Deep Trouble, Chapter 6


[ 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 Tok’ra | 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 Tok’ra Tunnels | Chapter 27: Cooperation | Chapter 28: Unexpected Revenge - and a Farewell | Chapter 29: Home ]

6. Doubts and Changes

Summary: The refugees from Earth are not yet safe. Apophis attacks!

Warning: violence (minor)

(Art by xenharmonica)

July 17 1998, Beta site

Most of a week passed, with everyone who was able to do so, working at moving the base to the new site - named the 'Beta site'. From Earth, they had brought with them a machine for making planks, and it was put to good use by the teams that were building housing. Still, most of the refugees would be living in tents for the first many months, as it would take a lot of time to build even primitive housing for that many people.

Some of the buildings on the Alpha site were modular, and could be taken apart and brought through the gate, so the infirmary, administration - and the building with the holding cells - were quickly rebuilt at the Beta site. A group of guards escorted Sam and Jolinar through the Stargate and to the new Beta site, as soon as a cell was ready for them.

Jolinar had left Sam in control, but neither of them had much to say to the guards. They were well aware that they would not even believe Sam, if she said she was herself and not Jolinar.

Sam was not still not talking or listening much to Jolinar, but she was beginning to. There was no one else to talk to, and besides, it was difficult to keep up the animosity - especially since Jolinar had done none of the things Sam would have expected of a Goa'uld.

Sam had called Jolinar all the nasty things she could think of, and otherwise only yelled at her and fought her - all to no avail. At no point had Sam been able to wrestle control from Jolinar unless she had given it to her freely, but the symbiote had also not retaliated or in any way punished her. It was puzzling, and Sam had to admit it was starting to look as if Jolinar was actually telling the truth. Partially, at least. Sam did not doubt Jolinar meant it when she said she would leave her - had not doubted that for a long time.

Jolinar had shown her how to keep her thoughts private, and it seemed as if Jolinar was not listening in on her thoughts. Not that Sam could truly know, but she suspected Jolinar was keeping her word. Could there really be such a thing as a good Goa'uld? A Tok'ra, or whatever they called themselves? And... could they perhaps be good allies, if they were real?

Sam stepped through the Stargate and exited on a new world. She looked around. It seemed much as most worlds they had gone to. There was an open stretch around the Stargate, but she could see a forest nearby. She was lead along a path through the outer part of the forest. The climate here seemed temperate, and judging from the trees and the vegetation, it was summer. It took less than five minutes to reach the area the base was being built at. Except for bushes, grass, and some flowers, the area was open. She could see mountains in the distance, and a small river flowed from them, past the camp, and into the forest.

She saw several half-finished buildings, and some people at work making planks from the timber others brought from the forest. They were using a small machine that could cut the tree trunks into rough planks - Sam could remember that had been on the list of things Siler had suggested should be included among the necessary items for an evacuation. Apparently he had succeeded in convincing Hammond of it in time to get one here.

Sam did not have time to study the base any further, as she was lead quickly towards a building identical to the one she had been imprisoned in at the Alpha site. She tried to notice things that might help her escape, if she managed to flee from the cell, but there was little of value. Most of the rooms were completely barren, as the building had only just been finished.

As the door to her cell closed, she suddenly realized what she had just thought - she had been considering how she could escape from here. With Jolinar, obviously. Would she do that, if she could? Or was it Jolinar influencing her? Did she trust the symbiote enough to try to escape with her? And what if she succeeded - and Jolinar actually kept her word and found a new host - would Sam be able to go home? Or as much of a home as this place was.

Would they ever trust her again? Sam sighed, realizing all of this did not matter, because escaping was likely her only chance to survive, as long as the NID was in charge. It was probably also quite impossible.

She was well aware that she had only gained a respite because of the evacuation to the Beta site. Her tormentors would be back, to demand Jolinar speak and tell them what she knew. Back to hurt them when she told them nothing. Not caring about Sam, or whether or not Jolinar could be blamed for what Apophis had done. Not caring that Jolinar may not be a traditional Goa'uld, that she may be a Tok'ra - and a potential ally.

Sam sighed. There would be no escape, and her only protection against the NID was a good Goa'uld, who had until now protected her against the harsh interrogation - torture - and promised she would continue to do so for as long as she could.

July 18 1998, the World of the Tau'ri

Mark and his family had made it back to San Diego, without any further run-ins with the Jaffa.

People were still not allowed to go out for more than a few hours each day, unless specifically ordered to a certain place.

"Well, I guess this means we won't have to decide between you continuing to work at the Census Office in L.A., or finding something closer." Marian sighed.

"Yeah, I'm afraid that's likely," Mark agreed, throwing a look in the direction of their children, who were playing some sort of game - laughing and seeming not to have a care in the world.

They had moved to San Diego just under 8 months ago, since they had found a great house to a reasonable price. Of course, since Mark worked at the US Census Office in Los Angeles, that meant about two hours of commute each way, five days a week, and that was just not something he was enjoying. He liked the job, though, so he had been hesitant to find another, closer to their new home. Now it was unlikely he would have to make the decision.

He doubted there would be any use for his position, or for the majority of positions people worked in, for that matter. He was very worried how their future would look, and especially what future their children would have. He doubted there would be schools, for instance.

Both Mark and Marian jumped when it knocked on the door. They looked at each other for a moment, then Mark got up and walked to the door. He had not reached it yet when someone shouted at them from the outside.

"Open the door, Tau'ri ha'shak!"

A Jaffa, Mark realized. He had no choice but to open the door, which he did with a sense of dread.

"Yes... my Lord," Mark added, bowing, as they had been told repeatedly on television that they had to do when addressing the aliens.

Four Jaffa stood outside, and the leader studied Mark for a moment. "You have been assigned a position, human. Your merciful god has chosen that you shall be human overseer of the Tau'ri census office."

"Ah... eh, thank you," Mark said, relieved neither he nor his family was to be punished, as several of their neighbors had been... for various infractions none of them had even realized were illegal. "Uh, overseer? Will I be doing the same as I do now? Where will I live? Will I still commute to L.A. every day?"

"Lord Eskall has chosen you for the position, that is all you need to know. He is the Goa'uld in charge of the Tau'ri census office. He will give you your orders. You and your family will be relocated to Amaunet's jewel, the city where the chaapa'ai is located."

"Uh..." Mark frowned. "Okay, I guess. When are we moving? I need to start packing my car and hire a van and stuff."

The Jaffa stared at him, uncomprehending, for several moments. "Tomorrow. Be ready." He turned to leave.

"Wait! I can't get everything packed and hire a van this quickly! Will I be driving myself or will you hire someone, or what?"

"The use of Tau'ri ground transportation has been made prohibited for everyone without a special dispensation, which your position does not merit. You will only bring what you can carry." The Jaffa left.

Mark just stood there for several moments, staring after the Jaffa.

July 20 1998, Beta site

*Well, it was certainly nice finally to be allowed to take a bath!* Sam commented, as she pulled on the clean clothing after washing in the river and drying off. *I'd just wish those idiots didn't have to stand there and leer at me!* She indicated the small group of guards that was obviously ogling her.

*Agreed. At least they are too afraid of me to do anything more than look at us.*

Sam scoffed. *There's that. Who would have known - there's actually something I can be grateful to you for!*

*It pleases me to no end,* Jolinar answered sarcastically.

Sam pulled on the rest of her clothing, and one of the guards walked over to her, waving an MP5 at her.

"Okay, if you're finally finished, then get a move on, snake! The rest of us would like to get back and have dinner."

Sam sent him an icy look, but did not deign to give him an answer.

July 29 1998, Alpha site

"The 'gate's activating!" Harriman announced. "Unscheduled gate activation!"

"Okay, ready, men!" O'Neill shouted at the guards standing by.

The wormhole kawosh'ed and the event horizon had barely stabilized when the first people came through.

"Jaffa!" Teal'c called out.

"Fall back!" O'Neill yelled. "Ready claymores!" They ran back a few more feet. "Blow them!"

The claymores that had been buried in front of the Stargate exploded, sending the Jaffa flying. More stepped through, and another round of explosions were set off.

When all the explosions quieted down, even more Jaffa came through the Stargate, and O'Neill gave the order to fire. The Jaffa shot back, the staff blasts zipping towards the defenders, hitting several.

Finally, the gate shut down, and one of the soldiers immediately ran forward to dial out. The wormhole formed, and they all let out a sigh of relief when it was clear they had gotten through to the Beta site, and it was not Apophis's men that had dialled in again.

"Medics!" O'Neill yelled, as he looked out over the area around the Stargate. It looked like a battle field, with craters from the explosions - and dead and wounded humans and Jaffa everywhere. "Check on the Jaffa, and make sure all the live ones are locked up. Be careful! Don't get too close without someone else to keep an eye on you - we don't want anyone taken over by their symbiotes!" He added, thinking back to Kawalsky.

Hammond approached him, at the same time as the medical personnel ran past them toward the wounded.

"So Apophis has the address to this place. It's a good thing we're almost finished moving everything to the Beta site."

"Oh, yeah, very good thing." O'Neill frowned. "What do we do about the prisoners, sir?"

"How many are there?"

Teal'c walked up to them. "Four are alive, one is unlikely to make it."

Hammond nodded. "I suppose we should see if they know anything useful."

"They will not talk - nor are they likely to know anything," Teal'c said.

"Apophis knew he was probably sending them to their death." O'Neill realized. "He wouldn't have sent anyone important - or anyone that could tell on him."

"Correct. These were nourishment for the artillery."

O'Neill looked at him for a moment. "Cannon fodder, Teal'c!" He sighed. "I agree. General, if they don't have any useful information for us, then you know what the NID will do. They have been trying to get their hands on a symbiote for a long time."

"Medical experiments." Hammond took a deep breath. "And given the situation they won't care what happens to the Jaffa."

"Sir, we can't let Kinsey's goons do that! These poor creatures don't deserve that!" O'Neill insisted.

"I agree. I won't let that happen unless I get a direct order. Since I haven't, and since my superiors are all safely on the Beta site, I'll have to make the call, and I'm saying those Jaffa are a security risk. They probably saw the address to the Beta site when we dialled it, and we can't risk them getting away - or their symbiotes taking over someone."

"Sir?" O'Neill looked unhappy.

"Shoot them, Colonel. I'll go and make my report."

Kinsey and Colonel Samuels had become furious that the Jaffa had been killed, but most of the Council members were so relieved that the attack had been driven off that they voted against demoting Hammond, and he kept his position. He was, however, given explicit orders to capture any Jaffa that was not killed during future attacks.

Unhappy, Hammond went back to the Alpha site. He met O'Neill just as he came back.

"So, what did they say?" O'Neill asked.

"They weren't too happy, but they appreciated us driving back the enemy." Hammond tensed as he heard the Stargate activate, and they both turned to look at it, waiting to see if any enemies came through. None did, and soon the evacuation continued. "I don't have to remind you that we'll have to keep that gate active at all times."

"No, sir, you don't. We've started mining the area in front of it again, as you can see, but I'd rather not risk a repeat of that attack. Teal'c thinks they might send grenades or something through first next time, so we can't let that happen."

"I agree. How many of our people did we lose?"

"Seven. It could have been a lot worse." O'Neill sighed.

"All right. As soon as you've finished burying the mines, start evacuating the rest to the Beta site. How much time do you think you need?"

"We should be finished early tomorrow, if we work through the night - which I guess we'd better. Apophis can attack at any time."

Chapter 7: Stress and Developments