TITLE:The Petri Dish Reviews
AUTHOR: Roeskva
CATEGORY: Drama
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 last surviving members of SGC, as well as three Tok'ra, and a few Jaffa flee the advancing Ori forces. This is the story of their experiences.
RATING: PG-13
CHARACTERS: O'Neill, Sam, Daniel, Teal'c, Mitchell, Malek, Thoran, Delek, others
STATUS: Incomplete
SPOILERS: Takes place around season 4 of SGA, before the Ark of Truth. 
WARNINGS: Character deaths.
AUTHORS NOTES: * denotes thoughts or host/symbiote communication.

----------------

"...some of you may have had occasion to run into mathematicians and to wonder therefore how they got that way, and here, in partial explanation perhaps, is the story..." Tom Lehrer in his album 'Tom Lehrer Revisited', recorded before a live audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959.



It had been almost a year since everything had begun to go wrong. Col. Samantha Carter was sitting in her office at the gamma site, thinking about what had happened. The first sign of problems had been when some of the inhabitants of the Pegasus galaxy had started to talk about a new group of people that were showing up on their planets. These missionaries tried to spread a new religion, and bad things had happened to those who refused it. Then first one, and soon after two supergates were spotted and Ori ships were starting to show up here and there. It had not been long before Atlantis itself was threatened and had to be abandoned. Its personnel had been evacuated to Earth, and the city, with its easy access back to Earth and the Milky Way had been thoroughly destroyed. This had been their last act in the Pegasus galaxy.


Then, only a few months later, news had come from the Tok'ra that Ori Priors and followers were again showing up in large numbers everywhere. Apparently Adria was either powerful enough to to continue on her her own, or their attempt to kill the Ori had failed. It did not really matter anymore. Clearly, the knowledge Adria had gained from the brief time she was host to Ba'al had been enough for her to be able to send her forces to the Pegasus galaxy, and when that was conquered, she used the added strength to continue the Ori crusade that was already underway in the Milky Way.


It had not taken long to overrun all the known human and Jaffa planets, as well as the remaining Goa'uld systems. The Tok'ra too were attacked repeatedly, since they had no intention on worshipping the Ori, and they fled from base to base, until only Malek, Delek, and Thoran were left. They then fled to Earth, and joined the SG teams in their futile attempts to first stop the Ori and then to merely avoid a total defeat and being totally overrun. Finally, a month ago, Earth had fallen and the last remnants of her military and scientists, as well as the 3 Tok'ra, and a couple of Jaffas, had relocated to the gamma site. The alpha and beta sites had fallen before Earth.

Generals Landry and O'Neill were in command of this last stronghold - the small group of scientists and the 3 remaining SG teams: SG-1, now consisting of Daniel, Teal'c, Sam, and Thoran, SG-2 with Mitchell, Malek, a Jaffa named Ralek, and one additional Tau'ri - a Lt. Erikson. SG-3 were commanded by Delek, and the other members were one Jaffa - Jih'lka, as well as two Tau'ri. Capt. Jones, and Lt. Waters. The teams made small missions to various planets, keeping an eye on the Priors and gathering what information they could find, without arousing too much suspicion. Using crystals provided by the Tok'ra, they had moved the entire base underground. While this would hopefully give them some protection, it had not helped enough to save the Tok'ra from the Ori in the past.

Sam sighed. It did not do any good to dwell on all the grief and sorrow which had befallen all of them lately. She made an effort and concentrated on the task at hand: writing a report of yesterday's mission to P3X-468. It had turned out to be yet another newly converted Ori planet - fortunately there had been no Prior present, but her team had not stayed long. Very little new information had been gained, except a couple of vague comments about a new Ori super weapon and yet more 'glorious victories' for the cause. Sam hated these depressing missions, but they were, unfortunately, necessary. She again sighed, and then returned to her report.

 

-

"Silan, we have made another correction to the main equation!" Xilto announced, entering the room. 

 

"Good...and the effect?"

 

"No apparent difference to the current situation. Everything appears to continue unchanged."

 

"I see. How unfortunate. We shall have to make another attempt." Silan distractedly dismissed Xilto, already deep in new calculations.

 

-

Sam looked up from her tedious work with the report, as the klaxons of a base attack sounded. *Not again!* she thought. *Will it never end?* she pushed the paperwork away and got up, then started to quickly gather the important papers and other stuff that needed to be saved.


Out in the corridors people were running back and forth, trying to get as much packed and with them as possible. The gate was located in one of the tunnels and they were quickly moving their things through to a potential new base planet, which they had located two days before. Usually they would have preferred to scout it for much longer, but now they had no choice. Sam grabbed the box of reports and papers that she had collected and quickly ran to the gate. Depositing the box in the pile which Delek, Daniel, and Malek were moving through the gate, she hurried back to her lab and started gathering her personal stuff as the room shook from the first of the Ori bombs.

"Hurry up, Carter." O'Neill yelled through the entrance. We're leaving...the Tok'ra are ready to collapse the tunnels."


"Just a few more minutes, General...I need these data crystals."

"Now, Carter!" he ran to the next lab, fully expecting the three scientists to want more time too. *Those damn eggheads don't understand anything besides their science...maybe we should just let the Ori take them. It's not as if anything they come up with will matter one bit anymore!*


A quarter of an hour later, Malek jumped through the Stargate as the last, the tunnels destroying themselves behind him. They had all made it to their new base world; now they would just have to hope they could be safe there, and that Sam's new program would truly wipe the memory from the DHD. The Ori were more than persistent enough to dig up the DHD and decipher the last address dialed.

-
The New Base Planet

Having arrived on their new planet, they quickly set up base. What they did not know was that the preliminary check had missed several villages. Unfortunately, the inhabitants were fanatic Ori-followers and they almost immediately detected their new neighbors.

After a short meeting the locals made a decision; it was clear the newcomers, with their strange ways, were unbelievers. The only prudent action would be to kill them, before the contamination could spread. They decided to attack at dawn.

Malek awoke to the sound of battle and a voice yelling in his head. He realised he was running.

*All right, all right...I'm awake! What is happening, Johan?*

*Finally! You slept like a rock...I've been trying to wake you for the last 10 minutes! We are under attack...by Ori-followers. Landry, Ralek, and Jih'lka - the two Jaffa - are dead, and so are the three Earth scientists. We, and Daniel are supposed to gather all our equipment, while the others hold back the locals.*

Outside, Teal'c and Delek were helping Erikson and Jones to fight back a group of villagers. The locals had been given both Ori weapons and some training, so it was not as easy as expected.

Meanwhile, Sam and O'Neill, together with Thoran and Waters, were doing their best to kill another group of fanatics. Thoran had just disposed of an enemy, when he saw a large villager sneaking up behind O'Neill, who were busy with another warrior. Realising that O'Neill would not be able to hear him over all the battle noise, Thoran quickly ran towards them and jumped, pushing O'Neill away and out of the line of fire. The shot that would otherwise have made a big hole through O'Neill's chest now only zinged his shoulder. The wound was still bad enough that he lay somewhat dazed on the ground afterwards, and he would most likely have been killed shortly after, had it not been for Thoran pulling him away from the fighting and towards some fallen trees and shrubbery.

They had almost gotten to safety, when a shot hit Thoran in the back, causing him to fall unconsciously to the ground. Using his last strength, O'Neill managed to use his good arm to pull himself and Thoran behind a fallen tree, then he, too lost consciousness for a little while. When he awoke again a couple of minutes later, Thoran and his host Milek had also regained consciousness, but it was obvious that they were dying. The wound was much too serious for the symbiote to heal on its own - nothing short of a sarcophagus could probably save them now.

"General...please...please take Th...Thoran..." Milek managed to get out. "I beg you...he doesn't have to...to die..." he coughed weakly and almost fainted again.

O'Neill looked at him, scared and confused. *I can't go through that again...not after Kanan! He can't expect me to...I swore I would never again let a snake infest me...but he just saved my life...and the Tok'ra have worked just as hard as anyone else against the Ori - and continues to do so, even when they have almost been wiped out...* He thought for a while longer. He had always thought he would celebrate the day when the Tok'ra were no more - and now they were almost there...then why did he feel guilty...and why did he even consider becoming a host again? *I need it's healing powers to cure this wound...to go on fighting...for Earth! Against these cursed Ori...perhaps I can even handle one of the snakes...* he relaxed a bit, having convinced himself that he should do it...for Earth.

"All right...I will do it. I just put my mouth down to yours as if I was going to kiss you, right?"

"Yes..." Milek smiled faintly. A few moments later, Thoran had jumped into his new host and said goodbye to his friend, Milek. O'Neill/Thoran then lay down and concentrated on healing the shoulder wound as quickly as possible.

*General O'Neill...I'm very sorry this happened. I know how you feel about us...and what my friend Kanan did...*

O'Neill hated hearing a voice talking in his head, but pulled himself together. *It's...it's all right...I guess. You're not Kanan...it's not your fault what he did...I...eh...I'm sorry about your host, he was a good man...* O'Neill gasped as waves of sorrow and grief hit him from the symbiote.

*I apologize for making you feel that. It was in no way my intention...it is never easy to loose a host...* Thoran sounded extremely distressed.

-
The shoulder wound had healed and they were starting to feel stronger. They saw Malek running towards them, yelling at them to get up - more enemy reinforcements were arriving. When he reached them, he bent down to quickly check on Milek, then, with a sad expression turned to O'Neill. "We need to hurry." Swaying slightly, they had managed to stand and now started to walk. "Thoran?" Malek questioned, sensing a symbiote in O'Neill.

"Yes."

Malek nodded, then motioned for them to follow. Moving quickly, they followed Malek to the Stargate, where Daniel was waiting for them at an open wormhole.

"Quickly. More villagers are coming." Daniel looked at Malek. "You didn't find anyone else alive?"

"No, unfortunately not."


Nodding, Daniel ran into the wormhole. Malek and O'Neill also jumped through, the Stargate disengaging just behind them.

When they looked up, they saw that Delek was already dialing a new address. There hadn't been time to run the memory-wipe program on the other DHD - assuming it had even worked the first time, and now they had to rely on conventional means to mask their trail, through 'gate-hopping'.

After going through 6-7 gates - O'Neill quickly lost count of them - they apparently seemed satisfied that they would be safe on this planet, and that the Ori would not be able to track them. He looked around at the place. It appeared peaceful enough, and it seemed as though no one had been near the gate recently. You could never know for sure, though. The planet could still be inhabited by someone who preferred to stay home - or who had their reasons to conceal their whereabouts, as Thoran pointed out. They would have to be careful until they knew more about this world.

A headcount revealed that they had lost many people. The only ones left were Teal'c, O'Neill/Thoran, Malek/Johan, Delek, Daniel, Mitchell, and Sam.

"You are now host to Thoran, General O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.

"Yes." O'Neill was quiet for a while. "He saved my life, but his host...Milek...was killed. I...became host to Thoran. I was wounded and would likely have been killed, if he had not healed me - he needed a host. It was a...mutually beneficial agreement."

"I see. You both made the correct choice. Thoran - I offer my condolences for you host. He was brave, and his death was an honorable one."

"Thoran says thank you...he does not think I am ready to let him assume control to answer, himself...he is probably correct, but I will have to work on this, if I am to remain his host."

*We will get through this, General O'Neill...it always takes a while, both for the host and the symbiote, to get used to the changes, but the pair eventually become very close friends.*

*Understood...Thoran, if we are to be friends, then I think the first step would be for you to call me 'Jack', instead of 'General O'Neill'...less formal, more...friendly, OK?*

*Yes...Jack.* Thoran gave his new host a small hug. *We will be fine.*

To his own surprise, O'Neill found himself agreeing. It wasn't as bad as he had expected, not at all. They really would be all right.

-
The planet seemed to check out. No one was living anywhere near the Stargate, so it was decided to stay on the planet and lie low for the time being. They all needed some time to rest, and to come to terms with recent events. The Tok'ra still had some tunnel crystals, which they used to build a small underground base.

Mitchell volunteered to try out his cooking skills. There were fish in a nearby lake, and they found fruit, roots, and berries, as well as the occasional rabbit, in the surrounding forest. They would be able to survive here, but they would probably loose some weight.

Almost a full month had passed since they arrived on this world, and the time had given O'Neill and Thoran the opportunity to get to know each other better - they were actually starting to become good friends. This 'inside view' of the Tok'ra was changing O'Neill's opinion of the, and he had even been seen talking to Malek from time to time. He still flat out refused to exchange more than short messages with Delek, but this dislike was shared by Thoran, so they just stayed away from each other.

Jack was sitting on one of the fallen tree logs, that made up a third of their make-shift seating around the fireplace. This was where they usually gathered to eat and talk about the ir day. Daniel came up to him and sat down beside him.

"Hi, Jack. Have you heard that Teal'c, Sam, and Malek met some people on their scouting trip?"

"No, I didn't think they were back yet."

"They returned maybe 15 minutes ago, so they'll probably be here soon...Jack, Malek said the people they met were Ori-followers..."

"Of course they were, we're the only heretics left - or haven't you heard?"

"I know, Jack. It's been a long time since we met anyone else...I just hope we are not going to get into trouble. Sam said she, Malek, and Teal'c had pretended to be devout Ori-worshippers - God knows we've got enough experience to respond correctly - but she wasn't sure they weren't suspicious."

"They'll probably report us, just to be on the safe side...overzealous bastards."

*Time to get packed and move planet again, I guess.* O'Neill sighed.

*Yes,* Thoran agreed. *Unfortunately. I was actually starting to like this place.*

*Yeah, but not the food! It's too...healthy for my taste.*

*My poor Jack. I'll make sure to look for steak and beer sales the next time we look for a new base...*

*Yeah - and TV. I miss the Simpsons.* O'Neill chuckled and Daniel looked strangely at him.

"Why is it suddenly so funny that rabid Ori-worshipping villagers are going to do us in?" He asked, testily. This information was making his already lousy day worse - it had started this morning when he discovered that Sam had drunk their last coffee. Then he had gone through his secret cache of cookies, only to learn that some vermin had gotten into the box and had eaten them. The day had gone downhill from there.

"Sorry, Daniel. Thoran and I was talking about the food here - hoping it would be better on the next planet."

Daniel smiled. "Yes, it has been sort of...bland, has it not? Poor Cam - he really is doing his best, but there just isn't much to work with here."

Just then Mitchell came walking towards them, smiling happily for a change.

"I was out looking for some of those beet-like root the Tok'ra claim are nutritious, when I found several herbs that I hadn't noticed before. I have found something similar to both rosemary, and thyme, as well as some sort of mint. You are so going to love dinner tonight! Delek and I also caught three rabbits, so it's party time!"

"Yes!" O'Neill exclaimed. "The first good news I've heard today. When do we eat?"

Mitchell grinned. "Not for a couple of hours, at least. The food isn't cooked yet, so unless you want it raw..."

"No thanks!" O'Neill made a face, but then he went back to smiling. It would be good to have some decent food for once.

Mitchell smiled broadly and left to prepare dinner, while O'Neill and Daniel turned to the group of people approaching them. Sam and Malek were walking in front, talking about something - something serious, if their expressions were anything to go by - while Teal'c brought up the rear. He looked as if deep in thought, and didn't seem to feel like joining the others in discussion.

*Looks bad, doesn't it, Thoran?* O'Neill felt how his short-lived good mood was already being replaced by a sense of doom.

*Yes, I don't like their expressions. Usually, they look relatively happy and relaxed when they return. Today they seem very tense. It must be true, then, what Daniel said - about there being Ori-followers here.*

*Yes. The damn vermin is everywhere, so it doesn't surprise me. He gazed up at the small group, who had come up to him. "Hello," he looked questioningly at first Sam, then Malek, and last Teal'c. Neither of them seemed eager to speak.

Sam finally let out a deep breath. "I see you already have heard something from Daniel...it's true, unfortunately. We ran into a group of Ori-believers - from a distant village. It is no wonder we hadn't noticed them before. It was just bad luck that they happened to pass by close to here right now."

"It seems they were on their way to the chaapa'ai," Malek continued, "to welcome a Prior which will 'honor' them with his presence during their yearly celebration of life - which is now being changed into a solemn time of thanksgiving." Malek spat out, clearly not enjoying the worship of the Ori more than that of the Goa'uld.

"Do we have a problem?" O'Neill knew very well they did, but he asked the question anyway.

"Yes," Malek looked over at Sam, "we discussed this among each other and with Delek. We believe we should leave, as quickly as possible before the Ori Prior has time to rouse the local inhabitants and attack us - we are not exactly in any position to fight. We are very few, and we only have limited weapons left - one zat'nik'tel each, three P-90's total, almost out of ammunition."

"Yes, yes...I know. You don't have to remind me. I agree...we should leave. We will just enjoy Mitchell's food - he has something special in store for us - and then we will pack up and head for another planet...perhaps the nice, tropical one we found a couple of days ago? The one with lots of exotic fruit, friendly edible animals, and naked, seemingly harmless people - it was a paradise!"

"Yes, but there were people living there - and that means it is only a matter of time before the Ori shows up." Sam pointed out.

"Too bad," Malek smiled. "I really liked it there. The inhabitants were very friendly, especially that beautiful, young woman, the one with..."

"Yes, thank you." O'Neill interrupted him. "I remember too well how she threw herself at you...there's no accounting for taste...she even sat beside you at the party, feeding you fruit!" O'Neill made a face.

"You're just jealous," Sam said, grinning. "Well, if you don't mind, I think I will take the time to have a bath and a change of clothing before we eat. If we are soon to be on the run again, then there is no way of knowing when we will again have that luxury, if ever."

The others agreed, an they all left to enjoy what might very well be the last taste of civilization they would have in a very long time.

-
Silan was standing near the viewing opening, looking out over the habitation, apparently deep in thought, when Xilto entered.

"What news do you bring?"

"Silan...the last intervention resulted in the Ori taking over another 475 planets."

"How many are left untouched?"

"Of those inhabited...17. Most of those are sparsely populated. We have detected an unusual abnormality...a small group of sentients deliberately eluding them - fighting them even though their worlds, peoples, entire races, are all either disappeared or fully under the Ori."

"Interesting. I shall examine this anomaly further...perhaps trace it back through time. This experiment is indeed interesting."

"Yes, it is, but I think maybe the Ori are starting to get too powerful. It may have been an error to give them the 'supergates'."

"Surely not! It was a brilliant suggestion. It did have a much larger effect than many, many of the past years of changes, and the effect is, as such, more difficult to predict. We are several that anticipate the continuation of the Ori-part of the experiment, and with great enthusiasm, I might add!"

They both turned around, as Siwon and Groteka entered the room.

"Ah...we were just discussing the Ori's role in Xilto's research into the fluidity of time and space. Xilto seems to consider the Ori too powerful, do you not?" Silan said, focusing on Xilto.

"Surely, you are not serious, dear Xilto. The Ori are fascinating, are they not?" Siwon said.

"Actually, I was considering an early reboot..." Xilto chanced saying, "...some of the changes have been too big and the results are unpredictable - even the many minor corrections we have made over time does not seem to be enough. The universe's structure appears too damaged to adjust itself, even with assistance."

"Go back and look at the base equations, young Xilto. You will see that it unfolds as was predicted from change S9-beta forward...especially given the zeta-addition which we introduced 8 years ago."

"Yes, you must continue the current experiment to its completion. It may give somewhat unusual data, but it will still have its place in the batch with the others - it would be a shame not to include it...you only need a few more runs - or is it only one - for the full batch to be completed, do you not?"

"True. Yes, I only need one more. Still..." Xilto again sunk back into thought, momentarily forgetting about the others, who observed the young student with an amused expression.

-
The small group of Tau'ri, Tok'ra, and Jaffa, had just finished the, for once, surprisingly tasty meal, that a proud Mitchell had served for them. They had allowed themselves a short time to relax, and just enjoy life - something which was rarely possible.

Soon they had to start packing - something they felt they were doing all the time. They had agreed on the need to move, and decided on a new potential base planet. They would get some sleep, and leave the next morning, early, and hopefully well before the Ori believers had time to decide on a course of action.

That hope, unfortunately, proved futile. Very early the next morning, before they were even out of bed, they were awakened  by an explosion which tore a big opening down to their small underground base. Soon everything was chaos - people hastily reaching for their weapons, fighting the villagers which seemed to be everywhere. The locals were not very well armed, but they were many - and totally fearless and uncaring about what happened to them.

After a long, brutal fight, the Ori-warriors were either dead, or had fled the scene. Sam started doing a headcount. Only O'Neill/Thoran were missing, and a search party was sent out, led by Malek.

They did not have to look long - O'Neill was quickly found, half-sitting/half-lying, maybe 30 feet from the Stargate, an Ori-Prior standing over him. The Prior turned to stare piercingly at Malek and his group, then leisurely started strolling towards the Stargate, effortlessly deflecting the weapons fire from Malek and the others.

"Oh, why do we even bother." Malek exclaimed, as he frustratedly threw his weapon on the ground, just as the Prior disappeared through the wormhole.

O'Neill was still sitting on the ground, staring catatonically into nothingness. Daniel quickly ran to him, followed by the others.

"Jack?" Daniel shook him, but didn't get any reaction - and he noticed that some strange, white patches were slowly spreading across O'Neill's skin.

"Don't touch him!" Malek warned. "It think the Prior must have done something to him - perhaps infected him with a disease..."

Teal'c hurriedly stepped up to them, then grabbed Daniel and pulled him away from O'Neill.

"Sorry, you're right of course," Daniel said, as they watched O'Neill slowly starting to tip over and fall, his head aiming for a large rock. Malek quickly jumped forward and caught him, before he impacted with it.

"I...I guess I'm probably able to handle whatever the Prior infected him with." He carefully lowered O'Neill to the ground, then pulled out his healing device. He looked at the others.

"I'm not detecting anything contagious in either my own or my hosts body, so whatever is affecting O'Neill is not easily communicable, if at all." He started using the healing device to try and help O'Neill. After a long while where no one dared to speak, he shook his head. "They are both dying - nothing I do has any effect - the Prior...I don't know what he did, but all their major organs are shutting down...there is nothing I can do...I am sorry..." he bowed his head as he allowed the healing device to shut off.

-
*Thoran...that damn Prior...whatever he did to us...we are dying, aren't we?*

*Yes...I'm afraid you're right. He disrupted all our major organs...and every time I repair one, another fails...they just keep shutting down faster than I can heal them...Jack...I'm so sorry that I can't save us...* Thoran sounded very tired, almost exhausted. He seemed to make a decision. *There is perhaps still one thing I might do, something which may still save you...*

*Yeah? What is that? Wait! Save me - not both of us? NO, Thoran, you are SO not leaving me...you are NOT dying for me...please, if you can cure one of us, then heal yourself...take...take a new host...I'm sure one of the others will do it...live...*

*No, my Jack, it is too late...this, at least, I can do for you...* he gave O'Neill a weak hug.

*Thoran!* O'Neill managed, desperate, before he lost consciousness totally.

-
Later.

O'Neill slowly came to. Someone was speaking. Carter, perhaps?

"He's waking up...he made it."

*Thoran?* O'Neill asked, then repeated it *THORAN!* still no answer. He searched frantically for the symbiote, but didn't find anyone. He was alone...and he didn't like it. He immediately felt terribly lonely and sad. A month ago he would not have believed it, but now he was devastated.

"O'Neill? Sir?" Sam repeated.

"Thoran...is dead," he got out.

"Yes, we know...I'm sorry, sir."

He nodded, she knew how it felt, of course, even though she had only been host to Jolinar for a short time. "Where are we?"

"On our new base planet - at least for know. We were not followed."

"How many...how many survived?"

"Amazingly enough everyone else survived - Malek, Delek, Mitchell, Daniel, you, and me."

"Good." O"Neill said, but he didn't look like he felt good - he was obviously miserable. The others made sure he knew they were there, should he need them, but otherwise they left him alone, giving him time to grieve.

-
They did not get more than a few days rest before Ori warriors showed up again, forcing them to flee. This repeated itself on the next planet they settled on, and the next. They did not seem to be safe anywhere - it was as if the Ori knew where they were.

The current planet they were on seemed uninhabited, and was relatively lush with enough to eat. They had been there all of three days when the scouting party - consisting of Mitchell, Teal'c, and Malek - saw them. It was a relatively small group of people, clearly not trained warriors, and only equipped with primitive weapons. However, just as Mitchell and his team were about to sneak away to warn the others, another group appeared from behind. They were obviously not peasants - and much better armed.

"Shit, we're almost surrounded." Mitchell looked around desperately, then spotted a small opening. "This way - they haven't seen us yet. If we can just..." They all heard the shouts as they were detected, and all started running, throwing themselves down behind some rocks, as the enemy started shooting.

-
Xilto worriedly observed the events taking place between the Ori followers and their adversaries. It was getting more and more clear that this was somehow wrong. *Curious thought,* the young scholar pondered. *They are vastly inferior, but they are still sentient beings. Do we have the right to subject them to this ordeal, just to get better and clearer data?* Xilto felt a twinge of sorrow for these beings - fighting a battle even they surely must know they would loose. Thoughtfully, Xilto pushed another button, and waited.

Silan arrived shortly after.

"Silan, I think we should indeed do an early reset."

"Not yet, Xilto - there is much more to learn. Patience!"

"The Ori are too strong - their adversaries have no chance. Any change we introduce now will make little or no difference."

"The last adjustments have only served to increase the Ori power, despite your obvious attempts to diminish it, that is true," Silan agreed.

"Then do you not also agree, there is no more to be learned?"

"Perhaps..."

Just then Siwon and Groteka came floating in, carrying themselves with an - even for them - unusual air of arrogance.

"Masters! We were just discussing some ideas for..."

"Yes, yes, we heard. Yet again you consider terminating the experiment early. You must employ patience, young one."

"I plead ethical considerations as the reason for a reboot. The Ori victory is very bad for everyone else in those galaxies."

"Bad? That is not a scientifically precise word." Groteka noted.

"...and what of it, if it is bad as you say, for those beings? Do you consider their lives important enough to interfere with your thesis work? Is not a degree in trans-dimensional evolutionary mathematics worth a little suffering on part of beings which are, after all, so far beneath us what they can not truly be considered sentient?" Siwan asked, rhetorically.

"As you all know..." Groteka made a happy sound, as the others realised that this was going to be one of the Grand Master's dreaded monologues. "...the creatures inhabiting the 'Milky Way' in the multi-verses we use as template for our studies, are all descended from beings created by the so-called Ancients. These Ancients - or medium-level sentients - created these beings from their own DNA, when their enemies eradicated the original, intelligent lifeforms in that Galaxy. Thus, none of the current intelligent lifeforms of the 'Milky Way' have evolved on their own. They are merely...what shall we say...substitutes?...at any rate...we took these multi-verses, and all the creatures in them and made an infinitude of copies for use in our important research. We then tweaked them and their environment - their galaxies and their knowledge, as well as that of their enemies...for experiments just as this. They owe their very existence to us...how can it be wrong for us to play a little with these toys?"

Xilto sighed. He had heard it all before. At least Silan now seemed willing to consider a reset?

-
Mitchell, Malek, and Teal'c were running for their lives, jumping behind trees and boulders as they dodged shot after shot. They had managed to kill or at least disable about 10 of their pursuers, but there were still at least that many following them. Just as Mitchell were about to throw himself down behind a tree, a blast hit him in his left leg, making him scream out in pain. Teal'c grabbed hold of him and pulled him to temporary safety, while Malek fired at the enemy.

"Can you walk?" Teal'c asked, clearly worried.

Mitchell attempted to put weight on the leg, but collapsed with a yelp of pain. "No, I can't walk."

"Then I shall carry you."

"No, Teal'c. If you are to have any chance of getting back to the others, away from this planet, then you will only be slowed down by me. Please...leave me here, and I will keep those damn fanatics occupied long enough for you to get away."

Teal'c and Malek both considered arguing with Mitchell, but they knew he was right - and their enemy was getting closer. They accepted Mitchell's decision.

"Good luck."

"Thanks, you too."

Teal'c and Malek ran quickly from the tree trunk to some rocks, and from there on to a small forest. As they hurriedly put distance between themselves and the Ori warriors, they could hear Mitchell's P-90 fire again and again.

After a little while the shots from Mitchell's weapon ceased to be heard, and his friends thought he must surely have been caught.

-
*Out of ammunition,* Mitchell threw the weapon on the ground, frustrated. He looked up over the edge of the tree trunk and saw that the enemies were again starting to come closer, a  little warily at first, there seemed to be 7 or 8 of them left then they started to walk boldly towards him.

*I'm NOT going to be captured by those fanatical bastards...* he got an idea - he still had several grenades. *This way, at least, I can take some of them with me...and hopefully help the others escape.* He quickly pulled out the grenades and prepared them. He took a quick glimpse at the Ori followers. *Almost here...and all 7 of them...just a moment more...*

-
Malek and Teal'c heard the explosion. Realizing what had happened,they hurried on to get back to Sam and the others. They needed to get everyone away from this place. They would not let their friend's sacrifice be in vain.

-
It was several days after Mitchell's death, and their narrow escape. They had been resting on a planet, which had been home to an Ancient base. A small cluster of well preserved ruins were lying a short distance away from the Stargate, and the small group of refugees had decided to make them their temporary home.

They had not been there more than a few hours, when Sam discovered a hidden room still containing various machinery of obvious Ancient design. She, Daniel, and Malek spent some time examining them, something which neither O'Neill, Delek, or Teal'c thought was worth the effort. They didn't interfere, though, and in the following days they spent much of their time studying the devices, perhaps to take their minds of all the bad that had happened to them lately.

O'Neill had been deep in his own, unpleasant thoughts - still missing Thoran terribly - when he heard the door to the hidden room slam wide open. He looked up and saw Sam, Malek, and Daniel come out, enthusiastically discussing something. Sam seemed to be carrying some kind of small device - he couldn't really tell what it was. Delek had noticed them too, and came closer to see what it was.

Daniel waved happily at them. "Hiya, Jack, Delek...where is Teal'c?"

"He's keeping an eye out for the Ori-baddies - while you scientists are wasting time on something that soon won't matter...anyway, what have you found?" O'Neill still felt a bit curious, despite his annoyance with them.

"I'm not absolutely sure," Sam said, "but it records something which Daniel says translates to 'chroniton particles'...it seems to be recording...uh...something to do with time?"

"Time? In what way?"

"I'm not sure...I think...the speed time flows, perhaps...maybe it can be used to detect the relativistic time dilation directly, or..."

Before Sam could speculate further, Teal'c came rushing into the chamber.

"The Stargate has just engaged, and a group of 20 people emerged, all dressed in the uniforms of the Ori. We should hide."

"Arhh, not again." O'Neill said, voicing what everyone was feeling, as he slowly got up. "How well can the door top the hidden lab be camouflaged again?" he asked.

"Well enough that a somewhat casual check should not give it away, however..." Sam got an apologetic expression.

"What?"

"It will have to be done from the outside...one of us will have to hide some place else."

"I will do it," Delek said, to every ones surprise. "These last months have taught me that I am the most expendable of all of us."

"No one is expendable - if you have learned anything, then you should have learned that." O'Neill said.

"In any case, it should be a Tok'ra, since the symbiote can kill both itself and the host quickly and painlessly, should the need arise - no one will be taken prisoner, turned, and used against his friends...and, being a Tok'ra council member, I outrank Malek, so I can order him to hide - and live."

There was no more time for discussions, and they took a quick farewell of Delek and his host, before they hurried to the Ancient lab. Delek closed the door and made sure it was well camouflaged, before he ran outside, determined to get as far away as possible, so as not to make the Ori-believers suspect that any others were hiding nearby.

The other stayed inside the hidden room until early evening before they decided to risk opening the door. Carefully peaking out, they didn't see or hear anything which might indicate their enemies were close by. Emboldened by the peace and quiet, they snuck out and then silently made their way out of the buildings, all the time hoping to meet Delek, safe and sound.

However, they met no one and heard and saw nothing living - it was eerily quiet as even the animals seemed to have disappeared. It didn't take them long to realise that something really bad had happened , and soon they started to find dead animals - without any signs of what might have killed them.

A feeling of dread had descended on O'Neill. Not having detected anything living aside from themselves, he decided to risk using his radio to hopefully contact Delek. He flipped it on.

"Hello. This is General O'Neill speaking. Come in, Delek."

No reply. He tried a few more times with the same result.

"It is obvious Delek is dead," Teal'c observed, "we should leave this place before the Ori returns and use their weapon on us, also."

"I am afraid I have to agree, sir," Sam said, "whatever it is they have used appears to have killed all animal lifeforms. There is no way Delek or his host could have survived."

Just then they noticed something - someone, lying in the darkness close to the path. They ran closer, and soon recognized Delek. Malek bent down to examine him, but Teal'c stopped him before he could touch the motionless body.

"Of course. You are correct." Malek said, "It could be something contagious." He pulled out the healing device and ran it over Delek. He looked up at the others, then shook his head. They were long dead. "I don't know what killed them, as well as all the animals, but it doesn't appear to be contagious anymore."

"Quiet." Teal'c whispered. "I just heard the Stargate engage." They hurriedly hid behind some bushes just beside the road. Moments later, a small group of Ori came marching, led by a Prior. They walked past the shrubbery hiding Malek and the SGC people, then noticed Delek's body. The Prior took one look at it, then ordered the warriors to search for more unbelievers. The Ori were about to walk away to continue their search elsewhere, when Daniel happened to step on a dry twig which snapped with a loud noise. All their enemies instantly turned their attention towards their hide-out.

"Run...to the Stargate." O'Neill said, as he started towards it. Malek, Sam, Teal'c, and last Daniel, followed.

The Stargate was not far away. Malek had reached the DHD first, and immediately started to dial an address. He had just established a wormhole, when the Ori broke out of the bushes lining the path. They had almost caught up with Daniel.

O'Neill ordered Sam and Teal'c through the Stargate, as he and Malek shot at the Ori, stopping them temporarily and buying Daniel time to catch up with his friends. The three of them then ran towards the open wormhole, the shots zipping past them on all sides. They had almost reached the opening, when O'Neill took a hit in the leg, which made him stumble and fall. Malek and Daniel both ran to help him, but just as they reached him, Malek was hit simultaneously by two shots, one in the back, and one in the head. Both he and his host, Johan, were dead before they hit the ground.

Daniel took one look at him, and realised there was nothing he could do for his friends anymore. He turned to his other friend, and quickly helped him to get up, then supported him through the wormhole.

Sam and Teal'c were waiting on the other side, ready to dial a new address as soon as everyone was through.

"Malek?" Sam asked.

"He's not coming...dead." Daniel said, quietly.

Sam nodded, and a few moments later, when the Stargate shut down, she started hitting the glyphs for a new address. They hurried through, repeating twice more, to hopefully get a brief respite before the Ori found them again. It didn't really seem to matter anymore. They were only four left - all their friends were dead now.

-
Xilto seemed deep in thought, then changed to the first page, looking down over it...

Section I: Isolated Universe
.
.
.
Section II: Universe with minor exterior interference
.
.
.
Section III: Universe with major exterior interference
.
.
.

Xilto sighed. *Too bad these lower mortals have to suffer, but soon, at least, that will be at an end...hmmm...how to best prepare for the next and final part?* Xilto pondered this fascinating problem.

-
The small group of three humans and one Jaffa sat around a fire, huddled together on a cold, wet, and unpleasant - but apparently uninhabited - planet. Neither of them felt like speaking - they felt utterly miserable. Sam was fingering the alien device they had found in the Ancient laboratory - slowly turning it around in her hands, examining the various indentations and small protrusions on its surface. Suddenly it started blinking, as well as making a faint humming sound.

"Whoa!" Sam said, almost letting go of the thing.

"Turn that thing off, Carter, why did you bring it? With our luck it is probably a homing device for the Ori, and you just gave our position away." O'Neill grumbled.

"I don't think so, sir...it seems to be measuring those 'chroniton particles' we talked about earlier." The device stopped flashing, but kept on humming. "I didn't do anything - it turned off all by itself." She looked at the small panel which still showed something written in Ancient.

"Here, let me see that." Daniel reached out for the gadget. He looked at the panel, then turned over the device in his hands, looking at something inscribed on the bottom. "It says something about a 'time fluctuation' or 'time alteration'?"

"Of course!" Sam said. "That actually makes sense - it must be what the chroniton particles are produced by - fluctuation or changes, to the flow of time."

"Meaning....what?" O'Neill looked as if he was certain he wasn't going to like her answer.

"Meaning - either the Ori have something that is altering time and space itself, or someone else is interfering."

"Like...who?"

Sam didn't get a chance to speculate on this, as the Stargate started dialing just then. They quickly got up and started putting out the fire they had been warming themselves on. It was almost dark, and hopefully, with the fire out, they would not be seen.

"Turn that damn thing off," O'Neill hissed. "It's blinking again."

"I can't! It doesn't turn off!" Sam whispered, hiding the relatively small device under her jacket, to conceal the lights.

They had run to the nearest part of a mountain, and were now hiding behind an outcropping of rock. The wormhole had let through a very large group of Ori warriors this time. They stood close to the Stargate, and were visible against the large, yellow moon of this planet. SG-1 could see the leader of the group, apparently scanning around him, then he and the group started to walk toward them.

"Oh, no!" Sam whispered through gritted teeth. "The Ori and the Ancients were originally one people, and have to a large degree the same technology. They can probably detect active Ancient technology." She turned around to hide the light from the still flashing machine, as she took it out from under her jacket, and quickly hid it under some leaves on the ground. "Hurry. Run!" She said. "Get as far away from the device as possible."

They had barely taken a few steps, when they heard yelling from behind, immediately followed by shouting. The first few shots zipped harmlessly past them, then first Sam, then Teal'c were hit and fell lifeless to the ground. O'Neill turned to look for Daniel, and saw him just as he fell, moments before he, himself was hit, and then everything went dark...

-
With a satisfied smile, Xilto pushed a few buttons, then looked up as Siwon came through the door, followed by Groteka and last Silan.

"You noticed?" Xilto asked, excitedly.

"Certainly, my young friend." Groteka gave him a friendly smile.

"With the last of the resistors gone, the Ori are victorious - thus the galaxy can be considered static from now on and into the foreseeable future...I have concluded the experiment."

"Wonderful. Are you ready for the next part? Have you determined how to handle the perturbations in an otherwise isolated universe?"

"Yes, yes, I have. I just finished isolating and setting up for exactly those perturbations." Xilto said, happily.

"It is the last experiment for your thesis, is it not?" Siwon asked.

"Yes. I will only reset to the point were I started making changes, though, not rerun from start."

"Of course. Your third and final reset." Siwon laughed suddenly. "I remember...one of my undergraduates lost track of the number of resets he had made - had to redo the whole batch."

They all shared a laugh.

-
Suddenly, there was again light - sort of. It was strange and diffuse, and there was no clear definition of anything. O'Neill 'looked' around, but didn't see anyone. He had the sensation of others being nearby, but could neither see nor hear them. Strange. He couldn't even feel his body...he decided to try and say something.

"Hello? Anybody here?" He 'heard' his voice, but it was more everywhere - or was it inside him? - than truly an external sound. Someone else was answering, in the same, eerily disembodied way.

"Yes. I'm here. Who are you?"

"O'Neill. You?"

"Jack! It's me, Daniel!"

"General? Daniel? I am Colonel Samantha Carter."

"Then it would seem the four of us are all here..."

"Teal'c?"

"Indeed."

"Yes," another voice said, "there are four of you here with me."

"Not to sound ungrateful...but why aren't we dead?"

"You are neither dead, nor are you truly alive, General. You are in a...transitional phase. It will all become clear to you momentarily...I am Xilto, by the way. You do not know me, but I have come to know you - very well. I have followed your increasingly feeble attempts against the Ori for quite some time...it has been...educational."

"Educational! Feeble attempts!" O'Neill exploded. "I will...."

"Silence!" Xilto's voice boomed. "You will know all that it is deemed necessary for someone of your limited intellectual abilities."

"O'Neill somehow got the impression that both Sam and Daniel were annoyed, though neither said anything. Not that he could blame them - he felt pretty annoyed himself.

"You should be honored," Xilto said, "your lives are part of an important experiment, the results of which may forever change how my people regard evolutionary mathematics of a span of multi-verses...of course, it will also form the core of my thesis." Xilto excitedly went on to explain how he had made change after change to their multi-verse, until it had turned out extremely different from the other, isolated multi-verse he had studied before. The members of SG-1 were growing increasingly angry - and confused, as they listened to Xilto and learned that the majority of all their grief and bad luck was due to external interference from some aliens who had an academic interest in their misery.

Sam interrupted him. "What gave you the right to do this to us?"

"Right?" You would not even have existed were it not for my thesis advisor creating your entire multi-verse, with its now trillions and trillions of universes in it - specifically for my project, I might add. You, and everyone have ever met would not have lived, were it not for us. We studied the effects of various changes as they branched out into the many resulting universes - you have, I believe, yourself experienced a tiny fraction of the infinitely many parallel universes that exists in any multi-verse...not all of them have been overrun by the Ori, of course."

Sam 'shook' her head, "then, why are we here? With you?"

There was a brief pause, while Xilto seemed to consider what to say. "You have all suffered much - and you have shown bravery and persistence. I have decided to...try to mitigate, in some small part, the things which you have endured. I am currently in the process of resetting your multi-verse to the initial condition, pre-interference. As it was at the time I started making changes to it. I will return your consciousnesses to the bodies which you had then, letting you keep all the knowledge you have now."

"Thanks, I guess...but will that not introduce some changes as well?" Sam said.

"Probably...you would conceivably not repeat events which led to unfortunate happenings - death, destruction, harm, either to yourself or your friends and allies. However, as you well know, it is not so simple. One factor is the changes which I made to your multi-verse in its former state. Those will not be done this time, and it will eventually affect your lives, even if you did everything else as you remember it. Another thing is the deplorably faulty memories of beings such as yourself. The final thing to consider is the fact that as soon as you have made one change, everything after that may already be different, in smaller or larger degree...well, I shall go and make the final steps, then I will return you. Good luck, I believe is what you say."

With that, Xilto left them.

"Carter, what do you make of all this?" O'Neill asked.

"I don't think he gave us the whole truth...I don't believe for a minute that he would return us to our younger bodies and let us keep all of our memories just to be 'kind'. If that is even a kindness...I suspect it will be part of his 'experiment' - studying which effect our knowledge will have on what happens."

"I agree," Daniel said, "but so what? We still get our lives...and probably some of our friends, back."

"Agreed, though who knows whom we will have met...never mind." Sam said slowly, in a tone that indicated she was thinking hard about something. "We should agree on a time and place to meet, when we return home. We should also be careful what we say to others, as they will know nothing of what has happened - and we may not immediately recognize when we are, and what has and has not, happened."

"We do not want to end up in a rubber cell - or worse, in a NID prison cell." Daniel said.

"Precisely."

"So, we don't say anything, talk to no one, and then we just agree to go and meet somewhere private as quickly as possible. How hard can it be?" O'Neill said.

"That may not work. We know neither where nor when we will arrive. We are as likely to end up in a Goa'uld holding cell, as we are to find ourselves home at the SGC. For all I know, we may not even have met each other yet - or perhaps we arrive only days before we encountered the Ori the first time. We just don't have any way of knowing."

"Oh, God. Great! I didn't think of that." O'Neill moaned.

"Colonel Carter..are you saying that I could still be Apophis's first prime?" Teal'c sounded genuinely disturbed.

"I'm sorry, Teal'c, but yes. There is just no way to tell."

"OK. What do you suggest, then?" O'Neill said, suddenly feeling extremely tired.

"The following; if we are at the SGC, then we meet, as quickly as possible after arriving there, say, in my lab. If we are not yet at the SGC, then let us meet...in exactly one week, in DC, just outside the main entrance of the National Zoo. Let's see...if we are off world, separated, well, then we will just have to return as quickly as is feasibly and meet us back at the SGC. How does that sound for a plan?"

"Brilliant! Let's do that." Just as O'Neill had said that, they again felt all sensation disappear, and then slowly come back.

-
Final part of experiment started. 'Universe with limited, internal precognition'. Xilto looked up from the notes, when Siwon entered.

"You have started the last part of the experiment?"

"Yes, I have. The perturbation has been added, as I explained."

"Good. I look forward to observing this. I must admit, that I was momentarily worried when you suggested the premature reset."

"Yes, I realise now I was in error. It is ingenious this way, and it would not have been possible otherwise."

Siwon nodded indulgently. "You have a great career ahead of you, if you continue as promising as you have until now."

Xilto looked happy, then suddenly thought of something. "Siwon...I was thinking...when I have gathered enough data from this experiment, can the multi-verse be preserved? I know that is sometimes done..."

"Of course. It will be placed in storage with the others, and allowed to run indefinitely, without any outer influences. That is customary in a situation such as this,"

"Thank you."

-
Sam found herself just outside the door of the SGC infirmary, when she first had sensation again. *The SGC infirmary!* she thought. *YES!*

*...and why is this suddenly a cause for celebration?* a voice asked.

*Jolinar?* Sam asked, incredulously. *Hello, Jolinar!* Sam was extremely surprised at first, but soon realised that she was very happy to host the Tok'ra once again.

*Yes. My name is Jolinar. I did not think you were listening when I greeted you...all you did was fight me and call me nasty names.*

*I'm sorry, really, I am. Fear not. I give myself freely to the Tok'ra...I will not fight you, and I...I would like to stay your host.*

*How...how is this possible?* Jolinar gasped out in surprise. *Only moments ago you said you hated me, and wished only that I leave...and now, now you...* Jolinar was thoroughly confused.

*This is not our first time together. Please go over my memories. As I said, I will not fight you, nor will I attempt to deceive you - if that is possible...be warned, however, as I have knowledge of things to come, and some of that is certain to disturb you greatly.*

Jolinar walked into an empty room, sat down, and quickly went over much of Sam's memories. She didn't know what to say afterwards.

*Jolinar, I promise you...this time I shall fight to keep you safe. The ashrak will not get you - and together we will work to avert as much as possible of that grief and those deaths you saw. The universe will likely turn out completely different in many things, anyway.* Sam gave Jolinar a tentative hug.

*I believe you.* She hugged Sam back. *We will get through this together - and I will fight to prevent the slaughter of my people; all those unnecessary deaths. The first we will do after letting your and my people meet, and hopefully start a strong alliance, is to find a willing host for Egeria and then go to save her before it is too late. Such an outrage must not be permitted.*

*I understand - and agree, but for now we have a more immediate problem, namely to convince Hammond and various others that we indeed have knowledge of the future. The first we should do is go and meet the O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c. We are late, so they are likely waiting for us.*

*Yes, true. In your lab. Lead the way.* Jolinar gave control back to Sam.

-
Shortly after, Sam/Jolinar walked into the lab. O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c were there, waiting.

"Finally! We have been waiting forever, Carter. What took you so long?" O'Neill said, impatiently.

"I had something that absolutely needed to be taken care of - something which could not be postponed."

"Sam, do you have any idea when this is?" Daniel said. "All we have been able to determine is that it is sometime before Teal'c lost Junior."

Sam nodded. "I know exactly when we ended up."

"Well, out with it, then!" O'Neill grumbled.

"One other thing...how do we convince Hammond and everyone else that we have knowledge of the future and aren't just mad?" Daniel asked.

"I am not absolutely sure of that yet - perhaps some hockey-results for a start. Sir?" She looked at O'Neill.

"Yeah. Maybe...Carter? When is this?" He looked at Sam. "There is something wrong, something you are not telling us...I'm not going to like it, am I?"

"Ah, well...no, there is nothing wrong..." Sam didn't know what to say. At Jolinar's prompting she decided to just say it straight out. "We have just returned from a mission where we evacuated the survivors from a Goa'uld attack."

"Go us! On what planet?"

"Nasya!"

"Nasya? Wait! Wasn't that where you became host to..."

"Jolinar. Yes, sir, it was..and now it is, again."

"You're not saying, that...that you...that she..."

"Yes, sir. I believe our first task after convincing Hammond is to capture the ashrak. Jolinar will not be killed this time." Sam's head dipped, and when she looked up, her eyes glowed briefly. "Greetings. My name is Jolinar, but you have apparently met me before...under somewhat less favorable circumstances. For that, I apologize."

Sam again assumed control. "You should know that I am no longer angry with Jolinar, haven't been for many years, actually. I have forgiven her, and so should you...and one more thing - I will most likely remain her host."

Her friends reactions were not as bad as she had feared - and half expected, but it still took a little while for their surprised and outraged outbursts to quiet down. Eventually they all sat down together and planned how and what to tell General Hammond - and how they should capture the ashrak.

-
It had taken a lot of arguing to convince Hammond, but fortunately he was already familiar with the concept of precognition, even if the situation was different. He agreed to test their story and see if their predictions came to pass - and he had also agreed to their plan for capturing the ashrak. They had decided not to tell him about Jolinar yet, as the 'time travel' story seemed quite enough for the moment. No need to test their luck and hope he would also believe that Jolinar is a good Goa'uld.

The next day they all went to the hospital were the Nasyan refugees - and the ashrak, where. This time they had the advantage of knowing which Nasyan the ashrak had been hiding out in, so it should not be difficult to capture him. It was decided that Sam should not visit Cassandra, or at the very least find an excuse not to come too close to her, as Cassandra would be able to sense Jolinar, at least when hugging her.

"We know that the ashrak was staying in a severely injured Nasyan man, whom he after some time managed to heal, so that he could get up and continue searching for Jolinar. He first pretended to be a doctor, then a member of the military staff. We believe he wasn't healed enough to leave his bed until after Jolinar and I had visited Cassandra. This means, that if we go to him now, we should be able to capture him while he is still relatively incapacitated."

They walked to room 412 - the room Sam, with Jolinar's help, had been able to remember was where the ashrak had been staying, while he was being treated.

"Get ready," Jolinar said in a low voice, "when I get within 50 feet of him, we will be able to sense each other. If he is awake, he may try to flee or even attack us. I am going to hope that healing the Nasyan man's serious burns will have exhausted the ashrak. Hopefully he will be sound asleep."

They continued to the room, and entered it without incident. The ashrak did not react to their approach. Jolinar quickly took out her zat'nik'tel, and shot him, thrice, making him disappear.

"Hey! I thought we were going to bring him in for questioning! Hammond is not going to like that!" O'Neill didn't look happy.

Jolinar looked at him. "We would have learned nothing. An ashrak would never say anything. They are not like normal Goa'uld - he would rather die than surrender...and he would never have stopped hunting us. He would have continued until either we, or he, were dead."

O'Neill seemed to consider saying something, then thought better of it, accepting what Jolinar said. It was probably for the better that the ashrak was dead anyway. The two he had encountered had been ruthless, and totally concentrated on their mission. "I guess we could tell Hammond that he tried to kill Carter, and that she shot him in self-defence. Unfortunately, Teal'c and I also shot at the same time, and he was hit three times."

"Good plan, O'Neill...we should leave before we are discovered." Teal'c said.

"Yes...we should. OK, come on, guys. Our job here is done." O'Neill turned to leave, and the others soon followed.

They made their way out of the room, and then the hospital, without anyone noticing or stopping them. When they were safely back at the base, they reported the result of their mission to General Hammond. He wasn't happy, but eventually agreed that it was most likely for the best. Because of the information given to him by SG-1, he had just won a bet with Harriman, over a hockey-match, and he was in a friendly mood. This also meant he was starting to seriously consider that what his people had told him about their knowledge of the future, was true. 

As agreed upon, SG-1 would continue with their mission to find a new home world for the Nasyans. After that, they would get a months leave, while Hammond waited to see if the next three 'predictions' they had made for the future, would come true. If that were the case, he had decided to believe their story. SG-1 would wait until then before they told him about Jolinar and the Tok'ra.

-
One month later.

Everything had happened as they had said it would - apparently, whatever changes there was to this universe, compared to the one they remembered being in before, had not yet affected Earth. They knew, however, that some changes had already happened; Jolinar was still alive and well, blended with Sam. They had not visited the world where Linea, destroyed of Worlds were imprisoned. That would have some consequences, but probably not of galactic importance. Nor had they visited the World where they had been forced to relive parts of their past - not exactly something they regretted not experiencing again, and also not something which would have any importance in the grand scheme of things.

When they arrived back at the SGC, after their holiday, they had gone directly to Cimmeria, as a 'Sagan Box' had just been sent through the Stargate. After having solved that mission more or less as they did originally, and having met Thor - as they should, they decided it was time to tell Hammond about Jolinar and the Tok'ra.

"So, you mean to tell me, that this...this Tok'ra - which is not the same as a Goa'uld - has been using Captain Carter as a host for more than a month?" Hammond sounded like he didn't know what to believe.

"Yes, sir." O'Neill said.

"...and you knew, all of you, the whole time?"

"Yes, sir."

"...but you just didn't feel this was important enough to tell me?"

"On the contrary, sir. We wanted to tell you, but we didn't feel we should confuse you with that together with all that other stuff...about us having knowledge of the future and all..." O'Neill said.

"I see...you didn't want to tell me because you thought it would all be too much for me too believe..."

"Ehh..."

"It's all right...it probably would have. Hell - I might have taken that as proof that you were all aliens or at least under control of aliens, and have you thrown into a cell..."

"...but not given us to the NID?"

"No, not at first anyway."

"Sir," Sam said. "Please believe me when I say that Jolinar really isn't a Goa'uld. She is Tok'ra, and they can be great allies. You do believe we have experienced future events - potential future events at any rate?"

"Yes..."

"Then please also believe me when I say that we have already met Jolinar before - that we know that her people are good guys, and that they will become our allies..."

Hammond thought for a while. "I think I do believe you, but you do realise that I can't really know for sure if it Major Carter or Jolinar I am talking to. The Goa'uld...sorry, symbiotes, have the ability to pretend to be the host. We have heard them speak with a human voice before." He held up a hand to stop Sam from saying anything. "Relax, Major Carter. I know that the others are not under Goa'uld influence, and they believe you. This means that I also believe you...you are free to ship out tomorrow, to go and meet the Tok'ra."

-
Next day.

O'Neill, Daniel, Teal'c, and Sam/Jolinar had changed to their BDU's and were ready to leave for the current Tok'ra base. They were all a bit apprehensive. Partly because they knew something of what would happen, and partly because not everything would happen like they remembered. This quasi-knowledge of the future - or more correctly of a future constantly divergent from theirs - was both a blessing and a curse. What would happen this time? Would the Tok'ra end up becoming their allies? Would it be easier, since Jolinar was with them?

The Stargate engaged, and they watched the wormhole open. They looked briefly at each other, suddenly certain that everything would turn out all right. The Tok'ra would become their friends and allies - and this time the alliance would endure and stay strong. Confident, they walked up the ramp and through the wormhole - towards their future.

THE END.