September 5 1998, Beta site
"Finally!" O'Neill exclaimed. "I'm sick and tired of guard duty every night for a month!"
"Understandable," Teal'c observed.
"It's good to have you back on the team!" Daniel said. "Have you heard? They're going to begin sending out teams to other planets again."
"Really?" O'Neill looked surprised. "I thought they didn't feel we had the resources."
"That is why we are going to other worlds. To look for supplies," Teal'c informed him.
"Well, it's going to be nice to get out there again regardless." He sighed. "We're a man short. I doubt they're going to let us put Carter and a... Tok'ra on the team. Don't look so surprised, Daniel. I'm convinced she's the real thing, now, and I'm going to go talk to Hammond about it."
"O'Neill. When you do so, could you also inquire if I will be allowed to visit Chulak, and see how my family fares? Bra'tac may well have useful information about Apophis for us also," Teal'c said.
"I know, Teal'c, and I agree. I don't know why we haven't thought of that before, but Chulak would be an excellent place to go for information about what's going on at home," O'Neill agreed. "I'll ask.*
"Did you hear? SG-4 just returned, and they say they met some
on the planet they went to!" Daniel looked excited. "There's going to be a meeting - the Tollan are sending representatives!"
"That's great, but I doubt they're going to help us. They have that whole superiority complex going, and I seem to remember that Omoc-fellow saying they didn't want to help inferior people. Like us. Well, if we were inferior then, what do you think we are now?" O'Neill said.
"We did save some of them - and got them sent off to the Nox. I'm sure they got back home from there," Daniel pointed out. "Shouldn't they be grateful for that?"
"Yeah, we did, but not until after Kinsey's people had tried getting them locked up forever, to be forced to teach us all they know! How happy do you think they're gonna be when they come here and find Kinsey in charge?"
Daniel sighed and nodded. "I suppose you do have a point." He shook his head. "Have you talked to Hammond? About Sam, I mean - and going to Chulak." He added, looking towards Teal'c.
"Yes." O'Neill grimaced. "He hasn't managed to convince them to let Carter out, even if there's apparently a few others who are beginning to believe the Tok'ra are real. Unfortunately, our beloved leaders are convinced Jolinar has some information we need to kill Apophis - or that they can create some sort of biological or chemical weapon against the Goa'uld, which requires a Goa'uld to test things on."
"And the Tok'ra can't claim to be different from the Goa'uld biologically, even if they are so philosophically." Daniel looked pained. "Don't those idiots understand they're probably destroying our only chance of an alliance with the Tok'ra - probably the only thing that can save us right now!"
"They're pretty big idiots, so I doubt it." O'Neill looked exasperated.
"Well, I guess now they're hoping the Tollan will save us?"
O'Neill rolled his eyes. "Riiiiiiiight!" He sighed. "As for Chulak? I'm sorry, Teal'c, but our esteemed leaders are even bigger idiots than I'd expected. They won't let us go there. They think it's too dangerous and that we'll risk compromising ourselves - and even the promise of intel on Apophis didn't sway them." He shook his head, disgusted.
September 8 1998, Beta site
"This is your new... homeworld?" The Tollan, who had introduced himself as Toron, said, with obvious disdain.
"It is our temporary base. All of this has been built in less than a month!" Samuels indicated the housing of the base. "Of course, this is only until we can return to our planet."
"Which has been taken over by Apophis, correct?" Narim asked.
"Yes. We were hoping you could help us - a... small loan of some of your advanced weaponry, perhaps," Kinsey said.
"I am afraid we cannot agree to that. To do so would put all of us in jeopardy," Toron told him.
"How? You're not the ones that'll have to do the actual fighting!" Kinsey exclaimed.
"You were primitive when you still had your world. You are even more primitive now. To give you access to our advanced weapons would obviously be a mistake." Toron scoffed.
"Why?" Samuels demanded.
"You would use it to kill yourself, and endanger all of us," a Tollan woman, Sovla, said.
"Kill ourselves? We'll only use it against Apophis!" Kinsey was enraged.
"Perhaps at first, but when he is gone, you will use the weapons against yourselves - or other, even more primitive civilizations. Our weapons might be exposed to the Goa'uld, and if they learn about them, we will be at risk. No, it is better to allow Apophis to keep your world. You can begin anew here. Maybe it will be educational for you," Toran suggested. "Then, when you have reached a more acceptable technological level we may talk again. If you should survive."
"Perhaps... it's time for a break?" Daniel offered, nervously. He had been invited in the capacity of advisor, since he had experience with the Tollan, and since they - at Narim's suggestion - had demanded either he or Sam be present.
The two groups glared at each other for a moment, then agreed to take a recess.
"Doctor Jackson, where is Samantha?" Narim asked. "I had hoped to meet her again."
"Ah, it's... complicated." Daniel looked uncomfortable. "You see, she's... in a holding cell."
"A holding cell?" Narim looked uncomprehending. "You mean to say she has committed some crime and has been imprisoned? It does not sound like something she would do!"
Daniel shook his head, taking a deep breath. "No, and she hasn't. She... is currently a host. To a Tok'ra."
"A Tok'ra?" Narim looked even more confused. "I still do not understand. Why would you keep a Tok'ra imprisoned? Do you not know who they are?"
"Uh, Goa'uld resistance, yeah. Usually they only take willing hosts, and coexists peacefully with their host... all that, yes, we know."
"Why, then? I would have thought they would be welcomed?"
"Well, not everyone believes the Tok'ra are real - and a fair number doesn't care. A snake is a snake - according to them."
"This is most disturbing. The Tok'ra are friends of ours. This will not work in your favour."
"Frankly, does it matter? You're not going to give us any help anyway, are you? Even emergency aid."
Narim was quiet for some time before he answered. "No, I fear that is correct. It was... difficult, to get the Curia to agree to send a diplomatic mission here. After all, one of your organisations attempted to imprison us and force us to share our knowledge, when last we were on your world. Learning that you have elected as leaders those very people, is... disquieting, to say the least. To learn that you are keeping not only one of your own - an innocent person - but also a Tok'ra, imprisoned, will likely mean Toran will decide to terminate any further talks and return immediately."
Daniel nodded. "To be honest, I can't say I blame you. Since you know the Tok’ra, could you perhaps give us contact info to find them?"
“No, please do not ask me that. To do so would be betraying their trust, besides, to be honest, I do believe it is almost always the Tok’ra who contact us.”
“I understand.” Daniel sighed.
"Will you do one thing for me? Give my greetings and wishes for a better future to Samantha."
"Of course." Daniel promised.
It turned out exactly as Narim had expected, and the Tollan left shortly after, telling the Tau’ri in no uncertain terms that any sort of cooperation was off the table.
"How dare these aliens talk to us like that!" Kinsey spat. "We saved their people when they had destroyed their own world, but do they want to help us against a common enemy?"
"Actually, they don't consider the Goa'uld their enemies and while we did rescue a group of them..." Daniel began.
"Why are you still here? You don't have clearance! Please escort him out, Samuels!" Kinsey ordered.
"Yes, sir," Samuels said. "Doctor Jackson." He indicated the door and Daniel sighed and started walking.
Behind him, Daniel heard Kinsey and the others turn to the problems the colony would be facing in the near future. Food was fast running out, and while they had been able to stretch it some by hunting and scavenging a little in the forests and mountains around the base, it was not enough to feed 10000 people.
Attempts had been made to trade for food, but that had also not been very successful. They had little to offer in return for the food, and most human worlds were unwilling to trade large amounts of food to people they did not know - in exchange for things they knew little about. The only thing the majority of villagers were interested in were medical supplies, and that was something the refugees had very little extra of.
Another problem was keeping the water of the river clean for drinking, when it was also the only possibility for bathing and cleaning. There were many other smaller and larger things that they would soon be out of, and even ammunition and explosives would not last forever.
"Perhaps it's time we took a different approach," Mark Devlin said. He was one of Kinsey's men, who had originally signed up to be part of the NID.
"What did you have in mind?" Kinsey asked.
"All we've done is ask the people of other worlds to trade with us, and they've had the audacity to turn us down! We're the ones who risk our lives to fight the Goa'uld. They're doing nothing! Hell, they seem to even like being treated the way they are by the Goa'uld, and they haven't even attempted to do something. Why should we suffer when they have food? I say we, ah, be a little more insistent that they hand over their goods."
The door closed behind Daniel, so he did not hear what the others in there answered, but they couldn't agree to that, could they? Devlin was suggesting they raid other planets for food and resources! Daniel shook his head, shocked. He decided to go talk to Hammond immediately, and have him find out if Kinsey's group were going to do something like this!
September 9 1998, Beta site
"Sir? Did you find out if they're actually going to raid other planets, like Daniel heard them say?" O'Neill asked, worriedly.
"They're not. For now, anyway. I still have some people I can trust and who reports to me, and they tell me that there were some members of the Council who liked the idea, but that it was ultimately voted down. I suspect the suggestion will come back and carry a lot more weight when people actually start to go hungry." Hammond sighed. "Which may happen soon. With the extra food that have been found locally, as well as the food we have been able to trade for, we only have enough food for another 2 weeks."
"That's bad, sir." O'Neill frowned. "I do have some good news for you. I passed Siler on the way here, and he told me we have housing built for almost 8000 people now, and with the tents no one is forced to sleep under an open sky anymore."
"That's good to know. How long until everyone is out of tents and has a solid roof over their heads?"
"Another two weeks at most, sir. Yeah, I know it's just barracks, with shared sleeping quarters. Anything else will take a lot longer, but it's getting cold outside, so...." He shrugged.
"It's a big accomplishment, but without food it's not gonna matter for much longer."
"No, that's true."
"Sir, you need to talk to the Council again. Convince them to trust Jolinar. Perhaps... perhaps the Tok'ra can help?" Daniel said.
"Why would they? After how we've been treating Jolinar?" O'Neill pointed out.
"The Tau'ri do have something the Tok'ra need, more than anything," Teal'c reminded them.
"Hosts." Hammond nodded. "The Council is never going to agree to it, you know that - even if they should surprise me and agree to let out Jolinar and Captain Carter."