Chapter Six Summary: After returning from Cimmeria, SG-1 gathers to brief General Hammond on the mission. They’ve all had time to ruminate over Jolinar’s obvious acquaintance with Thor. It’ s a shock to them. Sam now knows about their relationship; however, she also knows that this is a trial run, as to how they will handle classified material. Maybourne asks to see Jolinar and Sam the next day rather than the day after.
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication
Daniel dialed the gate and sent the code. They received the acceptance almost immediately, and SG-1 stepped into the fluctuating blue pool. Stepping out on the other side, they found General Hammond waiting at the end of the ramp to greet his premier team, “Welcome back, SG-1. It’s a nice change to have you back and all in one piece, with no obvious injuries.”
Jack grinned. “Yeah, it’s nice to come back with no one the worse for wear, for once.”
The General nodded his agreement, saying, “Get your post mission checkups, and we’ll debrief in an hour.” Nodding once more, he turned and left, as they gave their weapons to the waiting airmen. Once they took care of that part of the post mission drill, they headed off down the hall. It didn’t take long to reach the infirmary.
Janet smiled, as they walked in, immediately asking Sam, “Did Jolinar wake up, Sam? Do you know if the serum worked?”
“Yes, she’s awake, but no, it didn’t work. However, we did get a formula for it that’s much more precise. We need to keep the other one to use, if we need to tranquilize a Goa’uld.”
Janet’s look of inquiry had Sam smiling. “Yeah, I know. If we got close enough to a Goa’uld to know that the serum didn’t work, how did we manage to come back without injuries?” She shook head, “We didn’t come into contact with the System Lord. It was given to us by, um, Thor.”
Janet’s eyes widened and rounded, as she breathed a reply, “Oh, my. You met the Asgard?”
“Not exactly. He did rescue us, even though he pronounced us ‘still much too young’ to…well, I'm not sure, but I suppose it would be, to formally meet, and ally with them. Anyway, it was pretty nice of him to do it, and not be angry, since we did screw up his anti-Goa’uld device and get a bunch of the Cimmerians killed because of it.” Sam sighed, as she thought of that, and the fact that Gairwyn lost so many of her family, while trying to contact them.
Jolinar caressed her gently, saying, “It happens, Samantha. It is not a pleasant fact; however, it is a fact, and not one about which we can do anything, except to determine that we will do better, and be more careful about what we do. You truly had no choice and Thor knows that. As was said, it was not as if you could call him to come and release Teal'c. Now, of course, the Cimmerians have a way to contact the Asgard, which will make them safer still. Moreover, there was nothing you could do to avoid what happened. You did not know about the hammer before going there, so no matter how much you attempted not to interfere, in this instance, it could not be avoided.”
Sam gave her a weak smile, as she replied, “Yes, I suppose you’re right. The only way to avoid it was not to go, and we had no reason to believe we shouldn’t. We’ll definitely be watching for those types of devices, though, and not allow Teal'c or you, er, us, to travel there, if we see that one is there.”
Sam felt Jolinar hesitate, before she answered, “No, that will not be necessary, Sam. The Asgard will enable all such devices to recognize Teal'c, and they already recognize us. And even if that was not true, while the Asgard are protectors, I do not believe they have a great many worlds that they protect in this particular manner.”
“I see,” was all that Sam had time to say in answer, before Janet garnered her attention.
“You seem fine, Sam. I have a feeling that Jolinar would have taken care of any problems, before you ever reached the SGC, anyway.”
Sam grinned at her, acknowledging, “As long as it wasn’t beyond her abilities, yes, she would have. Nevertheless, there are often times when the injury to the host is too extensive and beyond their abilities to heal them. Mostly because they don’t have the time to heal everything, before the host dies, though, not because they couldn’t repair the injuries. There are very few injuries that they would be unable to repair, including, ah, believe it or not, a lost limb or even an eye.” She looked at Janet for a moment before adding, “That includes spinal injuries, Janet. Some of those things would take a great deal of time, of course, but they can be accomplished given that the person survives the initial injury.”
Janet looked shocked and amazed before becoming thoughtful and saying slowly, as she thought through her words, “I wonder how it would work if you used our medical procedures along with Jolinar’s abilities. I mean, if we could keep them alive by replacing lost blood and perhaps working in conjunction, say doing surgery to close up some wounds enough to stop bleeding, while the symbiote worked on others. They could then complete the healing process at a slower pace. It’s an intriguing thought anyway.”
“Jolinar is actually rather excited by your idea, and she agrees with you.” Sam frowned, before telling her slowly, “If I’m reading her memories correctly, they sometimes try to use their healing devices to help, while the symbiote works on repairing the host…assuming they can manage to get back to the base, before they die. That’s when it usually happens. If they can’t regain the base, or if the injuries are so massive that death is almost instantaneous, then there would be nothing you could do, since you wouldn’t be there. I suppose we could show them, though, if they are interested. I have a feeling they may believe our procedures are primitive, at best, and archaic, at worst. However, if they see that it can work…assuming it can, they are open minded enough to begin to consider it.”
Sam stopped talking to Janet, for a moment, and then returned explaining what Jolinar was thinking. “She’s not so much excited by the idea of the surgery, although, she feels it could definitely work, though, perhaps, not quite as well as a healing device, as she is intrigued by the other things that we do. The introduction of fluids is the first thing in which she’s interested. She feels that the introduction of fluids and blood could help to keep the host from going into shock. If all the symbiote had to do during an injury was heal the wound, it would be simple. However, before they can truly work on the wound, they have to stabilize the host. Shock is a real danger, as you’re well aware. Then there’s the bleeding. If that’s extensive, then they simply can’t manage to do everything quickly enough, so both host and symbiote dies.”
“Jolinar says she needs to give it a bit more thought, and the two of you need to talk about some things, but she really believes that by taking on something as basic as stabilizing the patient’s vital signs, and replacing lost blood, it would buy the symbiote the one thing that is against them during a serious injury…time. In fact, she thinks that something as basic as first aid might even help. If you add in someone with a healing device, then the odds would be even better. As I said, Janet, she really is very excited at the possibilities. She says that many times when a Tok’Ra dies it’s from blood loss because the symbiote can’t get it under control fast enough.”
“Anyway, she sees possibilities here. Whether it is just giving blood and fluids, or someone also using a healing device, while someone else does surgery, she thinks the odds would go up considerably. Probably even on humans without symbiotes, the act of using a healing device during surgery would make the odds go up. She feels that, if the host can manage to return here, or to their base, then the chances of survival would go up considerably. She also suggests that she go over the symbiote’s physiology, in case you ever have to work on a symbiote again. We were very lucky that you actually hit her heart a couple of times, and that she could use the substance you gave her. As we found when we studied Teal'c's symbiote, there aren’t a lot of our substances that affect the symbiote. She does want to talk about all of it, but we don’t have time, at the moment.”
As Sam finished her information relaying, Janet nodded, but said, “I’ve never seen a healing device work, so I can’t give an informed comment. After we talk about it, I may have more ideas.”
Sam agreed, “Yes, she thinks so, too. She also says that the next injury that you have come in, if she’s free, then she’ll show you what they can do.” Before Janet could remind her that they didn’t have one, she continued, “We brought both a ribbon device and a healing device back with us, so you’ll see it, if you call us in to help. From what I’m seeing in her memories, they’re very handy little things to have. Unfortunately, you have to have naquadah in your blood to work one. And the only way to get that is to either have a symbiote, or have one die within you leaving that behind. And that, isn’t a really good option, not just because the symbiote would have to die, but because they can’t always manage to keep from killing the host, when they die within them like that.”
Janet’s eyebrows came together in a frown. “What do you mean? They kill the host when they die? I mean, if they’re both injured, then it’s unlikely the host would survive anyway. Right?”
Sam hesitated, as she listened to Jolinar’s explanation. Turning back to Janet, she told her quietly, “Janet, if Jolinar had died within me, she would have tried to leave me alive, since my injuries weren’t as severe as hers were.” She paused before relaying the next important piece of information, “If she couldn’t have prevented it, I would’ve died, not from my injuries, but from a toxin, a poison that they release at death. A Tok’Ra always attempts to not release it, unless the host wishes to die with them, which is not uncommon, but they can’t always control it. She believes she would have been able to, since she was so near death but hadn’t released any of it. Releasing it as they die is more or less an automatic thing, so not releasing it takes a concerted effort on the symbiote’s part. This poison also makes removing a Goa’uld symbiote a precarious operation. Sometimes a Goa’uld will release the toxin when they realize they can’t stop the extraction, thereby killing the host out of spite.” A sardonic look crossed Sam’s face, as she continued, “A System Lord is actually much less likely to release it, though, as they are arrogant enough that they believe they will be able to retake their host or another host and escape their captor. That’s good to know.” She grinned wryly, “Now, why doesn’t that bit of information about the System Lords surprise me?”
Janet had to laugh, even though it wasn’t really funny; it was the look on Sam’s face, as she said it that was funny. She shook her head, answering, “I don’t think it should surprise us, that’s why.” She stopped speaking, as she frowned in thought, before asking Sam, “What did you mean the couple of times I hit her heart?”
“The, uh, first two times you missed. That’s why there was no change. After you had them move us, you were spot on, though, and those are the ones that helped her. As for how much you could have given her, she could’ve withstood more, as her body would simply have processed and neutralized it. That was another reason you had to use so much. She was too weak at first to be able to do more than keep her body from negating some of its effect. Once she started to gain in strength, she stopped that from happening, and you started to see more response to it. It’s also the reason you didn’t need to worry about it harming me. She would have taken care of it long before it caused me a problem.”
Janet shook her head, replying, “There’s a lot to learn about them, Sam. I hope we can get together and go over at least the basics, before I have to treat her again.”
Sam nodded. “Me too, Janet, and Jolinar agrees with you. We’ll try to do it before we leave on our next mission, promise.”
“Good. Well, as I said, you’re finished, Sam, but come with me, while I examine Teal'c. Like you, that takes mere seconds to accomplish, and I want to continue our conversation. It’s not like these physicals are private with you all in here, anyway.”
Sam nodded and hopped down off of the bed, following her to Teal'c. As Janet, in her own mind, although she would never admit it a loud, wasted her time looking over Teal'c, she asked, “Is there an antidote to the symbiote poison, Sam?”
Sam turned her attention to Jolinar, only to hear her already answering her, “No, my Samantha, there is not. It has never been a priority, as there were always other things that took our attention away from that. I believe that there have been several attempts, over the years; however, we never managed to give it our full attention for long enough to perfect one. Something else always became more important.”
“I see. That’s too bad, as it could negate the problem of the toxin being released during the removal of a Goa’uld.”
“I agree, however, being neither a council member nor a healer or scientist, I did not feel that I should be part of that decision,” Jolinar smiled slightly, but sensed Sam’s curiosity, and so answered her questions, “It is true that they wished me to take a council seat, Samantha, but I preferred being an operative. I suppose I could have done both; however, since I often took long missions and positions, it would leave them a member short, for most council decisions. I simply felt it best to decline the offer each time they made it, which was fairly often. Per’sus has attempted to convince me to join the High Council for over a thousand years.”
“Now that we are blended, I may very well take that seat should he offer it again. They could contact us for meetings. From what I can tell, you never go undercover, and most of your missions are of a very short duration. There were some Tok'Ra joining the council and sub-council, who I believed would become a divisive presence. I would not like to see that happen. We have remained united for over two thousand years. I do not wish to see us split and take different paths.” She sighed, finishing, “Although that may become inevitable, now that we have met you. There will be some who oppose us going on the offensive. If we ally with you, that will be inevitable eventually. I can only hope we have a viable queen and young by then.”
Jolinar paused once more, before telling Sam, “I have just now remembered this. That is good, as it means that, as I have suspected, the memories are there, they are simply buried, at this time. They will come, I am sure of it now. I appear to be remembering things more and more, as time passes. Perhaps, not a lot at one time, as this was, but still even remembering the simple one thought things is encouraging.” She paused, before sighing and giving her the bad news, “Unfortunately, it also indicates that I have forgotten more about my life than I realized. There could be some important things missing, and we will not be aware of them, until we remember them. We must simply do the best that we can.”
“At least I appear to have the memories I need to function efficiently, as an operative, and I also believe that I have the information about the System Lords that is important. Losing some of that could be critical to the success of our next mission; however, I believe I have it all. Now that I have remembered who sent the Ashrak, I also remember the necessary intelligence about him…other than that pertaining to the Tok'Ra and the Council. The loss of that information is not good; however, remembering the other information pertaining to Cronus is good.”
Sam smiled at her, commenting, “Yes, it’s both encouraging and discouraging. I agree that the memories are there; it’s just a matter of time. It also seems to me that things often come to you, when you’re answering a question or explaining something. So, maybe it’s simply taking something to nudge the memories to come to the surface.” Sam paused, before pointing out, “Jolinar, you may be suppressing the memories of the traitor because you don’t wish to believe it could be true. When you’re ready to admit and accept that they are a traitor and come to terms with it, I believe they’ll come, too.”
“Yes, I agree. I am not sure about the suppression part, however, I must admit that it makes more sense than any other reason I can think of, for why I cannot remember something so vitally important.”
“Sam, ask Jolinar, if there is any way that I could get a sample of this toxin. I’d like to see if I can come up with something. I doubt if I can, since her people have tried and been unable to do it, but I’d like to at least look at it myself.”
Jolinar hesitated, and feeling that hesitance, Sam gave up control without being asked. Now, she was beginning to understand Jolinar’s statement as to how, eventually, she wouldn’t have to ask. Sam would simply ‘know’ when she would like to take control, and then it was up to her to decide yes or no. It was a comforting thought, and one more bit of proof that Jolinar was a very long way from being Goa’uld.
Seeing her eyes flare, Janet waited to hear what she had to say. When she said nothing, Janet looked over at her, with a question in her eyes. They had moved on to Daniel, now, and he was watching her, too. Was this request over the edge of what Jolinar wanted the Tau'ri to know? He hadn’t thought about it before, but the two of them were going to be juggling all kinds of things they couldn’t tell the other’s people.
Finally, Jolinar nodded her head, saying, quietly, “The easiest way would be to get it from a dead Goa’uld. Even though it would have been released, there would still be enough left within the organ to get a small sample. Since we do not have one, you could get one from me.”
It was obvious that the second offer was what made her hesitate, in the first place, and Daniel spoke up, “But, there is a problem with that.”
Jolinar sighed, before telling them quietly, “Yes and no. It is not that I do not wish to be the one to give it to you; it is that it could be difficult to obtain. Remember that I am wrapped around Samantha’s spine,” She pointed out quietly. Then feeling something more was needed, as she could tell that they still were not sure of the problem, she continued, “The organ you would need to access, is lying along her spine on the underneath side. It would be difficult to obtain simply because of its position. There are other organs around it, all clustered in that one area. The only way into it would be through her spine.” She shrugged. “As I said, if you do wish for it right away, then I will do it, for I can repair any damage you do, as you go through her spine on your way to the organ. It is just that it is very much simpler on a symbiote that is not wrapped around someone’s spine. That does make it much more difficult to access.”
“Oh, I see,” Janet, commented just as quietly.
They were each so busy contemplating the problem and, what they would need to do that none of them noticed Teal'c, as he joined them. “I would suggest that Jolinar assist you, Doctor Fraiser, as she knows exactly where the organ lies, and that you use my primta, instead of Jolinar and Captain Carter. It will be much easier to access. I believe that this would be a good thing, if one can be perfected. Just as happened with your comrade, it is always a risk that someone on a mission will come back with a symbiote. Since Jolinar knows how to extract them, it would be a good thing, if it were also possible to stop that last vindictive act by the Goa'uld in question.”
Jolinar nodded, before turning to Teal'c and telling him, “I did not wish to suggest it, Teal'c, however, since you have offered, it ‘would’ be a much simpler and quicker procedure, if we were to use it.”
“Are you sure it won’t hurt his primta? I mean, as far as killing it or anything? Because we have no way to replace junior quickly. Eventually, we’ll have to get him one, but for now, well, it would be a problem to get him one as quickly as we would need one.”
“I am sure, Dr. Fraiser. Furthermore, even if you did injure the primta, it would heal itself. However, since there is no spine, for it to be up against, it will be very easy to reach that organ. There will be no other organs in your way from that direction, which will allow it to be done very easily and swiftly.”
“Then…if you’re sure, Teal'c, then as soon as we’re all free at the same time, I’d like to attempt it. Thank you for offering,” Janet told him softly, “I’d rather not go through Sam’s spine, even though Jolinar could repair it.”
“I understand, Dr. Fraiser, and we will set up a time, as soon as possible, for you to do this.”
“It truly will take very little time, Dr. Fraiser. The organ is very close to the surface, and easily accessible from that direction, I assure you.”
Jolinar released to Sam, who smiled at Janet, stating firmly, “So, now we have a plan for that, I’ m going to go shower and get ready for the briefing. See you guys there.”
“Okay, Sam. They won’t be much longer,” Janet assured her. “See you later, too, Teal'c.”
Teal'c bowed his head. “Indeed.”
Realizing that Jolinar was troubled about something, but was shielding her thoughts from her, Sam was a little concerned. She knew by now that she wouldn’t be able to keep it from her for long, without putting it in her ‘private space’, which Jolinar had explained, they both had. She’ d taught her how to access it, and it was a nice feeling knowing that she had a place to go in her mind that was completely hers, just as Jolinar did. However, whatever was bothering her, she wasn’t putting it there, so Sam assumed that she would soon allow her to know what it was. This seemed to be one of the things Jolinar did, as she mulled over something she wasn’t sure she wanted to share. Then again, Sam had also realized that, if she mulled it over in this way, she invariably, at least so far, shared it with her.
Jolinar sighed, as she absorbed Samantha’s thoughts. She was correct, and it was only a measure to be absolutely sure she wanted to share it. She now decided she would have to do so, for this was something they needed to work out…before the briefing. This decided, she turned outward from her thoughts and spoke quietly to Sam, “My Samantha, there is something which we must discuss, even if our discussion makes us late for our briefing.”
Surprised at the seriousness and firmness of Jolinar’s words and tone, she sat down at her desk. They’d stopped at their lab, on their way to the briefing, after their shower, to conceal and lock away the healing and ribbon devices. Still sensing her very serious demeanor, as well as her—not exactly anxiety, but some type of unease, Sam replied, calmly, “All right, Jolinar. Please simply tell me the problem, and we’ll attempt to work it out.”
Jolinar nodded, responding promptly, “Very well. We are about to go into a meeting where, at some point, your teammates are going to be asking questions about the Tok’Ra’s relationship with the Asgard. There are some things about it, which we cannot tell them, Samantha. I am concerned as to how you will feel about this.”
Sam nodded. “I’ve actually given this some thought already. I believe that you’re aware that there are some classified things that we can’t tell the Tok'Ra, as well? I know there probably aren’t as many sensitive things about the SGC, as there is about the Tok'Ra, but I think that both of us will be treading a very fine line at times, don’t you?”
She could feel the relief rush through Jolinar, as she answered, “Yes, Samantha, I do. Our, that is, the Tok'Ra’s…relationship…with the Asgard is known to very, very few of us. By that, I mean that even within the Tok'Ra the knowledge is very, very limited. Those of us, who must be scanned, all know, of course. However, very few of Egeria’s offspring are aware of it, and it must stay this way. We must impress upon General Hammond and our teammates that what they have learned is highly confidential and, if this information was to become known, it would have very dire and long reaching consequences, to a great many people.”
Sam frowned, but agreed, “Well, all right, but—Jol, why is it such a secret? I can’t really see a reason for it.”
“There is a treaty between the Goa’uld and the Asgard that pertains to certain worlds. These worlds are protected under this treaty. They each give up something, when it is changed. If our— relationship—was discovered by the Goa’uld, they might use that information to try to negate the treaty, which would expose many worlds to Goa’uld attack. Our contact with the Asgard is quite rare and very secretive. The reason so few know of it, is because it is something that could be given away under torture. The Asgard are in a war, other than this one with the Goa’uld, at the moment, and they do not have the resources to protect all of their worlds should the Goa’uld unite against them, which is a very real possibility should this information come out.”
Jolinar paused once again, before telling her, “They are also attempting to help us find a way to turn one of us into a queen. We have negative population growth. Every Tok'Ra death brings our people nearer to extinction, and our mission is not yet completed. The Goa’uld must be destroyed before we disappear completely. Should the Goa’uld discover what the Asgard are attempting to do for us, there would definitely be war on the protected planets. We cannot risk that happening. There is no doubt the Asgard would retaliate; however, that would not bring the peoples of those worlds back. It could also cause a great many innocent people on Goa’uld occupied worlds to perish, if the Asgard attacked any of them and, if a System Lord was hiding on one, then the Asgard would have no choice but to destroy it. I do not wish to be the one to cause such a thing to occur.”
Sam nodded her understanding of the situation. This was one of those things that few must know. She could see that she and Jolinar would be walking a tightrope, when it came to what they could tell their respective people. She sighed, before assuring her Lifemate, “We’ll impress it upon them, Jolinar, and we have no reason to tell them about them working on your population problem, if you’d rather not. We have no reason to mention it. Furthermore, don’t worry about me feeling I have to tell them anything that you tell me is confidential, because I won’t. I don’t think that General Hammond will expect me to. Maybourne might, and no doubt, he thinks that he can order me to tell him, and I will simply refuse to do it. The same with your people. They might demand you tell them things, but they can’t force us…can they?” Sam frowned, wondering if perhaps the Tok'Ra just might force information from them. It was a disquieting thought.
“No. They cannot force us to tell them anything. We do not use torture on our own people. Unless they have turned Shol’va.”
“Your people use torture? Like the Goa’uld do?” Sam was very much aghast at that thought.
Jolinar smiled at her, before answering, “No, not like the Goa’uld do. Not to the extent they do, anyway. Believe it or not, most Goa’uld, while they are very good at using torture, sometimes buckle quite easily under it. Even the System Lords do not hold up, as well as one might think.” Her voice grim, she continued, “On them, Sam, we will become quite brutal, if we must. I am sorry if that shocks you, and I can tell that it does.”
“I—I, ah, guess it does shock me. It shouldn’t. You’re fighting a ruthless enemy, as we are. We aren’t allowed to use extreme tactics, though. How your people conduct your interrogations and treat your prisoners is none of our business, but…I don’t think we should mention any of this. It…just wouldn’t be a good idea.”
“Yes, I can see that. I will not do so. Moreover, Sam, it is a rather rare occurrence for us…most of the time, their withdrawal from the sarcophagus’s effects is enough to cause them to tell us much of what we wish to know. Only in very hard core cases, where there is vital information needed, do we resort to tactics that resemble, although are not as—vicious—as their tactics are. Does that help any?”
“Yes, I can see from your memories what you mean, and I can see that you are much less likely to use those things to get the information. That’s why you asked about torture, though, isn’t it? Or was it because the Goa’uld use it?”
Sam nodded her understanding and then looked at her watch. “We’re late. I’m surprised they haven’t sent someone looking for us.”
Jolinar chuckled softly, “Yes, my Sam, so am I. We should go.”
“Yes, so we should.” Turning out the light, and locking the door, they left the lab and headed toward the briefing room. The SF coming down the hall saw them heading in the direction of the briefing room and rather than confront them, he simply followed, until he was sure that was where they were heading.
“I apologize for being late, General Hammond. Jolinar and I had some decisions to make, and some parameters and guidelines to set up, and they had to be made before this briefing.”
He nodded and, after a slight pause, he remarked, “I will assume it has to do with what you can and can’t tell us, about some of the things that are confidential to the Tok'Ra, just as you can’t tell the Tok'Ra certain things, which you will learn here that are confidential.”
“Yes. We both realize that we’ll be keeping secrets from both sides. It’s an unusual situation to be in; however, I believe that we’ll be able to do it.”
He nodded his agreement. “Before I forget, Maybourne will be here tomorrow, rather than the next day. It seems he had a conflict that wouldn’t allow him to make it the next day. If you have no objections, I’ll confirm that with him.”
“Any objections, Jol?”
“I cannot think of any, Samantha. Actually, I would like to be finished with it, and the sooner the better. We have a mission on which we need to be working. If he comes tomorrow, then that frees us up to help Teal'c the next day, which will be the second day the marines will be working with him. It will actually work out quite well.”
“We have no problem with it, General. In fact, it will work out better for us. We would both rather get it over with.”
“Very well, as soon as the briefing is over, I’ll contact them. Thank you. Now, let’s go on with the briefing about the mission first, and then I think from what the Colonel and Daniel have told me, there’re some things you’ll be wishing to say about what occurred on Cimmeria.”
Sam smiled, “Yes. There are.”
“Very well. Colonel, would you like to explain what happened on the mission?”
“Yes, Sir. Well, we arrived and there were no Jaffa in sight, however, there were, as you know, several bodies both human and Jaffa. Gairwyn, I believe we mentioned her in our reports the first time we went there, since she’s the one that welcomed us and showed Carter and Daniel around…anyway, the humans were…her husband and his brothers. They died getting the box through to us.” Jack O’Neill stopped for a moment, and it was plain to see that, although he didn’t show it, at the time, the fact that the woman lost her family, in their attempt to reach the SGC for help, had bothered him, quite a bit more than they had realized.
Then, taking a deep breath and pulling himself back from whatever bad place he had gone to, he continued, with his report, “There were also three pyramids being built; landing platforms for ships that were on their way. We found out that the Goa’uld was Heru’Ur, which was our third or fourth clue that we might have a very large problem on our hands. He has a wonderful pedigree, but I’m sure that Daniel will go into that, so I won’t. So, as we talked to Gairwyn, some Jaffa came up and…” “…So, you can see, Sir, we really didn’t have a lot of choices open to us.”
“Can you explain what happened on your end, Dr. Jackson?”
“Yes, Sir. While Olaf, Jack, and Teal'c were scouting out the situation, we talked to Gairwyn, and she told us about the ‘Hall of Thor’s Might.’ Since it sounded like it could hold a weapon or weapons, we decided to go look there and at least see what it was…” “…So, anyway, as Jack said, we surrendered rather than allowing them to kill the women and children. Then, as we were being, ah, ‘escorted’ to ‘meet our new god’, we heard what sounded like thunder, but the sky was blue, clear with no clouds at all. It did make the Jaffa a little jumpy, I’ll say that. Needless to say, it wasn’t thunder, although a large blackish cloud did form. What it was, however, was Thor’s chariot arriving and making very quick work of dispatching the Goa’uld, their pyramids and their encampment. It was actually very impressive to see, General. I have no idea what kind of technology it was, but it was, well, amazing. Within minutes, everything was gone. The pyramids, the encampment, the Jaffa, just…everything. Once that happened, Gairwyn appeared with messages from Thor. One of them was to admit that they have visited Earth often in the past, which means that the Roswell Grays are not a myth or a hoax. They are very, very real, and they are the Asgard.”
“I see. Was there anything else to the message?”
“Um, yes, Sir, there was. He said we’re still much too young to meet them, he promised the Cimmerians a teacher, and also to help them rebuild and get everything replaced, straightened up, and just generally help them out. He, um, did thank us for contacting him and helping the Cimmerians. He said they’d put up a new hammer, and that it would allow Teal'c through, as well as the Tok'Ra, just as this one did before. He also said that Jolinar should be sure to tell the Tok'Ra council that he is pleased and approves of their meeting and allying with us. Which I have to admit, was a pretty big shock, since we didn’t know they even knew each other.” As Daniel finished his report with that statement, they all looked toward Sam.
Sighing to herself, she began her report, “…and so that’s pretty much what happened, Sir. That’s how they managed to take us prisoner, that’s how we found and figured out the Hall of Thor’s Might, and those were the messages that Thor sent to us.”
As they all looked at her expectantly, she looked down at the table, as she contemplated exactly what to tell them, and how to tell them. Before she could decide, the General broke into her thoughts, saying, “If that’s all you can tell us, Captain Carter, Jolinar, then that’s all you can tell us. I understand. I won’t put you in that kind of position. I’ll be talking to the President again, in a couple of hours, and I believe that once I discuss the situation with him, he will agree with me. We have to be able to trust one another, and knowing the meaning of classified is one way to show that trust. I trust that you and Jolinar wouldn’t keep information from us, if we were in danger or something might affect us in a very negative way. The Tok'Ra will have to trust that you and Captain Carter will have the same guidelines, as far as I, and I am fairly sure the President, is concerned. If we have information about something that would harm the Tok'Ra or affect them in a negative way, she will tell them. That’s really all we can do, and all we can reasonably expect from both of you.”
Sam sensed Jolinar’s relief and her wish to explain the situation in regards to the Asgard. She gave over control before Jolinar could ask. They were definitely getting this down quickly. Looking at her new teammates, and then at the General, she began with her reply to the General first, “I very much appreciate your attitude, General. I can assure you that the majority of the Tok'Ra council, though not all of them, will feel the same way. I imagine that you, also, will have some people that disagree with that attitude. They are, at this point, unimportant.”
“As for the situation with the Asgard, it is not that I cannot tell you any more, it is that there are several things that I must impress upon you most stringently. The fact that the Asgard and the Tok'Ra are allied must go no farther, General Hammond. No farther at all. It cannot leave this room.” Seeing their frowns, she elaborated. “Very few know about our alliance, even among the Tok'Ra. The few of us that do know realize how vital it is for many worlds that the Goa’uld do not find out. As in most situations, there is more than one reason why more people do not have this information, and why it is so highly classified.”
She paused once more, as she thought about what she wished to say, then began, “The first reason is that, if so much as a breath of our alliance reached the ears of the Goa’uld, then any Tok'Ra captured would be tortured for more information about it. If our operatives do not know, then there is nothing they can divulge.”
“The second reason is that the Asgard have many protected planets, under a treaty with the Goa’uld. Should the System Lords find out that the Asgard have helped the Tok'Ra, they would declare war upon those worlds and raze them into rubble. The Asgard would retaliate; however, the protected worlds would already be destroyed. Keeping this information to ourselves ensures that it is kept from the System Lords. As you can see, this information is highly classified, even within the ranks of our own people. I cannot stress enough that this can go no further…not even to your president, please. You may tell him that we are aware of and have met them, but that is all. That way, there is nothing more that he could tell anyone.”
“The Goa’uld are aware that we have met them. They have been led to believe that the Asgard consider us to be Goa’uld…which is exactly what we want them to believe. The Asgard have made sure that the System Lords believe that they do not trust us, and believe us to be working against the System Lords, only so that we can take over their holdings and slaves. It worked, and we have kept to that story. We have met, neither side liked or was impressed by the other, and we parted, not exactly at war, but not cordially, either. Even our own people believe this of the Asgard and the Tok'Ra.”
As Jolinar stopped speaking, the General, Daniel, and Teal'c appeared to understand. All of them assured her that no one would take the truth out of this room. Colonel O’Neill, however, was staring at her…and it was obvious he had a very unpleasant thought that he was chewing over. Finally, the general asked him, “Jack, what’s on your mind?”
“How do we know that isn’t what they’re doing, Sir? Maybe they’ve fooled the Asgard into believing they’re rebels, with no designs on taking over the power of the others, but in reality, they’re actually only trying to overthrow the System Lords, so that they can take over and rule instead?”
Sam’s head was bent, as she stared at the table. Jolinar was attempting to calm her anger at her commanding officer. Daniel, Teal'c, and the General were once more staring at him, this time in amazement and disbelief.
When he got over the shock of his second-in-command’s statement, he told him, his voice laced with ice, “Colonel O’Neill that was uncalled for and totally out of place here. Do you honestly believe that Captain Carter has turned traitor? Because that is what you are accusing her of doing.”
The Colonel blanched, as he repeated his words to himself. Then he remembered seeing the brain waves and knowing it was Sam talking to them. And today, Jolinar was asleep, so it had to have been Carter talking to him. He’d stuck his foot in his mouth…again. Looking over at her, he cleared his throat before saying, “The General’s right, Carter. I have no idea why I said that. I know it’s not true. I, um, ah, apologize.”
Sam looked up and at him, before saying quietly, “Sir, if you can’t come to terms with and accept that not all Goa’uld are the same, I won’t be able to work with you. You’ll never trust me. You’ll never feel comfortable around me or believe anything I tell you. You’ll suspect constantly that it’s really Jolinar and that she’s suppressing me, controlling me somehow, or she’s lying. If you can’t overcome your prejudice, then we will have no choice, but to leave.” Turning back to General Hammond, she spoke quietly, “I’m sorry, General Hammond. I—we— can’t live and work with that kind of tension and distrust. We’d like to be excused, Sir.”
His face stony, the General nodded his permission, and Sam left the room. She headed for her lab. Maybe there would be something there that could get her mind off of how she felt about what the Colonel had said to her and Jolinar. She was, quite frankly, shocked at his attitude. She truly believed that he realized the difference between the two groups. His words of distrust cut deep. Very, very deep.