In the evening they had gone to watch a movie, and Martouf and Lantash had found it a very interesting - and odd - experience. Martouf did have some experience with movies from his home planet, before the Goa’uld re-conquered it, but they had usually been shown on devices that had been constructed based on old Goa’uld teleballs that had been found, so they were generally small, and made for a different, and more 3-dimensional experience.
“Do your archaeologists really dress - and behave - like that? I thought Doctor Daniel Jackson was a typical example of this profession from your world?” Martouf asked, in a low voice.
“Daniel... was hardly a typical archaeologist. He’s more like an historian, a linguist, an anthropologist, and an archaeologist, all rolled into one. However, I get what you mean.” Sam smiled. “Lara Croft is not a typical archaeologist - though in movies they’re often like her.”
“I see.” Martouf frowned. “Though I must admit I find her clothing style to be... unique... and... pleasing, I suppose, in some way.”
Sam rolled her eyes. “You and lots of other men! She’s dressed that way to appeal to a male audience!”
Martouf nodded. “I understand.” He frowned again. “Does your world really have technology with which to control time? I thought only the Ancients, the Furling, to some degree the Asgard, and a few other advanced species had that ability.”
“It’s a movie!” Sam smiled at him. “Which means... no, we don’t have tech to control time!” She looked at him, suddenly interested. “What do the Tok’ra know about that?”
“Some, but not much. I am not the right one to talk to, but I will tell you what little I know, after this movie.”
“Thanks.” Sam leaned back in her seat and opened the bag of candy she had brought, holding it out to Martouf. “Candy?”
“Eh, perhaps.” He took the bag and looked in it, picking out a couple different pieces and eating a few of them. “Lantash says these contain large amounts of sugar, as well as various chemical additives which are unhealthy. You should not eat them, Samantha.”
Sam sighed, placing the bag back in her lap and picking the tub of popcorn up from the floor. “Try these, then?”
Martouf took a drink from his soft drink, which he had accepted despite a few comments about its contents, then grabbed a handful of the popcorn. “I have tried something like this before.” He ate a few, then nodded. “Yes, during a short mission to the realm of Cinteotl, we tried something very similar to this, it is made from... el’ohtl...” He shook his head. “I do not know the word in your language.”
“Corn. Or Maize. I’m not surprised you’ve tried it, actually. I think it was invented many thousands of years ago, and I know Daniel once told me the Aztecs had it, so I’m guessing there’s bound to have been a few Goa’uld who brought it with them.”
They continued watching the movie, now and then discussing something that seemed strange to Martouf and Lantash. Sam was happy they had found a seat at the back of the room, and that there were relatively few people that day, allowing them to whisper to each other without disturbing anyone.
Sam snuggled up to Martouf and Lantash, and he put an arm around her, kissing her. She paid only brief attention to the movie, and just enjoyed sitting beside her beloveds.
“Well, if you found the movie entertaining, then maybe we should watch a couple of Indiana Jones movies when we - eventually - get back to my place.” Sam smiled and leaned against Martouf as they slowly walked back to their hotel room.
“Do you like these ‘Indiana Jones’ movies?”
“Well, they’re fairly entertaining, but not high art, I suppose.”
“If you like them, then we would very much like to watch them with you,” Martouf said.
Sam’s telephone rang when they had just reached the door to their hotel room. She sighed, and looked at it. “Stargate Command. I better answer.” She opened the door to their room as she clicked ‘answer’. “Major Samantha Carter...”
“I don’t know how much of the conversation you could follow from just what I said, but as you know, Anise had treated Colonel O’Neill, and thought she had cured him. Dad and her brought him and Kanan back to their Tok’ra base, so Kanan could help heal the Colonel’s brain completely, after the treatment.”
“Yes, I remember,” Martouf said.
“Well, everything seemed to have gone well, and they had been able to talk to Colonel O’Neill - and Kanan, though the Colonel wasn’t exactly willing to let him have control, and complained about Kanan suppressing him. Which, it would seem, Kanan had been forced to do, since the Colonel’s zatarc programming had activated fully, and he attempted to kill himself, then fought Kanan like crazy.”
“Meaning Kanan had to take control and at least partially suppress O’Neill in order to stop him from harming himself, as we surmised,” Lantash said, having gotten control from Martouf.
“Yes, it seems so. The programming seems to have somehow affected Kanan as well, or perhaps it was the result of having a wildly antagonistic host he had to suppress. I don’t know. In any case, as you know, Kanan became somewhat mentally unstable as well, and decided he wasn’t worth anything, and that he should kill himself, since that was what his host wanted. The reason they had been trying to get away, was that Kanan appears to have become obsessed with freeing Ba’al’s lo’tar, as his last act. At least according to Colonel O’Neill.”
“However, if I heard correctly, they have now disappeared, despite Anise’s assurances all was well...” Lantash smiled, for once somewhat ashamed. “I have a very good hearing, I could hear most of what you said...”
“Ah... well, that’s... impressive,” Sam said, meaning it. “Anyway, you’re right. The Colonel and Kanan went AWOL - that means, ‘Absent Without Official Leave’. Anise thinks they are mentally stable, even if the Colonel was very unhappy about Kanan having to remain in him for perhaps several more weeks, but she can’t explain why they would disappear, then.” Sam sighed. “Earlier today - early morning, at the Tok’ra base - dad went to check on Colonel O’Neill, and found that he was gone. He talked to the guards on duty, and they said Colonel O’Neill had claimed he needed to go to the Alpha site and talk to someone there. Since him having been a zatarc was kept secret, the guard did not know to look for anything suspicious, and allowed the Colonel to go. No one has seen him since.”
“I doubt he is still a zatarc. Martouf and I were completely cured from it after you shot us with the second zat’nik’tel shot - except for a small amount of memories that were lost. Anise’s treatment would have destroyed the programming as well, so O’Neill should have no aftereffects.”
“I don’t know... I agree, I guess, but why else would they leave?”
“I am sorry, Samantha, I have no explanations. I know O’Neill is your friend.” Lantash looked thoughtful. “You said Kanan had wanted to free Ba’al’s lotar, when he was not himself?”
“Yes.” Sam nodded. “Apparently he felt she was in danger because of him. He had used her to get information from Ba’al.”
“And fallen in love with her, no doubt.” Lantash hypothesized. “We Tok’ra are quite... passionate. Pretending to woo someone in order to get information, may lead to actually falling in love. Kanan may have left in order to free her - and then kill himself for O’Neill. He would have saved those he loved, and given them what he felt they wanted - he would love his host, and want to do all that is possible for him, even if O’Neill hates him.”
“That’s crazy! I mean, he shouldn’t be expected to kill himself, even if his host doesn’t want him. The Colonel will be free of Kanan in a few weeks, surely he would be able to handle it until then!”
“Maybe so, but that is not how we see it. We only stay in willing hosts. Even if the only other option is death, that is preferable. Otherwise, we would be no different from the Goa’uld.”
Sam shook her head. “I’m not so sure I agree, but... I’m not going to argue about that. Listen, I’ll call the SGC and tell them your theory - Hammond has SG-2 and Teal’c standing by to go look for the Colonel as soon as they have any idea where he has gone. You think he would have gone to Ba’al?”
“Yes, almost certainly - and I believe the Tok’ra should have plans over his compound. Tell Hammond to ask for those.”
“Right,” Sam said, picking up her telephone.
“Okay, dad agreed with your idea, and have gone to see if he can fetch the intel. Hammond went along as well, so SG-1 and Teal’c are trying to figure out a plan. Make a diversion or something, because they don’t think it will be possible to get into Ba’al’s compound without getting captured. Dad had already seen some plans over the place, apparently. They’d keep us updated.” Sam took a deep breath, looking very concerned.
“Good.” Lantash looked closely at her. “Samantha, I understand you are worried for him, and while I do not always get along with him well, I do know that you consider him a friend. There is, however, nothing you can do right now, so troubling yourself over it is pointless.”
“I know, it’s just hard not to worry.”
He nodded. “Understandably.” He frowned suddenly. “Samantha, do you have feelings for him?”
Sam looked up, surprised. “No...” She hesitated for a moment. “No,” she said with determination. “I’ll admit I’ve thought so now and then, but no, I’m not in love with him. I may have had a crush on him, but nothing more.” She looked directly at Lantash. “I’m sure of it. I don’t love him. I love you and Martouf.”
Lantash nodded. “Thank you.” He put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her to him. “Let me use some of that massage oil we bought last week - I am sure you will be able to sleep better when you are more relaxed.”
“That sounds nice, but I am not sore.”
“Good, then this will just be relaxing... or maybe arousing.” Lantash looked at her with a glint in his eyes. “Strip, and lie down on the bed!”