August 14 1998, Beta site
Daniel, O'Neill, and Teal'c waited to be allowed in to visit Sam and Jolinar in their cell. They had tried to get to talk to them for several days, but it had taken until know before they were given permission.
"Sam? Uh, Jolinar?" Daniel asked, when they had been let into the area in front of the cells.
"It's me, Daniel," Sam answered, a little tiredly.
"It is good to see you again, Captain Carter," Teal'c said.
"Thanks, Teal'c, you too - and you Daniel... Sir." She nodded at her friends, smiling at them.
"We wanted to check and see how you're doing... Carter," O'Neill said, slowly, then decided he really believed it probably was her, and not Jolinar. Mostly believed that, at least. He shook his head, then noticed how tired she looked. "How are they treating you? You look like something the cat dragged in. Aren't Goa'uld..." He rolled his eyes. "Okay, Tok'ra, supposed to keep you in perfect health?"
"Yes, and Jolinar's really doing her best. It's just that the damn doctor - Nichols - that's working for Kinsey's people, are testing out all the drugs they think might affect a symbiote."
"What! Are you okay?" Daniel asked, worried.
"Bastards!" O'Neill exclaimed, looking angry.
"They are attempting to find something that can be used as a weapon against Apophis and Klorel, presumably," Teal'c said, the twitching of a muscle in his jaw the only thing giving away his anger. "A continuation of the tests they did to my prim'ta, no doubt."
Sam nodded. "Yes, no doubt." She sighed. "While Jolinar is able to ensure it's not... dangerous for us, some of it's... quite unpleasant." She shuddered. "They've also attempted to determine how much and what kind of sedative works best, if you want to have the host awaken before the symbiote - probably to use for interrogating Sha're about Amaunet, though since Amaunet should already be dormant..." Sam shook her head. "I don't know." She looked at them, suddenly. "They did find her on Abydos, didn't they?"
"What are you talking about Sam?" Daniel looked at her, disbelieving.
"Okay, Jolinar - if that's you trying to trick us into thinking you know where Sha're is - again, then it's not working!" O'Neill exclaimed, looking angry. "Don't do that to Daniel."
"I'm not Jolinar and she really does know where Share - and Amaunet - is. Or we're almost certain where she is. We told Colonel Samuels. Didn't he tell you?" Sam frowned, then gave Daniel an apologetic look. "Listen, I'm really sorry, but I thought you knew - thought they'd have told you. Maybe they didn't believe us, but they seemed like they did, and I'd have thought they'd have sent someone there pretty quickly. If not to get Sha're, then at least because Amaunet is Apophis's mate!"
"They... they can't go to Abydos. Their gate is buried," Daniel said. "For another... ah... another week, then it's been one Abydonian year."
"Daniel..." Sam was quiet for a moment, not sure how she was going to tell him why they thought Amaunet was on Abydos - and why they believed the Stargate was no longer buried. "It's like this..." She began explaining.
"Those bastards didn't tell me!" Daniel said angrily. "Why am I not surprised? We need to go and get permission for a mission to Abydos
"I will support you, Daniel Jackson." Teal'c scowled. "Kinsey's people are indeed without honour."
O'Neill sat quiet, thinking. He nodded slowly. "We'll go and talk to General Hammond first, and then I'm sure he'll fix it so we can go. Otherwise we're going anyway, Daniel."
Sam tiredly sat down on her bunk. "I really hope you're able to take her here. As I told you, Jolinar says the Tok'ra can remove Amaunet - we just need to be allowed to contact them."
"I really want to believe that." Daniel looked apologetic. "Don't worry, Sam. I... I actually do believe her. I'm just not sure we can convince the Council here to let you out to go meet them."
"Especially since you mentioned earlier that you need to go alone." O'Neill shook his head. "They'll never agree to that, Carter."
Sam stared blankly before her for a moment, something the others had come to recognized as meaning she was talking with Jolinar. It was one more thing that helped to convince them Jolinar was who she said she was.
"Jolinar says it'll probably be all right if the three of you come along also, but no one else."
O'Neill nodded. "That may work. I'll talk to the General."
"Sir? I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill, these are Daniel Jackson and Teal'c. We're on you're daughters team... SG-1," O'Neill said. He gave Jacob a worried look. The man was pale and clearly not well.
Jacob nodded, sitting up straighter in the chair - probably one of the only armchairs on the planet, given to him by Hammond. "George - General Hammond... he said you'd stop by when you'd got the time. So, do you have anything new to tell me about Sam? I'm assuming she's still host to this Goa'uld - and still in a holding cell?"
"She is, yes," O'Neill admitted.
"Jolinar is not a Goa'uld - she's a Tok'ra." Daniel insisted. "They fight the Goa'uld just as we do. There's no reason for her to be in a holding cell."
"Is that so? Well, the creature still took her, didn't it? And she's still locked up, whether you think she should be or not." Jacob sounded bitter.
"Yeah... well..." Daniel did not know what to say to that.
"Jolinar is indeed Tok'ra, and her people are the Goa'uld resistance," Teal'c said. "Much to my disappointment, your current leaders do not seem to comprehend this."
Jacob snorted. "George told me they're idiots. I know the type. Slimy politicians out to play their own agenda. You're Jaffa, correct?"
"They trust you, so I guess I should trust you as well." He pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed at his forehead, then tried to get up, only to fall back into the chair. "Damn leg. Broke it - after being knocked on the head."
"Just relax, sir. Can I get you anything?" O'Neill asked.
"A glass of water. That doctor... Fraiser, she won't let me have anything stronger, and coffee's being rationed, so..." He shook his head.
"One glass of water coming up." O'Neill smiled.
August 18 1998, Amaunet's jewel, World of the Tau'ri
Mark frowned as he looked at the long lists of people. He had been here at the 'Tau'ri Census Office', for almost a month now. It had turned out that the city that had been named 'Amaunet's Jewel', was formerly known as Colorado Springs. Due to the... the thing they called a chaapa'ai, being there, Apophis had decided to make it his capital.
Marian, Mark's wife, had worked as a pastry chef before, and as luck would have it, Apophis's court actually needed an extra of those, to make 'Tau'ri style' delicacies. This meant she had gotten a highly prestigious job, but also that they were being kept very much under observation.
All things considered, Mark felt they were lucky. They both had real jobs instead of working as slaves, they were together, alive and well, and had their children with them. They also had a relatively nice house, even if it was smaller than what they had before. He knew few humans lived as nicely as they did, so he was not complaining. While their children would not get to go to school - all education had been cancelled for humans - they would at least want for nothing as they grew up, as long as he and his wife did not anger Apophis. He had seen what happened to those who did, and he was very much determined not to be one of those.
He sighed as he looked at the lists again. The Goa'uld wanted all humans registered and divided into categories - those that would be good, strong workers, those that might make trouble, those that were too highly educated, or had received too much technical training, and could be dangerous. Other categories contained those that would be good breeders, those that might be suitable as hosts - Mark shuddered, remembering the whispered stories he had heard - and those that should be killed outright for being a waste of resources.
Mark knew that the chaapa'ai was already being used to send groups of humans offworld - to be used for slaves on other planets, and sold to other Goa'uld. He shook his head, offworld. It was not so long ago that he would have laughed at anyone who said something as outrageous as that.
He wondered again how his father had known about the portal. Of course - the Air Force must have known about it. No doubt Apophis had come because the Air Force had used the portal, gone to some other world, and picked a fight with these Goa'uld. Or just called their attention to Earth. Sam had worked at the Cheyenne Mountain base - the place the chaapa'ai was located. She must have known too.
He was interrupted in his musings when the voice of one of the aliens barked an order behind him.
"Tau'ri, kree! Why has the list of slaves for Okunna Six not been delivered?"
Mark cringed as he heard the distortion in the voice, which proved it was not just one of the 'Jaffa', but one of the actual 'Goa'uld' - those who claimed to be gods. All the aliens scared him, but the Goa'uld the most. The Jaffa were apparently more or less human, but this was an actual alien. An evil one, as far as he knew. He quickly stood, then kneeled down on one knee, as he had been taught to do.
"My Lord. I apologize for my tardiness. You shall have the list momentarily."
"See to it that it happens, if you wish to keep your current position - and your life." The Goa'uld ordered and flashed his eyes, as Mark looked up at him. Kohnak was his name, and he was an underling of Lord Eskall, who was the top Goa'uld in charge of the Census office, Mark knew.
He swallowed, again being reminded of the otherness of the being in front of him, however much he looked like a human male. He felt cold fear run down his spine. "Of course, my Lord. Thank you... for your mercy." He bowed his head again.
The Goa'uld turned on his heal and left.
With a deep sigh of relief, Mark got up and went back to his chair, thinking briefly about these aliens. Rumours had it their true form was somewhat snake-like, or maybe eel-like, and that they needed human hosts to interact with their surroundings more effectively.
He knew some humans were put in a category called 'hosts', and also which ones it was the Goa'uld preferred. Young, beautiful, strong, perfect bodies. He had helped make lists of those, even as he felt horrified thinking of these peoples fate. Well, it would happen anyway, would it not? He was not responsible, he was just doing his job.
He wondered if having a human host affected these beings? From what he had seen, he had to admit they did behave fairly human in many ways, but that was probably inevitable, as they interacted with the world through a human body. He sighed, shaking his head and pushing all thoughts of the aliens aside. He had to finish this list. Quickly.
August 21 1998, Beta Site
It was almost a week after Daniel, Teal'c, and O'Neill had talked to Sam, when a team was finally given the go ahead for a mission to Abydos, and it had taken all of Hammond's connections to maneuver it so Daniel and Teal'c were allowed to go. He had not been able to get O'Neill on the team, since he was still serving out his punishment, working as guard during the night shift at the Stargate.
Worried, O'Neill waited for his friends to return from the mission, hoping what Sam had told them was true.
"How did it go?" O'Neill asked, concerned, when he saw Daniel's less than happy expression.
"She was there! Just as Sam said! She'd been there for several months!"
"Whoa... slow down. Who had been there... Sha're? Amaunet?"
"Sha're - Amaunet was dormant, just like Sam - and Jolinar - had said she would be. It's just that we were too late! We were going to take her back here, but then her labour started and the child had barely been born before Amaunet took back control."
"Uh, couldn't you have brought her anyway? I mean, if it's true what Jolinar says, and the Tok'ra can remove a symbiote..."
"We would have!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Unfortunately, Heru'ur had learned of Amaunet's hiding place and came to capture her. As you know, he is an enemy of Apophis," Teal'c told him.
"Heru'ur has her?"
"No." Daniel shook his head. "Apophis came, and... well, long story, but he has her again. Sha're is still not free." He looked devastated. "I failed, Jack!"
"You didn't fail!" O'Neill said with emphasis. "We'll get her back. What happened to the kid?"
"Kasuf would find a place to hide him. It is better we do not know more than that," Teal'c said.
O'Neill nodded. That was probably true. If the child indeed carried the knowledge of both Apophis and Amaunet, then his life would not be easy if he got into the hands of the NID. The same was true if any of the Goa'uld got him. That kid was basically screwed, no matter what. He felt sorry for him.
"Tell me!" The Goa'uld screamed. He wore some kind of hood that hid part of his face, and all she could see of it was that he was very pale. "What is the address of the main Tok'ra base?"
"Never!" Jolinar spat, flashing her eyes.
The Goa'uld made a sign and a Jaffa pressed a short staff against Jolinar's neck. Waves and waves of intense pain and heat coursed through her, finally causing her to cry out in agony. The Goa'uld laughed at her pain.
Sam awoke and sat up, gasping. It had been a dream. Just a dream, but so terrifyingly real!
*It was real. I did happen. I apologize, Samantha.* Jolinar sighed, sounding distressed. *We are not blended. Normally, my dreams should not affect you. Our minds are merging. It is unfortunate, but the only way to avoid it is for me to detach myself almost completely, as I did with the Nasyan man, Sennok. I will not do that while you need my protection against our interrogators. They will not leave you alone just because I do not talk to them. Besides, it is probably too late now anyway. As I said, we are starting to blend. We must hope I can leave you soon, before the complete blending becomes unavoidable.*
*Yes, you mentioned earlier that is was exhausting not to be blended.*
*It is, and this constant need to heal us is not making it easier.*
*Well, we can do nothing about that right now.* Sam sighed. *Tell me, who was that unpleasant Goa'uld with the hood.*
*Sokar. Rosha and I were his prisoners. When he tired of torturing us, we were sent to Netu - a hellish moon circling Delmak, Sokar's main world. He uses it as a prison for various undesirables. Samantha, I would rather not dwell on this experience, so can we talk about something else? Or attempt to sleep, perhaps?*
*Of course. Sorry.*
They were quiet for a long time before finally being able to sleep again.
Sam's thoughts went to her life, and how it had changed. How it would be changed, even if Jolinar left her. Which seemed less and less likely as time passed. For the first time that thought did not distress Sam. To her surprise and shock, she no longer really wanted Jolinar to leave. Frowning, she pushed the thought away, not ready to accept this yet.