September 21 1998, Beta site
Next day, just before noon, Jolinar was called to the Council's meeting room. She now stood before them, looking calmly at them. She did not wear handcuffs - a concession Hammond had managed to get for her - but two guards stood at her sides. Daniel sat in a chair off to the side, having been allowed in as well, in order to assist her.
"So... Jolinar ... you claim not to be a Goa'uld, despite all evidence to the contrary. Tell me, why should we believe you?" Kinsey said.
Jolinar flashed her eyes. "I do not claim not to be biologically Goa'uld - that would be foolish. I do, however, claim not to share the philosophy and ideology of the majority of my species. That is what makes me Tok'ra - against Ra, and all the other System Lords."
"That all sounds very good, but we have only met or heard of Goa'uld who were evil and power-hungry, why would you be different? And more importantly, how do you prove this?" Samuels asked.
"There exists evil humans, correct?"
"Of course. What's that got to do with anything?"
"So, since some humans are evil, all humans must be evil, since they are the same species. That is what you are saying."
"That's ridiculous! Stop wasting our time!" Samuels snarled.
"I am not. I am proving a point. Obviously it is false - not all humans are evil, just because some are. Is it then so impossible for you to believe that there could be some beings - who are the same species as the Goa'uld - who are not evil?" Jolinar asked.
"Perhaps. Anyway, assuming these 'good Goa'uld', these 'Tok'ra', actually exist - how do we know you're one of them? How do we know you're not just trying to trick us in order to save yourself?" Kinsey suggested.
"You are fools!" Jolinar scoffed. "If that was all I wanted, then I would not be here! I could have sabotaged your precious Stargate Command before Apophis arrived. I could have killed all of SG-1 and fled, using the treasure - and knowledge of your location - to pay my way to a position with a System Lord! Yes, I had a weapon, but I did not use it. I do not kill anyone without a reason, and not those who would be my friends. I would no more sell out your people to the Goa'uld, than I would my own - not because I have any love for your particular group, but because most of your subjects are innocents. Instead, I choose to help, bringing you food in your need."
"So we should be grateful, is that what you're saying? You obviously share many traits with the Goa'uld - you're arrogant and you've got quite a superiority complex going," Kinsey remarked, scornful.
Jolinar controlled herself with difficulty. "I have no wish for your gratitude! I returned because my host wishes to see her father before he dies, and I have even brought a healing device, with which I hope to prolong his life and ease his suffering. My people could do much more - both for him and for all of you, if you would but see reason, and let me go to them! We could help you create sanitary facilities and lessen the pressure on the river, for instance! Help you better hide from the Goa'uld! Seeing how things are going here, you obviously need our help!"
"Stop treating us like we're children or animals! Admit it! You consider us inferior, animals!"
"No. Animals do not foul their home and their water supply!" Jolinar snorted.
Daniel jumped up from his chair. "Whoa - perhaps... perhaps it's time for a recess?"
After a break, they all returned to the Council chamber again, and Jolinar was again questioned.
"And we're to believe you don't have any more information for us about Apophis? Didn't you say your people fought the Goa'uld by infiltration? You'd have to get a lot of intel that way," Kinsey said.
"I have been away from my people for a long time, as I have repeatedly pointed out to the... gentlemen who interrogated me over the past months. I have already given you what meager intelligence about Apophis I had. Everything which would be of any use to you."
"You need to go to the Tok'ra for both intel and tech. You can't give us any help without contacting your people, don't you think that sounds just a bit suspicious?" Samuels snorted.
"No. It is a fact. I can give you some advice, though. Do not keep everyone at one base - if anyone learns its coordinates, you could all be wiped out at once. Also, your teams should never go directly here upon returning from a mission, but should utilize a 'safe world' for a stop-over. That way no one following them will learn of the address here."
"No one will get the location! Our people are careful not to let anyone see the glyphs when they dial, and they're trained not to give up anything under torture," Samuels insisted with indignation.
Jolinar scoffed. "Not just your soldiers go to other planets - you sent civilians to help carry the food we brought. The address of that world was not a secret, and someone could have arrived and killed Teal'c and me while we waited, then stayed to kill or capture your people when they came for their supplies. Even if none of your civilians are ever captured, some of your soldiers will be. It is only a matter of time."
"I'll admit sending civilians off world might have been an oversight, but we’re careful when it’s done, and it may be necessary. I don't believe there was any danger they would be caught by anyone who would wish to attack us. As for the soldiers - as I said, they won't speak, even under torture." Samuels looked confident.
"No one knows that until they are caught, and the Goa'uld are very good at making people talk. They do not have to worry about killing the prisoners, because they have sarcophagi, with which they can heal and bring back someone, even from death. You know this. An unblended human can always be made to tell their secrets."
"But Tok'ra cannot? Stop bragging!"
"You forget. The Goa'uld can do something to unblended humans they cannot do to Tok'ra. They can make an unblended human a host to a symbiote, who can then take any knowledge they want from their mind. No human can stop a symbiote from doing that, regardless of training. It is a regrettable fact, but it simply cannot be done."
The members of the Council stared at her for a few moments, as they seemed to understand what she told them.
"Okay. Granted. You would know, I guess," Samuels said.
"Yes, I would.” Jolinar took a deep breath. “It is safer to have several bases. The Tok'ra would never put everyone on the same. It is foolish. There are other advantages. If you are fewer people on each base world, you will be less visible - and you will lessen the pressure on the river."
"If we contacted your people, what would it take to get them to help? Would they want something in return?" Kinsey asked, looking suspicious.
"You have little to offer, except hosts, that is true. However, you can provide people for some of our missions, which require human slaves, or just backup. Aside from that, perhaps there are people here who might be interested in volunteering as hosts?"
"Hosts! Are you crazy?" He shuddered at the thought.
"Not at all. You currently do not have as advanced a medical system as you did on your homeworld. People will get wounded or sick, and becoming a host may save their life. It is something you should consider," Jolinar said.
The Council members looked at each other, not liking the idea, but some of them had to admit it was possible.
The meeting continued for some time longer, with at least a few of the members of the Council starting to not only believe Jolinar was a Tok'ra, but also that she might be speaking the truth.
A decision was finally made; they would divide their people over ten bases, and Jolinar was to be released - with conditions. She would no longer be in a holding cell, nor would she be interrogated or experimented on, but she would still be guarded. She got her own quarters, which was more than most of the people had - even if her quarters had a guard outside. She was allowed to move relatively freely on the base, as long as a guard followed her. While not perfect, it was a huge improvement.
*Would you like to go and visit your father?* Jolinar asked.
*Yes, I would... I’m just... worried how he'll react.*
*Because of me.*
*Yes. I'm sorry, but I really don't know how he'll react. Hell, he might yell at me even without you - we don't always get along, though it's much better now than it was some years ago. And much better than how it is between my brother and my dad.* Sam slowly shook her head. *I guess you'd say we're a bit dysfunctional.*
*I do not know the background for your quarrel, but I do know you are very fond of your father, and that you worry for him. You have a chance to make up for whatever problem is between you. You should go to him.*
*Take the healing device. We do not know how sick he is, but I may be able to help him some, at least temporarily.*
"Hi, Dad," Sam said, as she stuck her head inside his room, feeling anxious.
He looked up from the papers he was reading, while eating what looked like mashed potatoes and beef, with gravy. He put down the fork and pushed away both the papers and the plate when he saw who it was. "Sam! Come in!" He looked surprised, then got an apprehensive expression. "Ah, you still have that Goa'uld inside you, right?"
"Yeah, Dad, I do... and she's Tok'ra, not Goa'uld. Her name is Jolinar - but I'm sure some one's already told you all that." She frowned, looking worriedly at him. He was pale, and he had gotten quite thin. He did not look well at all - he was even slumping a little in his chair, something he otherwise never did.
He nodded, sitting up straighter. "Yes, George told me, but it's still too strange to think that you've got an alien in your head - even one he claims is a good guy."
"She really is - and don't talk to me about strange, though I'm starting to like her. It's nice always having someone to talk to - though I admit we can drive each other crazy from time to time." Sam laughed a little.
"That almost sounds like marriage to me," Jacob said. He sighed, looking tired. "Sit down. You can stay for a while, right?"
"Of course. Right now I don't really have any duties. They still don't trust me, not completely, but I'm not locked up anymore - which is a step up from being treated as a reviled representative of those that conquered Earth." Sam smiled wryly.
"It is." He looked at her again, as if he was trying to determine if she really was Sam, and not the symbiote.
Sam nodded at the plate with the almost-finished meal. "I see you've got something different than the MRE's."
"Yeah, it's nice. The mashed potatoes taste a bit different, but it's not too bad. I'd gotten pretty tired of the MRE's, as I'd imagine all of us have." He looked at her, getting a friendlier expression. "George told me - it was... Jolinar who got us this food."
"She did, yes."
"I'm grateful to her for that , at least."
"Dad - I'm not suffering. I told you, we're actually starting to get along very well."
"Okay." He got an expression as if he did not believe her.
Sam sighed deeply. Neither she nor Jolinar had expected this to be easy. Her father was a very stubborn man. "Perhaps you'd like to meet her?"
"Ah..." He was quiet, then apparently made a decision. "Sure, why not?"
"Great, thanks, Dad." Sam smiled, relieved. She bowed her head, giving Jolinar control.
"Greetings, sir. It is an honour meeting you." Jolinar bowed her head respectfully.
Jacob jumped a little at the flanged voice coming from his daughters mouth, but quickly recovered. He had been told they spoke like that, but actually hearing it - and coming from Sam's mouth - was quite different. "Um, hello, Jolinar."
"I deeply apologize for the problems I have caused for your daughter, by... taking her as my host. It happened as a result of a misunderstanding, and I assure you I will leave her as soon as it is possible."
"That's... that's good." Suddenly, Jacob noticed that except for a small stump, the little finger was missing from her right hand. "What happened to your finger?"
Jolinar looked at the hand and sighed. She had started to fix it, but the finger had only just begun to regrow. "Some unpleasant people who were interested in the healing abilities of my species caused that. Sir, I promise you that I will repair the damage to my Sam's hand. It will take some time to regrow the finger, especially since I am somewhat weakened, but I expect the finger to be regrown in at most a few weeks."
"George told me they'd been interrogating you, but he didn't tell me they'd done things like this!" Jacob said angrily. "Someone is going to pay for this!"
"I have been assured it will not happen again. For now, that is enough."
"I can't be so forgiving." He frowned. "You can regrow a finger? Really?"
"Quite easily, actually. Such damage takes longer to repair than injuries where bones do not need to be regrown, of course. We can also cure almost all diseases, and are immune to most poisons."
"Impressive! Even cancer?"
"Yes, it is usually very easy, as long as it has not progressed too far."
"Hmm..." Jacob looked thoughtful.
"A symbiote really could cure you," Jolinar said, then sighed. "Forgive me, but Sam seems to believe you will not like me asking, but... how are you doing, sir?"
"She's right." He straightened. "I'm not dead yet. They're not getting rid of me that easily!"
"Of course not, sir," Jolinar agreed, taking the healing device she had brought, from her belt. "This is used for healing by my kind. It works very well on any kind of injuries, as long as they are not too severe. It cannot cure your cancer, though, but it may heal some of the damage in your body, and strengthen you. Will you allow me to use it on you?"
Jolinar had used the healing device on Jacob, and while she could not cure him, he felt significantly better and stronger afterwards. This was of course something that made Jacob much more positive and friendly towards Jolinar, and Sam was happy - both about his friendlier attitude, and naturally that her father was feeling better. They agreed that Sam and Jolinar would return to visit later that week, and that they would bring the healing device again.
The Council had decided they really did agree with Jolinar's recommendation to split the colony up across a number of bases, and teams were sent out to find suitable base planets. Jolinar knew of a number of planets which might suit them, and which were uninhabited. She explained that sharing a planet with others was of course possible, but that it might put the local population in danger, should the Goa'uld choose to attack the Tau'ri, and was thus not something she thought they should do.
Of course, much work had been put into building housing on the planet they were on, but since people were living in very close quarters - most sleeping 12 people in the same room - everyone was interested in slowly building bases on other worlds and moving some of the people there. It would also, as Jolinar had pointed out, put less pressure on the river and the environment around the base in general.
She had repeated her offer of going to the Tok'ra, to see if they would agree to help, and provide what was necessary to construct bathing and other sanitary facilities. Since it would be simple to do - using specially constructed tunnel crystals for most of the work - it was likely the Tok'ra would agree to help, even if they were not interested in an alliance.
Kinsey and his Council did not reject the idea outright this time, but put off the decision for the time being.