Nephalim's Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Five

New Awakenings

Years ago a corrupt syndication that called itself the Trust had created a concentrated form of the symbiote poison and used chemical warfare to wipe out millions of Goa'uld. The problem was that they also slaughtered thousands of Column Five rebel Jaffa, that were allies to the Tau'ri. After that, the Tok'ra and the Jaffa had completely turned their backs on Earth and would no long ally themselves with the Tau'ri. The only reason there was any relationship between the Tok'ra and Earth was because of Samantha Carter and Selmac and that relationship was tenuous at best.

Even the Nox were hesitant to maintain an alliance to a race that proved itself once again to be without honor. Because of what they had heard from the others the Furlings would have nothing to do with Earth at all, and the Asgard were still more or less very difficult to reach. Thor had a soft spot for his favorite human Jack O'Neill but they were not completely reliable at all times.

The Trust had burned many of Earth's bridges from the moment they had started stealing alien technology to the genocide of countless Jaffa. The Rogue NID / Trust had been deemed traitors to Earth, but this did little to still the anxiety of her allies. Even now when several of the members of the Trust had been rooted out and had been either imprisoned or executed, Earth's allies were still hesitant to give their support again to a world that on economical whims harms those who were allies, or struck down the wrong target to get at one being.

This was why the alliance with the Malakim was so crucial. Earth needed her allies, especially against Baal's forces and the Wraith who dominated the Pegasus Galaxy. The Trust's actions had brought far too much attention to Earth, and Atlantis had both the Wraith hordes and the Geni, who like the Trust were too overzealous to conquer their enemies for their own good thus causing far more problems for themselves than good. The Geni were as the Trust and a constant threat at the threshold.

The Malakim were a very powerful force that were willing to aid Earth but only on certain contingencies. Everything now was hung precariously in the balance. Only the Nephalim could unite the alliance and seal it.

Of course the ladies formally of the SCG had other concerns upon them as well: The Liege Healer was now vicariously considered a Nephalim as well as it was she who first showed an outward display of the World Symphony in her control of the Song the Healing. Sam's power of the Songs were less obvious, but nonetheless ever present.

The Malakim had seen Janet heal her daughter from the cut during the Ritual of Adoption, it was not a fluke, or a one shot thing. Janet could at will summon the essence of the World Symphony and use the Song of Healing. The tests Janet ran on herself showed a higher amount of electrolytes in her system, as well a hyperactivity in the mitochondria within her cells. The MRI and CAT scans all showed that her hippocampus and cerebral cortex was nearly identical to that of Ayiana the lost Ancient they had discovered in the Antarctic.

Dressed in lab coats, Janet and Sam gazed at the monitor that revealed the CAT scans, MRI and X-rays at the computer terminal within Janet's aquarium like office located in a far corner of the vast medical bay.

Since the incident at the Ritual of Adoption, Janet knew her adrenalin levels were higher than normal even for her, thus causing her emotions to be unstable. She found it difficult to function normally and she knew she wouldn't until her system sorted itself out.

'So this was why Cassandra had behaved so abominably at sixteen towards me,' Janet's inner mind spoke, ' it wasn't mere teenage angst rebelling against a parent it was the unstable adrenalin and emotions that caused her shift in moods.'

Janet, like Sam had been when she was first rescued from the Chimaera imprisonment and torture, could not function well without Sam being close at hand. Janet had solved the problem by using a bio-transmitter. The transmitter had been strategically placed over Samantha's heart and the receiver in Janet's ear. This way Janet could function at a near normal level without panicking because Sam went out of the room. It was the same method Janet used to soothe the terrible nightmares Sam was plagued with at night. The sound of her lover's heartbeat was an incredible healing and comforting thing.

The odd thing was that in her testing Janet had discovered that she and Sam were tuned into each other's body rates; breathing when the other did, in fact their heartbeats were exactly in time. For this Janet could only surmise it was a function of the Nox-bond that had transmitted the gestalt from one woman to the other. They were perfectly synchromeshed. The effects were far more proportionate on Janet and clearly more evident. Whatever Jolinar left behind in Sam had interfered with the gestalt so the tall blonde was only changed on the macro level.

"The gestalt changed me, Sam, on the cellular level," the small doctor showed her wife several scans of her of her body pre and post gestalt. "It mutated my DNA."

"Janet..... this is huge! You...Holy Hannah....Jan you've become an Ancient." Sam starred at the tiny woman before her then to the computer screens with multi-hued images of the brain, major organs as well as circulatory and muscle images of Janet's body. "Look at these scans they are identical to Ayiana, the General when he had the Ancients download and Cass when she was sixteen." Sam punched in a few commands in the keyboard at the kiosk on the comm panel and the image of Janet's body was split screened with what the computer banks had of Ayiana.

Indeed Sam's declaration was spot on, Janet shivered at the thought. She became an Ancient, not one of the Ascended like Oma Desala, Orlin or at one time Daniel, but Janet truly was as Ayiana. The vast amount of tests Janet had run not only on herself but on Sam and Rebecca had shown significant changes in their blood, hormone levels and genetic typing. And while they had all exhibited signs of the gestalt it was Janet who was predominantly affected.

The evidence of the gestalt was in the spontaneous use of the Song of Healing. With the Song at her disposal Janet could with the power within her close a wound but more importantly she could generate new tissue growth as well as regeneration just as Ayiana had done.

Janet didn't take her eyes off of the monitors, she had run the tests on herself nine times and each time the results were identical. It was conclusive: she had evolved into the likeness of the Ancients.

"Even if that were true Sam, I could start showing signs of deterioration. The General and Cassie both suffered and were dying because of the mitosis in the mitochondria in their bodies. All the electrical and chemical activity has changed in me Sam. I don't think the healing device or anything the Malakim have at their disposal can alter me back to the way I was. This isn't science fiction where you step onto the transporter pad and reboot your body from the computer archives, I am forever changed!"

Sam placed a hand upon her wife's slender shoulder, "We'll figure something out Janet if this turns out to be something like what happened to General O'Neill or Cassandra. But what if it's not? Think of the possibilities..." Sam cupped the bottom of Janet's angular jaw, "the General had to have the Ancient Archive downloaded into his mind and it was reprogramming him, Cassie was struck with a Goa'uld bio-engineered retro-virus that was rewriting her DNA. But you already had the Ancient gene in you without introducing it to your DNA like what happened to General O'Neill or Cass. This is just a natural occurring evolution, its just happening in a single generation."

Janet looked again at the charts and results of the tests, her endocrine systems, her DNA structure, even her hormone levels were all akin to the Ancient of Antarctic. Internally everything was as it should be, but then again humans de-evolved from the Ancients.

"Janet for the past several weeks every time you've run these tests, they came up with the same results, Baby by this time both the General and Cassie were showing signs of illness, you're not, you're healthy. Your hormones, adrenalin and endocrine levels are out of whack but physically everything else is fine." Sam tried to reassure her wife.

Janet turned from the monitors in the lab office back to Sam studying her. She wondered why it was that Samantha could take the changes in them in her with stride but then again Sam had had many changes done to her own body. A Tok'ra took over her mind and absorbed into her body, her memory stamped, her consciousness transferred out of her body into a computer and back again, the tortures by the Goa'uld and Fifth the human-form Replicator, the merging of the Nox-bond and the transfiguration of becoming the Nephalim. So of course Janet's gestalt was nothing out of the ordinary to her.

Janet almost felt that what happened to her was of so little inconsequence to the blonde that, Sam was missing the scope of it. Granted Janet hadn't had her body taken from her but it was altered and that frightened the empathic woman. The more she thought of it the angrier Janet became that she was so dismissed. The gestalt might have been seen as a good thing to Sam's eyes but Janet wasn't going to embrace the change so readily. The Liege Healer's anger didn't just stop with her wife but extended to the Malakim.

"What is it?" Sam found herself thinking of the conversation and pondering what she might have said that had upset Janet. She could feel Janet's infuriation ebbing into her from the bond, but even if she hadn't possessed the bond with her wife, the general air in the lab had become thick with Janet's anger.

"Nothing." Janet said quickly, her voice bristling with anger.

"It must be something or you wouldn't be transmitting it."

"I SAID its nothing." Janet schooled her features into impassivity before she rose from her chair, "I'm tired. The Pumacia flight school opened its first training today we had several riders coming in with fractures, contusions from falls and lacerations made by the pumacia claws due to carelessness."

"And you're just making an excuse, what is it?" Sam insisted.

"You just don't get it Sam. Everything you've gone through made this easy for you. I had to treat you every time you came back beaten, tortured, near death and yes even dead. I watched you go into a catatonic state because of Jolinar's legacy, I had to stand over your body kept alive by my machines knowing I had to turn them off because of your living will. I've seen your droid-replica and I've seen the Replicator you. I held your body as you were tormented because of your memory being stamped more than once. Hell I even held you when you were going through withdrawals form the effects of the Atinek armbands. And the drugs pumped into you after Chimera."

"Are you saying I'm not appreciating what happened to you because I am used to it? That's bullshit. If anything I know how you feel! How you feel when you don't have control, how lost you are in the fog of your mind. God, Janet I know what its like to have your body change. I know! Nirrti tried to change me and I had to go in her machine again so whatever she did to me on a cellular lever could be fixed. I have naquada in my blood and I have an extra protein marker in my DNA. I know Janet. I know. My love.... You've become an Ancient on the genetic level you may not have their knowledge but you evolved! Of course I appreciate the gravity of what happened."

"What about kids?" Janet asked bluntly.

The question threw Sam for a loop. She blinked several times tying to assimilate the question before answering. "Kids?"

"If we want another child, if we use cross-ovum fertilization like the Malakim or even go to the Nox for help, she will be more like me. The Ancient genes are dominant."

"So? Is that so bad?" Sam was frowning.

"Look at Rebecca! She is the absolute perfect blend of us, so perfect the color of her irises are half brown and half blue. Her hair color is red-blonde. She's empathic like us, and like you she had the Naquada in her blood and the Goa'uld protein marker in her DNA and she has the active Ancient gene from me. If we have another child she will more like Ayiana."

"Again this is bad how, Janet?" Sam was reaching to understand desperate to fathom what it was Janet was telling her, but each time she thought she had reached reason it slipped from her mind, leaving her blank.

"Rebecca is a genius, more akin to you than me on that level and she's bitterly teased, well she was. Fuck, Sam you know how it was for her. It was difficult for her to fit in with her peers. Now at...." Janet sighed exasperated. "At least here she fits in better with winged aliens...."

"The same aliens you blame for your gestalt...for what happened to us? Janet I thought you were okay with us being the Nephalim, that we accepted it." Sam's voice became that of a defeatist.

"I did!. I mean I do..I just..." Janet signed heavily not sure what she should be feeling. She was so lost in her mind that she lost sight of the large picture for the details. "Sam, you of all people know what its like to have your body altered...."

Sam gathered her wife into her arms hugging her close, Janet was always strong, always so sure, so confident, sometimes Sam could forgot that the dauntless physician sometimes had a vulnerable heart. "I know, Janet. I didn't mean to sound insensitive, really. It's only that this change in you I see such positive things."

"For now." Janet responded. "And if I continue to change?"

"You have your family, the best of Malakim medicine at your disposal and YOU are the best and brightest of the medical field. If anyone can figure it out you can and I've got your six all the way."

Janet snuggled into the strong arms that held her and yet did not diminish her strength. Sam never made her feel small or belittled for seeking strength in those arms. "I know you've got my six, Sam. I've always known. And I have to admit the ability to heal...like I can now, I can't describe to you what its like. Its wonderful to be able to take pain away so quickly to heal those that need me....its wonderful." For a moment the physician gave a thought to the hordes of screaming voices, experienced again in her vision quest during the time spent in the sweat lodge, that Usiel had plagued her with while in the penumbra. All those voices. Voices that cried out for her to heal and she had no power too. She recalled wanting to heal them, fix them take their pain.

Sam grinned in hearing Janet admitting to the fact she enjoyed using the Song of Healing. "I can get an idea, using the Healing Device is a bit like that. Its harder to heal than it is to destroy or hurt like with the Ribbon Device, even if it is draining. The Song of Healing...does it affect you the same way?"

"A little. I am suspecting like it did with Ayiana, but the training is helping me balance, how not to take from my own energy to heal, but from the Great Song. Ayiana was desperate when she took energy from herself and Dr. Woods to heal us, the training I've been given helps me use the Song without draining myself. The meditations helps restore any quintessence within me, I use to summon the power."

Janet's abilities didn't just stop at the ability to heal, but she could wipe away chaos and insanity thus healing the mind, she could heal the will of others who had lost theirs, as Sam was when Jolinar died within her. Janet's natural compassion, the one thing the tiny woman had always wanted to be remembered for if she died, had strengthened.

The small woman was able to create Songs of Peace. Like the recorded choir voices that were played in the sickbay to sooth angry spirits, and fear, Janet could now do this. She soothed rage, fear and hostility with a balm of calmness. She could generate the Song of Harmony that negated the Discord that stewed within one's soul for a time, until they were able to overcome it themselves. She was indeed the Liege Healer, only she could not heal herself or her fears that the mutation wouldn't stop there.

The change in Janet's hormones, adrenalin and endocrine levels were proportionate to those of an adolescent going into adulthood. The spontaneous evolution in her happened at such an accelerated rate, and the physician could only fathom it was because of the Nox-Bond and her new awareness of the Great Song..

"It's different. I am different now. Physiologically..... this is still all new to me. The gestalt was the catalyst for this spontaneous evolution. ......" Janet steadied her quivering voice, she hated the fact it made her sound weak. "I know the limits of the human body better than anyone...."

"Janet.....what are you saying? You're not sick....not like Cassie was..." Sam slipped into babble mode worried that Janet's little body would not be able to sustain the strain the gestalt had placed upon her. Was there something the physician wasn't telling her? Something in the blood work, in all the weeks long tests that Sam hadn't seen?

Janet pulled away from the arms of her wife, her breath a heavy sigh of exasperation. "I need time, Samantha. We both have work to finish. "

Blue eyes went doe-eyes wide staring helplessly after the retreating back of the small statured woman. 'But you hardly ever call me Samantha.....' Sam looked down at the high polish sheen of her black leather boots, she hated leaving when things were not resolved between she and her wife. It didn't look like that was going to happen anytime soon. Janet's whole demeanor had altered making Sam petrified of what would come. 'Well I'm not backing down, I never back down from this kind of challenge....not with my family.'

Having no choice the lanky blonde left the infirmary for her offices, her mind still trying to wrap around the idea that Janet was pushing her away when she should not. 'How can I watch your six if you don't let me? Janet I won't let you face this alone. I won't....'

Nachmiel the Minister of the Guild of Alien Affairs wasn't pleased. It had been a month since the Ceremony of Adoption and still the Earth Talks had been stalled. Apparently the mortals were caught up in their own inner political flux, and couldn't agree on anything let alone open talks with the GAA..

How could the Empire make a harmonious alliance with a world that was so discordant? The Mortals had no melody, no rhythm within, they couldn't possible create harmonious union with any race. Minister Nachmiel was exceptionally reluctant to proceed with the negotiations, it was not in her opinion in the best interest of the Empire.

Hashul a senator of the GAA and Lamach assistant to Nachmiel walked one after the other into the Minister's office, the latter carrying a stack of folders no doubt filled with facts relevant to the Terran situation - history, myths, legends and other such applicable information necessary for the Guild of Alien Affairs to prepare to hold negotiations. It was the Malakim belief that one can not make an alliance without knowing the culture of an alien world. It was Lamach's duty to harvest all cultural significant datum for study. If the stories, songs and cultural high points carry secret dissonance, the Malakim would make no long lasting alliance if any alliance at all.

"Minister, Incarna Command has received another communiqué from Earth." Hashul stated handing her superior a sealed script. Her red eyes studied the Minister as she consumed the words.

"Are they serious?" Nachmiel put the paper down upon her teak wood desk "The Nephalim's former government are bringing charges of treason due to defection against the Nephalim?"

"Apparently a male named Kinsey has pointed out that the Nephalim are traitors to the mortal government because here they are given positions of high political power." Hashul murmured.

"The whole treaty now hangs in the balance because of this male has instigated other seats of power within Earth's countries and they refuse to acknowledge the link between the Nephalim and our Queen." Hashul continued. "Apparently he raged until President Bartlett was forced to comply with his demands."

"A lowly junior officer has that much power over their potentate? Why? How is it a junior officer even has political ties to the other seats of government from other countries?" the Minister wanted to know.

"It fits into their culture, Minister," Lamach handed her the folder of papers. "Unlike us they don't attempted to control strong personal emotions in public. They don't appear to have a sense of pride in how they behave. For them its more important to stand up belligerently for what they believe in, and try to get what they want that way."

"A son of a traitor is given a high ranking office and sways other countries to target our Nephalim as traitors? This is neither logical nor sensible." said Nachmiel her tone biting.

"Mortals are never sensible," Lamach commented from the side of her mouth.

"They label each other the miscreant of their culture in order to self gain." the assistant shuddered as she read through what the Romans had done to the Early Christians and what the Christian had done in turn to women. What she researched in a place called Salem made her very blood freeze. She had even reviewed their laws and was horrified to discover and in some areas that were supposed to be 'civilized' that homosexuality was a crime justifiable to allow for rape, torture and slaughter against those accused of being in a deviant sexual relationship.

Nachmiel's silver wings fanned out in her displeasure. Typically the Mercurian Choir of angelics were well suited for interaction with aliens, they were divine diplomats and angelic socialites. They were apt to politics and arbiters of taste bringing the discipline of abstract structures to the corporeal realm. Nachmiel had long served the GAA and was a successful ambassador.

But even now her patience was waning in the Terran company.

"I don't think they are considering the political and military consequences if they proceed with this Hearing. So this is why they are stalling talks with us? They want to persecute two members of the House of Thrones for some personal agenda and vendetta. How small these mortals are." Typical soft notes of the Minister became crisp and edged as a keen blade.

"Minister, Novalis won't stand for the Hearing against Samantha, the Queen will call for an embargo on all trade and negotiations with the Terrans. Of course that might not be all she does. She could see it as a direct attack on the honor of her House and act accordingly." Hashul said. "And the Grigori Choir won't wait for our Queen to intervene they will see this as an act of war and carry it to Earth, or the very least to Kinsey's house and his supporters."

"I want to know if he is acting independently." Nachmiel was never one to blame an entire civilization for the acts of a few. "He is foolish into the extreme if he brings his personal war against the House of Carter-Fraiser into play with the future of his planet. This Guild has dealt with the Fifth Column Jaffa, who lost much to the association the mortals call the Trust. The Nox wish little to do with the Terrans save for those of the Unit SG-1 and of course now our Nephalim. Perhaps we will stipulate no treaty will be made until the Trust is neutralized."

"For sixteen years the mortals have been unable to neutralize all of them, what makes you think they can in a time frame we will need to give them?" Hashul asked pointedly.

"As you said the Grigori are very passionate when it concerns their Archangel who just happens to be the Nephalim and Prime Minister of the Empire....." Nachmiel commented. "This small dissident faction upon Earth apparently have been a long standing problem for the Nephalim and the SGC. They have been instrumental in the degradation of treaties of other races."

"Also a common practice in their culture. They do not value treaties at all. The Trust has always influenced the current potentate to break them for personal gain. As an example, it seems that one of the leading countries called North America constantly encroached upon the indigenous people's territory made treaties with them and broke its promises constantly. They went as far as to murder and decimate the indigenous population, even the innocents." Lamach said her eyes deep into the files of papers she had. "They constantly provoked the wrong wars at the wrong time."

"They sound like the Diabolicals." Hashul sneered. "Minister you can not condone a treaty with these people! They can not be trusted! The mass populace carries no honor!"

"I will suggest to the Queen we do not engage in a full committed treaty, but for the Nephalim it makes if difficult to sever ties with them." Nachmiel said. "When I first saw them, Samantha and Janet did not carry the dissonance that has been painted by their world's cultural histories. Which gives me the insight that not all Terrans are as the mass majority. I will suggest we do no more than what we have done for Earth. I will however offer that we make a treaty with the independent nation of Atlantis. They are independent from the Terrans and they battle the Wraith with great heart. Their potentate Doctor Elizabeth Weir is a worthy woman, and she has none of the dissident power-mongers lurking in the shadows such as the Trust that Zoe Bartlett allows to function."

"Minister, Samantha and Janet and the trial they are to face what do we do?" Hashul asked.

Nachmiel smiled. "The Terrans do not know that the Prime Minister and the Nephalim are the one and the same. Allow them to continue to function with this ignorance. And when they discover they wish to persecute the Prime Minister we have a perfect founding for severing ties with them and not going forward with an alliance. They need us far far more than we need them. They will see the folly for suffering the power of the Trust and its dissonance."

"You want me to go back to Incarna Command and inform the SGC that we wish to proceed with the negotiations for the alliance?" Hashul's canary yellow wings twitched revealing her impatience.

"Yes, and inform them if they do not comply within forty-eight hours we will sever communications. We will not be stalled." Nachmiel answered her aid. "I will work with Samantha and Weir concerning the Wraith."

The Wraith the forever enemy of the Malakim.

The Wraith a vile evil race of the Pegasus Galaxy that were even worse than the Goa'uld, for they had nearly accomplished their goals to commit genocide against the Ancients. From the oldest manuscript of the Malakim histories a dark truth was uncovered. The Wraith were apparently bred by Achelous in the earliest days of the First Age of the Great Song, using Malakim whom he had captured and corrupted in his dungeons with his dark Songs. The Wraith increased their numbers during the chaining of Achelous after he had transformed himself into the great speckled wyrm, the dragon of the deep.

They were first seen on Chimaera the land of Exiles toward the end Third Age of the Great Song during the first War of the Heavens. Even after the war they were the most numerous of Achelous servants and warriors. After the defeat of Usiel the Wraith had so spread their numbers and thrived upon other planets that they became independent.

In the Third Age when the Ancients sprinkled the galaxies with Stargates, the Wraith began to multiply into vast millions and became a hindrance to the Ancients. Thus began the War of the Races. The Ancients fought great epic battles with the powerful Wraith, who through their Malakim ancestry held onto the power of the World Symphony and could generate illusions and summon up the Dark's children known by many names ....the Harrowing, and the Sundering and send it after their prey. They regenerated quickly and like the Malakim were quasi immortal, unlike the angelics the Wraith became harbingers of doom, a plague of malice and hunger. They culled countless worlds syphoning the life-force from their pray.

The Wraith had no need to explain themselves. They had seen themselves supreme they nearly wiped out the entire civilization of the Ancients and those that did not became fodder for the Hunger, Ascended. The Malakim were never able to destroy them even with the power of the Great Song's World Symphony.

The once proud towers of Quincunxian thrust up from the blasted landscape like broken teeth from bloodied gums. The ruins stood above a steel-gray winter sea. Surf hissed like a slumbering serpent. The city's craggy perch had protected it from the waves, but not from its true enemy the Wraith Hive ships. Clouds rolled in just after sunset, and snow flurries began to fall.

Amaterasu shivered and cursed the weather. The hive ships held the warmth she accustomed to, how she hated the cold. It was too much like the hated Hunger that gnawed at the inside, making one feel nearly as weak as the prey. Quasi-immortal the Wraith suffered the Hunger or they took to the hibernation chambers and fell into Torpor. Only the momentary feasting of the life force could give warmth.

Sub-commander Ujimitsu steered his troops through the toppled buildings and burnt out temples of the Quincunx capital, leading the warriors from the destroyed city and into the surrounding countryside. Amaterasu the Queen would be pleased with the culling of the Quincunxian people. Kin to the Geni the Quincunxians were allies of Atlantis as well.

Amaterasu closed her crimson eyes, her ears opening to the winds swirling about her gaunt frame. The winds spoke much of the world's secrets, it had revealed to her much about her prey. They should have heeded a simple truth that even the youngest hatchling knew. 'You would do well to listen to the voices your feet leave in the dust, as they tell others a great deal about you.'

Amaterasu knew much of the Atlantians, but she did not yet know the Song of the Nephalim. This Nephalim was the calm of the monsoon and its greatest gale. And this gained the Queen's attention. The mortal called Elizabeth Weir had forged an alliance with the Malakim Nephalim, how and why did not concern Amaterasu as much as what would become of it.

What Amaterasu did know that even here in the Pegasus Galaxy the Great Song uttered the noted of the summoned Harrowing yet to be unleashed. It whispered notes of the felling of Usiel the First Fallen. The Nephalim has further defeated both Malphus and of course the Speckled Serpent that old Wyrm Achelous. Achelous the Liberator. Achelous the Unmaker.

What was this Nephalim that she was a god-slayer? The Scion of Balance. Better still who was it that could still the Hurricane's gale and quiet the Harrowing. If the Nephalim was the blade who then was its wielder? The Nephalim did not terrify Amaterasu in-so-much as the one who could control her. It was not that age old enemy Queen Novalis to this Amaterasu was sure, even in the far reaches galaxies apart the Wraith Queen could hear the song of an Ancient still alive. An Ancient that controlled the Nephalim. Was it ignorance or valor that these twin Songs had no fear of the Wraith?

Casting her gaze across the burnt landscape and the slaughtered people, Amaterasu could scarcely understand why the city elders had decided to use weapons of mass destruction on themselves verses the brief culling? Kill thousands instead of lose dozens. The logic escaped her. What sort of resistance destroyed one's entire civilization. Quincunxian armies were pitiful at best, several times the Wraith had swept across the landscape easily felling all who stood before them.

The dead serve no one.

Desperation she supposed if they could not stop the Wraith from the culling then they would insure they were not worth having. The thought of the Atlantians turned Amaterasu's mind once more. The thing that galled her the most was that the Atlantians had been involved in this 'resistance' she could smell their scent upon the wind. The Quincunxians were like dogs groveling in the dusty earth before the Atlantians' arrival.

"Liegen,"Sub-commander Ujimitsu addressed his queen, his blue pale features forever schooled into a look of unreadable ice. He threw one of the dead bodies at the feet of his leader. There were clear signs that this person had died not during the blast of ion and plasma cannons but from a disease. The body was pockmarked with pussy white rings that seeped green ichor. The face sunken in, dark circles around the eyes. This was a victim of a plague.

"The Quincunxians were already dead 'before' they destroyed their own city." his black eyes gleaming in what might have been admiration for the ingenious ruse, but it was only a moment or perhaps a reflection of light for it was gone before it had time to settle.

"Many are such. Others are garbed in the yellow clothing they dress their criminals in."

"If there is one alive find it, bring it into the holding cells." Amaterasu commanded. "We have other worlds to cull." Blood crimson eyes looked upon the corpse and slim smile spread across the pirana like teeth. "Harvest the dead, they have a purpose after all. Can't you hear the new melody of the World Symphony? It sings of the birth of an Ancient. She will learn she was better off extinct."

Whatever disease the Quincunxians were carrying they had more than likely brought it with them, even if the survivors were now immune, there would be those given a concentrated dose of the disease would in fact alienate them. The toxic corpses however were not a means to strike out at the refugee Quincunxians, it had been a hard won victory over the Ancients, to allow even one to exist would bring more. The Awakening of Atlantis has been a herald of doom, and thus it was almost expected that the Ancients would soon come perhaps to reclaim their Lost City.


A noise from her left caught Amaterasu's attention one of Sub-commander Ujimitsu warriors had captured a small band of Quincunxian stragglers from a copse of unburned pines. The prey shouted, and waved their makeshift staffs and swords ineffectively, and tried to run. The Wraith warriors quickly hemmed the group in.

One yellow- clad convict, the only woman among the mortal band, ran forward brandishing a rifle. She aimed the firearm's barrel toward Quincunxian. The queen made no move to stop the firing of the weapon, in fact their body slammed backward from the buckshot. The aquatic voice laughed mechanically as she watched the human's eyes bulge as her enemy's wound self-healed.

The only true way to slay a Wraith was to remove its hearts. A warrior pointed his pulse rifle at the woman's breast striking her down. She fell bravely, neither crying nor begging for mercy. Her compatriots were felled like dogs, groveling in the dusty earth. One was kept alive and dragged forward. Sub-commander Ujimitsu's taloned hand gripped his captive hard by the neck, hard enough to draw blood.

Amaterasu watched for a moment her blood-crimson eyes resting upon the broken man in a yellow jump-suit. "You were left to die, by the disease that took your people or by culling. You owe no allegiance to them....where are they." her voice hissed.

"If...if I tell you will you let me go free?" The mortal wheedled. His body shuddered as he felt the Queen's clawed hand press against his breastbone.

Her eyes for a moment closed before she smiled brightly. "You are fated to die......even now the essence of the plague flows through you. I can feel its taint. Your people gave no care for your life as they fled. Tell me where they went and I will ease your suffering."

The puny male seemed to contemplate her words, he had no desire to die like those who had contracted the Lectus, but he had less desire to become food for the Wraith. Still he felt betrayed by the others. "I don't know where they went... Atlantians took them..... A safe place in the Malakim territories."

The Malakim! The bane of Wraith existence more so than even the Ancients. "So the 'Birds' have taken my prey." this was a growl. So locked in her anger Amaterasu hadn't realized that she had syphoned the life from her prey until he was a dry husk of brittle bones and taut skin. Removing her hand, the man fell dead where he knelt.


The Nephalim.

Awakened Ancients.

And now the Malakim harbored refugees already branded property of the Wraith. This did not bode well for the pale quasi-immortals, not at all. Amaterasu felt something she had not felt in a long time. Her mind coursed with fear.

Another snarl the queen pushed the thought and emotion aside she would not afford herself the lapse of frailty.

"We war against the Malakim, it would be an honor to lay the hearts of the Nephalim at your feet. Will you give the word?" Sub-Commander Ujimitsu asked.

"The Nephalim and the Ancient....if they were to join forces.....it will be the Sundering of the Wraith, Amaterasu." He too had felt the power of the Harrowing being summoned then suddenly silenced. He had his own theories as to why the Ancient had awakened and he was positive it was due to the Harrowing. The World Symphony sang of it. Somehow the Ancient had stilled it, stilled the Nephalim. It was far too coincidental to think otherwise. And then there was Atlantis that had preceded these events.

"Start the hunt." Amaterasu commanded. "Their life force will succor the new generations."

Part 6

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