I thought of this late last night, and I kew I'd never get to sleep if I didn't get it out of my head. No beta, so any mistakes are mine and mine alone. I hope you like it:)
Disclaimer: I don't usually write one of these, but in this case, I think it's necessary. This entire story is based on the episode "In the Line of Duty", and 99.9 of the dialog that is not italisized comes directly from that ep. Obviously, none of the characters are mine, nor is the original storyline. I'm not doing this for compensation, and do not wish to recieve letters from lawyers (unless they're reviews) stating that I will be drawn and quartered for doing this. :)
The Mind Inside
by Bekah See
Fire and heat were all around her as she ran from victim to victim, checking for a pulse on each one, and finding none. She heard Colonel O'Neill shouting over the din of the pulse fire coming from overhead, telling her there was no time, that they had to get to the gate. But now she dropped to the ground beside someone who did have a pulse, and she was damned if she was going to leave him here to die.
"This man's alive" she yelled, ripping off her helmet and checking the man's breathing.
"We cannot wait!" Jack shouted back as he ran toward the gate, carrying a young boy in his arms.
Carter ignored this and ducked her head down to begin mouth to mouth. Her brain briefly registered that she really shouldn't be doing this before taking proper precautions, but there was simply no time. She either did this and ran the risk of infection, or this man had no chance. So she continued, and her world narrowed to the rhythm needed to preserve life. Breathe one, breathe two, move to his chest and press, one, two, three… she kept going, even as she was beginning to feel that he had died, and she was laboring in vain. In the background, she thought she could hear Daniel encouraging people through the gate, telling them it would be all right. She was glad some of these people would be taken from here to safety, but knew that all too many would remain here forever, slowly claimed by the planet they called their home.
Sam heard Daniel call for a medic as she finished another set of compressions, and checked one more time for a pulse. Then, knowing at this point that it was futile, she put her ear to the man's mouth, and hearing nothing, decided to give him two more life-giving breaths before moving on. She tilted his head back and, taking a deep breath, she sealed her mouth over his and breathed once. She tilted her head to feel her own breath escape, then bent to repeat it.
What happened next shocked her to the core. She felt the man move, and then immediately felt an immovable pressure on the back of her head, pushing her down onto the "dead" man's mouth. Dread welled in her stomach, then blossomed into full blown panic as she heard a familiar squeaking sound very close to her. There was movement in her mouth and a sharp fierce pain bloomed at the back of her throat. With a huge push, Sam jerked free of her captor and turned, spitting blood fiercely into the ground beside her. Something was very wrong, but she didn't have time to analyze it before felt another presence brutally pushing her into the background of her mind, and then taking over her body.
Sam screamed and fought, not knowing what was happening, but knowing she wanted it to stop. She could hear herself speaking, but the words were not hers, feel herself moving, running, but she was not coordinating it. She could hear O'Neill's voice close to her, could even see and feel him grabbing her when she stumbled. She tried to cry out, but even though her voice was a primal scream in her mind, the other presence firmly squashed the impulse of her body to voice the command. Sam didn't give up. She was starting to figure out what had happened, and there was absolutely no way in the dark halls of hell that she was going to go down without a fight. Sam could see the gate coming nearer and fought with every ounce of strength she had. She could not let a goa'uld into the SGC. Her efforts were not entirely in vain. The parasite didn't yet have full control over her, and Sam made it very hard for it to keep her body running. But Jack, not knowing it wasn't HER he was helping, was lending and arm, and between his determination, and the goa'uld's rapidly increasing control, Sam eventually had no choice but to watch herself, and her mortal enemy, cross into home territory.
"Carter?" Jack asked as Sam stood looking around the gateroom. "You okay?"
'No! I am not okay! I'm not me! Colonel, please see this is not me!' Sam screamed again and again, but all her body said was, "Yeah, fine. Thanks." and all it did was move out of the room and toward the lockers.
Sam raged and battered with her invisible fists against the presence that was blocking her from the use of her body.
'Be still, Samantha. I will not harm you.'
Sam stopped thrashing, amazed at the communication. 'Oh really?!' That's not what I've heard of you damned parasites. Give me back my body and get the hell out!'
'I am sorry for this.' the presence said. 'I have never before taken an unwilling host, and now I am reminded of why. Your mind is very powerful. You are hard to control.'
'Well, you seem to be doing just dandy don't you?' Sam aimed a few phantom kicks in the general direction of the intruder, just to continue her show of resistance, but she was wearing out, and so far the goa'uld had been able to block her fairly easily. But what was really causing Sam to pause was the courtesy the goa'uld seemed to be offering. This was vastly different from what she had imagined being taken as a host would be like.
'Who the hell are you anyway? What were you doing inside that man's body? Wait…' Sam reached out, wondering if she could capture the symbiote's knowledge the way it had taken hers, but was pushed firmly, if carefully, away.
'Not yet, Samantha. In time, you and I will be able to share such intimacy, but not yet.'
Sam laughed loudly and derisively. 'In time? Intimacy? No way. There is no way my friends are not going to figure out what's going on. Teal'c is a Jaffa. He'll be able to sense you.'
'Perhaps, but we will be gone from here before he realizes what has happened.'
'Gone?' Sam yelled, starting to struggle again. 'Where are we going? Where are you taking me? This is MY body, dammit, and you have no right to take me anywhere!'
'Hush now, Samantha. I cannot yet deal with you and remain acutely aware of my surroundings.'
Sam stopped fighting for a moment and looked around. Evidently they—as in she and the symbiote that was invading her, had left the locker room and were entering the briefing room with the rest of SG-1. Sam felt herself sit down and fold her hands in her lap. She renewed her efforts one more time, yelling, pounding, forcing all of her not-insignificant will to the forefront, trying to force her body to do something, anything, that would alert her team that something was very, very wrong. She could feel the goa'uld fighting her, and she pushed harder, pleading with any gods out there that something would get through. Then, abruptly, the parasite seemed to get tired of wrestling with its host, and jolted Sam's nervous system, sending her consciousness into oblivion.
Sam woke several house later to find herself in her quarters, lying on her bed. She stared up at the ceiling for a moment, trying to remember how she had gotten there. Then terror rose in her throat as she remembered the goa'uld. Had it been a dream? She sat up quickly and patted herself down. She jumped up and did a few experimental jumping jacks. She seemed to be in complete control of her body, and her terror began to die away. It must have been a nightmare.
'I'm sorry, Samantha, but I'm afraid I'm still here.'
"Noo!" Sam yelled to the ceiling. She began to pace furiously, gripping her head, willing the voice to go away. "This is not happening to me! I'm hallucinating!"
'You're not hallucinating. In fact, you're healthier than you've ever been, thanks to me.'
"Healthy? You call this healthy? I have a damned snake in my head and you say I'm healthy?!"
'Samantha, you need to calm down or I will be forced to take control of your body again.'
That stopped her. "Fine." Sam made herself stop pacing, and took several deep breaths in an attempt to quell the panic still threatening to spill over her shaky walls. She returned to her bed and laid down, folding her hands over her stomach.
"So you've returned control of my body to me. Why?"
'We are now fully blended, and full control of this body can be given to either of us at any time. I have no need of it at this time, so unless you do something foolish to get us—that is, me, caught or killed, I see no need to remain dominant. For the moment.'
"Not that I'm complaining," Sam said, "but that doesn't seem to be a very goa'uld-ish thing to do."
'I am not Goa'uld.'
"Really. You could've fooled me." Sam said dryly, still fighting to keep her panic at bay. Talking was helping, though, so she kept at it. Maybe she could get the parasite to reveal something.
'I am not Goa'uld.' it repeated. 'I am Tok'ra.'
"Tok'ra? What the hell is a Tok'ra?"
Sam heard what she could have sworn was a mental sigh. It was like having someone blowing directly on your brain, except that brains had no nerve endings, and so wouldn't feel anything even if someone did blow on it. Sam shook herself out of her self-induced defensive tangent and concentrated on the conversation she was having.
'The Tok'ra are an offshoot of the Goa'uld. We are technically the same species, but come from different queens. The Tok'ra queen did not believe as the Goa'uld do. She, and so by extension, all of us, would never take an unwilling host, and did not believe that it is our right to rule the galaxy. We are not power hungry, nor are we evil. We have been fighting the Goa'uld for thousands of years, trying to end their tyrannical grip on this galaxy.'
Sam was quiet for a few moments, digesting this bit of information. She could sense that the goa'uld—Tok'ra—whatever—was telling the truth, but Sam wasn't about to take it hook line and sinker. 'Uh, news flash,' she quipped, keeping her temper under tight control, 'but I wasn't exactly willing to have you take over my body today. In fact, I think that, if given the choice, I'd tear you out of my head and stomp you into the ground.'
'I'm aware of that, Samantha, but I'm afraid that is not an option. If you make any moves to harm yourself or me or to alert your friends of my existence, I will take permanent control, and you will have no say at all. For the time being, cooperation is the best course of action. For both of us.'
'Fine. Sam said. She was still extremely wary, but her curiosity was getting the better of her. Again. 'So what should I call you? And what were you doing on that planet?'
The Tok'ra was silent for a moment, and Sam could sense its reluctance to answer.
'Oh, come on.' Sam pressed, 'you said we needed to cooperate, right? I'm cooperating. Now answer my questions.'
Jolinar sighed again, and Sam resisted the urge to open her skull and scratch her brain. 'Very well. My name is Jolinar of Malkshur, and I was hiding.'
'Hiding? From what?'
'Not what, who.'
'An assassin.' Jolinar hesitated again before continuing. 'I have information about the Goa'uld that must be returned to the Tok'ra council. It is of the utmost importance that the assassin does not find me here, or my mission will be a failure, and we will all perish.'
'Oh. I guess that is a bit important.'
'Yes. Which is why we must leave this world and travel to the Tok'ra base.'
'Well, there's no way in hell they're going to let you leave without a good reason. We don't just stroll through the gate whenever we feel like it.'
'No matter. We will go on the mission tomorrow to help find a new home for the Nassyans . From there, we will go to my people. When my mission is complete, I will begin the search for a willing host, and will return your body to you.'
Sam was stunned. 'You can do that?'
'It is not easy, but it can be done.'
Sam was quiet for a time, wondering at this new revelation. 'Why would you do that? Risk yourself to leave my body when you could take complete control with a thought?'
'As I have said, the Tok'ra do not take unwilling hosts. Most of the time, we will allow ourselves to die before doing so, but in this case, the information I carry did not leave me with a choice. Your act of mercy in trying to save my previous host will save many lives, Samantha. I thank you.'
'Uh, you're welcome. I think.'
'You must rest now.' Jolinar said, stimulating sleep hormones in Sam's brain. 'Tomorrow we will visit your young friend, and then we will deliver my message'.
'My young friend?' Sam asked, struggling to stay awake. 'Who?'