All Right – Chapter 9
Disclaimer in pt. 1
Martouf’s question went unanswered, of course, and as the days passed, he grew more isolated and melancholic. Jacob and the other Tok’ra had no idea what happened to their friend and why he was acting in such a way, most thought that the death of Martouf’s mate had pushed over the edge into depression, but only Jacob thought it might be something different, if Martouf’s confusion and simple questions a few days earlier had was anything to go by.
Many Tok’ra took notice of the sudden change in Martouf, his ever-present smile, twinkle in his grey eyes were noticeably absent, and now most looked at him always with concern and sympathy. The rest of the High Council also took notice; it seemed as if Martouf and Lantash no longer cared about the affairs of the Tok’ra and their fight with the Goa’uld. The young man often took long walks by himself or sheltered himself in his quarters and when it came to missions, Martouf tended to volunteer for the extremely dangerous ones where the survival factor was low. But like everyone else, they had no idea to approach Martouf with any kind of solution as no one knew the reason why behind his isolated and forlorn behavior. Finally, in one desperate attempt, the Tok’ra High Council decided to send Martouf to relax under the guise of a diplomatic mission to a new species a Tok’ra scouting party had discovered to be friendly, helpful, and technologically advanced. The people had expressed a shared hatred for the Goa’uld and looked like potential allies. The High Council would send Martouf to these people to establish diplomatic ties and in the hopes that he could possibly work through whatever was bothering him.
Martouf stepped out of the wormhole and hoisted his sack full of his belongings over his shoulder.
<You do realize that the High Council has sent us here to get out of the way, right?> Lantash asked.
Martouf didn’t bother to reply as he caught sight of a grey-haired man walking toward him with a welcome smile on his face. He sighed internally and struggled to put some light back in his eyes as he bowed his head in greeting.
“Welcome! Tok’ra! I am Jameel! Welcome to Tanium!” Jameel gestured Martouf to follow him toward the city. Martouf mentally winced at the happy joy present in the man’s greeting and felt his own depression engulfing him.
Martouf followed, introducing himself along the way. “I am Martouf.” He tried to act interested in the buildings and technological feats around him, but failed miserably. He then focused his attention on the ground in front of him as his jovial tour guide chattered on about things Martouf didn’t have the strength to listen about.
“Come Martouf of the Tok’ra! I must show you all we on Tanium can offer the Tok’ra; we are very advanced…” Martouf unconsciously tuned Jameel’s babble out; wearily thinking that today was going to be a long day.
“You should meet our foremost expert on the weapon technology.” Jameel exclaimed, later on in the day, still excitedly in the process of showing Martouf around the entire city.
Martouf nodded and tried to smile pleasantly. All he wanted to do was sleep, not have to do this standard meet and greet thing that he was doing now. In all honesty, his feet hurt, his legs hurt, his arms hurt, just…everything hurt and Martouf begged Lantash to take over, so he could just wallow away. Lantash refused once again, saying that Jameel was seriously irritating him and if Lantash had control, he would no doubt be tempted to slap the man. Martouf repressed a sigh and followed his host into a lab, full of machines and other technological thingies. Martouf swallowed a lump in his throat as being in such a room reminded him of Samantha’s lab on Earth. He wanted to turn and leave, walk through the Stargate; it didn’t matter where and be by himself.
His host looked around and then threatened to burst Martouf’s eardrums as he bellowed, “Samantha! Where are you?”
Martouf snapped his head in the direction of his host and stared in disbelief at him.
(Did he just say-)
<Yes.>Lantash cut him off before he could finish his sentence.
(You don’t think-)
<We can only hope.> Lantash heaved a sigh.
“Samantha! Where are you?” His host asked again.
“I’m right here, Jameel, no need to shout.” An irritated female voice replied from behind them.
Jameel turned around and looked at the person behind Martouf. “Ah, Samantha, there’s someone I’d like you to meet. Martouf of the Tok’ra, this is Samantha.”
Martouf found he couldn’t move and begged Lantash to take over. As soon as Lantash did, he spun around to stare at the woman behind him, his heart pounding…
“Hello Martouf of the Tok’ra, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She smiled at him.
Lantash felt his heart drop as he stared at the brown-haired, brown-eyed woman in front of him. It wasn’t her…Lantash felt Martouf’s disappointment and sadness after having such high hopes.
Martouf kicked at the dirt in front of him in a mixture of frustration and anger. He stared at the scenery, too wrapped up in his misery to be awed by the beauty of such a place. It was early evening and he had finally escaped his host Jameel’s clutches, only to be invited to an annual celebration later on that night. As much as Martouf would have liked to decline, Lantash reminded him that as a visiting liaison, he was required to go. To which Martouf testily replied that if he were forced to go, Lantash would take over for the night because if he didn’t, Martouf would undoubtedly lock himself in his quarters until it was time to leave this planet.
(Lantash, it is clear that we cannot function like this anymore.) Martouf replied wearily to his symbiote, raising a hand to massage the back of his aching neck. Since when did he start to feel so old and miserable?
<Agreed. But what can we do?>
(After this mission is over, request some time alone from the Tok’ra.)
<Do you really think that will help?> Lantash voiced skeptically.
Martouf lowered his head. (I do not know, Lantash, but I hope it does, for if it does not, then we will truly not be able to survive in this world.)
Lantash joined his host in agreement and let the now-familiar despair wash over them, letting a few tears slip out.