October 08 1998, New Earth
It was finally time for SG-1 to go and attempt to contact the Tok'ra. Jolinar was getting very nervous that they had already moved - or worse, that they had been killed by attacks from the System Lords, since the spy was still in position.
They did not know how long they would be gone. Jolinar suspected they might be detained by the Tok'ra for some time, so she and Sam had gone to see Jacob before leaving, and Jolinar had healed him again. Sam was getting fairly worried for him, even though he insisted he was well enough. However, when Jolinar had again breached the subject of blending with a Tok'ra symbiote, he had not dismissed it out of hand, as he had the other times.
He had apparently spent some time thinking about it, and the fact that he was getting used to Jolinar also helped. In fact, many people were starting to look kindly on her, after she had not only brought them food, but had also helped heal many of those who had been wounded during Apophis's most recent attack.
Sam and Jolinar currently stood near the local Stargate, waiting for the rest of SG-1 to show up. Or rather, the rest of the original SG-1, because with Sam on long-time leave because of Jolinar, and O'Neill promoted to base commander, SG-1 was no longer an active unit.
*It actually sounded like my Dad is considering becoming a host - if there is a Tok'ra symbiote available, who would agree to blend with him,* Sam observed, still quite astonished.
*Yes, it does. I was somewhat surprised as well.*
*Do you think it will happen? I mean, do you think anyone will want him as host? They won't say no because he's, ah, older than most when they become hosts? Or because he's so sick?*
*No. A reasonably healthy symbiote should not have too much of a problem healing him, since we have treated him regularly with the healing device. If there is a symbiote available soon, that is. As for his age? Tok'ra do not only take young, handsome hosts, like the Goa'uld do, even though there are missions where such a host is a requirement, of course. There are many positions within our movement that can be handled by anyone, and your father is not that old. With a symbiote, he would become quite strong and healthy again, and should be able to live for another couple hundred years. We regularly have hosts who are as old as your father, or older, when they become hosts, though I must admit the majority are younger - also because of the relatively short lifespans on many of the worlds our hosts come from.*
*Of course, many of them are from Goa'uld slave worlds, so they probably don't live very long.* Sam felt sorry for all those people out there, then realized that the people of Earth would be in much the same situation now.
This was something she had not thought much about for the past months, since she had had her own problems to deal with. Now she realized what the rest of the people on the colony must have thought of often during their exile - Earth, as she knew it, was no more. Her people were slaves to Apophis.
Jolinar 'hugged' her. *From what I have seen, your people are strong, and they will persevere. You and your group escaped, and you will survive - and one day take back your world.*
*I hope so, Jolinar. I really, really hope so. I think we'd have a hell of a lot better chance if we ally with your people, but to be honest, we don't exactly have a lot to offer - except hosts, which I'm not even sure the Council will accept. Our Council, I mean. The Tok'ra have a Council too, don't they?*
*They do. Just to make things confusing for us, my Sam.* Jolinar sounded amused.
"Ah, there you are! Ready to leave, Carter? Jolinar?" O'Neill greeted as he walked towards them.
Jolinar gave Sam control, and she greeted her commanding officer. "Colonel." She smiled. "Yeah, I think we're ready. Jolinar is a bit nervous, and frankly, so am I, but I think we'd both like to get it over with."
"Hi, Sam!" Daniel waved.
"Captain Carter." Teal'c inclined his head to her.
"Hi, Daniel, Teal'c." Sam's smile grew. "It's nice to go on a trip with you guys again."
"Yeah, just like old times." O'Neill grinned. "Ready, guys?"
Jolinar had dialled an address for a stop-over world first, and as soon as they had gone through, and the wormhole had closed down behind them, she inputting the glyphs for the world her Tok'ra base was currently stationed at. The fact that the rest of SG-1 would now know the address to this base might very well mean they would be kept at that base, until the Tok'ra moved to a new planet. She had told them that, but they had said they were willing to risk it, and were ready to step through the wormhole to the Tok'ra base world.
Taking a deep breath, Jolinar walked through the Stargate.
And into a world in chaos. A death glider whined over her head, and she threw herself to the ground behind the only cover available nearby, which happened to be the dialling device. "Get down! Take cover!" Jolinar yelled at O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c who stepped through just after her.
She glanced around, spotting clear evidence of a fairly sustained bombardment. There were craters everywhere - one of which Sam's team mates were currently using to hide in. She saw one downed death glider, and several dead or unconscious Jaffa scattered near the Stargate, as well as two immobile Tok'ra, presumably dead as well. One of them were close enough to reach, and she quickly checked. Dead. It was Toven/Rillek, and she noted absently that the other one, further away, was Siska/Katthara. She had known both of them, though not very well. Regardless, any mourning was for later. She clamped down on her feelings before they could affect Sam as well.
"Could anyone here be alive?" O'Neill shouted from his cover.
"Unlikely. Since there are dead Tok'ra on the surface, I would assume the evacuation was underway. The tunnels will have been destroyed by now," Jolinar yelled back, pulling out her zat'nik'tel and firing thrice at the nearest Tok'ra.
*Why are you doing that?!* Sam asked, astonished and appalled. *Wasn't he a Tok'ra, like you?*
*Yes, and if the Jaffa take him to their master, there may very well still be time to revive him in the sarcophagus - so he can be tortured endlessly, until he goes mad and/or betrays all he holds dear.*
*Oh,* Sam answered, softly, understanding.
"Okay. Jolinar - dial out as soon as possible!" He ordered, frowning at what she had just done. Well, explanations could wait until later.
"Understood. That was my intention!" She quickly fired at the Tok'ra further away, disintegrating her as well.
That was when she heard someone moan close by, and she became aware of a weak energy signature in that direction. Someone was still alive, but was it a Tok'ra or a Jaffa?
"Jo... olinar?" The voice asked. "Is it really... you?"
Jolinar felt a shock go through her. "Selmak?" She glanced in the direction of the deathgliders, which had now turned and would be coming in for another pass in a moment, then back towards where she sensed the symbiote.
"It is me, old... friend," Selmak gasped.
Jolinar noticed a bit of clothing showing, perhaps from someone mostly buried under the sand, and she was just about to see if she could reach the other Tok'ra to help her, when the Stargate shut down, and Jolinar threw herself at the dialling device, entering the address of a safe world as fast as she could.
She slammed her hand down against the red center button, and the Stargate activated, the wormhole flushing out, then stabilizing. "I opened it. Go, go!" Jolinar yelled, throwing a worried looking at the deathgliders closing in on them. *Sam?* She queried, wanting to know if Sam was alright with Jolinar attempting to get the other Tok'ra with them.
*Yes, of course. Save her if you can!*
Jolinar dashed out from the marginally safer position by the dialling device and ran for the place where Selmak was hiding, partially buried in the sand. Selmak tried to get up from the hole, but she was too weak, only succeeding in reaching out with her hands. Jolinar grabbed them and pulled her up, then realized Selmak was unable to stand.
"Jolinar, do not... do not risk your life. Leave me."
"Never!" Jolinar promised.
"What's keeping you!" O'Neill shouted, from his place just beside the Stargate. He ducked as one of the deathgliders flew low and started firing at them, thankfully not hitting anyone. " Damn!" He swore, seeing Sam/Jolinar carrying Selmak towards the wormhole.
He considered running to them, in order to help Sam and Jolinar carry Selmak, but they were obviously strong enough to move fairly fast, even with Selmak on their shoulder, so instead he stayed by the wormhole, keeping it open.
A shot from the deathglider exploded close behind Sam and Jolinar, and they stumbled and almost fell, but managed to make it the last distance to the Stargate, throwing themselves through. O’Neill jumped after them immediately, making it through safely as well.
Jolinar got up first, quickly turning to check on the now unconscious Saroosh/Selmak, as the Stargate shut off behind them. She and O'Neill grabbed her and carried her away from the immediate path of the wormhole, and shouted at Daniel to dial out -
anywhere, and fast!
They all looked on in worry, as the wormhole opened, but one more glance at the shining glyphs confirmed they had opened the wormhole.
One more jump through a wormhole brought them to another safe world, and from there, on to 'New Earth'.
O'Neill and Jolinar carried Selmak over to the side of the Stargate and put her down, as soon as they were a safe distance away from the area where the soldiers guarded the gate.
"Selmak?" Jolinar queried, grabbing the healing device she had clipped to her belt and beginning to use it on her.
"Who is this?" O'Neill wondered.
"Selmak - her host is Saroosh. She is the oldest and wisest of us, a great leader among my people," Jolinar explained, as she continued using the healing device.
"She doesn't look so hot," O'Neill observed, worried.
"Saroosh is old and weak - and her attempted flight from the Goa'uld did not improve matters. Selmak needs a new host."
"Yeah..." O'Neill looked less than happy, and discreetly moved a little further away.
"Jo... Jolinar..." Selmak coughed weakly and tried to lift her head. "Is it... really you? Ro... Rosha?"
"Shhh, old friend. Take it easy. You must rest." Jolinar looked worried. "Yes, it is me. I have a new host, Samantha Carter. I lost Rosha to an ashrak." She closed her eyes for a moment.
"I am so sorry to hear that... Saroosh also... gives her condolences."
"Thank you." Jolinar sighed. Now was not the time to catch up. "Can you tell me what happened to the base? You were attacked, obviously."
"By... several System Lords... I think. I do not... know." She coughed again. "I was in the healing rooms, so I... I was not party... to the information."
O'Neill handed Jolinar a water canteen, stil keeping his distance. She accepted it, with a nod as thank you, and held it up to Selmak's lips. "Drink."
Selmak thankfully swallowed a few gulps, and looked a little better. "The call was made for evacuation... Toven, and Katthara took upon themselves... to help me. We... were last." She was quiet for a little while, too tired to continue. After a few moments, she continued. "The deathgliders approached, and... the chaapa'ai was too far... away. Martouf... saw us... came back... back to help. We almost got away... we... the deathglider fired... Martouf shot back, with... with a staff weapon. The deathglider... crashed. Toven... Toven fell. Dead. Katthara and Martouf would carry me... but the Jaffa came towards us. Katthara was hit, and died."
"What about Martouf?" Jolinar asked, deeply concerned.
"Staff blast... grazed his back. Still, he would not... would not leave me. I ordered him. Yelled at him. Told him to go. Jolinar, do not worry. He got away... finally, he obeyed, left through the chaapa'ai. He was the... last to get out." Selmak fainted from the exhaustion.
"Selmak!" Jolinar exclaimed, quickly checking on her. "She is alive, but very weak." She used the healing device again. "She is stable - for now, but the only thing that will save her is a new host, and very soon."