DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
By Elizabeth Carter
In her waking dreams Samantha Carter felt herself slip into the music beyond sound. Translucent colours surrounded her in glittering pools of silver melodies. Through chamber after chamber, hall after hall, between pillar after pillar of pure symphonic sounds she soared, not on the back of Kha'antar but with wings that were not her own.
This was the center of the Great Song. It was here Sam came to face the purity of the World Symphony and here it was she understood what it was to face one's destiny. Was this what Daniel felt when he ascended? Was this the disembodied light of ascension?
Sam gave herself up to it and floated into serenity and comprehension of the true notes of the Great Song and here it was she knew the secret lyrics that only a very few other lives other souls could come to know. Here was understanding without guilt and remorse. It was simple knowledge and nothing less and nothing greater.
'I have in me all the Songs of the World Symphony. I hear the music beyond music. I hear the Great Song within me, a part of me. I am the Great Song made flesh. I am the NEPHALIM!'
"I understand." Samantha said into the face of the creation of all music. "And I accept."
Fear had fallen on Janet when she saw her wife spiral down to her knees from being overwrought by the reality of her power over the Malakim. That fear hadn't lifted until Sam opened her blue eyes and was heard to say she understood and accepted.
Janet took Sam's hand into her own and first to feel the pulse beating beneath the skin then to give comfort not only to her wife but to herself as well. "Sam? What is it?"
Instead of giving an answer straight off, Sam rose from the bed and padded stocking-footed around the infirmary floor. Her shoes had previously taken off and waited for her use by a small wardrobe near her bed she didn't put them on but instead she reached Janet's side.
"You brought him back didn't you?"
There was a nod.
"I knew you would." Sam smiled softly. "You always have done the nobler thing when medicine comes to play. You're an incredible woman Janet. Your heart .your oath, it has always kept me in awe. What you do, the care you give and the fight you put up when you face opposition just so you can heal those in need of your care. Even Apophis after all he had done to us, and his plan to obliterate Earth you tried to heal him because of your oath, your vow to heal those who need you." She reached and touched Janet's soft face. "You've always been the Scion of Healing, Janet. It was only now that you've been awakened to it."
Janet smiled in her soft way as she always did when she found to her relief those she loved were restored and well on their way to full health. "It took my Wing to create a storm so I could revive Mackay. All of its energy was needed to restore him." Janet screwed up her face in an expression of curiosity. "It seems so strange to use the destructive power of a tropical storm to revive someone from the dead." Janet related to her wife how foreboding the mangled body of the scientist first appeared to be beyond all hope of being healed. Had the small doctor seen such a body on the battle field she would have given it no hope of recovery.
"Sam..." Janet started but hesitated as if she didn't know how best to approach the topic. "About what happened in the main atrium of the Gateroom you fell and became faint. I know how you are honey but the stress could be damaging to our daughter. You have such reverence for guilt, and I know this will eat you up, but you have to remember you didn't deliberately want him dead, and yes it was an accident but your guilt could become very unhealthy."
"No this guilt is healthy guilt." Sam wanted to clarify. "It means I still have a human heart. I haven't lost myself to the power I have. Ever since 'she' said that to me, about having such potential in me, such power but I don't use it I've been terrified that I would become just like her."
"By her, can I guess you're talking about Repli-Carter?"
"She is me."
"No she is, but I am NOT her." The blonde smiled. "And as long as I can 'feel' I won't ever be her. I have the power of the World Symphony coursing through me. I hear the Great Song's strongest note and I know it is a part of being the Nephalim. Before I had thought I had accepted it, but until just now I didn't truly appreciate what it all meant. I felt immense guilt, I felt the Discord generated by McKay's death. And it shook me. I think it was supposed to.
"This is what it feels like to be a Malakim. No wonder the Malakite seek to still the cacophony of its sound It hurts. It physically hurts more than that it's an ache so deep I only felt it twice before like that I mean yes I grieved when we thought we lost Daniel or when Selmac went into a coma before you brought her out of it. But I have never felt so distraught until PX3-666 and then when Rebecca was dying because she was premature only then." Sam took Janet into her arms and held her tightly, "Have I felt such discord.
"No it wasn't because McKay was dead, it easy because apart of me rejoiced he died, that I loathed him so deeply that I made my Wing kill for me. And it shook me it wasn't a just death, it wasn't a death in battle and his death brought such jarring notes into the World Symphony. It hurt me and I felt guilt for the cause, guilt for the wanting him dead and the small part of me that was glad he was so." Sam took her wife solidly into an embrace. "So yes I'm happy I can feel such reverence for such guilt. I am me. I haven't become lost in the power I wield."
Janet relaxed in hearing the words of her wife more for her concern for their unborn child than Sam's since of guilt and remorse. That she could work with just as she had when Jolinar had died within the blonde and left Sam in an almost catatonic state for two weeks. There was of course the time when SG1 returned from Oregon and Seth's camp after Sam had killed the Goa'uld with the Ribbon device. It wasn't so much that Seth had been killed but because of the sense of joy in the moment of the kill Sam had felt that left her in a state of guilt.
What they left unsaid was the danger the unborn child had faced with the emotional and mental shock Sam had received. "I want you to rest, Sam. You and our little girl need to recover. You're too close to your time of delivery; I don't want anything to endanger you both. And don't worry about what the Atlantian colonists will do, Elizabeth is upset understandably but because McKay is now alive again I don't think charges will be made even without the diplomatic immunity. It seems MacKay has had a habit of vexing alien diplomats and Elizabeth said she was amazed no one yet had killed him though McKay had come close a few times. He has in fact endangered several negotiations because of his snarky pettiness. She figures this would serve as a good lesson for the prat to learn to keep his mouth shut."
Sam gave a very weak smile to this; she didn't want to admit that for a very brief moment she had been pleased that McKay had met his fate the way he had. She squashed down the feeling as best she could but it was resistant in her mind and she didn't want to think of it or what it had meant.
Boudicca stepped near Cassandra but did not speak.
For several minutes the angelic walked by her side without speaking, letting her adjust to her nearness. This was one of Boudicca's habits. She believed it was always a mistake to open a conversation cold; more than a mistake, a kind of assault. It took time the Malakim thought, for two people to organize their feelings about each other, to bring them up out of store, before it was appropriate to speak the first words.
So it was Cassie who spoke first, as if they were already in mid-conversation. "This power over all the Malakim fucked everything up. You know that? Sam isn't the type to wish to weald world domination. She likes controlled environments, the cold facts of science and the satisfaction of cause and effect. She doesn't do well with effect equals cause."
"Most scientists do not." Boudicca acknowledged. "It isn't something that is typically allowable in clinical almost linear thought processes." Her wings shifted like the cocking of one's head. "What your mother the Nephalim must realize is that she is a waterfall."
"Metaphorically speaking. But I expect my mama feels different than other humans and not because of the naquada or that she was twelve in the twelfth grade in high school, well maybe. I think she's still getting used to the fact she can do 'things'. I know what it's like."
"Your sire-mother is different so that she will do those 'things.'"
"I've never seen her so afraid. She's afraid of doing those things"
"She doesn't need to be afraid to be the one that does 'things'. In a way, it isn't Samantha that will do these things she will do."
"I'm guessing this is where the metaphor for the waterfall comes into play."
"Think of such a thing in your mind Cassandra. Picture it clearly "
Cassandra recalled the great waterfalls on Grigori. The roar of their falls, the plume of mist at the bottom the rainbows and the tranquility (and sometimes the need to use the head).
"See how the water makes a curve in the air. The arch of shining water? You see it?
"Samantha is like that waterfall. All the power, everything that makes it leap out from the river bed and hover in mid-air like that, it all comes from the water flowing down the mountain. The water in the waterfall is changing all the time. But the waterfall stays the same. Do you see?"
Cassandra opened her dark eyes, "Yeah I do!"
"So your mother doesn't have to be afraid, my darling. The power doesn't come from her, or belong to her. It flowed through her, and makes her the shape she is."
Cassie listened gravely as the angelic's soft words came to her though the falling rain, and young as she was she understood. "It seems like Mama doesn't do anything at all, she gets done to!"
"No, Cassandra. Your sire-mother our Nephalim can do things, she can release the power she feels in her. She can take it for herself. She can fight it however we have seen first hand what devastation fighting the Songs causes. She can throw it away. But whatever she chooses to so, Samantha must know the power doesn't begin with her nor does it end with her.
"What about my sisters?"
"They are as connected to the World Symphony just as all living things are, just as you are. You are aware of it because of your knowledge, they will be will be aware of it because of their emotions. You had it, and it was gone from you, and yet you still can touch it."
Cassandra nodded, "I can move things again"
"The song of Telekinesis." Boudicca smiles, "It is a song I can not sing."
"But you can control the weather; it seems most Malakim can do the Storm thing."
"Most Blue Wing yes, but not most Malakim. Only small percentages are Ecomancers and Elementalists."
"You should tell Sam about the Waterfall thing."
"It might be best coming from her first daughter. Because of what happened to you, because of the Diabolicals it was something you did not ask for yet happened, you can relate on a level that is impossible for me."
"I get your point. More than that, I can relate. Sam spoke to me when I was changing and I listened to her more than Mom at the time because of what Jolinar did to her, not to mention the hoard of other aliens. I got what she was saying because she experienced the same sort of thing." Cassandra looked into the distance of ocean "Thing is, I thought she had adapted to being the Nephalim."
"Belief and reality are rarely the same; she thought she could in theory handle what the idea of all the power of the Malakim meant. But she had not counted on the depth of power in the subconscious."
"Like this hydropower thing. It has a huge amount of power but untapped. Then the dam opens up and you realize just how powerful water can be, a waterfall can be. It destroys before it settles."
"I'm picking up what you're throwing down." Cassie smiled, "I think my Mama understands too, but she doesn't want all the power of the Malakim. I think she just wants to make things right."
"Then she shall."
"Is it so easy?"
"Not easy," Boudicca's wings arched slightly as if to sigh on their own accord. "Not easy at all. Think how much is wanting to make things wrong. All the fear in the universe, and the violence that comes from the fear, and the hatred that comes from violence and the loneliness that comes from the hatred. All the unhappiness, all the cruelty, it gathers like clouds in the air, and grows in thick layers over the land. Then the World Symphony is all muffled and numb, and no once can hear each other or feel each other. Think how sad and lonely that must be."
"Yes," said Cassandra feeling it just as her companion described it. "Yes."
They walked around the balcony for sometime not saying a word. Cassandra turned and looked at the white winged woman at her side. "So my mother had to do the Jedi thing and pull herself away from others don't get involved with the family "
"No. I do not know what a Jedi is Cassandra, but if they have the power to truly hear the World Symphony like the Malakim, Nox and the Ancients and pull away from the love of family and heart they will grow cold inside not unlike the Ascended. That is not wise. It is better to surround yourself with those you love, to hold onto the true essence of whom and what you are. Accept it, adapt and learn and understand the World Symphony."
"'To thy ownself be true'," Cassandra quoted.
"Yes, precisely," Boudicca seemed pleased Cassandra finally understood. "Perhaps it is time for your sire-mother to be true to herself, rather than true to the perceptions of others. I think she believes she has to choose. Be a good scientist, or be a good officer, a good Nephalim or a good mother, a good nationalist to Earth or a member of the Empire and Daughter of the Throne."
"When she is all of those things."
"She has to accept she has the whole score not just one section of the orchestra"
Boudicca grinned proudly at the mortal's understanding. "Yes."
Cassie let out a breath of air through puffed cheeks. "Right then. I hope telling her, returns her to the strong woman I know, not this wishy-washy version with no ovaries."
Boudicca did not understand the metaphor. "Her 'wishy-washy' aspect could be due to the fact she is very pregnant and her emotions have been quite unstable."
"That and my Mama has a Roman-Catholic's guilt. You know it actually says that on her tags because it said it on her father's dog-tags? It's kinda funny because she is more Zen than anything remotely Catholic."
"She prescribes to tradition."
"Either that or she just didn't want to hear her father nag to her about it. He can be a pain in the ass sometimes about stuff like that. I think he thinks Sam is still five sometimes. Grandpa is a good guy even if he's something of a pessimist and bully who loves to use fatherly-guilt-trips," Cassandra places a hand on the angelic's shoulder. Reached up and kissed the other woman's cheek. "Thanks for helping me understand and giving me the words to help Sam."
Seventy-three hours earlier .
To say that Chimera had difficulties understanding the large scope of the universe around her was rather like asking an ant to contemplate oceanography. She knew her right from her left but not exactly right from wrong. Anise hadn't seen fit to introduce the concept to the amalgamated Frankensteinian creature, not that the Tok'ra understood it herself or at least adhered to moralities the typical human might take for granted. Chimera wasn't exactly morally bankrupt; she didn't even have an account to begin with. She simply experienced things on a level of having the intelligence of an ancient being but the understanding of the world around her as would a child. She heard the sounds of the World Symphony, felt the cords being plucked and thus she felt her voice joining the Great Song and knew its notes as surely as a wolf knows that a deer is food. She knew she shared something; some shared power with the Nephalim and knew this being was a wingless creature. But the Nephalim was not like Chimera's creator but more over this wonder was liken to Novalis the giver of Voice. Chimera felt some pull some bond and something indefinable and it left her gallowed.
The Songs rang deep and true within this Nephalim creature that was winged and yet not winged. Chimera wanted to be the Nephalim, and yet she knew in her hearts to damage the kit within the female's womb was something she could not do. To bring harm to the unborn was to become deaf to the Great Song; it would be a travesty beyond measure.
Chimera was only now beginning to hear the music of the Great Song clearly. Its notes were sweet, rich and to be savored. It was almost erotic, despite the creature's lack of experience; she knew instinctually its passion.
It was because of this limited experience that Chimera passively watched as Anise the Wingless One was harshly seized and executed by those that looked like Novalis the Awakening One.
She had heard the Great Voice before some distant voice so strong that Chimera herself wanted to heed its command. '~To me Malakim! There is an enemy of the Nephalim that needs quelling! Her name is Anise of the Tok'ra, a Diabolical, find her and bring Malakim justice to her.~ Wanting to understand Chimera had demanded answers from her creator. Telling Anise of the flights of warriors coming towards them gave the Wingless One terror, but Chimera received no answers for her questions.
Chimera had felt and realized her creator was inferior to her and there was nothing for it but to allow the hunters to take her. The creature was fascinated by the power of the Nephalim, how she controlled millions with her words that had been lifted up through the Music beyond the Great Song.
A sheet of shimmering energy suddenly flared in front of Anise, blocking view of her creation who stood still on the far side of the intersection. Anise hadn't expected this quick of an arrival of the Malakim, Chimera had foretold their coming. Panicking the Tok'ra raised her voice to plea with Chimera to help her. To save her. Eyes flashed white with rage as she watched helplessly as the creature slipped into the Veil between Worlds there she watched and waited as others like Novalis descended.
There were seven of them, all clad in the same obsidian black glinting armor that was trimmed in silver. Their leader was a formidable female with wings the color of mortal blood and a mane of amber. Her wings remained fanned, arching over her shining brow.
"I am Zegravius commander of the Obsidian Wing here by order of the Nephalim! Anise Fallen of the Diabolicals you will surrender." The lead warrior called out even before her toe touched the floor of the laboratory. Her hand tightened over the hilt of the sun sword now ignited.
Six answering hums of sunswords echoed the wing commander's, seven pairs of wings opened wide in battle stance blocking any egress the Tok'ra might have had. She spun on her feet facing the warrior who had spoken. "I am Tok'ra you have no call .."
"You are a criminal in the Malakim Empire, a decreed enemy of the Nephalim." Zegravius ignored the other woman. "You are to be quelled."
Chimera watched the fear fill her creator until she was rank with it. The one called Zegravius lifted her humming golden blade of the plasma sword to the level of Anise's head. Some flick of the wrist, the blade moved with speed Chimera scarcely followed a wet smacking thunk hit the titled floor of the laboratory. It was the head of Freya, the thing that called itself Anise slithered out of the decapitated head and in a smoldering hiss died at the boots of the Malakim warriors.
Chimera titled her head trying to assimilate what she had witnessed. The notes of the Music .something she knew to be the World Symphony had changed cords. The noise beyond that had always centered around the creator had suddenly stopped and the music was sweeter for it.
The warriors turned from their quarry the blades of their swords sliding home into the hilts as they were disengaged and returned to the sheaths on their belts.
"Take the corpse and its head back to ship and show to the Diabolicals contained there the penance of treachery against the Nephalim lest they become architects of further crimes against her."
One by one the winged knights shimmered between this world and the umbra returning to their starship until at last only Zegravius remained behind. She knelt to pick-up the corpse of the symbiote of which she stuffed into a jar of alabaster much akin to a canopic jar carried within a satchel at her hip. This corpse would prove as proof to the Nephalim that her orders were carried out and Anise had come to know Malakim justice.
All of this Chimera watched and learned. If there is noise in the music, in the World Symphony quell it until the notes are harmonies once more.
Zegravius turned to look behind her, her piercing eyes searching the Diabolical laboratory. Something was definitely wrong, here. Anise's death should have lifted the shadow on the World Symphony. Perhaps it was only the lingering sourness of the Diabolical's workings in forbidden sciences that plugged her imagination. Phantoms and nothing more.
Still in the shadows of the Umbra and yet unseen Chimera followed the commander of the Obsidian Wing, soldier-servant of the Nephalim.
The Lapis Wing under Ka'esaw had joined the Obsidians in the pursuit of the fiend of the Empire but had had remained aboard the ISS Sachiel when that hunt lead them to their current location. Their charge appointed now was to safe guard their prisoners leaving the execution of their prey to the Obsidian Wing and Zegravius. And it was glory to serve the Nephalim to quell one of her personal enemies.
The Nephalim had given an order for the death of the Anise and no member of a Wing would think to disobey it or even question it. The Diabolicals had been a long suffering enemy of the empire less so than the Wraith and the Ori but an enemy all the same. Long ago the one that had called itself Nirrti had had this planet her home for her dark purposes and now Anise had parasitically latched herself to the domain. Her goal like that of Nirrti was one and the same the creation of a superior host a Hak'tar in which to possess.
"Commander, the Obsidian Wing returns." Beli, Lieutenant of the Lapis wing informed his commanding officer.
No word on the success of the mission was given so it wasn't until Zegravius came to the bridge of the starship and relieving Ka'esaw of the command chair in her very presence aboard her own ship that any news of the mission had been passed. It would take only moments for the ship's captain to take the bridge. And indeed it was so. Two minutes later the Obsidian commander was on the bridge.
"Lieutenant, set course for Atlantis, we report to the Nephalim her orders were carried out," Zegravius said settling down in the captain's chair pulling her wings up over its narrow back.
Neither the commander of the Obsidian Wing nor the Lapis were aware of their umbral hiding stowaway. In fact no one save a single Tok'ra was aware of its presence, and he was only made so by the fact a disembodied hand reached out of the shimmering velvet veil between worlds and took hold of him.
Jacob Carter gasped as he took in vision the face of his daughter, winged as the Malakim. Had the Malakim done this to her, was this the Nephalim the winged warriors so revered?
"Sam?" he dared to breath. He could not tear his eyes form the golden-purple tipped wings, the pointed ears or the deep blue eyes. Her radiance so glorious it was painful to gaze upon her countenance even if he was her father, Jacob felt not worthy to look upon her. For a moment, only a moment he wanted to kneel before her and worship her as a goddess. No! This was Samantha his little girl! Not a goddess This was Sam wasn't it? This was the Nephalim of the Malakim?
Another voice within the body of the former Air Force general called out 'her' own uncertainties. This can not be Samantha this is no goddess and yet I would pledge my being to her
As this specter of Samantha spoke her voice was so like that of his child Jacob believed it her even if it was lyrical and filled with the music of a diva. "Why are you important to me?" Chimera demanded. "Why does the Song of you sing in my mind, I know you. WHY?"
So shocked was Jacob that it was Selmac who came forth and answered the question put to her if only to gain some answers for herself. "My host is the father of the woman who resembles you."
"Resembles me?" Chimera frowned.
"Yes. You are the construct Anise created are you not?"
"She created me because she needed a superior host. Your species is inferior. You are weak save for the shell you take. You can not manipulate the world around you in your true form this makes you lesser beings. Nor do you have wings to take the heavens but crawl on your bellies this is not divinity as Anise would have me believe."
Selmac snorted. "We need hosts to truly interact with the world around us this is true, but we are not inferior creatures."
"Death of a host means your death. I've seen it so when the Malakim warriors came for Anise the Wingless One. But this body you have. I know it you say it is the father of the one who shares my face. Clarify. He called me Sam."
"The name of his daughter. Samantha Carter. She is the Nephalim."
Chimera smiled as she realized what it was the twin wingless creature has said. "We share faces?" blue eyes turned a flashing white of the symbiote. "Then we are alike The Great Voice it is her that calls me we are the same No! I am as she should be!" Great purple-golden tipped wings fanned out high above the creature's head in as an eagle posturing. "Novalis the Awakener told me thus the Malakim was she who was mortal born with all the power of the Malakim. I am." The voice was now the twin voice of goa'uld coupled with the lyrical sounds of an angelic rising her voice in Song. "Behold I was created by mortal hands and I have in me all the Songs of the World Symphony. I hear the music beyond music. I hear the Great Song within me, a part of me. I am the Great Song made flesh. I am the NEPHALIM!"
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