This is my first Prompt write. Thanks to Anthropos Agnostos for letting me know about a website that had just started a round of prompts. Written for Tok'ra Kree on Dreamwidth, I chose the following prompt to write.

Prompt: 184. SG-1/SGA, John Sheppard, Sheppard's team finds some stasis jars in a cave on a planet in the Pegasus Galaxy. They take them back to base. The text on them is in Goa'uld, and say they are children of Egeria - Tok'ra. Somehow they must have visited Atlantis and went to a planet there and got stranded. Or maybe Egeria hid them there? Sheppard must become a host to one of them.

This is what I wrote in response to it. It's been a painstaking task and with this prompt, I think I might have just kicked my Block out the window. Total word count without my ANs around the place is: 5,521 words. I might have gone over what a prompt asks for... but why not... I had fun! This is set after 2x13 Crtitical Mass (Feel free to correct me on the episode number) with the Goa'uld. I haven't really made any comment on when exactly this takes place, but cannonly speaking, it's before Sam takes over control of the City, so you have anywhere from 2x13 to 4x03. Read and enjoy.

Holding a burning torch in one hand, the other resting on his P-90, Colonel John Sheppard followed Ronon Dex into the dark cave. The light from the flaming torch was enough light for John and he could hear Teyla behind him holding her own while Rodney muttered about one thing or another.

Moving carefully after the Satedan, the pilot watched as the man nodded and crouched down at a bend in the cave. "Here they are," he said.

John moved around the Satedan to stand on his left and felt his eyebrows rise at the sight of the weapons lying on the floor in a surprisingly organised manner. While he didn't know what some of the weapons were, he could see they were split into groups: swords; daggers; hand guns; shot guns, and something that John could only think of as a sniper rifle. Variations of hand grenades were laid out similarly at Ronon's feet, all of them grouped by obviously visible differences of size and shape.

"Stopped on this planet every few months as a Runner," the Satedan said. "Dropped weapons off and took others." He shrugged a shoulder. "No need to keep all of them here."

John nodded mutely, looking around the cave for a moment before his eyes fell onto an odd shaped shadow on one of the walls. Moving closer to it, he saw an image carved there that looked more like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs than Ancient.

"Rodney," he called before wincing as a headache began to form behind his eyes. "Can you recognise this?"

The Canadian moved to stand beside him and the pilot listened as he heard a mild hum. "Goa'uld," he answered. "Looks like... wait a minute..."

John frowned at that, his gaze moving to the scientist and seeing that his eyes were focused on a small cut in the stone wall.

"What is it?" he asked.

Rodney waved a hand at him for a moment before he nodded, moving his right hand to press against the cut in the wall. "Looks like a Goa'uld made it to Pegasus," he said, even as John watched in awe when a split appeared in the wall before opening up to reveal a room. "Cheeky they were making this."

John nodded at that, watching as the scientist stepped inside the new room, calmly taking the flaming torch from him. The pilot turned around then, seeing Ronon and Teyla, though the man looked at the Satedan; he shrugged a shoulder, his eyes showing the surprise that John knew he was feeling.

"Never looked around this place," the Runner said. "It was a good place to hide weapons… never delved deeper."

John nodded and patted the Satedan's shoulder. "Doesn't matter," he told him. "I think you gave McKay a nice puzzle to solve."

"Sheppard!" the scientist called.

Turning, John moved into the room and over to the man who was now standing in front of a set of plinths where stone jars stood in front of a stone tablet, more of the Goa'uld scratched into the surface.

"What's up?" he asked.

The Canadian pointed to a section on the stone tablet, the care taken in writing the hieroglyphs evident to John. "It was written with some care, but it says 'children of Egeria'," Rodney told him, confirming John's own thoughts. "From what I can understand, in these jars are symbiotes waiting for help. Egeria doesn't ring any bells with me."

The name Egeria was certainly ringing a bell in John's mind, but he couldn't put his finger on where he'd heard it before as the headache began to pound. Rodney sighed, shaking his head.

"You'll need someone else to read anything more in Goa'uld," the scientist said before John could protest. "I know only so much."

John sighed and nodded, even as he now looked down and took in the sight of seven skeletons – the flesh long ago decomposed or eaten. "Seven bodies and jars," he muttered, making a quick count in his tired mind. "We'll take the jars back with us... if they're Goa'uld, we'll send them to the Tok'ra to be dealt with."

Rodney nodded at that, picking up one jar and moving to leave to room. John nodded as well, moving to pick up two of the jars before he headed towards the doorway where Teyla and Ronon stood, waiting.

As Teyla took one of the jars, John looked at the Satedan. "Head back to the Jumper and get a couple of the padded crates. We're taking the jars back to Atlantis," he told him.

The Runner nodded and turned, loping out of view as Teyla gently set the one jar down before taking the other one in John's hands. "Is there anything that I can do?" she asked.

John nodded and jerked a thumb over his shoulder at the remaining jars. "Let's move them over to Ronon's weapons," he told his friend. "It'll keep them safe and Rodney can get some images to take with us."

Teyla smiled at him, and moved around him and over to the jars. By the time Ronon had returned with two of the four crates kept in the Jumper, Teyla was setting down the last of the jars as John did a last survey of the room, making sure they hadn't left anything behind before he nodded to himself.

"Let's get this shown on the road," the pilot said, moving to the jars.

Sat in a private room in the Infirmary, John watched as Carson stood nearby, fussing about with a medical folder. For the first time since he'd known the man, John had the distinct impression that Carson was extremely nervous – far more than the time he'd had to operate on Ronon on P3M-736 or even when he'd been infected with the Iratus retrovirus.

Shifting on the medical bed, John sighed. "What's wrong, Carson?" he asked the Scottsman.

The man flinched at that and John now wondered what was unnerving the man so badly. "Laddie," he began, sighing second later, "ye remember comin' t' me with some concerns abou' constant fatigue an' achin' bones?"

John nodded in answer. He could remember popping into the infirmary for an unscheduled appointment after he'd woken up one day, feeling exhausted despite more than nine hours of sleep and bones that ached for no reason – the last sparring session that Ronon had pounded on him had been days before, the aches from that session at the time long gone. That visit had been weeks ago.

"Yeah," he answered. "You got the results back from the blood tests?"

Instead of answering, Carson passed him the folder and John frowned, opening it and looking down at the first page of information. His heart stuttered in his chest before it began to sink with a ball of lead.

"Cancer?" he managed to rasp out.

Carson nodded. "Aye," he responded. "Chronic myeloid leukaemia. Ye had a high white cell count…" The doctor sighed again. "With all the Ancient technology here, I had some samples tested…"

John held the folder out to the man and he swallowed convulsively. He would need time to process the fact that he had cancer – cancer of the blood to be specific – and he could focus on one thing at least.

"The jars," he said, clearing his throat when he heard the rasp again. "The jars, what do they contain?"

Carson, seeming to understand, shrugged. "Ah ran all the jars through the MRI," he answered. "All contain symbiotes."

John frowned at that. "Symbiotes?" he asked before he remembered the Goa'uld that had managed to take Caldwell as a host and he said as much to the doctor.

"Aye," Carson said. "Same biology, frem the look of thin's." He shrugged one shoulder. "Although the Daedalus should be arriving with someone t' help tell us if they're Goa'uld."

The pilot frowned at that. "Who?"

"Well, apparently, Earth has a Tok'ra tha' we ne'er knew abou' before."

A ringing knock on the metal door made both men jump in surprise. "Is Dr. Beckett inside?" a female voice asked.

Being 'beamed' down from the Earth ship Daedalus was certainly different to what Camilla Smith knew of the Goa'uld Transport Rings. While she had never experienced the Goa'uld technology first hand, Camilla knew of the technology and the effects on the human body.

Oh my, she thought, awed, as she looked around her new surroundings.

She stood in the middle of a room- and from the sensation running through her body – directly in front of a Stargate that could only be in the 'Gate Room' that the travellers from Earth had described to her. However, the sheer technical beauty was far beyond what she had been told or had described to her. Metal in colours of warm copper and cool blue steel made up the majority of the room, even with the balconies and walkways above her and the backlit staircase in front of her. Ancient, unknown, writing stared at her from the stairs and around the base of the balconies to her right and Camilla felt her jaw dropping.

Oh my, indeed, her symbiote agreed. This technology is more advanced than even the Ha'taks that the Goa'uld use.

Camilla nodded, still awed. I do not even know how to compare this all to Earth technology, she muttered, before her gaze was drawn to a woman standing nearby.

With dark hair pinned back from her face, Camilla took in the red, short-sleeved, shirt the woman wore over a pair of loose, pale grey base trousers and boots and the Tok'ra bowed politely to the woman, recognising the head of the expedition here from the files she had been given to read.

"Tek'ma'tae, Dr. Weir," she said politely. "It is an honour to meet you."

The woman returned her bow and greeting before she moved forwards, extending a hand to her. Cam smiled and calmly shook her hand.

"I had no idea that Earth had a Tok'ra still alive," the head of the expedition commented. "After General Carter died two years ago, we've lost a great deal of contact with your people."

Camilla smiled politely at the woman. "Kel'an and I had no idea that Earth had a Stargate," she answered. "If we had, then we might not have remained hidden for as long as we did."

Dr. Weir returned her smile and gestured away from the Stargate that Camilla could send behind her. "If you'll come with me, one of my teams found something off-world written in Goa'uld," she said. "They brought back stone jars, a stone tablet and a video of what they found."

Camilla frowned at that, tilting her head as she looked at the woman curiously. "How long ago was this discovered?" she asked.

She watched the woman glance down at the watch on her left arm. "Three hours ago," she answered. "Dr. Beckett in the Infirmary can direct you to where we have the jars if you wouldn't mind putting aside the tour to learn what we have?"

Camilla nodded and followed after the woman, walking down the steps next to the Stargate platform and through a nearby pair of sliding doors. "Is there anything specific that you want to learn?" she asked.

Dr. Weir smiled at her. "Whatever information you can translate from the jars and the video footage that Dr. McKay recorded," she said. "If you can give us any more information, I'll be happy."

The Tok'ra smiled at that, relaxing, even as Dr. Weir stopped at another pair of doors, gesturing inside the room as they slid open for her. "Thank you, Dr. Weir," she said politely. "My thanks."

The brunette's smile turned into a relaxed grin as the woman looked at her. "We're very relaxed around here, Tok'ra Smith," she said. "Please call me Elizabeth if you're comfortable with it." She nodded inside the room. "Dr. Beckett's speaking with the head of our military department in a private room."

Camilla chuckled at that, nodding. "Of course, Elizabeth," she responded. "Please, call me Camilla and my symbiote Kel'an."

With a nod to each other, the two women parted ways and Camilla walked into the infirmary, listening carefully for two men talking inside doors, pausing a few minutes later at the back of the infirmary where a single door was shut to the rest of the large 'room'.

Taking a breath and knocking firmly on the metal, Camilla waited for a moment. "Is Dr. Beckett inside?" she asked politely. "If he'd not, I am sorry for disturbing you."

A few seconds passed without a response and just when Camilla was about to step away and continue her search, the door slid open to reveal two men, one wearing the usual garb the Tok'ra had come to expect of doctors, the other in clothes similar to Dr. Weir's but more militarised.

"Dr. Beckett?" she asked, focusing on the man at the door, his dark brown hair sticking up slightly.

"Aye," he answered. "Who are ye, lass?"

Camilla smiled at his accent. "I am Camilla of the Tok'ra," she said politely. "I was told to come to you about the jars."

Understanding flitted across his face and he nodded. "Oh aye," he muttered. "This way."

With a name for his symptoms, John sat in the room that the jars were in, watching the female Tok'ra set to work. She was sat on a stool, her hands moving over the metal table before she seemed to relax slightly. She'd already looked at the MRI images, confirming Carson's assumption, in the main body of the Infirmary, before Carson had led her to the small room set off of the busy department.

John didn't know what he'd been expecting of the female Tok'ra, but the woman turning up dressed in a fitted leather jacket, trousers and boots had definitely not been it. Nor had her blonde hair caught into a tight braid. For all that the woman was a Tok'ra, she appeared to be completely from Earth.

"What's it like?" John found himself asking the woman.

She froze, surprised before turning to look at him. "Being a host?" she asked with a frown.

When John nodded, the frown faded and a small smiled replaced it. "Being Kel'an's host is the best thing that has happened to me," she answered. "I grew up not remembering the love my parents had once had for me, so when I became her host, I..." She sighed then, shaking her head. "Suffice to say, knowing that I have someone in my life that knows everything about me and still loves me for me despite all the dark shadows in my life... it's indescribable. I have never regretted being Kel'an's host and I would be happy to die protecting her."

John frowned at that. "What do you gain from it?" he asked. "The Tok'ra are like the Goa'uld-"

The woman emphatically shook her head then. "They aren't," she said firmly. "Goa'uld take the hosts they want; the Tok'ra wait for someone willing to become a host, they do not force themselves on hosts." She sighed then, shaking her head again. "Willing hosts, however, gain an extended life and are at a very much reduced risk of dying from natural causes." She took a breath and held it. "They can even heal the damage many diseases ravage on the body of their host... I had a condition before I met Kel'an and she healed it for me."

As she turned back to the table then, John understood her gesture and settled back to keep watch, seeing her hands and eyes drifting to the stone tablet. Seconds later, he shot to his feet, ignoring his exhaustion as the woman cursed softly and seemed to slump on the stool.

Moving quickly, John was behind her, catching her elbows and supporting her weight through him. "You okay?" he asked.

The woman nodded, before she huffed out a breath. "My host and I are merely stunned, Colonel," she responded.

John froze for a moment before he remembered Caldwell and the Goa'uld – when the symbiote had been in control, Caldwell's voice had changed – and now it seemed that the same happened with the Tok'ra.

"You're Kel'an?" he asked as he waited for the symbiote to settle herself.

Instead, he was mildly surprised when the symbiote stood her host up, forcing John to let go of her as she picked up the stone tablet. "I am," she answered. "What you and your team found off-world will make the Tau'ri's alliance with the Tok'ra all more the stronger."

John frowned at that, his gaze drifting between her and the tablet. "What did we find?" he asked her.

"The Seven Missing Tok'ra..."

Elizabeth sat in her office, feeling her eyes widening at the information that Camilla Smith's symbiote was offering to her. If she understood things correctly, then they had managed to find a small group of Tok'ra symbiotes that the High Council had long thought missing and dead.

"This is a boon for both the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri," Kel'an told her from where she was sat in the chair opposite Elizabeth.

John stood leaning against one of the metal columns supporting the glass of her office and Elizabeth sat back in her own chair. "You're sure that the symbiotes are Tok'ra?" she asked.

The symbiote nodded, her eyes flashing gently – if that word could ever be used to describe the intensity of the light in the eyes, Elizabeth wasn't entirely sure but it certainly seemed to fit – as a small smile drifted across her face.

"My host and I are sure," she answered. "My host has not dealt with other symbiotes in her lifetime, but I have the memories of the countless hosts before her and we are sure. We took a closer look at the MRI scans that Dr. Beckett provided of the symbiotes with this new information in mind. There is no doubt of the symbiotes allegiance."

Hearing rushed footsteps, Elizabeth found her eyes drifting to the staircase that ran beside the walkway bridging her office and the Control Room, seeing Teyla, Rodney and Ronon moving quickly up them, around the corner in the Control Room and across the walkway.

"Is it true?" Rodney asked her, breathless and panting. "We've got Tok'ra?"

She nodded in answer, smiling slightly as she looked to Kel'an, the symbiote smiling widely enough that the human woman was beginning to wonder if her face had frozen in position.

"It is true, Dr. McKay," the symbiote said. "I looked to the MRI scans to confirm, but I am sure that the seven symbiotes in the jars and the symbiotes that went missing well over one thousand years ago are one and the same. Symbiotes that were well known for their actions against the Goa'uld."

Before Elizabeth could say anything, she once more heard footsteps racing up the stairs and along the walkway and she found herself looking at a panicked and breathless Carson, the Scottish doctor leaning heavily against the metal of her glass door opening as he struggled to breathe.

"We have a problem," he managed. "One of the jars is damaged... an' the symbiote's nae doin' well."

Elizabeth perked up at that, frowning. "What do you mean?" she asked.

Carson looked to Kel'an for a moment. "Nae offense mean' lass, bu' if Ah didnae ken better," he began, "Ah'd say I was watchin' an animal in it's death throes."

The female Tok'ra stood at that. "Where is the symbiote?" she asked.

"Still in the jar in the Infirmary," Carson answered. "Ah brough' a scan with me t' show ye. Wan'ed t' confirm my thoughts."

He held out a datapad to the woman and Elizabeth watched as she snatched it, switching it on in seconds. The head of Atlantis looked to the others, seeing both Teyla and Ronon's confusion while Rodney and John both seemed somewhat perturbed by the latest news.

"Mai'tac!" the woman muttered, her voice now without the dual-tone that Elizabeth had come to expect from a symbiote in control. "This is not good!"

Elizabeth looked to the woman, seeing a new posture there, one that hadn't been there while the symbiote had been talking. "What isn't?" she asked.

The woman sighed, shaking her head as she passed the datapad back to Carson. "The symbiote in that jar is dying, slowly, much as Dr. Beckett guessed," she answered. "Somehow in the hours, days, weeks or even years before your people found them, the one jar was damaged and now the symbiote is experiencing a wakeup from stasis without having been brought out the correct way." She shook her head and wrung her hands. "Kel'an is preparing herself to leave me... that symbiote in the jar needs a host to recover, and we will not force anyone here to become one... You all have already dealt with the Goa'uld, we will not put you through something similar in your eyes."

Elizabeth frowned at that, standing slowly as she put the pieces together. "If Kel'an leaves you," she began, "she'll die won't she without a container to be put in properly?"

The woman bit her lip for a moment, her hands shaking in front of her before she nodded once. "It is a sacrifice that I do not want," she admitted, "but Kel'an is willing."

John couldn't believe what he was hearing as he stared at the woman facing Elizabeth. Taking a breath, he steeled himself for the offer he was about to make.

"What if you had someone willing to become a host?" he asked her. "What would your symbiote do?"

The woman spun to face him, an expression of hope on her face. "Kel'an would remain with me while the symbiote received the host they needed," she answered. "You know someone who is willing?"

Nodding in answer, John took another breath, well aware of the fact that time was currently of the essence. "You said earlier that symbiotes can heal damage that exists in the host before they become... become a host," he said carefully. "Does that mean that the symbiote can heal the host of cancer? Terminal cancer?"

The woman's hopeful expression faded at that as she straightened slightly. Her gaze faded somewhat, her eyes dropping to one side slightly and John had the distinct impression she was talking 'silently' with her symbiote. He was also aware of Carson's hard stare and the questioning ones of the others, especially Rodney's.

"How long have you known?" the scientist asked.

John shrugged a shoulder. "Since we brought the jars back," he answered. "Carson knows more."

Flicking his gaze to the man, he watched as Rodney calmly turned to face the Scottsman, Teyla and Ronon also doing the same, but not for the same reasons as Rodney. Moving his gaze to Elizabeth, he saw a mix of apprehension and grudging respect on her face.

"Are you sure?" she asked. "If they can, you won't be able to turn back once you become a host."

John thought everything he knew through. As much as he'd said to Ronon that he didn't want a thing resembling a snake in his head, he didn't want something in his head that was going to take complete control, something that the Tok'ra were against as a rule. If it could be guaranteed that he'd still be able to have control, then saving two lives would be worth it.

The female Tok'ra in front of him shifted with a sigh, her head moving slightly to focus her gaze back on him, effectively cutting off his reply to Elizabeth.

"According to Kel'an," she began haltingly, "since I became a host to her... I have had exactly three cases of cancer that she has taken care of soon after noticing them." She swallowed convulsively. "She also said that the first case she treated me for was the very minute we blended... I had a cancerous growth large enough to worry her, but she treated it." She shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "Without knowing what terminal cancer looks like, I cannot say if a symbiote can heal the damage and still live or if both host and symbiote will die."

John nodded. His chances were better becoming a host than allowing Carson to take him off duty and ship him back to Earth for months, if not years.

"I think you've just found one willing host," he told her. "When do I start?"

With only memories to guide her actions, Cam found her hands shaking before Kel'an soothed her nerves and took light control from her. Gently opening the stone jar that held the distressed symbiote inside, Cam took a breath.

Inside the City's Infirmary, she was stood in one of the private rooms with Colonel Sheppard, the man sitting on the only medical bed in the room. He was waiting patiently, dressed in white 'scrubs' and connected to various machines that would monitor him, even as Cam bowed her head and said the rites that she knew would give comfort to the symbiote once Colonel Sheppard revealed to them what had happened.

You are not the one who ought to be nervous, Kel'an gently teased her. One would think that you are about to become a host.

That sent a pang of pain through her heart and Cam bit her lip. Please don't jest about it Kel', she silently begged her friend. Please... loosing you while gaining this symbiote... please Kel'.

She had the sensation of ghostly fingers running down her arms, soothing her. I am not going anywhere, Kel'an promised her. I hated having to make the choice, but I am glad that this Colonel has offered himself instead.

Cam nodded to herself, fighting back tears as Kel'an gently tilted the jar so that the weakened symbiote within would slip onto her palm. As am I, dear friend, she answered. As am I.

Taking another breath as the symbiote gave a pitiful squeal in her palm, Cam set the jar down before she turned around to look at the man. "It is not too late to change your mind," she told him.

The man shook his head. "If I can save your symbiote and the one in your hand from dying," he said before shaking his head. "I can't back out now."

The woman nodded and stepped towards him, well aware of the fact that a camera was watching everything they did and relaying it back to the others on the man's team. "Thank you," she said as she stopped in front of him. "I owe you for Kel'an..."

The man shrugged at that. "I'm just doing what's right," he told her before he took a breath. "So, what do I need to do?"

Cam took a steadying breath and gently moved her free hand to cradle the symbiote comfortably in front of her. "Hold the symbiote as I do when you raise them to your mouth," she instructed him gently, memories guiding her words. "I know it is instinctual to react, but try not to tense when they enter your mouth..." She took another breath and swallowed convulsively for a moment. "You will be rendered unconscious as the blending begins and the memories of the symbiote are shared with you while you share yours."

The man arched an eyebrow at that. "I don't get a say in what memories are shared do I?" he asked.

Cam gave him a weak smile, shaking her head. "Blending means that to a degree two become one," she said. "Your symbiote will have your memories and you will have theirs, but neither of you will become the other."

The man nodded as he swallowed. "I guess I ought to get comfortable then," he muttered.

Cam stepped back, watching as Colonel Sheppard calmly swung his legs up onto the bed, settling himself before he nodded at her. "Are you ready?" she asked.

When he nodded, she moved closer to the bed. Waiting until he'd cupped his hands like hers, Cam gently deposited the Tok'ra symbiote into his hands, watching as he automatically flinched from the unusual sensation. Cam took a respectful step backwards, ready to leap forwards to catch the man when the blending began.

He took a breath and held it before he raised his hands in front of his face. "Good luck," he breathed.

Cam didn't know if it was to himself or not, but watched as the symbiote weakly raised itself up, facing the willing host. It gave another weak squeal, this time sounding pleased, before it shot into the Colonel's mouth.

Eyes widening, the man reached for his throat, giving a strangled gasp-like shout as his eyes fixed on her and Cam leapt forwards when his body grew slack and he started to slump. Feeling Kel'an aiding her, she caught the man and gently laid him back onto the bed.

Hearing the door opening and a weapon being readied, she straightened her spine and took a breath. "The blending has started," she said. "Colonel Sheppard cannot be moved unless you wish to kill him."

John found himself waking up in a pure black environment and for a split second, he panicked, thinking something had gone terribly wrong before another presence made itself known. And somehow, that eased John's panic.

I am sorry for the pain I caused, the presence spoke and John froze at that.

You're the symbiote aren't you? he asked.

A weak, tired, chuckle answered him. I am, came the response. My name is Monthu.

John nodded at that. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard from Earth, he offered before wincing. Sorry. I guess you knew that.

Another chuckle, sounding stronger now, echoed in John's mind. Indeed I did, he said. But it does not mean that I dislike having it told to me the 'proper' way.

Relaxing at that, John had the sudden impression the images he had seen only seconds after Monthu had entered his body had been the memories that the female Tok'ra had spoken of. The symbiote hummed in his mind.

You are right about what transpired, he said. But might I suggest that we wake up... I would very much like to speak to another Tok'ra and learn of what has happened in the time that I have been gone.

John nodded and took a breath. Okay, he agreed. How do we wake up?

Just open your eyes.

Reacting, when John did that, he was greeted with the fact that he was lying down on the Infirmary bed, his body now surprisingly free of aches and pains and he blinked once, feeling Monthu's presence in his mind settling into something comfortable and he slowly at up, feeling his symbiote 'moving' to help him.

His eyes looked around the room and settled on a sight John had prayed not to have woken to: Camilla Smith was backed into a corner, her hands raised as she faced his team and he quickly swung his legs off of the bed and stood.

"Stand down!" he snapped out, seeing Ronon doing so automatically as he spun around to face him, Teyla seconds behind him while a Marine a few feet away stiffened to attention despite the weapon they were aiming at the female Tok'ra. "She hasn't done anything wrong, stand down!"

It took several tense seconds before John saw them complying and he watched as his fellow Tok'ra seemed to relax. "Did it work?" she asked.

Bowing his head as he knew was traditional, John felt Monthu take control, lifting his head with ease. "The blending was successful, Camilla Smith," his symbiote spoke. "We thank both our host and you for your actions. We are thankful that the actions taken did not require that our fellow Tok'ra to die in our stead."

The woman gave a relieved smile, even as she bowed her head quickly. "As am I," she said. "May I ask your name?"

"I am Monthu, symbiote to Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard."

John, in the background of his mind and body watched as recognition flitted across the woman's face before she moved to form a more formal bow. "Councillor," she said. "It is good that you are alive."

Monthu chuckled then. "Relax, Camilla," he spoke. "After a millennium away from our people, I doubt that our position among our ranks remains."

John smiled at that, even as he saw the tension ease from the woman. "Of course," she muttered before she gestured to the others around her. "Do you...?"

Monthu nodded. "I am aware of the team-mates and friends of my host," he said.

John watched as Ronon's hand twitched slightly from where it hung close to his weapon. "Is Sheppard still in there?" he asked tersely.

When Monthu bowed his head, John took control with a small smile, lifting his head and opening his eyes to focus on the Satedan. "Still here, Chewie," he said before his gaze drifted to Rodney. "You'd be surprised by everything a symbiote knows, Rodney... I just might recommend becoming a host."

The stunned and worried expressions he got from that drew a chuckle from the man. Life was going to be very interesting from here on out.

Yes... I did bring Cam over to this prompt. I couldn't honestly see how anyone in the Atlantis expedition – with all of their specialists focused on the Ancients – would have had enough information to know the full history of the Tok'ra, so I had to bring one over and I honestly couldn't see any of the canon Tok'ra coming to Atlantis for a walk around the place before heading back. Hence Cam's involvement. I had such fun writing this, I think I might continue this on beyond the prompt... Let me know your thoughts on the matter.

I have my usual requests: no flames, constructive criticism preferred instead of the fires; guest reviews have been allowed, so please – like I usually ask – as a guest reviewer, make your name unique ("guest1", "guest2", "funnyguys246", etc.,) so I don't get anyone mixed up when I respond to a review. Other than that, please enjoy and please drop a review. I'd like to hear everyone's opinions.