Chapter 2 summary: Jolinar explores her palace and life in a host - and starts talking with her host a little.


[ Chapter 1: Getting the first host | Chapter 2: Getting Acquainted | Chapter 3: Realizations | Chapter 4: Life and Discoveries | Chapter 5: Choices | Chapter 6: Daily Life? | Chapter 7: Ra's World | Chapter 8: A meeting | Chapter 9: Decisions | Chapter 10: Treason | Chapter 11: War | Chapter 12: On the Run | Chapter 13: A New Life | Chapter 14: Development | Chapter 15: Return | Chapter 16: Home ]

That evening.

Jolinar had managed to get through a tour of her palace. She had met her guards and servants there, and eaten a gourmet dinner in front of dozens of slaves. She really would have like to do much of this alone, as it was her first time for everything, including something as simple as eating from a plate. She would have enjoyed trying it all for herself. She had talked a little with her host - traded insults, mostly, but at least Arnora had not fought her openly.

After dinner there had been even more for her to do - including having measurements taken for a wardrobe. The local tailor would make her clothing for now. Off world salesmen had been invited for later in the week, as she needed a full wardrobe worthy of a god.

Tomorrow she would inspect her Jaffa - and consider whether a new first prime was needed. She had already decided she would keep her father's lo'tar - for now at least. She needed someone that was loyal to the family - and lo'tar's were almost always very loyal. Besides, she could use his knowledge and experience.

Jolinar allowed herself to sink down onto a soft couch, finally able to rest. The next days and weeks would be full of work for her - and there was also the matter of investigating who had sent the ashrak and to which degree Akori had been involved. She sighed. She would relax now and not think of any of all that for now. She deserved to enjoy her new position as Lord of Malkshur, did she not?

*They will come for you - and thus me as well. You know that...* The hated voice in her head said.

Jolinar was just about to make an angry comment, when she stopped herself and thought about it for a moment. Arnora was surely correct, as much as she hated to admit it. It was only a matter of time before another ashrak would be dispatched - that is, unless outright war was declared instead. A very real possibility with a new, inexperienced ruler leading a very desirable empire.

*Yes, I know. Believe me, I do. Someone is coveting my empire. Where that not the case I would not be in this deplorable situation...having had to take a host 4 years from being an adult...* She sounded bitter. Too late she realised it would not be beneficial that her host knew she was really still just a child.

*So that is why you are unable to keep control...* Arnora giggled shortly.

*Perhaps so...* Jolinar sounded irritated. *I would think we have more pressing matters to attend to than my age - as you say, there will probably soon be made an attempt on my...on our lives. That should be of great importance to you as well.*

*That I have a life? Do the 'god' graciously allow me to have one? Or do I have to fight for it? I can, you know...young one!*

Jolinar sighed deeply. This was not how she had imagined her life as a System Lord. To be in a host...something she had dreamed of and looked forward to for as long as she could remember.

*I think you understand as well as I do, that I have to be the one in control when we are dealing with other people. If not, I would not keep the position - or my life for long. You cannot talk like me, nor glow your eyes.* Jolinar sighed again. This truly was hard to say. *However...I have to admit that you are still here - something of the host...the host...apparently survives, at least in this case. If you promise not to fight me for control when anyone is around...and that you will not try to kill us...then...then we can even be in control sometimes when we are alone. That is the most you can expect to get!*

*It is a start, I will give you that...all right, I will not try to kill us, nor will I try to assume control when there is someone around...but in return I also want you to listen to what I say, really listen. And admit that humans - and Jaffa - are sentient lifeforms of equal worth as yourselves. And think good and long about whether other Goa'uld beliefs really are true - or if they are untrue as well...and if perhaps you should not behave the way you do...*

*Are you sure that is all?* Jolinar said sarcastically. *Your demands are, of course, totally unacceptable! As I said before, I will agree to let you have control - sometimes, when we are alone. And we can even talk together from time to time. I will even go as far as to promise to listen and consider if what you say might have merit. That is all you will get!* Jolinar said, not noticing she had already conceded to more than before.

*Agreed, then.*

*Good. Let's go to bed. I'm exhausted.* Jolinar grumbled something about it being too bad she did not have a sarcophagus, since she would then only need to sleep a short while in that, to be refreshed. Without it - sleeping normally - she would need just as much sleep as a human. Still grumbling, she managed to get through washing a little and getting ready for bed, absolutely refusing Arnora's help. Finally she was in bed and soon slept soundly. Arnora could not fall asleep so easily, despite being just as tired. She spent more than an hour thinking about the events of the day, how she had become a host, and so on - before she was able to relax and join her symbiote in sleep.

The next couple of days were very hectic. The place literally crawled with anyone and everything from Jolinar's small empire and even beyond. Anyone who was of any importance - real or imagined - as well as a large number of people peddling everything - or even anyone - imaginable, came to pay their respects to the new Lord.

Her father's commander in chief had come hurrying home, with a very thin excuse for his absence and negligence in protecting his former lord. He apologized profusely, but Jolinar felt certain his sorrow over Shu's death was faked. She was even more convinced that he was somehow involved. She wanted his head - her father needed to be avenged, and in any case, Akori was not to be trusted. Arnora agreed he was likely untrustworthy, but not that he should be killed. She finally managed to convince Jolinar to not only let the man live, but to even let him keep his position. Her argument went that if he was the traitor, they could keep an eye on him. If not, he would be grateful to have been spared, and perhaps work harder to do his job correctly next time. It was much better to have a known danger, than that their enemy should sneak in someone unknown. Perhaps they could even use Akori to learn about the master mind behind the plot, or at the very least feed him misinformation.

Jolinar sighed. She was sitting at her desk, going through all the many journals and data reports about her new empire. Normally this would be a job for her advisors, but she needed to go through them all at least once, to learn of everything. This was not what she had expected from life as a System Lord, but she admitted that it had to be done. Already there were rumors of Zipacna's forces moving, just outside her territory. He was a relatively large System Lord, with a neighboring territory and an empire almost twice as big as hers. He was also the prime suspect for sending the ashrak. He would probably send another one before he attacked her planets outright, or so she assumed.

She tried to concentrate on her reading, but it was late and she was tired. Slowly, she nodded off. Her host was already asleep.

All of a sudden she jumped up. She had heard something! She quickly looked around. Everything seemed quiet and no one was there except her. She hurried to turn on more light and carefully looked everywhere. Suddenly she heard the sound again, this time from behind her. Something...or someone was moving there. She froze as she heard it yet again. Slowly, she turned around.

At first, she did not see anything that could be the source of the sound. Could she have imagined it? Or...was this an invisible enemy? In her panic she actually considered this for a moment, then dismissed the absurd idea.

*Over there.* Her host said, apparently having been awakened when Jolinar panicked. *It is merely a mouse.*

Seeing the small rodent, Jolinar finally relaxed. Her legs shook from the fear she had just experienced and she had to sit down.

*Damn vermin! Someone will pay for not keeping the pests out of their Lord's palace - her bed chamber, nonetheless!* Jolinar was fuming after the scare.

*We should get something to keep the rodents animal perhaps? Cats, dogs, snakes...even some birds...they all capture and eat rats and mice...*

*Keeping animals is for slaves! We have better ways. I don't want any filthy animals sneaking around - to jump out and scare me whenever it pleases them. Besides, all those you mentioned are predators...*

*Of course they are! That's the point! They hunt...mice, among other things. But they are small! I didn't mean we should get a tiger, or a wolf...just a small cat...or perhaps a dog. It would be nice to have a pet around.*

*Yes, I see you had them as a child. That is not our way...*

*It was once, though, was it not?*

*Insolence! Do not go through my memories. How dare you! And especially not my genetic memory. That is not for you.*

*You go through my memories! All the time!*

*That is different...I am a Goa' are a human!*

Arnora snorted. *We've been through that, remember? Treating everyone as equals...never mind. I still think we should get a pet.*

*I am not interested in your opinions.*

*Remember our deal? You promised me to at least listen to me!*

Jolinar sighed deeply. *Very well. Speak!*

*If we had a dog, it would not just be a pet...not just keep the rodents from our bed chamber, whenever your servants fail to take care of those. It would be able to warn us the moment someone came near our room. The moment someone of hostile intent tried to sneak up on us. It would be a safety measure.*

Jolinar was quiet for a while. *Your idea does have some merit. I shall consider it.*