|Not the Villain You Know
Author: Kodiak Bear Country PM
Written for the sga flashfic villains challenge. John creates memories with his team because soon everything will change. Beginning of the Tok'ra series.Rated: Fiction T - English - John S. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,874 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 8 - Published: 07-27-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3684517
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
There's Always Two Sides
The POV's not seen in Not the Villain You Know
Aenath: Tok'ra, older than sin, lonelier than the cosmos
I'm sorry. I did not want to take you with me.
My host is dying.
There is not one without the other anymore. Part of me wishes it were otherwise but I think, maybe, a larger part of me is tired and ready. We, Simtu and I, we have been together for a long time. The longest I think I have ever been with a host since my first, and that is a very long time indeed.
//I do not mind; I regret I am unable to heal you this final time//
We share our sadness; our regrets.
I try to comfort Simtu. He is old and tired and the injury gained on the Ori-controlled world was too great for his body and my will to overcome. I helped stabilize his organs long enough for us to return through the ring to our people. I was not so naïve enough to believe that a willing host had joined our ranks in our absence.
The Goa'uld had birthed a galaxy of fear against all of our kind, regardless that we Tok'ra were not of the same evil spirit. Regardless of how we fought against their tyranny and destruction. It was not so simple of a thing to offer long life and health in exchange for the sharing of a life. Humans feared their body being taken, their will, subverted, and for all that I knew, I did not blame them.
Simtu tosses on the bed in the hut. We have gone above ground now. The Ori will find us whether we skulk in crystal caverns or structures built on the planet's surface.
Anise, one of the few of our kind left, cares for Simtu's body and gives him drinks that help strengthen me so that I may strengthen him. Her host, Freya, is in good health and recently promoted to the High Council. After the attack on Revanna, we were scattered, leaderless. It took many months before we organized and banded together again.
//We have been through much, Simtu. I shall miss our life together//
But you will not miss your life? You do not regret a premature death?
//If it is my fate, I do not fight against what is//
I was born with the knowledge of my kind, blessed with the genetic memory that made our race capable of such galactic devastation. I knew before I took my first host, what it would be like. The joy, the pain, the loss. I, who was condemned to live forever (or so it feels), would lose many hosts.
For the Goa'uld, they would as soon discard one body to gain another, better and more beautiful, but for us of the Tok'ra, it is not the same.
We bond. We love. We cry, though the only tears to be seen are those on the hosts' cheeks.
I sleep. Simtu sleeps.
I work to keep his body alive even while I try to rest. His lungs fill with fluid, his kidney's have failed, and I cannot keep up with the toxins building in his tissues and blood. It has been days since we returned, but the end is very near. Organ death is a painful death, but I can at least take his pain.
"Aenath," Anise calls.
I am very tired; keeping Simtu alive has drained me.
"There is a host. A human in the Stargate program," she rushes to explain. "He was exposed to a fatal toxin during a mission. We have examined the information from their doctors and we believe it is likely you can cure him."
Simtu's body does not respond so I open his eyes for him. I gaze at Anise and see hope there. She is an arrogant being, but worn by the losses we have suffered. Her work had been her life, until so many died and survival became more important.
She does not wish to see me die.
There are so few of us left.
"Let me see the information on this boy."
If he is a human, then he is a child. And when I see his picture, I am stunned by his youth.
There is fragility there, in juxtaposition with the strength of his jaw; unruly dark hair and lovely hazel eyes that say so much while trying to say nothing.
I want to say no, I want to tell Anise I will die with Simtu and end this constant cycle of life and death, but his eyes… they do not let me.
"Very well," I whisper. "You may tell them I agree."
Anise does not speak against my words. I know these Tau'ri and their arrogance; they feel it is they that consent to blend with us; they do not realize what it means. What it costs. That it is us that consent to blend with them.
The Goa'uld use Sarcophagi to extend the natural life of their host and to live longer, as if our natural span were not enough. But us of the Tok'ra, we do not use the device. Our hosts age and die, and each time we blend with another, if there is one, we lose more of our life, our energy, and our soul.
We are androgynous. We have no gender, but there are some of us that cling to whichever gender we grow more comfortable with. After my first three hosts, I assumed the female gender. I had yearned for another female host. And here I am presented with another male, one who from the looks of him, does not even know himself yet. He has lived such an infinitesimal fraction of my life, and it is he who thinks consent.
"We will tell them," she says.
When she has gone, I lift the picture and the hastily scribbled note on just who this potential host is.
John Sheppard, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF. Location, Pegasus Galaxy.
Ah, he's with the group that traveled to Atlantis.
We have not been on good terms with the Tau'ri for a while now. The loss of Selmak did little to help. Jacob Carter was a good man and I respected him. We were often on missions, Simtu and I, and could do little to support their cause, but we heard. Perhaps this will open the door again, help our people heal the wounds caused by stubbornness and misadventures.
Kanan, he was an old fool. He took advantage of O'Neill and did more harm in that one moment than all the years of good Selmak did.
For every good deed I do, ten missteps will be remembered.
He wakes and I feel certain it is our final time together. I have pushed myself as far as I can and still leave enough energy to survive another blending and fuel the work I will need to do to heal this other boy.
//A host has been found//
A rush of relief encompasses me; sorrow; pain.
Let me see this man.
//He is a child, even compared to you//
Simtu was close in age to this Tau'ri when we were blended, but it was many years ago, and time seems to stretch longer before and behind me.
He is young.
But you will not die.
I hold Simtu close to me; inside me. We are one and two and it is what our kind was meant to be; we are symbiotes and it is only through misfortune and chance that the evil or our kind grew dominant.
I will miss you.
//And I you//
His pain is so very great.
I fight to take as much of it as I can, but my loyalties are already split. I know the boy I will soon join will need as much of my strength as Simtu. John Sheppard will be in pain, sick, and afraid.
Aenath, let me go. It is time. Our people will keep you safe, let you recover. There is no reason to risk more staying with me. I would not go to my death knowing I weakened you further.
My pain is so very great. I have loved Simtu for over two hundred years and now it is time to say goodbye.
I do not accept the privilege to go peacefully with him and I blame the boy's eyes. If I had not seen them, I am not so sure I would have agreed to the blending. The need to be done with this life is strong.
They do not understand the depth of what we feel. Not only do we carry the pain we accumulate during our life, but all the pain of those before us.
//I do not wish for you to go. I am a greedy and selfish being. It has not been long enough//
I am crying, though I have no tears to shed.
There are no barriers between us.
He is crying.
You have given me more than I had a right to ask for. I have the benefit of knowing you will always remember me. I have lived over twice as long as many of my kind; we have seen many of our friends fall; there are no regrets.
//There is one//
I feel Simtu's heart slowing. I am aware of Anise and the others arriving. I will leave Simtu soon and be placed in a chamber to keep me alive until I blend with Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard.
//That I could not be with you longer//
I feel his love; sadness; pain; regret; goodbye.
It is the end.
Go! Before it is too late.
His heart stutters and I begin to pull away, to release tendrils that have been joined with his mind for centuries. It hurts. I follow the instinctual path and slide through his throat, into his mouth. Then there are hands on me and despite my wish to die with Simtu, I feel a jolt of panic.
What if this John hates my kind? What if he never accepts me?
What if he asks me to leave and then I will die alone, without the comfort of my host holding me close?
I am scared, again.
And I'm lonely.
Coming soon: Tok'ra adventure series 1: 'Cause I'm back, in black