Chapter Four Summary: Sam and Jolinar begin to plan the mission to capture/rescue, Amaunet/Sha’uri. Sam “sees” a few brief flashes of memories from Jolinar, when she was a Goa'uld System Lord. Janet brings in the first try of the symbiote-masking serum. General Hammond tells Daniel about Sha’uri. An unscheduled traveler hits the iris. It was the box they gave Kendra to give to Thor. Daniel is excited, thinking it is Thor. Jolinar’s instincts are telling her that it is nothing so banal. If Thor wanted to talk to them, he would simply arrive. She suspects something far more unpleasant. Rating this Chapter – PG-13
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication
“I wonder how long it will be before he sends for us,” Sam sighed, as she thought of what Daniel would be going through. She truly wished there was something she could do to help him.
Jolinar surprised Sam by hugging her. “I would expect it will be as soon as he reaches a point, where he can no longer answer Dr. Jackson’s questions, and that could be either quickly or slowly depending on what questions he asks. As for helping Dr. Jackson…we will be doing so by planning and succeeding at this mission.”
“Good answer, Jol.” She sighed, again. “So we wait.”
“Yes. We wait,” Jolinar agreed, and then, her mind returned to her plans for capturing/rescuing Amaunet/Sha’uri.
Sam’s thoughts turned to the conversation they had with Janet yesterday evening about the vial of serum that hides the presence of the symbiote. Janet offered to attempt to try to duplicate it, and Jolinar had been quite happy to agree to her offer. It was something they tried to keep with them, just in case something came up, and they needed to play human. Jolinar thought it might not take too long to analyze it, and she also had a vague idea of some of the chemicals in it. At least that gave Janet a place from which to start working on it. Of course, knowing what was in it, and duplicating it, could take a little time, but then there was no reason they needed it, at the moment, so that was fine. Still, she wondered how she was coming with it.
Since the General left them, after asking Daniel, Teal'c, and Colonel O’Neill to come to his office, it seemed as if time was crawling. Sam attempted to give her symbiote the same sensation she had received earlier. It was not too bad for a first attempt at hugging without arms. In fact, it was a fairly simple thing to accomplish. Realizing that Jolinar’s plans were coming along rather quickly, she joined her in going over them and making changes, before remarking, “So, you think this will work, Jol? What did you mean earlier about how well others could do what they needed to do?” Sam continued going over Jolinar’s plans, as they shared them, and each did their own tweaking here and there. “And where are we going to get slaves? Jol? Where are we going to get the Jaffa?” Sam groaned inside their shared mind. “You have got to be kidding me. Please tell me you are kidding me.”
Jolinar sighed. The Jol was a bit much, but she would get used to it, she supposed. Turning her thoughts from her nick-name to Samantha’s statements and questions, she told her, “No, I am not. We must have slaves and guards. I saw from your memories that your military has kept many of the fallen Jaffa’s sets of clothing…they will do. Teaching the, ah, marines to wear them could be more difficult.”
Sam smiled slightly at Jolinar’s understatement, before telling her, “It probably won’t be any more difficult to train the marines to be Jaffa, than it’s going to be to train them to be ‘slaves’. I think we’d better call them servants instead of ‘slaves’. That might work better than telling them they’re going to impersonate ‘slaves’. My people have a problem with slavery. I hope some of them have had some acting experience,” she murmured, almost to herself.
Jolinar grinned at her. Sam found seeing her grin odd, but Jolinar explained, “I have simply sent you an image of another host, and you are seeing their smile. Eventually, if you decide to remain blended, then you will become used to ‘seeing’ me in this form, and it will not seem so…odd, to you. I will use several, and you may choose one that you particularly like, if you prefer to envision me as just one person.”
“I like it, so don’t worry about it being odd. I’ll adjust…ah, just as you will,” Sam subtly let her know she had caught the ‘Jol’ thought.” Jolinar smiled at her again, and Sam smiled back, before reverting to the other problem. “You know, when you said you knew where you could put your hands on an Alkesh, I thought you meant you knew where there was an older one that was abandoned, or something, not a state of the art, up to all the rigs, brand spanking new one. Won’t that be harder than taking one from somewhere else? I mean, I know you said it was ‘lightly guarded’ but from your memories, it doesn’t look all that light to me.”
“For a shipyard, it is very sparsely guarded, Samantha, and besides, if we must steal one, I would prefer it to be one that is in excellent shape. Who knows? If nothing goes wrong, it will make an excellent addition to your air force, will it not? If I am reading your memories correctly, you have no ships that are capable of what an Alkesh can do,” Jolinar answered her placidly, not paying attention to Samantha’s complete shock.
Sam finally found her voice, saying, “Are you saying we could just, well, keep it?”
Jolinar frowned, as she gave the idea more thought. “Perhaps not. We will attempt to steal another one for you. I will want one available to me in the event we should need it, and if your people have it, no doubt I would not be allowed access, whenever I wished. We could just as easily take two as one. Teal'c is perfectly capable of flying the other one.” She sighed. “We will just have to see how easy it is to commandeer the first one. I dislike the idea of simply killing all the Jaffa in order to get them; I would rather use subterfuge. Well, only time will tell. We shall see. No doubt, we will, er, ‘tweak’, our plans many times, before we actually go. In addition, we cannot do that, until after we meet with your Maybourne person, so it will be at least three days. Teal'c should be capable of teaching both the Jaffa marines and the slave, ah, servant marines how to behave in two days.” She frowned again, before adding, “At least, I am hopeful that he can do so. The sooner we go the better. There is no doubt in my mind that there are others looking for Amaunet. It will not be long, until someone else realizes what I have, thus they will be going there, as well.”
All Sam could do was nod. Finally recovering from the thought of actually acquiring an Alkesh for the US Air Force, as well as a ‘personal’ one for their own use, she asked quietly, “We’ve gone over the plans we’ve made so far, Jolinar; however, you’ve left the most important thing about this out. From whom are we going to steal this?”
Sam gasped, before saying, her voice cold, and calm, “No, Jolinar. Think of someone else or some other plan. You are not going there. It’s much too close to him.”
“Do not worry, Samantha, we will be fine. You forget that he believes these ships are completely secret. No one but himself, the Jaffa at the site, and the slaves that built them, know where they are. I would not have known myself, if I had not stumbled across the information,” her tone showed nothing other than patience and confidence.
Sam, however, was not quite ready to give up on trying to reason with her, “Jolinar, you can’t go anywhere near anything that Goa’uld so much as halfway claims. No. Furthermore, it’s not because I’m afraid for me. Or even the remainder of the teams, although, that should be a consideration.” She frowned, as she contemplated Jolinar’s thoughts and picked up on her slight amusement. “How can you plan this so calmly?” As all she picked up was a slight increase in the amusement, she became exasperated. It wasn’t that the amusement was disparaging, in any way. In fact, she definitely felt affection through it…and, yes, and gratitude. Still, she had to know why she would take these kinds of chances, “That—that—oh, System Lord,” Sam snarled the title, “has a contract out on you. He sent an assassin after you. You can’t simply waltz onto one of his…his shipyards and walk away with his ships.”
Jolinar hugged her tightly, “Ah, my Sam, it will be no different than doing it to any other System Lord. In fact, it will be easier and much more likely to succeed. He is assuming that I am still running from his Ashrak. There is no way for him to know that the hunter is deceased…or that I am alive. In fact, I will soon take some time to visit one of my best and most trusted informants. They will be able to get the information to the correct ears, that the Ashrak and I both died in our, ah, meeting. Cronus would expect me to attempt to trap the Ashrak and dispose of him first. He will believe that, when I did so, the Ashrak disposed of me, at the same time. He is very arrogant, and he would never believe that anyone had the ability to take out one of his most successful hunters…or that the hunter would not kill me first. However, being familiar with me both from our association, as I was in my role of his underling, and his new information that I was actually Jolinar of Malk’shur, he will believe that I attempted to become the hunter, rather than the hunted. Furthermore, he will believe in my demise, particularly when it comes along with the information that the Ashrak died, as well.” She paused, before continuing, softly, “Please, Samantha, believe me when I tell you this, for it is true.”
Sam pulled in a sharp breath, as a few scenes from Jolinar’s past flashed past her mind’s eye, “You were feared…and fearless.”
Jolinar was quiet, as she contemplated Sam’s statement. Finally, she answered her, “Yes.”
Suddenly, realizing that Jolinar thought that it would change her feelings about her, she hugged her hard, whispering to her quietly, “It was a very, very long time ago. You changed yourself, just as Egeria changed herself. You have nothing of which to be ashamed. Yes, you were very much a Goa’uld; however, at that time, your genetic, um, blueprint was leading you. You changed it, Jolinar. You. Yes, there are some very reprehensible things in your past…your youth, actually. It is far, far, away in both time and space. I don’t hold what you were against you. Nor will I ever do so, that I can promise you. If anything, it helped to make you into the excellent operative you are now. I know what you became, what you are today, and that’s the only thing that matters.” She paused, thinking, and then added, “Don’t ever be afraid for me to see your past. It’s dead, it’s gone, and it’s never coming back.”
She hesitated, for a moment, and then added, "It also gives me a feeling of confidence." Feeling that Jolinar was confused, she explained a little more, "Jolinar, it doesn't matter what army it was. The fact remains that you commanded, not just one army, but several. Your position wasn't given to you. You earned your place, as that highly placed a System Lord. It took all of them, working together, to take you down. I have no reason to question your ability to lead this or any other mission. And, believe it or not, the fact that you were the Highest of the System Lords and were willing to give all of that up, for what you believed in, tells me everything I need to know about you, your abilities, your integrity, and your loyalty.”
“So, don't ever fear to let me see what you were. I'm sure that there are things that you did that I'll probably despise, but as I said, a lot of water has flowed over the dam since then. Don't worry about it. I’ll cope, and it won't change my feelings toward you, in any way, regardless how bad it was. You were, after all, a Goa'uld System Lord. We'll survive my horror, if it ever actually occurs, which I seriously doubt," She added laconically.
“Thank you, Mer Prinekh. I will remember your words, when I am feeling my guilt heavily, and perhaps, they will help me to work past it more quickly.” She paused and Sam knew she had something else to say, and that it was probably very important. “I—I do believe that you should be aware that I can still be Goa'uld, when the circumstances call for it. I will do whatever I must do to keep you, as well as myself, alive and well. Please do not forget that, or the fact that some of those things may be abhorrent to you. Should that occur, I would shut you off from whatever it is that I must do. I will not subject you to some of the things a Tok’Ra must endure in order to survive.”
Sam nodded, and then assured her, “I understand what you’re telling me. I believe I saw a few things that, ah, enabled you to escape from a very bad place and it was…horrible. You closed Rosha off completely. I don’t blame you for what you did. I don’t know if I could have done that, but I would hope I could.” She cleared her throat, before reverting to the original conversation, “I’m not going to be able to talk you out of this, am I?”
“No, I am sorry, but I do not believe that you will succeed.”
“Okay, then let’s make very sure that this plan is foolproof. Since the marines may be one of the things that could trip us up, if we’re going to do this, then we need to get Teal'c started training them. How many do you think it will take?”
“We will need no less than eight Jaffa, and possibly as many slaves, ah, servants. The more we have the higher in the hierarchy we will appear to be. I know from what I overheard and later information I found that the Jaffa there are very much out of the loop, as to what is going on in the main strongholds. An underling will be a surprise to them, since no one is supposed to be aware of this shipyard. That will be the obstacle, if there are any. They may not believe that he has sent us to pick up two Alkesh. If they have a long-range communication device that could be bad, for if they check, they will find out immediately that we are not authorized to be there. It is a shame you do not have a ribbon device. That could also give us away. An underling as important as I will be passing myself off as being would most certainly be wearing one. It cannot be helped, although…” her mind raced. “There is no reason we cannot build a fake one. Perhaps even include something that would allow it to glow. Often just the lighting of one is enough to deter too many questions. What do you think?”
“Yes, we can do it. It’s too bad we can’t make one that would work.”
“It will be fine. Do not worry about it. Moreover, who knows? Once I see what you do have in your laboratory, I may be able to construct something that would have some sort of power. We shall simply have to work on all of these things.”
“We’ve brought a lot of things back with us. There may be something we can use, and we also have some things at another facility. There may be something there, and I’ll get you a listing and the photos that go with them.”
“Good. That will work.”
They both returned to the contemplation of not only the piece of technology in their hands, but to thoughts of the upcoming mission.
Sam looked up, as she heard someone coming down the hall. Her now enhanced hearing allowed her to hear them long before they actually entered the room. It was Janet.
“Well, I came up with something, but there were one or two things that I wasn’t familiar with, and I couldn’t be sure about the measurements. I did a best guess. The only way we’ll know is if it works. But how we are going to test it, I don’t know.”
“I will have to use it and see if anyone detects me. It is the only way. We will hope that it will work if we find ourselves in a situation where we need to hide me. I thank you for attempting it, though, Doctor Fraiser. If this one does not work, perhaps I can attempt to help with the next try. I may recognize the things of which you were not sure.”
“That sounds good to me. Between the three of us, we should be able to come up with something if this one doesn’t do it.”
Daniel and Teal'c caught up to the Colonel. “Jack, what does the General want, do you have any idea? Is it about Sam and Jolinar? She didn’t look unhappy, so I assume the President allowed her to stay.”
“Have absolutely no idea, Daniel. I haven’t talked to him, since he talked to the President, though, so that’s probably a good guess.”
Daniel nodded, as Jack rapped on the door to the General’s office.
“General, reporting as, ah, requested.”
“Sit down, please; I have some things to discuss with you.”
“The President okayed Jolinar remaining, didn’t he, General? I mean, surely we aren’t going to have to lock them away?”
“No, Dr. Jackson, there are no problems with Jolinar remaining with Captain Carter. In fact, the President is delighted at the idea of the possibility of an alliance with them. Captain Carter will remain a member of SG-1, therefore, Jolinar, will also remain with you.”
Daniel beamed, Teal'c inclined his head, and Jack appeared…undecided.
“I didn’t have you all come here to discuss that, although, I should warn you that Maybourne and his team will be here in two days’ time. The President has granted them six hours with Jolinar…six heavily supervised hours. He doesn’t wish for a repeat of the treatment that was meted out to Teal'c, and we have the authority to escort them from the base, at the first instance of disrespect or insult.”
Jack was smiling. That was something into which he could sink his teeth. He was already making plans to get rid of him, when the General interrupted his thoughts. “A true disrespect or insult, Jack, not one that you’ve decided is one. The President doesn’t want him to be able to say that he wasn’t given access to the alien, so he won’t be denied access. I have a feeling that the warning will be very plainly worded and that Maybourne will be on his, er, better, behavior.”
Jack sighed, as his dream slipped away. “Yes, Sir.”
As silence descended on the room, the three men realized that the General was quite upset about something…something he didn’t want to talk about, but knew he had no choice.
Daniel cleared his throat, and the General raised his head and sighed. “General, it’s pretty obvious that you have something you wish you didn’t have to say. Maybe it would be best just to be blunt about it. We’ll cope with whatever it is.”
“I’m sorry and you’re correct. I don’t know how to explain this. I believe I’ll start with saying that it’s a mixture of good and bad. The bad is pretty damned bad, and the good is pretty damned wonderful.”
Having said that much, the General sighed once more and looked directly at Daniel, saying, “Dr. Jackson…Daniel…we believe we know where your wife is; although, we can’t be one hundred percent sure.” He shook his head. “That was the wonderful news. Daniel, it is widely believed that she is pregnant with Apophis’s child.”
Daniel didn’t move and he wasn’t sure he was breathing. He wasn’t sure he’d ever felt like this before. How could one be so inordinately happy, and so viciously angry, at the same time? Which one was going to win? Joy or Anger? Anger or Joy? Which? Which? Jack’s hand came down firmly on his shoulder.
“Don’t lose it, Daniel. I’m pretty sure there’s more information coming, and it may be mixed, as well, so just…wait.”
“Wait? You want me to wait? For what? My wife is pregnant. My wife is pregnant by that...” his voice died, and he closed his eyes. “General…” once more he lost his ability to talk. Anger raged through him. How dare he? How dare he do this to Sha’uri? What now? What did he do now? Was he angry at her? He poked at his emotions…no. No, he wasn’t. He realized she had no choice in this. Jerking out from under Jack’s hand, he stood and began to pace, while his thoughts jumped too fast even for him to comprehend them all.
They all waited for him to slow. It took quite some time. As he finally stopped his frenzied pacing, and returned to the table, the klaxons began to ring. On autopilot, he joined his teammates, as they headed for the control room. He hoped this was something that would take his present thoughts away. They entered the control room in time to hear that there was an unauthorized traveler on the way…and then it hit the iris.
General Hammond sighed. “Get a team in here to find out what, if anything, we can find out about our visitor. Give the results to Captain Carter. We’ll meet in the briefing room, as soon as she knows what we’ve got.”
It took almost no time for the team to arrive, and he watched them sweep the iris for any residue. He knew that once the Captain and Jolinar got the results it wouldn’t be long, and they would know what that was. The team finished and left, as they all stood and looked at the Stargate. All of them were wondering who they just killed.
The General finally turned to the others, saying, “We may as well return to the briefing room.” Nothing but silent nods greeted his remark. Once there, he looked at Daniel, as he told them, “While we wait for those results, I’ll give you the rest of our information.”
Daniel held his hand up, and the General patiently waited for him to gather his no doubt scattered thoughts. Finally, he looked up from the table he’d been frowning at and locked his gaze on the General. “Okay. Okay. I have one question. The answer to that question will probably make all the difference in how I manage to handle what else you tell us.” Pausing he drew a deep breath, “Can we capture Amaunet? Will you allow us to try? If so, when can we go? This is not Sha’uri’s fault, and maybe if she’s pregnant, Amaunet will be easier to capture. How many Jaffa are there with her?” Daniel stopped, looked at the General, and told him, “I’m sorry. I said I had one question. Well, there are actually two. Can we capture Amaunet? Will you allow us to try?”
The General nodded, assuring him, “Yes, we can make the attempt, and yes, I will allow you to try.” Seeing Daniel about to start again, he stopped him with a shake of his head, saying, “There are things you need to know. Allow me to finish telling you.”
Daniel released the breath he was holding, and nodded his assent. The General started from the beginning, “As I was saying, we believe we know where Amaunet and, therefore, Sha’uri are. Please take note of the word believe. The information we were given stressed that. I also said that when I told you about her pregnancy. It is widely believed, although I have the impression that, although, it is suspected that she’s pregnant, no one knows for sure, if she truly is and, if so, where he’s hidden her.”
Daniel frowned. “Why would he hide her anywhere, General? Can’t he stand to see her pregnant or something?”
Teal'c was the one that answered, “It is forbidden for two Goa’uld to have a child.”
“Why?” Daniel looked startled.
“Because it is said that the child will hold “all the knowledge of the Goa’uld”. They pass the genetic memory of the Goa’uld onto the human offspring. Thus, it will be accessible when it becomes a host. It is my belief that, if it is true and Apophis has done this, then he will have every intention of making the child his host, so that he may access his knowledge.” Teal'c paused, before continuing, “The other Goa’uld will hunt this child and kill it, if they find it.”
Daniel swallowed, before saying, “You’re telling me that we’ll not be the only ones hunting her now. Someone else could find her, too. Shit.” Daniel closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Don’t borrow trouble, Daniel. Our information says that no one knows where he’s hidden her. The informant isn’t even sure,” Jack did his best to throw some positive light on this latest bit of information.
Daniel nodded tiredly, then looking at the General, he asked, “Is there any more information about this, General?”
“Yes. For one thing, if she is where we believe she is, and if she is indeed pregnant, then it may not be a capture, but a rescue mission. Unfortunately, at this point, and probably until we get there, we won’t know which it is. Dr. Jackson, Daniel, if she is pregnant, then Amaunet is dormant and Sha’uri, at least until the child is born, is in control of her body.”
Daniel’s mouth dropped open, and Jack’s mirrored it. Closing it, Daniel asked, “Um, how can you be sure of that? And why would Amaunet do that?”
“According to our information, if she comes forth the child will be harmed. She will awaken, as soon as the child is born.”
When no one made any move to say anything else, Jack cleared his throat saying, “So, when do we go, and when are you going to tell us where she is?”
“I don’t know, Jack. Jolinar and Sam are working on the rescue plan now and, until they figure out exactly how they want to do this, we wait.”
“Ah, General…Jolinar? It almost sounded as if Jolinar is heading up this rescue mission, Sir. That—that isn’t what you meant, was it?”
The General sighed. Hurdle number two just came into sight. “Yes, Colonel, that is exactly what I meant. She’s the one that will be doing what needs to be done to get us there. We have no choice but to depend on her expertise and knowledge of the Goa’uld at this point in time.”
“And, ah, why would that be, General? Going through the gate is pretty straightforward. We send the M.A.L.P. through to make sure there isn’t a contingent of Jaffa waiting on the other side, and we go through if they aren’t. If they are, well, then we do have a slight problem, I admit that. I can’t see why you would need Jolinar to plan something this straightforward.”
As the General sighed once again, and readied himself to answer his second in command, a voice from the doorway did it for him, “Because we are not going by gate, Colonel O’Neill. The gate there is inoperable. We will be going by ship.”
Teal'c's eyebrow climbed at least halfway up his forehead. Jack stared at her, and Daniel realized that the reason Jolinar was heading this up was because, as she had attempted to tell him, she was aware of where Sha’uri was…and she had given that information to the General freely. He closed his eyes. They had almost allowed her and Sam to die. He shivered.
Jack finally found his voice to answer her, saying, “Ah, you do realize that the only spaceship we have is a…shuttle. I doubt very much it will get us wherever it is we need to go.”
“I am aware, of course, Colonel. Samantha has explained to me the situation here. If we are well prepared, we may be able to steal two ships instead of one, in which case your government could have one. I would wish to keep the other, preferably here at the mountain.”
“And just how do you plan to hide this, ah, ship?”
She tilted her head as she examined him to see if he was perhaps joking with her. Feeling Sam’ s emotions, she knew he was not. “It will remain cloaked, of course. No one will be able to see it, Colonel. I would think that a ship would be very useful for numerous things. I certainly wish to have one available to me. Gate travel is not always the best strategy.”
Jack looked stunned for a moment, before exclaiming, “What am I saying? Why am I asking about hiding a non-existent ship? Did you say steal? And just how are we going to do that?”
“I am in hopes that it will not prove too difficult. I happen to know where there is a cache of ships that a particular System Lord is keeping hidden. In fact, he killed most of the Jaffa familiar with it except for those that stayed there to guard them, in order to keep its location secret. He believes no one knows where it is, therefore, the force guarding it is light. It should not prove difficult, I assure you.”
Teal'c was now very interested in the exchange and leaning forward he asked, “Motherships?”
Jolinar frowned. “Yes. At least four at last count. I was not planning on something so ambitious. I was thinking we could perhaps capture an Alkesh or two. Both of us are quite capable of flying them…or the motherships for that matter.” She frowned. “You may be correct, Teal'c. The motherships would indeed make more sense in the scenario I am planning. I will consider it.”
“You are planning on going in with your own Jaffa and slaves?” Teal'c immediately knew exactly what she was thinking of doing.
“Yes. Can you train them in…three days?”
Teal'c frowned. “How many and who?”
“I was going to leave the choice of who to you and the Colonel. He, too, would go as Jaffa, of course. It will depend on how many Jaffa uniforms we have available to us. As many as possible.”
“You wish a large entourage, then.” Teal'c nodded. “It should work, if they do not question you too closely.”
Jolinar frowned. “Yes, the lack of a ribbon device is unfortunate, however, Samantha and I believe we may be able to come up with a reasonable facsimile and, as long as I have no need to use it, they should never know.”
“Who?” Teal'c finally got to the rather important question.
Jolinar laughed softly, “Who else, Teal'c? Cronus, of course.”
His teammates watched, as a smile spread across his face. Not a normal Teal'c smile, but a truly large smile. Then he laughed. “Very well, Jolinar. I am most willing to assist you in any way I can do so.”
“Thank you, Teal'c. I am very grateful to you. Your expertise will be very much needed for the training. They do not have to actually have a Jaffa’s skills; however, they must be comfortable in the uniform, and the use of a staff weapon.”
Teal’s nodded. “It can be done.”
“I take it from your conversation with Teal'c that you and the Captain finished your plan, then?” The General knew they had, but felt that he had to ask anyway.
“I apologize, General. Yes, it is complete. As you heard, we will gate to Cronus’s secret shipyard and, ah, help ourselves to a couple of his ships. From there, we will go and rescue Sha’uri.”
Daniel held up a finger. “Ah, I have a question. Two questions. Why did you not mention me when you were talking about pretending to be Jaffa? I am going. I won’t be left out of the rescue of my wife.”
Jolinar looked surprised. “Of course, Dr. Jackson. We will need you to convince Sha’uri that we are there to help her. I very much doubt that she would go willingly with a group of strange Jaffa. I simply have not decided if you should go in as Jaffa or, ah, servant. I am leaning toward servant, or rather, as my lo’tar. I do not think it would be calming for her, if she sees you dressed as Jaffa.”
Daniel nodded. He didn’t like the sound of the servant part, but he could see her point, and besides, what really mattered was Sha’uri’s reaction. In that, Jolinar was very correct. She would not feel comfortable with Daniel dressed as a Jaffa.
Looking back at Teal'c, Jolinar commented, “Samantha assures me that the word ‘slaves’ would have a detrimental effect on those who will be accompanying us in that capacity; therefore, we compromised on ‘servant’. It will make no difference to the actual mission, as we will have no cause to call them anything at all, but it could be that it would facilitate their training.”
That was probably a smart move on their part, and it also answered his own revulsion at being called a slave. It should work.
He looked up as Jolinar addressed him once more, “What was your other question, Dr. Jackson?” Her reminder brought him out of his thoughts.
“Oh, um, yeah. Where is she? Where do we have to go to get her back?”
“Abydos. I believe she is on Abydos.”
Daniel’s eyes rounded. They couldn’t go by gate. Of course, it was buried. Now, it all fell into place. Apophis took Sha’uri to her people to await the birth of the child. “Won’t Apophis take the loss of her and the child out on the people and destroy them?”
“I would doubt it. It is very likely that he left no guards, realizing that it was unlikely for anyone to look there, at least for some time. Unlikely, not impossible. It is too bad we do not have something from one of Heru’Ur’s Jaffa that we could leave with them as proof, but I hope that if they simply give Apophis that name, it will be enough. They are very longtime and bitter enemies. He will believe that he found and took her and the child.”
Daniel looked at her for a long moment, and it was obvious that he was thinking deeply about something. “The Tok’Ra are on the inside of the Goa’uld hierarchy. You know every System Lord, who their enemies are, who is fighting who, and what will and won’t start a war…or stop one. That is what you meant by disrupting them from within. When you said that you start wars between them you meant just that. Not skirmishes…wars. That is how you know who and what to use to manipulate Apophis, and screw Cronus.” He paused staring at the wall, then turned back to her. “Who are you going to pit Cronus against over the theft of his ships?”
Jolinar smiled, pleased with Daniel’s mental quickness and understanding. “Sokar. He is getting much too powerful. It is time he was challenged by the others. He is already in on and off again wars with both Yu and Ba’al. If I can add Cronus to the mix, it would stretch his already thin army and weaken him enough that he could not take over any of Apophis’s unprotected worlds.” She shrugged. “You will find that there are more ways to defeat them than with guns and grenades, however, I feel that a combination of the two could bring them down much faster…convincing the Tok’Ra may not be easy; however, we shall see. Offering them a ship would certainly, er,” she listened to Sam, and added, “Sweeten the pot.”
“As far as the rescue mission, although I realize that you do not wish to wait, Dr. Jackson, I will not go until I have well trained Jaffa and servants. Teal'c will be able to train both, but it will take at least two of your days. That will work well for us, as I must meet with your Maybourne person the day after tomorrow. If the training goes well, I expect we could leave for our mission within two days after that, if General Hammond has no objections to either our plan or our time frame.” She turned to look at him.
“No, I will defer to your knowledge in this, Jolinar. It sounds like you have your plans well laid, and I did turn it over to you, so, no, I don’t object to your timeframe.”
She nodded, stating, “Thank you. Now, my Samantha has some disturbing information for you, so I will now retreat, unless there are any more questions? No? Very well then, here is Sam.”
And that easily, it was obvious that Sam was now with them. Looking worried, she walked toward the table. What they found on the iris made her feel uneasy. They gave this to Kendra to give to the Asgard. Somehow, thinking that this was from the Asgard just didn’t feel right. She knew that some of the uneasiness was from the several thousands of years of experience from which she was now pulling. Sam was well aware of Jolinar’s own uneasiness over what they found, and she found herself believing in Jolinar’s instincts. She trusted her. Well, someone had used it, and all they could do was start at that point because it was the present starting place. Taking a seat at the table, she leaned forward, clasped her hands together, and then drawing a breath, she began her report, announcing, “There was no organic residue, but they did pick up a faint nuclear signature. In fact, they found traces of iridium.”
Daniel was struggling to keep his focus on what Sam was saying, since his mind wanted to think about Sha’uri instead, but that announcement brought his head up, from where he was staring at the tabletop, to look at Sam. Then he felt the first bit of excitement enter him and, at least for now, he was able to push the mission to save Sha’uri to the back of his mind. He turned to face Sam fully, murmuring, “Iridium. That's the radioactive stuff we put in the Sagan Institute box we left on Cimmeria.”
Sam nodded, replying, “Yes, it is, Daniel. I wanted it there, so it would leave a very recognizable signature and…”
“It’s the same stuff? Are you sure, Sam?”
Sam smiled slightly, realizing that Daniel was trying very hard to concentrate on the problem at hand, instead of the one that would come up in a few days, so she answered him quickly, ‘Yeah, it’s the same stuff. No doubt at all.”
O’Neill frowned, as he dredged facts of that mission up and rapidly went over them. “Weren't the locals supposed to give that box to…Thor? Whoever, or, um, whatever he is.”
Teal'c nodded his agreement, stating, “We assume he's a member of the Asgard, an extremely advanced culture.”
The Colonel was still frowning, as he answered Teal'c's comment, “The fact of the matter is, we really don't know.”
Daniel’s thoughts about what this should mean was growing, and he turned to the General, “This means that the Asgard must've gotten the box and sent an answer. General, we have to respond before they leave.”
O’Neill did his best to rain on Daniel’s parade, by reminding him, “Um, you all know I take great pride in my title as Mr. Positive. However, we did destroy their de-Goa'ulding thing. Might not they look unkindly on that? As in that could mean this was not a happy greeting?”
Daniel’s voice showed his suppressed excitement, as he gave his rebuttal, “We did that to save Teal'c. I'm sure the Asgard didn't expect to trap a Jaffa who isn't an enemy. I'm sure they would understand that we had no choice, if we wanted to get him out. It wasn’t like we could give them a call to come remove him themselves.”
The members of SG-1 turned to the General, waiting to see what he would decide, and after giving the situation a few moments thought; he gave it to them, “All right. I'll tell you what. We'll send a probe though at 1300 hours. If everything checks out, you have a go.”
Since that seemed a reasonable response, they all nodded their agreement and then they stood to leave the room.
At 1300 hours SG-1 returned to the control room, along with Jolinar and Sam’s guards. The General indicated they should wait outside the control room. It seemed ridiculous to even have them following the Captain and Jolinar around. The more he considered it, the more he was inclined to dismiss them, except for, well, perhaps a night guard. Leaving that train of thought, he turned with SG-1 and watched as the technicians readied the M.A.L.P. and sent it through the wormhole.
Watching her computer screen, Sam told them, “The probe should be there…now.”
O’Neill reached down and pressed the button to activate the feed from it. They didn’t like what they saw. Dead Cimmerians were lying around the gate.
It took Teal'c very little time to discern what the cause was, “Those wounds have been caused by staff weapons. They have come under attack by a Goa’uld.” As the M.A.L.P.’s camera panned the area, it came across a dead Jaffa. He appeared to have a bird tattoo on his forehead. Teal'c looked grim.
“Friends of yours, Teal'c?” Jack’s remark gained no answer. This was too serious a matter to respond to such a remark. Daniel sent him a scowling look and turned back to what they were seeing. His quick look was enough to assure him that Jack realized his remark was inappropriate to the situation.
Still panning, the camera came across Thor’s Hammer and it’s destruction.
Teal'c's stoic expression did not change, as he remarked quietly, “Clearly Cimmeria is no longer safe from the Goa'uld.”
As the camera continued to pan a woman briefly appeared, and Daniel, exclaimed, “Whoa! Pan right, pan right.” As it focused on her, it was clear that she was holding a dead Cimmerian, crying, and pleading with the camera, although they couldn’t hear what she was saying.
Daniel gasped, as he recognized her, “That's Gairwyn. The woman who showed us around. She's saying something. Sam, can we find out what she’s saying? Not,” he added, “that we can’ t guess that for ourselves.”
Sam nodded, “Turn up the gain on the M.A.L.P.'s mike, Sergeant.”
Then they could hear Gairwyn as she pleaded with them, “Please…The Etins have come. Please help us. Please…The Etins have come. Please help.”
“Aw, crap,” O’Neill’s succinct comment was echoed internally by all of them.
“Shut down the gate, Sergeant. Let’s head back to the briefing room to discuss what appears to be happening,” General Hammond issued his order, as he turned to leave the control room and lead them back up the stairs.
As they reentered the briefing room, the members of SG-1 walked over and looked out the viewing window upon the Gate. Daniel began to explain to the General, “Cimmerians use the word Etin for the Goa’uld. Gairwyn said the Etins are there. For a thousand years, Cimmeria was safe from Goa’uld attack. Then we show up and screw up Thor’s technology.” He sighed tiredly, at the thought of what they had loosed on the Cimmerian’s peaceful unsuspecting world.
Teal'c looked directly at the General, as he agreed with him, “Daniel Jackson is correct. The Goa’uld usually send an advance scout through the Chaappa’ai to determine a planet’s worth and vulnerability. If none of the scouts report back, it is a deterrent to invasion.”
Sam nodded her agreement, adding, “The point is, Sir, the Goa’uld are there, and the locals aren’t exactly much of a match for them. Their society is pretty, well, it isn’t capable of defending against the Goa’uld…not on any level at all.”
Jack sighed, before adding his agreement that this was, in all probability, their fault, “General, if we did screw up their world, we should take a little responsibility for fixing it, don’t you think? I guess it isn’t really a matter of if, either. I should have said; we did screw up their world.”
General Hammond nodded, saying, “I understand that. Nevertheless, let me play devil’s advocate for a moment here. It’s not our world. Is it really any of our concern?”
Teal'c looked at him oddly, and then stepped forward, before reminding him, “The destruction of the hammer device to save my life may have, and very probably did, cause this. Since this is so, then I am responsible.”
Jack stepped forward next, “General, I gave the order to destroy it. There was no other way to release Teal'c, that’s true, but it’s also true that it opened their world to invasion.”
Daniel took the next step forward, and adding his thoughts to theirs, said, “I fired the staff weapon at the machine and destroyed it, so the actual destruction of it is on my shoulders. I believe I’m just as responsible, as they are. I could’ve refused and tried to find another way to release Teal'c. I didn’t even try another way first.”
“What part did we play in this, Samantha?” Jolinar asked quietly, as she could find no action of Sam’s to attach to this event.
Sam stepped forward, but looked as if she was at a loss as to what to say. Finally, she came up with her reason, “Well, I…was there. Like Daniel, I could have tried to find a different way. I could have maybe tried to figure out a way to disconnect and then reconnect it or…something.”
Jolinar laughed gently, “I see. Yes, you are correct and we, too, must do what we can to mitigate this problem.” Even though her voice was a little teasing, Sam could tell that she really did believe that they were all responsible for what had occurred. She was also proud that they all felt that they must correct their error and was quite prepared to do her part, if at all possible, even if she could see nothing she could do at the moment, other than protect her host to the best of her ability. “Besides,” she added, “this will give us a chance to try out Dr. Fraiser’s serum. If we do come into contact with the Goa’uld in question, then we will know whether or not it works. There will be no doubt.”
Hammond looked at the four of them, and it was plain to see that he was torn between exasperation with them and the knowledge that they were correct. If it was their fault, then they should try to fix it.
Colonel O’Neill finished their comments, “To answer your question, Sir, yes, I think we should be concerned. If we destroy something, however inadvertently, it is still our responsibility to do what we can to mitigate the effects our interference caused.” The other three stared at him. Jack O’Neill was an extremely intelligent man; however, he usually did his utmost to hide that fact.
The General sighed and gave in, “All right, but keep your heads up on this one.”
Jack gave him a cocky salute, “Yes, Sir. Is there any reason we can’t go right away? Say in half an hour?”
“Not that I know of, Colonel. You have a go,” the General agreed, but still looked worried. He was sending a four-man team into an obviously hostile environment. He debated sending more, but decided that, at least for now, he would leave it as is. Four people could stay hidden a lot easier than eight or more. Before they could leave he abruptly added, “Jack. Be sure you have plenty of extra ordinance with you, and I’m including claymores and the like in that order. We have no idea what you’re walking into, and I want you well armed.”
Jack nodded his understanding, and agreement, “Yes, Sir. We’ll definitely do that.” They immediately left to make their preparations.
“We must go to see Dr. Fraiser and be injected, before we do anything else. Normally, the serum would work fairly quickly; however, since we have no idea if it will work at all, we do not know how long it will take to mask me, if it is going to do so. I believe it would be best to go there first,” Jolinar put her thoughts into words to be sure that Sam caught them.
“I agree. Let’s get it over and then go gear up,” Sam agreed, as she headed for the medical bay. As she walked swiftly down the corridor, she suddenly realized that no one was with them. She remembered the General stopping and speaking to the guards, as they left the control room. He must have dispensed with them, at least for now. There would probably be one stationed outside her room tonight. She didn’t blame the General. He was actually taking a risk in removing them this soon. He couldn’t know for sure that they wouldn’t try to leave again.
“Do not worry, Samantha. I will not abuse his trust in us. There is no reason to do so, as I explained earlier,” Jolinar once more reassured her new Lifemate.
“I know; it just surprised me that they took them off us so soon. Of course, he probably figures that, if we’re going to do anything, we’ll try it, while we’re on this mission,” Sam added her own opinion of what the General was probably thinking.
“I agree. He may even be surprised to see us return with our team,” Jolinar laughed softly, as she answered. “I will not be insulted if he is, my Sam. I expect it to be this way, at least at first. I would be disappointed, if he was any less cautious. Dispensing with the guards does not surprise me. No doubt, General Hammond gave orders not to allow us to leave the base or go through the gate without our team. That, too, I would expect, as it is only being cautious. As I said, I made it plain that I would have to contact my base eventually, and besides that, we cannot work toward an alliance, if they never allow me to go there. Do not worry about this type of thing. It is not important at this time. We will worry about it when the time comes, yes?” She let Sam know that she expected to be under scrutiny for quite some time to come.
Turning into the infirmary, Sam nodded to her…Lifemate…was the word she felt from Jolinar, and it seemed right somehow. So, she agreed with her Lifemate. Seeing Janet in her office, Sam knocked lightly on the doorframe. “Hey, Janet, got a minute?”
“Sure, Sam, what do you and Jolinar need?”
“We’re heading out to a Goa’uld occupied world. Jolinar thinks this would be a good time to try out the serum.”
Janet drew in a breath. She really wasn’t sure if this was a good idea, but she knew that Jolinar felt it was important, so she nodded and retrieved it from a locked cabinet. Bringing it back, she asked her, “Jolinar, is there anything other than masking you that this could cause? Any side effects that I should know about?”
Jolinar came fore to answer her, “I do not know for sure. I suppose there is a chance that it will put me to sleep. Although substances that will do that are few, this happens to contain two of them. We will not know if they are in sufficient quantities to do so, until we try it. Should it do so, please do not be alarmed. Samantha should remain unaffected. We use these substances to prove that a symbiote returning with a new host is indeed Tok’ra and is not suppressing their host; therefore, the host cannot be affected by them in order for them to work. You are fortunate that the tranquilizer you have works as well as yours does. If this serum also does that, then it will be something to keep and use as a Goa’uld tranquilizer, as it will act much more quickly than yours does, and you will need less. If you mean is it likely to harm Samantha or myself, other than that, then no, I do not believe so.”
Janet frowned, asking, “If it puts you to sleep, then does that mean that the masking didn’t work?”
“Not necessarily. It could simply mean that the quantities are not correct and we have included too much of the tranquilizing substances. We will simply have to reconfigure amounts if that happens. If it does happen, as I said, you must keep your instructions on its composition, since it can be used against the Goa’uld.”
Janet nodded her understanding. “Okay, then, here’s hoping,” She told them, as she injected Sam.
Sam shrugged after nothing happened. “Well, it doesn’t appear to have any…ah…let me revise that. Jolinar just passed out. Looks like you’ve perfected a Goa’uld tranquilizer, Janet. One that will, as Jolinar told us it would, work a little faster than what we have. Way faster.”
Janet grinned. “Well, I suppose that’s good, but even if it protects her from being sensed, it won’t do any good, if it also keeps her asleep. So, when you get back, we’ll get together and work on it. She probably knows which substances are causing this effect, and we can start cutting them down. There were several I wasn’t sure I had right. We’ll tweak them and see what happens next time.”
As Sam stood from where she was sitting on the edge of a table, she nodded. “Good idea.” Glancing at the clock, she realized she had very little time left. Thank goodness, Jolinar was also correct about this, too. The serum hadn’t affected her at all. “Thanks, Janet, but I have to run. We’re due to go off world in fifteen minutes. I’ve got to get going.”
“No problem. Go, or you’ll be late. Take care, Sam.”
Sam grinned at her and waved, as she passed into the hallway and headed for the locker room.