September 16 1998, Beta site
Next evening, late. Sam and Jolinar awoke from the sound of zat'nik'tels firing just outside the door to the cell area. Moments later the door opened and O'Neill entered, followed by Daniel and Teal'c.
"Okay, we need to hurry, so I hope you're ready to run!" O'Neill whispered as he quickly unlocked and opened the door to the cell.
"Is this a jail break, sir?" Sam asked, smiling a little despite still being somewhat groggy.
"We had to do something to help you guys, right?" O'Neill grinned.
They ran quickly towards the Stargate, all the time expecting to hear someone yelling at them to stop and surrender, but nothing happened.
"How come no one is guarding the Stargate?" Sam wondered. "Shouldn't it always be guarded?"
"It is - from over behind those bushes there." O'Neill waved towards them while Jolinar took over and dialled an address. "I got something out of being on guard duty every night for a month. I know who are my friends and who I can trust. They have agreed to pretend they didn't see anything. They don't much care for Kinsey and his gang either." He grinned wryly. "Since they already got night shift at the gate - the job the Council uses for punishing people - they can't get punished further. Unless the Council starts to use capital punishment, which I suppose they'll do soon enough!"
"Where are we going?" Daniel asked.
"Stop-over world. I cannot risk anyone seeing the address and following," Jolinar said.
trust me, you know. I gave you my word, and I am not going to try to escape. Sam wishes to return to her father, and I would not do something that might prevent her from doing so," Jolinar said.
They had finally gotten to the planet Jolinar said the Tok'ra had a 'stash' on. She had much preferred to go alone, but O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c had insisted on following, and she had eventually relented.
"So, where is it?" O’Neill asked.
"In the valley behind the small mountain with the two peaks." Jolinar pointed.
"That's... not very specific. I hope you have more precise descriptions, or we're gonna be here a long time!" O'Neill complained.
"I do," Jolinar said, not feeling like elaborating, since they would get there soon enough.
*Jolinar... I am grateful that you will respect my wish, and return with me. I really do wish to see Dad again, and I don't know how long he has.*
*Of course, Samantha, you are my host. I would never do something to distress you, unless it was of the utmost importance.*
Sam ignored that Jolinar was again calling her ‘Samantha’. The symbiote had gotten better at calling her ‘Sam’, but using a nickname like that was clearly not something she was used to - or liked.
*However, I sense there is actually something... it's important for you to return, isn't it? I mean, not just because you want to go back to your people, I get that, but for some other reason, isn't that right?* Sam probed.
*You have noticed it. I suppose I should not be surprised, as you are intelligent, and it is also getting harder to keep our minds completely separate. They are merging, which means finding a new host will soon be urgent - and given my weakened state, I cannot change hosts without going to the Tok'ra for assistance. Perhaps not even then.* Jolinar sighed. *That is a problem for later. You deserve an answer, and yes, there is a very important reason I need to go back to my people soon, unless it is already too late. I cannot give you details, but all you need to know is that while undercover with Cronus, I learned that there is a spy on the base I belong to. I do not believe he will cause immediate problems, as it sounded as if his mission right now was to lie low and wait, only reporting very little, but it is only a matter of time before my people will be in grave danger.*
*When we've finished this mission, and seen my Dad, we'll ask again to be allowed to go to the Tok'ra. They ought to be grateful enough to permit it, and they should also realize we need to go. For several reasons.*
*I hope you are correct, my Samantha.*
It took them about an hour to get to the valley, and Jolinar went directly for a small cleft partly hidden by a group of low bush-like trees, with thick, gnarly branches. The trees looked like they had been there for several hundred years, which made sense. You would not want to chose a landmark that disappeared quickly.
"This is the place?" Daniel asked, as Jolinar squeezed between the trees and the rock face, to get to the narrow opening.
"It is. Remain where you are, and make sure no one surprise us." She leaned as far into the cleft as she could and felt along the rock until she found what she was looking for - the place where she could sense the almost-cloaked energy-signal from naquadah. She touched her hand to the spot, and focused on the hidden cache, which opened when it received the neural signal. It was controlled similar to healing devices and hand devices - and like those, it also needed naquadah in the blood to react.
A door opened noiselessly in the rock wall, a soft light coming on in the small room inside.
Daniel and O'Neill both gasped, and stared in surprise at the previously hidden chamber.
"Impressive," Teal'c said.
"Thank you." Jolinar stepped into the room and started looking for the things she wanted.
*A hand device?* Sam wondered, as Jolinar stuffed the weapon into her pocket.
*May well prove useful when we go to the market place. The planet is not exactly harmless, and your team mates did not want to let me have a weapon.* She grabbed a healing device. *To help your father - hopefully.*
"What have ya got in there?" O'Neill stuck his head inside and looked. "Any funky Tok'ra tech-goodies?"
"Not in a place as easily accessible as this."
"Easily accessible?" O'Neill snorted. "You guys are a paranoid bunch, you know that?"
"We are still alive."
"True enough." O'Neill shrugged. "Okay, what are you getting us, then?"
"A healing device, with which I hope to help Sam's father somewhat, and some valuables to use for buying various goods for your colony." She chose a medium-sized trunk from the shelves and looked in it, then picked it up and handed it to O'Neill. "This should be enough."
"Whoa!" O'Neill almost dropped the box, but managed to get a better grip on it and keep the hold. "That is heavy." He looked with some surprise at Jolinar. "You give your hosts quite some extra strength."
"We do, yes." Jolinar smiled wryly. "I apologize. I did not do this to you on purpose."
"Hm." O'Neill sounded unconvinced, but decided to leave it at that and stepped outside with the trunk, Jolinar following. The door closed silently behind them.
"What's in the box?" Daniel asked, curiously.
"Gold, jewelry, and various gemstones," Jolinar informed him.
He lifted the lid and looked into it. "No kidding! It's a treasure!"
A couple hours later, they arrived on the planet which had a large market place where Jolinar expected to do some trading. Since they were bringing jewelry, they would not be buying directly from the farmers on any of those worlds the Tok'ra otherwise traded with.
The farmers almost always preferred things that could be put to immediate use in their daily life, or things they desperately needed, as many of them were poor. Also, they often had few opportunities to go offworld to trade, and since gold was not something they could afford in any way, they might very well be killed by the Jaffa for owning expensive jewelry.
So, SG-1's options were to either trade the jewelry for something the farmers needed, or to use a trader who acted as a kind of middle man, buying and selling what each wanted, but often taking a hefty commission. Some worlds had their own currencies, and there was of course the somewhat standard currency of the Goa'uld worlds, shes'ta. However, most trading was done by barter, or in the case of very expensive things - like armies or motherships... or assassinations - weapon's grade naquadah was used as payment.
"Where are we going?" O'Neill asked, not liking to be kept in the dark.
"To a trader called Gehlak. He has reasonably good prices, and can usually get most kinds of food and many other supplies. It might be difficult for him to get hold of so large amount as we need quickly, but we shall see."
"Who can we go to otherwise?" Daniel wondered, interested.
Jolinar considered this. "There are various options. If no one else can get us what we need, I suppose I could try and contact Travik. He can get you anything you want. However, that would require you to let me go off on my own for some time, which you do not seem inclined to do."
"Let's try this Gehlak-fellow before we consider anything else." O’Neill decided.
"Of course, we could also go to my people. They would be able to help us get what we need to make bathing facilities and sanitation for your base." Jolinar remarked, knowing very well O’Neill and the others could not let her do that.
"Sorry, no can do. It's not that we don't trust you, but... well, what if they decide to capture us, and won't agree to let us go?" O’Neill pointed out.
Jolinar shook her head, despairing at the distrust. However, she listened to Sam, and so did not tell them what she thought. She sighed. "We shall focus on the food and maybe some other supplies, then." She looked thoughtful for a moment. "You need intelligence on Apophis. It is limited what I can get when I am not allowed to contact the Tok'ra, but I could attempt to contact some of our informers, if we can stay here for a few days, and you will agree to let me leave on my own - only for a few hours, I assure you."
"Hmmm..." O'Neill thought it over, then shook his head. "No, as tempting as that is, I can't risk it. Jolinar, I do trust that you won't try to escape, it's just... if I'm wrong about you, which I don't think I am, then I don't want to risk you going off with knowledge about the Beta site - or perhaps telling that informer of your’s the gate address." He looked apologetic.
"As I expected. Oh, well." She bowed her head and gave Sam control.
"I will be in control for the duration of the trade. The trader is a human, and he'd not react so well to suddenly having what he thinks is a Goa'uld in his house. He wouldn't dare harm us, but he'd probably also not dare trade with us and in any case we don't want people to know and perhaps tell the Goa'uld who owns this world. Jolinar tells me that the Tok'ra do not like to impersonate their host unless it's absolutely necessary. She'll guide me through the trade."
"So she doesn't like to impersonate her host? What was it she did at the SGC, then?" O'Neill said, sarcastically. "I seem to remember she was doing just that!"
Sam's eyes flashed as Jolinar finally had enough of his insinuations and distrust. "It was an emergency situation, human, and I had no knowledge of your people, other than what I got from my panicked host! I deeply regret what happened, but do not for a moment think it is normal behaviour for the Tok'ra!"
"Whoa, calm down, guys!" Daniel said and stepped in between them. "Let's get this over with, then you can discuss this when we get back."
Jolinar took a deep breath, and listened to Sam's calming words as well as Daniel's. She nodded. "Of course." She gave Sam control again.
"All right, guys. Shall we get this over with?" She looked at Teal'c, noticing his knitted hat had slid up a little bit, and part of his golden tattoo was visible. "Teal'c..." She touched her forehead, and he immediately understood, fixing the hat.