Chapter 8 summary: Another undercover Tok'ra - Kanan - arrives with orders from the Council.
[ 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 ]
Travik had just left, and Jolinar and Sannya were eating lunch in their chambers. For once they felt relaxed and in a good mood.
*I admit it - you were right. It was a good idea to take Travik as a lover.* Sannya sounded happy.
*Of course - it was my idea.* Jolinar teased her. *I am feeling...really good, today. We should have taken a lover before. I do not know why we did not.*
*Cronus. Remember? I doubt he would have allowed us one.*
*He would not have had to know - and we could have taken a human lover. One of the slaves, perhaps. Cronus would not have been jealous of him, I think - only other Goa'uld.*
*Perhaps. It is true he does not consider humans to be truly sentient, but I suspect he would not have been logical in this matter. He would have been furious!*
*You may be right.* Jolinar sighed. *I do not wish to think of Cronus today. I think we should spend the day doing nothing. How does that sound, for once?*
Almost an hour passed. They had eaten their lunch, and almost finished a pleasant bath, when a servant knocked on the door.
"Who dares disturb me in my bath?" Jolinar called out, not wanting to be bothered.
"The...there is a 'Lord Thivok' here to see you, my Lord. He insisted, or I would never have dared disturbing you."
He sounded scared half to death. Most of the servants still remembered how Erebus had been, and while Jolinar had not punished anyone severely, she had only been here for less than a year, and the servants still did not feel secure.
Jolinar sighed. It was not the servant's fault. She considered ordering him to tell 'Lord Thivok' to wait - it was a code name used by Kanan, so he would neither punish the servant, nor be insulted by Jolinar. However, she knew she had to behave correctly for a Goa'uld if she wanted to avoid being suspected, and so did Kanan - forcing him into a situation that meant he would either have to punish the servant or seem un-Goa'uld, was not a good idea.
"Inform him I will be with him shortly."
"Yes, my Lord." The servant fled.
Jolinar sighed, and finished rinsing off the soap, then dried herself off. Wanting to be able to relax alone, Jolinar and Sannya had deliberately sent away all the slaves that would normally attend them. Jolinar went to the dressing room and picked out a comfortable - but still elegant - dress. She quickly slipped it on, combed her still wet hair, put on sandals and makeup, then grabbed the hand device and put it on, as she walked out the door.
As soon as she was outside, her lo'tar appeared as if out of nowhere. She had been Erebus's lo'tar before, and seemed to be eternally grateful for a new master. Not wanting to anger this new, friendlier god, she tried to anticipate Jolinar's every need.
Walking to the throne room, she ignored the woman, as any Goa'uld would. Servants were expected to be present whenever needed, while being invisible the rest of the time.
"Kanan, hello." Jolinar said, having sent the Jaffa and the human slaves away. "I had not expected the Council to send someone already." She looked, slightly accusingly, at the man in front of her. She had not seen his host before - a thin man with a friendly face, very black, straight hair, and the more elongated, slanted eyes, which were especially common to Lord Yu's domain. Kanan had introduced him as Gao.
"No, and I do apologize, but it is unfortunately necessary. I need a position as soon as possible - and it cannot be at the court of just any of Cronus's allies. It has to be at Cronus's own court...and in a position high enough that I will be privy to his strategic plans."
"That will not be easy! Are they crazy? What kind of connections do they think I have?"
"They are desperate - and you did pretend to be his lover, of a sort. In any case, from what we know from other operatives, Cronus is up to something. We do not know what. It is big, though, and we fear he will become too powerful to control, if we do not find a way to stop him."
"Besides, the Council always get jitterish whenever they have little or no information about any one System Lord." Jolinar sighed. "I quite understand. I guess we will find a way. For now, I will give you a position here, in charge of intelligence and control. Will that work for you, or would leader of my 'vast' armies of Jaffa be better?" Jolinar asked, somewhat sarcastically.
"Intelligence and control will probably work, for now." Kanan smiled wryly.
"Good. The current underling in that position worked for my predecessor, and he is cruel, stupid, and power hungry. Kill him and take his place. That should give you some points with the Jaffa - and basically anyone else who has ever come into contact with the evil wretch."
Kanan nodded. "I suppose that will be acceptable. Jolinar, we still need to figure out a way to get me in at Cronus's court."
"We will. For now, you should focus on your job. I will see what can be done about the other matter. In any case, we should meet in one week, to discuss our plans."
"Agreed." Kanan left to complete his task.
"Unfortunately, Cronus is paranoid. Aside from himself, he only truly trusts two persons; his queen and the commander of his forces, Oceanus. They will be the only ones privy to all of his plans." Jolinar said.
She and Kanan were having dinner in Jolinar's private chambers.
"Which means, I must - somehow - take over Oceanus's position."
"That will not be easy - if even possible. Cronus's queen Rhea, and Oceanus, are both his siblings, and he trusts no one else." Jolinar looked thoughtful.
"Perhaps you could...um...get close to this Oceanus and see if he can perhaps be persuaded to share his information. Many men - and women - will confide in a lover."
Jolinar laughed shortly, without humour. "You do not know what you are suggesting. Oceanus's queen - and sister, Tethys - left him because his tastes are...unusual...to put it mildly. Since then, no Goa'uld has agreed to become his lover. He killed countless slave girls while I was at Cronus's court. Besides, he is completely loyal to Cronus, so it would do me no good anyway."
"So...we need another idea." Kanan sighed morosely.
"Yes..." Jolinar was quiet for some time, sitting, as if listening. "Sannya has an idea. It is...not something I would have thought of, and the Goa'uld will never suspect it, if it is done correctly..."
"What is the idea?" Kanan leaned forward, interested.
"We - somehow - get Oceanus into a private place and remove him. Then, a Tok'ra take his place..."
"That is an abhorrent idea! Not only is the thought of taking someone else's host - even that of a Goa'uld - disturbing, but what about the host? He would not be willing - and likely severely traumatised."
"Sometimes, the ends do justify the means. Even when they are unpleasant. As for the host - he is already an unwilling host. Surely, being host to a Tok'ra - even without his consent - is a much lesser evil. Besides, the Tok'ra can leave him later. No, this is not the issue."
"What is, then?"
"Well, Oceanus has had the same host for thousands of years, and so must have used the sarcophagus countless times. In all likelihood, the host is insane, as well as traumatized. A Tok'ra would have to suppress him, in order to not be affected too greatly. Moreover, the withdrawal symptoms from the sarcophagus will be vicious, even with a symbiote to mitigate them. No, Oceanus's host is not a viable permanent host for any Tok'ra." Jolinar was quiet for another moment. "Sannya has an additional idea - but it requires us to seduce Oceanus. I must admit I do not like the idea. It will not be pleasant, but it should not be difficult."
"Because he will be pleasantly surprised that a Goa'uld would agree to be his lover, after having to 'make do' with human slaves for a very long time." Kanan realised.
*How will we get close to Oceanus? If we really have to, I mean? In order to make him trust us, we cannot merely approach him without a good cause.* Sannya wondered.
*There will be a meeting for all Cronus's allies in one month. That might prove a good opportunity.*
*Ah, yes. True, and since there is usually a large celebration, with lots of food and drink in conjunction with those, that should provide us with a situation to approach him.*
Jolinar looked up, having finished the discussion with Sannya. "There is a meeting with Cronus's allies soon, we will attempt to seduce Oceanus then."
"And given that all Goa'uld are quite vain, he will not really wonder too much about why a beautiful woman is suddenly throwing herself at him." Kanan smiled. "It might work."
"One other thing. Even if all goes well, it will probably be many months, perhaps even a year, before he - and Cronus - trust us so much that we can capture Oceanus and switch him for a Tok'ra. We will also need someone to volunteer for the part of playing Oceanus. It will probably need to be someone who is in need of a host at that time."
"Yes, of course! You cannot ask anyone to leave their host in order to take Oceanus's!" Kanan looked horrified, and coiled harder inside Gao, almost squeezing him. *Do not worry, I will not leave you!* He told his host, who felt equally horrified by the idea.
"I would never do that! Do not even think I would suggest it!"
"Good. I will inform the Council." Kanan relaxed. Relieved. "They will be unhappy it will take so long before they have an operative in place, but I believe that they will embrace our plan."
"Cronus does not move quickly. Whatever scheme he is up to will still be in the planning stage when the operative is in place."
Jolinar studied herself in the mirror. She had rarely worn anything quite so...provocative - well, at least not since she became a Tok'ra.
Sannya was uncomfortable dressing like this, but Jolinar did not have any problems with it. Besides, it was perfect for seducing someone, especially a Goa'uld. She wore a red dress with thin strips covering her breasts, and a low-slung skirt which was open down one side from the hip. The rest of the clothing - consisting of an open robe and a scarf - was made of a golden, almost transparent, shimmering material. It hid little, and hinted of more.
Jolinar adjusted her dress one more time, and left to join the party. There would be a dinner first, and she did not want to be late.
She had made sure to talk regularly with Oceanus during the first days of the summit, and had also laughed at his jokes. He had seemed pleased, and would no doubt be attentive to her tonight. He already appeared interested - and no doubt pleasantly surprised she was no longer turning him down, as she had before when she lived at Cronus's palace.
"Lord...Lady Siwa...you truly look stunning!" Oceanus said, devouring her with his eyes. "Come, sit. I have reserved a seat for you at my table.
Jolinar gave him her very best smile. "Thank you. I am honoured."
This was going much easier than she had dared to hope - and it was an unusual honour for a minor Goa'uld, to be allowed to sit at the table of Cronus, Rhea, and their brother.
After bowing deeply to him, Cronus, and Rhea, Jolinar sat down. She flashed Oceanus a seductive smile, and made sure to lean towards him in such a way that he got a good look at her cleavage.
Oceanus was completely occupied by Jolinar for the whole dinner and the following celebration. She, of course, did her best to continue to feed his infatuation.
*He will be eating from our hands before the evening is over.* Jolinar remarked, satisfied.
*Yes - and Cronus seems to be quite pleased with the development as well.*
*As much as he mistrusts and hates everyone else, he is quite fond of his brother.* Jolinar reminded Sannya. *He wants Oceanus to be happy.*
*Well, the Council will be elated as well, when they hear of our progress.*
*Yes, that means everyone is happy. Except us. I am so not looking forward to this 'relationship' we will be pretending to have with Oceanus. We cannot carry out the next step of our plan unless we are completely trusted. We need him - and Cronus - to believe we love and desire Oceanus. It could take years.* Jolinar shuddered at the thought.
*Well, I just hope Oceanus does not expect anything...further to take place tonight?*
*I am sure he does. Or hopes for it, at any rate. However, he shall have to wait a little longer. Maybe next time we meet.*
With some difficulty, Jolinar managed to convince Oceanus to not join her in her bed chamber - this time. Fortunately, he had military matters to attend to next day, and Jolinar went home, feeling much relieved.
However, it was barely a month later, when Oceanus announced his intention to visit, and Jolinar had to accept.
She hurriedly prepared a feast in his honour, and wore a stunning dress and a dazzling smile when he arrived.
Oceanus brought her many and expensive gifts, and was quite obviously enamored with Jolinar. Aside from the gifts, he also had several slave girls with him. Jolinar was puzzled at first, but soon realised he had decided she was afraid of sleeping with him - which was not completely wrong. Apparently, he had decided to allay her fears by 'venting his frustrations' as he called it, on a slave girl before going to Jolinar's bed.
She was appalled, but could not say anything without it appearing extremely suspicious. No Goa'uld would care about the fate of a slave. Not only that - she also realised most Goa'uld would think Oceanus 'considerate' for acting out his 'unusual' tastes on a slave, before going to his Goa'uld lover. It was not like they considered humans truly sentient, so jealous would not be an issue. Usually, at least.
Jolinar just hoped he would not kill all the slave girls.
Unfortunately, he seemed to find killing them while he mated with them increased his pleasure, so he very regularly did that.
He also often insisted on bringing the slave girl with him to Jolinar's chamber, and performing the act there, as he found it 'romantic'.
She could well understand why no other Goa'uld wanted to share his bed. This was deeply twisted, even for a Goa'uld.
Unable to do anything about the state of things, she did her best to not think of it. She gave Oceanus another seductive smile and leaned in to kiss him, secretly horrified.
*I do not know if we can do this!* Sannya sounded exasperated. *The Council had better be very grateful!*
*No amount of gratitude makes up for this - and they will likely not express any. I am just relieved the war he is fighting for Cronus only allowed him to stay for a week. We need time to heal and sleep!*
Jolinar very carefully sat down.
*I do not care to think of how our condition would have been, if he had not...used a slave girl to 'take the edge of his need' as he had the nerve to call it!* Sannya spat.
*Yes, he killed one each night - because he felt 'especially turned on'. It pains me deeply that the...ah...relative ease we had was bought with their blood...and that in most cases their death came neither easily, nor quickly. This, more than anything, makes me hesitant if this mission is really worth it. An operative at Cronus's court, in his confidence, is worth a lot, but...*
*Well, he brought back half of the girls with the sarcophagus. Apparently they were talented. From the fearful expressions they had when they arrived, I believe some of them are his 'favourites'.*
*Do not remind me! Extraction is too good for him!* Jolinar sounded furious.
Chapter 9: Happy Moments