After a long and boring haggling session, SG-1 and the trader finally reached an agreement. They bought sacks of flour, beans, rice, potato-like tubers, dates, and apples. They also got salt, oil, honey, and onions. In addition to this, they acquired live cows, chicken, and geese - something which O'Neill kept commenting on. However, it was the easiest way to move meat and eggs, and it would store better. They could even breed the animals, if they decided it was feasible to keep farm animals.
"Why do we have to wait for three whole days? Didn't you say this trader had everything?" O'Neill complained.
"Jolinar says that he does, but that we are buying rather large amounts. Also, she, ah, asks you to consider whether it seems practical for him to have live farm animals inside the city." Sam smiled wryly, as she reformulated what Jolinar had said, but in somewhat more palatable terms.
She was actually beginning to appreciate Jolinar's often rather acerbic humour and almost complete lack of tact. If nothing else, the symbiote had no shortage of sarcastic comments about anything and everything, and she reacted very badly to authorities.
Sam could understand her stance, but it was not always the best way of handling things, so she felt it was a good thing Jolinar left her in control much of the time. Much of the time except for when they were being exposed to idiots like Kinsey or Samuels, or one of Kinsey's other lackeys. Sam no longer felt like panicking when she was not in control of her body - had not done so for a very long time, actually - so she actually appreciated that Jolinar handled those interactions.
"Hmph. Okay, I guess I can see that. So, where are we going?" O’Neill asked.
"To find an inn to stay in. Jolinar says there are seven guesthouses in this city. Two are above our level, as they only allow Goa'uld and their most trusted slaves. Three are below the class we are pretending to belong to, which means we have three to choose from. They are..." Sam frowned. "I believe 'The Grumpy Porcupine' is the closest translation I can come up with, after the image she shows me of the animal it’s named for." Sam smiled. "Then there’s 'The Wanton Maid', and finally, ah, 'The Weeping Cock'."
Daniel grinned, but Teal'c did not react to the names.
O'Neill snorted. "With those options I think we'll pick 'The Wanton Maid'."
"So, four mugs of beer, and four bowls of stew with bread. I'll bring it in a moment, sweetheart." The waitress winked at Sam.
"Uh, thanks..." Sam smiled.
"Three mugs of beer - and one cup of water." Teal'c insisted.
"Of course, sir." The waitress gave Sam a warm smile and left to get their order, taking care to sway suggestively with her hips as she did so.
*She is cute, but I would strongly advise against you leading her on. We do not need the distraction, and besides, I already have mates, and I would very much prefer to be faithful to them. I realize they are not your mates, unless you decide to remain my host, but...*
*Jolinar! I am not interested in her! I... ah... I prefer men , and besides, I'm not exactly in the mood to have an affair with anyone, so you don't need to worry about betraying your mates. Wait... Jolinar, you have mates! Why haven't I heard anything about this? Don't you think that would be reasonably to tell me!*
*Since you have shown no desire to remain my host, I would prefer you remain in the dark about my life, my people, and especially my loved ones. Any knowledge you have about them would only endanger them, should you meet them one day, or should the Goa'uld capture you.*
"Here you go..." The waitress put down a mug before Sam, giving her another big smile, then served the others at the table. "I'll be back with your food in a moment."
"Hm." Sam gave her an awkward smile, then turned to her grinning team mates.
"I think she likes you, Sam," Daniel commented.
Sam rolled her eyes, but did not feel like answering.
"She's nice," O'Neill said, looking after the young woman. She reminded him a little of a young version of his wife.
"At least she's got good taste." Sam grinned.
"Jeez." He shook his head, smiling.
The waitress soon returned with their food, then again later, to see if they wanted more to drink. By now she had understood Sam was not interested, so she sent her an unhappy look and instead smiled widely at Teal'c.
"Are you sure you do not want any beer? Or perhaps, wine? Such a big strong fellow as you must want something stronger than water." She winked at Teal'c and ogled his muscles.
"Quite sure," Teal'c said.
"Uh, I'd like some more beer..." O'Neill said, but the waitress did not notice him. "If it's not too much of a bother..."
Daniel snickered, and Sam smiled as well, while O'Neill just groaned and shook his head, as the waitress smiled at Teal'c again.
Teal'c heard them first, as he was the only one not asleep. Jolinar woke almost immediately, though, and quickly and silently sat up in bed, feeling for the hand device she had managed to hide under her pillow.
"There is someone outside the door," Teal'c whispered, taking his weapon and moving to wake Daniel who slept not far from him.
Jolinar nodded, sliding out of her bed while putting on the hand device. She slipped over to O'Neill and touched his shoulder, waking him. "Unwelcome guests. Outside the door," she whispered.
O'Neill sat up without making a sound, grabbing his MP-5 that was lying beside the bed. He barely had time to close his hands around it, when the door was suddenly kicked open and several people entered, weapons at the ready. The first of them immediately fired a bolt of energy from his zat'nik'tel, hitting O'Neill and stunning him.
Teal'c opened up with the MP-5 he had reluctantly brought along instead of his staff weapon, which had been deemed too noticeable. Jolinar launched a shock wave from her hand device, sending several of the men flying. The rest immediately stopped and stared at Jolinar, recognizing the weapon and the implication. Teal'c fired at them again, and Jolinar sent off another shock wave, to help the attackers make up their mind. Those who were still standing, turned and fled.
"Well, that went well!" Daniel said, then noticed O'Neill was still unconscious. "Jack!" He stumbled over to check on him.
Jolinar got there first, checking he had not hurt himself when he fell. "He seems to be unharmed. He will recover from the zat'nik'tel shot shortly. We should be ready to leave as soon as he does."
"You think those guys will come back?" Daniel wondered.
"Unlikely," Teal'c said.
"I agree, but we cannot afford any suspicion, and they may tell others that one of us used a hand device."
"Wouldn't that just scare any other attackers off? I mean, they'd think you’re a Goa'uld wouldn't they?" Daniel mused.
"They would, and most would be too afraid to attack us, but perhaps not everyone, and there are some types of interest we do not want. Ah, O'Neill is coming to. Get dressed, and we will leave as soon as possible. It is most fortunate they did not attack until now. Gehlak would have our goods ready at noon today, and that is only seven hours away."
They spent the remaining hours until they could pick up their supplies wandering around in the streets, except for a short visit to a small eatery. They were very much on guard, but nothing suspicious happened, and when it was finally noon, they went to Gehlak and got their goods, and hired carriers and herders to help with the transportation.
Since no one could be allowed to know the address to the Beta site, the workers would be bringing the food and animals to a stopover world Jolinar had picked since it was uninhabited.
Daniel watched the last of the workers disappear into the wormhole, which soon closed after him.
"Okay, Teal'c, you stay here with Carter and Jolinar, while Daniel and I go and see if we can convince the idiots back home to send some people to get this stuff. With our luck, they'll probably throw us in jail and refuse to go here, thinking it's a trap!" O’Neill grumbled.
"That would be most unfortunate," Teal'c observed.
"No kidding!" O'Neill sighed. "Let's hope we can find Hammond before anyone else gets a hold of us - he'll listen. Come, Daniel."
"O'Neill. Please return with expedience, and kindly bring armed guards in addition to the carriers. The address of this world is known, as is the fact that we went here with many valuable goods and few guards. Do not forget, we have already been attacked once, and we did not kill all of them," Jolinar warned. "Teal'c and I cannot long hold them off, should a larger force attack."
"Yeah, I got that. Believe me, I'll try!" He gave the large cow he was bringing with him for added emphasis a whack, and through the Stargate they went.
Sam looked worriedly towards the Stargate as soon as she heard it activating. It had been several hours and she was very concerned it might be someone who came to attack them. Looking to Teal'c, she saw that he was as much on edge as she was, and she gave Jolinar control, hoping the symbiote would be able to use the hand device to better effect than Sam could use the zat'nik'tel they also had.
She felt incredibly relieved when she recognized the first man through as Colonel O'Neill, quickly followed by Daniel, and then lots of other people from the Beta site. It was mostly soldiers, but others also followed when O'Neill had radioed that all was clear.
Jolinar gave control back to Sam, who smiled at her superior. "You certainly took your time, sir."
"Yeah, unfortunately, they weren't very willing to listen to me and Daniel, but Hammond managed to get them convinced we were telling the truth and it was worth it to send someone to see if we actually brought food." He grinned. "They're getting pretty desperate, you know - they were practically drooling when they saw the poor cow we dragged through the 'gate. They still had Doctor Fraiser check us for Goa'uld infestation, though..." He shook his head.
"Guards - take control of the Goa'uld!" Colonel Samuels yelled, having just come through the Stargate, after O'Neill had reported back that there was no danger.
"Oh, come on, man! She's not a Goa'uld - even you must know by now that the Tok'ra are different! She's just helped us get all this food - can't you be a little grateful, for god's sake?" O'Neill exclaimed.
"Have you considered she's not doing it for our sake? Not only does she want to eat too, but she may have other, ulterior motives for trying to ingratiate herself with us," Samuels insisted.
"Jolinar could have left any time she wanted. The only thing stopping her was her word, and the wish of her host to return to her sick father," Teal'c said, attempting to control his anger.
"Yeah, she’s got a hand device," Daniel added.
"A hand device! Where you really insane enough to give the Goa'uld a weapon? And not just any weapon, but something as dangerous as a hand device?" Samuels spat.
"She saved our lives with it!" Daniel exclaimed.
Sam sighed. "It's okay." She threw the hand device and the zat'nik'tel to O'Neill who was standing nearby. "We surrender - but please make sure Hammond hears about this," she said to her team members. "I'm sure he'll be interested - and the rest of the colony would probably want more food at some point, and I doubt Jolinar will want to help if this is the thanks she gets. I know I won't as much as consider it, as long as you have anything to say!"
The guards looked first at Samuels, then at Sam, then at O'Neill, clearly unsure what to do.
"Take her!" Samuels ordered.
Sam shrugged and followed the guards through the Stargate back to the Beta site, while the others started moving all the food and animals through after them.
O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c had gone straight to Hammond after returning, and he had promised to talk to the Council.
Daniel looked at the watch. Hammond had been in there for almost two hours.
"What's keeping them?" O'Neill sounded irritated. "How hard can it be! We would have starved in less than a week, if Carter and Jolinar hadn't come through for us!"
Just then, the door opened and Hammond came out, looking tired, but pleased.
"Well?" O'Neill asked.
"They're not completely convinced, not all of them, but enough of them have enough doubt that they've agreed to hear Jolinar. She’ll stand before the Council tomorrow and answer their questions and try to convince them she’s not Goa'uld."
"It's something, I guess." O’Neill admitted, reluctantly.