Sam peeked out from their hiding place. *It would seem Stargate Command is being guarded by Jaffa. I wonder if they've taken it over already?*
*If they have, it might be easier going there directly, instead of asking to be taken to Cronus first.*
*Yes... I'd really like to know what we're getting into, before attempting it, though,* Sam observed.
*That would probably be a good idea, yes, but there is no one we can ask - no one we can trust. As you said, they will believe you compromised, and capture you.*
*If Daniel... if Daniel is still alive, I think he'll at least listen. He'd started to believe you - and believe that the Tok'ra are real - shortly before we were attacked.*
Jolinar thought it over. *Perhaps. We will try and approach him. We have a weapon, if he should not be open to our trust.*
*We are not shooting Daniel! We already killed one of my friends, we're not killing another!*
*He does not seem a formidable warrior. We can probably disable him without harming him much.*
Sam ignored the comment. *Because of the time difference between here and Washington, it is only a little after midnight. We'll go visit Daniel in his apartment. If he's there, we'll see what he knows, and then we'll plan from there. Okay?*
Sam held the gun they had found on Bolling Air Base ready, but hidden, as she knocked on the door to Daniel's apartment.
After some time, she heard someone fiddling with the lock, and the door opened.
"Sam!" Daniel exclaimed, staring at her.
"Hi, Daniel. Um... can I come in?"
"Uh..." He hesitated, then stepped aside. "Sure, I guess. Come on in."
"Thanks." Sam went inside, then inclined her head towards the door. "You should lock that."
"Ah... yes, of course. Jaffa out there. Not that I think a locked door is going to stop them..."
"Probably not," Sam agreed. "Still... it may help some."
Daniel nodded, and locked the door. He threw a concerned look at Sam, who took care not to turn her back to him.
There was a fairly long, awkward pause, where they just stood there without saying anything.
"Um, so... you got away from the NID. Obviously... or, did they let you go?" Daniel asked.
"No, I escaped. The ashrak... came to kill me. Well, us." Sam winced.
Daniel nodded. "With Jack as his host." He got an unhappy expression.
"She's still here with me."
"I... see." Daniel's expression turned even more uncomfortable.
"Listen, we just... want to talk to you. Okay? We wanted to hear if you know anything about Stargate Command... and the Jaffa. That's not going to be a problem, is it?"
"No, not if... no. We're... we're good," Daniel said, not relaxing his stance.
"Good." Sam nodded. "Now, can I have a cup of coffee, perhaps? And maybe something to eat - a sandwich, or whatever you have. I haven't eaten since before noon."
"Of course... listen, Sam, it's late, and I've got a guest..." He looked like he considered what to say. "It's... a friend of Hammonds. He's... not well, exhausted. He needs to sleep, so we'll have to be quiet, okay?"
"A friend of Hammond's?" Sam looked surprised, then nodded. "Sure... and thanks."
They went to the kitchen, and Daniel busied himself with making coffee and finding something for Sam to eat.
Meanwhile, she sat down at his table, putting the gun down beside her and taking care to face the door.
"Is bread and some cheese and cold cuts okay?"
"That's fine, Daniel. Thanks a lot."
Daniel put the food on the table, and poured a cup of coffee for himself, and one for Sam, then sat down opposite her.
"Okay. So... what do you want to know? I mean, I don't know a lot of what's going on. I was lucky I wasn't on the base any longer when Cronus's Jaffa showed up." He took a drink from the coffee. "Sam... I'd really like to know what happened to you. How did you escape? Also... what happened to Jack? Do you know that?"
Sam grimaced. "Daniel. He's dead. I... I had to kill him."
"What! You... what?!"
"The ashrak was going to... execute Jolinar and me, and we couldn't escape. He'd just have kept following us if we had. We had to stop him... and we succeeded. But... the Colonel... Jack... he died too, of course." She shook her head. "I never thought I'd have to kill someone I'd come to consider my friend. And... to kill him, like that..."
"I'm sorry, Sam." Daniel put his hand on hers for a moment, then remembered about Jolinar and quickly pulled it away. "It wasn't your fault. There wasn't anything you could do. I'm sure Jack would have wanted you to do this, to stop the ashrak from doing any more harm. I mean, he'd already called in an attack by Cronus!"
"Yes... to kill me and Jolinar." Sam looked unhappy. "He only came here because of us!"
"Stop blaming yourself. You couldn't have done anything different. Jolinar took you as her host... and... well, it doesn't matter. No one listened to her either. Not in time, anyway."
"As Jolinar points out - there were errors on both sides."
"You're talking to her? She's... she's really talking to you? I mean, we heard she was awake, and that the NID was questioning her, but when I saw you, I thought the NID had done something to her, perhaps... made her unconscious again, or something..."
"She is conscious, and talking to me, yes." Sam sighed. "Listen, depending on several things, we may be in a hurry. I'll tell you how we escaped, but first I'd like to hear what has happened at Stargate Command."
"So it's completely in Cronus's hands? No one else is left there, except for the Jaffa?" Sam asked.
"No one else but the Jaffa, I'm sure of that. Everyone who was there when... the ashrak opened the gate, was killed. As I said, I only survived because I wasn't on the base when it happened."
"The ashrak let Jaffa through the gate, and everyone at the base was killed!" Sam looked shocked and sad. "Just a moment - I need to discuss something with Jolinar." She turned her focus inward. *Well?*
*This means it is unlikely we will meet anyone who recognize you, or knows you are my host. We should take advantage of this, and escape through the chaapa'ai.*
*How can we do that? They won't just let a random person walk through!*
*No, but they will let Cronus's underling through, and I can pretend to be that. Perhaps an underling of one of his vassals... yes, that is better. Then it would not make them suspicious when they do not recognize me.*
*And they will believe you? Just like that, with no confirmation from Cronus?*
*Yes, if I play the role well. I must look the part, act confident and arrogant - and as if I expect to be obeyed. I can do that without any problems.*
*I suppose you can... I'm glad I'm not the one who has to be in control for that, though.*
*It would be more convincing if we had a small entourage - at the very least a slave or two, though more would be better.*
*Yeah, that's not going to be easy to find. Anyone going with us will end up stranded offworld.*
*As if that would be a problem right now!* Jolinar scoffed.
*Right. Okay, but we do have a plan, at least. We just need the right clothing,*
*It is too bad that we do not have a kara'kesh - a hand device. It would make our ruse much more believable.*
Returning her attention to the world around her, Sam looked at Daniel, who was studying her with an expression of fascination on his face.
"We have agreed on a plan," Sam told him.
"Okay... so what are you going to do?"
Sam began explaining their plan. After she had finished, she went on to tell him what had happened to Jolinar and herself, and how they had escaped - as she had promised to do.
"So you're really going to leave Earth and join the Tok'ra?" Daniel asked.
Sam nodded slowly. "Yeah... yeah, I think I am. Well, I am going to leave Earth... and as things are going, I think I'll be joining the Tok'ra... that is, remaining Jolinar's host. I mean, there's little I can do here, so it's my best chance at fighting the Goa'uld."
*You will let me stay?* Jolinar asked, hopeful.
*Yes, I believe I just said that. I would miss you if you left, and it will give me a chance to fight the Goa'uld. Besides, it'll be a couple months more before you even can leave me. So, yeah, I'm in this for the long run. I think we've gotten better at working together, don't you?*
Jolinar 'hugged' her. *Thank you Samantha!*
*One thing - call me Sam. I've mentioned it before, but if we're making this permanent, I want you to call me Sam.*
*Of course. Sam. We should blend fully as soon as we have the time!*
*Does that mean you will see all my memories?* Sam wondered, suddenly a little apprehensive.
*You can keep some of them secret if you want to, but normally, yes. Do you mind?*
*Normally, yes, but strangely enough... not really. At least I think so. When would we do this?*
*I do not believe we will have time tonight, so perhaps as soon as we have returned to the Tok'ra?*
*Okay. We'll do that.*
*Since you will be remaining my host, I should tell you the fore-most reason why it is so important I return, quickly. There is a spy among the Tok'ra, someone who has been compromised, and is endangering all of the Tok'ra. I know who it is.*
*That... is a very important reason. Don't worry, we'll get you back there very soon, and then you can take care of that.*
*Yes, I am concerned. For all of them, but particularly for my loved ones. Samantha... Sam, there is something else I really should tell you...*
*Not now... I need to talk to Daniel. He's looking at us strangely, and I think he's said a lot to us while we didn't listen.*
*Of course. We can talk later... and thank you again for agreeing to remain my host!*
"Sorry, Daniel, could you repeat what you said? Jolinar... didn't know I would remain Tok'ra, and she got... a bit enthusiastic."
"I... okay." Daniel frowned. "It's still really strange for me, that you talk together like that. I mean, I do believe she's not like most Goa'uld... I know she's Tok'ra, but it's still strange." He shook his head. "What was it I was saying... oh, yeah. I just said that I understand that you want to go with the Tok'ra, to get a chance to fight the Goa'uld."
Sam nodded. "Thank you. It means a lot to me."
Daniel was quiet for a long time. Sam drank some more coffee, and made herself another sandwich. It was obvious there was something he wanted to say, but that he did not quite know how to say.
"Sha're is out there," he suddenly said. "I promised Kasuf I'd do my best to save her... and that I'd try to come back in one Abydonian year, no matter what. That's in less than two weeks. I've been thinking about it a lot today. As it is, there's no way for me to keep my promise. No Stargate Command anymore. No missions with SG-1. Nor are there likely to be any for a long, long time, if ever."
"You could come with us."
"Yes... Sam..." He shook his head. "I want to make it clear again that it's not that I don't believe the Tok'ra are real - I told you I do. I mean, I've got no proof you're not Jolinar pretending to be Sam, but you do seem to be you, and the internal conversations you're having would be something I doubt she would invent."
"Glad you believe me. What's the problem, then?"
"It's just... it takes a lot of faith to leave the planet, possibly forever... and with a Goa'uld, even if it's a reformed one."
"You've left Earth before - for Sha're. You would be doing so again. The Tok'ra have some information on her, and I promise I will help find her. If we do succeed in that, the Tok'ra know how to remove symbiotes."
"Really? They can actually do that?"
"I'll admit... it's... tempting."
"Think about it... but not too long. Right now we'll go see if we can find some clothing we can use to pretend to be a Goa'uld. We'll leave tomorrow morning, and if you want to join us, you can... pretend to be Jolinar's slave, I guess."
"Sam... I'll, think about it, I promise. Before you go... there's one more thing... I didn't know if I should tell you or not."
"Because you didn't feel sure I was me."
"Right. We've just been reminded the Goa'uld can pretend to be the host. The ashrak pulled that one on us for weeks. I mean, I just thought Jack was behaving a little different because he was worried for you, like I was. Anyway, I told you before that I have a guest. He showed up at the base, not long before the attack."
"Who is it?"
"Your dad, Sam. He came to Colorado Springs to talk to General Hammond, because he was tired of being given the runaround by the Air Force when he asked about you."
"My dad is here?"
"Yes. When I met him, he had just talked to Hammond, but he hadn't been told anything, except that you were in custody... and that you weren't guilty of anything. That just made him more than a bit angry, to say the least."
"I'm sure he was angry - especially since it was General Hammond who had to tell him. They're old friends."
"Yeah, I kind of guessed that. Hammond wasn't happy about not being able to tell him anything. Anyway, about then, word came about the attack. I said I could take General Carter to my place for the time being - so he was out of the way. Hammond said it was a good idea. Your dad was still furious, especially since Hammond wouldn't tell him what the emergency was, but he eventually agreed to go with me. I'm thinking we were some of the last ones that got out of the base alive."
"Yeah, you said the ashrak released nervegas shortly after - and later opened the Stargate for Cronus's Jaffa."
Sam nodded, unhappy. "Dad is asleep right now?"
"Yes he is."
"I'll talk to him when I return." Sam sighed. "I'd better get going. See you soon."