Deep Trouble, Chapter 26


[ Chapter 1: An Unpleasant Surprise | Chapter 2: On the Run | Chapter 3: Refugees | Chapter 4: Revelations | Chapter 5: Occupied | Chapter 6: Doubts and Changes | Chapter 7: Stress and Developments | Chapter 8: Unpleasant Times | Chapter 9: Visitors | Chapter 10: The Tollan | Chapter 11: Talking and Learning | Chapter 12: Escape | Chapter 13: Trade and an Attack | Chapter 14: Progress | Chapter 15: An Attack | Chapter 16: Searching for the Tokíra | Chapter 17: Blending - and Sharing | Chapter 18: A Ritual | Chapter 19: Decisions - and an Unpleasant Discovery | Chapter 20: A Hard Choice | Chapter 21: Changes | Chapter 22: Undercover | Chapter 23: Contact | Chapter 24: Explanations and Love | Chapter 25: Escape From Sifton | Chapter 26: In the Tokíra Tunnels | Chapter 27: Cooperation | Chapter 28: Unexpected Revenge - and a Farewell | Chapter 29: Home ]

Chapter 26: In the Tok'ra Tunnels

Summary: Jolinar is debriefed by the Tok'ra Council, and she and Sam suggests an alliance.

They arrived safely on the planet J'Ohlak, and to their relief they found it free of Jaffa. Lantash landed the ship not far from the Stargate, and they hid it among the abundant plant life of that world, hoping the Tok'ra could return for it later.

When they were about to walk through the active Stargate, Martouf turned to the others. "I will walk through first, and take you to where the guards are hiding. Since they know me, there should not be any problems."

They stepped through the Stargate, and followed Martouf to where the Tok'ra guards were hiding. As expected, they jumped up around them, prepared to defend themselves.

"Lantash and Martouf, welcome back. Who are these you bring with you?" Korra asked.

"Hello, Korra," Martouf said. "This is our Jolinar, returned to us..." He indicated Sam/Jolinar. "As well as her new host, Samantha Carter of the Tau'ri. The others are her friends, the Tau'ri Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill, and the Jaffa Teal'c - all who fights the Goa'uld."

"Welcome, friends," Korra greeted them, then turned to Sam/Jolinar. "Jolinar, it is really you?"

"It is, Korra," Jolinar confirmed.

He nodded. "Welcome home, Jolinar. You have been deeply missed, and were thought dead, as you no doubt have guessed. My condolences for Rosha - and thanks to your new host."

"Thank you." She smiled, a little bleakly. "Korra... I bring important, and unpleasant news. Is Cordesh on the base?"

Korra frowned. "He is. Why?"

"It is imperative that he does not know of my return. You must go at once, with a group of guards, and arrest him. Then search his room, for anything...suspicious. I will explain later why."

" Arrest him?" Korra almost gaped at her, then shook his head slowly. "You are correct, and I am sure whatever news you bring are both unpleasant and important. I will do as you ask, of course."

"Thank you." She smiled at him, grateful for his trust and friendship.

"Please, explain everything from the beginning, Jolinar," Garshaw said, looking very unhappy.

"I will," Jolinar promised. "Cordesh has been arrested?" She looked at the three Council members that were debriefing her. Garshaw was the only one she knew well - the others were Talek and Jassina.

"He has, and this was found in his room." Garshaw held up one of the small long range communications device that had been uncovered. "When it was shown to him, he admitted his guilt - or rather, he accused the Tok'ra of several unpleasant things, then proclaimed we would all die horribly at the hands of the System Lords."

Jolinar took a deep breath. "It is unfortunate. I had hoped his delusion was not as bad as I feared it. He has been making reports on our bases, and many of our operatives, for at least a year. That is when I learned of his treason - shortly before he betrayed me to Cronus, and I had to flee."

"Why would he have done such a thing? He was a loyal Tok'ra. Always has been." Garshaw shook her head.

"Yes - ever since he joined. He was not born a Tok'ra, but he became one, and I do not believe he has ever done anything suspicious before," Talek observed.

"He was loyal, and meant his vows. I vouched for him - and he had pledged his loyalty to me before joining the Tok'ra. He was my vassal, before I became Tok'ra, as you well know. His betrayal - is quite painful," Jolinar said. "I do not know what caused him to turn."

"The last mission he was on ended just over one year ago. He had been undercover with Kali for more than three years, but was discovered and had to escape." Jassina stated.

Jolinar nodded slowly. "It is likely, then, that something happened to him during that period, perhaps some sort of brainwashing. Kali is loosely allied to Cronus, is she not?"

"Yes, though I believe their alliance will soon come to an end. Our operative there has reported growing tension between the two Goa'uld."

"Good." Jolinar sighed. "Hopefully, we will learn something from the interrogation of Cordesh."

"Yes, that we must hope," Jassina said. "Jolinar, please continue your debriefing. What happened after you and Rosha escaped from Cronus? You obviously got a new host."

"Obviously," Jolinar agreed, clearly unhappy with the casual way Jassina said this.

Jassina seemed to realize, as she looked bashful. "Sorry, it was not my intention to belittle your loss."

"Thank you." Jolinar took a deep breath, then began relaying all that had happened since she and Rosha had fled from their assignment at Cronus's court.

"Do you have anything else to tell us?" Garshaw said, still looking displeased when she recalled the information that Jolinar had taken her current host without asking. At least, said host had forgiven Jolinar, and decided to remain her host. When she had taken control, she had also argued quite vehemently and without fear in front of the Council members, that Jolinar should not be blamed for what had been an act of desperation. A panicked reaction. Besides, she had carried important information to the Tok'ra.

"Yes. Two things more." Jolinar smiled, a little smugly. "First, I would like to announce that Selmak was found by SG-1 - the Tau'ri warrior team my host is a member of. She was saved, by Samantha's father becoming her host."

"Selmak is alive?" Garshaw suddenly smiled. "That is wonderful news!"

"It truly is." Talek looked happy as well.

"Indeed it is! Why is she not here with you?" Jassina wondered.

"There did not seem to be a good reason to risk both of us on such a risky mission as it could be to visit several places that would perhaps have an operative. Now, when this base has been found, surely Selmak and her new host Jacob will soon join you here."

"We shall look forward to that day, and to thank this Jacob for becoming her host," Garshaw said.

"You said there were two things more you wished to tell us. What is the second one?" Jassina asked.

"Something which may be of a very great importance. As I told you, 10000 of Samantha's people, the Tau'ri, escaped before Apophis could conquer their world. Their wish is to continue fighting the Goa'uld, as has been their goal for some time. Of course, their primary focus is currently on Apophis, and freeing their world."

Garshaw looked solemn. "Understandably. We are all sad that the Tau'ri are no longer free, and we very much wish Samantha's people to have luck in their endeavor, however hard it will be for them to succeed, and however long it will take."

"We are saddened by their plight, but why are you mentioning this?" Talek wondered.

"Because they are seeking allies, and I believe we should consider becoming that ally. Currently, they greatly need friends, and we could help them much, without any great trouble for ourselves. I believe, that it will eventually turn out to be to our advantage, and may even be so now."

"Jolinar! As much as their cause is admirable, and they have come far in the time they have been free, they are technologically primitive compared to us." Garshaw looked shocked.

"Allying with them would mean opening ourselves up to danger. You told us they need us - desperately, even, I suspect. What would we gain from this, that could outweigh this danger?" Jassina demanded.

"They have already helped us. They have given us two hosts, one of whom is my Samantha, thus allowing me to live and giving me the opportunity to bring the information of Cordesh's treason to your attention. That alone will likely save the lives of a great many Tok'ra, who would have otherwise died before he was eventually found out. We will again be able to place operatives as we have done before, instead of hiding in fear, and withdrawing the majority of our operatives."

Garshaw nodded. "That is true, and while we are deeply grateful for this, and will happily help them in other ways, I do not believe that is enough to risk allying with them. Jolinar, you know the Council always listens to you. You were Egeria's first and closest friend. Your advice was as invaluable to her, as it has often been to us. But you must give us a stronger reason, before we can consider allying with these Tau'ri."

"As Garshaw said, we can, of course, give them assistance," Talek said. "That would not cause us any great risk. If I understand correctly, they are already in a situation where the Goa'uld will kill them on sight, so the presence of our technology there will not greatly increase the punishment the Goa'uld will give them. If we make sure none of the Tau'ri know how to find us, then there is no danger to us, even if they are captured and tortured."

"Yes, I believe the Councilís decision will be that we are willing to offer them technology, and perhaps other help, but more than that I do not believe we can offer," Garshaw concluded.

Sam and Jolinar conferred for a moment, then Jolinar continued. "Samantha suggests we can share intelligence, and that their people can be of assistance when shock troops are needed, or when we need someone to pretend to be slaves. In addition - and this is not something that has been discussed with her people yet, but she is fairly certain they would agree, as it would benefit them as well as us - if we help them with technology, and mining crystals, then they can handle some production which is impossible for us to do, because of the visibility of the structures needed. They can also help us with some food production, if we set up hydroponics, perhaps, and they have cattle and chicken. They can perhaps grow fruit and vegetables for us as well. There are many ways we can help each other."

Garshaw nodded slowly. "I agree. It is actually something which is worth discussing."

"Of course, they do also fight the Goa'uld, so we share that. We may be able to help them with intelligence about Apophis, and about their world, perhaps even assist in weakening Apophis." Jolinar sighed. "Samantha believes it is likely there will be some of her people who might agree to become hosts, now when their medical supplies are running out, and they do not have any other ways of curing them."

"Hosts would be more valuable than anything else, but we would still offer medical assistance in other ways. We can produce medicine and we have medical technology that can help. Since they are fairly technologically developed, and the Goa'uld will attack them anyway, regardless of whether they find proof of Tokíra technology among them or not, there is no reason we should not help them in this way also," Talek said.

The discussion had continued for some time longer, then the Tok'ra Council members had decided they needed to discuss it with more of the Council, and that they should meet with representatives from Earth who could make decisions about an alliance and what to offer. They agreed to work on finding a date and a place.

Just as Garshaw was about to call an end to the meeting, a Council runner came into the room.

"Master Garshaw, Cordesh has attempted to escape."

"Has he been recaptured?" Garshaw demanded.

"Yes, but unfortunately he was killed. Aldwin was injured in the process, but Gerim is healing him, and they will soon be well."

"Gonach hasshak!" Garshaw swore, flashing her eyes, then took a deep breath, as Yosuuf told her to calm down. "It is indeed unfortunate. Now we will likely never know how much he has told Cronus and other Goa'uld, nor how his treason came to happen."

"Very unfortunate, but at least no one else was killed. We must consider ourselves thankful for that," Talek said.

"We should attempt to find information about what has happened, though, perhaps by sending two operatives to Kali's court. If she is indeed the one who has brainwashed Cordesh, we need to know how it was done, so we can avoid it happening again. However, sending just one operative puts him or her at risk. Two would be safer, I believe." Jolinar speculated.

"I agree," Garshaw said. "We need to learn more. For now, the best we can do is move all bases and outposts again, to locations that had not been picked at the time Cordesh was killed."

While Sam/Jolinar had been debriefed by the Council, Martouf/Lantash had kept the rest of SG-1 company in the Tok'ra mess hall.

"Tell us, Martouf, how did you meet Jolinar?" Daniel asked.

Martouf frowned. "The first time I saw her was in our shared quarters, when she and Rosha had just returned from a long mission. Why is this of interest?"

"It's... just small talk, you know? Passing the time and getting to know each other. Besides, I'd like to know more about the Tok'ra, and since you and Jolinar are together... well, it seemed a reasonable thing to ask," Daniel explained.

"Wait... who's shared quarters? Your and Lantash's?" O'Neill looked confused.

"Yes - and Rosha and Jolinar's."

"So you were room mates before becoming... ah, mates?"

Martouf shook his head, then nodded, looking almost as confused. "No... and in a way yes, I suppose, for me at least, though they were not on the base then."

"That... doesn't make any sense," O'Neill insisted.

Martouf looked distant for a moment, obviously conversing with Lantash. "I believe... I should try to explain. Lantash was mated to Rosha and Jolinar before I became his host."

"Lantash had a different host when he got together with Jolinar?" Daniel asked.

"Yes, for almost 75 years."

"O-kay. So I guess you can understand Carter," O'Neill said. "Since, you know, you also kinda just inherited this relationship."

"It is quite common," Martouf assured him. "No one considers that strange."

"Why did you become a host, then? Were you sick? Injured?" Daniel sounded interested in all he could learn about their new friends, and - perhaps - allies.

"No, not at all. Lantash's previous host, Nemura, was mortally wounded by Jaffa staff weapons, and so Lantash needed a new host. I volunteered."

"Your people knew of the Tok'ra? Had they cooperated with them before?" Daniel wondered.

Martouf shook his head. "The Tok'ra were on my world in order to try and convince my people to fight the Goa'uld. My planet had been free for several centuries, and was quite advanced. From what Jolinar has told me, somewhat more so than the Tau'ri was when Apophis attacked. The Tok'ra felt my people had a chance to win. Regardless, my people did not know of the Tok'ra, and did not listen to them in time. Nephthys conquered the world, and it is now much like the majority of Goa'uld worlds, with the people living as slaves under primitive conditions." Martouf looked distressed as he thought of the events that had happened on his home planet.

"I'm sorry," Daniel said.

"So, as you can see, I can emphasize with you. Perhaps, this time, we will find a way to succeed in removing Apophis from your planet." He looked up as Sam/Jolinar entered the room. "Jolinar, Samantha." He smiled widely at them.

Jolinar smiled back at him. "Martouf, Lantash." She bowed her head, giving Sam control.

"Hi guys! We're just going to grab something to eat, then we'll join you."

Sam/Jolinar had returned quickly, carrying a tray with food and drink. After Sam had made short work of the food, Jolinar took control and turned to her mates and O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c.

"I do not know if you have heard, but Cordesh attempted to escape during interrogation, and was killed," Jolinar said.

Martouf shook his head. "No, we have been here in the rather empty mess hall all the time. Was anyone hurt?" He looked very concerned.

"Aldwin, but he is healing well, and will soon be recovered."

Martouf nodded. "I am glad. He is a good friend."

"There is something else. First, and this regards all of you, there is a possibility the Council will agree to an alliance with the Tau'ri, but I am not sure if the Tau'ri Council will agree to it. We are to bring the message to them that the Tok'ra Council would like to meet and discuss it. Regardless of how that goes, the Tok'ra Council has agreed to give aid to the Tau'ri bases - both technology and medicine."

"That's great news," O'Neill observed, looking relieved.

"Indeed." Teal'c looked pleased.

"What's the second thing you have to say? It looks as if it's less good," Daniel said.

"It is. Because of Cordesh, all Tok'ra bases and outposts will have to be moved, and almost certainly all operatives will have to be withdrawn, or at least be on alert. It is a set-back, but had Cordesh not been discovered, it would have been much, much worse."

"We will be moving soon?" Martouf wondered.

"Yes, as soon as new locations can be found for the bases. It will have to be locations that are not on our lists, since Cordesh may have seen those. That means it will probably be a few days before the moves."

"We will have time to pack all and not leave anything behind. It will be a nice change," Martouf observed.

"Yes - provided the System Lords do not decide to attack soon. The lookouts are being especially observant, since the fact that they now hear nothing from Cordesh, may make them launch an attack."

"Couldn't they just think he doesn't have the opportunity to contact them?" O'Neill suggested.

"It is a possibility, that is true, but we have to be ready for all eventualities."

"Okay, what about us?" Daniel asked.

"Since the Tok'ra bases are being moved, it is deemed to be an acceptable risk that you know the address to this world. We should return to your home, and report what we have learned, as well as make the offer of aid, and the invitation to a meeting, with the goal of - hopefully - establishing an alliance between our people," Jolinar said.

Chapter 27: Cooperation