Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment, not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Rating: original is M+ Edited for posting under M. Some chapters will be T, most lower than T, but the overall story will be M, even though I think that is a slightly high rating for the majority of it.

Pairings: Sam/Martouf/Lantash, - Lantash/other, - Daniel/Sam, - Daniel/other, - Malek/other, - Mention of other pairings although their story is not followed closely: Janet/Other, Jacob/other, … Jack? Well, maybe not this story, but at one point, his interest is caught.

Story Summary:Sam must help ensure the survival of the All and the destruction of Bastet. At Thor's request, the Furlings send one of their elite Warriors to join SG1 - Her arrival Threatened total destruction is almost the least of their problems. The new player joins SG-1 and the Tok'Ra in the fight against the Goa'uld. However, she may not be new at all, since she has past ties with the Tok'Ra and to the Earth. Her arrival in the fight is the beginning of a series of upheavals for the Tau'ri, the Tok'Ra, the members of SG-1, and the Goa'uld

Author's Notes, explanations, and more in depth Story Summery: While the above summery is the culmination and nucleus of this book, the book in its entirety, sets the stage for the rest of the Legacy Series. It gives background on the race of the Furlings and their customs. Their ties to Earth. It puts Sam and Daniel squarely within that venue as they grow and develop abilities they did not know they had. Although there are original characters involved with SGC members, this is very much Daniel's, as well as Sam and Martouf/Lantash's story. Their romance is often at center stage. Daniel and his love interest or Janet and hers, or even Malek's romance sometimes share it. (Malek has his own story within the series though). This also gives some background on Lantash. (Take With You My Love - the blending of Martouf and Lantash - is a prequel of this Series as it shows how Martouf and Lantash met and blended; therefore, we meet his former host...who is mentioned on and off in this book and series.). In Blood of My Heart, Lantash's life is disrupted again, as we meet some of his former allies and...a former mate. Through their bonding, we learn about the Furling rites, rituals, beliefs, attitudes, and abilities. Things that Sam and Daniel must also come to understand, accept, and participate in. This is also Sam and Daniel's story. They are very central to it. I know this is a very long and somewhat intricate story. Those who read it all the way through usually enjoy it, (or so I have been told) but I know that in places it gets tedious. (Starshadow and I edited it repeatedly, so we both know.) However, those areas have information that helps explain other things, so I have left them in and trust the reader to decide whether to bother reading those parts. (I don't think there is anything major in them.) I hope you can push your way through those, or skip them, if they are just too boring for words. I would be happy to explain anything about which you are curious or do not understand. Also, I have a dictionary of Furling words and phrases. If anyone wants to read or use it, please tell me; If you enjoy the story, please let me know. Thank you, Pagan Twylight.

Chapter One Summary:SG1 finds a tablet inscribed with a gate address that is not in the cartouche. The only thing they know for sure about it is that it is Furling...and should be undiscovered by the Goa'uld. Since the Furlings are the race they know the least about, General Hammond authorizes an exploratory mission to the planet in question...after a M.A.L.P. has been sent there and watched for several days. Nothing and no one has disturbed it. After they arrive, they find it an idyllic destination. It is beautiful in many ways. They see no one as they explore the planet, however, they are being watched...analyzed...and not found wanting.

Warnings: Character Death – temporary only. Blood, chapter 34. Sexual context and scenes…scattered throughout.

Status: Complete

Archive: - M+ - version is archived on my personal website: pagantwylightdotcom and on Symbiotica: tokradotfandomnetdotcom

"Italics" Symbiote-Host or Telepathic communication

Adorata wynMy adored one

Sevesh Lok Twin – Rite of Release

Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul : is Book I in The Tok'Ra Legacy Series. It won First Place in Angst/Drama in the 2006 ISIS Awards.

Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul

Chapter One

The Furling Temple and The Warrior

Daniel Jackson looked at the ancient writings on the wall in front of him. Well, it was ancient as in old, not as in Ancient. Unfortunately, he had no idea what it said. At least, not yet. However, something said that he should know. He should know.

Turning to go back toward the open door of the temple, he saw Sam coming toward him, the sun shining on her hair, allowing a halo of light to encircle her head. Angelic she was not, but she was his very dear friend, and he would be glad of her help. Jack's truncated attention span and non-existent tolerance level for archaeological exploration left Daniel hoping that Teal'c would keep him occupied and give them long enough to really explore this temple. It was a rare and exciting find for them. It was Furling.

He shook his head as he remembered the oddity of how they had found this place. They were on a planet where the civilization had most decidedly been of the Ancients. Amongst the writings, pieces of pottery, and shards of stone they found the tablet, and on it was the gate address. One that was not found either on theAbydoscartouche, or in those that Jack had entered into the database when he had the knowledge of the Ancients. They had spent a week going over those ruins looking for other addresses like it and had found none.

When they sent the M.A.L.P. through, they all held their breaths; everyone, that is, except Jack, who continued to pretend that he couldn't figure out the significance of what they had found. They only had one or two addresses that led to a Furling world, and Daniel felt strongly that it was very important they follow up on this one. Of the Four Great Races of theAlliance, they knew the least about the Furling.

The M.A.L.P. went through to a picture-perfect world. Other than an occasional animal, nothing moved; everything appeared quiet, calm, and hospitable. The planet in question was sunny and mild with an atmosphere that was almost an exact match for Earth, less the pollutants. Now, here they stood, and still there were no threats. There were no natives to meet them in either friendly or non-friendly spirits; indeed, nothing stirred but some indigenous animal life that appeared, so far, to be harmless.

Daniel shook his head as he watched Sam wend her way up the incline to the temple. Nothing. So why did it feel so right that Sam should be walking up that path, and that he should be waiting for her? Why this feeling of—of recognition, expectation? Daniel frowned. From what ether did that thought come? Sam looked different, but he could not pinpoint how. She seemed very much at home, her walk graceful, but at the same time, alert and stealthy. Daniel frowned, shaking his head, and when he looked again, Sam was the same Sam he had known for several years now. That was weird. Almost a déjà vu type of thing, but that was not possible. They were not even on Earth.

He rubbed his eyes and sighed. He was not getting enough sleep lately. He had been up late every night, trying to see if he could make anything out from the very poor images that the M.A.L.P. sent them. It had sat here in this temple for a week, and they had moved it around and captured images of the walls, but it just was not the same as seeing them. Finally, he managed to get the General to agree to a four-day exploration mission. Jack went ballistic, but the General had pointed out that Daniel did have a valid point. As one of the four races in theAlliancewith the Asgard, the Nox, and the Ancients, the Furling were potential allies, and this place should be explored. Daniel could explore theTemple. Jack could explore the countryside close around it to be sure that there was, in fact, no one left there.

"Hey, Daniel, how is it going?" Sam wanted to know when she was within hailing distance.

Daniel shook his head at her. "Slow, Sam, very slow. I can't make heads or tails of any of this. It is the oddest thing, though," he laughed, almost sheepishly, "every time I look at it, I feel like I should be able to read it. Just…read it." He frowned.

"What, Daniel? What is it?" Sam asked, aware that Daniel's posture meant that something had clicked. She had seen it happen over and over again. Suddenly, she looked up and frowned to herself. She could have sworn that someone was standing there and watching them. Glancing around, she saw nothing except the dust motes dancing on streams of sunlight. It was not even an uncomfortable feeling; it was just…odd. Yeah. Odd.

Easily shaking off the feeling, she said again, "Daniel?"

"It says, Templeof the Dragon of the Fire, adorata wyn," Daniel said absently.

"What?" Sam asked.

"What?" Daniel answered.

"Daniel," Sam said, patiently, "You just called me adorata wyn. What is that?"

"I did?"

"Yes. Daniel, are you all right?"

"Um, uh, yeah, Sam, I am fine," he answered absently, obviously still distracted, as he continued to study the wall. Suddenly spinning around and facing the doorway, he asked, "Did you feel that?"

"What? I didn't feel anything," Sam said quietly, as she watched him carefully. He did not seem alarmed or even upset, just curious.

He shook his head. "It was odd. Just a breeze, a, I don't know, it was as if something touched my mind and my—" He stopped speaking rather abruptly, shaking his head again. "There is something profound here, Sam. I don't know what it is about this place, but it..." He stopped speaking, only to start again almost immediately, "It is a place of both peace and power. How odd."

"What, Daniel?" Sam was glad that she was not saying "who"; she would begin to feel like an owl. "What seems odd?" Not receiving any answer to that question, she switched tracks, changing the subject by asking him a different question, "I thought you said that you could not read any of this?"

"I can't," Daniel declared, obviously frustrated.

"Well, you just did." Sam pointed to the words at the top of the wall that were larger than the others were. "You just read that."

Daniel frowned, as he glanced over at her, before answering, "That is impossible, Sam. I don't recognize any of the words on this. Not only that; it is not the same as the Furling we found on Ernest's planet. Even though it is very similar, it is still different. It may be a later evolution of the language." He shrugged one shoulder, then looking back at the wall in question, he continued, "Or an earlier one."

"Daniel Jackson, you just read that line of characters to me," Sam stated firmly.

Obviously startled, he looked over at her realizing that, if he really had somehow come up with any of the words, there was the possibility of using them as a key. Raising his eyebrows questioningly, he asked, "What did I say that they meant, Sam?"

"You looked up there and said that it says the Temple of the Dragon of the Fire."

Daniel nodded, recognizing it as she said it. "Yes, that is right," he said slowly, "But, how do I know that, Sam?"

"I don't know, Daniel, but if it is right, will it help with the rest of this?"

"I hope so," he replied before adding wryly, "Assuming that it is right."

"Oh. My. God. What absolutely beautiful, magnificent animals," Sam breathed her words softly.

Looking up and following her gaze, Daniel's eyes widened. The two humans stood in awe, staring at the two animals that sat outside one of the open doorways. One looked very much like a massive, golden lion. It cocked its head and returned Sam's gaze, as if asking what she wanted to know. The other was similar to the lion-like animal, but pure black with a slightly shorter ruff. Both animals had eyes that were a pure, deep green.

As they stood and started walking toward the two of them, Daniel said quietly, "They will not hurt us."

"I know," Sam answered absently, a frown creasing her forehead. She felt there was something she should remember. She knelt as the Great Golden One, as she had named it in her head, came to her. It was so tall that she had to remain upright on her knees, and still it lowered its head to rest it on her shoulder. As she placed her arms around its neck, she felt at peace and safe; cared for and protected.

Daniel knelt on one knee as the massive black cat came to him. As it lowered its head to him and Daniel placed his arms around its neck, he felt anguish. Soul-searing, heart-breaking anguish. It passed almost as quickly as it had come, only to be replaced by all of the emotions that Sam had felt. The peace was wonderful, however, the calm was shattered by the sound of a P-90 being hefted, and a, "What the hell?" being heard.

The couple on the floor let go of the animals and turned toward a shocked O'Neill. Shifting to their feet, they started to protest, when Teal'c said, "I do not believe they intended any harm; furthermore, they have left, O'Neill." Even standing next to them, Sam and Daniel had neither felt nor seen them leave; they had moved that stealthily.

"What did you think you were doing?" Jack O'Neill barked. "Those things were huge."

"They were friendly, Jack. There was no animosity or danger around them at all," Daniel answered patiently.

"He is right, sir. They were more like big dogs than big cats. You can't gauge an alien species by comparing it to what we have on Earth," Sam reminded him before continuing, hoping to give some reassurance, "They were friendly."

"And just how do you know that, Major?" Colonel O'Neil demanded.

"Well, Jack, if they were not, we would be dead with only little pieces of us left, unless they just dragged us off with them, in which case, there would not even be pieces," Daniel replied logically, before Sam could say anything. Then he frowned. "They could be some kind of guardians of this place, you know; they knew we weren't going to hurt it."

Teal'c nodded in obvious agreement, before stating in his measured, quiet way, "Indeed, O'Neill, I felt the same thing. They were not threatening us. We will be very safe here."

"You know, Teal'c, if I didn't know from experience that you were usually right about that kind of thing, I'd say we were nuts for staying anywhere near those two things. The way it is, I think we will stay in here tonight, near the gate. If they went to get their buddies, I don't want to be cut off from the gate." Jack made his decision.

"As you wish, O'Neill. There is a sheltered place over there for a fire."

"No need, Teal'c, there are several other rooms here, and one of them looks like it was a place that they used to prepare food. The hearth may be usable. If not, then we can move it outside."

"I will check it out, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c stated calmly, as he headed in the direction that Daniel nodded.

"All the comforts of home, Daniel?" Jack drawled.

"Not exactly, Jack, but I really don't think there is anything here that will harm us," Daniel replied.

"Friendly spirits, Daniel?" Jack asked sarcastically. Daniel just shrugged, letting the sarcasm go right on by.

A breeze blew through the room, ruffling their hair. None of them noticed that no wind had touched anything else, not even the dust that was everywhere around them. They began setting up their camp.

The four days turned out great for Jack, who found a lake teeming with fish. Teal'c spent his time exploring the ruins, which, it turned out, were quite extensive as well as alluringly beautiful. They lay spread along the bottom of a large hill watched over by the temple, which stood about half way up the side of it. Though many large trees surrounded the temple, they allowed both dappled sunlight and soft breezes to play in and around it, while a small waterfall laughed over the rocks not far away. It was a lovely, almost magical place. Sam appeared content to while away the days sitting with Daniel, quietly watching him work, and he was content to be with her, simply enjoying her companionship. It would have been perfect, idyllic really...if only the Furling temple would give up some of the secrets that Daniel was convinced, absolutely, positively, convinced, were hiding there waiting to be found.

The third day, almost no further along with translating the wall than he had been when they arrived, he woke up to find himself lying on the floor, cradling Sam in his arms. On one side of them was the Great Golden One. On the other was the Dragon's Paw, as he had half-laughingly named him. Seeing Daniel awake, they arose and left as quietly as they had come.

Daniel shook his head. He rarely took a nap, and for him and Sam to do so, together like this, was unheard of. At his desk or her lab table, maybe, but not wrapped in each other's arms. Moreover, he did not even remember lying down. Smiling at the sleeping woman resting beside him, he quietly got up and moved back to the wall. He would let her awaken on her own, and she never needed to know that they had gone to sleep and cuddled.

He sighed. Every time he looked at the wall, he had the unsettling feeling that he should be able to read it. Sometimes, strictly out of the blue, a word or phrase popped into his head. Unfortunately, none of it seemed to lead to any other discovery about the script, although he knew the answer had to be there. Then, too, there was that disquieting feeling that the information he needed was locked within his own mind. That is probably what caused him to feel as if he should be able to simply read the wall; the feeling that it was a familiar script that he knew and knew well. It was very frustrating; he knew that, too.

So far, all he had found, he thought, was that this was theTempleof the Dragon of the Fire. He believed that the two great cats that kept tabs on them were mentioned; if so, then they were the Lionkatanar and the Pantherataya. In addition, if he was right on this stuff, then they were indeed guardians. They were to guard it until the Dragon of the Fire and the Dragon of the Star joined with one another and did something that he couldn't seem to figure out. It also said something about guarding the kin of the Great King into eternity. He had no idea what it meant, or if it meant anything at all. With no more than he had to go on, it was all gibberish as far as he was concerned, at least for now. His translation, while feeling correct, was based on nothing solid, therefore, he did not trust it.

Something at the bottom of the wall caught his attention. Crouching down, he looked at it for what felt like the thousandth time. This time, he felt its meaning. The Prophecy of the All. That made no more sense than the rest.

Looking back at the top, he again read the first sentence that had come to him, The Temple of the Dragon of the Fire. The Warrior. The Slayer. Daniel closed his eyes while pinching the bridge of his nose. Why, why, were these words popping into his head in such random order while giving no clue to the translation of the remainder? Perhaps it was a good thing that they were leaving tomorrow. Maybe once he was back in his own world, this would stop happening.

One thing was sure; there were no big honkin' space guns, or weapons of any kind, that would help them in their fight against the System Lords. It was about time to go. Tomorrow would see them wrapping it up and leaving here. He had videotapes of everything that he felt might be of interest. He had spent one day wandering in the ruins with Teal'c and had taped them, too.

It was a good thing that Jack had been able to fish, otherwise, he would have been complaining about the giant, galactic waste of time that the trip had been. He grinned. Instead, all they kept hearing about were the ones that got away. Moreover, the lake was very close to the temple, so he could do that and guard them at the same time. Not that there was anything here to harm them. This had to be one of the safest places that they had ever explored. They should put this planet on their list of possible evacuation sites.

It had been a relaxing few days, and they had each enjoyed it in their own way, which was unusual in and of itself. He did not think any of them would be in a hurry to leave tomorrow, but the outside world was waiting. Tomorrow, they would leave this dream world and go back to reality.

The woman strode swiftly, yet calmly, towards her objective, seemingly oblivious to what was around her.

Had anyone been watching, they would have seen a slender, well-proportioned female of medium height and indeterminate age. She could have been younger or older, but was probably of some middle age. Something about her made it very hard to determine with any accuracy.

Some would call her beautiful, others simply attractive. All would have used the words peaceful and serene.

At first glance, there appeared to be nothing striking about her at all. Her hair was short, cut in feathery layers. It was dark gold, laced with streaks that ranged from white to silver to deep burnished gold, and they caught the light and glinted with each stray ray that happened upon them.

Her skin was golden in color, almost, some would say, as tawny as a great golden lion's. Her hands were beautiful, elegantly long fingered, slender and soft. Her movements as she walked along were graceful and sensuous, bringing to mind a lithe, stealthy feline. Her mouth was full and well shaped; her cheekbones high and well defined. All in all, no more than quite attractive to look upon until, that is, one looked into the eyes.

Those eyes were the most arresting shade of violet and the slant in the shape and the blackness of the long thick lashes were exotic in the extreme. They had been called glorious and enchanting; in a word beautiful. Anyone who looked into them would see more, however. They would see a very old and very wise soul looking back. A soul who had seen and done much, and knew both the beauties of the universe and the horrors. Depending on who was looking, they would either feel very comfortable and safe, or extremely fearful. Either reaction would not have surprised her, for she was accustomed to seeing both.

Her clothing might appear strange. Made of some softly clinging fabric it consisted of a black tunic trimmed with gold lacing and black tight-like pants. Trim black boots were laced to her knees. A black gold trimmed cloak flowed from her shoulders and swirled to within an inch or so of the ground. It was secured at the shoulder by a curious looking clasp; A gold shield depicting crossed swords and a lion rampant. The lion's crown was imbedded with stones, all amethysts and all marquis cut.

Encircling her head lay an intricately woven golden circlet imbedded with various colored stones. The stones lay clasped within the graceful swirls of gold, which culminated in a deep V on her forehead. A beautiful marquis cut Amethyst rested in the cradle of the V, and occasionally, one of the stones would glow for a moment before it returned to being merely a jewel. Although there were stones of many colors, blue and violet stones dominated the circlet. The sapphires, blue topaz, and amethysts appeared to be the stones she preferred, for she also wore a ring composed of a marquis cut amethyst surrounded by sapphires, blue topaz, and diamonds. On one hand, she wore something that looked very much like a ribbon device, but it appeared to be much more delicately made and had many stones amongst the swirls of gold, not one large one.

At her side, she wore a beautifully crafted sword with a jeweled hilt. She could have stepped out of a painting of a medieval court or a science fiction fantasy. If asked she would have simply stated that her clothing was not unusual for her people. It was a uniform, and she was a Warrior. She was, in fact, an elite Warrior, and if the truth were known, one of Cadwaellon's best. As such, her thoughts were hidden, and nothing of her inner turmoil was allowed to surface to be detected in either her features or her demeanor. Internally, however, a debate raged.

Many years before, the woman had been host to a Tok'Ra. Her symbiote, Siesha, had become her dearest friend, and they had been together for a long time. Almost longer than she had been with her Tok'Ra mate, for she had been blended for many years before they met and joined. Although Siesha had died many years before, the woman could still hear her voice whispering in her mind, arguing with her, helping her find answers to questions. Her voice had taken on the role of the Warrior's conscience in many ways, and she could hear her now as if she was still within her.

"So you are not sure this is the correct thing to do. Which brings to mind the question of why you are here, if that is how you feel about it?" The phantom voice's questioning tone was forcing her to examine her reasoning.

"No. I am not entirely sure that what we are doing is correct. No doubt, the reason you have decided to talk to me. Nevertheless, I volunteered to come and I will do my best. After all, covert operations are something I am very good at, and this does require some skill," the Warrior answered.

"Perhaps this is what comes of wishing to please our Father," the voice inside her hinted.

"My Father. And Thor. Let us not forget Thor. And the Council agreed with them," she retorted as she continued to discuss her situation with herself.

"But, only if you felt the cause and the potential of the species worthwhile," Siesha's voice cautioned.

"Well, we know that the cause is just. The Goa'uld must be controlled," the Warrior replied firmly.

"Yes, and we were getting bored in our last assignment," the observation was pointed.

"My last assignment. You are dead," came the spirited retort.

"Yes, but we were blended for a very long time. My passing has not stilled my voice for you, my friend," the voice continued, undaunted.

"That is true, Siesha. It hurts no one for me to keep you alive in my heart. If hearing you in my mind gives me joy then I shall do so. I know you are not really here with me, but I can wish you were." The woman sounded wistful, and it was obvious she still missed her friend.

"Perhaps it is time that you considered blending again. It has been long enough, and you know you were comfortable with our bond. It is worth thinking about," came the practical reply.

"I know, and I have been. I will see how this assignment goes. When it is ended, perhaps I will return to the Tok'Ra, and if I can find the queen, I will blend again, as I promised you I would. If it goes well, then I will once again be able to give time to trying to find the new queen. I do not despair of being able to accomplish that, even though it has had to be put in a waiting position for now. I promised you I would do my best, and I will," she once again promised her friend.

"For now, you have other important things to think about. We do not yet know what this assignment will bring, but each time we go to a new world, there is the chance we will find her. We will not give up easily," Siesha agreed.

"No, I will not," she agreed, her voice implacable.

The woman sighed and continued walking. The memories of the long-dead Tok'Ra symbiote made her both sad and happy. That her internal voice sounded like Siesha was a comfort to her. She enjoyed their talks. It was as if Siesha was still with her in some way. Moreover, she truly did wish to find the Tok'Ra a new queen, for their numbers were dwindling. However, that was for the future, for as Siesha had indicated, this assignment could turn out to be very important in the fight against the Goa'uld. Time alone would tell.

Suddenly she announced to her (self), "Sometimes, I wish the Wiccadians were not a Clan of the Furling."

"It would not matter for you and those like you. Your mother is Wiccadian; your father is Furling," Siesha's voice answered her.

"Which brings power and great responsibility. I know, I know," the Warrior replied.

"At five hundred and thirty-eight years of age, you should," the voice chided her.

"Must you constantly bring that up?" She answered.

"You do not look a day over four hundred," was the prompt reply.

The woman snorted delicately, "Thank you."

"Let us go over the whole thing again. What exactly was this request?" The voice prompted her to return her thoughts to the mission at hand, and the thing that had brought them here.

"Thor came to Father and the Council of the Table with a request for a seasoned Warrior to help the Tau'ri in their fight against the Goa'uld. It was discussed at length. As you know, we can be of very little help to the Asgard against the replicators, as our weapons are only minimally effective against them." She frowned as she contemplated this unpalatable fact. That the Asgard were having an extremely difficult time fighting the replicators was a matter for grave concern. That the Furling had few weapons against them, as well, was an even more disturbing circumstance. The replicators were as much of a pestilence as the Goa'uld was, and that was a very disturbing thought. While she did not doubt that in the end the Asgard would prevail, in the meantime, it was something that was being seriously studied by both of their scientific communities and prototypes of weapons were being tested regularly in their Universities and Laboratories.

"The point is that although we cannot help them significantly with the replicators, we may be able to help them in this way. The people of the Tau'ri need help in their battle against the Goa'uld and we, as a people, have not been active in that region of space for a very long time. The System Lords there grow bolder and stronger and from what Thor said, we gathered that the Tok'Ra are also having some difficulties. Since the Tau'ri are in the Protected Planets Treaty, by helping them, we are, in a way, helping our allies, the Asgard."

"Therefore, I agreed to shadow SG-1, analyze their abilities and strengths, and report to the Council. In addition, I was to decide if it was an assignment that I would like to pursue. Or for that matter, report on whether or not they have a snowball's chance in Hades of succeeding. We must hope that they do, for we cannot yet bring the full force of our Warriors here to help. Although we are winning the war, it will not be over for our sector of the universe anytime soon," she finished grimly, as she thought about the battles still ahead of them in some of their sectors in the universe.

"And tell me, Kataya, Warrior of Cadwaellon, what do you think you will find?" Siesha's voice prompted her.

"I believe I will find a worthy people who need us," she replied promptly.

"And is that because of their cause and their potential, or because they are allies of the Tok'Ra, and we could see our lover again, after all this time?" The voice insinuated.

"Siesha, shut up; you are dead. And besides, we know Justin, his host, was killed, and for all we know, he could also have died by now," she snapped in reply as her mind veered onto a totally different subject, and not one she was sure she wanted to pursue.

Her conscience obviously felt it was a point that needed to be examined, as it began to probe the past. "That is true. How long has it been since we last loved?" The voice that asked was full of longing.

"It has been one hundred and seventeen years," her reply was infinitely sad and softly whispered.

"We still love him greatly. And miss him deeply," Siesha whispered back to her.

"Yes, I do. Nevertheless, he was not meant to be my mate for always. He was not the mate of my soul, only of my heart. He was not the Soulmate." She stopped speaking for a moment as the emotions roiled through her. Once they passed sufficiently for her to not only think, but to breathe and speak once more, she continued, murmuring, "But, oh, Siesha, how very deeply my love for him is entwined within our Heartmate bonding; how it hurts to think of him again."

"He could have been our Soulmate. Father would have performed the ritual and rites. Had we been willing to abandon our wait for our first Soulmate, he could have taken his place in our hearts," the voice whispered the truth into her mind.

"I know. Why, why do you cause me this anguish after all these years? Our kits are grown and are warriors themselves now. He would be proud of them. Of us! Is this not enough? Must you always speak of what might have been?" Searing in its intensity, pain flowed through her mind, as well as her heart, when these thoughts and memories rushed forward into being.

"Our children were not very old, at least by our standards, when it was decided that the time had come for our lives to part. Had we not been so desperately needed in the Pegacian System, we would have been with him still. Our kits could have gone to our father for further training. It was not absolutely necessary that we see to so much of it, and, in fact, once we became immersed in the war, we were not around all that much," Siesha's voice still whispered to her.

"While it is true that their training could have been accomplished without me, the truth remains; I was needed, and they were thirty. It was time for their training as Katteri-enti warriors to truly begin. They had learned all they could from me in the situation, as it stood. We had to leave for the home world. It will not be long now before they take their places among the Katteri-enti Warriors. Soon they will move forward in rank and join the Table, as I did all those years ago. It was always meant to be so. He understood. We were together for over eighty years. Our time together was not long by Tok'Ra or Katteri standards, but it was truly beautiful and fulfilling. He will always be the adored of my heart, always," Kataya replied, almost fiercely.

Pulling in a deep breath, she allowed heartache and deep concern to flood her being, as she continued more softly, "If only..." Stopping and shaking her head slowly, firmness re-entered her voice, as she said, "No, it is too late now to replay the past. I cannot, nor in reality would I, change anything. The Katteri-enti needed me, just as the Tok'Ra needed him. Just as he could not come with me; neither could I stay with him."

She paused again, before adding, "However, I do still feel grief and distress when I remember how deeply his emotions always affected him; how he probably reacted to our parting. Anguish pierces my heart when I consider the dark place in his heart and mind to which he would have retreated, just as I did. I can only hope that his agony and despair did not torment him or last as long as my own did. With all my being, I truly hope that he is now at peace and happy."

"You believe that he is not dead? That he lives, breathes, and wonders what happened to you and his children? Is this not truly one of the reasons that you are contemplating joining the Tau'ri? At least be honest with yourself," came the soft rejoinder.

"The fight in the Pegacian system was becoming boring. The System Lords there are almost defeated," Kataya told herself evasively.

"While that is true, I do not think that is being completely honest. You could have had any command for which you wished. You could have gone into the Morovian Sector; fighting is still fierce there. Be honest, Kataya the Warrior, you want to know if he lives. You want to see him again." Her inner voice did not give up on forcing her to look deeply into her motives and understand what she was doing—and why.

"As you will, then. Yes, that is one of the reasonsbut think. I know he took and loved a new mate after us. I should have sought him out and had the separation ritual performed then, but it just was not possible at that time. We agreed when I left that if I could not return, we were each free to form other attachments. I hope he found a deep and abiding love. I have always wished him happiness. I love him enough to want what is best for him. Besides, since I am speaking truth to myself, the truth is that I feel the presence of my Soulmate very strongly. Therefore, if my Heartmate does still live and I find him, we must go through the rite of release. The Sevesh Lok Twin. He deserves to be happy, and I will help him to be so," Kataya responded truthfully.

"Then you believe that your soul mate is among the Tau'ri?" Siesha whispered.

"Yes. I have touched his mind and soul," she replied. "It was the first day in the Temple."

"Performing the Sevesh will be painful. You know how tight the entwining was. It resembled a joining of Soulmates more than that of Heartmates," again, her inner voice spoke with Siesha's voice.

"I am not afraid of the Sevesh. The pain will be temporary and the benefits great. It will be worth it to give him his heart's desire," Kataya replied, sincere in her belief that it was so.

"You do not believe that his heart's desire is you?" She still questioned, wanting, needing, to see all of the truths and know them for what they were.

"No. I do not," Now her answer was very firm with conviction. She knew that she was now very comfortable with the knowledge that should she meet her Heartmate once again, they would have to cut their ties asunder. Therefore, she was able to switch back to the original, though obviously not only, reason for the conversation with herself. "We have wandered off the original reason for this conversation."

"That is true, so return to that discussion and review the reasons for going ahead with this."

She did not respond for a moment as she paused to gather her thoughts. Then she began a recital of her reasons for being where she was and doing what she was doing...observing the Tau'ri from the SGC, a team designated SG-1. "The last assignment was becoming boring; that is one. If he still lives, our lover may be somewhere among the Tok'Ra in this sector, who are allied with the Tau'ri; that would be two. We believe that the Soulmate is among the Tau'ri; that is three. The Goa'uld must be controlled; thus, number four. It will please Thor, for whom you have a soft spot; the number is now five. The Council of the Table and, of course, Father, believes it would be an excellent way to help the Asgard; the number is six. We can become acquainted with the Tau'ri and learn more about them and how they have evolved, the last but certainly not the least of the reasons; finally, the number is seven." "That about sums it up. Now, go away, I do not want to think about it any more. I must continue observing my new assignment. I do not want to be distracted, and there is nothing quite as distracting as a dead symbiote." With a slight quirk of her lips and a soft chuckle, the woman strode forward more briskly.

It was true that Thor would be pleased. Her Father, also, would smile on her endeavor and wish her luck. Soon, she felt, she would join the Tau'ri and the Tok'Ra in their fight against the System Lords. Soon, she would find that which she was seeking. Doubt no longer lingered in her mind. She was doing that which is Right. Her Father was a wise man, indeed, and her destiny was waiting…