The ground was rumbling, the sky was churning. And in the middle of it there was a Djinn turned human named Cassiel waiting for it to hit. She stood in the middle of the cracked road, her pink fluffy hair flying around her face. Her Arctic green eyes could be seen clearly through the chaos.
To a human, she seemed like a deranged lunatic who they would walk pass quickly, averting their eyes. To a Warden, such as Manny or Luis Rocha, she seemed like Djinn, only she didn't have the total sense of one. To a Warden such as Joanne Baldwin or Lewis Orwell, she seemed powerful, and dangerous. One to stop before she could obliterate anything. To a New Djinn, she held all the power of the Old Djinn, with an added Warden-ness about her. To an Old Djinn, she looked pitiful. But to him, the one that nobody ever talked about, the one that was higher than Jonathan, she looked strong yet weak, powerful yet struggling, graceful yet quicksand filled her. It was him that helped her, pulling her away from the fight. Away from something that would dangerously deplete her.
He pulled her through the aetheric, and she found herself grabbing at the energy to hold as much as she possibly could. He deposited her on cool ground, ad she found herself staring up at the ceiling. It was metallic blue, with white, shining light emanating from it. Then she found herself being pulled to her feet, and he dragged a hand across her hair, and looking at it again, she saw that he had pulled the dye away from it, and she was once white with a hint of ice blue.
'How do you feel Cassiel?' he asked, his black hair sticking upwards and swaying slightly in the artificial breeze.
She flexed her shoulders. She nodded, 'Alright,'
'Good, then you can come with me.' He said, leading the way out of the room, into hallways, with humans milling around. She stared at them all as they past, and didn't notice as they walked into another room. She stopped, walking into John, and bounced back. She looked around at the other people in the room, and saw two men and one woman. One had dreadlocks, and stared at her either hatefully or mistrustfully. She felt herself stiffen in anticipation of how battle could go against him. They stared at each other, before the Leader snapped at the older male, 'Ronon! Let it go.' Ronon turned his stare onto him, and John glared at him. Ronon backed down and John turned to look at her. She moved her gaze to the other male, short, squat, acerbic. Receding hairline, 'So who is she Sheppard?' he snapped at the Leader slightly. She moved towards him, but got intercepted by the Leader. 'Do not harm them!' he ordered. She stared. 'Do not harm them.' He repeated. She breathed in, and waited for him to repeat and say it for the third and final time. 'do not harm them.' He finally said.
'I cannot.' She said stiffly.
'What was that Sheppard?' the squat man asked curiously.
She snarled at him, and the Leader turned on her. She backed down. 'Just a Djinn rule Rodney.' He said, staring at her. She felt the power thrumming through his voice. He was like Lewis. Powerful, wanted, hidden. His voice was like honey. Sweet, smooth.
He turned his attention away from her and onto the other female. She felt like the sun had turned away and she was rejected. She felt coldness seep into her.
The other female, she was beautiful. Long, braided brown hair, the exact colour of her eyes. High cheekbones, widened hips, evidence of a child. The Leader stepped into her line of view, and her gaze snapped to him. 'This is Ronon, Rodney and Teyla.' He introduced, pointing at each on their name, before turning to them and saying, 'This is Cassiel. She's a human Djinn. Ashan threw her down.'
'You don't like him.' She stated, narrowing her eyes.
The Leader turned to face her again, and tilted his head, 'Ashan is one of the worst Djinn you will ever meet. The fact that you like him, or liked him, is not so good.'
'You can talk about him to your hearts content,' she growled, 'I don't care, I hate him.'
A smirk played on the Leaders lips, and he said genially. 'I thought you'd say that.'
She smirked, and bowed low, half mockingly and half serious. He smirked harder, and the man, Rodney, laughed, and said, 'She has spirit doesn't she.'
The Leader turned to him and said, 'she did when she was a Djinn.'
'You saw me?' she asked hesitantly.
'I have seen every Djinn as they have been created.' The Leader said. 'I have seen you, Jonathan, David, Ashan, Venna and Imara. Both the New Djinn, such as David, and the Old Djinn, such as you or Ashan, are my kind. I do not differentiate between Djinn. We are all one kind. We should learn to live together. Much of the problems contained within our society could be solved if you all got along. But people such as you, or Ashan, who have never seen humans or the New Djinn as equal have dragged other people down that road with you, and they've dragged others. One person can start a Mexican wave if they want to. That is what Ashan wanted. He wanted a war, so that only the 'pure' were left on the Earth.'
'What will you do if he succeeds?' Cassiel asked timidly.
He turned his ancient eyes upon her. 'If that happens, then I will go against him.'
She nodded, his Djinn aura smothering her in energy. 'You're accepting the energy I'm sending out yes?' he asked, even though he already knew the answer.
She nodded, and noticed as the other three humans muttered and fidgeted. He turned to them as well, and said, 'I'm doing this because she needs it and because I want to. Not because she's forcing me.' They calmed down and the Leader resumed talking to her.
'If I go against Ashan, he would die.' He said frankly. 'You can feel how powerful I am. You know the consequences of that action. This is why Jonathan didn't act.'
She nodded again, his aura floating in front of her as she looked at him. 'I'll see you again Cassiel, don't forget that.' The Leader promised.
She bowed, seriously this time, and when she straightened up again, she could see the light blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the grass fluttering in the wind with her motorcycle sitting two feet away from her.
She was comforted by the fact that she'd see him again.
Ashan did take it to war. The Leader did come down from his haven, and he did fight. He fought wildly, yet strategically, and it was so memorizing that she felt herself stop and stare at him. He paused and promptly yelled at her to 'continue fighting.'
Afterwards, she found herself sitting with Rodney and Teyla, in the city where he had taken her the first time. The Leader had been injured, and Ashan even more so. It had ended with John and David against Ashan. The New Djinn and the Old Djinn followed the Leader more so than Ashan. For he was the original, the first. David had acted as a conduit for the Leaders excess power that he gave off, and the Leader hit Ashan, who gave as good as he got. It ended with them hitting each other with deadly blows at the same time. David, Lewis and Joanne all worked on fixing The Leader, while the humans worked on Ashan.
The Leader was up three hours later. Ashan five hours after that. They were stood in a circular room now, Ashan being fully healed by the Warden at the Leader's insistence.
They stood opposite each other, and the Leader's words were clear. 'You have given this punishment to others, and they have suffered for it. Now it is your turn to suffer from the punishment you give so freely.'
Cassiel felt a thrill of horror up her spine, was he really going to?
'Ashan, one of the oldest of the Djinn, I exile you from this place, never to touch the aetheric again. I exile you to human form, now and forever more.' Power intoned in his voice, and Ashan screamed, one long thin scream of horror and pain and death and ten he was a shivering, quivering mass on the floor and Cassiel felt a stab of pity and horror towards Ashan, the once mighty and powerful Djinn who hated humans with a passion. And this was his ultimate punishment. He would have to rely on humans, or Wardens like she had been forced to. He had been cut off from the aetheric and would have to take energy from the Wardens. She felt the sated feeling of revenge inside her, and finally felt happy. The Leader turned to all of the Djinn, and said loudly, 'If this war were to happen again, this will be your punishment. You will be made into a Djinn inside a human's body, and you will be cut off from the aetheric. If this happens again, you know the consequences of playing with fire.'
The Djinn fidgeted in the crowd, and the Leader noticed. 'That applied to both New and Old Djinn. Which no longer exist. We are Djinn. One species, different races. We are no longer divided.'
'What if we don't want to follow you?' A Djinn shouted from the back, ad Cassiel recognised her as an Old Djinn.
The Leader smirked, 'Then you can get out and never come back. Never be accepted into our society again. An outcast.'
The Djinn backed down and Cassiel saw the unrest in the ranks.
The Leader noticed but let it pass this time. 'You can leave now.' He told them resolutely.
The majority of Djinn left, but some stayed and congratulated the Leader on winning before leaving.
When they were all gone he came over to talk to Cassiel. She could see the weakness and tiredness within the ancient Djinn, and decided to keep the meeting short. 'Well done.' She said quietly.
He nodded. 'I am assuming you are happy about Ashan's punishment.' He stated.
She nodded. 'I know what the punishment really was.'
He nodded. 'I knew you would.'
'Do you want to be a Djinn in your original form again?' he asked her, and she felt the question fester in her mind. There was so much more she would be able to do in her old form, but if she went back, she would miss out on so much. Isabel, and the Wardens, and her motorcycle and Luis.
She shook her head. 'No. I would miss this too much. Luis and Isabel and everything.' She said. 'If I ever want to, will you turn me back?'
He nodded, and she went to move to the younger Rocha brother on the other side of the room when the Leader stopped her again. 'Congratulations.' He said without preamble.
She was confused, 'what about?'
'You'll find out soon.' He promised.
She nodded, moving out to her lover at last.
Cassiel wanted to die. That was the extent of her feelings at the moment, as she sat hunched over the toilet bowl. She threw up again as the queasiness returned. Luis entered the bathroom and sat next to her. 'Congratulations then?' he said a customary grin leaking onto his face as she glared at him.
'Apparently. I don't understand how this is worthy of congratulations. It's hard enough to get a decent night's sleep anyway.' She moaned, leaning back against the side of the shower.
He gripped her hand, and said, 'It's a gift. Something from both of us.'
'I hope you can deal with the early mornings.' She said. 'I've heard babies will wake you up early.'
He smirked again. 'Doesn't bother me. I'm good in the morning, but it's mommy the baby will want generally.'
It was then she wished that she had taken the Leader on his offer of turning her back.
She had felt the life grow inside her, and watched as her stomach swelled. She knew what gender it was before the scan had told them, and she could feel the contractions when they were minor.
Her baby boy was born two weeks early, on August 22nd. They named him James Manny Rocha. She felt exhausted as Luis handed the baby to her, but she felt her being snap into place, and she finally felt whole, with her family.
The Leader appeared in her living room, when James was two years old. He smiled at her genially, and she handed him a cup of coffee. He inhaled it, and moaned, sitting down. 'It's been so long since I have real coffee.'
She laughed, and James ran into his legs. 'I see you're happy now.' He noted.
She nodded, 'I'm happier now, than I ever was as a Djinn.'
'That's good.' He nodded, and stood up, handing her the cup back. 'I should be going, I only popped by to see how you were.'
'Wait,' she stopped him before he could leave. 'What's your name?'
He smirked, and as wind was whipping around until she could hardly see him anymore, she heard him say, 'John, John Sheppard.'