Chapter Seven Summary: Sam and Jolinar have to decide what to do about Colonel O’Neill’s attitude. Daniel, Teal'c, and the General have a talk with Jack. O’Neill knows that he has to talk to the two of them and try to reassure them that he understands better now. Colonel Maybourne arrives…and departs knowing no more than he knew before he arrived. Teal'c spends his time training ‘Jaffa’ and ‘slaves/servants’.
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication
The four men sat in the briefing room in complete silence once Sam and Jolinar left the room. Jack rubbed his face with his hands. What the hell was wrong with him? He sighed. “I know I stuck both feet in my mouth. I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened…it just popped out,” Jack O’Neill put forward the only excuse he had. “I’ll—I’ll go talk to her, er, them.”
“I don’t think you should, Jack. Not yet anyway, because she’s right. Until you can accept that she’s not a Goa’uld, nothing will change. You’ll second guess and question everything that comes out of her mouth. You’ll watch her constantly to see if there’s some way to catch Jolinar pretending she’s Sam, some way you can prove it.” Daniel shook his head. “I don’t understand you. It’s like you have blinders on. You can’t seem to see any other options to your original beliefs.”
“I offered to go talk to her, them, Daniel, what else can I do?”
“Well, maybe you need to examine your prejudices. I think I have as much reason, or more, to hate the Goa’uld, but I’m not treating her as if she’s some kind of—evil being ready to lunge into me and take over. If you can’t tell the difference between Jolinar and a Goa’uld, then you have a real problem, Jack. A real big problem and…so do we.” Daniel almost flung himself out of his chair and stalked over to look down upon the Stargate. It had brought them both wonders and horrors. He closed his eyes, but they popped back open, as he turned to look at his friend. His eyebrows pulled together into a frown. Was this about Kawalski? The soldiers he lost on the first mission? The female soldier that Apophis took? Skarra? Sha’uri? All of the above? He shook his head once more and turned back to the window. It didn’t really matter what was causing it. What was important was finding a way that Jack could learn the difference between a Goa’uld and a Tok'Ra, and right now, he didn’t have a clue how to set about doing it.
“Jack, I have to agree with Dr. Jackson. I think you have a real problem. You seem to accept her, and then you go off on one of these tangents. I want to help you, but I won’t lose this link to an important alliance because you couldn’t keep your feet out of your mouth, or overcome your prejudices. Where does this come from, Jack? What’s causing you to be this way?”
“I’ve seen what the Goa’uld will do, General. They took Charlie Kowalski, they took Sha’uri, and they took Skarra. I will never trust a Goa’uld.” Jack sighed. “General, she admitted to being a Goa’uld. Carter sat right there and told us she wasn’t born Tok'Ra. How can we trust a self-professed Goa’uld? Can you really trust her? How do you do it? How can any of you remember the people the Goa’uld have taken from us and trust the snake?”
Jack avoided everyone’s eyes, but he couldn’t stop from looking up when Teal'c began to talk. “I have lost friends to the bullets of the Tau'ri. Yet, I have no problem accepting the Tau'ri. Now, knowing that the Tok'Ra are more than legend, I believe that it is quite likely that I have lost many friends to the Tok'Ra. Yet, I have no difficulty in accepting Jolinar of Malk’shur. I know for a fact that I have lost many friends to the Goa’uld. I can accept that you have had no choice but to kill them, that the Tok'Ra have had no choice but to kill them. The Goa'uld have caused many unnecessary Jaffa deaths, and they have committed many unnecessary Jaffa deaths, for no particular reason. I cannot accept them. You appear to be having difficulty separating the two, Goa’uld and Tok'Ra, but you still have not given me a reason for that.”
“How do we know they are different, Teal'c? How can we trust a Goa’uld?”
“Damn it, Jack, because mentally she’s NOT Goa’uld. Get that through your head, would you?” Daniel’s outburst caused him to turn his back to the room once again. He should just shut up.
Teal'c gazed at Jack so steadily that he began to fidget, before the man finally spoke, “They are physiologically Goa’uld; that is a true statement. However, having been around true Goa’uld all of my life, I can assure you that Jolinar is not Goa’uld in any way that counts.” He paused, as he tried to marshal what he wanted to say. Seeming to come to a conclusion, he gave his full attention back to O’Neill. “You are a white human male. Are you the same as the serial killer? The rapist? The thief? The wife beater? The alcoholic? You say you will never trust a Goa’ uld, hence by extension, because the Tok’Ra are physically Goa’uld, you will never trust a Tok'Ra. So in effect, you are telling me that because you are a white human male you are a serial killer, a rapist, a thief, in fact, all of those things, since all members of a group must be alike. There can be no good and bad, there is only bad.”
He shook his head. “How do you live with yourself, since you are all of those things?”
“Oh, come on, Teal'c. That’s not fair. There a lot more good people than there are those other things. That doesn’t make sense.”
“No, it doesn’t, Jack, you’re right. You are no more those things than anyone in this room is. So, how can you be so arrogant as to say that, because you are human, it makes you different or better? How can you not see what Teal'c is showing you? How can you sit in judgment of a society you know nothing about and decide that because they are related to the drug addicts down the street, they must automatically be drug addicts, too? I…I just can’t believe you are so unbelievably blind when it comes to Jolinar and Sam.”
Frustration was clearly evident in O’Neill’s voice as he answered him, “I don’t know either, Daniel. It’s like I start to believe them, and then something happens like her talking about the rumors about them, and suddenly, I find myself thinking, well, that could be right. Maybe it isn’t just a rumor, maybe they really are trying to take over and rule. I don’t know why! It just pops up; I start to think about the Goa’uld. They’re nothing but a bunch of snakes. How can you trust someone that is genetically like Apophis or Ra or Cronus?”
Suddenly, Daniel looked at him and asked, “You know, you’ve never told me, do you have a brother or sister?”
Jack frowned. “Yeah. Why?”
“Are they in jail?”
Now he was scowling, “He, and no.”
“Tell me something, if your brother was in jail for murder, would that make you a murderer? Would his being one, automatically mean that you were a murderer because you are genetically really closely related? Well? Would it?”
“No, of course not. Everyone makes their own choices. We can decide to not do something. What does that have to do with anything?”
Daniel, Teal'c, and the General all simply looked at him, waiting…hoping the light bulb would finally truly come on. “I don’t get it. Obviously, there is something there you want me to extrapolate out to the Goa’uld and the Tok'Ra.”
Daniel shrugged. “You are the one that said we couldn’t trust the Tok'Ra because they were genetically like the Goa’uld, Jack, not me.”
Jack scowled, as he looked at each of them in turn. Suddenly, just by the looks on their faces he realized that this was important. Really important. Okay, so what did he say? The Goa’uld and Tok'Ra are the same because they are genetically related. Okay…then Daniel asked about his brother. Hell, the two of them were as different as…night and day, as different as…the Tok'Ra and the Goa’uld. He threw his head back and gazed at the ceiling feeling like a very stupid fool. “Okay. I get it.”
“Yes! Finally!” Daniel threw his hands into the air, in a gesture of relief.
Jack’s lips twisted wryly, “You’ve all said the same thing in a dozen different ways. Why didn’t I get it? Regardless of how I’ve been acing, I’m not stupid.” He paused for only a moment before adding, “Then again, maybe I am.”
“No, O’Neill, you are not. I believe that you did not want to have to admit that they are indeed different and, therefore, deserve to be accepted or not on a one on one basis. I believe that perhaps your hatred of the Goa’uld would not allow you to see the truth of the Tok'Ra. It was simply easier for you to hate them all,” Teal'c gave his opinion in a measured tone of voice.
Jack nodded his head. “Yeah. Maybe you’re right, Teal'c. I just hope I don’t forget and slip back.”
“Well, Jack, if I might make a suggestion…since it was Daniel’s comparison of you and your brother, that seemed to finally turn on the light bulb, next time you start to slip, think of your brother.” General Hammond paused for a moment before adding quietly, but it was still understood to be an order, “I believe that you should drop the word snake from your vocabulary, when you speak about them. Even if you are talking only of the Goa’uld, it may insult the Tok'Ra, as well. I don’t imagine you would like for the people around you to discuss all men with bad knees as cripples, when they clearly aren’t. I’d also stop thinking of them as Goa’uld and use the word Tok'Ra instead. Sometimes just the act of changing the words you use can change the way you think of something. It can make a tremendous difference.”
Jack nodded, and then sat very quietly staring at the wall, before telling them, “I have to go talk to them, but I don’t know what to say. I have no idea how to explain my idiocy.”
“Just tell them the truth, Jack. You couldn’t see the Tok'Ra because your hatred of the Goa’ uld wouldn’t let you. It took you a while to realize what the problem was, but that you think you can work through it, if they’ll just be patient. Sam doesn’t want to leave the SGC, Jack. Give her an excuse to stay.”
He nodded. “Yeah. I’ll try that, and I’d better go now, while I still have the nerve to do it.”
“Good luck, O’Neill.”
“Thanks, Teal'c; I think I’m gonna need it.”
“Samantha, please do not grieve so. We can still give him time to come to terms with the Tok'Ra. We have nowhere to go at this time, anyway, so we might as well see if we cannot help him to understand.”
Sam shook her head. “No, Jol. I don’t think we can. We’ve done everything we could to make him understand the difference. I know we don’t have anywhere to go right now, until you get your memories back, but I’m going to ask General Hammond to take us off SG-1. We’ll stay here, work in my lab and run my department. Then, when your memories return, we’ll go to the Tok'Ra. I won’t give up on the idea of an alliance, but I don’t think I can stay here knowing how he really feels about us.”
Jolinar sighed to herself and then she frowned. Perhaps Samantha was right. If it did turn out that Colonel O’Neill could not come to terms with the idea of a symbiote, then they would have to go to the tunnels, as soon as she remembered. Of course, that was the plan all along, so that had not changed. However, instead of returning here to the SGC, they would no doubt stay in the tunnels. Then there was no longer any doubt that she would take that council seat, after all. It felt…right. It was time for her to stop taking these long and dangerous missions. It was time that she accepted that she had proven to the Tok'Ra, and to herself, that she was Tok'Ra. If she had not reverted in over two thousand years, she would not revert now. Samantha was correct about that. She did not want to give up missions completely, but perhaps it was time to put other things first for a time. Take more of a leadership role. After all, she had been a very close friend of Egeria’s, and her friend would expect more from her. She would expect her to help lead her children. Yes, perhaps it was time. She frowned. There was something else, but she did not know what it was. She felt…sad at the idea of leaving…something…again. What that was, though, she was not sure.
Well, at the moment she could not allow the loss of her memories to affect her too much. The important thing was remembering who the traitor was. That was the most important thing for her to remember. She felt confident that the traitor was on the council. Unfortunately, there were several that she would not put it past to defect, to turn Shol’va.
Turning her thoughts back to Sam, she realized that she was quietly crying. Not a lot, but a tear now and again. She had a great deal of respect for O’Neill, and that was making this very difficult for her. After having the complete trust of someone, and then having it suddenly taken away, through no fault of your own, was a deep blow in and of itself. She wished there was some way to get through to O’Neill; however, she had no idea how it could be accomplished. Perhaps Dr. Jackson or Teal'c would help them. They, at least, appeared to accept them completely.
Once more she hugged her Sam, telling her, “There is a chance that he will eventually realize that we can be trusted. It may take some time, but he will someday come around. We shall simply have to do our best not to antagonize him more. I am not good at that I am afraid, for I am very outspoken, so you must help to curb my tongue.”
“Now, come, Mer Prinekh, we have time to ourselves. Let us sit quietly and go over some of these pieces of technology. Who knows? Perhaps we will find something wonderful.”
Sam smiled at her, giving her a quick hug, before realizing that she didn’t have the translation for the words Jolinar used on her a moment ago. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the old saying went. “Jol? What does Mer Prinekh mean?”
Jolinar hesitated for a moment before she started to speak, “It means Lifemate…My Lifemate. It—is a term of endearment between symbiote and host.”
“Really? I think it’s very pretty. Thank you. I take it that it isn’t something that is used except for moments of deep feeling?”
“Yes. That is more or less how it is used, or when you wish especially to convey your love to them. I suppose it would be on the equivalent of your word beloved, which, by the way, I find a particularly beautiful word.”
Sam smiled at her, agreeing, “Yes, and you rarely hear it used anymore. I think it was deemed ‘too’ much or something. We do use dear, dearest, honey, my love, sweetheart. Occasionally you will hear darling, but it, too, is not used much anymore.”
Jolinar smiled at her, saying, “We will use it on our mates.”
Sam sat very still, barely breathing, “We, um, we have…mates? As—in a husband? What— what are they like? What are their names?”
Sam felt Jolinar freeze and then almost panic. “Hey, it’s okay. Stop, Jolinar, calm down. You’ll remember it later. I’m sure it will come back.”
Jolinar drew in a shaky breath, which Sam always found funny, since they did not breathe, as such. Still it was an image they sent, to emphasize their feelings, “I will be all right now, my Sam. It is just a shock to realize that, although, I know that I…we now, have mates, I do not remember anything about them. I have some vague impressions, when I think of my mates, but nothing specific. I do not remember their names or what they look like.” Feeling Sam’s continued anxiety for her, she smiled at her, a small smile, but still a smile, before assuring her, “I will be fine now, I promise you. I should not be surprised, actually, as all of my missing memories so far have pertained to the base and the people there. I can remember a few…Garshaw, Yosuf, Selmak, Saroosh, Per’sus, Aiydon, Malek, Devlin, Anise, and Freya. I am very sure that they are not involved in whatever is going on there.” This, then, was the vague feeling she had earlier. This—they—were the sadness she felt at the idea of leaving on a long mission again. She might not know anything else about them, but she knew that they had been patience itself about her long and dangerous missions. They hated it when she left…hated her being gone for months to years at a time, often unable to contact them. They had lived with uncertainty long enough. Yes, this was the real reason behind her sudden decision to take the council seat and fewer, shorter missions. She hoped she would remember more about them soon.
Jolinar shared the vague impressions she was getting as she thought of her, now their, ‘mates’. Sam felt more than saw, a medium tall man, but that was all, just the outline of his body. As she immersed herself in it along with Jolinar, she got the impression of a very sweet and gentle man, who had hidden depths, if one knew exactly where to look for them. His symbiote was much more passionate, she frowned, as a very small snippet was added to her impressions of him…his passion wasn’t confined to his cause. Okay, time to turn her mind back to work.
Reaching out, Sam picked up something that looked very much like a hand device; however, it was somewhat more delicate. She slipped it on, and it immediately started to power up. Gasping, she pulled it from her hand before she blew something up. “Wow. That was, um, quick to react. You were doing that right?”
Jolinar shook her head, answering, “No, I did not, my Samantha. I suspect that along with your already awakening abilities, which you now have from me, you have some different elements within your body to which this is responding. At any rate, there is nothing we can do about it now, except to be sure that you either do not put it on or, if you do, you don’t point it at yourself or someone else.” She frowned as she continued to look at it where it now lay on the table.
“What are you thinking, Jolinar? You appear a little confused by it,” Sam probed gently.
After a few minutes of contemplation, during which Sam didn’t try to divert her attention, she finally, answered her, “I may be very wrong, Samantha, however the more thought I have given to it, the more I believe that I am correct. It is definitely not of Goa’uld design. It looks almost like some form of adornment, although it is now obvious it is not. Of course, that was already determined, or it would have been with Dr. Jackson instead of here. The Ancients left a very long time ago, and while they were warriors, at one time, many millennia ago, they tended to be pacifists, as time went on, rarely fighting anyone toward the end of their time here. Therefore, I do not believe that it is of Ancient design.”
Still pondering and considering her words carefully, she continued, “I have definitely seen something similar before, however, it was on a world that we felt was Furling. It was ignored, as we were in a hurry, and at first glance, as I said, it appears to be some sort of adornment. It was perhaps both. I am trying to remember what we know about them, but it is very little. The Asgard might be able to tell us more. The Furling, as the Ancients and the Asgard, either have moved beyond our plane of existence, or have moved to another galaxy. I also believe it to be Furling because Ancient technology will not respond to us in any way…that is, unless a host, well, or a symbiote, which a few do, has the Ancient gene, and those people, and symbiotes, are very few and far between. Furling technology, however, what little we have come across, does respond to humans and Tok'Ra. But it will not work on Goa'uld. It is almost as if it senses the wearer’s intent and perhaps looks into their heart and soul, which is, as you might phrase it, a little spooky.”
Sam almost laughed at Jolinar’s last few words, but she didn’t, and instead turned her attention more fully to the hand device. “Do you think we can learn to use it, Jol? It doesn’t look Goa'uld, but I’m not sure anyone would notice that without looking at it more closely. Something in your hand that is glowing is usually enough for the Jaffa to get the picture.”
Jolinar nodded, assuring her, “I have no reason to believe that we could not. I have a feeling that it is more powerful than my hand device.” She frowned again, urging Sam to pick it up and simply hold it. “I can feel a signature very like that of the healing device, as well as the other signature, Sam. I cannot be sure, until we test it out, of course, but I believe that it could be used as both a hand device and a healing device. We must definitely work with it to see what we can accomplish with it.”
Sam nodded, and agreed, “Yes, I think we should look into it. If it can be used as a healing device, and you don’t need anything in particular to use it, we might find we can use it here. If there isn’t something in me that is making it work, that is. We’ll just have to try it out and see.”
A knock on the door startled them, and turning toward it, Sam straightened, inquiring, “Is there something we can do for you, Colonel O’Neill?”
“No. No, I came down to talk to you and Jolinar.” He entered the room and began to pace, picking up and then returning things, after he examined them. Sam sat quietly waiting for him to decide what he needed to tell her, no, them.
Finally deciding that she wasn’t going to say anything else to him, he sat down on a stool next to her. He grimaced, as he looked her, “You’re not going to make this easy, are you?”
Sam frowned. “I don’t know what you want from me, Colonel. What do you want me to say? It’ s okay that you don’t trust us? It’s okay that you constantly watch us to see who’s talking to you and are skeptical of what we say? I can’t do that, because it wouldn’t be true, and I meant what I said. I can’t continue under those conditions.”
Jack nodded and ran his hand through his hair, before leaning forward with his forearms resting on his thighs. “Yeah, Carter. I know. I don’t blame you. I’d be pissed off, too, if I was you. I—we—.” He stopped and then tried again, “Teal'c, Daniel, and the General—talked to me. We think—we might have—maybe…well, we, um, we believe that we found the source of this—problem. I’m having trouble separating the two, Carter. I’ve hated the Goa'uld so much, for so long, that I couldn’t see past that. They took Kawalski, Sha’uri, Skarra, and that’s just a start of what they’ve done.”
He sighed before tackling the rest of what he needed to say, “It’s—hard—for me to see the difference. Actually, even with the three of them talking to me, I couldn’t see the difference. Then Daniel, well, he took something I said and put it into a context where I couldn’t push the logic away. They’d all said the same thing over and over in different ways, but it just didn’t penetrate. I didn’t get it. I—I don’t think I ‘wanted’ to get it.” He straightened slightly, as he continued talking to them, “I think I do now. I may still have a problem now and then, but…I don’t think it will last, and I might be able to keep my feet out of my mouth. And I won’t believe it, after I say it, if I do stick them in there. But, you may have to help me, ignore me, whatever we have to do, until it stops happening. I—can’t promise I’ll never say something stupid again, but I can promise that I’ll know that it’s stupid.”
He watched as Jolinar came forward and managed not to flinch this time. He could see amusement in her eyes. “I see. In that case, perhaps we could begin again. Samantha is…still a little upset. I am not sure she trusts you now, Colonel. It may also take some time…and actions…for her to do so again. We will attempt to help you and not take offense.” She paused, and then told him, “However, you should prepare yourself for meeting my people. It is quite likely that they will be arrogant and very, ah, off-putting. I daresay you will not like them, as a whole; however, once you become acquainted with them on a one on one level, I believe you may feel differently. I would suggest you refrain from calling them snakes, though, as they would not take kindly to the comparison. It is to be hoped that you will become more comfortable with me by then and thus not feel as, ah, averse, to them.”
Jack cleared his throat, before telling her, “Um, yeah, I’m thinking not calling them, or perhaps even the Goa'uld snakes, might be better. I believe that I’ll change that and the thoughts that go with it.”
Jolinar laughed lightly, “My people call the Goa'uld things that are less flattering than snakes. I do not believe calling them that will upset anyone. If it does, then you can cease, but I would strongly doubt that it will.”
“Good. I still think I’m going to try to come up with something else, though. Just in case.”
“Very well, Colonel. We will begin again from this point, if you desire to do so.”
Jack nodded and held out his hand. She put hers into his, “Yeah, I do want to. I—thanks.”
“You are welcome, Colonel.”
He finally smiled a genuine crooked little grin actually, before saying, “I’ll see you later, then, and if not again today, then tomorrow before Maybourne arrives. And don’t worry about that, either. One of us will be there with you. Orders from the top; you aren’t to be left alone with him.” He cleared his throat before telling her, “It’ll probably be me, since Teal'c will be busy with Jaffa and slaves/servants and Daniel will be learning how to be a lo’tar.”
“Very well. We will see you tomorrow, then, if we do not see you later today.”
Jack nodded and waved as he went through the door. Jolinar turned to Sam, telling her, “It will be all right, Sam. He will come to terms with us, and perhaps, in time, with my people.”
Taking control and reaching for the piece of technology they were working with earlier, Sam sighed, “I certainly hope so. I really do.”
“Hey, Sam! Have you had breakfast yet?” Sam turned, as Daniel came loping up to walk beside her.
“Heading there now, Daniel. How about you?”
“I had some coffee. I could use something, so if you and Jolinar don’t mind, I think I’ll go with you.”
“Sure, Daniel, we’d love to have breakfast with you.”
“Thanks. Teal'c should be there by now, too.”
They stepped into the elevator and Daniel pushed the twenty-two. They stepped off on that level and walked the distance to the cafeteria in silence. Entering, Daniel looked around. Seeing Teal'c, he turned to Sam, saying, “Um, Sam, there’s Teal'c, but, well, Jack’s with him. Is that gonna be okay?”
“Sure, Daniel, if you want. He and Jolinar talked a little yesterday afternoon, and I think we all came to an agreement.”
Daniel let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. “That’s good, Sam. I’m, um, really glad. I wouldn’t want to lose you just because Jack can’t keep his feet out of his mouth.”
“Well, Daniel, I think it was a little more than that, but I also think that you, Teal'c, and the General helped him to work through it, at least…we’ll hope so, anyway. He was honest, and admitted that he didn’t know if he’d stick his feet in again or not, but that, at least he’d know he was wrong when he did it.”
Seeing her eyes smiling at him, he felt even more relief. Maybe next time Jack acted like a jerk, they would tell him to stuff it. He kind of thought that they might. So far, all they had seen of Jolinar, since she and Sam woke up, was a very reasonable and likeable being. He had a feeling that she wasn’t always that way, though. He wondered idly if they would see a different Jolinar interact with Maybourne. He felt pretty sure that they would. He’d have to get the tapes of their session, just to see her, and how she responded to him. As they approached the table, he suddenly realized he hadn’t even spoken to Jolinar. Turning swiftly to Sam, he told her, “Tell Jolinar I said good morning, Sam.” He smiled ruefully. “It’s hard to remember that there are two of you in there now. We don’t mean to ignore her; we just aren’t used to it yet.”
Jolinar came forward, telling him, “That is all right, Dr. Jackson. It is often that we speak to either one or the other, but we are aware that we are speaking to both and so are they. Do not allow it to concern you. After all, both of us hear and see everything the other does, so we tend to take it as a given.”
“Thanks, and, um, it’s Daniel.”
They sat down and Teal'c looked over at her. “We have been discussing the Jaffa and slaves that you will need. We can get a minimum of ten complete Jaffa uniforms. Slave outfits could be more problematic. I could go to Teataska and obtain suitable clothing for them, if you believe it would be best.”
Jolinar nodded, adding, “Yes, I believe that it would be best. My personal Lo’tar should be more sumptuously dressed. I believe that is the position I wish Daniel to take. Samantha says that she was serious about the acting experience. If there are any of your soldiers that have been in amateur or professional theatrics, they would take less training especially when it comes to the slaves, ah, servants.” She paused, her brow furrowed, before she quietly told them, “I truly dislike referring to them as slaves, and I believe I will use the word servants, as we discussed. It has more dignity to it than slave.”
Teal'c bowed his head, accepting her unspoken order, “As you wish…My Lord.”
Jack, Daniel, Jolinar, and Sam looked as if they were stunned by Teal'c's words. First Daniel, and then Jolinar, Sam, and Jack started to grin. Finally chuckling they shook their heads at him. Teal'c never ceased to surprise them. When he exercised it, his sense of humor was sharp, and his delivery was so deadpan that it always took them a while to realize he was teasing or joking with them. They all appreciated it, though.
They turned back to their food and their thoughts followed. Jack looked up from his breakfast. Although a little startled by the idea of using soldiers with acting ability, he nodded after giving it a little thought. “I’ll check with the General, after breakfast, since we need to start their training as soon as we can. Of course, you know that could mean administration personnel. They won’t have off world experience, but they’re soldiers, just the same.” He grinned before commenting, “I have a feeling some of the admin people might even pretend they have some experience just to get to go off world. We’ll check carefully, though. There’s too much at stake not to.”
After a little more thought, he continued, “I’ll try to stick to the SG teams for the Jaffa, though, if we can. If there are some with acting experience, then so much the better. I’ll call a meeting of the teams after I talk to the General. We only have two days. And Maybourne will be here in a couple of hours. We couldn’t get him to come any sooner. That will give us some time to start gathering our Jaffa and, um, servants though, so I guess that’s okay.
“I believe that will work very well, Colonel.” Jolinar turned to Teal'c asking, “Do you still believe that will be sufficient time? Have you thought of anything else? I am glad you thought of the clothes. I am so used to having Goa'uld and servant clothing to choose from that it did not occur to me that you would not have any.”
“I believe that we will have sufficient time. While O’Neill is with the General, I will go to Teataska and acquire the clothing we need.”
“Very well, Teal'c. I will leave that up to you. Remember to dress at least three of them somewhat better than the general servants and Daniel must be very well dressed, as well.” She paused, and then looking back up at Teal'c, she continued, “Samantha reminds me that we have no clothing suitable for even a minor System Lord underling, and I wish to be of a higher rank than that. Can you procure something that would be suitable for that as well, Teal'c, or do my Sam and I need to accompany you?”
Teal'c looked at her for a moment, before giving an opinion, “I believe something with clean lines, very elegant, rather gaudy jewels perhaps, and cut severely enough to make a statement of strength?”
“Exactly, Teal'c. I believe I may leave that in your hands.” She stopped speaking for a moment as she listened to Sam and then continued, “Samantha suggests that if there is anyone with theatrical make-up experience we could use them, as well. We will need to hide your emblem as well as see to it that our other Jaffa are marked accordingly. Someone with experience in that might be helpful. While I can probably do most of it, it would take less time with two of us working on it.”
Teal'c nodded his agreement, stating, “I will take Daniel Jackson and perhaps Lieutenant Donovan with me.”
“Sam agrees with you, Teal'c.”
Jack stood, picking up his tray. “Okay, kids, I’m heading for the General’s office, and then, I’ll leave a list for you, Teal'c. Jolinar, I’ll stop by your lab and get you when Maybourne arrives. Be sure to be as arrogant as you can possibly be. I’m serious about that. He’ll try to intimidate you, if you don’t.”
“I will do my very best imitation of a System Lord, Colonel, as I have had experience doing so. Both in reality and in playing a role. We will see you then.”
Jack nodded and waved as he left the table. Teal'c looked at Daniel and Jolinar, who switched to Sam, as he watched. He smiled at her, saying, “I believe you did that deliberately, did you not?”
Sam grinned. “Yeah, we talked it over and decided that he needs to interact more with Jolinar. That’s the only way he’ll get used to her.” She shrugged as she finished her breakfast. “We figured now was as good a time as any.”
“Indeed.” Turning to Daniel, he asked him, “Are you prepared to leave yet, Daniel Jackson? We should go as soon as possible. We will buy things that do not need to fit exactly. Still, we may have to return for some things. I wish to get the majority of it now, however.”
Daniel nodded. “Yes, I’m finished.”
“Very well, then let us proceed.”
Disposing of their trays, they headed out to their next tasks.
Sam looked up as someone knocked on her lab door, and realized it was Colonel O’Neill.
Grimacing, he told her, “He’s here. Him and a person to record the conversation and a couple of other guys, probably lackeys. It’ll be taped, too.”
Sam sighed and put down the piece of technology that she and Jolinar were studying. Jolinar found herself becoming very interested in much of this, as it was technology that was not Goa'uld in origin, and therefore she had never studied or even seen most of it. Their scientists might have, but usually all she saw was a finished product that had already been adapted for their use.
“Okay. We have to wash our hands and then we’ll be ready.”
O’Neill nodded and they stopped at the restroom on the way. She could have used the small sink in her lab, but wanted to use the rest of the facilities, since they could be incarcerated for the next six hours.
Entering the interrogation area, Sam nodded to the others before turning to face Maybourne.
He addressed her at once, “Captain Carter.”
Pretending to misunderstand his greeting as a question, she asked, “Yes?”
He frowned and then stood even straighter, attempting to look more intimidating. Jolinar was almost giggling in her head. “Hush, you are going to make me laugh at him, Jol. Now stop.”
“Oh, all right, my Sam. But he really is a pompous little man.”
Sam’s lips twitched, and she looked down at the table where she had taken a seat.
“Do you find this amusing, Captain?” Maybourne frowned harder, if possible.
“Ah, no, not really.”
“No, not really, what, Captain? For the time being you are still a member of the U.S. Air Force, and I expect you to continue with protocol.”
“No, not really, I actually expect to find it rather boring?”
“What is that all about, Sam? What protocol does he mean?
“I should be calling him Colonel Maybourne or Sir.”
“You will not. I thought that is what it was, which is why I, ah, encouraged you not to add them.”
“Is that what you call it?”
“Yes. I did not stop you from saying it, I simply sent my reaction to doing so, which was revulsion. You picked up on it, and so you did not say it.”
“I see. Well, in this case, I don’t object, but I think that is something that you should avoid in future.”
Jolinar sighed. “Oh, very well, Samantha, I will not influence you in that way again. Although, he does not deserve your respect. He has not earned it; just the opposite, in fact.”
“Captain Carter, I expect an answer, and I expect it to be given with the proper respect.”
Sensing Colonel O’Neill’s intent to step in, she placed a hand on his arm, saying, “That’s not necessary, Colonel. We’ll take care of it.”
Turning to look at Maybourne, Jolinar sent her eyes into a very strong somewhat prolonged flare. Maybourne took a step back. “I have no reason to call you by either of those titles, Maybourne. Respect such as that must be earned, and you have not yet done anything which would induce respect in me.”
“I was talking to Captain Carter.”
Jolinar shrugged. “We are now one. When you talk to her, you talk to me, and when you talk to me, you talk to her.”
Maybourne’s lips firmed. “Perhaps you aren’t aware of our military protocol, but the Captain certainly is. I can have her written up, if I wish to do so.”
Jolinar raised her eyebrows. “No. You cannot. If you wish to go by protocol, which I was not going to insist on, then you need to bow to us.”
Maybourne’s mouth dropped open slightly, before he recovered himself. “I see no reason why I should do so. You are not in our military, and I would not do that to a mere Captain, even if we did bow instead of salute.”
She paused, as if listening. Then looking back at him she responded, “My Sam has now informed me as to what that means. In that case, you have been remiss. I am awaiting your salute, Maybourne.”
“It is Colonel Maybourne to you, and I do not salute a Captain first. You must salute me.”
Jolinar leaned back in her chair. “What a pompous little man you are. I believe I commented on that earlier to Samantha. Now, just so you know. Was I in your military, I would outrank you, by a great deal. According to what Sam has now shown me of your military hierarchy, I would probably be considered a Chief of Staff. Furthermore, if you wish to spend your, now less than six hours, arguing over who calls whom what, and who should salute, or bow, to whom first, then we can certainly do so. I will not object.”
Maybourne looked almost dumbfounded. O’Neill was having difficulty not laughing aloud. Clearing his throat, he stepped in, saying, “Maybourne, since I didn’t have a chance earlier, I think I should now introduce you.” He turned to Sam and Jolinar first, saying, “Jolinar, this is Colonel Maybourne. Colonel, this is Jolinar of Malk’shur.” Playing along with her, he continued, “Jolinar is a very high-placed Tok'Ra, who has decided to join SG-1 and give us her expertise on the Goa'uld and the Universe in general.”
Jolinar bowed her head, very slightly, indicating that he was beneath her, saying, “How do you do, Maybourne? I am not yet sure if it is a pleasure, so I will not yet tell you that.”
Maybourne was obviously unhappy, but decided to simply go on and leave the pleasantries and the protocol behind. She was right and he was wasting time. He was still pissed about that. He should have access to her, until they could get her to crack and tell them everything, including the fact that she was actually Goa'uld, and there was no such thing as a…whatever it was that she claimed to be. His arguments had fallen on deaf ears; however, Senator Kinsey was working on it. For now, though, he would do what he could in the time he had.
“Very well, can we proceed now?”
“Of course. I am ready to answer your questions, whenever you decide to ask them,” Jolinar laced her answer with amusement, thus irking him even more, and entertaining O’Neill.
Maybourne stood fuming for a moment before abruptly asking her, “How can we be sure you are not a Goa'uld?”
Deciding to throw him a curve she looked at him and her eyes widened, “I do not believe that you can. Physiologically, I am Goa'uld.” Then throwing him a bone, she continued, “However, mentally and ideologically, I am not.”
“So you are a self-professed Goa'uld.”
“No, I am a self-professed Tok'Ra.”
“What is a Tok'Ra?”
“We are a resistance group who oppose the System Lords and who are working to overthrow them.”
“Well, that sounds very nice, but how do we know that’s the truth?”
Her voice reasonable in the extreme, she answered at once, “You do not.”
“How do we know this isn’t a trick to infiltrate and send information to the other Goa'uld?”
“You do not.”
“How can we know for sure, if Captain Carter is talking to us, that it is really her?”
“You will just have to take her word for it. Other than that, you do not.”
“Can we trust you? You tell us who and what you are and expect us to take it on faith. How can we trust you?”
She cocked her head, as she looked at him and then sighed. “Yes, you can trust me. As far as knowing how you can trust me, that is something, which you must decide for yourselves. I have not lied to you about who and what I am, nor have I lied when I have told you that you may trust me. That is all I can do.”
“Do you have superiors?”
“Very few. We are governed by a council of which I will soon become a member, since I am giving up being an operative.”
“What do you mean by ‘an operative’?”
“The Tok'Ra, being symbiotes, can work from within the Goa'uld. We sow dissent and discord amongst them, keeping them at war with and decimating one another.”
“What if you are ordered by your superiors to do something against Earth? Would you obey that order regardless of what Captain Carter wanted?”
“We do not inflict harm on our allies. The situation would not arise.”
“You are avoiding the question. Would you carry out an order against Earth?”
“I did give you an answer, and it is the same one now. We do not attack or harm our allies.”
“Where does your allegiance lie?”
“My allegiance is to my people and their allies. Which will soon include Earth.”
“So, you are admitting that your allegiance lies with your organization whatever it is. Isn’t that right?”
“Are you not very conversant in the English Language? My allegiance is to my people and their allies. I will not tell you again.”
“And you are Goa'uld, so your allegiance lies with the Goa'uld.”
Jolinar stared at him, for a time, and then she turned to O’Neill. Leaning over and pretending to whisper, she asked him, “Why did your people not tell me that the person sent to talk to me was somewhat stupid and had a poor grasp of your language?” Then she turned back to Maybourne, adding in a normal tone of voice, “I am Tok'Ra.”
“How do we know you will not spy on us and pass that information on to the Goa'uld System Lords?”
“You have only my word. I will not spy on you, nor will I give information about you to the Goa'uld System Lords. We do not get along with them. It has to do with being at war with them. We simply do not exchange or share information.”
“How do we know you won’t steal our technology?”
“Because your technology is quite primitive compared to ours.”
“Will you give us weapons to fight the Goa'uld?”
“No. Our weapons, other than staff weapons and zat’nik’tels are naquadah based, and you would be unable to use them.”
“Will your people agree to become our allies?”
“That, as I am sure General Hammond explained to your President, remains to be seen. I intend to work toward that event.”
"What about your superiors? Can we trust them to agree to what you promise?"
“If I was promising you anything, then no, you could not. Our council will vote on my suggestions. In the meantime, I will make you no promises other than personal ones. Should we become allies, then you can trust them, or me, if I am the liaison, to do what we say that we will do.”
“So you aren’t really offering us anything. No weapons, no alliance, no intelligence, in fact, nothing.”
Jolinar smiled. “On the contrary, I am offering you a great deal. I am offering a chance for an alliance with us, which would include a sharing of intelligence. I cannot and will not promise you anything, except that I will do my best to bring this to a successful conclusion. That is all I can offer at this time. I believe it is enough.”
Hours later, Maybourne looked frustrated. Jolinar was simply not going to answer any differently no matter how many times they asked the same question only in a different way. Besides that, she was becoming more amused by his attempts by the minute. He looked at his watch. They had been at this, except for a short recess, for almost six hours. As he had predicted, they had learned nothing, as far as he was concerned.
All right, one last question. “You insist that you share with your host and yet we haven’t talked to Captain Carter during this entire discussion. Why is that?”
“You have been questioning me. I doubt that Samantha would have felt comfortable answering questions that were obviously meant for me. That is the first reason. The second reason is because she has been taking a nap as you, ah, our conversation became rather boring to her. She has just awoken. Would you like to talk to her?”
“Yes. Let’s see that vaunted sharing of yours.
“Yes? You had something to ask me?”
“How can we be sure that it’s Captain Carter and not Jolinar impersonating her?”
Sam smiled. “I guess you can’t. You have to take it on faith.”
“You have nothing else to say, Captain? Is she lying about anything?”
“Let me check her memories. Be right back.” Very shortly, Sam returned, saying, “No. There were no lies that I could find.”
O’Neill looked at his watch and smiled. “Times up, Maybourne. We’ve got to go. Have a nice trip back to DC. See you around and all of that good stuff.”
Maybourne stood and looked at Sam sharply. “Don’t think you will get away with this. We’ll not allow you to take over the SGC or Earth. We’ll fight you every inch of the way, until you and your people are overcome.”
Jolinar returned to respond to him, since his comment was aimed at her, and her people, “Whatever you say, Maybourne, but I agree with the, Colonel. We do have a meeting to attend, so if you will excuse us.”
Nodding abruptly, Maybourne turned and marched out the door. Jack O’Neill grinned.