Nephalim's Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter Nine


Voices cascaded over the rise of rolling waves of fog. Some disembodied Song lingering as the chill upon the bones of that same lost soul. Such coldness brings brittleness to the spirits, shattering them as crystals of ice.

Ecomancers continued to fall from the Heavens, voices gone hoarse, sprits waned, exhaustion took over, it is a battlefield without a war. No blood had been lost but more were in danger of Fading into nothingness.

'Cassandra is right this has to stop.' Sam closed her eyes as she left her baby's room. Four days had passed since little Rebecca had gone to stay with her big sister. It broke Sam's heart her baby felt she could not stay with her, with Janet. It didn't stop Sam from calling her child and talking to her. But Rebecca refused to come home.

That bitterness bit deep in the mother's bones as she turned to the woman she loved. A part of her mind blamed Janet for this discord between them. 'I...suffered memory stamps, being taken as a host twice, my DNA screwed with not just by Jolinar but by Nirrti, tortured by Fifth, Gemini.... my Replicator double, all the concussions that gave me hallucinations, taken over by an mechanical Entity, hypnotized, my consciousness copied a couple of times, even more concussions, death a few times, and a minor stroke. I never took it out on my family, never out on her. Yeah I might have pulled away from them but I never ...never took out what happened to me out on them. I never despised her for it!'

The blonde stormed down the long halls of her home, her feet echoing loudly in the seemingly empty marble corridors. Discord was abound, it touched everything like an infection and like a disease it spread everywhere. Even as gangrene creeps along the blood vessels so too did the Dissonance.

The more Sam thought about it the angrier she became. The angrier she became the more irrational she became the more distant. 'It's not my fault! Its genetics she should know that. She's a doctor for crying out loud. She acts like it's my fault her DNA is the way it is....'

Sam continued to fume, heat nearly visibly as it radiated off of her in waves. "There are several on the Atlantis Team that carry the Ancient Gene. Major Shepard is one of them. Hell I read the reports Doctor Beckett is another. She chuckled dryly at Mackay who pouted because he wasn't as special as he had thought himself to be. 'God I am glad he's not in this galaxy anymore and he's Pegasus' problem now. Arrogant s.o.b.' the humor vanished as the blonde made a circle with her thoughts.

Anise stood by her creation. She had at last bonded symbiote DNA with Tau'ri, the fetus only needed to be joined with cells of the Malakim. All the failures had resulted because she had introduced the Malakim too quickly. She was so close not to succeed So close. Her next phase had been to introduce the nanoprobes she had taken from her private cache. Of course the nanoprobes had to be reprogrammed because the wily Tok'ra scientist had stolen them from the planet Argos.

Both Pelops and Nirrti had desired to make the perfect host. Their nefarious experiments ultimately failed. Of course SG1 had a hand or two in both circumstances. The stalwart warriors of the Tau'ri home world had destroyed Pelops' technology and had disrupted Nirtti's experiments in both of her laboratories. However Anise was a woman of resolve and resource. She gained what she wanted eventually.

The Tok'ra female had been able to acquire the Atoniek armbands and goad SG1 into using them and with planted information she had caused them to not only fell Apophis' new ship but destroy it. She was still vexed they had left the armbands behind, but the scientist still had three others in her possession.

Gene manipulation and recombinant nanotechnology...would bind the cells. Of course Anise was gambling with high stakes against the odds. The molecular and even subatomic level of the mitochondria would need to be maneuvered to blend. It had taken Anise several days to program Pelops' nanoprobes to do what she needed them to do.

The nanoprobes would on the quantum level via heightened electromagnetic sensitivity bind the incompatible cells to fuse in a molecular cohesion. Watching the progress in a electron microscope, Anise witnessed the platelet-derived growth patterns take over the fetus. Sermorelin a trigger for releasing Tau'ri and Malakim hormone somatotropin which stimulated the growth. Whatever deficiency the fetus had the nanoprobes would adapt and correct the variance. The nanoprobes took the fetus beyond typical maturation within hours, the fetus was the size of a five year old child. Flaxen hair in waves of curls and wings that were pressed tight against her body.

The nanoprobes charged the gonadorelin. A hormone released by the hypothalamus simulating the secretion of follicle and feather stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland, both of which contributed to cell growth and development.

Anise smiled broadly as she realized the cells of Malakim, Symbiote and Tau'ri were fusing they were cohering more importantly they were viable! Viable! The pituitary growth hormone and its amino acid interaction continued to respond favorably. The mitochondria of the Malakim had refused previously to bond with the other genes of the donors, now they were so intricately fused Anise knew her creation was a new genesis for the Tok'ra.

It was time, as the host was growing exponentially, to implement its education. Still more nanites were introduced into the cerebral cortex, to make this happen. Anise wasn't going to gamble on the chance the genetic memory would be carried over from her cloned cells. She wanted intelligence secured away within the creature.

'You intend to use it as a host.' Freya sent to her symbiote. 'With such a host we can not hide incognito amongst the Tok'ra.'

'We are fighting a war for our very existence, we do not apologize or shrink from the means. The Malakim have superior strength, they are immortal and have great powers, but they are not willing to blend. They force us to generate our own blank clones for this purpose.'

Anise repeated her earlier argument. 'If not as hosts for the Tok'ra, we will have our own warriors. The Kull Warriors can not be stopped save for the weapon Samantha Carter invented and the powers of Usiel. We saw in the data from the battle of Usiel against a platoon of the Kull warriors, confiscated from the Fifth Column Jaffa on Osiris' vessel. This warrior, our own Jaffa, our own Hac'taur will be our greatest achievement. Our greatest chance to survive this war.'

Freya found herself agreeing with her symbiote as she recalled hearing tales of the fall of Anubis from the Malakim Queen. Somehow, someway she had been able to uncreate the half-Ascended Goa'uld. If this was a pure success, Freya contemplated that she could infuse herself with a retro virus so that she herself would transmute into the superior creation. With the power of a Malakim she needn't worry about blending into the Goa'uld population as an agent. After all Anise was a scientist not field operative.

Anise turned back to the creature. Blonde-gold wings, and hair. She was lithe and even young she was developing muscles. Her skin pale like that of the Primta. Anise stood closer to the neonatal maturation tank in time to see the creature open her eyes. Intense blue-gray the impossible color of the sky just before a winter storm.

"She's beautiful." Anise uttered amazed her creation was real, alive....and viable.


Looking up sharply, Sam found Janet waiting on the threshold of the library almost as if she was waiting for permission to come in. Normally Sam would have been aware of any approach. Normally. But that was normality, like all the others, now seemed to her like a vaguely remembered and unattainable dream of peace.

The small statured physician asked, "Am I disturbing you?"

Sam dutifully made an abstract wave of invitation. "No...please."

Sitting herself on a chair adjacent to the one Sam had been sitting, Janet made to grab for her wife's hand. When Sam withdrew from the touch, Janet felt as if she had been slapped. Sam never recoiled from her touch.

It had always been their custom and their pleasure to share insights, thoughts, feelings....Janet found the prospect unendurable. The connection between them was deeper and with the more concentrated emotions that the bond both embodied and evoked was now nearly beyond bearing.

"I want you to tell me the truth." Sam said as a form of greeting to her wife.

Of course," Janet responded at once, without hesitation. As was Janet's custom—a matter of principle that stretched as far as Samantha could remember. Janet Fraiser believed in always telling the truth. Except when she didn't. Except when she kept silent.

"Has the fear of your change, changed the way you feel about me?" Sam asked point blank.

"What?" the doctor asked as if she had not heard the question correctly.

The blonde regarded Janet with a kind of uncertain, helpless trust, because Janet's trust was the only truth she could hope for; and the never-spoken question was, at last, very simple: "Do you want out?"

"Out?" Janet's eyes jerked aside to focus on vacancy, with wincing concentration. Then they slowly returned to meet Samantha's. With immense and careful precision, Janet said, "No, of course not." Again she made to reach for her wife, and again, Sam recoiled.

The blonde agitation again forced her into motion, pacing the confined space. "Janet I don't get you. So you manifested the Song of the Ancient. So you can tap into the World Symphony. So what! What the hell is the problem? Get over yourself, Janet. You carry the Ancient gene, its not like you're using all the dark places inside you to power a Ribbon Device. You're healing people!"

Janet was forced to stand as if she felt it was her duty to confront such things on her feet. Her own anger rising in defensiveness, before she was able to draw breath to speak, Sam voice dominated again.

"You're doing good and you bitch because only now you feel what you were always born to do. You were already changed from your typical human with the Ancient gene ever since you were carried in your mother's womb. Now...now… you can feel it and you're bitching about it!..." Sam's thoughts now vocalized continued to drive her until she saw nothing else, felt nothing else but her anger.

"So what! You can just say so what?" This time Janet would not be stilled.

"Yes, I can. So the fuck is your problem? You changed to heal our baby, our Rebecca and you go off and think the sky is falling."

"I am not chicken little." Janet spat back.

"Could have fooled me."

The voices had carried throughout the bastion, echoing off the walls until it was heard by every ear. The Blue Wing, who had spent the night due to the inclement weather and Cassie stopping by her mother's house to talk sense into them on her sister's behalf were shocked at the rise of animosity. Curiosity overcame politeness as the nine hurried to the library. Perhaps as peacekeepers, perhaps as curious observers.

The nine reached the threshold in time to hear Janet's anger overcome her heart. The words she spoke ripe with rage and angst. "You're such a bitch sometimes. And double standard. You moped around for days after you used the Ribbon device on Seth."

"Well duh! Get perspective there Janet! That is a weapon used to kill. It uses your hate, your malaise all the dark inside you to fuel it. It's only made to do one thing. Hurt. Torture and kill people, there is little good in it."

"As opposed to a gun." the doctor shot back

"When I was on a battle field with a M60 or P90 it was different, I was being shot at and I shot back. The Ribbon device... it gives you a rush. Almost sexual every time you use it to torture or kill some one. It's perverse and I hate using it."

Janet thought for a moment. " and the Healing device?"

"I only recently mastered it, but destruction was easier. Healing pulls life from you."

"And you don't think the Song of Healing doesn't pull life from me?" Janet retorted.

"Not if you're trained." Sam shot back knowing her wife had and is still undergoing extensive instruction "You heal, you put them back together again and give people a chance to live."

"I FEEL their pain, Sam! I know what needs to be healed because what ever they are suffering from I feel it! As if it were my own!"

"And this is different how? You've always felt it. Fuck, Janet you had this power all along the only reason it manifested is because of the cut on Little Bit's hand, and there was a hell of a lot of mojo juice going around. The World Symphony was ripe with Quintessence."

"Quintessence? World Symphony? You sling those words around as IF you are Malakim."

"I am the Nephalim!"

"You have always have had untapped power within you Sam." Janet said. "Now that you have accessed it you've changed."

"What?" sapphire eyes raged in infernal blue bale fire. What startled Janet was that the sclera of her wife's eyes had turned a pale blue, the pupils themselves dilated, and the blue became electric not unlike those of a Malakim. "I am not a despot. I don't crave power, I don't want to rule the galaxy or the universe. I am NOT Gemini! I am not a Goa'uld! I am Samantha Carter! I am the Nephalim but so are you...Ancient! Don't you EVER compare me to Gemini!"

Sam tried to hold on, to exert her influence, but the anger was too big, too all-encompassing. She was changing, becoming something entirely new, lost to something new.

Those of the Blue Wing, and Cassie watched astonished as all the heat in the room was sucked out as if pulled by a quantum singularity. The temperature plummeted so rapidly, frost spread as a disease over the floor, along the walls. Fern patterns of ice covered the windows of the bastion before transforming the panes of glass into white frozen blankets of frost.

"Great Song in the Dark!" Boudicca uttered watching the white frozen ice spread infectiously as a creature along the walls, ceiling furniture and floors. Vaporous clouds plumbed in the air hanging on chilled breath.

"It's them..." Razeal spoke as if he uttered words of heresy. "How can it be them....it can't be." he denied, not wanting to believe the Nephalim the Scion of Balance and the Liege Healer Scion of the Ancient were responsible for the Harrowing of the Malakim Empire. It simply could not be true. It couldn't!

"Oh my God." Cassie's voice filtered through the chill, the ice into the hearts of her mothers.

"No! NO! I won't believe it! The Nephalim is not ... she isn't supposed to be filled with Discord! She isn't! She's the Nephalim! She's ... not Discordant." Razeal wailed. His spirit crushed in the sight of his hero's fall. His iridescent blue wings slumped as he crashed to his knees, leather squeaking against frost covered marble. His tears would freeze against his high cheek boned face.

Malachi, of the Malakite knew what this meant. He belonged to the Choir also known as the Virtues; scourge of Discord. They vanquished Dissonance where they found it, wherever they found it. The great soldier was obviously conflicted, here was the Nephalim of the Malakim, his own Wing Leader and the Prime Minister to the Empire. The other was the consort, Liege Healer and the Nephalim of the Ancients, how could he vanquish them?

It was impossible.

"Holy Hannah!" Sam gasped as she saw the frozen world her home had become.

Janet stared at the Arctic-zone that was now her home. If the temperatures continued to plummet, they would freeze...instantly. "Ecomancers can you ..... we need to generate heat now!"

Sam turned on her wife in amazement, Janet slipped into doctor mode quickly, taking charge. She was right if there wasn't heat, they would die.

Razeal, Turelim and Rambim flew quickly into action, first summoning pyrokinesis to start a fire in the massive fireplace. The latter two summoned the World Symphony commanding the molecules in the air to expand and heat to shift the temperature above freezing. Anymore than that they would be incapable of defeating the frozen discord. They had tired and had always failed. Now wouldn't be any different.

Both Sam Carter and Janet Fraiser faced each other, their eyes bonding to the others. Astonished disbelief so apparent in their eyes. Now comes the guilt and truth. They had generated this doom.

They were supposed to bring hope from distant archived legends instead they were the genesis of the Empire's annihilation.

Part 10

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