Chapter 30 summary: Rosha/Jolinar arrives on their new base, and there they meet someone Jolinar knows - Lantash.
[ 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 ]
They had been welcomed by Garshaw, and she and Jolinar had talked a little about old times. It turned out Garshaw was now a full grand councillor, and she had again tried to convince Jolinar to join the council. However, that was still not something she wanted to be bothered with.
After a little while, Garshaw spotted a young Tok'ra walking past them in the tunnels, looking with interest at Jolinar.
"Lantash...this is Rosha and Jolinar who have just been transferred here. Could you please show them the base and the room where they will stay?"
"Yes, Garshaw. With pleasure." Lantash said, as he turned to Rosha/Jolinar and smiled. "Hello, Jolinar - and Rosha. Nemura and I are very pleased to meet you."
"Lantash. Hello - it has been a great many years since I last saw you." Jolinar smiled warmly at him.
They followed Lantash to the new quarters that had been constructed for them, talking a little about old times.
Since Selmak and Malek were currently both away from the base, Jolinar agreed to eat dinner in the mess hall together with Lantash, and talk about all that had happened in the time since they last met.
Jolinar and Rosha picked out one of the dishes Rosha had come to appreciate during their stay at Tehvak's base, a kind of large, dove-like bird cooked with sage and honey, served with mixed vegetables and gravy. They grabbed some freshly baked wheat-bread, and a large glass of fruit juice, before joining Lantash at the vacant table he had located.
Jolinar looked at the dish in front of Lantash. "I see you still like desert fowl?"
"Yes, it is one of the few advantages to living on these dry forsaken worlds - there are often large populations of these birds." He smiled, happy Jolinar remembered he favoured the dish.
"So...Nemura is Lohanan?" Jolinar asked, partly because she had difficulty coming up with a topic to discuss, and partly because she was actually curious.
She had never met anyone from that world before. She had difficulty figuring out which Goa'uld ruled there - many Goa'uld had taken humans from specific parts of the Tau'ri, matching the culture they had set themselves up as gods from, but Nemura did not truly fit any of them.
The young man was slim, but muscular, and maybe a little below average height. He had the somewhat slanted eyes common among both Ameterasu and Yu's subjects, though he seemed to fit more in the first group. However, his eyecolour was not brown, but hazel, his skin-tone was darker than usual for those people, and his hair, while dark, had nuances that was almost the colour of copper when the light shone on it - and it was also slightly wavy. He seemed to have traits of a great many types of people, but whatever his ancestry, Jolinar decided she absolutely approved of the outcome. He was very attractive.
Lantash bowed his head and gave Nemura control. He smiled mischievously at Jolinar.
"Hello, Jolinar, and Rosha. Very pleased to meet you! Yes, I am Lohanan, though it has been many years since I thought of myself as such. Lohana is a world populated by refugees from various Goa'uld worlds...those of Amaterasu, Cronus, Olokun, Morrigan, and Bastet, mostly, but I know a few from one of Apophis's worlds as well. Lohana has existed in secret for maybe five generations - my ancestors were some of the first to arrive. They are happy to trade with the Tok'ra - avoiding the Goa'uld is best done by no one knowing you exists, but it does cut down on the visitors."
Jolinar nodded. She knew there existed a few so-called 'free' worlds, some populated with escaped slaves, some simply planets that had been abandoned by the Goa'uld. The Tok'ra tried to keep an eye on them, and help them if it was possible. However, they were often wary of the Tok'ra, since they were the same species as the Goa'uld.
"We are grateful to you for volunteering to become Lantash's host. He is a stubborn one, as you have no doubt discovered, but I think you are good for him."
Nemura laughed. "He can be both self-assured and somewhat opinionated, but after 120 years as his host, I would not want him any other way. Besides, as you get to know me, you will find I am as stubborn as he."
"That...must have given you problems as an ambassador to Silvana."
"We would never have been the first choice as a diplomat anywhere else, that is for sure! However, the Silvanans value honesty highly, and appreciated our directness."
"A truly alien culture indeed." Jolinar smiled.
"In many ways, yes. However, I doubt they would have let us out of the prison cell yet, had we not saved the lives of several of their young ones."
"Yes, I heard the story - and that was also why they wanted you there, as their ambassador, correct?"
"Correct. They are quite xenophobic, though it is not as pronounced now as it was before. They even - finally - accepted another ambassador."
"You seem relieved." Jolinar observed, smiling wryly.
Nemura bowed his head, transferring control to Lantash.
"The population was friendly enough, but they were sorely lacking in one thing - beautiful women." Lantash looked appreciatively at Jolinar.
"Well, I am sure they consider their own females beautiful."
"True, but I am not attracted to avians." He observed, dryly. "Don't get me wrong. I would like to have a bird...for dinner. Oh, and they only eat vegetables, fruits, worms, and insects. Insects. Even if they made some concessions for my sake and allowed me to roast the disgusting critters, I will have to say that if I never see a grasshopper again it will be too soon!"
Jolinar giggled. "Poor Lantash!"
He gave her an insulted look. "Hrmph. You should try eating worms and insects for 119 years! See if you would be happy!"
"Well, how fortunate you are back again, then - and that you can have all the desert fowl you can eat!" Jolinar gave control to Rosha, insisting her host talk to Lantash. She was, after all, the one who had insisted they get a social life.
"Hello. I am Rosha, Jolinar's host." She felt like kicking herself - he knew that, of course!
Lantash did not make fun of her, though. "Rosha...that is a beautiful name. How very fitting, for such a beautiful woman. Please, tell me of your world."
Jolinar felt like rolling her eyes at Lantash's lack of subtlety. Though she gathered he could not have had the opportunity to practice much.
*Well, they are both cute, I will have to admit that - though Lantash is a rascal! He checked out my...um...*
*Ass? Breasts?* Jolinar offered helpfully. *Because I noticed his eyes lingering on both!*
*Well, I, for one, does not mind his appreciation...*
*Nor do I. Not really. I am just not sure I am interested in getting involved. With anyone. The life of a Tok'ra is dangerous, and the wound from loosing my parents and siblings - and all my friends - is still fresh. I do not know if I could survive loosing anyone else.*
*Life is dangerous - especially the life we live.*
*Which is why you have never been in a real relationship.*
*True.* Jolinar admitted. *My life has not had room for more than the occasional fling, nor have I truly missed it. However, I may be reevaluating that decision.*
*If you had talked to me about this a month ago, before I became your host, I could not have imagined my life without a husband. Indeed, I was looking forward to perhaps having two. Now? I do not know...*
*I do not know if I am truly interested in pursuing anyone yet either - and if so, who, but...will you consider it?*
Chapter 31: Shared Missions