Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment, not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real person, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Story Summary: When Jacob Carter and a group of Tok’Ra stumble across another Tok’Ra thought to be long dead, they soon find themselves and SG-1 in a race to find and rescue another Tok’Ra long a prisoner of Ra, one whose very existence could mean the survival of an entire species…And they must succeed before Apophis finds out and stops them.
Chapter One Summary: On a routine mission, the Tok’Ra stumble upon a Tok’Ra long believed dead. They take him with them to the SGC and care for him as he has been seriously wounded.
Rating: NC-17 for sexual situations, possibly some sex scenes, and for possible violence
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication
The Tok’Ra lying on the floor opened his host’s eyes without awakening him. It would be better if he remained unconscious for the time being; they were both exhausted and in a great deal of pain. And despair. What were they to do, he wondered, not for the first time? There was no place for him to go. No place safe to hide. They had failed in their mission, and the taste of that failure was bitter in his mouth and burned in his mind. It did not seem to matter anymore. There was nothing…nothing for him here, or anywhere, for that matter.
Shaking off those kinds of thoughts, he frowned, wondering where the Jaffa that had been hounding them were now. The last thing he remembered, after getting hit by the staff weapon’s blast, was making it into a room that had appeared to be a storeroom. The Jaffa had been spreading out, looking for him. It was only a matter of time until they found him.
His eyes opened wider. He had set his zat’nik’tel to overload and explode because they could not put pieces of him in the sarcophagus and revive him. At least, he thought he remembered doing that. He frowned in concentration and relived his actions. Yes. There, he was setting it. He had been leaning against some shelves, barely able to stand, and he remembered that, as he stood at the shelves, he had, in fact, fallen forward. What then? What had happened then?
He had grabbed at the shelves and managed to stay halfway upright, but he had lost his grip on his zat’nik’tel. He had dropped it, and he wanted to be sure he was blown to pieces by it. His fingers had closed around something that might have been his weapon, but his memories were getting fuzzier now. He did not know if he had found it or not, but he no longer seemed to have it, only the second one. He could feel it still on his belt. He had not had time to set it, too; he remembered that. Think, fool, he told himself. He had forced himself to stand and—and what, he wondered again, as his mind once again became foggy and refused to give up the memories.
The next time he awoke, he realized there was light in the room and there were no shelves. Surely the room he had been in had been dark and it had definitely had shelves. He grimaced as the pain in his head reached a crescendo, bringing him to the edge of unconsciousness again, and then retreated to bearable levels. Fighting the nausea that threatened, he wondered how long he had been unconscious.
How had he gotten out of the storage room? And why had not the weapon blown up and taken him with it? Maybe it had and this was the afterlife. If so, he was going to complain to administration. Somehow, this was not what he had expected. All right, pull in those wandering thoughts. He was alive. He was breathing; he knew he was, because every breath caused intense pain. That was from the broken ribs, he was sure.
Focus. He must focus. He was lying on the floor, so had he crawled here? It did not really matter how he had gotten here; he should find somewhere to conceal himself. Looking around as well as he could from his prone position on the floor, he managed to lift his head and take in a little more of the room. He was lying on the floor between a large table and an upright piece of stone that looked to be some form of artwork.
He frowned, again trying to recall what had happened after he entered the storage room. The Jaffa had been combing the building, hunting him. He set the zat’nik’tel to overload and then he fell, or started to. Staring at the artwork, he seemed to remember that it had been in the storage room, and he had fallen against it, after trying to stand upright at the shelves. That was actually the last thing he remembered.
He held his breath and listened closely. He could no longer hear the Jaffa. Had they somehow missed him, and he then crawled out here into this larger lighter room? However, if so, what about the zat’nik’tel that should have overloaded and exploded? Trying to think was making the pain in his head immeasurably worse.
He sighed, as his eyelids again fluttered closed. Did it really matter? Did anything matter anymore? All the other Tok’Ra were gone. Jolinar, Ren’al, Aldwin, all gone. Per’sus, Garshaw, Delek, and Anise, were all dead. He had watched Malek die a few hours ago, and Selmak had followed. He had disintegrated both of them himself, so that Apophis could not revive and torture them anymore. He, Selmak, and Malek had been the last of the Tok’Ra. They had failed in this, their final mission. Now, it was just him. Forgive us, our queen, we have failed you. I have failed you. We could not defeat the System Lords for you. We accomplished nothing for you. He sent his message outward and hoped that somehow his Queen would know that they had tried and how sorry he was that they had all failed her.
Where were the Jaffa? Surely, they would not give up looking for him? He would be a grand prize to take back with them to their Lord Apophis. The last Tok’Ra. Apophis would celebrate and declare himself the ruler of all the System Lords now that Ra was gone, and he had completely wiped out the Tok’Ra, except for one. And that one, him, Apophis would keep to torture. Endlessly.
He should set the other zat’nik’tel on overload and try again to be sure they could not take him back. No matter how he had managed to evade them, they would surely return to look for him. Again, he frowned, trying to remember what had happened. Had the stone he fell against protected him and they assumed he had died in the blast? Perhaps, but it seemed unlikely. However, ‘if’ that was what had taken place, then he should try to find somewhere to conceal himself. Could he lie behind that large piece of stone artwork and remain concealed?
Finally, managing to roll over, he started crawling toward the back of the large piece of artwork. He got only a few feet, before he had to stop to rest. Realizing that he still could hear no sounds of others nearby, he decided to try to repair some of the damage done to himself and his host. His poor host would be in a great deal of pain, if he regained consciousness. Now that he could no longer hear the Jaffa, he would take the time to repair some of it, and then rest to gain some more strength. If worse came to worst, perhaps he could rig the zat’nik’tel to disintegrate them, if someone came too close? A trip wire of some sort, perhaps? No, a trip wire would not work, as it would take three shots to disintegrate them. If he set it at maximum power, though, it would take little time to overload. Perhaps he could manage something that would begin the process. He would have to think on it, as he tried to heal some of these many wounds.
They must have somehow missed him in their search, although he did not see how, unless the damage to the storeroom had been extensive, and if that were so, he did not know how he had survived it.
He moaned to himself at his inability to think logically. He had to stop letting his thoughts run in circles this way. He would worry about all of these things later. For now, he needed to do as much as he could to repair the damage they had suffered, and then he must find a better place to hide and rest.
A few hours later, his efforts received their reward. “Are you all right?” His host asked anxiously, as he came back to consciousness and began to feel the pain of their injuries.
“I am here, dear one, and I am well. I was not injured badly, thank the stars, but you were, I am afraid.”
“Yes, I can feel it, although I am guessing it was much worse before I awoke.”
“Yes, it was, but it is getting better. There was a great deal of damage, though. There were the remnants of the torture we underwent, as well as a staff blast wound, some broken ribs, a knife wound, and a concussion. And that does not mention the multitude of cuts, bruises, and abrasions. I am sorry it is taking me so long, but I am feeling weak, yet, from the effects of the ribbon device.”
“You should rest now and attempt to regain some of your strength. We appear to be quite alone here, at least for now, and you need to gain all the strength you can, if we are to get away.” Wrinkling his brow in thought, his host inquired. “Correct me if I am wrong, but did we not set one of our zat’nik’tels to explode and, ah, to put it bluntly, blow us into, we hoped, a multiplicity of pieces?”
“Yes. I am sure we did. I remember doing it. Then we fell and I dropped it. I thought I had it back in my hand, but as I tried to stand, I fell backwards into a very large piece of stone artwork. I have no idea how we withstood the blast and managed to leave that room. I cannot recall any of it.”
“Nevertheless, either we remained undetected after the blast, or we are dead. Somehow, I thought the accommodations in the afterlife would be a little more, well, accommodating, and, er, comfortable.”
A chuckle, albeit weak and unexpected, was followed by a response. “I considered that also, dear one, and decided that there was too much pain involved for us to be dead. As for getting some rest, I am afraid I must agree. I could certainly do nothing at this moment to help you to escape from here. Our ribs are partially healed, and the stab wound is no longer bleeding. The concussion is somewhat better, but I am afraid it really was very severe to begin with, and I have simply done enough to reduce the swelling and make sure the small amount of bleeding stopped. I think the staff blast is the most painful at the moment?” He asked him anxiously.
“Yes, but it is bearable. Please, rest for a short time. You tried to protect me from the ribbon for quite some time, so I know you must be feeling extremely weak.”
“All right, I will, but first we must attempt to get to a little more cover. If that large piece of artwork protected us from the blast, perhaps it will also help to shield us from sight. You should probably attempt to move us behind it.”
Pulling himself farther behind the large stone, he made himself as small as he could and not end up in excruciating pain. He tried to stay awake, but the concussion would not cooperate. He soon joined his symbiote in slumber.
“Explain to me again, why we are here, Anise? ‘Cause I don’t like being on a planet where there’s a warning from a Goa’uld to stay away because he’s left some contaminant behind,” Jacob’s somewhat testy voice reached Anise, as she wandered around the room.
“We will be all right as long as we stay for no more than a day or so and remain inside. Since we will be here at most an hour or so, I hardly think we need be concerned. Most of the contaminant has long since decayed, according to our scanner readings. Dr. Jackson told me about this place, and it seemed to be a place we should take the time to explore to see if we could find anything that might be of use to us in our battle against the System Lords. While I do not expect to find weapons, there could very well be texts or artifacts that would be useful in pointing us toward something,” Anise explained her reasoning patiently, once again, to the testy ex-General.
Devlin came forward to grin at Jacob. “Let us face it, Jacob. Anise wished to try out the latest toy they have come up with, and this seemed to be an ideal spot to do so. Supposedly, it is an improvement on our previous scanners for contaminants in the atmosphere, and even I must admit that this is an ideal place for her to see if it truly works as well as they believe it will. Furthermore, at the same time, she will be allowed to indulge her passion for archaeology, which means she could possibly then indulge her passion for a certain archaeologist, who will remain anonymous.”
Jacob Carter laughed shortly, and responded, “I’m surprised Malek puts up with you sometimes, Dev. He’s ever the gentleman, and to talk about Anise like that must hurt his sensibilities.”
“Malek knows I will not hold him responsible for his host’s lack of manners and good taste, Jacob, just as Selmak knows I will never hold him responsible for your somewhat rude behavior.” Having shot her salvos over the bow, so to speak, she headed for a bank of equipment lined up against one wall that looked promising; it appeared to be some type of data collection terminal.
“If they had or knew about some weapon, wouldn’t it make sense that they would have used it themselves? Hm? Obviously, they were destroyed, so I don't think you’re going to find what you are looking for.” Jacob shot back, as she walked away toward the equipment.
“The fact that they were destroyed means nothing, Jacob. They could have had something and simply not known what they had. It will take very little time to look through their archives. If we find nothing, so be it, but I do not think we should pass up the chance to at least look.” Finally reaching the intriguing bank of machines, she immediately became immersed in it, and succeeded in relegating the two men to the recesses of her mind, where they could cause no trouble.
“Yeah, yeah. Well, you go ahead and see if that’s some kind of data base, and I’m going to check out some of these other rooms. Dev, you’re with me. Jorlin, stay with Anise,” Jacob fell easily into what Selmak had labeled his ‘Tau’ri General mode’, as he headed for a room near the back of the building. He wasn’t getting any weird vibes, but that didn’t mean anything. He didn’t always get them, so he never depended only on them. Responsibility dictated that he check out all these rooms, and he’d just feel better knowing there were no nasty surprises on this so-called deserted world.
“Jacob, you should not give Anise such a hard time about these missions. After all, in the end, you get to visit with your daughter and sometimes your son. Moreover, she is even more thorough, than she used to be, ever since the za’tarc incident. She would not bring us to this world, if she felt the atmosphere was truly dangerous to us. She does not show her emotions on her sleeve, as you would say, but she does have them,” Malek chided him.
Jacob glanced at Malek in surprise and had the grace to feel a little ashamed of his baiting the woman. What Malek said was true. She had never forgiven herself for not testing Martouf.
His inner voice, known as Selmak, added its opinion to the conversation, “She and Martouf did not always see things the same way, but both were loyal to the cause, and she did mourn his passing, Jacob. And she felt even worse when she could not save Martouf, even though Samantha did not really believe her.”
“I know, Sel. Sorry. I’ll try to do better, it’s just these damn science trips get to me, y’ know?”
“You are sounding like O’Neill, Jacob.”
“Enough said, Sel; point taken.”
Turning back to Malek, he told him, “I’ll make it up to her, Malek. I don’t know why I tease her so much, but I’ll try not to in future. I guess I can’t help but tease her because I know she likes Daniel, and to tell you the truth, I’m not so sure that Daniel would be that averse to her. Especially, since Freya seems to have gotten over her thing for Jack and realized that Daniel is, as the nurses in the infirmary say, ‘hot’.”
“I believe she is the one you should tell that to, Jacob,” Malek said, and then frowned, as he assimilated the remainder of Jacob’s sentence. “How does his skin temperature affect his appeal, his attractiveness? Do Tau’ri women prefer their men to have warmer skin?” He asked, confused.
Jacob stared at him, as Sel howled in his head. “Stop laughing so hard Sel, you’re going to give me a brain hemorrhage, and if you don’t stop, I’ll make you explain it.”
Still chortling, Selmak said, “I suggest you use the example of the blonde Lieutenant that was overheard commenting on his, er, nice little butt, and that she wondered if he would be as ‘hot’ in the rack, as he looked like he would be.”
“Thank you. I can see you were paying attention, even though you assured me you were ‘not’ listening to my conversation with Janet.”
“I was not listening to your conversation. I was listening to the blonde Lieutenant talk about Malek’s...”
“All right, all right, I get the point—sheesh.”
“Malek is still waiting for an explanation. He will simply ask again, if you do not answer him soon.” Selmak pointed out heartlessly, still snickering in the back of his head.
“Malek, ah, Tau’ri women don’t mean skin temperature, when they say a man is, um, ‘hot’.”
“Then to what do they refer, Jacob?” Malek asked, puzzled.
“Well, they say that about a man they find, er, well, they think he is really, um, physically attractive,” Jacob finally managed to come up with sensible words to describe what he was trying to say.
Malek’s frown deepened. “That does not make sense, Jacob.”
“Yes, it does.”
“No, it does not. How do they get ‘hot’ from physical attractiveness?”
Jacob’s eyes flared and Selmak came forward to say, “You must ask Jacob about the blonde Lieutenant, Malek. That will explain it.”
“What blonde Lieutenant, and what does a blonde Lieutenant have to do with our discussion?” Malek asked, becoming frustrated.
As Selmak gave control back to Jacob, he berated him soundly, “That was not a good thing to tell him. How could you do that? Now I have to tell him that soldier thinks he’s hot and she would…oh, never mind.”
“Exactly. Now you can explain using the woman and himself as an example.”
Jacob sighed. “All right. Do you remember the blonde Lieutenant that was your escort the last time we were on Earth?”
“Yes, she kept falling behind me, as we walked down the hall.” Malek frowned, as he remembered that. She had been very attractive, and he would have liked to get to know her better; however, it was difficult to talk to someone who was always walking behind one.
“Yeah, well, that’s because she was admiring the view,” Jacob said, sardonically.
“I beg your pardon?” Malek looked as if he was beginning to think that Jacob had lost his mind.
“She was watching you walk, Malek. Sel and I overheard her later talking to a friend. She said you had a really cute a--, er, butt, that she thought you were really ‘hot’ looking, and she wondered if you were as ‘hot’ in bed as your looks and walk said you were. When a Tau’ri woman says a guy is ‘hot’, she means he turns her on. Sexually. Satisfied now?” Jacob said, as he came close to blushing at having to get so blunt.
Malek stared at Jacob with a blank look on his face that was slowly replaced by a slight smugness. “She liked my…? Really? And she called me, ah, ‘hot’?”
“Yeah, get over it, okay?”
“I am sure she was speaking of Devlin, Jacob. I cannot imagine a Tau’ri woman looking at a Tok’Ra in that way.”
“Really? Then why did she say Malek and Devlin, the Tok’Ra? Hm? She meant both of you. They’re curious if the Tok’Ra are as passionate as they’ve heard. Furthermore, they find the whole idea sexy as hell; let me tell you. And no, I don’t know why. Now, do you think we can leave the Tau’ri Sex Education Lecture Class, until later and, instead, finish checking out this building for possible threats?”
“Of course, Jacob.” Malek bowed his head, “Lead the way.”
“Thank you. I will.” Jacob watched Malek and saw a small smile curve his lips, as he no doubt replayed their conversation with Devlin. No doubt, they were planning their seduction scene for the next time they encountered Lieutenant Donovan. Great. It was going to be a long day, he could just tell.
“Stop grousing, and go open the door, Jacob, and consider that you probably just made Malek and Dev’s day. Maybe even their week,” Selmak laughed at Jacob’s disgruntlement.
“Good, but I’m not playing matchmaker. I absolutely refuse, so if you want that done, you can do it yourself,” He was still very testy in his response, as they approached a closed door at the very back of the building.
Looking at Jacob, Malek read the hand signal and took his six, holding his weapon held at the ready, as Jacob cautiously opened the door. He waited for a threat to appear. Nothing. There were no surprises, no Goa’uld jumping them, no alien beings attacking them.
Entering the back room through the door he’d just opened, Jacob looked around and whistled silently. Daniel would have had a field day in here, if he’d had time. From what he understood, though, they hadn’t ventured out of the main room, other than to take a very quick look, when they came here, because of the warning.
Anise had been wishing to look at them, ever since Daniel told her about its similarity to the world where they found the quantum mirror. The world where Daniel had visited an alternate reality and brought back the information that Apophis was about to strike Earth. He’d said it wasn’t really the same, except the artifacts stored around had reminded him of that other world. That, and the warning sign; they’d learned to recognize these warning signs, since seeing it at that time. Well, whatever, they were here, and he wasn’t going to leave these rooms unchecked regardless how deserted it appeared.
Rounding the end of the table, he almost tripped over the brown-clad figure lying face down on the floor, a partially healed staff blast on his shoulder and down his side. Signaling to Malek to come around the other way to cover him, he drew his zat, even as he was frowning down at the body. It was Tok’Ra from the clothes, and he sensed a symbiote, albeit a weak, obviously injured one, but—why were they here on a contaminated, deserted planet? As far as he knew, they had no one missing now. Was this a Tok’Ra they had given up as dead? Was he one that they had inadvertently left behind? The thought made him feel sick. Well, whoever it was, they were in very bad shape, from the looks of them, and the energy signal the symbiote was giving off was extremely weak.
He slowly reached for the shoulder and carefully turned the body over. Then he stared, in shock, as blue-gray eyes slowly opened and looked back at him in alarm. No, this could not possibly be.
“Selmak?” Martouf asked weakly, before turning his head to look at the other Tok’Ra standing there. “Malek? But you are both dead!”
Catching his breath, Jacob quickly reverted to form. “Well, I hate to burst your bubble, chum, but you happen to be the one that’s dead,” he shot back at him.
Jacob had moved back and was watching him through narrowed eyes. As the man that looked like Martouf attempted to sit up, his eyes glowed and Jacob covered him with his zat. Malek did the same.
“I assure you, Jacob, neither Martouf nor I are dead, although I watched both you and Malek die, quite recently, in fact,” Lantash said quietly. “You died during our last mission and depending on how long I have been unconscious, it was probably less than a day ago.”
As they continued to stare at him, not quite sure what to say to him, Anise entered from the other room. “You were correct, Jacob, there is nothing of importance here.”
Lantash stared at her, as Jacob answered firmly, “Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Anise. I think we’ve found something very interesting. I’m just not sure how it got here, or what to do with it.”
As Anise rounded the table and saw Martouf, she gasped. Looking from Jacob to Malek to Martouf, she finally asked, “What is going on?”
“We don’t know. I think I just said that, didn’t I?” Jacob asked, of no one in particular.
“I do not understand any of this. Anise has been dead for quite some time. You and Malek died quite recently, as I said. Who are you?”
“He came through the mirror,” Anise announced suddenly.
“What?” Jacob yelped. Selmak took control, and asked, “What do you mean, Anise?”
“Martouf is dead in our reality, in our universe, and so is Lantash. Yet, here they are, and they think that we are all dead. It is the only explanation, Selmak. And there is the mirror, behind him.” Turning to Lantash, she asked, “Why did you come through the mirror?”
“We did not,” Lantash insisted.
“Can you tell us what happened? If you think we are dead, then we need to know why you believe that.”
“We have been injured worse than I thought, and Martouf’s head injury is causing delusions. That is the only possible explanation. I must rest now, and when I awaken, you will all be gone,” Lantash said, as he sighed and closed his eyes.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, since we're hallucinations, why don’t you humor us, and tell us what happened? Maybe by going over the events, it will make us go away,” Jacob said, as he took control again.
“Fine. You seem to be just as intractable, as a hallucination, as you were when you were alive,” Lantash snapped, as he opened his eyes and glared at the image of Jacob and Selmak, which he was sure his subconscious was inventing for him. “We were captured and tortured by Apophis. Malek died shortly after we escaped. We disintegrated him, so that they could not capture and torture him again. A staff blast killed you, as we attempted to get through the Chaappa’ai. I did the same to you. I made it through, but they followed, for I would be a great prize.”
“I found what appeared to be a storage room. I had a staff blast wound and multiple injuries. I set my weapon to overload, so that I would be in too many pieces for them to revive me. I collapsed against some shelves and when I tried to straighten up, I fell backward into a large piece of artwork. I believe that I must have passed out. When I awoke, the Jaffa appeared to be gone, and I had somehow managed to get into this room, although I do not remember doing so. Nor do I know how I survived the blast of the weapon exploding.”
He had closed his eyes again, as he recounted what had happened. He opened them and announced, “You are still here. Why are you still here? Stop torturing me with what cannot possibly exist. Go away,” he said firmly, as he once again closed his eyes. “I do not need hallucinations and delusions to talk to; it will give my position away.”
As the majority of the group stared at him in perplexity, Anise found the control to the mirror close by, near some smears of blood. She imagined that it was probably where they had landed, and then crawled away from it. There was another control on the table in front of them. She turned to Lantash, and said, “You did not fall into a piece of stone artwork. You fell through the mirror.”
Lantash once more opened his eyes, glared at her and then attempted to rise. Malek came to him and assisted him to at least sit-up. “Do not try to get on your feet yet. You have been badly injured, from what we can see,” he said, as he crouched behind him to allow him to lean against him.
Anise took the control and turned it on. A Jaffa appeared in front of them, but he had his back turned to the mirror. He appeared to be sifting through what looked like a great deal of twisted metal and debris. It looked as if a bomb had gone off. As he turned, they saw the gold emblem denoting the First Prime of Apophis on his forehead. It was Teal’c. Anise turned the control off, as Lantash attempted to get to his feet. Adrenalin gave him the extra push he needed, and helped by Malek, he made it to a standing position, breathing heavily.
“Now they know we are here, they will come through, will they not?” Lantash asked, his face and tone emotionless.
“No. They cannot,” Anise assured him, “You brought their control with you. They cannot turn the mirror on.”
Selmak took control and turned to Lantash, watching him, as he leaned heavily against Malek, “I would guess that your weapon overloaded from the amount of debris that was there, unless it was like that before?”
“No. It was a storage room of some sort. Neatly stacked shelves, artifacts, and artwork. So, I was not so far off in my estimation. I did not think Teal’c would have given up looking for me so easily. If nothing else, he would want pieces of my body to take back to Apophis as proof of my death. He will probably kill one of his Jaffa and pass his body off as mine,” he said bitterly. “That was one of the things that made no sense. There was no one here that I could tell. There was no wreckage from an explosion, and no storeroom. Nothing was as it should have been.” He smiled slightly, saying, “At least, I have one consolation. He did not kill the last Tok’Ra. I am still alive.”
“The last Tok’Ra? What do you mean?” Selmak asked quietly.
Nodding toward the mirror, Lantash said, “You, Malek, and I were the last Tok’Ra alive. We were on a last mission. And we failed, as we have failed in every other way to defeat the System Lords in our universe,” he said, his voice heavy with regret and bitterness. “So, I am the last.”
“Not any more. There are not a great number of us in our reality, Lantash, but you are no longer the last of your race. You are most welcome here, and from what you have said, I believe you left nothing of value behind?”
“No,” Lantash said sadly, as he began to believe they were telling him the truth. “We left nothing of value behind. Nothing at all. With the failure of our mission, all was truly lost…for all time.” Then, as his position hit him anew, he looked at them, realizing they were indeed alive, and he was, too. In addition, if they were alive in this, reality, or whatever he had stumbled into, then it was possible…looking at Selmak, he asked, urgently, “My mate? Is my mate alive in this, ah, in this place?”
Selmak shook his head, sadly. “No. No, Lantash, I am sorry, your mate died a long time ago.”
Lantash nodded slowly, before saying, “But, at least here in your, your…”
“It is our reality, Lantash. The mirror sends you to alternate realities,” Anise said, calmly.
Nodding, he continued, “In your reality, then, at least you are all still alive, whereas in mine, you are not.”
“Unless you wish to return to that,” Selmak inclined his head towards the mirror, indicating what they had seen, “then this is now your reality, as well. There should be no problem, for in this reality, you are the one that has been gone for quite some time.”
Malek had been holding onto this man, who had been his friend, for many years, and now he said quietly, “Welcome to your new world, Lantash. It will be good to have you and Martouf back with us. We have missed you greatly.”
Lantash nodded, saying, “Although many things seem to be very different in this reality, it seems that some are exactly the same. We were very close friends in my reality, the three of us. I feel that perhaps we were also close friends here?”
“Yes, we were very close. It was extremely painful to lose you,” Malek told him softly.
Lantash smiled slightly, as he pressed Malek’s shoulder with his fingers, squeezing slightly. Then, he quietly collapsed.
“He is obviously badly hurt,” Malek said, as he shifted him to get a better hold on him.
“We must, of course, take him with us,” Anise stated, as she gathered the things together that Daniel had asked for her to bring back with her, if they ever went to this planet. She had found some interesting archaeological data. They would now be on their way to the Tau’ri for the meeting they had scheduled for later today.
“Should we not take him to the base?” Malek asked.
Jacob frowned, hesitating. They were due on Earth. “You have your healing device, do you not, Selmak?” Anise asked them.
“Yes,” Jacob answered for them, “We do, and even if we didn’t, Sam has one.” He looked at the collapsed man, for a moment, and then made a decision. “Lay him down, Malek. I'm going to go over him with the healing device quickly to see if there's anything that's urgent that needs taken care of now. I'd rather get him well, before we put him through an interrogation by the council. We'll take him with us to Earth, first, and make sure he and Martouf have their strength back, before we take him to the Tok'Ra base.”
Doing as Jacob asked, they soon lowered him to the floor. Jacob put the healing device on and starting at his head, he slowly ran it down his entire body, taking time in spots that he felt needed immediate care. Stopping, he shook his head, saying, “He’s in bad shape, but I think if we can get him to the Tau’ri, get some IV’s started and use the healing device on him, he’ll be okay. Although his injuries are bad, they aren’t life threatening, for now anyway. I suspect that Lantash is weak from torture, his injuries, and trying to heal Martouf.”
Activating the healing device and running it over him one more time, just to be sure, he was finally satisfied that he had done enough, and they would be able to survive the ride through the gate. “Okay, let’s head for Earth. Dial us up and send the code, Jorlin,” Jacob told her, as he went to help Malek carry Martouf and Lantash. It was going to be a shock to Sam. They might as well take this fence and stream in one long jump; there was no easy way to tell her.
Frowning as she looked at Martouf, Anise said, “As soon as he awakens, we should tell him about Teal’c. If he should wake up and see him there, it could cause him to injure himself or someone else.” Anise was, as always, logical, pragmatic, and thinking ahead.
“Give me his zat, Malek. With our luck, he’ll wake up in the gate room, Teal’c will be there, and he’ll shoot first and ask questions later. And that is ‘not’ the way to win friends and influence people in your new reality,” Jacob said, taking the zat and securing it well away from Martouf. As their code was accepted, he looked at the group and gave a lopsided grin, saying laconically, “As O’Neill would say, ‘To Oz’.”
As he stared at the blue of the event horizon, Jacob wished he felt as jaunty as he sounded. While he knew they couldn’t just leave Martouf here, he wondered what repercussions taking him with them to the Tau’ri would have. It was irrelevant, really, whether they found out about him now or later, he just wished he could have found out a little more about his reality before taking him anywhere in this one.
They stepped onto the ramp on the other side, and the wormhole disengaged behind them. Jacob and Malek lowered Martouf to the floor as they waited for the gurney they knew would be coming as soon as the SGC realized there were casualties among them. They could hear the call going out for a med team even now. Kneeling beside the unconscious man, he looked up to see Teal’c leaning over them.
“General Carter, you appear to have need of medical assistance, which I feel sure, will be here shortly,” Teal’c said, his voice its normal stoic cadence.
Jacob felt Martouf stir, and he straightened, twisting toward Teal’c to ask him to please step back, when he heard Malek’s quickly indrawn breath. He glanced down in time to see the glow fade in Martouf’s eyes, indicating that Lantash had come to the fore.
He stared at Teal’c for a moment and then turned to glare at Jacob, who braced himself for the explosion he knew was coming. He was unprepared for the mildness of Lantash’s words, as he said, “I knew I was hallucinating. Why will you not all simply go away?” With that, his eyes closed, and he once again passed into unconsciousness.