Sphinxes and Astrea Portas
Disclaimer: STARGATE belongs to Gekko and GARGOYLES to Disney and Greg Weisman. In addition, many characters from the online Gargoyles Saga (TGS) are going to be mentioned here. I just want to say thanks to the TGS staff for creating these magnificent characters and allowing me and other writers to use them in our own fics! THANK YOU!
Summary: Searching for the Sangraal, SG-1 travels to a world from the Ancient database. Surprises abound and once more Daniel's perspective on world history is tipped on its head.
Timing: After the ark of Truth before Carter goes to Pegasus to take command of Atlantis.
Author's notes: Hope u Enjoy this.
New York City, three days later
Owen waited patiently as Xanatos's helicopter came in for a landing on the castle's main helipad.
He watched as it landed and Xanatos hurried from it towards him at the edge of the helipad.
"Owen," Xanatos said, his eyes betraying nothing.
"Good to see you sir, this trip was longer than expected," Owen stated evenly.
"There were some...unexpected complications." Xanatos stated evenly.
"Then the Air Force contracts are no longer on the table?" Owen asked with an air of aloofness.
"No...those are finished and ready," Xanatos reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a flash drive. "Have this sent to R&D, this should keep the boys and girls there busy for a good long time."
Owen raised an eyebrow as he took the possession of the flash drive.
"Of course sir, anything else?" he asked.
"Is Michael still here?" Xanatos asked urgently about the leader of the English clan of Gargoyles.
Surprised at the change of topic but keeping his trademark cool exterior, he answered in the affirmative, "Yes, they and the rest of the visiting English clan members are scheduled to be here until the end of the month."
Xanatos nodded, "Good," he glanced, at the slowly setting sun, "Please ask Goliath and Michael to join me in once they're awake. Oh...and ask Emrys to come as well." He paused and looked around as if looking for something, "Where's Fox and Alexander?"
"They are dining out, they're having a day out with your mother-in-law." Owen's usual deadpan tone belied the importance of his announcement.
Xanatos froze, "Titania's here?"
Owen nodded once, "She stated that she missed her grandson." The tone of his words delivering how dubious he was that this was the only reason she was here.
Xanatos stood motionless, "This is interesting timing-if she knowns."
Owen raised an eyebrow, "Knowns, sir? Is this something I should be privy to sir?"
Xanatos nodded, "I'll tell you with Goliath and the others, but first," he spared a glance horizon, "I think I have time for a quick shower before they're awake."
"Of course sir, I'll see to my other tasks immediately." Owen commented recognising a dismissal when he heard one.
Xanatos nodded once and set off towards his private quarters at a fast pace.
Owen stared speculatively at Xanatos's disappearing back wondering what possible complication could have occurred during a classified meeting with the USAF that would have some importance to the gargoyles.
The sun inched down slowly disappearing behind the horizon, darkness spread as the light of the sun vanished.
The soft cracking of stone filled the air and spread, increasing in intensity and then, just as suddenly as it became audible, it was replaced by the roars of waking gargoyles.
Across the battlements of Castle Wyvern, slumbering gargoyles awoke from their daily stone sleep.
On the highest tower, Goliath leader of the Manhattan clan, finished roaring and shook the last of the stone shards from his shoulders, stretching his muscles and wings to their furtherest extreme.
"Morning big guy," Elisa Maza said to him from behind him, "Have a good sleep?"
Goliath turned and stepping down from the top of his daily perch. He embraced Elisa and whispered into her ear, "It was well, but the evening is better."
Elisa laughed, "Somebody's in an happy mood today."
"And why shouldn't I be in a happy mood? My mate is here with me," he turned and gestured down towards the other battlements, "The battlements are filled with gargoyles, curtsey of the London Clan's visiting members and the ties between the various clans are stronger than ever before." he finished with a toothy smile.
Elisa returned his smile, "Well put that way..."
"And you my love, you're off tonight aren't you as well?"
Elisa nodded, "Apparently someone at HR decided that I've got too many sick days accumulated. Have to use them now or lose them, so...I have this week off."
Goliath's smile widened, and he lifted her off the ground and spun her around once before depositing her on the floor and hugging her tight, "That's wonderful news!"
"It was the highlight of my day-"
The sound of a man clearing his voice cut into their evening greetings, it was followed closely by Owen's voice, "Good evening Goliath. Detective." Goliath and Elisa eased apart in surprise and turned to face, Owen as he continued speaking, "Mr Xanatos has returned from his trip and has some news he would like to share with you in his office, at your earliest convenience."
Elisa gave him an annoyed look, "Haven't we talked about ringing a bell as you walk?"
Goliath ignored the byplay and asked directly, "What does Xanatos want?"
Owen adjusted his glasses and said, "I'm afraid, I do not know what Mr Xanatos wishes to share with you, but I believe it to be of some importance, he also asked that Michael and Emrys to join us as well."
Goliath frowned, wondering and hoping that whatever Xanatos wished to say would not ruin what had started out as a wonderful evening.
Goliath nodded, "We will collect them and join you shortly." he proclaimed gravely.
Owen nodded, "Of course Goliath, we will be awaiting your presence."
A short time later, they were all gathered in Xanatos's office, Goliath and Elisa standing on side of the billionaire's desk with the hastily collected feather winged, hawk-headed leader of the London Clan, Michael, standing on the other side. Emrys Hawkins, a twentyish youth, who was in reality the ancient welsh sorcerer, Merlin, who's last regeneration had gone awry, sat perched on the edge of the desk with a bored look on his face.
"So what do you suppose all this is about?" asked Michael.
"Knowing Xanatos, anything." retorted Emrys, "though maybe this has something to do his mother-in-law being in town?"
Goliath looked pensive and shared a concerned look with Elisa, but any more talk was postponed by the large oak doors of the office opening, as Xanatos walked into his office oozing confidence and smugness as usual, with Owen following diligently behind.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting," Xanatos said as he entered, not offering an excuse.
"Well you should be! Mary and I were just about to go out, you've thrown our schedule completely off," Emrys said sullenly.
"Yes well I think that once you hear what I have to say, you'll agree that it is worth the delay," Xanatos said not even batting an eyelid at Emrys sour tone.
Emrys raised an eyebrow, "Really? So this is more important than my oft interrupted and disastrous love life?"
Xanatos raised an eyebrow and smiled smugly as he sat in the chair behind his desk, "I can practically guarantee it." He turned to face Owen who was standing by side. "Tell me Owen, have you ever heard of the Chappa'ai?" Xanatos asked smugly.
Owen froze as his face turned white, "You found it?! Please tell me you haven't unburied it sir." he asked urgently.
"Chappa'ai? What's that? Sounds ancient Egyptian?" Emrys asked warily eyeing Owen's shocked expression.
"That was merely the name the parasites gave it, the Ancients called it the Astrea Porta. It was a portal that connected together the Ancients' empire," Owen answered quickly, "But sir you did leave it buried didn't you? The world is not ready to face the return of the parasites."
"Astrea Porta? That sounds Latin," Emrys said in confusion, "Is this something Egyptian or European?" he asked looking between Owen and Xanatos.
"In reality, it is neither," Owen quickly, "It is aeons older than any culture currently remembered by modern historians-"
"By about 50 million years." Xanatos added smugly.
Silence descended as they all turned to face Xanatos who's smug expression only seemed to grow, "The Chappa'ai or Stargate as the USAF calls it was carbon dated to be over 50 million years. As they explained it to me, it produces a stable wormhole between gates, which in turns allows almost instantaneous travel between different world."
After a moment Elisa frowned and looked around at the others before turning to Xanatos and saying, "You're pulling our leg, right? This sounds like something Matt would believe in."
Xanatos shook his head, "The USAF has had the Stargate in their possession since the 1920s, but have only been using it for the past ten years to explore the galaxy," he turned to look at Owen, "You should have more faith in humanity Owen. The Parasites as you call them have been dealt with."
Owen remained silent and pensive before remarking, "Indeed...that is...unexpected, to say the last."
"Whoa! Wait a minute, you're telling us that the United States Air Force has been using an alien technology to explore the galaxy and fight aliens in secret for the last ten years?" exclaimed Elisa flabbergastment.
"Says the woman that helped fight a secret magical war for the fate of the world, with the help of a species most of the world doesn't believe exist in the first place," retorted Emrys pointedly.
Elisa shrugged sheepishly, "Yeah ok, but still..."
"Know this kinda explains some of visions I've had over the years," Emrys commented idly without elaborating, causing the others to glance at him speculatively..
Goliath who had been contemplatively silent until then cut in, "As world altering as this news is, you would not have asked us to join you with any urgency if there was not more to be shared."
Xanatos nodded, "Perceptive as always Goliath." He leaned back in his chair, "The USAF invited both Xanatos Enterprises and Nightstone Unlimited to help them spread some of the advanced technology, apparently this is their standard operating procedure for spreading the tech they have without tipping their hand." he paused dramatically, before continuing, "During the course of this meeting, Demona's dual nature was revealed in a most spectacular fashion."
Goliath tensed and his eyes flashed, "What! Despite all she has done, we must free her," he exclaimed with images of Sevarius-like scientists having their way with Demona flying around his mind.
"I agree we cannot let one of our own be held in captivity," Michael quickly added in vehement agreement.
Xanatos held up a hand to forestall any more comments, "No one is being held prisoner now, and there no vivisections occurring either. This was actually a fortuitous event-for all of us."
Silent unbelieving stares greeted his statement, but he continued unabated, "Thankfully, no one was permanently hurt. Afterwards, Demona was understandable unforthcoming, to loosen her tongue, they actually enlisted the help-of the non-violent variety," he added quickly when he saw Goliath start to tense up, "of some friends they had made off-world." He paused again and gave them all a smirking smile.
Goliath had enough of Xanatos's rambling explanation, his eyes blazed with light and he exclaimed, "Enough with the stalling Xanatos! Tell us what the government have done with Demona and whatever it is you wish to tell us!"
Xanatos nodded but his smirk didn't go away, "As you wish. First, Demona is no longer in their custody, she is already back here in New York. Second, the friends they contacted are from a planet called Sanctuary. It was colonised by a group of Humans and Gargoyles along with a member of the Third race, several thousand years ago."
"Oh my god..." Elisa barely breathed.
Goliath was stunned and Michael was in a similar state of mind.
"A Fey, sir?" Owen asked just as surprised as the others.
Xanatos nodded, "He calls himself Lord Thoth. Tell me Owen, what do you know about him?"
Owen's eyes widened in surprise, "Lord Thoth? He's still alive? He disappeared so long ago, even Lord Oberon thinks him dead..." he pursed his lips before continuing, "This is excellent news sir, Lord Thoth was known to be very wise and trustworthy, if this is truly him then the veracity of this tale is accurate."
Michael, who had been silently observing from the beginning, fought to keep the excited expression from his face, "So this could be true, there could be more living gargoyles out there-a great deal more?" his voice quaked with emotion.
Xanatos smiled like the proverbial cat that ate the equally proverbial canary, "I've already verified their story, they took me and Demona for a short off-world trip to meet the Stone Haven clan. Demona and myself, met the clan leader there, and saw their clan and city there. This is real, they exist." he finished with a flourish.
Goliath who had been nursing his hope quietly, asked in a very low controlled tone, "How many were in the clan?" he felt Elisa reach out to take a hold of his hand, and grip it with what would have been for a human bone crushing force.
"The Stone Haven clan is around five thousand strong, and that was just one clan, and there are thousands of clans of various sizes worldwide and according to Lord Thoth's gargoyle apprentice, worldwide gargoyle is in...the tens of millions." Xanatos finished laying the final most important surprise upon Goliath and the others.
For Goliath, time dilated for him, he felt the world going grey and closing in around him, as his mind grappled with Xanatos's revelation. He felt himself sway on his feet and distantly heard Elisa calling to him, his knees felt rubbery and weak. His knees gave way and he dropped down onto his knees.
Tens of millions? His mind repeated silently, Tens of millions of Gargoyles? His mind was numb trying to assimilate this miracle. A weight had been thrown from shoulders that had been heavier than he even realised.
He felt hands on his face and heard Elisa calling to him, she stood cupping his face asking him if he was ok.
"My Love, I am alright, but I...I have no words." he managed to say to her.
He looked to see how Michael was taking the news. The normally composed and subtle leader of the London clan was practically bouncing up and down with excitement as he fired off question after question at Xanatos as Emrys stood next to him, trying to calm him down.
"Goliath...I...I.." she stopped flustered, "You're right there aren't any words." she finished with a small happy smile. Casting a quick look at Michael, "Though he's not doing a half bad job finding some."
Author's notes: Hope you enjoyed this! Do not forget to Review!