Chapter Six Summary: Sam and Martouf/Lantash spend some time alone. Then they attend the meeting to start planning their mission. Jack invites them all to a “hockey night”.
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
Sam groaned and arched her back, pressing her breast more firmly against Lantash’s mouth. Tremors ran down the length of her body as his hands did things to it that had her on fire, needing release so badly that it was almost painful. She continued to stroke the back of his neck and his shaft, even as she realized that if they did not stop soon, they would not stop at all.
“Samantha, we must stop before we take this to the inevitable conclusion. Please, my dearest love, please stop, for you are torturing me,” Lantash whispered as he released the nipple he had been suckling and took one of her hands from the back of their neck, where she was stroking him, and the other from between their bodies, where it had been pleasuring him almost to the point of no return. As he held them, he could feel trembling, but he was not sure if it was from her, from him, or from them both.
He heard her moan as she rolled away from them. Reaching out with trembling fingers, he pulled her bra back down and into place, hooked it, and lowered her t-shirt, suppressing his own groan as he did so. Sitting up and straightening his own clothing with hands that were still shaking badly, he sat, breathing deeply, before he got up, unlocked the door, and then leaned against it for a moment, again catching his breath. Dear universe, but he wanted her, wanted her so badly that it hurt.
Straightening, he walked back to the bed and sat on the edge, for a moment, watching her as she watched him, before lying back down. They had talked and loved, and talked some more. And, the more they talked, the more similarities they found between the people they were now and the people they had known before. Reclining, he pulled her unresisting into his arms and began to stroke her arm in a soothing, calming way. He had always calmed her in this way, and it worked now, as it always had, for it soothed both of them.
As first their breathing, and then their bodies calmed, they began to relax more. Sam watched him as his eyelids drooped and he fell into a fitful doze. Rolling onto her side, she snuggled into his body where he lay on his side, facing her. His arms came back around her, pulling her in to fit snuggly against him, gently cradling her body, her buttocks firmly pressing against his manhood, before he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. Dear god, his body was wonderful as it molded to hers was the last thought she had before she, too, drifted off into a relaxed, dreamless sleep.
Neither heard the knock on the door.
“Now, what, Sel? No answer. I really don’t want to walk in there and get the shock of my life.”
“I believe, Jacob, that if they were doing what you suspect, the door would be locked.”
“Humph. Well, then, try it.”
The doorknob turned and suddenly, Jacob found himself both deaf and blind. “Sel? Selmak? What are you doing?” Jacob demanded as his eyesight and hearing returned.
“Just in case, I decided to spare you something that, in truth, neither of us should see, Jacob, but which would, no doubt, be traumatic for you. An unnecessary precaution, as it turns out.”
Looking toward the bed, Jacob realized that the couple cuddled in the center of the bed was fully clothed and sound asleep. Both of them. As they moved closer, he realized that his daughter had been crying. Her eyes were puffy and slightly red-lidded.
“What do you think that he did to her?” Jacob demanded.
“He is breathing, warm, and very much alive, Jacob. Think about it. Samantha has lived with the memories of Martouf and Lantash’s death, at her hands, for a very long time. She never had the chance to be alone and held by him, to be loved by him, to even know if he loved her in that way. Can you not imagine the regret and aching, longing, to relive that period of her life, that she has lived with for all these years? I would imagine that just the fact of being held in his arms, was enough to release all the pain, bitterness, and regret locked away in her heart, and allowed her to wash some of it away with her tears. Would you not think so, Jacob?”
“I love you, y’know? Thank you.”
“Yes, Jacob, I am aware, as I love you, dear one.”
Clearing a metaphorical throat, he said, “So, now what?”
Selmak sighed. “Martouf and Lantash need the rest. I am guessing that they have not been asleep long. They have talked and probably did everything except mate. No doubt that will have to wait for tonight. Do not start sputtering, ranting, or being ridiculous, Jacob. They will declare and bond first; I am sure. It is not your “marriage,” but it is just as binding, and means the same thing.”
“All right. And if they want to marry, then George can do a civil ceremony. But that doesn’t tell us what to do now.”
“If we try to remove Samantha, it will wake them. I suggest we leave them a note and go to the meeting without them. They can join us when they awaken. It is too bad, for we need Lantash and Martouf there, but they need the rest, also. They must be in good physical condition for this mission. I suspect, as I stated before, that none of them were in good condition when they attempted this before.”
As they turned to look for paper and pen to leave a note, Lantash opened his eyes, and said softly, “I am awake, Selmak. Are you ready for us to attend a meeting now?” Sam stirred in his arms, and he looked down to smile at her as she came slowly awake. Leaning down, he took her lips in a soft, sweet kiss. “You are awake, my love. It is time for the meeting to begin planning our mission.”
Sam smiled at him as she reveled in the feeling of waking in his arms. Oh, yes, she would be waking in them again, she promised herself. She had her second chance, and she wasn’t going to lose it.
This was Martouf and Lantash, returned to her. It was there in everything about them. Their physical likeness was exact and from what she could tell, they were almost exact replicas in every way, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Right down to the obsession for cinnamon twist and chocolate glazed doughnuts that Martouf had developed shortly after being introduced to them by her dad.
It had formed an immediate bond between Martouf and Teal’c, and she was quite sure that once Martouf realized that this Teal’c shared his love of the gooey pastries, it would bond these two, too. She hoped that she was there when Martouf realized that they shared it.
“What are you thinking about, Samantha? You are smiling quite widely,” Martouf said, as they put their boots on.
“Doughnuts,” she said.
“Doughnuts?” He asked, incredulous.
“Cinnamon twists and chocolate glazed, to be exact,” she replied.
Martouf shook his head. He would never understand her mind. Never.
“So, we go back to the planet where we found Martouf and hope the mirror hasn’t changed stations, er, realities. It does that sometimes, though, right? So how will we know if we are at the right one?” Jacob asked.
“We’ll have to match up the destruction that you all saw and hope for the best. It changed on Daniel when they went through it that time, but it doesn’t always, from what I could discover when I experimented with ours,” Sam answered. “They are impossible to destroy from what we discovered when we tried to do so with ours. We ended up putting an iris on it and it’s under guard twenty-four seven, in case anyone ever manages to make it through. Sometimes I think we shouldn’t have put the iris on it. Just like with Lantash and Martouf, it could be a life saver.”
“That is neither here nor there. For our purposes, finding where we need to go from here could be very time consuming, and possibly, we could choose wrong. No doubt, other realities out there are very similar to that one. I hope Martouf and Lantash were as lucky in those,” she said sadly, before pushing herself back into scientist mode. “As I was saying, from the experiments that I performed, just because it was shut off, it didn’t automatically change realities. If it did, they were usually very close by on the dial.”
“So, we go there and find the reality first. Anise said that the contaminants in the air are almost completely gone, so it would be safe, even for a non-blended human, to be there for up to a week. Their original estimate of twenty-four hours was based on what they assumed that they would find, and it turns out that it was destroyed much longer ago than first thought. So, particularly if the people stay inside, it’s safe for at least that long. If we haven’t returned in a week, they are to abandon the camp and we’ll have to make it back on our own. They’ll leave the articles we agreed upon sitting in front of the mirror for identification purposes.”
“Since we’re going in as a Minor System Lord and his entourage, those of us that are unblended, will go as slaves. Teal’c will go as Apophis’s first prime. Hopefully, he’ll have no problem with cascade failure. If he does, then he will return immediately. We’ve managed to get a fake beard and wig, and they are being attached now to see how well they work. We can’t have them coming loose. From what I’ve been told, they won’t come off easily.” She looked at Martouf and said, “I also hope that the beard and wig won’t make him seem too much like the other Teal’c.”
He shook his head. “I have no doubt it will be a shock, however, I also know that they are different in the most important respects. I have noticed that even his tone of voice is somewhat different.”
They looked up to see a Teal’c in full braided wig and beard come into the room. She heard Martouf catch his breath, but when she looked at him, he was smiling slightly. “They followed my description very well, Teal’c. You could be the other one, except for the BDU’s.”
Teal’c bowed and smiled slightly in response. “That is what I had hoped, and Jorlin was a great help, since she saw him, and she was able to give very precise instructions as they worked on the braiding. Once she began, though, I recognized it as a form of embellishment used to denote his leadership in his village group, as well as his position. In my reality, Apophis wished me to renounce my tribal alliances, which I did. So, we find another difference between us. An odd one, though, in that it should mean that he has kept loyalties beyond those he has to Apophis. The gods did not always realize that this was so, unfortunately for me, this Apophis did.”
Martouf nodded his agreement. He was no longer amazed at how much the people here resembled the ones he had known, but this transformation of Teal’c was, if nothing else, startling. He found himself wondering how different this Teal’c’s life had been, compared to the one in his old reality. It must have been very different once he reached adulthood, if not before.
He was brought out of his reverie by Jacob’s voice asking a question of Anise. One side affect of the Amek’tel kek’ma’tel was a slight difficulty in remaining focused. His mind tended to wander. At least it was not wandering to the soft lushness of Samantha’s body.
“Well, it was not until now, Martouf,” Lantash said, exasperated.
“Are you having as much difficulty focusing as I am?” Martouf wanted to know.
“I am having some difficulty, but perhaps not as much as you are,” Lantash responded.
“Then you should take over,” Martouf replied quickly. "We cannot take the chance of missing something important because our minds are wandering.”
“I am being distracted by everything, too, Martouf. Normally, I can ignore your thoughts if I wish to, but they are making themselves known very easily today. I do not seem to be able to block them. No doubt you are having the same problem?” Lantash asked.
“Yes. I am.”
Lantash sighed and closed his eyes, rubbing them briefly. He opened them to see the entire room looking at him. He sighed again.
“I apologize. Both Martouf and I are having some difficulty with concentrating. What were you saying?” Lantash asked calmly.
Selmak came forward, saying, “It is one of the more annoying side affects. Fortunately, it only lasts for a day or so. By tomorrow, you will be able to concentrate better. By the next day, you will be almost back to normal. If you miss something, let us know and we will repeat it. And do not bother to apologize each time it happens. We are all aware of what you have endured and the aftereffects of it.”
“Thank you, Selmak. We will. So, what was it you were asking me?”
“We were discussing who we could take from the SGC. If cascade failure should strike Teal’c, he will need assistance in returning through the mirror. It will not strike for about 48 hours, this we know from experience,” Selmak repeated what had been said.
“Yes, you said you had other experiences with this mirror. If all goes well, we should be able to be on the planet in question within the first day. Depending on how difficult it is to find her, we could be there and back within that time frame,” Lantash said, frowning over how sparse the details of their Intel was.
“I am afraid our Intel was simply that she was in stasis somewhere within the main stronghold. He could not send detailed instructions and since we did not get to go right away, the young man in question may or may not still be there. However, knowing that things can and probably will go wrong, it would be well to have a contingency plan in place, in case that happens.”
Sam spoke up, saying, “Teal’c is no longer an exact replica, but I’m doubtful that the change will be enough to prevent the cascade failure. When all is said and done, at the sub-atomic level, he is still the same person. We know very little about it, other than what we observed. It took about forty-eight hours for it to begin for the Dr. Carter that came through to us here.”
“What we don’t know is whether she began to have it when she did because she was in the same time and space as I was, or if it was because she was in such close proximity to me. While it’s true that it was forty-eight hours, it’s also true that for most of that time, she wasn’t near me and the cascade failure didn’t begin until she was here.”
“If distance makes a difference and the two Teal’cs aren’t in close proximity to one another, there’s the possibility that between the two things, distance and the slight difference in their make-up, with our Teal’c using the tretonin and lacking a symbiote, I’m hopeful that we will be safe for a while. I’m also hoping, though, that we can get in and get out before anything happens. Either way, we need to have extra people with us, in case Teal’c has to return in a hurry,” Sam explained her theories, ideas, and hopes.
“Lantash, I know you haven’t been around a great many people here yet, but is there anyone that you recognize as definitely being deceased in the other reality?” She asked softly.
“Several actually. Lieutenant Donovan is deceased in my old reality, and so is Captain Harmon. There was a young man that I saw earlier in the cafeteria,” he frowned as he concentrated on remembering the names, as Sam made notes, “Sergeant Richards, I believe was his name, and the young woman seated within the same group, Alice Wayman. Sergeant Alice Wayman. The remainder of the group that they were with, as far as I know survived, although there were one or two that I have never seen before.”
Sam nodded and said to Selmak, “That would give us four. Two of them could return with Teal’c, and two to continue with us. Do you think we’ll need more?”
Selmak frowned. “There are five of us, plus Teal'c. That is six of us and six of you. That is not a lot when you are talking entourage, so if we can find a few more, it would be helpful. Samantha, you will be Lantash’s personal lo’tar. Daniel, you will belong to Anise, Lieutenant Donovan will belong to Malek, and, assuming they get along well together, Sergeant Richards will belong to Jorlin. We already know that the rest of you all get along well.”
“You will all answer to me as the System Lord. The fact that I will have satellites that are hosts will be cause to assume I am more important than they otherwise would. I will need at least one personal servant, preferably more, so I will take Captain Harmon and Sergeant Wayman. That gives me both a male and a female attendant. We need to find a couple more, so that there will be enough to cover if two of them have to return with Teal’ c,” Selmak continued. “If you see anyone else that would work you need to let us know, Lantash.”
“Anise and I can share Dr. Jackson,” Jorlin said quietly, while Daniel’s eyes got round. Sam choked, trying not to giggle, as the vision that Jorlin’s words brought to mind refused to dissipate and Daniel, catching her eye, blushed an even deeper red, as he frowned at her, before his own sense of humor took over, and he grinned back at her.
Selmak hid a smile, commenting, “We also need another lo’tar for Martouf and Lantash. It is possible that if we run into any Jaffa they will pick up the remnants of Jolinar in Major Carter. He will, therefore, appear more important than the others, and it would not be unheard of for him to have more than one personal slave.”
“Captain Adams. I saw her at noon, and there was another friend of Sergeant Wayman’s who joined their group later. Both of them were killed.” He paused as he gave it some thought, before finally coming up with the name. “His name was – Milton, Sergeant Milton,” Lantash said, as he finally remembered both names of the other two people he had recognized earlier, as being deceased in his old reality.
“Good,” Selmak said. “I will take Captain Adams, Captain Harmon, and Sergeant Wayman. Lantash will take Sergeant Milton and Samantha. If need be, we can send two people back with Teal’c and still all have at least one lo’tar each.”
“The only problem left that I can see with our entourage is the fact that someone could recognize Lantash. We will hope that no one recognizes him as the Tok’Ra that escaped. If we are unfortunate and someone does recognize him, we will hope they simply believe that they have seen him, but do not remember where. And the clothing will be completely different. We will need very sumptuous clothing and the slaves will also need certain things. Once we get the agreement of the others taking part, Jorlin, you, Lieutenant Donovan if she is available, and Malek will go to the bazaar on Martinel and purchase what we will need, both for the lo’tars and for the rest of us. Be sure that you have everyone’s measurements.”
Jorlin and Malek nodded, and Sam felt herself flush slightly. Good grief, she was going on this mission as a slave girl, and from what she could remember, the slave girls didn't seem to wear much. Great, she was going to look like an escapee from I Dream Of Jeannie. She looked up into Lantash’s eyes and saw a fire burning there that heated her face even more. He knew what she was thinking, she realized, and he was looking forward to it. Oddly enough, she realized, as her breathing became erratic, so was she. She couldn’t seem to pull her mind from the training that would need to take place, or the fact that she would be his personal servant for several days…and nights.
She needed to have a word with Lieutenant Donovan to be sure that the clothing, for her at least, was definitely Dream worthy. She forced herself to concentrate on what Lantash was saying, but found herself wondering how he could talk coherently at all, if he was suffering through the same visions that she was. Slowly she brought her breathing under control, along with her runaway imagination.
She brought her mind back to the briefing to hear Lantash explaining why he doubted that he would be recognized. “That would be unlikely, Selmak. The world the mirror was on was not the one where Apophis had captured us. I had made it through, but was followed. The world I was on appeared deserted, much as the one I ended up on after going through the mirror, but I cannot be certain that it was. I had no idea what world Selmak had keyed in, but I am sure it was not our final destination, as he would also assume we would be followed. Looking back, none of us were thinking clearly. We had no way to get from where we were to where we needed to be with Apophis’s Jaffa following us so closely,” Lantash said sadly.
Selmak nodded, watching as Lantash wearily rubbed his forehead. He was still having headaches. They would do a little more today, and then start fresh in the morning.
“Does anyone have any opinions as to how soon we should try to do this? Originally, I had planned on going through the day after tomorrow, but my personal opinion now is that we should have at least two to three days of training for the soldiers that are going to be assuming the roles of lo’tars. They will need to be perfect in the roles, and we have not talked to the people involved. While I know that George could order them to do it, I would rather they were willing participants, otherwise they will not play their parts nearly as well. Besides the training, it will take most of one day to gather the clothing that we require and our other supplies.”
“I’ll give the list we have so far to George and see what he says. Malek, can you ask Lieutenant Donovan if she is willing?”
“Certainly, Selmak. I feel sure she will agree. She has been assigned to me several times now, when we have been here on previous occasions, and we have become friends,” Malek responded clearly.
“All right, so shall we plan on going through on the morning of the fourth day? That will give us three days for planning, gathering of supplies, clothing, and training. You have several ribbon devices, do you not, Samantha?”
“I believe we have two ribbons and the ashrak device that - that Martouf and Lantash attempted to use. I also have a couple of healing devices. If you think we need more, we probably have some at Area 51.”
“One for myself and one for Lantash. Any more than that might seem odd, anyway. One of us can carry the other one concealed, as they are very small. If there is nothing else today, I think we can all go about getting started on what we need to be doing; I will conference with General Hammond.”
“Selmak, I believe that I should give you all the address and what information I have. If something were to happen to me, you would possibly be able to complete the mission, even without me.” Picking up a pen and paper, he wrote out a gate address and handed it to Selmak.
“Egeria is being held on this world. She is, as far as we know, in stasis. Do you know it?” Lantash asked.
Selmak looked at the address and shook his head before handing it to Daniel, who looked at it and then looked at Lantash.
“Are you sure that Ra was still in evidence on this planet? He still went there regularly?”
“Yes, the information we got was from a young slave known as Macus. He sent the message from there as soon as Apophis had defeated Ra. Why do you ask?”
“Because we know this world, and we also know that Egeria was there. Hopefully, if everything is the same, I will know exactly where to go to look for her.” Daniel replied.
“Where is it, Daniel?” Sam asked tensely.
“Pangara. Exactly where she was in our reality, but in this one, she is still in stasis. In ours, she was found years ago. If they hadn’t used her for breeding and had kept her in optimum conditions, she would have been viable still in this reality.”
“So we now know for sure that this is indeed Egeria, and that she is viable,” Malek said, his voice slightly uneven with emotion. It had been very hard on him to watch Kelmaa and Egeria die, when they had just found her again. At least she had given freedom to those like Teal’c, and reaffirmed the cause for which they were striving and fighting.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever. In this reality, Ra had abandoned that world hundreds of years ago. Yet, in Lantash’s old reality, he was still using it as a pleasure palace. It means the people of Pangara are not free, but it also means they haven’t found her either. If the slave boy knew about her, then she must still be there and in stasis. It seems that some parts of our realities are very divergent, and that’s in our favor,” Daniel pointed out.
He was sure that they’d find Egeria in stasis, intact, and much younger than the one they’ d found here. Although their years would be the same, the Egeria in stasis would have aged little, if any. The only reason that the Egeria in this reality had aged so quickly was because she’d been used to breed thousands of symbiotes and the Pangarans hadn’t realized exactly what kind of environment she needed. They’d kept her alive, but she hadn’t had the nutrients or the EM fields that she needed to thrive.
“We’ll still have to find her, Daniel. Ra hid her in her stasis jar before he abandoned the planet. He hadn’t yet abandoned it, so there’s no telling where he was keeping her,” Sam pointed out.
Daniel and Malek frowned. All of them had seen the chamber that Egeria was found in. There was no palace stronghold there. It had been deserted and fallen down long ago.
“She is right, Daniel,” Malek spoke up. “Everything we learned about Egeria and her situation in this reality could well be useless.”
“That could be very true, or it could be that he buried her recently, and that's how the young man found out about her, too. We’ll just have to wait, see, and be prepared to tear the place apart looking for her.”
Since everyone pretty much was in agreement with those statements, they all murmured their affirmatives. Lantash turned to Daniel and said, “Daniel, if you and the others have any spare time, I would appreciate learning more of this reality’s timeline and history. Both the Tau’ri’s and the Tok’Ra’s.”
“I’m free for a couple of hours, Lantash, and I’d be happy to fill you in,” Daniel replied, never happier than when he could talk shop.
“I, too, am free, Lantash,” Anise spoke up. No one could dispute that she would be the most knowledgeable in the history department.
“Thank you. I would appreciate being brought up to date on how things have been here.”
“Stop moaning, Martouf, we must have this information.”
“I know. But history is not my favorite topic, and you know how Daniel and Anise can go on forever.”
“We will not allow that to happen, dear one. We will plead fatigue and loss of concentration before we become comatose, I promise.”
“All right. Since you promise. I would rather be tangled in the …”
“Not now, Martouf,” Lantash groaned as he once again had to divert blood flow to keep them both from being embarrassed when they stood.
“All right. We all know what we need to do. Jacob and I will talk to General Hammond, and see if all of these people agree to this mission. Lantash, please look around, and see if there are any others you recognize as deceased in your world, in case any of these people do not feel comfortable taking on this mission. After you meet with Daniel and Anise, I suggest you eat and then try to relax for a while. Then I expect you to have an early night. You need to be resting, even if you cannot sleep. Anything that will relax you will help you with the aftereffects of Amek’tel kek’ma’tel. Samantha?” Selmak looked to her and raised an eyebrow, adding a silent ending to his question, as Jacob again sputtered in his head.
“Of course, Selmak. That won’t be a problem. If he can’t sleep, he can tell me what I’ll need to know for the role I’ll be playing, or perhaps we’ll spend some time in the rec room. I’ll watch over him.”
Selmak nodded and turned to Malek, Anise, and Jorlin. “I know Sergeant Richards, Selmak. If he agrees to the assignment, I can begin going over things with him,” Jorlin spoke up.
“Good. That should do it for today then, unless anyone has anything else to add?”
Getting no response, he headed out the door in search of General Hammond, almost running over Jack O’Neill where he was standing in the corridor.
“Did you need something, Colonel?”
“Yeah, I was planning on getting my team, and maybe Martouf and Malek and anyone else that wanted to, and maybe watching some hockey,” Jack declared unflinchingly.
Selmak smiled. “I believe that is a wonderful idea, Colonel. However, Martouf is to go to his quarters early, as are the rest of my people. We have a great deal to do tomorrow, so don’t keep them up late, if you please,” Selmak said agreeably. He could see Jack’s relief at the thought of an early night.
“Sure thing, Selmak. I wouldn’t think of keeping them up late. Thanks.” Great! He could do as the General asked, but not have to keep it up for long. Perfect. As the group left the conference room, he looked at Daniel and Teal’c. He’d told them earlier that the General wanted them to make nice with the Tok’Ra and that he planned a hockey night.
Both had groaned, but agreed to help him out. It didn’t take them long to arrange to meet everyone after the evening meal. The Tok’Ra had all looked at him oddly, but none had refused the invitation, no doubt realizing that he was doing as he had been instructed to do. And besides, it would be interesting to watch him watch Martouf.
After accepting the invitation, Malek decided that he would invite Lieutenant Donovan, Kathryn. No doubt, Anise would stalk Daniel, and Jorlin seemed to be getting along well with Teal’c. Major Carter and Martouf would be circumspect during the game; he was sure. After all, what could you do in a room full of people other than watch the entertainment? Afterwards, well, that was anyone’s guess. However, Malek knew where he hoped it might end.
He might give Kathryn her first lesson in pleasuring her lord. Or, she might give him his second lesson in what a Tau’ri woman meant when she said he was hot. He had enjoyed the first lesson very much, even if it had not culminated in the ending that he had envisioned. He would work on being hot for her tonight. She was certainly hot to him. Just thinking about her was enough to make Malek work overtime to try to curb their shared body’s responses. It was time to think about something else. Hockey, perhaps, whatever that was.