Sam/Jolinar worriedly stepped into the make-shift building that currently served as the base's infirmary. Selmak had been brought there a few hours ago, unconscious, and she had still not woken up. No one had volunteered to be her host, so Jolinar did not hold much hope for her friendís survival.
*Samantha - we should talk to your father again. Perhaps he might agree to blend with Selmak,* Jolinar suggested.
*I think he may eventually agree, but I'm afraid he won't be ready to take that step until it's too late for Selmak.* Sam sighed.
*Maybe, maybe not. I am not so sure. Perhaps the urgency of the situation will cause him to make a decision.*
*We can try,* Sam offered, not really believing it would make a difference. Her father could be very stubborn.
Jacob was now staying in one of the six-man rooms that the infirmary had for its patients. He was not as sick as he would have been without Jolinar's work with the healing device, but he was still very weak, and Janet had demanded he stayed closeby, so she and the other medical personnel could keep an eye on him. Sam walked over to the room she knew he stayed in, and knocked on the door.
To their great surprise, Jacob had actually ended up agreeing to at least meet Selmak and talk to her, and to consider the opportunity to blend with her. Sam walked beside him, now and then giving him a worried look. He had become so frail and thin, she could almost not recognize him. He was still too proud to accept help, though, so she kept some distance, allowing him to make the journey to Selmak's room on his own.
When they came into the room, Selmak had woken up, and she turned her head, looking towards them. She smiled weakly. "Jolinar."
Jolinar smiled back at her, noticing that it was Saroosh in control. "Hello, Saroosh, Selmak. I have someone here I would like you to meet. His name is Jacob Carter, and he is my host's father."
"Hello, sir," Saroosh said. "The reason for this... meeting... may I hope he is volunteering to host my dear Selmak?"
"Maybe. He wishes to talk to the two of you first."
Jolinar pulled a chair up to the bed and Jacob sat down. "Hello, ma'am."
"You are Jacob Carter, father of Jolinar's host?"
"Yes, that I am." He threw a look at Jolinar. "You don't look so good, ma'am. Are you sure you're strong enough for this right now?"
"You're no vision of beauty yourself, sir!" Saroosh coughed, then smiled, a little sadly, at him. "I am not going to get stronger. Waiting will only weaken both Selmak and myself - and make the blending less likely to succeed. If you chose to blend, sooner is better than later."
"Forgive me, but what will happen to you, if I... uh... blend with your, your symbiote?"
"I will die, and you will then take my place as host," Saroosh told him.
"Hmm." Jacob nodded. "Could you tell me a little about, about this Selmak? How is she?"
Sam and Jolinar kept their distance, relaxing as the discussion between the three others seemed to be going well. Sam - who had been given control - walked over to the other end of the room, in order to give them some privacy, but still be ready to step in, should they be needed for anything.
*Jolinar,* Sam began. *Who is Martouf? When Selmak mentioned he was being shot at, you, well, you almost panicked. Who is he? I know you don't want to talk about any of your friends, so I can't give them up, but I got some pretty strong feelings from you when you thought of Martouf... and, and Lantash? Is that the name of the host? Or the symbiote? I also caught a very short glimpse of a, um, a very handsome young man.*
She sighed. *I suppose we have been together for long enough that you deserve to know. Martouf is the host, Lantash is the symbiote. They, are my mates.*
*Your mates,* Sam repeated. *I knew, of course, that you had some - you mentioned it back on the planet where we went to buy supplies - but you also flat out refused to tell me anything about them then. Somehow, knowing their names, make them much more real to me. Jolinar, tell me a little about them?*
Jolinar considered it for a moment. *Very well... I have been together with Lantash for almost 100 of your years - for nearly 25 of those, he has had Martouf as his host. Lantash can be somewhat self-assured and opinionated, and he is quite fiery. He is also very passionate, kind, and extremely intelligent. I love him very much. Martouf is more diplomatic and controlled, and can be somewhat shy and reserved. He is also kind and sweet, and as intelligent as Lantash. He is a gentle soul, but at the same time he can be a strong warrior, just as Lantash. They are both extremely loyal to the Tok'ra, and to their friends, and they will stop at nothing to help those they care for. Physically, they are very handsome, as you saw from the short glimpse.*
*Wow, they're... certainly something! And you love them very much,* Sam observed.
*I do, and so will you, if you remain my host.* Jolinar showed her another image of Martouf and Lantash, smiling a very charming smile, their pale blue-grey eyes seeming to look deep into your very soul. She then went on to show a succession of images, which quickly became very erotic.
*Whoa! Jolinar! Not now!* Sam tried not to look, feeling embarrassed at seeing this private side of the life of her symbiote and her mates. *Wait - you said, if I remain your host, I will come to love them? How does that work, exactly? And what will happen, will you still be mates with them if you have a new host?*
*I am not prepared to give them up! Samantha, host and symbiote love as one, so if we blend, and our feelings co-mingle, then you will quickly come to feel as I do. That is never a problem. The only thing that might take time, would be for Martouf and Lantash to accept you, but knowing them, I think that will not take long. You are very much their, ah, 'type', as you say, and you are also both kind and intelligent - and very beautiful. They will soon come to care for you, and, I think, will love you deeply, quickly. Of course, they will need time to mourn Rosha, but I suspect they already are, in a way. Both Rosha and me,* Jolinar sounded sad. *We have probably been declared dead many months ago. I have been here three months, and before that almost six months on Nasya - and before that, Rosha and I were on the run for just as long, with no way of contacting the Tok'ra.*
*I'm sorry.* Sam 'hugged' Jolinar, really feeling sorry for her. She took a deep breath. *Jolinar, how Martouf and Lantash will react to me matters a great deal to me, because, because I am seriously considering remaining your host. Permanently. I have gotten to know you quite well, and I consider you a good friend. I think I would miss you terribly if you left me...so, if you still want me, then, I think, I would like to, uh, blend fully.*
*You are certain?* Jolinar sounded extremely anxious, but hopeful as well.
*Yes, yes, I am.*
*Thank you!* Jolinar 'grinned' happily, and 'hugged' Sam hard.
Sam smiled, certain she had a foolish look on her face, just from all the warmth, love, and happiness suddenly flowing from Jolinar. She felt as if she was wrapped in something warm and safe.
"Sammie?" Jacob called, and from the expression on his face it was not the first time. "Jolinar?"
She shook herself. "Sorry, Dad. I was talking to Jolinar."
"You looked pretty far away - but also quite happy. I'll take that as a good sign for my future - with Selmak."
"So you've decided to blend?" Sam got up and walked towards him.
"Yes." Jacob nodded. "My only other option is death, and that's just not acceptable. Besides, I actually think I'm going to like being Tok'ra, as weird as it sounds."
"That's great, Dad!" Sam smiled widely. "I'll give Jolinar control now, then she'll guide you through this." She dipped her head.
Sam and Jolinar sat in the chair beside the bed where Jacob and Selmak were blending - and Selmak was healing Jacob's body. They had borrowed another examination bed for Jacob to lie on, and wheeled it over next to Saroosh and Selmak. Selmak had then jumped into Jacob, and said her goodbyes to Saroosh, who had died almost instantly. Janet had taken the bed with Saroosh's body aside, for later burial.
*Should it take this long?* Sam asked, worried.
*Jacob is quite sick, so it will take some time for Selmak to heal him. She is also weak, from keeping Saroosh alive for a long time. Aside from that, blending itself takes some time, if they decide to do a full blending immediately, which would really be best, given that it makes it easier for the symbiote to heal the host. There is also no reason not to, as we are not under attack.*
A moment later, the door to the room slammed open and Samuels entered, followed by Keffler, Nichols, and a couple guards. The three first looked furious.
"What is going on here?!" Samuels exclaimed. He spotted Jacob lying on the bed, and started towards him. "We were told another Tok'ra..." He made a long enough pause to make sure all were aware that he thought it was a trick, and the Tok'ra were really Goa'uld, "...was brought here to this base - and we weren't informed! We're is she?"
Sam's eyes flashed as Jolinar took over. "It would seem you are quite well informed. There was indeed a Tok'ra brought here, but she was in very bad condition, and there was no time to inform you. She was brought directly here to the infirmary." She stepped in front of Samuels, stopping him from approaching Jacob and Selmak further.
"I see." Samuels glared at her. "And where would this Tok'ra be right now?"
Jolinar took a deep breath. "She was in urgent need of a new host, and General Jacob Carter volunteered to be her host. They are currently blending."
"Blending? What the hell is that?" He looked enraged. "Did you stick the snake in General Carter? Get it out, immediately!" He tried getting past Jolinar.
"I will do no such thing - and it would kill both of them if Selmak attempted it. You must leave. Now ! They must not be disturbed while Selmak works at healing her new hosts body. It requires all her strength and concentration. Leave!" Jolinar took a threatening step towards Samuels, and flashed her eyes again.
Samuels swallowed, then retreated, clearly not feeling very comfortable near the Tok'ra. "Very well, but I can assure you we shall be back as soon as General Carter is well enough to receive us."
"The symbiote can heal his cancer?" Nichols asked, interested. "I would very much like to examine them during this process."
"To do so might kill them. Leave!" Jolinar repeated.
Samuels grabbed Nichols. "Come, leave the snakeheads alone. You'll get your chance to take a look at them again later."
Jolinar glared angrily after them, and remained standing near the bed, protecting Jacob and Selmak from any further intrusions.
"Jolinar?" Selmak asked, as she sat up in the bed.
"Yes, I am here, my friend." She hurried to their side. "Are you well?"
"We are both quite well." Selmak smiled.
Jolinar was quiet for a moment, looking distant, then looked at Selmak. "My host would like to talk to her father." She then bowed her head, giving Sam control.
"Of course." Selmak said, dipping her head and letting Jacob come fore.
"Dad?" Sam asked.
"Hi, kiddo - It's me!" He smiled at her, then threw his arms around her.
Sam returned the embrace, then stepped back a little, smiling at him. "You're really okay?"
"I feel great!" Jacob flexed his fingers and jumped up and down a few times, grinning. "Holy Hannah, no arthritis!"
After Jacob and Sam had talked a little, Jolinar and Selmak spent some time together, getting Jolinar up to speed on what had happened while she was on the run. She also explained to Selmak what she and Rosha had experienced, and how Rosha had died. She then turned to the important news she had about a spy among the Tok'ra.
This was of great concern to all of them - Selmak told Jolinar that the spy had not been caught, and that no one truly suspected there being a spy among the Tok'ra. Among their informers, yes, that could happen, but the Tok'ra were usually loyal for life. What really shocked Selmak was who the spy was.
"Cordesh?" Selmak stared at Jolinar. "Surely, this cannot be so! He is a member of the Council, and he has been a loyal, trusted Tok'ra for almost 2000 years! He was your vassal, and he followed you when you became Tok'ra. He swore allegiance, not only to the Tok'ra, but to you as well. This...this is insane!"
Jolinar sighed deeply. "I wish it was not the truth, but I am afraid it is. At first, I also did not wish to believe, and tried to find other explanations, but soon I had no choice but to accept it. He was in contact with Cronus more than once while I was undercover there, and he was also the one who betrayed me."
"But... but why?" Selmak looked pained. "Why would he do this to us? To you, you who gave him everything!"
"I gave him a host when he thought he would die with his mortally injured Jaffa, and I gave him the position of vassal on one of my worlds. Yes, but that was a long time ago, and as much for my own benefit as his. I was not yet Tok'ra, as you very well know."
Selmak slowly shook her head. "He was loyal."
"He was, yes. I truly believe that as well. His betrayal is recent, and I do not know how it came about. It must have been something drastic, for him to turn his back on the Tok'ra. It... worries me that he would, could, do that."
"Jolinar, you would never turn Goa'uld again. Never," Selmak said with conviction, realizing what was worrying her friend. "Trust me on this."
Jolinar nodded. "Thank you, old friend. I needed the reassuring." She took a deep breath. "It is worrying to have Cordesh loose on the base, with nothing to do about it. Since some Tok'ra were left behind, even if they were thought dead or dying, the bases would have moved again. They could not risk any being revived and forced to tell of the new location. You are certain all bases and outposts will be in deep secret mode?"
"Very certain. If Cordesh has given the System Lords the position of one base, he likely gave them others. Whatever it is that has caused the attack to happen now, whatever has caused him to give that information now, I am certain he will soon report on the Tok'ra again, since he has now reached the point where he is willing do so. Presumably, some remnant of his old loyalty had caused him to refrain before, in the period between his betrayal of you, and the attack that happened yesterday."
"True, it is more than 15 months since his betrayal of me, and the attack did not happen until now. Surely, the System Lords would not have held off, so Cordesh must not have given them the information until now. That also means he has reached a point in his corruption, where he will not care about betraying us again, and the bases will soon have to move again. The Tok'ra will become very paranoid, very quickly. Yes, I agree, they will be in deep secret mode within weeks, at the most." She sighed again. "I had hoped to wait only a week, then go to one of the safety boxes and retrieve information about one of the outposts. That will not be possible now."
"No, they will not be updated with information until the spy has been caught."
"A lot of damage can be done before that, when the spy is as highly placed as Cordesh. I cannot wait for that. I must go to find them, Selmak."
She nodded, understanding. "I wish you luck. I shall stay here and get to know my new host, but if you have not found our people soon, I shall assist you in searching, of course. I only wish I was able to give you more useful information."
"Think nothing of it." Jolinar made a conscious decision to push the problem about Cordesh aside until such a time where she could actually do something about it. "Selmak, something else... how fares Martouf and Lantash?"
"They are... mostly well, though they have been very concerned about you, and have missed you terribly. Three months ago, when you had been lost for a year, you and Rosha were officially declared dead. While Martouf and Lantash must have been expecting it, that hit them hard. They do not speak much to others, and are obviously mourning, though I do not believe they have completely given up hope. They are keeping to themselves, and not really taking part of anything social. Lantash is in control much more than otherwise, and he can be hard to read - except that he seems to have even less patience than usually, so there has been some situations where he, ah, spoke both harshly and rashly, I believe. Most people understand, though."
"My poor beloveds." Jolinar looked almost heartbroken, not something she ever did otherwise. "I truly wish I could go to them immediately, and hold them close to me, and comfort them."
"Hopefully, you soon can."