Chapter Four Summary: Realizing that Egeria was a viable queen, the Tok’Ra consider attempting
to rescue her.  General Hammond, realizing what a viable queen, one that was friendly to the Tau'ri,
could mean in the fight against the system lords, tells them that he is willing to send his people with
them to rescue her.  Jack is in shock, and then a conversation with the General causes him to take a
new look at the Tok’Ra and his teammates.  He decides that he should get to know them better.  And
keep an eye on “Marty” at the same time.

Amek’tel kek’ma’tel – Brain fever brought on by use of a ribbon devise with no time to heal the
damage before it is used again.

“Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication

“Perhaps your statement about where destiny is leading you, that you made earlier to
Samantha, was indeed true, Lantash.  Whether you call it luck, fate, or destiny, something
did lead us all to one another.  As Samantha said, the odds of those exact circumstances
taking place were, indeed, astronomical,” Selmak pointed out calmly.  

“But-,” Lantash began, only to stop.  “Of course.  How stupid of me.  My brain must still be
scrambled.  Egeria is a prisoner in my reality and even if she was not, there is little she or
her offspring could do.  But here, where there is still a chance to defeat them, Egeria and
her offspring would be a welcome addition to the fight.  And might be the turning point in
your battles with the system Lords.”

“You no longer have a viable universe, but you do have a queen.  We have a viable
universe, but no queen.  You would both be safer here than in your own universe,” Malek
spoke up, adding his voice and opinion.  

“Indeed, Lantash, I agree with Malek and Selmak.  You and Egeria would be welcomed
here.  Our numbers grow smaller, through attrition, all the time.  Without a viable Queen,
we too, will become extinct in time,” Anise pointed out.

Turning to Selmak, she said, “For once I agree with Malek, Selmak.  We should not waste
time taking this to the council.  If, as Lantash was led to believe, Apophis is still in
ignorance of Egeria, we must rescue her before he somehow finds out.  We have little time
to lose, for if he does discover her, he will in all probability, not be satisfied to leave her in
stasis.  He will revive her, implant her, and torture her endlessly.  I do not believe we
should allow that to happen,” Anise surprised them all by advising.

“Do the two of you realize what you are saying?  Just what am I supposed to tell the
council as to why we have not returned?  We just felt like visiting the Tau’ri for a few
days?”  Selmak asked, obviously testy at not being able to think this situation through on
his own and therefore, sounding more like Jacob than himself.  “There are only three of
us.  Four counting Lantash.  That doesn’t seem-,”

“Excuse me, Selmak, but the last time I checked, I, too, am Tok’Ra.  That brings our
numbers to five,” Jorlin pointed out.  “I agree with Anise and Malek; we do not have time
to wait for the council to debate this endlessly.  Our Queen is in danger and needs us.  We
should go,” she finished her opinion calmly.

“Does anyone know what the consequences of someone from an alternate reality coming
into and staying in a different one would be?  I think we should give that question some
consideration,” General Hammond spoke up, his gaze resting on Samantha Carter.  This
was her area of expertise.

“I don’t believe there would be any consequences as far as cascade failure or anything like
that.  She should be able to come here without having to worry about the problem
because Egeria is dead here as are Lantash and Martouf.  There is no reason she couldn’t
be brought here.  All the theories point to problems when you have two of the exact same
makeup right down to the subatomic level trying to exist in the same space.  Time travel
would be different, too.  Theoretically, two people who are the same could occupy the same
space because their realities would actually be different.  It’s a little complicated, but the
important thing,-” Sam was saying as General Hammond cut in.

“So bottom line, there should be no problem with Lantash, Martouf, and Egeria living in
our reality.  No consequences of any type.”

“Well, sir, there would be no physical consequences to their physical bodies.  I can’t
guarantee what their being here would do to our reality.  I’m quite sure it would change it
in some way, but we can’t know that it isn’t meant to be changed that way.  You know
yourself, sir, that time travel changes things if we aren’t careful, and we know from
experience that we may already have lived this one time or more before.”

Nodding his head, General Hammond looked thoughtfully at Jacob first and then at the
others at the table.  This could mean a viable fighting force for the Tok’Ra in this reality.  
It was worth the risk to get them the aid they needed.  And perhaps, if Egeria got to know
the Tau’ri, she would understand their needs and adapt her offspring to blend better with
them.  It could be an advantageous pairing; he had seen that with Jacob.  A few more
symbiotes like Selmak and Lantash and he might even consider it himself.  But, that
wasn't for now.  The Tok’Ra were looking at him in puzzlement.  What he was about to say
would no doubt stun them even more.  “SG-1, you have a go.  Begin tactical planning for a
mission to rescue Egeria, the Queen of the Tok’Ra.”

The stunned silence around the table didn’t surprise him nor did Jack’s question, “Sir?  
Are you sure about this?  You want them to be able to make more sna, er, Tok’Ra

“Yes, I do.  And if we can get to talk to this Queen, we may be able to come to terms with
her.  She only knew humans from her time, two thousand years ago, Colonel.  We’ve
changed, evolved, and one of the ways we’ve evolved is our intense need for privacy and
independence.  Our dislike of being told what to do, of being out of control or controlled by
outside forces.”  

“She can influence her offspring.  If we can come up with a viable compromise, we can
probably work something out as far as hosts.  The Tok’Ra become not just an infiltrations
group of fighters, but a viable fighting force that we can incorporate into our teams as
well.  We could see the true beginnings of working together.  The Tok’Ra we see today are
paranoid with good cause.  They don’t trust us, and that won’t change until we can know
each other better.  Perhaps this Queen can make that happen.  So, one way to do it is to
help them keep her away from Apophis.  As I said, you have a go.”

“Sir, the Colonel can’t go, and I don’t imagine Teal’c can either.  We know that Teal’c is
still alive in that reality.  We don’t know about the Colonel.  We know for sure that Daniel
and I aren’t alive, so we are safe to go and so are any of the Tok’Ra.  Unless Martouf can
tell us if any of the others we consider taking are alive or not, we can’t take anyone else.”  
Sam said.

“Major Carter, I believe I might be of great assistance in this endeavor.  And I am no
longer an exact replica of my alternate universe self.  I no longer carry a symbiote,” Teal’c
pointed out calmly.

“What?”  Lantash asked, as he looked closely at Teal’c.  “How is that possible?”

“I take a compound that your Queen, in this reality, helped to perfect before she died, that
allows me to function without my symbiote.”  Teal’c bowed his head to Lantash, as he
continued, “I owe my freedom from that need to the Egeria in this reality.  It is a debt,
which up until now, I have been unable to repay.  By helping to rescue her from her
imprisonment in your reality, I will feel I have at last begun to repay that debt.  I will
consider it a great honor to be of service to her,” Teal’c concluded, in his usual, solemn,
stoic way.

“I see,” Lantash said quietly, as he and the large Jaffa across the table stared into one
another’s eyes.  “Jacob told me that I would find you much different than the Teal’c I had
come to know and that he felt I would soon realize for myself that it was so.  I believe he
spoke even more truthfully than he knew, for I see nothing in you that reminds me of the
Teal’c I knew other than a familiarity of features.  I do not believe I will have difficulty in
coming to terms with the differences in the two of you and I look forward to becoming
acquainted with you and, if you are indeed able to accompany us, to working with you.”

Bowing his head in acceptance of the words the other man offered, he replied, “As do I.  I
had great respect for our Lantash and Martouf and supported their fight against the
system lords.  I, too, will look forward to establishing a working relationship.”

Turning to Sam, he asked, “Do you believe the change will be enough to allow me to
accompany you, Major Carter?  I do believe that having me with you could possibly help
your mission.”

“I’m not sure, Teal’c.  In so many ways, you’re still the same person.  I’m not sure the loss
of a symbiote would be enough of a difference to change things, but it could be.  I suppose
if you went with us and began to have problems we could simply send you back.  You
would no doubt be able to move about in that reality with relative ease.  If we can find
some of our people that Martouf and Lantash recognize as deceased for sure, in his reality,
then we could chance it.  There is no doubt you would be an asset to the mission.”  

“If you saw some of our people do you think you would recognize any that you could say
for sure were no longer alive in your reality?”  Sam turned back to Lantash to ask.

“I would, perhaps, recognize some of your people as being either dead or alive.  Dr. Fraiser
is alive in the other reality.  The last I knew, Colonel O’Neill was alive.  He went through to
the Alpha site, I believe.  They had several sites, several worlds to which they took people.  
Gate addresses they had found that were not on the cartouche.  They found them in some
ruins and Daniel and Anise figured out what they were.  One of them was Keb.  That is
the Alpha site base.  The Goa’uld do not go there because of the legends, but we have seen
nothing out of the ordinary there and neither have the Tau’ri.  It is where we would have
taken Egeria if we had been able to rescue her,” Lantash said quietly.

“Keb is a planet of the Ancients.  Goa’uld that go there aren’t welcome if they attempt to
harm anyone.  As long as they do no harm, then they are left alone as far as we could tell.  
At least the time we were there, they weren’t harmed until they refused to leave the
temple and tried to harm a child and us.  Then they were, ah, fried.”

“I see.  Then the Tau’ri should be safe there.  That is a relief.  I know that Jack was
worried that he was taking his family to a place where they would end up enslaved or
worse.”  Lantash said, as he looked at O’Neill.

Jack sat quietly for a moment, before asking, “What family?”

Lantash frowned, but answered, “Your wife and son, Colonel.  They were part of the
groups that were evacuated.  Your world took first the best of your scientists and doctors,
engineers, builders, inventors, agriculturists, anyone that had skills that might be
needed.  The best and brightest is what our O’Neill called them.  Then the families of the
members of your military.  Then you started evacuating the general populace.  Thousands
upon thousands were evacuated.”  

“We took many in cargo ships.  Thousands went through the gate.  Unfortunately, millions
chose to stay and fight, and most perished.  Those that did not perish were enslaved.  You
opened your gate and country to your entire world.”  

“Unfortunately, many foreign countries did not believe you, and I admit you took as many
of your own as wished to leave first.  Still there were a few months left and many from
other countries did leave.  Many were even allowed to go to their own planets.  Particularly
those that did not agree with the United States” he stated, “which seemed an obvious
solution to us.  It seemed pointless to take people with opposing views into your own new
country.  And, I should not say that you only evacuated your own people first.  In fact,
many countries that were allies of yours were offered evacuation immediately.  It was a
truly massive undertaking.”  

“Our alliance had fallen apart by then, but we did lend what little aid we could.  Moreover,
your worlds were open to us as sanctuaries up until the day I left that reality.  By the end,
both sides had realized that the alliance should not have been abandoned, that it might
have made a difference,” Lantash said, his voice laced with sadness once again.  
“However, there do seem to have been some very major differences in our realities.  
Perhaps it would have made no difference at all,” he frowned, as he thought of all the
differences they had already discussed.  So many differences.

Still brooding about what had been, he switched his thoughts.  So many lives lost to the
Goa’uld.  Could they stop that from happening in this reality?  It was already more
successful than theirs had been.  It was worth the effort and besides Samantha was here.  
His future was now tied to this reality.  If he could help his old reality he would, but this
reality, his new home, would be the priority.

Looking at Jacob, he said quietly, “If you truly wish to recover Egeria for our reality, I will
tell you every thing I know about her reality.  I believe that once we have her here, and
explain to her what has happened, she will in all probability agree that we did the best we
could.  At least here, she will be free and working against the System Lords once again,
something she has been stopped from doing for two thousand years.  And she will be
doing so with allies, something she had very few of before.”

Selmak understood what he was saying and smiled at him, “Welcome home, Lantash.  It’s
wonderful to have you and Martouf back where you belong.”

Smiling, Lantash replied, “It is good to be back.  It is very good to be back,” he said again,
as he looked at Samantha.  His breath seemed to catch as she smiled back.

“My Lord Apophis, two of the Tok’Ra we know were disintegrated.  The third escaped
through the Chaappa’ai and we followed.  We know he was hit by at least one staff blast.  
On the other side, we lost him inside a building, but it is my belief that he destroyed
himself.  I have brought back what we believe was him.  He also killed two of my men as
he took his own life,” the First Prime to Apophis knelt in front of his God and held his
breath.  Would his Lord accept the pieces of flesh as the Tok’Ra they had been chasing?  If
not, then his life was probably forfeit.  It would not be the first time he knelt and waited to
see if his Lord would destroy him in his anger.  Someday, it would be his last, he knew.  It
seemed this was not to be that day, though.

“Very well, Teal’c.  Dispose of the pieces by feeding them to the carrion crows.  A fitting
end for the sholva Tok’Ra.  The Last of them to be fed in pieces to the vultures of this
world.  We will stay here for the next few cycles.  Then I shall decide which part of our new
domain to explore next.  You will send some of our fleet as a show of power over the worlds
that were once Ra’s, but which now worship their new God, Apophis.”  He frowned as he
thought for a moment, then continued, “Make it his favored planets, the ones that he held
the most dear.  For now, we will not be bothered with those that are basically worthless.  
There are several that he used simply as pleasure palaces.  Those can wait.  First we will
consolidate the worlds that were his power base.”

“Yes, My Lord.  As you wish.”

Teal’c understood the hand gesture telling him to rise and he nodded to one of his most
trusted underlings to begin preparations for the dispersal of their Lord’s warships.  Soon
they would take over those of Ra’s that were left also.  Apophis was now more powerful
than any of the other system lords except for perhaps two and even they would probably
need to fight him together.  And there was not much chance of that.  But then, neither
was it likely that Apophis would be foolish enough to attack them.

So, evidently, the fact that the Tok’Ra were all dead was enough to mitigate his anger at
losing his prey.  That, and the fact that the slave girl standing next to him was very
beautiful and his attention was on her.  Even with the escape before they had gotten any
information out of them, she was managing to keep his attention only partly on his
failure.  They all worked together to keep his temper under control if at all possible.  The
slave girls were adept at it and they often kept him from killing or permanently harming
the Jaffa.  In return, the Jaffa did what they could to protect them.  

He hoped he would be able to protect the little slave girl that had been found in the Tok’
Ra’s cell.  She had been bound and unconscious when they had found her.  She had
delivered their food to them and somehow they had overpowered her and the guards.  The
guards they had killed, the girl they left alive.  Teal’c was sure they had been too weak to
overcome the guards unless they had weapons.  And the weapons could only have come
from one place.  Someone in Apophis’s ranks was sympathetic to the Tok’Ra and had
somehow managed to get the weapons to them.  It didn’t matter who it was.  All that
mattered was that Apophis not realize it.  

Therefore, he said, “My Lord, the girl they attacked, and left for dead, has recovered if you
wish to speak to her.”

As the thunder began to gather on his brow, Teal’c watched the slave girl begin to run her
finger lightly around his ear and down his neck.  He watched as she offered him some
fruit with a seductive smile.  Oh, yes, he thought grimly, they were all working on
protecting each other.  As usual, it distracted Apophis enough to dampen his anger.  The
girl was brought forth as Apophis was taking a bite of the fruit.  

Teal’c looked her over unobtrusively.  She had been cleaned up and dressed so that her
few bruises were prominent.  They were a visual clue to Apophis to channel his anger
against the perpetrator rather than the innocent in front of him.  And she was a beautiful
girl, which should help her.  If she knew how to use that attribute, that was, and
something told Teal’c that she would know exactly how to do so.

Leading her forward, Teal’c announced, “This is Ria’ta, my lord.  She has recovered some.  
I am afraid she was hysterical for quite some time, but we have given her something to
calm her.”  

Keeping her eyes on the floor, she appeared to hold back in fear, needing Teal’c to forcibly
lead her forward.  “Come, girl, no one will hurt you here,” Apophis said sternly.  “I wish
only to know what happened.”

Kneeling in front of Apophis, she raised large blue eyes, swimming in tears to his.  I do not
really know, My Lord Apophis.  One minute I was holding the serving vessel with their
food and the next I was lying on the floor, bound,” she whispered hesitantly.  “I believe
they thought I was unconscious and I am sorry, but, I allowed them to think so, because I
was afraid they would kill me.”

“A natural reaction.  Did you hear them say anything?” he demanded abruptly, as he
realized that if they thought she was unconscious they might have said something that
would give them a clue as to what their mission had been.  For they had been on a
mission, he was sure.  Why else would they chance trying to leave the planet while he was
there?  This was a large planet.  They could have hidden for he had not even known they
were there for sure.  Only when they had been making plans to try to leave had he found
out for sure that they were indeed on the planet.  Still they could have hidden.  Whatever
it was they were trying to do, it must have been important.  

He realized the girl looked distraught and at the same time, she managed to send him
admiring glances from her large blue eyes.  She reminded him of the blonde Tau’ri he had
wanted as his queen.  She had died, unfortunately.  Had she been his queen, she would
have been better cared for forever.  

When he had found out that one of the minor system lords had programmed her to kill
some major Tau’ri and Tok’Ra, and then herself, he had been furious.  The System Lord
in question had disappeared, but he had taken over his small domains.  When he found
him he would kill him, but it was not enough to compensate him for the loss of the blonde
Tau’ri.  Eventually, he would have captured her again.

Bringing himself back from thoughts of the past, he asked again if she had heard

“I-I heard a few words, but I do not know what they were talking about, my lord.”

“I am not asking you to know what they meant, only what they said.”

“Yes, my lord.  I–I heard one of them mention Lord Yu and another one Lord Baal.  I also
heard them say something about an attack and that they had to get away, that they were
running out of time, that they could not stay here longer.  They were going through the
Guards things, I think, perhaps looking for weapons or whatever they could find that they
might need, I suppose.  Then they must have shot me with a zat’nik’tel because I felt great
pain, and then I woke up to the shouting and running.  I am afraid I was very frightened
and I could not talk for quite some time.  I believe, I was screaming.  They gave me
something, and I feel much better now.”  

‘Teal’c admired the way the girl managed to convey both helplessness and eager
admiration at the same time with just a few guarded looks.  No doubt, she would share
her lord’s bed this night, but it would be a small price to pay to stay alive, he supposed.  If
the girl was telling the truth, the Tok’Ra were trying to leave because Lord Yu and Lord
Baal were about to attack Lord Apophis.  Perhaps, if my lord also figured that out, they
would move to a different planet.  Less chance that my lord would realize that the body
parts he returned with were not as fair skinned as the Tok’Ra had been.  Yes, leaving here
would not be a bad idea at all.

He watched, as Apophis looked the girl over again.  She was very comely and well built.  
He was not surprised when he told the girl beside him to take Ria’ta and see to it that she
was taken care of and that he would see both of them later.  The girl beside him nodded
her agreement and indicated that Ria’ta should follow her.  The girl rose to her feet, being
sure that Apophis was aware of her youth, beauty and voluptuousness, then she followed
the other girl from the room.

“Teal’c, the next time we want information and our usual methods do not work, remind
me to try women.  I do not know why I never thought of it before.  But, for now, I wish you
to gather your people and prepare to leave this place.  We will go to our most fortified
planet instead of awaiting Lords Yu and Baal here.  Perhaps they will think twice before
attempting to overcome me there.”

“Yes, my lord.  I will have us out of orbit within an hour.”

He watched as Apophis left to take a few needed hours in the sarcophagus.  When he
awoke, they would be well on their way to their home world.  He wondered what Lord Yu
and Lord Baal were really doing.  Not planning an attack on Lord Apophis, he was very
sure.  Either the girl had deliberately given false information, or the Tok’Ra had made
sure she over heard false information.  It did not matter.  He preferred to leave this place
himself.  The body pieces would be left behind for burial.  What the god did not know
would not hurt him.

Making his way down the hallway to the slave’s quarters, he knocked once and opened
the door.  It was a small courtesy they gave to one another when the Lord was not
around.  He entered and was not surprised to see the girl Ria’ta naked and being cleansed
and readied for the evening.  

Walking to her he said, “My Lord Apophis will sleep for several hours.  Jars’ia and Nal’ka
will tell you how best to please him.  Say nothing more than you have said already, and do
not waver from the tale.  He is easily distracted.  They will teach you that which you will
need to know.  I will also tell you this.  The only woman I have ever known our Lord
Apophis to be enthralled by looked very much like you.  You have her pale skin, blonde
hair, and blue eyes.  If you please him, you will be a big help to yourself and to all of us.  
Jars’ia and Nal’ka will explain how things are done here, in case you do not know.  I
believe you are a new addition to the court.”

“I am.”

Teal’c nodded.  “They will teach you that which you need to know to survive here.  We
leave in less than an hour for Lord Apophis’s homeworld.”  Still watching the girl, he said
quietly, “I am Teal’c, first prime of Apophis.  I am in charge of all things pertaining to his
court as well as his armies.  You must come to me, or one of these two women, if you do
not understand anything.  No one else.”

She nodded, once, and then asked, “Teal’c, the-the Tok’Ra, they are all dead?”  

“You heard me say so, did you not?”

Swallowing hard, she bowed her head.  “Of course.  I simply wished to ascertain for myself
that those that had attacked me, had indeed been punished,” she said quietly, looking
down at the floor.

“I do not believe they will bother you more.  I saw two of them disintegrated.  The third
blew himself up, as I told my Lord Apophis,” he declared, watching her closely.  Yes, there
was definite pain in her at this news.  So, now he knew who had helped the Tok’Ra.  
These things were always good to know.  If she was willing to help the Tok’Ra, she would
blend in well with their own ring of protection they spread across those that could be
trusted.  This, if the truth was known, was the majority of the Jaffa and slaves.  

Bowing slightly, he nodded to the two other slave women, and left to complete his duties.  
His lord would be up in a few hours.  He wanted to be well on their way to the homeworld
by then, if at all possible.  He wished he knew for sure what had happened to the Tok’Ra,
for he had found no sign of him.  Not only that, but at one point he had looked into what
looked like a mirror and thought he saw him standing there with the other two Tok’Ra.  
Then they were gone.  It had been a very unsettling thing to see, for although he had not
found the third Tok’Ra, he had definitely seen the other two disintegrated.  Yes, the
sooner they were away from this place the better he would feel.

He was just glad that no one else had seen it.

“General are you sure we should be doing this?  I mean—more snakeheads.  And how do
we know that this queen is really Tok'Ra, and even if she is, how do we know they are the
same as our Tok’Ra?  Not that they’re so great, but at least they’re a known entity,” Jack O’
Neill was pacing the general’s office, and he was beginning to get on General Hammond’s

“Jack, sit down,” General Hammond demanded, and then waited until he complied,
before speaking.  “Did you listen to anything that this Lantash said, Jack?  I mean, really
listen to him?”

“Well, yeah, sure, he sounded just as arrogant as the rest of the sna, er, Tok’Ra,” Jack

“If that’s what you saw and heard, then you didn’t really listen to him, at all.  Of course,
you couldn’t seem to get your head outta your butt for any length of time, and it’s pretty
hard to hear when that’s where you’ve stuck your ears,” George Hammond said, bluntly.  

“You may not have heard him, but I did, and so did Dr. Jackson and Teal’c.  Even Major
Carter managed to get her head out of the clouds long enough to hear him.  He didn’t
sound arrogant at all, Jack.  And when he said that there was no excuse to take an
unwilling host, there was an edge to his voice that I’ve never heard from any of the other
Tok’Ra, except Selmak, and even he doesn’t have it to the extent that Lantash did.”  

“Since you can’t seem to remember what he said, I’ll repeat it for you, he said, “There is
always the choice of death.  One does not take a host by force for any reason.  It is the
highest law of the Tok’Ra, the one law Egeria impressed upon our consciousness most
stringently.”  His voice stressed that sentiment, Jack.  It was implacable.  No wiggle

“Now, stop being your normal self, and think about this.  If this Queen comes through to
this reality, not only will that same law be impressed on any young born here, but the
Tok'Ra here will respect her, as their Queen, and if she stresses that to them, it will
become even more important than it is to them now.”  

“I personally believe that the two thousand years of fighting have caused them to loosen
their standards somewhat.  They pay it lip service, but needs must.  And, in some cases, I
can’t blame them.  They do believe in a symbiotic relationship.  If we can influence this
queen to impress that even more stringently onto her new offspring, we would have a
valuable resource in our fight against the system lords.  We need this and so do they.”  

“Use your head, Jack, and try to look beyond your dislike.  I realize you have good
reason.  However, they also have good reason to be paranoid.  I guess what I’m trying to
tell you is to get over it.  It’s time to move on.”

Jack frowned at the General, as he let his words soak into his consciousness.  There was
just so much bad history there.  And what about Carter?  Well, he wouldn’t know without

“Are you seriously thinking about letting that sna, er, Tok’Ra get close to Carter?”  He
asked roughly.

“Jack, I know you never wanted to see it, and I know it’s not because you care for Major
Carter in any inappropriate way, but the truth is that she loved Martouf and Lantash,” he
said quietly.  “I wasn’t ever going to discuss this with you because it wasn’t my place to tell
you, but we came very close to losing Major Carter when Martouf died.”

“What do you mean?  She wasn’t going to go with them was she?”

The General looked at him steadily, before saying, “That was one option she considered.  
She really wanted to be with his people and her father.  In the end, she decided it would
be too painful and considered resigning her commission and leaving the service.  It was a
very close thing for many months.  When Lantash died, it started all over again.  She was
going to take Lantash when he was well enough, but she hadn’t told any one except

“When he died, it almost destroyed her again.  Then she lost Daniel.  We are very, very
lucky to have her here.  If she finds with this Martouf and Lantash what she never got to
have with the others, then I’m certainly not going to stop her.  And neither are you,” he
finished quietly.

“I knew it bothered her that she was the one that killed him.  I didn’t realize,” Jack
stopped, shaking his head, as he realized how little he had been aware of how his 2IC was

“It didn’t bother her, Jack.  It almost destroyed her.  And, I’m not going to stand in the
way of anything that might mitigate some of that pain.  Moreover, I expect you to do what
you can to help, and one of the first things you’ll do, is stop referring to them as snakes.  

“Yes, Sir, understood,” Jack said quietly.  “I’ll try to put it behind me.  I don’t know if I’ll
succeed, but I can assure you that I’ll do my best to try not to be so, um, abrasive.”  He
stopped and frowned, “But, I’m still gonna keep an eye on him.  Just because I’m gonna
be nice, doesn’t mean I have to trust him.”  

“That’s all I’m asking, Jack.  Do your best to get along with them, and be polite,” the
general said, quietly.

Jack nodded, as the General dismissed him.  Even if it killed him, he wouldn’t say a
word.  Well, he’d try not to say a word.  Carter deserved to be happy.  He’d just have to get
along with this new Martouf and Lantash.  He supposed he should spend some time with
Marty, see if they could become, well, acquainted.  Yeah, acquainted, that was a good
word.  Moreover, if he just happened to be keeping an eye on him, while he was at it, well,
he was just making sure he was settling in.  Jack frowned.  He was with Jacob and
Selmak now.  Maybe he’d wait till this evening.  

Sure, Marty’d be bored this evening and he’d, well, they could, um, maybe…Hockey!  He
had copies of his hockey tapes here on base for when they occasionally had to be
confined.  He’d grab Marty this evening, and they’d become ‘acquainted’, over some beer,
chips and Hockey.  He’d grab the rest of the team, too, so it wouldn’t be so obvious that he
was watching, er, getting acquainted with him.  Mentally he shook his head in disbelief.  
The things he did for his team.


                Chapter Three                         Home                         Chapter Five       

Table of Contents
Where Destiny Leads

Chapter Four

Duty and Deceptions