Chapter Nine Summary: Daniel and Martouf still want to know about Janet, Per’sus, and the bracelet, so
Daniel begins probing for information knowing that they will find out more if they don’t ask one question.  Sam
tells them how the Courtship between Per’sus and Janet is proceeding.  After they find out all they can about
that, they begin to discuss the poisoning of the base personnel and the consequences…and exchange program
between the two races that is working out very well.  Not yet having time to go through all of Martouf’s memories
of the incident and its far-reaching effects, Lantash is shocked at the changes that have occurred while he was
unconscious.  

“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communications
















Looking into the expectant faces, Sam broke out in a smile, “I guess I should find out what
you know and what you don’t first.  You do know that he’s really hot for Janet, don’t you?  
He always comes at meal time, and then he spends all her free time with her.”  

“We know that he’s becoming very fond of her, Sam, that’s why we were asking about
them.  You know, how does Janet feel?  Is she just kind of being nice, or does she really
like him?  I guess we want to know that kind of thing,” Daniel answered for both of them,
not wanting to go directly to the question.  They would find out more this way, and it
would be more like a friendly exchange than an interrogation.   

Sam looked surprised.  “Well, yes, she really likes him.  Daniel, you should know that.  It
wouldn’t be like Janet to string him along like that, if she didn’t like him, too.”  

Daniel hastened to answer, not wanting to start another round of misunderstandings, “I
know she wouldn’t, if she understood that he really did like her, Sam.  That’s what we
didn’t know.  If Janet realized that Per’sus was, er, well, courting, old-fashioned word that
it is, would be our equivalent for it.”  

He watched Sam’s eyes soften.  “Oh, what a sweet way to put it, Daniel.  I think she does
know yes, and she wants him to, so there is no misunderstanding between them, as far as
I know.”  

“Good.  The way they were when they first met, it was kind of hard to know how Janet felt
about him.”

Sam smiled at him, “Yeah, isn’t it funny, after the way they got off on the wrong foot like
they did, that they’d end up in this big romance?  It’s very sweet, too, though.  I mean,
they had sparks flying off each other in the infirmary during the crisis, but now they can’t
see enough of each other.  I think it’s because she stood up to him and made a few less
than flattering remarks about and to him in the middle of all that.”  

“I think she kind of kept him grounded during the period when we didn’t know if some of
them were going to make it or not.  As long as she was still fighting him, he felt like she
was still fighting for them, and in his mind that meant they were all going to live.  I have
no idea why, but something about Janet that day, and her determination not to lose any
of them rocked his world, I guess,” Sam stopped talking and stared at nothing as if seeing
something they could not see.  

Snapping out of it, she said, “If you want to know the latest, then the last I heard, the last
time he came, Dad was with him.  Let’s see, two days before this mission.  I talked to
Janet yesterday evening, so this is hot off the presses, and as far as I know it’s common
knowledge, well, at least the parts I’ll tell you guys is, the other stuff isn’t, and that will
not be given out, as you should know.  Daniel, do not start whining.  It won’t help.  You
know the rules.  Girl talk is girl talk, and only special dispensation gets you access.  Go
see Janet when we get back, and if she says I can tell you, then I will.  Deal?”   

Daniel sighed, frowned, pouted and declared, “Deal, but there’s a condition.”  

Sam looked suspicious.  “What’s that?”   

“I don’t know, I’ll think about it.”   

“I’m not doing unknown conditions.  Take it or leave it.”  The silence stretched.  

“Oh, all right.  Deal.”   

Sam rubbed her hands together gleefully, and said, “All right, here’s the skinny.  It seems
that he went to ask Janet to lunch, and Dad went to talk to General Hammond.  Come to
find out, Per’sus has been asking Dad some very pointed questions about mating rituals
on the Tau’ri world and of Tau’ri women in the SGC in particular.  I understand from Dad
that he explained to Per’sus about taking a woman out to eat, and going to movies, walks
it the park, picnics, that kind of thing.  That’s where the lunches came in.”  

“Since he can’t leave base, it was all he could do.  Not the most romantic place to go, but
better than nothing.  Anyway, I can’t imagine Per’sus getting dating tips from my Dad.  I’m
surprised he managed to get as far with Janet as he did.  Somehow, I can’t see my Dad as
the best person to go to for advice on how to get Tau’ri women to notice you in five easy
lessons.”  

Sam frowned contemplating the idea of her dad giving advice to the Tok’Ra lovelorn.  Her
lips quirked as she imagined the Dear Selmak column in the local Tok’Ra data pad gossip
for the day section.  Hearing Daniel clear his throat brought her thoughts back from its
flight of fancy and to the topic under discussion.  

“Sorry.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, one of the things my Dad told Per’sus was that Tau’ri
women like to get little gifts or flowers when an anniversary, or some other special
occasion comes around.  Per’sus wanted to know what “
other” types of special occasions,
and Dad told him birthdays, valentine’s day, first time you met, your first date, especially
if you can remember something she said that really caught your attention, just little
reminders to let them know that you think of them, even when you aren’t with them.  He
told him that was big with Tau’ri women.  We like to know we are on a guy’s mind, when
we aren’t there with them.”   

Sam started laughing and had to stop talking for a moment as the two men stared at her.  
Finally getting herself under control, she continued, saying, “So, Per’sus brought Janet a
gift on the anniversary of the poisoning of the Tok’Ra base, and told her that he would
never forget meeting her because even in the time of emergency she had not been afraid
to show her interest in him by inviting him to take a walk.”  

“He had known she meant in the future, but it had given him hope.  He had been afraid
that she was so angry with him when she told him that if he was not going to uphold her
order, to just get the hell out of her way that she would never speak to him again.”  

“Then later, when she had taught him the very rude American phrase, he was sure that
she considered him beneath her notice, for why else would she tell him to attempt a
physical impossibility?  Once he finally found someone to translate the phrase, he had
pondered her meaning for a long time.  Then, he finally came to the conclusion that, since
it was said in anger, she was probably just frustrated, tense, and worried about her
patients.  After all, some of them were quite ill, almost at the point of death, and,
therefore, he should not let that bother him.”  

“But, the moment he really wanted to remember was the one when he had demanded that
the Tok’Ra be removed to the Tok’Ra base because he did not understand the process the
humans were going through in order to cleanse the poison from the symbiote’s system,
instead of the symbiote being the filtering system.  She had looked him straight in the
eyes and informed him that he had the IQ of tree moss and she’d had more intelligent
conversations with sand.  When he had taken the time to explain to her that one could not
converse with sand because it had no intelligence, she had simply smiled.”   

“He would never forget, he said, how beautiful she looked.  Her hair was falling down, and
the light was catching the red highlights in it. Her eyes had dark shadows under them
from lack of sleep, and she was pale and tired.  Nevertheless, he had realized in that
moment that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, because she was
beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.”   

“That, he said, was when he knew he had a chance with her.  He had picked her up, since
she was such a tiny little thing compared to him, and kissed her long, hard, and
passionately.  When he put her down, she had looked flustered for a minute, then she had
straightened her jacket, looked him over slowly and calmly from head to foot and back
again, as he stood straight and tall for her, and told him to go take a long walk on the
short pier.  She had invited him to go somewhere with her.  She was wonderful!”  

Sam smiled, as she remembered Janet’s words to her,
“Sam how could I tell that sweet
man that wasn’t the kind of memory Jacob meant?  Besides, if it gives him pleasure, and he
doesn’t realize I was still insulting him, where’s the harm in allowing him to think it’s worth
calling it an anniversary?  It is the anniversary of when we met, I suppose, so I can
remember it that way instead.”   

Then she’d smiled again.  “We did get off on the wrong foot.  I don’t know how many
insults I threw at the poor man during those first forty-eight hours, but it was a lot.  He did
deserve a few of them, but some were just pure frustration on my part.”  

“When that one symbiote went into cardio, and we tried the diodes you constructed for just
such a contingency, I thought I’d die as well, if it didn’t work.  When we got it up and going
between the eppi and that, I almost fainted with relief myself.  He’s doing better than some
of the others, by the way.  It’s almost as if he knows how hard we fought for him, and he’s
bound and determined to get well as quickly as he can.”  

Seeing Martouf’s puzzled air, Sam stopped and looked at him.  “Martouf, there are many
American phrases that are insulting to a person’s intelligence.  One is to tell them they
are dumber than a box of rocks.  Another is to tell them they are dumber than a fence
post.  She told Per’sus that she’d had more intelligent conversations with sand.  That’s a
pretty bad statement on his intelligence.”

“But, he is correct, Samantha; sand has no intelligence.”  

Daniel and Sam sat in stunned silence.  Suddenly, Martouf’s head snapped forward and
Martouf scowled.  “How was I supposed to figure that out, Lantash?  I do not understand
American slang, and I took it literally!”  He exclaimed aloud.  

Lantash sighed, a rather long-suffering sigh, before explaining patiently,
“Even literally,
that statement is obviously meant as an insult.  Obviously, both Sam and Daniel would be
well aware that sand has no intelligence.  As would Janet Fraiser.  She had just told Per’
sus that he was more stupid than anyone she had ever met or known.”  

“Just once I would like to have some respect,”
Martouf grumbled stubbornly.  

Lantash assured him,
“They respect you, Martouf, and they realize that you are not used
to their ways.  They also know that you do not always catch on to things quickly in
English."

Sam and Daniel both looked down at the suddenly very interesting bed covering.  Then
Sam was grinning, Daniel was in whoops, and Martouf was echoing Lantash’s moans.  
Lantash came forward and said, “Janet Fraiser was correct in her statements.  How, my
Samantha, did they ever get together after such a horrible beginning?”  

Daniel broke in first with a question before Sam could answer, “Why hasn’t anyone said
anything about the tree moss?  Per’sus ignored it, too.  Is it that no one knows what it is or
what?”  

Martouf frowned, “I believe we know what tree moss is, Daniel but we do not know of this
IQ of its features.  Not being sure which part of it you are speaking about, it is easier to
just ignore it, for the more readily understood insult.”  

“Intelligence quotient.  It’s a measure of intelligence.  She told him that he was less
intelligent than tree moss.”  

Martouf stared from him to Sam and back again, before saying, “Perhaps it is just as well
that Per’sus did not understand her then, and we must hope that he will not recall later
that she said it to him.  It might be one insult too many, even though he managed to live
with the others.”  

Sam cleared her throat and continued, though with some difficulty and not daring to look
at Daniel at all.  She shook her head, “I don’t know, maybe Janet felt guilty at first for
being so rude to him.  My opinion though is that once the crisis was over and he
apologized, she took a closer look, one that went beyond the surface, and she liked what
she saw, so she decided to say yes to lunch, and it turned into more.

“Anyway, I guess he’s been getting really frustrated at not being able to move forward with
his
“courting” of her.  Moreover, he’s been driving the people he works with nuts.  So, Dad
made an excuse to come with him, and he talked to General Hammond about the
problem.  And, the result was that Janet was called to General Hammond’s office while
dad went to sit with Per’sus, as if nothing was going on.”  

“So, General Hammond asked Janet what her intentions toward the Tok’Ra Per’sus were,
and I guess she just stared at him not quite understanding what he meant.  Well, you
know Janet, she can be pretty blunt, so she asked him what he meant.  Then General
Hammond asked her if she realized that High Councilor Per’sus was quite serious in his
pursuit of her?”  She said she couldn’t believe how much she blushed, and then she
touched this gold chain he had given her.  She told General Hammond that she had
hoped he was, yes, but since their customs were so different it was hard to tell.  Especially,
since all he had ever done was meet her for lunch.”  

“General Hammond was able to tell her that was why Dad had come.  He told her that Per’
sus was getting really frustrated only being able to see her at noon over lunch and that he
saw no reason he couldn’t go in town with her sometime.  If she wanted to invite him to
stay for a weekend, or something she could, as long as they were extremely careful.  It was
no different than it was with Jacob, who also had to be careful.  Or, like it was when we
took Martouf and Malek to O’Malley’s.  The weekend we took them to the Mall to get them
some jeans and stuff was the same thing.  It was the same when we showed them a little
bit of Earth.  The difference, of course, was that Per’sus, like Malek and Martouf, had no
knowledge of Earth customs so they would have to be careful in that way, as well.  He
would also have to understand that he could not come forward and glow in public.  Aiydon
would have to keep control as long as they were in a public place.  He also told her that if
she wished to go with him, he would give his approval, just as others often took leave days
off-world.”  

“In the meantime, Dad was talking to Per’sus, and he admitted to Dad that he had given
her a chain of gold, I think is how Dad put it, for her wrist, and she had not replied.  He
was beginning to think she was not willing to commit to something even that simple.  I
guess they were in the mess hall, and at that point, Dad decided they needed more
privacy, so he took him to the VIP room that he always uses.  He told me that he sat him
down and asked him what he told her when he had given the chain to Janet.  Per’sus said
that he offered the chain of gold, with a kiss upon her wrist, as was the custom, and then
he had asked her if she would accept the token from him, and then tell him if it was too
much to ask that she accept it.”  

“He told Dad that she got all teary and smiled at him, and she said she loved it, thanked
him, and that of course she would accept it from him, that it was a lovely, thoughtful thing
for him to do, when he had so many other things on his mind.  He said he expected to
receive one from her the next time he saw her, but she seemed to expect him to be
celibate, while she was still sleeping with whomever she pleased.”  

Sam smiled as Martouf looked at her oddly.  “I see no reason to be happy that Per’sus has
been disappointed in his effort to win her affection, Samantha.”  

Sam frowned at him.  “I haven’t finished the story, Martouf, just listen please.”  Sam
looked at Daniel who had already figured the story out and was grinning as wide as Sam
was smiling.  “Anyway, so Dad sat him down and said, “Per’sus, this is the Tau’ri world,
Earth.  Did it occur to you, that if you did not explain the, er,
“significance”, to Janet that
she would have
“no idea”, whatsoever, what you were asking of her?  Hm?  Did it even
cross the one brain cell I’m beginning to think that you and Aiydon share, to ask what the
mating customs on Earth were, when one asks a woman to
“go steady”…that’s probably
an ancient term now, but it will suffice for this, so did you?”  

“See, we don’t give a bracelet and get a bracelet as an answer.  We have to open our
mouths and actually say the words.  As in, "
Janet, I really like you a lot, Aiydon and I both,
and we were wondering if you would consider making our relationship exclusive".
 See that’
s what we call it.  Exclusive, meaning, we, you and I will see no one else of the opposite
sex in a dating/sexual way while we continue to get to know each other and determine if
we might possibly be starting to maybe go beyond liking you.”  

“I guess Per’sus almost swallowed his tongue and informed Dad there was no way he
could possibly ask Janet something like that.  She would refuse, and then tell him to do
something disgusting to himself, as she had in the infirmary when he was badgering her,
and standing in the way when the symbiote was dying, and they were all rushing around
with electrical things and eppi something, and he had stepped into her way to ask
questions, and she had really become angry and informed him that he was an idiot with
the brain of an amoeba and” dad says he finally took a breath here, “no.  No, she would be
very rude to him again, if he was that forward.  He was sure that he was just now
beginning to make her believe that he was not completely and totally incompetent and
stupid.”  

“Anyway, I guess while Dad was trying to convince Per’sus that he had to ask Janet,
General Hammond told Janet what the “Chain of Gold” meant to the Tok’Ra.  He gave her
permission to leave and promised to keep Per’sus occupied so he couldn’t leave.  It took
her a little over an hour to find one similar to the one he gave her, but of a more
masculine look.  She had the General call down to the room and make sure that Per’sus’s
back was to the door, so she snuck in, which is difficult with the Tok’Ra’s enhanced
hearing, but dad had turned the radio on fairly loud, and Per’sus was talking, still, about
how he couldn’t possibly ask her those things even though he wanted to.”  

“So, she walked up behind him and reached around him and slipped the bracelet on him,
while dad played least in sight and high-tailed it out the door that Janet had just come
in.  She told me later that he had been telling dad again that she would tell him to do
something, um, impolite, if he asked her to do this, so, she told him that she only told
people that when she was stressed and scared and she had been very scared that day.”  

“She told me that even though they’d had lunch many times they hadn’t talked about that
first forty-eight hours.  She said that she made him let her up from where he had pulled
her onto his lap.  Then, she sat down at the little table there in the rooms and took his
hands in hers, and told him it was time he listened to what happened to them that day.”  

“She explained about how close his people were to dying, and that she didn’t have the
knowledge she needed to save them.  The Tok’Ra had never shared the information on
their physiology that she had asked for, so her knowledge of their internal organs and
their structure was just not good enough to have to do the things that were asked of her
that day.  While it was true that we had dissected a few Goa’uld that had come our way,
that was a long way from intensive study and reading about their internal structure and
learning what organs did what, where they were located, and how they interacted with
other organs within their body.  The Tok’Ra have organs that we don’t recognize and we
don’t have any idea what they even do.”  

“She was suddenly given several hundred beings, of which she knew very little medically,
and told that according to their
“scientists” the Tau’ri had the means to save them.  Very
nice.  But said
“scientists” forgot to leave instructions on the how we were to save them.  
We were working blind, and we were lucky that no one died.  He had no idea.  He had no
idea at all, of the pressure they had put the Tau’ri, and her in particular, under.  Not that
we didn’t want to help.  We did.  We just wished we’d had the information to do it right the
first time, before we killed someone.”  

“For instance, the one that came so close to dying.  What if she’d missed placing the
diodes where they needed to be?  He’d be dead.  It wouldn’t have helped.  She told him
that she felt really lucky that I was there to help that day as well, because she and I had
dissected a couple of Goa’uld together, so I had an idea of where some of the organs were
and we were able to double check each other.  We both agreed on where the heart was,
sort of, and evidently we were right.”  

“Even so, she was lucky she hadn’t killed them.  If it hadn’t been that they were dead
anyway, if she
didn’t do it, there was no way she would have done any of those things; not
with her lack of knowledge.  He had no idea of the amount of stress she and her people
were under that day."    

“And,” Sam said smugly, smirking at Martouf and Lantash, “That is when Per’sus knelt at
her feet and asked her to forgive him for being such a coward, when she was so brave.  He
promised that he would never be so again.  The next time something that might need
explaining turned up, he would be very sure to explain.  Then he asked her what the next
step in a Tau’ri courtship was.  She told him it depended on the couple.  Some would
refuse to bed one another before they were joined.  Others would have already done so.  
It's a very individual thing on Earth.  Mostly the couple knew when they were ready to go
to the next step, if the sexual side of dating was what he was talking about.”  

“If it wasn’t, and he wanted to know what the next step was as far as the courtship steps
were then the next would be an engagement.  He wanted to know what that was and she
explained that when a couple decided that they suited and wanted to spend the rest of
their lives together, then they became engaged.  The man usually bought a woman a ring
that she wore on her left hand.  That ring told all other men that she as
“taken” and thus
off limits.  The engagement period was more or less like what they were doing now except
they would have decided they wanted to marry, or join, bond, whatever word you used for
it.  It was just another period of time to make sure it was what you really wanted.”  

“So, the last I heard, which was yesterday, by now Per’sus should be at Janet’s house for
the weekend to meet Cassie.  Janet hoped the fact that Per’sus was basically
“Goa’uld”
wouldn’t freak her out, but I don’t think it will because she knows my dad and she’s heard
me talk about Jolinar and Martouf and Lantash.”  

“Ah, and he also promised her all the information she wanted on the symbiotes, so that
she would never again have to wonder and worry if she had to treat one.  She thanked
him and explained that as soon as the scientists and healers had realized what had
happened, and what the Tau’ri had done for them with little or no knowledge because of
their, er, difficulties getting such things approved and through the council, things were
made available.  We now have a very nice library on Tok’Ra physiology.  Nevertheless, she
thanked him, anyway.  The information is interesting, too.”  

“So what was it you wanted to know?”

Martouf smiled wryly, “I believe you have answered the question, Samantha.  It was about
the bracelet that Per’sus gave to Janet.  I had noticed it and his attentions to her.  I like
him, and he and Lantash have been friends for many years.  I was afraid she would not
realize what it meant and therefore perhaps hurt him.”  

Sam nodded.  “If I had thought that I’d have said something about it to you, I promise
you.  I hope it works out for them.  I think she really is falling in love with them, and he
seems absolutely fascinated with her.  I hope it’s not just a surface thing with him and
once the novelty of having a woman stand up to him wears off, he doesn’t lose interest in
her.”  

Lantash came forward and said quietly, “You need have no fear of that, my Samantha, Per’
sus has women standing up to him constantly.  The Tok’Ra are not known for anyone that
is quiet and soft spoken.  No, the women do not worry about responding in as biting a
manner as possible, at times when they feel they are correct.”  

“Good.  I was worried about that.”  

Martouf returned to continue, “He admires her attitude greatly though, Samantha.  I do
not think that is something that need worry you.  She will not change just because of him.”

“He watched her work over his brethren, keeping them alive, hour after hour, when he
had been told that the Tau’ri found us disgusting, repellent, and that they would rather
remove us than see a human with a symbiote.  You were considered an aberration, who
used Selmak only because your father was ill, but once you saw it work your mind allowed
that it could work.”  

“At any rate, for all of us to sit and watch, as all of your people not only worked to save the
host and symbiotes that were together, but also worked so very hard to see to it that each
of those that had been removed were reintroduced to their host and thus survived as well
was a revelation."  

“At one point you were carrying a symbiote in your arms and you had it covered with a wet
cloth.  It was getting you wet, but you ignored that and continued to dampen it if it dried.  
You carried it anyway.  Moreover, every so often your hand would reach down as if
absently stroking it, but it was obvious that while you were doing that, you were also
monitoring the fact that it was breathing and aiding its circulation.  More than that, you
were attempting to reassure and comfort it.  That was why you kept it cuddled so close,
because you knew that it would be feeling as if it was in a void with nothing around it to
hold it firmly.”  

“It was noticed that as the others carried some around when it was needed you told them
something and they would stroke the symbiote for a little bit first, and then all of them
would smile and hold it a little closer.  After that they were fine with carrying it.”  

Sam smiled slightly, before answering, “The symbiotes were moving around in their arms,
and it made them afraid they would drop them.  I told them I thought they were feeling as
if they were going to fall with nothing holding them in place so to try holding them closer,
and stroke them every so often.”  

“All of them were surprised at how much like velvet their skin was because they expected
a different feel to it.  That was one thing.  The other was that they all realized that as soon
as they stroked them and nestled them closer to their bodies where they felt the body heat
as well as more secure they quieted and rested better.  That’s all.”  

“Once we got the tanks set up by each host we could put them in there, but until then we
couldn’t risk separating them and losing track of who belonged to whom.  We were
surprised the healers removed them without tanks to put them in to begin with, but later
realized that the healers themselves weren’t in any condition to even be on their feet, let
alone thinking straight.  I’m just glad the nurses thought fast and got basins and warm
water for them.  It’s too bad those few had to be carried around, but they were in the worst
shape and needed constant monitoring.”

Martouf agreed, “That is very true, Samantha.  The healers were not thinking clearly at
all.  Unfortunately, the poison had affected them enough that the symbiote took over, but
not enough for the host to be able to override them yet, as it had in my case and most of
the others.  The healers are quite strong mentally, and the hosts had a very hard time
wresting control from them.”  

“Thankfully, Janet had the presence of mind to take control from them by whatever
means she had even if it did mean that she had to threaten to have them shot.  I am also
glad that Per’sus gave the order for them to stop even before she called in the SF’s, but
also that he believed that she would have carried out her threat.”    

“Moreover, as I said, many of our people saw these things happen, they heard the
determination of your people to save our people in spite of our people’s misguided
attempts to stop them.”  

“Even O’Neill was known to be angry about the attack.  Someone overheard him
commenting on it.  Someone else said they thought he didn’t like the Tok’Ra.  He is said to
have paused and then admitted that he wasn’t always very smart.  That just because Tok’
Ra were physically Goa’uld that didn’t make them Goa’uld.”  

“He’d just never bothered to look at it that way before, and now he had.  He’d just
realized, he said, that by painting them with the same brush he painted the Goa’uld with,
he was doing the same thing as painting the Tau’ri with the same brush and saying that
they were all the same.  Which he had pointed out was obviously not true, was it?”  

“I was told there was a lot of scuffing of feet and muttering before someone spoke up and
admitted that they hadn’t looked at it that way either, but that the Colonel was right.  The
Tok’Ra had as much right to be liked or disliked individually as any one else.  And
besides, they were human at least half the time, the Goa’uld never were.  That led to even
more agreement.  So that was the beginning of a Tau’ri turn around in some areas.”  

“It was such a revelation to many of them.  A large number of Tok’Ra have questioned
their perceptions of the Tau’ri and have found them to be wrong.  They have also begun to
wonder if there has been a propaganda war waged, to prevent good relations between the
Tok’Ra and the Tau’ri, particularly now that this sabotage incident with the poisoning has
occurred.”  

Sam sighed sadly, before answering softly, “Yes, and it’s too bad it took something so
drastic to bring us together.  I’m just glad it wasn’t truly as tragic as it could have been,
and everyone is all right.  And in a way I’m glad it happened the way it did because the
traitor did us two huge favors.  Maybe even more.”  She brightened as she thought of that.

“What are those, Samantha?  I do not consider that he has done anything, but spread the
very fear and suspicion he meant to spread.”  Martouf frowned, as he contemplated the
difficulties this was causing within the ranks of the Tok’Ra.  

“Well, we just touched on one of them.  It’s brought a much better understanding and a
stronger connection between the Tau’ri and the Tok’Ra, something I am quite sure he, or
she, did not wish to see happen, so that’s one.”  

Holding up a second finger she said, “You were all supposed to be dead.  Not only the
Tok'Ra that lived on the base, but the council members from the other bases as well.  
During an important event no less, which would not have looked good at all.  As it is,
there will be some who will insist that the Tok’Ra deliberately cancelled the meeting at the
last minute and had hoped to catch the culprit.”  

“The traitor will hear that rumor as well, and it will make him think, even if he knows it to
be false.  However, the biggest thing is that now you know he, she, whatever is out there.  
So your security is tighter, you are watching closer now.  In addition, you are now the
hunter instead of being just the hunted.  That can’t be comfortable for, er, it.  So that is
third.”  

"Then there is a fourth, and it’s a bonus.  It made you get that poison, which never should
have been in a facility that contained housing in the first place, out of there.  I’ve never
made a secret of the fact that I considered your people insane for keeping it on base like
that.  I’m very glad you decided that it needed much more careful handling and left
General Hammond’s precautions to protect your non-scientist personnel from it in place.  
So actually the traitor did you two huge favors and two other pretty darned good sized
ones.”  

“I suppose when looked at from that perspective what you say is true, but the tension that
the people are now under is very great.  I have been told, though, that oddly enough,
having your soldiers there just walking the halls with their weapons has helped a sense of
security descend.”  

“Per’sus was one of the first to notice that wherever the exchange soldiers were walking in
a group that they always seemed very alert and that the Tok’Ra noticed.  He was the one
that asked that they carry their weapons.  After a week of that he could tell that in the
areas where the soldiers walked regularly there was less tension.”  

“He realized that having the warriors there, who were absolutely not connected with the
poisoning, but were definitely allies, had the effect of making all of the Tok’Ra feel less
vulnerable.  They no longer had to watch their own back all the time, even from their own
kind.  There was someone else to do it now.  He went to the General, they discussed the
problem, and that is why and how we now have security teams at each of our bases.  It is
an odd feeling to go to one of our bases and see SGC personnel screening you before
allowing you onto your own base.”  

“I imagine it is,” Sam said.  They all sat quietly pondering the changes that had taken
place in the last few months between the Tau’ri and the Tok’Ra.

Lantash sounded very concerned as he told him,
“I had not found those memories yet,
Martouf.  I see things are very serious then if the Tok’Ra truly have Tau’ri security guards
on all of our bases.”  

Martouf explained what was happening, “Yes, but every member was hand picked by
General Hammond, myself, Samantha, Jacob, and Colonel O’Neill.  No one who does not
like the Tok’Ra was sent.  Not even if it was only a very small dislike.  So all of the security
teams are made up of men and women who were excited and eager to go and live with the
Tok’Ra.  Needless to say, another shock for our brethren.  They saw Tau’ri who arrived
breathless and so excited they could hardly talk.  Those that could were asking questions
so quickly our people had difficulty answering them fast enough.  Another perception of the
Tok’Ra about the Tau’ri shot down in flames, as they would say.  You see, I am picking up
some of their idioms.”  

“So do we have both security teams and exchange soldiers then?”
 Lantash asked, still
trying to take this all in.   

“Yes, since many of the symbiotes still needed the filtering to continue twice a week, it was
decided that they would be the first of the exchanges.  An equal number of SGC members
are working off world with different Tok’Ra bases.”  

“I see.  That is most enlightening.  So, that is how we became one of the exchanges.  But
that would mean that almost every Tok’Ra on our base would still be at the SGC,”
Lantash
said coming to a realization of what that would mean to them.

“Yes and that obviously wouldn’t work.  Malek stayed on as an exchange from his base
and his second is running it.  All of our bases have at least two or three people there.  The
ones that were the most affected and might need the filtering more than twice a week
stayed on the Tau’ri world.  We requested that we stay, being known and somewhat
familiar, to act as liaison, which we were granted.”  

“The others were released to our healers after they were shown how to use the machine
and had done so many times.  They were sent back to the base with the others, the loan of
two of the machines, the SGC’s good wishes, and sighs of relief at getting their base back
to some semblance of order.  People began to move back into their own quarters, places like
the rec room, which became a very large infirmary/barracks room during the crisis, were
turned back to their original purpose.  You slept through a great deal, Lantash.”  

“Yes, I can see that I did.  I must go through some more of your memories, Martouf.  
However, in the meantime, I think we are about to have company.  They have come to get us
for the joining ceremony.”  

“So soon?  I am not ready.  Perhaps…”

“Martouf.”  

“Yes?”

“Quiet, please.”

“Yes.”  

“Thank you.  Now I believe it is time to talk to our Samantha about the ceremony that will
soon begin.”  

Lantash came forward, and said lightly, “My dearest, Samantha, as much as I would
rather sit here the remainder of the night, I do not believe we are going to be allowed to do
so.  I am assuming that the rather large group of people coming this way is to take us
away, so that you may have the cottage.  I believe the evening’s entertainment, although
the evening is still some way off, is about to begin.”  

“Furthermore, that entertainment, unless I am much mistaken,” Daniel added, amused,
“would be us.”


TBC






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Chains of Gold

Chapter Nine

Tok'Ra Courtship