*What if we cannot return? Hundreds of thousands are dying from the Ori plague back in our universe. We need to go back, need to find a way to save them and stop the Ori.* Martouf sounded anguished.
*Well, there are currently sixteen Samantha’s in this universe. If she... they cannot solve the problem of getting us home, then I do not know who can,* Lantash offered, trying to calm his host.
*True.* Martouf sighed. *I really do wish to believe that, Lantash. It just all looks so bleak - and it has done so, for so very long.*
*Should they not succeed in returning us, there are many other competent people back in our own universe. They will prevail against the plague, and the Ori. We are not irreplaceable, however pleasant that thought may sometimes be,* Lantash made a mental sigh, giving up on his attempt at lightening the mood with humour. “Martouf, We must believe our reality will be free of the Ori. Yes, it looks hopeless, and the Ori are much more powerful than the Goa’uld ever was, but we must not despair. I have lived much longer than you have, and I have seen dark times often before. So have you, for that matter. If we should find ourselves forced to remain here, we can fight the Ori just as well in this universe. That cause is no less worthwhile.*
They entered the mess hall and for a while they allowed themselves to focus on nothing else but picking out food and drink, and finding a place to sit.
*It does all look so familiar, Lantash. The base, the food, the people... at first glance, it appears as if it would be easy for us to fit in, if we needed to. The only difference is that while we know a great number of them, they do not know us! We would be strangers! Would they even trust us?* He cast a glance at the guard at the door, who was keeping an eye on Martouf/Lantash, as well as the three other alternate universe visitors that were currently in the room.
*We will always be strangers on this world. You know that. We are strangers even in our own reality. Yes, we have friends, and the people at Stargate Command trust us - most of them, but there are always those who will see us as Goa’uld.*
*I know it has been harder for you, especially when we are on the planet’s surface. There, you are only rarely allowed to take control, and never when someone who does not know us are present. Perhaps it is time to return to the Tok’ra. If we are trapped in this universe, there is no reason why we would have to stay at Stargate Command.* Martouf took another bite of his sandwich.
*We have discussed this before. We swore allegiance to the Tau’ri, and we promised to remain with them for a period of time, almost five years of which has not yet passed. I do not wish to break that promise. They have benefitted greatly from having a Tok’ra on one of their teams - there has been a great many situations which would have had most unfortunate consequences, had we not been there to advice them. As well, the Tok’ra have benefitted too, and it has brought our people closer.*
*I agree, but that oath was to our Stargate Command, not this. Would the Tok’ra here accept us, or be suspicious, do you think?*
Lantash pondered it for some time. *I believe they would accept us, especially with the word from Stargate Command of what had happened. From what we were told, the Tok’ra here have suffered much greater losses than they have in our universe. They would probably welcome us.*
Martouf sighed. *That means we have a back-up plan. It makes me feel better.*
*Me as well. For now, I think we should volunteer to help Samantha... the Samanthas. As a Tok’ra, we have knowledge the humans do not.*
*I agree.* He ate the last piece of bread on his plate, and washed it down with some water, then got up. *We should go and find them. I am guessing Samantha’s laboratory is located in the same place here, as it is in our universe.*
*That would be a reasonable assumption,* Lantash agreed.
They picked up the tray with their plate and glass on, and dropped it off on a counter with the some dishes, before leaving to help find a way back to their own universe.
For now, they - and the many other SG members from different universes - were still trapped here, but Martouf and Lantash intended to do their best to help get everyone home. If that failed, at least they had a plan for their own future. They could fight the Ori in any universe.