TITLE: Memories Review
CHARACTERS: Sam, Martouf/Lantash, others
DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment only and not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
SUMMARY: The SGC asks for help from the Tok'ra, when Sam has lost her memory after an accident following her abduction by the N.I.D. Martouf POV.
SPOILERS: Takes place sometime late third season, perhaps.
NOTES: Written for coolness_1, for Fall Fandom Free For All 2011 on Livejournal
* denotes internal host/symbiote communication.
The wormhole flares to life and I step through, following Jacob and Anise. Lantash and I are concerned - why did the Tau'ri ask us to come as quickly as possible? What emergency is it they need our help with?
Moments later we step out onto the ramp at the SGC, and we immediately look for the lovely face of Samantha, as we always do.
She is not there! Her team members are, as is General Hammond. All of them look tense, worried. I can feel myself panicking. Something has happened to Samantha!
Lantash is as worried as I am, but tries to calm me, telling me she may be working on whatever problem the Tau'ri need our assistance with. He does not even believe that himself! Helped by Lantash, I force myself to project a calm I do not feel, as I walk up to Samantha's team mates, and General Hammond.
"Jacob, welcome," General Hammond says as he and the others approach our group. "Thank you, all, for joining us so quickly. I wish the news I have for you was better, though."
"Thanks, George." Jacob nods. "This is Freya and Anise here, with Martouf and I. I hope we'll be able to help you with whatever problem it is you're having." He takes a deep breath. "Why is Sam not here?"
"She is...not herself. Please, come with me to the briefing room, and I'll tell you all we know." Hammond frowns. "Jacob, I want you to know that Sam's alive - and physically well, as far as we can tell."
Samantha has memory loss after having been abducted! Lantash and I feel heart-broken. Poor, sweet Samantha...we would like nothing more than to go to her immediately, but we both agree we need to know as much as possible about whatever it is that has happened to her, in order to better help her. Lantash hopes our healers will be able to help Samantha - the Tau'ri are not nearly as advanced, and may have overlooked something simple. He believes we should suggest that we take Samantha to the tunnels, but we both fear her people will not agree to it.
"As far as we know, they're part of the N.I.D," Doctor Jackson explains. "They took Sam about a week ago, probably just after she'd left to go home for the weekend."
"When she didn't report for duty Monday, we realised she'd been taken," O'Neill adds, looking angry.
"That's five days ago!" Jacob points out. He does not look pleased.
"Yeah, well it took us a couple of days to track her down." Doctor Jackson sounds apologetic. "We didn't find her until this morning."
"We appreciate you contacting us immediately," Anise says. "Did Major Carter have amnesia when you found her?"
"Well...when we found her, she was hooked up to some kind of alien machine. The people who had put her in it managed to escape, except for one of them - who we unfortunately killed." Doctor Jackson looks at O'Neill. I suspect he was the one who killed the man.
O'Neill sighs. "Which is really too bad. I'm sure Teal'c could've convinced him to talk."
"Indeed. I am quite confident of this," Teal'c agrees.
"Anyway, we couldn't get the alien device to power down, and we couldn't get it to detach from Sam, so, ah..." Doctor Jackson frowns. "Jack...trashed it, and it kinda exploded."
Lantash wants control, and I bow my head, transferring it to him.
"Your rash behaviour may have caused Samantha's memory loss," Lantash tells him, angrily.
"She was obviously in pain, and completely unresponsive to anything we said or did. What would you've had me do?" O'Neill exclaims, angrily. "Sit down and twiddle my thumbs, while I wait for the damn thing to let go on its own? I mean, I know that's how you snakes usually solves things, but that's not how we do it!"
Lantash flashes our eyes in anger. "A minimum of patience might have revealed a better way of freeing her, but you are obviously incapable of understanding that!"
"Damn it, Jack! It blew up! Sparks and smoke all over the place!" Doctor Jackson shouts.
"How should I have known it would do that? I had to do something!" O'Neill yells back.
"You might have waited just a bit longer. Maybe we could have, I don't know, found a way to cut the power to it instead of blowing it up like that. It was attached to her!" Doctor Jackson spits out at O'Neill. I suspect that this argument is simply a continuation of one that began during the rescue.
"Gentlemen! Calm down!" Hammond says, sternly. "I understand this is a stressful situation, but we solve nothing by resorting to name-calling."
Lantash gives control back to me, telling me he does not feel as if he will be able to control his temper. I 'hug' him, sharing his frustration with what has happened. I really hope we will be able to help Samantha.
Doctor Jackson sits back in his chair, obviously calmer. "Well, we got Sam out of there. Except for some minor burns and cuts, she seems completely fine, physically."
"She just doesn't remember anything," Jacob concludes grimly.
"No, unfortunately." Doctor Jackson looks uncomfortable.
"So, do you think you can do anything?" Hammond asks.
"I do not know yet. We do have some experience treating memory loss, and a recall device may help," Anise tells him. "I will need to examine Major Carter before I can answer."
"Of course." Hammond nods.
"Do you know what they were trying to achieve?" Jacob asks.
"We're not sure, but we believe the N.I.D. wanted to get access to Sam's memories from Jolinar," Doctor Jackson says.
"That attempt seems to have backfired badly. Can we see the alien machine?" Anise wonders.
"What's left of it is being transported here, as we speak, but I doubt you'll get much out of it. It's fried pretty thoroughly." Doctor Jackson looks apologetic.
"Would Samantha not be safer in the tunnels?" I suggest, worried. "Some of the men who abducted her are still free." I realize after I say this that I am not thinking clearly. How could they reach her through twenty-some levels and this many soldiers?
"That would also make it easier for us to examine and treat Major Carter. We would then not need to transport any needed equipment here." Anise adds.
"Sorry, I can't authorize that. Our doctors believe familiar surroundings will help her remember, so she'll have to stay here." Hammond says.
"Well, if there's nothing else you've got to tell us, I'd like to see my daughter now." Jacob says, before continuing, "But if we decide we'll be able to better treat her in the tunnels, then I could care less what the doctors here say. I'll take her and you won't have to authorize a thing."
Samantha is in her quarters, under guard, so we are going there.
We have not yet reached the door to her quarters, when Lantash and I realise something. We can sense more than one symbiote ahead of us, and Selmak is the only one there. Anise and Teal'c are both behind us.
"Jacob...I believe..." I begin, but I can see he has realised it as well.
"What?" O'Neill asks from behind, sounding annoyed by the interruption.
"We shouldn't be able to sense Sam from here - and the signature is stronger, and different from what it usually is," Jacob says.
"Correct," Anise agrees. "I feel it as well."
"What are you talking about?" O'Neill demands.
"We suspect Samantha is now a host," I tell him.
"She's what? How could that have happened?" O'Neill sounds disbelieving, and I cannot say I blame him. I am as confused myself - and worried. The symbiote is almost certainly a Goa'uld. The question is - why has it not announced its presence?
"The N.I.D. fellows must have done it," Doctor Jackson concludes. "It's probably a Goa'uld they got from a captured Jaffa - from when they had offworld access, don't you think?"
"It sounds reasonable," Teal'c agrees.
"You can remove the snake, right?" O'Neill asks.
"If it is a Goa'uld, we will, of course, do that," Anise tells him, looking annoyed. "However, it may not be prudent to do so just yet."
"Why not?" Doctor Jackson wants to know.
"There is always some risk of trauma and confusion for the host in such situations. Removing the symbiote while Major Carter has amnesia, may make it more difficult for her to not only regain her own memories, but also to tell which memories belong to herself, and which are Jolinar's...or perhaps even from the other symbiote. Besides, if the amnesia is due to some physical damage, the symbiote will heal it," Anise explains. "What is strange is that the symbiote has not announced its presence."
"Great. Just great," O'Neill grumbles.
"Could not the Goa'uld be pretending to be Major Carter, as well as pretending to be suffering from memory loss?" Teal'c suddenly wonders.
Anise nods slowly. "It is absolutely a possibility, though if it is truly a young Goa'uld just taken from its Jaffa, I would expect it to be eager for power and control, and do a poor job of impersonating Major Carter."
"What other explanations can there be? It must be the snake trying to trick us!" O'Neill exclaims.
"Unless it has amnesia too?" Doctor Jackson suggests.
Anise shakes her head. "Even if that was the case, it would not explain why the symbiote has not come fore. No, if it is not a ruse, then I would suspect it is unconscious. Injured, perhaps, from the same explosion that caused Major Carter's amnesia."
"Regardless, we should be on guard until we have ascertained why the symbiote has not admitted its presence," I suggest.
We are standing in the corridor, waiting to be allowed into Samantha's quarters. O'Neill and Teal'c went in first with the guards, to make sure the Goa'uld does not attempt to escape or harm anyone. Surprisingly, it is either still pretending to be Samantha, or she is truly in control. Anise is in there right now, together with Doctor Fraiser from this base, scanning the symbiote and Samantha.
"You can come in now. The symbiote is unconscious," Freya tells us. "Major Carter truly remembers nothing - she does not know what Tok'ra or Goa'uld are, and Doctor Fraiser thinks it would be best if we do not tell her much about things outside this planet, yet."
I understand. It means the host should remain in control when we talk to her. "How is Samantha? Have you examined her?" I ask.
"Only preliminarily. Physically, she seems perfectly healthy." Freya frowns. "The symbiote was injured during the explosion, and it is not healing as fast as it should. I do not know why. I have retrieved a small blood sample from it, and I will return to the tunnels to examine it, and to fetch some equipment and make a more thorough examination of both Major Carter and the symbiote. I suspect it has been poisoned."
"Poisoned?" Jacob looked worried. "Is it affecting Sam?"
Lantash thinks this is strange, and I feel puzzled as well. This does not make sense! Why would they poison the symbiote they have just introduced to Samantha? Also, there are very few poisons that will affect a symbiote, and those that exists are little known and rarely used. Did these N.I.D. people raid one of Nirrti's laboratories, perhaps?
Freya shakes her head. "No, it does not seem so."
"Do you have any idea how long it will take before it wakes up?" Jacob asks her.
"I cannot say with certainty, but at least half a day," Freya tells him.
She leaves, and I follow Jacob and Doctor Jackson into Samantha's quarters. I have never been inside them before, and if the situation was different, I would be very interested in how she lives. As it is, both Lantash and I are too worried about Samantha to think of anything else.
Samantha is sitting on the bed, looking tired and confused. Several books with pictures lie on the bed - she has probably been using them to try to remember.
I approach her, slowly, not wanting to startle her. It is really strange to feel such a strong energy signature from her.
She looks up, and gazes at each of us, without recognition. I feel pained, wanting so badly to see the beautiful smile she usually gives us when we meet.
"Sam?" Jacob asks, stopping a few feet from her.
"Yes?" She frowns. "Should I know you?"
He nods, looking drawn. "I'm not familiar to you in any way at all, Sam?"
She slowly shakes her head. "No...sorry."
Jacob looks even more unhappy, and I very much understand.
"Samantha? Do you recognize any of us?" I ask.
"No, but..." She wrinkles her brows. "I can feel....some sort of...well, I don't know...tingling? Humming, perhaps, from all of you. Like I do from...from...Teal'c."
"Yes." I nod. "It's the naquadah in your blood. It resonates with other naquadah, like that which is in us. We are Tok'ra...and Teal'c is a Jaffa."
Daniel shakes his head. I believe that he is attempting to tell us that Samantha is unfamiliar with their Stargate program and evidently they do not want her told anything about the chaapa'ai or people from other planets, yet, at least not like this. I feel this choice is a big mistake.
"What are...Tok'ra....and Jaffa? And...and naquadah?" Why doesn't everyone have this stuff in them?" She sounds frustrated. "Am I a Tok'ra? Or a Jaffa? Why won't you tell me anything?!"
I sigh, realizing that my speculation is correct, and they have told her nothing. I still believe this is a mistake, but for now I will go along with them. I must assume they wish her to remember on her own. Again, I disagree with their methods, and wish Jacob had insisted we take her with us to the tunnels.
What now? What do I answer? Will she accept some hand-waving explanation? Lantash reminds me that Samantha is very intelligent, whether she remembers or not, and that her keen mind will look for answers. He, too, believes she deserves to know, and that it might even assist her in remembering other things. Unfortunately, that is not for us to decide, is it?
"Samantha...it is, ah, a long story. Naquadah is an element, one which...some people have in their blood. The rest...well, it may be easier to explain later, when you have started to remember."
She scoffs, "That's what they all say. What if I never remember?" She suddenly looks closely at us. "Martouf. That's your name, isn't it?"
"Yes!" I smile at her, feeling elated. "You remembered!"
She smile back at me. "Yes, I...I recognize you. Though I don't remember anything else about you. Except..."
"Yes? What?" Everyone looks at her.
"Um...does 'Lantash' make any sense to you? Because that's a word I remember when looking at you."
"That...that's my, ah, my other name, I guess you could say." I feel how pleased Lantash is that she is remembering him also!
Samantha's smile widens. "See? I'm beginning to remember!"
"That's great, Sam!" Jacob looks relieved. "Do you remember anything else? Recognize anyone else?"
"Well, I know who he is." She points at Doctor Jackson. "And him and him." She indicates O'Neill and Teal'c. "But I'm afraid that's only because they told me earlier today." She looks apologetic. "I'm sorry. I don't remember anyone else...wait, that's not true...I had seen that woman before...the woman that was here with Doctor Fraiser."
Jacob frowns. "Freya...no, Sam, I don't think you've met her before."
Samantha nods. "Yes, I've definitely seen her before, and something tells me I don't usually get along with her."
"Okay, so Carter's a little confused, obviously," O'Neill says. "Remembering people she have never met."
"Perhaps not. It may not be her own memories she remembers. It could be Jolinar's. She and Anise had some, ah, disagreements," I tell them. "If the alien machine overloaded while her memories were being accessed, they may have been...ah, scrambled."
"What does that mean?" O'Neill demands.
"You're saying that Sam may not be able to remember if a memory is her own, or if it originates from Jolinar?" Doctor Fraiser asks.
I nod, feeling a sense of dread wash over me. "Yes." And that she may never be able to, I add silently.
*Unless a symbiote helps her,* Lantash points out.
"Hey! I'm standing right here!" Samantha says, angrily.
"Sorry, Samantha. It was very impolite of us to talk about you like that," I say, feeling very guilty.
"Hm." She pouts. "Who's this Jolinar?"
"Uh, she's..." I begin, unsure of what to say.
"Part of the long story that is better left to later," Doctor Jackson quickly adds.
"If Sam remembers Martouf, then perhaps he should spend some time with her," Doctor Fraiser suggests. "It may trigger more of her memories."
"Yes, that's a good idea! Martouf, perhaps it may even be a good idea for you to use the memory recall device on her. It could help her access her memories." Jacob says.
I have been assigned to spend time with Samantha, and help her remember. Not exactly an unpleasant duty - quite on the contrary - though I truly wish she was not in this predicament. Doctor Fraiser informed me I am to tell Samantha as little as possible, while still keeping her happy. My earlier supposition was correct, and they wish for her to remember as much as possible on her own.
Samantha is tired of being locked up in her room, and I have been allowed to take her outside her quarters, as long as I keep her under guard. Freya said the symbiote in Samantha would not wake up for another half day, so it should be safe to walk around on the base for a few hours, at least.
"Is there anything in particular you would like to do? Anywhere you want to go?" I ask her.
"As far away from this place as possible - and from those people with all their needles, tests, and questions!" Samantha sighs. "But I know they won't let me leave this...base. So I'm going to have to settle for just getting out of my room and away from their questions for a little while."
I nod. "I can understand that."
"You know...I'm a bit hungry. Do you think we could go to...ah...the mess hall?"
"Of course." I try to think of where it is. We have been there, but only once before. "Do you remember where it is?"
"No." She laughs, a little nervously. "I haven't been allowed anywhere except my quarters, the infirmary, and...some briefing room, I think it was." She seems to think it over. "No, that's it. I just remembered my...my...team mates were talking about going there earlier." She shakes her head. "They're my friends, right? Though I don't remember them at all! It's terrible."
"It is not your fault, Samantha, and your memory will return," I say, very much hoping it is the truth.
"Hmph," She snorts, clearly not believing me.
I look around at my surroundings. These grey, Tau'ri underground tunnels are as identical to each other as the corridors in Tok'ra tunnels. The difference being that I do not know their layout. Lantash believes he can find the mess hall - if we can just figure out what floor it is on, which is by no means certain.
Of course, we also need to find one of those Tau'ri 'elevators' - or the stairs. There is no one around to ask. I sigh. We have always hated having a guard assigned to us when we were here before, and felt they did not truly trust us. Now, when we are finally given clearance to walk around on our own, I find that I almost miss the guard.
Lantash calls my attention, and I realise we almost passed the elevator! I stop, but Samantha walks on, deep in her own thoughts.
She stops and looks up, then turns towards me.
"This way." I gently take her arm and steer her towards the elevator.
Samantha smiles at me. "You know, Martouf, when I'm with you...well, I feel...safe I guess - and comfortable. As if I can trust you completely, with my life."
"You can, Samantha. I promise you, I would never harm you, nor allow any harm to come to you, if there is any way I can prevent it."
She nods. "You're my friend, right?"
"Yes, I would like to consider myself that."
She looks at me - thoughtfully, I think - as we step into the elevator. It must be confusing for her, not to remember who can be trusted, who are her friends - anything. I feel like holding her close and embracing her, but Lantash reminds me that she would probably be scared. She does not remember much about me at all.
"There is something else, though..." Samantha frowns. "Some sort of...tension between us. Did we quarrel when we last talked?"
"What? No, absolutely not!" I tell her, as I study the many buttons on the panel in the elevator. I know pressing one of these will take us to the right floor, but which one?
Lantash makes the decision for me, and I push the button he suggests. Level 22.
"Are we lovers?" Samantha suddenly asks.
I feel myself blush, before Lantash quickly controls the reaction. "No...we are not lovers. Samantha...I..."
She looks closely at me. "I'm not sure I believe you. I feel...some sort of bond, I guess, with you."
Suddenly, she gives me a quick kiss, then steps back. I freeze, surprised, then feel myself flush again. I scold Lantash gently for allowing my cheeks to redden, but I know it is not fair. He was caught by surprise as much as I was.
I swallow. "Samantha...I...I don't think this is a good idea. Perhaps you should wait until you have your memories back."
"What if I never get them back?" She studies me for a moment. "Don't you feel anything for me? Is that why there's this tension between us? I'm in love with you, and you're not interested?"
"Yes...I mean no...I mean, yes, of course I do...feel for you."
Why am I being this uncertain? When the truth is that I want nothing more than to tell Samantha that I love her? But is that even a good idea? What if she is being confused by Jolinar's emotions and feels nothing for me herself? If that is the case, she will not be pleased with me when she gets her memories back. I sigh, and wish Lantash would take over, but I know that is not a good idea. Not until Samantha remembers - or has been told - about the Tok'ra and several other things.
"Hmmm..." Samantha frowns. "So you 'feel for me'...well, I guess it's something."
I am saved from having to explain further, when the elevator stops and the door opens. We have reached the floor we were going to. Is it the right one, I wonder, as I step out.
Looking around, I believe I recognize the place. We actually seem to have arrived on the right floor. Lantash sends me a 'told you so', but I decide to ignore him. I do walk in the direction he tells me to, though, and soon we are in the mess hall.
The place is fortunately almost empty. We pick up some food at the counter, and then we chose a table in the corner, away from the few others in there. I believe some privacy would be best for Samantha, instead of her having to confront a lot of people she does not remember whether she knows or not.
I smile at her, kindly. "Do you remember anything in here?"
Samantha looks around slowly, then shakes her head. "No. Well, I mean, I recognize the food...mostly, anyway, but I'm a bit unsure what this is, for instance..." She indicates what I believe she has told me is called 'breaded chicken', on her plate. "Other than knowing it's edible, of course." She grins, a little awkwardly. "This place? No, I don't remember ever being here before!" The last part sounds frustrated, and I cannot say I blame her.
"Once, when we were visiting, you told me that this dish is called 'breaded chicken', when I asked what it was they had brought us."
"When we...you and I...visited? Here? I thought I worked here - and that you did too, actually. I mean, if I understood things correctly, this is a very highly classified military installation, and you seem to have clearance - I mean, you do walk around freely, without a guard."
I sigh. "You do work here, but I don't. I was talking about myself and Lant...and a friend."
"Lantash. You were about to say Lantash. I thought that was your last name?"
"Ah..." I discuss with Lantash what to say, and we agree we should tell Samantha something about the Tok'ra - and the Goa'uld and the rest of the universe. It is not going to be easy.
"Well?" Samantha looks at us.
I take a deep breath, then put my hand on hers, on the table. "Samantha...I know the healers say it would be best if you remember most things on your own, but there are several things I feel you need know." I entwine my fingers with hers and gently caress her hand with my thumb, hoping to comfort her.
"I do remember something. This." She indicates our hands. "I remember holding hands with you."
I nod, pleased. "We did that before...when we first met."
"Uh...when we had just met?" Samantha frowns. "Isn't something like that a bit too...ah, intimate to do with someone you've just met?"
"It's...a long story," I tell her.
"Yeah, I guessed that." Samantha rolls her eyes. "I think it's about time you tell me one of those long stories."
We eat in silence for a while. Lantash and I discuss what to tell her and how to tell her.
"What have you been told?" I finally ask.
"My name. That I'm a Major in the US Air Force. I'm stationed here at this base, and I was captured by enemies who wanted to interrogate me. Also, some sort of accident happened to me, which made me forget stuff. My team rescued me...and that's it, I think."
I nod slowly. "All true, but also very lacking in detail. I will try to explain some things."
"Thanks." She frowns. "Wait...I'm remembering something...we were walking in a desert. It's near an ocean, I think, and the Sun's setting. We're very sad. We kiss...I think we're sad because I'm leaving? On some sort of mission?" She scoffs. "So, we are lovers...aren't we?"
I sigh and shake my head. "No. That...is not your own memory. It's Jolinar's."
"Jolinar's! I remember people mentioning her earlier, but how can I have someone else's memories!?"
"It's...well..." I shrug.
"Part of what is a long story. Yeah, I get it." She smiles wryly at me, then squeeze my hand. "You don't mind? Holding my hand, I mean. It's very nice..."
"I am pleased you think so, and I do not mind." Lantash snorts at what I just said, calling it the understatement of the year. I suppose he is correct, but I cannot tell her I wish I was doing much more than just holding her hand, can I?
"Good. Now tell me what it is you've decided I'm allowed to know."
I begin to explain about the chaapa'ai and other planets.
"So...this facility...we've got some sort of portal, which we can use to go to other planets - and I'm part of a team that's done that for several years?" Samantha sounds as if she has a hard time believing me, and I suppose that is not surprising. It must be a lot to take in.
"I guess it does sounds pretty unbelievable," I tell her, smiling wryly.
"Yeah, it does." She grins, then sighs lightly. "But it also kind of fits in with all the little things that didn't make sense before. So, what did we find out there? Aliens?"
"Ah...aliens built the...the portals which we use to travel between worlds. They built them a great many years ago."
Sam nods, suddenly serious. "Of course, someone had to build them. So, are they still out there? Have you met any aliens?"
"The gate-builders are assumed to have left our Galaxy - or our plane of existence at any rate - many, many tens of thousands of years ago. As for meeting aliens...Samantha, I am not from this planet."
"You're an alien? But...but you look human! Like a totally normal human...well, a very, very handsome human, but..."
"Thank you." I smile, pleased she likes my appearance. "There are humans on a great many worlds. A race called the Goa'uld took them from the Tau'ri...this planet, over many years, and spread them on worlds all over the Galaxy."
"Why would they do that?"
"To use them for slaves...and hosts."
I sense an energy signature some distance behind me, and someone calls out for me. I turn to see Anise has just come into the mess hall, looking for me. Apparently, someone has reported where we are sitting.
"Martouf. A word in private," Freya says.
"What is it?"
"First, I have examined the symbiote's blood, and found that it was indeed poisoned, with 'pha'kshi' which was developed by Nirrti. It interferes with a symbiote's ability to heal itself, but that is not the main reason for using it. It works as a kind of truth serum on symbiotes - or that was what Nirrti wanted it to. In reality, the effect is limited, and it is unlikely it would have made the symbiote tell its captors anything," Anise tells us.
"But the people from the N.I.D. didn't know that," I conclude.
"No, the compound is legendary, and they may have heard stories that it would make the symbiote tell them what they wanted to know."
"They would have been most displeased when they realised it was a myth."
"Yes, and that was probably why they increased the power of the device they used on Major Carter - trying to force either of them to talk."
I nod. "What about the effect on the symbiote's healing - is it permanent?"
"No, when the symbiote has filtered it out, its...her healing will return to normal." Anise is quiet for a moment. "Martouf, there is something else."
"What?" I ask, worried.
"When I examined the blood, the machine recognized the code of life. I ran the test thrice to be certain. The symbiote in Major Carter is...Jolinar."
"What?" I stare at her in shock, not believing my own ears.
Not trusting my own voice, I give control to Lantash. It is not fair, perhaps, as he is as shocked as I am.
"How can it be my Jolinar?" Lantash asks.
"The alien device arrived here just before I came back to the base, and I have made a very preliminary study of it. It was not just meant to access Major Carter's memories, or to make a random symbiote talk, as our Tau'ri friends believed. It was used to rebuild Jolinar. The memory access may even have been incidental."
"A device for resurrecting dead symbiotes?" Lantash sounds as incredulous as I feel. "Who would build such a device? It is not Goa'uld, at least not as far as the Tau'ri had determined."
"It is not. It was probably meant to recreate any lifeform - recreate them from any existing code of life. In this case from the tendrils left behind in Major Carter's mind."
I feel Lantash's despair upon hearing this. "Those are the only part of a symbiote which will always contain only the genetic memories which they were born with. It means Jolinar will remember nothing of her later life...as a Tok'ra. She will be a Goa'uld." He feels equal parts disgust and pain, and I share these feelings. Our Jolinar - a Goa'uld...and she also does not remember us, of course.
"True, unless Major Carter carries enough of her memories to make her turn Tok'ra again. That is one of the things I would like to determine when I examine her again."
Lantash nods, and gives me control. We go to talk to Samantha, and take her to the infirmary, where Anise will examine her.
Freya/Anise have finally finished examining Samantha - and Jolinar. We have been sitting outside of the Tau'ri infirmary for several hours now, waiting, hoping, for good news.
"Major Carter's mind appears to contain all of Jolinar's memories. As far as I have been able to determine, both she and Jolinar must have been exposed to the entirety of the memories while in the alien machine, as well as when it overloaded. That is part of why Jolinar is unconscious, and why Major Carter has amnesia. Jolinar appears to have received the strongest blast, so I assume she was in control at the time. Of course, the explosion also caused other minor damage, which Jolinar is unconsciously healing. After having looked at the alien device again, I now believe the people from the N.I.D. were also trying to make Major Carter and Jolinar remember all - in order to get access to this knowledge, of course. They must have used the drug to help keep Jolinar from blocking their efforts. She appears to have almost broken it down, so she will soon begin to heal normally."
I feel my head spinning from all this. "When...when will she wake up?"
"Later today, probably in a couple hours."
I take a deep breath, and ask what is foremost on mine and Lantash's mind, "As Tok'ra - or as Goa'uld?"
"That remains to be seen. For now, it would be best if you explain all to Major Carter, and try to get her to remember. It will be less of a shock for her then, when Jolinar awakens."
"You have not told her about symbiotes?"
"No, and since Freya has been in control, Major Carter believes we are human."
I sigh, feeling very worried. "I will do my best."
We are back in Samantha's quarters, with two guards posted outside. I have a zat'nik'tel, if Jolinar should wake up as a Goa'uld and try to attack me. I cannot believe that will happen. I do not want to believe it can happen.
"Samantha..." I begin, trying to find the best way to tell her about symbiotes...and Jolinar.
"Yes?" She gives me a small, tired smile. She looks as if she just wants all of this to be over - and all of us to leave her alone.
My heart hurts seeing her so tired and sad. I truly wish she could just go back to living her life as before. Truly wish she did not have to learn about the Goa'uld in this way.
"There are several things you should know...and I fear some of them may be distressing for you."
She nods. "I understand." She takes my hand. "Don't feel guilty. It's not your fault. Come, sit her beside me, and tell me." She smiles, a little wider, as she pulls me towards her bed where she sits down, patting the cover beside her.
I smile at her and sit down, squeezing her hand, before I start to explain about symbiotes - and the Goa'uld and the Tok'ra.
"So...you're saying I've got one of those....those symbiotes inside me?" She looks at me, her expression more one of disbelief than fear. I decide to take that as a good sign.
"Yes, you do."
"And...and so do you...and my dad, and Freya...and...and..." She slowly shakes her head.
"Yes," I simply tell her.
"Uh, but why can't I feel her...it...whatever...?"
"Her. She is unconscious right now."
"Because of the same thing that made me forget."
"How do I know you're telling the truth? Perhaps you're...ah...crazy?"
I laugh, understanding well her difficulty accepting this. "I believe I can prove it...or, rather, I know someone who can. Would you like to talk to him? His name is Lantash."
"I suppose...but wasn't that your last name?" Samantha gives me a skeptical look.
"No." I close my eyes and bow my head, as Lantash takes control.
"It is my name," Lantash says, as he looks up.
"Wha...what happened to your voice? And...and, why did you do that...that head-bow-thingie?"
Lantash smiles reassuringly at her. "I talk like this mainly to differentiate myself from my host, Martouf. The Goa'uld do it to intimidate, but not so the Tok'ra. I am Tok'ra, by the way. We bow our head and close our eyes, partially to indicate the switch in control between host and symbiote, but mainly to hide the eyeflash. It is involuntary, when we change control, and it is troubling to many people, since it reminds them that biologically, we are Goa'uld."
"Yes." Lantash's allows our eyes to flare a strong golden-white. I tell him he is a show-off!
Samantha gasps, but she does not look away. "I...see. Um, can I do that, too?"
"No, but Jolinar can, when she wakes up." Lantash sighs. "We don't know if she is currently Tok'ra...or Goa'uld."
Lantash begins to quickly explain what Freya and Anise have found out.
"You can remove her, but it's kind of dangerous, and right now it may also mess up my mind permanently...and on top of that, she's...your mate." Samantha groans, shaking her head slowly. "What a mess." Suddenly, she puts a hand on mine. "It must be terribly hard for you...I can understand, if you don't want her removed." She sighs. "I guess that explains these feelings I have for you."
"Jolinar the Tok'ra is my mate. Jolinar the Goa'uld is not. Samantha, do not fear. If it should turn out that she is Goa'uld, we will do all that is in our power to help you recover your memory, and she will be removed. I promise you that."
"I believe you. I don't want to think about these things right now." She gives me a small smile. "Do you know that...um...that head-bow...it's kind of cute." She blushes, but does not look away. "And, um, I guess this sounds bad, but I find the eye-flash sexy - not scary at all."
Lantash smiles at her, entwining his fingers with hers. "Thank you."
"And that voice? Wow!" Samantha grins as she leans in to kiss us.
Her soft lips move slowly, lovingly, against ours, and I feel my mind go foggy as Lantash returns the kiss. Samantha is certainly more forward now than she usually is!
We kiss for several moments before Lantash manages to control himself, and pull back, sighing. "As wonderful as this is, we should wait. I fear you do not truly want this. You may regret it, when you get your memories back."
"You keep saying that, but I'm not sure that's the case. I don't remember what I've said, but if I've told you I don't feel anything for you, then that's very clearly a lie. I'm very attracted to you, and I have very strong feelings for you...I love you, I'm sure of it," Samantha tells us with conviction.
Lantash and I both very much hope it is the truth, and Lantash smiles at her, a little sadly. "Martouf and I have dreamed of hearing you say that for a long time, Samantha, but you have always told us you were unsure if it was your feelings or Jolinar's."
"I feel them, so very strongly!" Samantha sighs. "They must be true, regardless of what I remember. I feel a strong connection to you, to both of you...more so than to anyone else."
Before either Lantash or I have time to say anything, she throws her arms around us and kisses us again. Lantash makes a low moan, echoing what we both feel, and give in to the kiss.
Lantash deepens the kiss, entangling our tongue with Samantha's. She moans softly into our mouth, and I feel us react. Lantash has just found her left breast, beginning to fondle it, when someone knocks on the door. It takes us a while to pull out of the pleasant haze, before either of us are able to answer the door.
Finally, as the knocking becomes more insistent, Lantash lets go of Samantha with regret. I must admit I doubt I would have been able to do it.
Sitting up straight, Lantash calls out, his voice slightly hoarse. "Come in."
Anise enters with Doctor Fraiser, both giving us amused looks, seemingly aware of what we were doing. I glance quickly at Samantha, and notice that her hair is mussed, and that she is blushing a little.
"Jolinar should awaken soon," Anise informs us. "We thought it would be wise to check on Samantha again first."
"Have you been able to remember anything further, Sam?" Doctor Fraiser asks, kindly.
"Yes...ah..." Samantha looks to me. "I remember Martouf and I going swimming together, on...uh...Marloon?"
Lantash shakes his head. "I am sorry. That was Jolinar."
Samantha looks unhappy. "Damn! I was so sure that was me..." She sighs. "Hmmm...I have a memory...of me sitting on a throne, while people approach me and bring me offerings." She smiles wryly. "Yeah, I know...that is clearly not my memory!"
"It would be better if you were allowed to leave this base and see some of the places you know. I believe that would help you to remember some things." Lantash takes her hand again, entwining his fingers with hers.
Samantha smiles at us. "This....this is something that brings back memories. As I said before, I do remember us holding hands." She frowns. "We sat on a...a dune? Holding hands." She looks hopeful. "You were very sad...or Martouf was, and you took over, trying to be brave, but you were sad too."
Lantash smiles, then nods. "That is your memory, from when you came to us, telling us..."
"Telling you Jolinar was dead, and that I found you from her memories." She looks apologetically at us. "I'm sorry, I..."
"Don't be. I am pleased you are starting to remember."
Samantha nods. "I am. I held your hand again later...while...while..." She wrinkles her brow, trying very hard to remember. "...something....something to do with my dad." She shakes her head. "It's no use. That's all I remember."
"Do not worry. You are starting to remember. I am certain it will only be a matter of time, before you have all of your memories back," Anise tells her.
"Will I also be able to tell which memories are my own?" Samantha looks very concerned.
"Hopefully, yes," Anise says.
Samantha nods again. "I just really wish..." Suddenly, she freezes and a moment later she gasps. Her eyes flare brightly.
"Jolinar..." Lantash says, looking at her with some apprehension. He pulls his hand away and reach for his zat'nik'tel, just in case...
"Yes...I am Jolinar of Malkshur." She frowns. "I know you..." She smiles briefly, then suddenly looks sad. "Lantash...my beloved...and your new host...his name...his name is Martouf, is it not?"
Me? New host? I have been Lantash's host for more than 25 years!
Lantash nods slowly. I can feel his worry, but he is as pleased as I am that she seems not to be a Goa'uld - and also seems to remember. Somewhat, at least. "Yes, that is correct." He lets go of the zat'nik'tel and puts his hand on hers again, giving her a small smile.
Jolinar's expression changes to one of shock. "Rosha! Where is my Rosha? I...I have a different host? What has happened?" She gets a distant look on her face, obviously talking to Samantha. After several minutes she looks up again. "I...see. Many things have happened. I seem to miss several years worth of memories, and my host, Samantha, remembers little more."
"You lack memories from at least 25-26 years or so, if Martouf had just become my host." Lantash sighs. "Perhaps you should let Anise run some more tests on you and Samantha."
Jolinar makes a face, clearly not wanting her to do it. I know very well they have never gotten along well. Jolinar sighs and looks up at Anise. "Is this really necessary? I believe Samantha and I will be able to solve the problem on our own, if you but give us some time in peace. Let me try and access the memories myself?"
"I understand, my love." Lantash squeezes her hand, and smiles at her, before looking to Anise. "Perhaps you could give them some time together first?"
Anise sighs and looks at Doctor Fraiser. "I suppose we can wait a little time before we perform any further tests."
Doctor Fraiser nods, looking somewhat concerned. "You're certain Jolinar is not a Goa'uld?"
"Fairly certain. Lantash, will you and Martouf keep them under observation?"
"We will," Lantash tells her.
Anise and Doctor Fraiser leave, saying they will be coming back in a several hours. I am to call them if Samantha and Jolinar report either failure or success before that time has passed. When the door has shut after them, Jolinar turns to us.
"Lantash...beloved." She smiles warmly at us. "I must admit that Martouf is very attractive, and from what little I - and my host - remember, he is a sweet and kind, and very intelligent man. My host very much agrees - and I can feel her love for you both." She grins. "She fears these emotions come from me - and now I get them again from her! Fitting - though I guess we need to figure out this mess."
Lantash and I have been sitting, worried, keeping guard over Samantha and Jolinar while they try to access as many of their memories as possible - and try to figure out which belongs to who, I guess. It is nerve-racking to sit here and wait, also because we do not even know with certainty whether Jolinar is Tok'ra, though I must admit we feel reasonably sure. She behaved Tok'ra.
It is several hours later when they awake, and we call Anise and Doctor Fraiser, as promised. They begin their tests, both to determine if Samantha and Jolinar have their memories back, and to determine with certainty that Jolinar is Tok'ra. Though, as Lantash points out, if they do get all their memories back, Jolinar will be Tok'ra.
Finally, both Anise and Doctor Fraiser turn to us, and I get up from the chair I have been sitting in.
"How are they?" I ask, nervously. "Jolinar is truly Tok'ra? It is not a ruse? Do they have their memories back? Were all of Jolinar's memories really there?"
Anise smiles at me, not unkindly despite my many questions. She seems to understand my worry. "She is Tok'ra, I am absolutely certain of that," She reassures us. "She and Major Carter also seems to have been able to get all their memories back. I can find no holes. They are both truly themselves again."
I take a deep breath and smile, feeling very relieved. "Thank you. May we speak with them?"
"Yes, go right ahead." Doctor Fraiser smiles, and leaves with Anise.
Lantash is elated, and almost unable to believe our good fortune. Not only is Samantha well and herself again, but we have our Jolinar back! I am as happy as he is, truly feeling it is almost too good to be true. Our only worry now is whether or not Samantha will remain Jolinar's host. We wonder...how does she react to being Jolinar's host again, now when she remembers it all?
Also, how does she feel about us? Lantash reminds me that Samantha has told us she loves us, but I am still nervous, because she could not keep her own and Jolinar's memories apart, then. Perhaps she only felt Jolinar's love? Now, however, she apparently can tell which memories are her own again, so we may soon know.
Of course, if she decides to remain Jolinar's host, she will soon feel as she does, regardless of what she does now, but I must admit I find I would be happiest if she told us she loves us already.
I walk over to Samantha and Jolinar, who is sitting on the bed now, smiling at me. Worry and happiness are fighting for dominance in my mind and Lantash's.
"Samantha?" I query.
"Yes, I'm me again...I have my memories back." She smiles wider at me.
I feel relief at hearing her say this, despite Anise having already told me. "I am very happy about that, Samantha. How is Jolinar?"
"She is here with me...and she's herself too." Samantha grins. "She would like to...ah...talk to you." She bows her head, and gives Jolinar control.
Jolinar smiles happily and gets up. "Martouf - and Lantash!" She throws herself into our arms. "I have missed you so much, my beloveds!"
I embrace her tightly and close my eyes, smiling happily as I bury my face in her hair. "And we have missed you. Our Jolinar. We were certain we would never see you again. To have you back...it is unbelievable."
We stand like that, embracing each other tightly, for several minutes. Then Jolinar pulls back a little, enough that she can look into our eyes. I have given control to Lantash, so he can enjoy being the one to hold her as well, and I can see Jolinar knows.
"Lantash...Martouf...I am so sorry that I could not save Rosha. I tried, but her injuries were too severe." Jolinar closes her eyes as a tear runs down her cheek. To her, this is still a very fresh grief.
Lantash wipes away the tear and kiss her on the cheek, then lightly on the mouth. "We know you did your best. We mourn her, and we will always love her, but at least we have you back. That is a great comfort for us. When we thought we had lost you both, we were inconsolable." He kiss her again, before sighing. "Jolinar, how does Samantha feel about this?"
Jolinar gives control back to Samantha. My heart is racing. Will Samantha agree to remain Jolinar's host? Does she feel anything for us, now, when she is herself again?
Samantha smiles at us, blushing a little. "Wow, Jolinar sure has strong feelings for you." She winks at Lantash. "You're a great kisser, but I knew that - I do remember what happened while I had amnesia."
"You do not regret kissing us?"
She shakes her head. "No, not at all. I may not have had my memories, but I meant what I said. I love you, both of you..."
Lantash hugs her to him, relieved and very happy. "My Samantha...and Jolinar...does this mean?" He pulls back a little and looks questioning at her.
"Yes, I will remain her host. Of course, I will! I have long since forgiven her, and I must admit to missing her." Samantha smiles widely, then leans in and captures our lips, kissing us slowly and very thoroughly.
We have our Jolinar back - and our Samantha. We return the kiss, feeling happier than we have in a very long time.