[ Chapter 1: Captured | Chapter 2: Surprises | Chapter 3: The City | Chapter 4: Hiding in the Mountains | Chapter 5: The Attack | Chapter 6: Prisoners and Slaves | Chapter 7: Blended | Chapter 8: Thunderstorm | Chapter 9: Another Goa'uld - and a Tok'ra | Chapter 10: Free at Last | Chapter 11: To Earth | Chapter 12: Enemies and Friends | Chapter 13: Selmak | Chapter 14: Mates ]
Zipacna immediately fell for the trick and ordered Lantash to stay. He needed someone to be in command of his palace, and he was getting to be very pleased with his new underling.
Zipacna had been interrogating O'Neill, Teal'c, and Daniel, but now had them sent back to a holding cell. He began preparing for battle, and would leave early in the morning the next day.
Lantash waited until Zipacna's ships were several hours away before he acted. He had a Teltac prepared and secretly sent Sam/Jolinar to it, in order to be ready to fly it away from there as soon as he and the others had boarded.
Shortly after, Lantash came into the hangar, followed by O'Neill, Teal'c, and Daniel. The latter three were guarded by four Jaffa. Lantash had pretended Zipacna had asked to have them transferred as gifts to Apophis immediately.
Seeing them, Sam/Jolinar hurried out of the Teltac, just as Lantash raised his hand device, activated it, and quickly threw two of the Jaffa many feet through the air. They landed hard and did not move.
Jolinar shot the two other Jaffa with a zat'nik'tel, before they could react after the shock.
"OK...I didn't see that one coming! Not complaining, though..." O'Neill said.
"Hurry up! We don't have much time! Get in the Teltac!" Lantash ordered.
They all ran aboard and Jolinar took off as soon as the door was closed. The opening in the roof only just had time to grow to a size they could fit through, before they zipped out.
Suspiciously eyeing the man he had assumed was a Goa'uld and Zipacna's loyal underling, O'Neill walked to where Jolinar was flying the ship.
"Care to explain this?" He indicated Lantash, the ship, and the fact they were all on it...
Still focused on the controls, Jolinar answered.
"My host says...do you not you recognize a jail break when you see one?" She turned to him and flashed him a quick smile before she returned to her instruments.
Moments later they entered hyperspace.
"Now will you explain?" O'Neill demanded.
Jolinar set the controls for auto-pilot and half-turned to him.
"Lantash - that is his real name, the other was a cover - is a Tok'ra. He has freed us." Jolinar smiled happily to Lantash.
O'Neill turned towards the other man.
"I guess we should thank you, then."
"You can thank me when we are safely back at the Tok'ra base. We are still in danger."
"From Zipacna?" Daniel wondered.
"No. He will not be able to return in time to catch us. His Jaffa, however, may choose to pursue. This is also not a safe part of the galaxy."
"We will be at Zi'hfer in just over an hour. If we are lucky, we can get to the chaapa'ai before we are discovered." Jolinar told them.
While Jolinar piloted the ship, Sam spent the time thinking about Martouf and Lantash, and the talk they had had the evening before.
After Lantash had spoken to Zipacna, he had returned to his quarters were Sam and Jolinar were waiting for him. Jolinar had spent a little time discussing important matters of the Tok'ra with Lantash, then she had given control to Sam.
She had been quite nervous, and hated herself for it. Of course, this was hardly a normal situation. While she knew a lot about Lantash and his host Martouf, it was all from Jolinar. Yes, it felt very much like she knew them herself, but she was very much aware that was not the case.
Lantash seemed a little apprehensive as well. Sam felt sorry for him. She realised it was so much worse for him. Not only had he just gotten confirmation that one of his mates had died, but he had also gotten a new mate. One he knew absolutely nothing about.
It was very odd. She had felt like holding him close and comforting him, but at the same time she did not know what to say or do. Fortunately, he had begun to talk, asking her questions about herself.
Sam could see that Lantash was hurting because of Rosha, but he had been very sweet and thoughtful, and had done his best to make her relax and feel less awkward.
He had succeeded in making her smile and tell him about herself and her life before she met Jolinar. She found she liked him a lot. Martouf had not come forward to talk, but Sam knew he was listening and often suggesting things for Lantash to say.
Jolinar found this amusing. Sam suddenly knew that it was often the other way around. Lantash mostly preferred to let Martouf have control, and only come forward now and then. Of course, this also had the added benefit of cutting down on the clashes they had with other people, as Lantash tended to speak his mind.
Lantash had spoken a little about his own life, both with Martouf as host and before. Sam knew much of it from Jolinar, of course, but it was still nice to here him tell it himself, especially since Jolinar tended to leave out many details.
Sam smiled to herself as she thought back to what Lantash had told about his childhood. How he had played tricks on the mature Tok'ra who already had hosts, and were looking after him and the other larvae.
He had been born in the last of Egeria's clutches. By then she had no Jaffa for the larvae to mature in, so they had grown up in a small lake. Lantash had loved playing in the waterfall and swimming into the water-filled tunnels of the mountain behind it. Jolinar and the other adult Tok'ra had told him again and again that he was not allowed to do it and that it was dangerous, but he had kept doing it anyway.
Yes, he was something of rascal. Sam smiled again and realised she was falling for him. She was very much looking forward to meeting Martouf as well.
While Sam had been thinking, the journey to Zi'hfer had been completed, thankfully uneventfully, and Jolinar announced they were approaching the planet.
"We will land just beside the chaapa'ai, if all is clear." Martouf said.
"What happened to your voice?" O'Neill remarked. "The host gets to talk?"
"I am Martouf - and among the Tok'ra, host and symbiote both speak freely, without censor. I had thought you knew this, having known my Jolinar for many months. I cannot believe Samantha has not been in control for some of that period."
"Of course, she has. I do know. It's just still weird to meet someone...who appear to be a Goa'uld. Hell, who we thought was a Goa'uld - and then realize he's a Tok'ra. That the Tok'ra really are a whole organisation...people...whatever." O'Neill suddenly noticed what Martouf had said. "Wait...your Jolinar?"
"Yes, she is my mate."
"Your's or Lantash's?" Daniel suddenly asked.
"Both. We love as one."
"If Jolinar is your mate...what about Carter, then?" O'Neill wanted to know.
"She shall be my mate as well, of course." Martouf said, smiling warmly and a little shyly at Sam/Jolinar.
Sam suddenly felt very happy at that, realizing there was a time when she would have found this crazy, since she had not even talked to him yet. She was certain she would love him. His smile was cute and he seemed like a very nice person. Which, of course, she knew he was.
"Just like that? Have you even asked her?!" O'Neill was both shocked and outraged.
"Not directly, no. However we have talked together and she did not express any wish to sever the relationship. Which would be unusual at any rate, unless she had an extreme dislike for me or Lantash. Jolinar and she are blended and have been so for many months. Their emotions will have long since synchronized." Martouf explained patiently.
"OK...I still find it a bit arrogant of you to just assume she'll want to be with you." O'Neill said.
"Even if that's the case - what about you?" Daniel pointed out.
"Lantash and I still love Rosha, and we still grieve for her. We will always love her. However, we also love Jolinar - and we find we are already quite fond of Samantha."
"Could we discuss this later? We have arrived at the position over the chaapa'ai. There are currently no enemy presence down there, so I am landing. Prepare to run out and dial the chaapa'ai quickly - I just noticed something that might be an alkesh approaching." Jolinar told them.
They landed and Martouf hurried out to dial an address. They all ran through, just the alkesh appeared on the horizon.
They came out on a chilly, but peaceful planet. However, they did not stay long. As soon as the gate had shut down, Martouf dialed a new address, and after that yet another.
Finally, they found themselves on a desert planet, with dunes all around them
"This is it? But there's no one here!" O'Neill exclaimed, looking around.
"This is the current location of the Tok'ra base which Jolinar and I belong to, yes." Martouf said. "However empty it may seem, there are indeed people here, but their base is very well hidden. You will soon meet them."
He led the way towards some dunes and the others followed. Sam was feeling really anxious. How would every one react to her? This was exacerbated by Jolinar, who was dreading the process of explaining what had happened - and having to talk about the situation where Rosha had been killed.
Suddenly, Sam sensed the energy signatures of several symbiotes. Very shortly after, people jumped out from their hiding places dug into the sand, and surrounded SG-1 and Martouf. A young man stepped forward to greet them.
"Welcome home, Martouf. I assume these with you are friends?"
"Hello Aldwin. It is good to be home. Yes, these are indeed friends. They are the Tau'ri team, SG-1 Jolinar informed us about."
"They shall be most welcome as well." He got a strange expression on his face as he suddenly realised Teal'c was not the only one of the strangers giving off the energy signature of a symbiote. "That one is a host." He indicated Sam.
"Yes, very astute, Aldwin. I am Jolinar."
"Jolinar? But...forgive me, we believed you to be dead." He looked towards Martouf.
"Truly. She is my Jolinar, returned to us."
"Jolinar...it is difficult to believe...you are very welcome home. We all mourn Rosha with you."
Jolinar nodded. "Thank you." She allowed herself a private moment of grief, before she half-turned and indicated the others. "These are Colonel Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c - former First Prime of Apophis. All are members of the Tau'ri team SG-1. As is my new host, Samantha Carter. We carry important information which we must convey immediately to the council. There will be time for personal talk later."
They walked to a spot that looked no different than the others, but Sam sensed the naquadah from the ring transporter all around them. It was actually pretty easy to position oneself, as long as you just took notice of the strength of the signal - which was subtly different from that of naquadah bound in an organic form, like in a person. Of course, if you were not Tok'ra or Goa'uld, you would have no clue how to find the entrance. Handy, when you hid from humans and Jaffa in the service of the Goa'uld.
*How are they activated? I see no controls.* Sam wondered, as they were transported down into the Tok'ra tunnels below.
*The guards, and sometimes others, carry small controls on their belts.* Jolinar explained, when the rings had deposited them.
Home! The feeling was very strong in Sam, though she knew it had to come from Jolinar.
*Wow!* Sam looked around at the crystals that made up floor, roof, walls...everything! *It is so much prettier than I had imagined - and to really see it! That it really is crystals...just...wow!*
Jolinar seemed pleased her new host liked her home.
The other members of SG-1 looked around as well.
"It is said throughout the legend of the Tok'ra, when they arrive on a planet they go deep underground, it is said they possess the technology to actually grow tunnels." Teal'c said.
"It's true. This is an example of that technology, Teal'c." Sam smiled, finding it fascinating. She very much looked forward to learning more about the specifics. Jolinar was no scientist, so she only knew the basics and could not explain it to Sam.
"Apophis had me searching for tunnels such as these for many years. We never found them. It is believed when the Tok'ra move on, the tunnels are destroyed."
"Yes, we do." Jolinar said, having assumed control. "Nothing remains for the Goa'uld to find."
They had only waited for a short while, when someone arrived to tell Jolinar she was to report to the Tok'ra High council for debriefing.
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