Daughters of the Queen - Book III in the Tok'Ra Legacy Series
Story Summary: A discovery on a distant planet leads, SG-1, the Tok’Ra and the Furlings on a hunt that could ensure the survival of the Tok’Ra. Egeria left her children a message in a Furling temple. Now all they have to do is figure out exactly what the messages mean and where they will lead them…and do it before the System Lords discover the secret and destroy all hope of the Tok’Ra’s survival forever…Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as they hoped and there are some personal complications for some of the characters. We have to settle those while still continuing to follow the discovery.
(If you have not read Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul, you can probably still read this, but there will be things that may be confusing…I’ve tried to put in enough that it can be read as a stand alone.)
Chapter One Summary: SG-1, which now contains Martouf/Lantash, and Ellen Stevenson go on a mission to a planet that is not on the cartouche. The discovery of a Temple with writing they can't identify from the pictures the M.A.L.P. sends back leads SG-1 to go and explore it. When they arrive, they find it is an ancient Furling Temple - and it has a guardian who is not happy to see at least two members of their party. Lantash is brought near death, as Daniel struggles to explain who they are. Discoveries are made by both sides in the ensuing conversation.
Rating this Chapter: PG
Pairings this Chapter: None
"Italics" - Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communication
“Well, campers are we ready to head out?” Jack asked, as Major Martouf Lantash of the USAF and Dr. Daniel Jackson, SG-1’s archaeologist joined the rest of the team in the gate room.
Standing to one side was a rather nervous Lieutenant Ellen Stevenson. This team rescued her a little over seven months ago, and now she was on temporary assignment with them. The last one of many, as no one seemed to suit the Colonel. General Hammond made the decision that he wanted a fifth person on the team, until the new Major Lantash became fully integrated and possibly beyond. More than that, he wanted his flagship team to have the same mix it had before, as far as possible.
Ellen was an astrophysicist, but not, she knew, on Major Carter’s level. She knew she would be off the team by the end of the mission, but for one brief moment, she would be walking in the footsteps of Major Samantha Carter. The shoes were way too big for her to fill, but it was a thrill being here nonetheless.
Jack’s voice brought her back to her surroundings and away from the past. “Glad you finally decided to join us, Dr. Jackson,” Jack drawled in his best sarcastic, where have you been, voice.
“Sorry, Jack, I was looking for my book on the language of the Ancients. I told you I could not identify the writing on the stone because we could not get a clear enough image of it, but it seemed familiar to me, and I am taking that book just in case it is Ancient. Looking up from securing his sidearm, he looked directly at her and smiled, “You’re Ellen Stevenson, aren’t you? I’m Daniel. Daniel Jackson. It’s good to see you up and around.”
“Thank you, Dr. Jackson. If it wasn’t for all of you, I wouldn’t be here today. I’ve never really had a chance to thank all of you, so since you are all here together, I would like to do so. I—I am very grateful for everything you all did that day,” she blushed nervously as she proffered her thanks to them. The premier team…what was she doing here?
Daniel shrugged, uncomfortable with being thanked, but said, “Hey, no problem. Glad we were all there that day to help.”
Jack looked over then and gazed intently at the young woman he had strenuously attempted to keep off this assignment. “You were captured about seven months ago. Glad to see you back on active duty,” he offered gruffly.
“Yes, sir, I was and thank you, sir. The Tok’Ra used the healing device on my injuries and kept me from ending up with a medical discharge. I am very grateful to them. I’ve agreed to be a host if they ever need one in a hurry.” You are babbling, shut up! At least her internal sensor was working.
Jack stood in shock and looked at the young woman who had made that announcement so calmly. “Why?” he asked bluntly.
Ellen blushed again, and then, at least outwardly calm, she responded, “Because they were kind to me, and they need our help as much as we need theirs. They helped me stay in a job I love, and one of the women, Calise, and I became really good friends. I like them, and I believe in what they are fighting for, otherwise I wouldn’t be in the SGC. We want the same thing. I think the experience would be enlightening. There are many reasons, sir. Maybe one of the biggest is that I would never be alone again.”
“I see. Well, you and Marty here should get along great. He is a sn, er, Tok’Ra,” he said, as he turned to the sound of the chevrons locking in place, glad he had kept his foot out of his mouth this time.
Changing the subject, he turned and asked, “What exactly is it that we are going to PA4-2- whatever to do, Daniel?”
“The gate is inside what looks to be a very old and deserted temple. There are numerous writings on the walls, but I can’t make out what they are. This particular world is not on the Abydos cartouche, so we are hoping the Goa’uld don’t know about it at all. If we don’t find any evidence of them being there and the writing is Ancient, then we could find some interesting stuff there,” Daniel finished saying, as the wormhole whooshed towards them. “It could be very important, Jack.”
“Big honkin’ space guns, Daniel?” Jack asked, going straight to what interested him the most.
“Don’t know, but if not, then maybe some technology or information on how to build one.”
“M.A.L.P.’s still showing all clear, sir,” Sergeant Davis informed him from the control room.
“You have a go, Colonel. See you in five days. Check in, twenty-four hour intervals,” General Hammond said, as they headed up the ramp. Jack sent him a lazy salute and a grin before plunging into the event horizon. Five days for an archaeological excursion? That was almost forever. Good thing he remembered his yo-yo among other things. He would about bet that Teal’c had a book along, too.
As the five exited the wormhole on the other side, balmy temperatures and dust greeted them. There was lots and lots of dust. Daniel sneezed and reached for an allergy tablet. If it was not pollen, it was dust. Thank Janet for always being sure he had extra tablets with him. The FRED came through behind them; a switch from their usual procedures but after being late, Daniel had been in a hurry and had beaten it up the ramp. He was already at a wall and examining it.
“Don’t touch anything, Daniel. Remember? Wait until you know for sure what it is before you go touching it,” Jack reminded his friend. He had lost track of the times they had a problem because one of them, he was honest enough to admit it was not always Daniel, touched something, before knowing what it did. Moreover, Carter was not here to figure out how to help them, if something went wrong.
God, he missed her. Six months without her, and still there was an ache that would not go away. And, if he missed her this much, it must be hell for these two men, one of whom was one of his dearest friends, and one who was becoming a friend faster than Jack would have believed possible considering what he was.
He had to admit that Daniel and Martouf were doing better than anyone had thought they would. They came into work one day about three months ago and it was as if they suddenly decided that they had a life to live and they were going to do so. Not that they were suddenly cheerful or anything, but something happened between them. It was as if all three of them came to a conclusion, and from that day on, they appeared to be on the road to recovery.
Appeared being the operative word, so to speak. They hadn’t really recovered, of course. Jack still saw it from time to time. Malek, Jacob, sometimes, but not often, Jocasta, and Brialek began spending downtime with the Tau’ri. Quite often, the seven of them ended up at someone’s house. If it was not his home then it was Martouf or Daniel’s place. He saw it more often at those times. There was the sudden indrawn breath, the far away lost look in their eyes, the sudden clenching of a jaw, a fist, a tightening of lips, a longing look at the portrait of Carter or Kataya. No, they were not really over it, but they were trying to get on with their lives, as they had promised they would, and they were doing a pretty good job.
He left the two of them together whenever possible on missions. Lantash was more than capable of taking care of the two of them. As long as they did not touch something, they should not that was. He would have to remind them again before he left them in here alone. Not that it looked like they could find anything much to cause them trouble. There was nothing here but a fountain that was not working, and the writing on the walls. Good, maybe it was a safe place for Daniel to be in, for once. He grinned to himself as his mind went back to his previous thought and he began repeating, “the writing on the walls” …it sounded like a good title for a song; it would make a great country song. Teal’c would love it. Hmm...come to think of it, there probably already was a country song about it. He would ask Teal'c. He'd probably know. He sighed, left his ruminations, even though they were more fun, and switched back into “soldier” mode.
“Lieutenant Stevenson, Teal’c, you’re with me. The three of us will secure the perimeter, while these three go about their, um, mystery solving,” Jack taunted, with a teasing look at Daniel, who did not appear to notice. He sighed again. It was no fun to tease Daniel when he didn’t pay attention.
“Do you not wish me to help you, Colonel O’Neill?” Lantash came forward to ask, puzzled by Jack’s attitude, as usual. He didn’t understand why he so often left him with Daniel, Jack knew. Well someday, maybe when he had one too many beers, he would tell him that he trusted Lantash to look after Daniel and Martouf. Looking into his quizzical gaze, he thought that maybe he would do it before then, but not right now. There were too many witnesses.
“No, you’ll be of more use in here helping Daniel. This place seems placid, and there looks to be a lot of stuff to look at on the walls. It will put your knowledge of languages and history to good use. If we need you, we’ll call, never fear.”
“As you wish, Colonel,” Lantash said.
Jack nodded at him, replying, “We’ll look around outside to see if there is anything out here needing a look-see by the three of you. Just be sure you don’t touch anything,” he reminded them, yet one more time, before finally walking through the door and out into the sunshine. One thing about it, the weather was beautiful, and the area around the temple was, too.
Taking him at his word, Lantash nodded his head in acknowledgement and then walked to the far wall to begin running his hands over the writing and symbols on the wall. He stopped almost immediately. These writings were not Ancient. Nor were they Goa’uld, Nox, or Asgard. They were a very ancient dialect of a language that he knew well in its modern form. However, he had never been able to understand any of the ancient forms of it, and this one, if he remembered correctly from what Kataya had once shown him, was one of the oldest known to them.
These writings were quite ancient Furling. However, there was something odd about the writing. Frowning, he looked closely at it. It almost looked as if someone wrote some of it at a later date, but wanted it to blend in, as if it was always there. “I believe you are correct, Lantash. There is definitely something “off” about the writing on this wall. I wonder if that is significant? I would think it probably is, but I have no clue as to what that significance could be,” Martouf said quietly.
“I believe it is all the same language but you are correct and something about it simply does not feel right to me, either,” Lantash agreed with him. As he stood staring at it, he became lost to the world around him. He frowned as he attempted to translate even one word of this. It would take months to get even a start on it. Slowly, he became aware of Daniel’s voice calling to him.
“Lantash. Lantash, what’s the matter? Can you read this?” Daniel, asked, as he looked at his friend’s face and saw recognition there.
Lantash slowly shook his head no. “I cannot read any of it. You however may know it, Daniel. In fact, you should know it quite well.”
“Well, I don’t. It looks very familiar, but I just can’t place it, and I can’t read it. Well, I can’ t read more than a word or two. At least, one or two of the symbols sort of cause words to pop into my head.”
“And, what are those words, Daniel? Lantash asked quietly.
“Well, of all things, when I look at this one, I think of the word hidden. This one says joining. That one up there is, I think Royal or Royalty. Or maybe Queen,” he frowned as he looked at it and then shook his head. “I am wondering if this is a place where some royal family came to be married or something. However, I don’t know why it would have to be hidden. We might want to bring Teal’c in to see if he recognizes any of this.”
“Daniel, does it strike you that some of this writing is newer and some very, very old?” Lantash asked, suddenly. “It has been made to blend in as if it was all put here at one time, but I do not think it was. Furthermore, I believe that the words you read were all from the more recent writings.”
Leaning in to look more closely, Daniel agreed. “Well, Jack was right about one thing. It is a mystery. And for some reason I feel like we need to solve it.”
“I, too, feel this.”
Watching Daniel shake his head, Lantash asked, “What is it, Daniel? What is wrong?”
“I still can’t place the writing, and yet, it looks very familiar, as if I should just be able to read it,” Daniel frowned at the wall and reached out to run his hands over the writing again, as he had been doing ever since they had arrived. Just as he did and felt in the Furling Temple they visited; the one where Kataya first made unknown contact with them.
Suddenly, looking over at Lantash, he said, “You said you recognized it, and that I should too. What language is it? Actually, I think I know now, but I want confirmation, if at all possible.”
Lantash looked at him and then back at the wall. “It is a very ancient dialect of Furling, Daniel. I remember Kataya showing it to me once. If I am not getting things mixed up, then she said that this dialect was used almost at the beginning time, the Myst time.”
Daniel stared at the wall and then shook his head. “I am drawing a blank as far as reading it, but my information on the Furling comes in sudden flashes, so something could still turn up. I do recognize it now as the same writing in the temple where the Prophecy of the All was. Let’s go take a walk outside and let Jack know what we have found. It really is a shame that we can’t contact Avilion. Merdwin or Artereos, either one, could probably read it, as easily as if it was the one in use today.”
“True,” Lantash sighed, as they walked toward the front of the building. Neither of them was prepared for the force field that was over the doorway denying them access to the outside world.
“Crap, I wonder what we touched,” Daniel said, as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I do not know Daniel, but perhaps we should see if we can access the Chaappa’ai. If not, we could be in a very serious situation indeed,” Lantash replied.
Turning and walking back toward the gate, they found another side of the force field just before they reached it. Frowning, Daniel walked back to the wall he had originally stopped to look at, and then proceeded to follow it until he again found a shield. It was over a large opening that should have led out into what was, or used to be, a garden.
He sighed in frustration, and then turned to watch as Lantash went through the same exercises on the other walls. It seemed they could access the walls and the writing, but no windows, doors, or the gate. Well, at least they had the FRED, so they had food. What he really wondered, though, was how he was going to explain this to Jack? With that thought in mind, he turned and headed back to the door through which Jack and the others had gone outside.
Looking out the doorway, he could not see them anywhere close by the front of the temple. Keying his radio, he called for Jack or Teal’c. He frowned when neither one of them answered.
“Why have you come with a Goa’uld to this temple?” Someone standing behind him asked.
Daniel whipped around at the sound of the voice. Confronting him was an exceedingly distressing sight. It was like something out of a nightmare. Martouf was on his knees and was obviously in intense pain from the beams of light coming from the device that the woman was aiming at his neck.
Daniel did not hesitate for as much as a second. He sprinted forward and tackled Martouf, knocking him away from the beam she was holding on him, only to find that it caught and held him. He could not move, but he was not in pain, as Martouf had so very obviously been. As he felt it let up a little, and breathing became easier, he saw Martouf struggling to get up and come toward him. “Stay back, Martouf. Do not get back in this thing, it seems to cause you pain, but it doesn’t me. So just stay away from it, okay?”
“Why do you protect the Goa’uld? You are his slave?”
“No, I am not his slave, and he is not a Goa’uld. He is a Tok’Ra.”
“What is this Tok’Ra?”
“They are a res...”
“Daniel! We do not know to whom we are speaking.” Turning to the woman, he asked, “Who are you? What do you want?”
“You are the host?”
“Yes, I am the host. My name is Martouf. Lantash is the name of my symbiote, my mate. What have you done to him? He is not answering me. What have you done?”
“He is incapacitated. He will bother you no more.”
“What have you done to him?” Martouf asked once again, as he started toward the woman. Lifting her other hand the ribbon device threw him against the wall, and he lay in a crumpled heap. As the pressure holding him eased more, Daniel finally managed to sit up and move slowly. The woman did not stop him from going to Martouf. Reaching him, he felt for a pulse. Thank god, there was one, but it was very weak and erratic.
Turning to the woman, who still held herself ready to use either weapon on them again, he said, Turning to the woman, who still held herself ready to use either weapon on them again, he said, “You have hurt them badly. Who are you and what do you want? We have done nothing to you. We have not harmed you or this place in any way, so why are you doing this? Why have you hurt them when they have done nothing to you?”
“I am one of the Guardians of this place, this Temple. The Goa’uld must not come here. Why is he here, and how did he come? A Goa'uld would not have the ability to travel through this Portal.”
“He came through the gate, just as we all did. We are peaceful explorers,” Daniel explained, while keeping his hand on Martouf’s pulse. He was becoming more worried by the minute. "We do not harm those who do us no harm."
“The Portal would not allow a Goa’uld through. He could not have come by way of the Portal,” she replied.
“We all came by gate, Portal, whatever you wish to call it. Look, you have to do something; I think you may have killed Lantash.”
“Lantash is the Goa’uld? He lives, but perhaps not for long. If he agrees to leave peacefully, we will send him to a Goa’uld world.”
“Leave? Martouf will not allow him to leave; he would be devastated at the loss of his mate, and besides that, he is not Goa’uld! How damn many times do I have to tell you that? He is Tok'Ra! Tok’Ra! I told you. You have to help him. Both of them. You are the one that hurt them; you can use your ribbon device as a healing device and heal them, can’t you? Well, can’t you? Daniel demanded, as his fear for his brothers was causing him to become increasingly belligerent.
He drew a deep breath and tried to calm himself. Getting in her face angry was not going to make the situation with her any easier or resolve it, and right now, he needed her abilities. Assuming and believing that she could reverse and repair whatever she did to them, of course, which he did. Martouf and Lantash were becoming progressively weaker. They were running out of time!
“I will not allow the Goa’uld to take control of the host. If I help both of them, then he must remain quiescent and allow the host to speak to me. This is acceptable to you?”
“Yes, Gods, yes. Do something,” Daniel cried, as Martouf’s pulse became even more erratic. “Lantash would allow Martouf to talk to you, anyway. This was totally unnecessary if you wanted to talk to Martouf. All you had to do was ask,” Daniel’s reply was both exasperated and desperate.
She did not answer Daniel’s statements about Lantash. She simply stated, “You will move away, please. I will heal the host, and…” She paused frowning, and then added, “I will give the Goa’uld enough strength to survive for the time being.”
Suddenly suspicious, Daniel started to question the being standing in front of him; however, she informed him before he could even form his sentence, “I give you my word; I will heal the host, and I will also see to it that the Goa’uld continues to live. I will not kill either of them, yet.”
Daniel looked at them and then at her, before nodding and moving away.
“You do realize that Lantash won’t realize he is supposed to stay quiet, and he will be quite angry and distressed that you have harmed Martouf, don't you? You have to let me explain to him.”
“He will know. I will tell him myself,” she said, as she raised her hand and played the beams of light across different parts of Martouf’s body. Finally, she stopped and said, “Lay him face down, and I will repair the worst of the injuries to the Goa’uld.”
“He is not a Goa’uld,” Daniel said again, as he went to Martouf and moved him, so that she would have access to his neck. “Martouf? Martouf, can you hear me?”
Pulling in a breath, Martouf said quietly, “I can, Daniel.”
“Lantash? Is Lantash alright?” Daniel’s voice showed his obvious anxiety over what was occurring.
“He is better, but he is still in pain and is not healed. He believes he is all right, for the moment, but he does not know for how long.” Lying quietly for a few moments, while Daniel sat watching him anxiously, he finally started to talk again, softly, barely moving his lips, as if afraid to move too much. “His injuries are rather severe at this time, but no longer life threatening, if he can begin to heal himself. He does not know if he will be able to though, for the pain is quite intense. He also tells me that he is not allowed to speak, and that very likely he will be removed and sent to a Goa’uld world, if she does not kill him. She does not understand about the Tok’Ra. Daniel, if that happens, and they discover he is Tok’Ra, they will kill him. We cannot allow to that happen.”
“Damn it, this is a Furling temple, how can Artereos permit this type of thing to occur? Kataya would be furious. Damn, I wish she was here.” Daniel laughed harshly, and then added, “Yeah, well what else is new?”
“Of whom do you speak?”
“What do you mean? We were talking about Lantash. If you send him to a Goa’uld world, and they find out he is Tok’Ra, they will kill him or torture him forever. He is our friend. You must not do this to him, to us.”
Moving slowly, Martouf finally managed to sit up with Daniel’s help, and he looked at her, as he said, “I truly do not wish to part from my symbiote. He has been a good friend to me, for over a hundred years. I cannot be parted from him; it would cause me much grief.” He tried to explain. Then he realized that she was walking around them and studying Daniel with a strange look on her face.
“Tell me, what is the name of this Kataya?” She asked, completely ignoring Martouf and Lantash, as if they were no longer important, or did not even exist.
Daniel frowned, but said, “Her name is Kataya of Cadwaellon. Why do you ask?”
“What is her full name?” The Guardian insisted.
Speaking quietly, Daniel asked, “Do you want her birth name?”
“Her name is Kataya Morna’Catira of Cadwaellon,” He said, softly. “Do you know her?”
“How do you know her?” The woman asked abruptly.
“She is my mate,” Daniel said. “We have been mated for millennia.”
“And what is your true name? The name of your soul?”
“I am Dayillon Percyvel of Alexandrian, though in this living, I am Daniel Jackson of the Tau’ri.”
“Why does Dayillon Percyvel of Alexandrian travel with a Goa’uld? And where is Kataya?”
Shaking his head and sighing deeply, Daniel tried again, saying, “He is not Goa’uld. Gods, how many times do I have to tell you that?” Taking yet another deep breath, preparing for what would follow, he explained, his voice raw with remembered pain, “And as for Kataya, she is...she fell in battle six months ago.” Martouf reached for him, squeezing his shoulder in silent understanding.
“Who did she battle that she would fall?” Her question was abrupt.
“And Morgasha?” She wanted to know.
“Dead by Kataya’s hand,” Daniel answered brusquely.
“Then the prophecy is come to pass,” she stated softly.
“Yes. It has,” Daniel agreed, tiredly.
Turning, she moved the beams of light over Martouf’s neck again, and then said, “I have healed him enough that he will not die at this time. I will return.”
Daniel stared at the spot where the woman had been standing seconds before. “Martouf, did you see any type of transport beam or anything? Because, I didn’t.”
“I am sorry, Daniel; I was not watching,” Martouf’s voice came to him weakly from the wall he was now leaning on, after making his way to it.
He moved over to join them there, worry evident on his face. “Martouf, how is Lantash? Did she help him more, as she said she did?” Daniel asked, anxiously.
“She healed him enough that he believes he may be able to get beyond the pain, if he allows me to share it. I have told him to do so and to heal what he can, before she returns,” Martouf gasped, as a shaft of pain went through him. “He—he is trying. He is in a great deal of pain. I am not sure what she did, but whatever it was it was not pleasant, and it is continuing.”
“If they can do this to a Goa’uld, I don’t know why they can’t defeat them,” Daniel said, not trying to hide the anger he was feeling.
“I would guess that it takes a great deal of their energy to do this. She would only be able to do it a few times before she was unable to do anymore. And it is one thing to do it to one, but another to fight off the army of Jaffa to get to the System Lord in question.”
Daniel frowned, “She was surprised you came through the gate. Evidently, they do not expect Goa’uld to be able to access it. It must be similar to the one on Avilion. So what is she guarding? Something they do not want the Goa’uld to find that is for sure.” He wondered aloud as he looked around the room.
“I—do not—know, Daniel,” Martouf panted as the pain moved through his head again. Moaning he added, “Lantash does not—think he will—be able to—repair the rest of the damage. It is—exhausting him—just trying.”
“Tell him to try just resting quietly,” Daniel said softly. “Please, Martouf, tell him to stop trying if it is only making it worse.”
“I have—Daniel. He is trying—to remain quiet—but it is hard because of the pain,” Martouf moaned softly, before lying down.
Going to the FRED, Daniel grabbed a bedroll and took it back to put under his head. Shaking it out, he made a pillow for Martouf, as he said, “Where the hell did she go? Is it any better, Martouf?”
Lying completely still, eyes closed, Martouf said softly, barely breathing, “Yes, as long as neither of us move, it seems to let up. If you will remember, she said she had incapacitated him. Evidently, as long as he does nothing to himself, or me, the pain lessens. I surmise it is a way to control him. If he does anything to me, the pain we experience is intense for both of us, and I believe the more pain he shared with me, the worse it got.” Martouf opened his eyes, and moved his head slightly, then sighed. “It seems that as long as Lantash is not doing anything at all, I can move. However, since the pain was quite intense, I believe I will simply lie here for a short time.”
Thinking about it for a moment, Daniel said, “So basically, the more pain the symbiote inflicts, or shares with the host, the more intense the pain becomes for him. The less he does, or interacts with the host, the less pain he feels. Positive reinforcement. You do not move; you do not feel pain. My guess is that it is probably pretty effective once the symbiote figures out what is happening. Just like Lantash did, once he realized that sharing the pain was making it worse, he attempted to stop it, and that took it away from you and lessened it considerably for him.”
“Lantash agrees I believe, but he cannot even talk to me without the pain starting for him, Daniel.”
“Wow, so that would make them a prisoner inside the host body. Of course, that makes sense. Remember, Thor told us—no you were not there—well anyway, Thor told us that the Furling can kill a Goa’uld that takes them as a host if they choose, but they do not have to. So they can actually control the symbiote.” Daniel frowned as he tried to figure out the details. “But why is this happening to you? You are not Furling.”
“I believe it has something to do with the injury she inflicted on Lantash. It has done something to the bond between us, to the nerve filaments he has sent into my brain. It has inflamed them or something, and he cannot use them. He has no way to communicate with me without them, so he cannot tell me if I am correct, but for some reason, I believe that I am.”
“Well, it sounds logical to me. It isn’t becoming worse, is it? Now that he has stopped trying to heal them? Daniel asked.
“I cannot tell, but it could be. He has not said anything at all to me, and at first, he was able to. I am wondering if it is a progressive thing where they become totally incapable of interacting.”
“It makes sense, Martouf. It is the perfect prison for a Goa’uld. Trapped in the body they had trapped the person in. What could be more poetic justice?” Daniel asked.
“I—I am not sure what is going on, Daniel, but Lantash is trembling within me. Do you think he would feel you if you were to place your hands on him?” Martouf asked. “I am becoming more and more concerned for him. What if he is dying and I cannot let him know that I am here? Or what if he can no longer tell where he is, or what is happening to him?” Martouf questioned, as he began to think of the possibilities that were affecting Lantash.
“Just lie still, and I’ll try to see if I can get through to him this way. Would it be better if I touched skin on skin? Should I just stoke your spine?”
“Yes, from the neck down, please,” Martouf, answered. “You will have to use a slight pressure for him to feel you, if he can feel anything at all that is.”
“All right. Tell me if it calms him, or makes it worse, okay?” Daniel asked, not sure if he would be making things better or worse.
“Yes, I will.” Martouf assured him.
Daniel stroked firmly down Martouf’s spine, and he realized that he, too, could feel Lantash tremble. As he stroked rhythmically, he became aware that it was lessening.
“He appears to be stopping, Daniel. I think it must be helping. Perhaps he does not feel so alone when he can feel your hands on him. If he is feeling this utter silence that I am experiencing, it must be terrible for him. I can at least hear and talk to you, even though I feel lost and alone inside,” Martouf said, quietly.
“I think you are right, and he must be able to feel it. The trembling has lessened, but I will continue to stroke him, so he will know we are here. I just hope she gets back here soon and releases him,” Daniel said, anxiously.
“I will do so now,” the woman had appeared behind him.
Daniel spun toward her, and said accusingly, “You left him in pain, and he can’t talk to us. He is not used to being so alone.”
“I had to ascertain if what you were telling me was truth,” she said, as she used the healing device on the back of Martouf’s neck. Soon it stopped, and she said, “I have blocked the pain, and he should be able to communicate with you now. It will take time to heal completely, but there is no permanent damage.”
Turning to Martouf, she said, “You are a member of the race of small dragons that are fighting against your brethren, who are evil.”
Martouf nodded tiredly, saying nothing aloud, as he carried on an internal conversation with his newly released friend.
“Yes. Yes, you finally got it,” Daniel said, his relief evident. “But, if you are Furling, you should have known of the Tok’Ra.” Daniel frowned, as he realized that and began to wonder who she was again.
“I have not been out into the universe for millennia. We rarely leave here, and when we speak to our families, this topic is not one that we would bother to discuss. There would have been no reason for it to have come up,” she told him.
Bowing her head to them, she said to Martouf, “your small dragon may speak. This explains why you could come through the Chaappa’ai. I will leave you to finish your study of the writings. You will be quite safe here; I will protect you and your friends. They are now outside.”
Turning back to Daniel, she said, “You will want to study these writings carefully, Dayillon of Alexandrian. There is much here that you and the small dragon shall wish to learn, for it may mean much to their future.” As she bowed her head, Daniel and Martouf found themselves alone again.
“Is Lantash,” Daniel started to ask, only to have him answer for himself.
“I appear to be fine, Daniel, thank you. A little tired, only.”
Nodding, Daniel said, “Good.”
Both men stood and walked to the door. Jack was outside a few feet from them. He was frowning. Looking up and seeing Daniel standing in the doorway he called, “Hey, did you just, like disappear, and end up talking to a woman in a green dress? ‘Cause we seem to have been taken somewhere, and she was not happy about junior, until we made her understand that Teal’c was on our side against the Goa’uld. She came back a minute ago, asked if we knew Kataya and Artereos, then she said to enjoy our stay, and we were back here. What the hell is going on, Daniel?”
“Well, evidently she is some kind of guardian of this place. If you think she was unhappy about junior, you should have seen how she felt about Lantash.”
“Is he all right?” Jack asked sharply, obviously concerned.
“Yeah, she healed him and Martouf after she almost killed them both.” Suddenly, Daniel was shaking; he sat down on the floor, and wrapped his arms around himself. “That was too damn close.” He looked at Martouf, who was also pale, as they realized how close they had come to losing Lantash.
Lantash came forward to speak to him, “Daniel, I am a Tok’Ra soldier. I accept that I could die at any time, and that it could be because I have been mistaken for Goa’uld. I am sorry if it has upset you. Please. Both you and Martouf know that death could visit any one of us, at any time. We all must accept that fact, or stop going forth to fight them. We will only be safe on earth, and even that is not an absolute. A vehicle could run over us, we could fall down a stairway, or some other accident could befall us. Life has no guarantees. Of all people, we should know that for the fact that it is.”
“You’re right, Lantash, and I’m sorry. I think it is just because of Kataya and Sam, you know. I am okay now, and I know we have to accept that possibility.”
“I agree, Lantash, and I understand what you are saying,” Martouf assured him. “Agreeing and understanding, however, does not mean I will not do everything I can to see to it that nothing happens to any of us.”
“I will accept that, and I too will do everything possible to see to it that nothing happens to us. Any of us.”
“Daniel, are you okay?” Jack asked.
Getting to his feet, he nodded and said, “Yeah, Jack, I am all right. Just reaction setting in that’s all. It was a very close thing for a while. She really did almost kill them. I don’t know what would have happened, if I had not mentioned Artereos and Kataya,” Daniel said to him.
Jack said. “So, do we leave or what? She said we would be safe here, but if you’re afraid she’ll come back and do it again, we can go.”
“I do not believe we should leave, Colonel. She said that we should study the writings here. She implied they would be important to both Daniel and I,” Lantash replied.
“Well, if you’re sure you three are okay; we’ll go ahead and check the perimeter, like we started out to do. Hopefully, there aren’t any more of them here.”
“Well, she said she was one of the Guardians, but I would assume that she will let them all know we are here. If there are any others, that is,” Daniel told him.
“We’ll be back shortly. Keep your eyes open, don’t touch anything, and try not to activate anymore Guardians,” Jack said, as he turned and headed off again to try to check the place out.
Daniel turned back toward Lantash, and asked, “Are you sure you are okay? Do you want to sit or lay down for a while?”
Instead of answering Daniel’s question, he nodded slightly and headed into the temple. Walking to the wall where the sleeping bag was laying, he leaned against it, and then slid down until he was sitting on the floor and resting his head against the wall, eyes closed. After sitting quietly for a moment or two, he said, “I do know that if all Goa’uld could undergo that procedure, I believe there might be fewer of them and more Tok’Ra.”
Still speaking quietly, as if afraid of any loud noise, he continued, “It was a salutary lesson, I do believe. One I hope I never have to experience again. It was as if I was completely cut off from everything. There was no light, no sound, no anything. It was also extremely painful. It was—exceedingly uncomfortable. Every time I attempted to contact Martouf, the pain would come back.”
“Soon, I gave up on that. Of course, all of that happened once I stopped trying to heal myself and share the pain with Martouf,” he continued quietly, and it was obvious that the situation had been quite upsetting to him. “It was total sensory deprivation, and it was quite terrifying to think that I would be trapped there forever. I do not think I could have left Martouf if I had wanted to, Daniel. I was truly trapped, entombed in a dark, silent nothingness,” he said tiredly.
Opening his eyes for a moment, he looked at Daniel, and said, “When you began to stroke me through Martouf’s back, it was as if a lifeline had been thrown to me. It was the only sensation I could feel; the only indication that I was not in a black void where nothing except my mind existed. Thank you for that, Daniel. It was much appreciated both then and now,” he said earnestly.
Smiling slightly, as he closed his eyes again, he said, “Now I know how Kataya controlled Kai Yua, Lord Yu’s daughter.”
“What are you talking about?” Daniel asked.
“Kataya hosted Lord Yu’s daughter, for almost a year. It is the reason that Lord Yu will help them, if they request it. She could have killed her outright, but she did not, she took her as a symbiote instead, and subjected her to what a host is subjected to. They became friends eventually, since Kai Yua could only talk to Kataya, and only when Kataya allowed it. Kai Yua has an unusual relationship with her host, for a Goa’uld. Or so I have been told.”
“I am afraid that the experience has left me feeling weak and tired. I am sorry to be so useless,” Lantash said, as he sat motionless against the wall, his eyes still closed, as if it was too much effort to open them.
“Don’t worry about it. Just sit there and rest for a while, okay?” Suddenly, Daniel grinned, “I don’t suppose you noticed that Jack was concerned for you? He was truly worried, Lantash. I have known for a while that he was starting to like you, but this proves it.”
Lantash smiled, tiredly, “I am sure you have misunderstood him, Daniel. He simply did not want to have to take care of me, or explain my demise to the Tok’Ra.”
Daniel shook his head. “I have known Jack O’Neill for quite a while. I know him very well, and believe me; he likes you. He will not let it show most of the time, but I know that tone of voice, and I know what it means.”
Sitting quietly, Lantash thought about Daniel’s words before replying, “I have come to respect and like him, too, Daniel. In fact, should we not go out and help them?” Receiving no answer, Lantash said again, “Daniel?” before he forced himself to open his eyes and saw Daniel on his knees in front of the fountain, running his hands over the bottom and then removing some stones that he had not even realized were not part of the fountain. Lantash frowned. What was Daniel doing?
“Daniel? What is it? What are you looking at?” Lantash tried once again to get his attention.
“Lantash, are you well enough to come here?” Daniel asked, anxiously, yet with a quiver of excitement coursing though his voice.
“Certainly, if you need me,” Lantash responded.
“It is not so much that I need you, as I think you may want to see this. We have to get video of every piece of writing in this place and put a priority on translating it,” Daniel said firmly, the excitement definitely there, no longer an undertone.
Intrigued by the emphasis and firmness of Daniel’s statement, Lantash stood, walked over, and knelt beside him, “What is it Daniel? What have you found?”
Daniel brushed away some of the centuries of dirt and dust that had fallen on the markings at the base of the fountain as he had removed the stones that had been concealing the writing.
Lantash looked down and read in Goa’uld, “I leave this record so those of my surviving children, in the aftermath of the Great Battle, may find the daughters I have left for them. Egeria.”