Chapter Twenty-six Summary - Kataya awakens abruptly from reliving her time in Sam's, mind and is very confused as to who she is. Merdwin has to make a trip back into her mind to retrieve the threads he missed earlier when he parted them. It is quick and painless, except to Merdwin who finds Kataya's mind uncomfortable to be in because of the "clutter" that is there. The first contingent of Tok'Ra arrive and are briefed on the upcoming confrontation. Plans are laid to bring more Tok'Ra and those brought to the SGC so far, all agree to take part in the assignment.
Igisadonis – Beloved. Should only be used for the Soulmate Coeurawyn – My Heart, an endearment Amat Wyn - My Love
Sam knocked softly on the door of Daniel and Kataya’s quarters. Hearing a voice telling her to enter, she opened the door and walked in.
Kataya was scrambling off the bed, and Daniel was looking at her in bewilderment. She whirled toward the door and seeing Sam, she said, “Samantha.” (Samantha, but how could that be? She was Samantha, was she not?) “How are you feeling?”
“Better now, thanks.” Sam frowned, as she looked at Kataya. “Are you all right, Kat? You seem upset.”
(Was she Kat then? Yes, of course she was. The mind link. Was she still linked to Samantha’s mind? She needed to see Merdwin. Right away.)
“Me? No, no, I am just, um, a little disoriented from awakening somewhat suddenly from a dream of, er, Cadwaellon. You know how that is; when I first awoke, I expected to be somewhere else. I am also concerned for you. Are you sure you are all right?” Kataya asked Sam.
Sam was aware of confusion emanating from Kat. “Why are you so confused?” Sam asked, without thinking. A moment later, she could feel Kataya taking hold of her emotions, and then putting them away, almost as one would fold a blanket, or towel, and put it in a drawer. It was one of the oddest sensations that Sam had ever experienced. Then there was nothing. No confusion, no disorientation, no distress. Nothing.
“I am sorry, Samantha. I was having a dream, and I woke up disoriented. When you first walked in, my first emotion was confusion, and you sensed it. Another side effect of the link I am afraid, but one that we will be able to mitigate for you. Merdwin will show you how to block those types of things.”
Fleetingly, Sam was aware that Kat was telling her she was making another change, adding an ability she had not possessed before, but it did not truly register.
“How are you feeling about everything now? That must be our first concern,” Kataya said quietly.
“I am fine. I think Merdwin sent Janet to talk to me. She helped me to put it into perspective,” Sam assured her quietly. She did not buy the dream excuse, but she realized that was the only explanation she would get from her right now.
Daniel slowly left the bed and walked toward Kataya who stared at him wide-eyed as he walked toward her. Reaching a hand out for her, he was surprised when she flinched away from him.
Both he and Sam stared at her in amazement. “I must speak to Merdwin at once; immediately, in fact. If you will excuse me.” Turning, she fled from the room, much as Sam had done earlier.
Sam and Daniel stared at each other in bewilderment.
Kataya walked swiftly towards the room that Merdwin used, hoping to find him there. Dear Universe, what was wrong with her? She stopped at the door, turned, and made her way to a maintenance closet. Once there, she sat on the floor and began to relive what had just taken place. What had happened? Putting herself into a trance like state, she quickly recapped the dream she had of being Samantha. When she finished, she got up and headed for Merdwin’s room hoping that Sam and Daniel had not gone there first. They would be sure to jump to the wrong conclusion.
Walking toward Merdwin’s chamber, she contemplated her reaction. She simply awoke before the dream ended and thought she was Sam. Merdwin had left some threads between the two of them. Thank goodness, he had been more careful with Sam and made sure it was completely gone. Now, he would have to go in and take care of it, or she would be having these odd episodes on and off all the time.
Kataya sighed, but then she smiled to herself. Merdwin had always wanted to get into her mind. He was about to get to for the second time today. She wondered if it had proved as frustrating for him as she had always suspected it would be. He hated clutter, and Kat knew her mind was a very large area of discarded ideas, half-finished thoughts, and conflicting emotions. She would wager that when Merdwin found out he had to go back in, he would be appalled. Served him right. One should always be careful what one wished for, she thought, self-righteously—sometimes one received one's wish.
Daniel turned to Sam as Kataya left the room. “What was that all about? One minute she was sleeping, and the next she was bolt upright in the bed and staring at me like she’d never seen me before.”
“I don’t know, Daniel, but I definitely felt confusion, and it had to do with us,” Sam told him firmly. “I know what I felt and that is what it was. It was really strong, too.”
Daniel blinked at her, and then frowned. “Why would she be confused about us? That makes no sense, Sam,” Daniel sounded as bewildered as he felt.
Sam shrugged, telling him, “Well, she went to see Merdwin, so that is where I am going, too. Want to come?”
“Well, yeah, of course, I do,” Daniel threw her a look of disbelief that said, all without words, where else would I be going, and why would you think I would stay behind and let you go without me?
“Okay, then, let’s go,” Sam said, leading the way. She sighed to herself; this was turning into a long day, and it wasn’t even noon yet. At least it was not far to Merdwin’s quarters from Daniel and Kataya’s quarters, so they arrived there fairly swiftly.
Daniel knocked and opened the door, when Merdwin called out and told him to enter. He immediately looked around for Kataya. She was not there. “Merdwin, where is Kataya? She hasn’t already left has she? She can’t have been here long.” He asked abruptly.
Merdwin frowned as he tried to decipher Daniel’s questions and statement. He answered slowly, saying, “Kataya is not now nor has she been here today, Daniel. The last I knew, she was asleep on the bed in your chamber, Daniel, and you were with her. What has occurred?”
Daniel reached up, pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment, and then looking at Merdwin, he said, “Okay, that is it. I want to know what happened. What went wrong during the link? Kataya woke up a few minutes ago, looked at me as if I was someone she had never seen before, flinched when I reached for her, and said she had to talk to you— at once, immediately, in fact—and left for here. And Sam said that when she entered our room, she sensed confusion in her, and it had to do with us.” Daniel pinned Merdwin in his gaze, and the stubbornness that was always there in him, usually out of sight, was showing itself. He was not going to leave this alone; not until he had his answer. “So what happened?” He demanded.
Merdwin shook his head, and it was plain to see that he was as puzzled at they were. He answered the statements and questions, saying, “The link became extremely strong, Daniel. When Samantha encountered Kataya’s heart and the pain, it was too intense; I had to go in to break the link and bring them back into themselves. It was not, however, an unanticipated occurrence. Although you cannot see it, there has been an energy thread growing between them, linking them, even before they linked their minds. The pull they feel to one another is strong, and they simply lost themselves in one another. As I said, it was nothing to be concerned about, as it is a simple enough action to break it,” Merdwin answered him calmly, but it was also apparent that he was thinking, his mind sifting and filtering through everything that occurred during and after the link.
“Well, that does not explain Kataya’s reaction to me when she woke up. What caused that? It does not explain her confusion either. There must be something else, Merdwin. Something that you are not now or did not then, recognize and catch,” Daniel informed him firmly. He was not letting this go without a thorough examination of the events and their effects on his mate.
Merdwin looked thoughtful, for a moment, then said, “Since Kataya fell asleep directly after the link, it is very possible that her mind returned to the memories she gained during it. Samantha, is there anything you can think of in your memories that would have confused Kataya? Anything that you believe is new information that she would not have been aware of?” Merdwin asked even though he doubted that Sam would be able to answer.
Sam shrugged helplessly, “I don’t know, Merdwin. I don’t have all my memories of past lives as you all do. I have no idea what she might have found in there or what she could have been confused about.”
Daniel shook his head, sighing, before he commented, “Well, things were fine between us this morning, so I have no idea either. It almost has to be connected in some way to the mind link.”
As the three stood in silence, each contemplating the odd behavior, the half-closed door swung open, and Kataya stood there. “Actually, Igisadonis, you are correct. My confusion had to do with the two of you and being in bed with you. I am afraid that Merdwin missed a thread or two when he severed my part of the link with Samantha. When I awoke so suddenly, I believed I was Sam, and it upset me to find myself in bed—with you—and to also find myself entering the room. Since my feelings did not immediately revert to me knowing completely who I was, I felt I must go to Merdwin, but first I stopped to think it through and realized what was wrong. Therefore, my first instinct was correct, and I am now here to have Merdwin remove the remaining threads that tie my mind to Sam’s.”
Sighing tiredly, she continued, calmly, “It is a simple matter; therefore, it should not take long to remedy. I promise to be back to normal, my beloved, as soon as he is finished.” She walked toward Daniel, but he looked to be a very long way away. Dear Universe, she was so very tired.
For the second time that day, Kataya opened her eyes and looked up to see Merdwin bending over her with a concerned frown on his face, and a question in his eyes. She shook her head slowly from side to side and laughed shortly. Why was she passing out? She almost never did that. She turned to the three people standing, anxiously watching her, but before anyone could say anything, there was a knock on the doorframe, and they watched as Jack and Teal’c entered the room.
Looking from Sam, to Daniel, to Merdwin, to Kataya lying on the bed, Jack held his arms out, palms up, quirked his eyebrows questioningly, and said, “Day-jah view. Weren’t we just here, oh, an hour ago? Same gray walls, same general audience, same line-up, different bed?”
“Jack,” Daniel stated, his voice flat, devoid of inflection.
“Daniel?” Jack returned, a question in his voice.
Daniel’s lips quirked as he drawled, “I am not sure this qualifies as Déjà vu, Jack.” He shrugged, shook his head at his friend, and turned back to the low-voiced conversation Sam was having with Kataya and Merdwin.
They were discussing how Sam felt about what was occurring, and neither seemed surprised when Sam turned to Merdwin, and said, “After we are through with the Tok’Ra, I want you to make arrangements for us to travel to Avilion. I want to take my place as the Dragon of the Star.” Merdwin looked at her for a long moment before nodding his agreement.
He then turned back to Kataya and began to speak to her quickly and urgently in a language that neither Jack nor Teal’c understood. Both were surprised when Sam and Daniel seemed to join the conversation and take obviously opposing views. Everyone was surprised, when Kataya sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed forcing everyone to step back to allow her to rise. Lips compressed in a straight line she told them, firmly, “I have made my decision, and since it is mine to make, this discussion is over. Whatever Lantash decides, it will be his decision to make, so all of your debating is simply a waste of everyone’s time and an unnecessary expenditure of emotion.”
She then turned to Merdwin and nodding her head decisively she told him, “You can perform a healing rite, Amat Wyn. I have decided not to travel to Avilion for now. We are all quite aware that healing me is impossible at this time; however, I believe that we can slow the progress of the problem. You have a great deal of healing ability, Merdwin, and I believe you will be able to do what needs to be accomplished. Sam and I both believe that Lantash will make the correct decision, but only when he has had time to come to terms with the situation. He must be given time. Time that is without outside influence or coercion, so that his heart will truly make a decision that he believes is the correct one. And it will be, if everyone will simply leave him alone so that he can do so.”
Kataya cocked her head as she looked at Merdwin, before a wry smile touched her lips as she stated, “I do not suppose you took the opportunity and removed the link while I was unconscious. No, I did not think so,” she continued, as he shook his head. She nodded her understanding, saying, “Well then, please do so now. Much as I care for Samantha, I do not want to continue to believe I am her.” She smiled evilly at Merdwin, before saying almost cheerfully, “You often evinced a desire to know what was going on in my mind, Merdwin. Surely, this is the perfect way to find out? Are you not anxious to return to see if you can glean any more insight into how I think?” Her voice was innocent, but the look in her eyes was pure wicked amusement.
Merdwin answered somewhat stiffly, “I am truly sorry that I ever expressed such a desire, or even so much as allowed the thought to cross my mind. I can assure you that I will never do so again. Do you have any idea how disorganized your memories and thoughts are? How you manage to be such a brilliant tactician, with that much disorder in your mind, is a mystery that I cannot explain. Kataya, I do not believe that I have ever been in a more chaotic, haphazard, jumbled mind outside of Artereos’s and I feel the same about his. How either of you manage to so much as find your shoes let alone plan and carry out brilliant military campaigns is beyond my comprehension. You are definitely his daughter; there can be absolutely no mistake.”
They could hear muffled laughter behind them, and Kat looked up at him, in all innocence, saying, “Why thank you, Merdwin, what a nice thing to say. I could not wish to be grouped with anyone better.” She grinned at him, before continuing, “You must have enjoyed your lengthy sojourn in Sam’s mind then, for it is quite orderly. I was afraid the entire time I was there that I would misplace something,” Kat added cheekily. “You should have no trouble extracting the threads; they will be the tidy ones.”
Giving a reluctant chuckle and shaking his head at her, he nonetheless entered the clutter, found and removed what he was looking for, and retreated as soon as he could, all without shuddering even once.
“I do thank you, Merdwin, but now, if you do not mind, I need to meditate and gather some strength before the Tok’Ra arrive. Therefore, I am going to return to my room and do so.” Kataya slipped from the bed and kissed Daniel lightly on the cheek. “I really am fine now, my love.” Changing the subject, she turned to Jack and Teal'c, who were quietly observing, and asked, “Have they sent for the Tok’Ra?”
“No, Jacob and Martouf are deciding who they will contact. I expect they will be meeting with General Hammond, soon. That’s what we were coming to tell Merdwin,” Jack answered her. “I think we might want to head up to the General’s office, Teal’c. Once they hear that Jacob’s been hurt, I’m guessing that the Tok’Ra will come right away.”
“Indeed. An excellent suggestion, O’Neill.” Teal’c turned and exited, followed by Jack. Merdwin, however, frowned as he turned back to Kataya.
“You should rest, as well as meditate, until they arrive. We will let you know as soon as we have contacted them, and they are on their way.”
“I will, Merdwin, do not worry,” Kataya replied quickly, as she glanced at Daniel. “I am just tired. I have not yet had time to fully restore my reserves of energy. I was asleep, as you will all recall. I simply need to do some light meditation.”
Daniel bent and picked her up. Grinning at her, he murmured, “It seems I am always carrying you to my bed.” He was delighted with the slight gasp, and the faint pink that tinged her golden cheeks. The Kat could still be brought to blush, even after all these years. It was a good feeling. As they followed Jack and Teal’c out the door, Daniel turned to Sam. “Why don’t you come with us for now, Sam? I think you need to do some meditation, too, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah, I do…” Sam began, but she left her sentence unfinished, feeling hesitant, not knowing if Kat would welcome her during her meditation, now that they knew so many intimate things about one another.
She worried needlessly, as Kat proved by quickly adding her invitation to Daniel’s, “Please, come with us, Samantha. We will pull energy much faster together.”
After searching her eyes for her true emotions, Sam finally nodded, and smiled. “All right. I could use a good dose of universal energy right now, and since I don’t think I can do that yet by myself, I will let you do the work, and I will reap the reward.”
Relieved to see her smile, Kataya returned one of her own, and agreed. “I will be happy to do so.” As they reached the door of their quarters, Kataya said to Daniel, “I will be all right now, Coeurawyn. Go enjoy one of your dusty old manuscripts while Samantha and I replenish our energy. Please.”
Setting her down, he leaned forward and kissed her swiftly. “All right. I will see you both at the briefing.” As he left, they lit candles and got comfortable as they chatted, once more at ease with one another.
Jacob and General Hammond stood in his office discussing the message they wanted to send to the Tok’Ra. They expected the Tok’Ra’s reaction to be immediate. Neither particularly liked the subterfuge they had to use, but it was imperative that they not alert the spy to the knowledge that they were aware of Bastet’s plans.
As they were deciding on the exact wording of the message, Jack and Teal’c joined them.
“Do we have a message to send, General?” Jack asked, as he walked into the room.
“Yes, we think we are ready. Do you know if Kataya and Major Carter are finished with what they were doing? I think that they and Merdwin should be here for the explanations,” General Hammond responded.
“Yes, they’ve finished, and both of them seem to be doing okay, but I guess that they still need to rest. Merdwin should be here in a little bit, and Kataya and Carter want to be called when the Tok’Ra have arrived. I say we do it. If we wait for everything to be perfect, we won’t get it done,” Jack answered.
Jacob and the General looked at one another, then nodded in agreement as Jacob said, “I think that last bit is good enough, George. Let’s get it sent.”
“I will inform the others that we are about to send the message,” Teal’c said, as he started toward the door. “We will gather in the briefing room when we are notified that they have arrived.”
“Thank you, Teal’c,” General Hammond said. “Let’s get this done, Jacob.” The three men headed out to contact the Tok’Ra.
As Garshaw thought about the Council meeting the next day, she realized that the other members of the Council would be as disturbed to hear of Bastet and the fact that she was hiding on Martmont as she herself was. They would decide whom to send to try to infiltrate her ranks at the meeting.
“Master Garshaw, we have just received an urgent message from the Tau’ri. There has been an accident,” the messenger panted, as he slid to a halt in front of Garshaw. “Selmak and Jacob Carter have been injured, and the Tau’ri do not believe they will survive. Selmak has requested you to come, as soon as possible, as well as Malek and Daimesh. The Tau’ri have asked for a healer. Jacob Carter has asked to see Jocasta and Calise, who has some experience as a healer.”
“Contact the others they requested and also Brialek. He is a very skilled healer, as well as a friend of Jacob’s. Have them meet at the rings in fifteen minutes. Was there anything else in the message?”
“No, only that they felt it was important that you come as soon as possible.”
Garshaw nodded, as she headed toward her quarters. “Send Aldwin to me immediately. He must contact the council to delay our council meeting until I return.”
Bowing his head, the messenger left to deliver his messages. Garshaw continued toward her quarters. Selmak was an old and trusted friend and Garshaw knew that Selmak would not request her, unless it was a critical situation. They would leave for the Tau’ri as soon as possible. Entering her chamber, she gathered a few possessions in case she had to remain off world. She turned as Aldwin entered her chamber.
“Aldwin, we have had word that Selmak has been injured, and his survival is unlikely. He and Jacob have made some requests. We are taking two healers and leaving immediately for the Tau’ri home world. Contact the council, and tell them that I am postponing the council meeting until my return. That will be all.”
Aldwin acknowledged her instructions with a nod of his head. “I will see to it that they are told at once.”
Garshaw said her farewells and strode swiftly toward the rings. All of those requested were already there, and they all had at least some possessions with them. They did not know if they would be staying, or if the situation was so critical that they would be coming back quite soon. If he was truly that severely injured, it was possible they would not get there in time.
It was obvious that Jocasta was planning to stay, if he was still alive. She stood, white- faced and impatient to be off. Everyone was aware that a relationship was building between the four of them. Garshaw touched her briefly on the shoulder, as the rings descended, whisking them to the surface. Within minutes, they emerged through the shimmering blue of the Chaappa’ai.
As they stepped onto the ramp at the SGC, they all came to a halt and stared at the man who was presumably near death. Standing at the bottom of the ramp and looking back at them was an obviously hale and healthy Jacob Carter/Selmak.
As he looked from Garshaw, to the much-distressed features of Jocasta, Selmak spoke quickly, “I must apologize for the subterfuge we had to employ to get all of you here. It was, however, a necessity, as you will see,” he paused, as Merdwin stepped forward to stand beside him. “Garshaw, I feel sure you will remember, Merdwin of Werllockian, First Vice-Leader of the Legions of the United Forces of the Furling and the United Worlds, as well as First Advisor, High Minister, Prime Ambassador, and Chief Liaison of Artereos of Cadwaellon.”
“Yes. I remember well. It is an honor to meet with you once again, Lord Merdwin,” Garshaw, a reasonable diplomat and a master at concealing her emotions, greeted him solemnly. Even though she was burning up with curiosity, she remained outwardly calm and respectful. After all, this man, along with Artereos of Cadwaellon, had stepped in on more than one occasion to help the Tok'Ra, the last time to the point of completely evacuating her base and taking all of them to the safety and serenity of Avilion. He deserved all of her respect, and no matter how upset she was over this subterfuge, which she suspected was a need for or they would not have instigated it, she would treat him as the friend of the Tok'Ra that he most definitely was.
Always the consummate diplomat, Merdwin responded to her in the same quiet, serious tones that she had used, "I am delighted to meet with you again, also, and I only wish that it could have been under more pleasant circumstances. I, too, am sorry that we had to employ such tactics; however, I believe you will agree that it was indeed necessary, once you learn the details. I am afraid the news we have for you is not good."
Garshaw nodded slowly. “Then perhaps we should begin the explanations as soon as possible. Since a healer is not needed, perhaps we should send them back?” She questioned.
General Hammond answered her, “I don’t think it would be wise. After we explain everything, I believe you will agree. If you will all come with us, we will continue this in the conference room.”
Garshaw nodded again, but frowned as she looked at Merdwin. That he was here gave her a feeling of disquiet, and the more she thought about it, the more she became convinced, within herself, that something important was behind this. Something, some instinct told her, to do with Bastet.
As they approached the conference room, they could hear the murmur of voices from within. Ahead of them, just entering the room were Major Carter, Teal'c, and Kataya.
When their group entered the room, Garshaw and the other Tok’Ra stopped short again, as they saw Lantash and Dr. Jackson, facing each other, in what appeared to be a rather heated confrontation. They broke off their conversation, as the others entered the room, and Lantash turned to greet the other members of the Tok’Ra.
“Master Garshaw, it is good that you could come so quickly. It is unfortunate that the request had to be hidden in such a way, but I am sure you will understand our dilemma, once you are aware of the facts.”
“So, you also believe that it was necessary, Lantash?”
“Absolutely. We had no other choice.”
“Please be seated everyone, and we will begin the briefing,” General Hammond stated. Then he began his explanation of why they called them to the SGC in such a way. When he finished, there was silence. Most of the Tok’Ra present had been in the evacuation to Avilion the last time Bastet attacked them. All of them were aware of how dangerous this situation was for them and the Tau’ri. The spy in their midst was enough to justify the subterfuge practiced by the Tau’ri.
At last, Garshaw spoke, “You were correct, General Hammond. This is a very serious situation, and your deception was completely justified. Have you set forth any other plans, so far, to deal with this?”
“As I said, we only became aware of the situation a couple of days ago. We wanted you to be informed and become a part of the planning that will be necessary. While we know that you yourself cannot stay without arousing suspicion, we are in hopes that we can keep at least some few of your people, on the pretext that they are staying to be with Jacob. Keeping your healers here will help to allay any suspicions, and if you let it be known that you fear for their lives, even though the healers are staying, we should go a long way toward keeping our knowledge quiet.”
“I believe that both Jocasta and Malek could stay without arousing suspicion,” Jacob spoke up quickly.
Garshaw gave this statement some quiet contemplation before agreeing to it. “Yes, and I believe that Daimesh also may safely be left behind in case you should need his services. I will be sure that it is known throughout the base that Selmak’s condition is indeed serious, and the outcome at this time is unknown, although the healers have not given up hope of being able to prevail.”
“Selmak, have you given consideration to who you believe should be assigned to this, and how to arrange for them to arrive here, without the spy being alerted?”
“We have. All involved should be here to begin training as soon as possible. We thought that you might suggest some places to send some Tok’Ra at the council meeting. The places to which we send them will be common knowledge. From these places, they will travel here to the Tau’ri,” Selmak spoke briskly. “However, before we venture further into the how to bring our people here, there are other things that must be made known. While General Hammond gave you the bare facts of the attack that Bastet is planning against us, he has left the true reasons this is happening for Merdwin to disclose. Therefore, I will turn this over to him.”
Merdwin stood and faced the Tok’Ra, all of whom he knew. He began the briefing by reciting the prophecy from the myst-time spoken by the All, and by explaining the circumstances they were facing. He told them of Morgasha, her intentions, and how they had, all of them, been called forth now, at this place, for the time of the Great Battle was come. He explained to them that Morgasha/Bastet could not be allowed to win, if their respective races were to survive. He informed them that he, himself, could not take part in the battle. Therefore, it was up to the Dragon of the Fire and the Dragon of the Star, the souls that the All brought forth, who were seated among them, that they might defeat the Dragon of the Blood, Morgasha/Bastet. Moreover, he brought them to realize that no whisper of their existence could escape here, for to do so would surely cause their plan to fail.
“Who are they?” Jocasta asked quietly, sitting tense with her hands clenched.
“Kataya and Sam, Jocasta.” Jacob answered her, softly. Watching that interchange and seeing her body relax at his answer, Sam realized that this woman meant something to her father. Shoving the questions and emotions away to examine later, she brought her attention back to the briefing.
Resuming his explanations, Merdwin continued, “They have already begun to take the steps needed to join their strength to defeat her. A few matters must still be taken care of, before that can be completed, but hopefully they will be concluded soon.”
“Major Carter must undergo intensive training to be ready to face Bastet. As you can imagine, she will need all of our support and, if possible, as little additional stress as can be managed.” Merdwin looked pointedly at Lantash and Daniel before turning to Garshaw. “We realize that all of this information is a lot to take in. It is however, imperative that you be fully informed, so that you can explain exactly what is happening.”
“I believe that I may be overheard if I explain. Perhaps it would be best, if some of the Tau'ri meet the Tok’Ra operatives at their destination. They could be brought here, and the explanation can be given in perfect secrecy,” she stated, as she was thinking through the intricacies involved. “I believe, as you obviously do, that secrecy must be maintained.”
“Do you know if the base is generally aware of the fact that we know where Bastet is?” General Hammond asked Garshaw.
“It has not been discussed since the day that I was informed by Selmak and Lantash. I have told no one; I was waiting for the meeting tomorrow. Jocasta, have you mentioned it to anyone?” She asked.
“No, I have not mentioned it since that day.”
“What of you, Selmak? Lantash?”
“Jacob and I did not.”
“No,” Lantash’s answer was clipped.
“If the spy was aware, he would have given the information to Bastet already. Artereos’s agents have heard nothing that would indicate that she is aware of her hiding place being known to the Tok’Ra,” Merdwin stated.
Kataya had been sitting quietly since the others had entered. She recognized all of these Tok’Ra. A few had changed hosts, but she knew the symbiotes. Each had nodded an acknowledgement to her upon seeing her in the room, although no formal greetings had taken place.
The last time they had spoken, Artereos had requested she make his desires known, and this seemed a good time to do so.
She spoke up abruptly, “Artereos has asked that I make a request. Although it we have not mentioned it before, the Katteri-enti will be sending only those who have full knowledge of the risks involved. Artereos wishes me to request the same of both the Tok'Ra and the Tau’ri. Any who do not wish to volunteer to participate, should not be forced to do so. Now that you know what is at stake and the other circumstances involved, it is imperative that only those willing to give all they have are assigned to this venture.”
Garshaw looked at Lantash as she contemplated the upcoming operation. Knowing she need not worry about asking him or Selmak if they would volunteer, she turned to the other Tok’Ra who were there with her. As she looked at each of them, she said, “I believe that is a reasonable request. I wish to know if any of you feel you can not undertake or do not wish to undertake this assignment.”
“I wish very much to take part in this operation,” Jocasta spoke up immediately.
As each of the Tok’Ra present agreed that they had no problem in volunteering to join the mission, Garshaw was thinking of who else she should send to see if they wished to take part. She could not envision any of them refusing.
She frowned as she turned to Selmak. “Have you given any thought to who you wished to bring here, besides the ones you asked for?”
“Yes, we did. With Lantash and me, it would come to about twelve Tok’Ra. Everyone you brought with you was on our list, as well as Morlash, Jorlin, Ronesh, Keveck, Solphek, and Arwanna.”
“I had not thought of Keveck and Solphek, but you are correct. Each would be excellent. I will see to it as soon as I return to the base.”
She hesitated and then said, “I have had another thought on how to get them here, and into training, as soon as possible. I will explain to the council that the original request for Jacob to come to the Tau’ri was to discuss a joint Tok’Ra, Tau’ri exercise in the Corinthin Quadrant. It is a great distance from where Bastet is, and we will call it a reconnaissance and infiltration mission, which could take two to three months. We could say that those already here would join them once Selmak is recovering. I believe it would be a quicker and less intricate way of getting our people here.”
“I think that sounds like an excellent plan for bringing them here ASAP.” General Hammond agreed, to nods from the others at the table.
Martouf cleared his throat and then said, “I believe that we should not forget that Jacob and I will be using the excuse of the upcoming wedding to explain our extended absence.” Turning to Garshaw, he told her. “Samantha, Lantash, and I shall be joined soon. We hope it will take place before the battle, if it works out that we can do so. If not, then certainly afterwards.”
“I see.” Garshaw smiled at them, as she said, “The Tok’Ra will be proud and honored to acknowledge you as Lantash and Martouf’s mate, Major Carter.” Yosuf came forward to say in her soft voice, “We do congratulate you most sincerely, and welcome you gladly, Major Carter. We look forward to the official bonding ceremony. This wedding? What is it?”
Blushing faintly, Sam responded. “Thank you, Garshaw, Yosuf. A wedding is the Tau’ri ceremony of joining. We had thought that we could use it as an excuse for Martouf and Dad, after his recovery, of course, for staying. The spy should have no knowledge of how long it would take to prepare for one.”
“Excellent. Moreover, Daimesh will be here to perform the joining ceremony for the Tok’ Ra.” Garshaw responded. “It sounds as if we have some excellent plans in hand. I will not return to the Tok’Ra base tonight, but I will send a preliminary report on Selmak’s condition, and I will send for the others we have decided upon at the same time. My remaining will lend credence to Selmak being in serious condition.”
Turning to the Tok’Ra who would be staying behind, she said, “If each of you will specify what you wish to have delivered for your stay, I will see to it that those things are brought by the others.”
As those present murmured agreements to this plan, General Hammond stood and addressed the group. “We have a lot to think about. I suggest we reconvene in the morning. That will give our guests time to settle in before we meet again. I suggest we all go over all of the plans we have made so far to see if we can find any flaws we have overlooked.”
“Everyone’s quarters should be ready shortly and I will assign someone to each of you to show you around for a day or so, until you become familiar with the base. I hope it will not be too inconvenient, but we have had to set up a storage room and divide it into sleeping areas. I hope the lack of privacy will not be a problem. We do have a VIP room available for you, Garshaw. If the other room will not be acceptable, we can work something else out, too. If there is anything you need, please feel free to ask for it.”
“A lack of privacy is not a problem for us, General Hammond. We are used to that, as we have lived for many years in an open way with one another.”
Jacob spoke up, saying, “I will be glad to show you all to the mess hall, which is the area for eating. I will take them there for now, George, and then your people can come for them when their quarters are prepared, and their escorts have been assigned.”
Remembering the obvious disagreement that Lantash and Daniel had seemed to be getting into, he added. “I am sure Lantash will be glad to accompany us and help you all to feel more at home here on the base.”
“Thank you, Jacob, Lantash. I would appreciate that. If there is nothing else, this meeting is adjourned until tomorrow morning,” General Hammond said, as he dismissed the meeting.
Kataya turned to Sam, and said, “I am going to see if Merdwin would like to put in some sword practice. Would you care to watch us?”
“Yes, I would really love to see the two of you.” Sam's eyes sparkled at the thought of finally seeing two Katteri facing off against one another.
“All right. I will contact Merdwin, make the arrangements, and then I will let you know when we are going to practice.”
She looked at Daniel. “I would like for you to come with me, if you have nothing more pressing to do, my Beloved.”
With a long look at Lantash that said their discussion was not over, Daniel nodded and accompanied her from the room.