CATEGORY: Drama, AU
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: When SG-1 went to P4A-771, they had not expected the immediate attack or that they would be waking up in a Goa'uld holding cell. However, the biggest surprise came when it turned out the Goa'uld that had captured them were no Goa'uld at all - at least not the kind they were used to. Will this chance meeting lead to an alliance between Earth and their new friend's people - or will she and SG-1 be killed by their pursuers?
PAIRINGS: Sam/Jolinar/Martouf/Lantash, Rosha/Jolinar/Martouf/Lantash
CHARACTERS: SG-1, Rosha/Jolinar, Martouf/Lantash
SPOILERS: Some very small spoilers for "Solitudes". Spoilers for Tok'ra I&II. Small spoilers for Jolinar's memories and The Devil You Know.

NOTES: Written for Summer of Stargate on LiveJournal. Two of the chapter will be rewritten from their original NC-17 rating to PG-13. The original version can be read on my homepage (see my profile).

NOTES 2: This story goes AU from the episode 'Solitudes'. * denotes host/symbiote communication.

-
O'Neill groaned loudly as he sat up and looked around. Or more correctly, tried to, as he found he was blind. Willing himself not to panic, he listened. He believed he could hear someone else nearby. Could be bad guys, of course, but you will never know unless you ask, he told himself.

"Anyone else here?"

"Yes, Colonel." Carter's voice, O'Neill noted.

"I'm here, Jack." Daniel said from someplace nearby.

"As am I." Teal'c's deeper tones answered.

So, all of them. That was something, at least.

"Good...swell. What was that? The thing that hit us? I can't see a thing!"

"I believe it was a variation of a Goa'uld shock grenade, though I have never before seen one that could be launched at such a great distance. Do not worry, though extremely painful, its effects are temporary."

"That's good to hear, Teal'c." O'Neill turned - he believed - in the direction towards the rest of his team. "Anyone got an idea who's holding us?"

"We had just gated to P4A-771 when we were attacked. We were trying to dial out when that flash grenade...shock grenade came flying and exploded. That's all I remember." Sam said.

"Daniel? Teal'c? Any of you see anything?"

"No, nothing." Daniel answered.

"Negative. However, I believe the effects of the grenade is beginning to dissipate." Teal'c observed.

"For me too." Sam agreed. "Instead of a great black everything, I'm now getting a great grey everything."

"Good. Then perhaps we'll soon be able to tell where the hell we are - and who put us here!" O'Neill grumbled.

-
A short while later, vision had returned to all of them. They got up and started examining the room they were in. It was a typical Goa'uld holding cell, and there was nothing to give them any hint of which Goa'uld had captured them. They also found no way out.

They had just sat down to wait, when a group of Jaffa arrived. Not surprisingly, they answered none of SG-1's questions, but merely dragged them along, presumably to meet their master.

"The symbols on these Jaffa indicate they belong to Cronos, or one of his many underlings." Teal'c said in a low voice, as they were hurried through the corridors.

"Noted." O'Neill nodded.

Since he did not know who Cronos was, this gave him very little useful information. Except - Teal'c had seemed...angry? Perhaps he did not like Cronos? Even less than the average Goa'uld, that is, O'Neill added to himself. The Goa'uld were not generally likeable. If this Cronos-guy made Teal'c especially angry, he hoped this one would be an underling.

As it turned out, his wish was granted. They were dragged into a large throne room, and over to a sort of holding area, located a little to the side. In the middle of the room, some 10 feet away, the Goa'uld sat on her throne. She gave them a brief - and arrogant - glance, before returning to the business she was currently engaged in.

Sam studied the Goa'uld in charge. She was a stunningly beautiful, young woman. Of course, with the Goa'uld that was difficult to tell, she could as easily be 3000 years old as 30. Sam noticed she had blue eyes, much like her own. Her hair was shoulder-length and light in colour, with a reddish tint. Sam had not thought any Goa'uld hosts were this fair-skinned or had blue eyes. Strange, but ultimately irrelevant. Perhaps an unusually looking host was treasured - or perhaps this Goa'uld was low in rank and would have to take what the others did not want.

Beside the local Lord stood another Goa'uld, a youngish looking man, with a muscular build and black hair. He too, looked arrogant. However, in addition to that he appeared more gruesome, smiling evilly to himself with regular intervals. The female Goa'uld strangely did not actually seem evil. Sam decided it was a good thing her underling was not the one in charge.

It turned out SG-1 had to wait for quite some time before the Goa'uld was ready to interrogate them. She was apparently trying to mediate in some sort of local juridic matter. Daniel seemed fascinated by this, and from time to time he whispered something about how this actually made sense, and how it was like visiting the warlords and local kings of ancient times.

Sam had ignored all of it at first, but then began following the dispute. The Goa'uld was surprisingly intelligent, and even - just. She did not merely kill the two men that had brought the dispute to her, or enslave them and take their belongings, as Sam would have expected. Despite Daniel's assurance that this was something a local Lord had to handle, Sam was not so sure the Goa'uld generally did. Actually, she highly doubted it. There was something...different about this one. As if she lacked the gruesomeness of her kind, as well as their tendency to do evil things merely for pleasure.

Eventually, the Goa'uld finished mediating. Surprisingly, the result seemed to satisfy both men, or perhaps they did not dare complain - though Sam actually thought it sounded like a fair solution to their problem. The Jaffa went to SG-1 and ushered them forward, forcing them down on their knees in front of their Lord.

"Kneel before your Lord Arnora!" The Jaffa ordered.

Arnora looked down at the prisoners, giving them a look of disdain.

"Who are you, to trespass on my planet? Lead by the First Prime of that fool, Apophis, no less." She turned towards Teal'c. "Who are the humans with you and why do you come here? Apophis is no friend of Lord Cronos, but you must surely know this. Are you stupid enough to have come to attack with so small a group of warriors? Human warriors! Or have you perhaps come to defect?" She smiled arrogantly. "If your secrets are valuable enough, I may even let you live."

"I no longer serve the false god Apophis - and I have no wish to serve another one of you parasites!"

For just a moment, this seemed to amuse the Goa'uld, but her expression immediately returned to the normal, arrogant one, now coupled with anger.

"Insolence! I ought to kill you for that!"

But she did not even lift the hand with the ribbon device, Sam noted.

"Listen...ma'am...he's fighting for Earth now. If you have an issue with one of my people, you better take it up with me!" O'Neill said.

"Such nerve! How dare a mere human talk like that! Who are you to speak to me like that?" She leaned forward a little, looking furious.

Again, Sam thought there was a hint of curiosity behind it - as if the anger really was a mask. Strange.

"I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill of Stargate Command. Earth! Not that it means anything to a snake like you, I guess. We're the ones who killed Ra. That should tell you something!"

"You continue to insult me! Foolish human!" Arnora flashed her eyes and lifted her hand device, letting it glow briefly, as if a warning. "How dare a mere slave like you imply you have the power to kill a Goa'uld - and the Supreme System Lord, no less!"

"Of course I dare imply that! It's the truth! And if I've got the power to kill Ra, how much easier don't you think it'll be to handle you?"

The other Goa'uld had been keeping his mouth shut with difficulty, but now he almost roared with rage.

"Blasphemy! He must die at once for this!"

"Calm yourself, Kohmak. I have not yet gotten all the information I want."

"And you never will - not unless you start showing them who they are dealing with. If you even know any longer." He was so enraged he did not care that he spoke in public.

"You will cease interfering at once! Or you will be the one at the receiving end of my rage!" Arnora spat, her anger clear this time. She again lifted the ribbon device. It glowed and pulsed.

Kohmak backed down and Arnora returned to her interrogation, ignoring the other Goa'uld.

"Earth...where is that? And you better answer both swiftly and honestly. My patience is wearing thin."

"The Tau'ri." Daniel quickly said, with a side-glance to O'Neill. "Earth is the Tau'ri."

"Nice going, Daniel!" O'Neill hissed at him. "Now, shut up!"

"Excellent! Now we are getting somewhere! You should not be so harsh on him - he has just spared you a lot of unnecessary pain."

"Jack - what use is that information to her anyway?" Daniel said, trying to excuse himself.

"Why do you let these slaves behave like that? They should be punished severely, then tortured until they begged to be allowed to tell you everything, if you would just let them die!"

Kohmak's eyes flashed, an indication of his seething anger. It was hard to tell if it was directed mostly at Arnora or mostly at Teal'c and the humans. He continued.

"If I were the one..."

"Well you're not! Would you just kill them for your own pleasure and deprive Lord Cronos of his right? Cheat him out of the information contained in these pathetic creatures? Some of it may be of interest to him. How do you think he would react if he were to learn he could have gotten his hands on the former First Prime of Apophis, had you not killed him? Such a prize - and you would just torture him to death for the entertainment value! Fool!" Arnora looked at him with scorn.

Kohmak seemed to become even angrier - if that was indeed possible.

"That is what sarcophagi are for - or had you forgotten? You seem less than interested in using them, so perhaps..."

"Enough! I will question these further at a later time, then send them to Cronos." She signalled her Jaffa to take SG-1 back to their holding cell, then got up and began leaving the room.

"See that you do..." Kohmak called after her, then left in the opposite direction.

-
"Well that was interesting..." Daniel remarked.

"Interesting! It was lucky! If they hadn't started bickering, we'd all have been tortured to death by now!" O'Neill said, grinning a little.

"We will be - when Cronos receives us, if not before." Teal'c informed him.

"Thanks for the encouragement!" O'Neill sighed. "I hate this! The snakes are all like that. Arrogant, swaggering, evil, irrational, torture-happy..."

Sam interrupted him before he could continue.

"That's just it - she wasn't like that. Not quite, at any rate. She didn't torture us. Threatened us, yes, but she even stopped that other Goa'uld...Kohmak...when he wanted to punish us."

"Yeah...that was probably just because she felt he was encroaching on her territory or something." O'Neill suggested.

"Even so. She handled that dispute - the one while we were waiting - intelligently...and fairly, I think."

"She's right, Jack. I noticed that too. She even seemed to care." Daniel added.

"She did indeed behave...oddly for a Goa'uld." Teal'c agreed.

"Who cares? She's still a snake - and she'll hand us over to her master anyway!" O'Neill sat down against the wall.

"True." Sam conceded. "She probably will."

None of them had anything more to say, and they all sat in silence, trying to relax. First Teal'c and then Sam made an extra check to see that there really was no way out. Then they, too, sat down. They would need to conserve their strength - either to withstand the torture that would likely soon follow - or to have the reserves to flee, should an opportunity present itself.