Rascals II - Chapter 23

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Several days later, the crisis at Stargate Command had been resolved, and Anubis had been stranded on a cold, desolate planet - for the time being, at least. O'Neill, Teal'c, and the children could safely return to the base.

O'Neill spent the next several months trying to get used to being the commander of Stargate Command, instead of the one causing problems for the commander. Meanwhile, the children went back to school, still on the base. They remained living on the base for now, even though there were often talk about letting them move away from the base and live part-time with O'Neill and part-time with Janet/Rhiva.

Teal'c had finally been allowed to move off-base, and had gotten an apartment. The children insisted this was cause for a big celebration, and they wanted to make a cake and buy gifts for him. With a little help from Cassandra, they did a good job of both, and baked a cake that was not only edible, but actually tasted very good.

The party did not change the fact that they missed Teal'c, now when he was not living on the base, and they could no longer go and talk to him as often as before. Of course, he did still spend much time on the base, and he also promised the children they could soon come and visit him - and maybe have a Star Wars movie marathon!

Teal'c had barely lived off base for more than a month, before he - while being completely innocent - became the main suspect in a murder investigation. After being cleared, he decided to move back to the base for the time being, deciding that the world of the Tau'ri was still too strange a place for him. 

Shortly after Teal'c had moved back to the base, he went to visit Ishta, as he often did. She was the leader of a group of Free Jaffa, the Hak'tyl, and she had also become Teal'c's beloved. However, she - like many of the Free Jaffa - did not share Teal'c's wish for a slow rebellion against the System Lords, and she and her group wanted to kill the Goa'uld Moloc.

What was perhaps more personally stressing to Teal'c was that his son Rya'c had fallen in love, and wanted to marry a young woman from the Hak'tyl. Teal'c was extremely unhappy that Rya'c had not talked to him before deciding to marry - and so did not follow Jaffa tradition. More so, Teal'c was worried that the marriage would take Rya'c's attention away from the battle against the Goa'uld.

Then Ishta showed up at Stargate Command, in need of a place for her group to hide, as she feared they had been compromised. Out of options, O'Neill offered they could come to Stargate Command and stay there until a more suitably place could be found for them.
"So we will be getting lots and lots of guests?" Anise asked, intrigued.

"Yes. Ishta and her people will come her and stay for several days, at least." O'Neill told them, looking somewhat stressed out at the thought of the pending 'invasion'.

"Ishta is Teal'c's girlfriend," Daniel explained, helpfully.

"We know! Do'h!" Martouf rolled his eyes.

"Will there be children coming too?" Sam wanted to know.

O'Neill nodded. "Yes, several." He frowned. "Listen, guys, I don't know how much they know about the Tok'ra. Ishta knows, of course, and so do her commanders, but I'd guess most of the rest of her people don't. To them, the Tok'ra are at best a myth, and at worst considered Goa'uld."

"We are good at hiding!" Martouf said, proudly.

"Shouldn't all Free Jaffa know about the Tok'ra, though? They're still allied, more or less, aren't they?" Daniel pointed out.

"Yeah, well. Should..." O'Neill rolled his eyes. "Don't expect them to - and even if they do, they'll probably be more likely to think someone is a Goa'uld than a Tok'ra - and these people have had really bad experiences with the Goa'uld."

"I don't think anyone has had good expe-riences with the Goa'uld..." Martouf snorted. He bowed his head, giving Lantash control.

"So we're to remain hidden while these Jaffa are here?"

"Yes, that would probably be a good idea," O'Neill said. "Actually, it'd probably be best if all of you...um...keep a little to yourself and not interfere in anything while these people are here. God knows the situation is gonna be volatile enough as it is!" He sighed.

"Eating alone today, kids?" The lady at the counter in the mess hall asked, smiling at them.

"Yup. Jack, Teal'c, and Janet are all too busy to join us." Daniel explained.

"I'm sure they wish they had the time. So, do you guys want any pie for dessert? We've got some nice pecan pie," She said.

"Pecan pie sounds good," Martouf said. "Yes, please."

"Oh, me, too...please!"  Freya said.

"And me." Both Sam and Daniel added.

"Here you go, sweeties!" She put four plates with pie on their trays. "Can you handle those yourself, or do you need help carrying them?"

"We can handle it, thanks," Sam said, smiling at the nice lady.

They slowly, carefully, carried their trays with food and glasses of milk, to the table they usually sat at.

They had almost finished their food when a small group of girls came into the mess hall. The children were perhaps 8 or 9, and they wore clothing that made it obvious they were probably not from Earth, and most likely belonged to Ishta's Jaffa. Appearing somewhat uncertain, they walked up to the counter, and to the lady at the cashier.

The oldest of the three girls held out a piece of paper to the lady at the cashier. "We need some flour, oil and salt, please. This is a signed permission from General O'Neill."

The lady took it. "50 pounds of flour, 1 gallon oil, and one small bag of salt..." She nodded. "Quite a lot, but I guess there's quite many of you." She smiled at the girls. "Don't worry, it's not a problem. I'll get someone to find it for you...but you can't carry all that yourself!"

"We have a small cart, but we did not know if we were allowed to bring it in here." One of the girls said.

"Well...if it's clean, then no problems."

"Clean?" The girls frowned.

"You know, no...ah...dirt on the wheels or such. It's not a good idea to get that into a place where people eat. They could get sick, you know."

"How can you avoid dirt on the wheels? We pull the cart on dirt and grass at home!"

"I'll get someone to carry your stuff to it, then. No worries." She smiled reassuringly at them.

The girls nodded, then stepped a little out of the way, staying in the corner while they waited. Meanwhile, they looked around in the mess hall, and quickly spotted Sam and the other children.

"Hi..." The youngest of the Jaffa girls said, waving a little uncertainly at Sam and the others.

"Hello," Martouf answered, getting up. He made the traditional Tok'ra greeting - a little half-bow with his hands held together against his chest. "I am Martouf."

"And I'm Daniel," Daniel said.

"Sam." She pointed at herself.

"My name is Freya." Freya greeted them like Martouf just had.

The Jaffa girls giggled a little, and threw shy looks at Martouf and Daniel. It was obvious they were not used to boys - in fact, they had probably met very few, if any, during their childhood.

"Tek'ma'tek. I am Rhil'ka." The girl smiled. "These are my friends Simka and Ih'ren - Ih'ren is very shy."

Ih'ren blushed and sent Rhil'ka a look that clearly said she did not appreciate being singled out like that.

"Tek'ma'tek, Rhil'ka, Simka, and Ih'ren," Martouf and Freya both said - Sam and Daniel repeated it moments after.

"You are not Jaffa...are you?" Rhil'ka said.

"No, we're not." Daniel looked at the girls for a moment. "You are Jaffa, with Ishta's group?"

"We are Hak'tyl, yes," Simka said, clarifying.

"You have no...uh...marking on you forehead..." He touched his own forehead.

"No," Rhil'ka agreed. "Because we are free. We belong to no god!"

"That is good," Martouf said.

"Sam...and Freya...how is it to grow up together with boys?" Ih'ren suddenly dared ask, then looked away, giggling.

Freya and Sam looked at each other, not sure what to answer.

"Frustrating - sometimes," Freya finally said, thinking of how Daniel had pulled her hair and teased her earlier that day, when she had asked a stupid question.

"But usually we like it." Sam added, quickly.

"You are from this planet? The Tau'ri?" Simka asked. "And are you siblings?"

"Some of us are from this planet," Sam answered, cautiously. "And none of us are re-lated, well..." She suddenly remembered that Anise and Lantash were actually siblings, but she decided against saying anything.

"I was born on Setona." Martouf told them. "But a Goa'uld, Nephthys, came and conquered our world. It had been free for centuries. Nephthys is evil."

"All Goa'uld are evil." Rhil'ka observed.

Martouf nodded. "True, they are." 

"It is good that we are free of them...did you know that Jaffa no longer need to carry at prim'ta?" Rhil'ka said, excitedly.

"Yes. You can use tretonin instead," Freya replied.

"Tretonin was made by Jaffa scientists so we could be free of the evil, false gods!" Simka said, proudly.

"That's not completely correct." Martouf frowned.

"It was actually o-riginally a drug created by the Pan-garans." Daniel said.

"They did medi-cal expe-riments on queen Egeria, and killed millions of her children to make the drug." Sam added, looking grim.

"The Tok'ra refined it, and the Pan-garans were saved. Tok'ra scientists then studied the drug and figured out how to change it so it could be used to free the Jaffa from their de-pendency of symbiotes." Freya explained, looking very sad at being reminded of Egeria's death.

Simka scoffed. "Do not believe all you hear - Jaffa made the tretonin. Saying anything else is just spreading evil rumours."

"Egeria died because of these medi-cal expe-riments!" Martouf exclaimed. "And still the Tok'ra helped them - and changed the tretonin so the Jaffa could be free!"

"Tok'ra!" Rhil'ka snorted. "They are probably not real, and if they are, then they are no better than the Goa'uld. Who tell you these lies? All symbiotes are evil. If they really made the tretonin - which they did not - it would only be to make the Jaffa dependent on them instead!"

Martouf's eyes flashed a strong golden-white as he let Lantash take control. "The Tok'ra are very real! How dare you speak such slander about my mother and my people! We no longer have a queen, and so may no longer have a future! That did not stop us from helping you - and this is the thanks we get?"

Rhil'ka and the other Jaffa children gasped.

"You are Goa'uld!" Ih'ren exclaimed.

Lantash took a step closer to the shocked Jaffa girls. "We are not Goa'uld!"

"It's true. They're not," Sam said.

"They're Tok'ra," Daniel added helpfully.

Suddenly, they heard a deep voice from behind them. "Did not O'Neill tell you to remain hidden when any of the Hak'tyl are present, Lantash?"

They all turned to see Teal'c standing over them.

"Teal'c!" Lantash said, still looking angry. "They are insulting me, my mother, and my whole people!" He pointed at the three Jaffa. He took a deep breath, calming himself somewhat. "Yes, he did. I...apologize."

Teal'c nodded. "What seems to be the problem?"

"They are Goa'uld!" Simka pointed at Lantash and the others.

"No," Teal'c said. "Lantash and Anise are Tok'ra. Daniel Jackson and Major Carter are humans, as are Martouf and Freya."

"My sister says Tok'ra and Goa'uld are the same." Rhil'ka's voice had a somewhat uncertain tone. "They also claim tretonin was not invented by Jaffa."

"Tretonin was, in fact, created by Tok'ra scientists. Their queen - Lantash and Anise's mother - was lost due to this drug." Teal'c pointed out. "Also, accusing someone of being a Goa'uld is a grave insult, particularly to a Tok'ra. You will apologize immediately."

Rhil'ka, Simka, and Ih'ren glared unhappily at Lantash and the others for a few moments - and they glared right back.

Finally, Rhil'ka nodded slowly. "I understand..." She took a deep breath. "I...apologize, Lantash...and Anise..."

"I apologize as well," Simka said, actually looking as if she meant it. "We did not mean to slander your mother or your people."

"Sorry." Ih'ren smiled hopefully - though still somewhat nervously - at Lantash.

"I forgive you," Lantash said, glancing towards Teal'c and still not looking completely happy.

"So do I." Anise added, having taken over control from Freya.

"Then you will not punish us for what we said? Please?" Simka said.

"Punish you?" Lantash sighed. "How would I do that?

"Even if you are not a Goa'uld, you have the same powers, do you not?" Rhil'ka asked.

"Yes...none!" Lantash exclaimed. "I though you did not believe Goa'uld are gods?"

"We do not..." Simka said, looking embarrassed. "It is just that you two are the first ones we have met."

"If you have resolved your misunderstandings, then perhaps we should transport these food items to those who need them." Teal'c observed. "Perhaps you can all assist each other in this task?"

Sam, Martouf/Lantash, Daniel, and Freya/Anise began helping Rhil'ka, Simka, and Ih'ren move the food stuffs to the small cart parked in the corridor outside the mess hall, and soon all the children were getting along well.

Teal'c mused that it may actually have been fortunate that this small incident had happened, since it seemed to have been resolved to everyones satisfaction.

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