A/N: Explanations for the long wait at the bottom. As it is, you have waited FAR too long. I wanted to get the story out to you, so this is UNBETA READ OR EDITED. I will replace it with the proof read chapter later. This covers the Tok'ra two parter.
Peace and Out,
Pwn Master Paladin
Chapter 12: Alien Allies
After Teal'c had been cleared by Janet for gate travel, SG-1 had been called to a special meeting with General Hammond. Harry watched with a bit of worry as Sam sat down, the same distracted look on her face that had been there for a while now. Ever since the awards ceremony in Washington she had been distracted. He had thought that it might be the worry about the leak of the SGC and if someone would try that again, but this seemed more personal. She hadn't said anything though, and Harry didn't want to pry. He knew she would tell them when she was ready. With a sigh Harry turned in his chair, spinning to face Jack. "So what's going on Jack? Not that I really mind not having to go to the planet of ice."
Jack smirked, remembering the unhappy look on Colonel Mustang's face when the assignments had been handed out. The pyro was not happy to have to get outfitted in winter weather clothes. "No idea, but it must be something important."
"You're right about that Colonel." SG-1 turned as General Hammond and Orion entered the briefing room. "Now that we actually have some time without any immediate threats, it's time to have a discussion. Apophis' last attack could have had devastating consequences, and it was only pure luck that we stopped it. Luck and an observant mother. While I will take the help anywhere we can get it, we were warned about this."
"Yes Jack. By the Tok'ra."
Sam sat up, recalling the hazy memories of her time as Jolinar's host. "That's right, she said that Apophis was planning something, though she thought it was going to be another direct attack."
Hammond nodded. "We need to contact them again. Find out what they know, set up an alliance if we can. If they knew about the attack, odds are they have information sources we can ask about, maybe really start bringing this fight to Apophis rather than reacting to his assaults." The group turned to Sam then, who was shaking her head. "Something wrong Captain?"
"I know what you are about to ask sir, and the answer is that I honestly don't know how to contact them. Jolinar and I weren't blended fully, so I don't know how they contact each other. One thing I do know is that they move around fairly regularly to avoid detection from the Goa'uld, so its unlikely they will be at the base they were when they dialed in."
Hammond seemed to frown at that, before accepting the logic of it. "Very well. However, I still want SG-1 to check out that address. Maybe we will get lucky. I wont send Dr. Weir along yet, since this will likely be a goose hunt and she has her hands full planning for her visits to other countries to explain the SGC in person. Check out the planet, see if they are still there. If they are, then get them talking, Dr. Weir can finalize the details later. If not, maybe they left something behind that can help us, either to find them or to find Apophis. Suit up and move out."
The group had gotten everything ready, but Sam had split off for a moment. Jack had sent Harry off to get her, and he found her in the Control Room, on the phone. "What do you mean why am I calling, Dad? You just told me you have cancer, you can't!"
Harry's eyes widened in realization. General Carter had cancer, and from what Sam was saying it wasn't looking good. There wasn't much that he could do unfortunately. Wizards rarely were susceptible to cancer, one of the quirks of genetics that made purebloods believe themselves so superior. For those that did, a self cast charm and potion regime would be able to quickly deal with it. Without the potion, ingredients to make it, or Jacob having any internal magic to power the charm, there wasn't anything Harry could do. He shook off his internal thoughts as Sam continued to speak.
"All right, okay. Never mind. Listen...I'm about to go on a little trip...Yes, it's for the Air Force." Harry was joined by General Hammond, both watching on in concern as she finished her call. "It's not important where I'm going Dad. What's important is that I may be gone a while and I just wanted to call and see how you're doing." A pause, before a look of disbelief. "You sure?" She sat the phone down, a mixed look of anger and sadness on her face. Harry and General Hammond walked up to her then, Harry reaching out to lay his hand in a comforting squeeze on her shoulder. "Thanks Harry."
"How is Jacob?"
"He claims he's okay sir, not that he'd tell me if he weren't. Did you know he actually got an apartment here in town?"
General Hammond nodded, surprising the other two at the admission. "He wanted to be closer to his daughter during..."
"His last days. Sir, this is the first time I've left on a mission where I've felt like I might be leaving something behind. Like I might miss something important."
"Understandable Captain. If you want, I can find a temporary replacement for SG-1."
"I wish I could, Sir, but I don't think I'm replaceable on this one. The memories Jolinar left in my mind could be invaluable on this mission and no one else has them."
"What about the sarcophagus?"
General Hammond and Sam turned to Harry then. "What do you mean son?"
"Well, if it is security we are worried about, then all we need to do is send me disillusioned, I'll stun your dad Sam, we stick him in the sarcophagus to heal the cancer, then I put him back where we found him. He's none the wiser of the Stargate, and he's on the road to recovery."
General Hammond turned to Sam, giving the idea some serious consideration. "Normally I wouldn't even consider this, but Jacob is a friend, not to mention that your efforts have saved the world multiple times Captain. I think I could grant a little leeway here."
"Thank you sir, but no." Sam smiled at Harry then, but it was a defeated one. "I've thought about asking, but the truth is that until we study the sarcophagus more and figure out what exactly causes it to create that imbalance in the brain that Daniel had, I don't trust it. And as sick as Dad is, there is no telling how long and how often he would need to be in it. It seems to heal fatal injuries with one use, but it took multiple uses for Daniel's eyes to be fixed. And as most eyesight problems are caused by defects in the cells, which when you come down to it is what cancer is as well, mutated or abnormal cells..."
Harry nodded in understanding. "It may take multiple uses of the sarcophagus to heal him, leading to the problems Daniel had showing up in your dad as well."
Sam nodded unhappily. "Plus, all it would take was one cell being left and we would be right back where we started." She sighed, before turning away from the two and restarting her equipment checks
"I don't think Dad wants me to see him right now anyway."
"Sam, I've known Jacob a long time. That's not true."
"Sir, he's always too concerned about appearing the strong soldier. The last thing he would want is for me to see him in a hospital bed losing a battle. I should get going Sir, I don't wanna hold things up."
As she and Harry started to walk out, General Hammond called out to her one last time. "Captain! You're more like your father than you'd like to admit."
Sam thought about it for a moment before nodding a bit ruefully, then heading with Harry to the Stargate. Just as Walter finished dialing and the wormhole stabilized, they joined with the others. "Everything okay Captain?"
"I'm ready to go sir."
Jack stared at her a bit more, realizing that she hadn't exactly answered his question. But seeing her resolve, he let it slide. "Let's move out."
Stepping through the wormhole, the team found themselves on a desert planet. Harry immediately cast a series of cooling charms on everyone. "Ah, thanks Harry."
"No problem Daniel."
"There is no evidence of footprints or tracks of any kind. If the Tok'ra were here they have not been near the Gate in many days O'Neill."
"There's some sort of dunes over there."
"Dunes it is. Lead the way Carter."
The team walked for a while, talking about random things while still keeping a lookout. After a while, Daniel stopped and looked at the sands around them. "No one's tread here in a while."
"The Tok'ra are known for their ability to mask their trails Daniel Jackson. They are, as you say, stealthy in their actions." Suddenly, people popped out from their hiding places in the dunes and quickly surrounded SG-1. They all engaged their staff weapons, pointing directly at the team. SG-1 quickly raised their own weapons, but both parties refrained from firing.
"Yeah, stealthy would be a good word, Teal'c."
Jack looked around, staring at the weapons aimed at his team. "Good guys or bad guys?"
One of them stepped forward then, speaking for the other group. "We mean you no harm. But I warn you, if you make any aggressive moves, we will fire upon you."
The other man laughed at Jack's proclamation. "Well, I think we have the advantage. There are more of us."
"This is true." Jack smirked then, turning slightly and nodding to his team. Harry and the others nodded back, and Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c subtly adjusted their stances. "But we can even the odds. Shields!" With a button press, or a mental command in Harry's case, shields sprang up on everyone.
One of the others stepped forward angrily then, the staff weapon aiming right at Teal'c's head. "This one is a Jaffa. Apophis sect."
"I am no longer in the service of Apophis."
"Who then are you in service to?"
"I am allied with these, the Tau'ri, in battle against Apophis."
"Tau'ri? The ones who helped Jolinar?" Suddenly the group seemed much less hostile, and more curious than anything. Only the first man's weapon stayed trained on them, though the other weapons stayed ready to be fired. "Cordesh, if these are them than we have nothing to fear."
"We only have their word about their identity. For all we know, they are spies of Apophis."
"There is an easy way to tell." One of the others immediately moved over, disappearing into a set of transportation rings that had been hidden by the sands.
Sam was staring at the second one of the group to talk, the one who had sent the other off, presumably to get some way of determining their identity. "Martouf?"
The man seemed a bit shocked, before turning to the others. "I do not know this woman."
"But I'm right, aren't I. That's your name, Martouf."
"It is. How do you know me?"
The rings activated again, bringing back the man who had gone off, along with a familiar figure. "Because she once held my memories as well as hers. Hello again SG-1. It has been a while."
"Hey there Jolinar, Fusoya. How's life, or in your case, lives?"
"We are fine Colonel. Everyone, you can lower your weapons, these are the Tau'ri I met when I joined with Jolinar." As the group turned the staff weapons into their safe modes, SG-1 deactivated there shields. "What brings you here?"
Daniel stepped forward then, the unofficial diplomat of the group. "We seek an alliance with the Tok'ra. And we wanted to try to get to you before you left. Sam said that you moved around a lot."
"She was right. Come, we will speak with Garshaw and the council."
The group followed her to the place with the rings, Jack looking around a bit. "How do you know where to stand? I've seen what these things do to a person that isn't in them all the way."
"The sand Colonel. It is a different consistency here inside the rings than outside. You may not be able to feel it through your boots, but I can. And we leave enough room so there will be no accidents."
"Cool." The rings appeared, taking SG-1 down to the Tok'ra base. The looked around as they re-materialized, taking in the site of the base. "Very cool. Is this crystal?"
"Correct. We have learned and can control the way that the crystal grows to suit our needs. For example, the council chambers have not been used here yet, but when I was told who you claimed to be, I asked they be set up for you. They should already be growing and ready for use soon."
"Apophis had me searching for tunnels such as these for many years. We never found them. It is believed when the Tok'ra move on, the tunnels are destroyed. Is this true Jolinar?"
"Yes. Please, come this way." They followed her through the tunnels, Jack taking note of the number of people staring at them. They arrived at a place where the crystals were visibly moving, to find another familiar face. "You already met the Grand Councilwoman Garshaw of Belote."
Teal'c seemed genuinely surprised at this. "You are Garshaw of Belote?"
"I am. Did I not say such at our last meeting?"
"I did not know you were of Belote. You are the most hunted Tok'ra of all time, you name is spoken of with hatred unlike any I have heard by Apophis and many other System Lords."
She smirked then, and Harry was once again reminded of McGonagall, though this time it was more a reminder of when she was extraordinarily pleased with something or someone. "I am pleased to hear it. What else do they say of the Tok'ra?"
"That you are fools who have no chance of stopping them. That you heresy will find you defeated, either by themselves or by time."
"Sounds like a case of being a sore loser to me big guy."
"I wish that were the case. Your Jaffa friend is correct young Harry. Come, I will show you what he means"
The group followed Garshaw through the corridors, until they came to a room that seemed to be slightly apart from all the others. Inside on a crystal bed was a very elderly woman, with two others administering what looked like medical care to her.
Yosuf spoke, her voice tinged with sadness. "Allow me to introduce Selmak and her host, Saroosh. She is one of the eldest and wisest among us, an important leader for our cause."
Martouf had joined them on their walk and spoke then, his voice holding the same tone. "Unfortunately, she is very ill, and at the end of her life. She will soon die."
Daniel spoke, keeping his tone quiet out of respect. "How old is she?"
"She will be 203 of your years old."
"I'm sorry. I was under the impression that Goa'uld lived much longer than 200 years."
Fusoya nodded in confirmation, before clarifying. "Goa'uld do, the Tok'ra don't."
"That's because you don't use the sarcophagus, right? I remember bits and pieces of what Jolinar left me with and that was one of them."
"That's correct. We believe to do so would drain the good from our hearts." Fusoya lowered her head, before raising back up again with her eyes glowing, Jolinar now in control. "I am sorry for my actions Captain Carter. It was a time of desperation, and the fact that the blending was not full must have left an imprint on your mind. I hope you can forgive me."
Sam nodded, a look of understanding on her face. "It's alright. I can understand now why you felt you needed to. If your information saved lives it was imperative. From what I understand, your people have zero or negative population growth. Since you won't take new hosts by force, most of the time the Goa'uld dies with the host."
Garshaw nodded, her voice deepening as the symbiote took over again. "And this is what is about to happen to Selmak."
Martouf turned to them them, moving to stand next to Jolinar. "Unless one of you wishes to volunteer to serve as a host?"
"We're going to pass on that." Jack spoke for the entire group, who all nodded their heads. "It's not that we don't trust you, after you were on the up and up with us about what would happen with Captain Carter, and the attempt Apophis made to destroy us recently, we do trust you a bit. But from what Captain Cater told us, whoever bonded with a symbiote would be a Tok'ra first, instead of a member of our team. And we aren't ready to give up any of our personnel."
Jolinar nodded. "We expected as much from our time with you. Still, we had to ask. Come, the council should be gathered now."
The group headed back through the tunnels, Jack breaking off for a bit before returning, seeming to be a bit troubled. Whatever was on his mind though was driven out by the site they saw before them. The hallway was expanding, pulsing and growing as blue light traveled down it. "What the hell?"
Martouf smiled seeing the look of curiosity on their faces. "A new set of chambers. Some of our operatives are returning today from extended operations, and we need more rooms for them to rest. We haven't had need of them till now, but they will be grown and ready for use before they return. Come, this way."
They arrived back at the chamber they had meet Garshaw in front of before, and entered. Inside there was several people sitting around a table. Yosuf gestured to them, speaking to SG-1. "People of the Tau'ri, allow me to introduce the Grand Council of the Tok'ra."
"Hiya folks, nice to meetcha."
Daniel had to restrain himself from rolling his eyes at Jack's informal greeting. "Uh, we're very grateful. We're representatives of a planet called Earth."
Teal'c lowered his head in respect to the group. "It is an honor."
Harry and Sam nodded in agreement, before the group sat down at the table. The one that had seemed the most suspicious of the group that met them up top, Cordesh, was there, along with Garshaw and 4 others, two male and two female. Cordesh was the first to speak. "The council has reviewed your proposal of an alliance between our peoples."
When he didn't seem to want to volunteer anymore information, Sam decided to speak. "And?"
One of the female Tok'ra spoke then. "We would like you to understand our situation. We are an illegal resistance group within the Goa'uld. We are the most hunted, most hated enemies of the System Lords. We would like to know what you have to offer us that is sufficient value to justify our potential exposure."
Jack seemed a little incensed at the accusation that they would reveal the Tok'ra, his tone becoming a little bit sharper. "Hey, we haven't made too many friends along the way either."
Teal'c, perhaps sensing Jack's mood, intervened. "The secrets of the Tok'ra would never be revealed. It is not the way of the Tau'ri."
Cordesh spoke again. "Not intentionally. But you might be followed to us, you might be tortured into revealing our whereabouts or a spy might be introduced into your midst. Jolinar tells us that a Goa'uld has infiltrated one of your officers before. So again, we would like to know what you can offer that can offset the risk."
Jack, unable to find a counter argument, merely nodded his head. "Well, I think we've got a lot of things."
"The Tau'ri have become quite advanced. Perhaps there's some technology that could be of use."
Cordesh shook his head at Teal'c's words, almost in disdain. "Technology other than our own is useless to us. We are infiltrators. We work from within the Goa'uld. Therefore it is important that we appear to be Goa'uld. And you have made it clear that becoming hosts is not something you are willing to do."
"Well, we do have a common enemy, how about a friendship? We could share information. We visit a lot of worlds and peoples. Or we could fight together, side by side."
One of the male Tok'ra who had so far been silent spoke then, his tone one of pure disbelief at Harry's words. "You? I do not believe you could be of any service to us. You are neither strong enough, nor advanced enough."
"I told you already that they advanced further than we knew. This boys powers have allowed them to create shields for themselves capable of stopping attacks from Jaffa staff weapons."
"While that may be Jolinar, I doubt that it would make much difference. In a fight against the Goa'uld they would be slaughtered.
"You are incorrect. It was these who destroyed two Goa'uld motherships that attacked Earth."
The other female rose then, anger clear at Teal'c's words. "That was you? We had operatives who died on board those vessels!"
Jolinar stepped forward, placing her hand on the other Tok'ra's shoulder. "Peace. They were defending their world, and did not know of us. They could not allow their home to be destroyed, nor the billions of lives that are upon it."
The Tok'ra calmed before her posture changed. The host spoke then, directing her comments towards SG-1. "I'm sorry. We didn't know that they had traveled to the Tau'ri. This information, it explains a lot. At least now we know how and why out operatives died, and for that we are truly grateful."
Jack nodded, before turning to the others. "Ah, we seem to have gotten a bit of track. Look, we are fighting for not just our world but hundreds of others. People that are enslaved and in need of help. We could use some help in that fight. Apophis has already tried to destroy us twice. Thanks to help from our friends, we have been able to stop him. Jolinar said that you all knew he planned to attack again, and you were right. Even if it was just exchanging information, we would be grateful and try to help you anyway we could, other than becoming hosts."
The council looked at each other, before Garshaw spoke. "You have given us much to think about. Excuse us while we discuss it. Fusoya and Martouf will escort you to where you may rest for a while while we talk."
The group nodded, walking out to where their guides showed them. It was a spacious room, with places for them to sit and rest. "Well, that could have gone better."
"It could have gone a lot worse too Jack. They didn't shoot us."
"Every the optimist, aren't you Harry?"
"He speaks the truth Colonel." Martouf's symbiote was speaking to them for the first time. "I do not think they will dismiss you out of hand. But I will tell you that your unwillingness to become hosts will not be in your favor."
"What do you mean...sorry but what's your name?"
"I am Lantash, young one."
"Why would our desire to NOT become hosts play that big a part? We have already shown that we are willing to fight and work with you."
"The Tok'ra are desperate for hosts. Our people are dying and the fight against the Goa'uld seems to be one that will never end. If you were willing to become hosts they would accept your offer without hesitation, of this I am certain."
"Sorry but no. We need our people to stay our people, not become Tok'ra."
Martouf took over again, his eyes losing the glow. "We understand. It will be some time before the council makes a decision. Please, rest." The two left the room, leaving SG-1 alone with their thoughts.
An hour later, Garshaw and the other councils members stormed in, causing SG-1 to quickly rise and group together. "What's going on?"
Cordesh spoke for the group, his voice rising in anger. "You tell me. The Chappa-ai just activated, and brought forth these!" Other Tok'ra entered, followed by another SG team.
Jack, recognizing them first, spoke to the leader. "Colonel Makepeace, why are you and SG-3 here?"
"General Hammond sent us to extract Captain Carter."
Sam looked up, surprise evident on her face. "Why?"
Makepeace looked like he didn't want to give this news in front of so many, but told her anyway. "I'm afraid it's your father Captain. He's in the hospital in a serious condition. The doctors said that he needed to get you home ASAP."
Jack turned towards the council, understanding that the situation could get out of hand quickly. "You have to let her go home."
Garshaw spoke then, firm but regretful. "We cannot."
"I'm afraid we have made our decision. We have decided not to accept your request for an alliance, therefore none of you can leave until we have packed our base up and moved to another planet."
Jack looked at Garshaw incredulously, questioning if he had heard correctly. "What?"
"I'm sure you can understand. You have become a security risk. We cannot allow you to leave until we have moved somewhere you do not know about."
Harry spoke up then, directing his comments to Garshaw and Jolinar, who he knew would be the most sympathetic. "Surely you are more compassionate than that. Sam's father is dying. I heard how sad you were at the thought of losing Selmak and Saroosh earlier, so you know what she is going through. And others may come through the gate looking for us, we aren't the only ones on Earth that know the coordinates."
"It is our wish that your lack of prompt return will lead them to believe that we are in fact Goa'uld, and not Tok'ra."
Daniel understood what she was saying first, Harry and the others not far behind him. "You want them to think we are dead, so that they wont send anyone else through until you can leave."
"I'm sorry. We will try to make you as comfortable as possible." With that, the Tok'ra left SG-1 and SG-3 in the room, although now there were two armed guards blocking the doorway.
"Jack, say the word, I'll pop Sam out of here, get back to Earth and mobilize a strike team."
"Harry, no! The Tok'ra are just trying to defend themselves in the only way they know how, secrecy. It's no different than the quarantine we put on the refugees that we save. They never leave the base unless there is no other choice. We come in guns blazing and we lose all chance at this alliance."
"Daniel is right sir. Thank you Harry but I wont risk us having to fight another enemy when we are already struggling against one. Dad's a fighter. He can hold on."
Jack looked around at his team before sighing and nodding. "Keep that plan in reserve Harry, but for now, we do this the Tok'ra's way." With that, the team settled down, unsure of how long they would be there.
A few hours later, the two SG teams were still in the same room, but Jack had asked to see Garshaw again, hoping they could work out a way for Sam to return home soon. Harry and Teal'c were in the corner both using the time to meditate. Harry was also occasionally calling as much magic as he could hold at one time without releasing it, then pushing it back. It was a training technique that Voldemort had discovered on his travels. One of the reasons that he had been so feared is the sheer amount of power he could put in his spells and still cast hundreds of them without any break. Most wizards and witches could barely cast a fraction of what he could. By calling the magic forth without casting, just holding it as long as possible, it increased the amount Harry could use per spell, increase his bodies ability to handle that level of magic, and increase the amount that he had available. Just like a muscle, the more he trained with it the more powerful it was.
As he finished the last such exercise, Garshaw entered the room. "You wished to see me?"
Jack and Daniel stepped closer to her. "We did."
"Jack and I were wondering why exactly you turned down the offer of an alliance. Perhaps if you can explain your reasoning, maybe we can convince you otherwise."
"The official reason is that the council believes your limited resources do not offer us enough of a reward to risk the high security breach that your knowledge of us will cause."
"Many of the council do not trust you. You say you wish to be friends, yet none of you have volunteered to be a host to one of us who is dying! If you're so disgusted with the very though of blending, how can we be associated with one another? I mean, it is obvious that you have distaste for our very being!"
"No it's simply a lack of understanding. We have no hatred for you at all."
"Then be a host to Selmak. Save one of our own that is going to die otherwise and show that you are serious about this alliance!"
Jack shook his head no, before clarifying. "Look, for all we know, this is still an elaborate Goa'uld plot. We become a host, and you learn how to get past our iris, and the Earth is enslaved. I admit, from what happened with Jolinar and Garshaw before, I don't think that is the most probable scenario, which is a big admission from me. I never thought I would trust a snake-head, but Jolinar gave me back my officer without hurting her, so that bought you some trust as far as I am concerned. But no one from the SGC will be taking a symbiote on a permanent basis."
"Then there is nothing more to be said. There will be no alliance. You will remain here until we say otherwise."
"Garshaw!" Harry spoke up from across the room, the worry on Sam's face, clearly concerned for her father and wanting to go home to see him spurring him to act. "Remind the council that we stay here because we are serious about wanting this to work and out of respect for your people. Get them to let Sam go see her dying father, otherwise that respect may disappear entirely."
"Is that a threat young one?"
"Merely a statement of intent." Harry popped outside of the room, fired two stunners at the guards, before popping back in and casting what was becoming his standard set of concealment and exclusion charms on SG-3, before turning back to the guards and summoning the weapons. All of that took less than 10 seconds. "Teleportation, stunning, cloaking, summoning, and shields. Five non-lethal ways I can get my people out of here. I have other methods that aren't that nice." He banished the two weapons back to the guards before reviving them and taking the spells off of SG-3.
Garshaw didn't say anything, merely nodded and left, the guards moving back into position at her signal.
Daniel rubbed the bridge of his nose before turning towards his youngest team member. "Harry, what the hell was that?"
"An effective demonstration of my abilities?" Seeing the disapproving frown on Daniel's face, he sighed before explaining. "Magic gets a point across Daniel. It worked with Omoc and Maybourne. Made them see the error of their ways. Maybe it isn't exactly the right way to do things, but...you know the only memory I have of my parents is their death? The dementors made me relive it over and over again. I know my father fought to give my mother more time to do whatever she did that saved me. I know that my mother begged for my life, because she wasn't sure what she had done would work. I may never get to thank them, to tell them I love them, or hear that they love me in return. Sam is going to get that chance, and damn the consequences. If I have to take out every last Tok'ra here to do it, then I will."
Sam smiled gratefully over at him, before shaking her head and turning towards SG-3. "Colonel Makepeace? Did anyone tell you how far along my father is?"
"No, I was only told to get you back as soon as possible."
"He doesn't even know why I'm not there for him. He thinks I'm off somewhere working on some damn satellite dish or something."
"We're going to get you back there, Carter. The good news is, there's eight of us now, and Harry just proved that we can get out if all else fails."
"That's good news? Jack, you're talking about ruining any chance for an alliance that could be the thing that helps us stop the Goa'uld."
"Yes Daniel, it is. And we survived this long, if we have to we will keep surviving."
Sam was lost in thought, before Harry saw her eyes light up. She turned to the guards, speaking quickly. "I need to see Garshaw! Call her back here, please, it's important."
The guards looked at each other, before one turned and ran off to get the councilwoman. Jack and Daniel turned to Sam, there expressions confused. "Sam? What is it?"
"What is the one thing that they need the most?"
"Well, hosts, which we can't give them."
Before Sam could elaborate, Garshaw had returned, her expression slightly miffed at being called back so soon after leaving. Martouf was with her, though he seemed slightly amused at her irritation.
"What is it?"
"You said that the symbiote can cure most problems in a human."
"Does that include cancer?"
Martouf seemingly confused by her question, stepped forward. "What is cancer?"
Harry picked up on what Sam was asking a half second before the others did. "It's a disease in humans where the cells grow out of control, you get things called tumors."
Garshaw recognized the description before Martouf, nodding in understanding. "Oh yes, it's a common ailment among your species. We cure it all the time, it's no problem."
Sam smiled, hope in her eyes for the first time since SG-3 had arrived. "Colonel, I think we should at least try to offer it to my Dad."
Harry smiled as well. "Brilliant Sam. That's just brilliant."
Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c looked at each other, silently communicating before Jack turned back to the Tok'ra. "We might have a host for you."
Garshaw seemed shocked, but her hope overrode her surprise."You have a host for Selmak?"
"Yes. My father. He's got cancer and if Selmak can save his life, I think he'd be willing to try it."
"But you have to let us go back to ask him." Jack cut in, hoping this would work for Sam's sake but making sure that Garshaw understood this was an offer of good faith, and expected something in return.
Garshaw thought about it, considering the ramifications, before nodding in acceptance. "I will let two of you go. But the rest will remain to ensure that you will return."
Jack nodded, before turning and pointing to Harry. "Pop her to the 'gate Harry, and go with her just in case he is farther along than we know. Time could be critical."
"Got it boss." Grabbing onto Sam's hand, Harry apparated them to the 'gate, putting in the address as Sam got out her GDO. The Stargate activated, and the two went through, arriving back at Cheyenne Mountain. Orion was surprised to see them, to say the least."
"Harry? What the hell are you doing here, and where's SG-3? They were supposed to bring Captain Carter back only."
"Orion, we need to talk."
Orion nodded, seeing that something serious was going on. "Briefing room."
The three went up to the briefing room and were quickly joined by General Hammond. After they explained the situation and Sam's idea, he leaned down onto his hands, staring across at Sam. "Captain Carter, I am truly sorry about your father, but I have to question the wisdom of what you're suggesting here. From what I've seen, this won't exactly be saving his life. It'll be giving the Tok'ra a host with his life being spared as a secondary objective. Jacob knows a lot about Earth, about the US Military. This would be like handing that information over to the Goa'uld."
"To the Tok'ra sir."
"You sure there's a difference?"
Harry cut in, realizing that Sam's opinion might be considered colored by her desire to save her dad. "Oh, yes, sir, there's a difference, believe me. One minute you're talking to a Goa'uld, the next minute you're talking to a regular guy…person.
"A host, thanks Sam. I did a bit of passive legilimency on a few of the Tok'ra, like Martouf and the guards they had on us. They all had that same feeling that Jolinar had. Another presence, but neither one suppressing the other. It is a true partnership."
"General Hammond, please, I know my father would want to do this. He would have the opportunity to serve as the liaison between ourselves and possibly the most important ally we will ever have."
"Clear the room, people." Harry watched as all the medical staff headed out, leaving just Sam, her dad, General Hammond, and him. As the last person left the room, Harry started casting a few charms and wards, ensuring that even if someone's curiosity overcame them they still wouldn't be able to hear. As he finished, he turned back as the elder Carter gave General Hammond a look.
"I told you not to recall her."
Sam's eyes flashed a bit of hurt before it was quickly covered up. "Happy to see you too, Dad."
"You wanted me to tell you what Captain Carter does, so I thought maybe she could tell you herself."
"Yeah? What happened to the classification?"
"It's still classified Jacob. But you just got clearance."
He looked at Sam in confusion, before asking the obvious question. "Why?"
"Well, believe it or not, we need your help, Dad."
He laughed a bit in derision, before voicing his thoughts. "What? The Pentagon wants me to deliver a message to God when I get up there?"
General Hammond smiled at that, deciding to relieve the tension between the two generations of Carter. "Not exactly."
"Well, I don't plan to see the other guy."
Sam didn't want to wait anymore, her concern for her father overriding her normal composure. "Dad, have you ever heard of the Stargate program?"
"No, is that one of your satellites?"
"I don't work with satellites, Dad, that was just a cover."
"No kidding. I never would have guessed." Harry could see now where Sam got her sarcastic streak from. General Carter was even better at that tone than she was. "So tell me, what do you do that's so great you don't want me to get you into the astronaut program?"
"Well, this is going to be a lot for you to take in at once."
"Stop beating around the bush. What do you do?" Her sense of directness too, apparently.
"I travel to other planets. Much farther away than any astronaut goes."
Jacob sighed before leaning back against his pillow. "So you're not going to tell me the truth."
General Hammond could see that he didn't believe Sam, so he decided to back up his officer. "She is telling you the truth, Jacob."
"She goes to other planets. What, like in simulations?"
"No. In reality."
"We discovered a piece of alien technology Dad. It can send us to thousands of planets all over the galaxy."
Seeing the earnest expression on their faces, and the slight smile on Harry's, Jacob slowly realized the truth. "You're not kidding, are you."
"Holy Hannah!" Jacob turned his eyes to Harry who was trying to stay as unobtrusive as possible. "And what, you're from another planet and only look 17?"
"Not quite sir, in either case. I'm actually 15, and I am from Earth. Just not THIS Earth." To prove his point, Harry lifted off the ground, floating over the bed to come back down next to Sam. "Long story short, I'm a wizard."
Jacob's eyes had gotten wider and wider as Harry floated over to his daughter, before turning towards General Hammond. "You weren't kidding about not believing even if you told me. I'm seeing and I'm still having trouble believing. So what do you want me to do?"
"Captain Carter and Harry have been on a planet, talking to people that could become invaluable allies. They would like you to go with them back to that planet."
Jacob seemed to scoff at that, not understanding. "Why? So I can die there?"
Sam shook her head, reaching out to take her dad's hand. "No. Actually, I'm hoping what we want you to do will cure your cancer."
Whatever sarcastic comments he had disappeared at that declaration. He turned disbelieving eyes over to Harry, wanting confirmation from the other one who had been on this planet. "They have a cure there? What's the catch?"
"It's a big one, sir, I won't lie to you on that."
One of the officers that had accompanied them stuck his head in then, speaking to General Hammond. After a few moments, he nodded and turned back to the other three. "We can explain on the way Jacob. You've been checked out and the car is waiting. Let's get going."
"Chevron 6 encoded!"
The two Carters and Harry were at the base of the gate ramp, watching as the ring spun into position. They had explained most of what had happened with the Stargate program, Harry's arrival, and the attack on Earth by Apophis. Same and Harry were supporting Jacob as they waited, Jacob taking in the Stargate and the complex around them. "So this is the alien thing you found?"
"Sure is Dad."
"And it sends you to other planets?"
"Chevron 7 locked!" The Stargate gave the familiar kawoosh as the wormhole stabilized, the light playing across the room as the three looked on.
Harry grinned, turning to the elder Carter. "Abso-bloody-lutely, sir."
"Let's go, Dad."
The three headed up the ramp, moving as fast as they could before stopping at the edge, Jacob turning towards his daughter, curious about one more thing. "What does it feel like?
"You've handled worse, Dad." Sam smiled before stepping through the gate, ready to help her dad once he arrived on the other side.
Harry nodded in agreement, waving the other man forward as he remembered one of Jack's more often said sayings. "It's a piece of cake, sir." Jacob gave Harry a wary look before squaring his shoulders and stepping through, followed by the young wizard shortly after. A few moments of gate travel found them back on Vorash, Harry once again casting cooling and UV protection charms.
Jacob looked back at the Stargate, then to his daughter again. "You do that a lot?"
"Yeah, once or twice a week."
He smiled at her then, turning around to take in the landscape. "It beats the hell out of a shuttle on the back of a rocket. Though, are you sure this is another planet? It looks like Earth."
"Yeah, we figure the Stargate system was built specifically to transport humans or something close to humans in physiology. So it seems to go mostly to places where the environment supports human life." Sam took her dad's hand again, before placing her other on Harry's shoulder. "Beam us down Harry."
"Ha ha. Call me Scotty and I turn your hair blue again." With a pop of displaced air the three found themselves out of the desert sun and back in the Tok'ra tunnels. But something else must have gone wrong while they were away. The place was a hive of activity, people rushing about, moving equipment and supplies to the transport rings. Spotting Jack and Colonel Makepeace, Harry called out to the two. "Jack! What's happened?"
"Well, the Tok'ra let us go. But, since we want to be allies, Daniel and Makepeace convinced me it would be in our best interests to help with the evacuation rather than cut and run."
Makepeace snorted at that, shifting another heavy box onto his shoulders. "Funny that I don't see him doing any of the heavy lifting now."
Jack set his crate down, shifting his shoulders in relief. "Come on, I'll explain." The Carters and Harry followed, Harry sending a couple of featherweight charms at the materials Makepeace was carrying, receiving a nod of thanks as the load was considerably lightened. "They've got our stuff stored over here, Captain. Once you're suited back up we can talk."
The group walked, staying out of the way as much as possible, over to a small alcove where Daniel and Teal'c were waiting along with their equipment. Sam made the introductions for everyone. "Dad, this is Teal'c and Daniel. Daniel, Teal'c, this is my father, General Jacob Carter."
"It is an honor." Jacob gave a small wave to Daniel before turning to Teal'c, the two gripping arms Jaffa-style in a show of respect. A flickering of light from further down the hallway caught everyone's attention and they turned, watching as the tunnel was collapsing, the crystals moving and condensing down into nothing as the Tok'ra evacuated. "Chel nak."
Daniel smirked at that, before turning towards Harry. "Direct translation: 'Very cool'."
"You aren't wrong, big guy."
Sam turned her eyes from the sight, still unclear what was going on around them. "Colonel? Why are the Tok'ra evacuating?"
"According to their intelligence, the snake-heads found them. Two motherships on the way.
"Still kicking. Martouf is there as well. You take your dad to that same room, the rest of us will find Garshaw and see where we can be the most help. Call if you need us."
"Thank you sir."
As the two Carters went off, Jack turned to the other three. "She said she would be in the council chambers. Let's go."
"Want me to pop us there?"
"Save the mojo, may need it to lift some of the equipment or something else."
The four set off then, Harry still trying to catch up on what happened. "So fill me in. How'd the System Lords find them? One of their spies get caught?"
"Unlikely Harry Potter. Though the System Lords have managed to capture Tok'ra in the past, they tend to kill themselves in such a manner that the sarcophagus would be unable to revive them rather than allow interrogation."
"Are we talking about a spy here, or what?"
Daniel and Jack stopped, catching each others eyes before turning to the other two as Daniel spoke. "Well, if that's the case, moving to another planet's not going to do them much good."
Jack nodded, his expression contemplative before he turned towards Teal'c. "You know those little pellet-ball things?"
"The long-range visual communications device?"
"Right. How small do they make those?"
"I have seen them small enough to fit in the palm of your hand."
"Damn. We need to find Garshaw. Now." Jack set off at a run then, the others following quickly behind as they made the short journey to the Council chambers. Luckily for them, Garshaw was inside, orchestrating the evacuation."
"I expected you to be gone by now. What can I do for you?"
Jack cut straight to the point, knowing there wasn't a long time to spare. "I think you might have a spy in your ranks."
"Nonsense, the Tok'ra are loyal for life!"
"Then how did the System Lords find you?"
"Presumably the same way you did."
Daniel stepped up then, pointing out a flaw in her reasoning. "Well, we did have a spy in our ranks. Jolinar of Malk-shur, through Captain Carter."
Garshaw seemed to consider that before nodding, turning back to Jack. "I suppose you know the name of the spy?"
"I've got a pretty good idea."
"Well, I don't want to point fingers, but I'd keep my eye on Cordesh."
"Cordesh? Why do you say that?"
"You folks make a habit of walking around with those little teleball dealie…what are they again Teal'c?"
"He speaks of a long-range visual communications device."
"We don't have those, we have no use for them. The system is not secure."
"Well, your buddy Cordesh has one."
Garshaw seemed stunned for a half second before her expression turned into one of absolute rage and betrayal. "Tok'ra kree! Tal shak Cordesh, kree!"
As the group grabbed weapons and went in search of Cordesh, Jack called out to Garshaw again. "Wait, we can help." As they stopped, he turned back towards his team. "Daniel, Teal'c, stay here, help in evac. Harry, time to break out the voodoo."
Harry already had his wand in hand, having figured what Jack would ask. "Point Me Cordesh!" The wand spun twice, pointing down a corridor to the left. "This way!" The group set off at a run, following the wand until they arrived at one of the collapsing tunnels. Cordesh was there, facing the crystals as they came closer and closer. He turned at their approach, facing them. Harry wasn't sure, but something seemed off.
Garshaw called out to him, still livid. "Cordesh! You must come with me and face questioning."
"I'm not what I appear to be. Cordesh is no longer. I couldn't stop him. I'm as guilty as he was!" Something in his tone didn't sit right with Harry and Jack, Jack making a grabbing motion at the man, mutely telling Harry what he wanted him to do.
"You must leave the tunnel and explain yourself, Cordesh."
"I don't deserve to remain among the Tok'ra!" Just as the tunnel was about to collapse on him, Harry stepped around the others, aiming at Cordesh and casting a summoning spell. With a jerk the man was pulled back towards the group, the Tok'ra there quickly surrounding him as he collapsed into tears. "No, please, just let me die! I couldn't save him..."
Harry leaned down and forced the man's eyes open, pulling memories up, trying to see what was happening. Finding the information he wanted, he growled low and set off at a run, heading back towards the transport rings, the others close behind him.
"Harry, what did you see?"
Harry didn't respond to Jack's question, eyes scanning the Tok'ra waiting to evacuate. Finding the one he was looking for he sent out a mental probe, followed by a stunner. The woman he had aimed at crumpled to the ground, even as weapons were aimed at him in response. "I'll apologize later if I was wrong." Searching through her bag, he found what he was looking for, a small box which he opened and showed to Garshaw.
She took the box, motioning for the guards to lower their weapons as she looked at the long range communications device. Yosuf spoke then, questioning what she was seeing. "Two spies?"
"No. Just the one. Your friend Cordesh was a Tok'ra. He was surprised from behind, and the next thing the host knew, Cordesh had been replaced with a Goa'uld. He tried to fight back but the hold was too strong. After the Goa'uld heard you call out to hunt down Cordesh, it abandoned ship, leaving him and taking over that woman I just stunned. She was going to gate to your next base, call in that location while you were unprepared from suddenly leaving here, and let the motherships burn you all to the ground."
Jack clapped Harry on the shoulder as Garshaw had the Tok'ra restrain the stunned woman, taking her to have the Goa'uld removed. "Nice job kid."
Garshaw nodded, smiling at the two SG-1 members. "I must thank you. You may have saved the Tok'ra a great many losses."
"But, you still have nothing to offer us."
Jack and Harry just exchanged a look, neither one of them quite believing what they were being told. Daniel and Teal'c had appeared when they saw the commotion though, and Daniel decided to interject.
"Well, actually, I think we do."
"Well, the one thing you need the most we can provide. Hosts."
"Well, think about it Jack. I mean, if it works for Sam's father, then there must be other people in similar situations."
Jack was ready to shoot the idea down but stopped, thinking it through. As large as the military forces that knew about the Stargate now were, there would be more good men like General Carter who might be willing to lend a hand. He turned back to Garshaw, nodding at Daniel for the idea. "It's worth exploring."
"It is." Before she could say anything, the transport rings activated, bringing a single Tok'ra down to them. After a few words, Garshaw turned back towards SG-1. "The attacks from the motherships cannot penetrate into the ground this far immediately, but there are gliders inbound, intent to hold us here until the motherships can reach us. We must get to the Stargate."
"Not without Sam and her dad."
"Harry's right Garshaw, I'm not leaving my team behind."
"We thought you might say that. Come, quickly." Yosuf set off as the evacuation kept going, out of the corner of his eye, Harry noticed more and more tunnels disappearing as the amount of Tok'ra they passed dwindled down to nothing. They arrived at the room, finding Sam holding her dad's hand as he was either sleeping or unconscious, Martouf and Jolinar standing watch off to the side, looking at them as they approached. "Most of the tunnels except this one and the escape tunnel have vanished. By now the other Tok'ra have gone to the new homeworld. We must go now!"
"But what about my father?"
"When and if he awakens, Selmak knows where we'll be. He can follow."
"But the Goa'uld are coming, they'll capture him. That's dangerous for both of our groups."
"If he's captured, he will die before he will reveal our whereabouts."
"Well, then take him with you!"
Jack spoke up then, looking at Yosuf as he spoke. "Or we'll take him with us."
Martouf shook his head, looking down at the stationary General. "I'm afraid that to transport him now, he will die. He needs to remain stationary until Selmak has completed her repairs."
Sam looked down at her dad, her expression distraught. "We can't just leave him here!"
Jolinar placed a hand on Sam's shoulder, speaking for the first time since they had come in. "I will remain with him. If I can get him out, I will. If not, I will allow the vanishing tunnels to consume us before the Goa'uld get here."
"Thank you Jolinar, but I can't ask you to do that. I'll stay."
Yosuf shook her head, looking between the two. "You are even more vulnerable since you contain the memories of Jolinar. I cannot allow you to stay. We must go now."
"She's right, Captain. We have to go."
"With respect, no, sir. I am not leaving him here".
Martouf stepped forward from the wall then, placing his hand into Fusoya's and gripping it in support before turning towards the other Tok'ra. "Garshaw, Fusoya, Jolinar, Lantash and I will remain with Captain Carter. I will assure that we will not be taken by the Goa'uld. It is the least I can do, for their assistance in trying to save Selmak."
"And for allowing Jolinar to stay in Captain Carter so that she could then transfer to me, healing my sickness."
Sam added her own plea then, eyes never leaving the still form of her father. "Please, Colonel. Jack, I need to be here."
Jack was about to order her to move out until she said his name. Carter never broke ranks, not unless she absolutely had to. Knowing how important this was to her he nodded, turning to see Garshaw doing the same. "Right. Daniel? Teal'c? Harry? Let's go."
"I'll stay too Jack. I can get us to the gate faster, even if I have to do two at a time, and if the Goa'uld do get here before we can move, I'm our best bet to stay undetected."
Jack let out a sigh, but lead Daniel and Teal'c out, knowing that Harry was right. Garshaw followed behind, but Harry had already started casting spells, writing runes in the air before directing them to the four walls of the room, the floor, and the roof. Standing as close to the center as he could without disturbing General Carter, he brought his magic to the fore and pointed his wand at the rune above his head. "FIDELIS!" As the magic washed over the room, Harry called out to the others, knowing the spell would have already started to mess with their heads. "Those still here are in Selmak's room."
"Okay...Harry, what was that?"
"Fidelius Charm. Now, even if the Jaffa do come, they could look through that door and not see us. I've concealed our existence inside a piece of magic, the Secret, that only I, as the Secret Keeper, can give out."
"Nice. Why haven't you done this before?"
"Doesn't work without the rune fields. And it takes a lot of power the more you want to conceal. A few people in a room? Fine, but the room itself? Harder."
"What do you mean Harry?"
"Right now, I'm concealing that we are in this room, but the room can still be seen. It's how my parent's hid from Voldemort. If I changed the spell, I could hide the room as well, or even an entire building or structure. That deals with altering perception and space as well though, which takes a lot more energy. And it's not perfect. War-fire is an area effect spell, so it would still burn everything in it's path, even if the caster couldn't see it. So if the Jaffa decide to fire a blast into the room just in case, it will still hit us unless we get a shield up."
"Noted. So I guess now all we can do is wait on dad. I hope I've done the right thing bringing him here."
"From what I understand, the alternative was no better."
"True Martouf. Very true."
The group quieted down then, as the blasts from above continued to strike down on the planet. From the disparity of the concussive force, it seemed that the Death Gliders had arrived too, and were adding their firepower to the attacks of the mothership. Luckily though, no Jaffa had found the tunnels. Suddenly, Jacob let out a small gasp of air, Sam rushing over to check on him as the others turned towards them. "Dad?"
With a flash of his eyes, the double tone of voice Harry had come to expect was turning towards the other two Tok'ra. "Martouf? Jolinar?"
Jolinar smiled, sharing relieved glances with Martouf as she nodded to the elder Tok'ra. "Yes, we're here."
As the two moved to either side of the elder Carter, assisting him in sitting up, the cave rocked again, this time in what appeared to be a direct hit as the crystal shook loose and some parts came down around them. "Should we not make our escape?"
Sam stepped forward then, as did Harry, who sent out a Legilimency probe as she spoke up. "Uh, not to interrupt our exit plan, but is my Dad in there somewhere?
"I'm here, Sammy. Oh man, talk about your hangover. And before you ask how I'm feeling, I'm awful. Headache the size of Kuwait. There's too much stuff in here." Harry could feel them same double presence he had felt from all the other Tok'ra he had scanned, able to pick up a lot of the thoughts that Jacob was going through as he was conversing with Selmak. It was very similar to how he had cordoned off the memories Voldemort had left with him actually. They had a separate place away from his own natural thought patterns. In his case, the memories were locked behind Occlumency barriers, while for the Tok'ra, it was the symbiote that kept them safe from overloading the host mind. As Jacob got off the bed, Harry detected a flash of surprise from the older man as he withdrew his scan, satisfied that the two were indeed in a partnership as opposed to Selmak taking over. "Whoa! No more arthritis! Holy Hannah! No more arthritis! I take it back, I don't feel awful. I feel great!"
"It's him Sam." As she hugged her dad, who seemed a bit surprised at the show of affection, the tunnel was again hit from above with a blast from the attacking Goa'uld.
"We should make our leave as soon as possible. This way."
"The man's not wrong. Jolinar, you, Fusoya and Sam take my hands first, give Selmak and Jacob a bit more time to settle before I come and take them back with Martouf and Lantash." Without waiting for a response, Harry reached out and took them by the hand, taking them to the gate. Almost as soon as they materialized, they could hear the screams of Gliders striking through the air. "Sam, start dialing Earth. We can send the Tok'ra wherever they want but we aren't going to have time to dial out twice, especially if the Goa'uld try to dial in and block us from leaving at all."
With a pop of displaced air Harry reappeared back in the crystal cavern as Martouf withdrew a few crystals. "Time to go boys."
"I must first finish prepping the crystals to destroy these chambers. I need but a moment more."
"Get the escape tunnel too. I'm bypassing it to take us directly to the Stargate."
As the crystal caverns started disappearing, Harry placed his hand on the others and brought them both to the Stargate just as the wormhole stabilized, Sam inputting her code into her GDO. "Code sent, everybody into the wormhole before those gliders see us."
The Tok'ra wasted no time, all heading through, followed quickly by Harry and Sam as the gliders started turning around for another pass. As they arrived back at the SGC, Harry did a quick scan to make sure everyone had arrived, and as soon as Sam stepped back through behind him, turned towards the control room. "Walter, lock her up!"
"Closing iris!" As the titanium shield moved into place, Harry slowly let himself come down from the adrenaline of battle, taking in that all of his friends were alright before doing the same to the Tok'ra. Satisfied, he let the magic he had called in preparation for a fight slowly ebb back into his core, noticing with a slight smile that the exercises he had been doing were indeed paying off. Last year apparating that many people in so short of a time would have left him winded at the very least, but now he was still ready to go.
General Hammond, Orion, and Jack were over with the Tok'ra and General Carter, discussing the events of the day. Jacob looked to be the one doing the talking, but as Harry got closer he heard the double tone indicating Selmak instead. "I must give you thanks. You have saved my life and that of my new host. We thank you."
Yosuuf and Garshaw were smiling at the sight, clasping her hand around Jacob's shoulder and looking genuinely relieved. "This is wonderful news. We are so happy you are alive Selmak. And your host as well"
Orion spoke up then, keeping one eye on the Tok'ra in case this was still some trick. "Yes, we all are. Speaking of, can we talk to Jacob?
Selmak nodded, then after bowing his head, he looked up, and Harry noticed a sheepish smile on the elder Carter's face. "So when the little fella inside me is talking, do I sound like the she does?"
"That is correct." Harry turned, noticing the rest of SG-1 had come up behind the group as well as Jolinar, Martouf, Lantash, and Fusoya.
"It's strange. I can feel myself talking, but it's not me saying the words. You know?"
Sam smiled, nodding along even as Jack was shaking his head. "I know what you mean dad."
"I don't, but I'll take your word for it. Working with Sam here has taught me to generally trust in whatever a Carter is saying." Harry reached forward to shake the man's hand, noticing the returned strength of his grip versus the one he had received earlier. "How are you feeling General Carter?"
"Well, considering I got one of those things inside me, pretty damn good!" Jacob laughed before turning towards General Hammond, a smile on his face. "Listen, George. Because of this blending thing, I already know everything there is to know about the Tok'ra. You made the right call. I would be proud to serve as liaison between the Earth and these people."
"Good. Well, on that note, perhaps you can ask them to come with me to do a little debriefing."
"I'm afraid we cannot. We must go." Everyone turned towards Garshaw then, a question in their eyes. The voice changed again and it was suddenly Yosuuf speaking instead, "Because of the spy, the Goa'uld may already be at or heading to the site the Tok'ra have moved to. We must go quickly and stop the tunnels there before they are grown."
Jolinar and Martouf nodded, Martouf moving to offer support to the still freshly blended Selmak and Jacob while Jolinar and Fusoya made their way towards the control room to put in the coordinates. Martouf turned towards Sam, but when he spoke, it was Lantash instead. "I give you my word, I will watch over you father as if he were my own. It is the least we can do for saving our mentor. First Jolinar, now Selmak...It seems the council underestimated the benefits an alliance with the Tau'ri could bring."
"Indeed Lantash." Harry and Sam both turned in slight surprise at Garshaw's words, both having thought that the councilwoman had not been a huge fan of the idea of an alliance herself. "The council, and I, were wrong. Considering it was Cordesh, or rather, the Goa'uld inside him, that was the most vocal opponent, along with the rest of the events today, I think we can safely assume that we will be glad to be partners with you all to see the Goa'uld defeated once and for all. I know I will be."
"Chevron One encoded!"
Jacob approached then, placing a hand on Sam's shoulder and smiling at her as the Stargate continued to dial. "It's ironic, ain't it? I was trying to find you a better assignment and you didn't need it. Now you've found me the best assignment an old soldier could dream up. Thanks, kid."
"You're welcome. Do you have to go so soon?"
"Yeah. I have to go. Apparently, I'm the oldest and wisest among us."
"Oh jeez. You're never going to stop saying that now are you?"
Jacob laughed, the motion throwing his head back before he shook his head no. "My daughter is a super genius. I have to have some teasing material. Parental privileges."
"Chevron Seven, locked!" As the wormhole stabilized, the Tok'ra gathered together, as did SG-1, Orion, and General Hammond, at the base of the ramp leading to the gate. Garshaw looked over her people, before turning towards the SGC staff and smiling, determination flashing in her eyes.
"There will come a time when the Tok'ra and the people of the Tau'ri will destroy the Goa'uld System Lords. I have no doubt about it in my mind."
Jack smiled, nodding as Daniel handed over another Sagan Institute box to Martouf and Lantash, explaining how to use it. "That'll be a good day. Barbecue at my place after."
Jacob grinned, pleased at the idea. "Beer's will be on me." He turned slightly then, looking at SG-1. "Look after my daughter for me? I know she can take care of herself, but..."
Daniel nodded in understanding even as Sam bristled slightly at the idea of her dad asking anyone to look after her. "She's family."
Harry nodded as well, before throwing a look at Sam, reaching over to poke her in the arm. "She's the one looking after us a lot of the time. Or rather, we all look after each other. She's our family too sir."
That simple assertion seemed to please the elder Carter, as he turned and wrapped Sam in a tight hug. "I love you."
Sam would deny it later, but there were the beginnings of tears in her eyes, glad to see her family getting along and her father alive and well. "I love you too, Dad."
Jacob turned to head up the ramp and join the rest of the Tok'ra, Martouf, Jolinar, Fusoya, and Lantash waving at SG-1 while Garshaw and Yosuuf settled for a more dignified nod. As he was about to enter the wormhole, Jacob turned, and the smile on his face showed where Sam got her grin whenever she was telling a joke. "Selmak says, let me see if I can translate this, don't call us, we'll call you."
Orion let out a bark of laughter even as Same groaned in exasperation, the Tok'ra stepping into the wormhole and it quickly disengaging behind them. "I like your dad, Captain."
"You know Orion? I do too." Sam smiled, a bit of sadness in her eyes as she turned away from the wormhole. Harry figured he knew what she was sad about. Even if he was alive now thanks to Selmak, Jacob was going to be gone for long stretches of time. Sam wouldn't see him all that much, even though he now knew about what she was really doing. Wanting to help her, Harry decided to bite the bullet and give her a distraction.
"Hey Sam, while Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c do the debriefing, shall we head to your lab? I've got enough juice left to cast a few disarming spells, see if we can get the next device closer to being ready for the SG teams.
Sam's face lit up, always eager to study Harry's magic and try to replicate it. She turned towards Jack and General Hammond, looking for permission. "Sirs?"
"Go ahead Captain. Anything we need that the rest of SG-1 doesn't know we can ask later."
Sam shot off, speaking over her shoulder. "Thank you sir! Harry, I'll have the scanners set up in 5 minutes."
"Be down shortly then Sam." Once she was out of sight, he sighed, shoulders dropping before turning back to the Jack and General Hammond, both of whom were smirking at him, though the General at least had the grace to try to hide it. Harry straightened his shoulders and snapped off a salute, to the two. "We who are about to die, salute you."
"I'm sure it won't be that bad son. And thank you. I know why you're doing this."
"Well, we did just promise General Carter. And I like said. She's family."
"That she is son, that she is." As Harry popped out, General Hammond turned towards the others. "I'll give you all half an hour to get refreshed and ready. Orion?" The two walked off, heading for the briefing room while Jack, Teal'c, and Daniel headed for the showers. New allies made, reports to file, and Harry being tortured...tested by Sam in her lab for more magic readings. Just another day at the SGC.
A/N Mark Two: So. Been a while. Far longer than I ever intended. Real life got in the way and refused to move. My first ever emergency room visit, losing one job, losing a car, and many other negative things happened and it kinda sapped my will and time to right down to nothing.
However, it hasn't been all bad. I managed to find another job, and have been promoted to a full time managerial position there. It's not teaching, which is what my degree is in and what I want to do, but it's something. I also managed a cross country move so I am now in sunny California rather than on the East Coast. Why the move? Well, that's the best news there. I GOT MARRIED!
Yes, I found the love of my life, well one of them but that's a whole other story, and she agreed to marry me. We have our own apartment, not much but its enough for us. My job makes enough to cover the bills and leave a little, not a lot but a little, to manage savings. I am finally getting enough to not only manage, but start paying back the debts I owe from the move and from my college loans. So that's the story. I can't apologize enough for the long wait, but what I can say is this:
Thank you. From the oldest readers who never gave up hope, to those who have just found the story today. Thank you for taking the time to read my words. For being patient with me on this update. For never giving up hope that I would come back.
I can't promise when the next update will be. Life is a lot more hectic with this job than it was my last, but I do promise that I am back, that I am writing, and that Harry's adventures with SG-1 are not over yet. So, until next time.
Peace and Out,
Pwn Master Paladin
PS: Just to reiterate from the beginning AN, this chapter is UNEDITED OR BETA READ. Y'all waited long enough, so I went ahead and posted it while sending it off to Marcus Lazarus to beta read. Any suggestions or changes he makes I will upload later.