Chapter 10 summary: It is time to carry out Sannya/Jolinar's plan to get a Tok'ra in a trusted position at Cronus's court.
[ Chapter 1: Goodbyes | Chapter 2: An Audience | Chapter 3: A Conspiracy | Chapter 4: Promotion | Chapter 5: Minor System Lord | Chapter 6: An Old Acquaintance | Chapter 7: Diversions | Chapter 8: Plans | Chapter 9: Happy Moments | Chapter 10: Culmination | Chapter 11: Complications | Chapter 12: Daily Life | Chapter 13: Exposed | Chapter 14: A New Host - and a New Master | Chapter 15: New Challenges | Chapter 16: A Necessary Sacrifice | Chapter 17: Information Gathering | Chapter 18: A Surprise Visit | Chapter 19: Bad News | Chapter 20: War and Power | Chapter 21: Emergencies | Chapter 22: Found Out | Chapter 23: In the Tunnels | Chapter 24: Undercover at Bastet's Court | Chapter 25: Discovered! | Chapter 26: Rosha | Chapter 27: Host | Chapter 28: Getting Along | Chapter 29: Safe | Chapter 30: Lantash | Chapter 31: Shared Missions | Chapter 32: Taking A Chance | Chapter 33: Danger and Betrayal | Chapter 34: Some Realizations | Chapter 35: Hiding | Chapter 36: Time for the Truth | Chapter 37: Home | Chapter 38: Together | Chapter 39: Martouf ]
The next two years passed without any great changes to Jolinar's life. Now and then Travik would visit, and whenever Oceanus was not at war, she would pretend to be his devoted lover. Finally, she felt that he - and Cronus - trusted her sufficiently.
It was time to set Sannya's and her plan in motion.
She announced to Oceanus she would come and visit him - something which she did infrequently. He had very recently won the campaign Cronus had ordered him to fight, so he had already invited her to come celebrate with him, at the earliest time it was convenient for her. He had even suggested she might enjoy living with him, in the small outer palace connected to Cronus's own, which Oceanus utilized.
Jolinar suspected he wanted her to become his queen - one more reason to enact her plan, as it would be out of character for a minor Goa'uld to reject such an opportunity.
She arrived with a large entourage, and much luggage for an extended stay. Not at all unusual for a minor System Lord who was expecting to become the lady of the house soon.
After overseeing that her things and people arrived as they should, she changed into her newest, most alluring dress, and told Oceanus she was ready to receive him.
"You are even more beautiful than usual!" Oceanus looked pleased. He turned part-way towards a slave girl, who had followed him into the room. "I have searched long, but I was finally able to find one who resembles you."
"Yes, I see that. I am flattered." She smiled at him.
"If she pleases you, I will use only her to...ah...take the edge of my frustration."
"H...how thoughtful." Jolinar managed, seeing the fear in the eyes of the young woman behind Oceanus. She looked scared to death, but she did resemble Jolinar.
*After today, Oceanus will harm no more slaves because of you. You must focus on that. That, and the fact that if our plan succeeds, the eventual downfall of the Goa'uld may be a little closer. Besides, Oceanus would surely have worked his way through even more slave girls, if we had not subjected ourselves to his...desires.* Sannya sounded disgusted by the whole thing, but she knew Jolinar needed reassuring.
Jolinar gave her host a 'hug', before she walked up to Oceanus, and gave him a deep kiss.
Jolinar slid out of bed, and with a disgusted look at the sleeping Oceanus, she quietly pulled a robe on and walked to the door. She tried not to look at the dead - and bloody - slave girl on the floor, as she opened the door to allow several of her 'underlings' inside.
"He is asleep?" Kanan whispered, having closed the door behind them.
"Yes, but the drug I injected him with will not work long. We must hurry."
Kanan took up a defensive position near the door, ready to handle any interruptions.
The two other Tok'ra that had accompanied him, carefully put down a container and a case of equipment, then went to work on Oceanus.
"I am afraid the healing device will not be enough to stabilize the host to a point where a symbiote can heal him. Oceanus fought even harder than we had expected, and he did much damage." The Tok'ra healer, Ta'seem, said.
"I may have an idea for that..." Jolinar said, looking at Oceanus's tiny corpse, past his now also dead, former host, and to the equally dead slave girl on the floor. "Oceanus did mention he was very pleased with the young woman - partially because of her resemblance to me. It would be expected of him to want her revived, and there is still time."
"How will that help us?" The other Tok'ra that had helped in the extraction process - Ren'al - asked.
"We will hide Oceanus's host's body under the slave's body, and then carry them on a stretcher to the sarcophagus room. There we will heal Oceanus's host - and also the slave girl, if it can still be done. Otherwise there may be some suspicion."
"Ah, yes. That may work! It will be quite heavy, though, and we cannot ask others to help, or they would notice the deception." Ren'al said.
"You will probable not meet anyone who can sense that my 'servants' are anything but human, so your extra strength should mask the extra weight." Jolinar pointed out.
Jolinar stayed in the room - both to stop anyone from entering and wondering where Oceanus was, and because no Goa'uld Lord would lower themselves to the point of accompanying a slave girl to the sarcophagus room.
The other Tok'ra hurried to complete their task, as soon as Jolinar had explained where the room was located.
"Using this...I would have forsworn I should ever be in a situation where I would put anyone in it!" Kanan spat.
"Yes, I share your sentiment. However, sometimes one must do distasteful things." Ren'al pointed out, as they put Oceanus's host in the sarcophagus.
He quickly healed, and was helped out. The slave girl was put in it in his place.
The former host first stared blankly at them, then got a look of utter confusion.
Kanan felt very sorry for him. He wished it was possible for the man to just be himself - go back to a normal life, as much as he could after so many years as a Goa'uld host.
That would not be possible, though. After having been kept young by a sarcophagus for thousands of years, he would need a symbiote to keep him from aging rapidly.
If a sarcophagus had not been needed, and his age had only been slowed by the presence of a symbiote, he would now have aged naturally. Actually, he would then likely have aged slower than natural, even after the symbiote was removed. However, that was not so. Oceanus's host was many thousands of years old, and a sarcophagus had been needed.
The Tok'ra might be able to halt some of that aging, perhaps, if their healers could work on him in the tunnels with full access to their medical technology, but not here. Kanan doubted it, though, since Jolinar believed Oceanus had used the host for more than 5000 years. The former host would need a symbiote.
Of course, there was the matter of the withdrawal symptoms and the sarcophagus-induced madness...
On top of that were the things he might have experienced as Oceanus's host, though Oceanus had hopefully not forced him to experience it all.
They all felt sorry - both for him and for the Tok'ra who had agreed to take him as a host and impersonate Oceanus.
All of a sudden, the host began to scream and back away from them all. He had a look of complete, utter horror on his face.
"Get him to shut up before he draws the attention of a Jaffa." Ren'al ordered.
Kanan and Ta'seem quickly jumped him and muffled his screams with a hand. He fought them mightily, but he was no match for their symbiote enhanced strength.
Ren'al fetched the small tank they had brought, and took out a symbiote. She looked shortly at the terrified man.
"I do apologize, but this is unfortunately necessary." She looked at the symbiote, who squirmed a little, looking back at her with an uncomfortable expression.
"Malek. This is Oceanus's former host. Are you still prepared to do this?"
The symbiote looked at the terrified host that was being held down by Kanan and Ta'seem. He did not like this, but...he nodded and squealed his agreement.
"Malek? Are you all right?" Kanan asked, worried.
It had been quite a long time since the other Tok'ra went into the host, and he was getting concerned.
A few minutes later, Malek thankfully opened his eyes, and they all felt relief.
"Malek?" Kanan repeated.
"I am...mostly well. That cannot be said about my poor host. Sekar, I believe his name is. He is not too sure of it himself, after all this time."
"Will he accept you?"
Malek sighed. "He is quite insane. I doubt he is able to understand much of what is happening to him, nor am I sure he is aware I am not Oceanus. He does not fight me, and he started offering worship to me reflexively, the moment I tried to communicate with him. I will need some time in peace with him, to try and see if he can be reasoned with - and if I can learn any of Oceanus's secrets from him. Indeed, if I will even be able to learn enough about Oceanus to impersonate him." He looked unhappy. "It is distressing to have a host who will not speak to me. I will hopefully be able to tell you more later. Please, for now I would like to go to Jolinar's chamber and hide there for some time."
Chapter 11: Complications