Reviews


[ Chapter 1: Captured | Chapter 2: Surprises | Chapter 3: The City | Chapter 4: Hiding in the Mountains | Chapter 5: The Attack | Chapter 6: Prisoners and Slaves | Chapter 7: Blended | Chapter 8: Thunderstorm | Chapter 9: Another Goa'uld - and a Tok'ra | Chapter 10: Free at Last | Chapter 11: To Earth | Chapter 12: Enemies and Friends | Chapter 13: Selmak | Chapter 14: Mates ]

Next day. They had just eaten their meager breakfast and were on their way down into the mine, when a new group of Jaffa showed up. They grabbed SG-1, on orders from Tahil, and led them away, towards the Stargate.

"And just as we were starting to get along with everyone..." O'Neill mused.

"Where are you taking us?" Daniel asked.

The lead Jaffa, surprisingly, half-turned and looked at them all with disdain.

"That you will know soon enough. However..." He grinned evilly. "Why not...it will change nothing. Lord Tahil has sold you to our great Lord Zipacna. It is a good trade. You are too weak to be good miners, and this will bring Lord Tahil some of the naquadah he lost because of the weather. I am sure Lord Zipacna will enjoy delivering the shol'va Teal'c to our ally Lord Apophis!"

The Jaffa - and several of his men - laughed loudly at this. SG-1 looked at each other, a sense of dread coming over them.

This was very bad news. Though not exactly surprising. They had feared all along they would eventually be taken to be interrogated by a Goa'uld. They had expected it to be one of the minor Goa'uld, though, and not one of the System Lords.

Sam knew from her blending with Jolinar who Zipacna was.

"Zipacna is a System Lord, allied with Apophis." She explained to the others in a low voice.

Teal'c nodded. "I have seen him a number of times, when he has met with Apophis."

They were marched at a high speed to the Stargate and taken through to a lush world.

"I recognize this planet. It is the home world of Zipacna." Teal'c observed.

"Great..." O'Neill sighed. 

They were lead along a road through a thick jungle. All around them were greenery and colourful flowers. Now and then they heard a strange bird call out. Apparently they only walked through a corner of the jungle, because they soon reached more open territory - plains and shrubbery. Ahead of them rose low mountains.

The well-trodden road took them through a narrow valley, with guard posts above them. It would not be easy to reach the Stargate, unless they could find another way back. If they would even be able to escape.

They walked for several hours before they saw a large, walled city. Behind the fortifications rose a fortress, built in what looked like typical Mayan architecture. Daniel actually managed to look excited at this - clearly looking forward to seeing it up close.

As they approached the city, they studied the landscape, hoping to find places to hide if they managed to flee. It was very open here - plains, cacti, and rocks, with only a few bushes here and there. It would be very difficult to cross without being seen from the city walls. It was very defensible. Their mood darkened further, if it was even possible.

"Wow - an actual Mayan city! Look at those step pyramids! Do you have any idea how..."

"Not now, Daniel. We're about to be taken before an evil Goa'uld." O'Neill said, irritated.

As it turned out, they were merely thrown into a holding cell and left there for days, before a servant took pity on them and informed them that Lord Zipacna had been called away on 'urgent business' and it was unknown when he would return.

*What do you think, Jolinar?* Sam wondered.

*Could be anything. Most Goa'uld do not care to inform their slaves where they go, or for how long. The slaves are merely expected to be ready for anything, anytime. That said, him being away like this, for a long time - on 'urgent business' - probably means a battle, border skirmishes perhaps, maybe even a small war.*

*A battle?*

*Yes. Your killing of Ra has caused much unrest among the Goa'uld. There are still fights now and then for the rest of his domain, and perhaps to eventually gain the Supremacy, since none currently have it. Both Zipacna and Apophis - being long term hostiles of Ra, if not truly active enemies anymore - have grabbed much of Ra's former territory. The result of that is countless border skirmishes - or worse - with other contenders and new neighbors. It will be a long time before it all settles down to a new equilibrium.*

*And you're unhappy about that?*

*Not at all. Quite on the contrary. This pleases the Tok'ra immensely. Ra was much too powerful. It is easier to handle the Goa'uld when no one is supreme. They are currently feuding, which may temporarily be bad for their subjects, but in the longer term it will be to every one's advantage to have many smaller Goa'uld Lords, instead of one or a few big ones. They will be easier to eventually topple. Besides, Ra was one of the worst of them, so it a good thing the galaxy is rid of him.*

*How long do you think it will be before Zipacna returns?*

*If it really is an actual war, then it may be a great many days, or even weeks. Perhaps months. It all depends upon how well his campaign - or his defense - goes.*

*Damn.*

*Well, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is better to sit here in a holding cell - and attempt to find a way out - than it is to be tortured by Zipacna. At least they are feeding us.* Jolinar said, somewhat sarcastically.

*There's that...*

*Also, this gives the Tok'ra time to track us and perhaps place an operative here to help us.*

*What makes you think they'll risk someone for us? Or that they'll even be able to figure out what's happened to us?*

*Do not underestimate my people. They are quite competent. And in this case at least, I think they might send someone to at least see if they can affect a rescue. I did send a very favourable report of you as potential allies. As for tracking us...when we were about to crash on Aeaea, I released a Tok'ra tracking device. While I did not then know where we were, that is of no relevance. The Tok'ra will eventually have detected the signal and arrived to retrieve it. They will know I was there together with the four of you, and will investigate.*

*Yes, and if anything, they'll learn that you were probably killed. That should diminish their wish to help us, don't you think?*

*Maybe.* Jolinar conceded. *Though it is still possible they will be interested in those who killed Ra. In the almost-mythical Tau'ri who have become at least somewhat advanced. The council may not always agree with me, but they will usually at least listen to my opinions and give them some consideration. Being Egeria's first ally - and friend - still carries some weight.*

*I suppose...* Sam said, still sceptical.

*There is one serious issue with staying here this long. I have knowledge of a traitor among the Tok'ra - Cordesh. He is a member of the council, but I know he has been in contact with Cronos from time to time and I know Cronos has received information from him.*

*That sounds bad.*

*It is, but we can't do anything about it for now. We can only hope he will not lead the Goa'uld to any Tok'ra bases, or cause irreparable damage or death to any of our operatives in the meantime.*

*We must hope we can find a way to escape - and soon!*

-
As it turned out, they would have to wait for several months before Zipacna returned and was ready to interrogate them. They were kept in the holding cell all this time, though they were fed reasonably well. Zipacna did not want his prisoners to starve to death. At least not until he had had a chance to interrogate them. Try as they might, they did not find any way to escape.

Finally, one day Zipacna's First Prime showed up outside their cell.

"Today is your lucky day, Tau'ri scum. You will be granted an opportunity to tell our great Lord Zipacna all that he wishes to know." He unlocked the door and turned to a group of guards, waiting behind him. "Take them to be cleaned. Lord Zipacna cannot meet them while they reek like this!"

"That's your fault! If you'd had the decency of letting us bathe from time to time..." O'Neill began.

The first of the guards who had entered the cell, hit O'Neill over the shoulders with his staff weapon.

"Shut up and move, human!" He turned to the rest of SG-1. "And that includes you miserable slaves as well...and you, shol'va!" He gave Teal'c a vicious blow on the right arm.

Teal'c said nothing and merely winced slightly. He gave the other Jaffa a cold look before he followed his friends out from the cell.

They were taken to a bathing area, where they were forced to strip off all their clothing. They were doused with large buckets of slightly too cold water, and then handed soap and a brush and told to scrub until they were clean.

The Jaffa and a few human servants stayed - to guard and to bring anything needed. However, the Jaffa merely leaned against the wall and leered at them. Mostly at Sam, but sometimes also at the men.

*I hate this! I mean, I really hate this!* Sam complained as she scrubbed the months of dirt from her body, then cleaned her now longer hair. *Why do they have to keep staring at our body like this?*

*I know.* Jolinar comforted her. *I am not fond of it myself, but at least they are keeping their hands to themselves. We are fortunate in that.*

*Yes. Strange, actually. I wonder why they are restraining themselves - not that I'm complaining. They seem interested enough, slimy bastards!*

"They would not risk incurring the wrath of their god by tasting of his goods before he has even had a chance to determine if he should want any of us for that purpose...or if any of his Goa'uld underlings should deserve the gift of a new slave.*

*Thank you for the reassurance!* Sam said, sarcastically.

*Do not worry. When Zipacna senses me we will be tortured to death instead - Goa'uld rarely, if ever, take the their own kind as sex slaves. Too dangerous, I guess.*

*I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse. Besides, what about Tok'ra? He's bound to guess you're no ordinary Goa'uld - having endured months of slave work in the mines, followed by further months in a holding cell. Humiliated, treated like a human - and never once revealing your presence...*

*There's that...* Jolinar admitted. *Though usually they prefer to torture Tok'ra for information instead of trying to keep us as sex slaves. We're worth more the other way, and they are usually a combination of disgusted and repulsed by our heretic ways, so usually they do not go further than the torture - or sometimes rape, I guess. If they are feeling kinky...*

*This is getting better and better...at least we'll not have to suffer being someone's sex slave for years. That's something, I guess.*

Do not worry, my Sam. I would block you from as much as possible, if it ever came to that.*

*Thanks...*

By now they had finished scrubbing and they were splashed with copious amounts of clean water - buckets full poured over them - until all the soap and dirt was washed away. If nothing else, at least they were clean. That was actually a very nice feeling.

After using some very course towels to dry themselves off, they were given well-worn clothing, which Jolinar told Sam was standard wear for Zipacna's servants. If nothing else, Daniel seemed to be fascinated to wear traditional Mayan clothing. To Sam, it looked like little more than loin cloths for the men. She had been given a short, loose shirt, and a kind of tunic without arms, that was open along both the sides and held together by a thin belt - a thin rope, really. Both she and the men were given sandals.

They were then dragged along - pushed by the Jaffa from time to time when they did not walk fast enough. From the servants area they were walked into the main part of the fortress. They went through corridors which again had Daniel looking fascinated. He even attempted to stop and look at some carvings they passed along the way, which made the Jaffa very angry at him.

They reached Zipacna's throne room. It was as excessively over-decorated and opulent as other Goa'uld rooms, but the style was clearly Mayan. There were the customary metallic braziers standing here and there - to create the right mood, presumably.

The walls were richly coloured with engravings and paintings - enhanced with jewels in every colour. Zipacna sat in the middle, on a large, jewel studded and gold plated throne, wearing a colourful tunic with a thick piece of cloth wrapped around as a belt, the ends hanging down. On his head, he wore a crown, made of feathers and decorated with gold. He also wore jewelry made out of large pieces of precious and semi-precious stones. SG-1 merely stared at him. His outfit was much bolder than anything they had seen before.

The Jaffa pushed them down on their knees, in front of the Goa'uld Lord, but at some distance.

"Tell me that...peacock...isn't Zippy!" O'Neill exclaimed.
 
"Silence! Keep your tongue, human!" The Jaffa behind him snarled as he hit him over the shoulders with his staff weapon.

O'Neill winced, and half-turned to look at him. "Relax!"

Zipacna looked with amusement at the exchange.

"Ah...our guests are here! I have been looking forward to this! Teal'c, the shol'va. O'Neill...the Tau'ri who recruited him. Well, well...I might gift you to Lord Apophis...as soon as I finish interrogating you, of course." He smirked. "The rest of you are of less value, so those I may chose to keep. For the time being, at least...Jaffa! Bring them closer!"

The guards behind them almost lifted SG-1 to their feet and pushed them forward, towards their Lord.

*Here we go...* Jolinar commented, when she moments later sensed the symbiote ahead of them. Hopefully it would take a little longer for Zipacna to detect her, as he might be confused by the multitude of energy signatures coming from the Jaffa around them.

"Kneel before your god!" The Jaffa leader commanded.

Again, they were all forced to kneel before Zipacna. Looking up at him, they saw his arrogant smile.

Sam felt an intense dislike and contempt coming from Jolinar. Not just the usual hatred she, as a Tok'ra, held for all Goa'uld, but more than that. This was clearly personal.

"So, tell me...what were you doing on Q'umarkaj?" Zipacna demanded.

"Just enjoying the scenery." O'Neill answered, not sure which of the now several planets they had been to that was called Q'umarkaj.

On a sign from Zipacna, one of the Jaffa planted a pain stick in the neck of O'Neill and turned it on for several seconds. O'Neill screamed as light glowed from his mouth and eyes.

"Now, I hope you understand I mean my questions quite seriously. I am not in the mood for foolish attempts at humour. You may think you are safe, just because I wish to gift you and the shol'va to Lord Apophis, but you forget I possess a sarcophagus."

The Jaffa standing immediately behind Sam/Jolinar moved at a sign from Zipacna. He joined the one near O'Neill, should it be necessary to help restrain him.

Now Jolinar's energy signature was no longer masked by the Jaffa and Zipacna immediately turned to look at Sam.

"I see. You are not all who you appear. Tok'ra, I presume. No Goa'uld would allow themselves to be so humiliated. The Tok'ra, on the other hand, seem to enjoy it. Makes them feel more like the humans, or perhaps it is some other sick perverted twist of their mind, I guess."

"You're the sick pervert. You and all other Goa'uld." Sam spat.

"Ah...hiding behind your host, are you? It is a sad thing to give up one's birthright and sink as low as the Tok'ra have done." He turned to see another Goa'uld approaching. "Ah, Baklum-Chaam, have you seen the little surprise we have gotten? One of the Tau'ri is a Tok'ra!"

"Really?" The young Goa'uld walked over and bowed before Zipacna. He then turned and studied the prisoners calmly, with the arrogant expression the Goa'uld tended to wear. "Ah, the female. Yes..." He turned back towards Zipacna. "My Lord. The battle against Cronos went well. We were victorious."

Zipacna looked pleased. "Good."

Baklum-Cham was about to leave, having given his report, when Zipacna stopped him.

"Stay. Share this moment with me."

Baklum-Cham bowed again, before he went to stand slightly behind and to one side of Zipacna.

Sam/Jolinar looked at the handsome young man. He had brownish blond hair and blue-grey eyes. Very beautiful eyes. Sam felt Jolinar's reaction to him. She, too, recognized him from her symbiote's memories.

*Lantash! Martouf! Sam - I am certain they have been sent here to look for SG-1. Though the council must be desperate indeed if they are sending them!*

*Your mates...* Sam was distracted for a moment. *They really are handsome - despite the ridiculous clothes they're wearing right now...what do you mean 'the council must be desperate'?*

*They do not normally go on undercover missions. To be honest, they are not really good at it. Not good at pretending to be Goa'uld - but do not ever tell them I said that!*

*Perhaps they volunteered? Because this was something that was of importance to you? They probably think you're dead...*

*Yes, they most likely do. I am sorry for causing them grief, but it could not be helped. Ah...they have finished their discussion and are ready to address us. I should take control and announce who I am.*

*I thought we had agreed it would be bad to let Zipacna know your name? Because of your past history?*

*Yes, and normally it would be, but things have changed. There is a Tok'ra at his court who will try to help us if he can. If he knows I am Jolinar and not a Goa'uld that has grabbed you at some point, then I think it is more likely he will risk helping us.*

*Yeah, especially given it is this Tok'ra! OK. Go ahead.* Sam bowed her head and allowed Jolinar to come forward.

"Ah, the ridiculous 'head-bowing' ritual you Tok'ra seem to insist on. So, now we will be honoured with the presence of the heretic herself, and not just her host." Zipacna mocked.

"I care not for your opinion! I am Jolinar of Malkshur and there was a time when I held your future in my hands."

Visibly, Lantash barely reacted to the information, but it was still a good thing Zipacna was not looking at him at that moment. An expression - a mixture of grief and relief crossed his features, when he realised that one, but only one of his mates were alive. The expression was quickly replaced by the same arrogant one from before.

Zipacna recovered from his surprise and grinned. "Jolinar, eh? Masquerading as a human! Worked as a slave in the naquadah mines, I'm told. How despicable! How deeply you have fallen since the days when we founght in space."

*And was close to winning...* Jolinar mentally added.

"It was a glorious battle." Zipacna continued. "One which I won easily, of course, with only the slightest help from Lord Apophis." He shook his head, almost sad. "Jolinar...you were one of us! A mighty System Lord! Not like most of the Tok'ra - spawned by that traitorous bitch Egeria. You...now you're a slave! Almost as low as a human...and by your own choice! What is wrong with you!"

"There is nothing wrong with me! I saw reason! Besides, I much prefer being a human slave, to being an insane, megalomaniac, murderous lunatic, like most Goa'uld!" Jolinar spat.

"Blasphemy! Insolence! You shall regret those words!" Zipacna turned to his underling. "Such words cannot be tolerated! She may once have been a Goa'uld, but now she is lost to us."

"Yes, I agree, my Lord. It is a pity."

Zipacna turned back to Jolinar, suddenly grinning dangerously.

"I know exactly the right punishment!" He laughed at his own cleverness. "Wouldn't it be interesting to learn how a Tok'ra handles being a...different type of slave? I might teach her a lessen myself, but given our pre-history - and the fact that she really was a powerful System Lord...hmmm...I know! It would be much more entertaining to give her to someone like you!" He indicated Lantash. "Oh, the humiliation for her!"

"Now, stop just one damn minute..." O'Neill began. A Jaffa immediately moved to hit him - Zipacna did not even acknowledge he had spoken, but merely continued explaining his idea.

"Yes..." Smiling, Zipacna almost spoke to himself. "Baklum-Chaam is almost a nobody, like you, Jolinar...fitting for how low you have fallen. But at least he is working to advance his position. So he is your superior." Zipacna made a decision. He turned to his underling. "She's yours - if you want her!"

Lantash grinned lecherously.

"Thank you, my Lord. You honour me!"

Zipacna grinned also. "Yes. I do. You deserve it! The information you have brought me over the past months have been most valuable. Now, have fun! Take the rest of the day off - and tomorrow as well. Go play with your new toy."

*Please tell me I misunderstood! We were just made a sex slave?* Sam was shocked.

*Yes, but do not worry. Lantash and Martouf would never take advantage of us - unless they had to.*

*Like if Zipacna wants to watch, or something!* Sam was still not placated.

*Relax. That is not one of his interests. Trust me. I know - far more than I ever wanted to.*

Sam decided to accept this instead of inquiring - and perhaps learning something distressing she would rather not.

Zipacna gave two of the nearest Jaffa a sign.

"Take the Tok'ra shol'va and prepare her for Lord Baklum-Chaam. Make sure she is dressed to fit her new occupation!"

The rest of SG-1 were restrained while Sam/Jolinar were led away. They both hoped the others would not be tortured badly.

"What are you going to do to her?" Sam heard O'Neill demand as she was lead away.

"Why do you care about a Tok'ra? Besides, what do you think is going to happen to someone who has been made a sex slave?" Zipacna said, mockingly.

-
Sam and Jolinar were taken to be bathed, yet again, though this time by female servants and in pleasantly warm and fragrant water.

Afterwards, they were not dressed in servants clothing, but in something made of a much finer, silk-like material. However, while the servants did not wear much, they now wore even less.

They had on a kind of skirt, open all the way up in both sides. It was only held up with a small band, tied around the waist. It really just consisted of two broad flaps, front and back, hanging down to just over their knees. The top consisted of a thin scarf tied around their breasts, and barely covering them.

The servants also put several necklaces and armbands on her, and then attempted to tie jewelry into her hair. Tried and failed, as it was much too short for that. They looked at her with a concerned frown, then gave up on it.

Lastly, they put a pair of sandals on her feet, and she was ready.

*They were unusually polite...or perhaps frightened is a better word. Doesn't that seem strange? We're a slave, just like them.* Sam pointed out.

*Yes, if we were human, we would be just like them. However, we are Tok'ra. The servants does not know what that is. They are unsure of what we are, though they do know we can make our eyes glow and that we can talk with the same kind of voice as the Goa'uld. They suspect it might be a test of their devotion, no doubt - or that I am merely a weaker god, under the control of their Lord. But a god nonetheless. They fear what I might be able to do - what their Lord Zipacna will allow me to do to them. Or what he will do to them if they treat me badly.*

*Of course! Even if the Goa'uld had decided to punish one of their own, they would not tolerate a mere human treated him or her badly.*

*Exactly.*

They were led into a luxuriously furnished room - one of Lantash's chambers - and told to wait.

The wait was not long. Soon the door opened and Lantash entered. They heard him order the servants to bring them some food, then the door closed and Lantash came over to them.

*What now?* Sam asked, nervously.

*Let me have control.*

Gratefully, Sam let Jolinar fore.

Lantash - or 'Lord Baklum-Chaam' - observed them closely as Jolinar took control Probably trying to determine if it really was Jolinar or some sort of trap.

*We need to take the first step - if I am someone other than Jolinar, he cannot risk admitting prior knowledge of her. Or even that he is a Tok'ra.* Jolinar explained.

*I understand.*

Jolinar took a deep breath.

"On Marloon - when we went there about 7 years ago - one of the silver birds ate your sandwich. You were not pleased - it was marinated desert fowl with lettuce and cheese - your favourite. Rosha felt sorry for you and gave you half of hers."

Lantash relaxed.

"Martouf did not want to accept, but I made him agree to it."

"True. You are very fond of those sandwiches." Jolinar smiled. "It is good to see you again, Lantash - and you, Martouf."

"Likewise, Jolinar." He looked towards the door. "The servants will soon be back with our food. We will talk more afterwards."

Shortly after, a knock was heard and Lantash quickly went to Jolinar and began fondling her, touching her butt and breasts. Making sure anyone entering would believe he was exploring his new sex slave. He called out.

"Enter!"

The servants threw them a quick look before they bowed deeply and then placed the food and drink on a table. Following an order from Lantash, they gratefully left as soon as they had finished arranging everything.

"They will not come back until I call for them." He suddenly smiled a little and stepped back a little, letting go of her. "Jolinar...our Jolinar! We are so grateful to have you back. We had thought you dead."

"I realise that. I am sorry." She stepped closer and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. "I missed you, so badly."

They stood like that for some time before letting go.

"You must be hungry. Let us eat, then we can talk." Lantash said. He sat down in one of the chairs at the table.

Jolinar sat down beside him. She ate for a little while, then looked up at him.

"I am sorry, but I was unable to save Rosha." She sounded heart-broken.

An expression of grief crossed Lantash's face.

"What happened? When we received the signal from your ship, Aldwin and I went to Aeaea and attempted to locate you. All we were able to learn was that five strangers had been there. Four of them matched the description you had sent for the Tau'ri and the Jaffa. The fifth matched Rosha. Further examinations and...ah...interviews...of one of Deimos's Jaffa, told us there had probably been an ashrak and that only the three Tau'ri and the Jaffa had survived and fled the planet. Your...corpse was never found, though."

"There was indeed an ashrak there. He attacked us in the inn where we all were hiding. I managed to stun him - wound him gravely, actually - but before I could finish killing him, Jaffa came and we had to flee. The ashrak took another host and caught up with us again later, shortly before we reached the chaapa'ai. We were hit and I could not save Rosha. One of the Tau'ri volunteered to be my host. Her name is Samantha Carter, and she is a scientist and a warrior."

"We are very grateful to her for saving one of our mates. We grieve for Rosha, but at least you have returned and make our life worth living."

They kissed softly and sat close together, holding each other for a long time. Sam let Jolinar stay in control, not wanting to interfere.

*This is very strange! I feel your grief for Rosha as if it was my own, and...and I feel a strong love for both of your mates, even if I have just now met them, Actually, I haven't even met both of them. Why is Martouf not taking control?*

*He will not do so while they are undercover as a Goa'uld. It is safer to stay in character as much as possible. Also, they cannot risk a servant walking in on them and that they then have to change control, before answering. Worse, forgetting themselves and Martouf answering...as for you sharing my feelings...well, as I told you, that would happen eventually. Tok'ra love as one - and mourn as one. I apologize.*

*No...no reason to do that. I didn't say it bothered me, just that it was strange. He's very attractive - your mate - and he seems nice. Both of them, from your memories. I could easily fall in love with them on my own, so I actually don't mind - as odd as that sounds. I would have thought I was crazy if I had said that a few months ago! However, it must be so much worse for them! One of their mates are dead, and the other shows up, bringing a new host they don't know and maybe don't like. It must be awful!* Sam suddenly felt very sorry for the man...men, sitting beside her.

*They grieve for Rosha, of course, and they will for quite some time. As for the other matter...unless you are unattractive to them - physically or personality-wise - they will most likely grow to love you. Care for you and like you, certainly. We look at such things a bit differently. While host and symbiote are separate individuals, they are also in some sense considered one. We cannot completely look at one without also to some degree seeing the other.*

*That...sort of...makes sense...* Sam sounded a bit apprehensive.

*You will get used to it, I assure you. As for Martouf and Lantash loving you - do not worry. I feel certain they will. You are attractive to them - I can tell that. I will be honest. You have many personality traits they appreciate greatly. In some ways you are much like me - in other ways I think we will complement each other. You may...soften some of my brashness. Perhaps add a little reason, like Rosha did. I must admit I sometimes need that - I have a tendency to be a bit impulsive. As I said, they will love you - of that I am sure.*

-
When they had sat like that for some time, comforting each other with their presence, Lantash pulled back a little.

"We should discuss our escape."

"Yes, the sooner the better!"

"Unless you wish to stay here as my sex slave, of course. The prospect is rather an attractive one..." Lantash grinned, looking at her appreciatively. "Of course, we can also just bring that nice 'dress' you're wearing. I'm sure it will...ah...stimulate our conversation." He looked at her again, with obvious approval.

Jolinar rolled her eyes, then smacked him affectionately on the butt.

"I rather like what you are wearing - or not wearing, as the case may be - as well." She smiled, looking at his loin cloth and the thin, white open shirt he wore. "Though I could do without those feathers." She indicated the coloured feathers fastened to a small head-decoration. At least it was far less outrageous than what Zipacna wore.

"We're even, I think." He sobered. "As for freeing you, it would not be a great problem to escape, if it were just you and I. However, freeing the Jaffa and the two Tau'ri will take some planning."

"My host points out that their freedom is non-negotiable...and I must admit I tend to agree. And not just because their rescue will improve our chances of a successful treaty with the Tau'ri."

"I understand - and I concur. I have no wish to leave anyone in the hands of a Goa'uld, if there is any way to avoid it." He looked thoughtful. "You really believe they would make a good ally? Your report seemed to indicate they are quite primitive, technologically." ''

"That is perhaps so." Jolinar said, while her irate host complained loudly in her head. "However, they have come far and have even managed to kill Ra. We cannot afford to ignore them, especially since they will continue to journey from their world and engage the Goa'uld. It is better we help them and increase our joint chance of victory, than watch them try - and perhaps fail. Not only bringing the wrath of the Goa'uld down on many of the innocents of their world, but also bringing chaos to the Galaxy. Better we assist them - contribute our experience and perhaps some intelligence, helping them coordinate their attacks. Otherwise we also risk the Tau'ri happening on a Tok'ra and killing him or her, mistaking them for a Goa'uld. Besides, they might be convinced to provide us with hosts."

Lantash considered what she had said. Eventually he nodded slowly.

"You feel strongly about this. The council may find the idea rash - as they often do with your ideas, but I trust your judgement. It is generally sound - often more so than mine. I agree - and I will support you. We shall find a way to save your friends and - perhaps - gain an ally."

They spent some time discussing the problem and eventually came up with a plan. Lantash had gained this position quickly, by giving Zipacna some information the Tok'ra had gathered about his enemy, Cronos. It has been decided it was worth it - that it would even serve the Tok'ra cause. If Zipacna acted on it, he would gain strength at the cost of Cronos's power. This meant they would become more evenly matched and it would prevent Cronos from becoming supreme.

Zipacna had indeed listened to Lantash's advice - advice from someone who claimed to be a minor Goa'uld who only recently had been allowed to take a host.

Lantash had told Zipacna he had been given a low position at Cronos's court. There he had happened on this information, and had decided to sell it to Zipacna. The reason, he had said, was because he found Zipacna to be more 'cultured'. Zipacna had always found Cronos to be something of a primitive, so he happily bought this excuse.

The Tok'ra had much more intelligence that Zipacna could use. Lantash had just been informed one of Cronos's underlings would temporarily move the Jaffa from several worlds to a certain planet, in order to assist with a building project. A project of such a scale that it could not be done with just the human slaves he had. This meant a few of Cronos's planets would be completely defenceless for several days.

Lantash and Jolinar agreed that Lantash should inform Zipacna of this. He would almost certainly jump at the chance. Since he always accompanied his troops on such missions himself, he would leave his palace for some time. He would also have to leave almost immediately, in order to arrive quickly enough by ship. Another advantage was that his other underlings were currently all otherwise engaged - and Lantash had been given a couple of days off to play with his sex slave, and could thus also be excused from the campaign.

Zipacna would hopefully leave and let Lantash stay - and almost certainly give him the temporary command of this place. That would give them the chance to flee, all of them.

The decision made, Lantash sent for a servant and told him to inform Zipacna he had just received important intel from one of his sources, and would like to ask for an audience as soon as it was convenient.

"After I return, there will be some time before Zipacna leaves and we can make our escape. I wish to speak with Samantha for some time, then. In order for us to begin to get to know each other. Will she agree to this?" Lantash asked, anxiously.

"Yes, she will. She is a little nervous that you will not like her, but she would like to talk to you as well."

"Good. When I return, then."

"There is something else we should talk about - something which needs to be dealt with as soon as we return to the Tok'ra. I know of a traitor in our midst, but that information can not be transmitted, for fear he will learn of it." Jolinar said.

"I see. That is most serious. I will return quickly."



<< Back to Chapter 8 | Forward to Chapter 10 >>