Note that the last chapter has two versions, one that is NC-17 and one that is PG-13.
Chapter 4 summary: Sam and Jolinar spend some time talking together, while they wait in the cell for the interrogation they know will follow.
[ Chapter 1: A New Reality | Chapter 2: Old Friends, New Friends | Chapter 3: Jolinar | Chapter 4: Getting Acquainted | Chapter 5: The NID | Chapter 6: Cimmeria | Chapter 7: The Tok'ra | Chapter 8: Mission with the Tok'ra | Chapter 9, version I: Together Again (NC-17) | Chapter 9, version II: Together Again (PG-13) ]
Later. Sam/Jolinar had been locked up in a holding cell and were now sitting on a bench along the inner wall.
*I had really hoped to avoid the cell this time...* Sam sighed.
*I am sorry for this, my Samantha. If I could do anything, I would.*
*I know. It's better this time, though...not only is the ashrak dead, but I'm also not fighting you.*
Jolinar was quiet for a little while. *I must apologize for that...I believe you when you say that is how it would have happened, but I am immensely grateful that you volunteered this time. It would have troubled me greatly if I had again taken an involuntary host.*
*Again? You have done so before? I thought Tok'ra didn't do that.*
*We don't, but...it is a long story. I would rather you heard it all in order - and that we were blended first. Will you agree to that? Unless you still wish for me to leave when another host can be found? I sensed your uncertainty before.*
Sam, being currently in control of her body, drew a deep breath before answering. *You are right. I have been unsure. However, I don't think I can handle loosing you again - even if you don't die. It was very hard last time, despite the way you...took me. I since forgave you and I have long regretted that I did not try to talk to you. You certainly attempted to talk to me. I do believe we could - will - become good friends. You are a good person, I know that...you gave your life to save me. Jolinar...I have decided...I would like to remain your host...and...and I think we should do a full blending. This will also give you all the information I have about the future...well, a potential future. I very much hope some of it can be changed...and some of it already has been.*
Jolinar gave her new host a warm hug. *Thank you very much...I am certain we will become good friends.*
Sam lay down on the bench and closed her eyes. It would be hours before any decisions were made about them and they were called to a debriefing. Meanwhile, she and Jolinar would spend the time blending and getting to know each other.
*You're in love with my mates - and they fell in love with you too!*
*Yeah...sorry, I guess. I never told them of my feelings, though - and I didn't know of theirs until they died.*
*I know. I am not angry with you at all...I was dead, remember? I would have wanted for them to be happy again. If anything, it saddens me that they were killed before they could have a relationship with you.*
*Well...I guess things might turn out differently this time...*
*Most assuredly. I will never allow them to be killed! It is a good thing we know they will come to love you, Samantha - and that you already love them, though that would have happened in any case.* Jolinar was quiet for some time, going through more of Sam's memories of the future. *You met Egeria! She was killed from medical experimentation - and being from bred too hard! Such outrage cannot be allowed. We will free her!*
*Yes! Of course!* Sam felt like slapping herself over the head. *If she is freed soon she can be saved - why didn't I think of that? The Tok'ra will no longer be a doomed race!*
*If she was still alive 4 1/2 years later, and everything is the same - as I agree it seems to be - then yes, she can be saved and restored to full health. She will again be able to spawn Tok'ra symbiotes!*
*That's great...Jolinar...I have always wondered why Egeria did not spawn any queen symbiotes?*
*Yes...I have wondered about that as well, though queen symbiotes takes more time and work, so perhaps that is the reason. Egeria could not safely spend long times in any one place. Whereas ordinary symbiotes are ready to be born after only a very short time - hours, really - queen symbiotes takes much longer. Such a symbiote is alone in her batch - the queen will have to affect her development by keeping a certain hormone level during the gestation. Egeria may not have had the opportunity to spend so much time and effort on just one symbiote, when large numbers where needed to fight the Goa'uld.*
*Perhaps...though I would think another queen could have helped ensure both greater numbers and a greater probability of the continued existence of the Tok'ra. There would be one more to replenish your numbers!*
*However, she would also be in great danger from the Goa'uld - exactly because of that. Anyway, I have reason to suspect Egeria may actually have spawned several queens. I just do not know where to look for them.*
Sam 'nodded', then suddenly thought of something. *You knew Egeria when she started the Tok'ra - you were a Goa'uld!*
*Yes...I was. I am ashamed of this, but it is a fact I cannot undo. Samantha...do you regret being my host? Now you know why I once took an unwilling host - I have in fact done so on more than one occasion, though only the first was truly on purpose.*
*I understand...the other times you were not to blame - for instance when that priestess took off the lid from the stasis jar you were in...Jolinar! Do not worry. I do not regret being your host. Yes, so you were once a Goa'uld...and yes, it does scare me a little, but I now know you better than anyone else. You are truly Tok'ra, and, if anything, the fact that you, yourself, was able to change...I feel nothing but awe and respect for that.*
Jolinar sent waves of relief and gratefulness towards her host.
*One other thing...could you call me Sam instead of Samantha?*
*Yes, of course...though I must admit I like Samantha better...*
They were interrupted in their internal dialogue by the sound of a door opening.
*Someone is coming...perhaps we are to be debriefed now...* Sam noted.
*Interrogated, you mean...* Jolinar sounded sceptical.
They got up from the bench and looked towards the door which O'Neill had just come through together with two guards.
"Carter...or Jolinar, I guess..." He shrugged. "Hammond is ready to debrief you now."
The guards walked over to the cell and opened the door. After handcuffing Sam, they motioned for her to follow.
"Only two guards?" Sam said sarcastically. "Don't we rate more than that, sir?"
"The Nasyan was a Goa'uld, just like you said. Besides, Daniel and Teal'c have been arguing in your favour, so..." He spread his hands.
"So if it turns out everything I told you - both before and after becoming host to Jolinar - is true, they won't risk angering a potential ally..."
"Something like that."
They were taken to one of the large briefing rooms. Hammond, Daniel, Teal'c, and Janet - as well as Bra'tac, to their great surprise - were already waiting. O'Neill sat down and Sam/Jolinar were led to a chair at the end of the table, some distance away from the others. She sat down, glancing briefly at the two guards standing nearby, keeping an eye on them.
*They're still not quite trusting us...even though they know it was a Goa'uld we shot!* Sam sounded exasperated.
*Can you blame them? Except for Daniel and Teal'c who knew the Tok'ra in your reality, I am the first symbiote they have met who are not a Goa'uld. It must be difficult for them to really believe it.*
Sam sighed. *I guess...*
"All right - we're all here. Let's get started." Hammond looked to Sam/Jolinar. "Doctor Jackson and Teal'c have convinced me I should listen to you, and that Jolinar - in their reality at least - is a Tok'ra. I have also been assured that the Tok'ra have the potential to become our trusted allies. We're here to determine if you're the same Jolinar - and if the Tok'ra can be trusted and could become our friends and allies. As you've no doubt been told, the Nasyan man you killed was indeed host to a Goa'uld. A closer examination of him found a device which Teal'c tells me is a hara'kesh. Apparently - according to Jaffa legend - this is a weapon favoured by Goa'uld assassins...or ashraks, as they seem to be called."
"So, our story has been corroborated."
"Yes. However, there are some people who would have preferred that we took the ashrak alive, and they are not pleased. I must admit I tend to agree with your assessment that it would have been too dangerous, especially with what Teal'c and Bra'tac have told me about these assassins." He turned to Bra'tac. "Master Bra'tac...we have asked you to come here and tell us what you know about the Tok'ra. Teal'c explained to me that you have told stories about them in his reality - have you done that here as well?"
"Yes, indeed." He gave Teal'c an appreciative look. "It is good to once again have my old friend back."
Teal'c smiled to Bra'tac and bowed his head slightly in acknowledgment. "Likewise."
"Teal'c is quite correct." Bra'tac continued. "I have told many stories about the Tok'ra. They do indeed match what this Teal'c explained he had heard from me. Jolinar of Malkshur is well known for her attempt against the System Lords, as well as her defeat at the hands of Apophis. If it is truly she who Captain Carter is host to, then I am honored to meet her." He looked at Sam/Jolinar.
Sam dipped her head and gave control to Jolinar.
"I am Jolinar of Malkshur, one of the founders of the Tok'ra. Master Bra'tac...it is a great honor to meet you. Rising up against everything you once believed in; those you were taught were gods...it is most worthy of my respect." She bowed her head towards him. "I apologize for not being able to great you properly, but the guards would neither understand nor allow it."
Bra'tac looked very pleased. He asked a few more questions of Jolinar, which she answered satisfactorily. When he leaned back in his chair he seemed quite content to accept that she was who she said she was. He nodded to Hammond.
Daniel and Teal'c then asked some as well, to corroborate what Sam had told them of Jolinar from when she was host the first time, and also to compare with what they knew about the Tok'ra. Soon they were satisfied as well.
"She's Jolinar - and a Tok'ra. I'm sure of it." Daniel said.
Hammond nodded. "And you, Teal'c?"
"I am certain as well."
"Good," he smiled and looked to Sam and Jolinar. "Then I trust you as well. I hope this will lead to an alliance with your people - one that will benefit us all."
"As do I. Thank you." Jolinar said, then gave control back to Sam.
"Thank you, sir." She smiled. "We should contact the Tok'ra as soon as possible. We need them to look at Teal'c's tretonin and start synthesizing some more immediately."
"How many days supply do you have left?" O'Neill asked.
"Almost 4 days now."
"Then I don't think we can risk it. Even if - and I say if - we can convince the Tok'ra to help us immediately, then how can we be sure they can figure it out quickly enough?"
Jolinar took control again. "Getting my people to examine the drug and eventually produce it will not be a problem. I am certain of that. It is something we have sought for a long time - giving the Jaffa independence from the Goa'uld. However, they may be suspicious at first. They will need to verify that I am who I say I am, before they will listen to anything else. Then they will discuss whether or not you can be trusted and if the advantages of cooperation is worth the risk of them being discovered. I do believe they will decide it is - especially given the tretonin. However, it will also take some days to analyze the tretonin and to learn how to synthesize it. To do this a small quantum of Teal'c's supply will be needed, further diminishing the time available. Yes, I do believe Colonel O'Neill is correct. Even under the best of circumstances, I fear it may not be possible to do it quickly enough to save Teal'c."
"See? We can't risk waiting!"
"What do you suggest we do then?" Hammond said.
"I know it sounds strange coming from me - and I'd normally have said I were insane to suggest this, but...can't we stick Junior in him again? He's still alive, isn't he?"
"As far as I understand, Teal'c cannot carry a symbiote anymore...besides, 'Junior' as you call him is very weak. According to Doctor Fraiser it is doubtful he will live more than another day or so. You Tau'ri do not currently have the technology to sustain symbiotes in artificial environments for longer periods of time." Jolinar said, a slight hint of arrogance creeping into her voice.
"Well can't you help us with that, then?" O'Neill sounded a bit annoyed.
Daniel suddenly thought if something. "Can't a sarcophagus fix him?"
"No - it can only make him into a healthy Jaffa, not give him an immune system he was genetically engineered not to have..." Jolinar got a blank look on her face, as she talked to Sam. "Samantha suggests the sarcophagus could restore him and 'Junior' to health, if they were put in it together. While I do not in general approve of the use of a sarcophagus, I suppose this might be a situation were it is acceptable. I believe she is correct - it could work. She also knows the location of a world which has a sarcophagus."
"P3R-636! Of course!" Daniel exclaimed.
"And there is no danger on this world?" Hammond asked.
"Eh...actually...we we're kept as slaves in their naquadah mines for a period of time..." Sam remarked, having again been given control.
Daniel looked embarrassed. "Yeah...that won't happen this time..."
"Though it would probably be advisable if we brought backup." Teal'c said.
Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c quickly explained what had happened during the mission. Hammond looked concerned, but eventually agreed to the mission. The temporary SG-1, together with SG-2 and SG-3 would leave early next day. Teal'c would be staying behind, waiting to receive a clear signal when they had gained access to the sarcophagus.
The plan was for Daniel to accompany O'Neill and the rest of the temporary SG-1, in the hopes of finding a diplomatic solution. In the event of a failure, Sam and Jolinar would be brought in, dressed up as a Goa'uld, in order to try and take control of the planet temporarily. Jolinar had recognized the symbols on the 'Jaffa' Sam remembered seeing - they still bore the mark of the Goa'uld Yum Caax, one of the Goa'uld Chac's underlings. This plan was risky. Even though the population might still fear what seemed to be a Goa'uld, when they encountered one, they had actually disposed of one before. Hopefully Daniel's plan would work and it would not be necessary for Sam and Jolinar to take the risk and attempt the ruse.
Several hours later, Daniel returned with good news.
"Success! We've been allowed to use the sarcophagus...once. They're not happy about it, but they're not going to try and stop us."
"Good work, Doctor Jackson. What did you tell them?" Hammond wondered.
"Well, first I promised them medicine and vaccinations for their children, as we agreed on. When they still weren't convinced, I explained to them that we knew well they were only pretending to be the rightful rulers...and I may have suggested we'd inform Chac of their betrayal, unless they allowed us to use their sarcophagus. Seeing that we were well armed and couldn't easily be overwhelmed, they agreed."
Hammond nodded. "Good." He turned to Harriman. "Inform Janet they are ready for her and Teal'c."
SG-4 led Teal'c and Janet through the Stargate, carrying a tank with the now very weak Junior. It had been almost 10 days since he was removed from a dead Teal'c. Earth did not have the technology to give him optimal conditions, even if they were getting better at it. Sam/Jolinar followed as well, to help if there should turn out to be any problems, either with the sarcophagus or with the re-implantation of Junior. Jolinar was the one with the most knowledge, since she had genetic memory about many things pertaining to both the Jaffa and the sarcophagus.
In the palace. The sarcophagus was standing on the floor and Teal'c was lying on a stretcher just beside it. He had not taken his dose of tretonin today, in order to minimize any problems that might arise because of that. Janet gave him a tranquilizer shot before she carefully cut open the parts of his pouch that had started to close up. Grimacing a little, she lifted Junior from his tank and put him down, so he was placed partly inside the pouch. Hissing weakly, he slowly slid inside.
O'Neill, Daniel, Sam, and Major Ferretti from SG-2 immediately lifted Teal'c up and placed him in the sarcophagus. It closed slowly with a grinding noise. They then sat down to wait for what turned out to be a surprisingly short time. The sarcophagus opened and they hurried to look inside it.
Slightly confused, Teal'c sat up, looking physically well.
"Welcome back, Teal'c!" O'Neill said, very relieved, and slapped him on the shoulder.
"You look well." Sam added.
"Indeed. I am fine." Teal'c said, looking anything but happy.
"What's wrong?" Daniel wondered. "You'll live!"
"Yes, because I am once again carrying a prim'ta. I am no longer free of the Goa'uld."
Sam bowed her head, transferring control to Jolinar.
"Teal'c...I promise you...the Tok'ra will work hard to synthesize tretonin. You will soon be free yet again."
"Thank you." Teal'c bowed his head to her, then jumped out of the sarcophagus.
When they had yet again assured the locals they would get what they had been promised, the people from SGC went back through the Stargate.
After Janet had examined Teal'c and determined that he - and as far as she could tell, Junior - were all right, Hammond called all of them to the briefing room. When they had been briefed about the successful mission to P3R-636, they discussed the future contact with the Tok'ra.
"Before you can be allowed to go to the Tok'ra, there are unfortunately some people who insist on talking to Sam and Jolinar." Hammond told them.
"NID got unhappy because they didn't get the ashrak to play with, and now they want Jolinar instead?" Sam wondered.
"That a bit direct, but...something like that. They do assure me they simply wish to talk to her, and nothing else. To judge the value of a possible future cooperation with the Tok'ra and to hear what useful information Jolinar has about the Goa'uld. I am sure you can understand why they're interested - and also why they may be unsure if they can really trust this...good Goa'uld. It is a strange concept!"
"I guess I can understand..." Sam sighed. "We'll go talk to them."
"So can I - but that doesn't mean I believe those scumbags. They're gonna do test on them, no matter what they say. You know that, General!" O'Neill sounded frustrated.
"I realize they may wish to do a few medical examinations, but I have their word that neither Captain Carter nor Jolinar will be harmed!"
Sam gave Jolinar control. She turned towards first O'Neill. then Hammond.
"Samantha and I are well aware these people cannot be trusted, and that they will most likely want to gather as much information about symbiotes - and hosts - as they are able to. However, if General Hammond guarantees our safety, then that will have to be good enough. We will go...however, when we do return, we expect to be allowed to contact my people!"
"Of course." Hammond took a deep breath. "All right...anything else?"
"Yes. There are a number of missions which absolutely cannot wait!" Daniel said.
Hammond sighed silently. "And they are?"
"First; we need to go back to Cimmeria as soon as possible. It is only a matter of 2 or 3 weeks before they are attacked by the Goa'uld."
"Heru'ur." Jolinar added.
"Yes, Heru'ur - and if we go to...uh...the Hall of Thor's Might...and contact Thor, then the Asgard can send a ship and save the Cimmerians before they are attacked."
"I'm sorry to hear they'll be attacked, but how is that our responsibility? There must be many planets who suffers that fate regularly." Hammond said.
"We're responsible. Daniel's right." O'Neill agreed. "If we hadn't destroyed their anti-Goa'uld device, they would have been safe."
"All right, then." Hammond nodded slowly. "I guess I can see that, but I cannot allow you to go there just now. You are currently on stand-down until Captain Carter and Jolinar return from their debriefing."
*Interrogation...* Jolinar commented to Sam.
"You can't be serious!" O'Neill exclaimed.
"Besides, we also need to save Teal'c's son from being brainwashed by Apophis - and...and we need to go to Abydos and save Sha're - now, before she gives birth and Amaunet wakens!" Daniel sounded desperate.
"Calm down...I think we need to hear a little more background here..." O'Neill said.
Daniel, Sam, and Teal'c briefly explained what had happened, and what was likely to happen again, unless they interfered. When they had finished their story, Hammond was quiet for some time while he thought about it all.
"I suppose I might allow those two missions...for personal reasons, but the Cimmerians will have to wait until Kinsey and the NID gives the green light."