they must rebuild on their own."

Novalis simply nodded. This has been the way of the Empire for millennia and it has always been effective. If Samantha was true to herself, building weapons of mass destruction, and deploying them had always been unnerving for her. Yes she had to build them. She even deployed them in the Gulf War as with the Goa'uld, the Ori and even the Aschen. She built weapons that would be set upon the Wraith. To kill was a part of being a warrior. It was accepted.

"Yes." Samantha Carter finally spoke. "It is effective. Nature wages the war, it is better than the death brought on by weapons crafted by mortal hands. Its long term effects can be pandemic but it is nature and can be reverted, exposure to naquada enhanced nuclear weapon is a poison that lasts for generations and generations. I have seen the affects brought on by nuclear weapons both on people and lands. An Earthquake is just as devastating but then it's over, and the time to pick up the pieces of life starts."

"You understand."


"And you understand why Terra had to face such trials."


"As you said you sent the Grigori to aid."

"How could I not?" Sam hissed. "That is my world. They are all my people."

Novalis grew not angry but smiled. "The stewardship of others has begun." She placed a hand upon Sam's wingless shoulder, "You turn into a fine Queen, Samantha. Noble purpose is always on the balance, it is not a walk that many can take. Few reach the other side, fewer still remain with their pure intent intact. See you lose not yours, Nephalim."

Part 20

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