Title: Carnivorus Plantae Mobilis
Fandom(s): Stargate SG-1
Categories: Adventure, Drama, Romance
Pairing(s): Samantha Carter & Martouf/Lantash
Word Count: 53k
Beta: skarpedin and pagan twylight
Summary: Sam had not yet come to terms with Martouf/Lantash having died - and having to admit to herself she loved them - when she has to go on a dangerous mission that will remind her of what she has lost. How will she react when she learns she has been lied to - and that Martouf/Lantash may not be as dead as she thought? Will she even get a chance to come to terms with it all - or will she be killed by a lifeform she would have refused to believe even existed? Story goes AU from Summit/Last Stand.
Author's notes: Spoilers: Summit, Last Stand, 48 Hours, Fail Safe, The Tok'ra I&II, In the Line of Duty, Crossroads, Dead Man's Switch, various other small spoilers for Tok'ra episodes. Some dialogue lifted from Fail Safe.
* denotes thoughts or host/symbiote communication.
In my story the Jaffa cannot sense symbiotes (as in the 1st season of SG-1). It never made sense to me that they could in later episodes, since they do not have naquadah in their blood and do not communicate with their symbiotes.
Written for Het Big Bang 2011 on LiveJournal.
This version has been cut/rewritten to achieve a PG-13 rating. The story will also be posted on Symbiotica: http : / / tokra . fandomnet . com / viewstory . php ? sid = 140 (remove the spaces), in the original NC-17 version. Note that only some of the chapters differ between these versions.
Chapter 1: Pain, Sorrow, and Joy.
"My Lord, I regret to report the majority of the Tok'ra scum were either buried under the rubble of their tunnels, or expired too long ago for the sarcophagus to be effective. The same applies to those of their Tau'ri allies that were there. We brought back those that we believed could be revived successfully," the Jaffa leader told Zipacna, nervously.
"Then we must hope those few have valuable information... for your sake!" Zipacna threatened.
He was still angry that he had not been able to take more of the Tok'ra - and Tau'ri - alive. Torturing a few of them - whether they had useful knowledge or not - might have partially made up for this shameful result. A large amount of his Jaffa had died - fallen to some despicable poison developed by the heretics.
"Bring me the first of the vermin as soon as they are revived."
"Yes, my Lord." The Jaffa bowed.
"What is your name, Tok'ra?" Zipacna demanded. "Why do you wear a Tau'ri uniform? Do you subjugate yourself to them completely now? Serve them as their minions?"
*It would be better if I took control, to answer him...and to better protect you...later...*
The young man hesitated, still not comfortable with another being in his head - and more acutely aware of it now when both he and the symbiote were alive and well. The symbiote was no longer focusing all his strength on healing his host, and so his presence was obvious in the young man's mind.
*I...understand.* He swallowed, well aware of the torture that awaited them. *Take control.*
The symbiote did, and looked up at Zipacna, flashing his eyes.
"I am Lantash of the Tok'ra. My host is Lieutenant Kevin Elliot of the Tau'ri." He looked at the Goa'uld with a defiant expression. "I will not betray my people or his."
"I see." Zipacna made a sign at the Jaffa standing nearby with a painstick, who stepped closer. "I am sure I can convince you otherwise. What was that poison you released? We found traces of it in the vial on your body, so do not deny it!" He motioned at the Jaffa who jammed the painstick into Lantash's side. "It will be enough for my scientists to synthesize it, so it will make little difference - except I save a little time and you a lot of pain!"
Lantash gasped, but managed not to cry out, blocking the pain from his host.
"Tell me!" Zipacna snarled, as the Jaffa brought the painstick into contact with Lantash's neck, turning it on for what seemed like an eternity, to the Tok'ra. "What plans do you and the Tau'ri have for your pathetic war against the System Lords?"
Elliott sat in the corner of his cell, having recently been returned there after being revived - again - in the sarcophagus. He was in control, as he was most of the time, except when Zipacna was torturing them. He still had problems handling another controlling his body. He looked morosely around him. The room was fairly large, but sparsely furnished. Aside from the bench he was sitting on, the only furniture was a similar one along the other wall. On the floor, in the opposite corner, lay a small pile of blankets - all the comfort that was provided. Well, they would likely not live long enough to consider that a problem.
He noticed his symbiote had withdrawn to his own sorrowful thoughts.
*You miss him,* he told Lantash.
*Yes. I always miss my...my former hosts. It does not change the fact that you are my beloved host and that I will do anything to save you. I am very sorry we are now prisoners of the Goa'uld.*
*Don't blame yourself. I chose to fight the Goa'uld - and we both agreed to take the symbiote poison to the gate, to kill the Jaffa and let SG-1 escape. I doubt anyone would have made it away, if we hadn't done what we did.*
*I know...* He thought about Samantha. *I hope they succeeded. I had not expected the Goa'uld would arrive so closely after we had died - and resurrect us in a sarcophagus in order to torture us.*
*Do you think Zipacna has a sample of the poison?*
*He may...if that is the case, we must somehow inform the Tok'ra - or destroy the sample ourselves. I have no idea how to accomplish this.*
They were quiet for a while, while Lantash continued thinking dark thoughts, though their direction changed.
*You're angry at...Ren'al?* Elliot noted.
*Yes! She removed me from Martouf against my wish. I fought her, but I was too weak and she caused harm to both Martouf and myself when she removed me. Eventually, I gave up. I would never have left him, not when there was a chance I could heal us both...and there was. She only removed me so she could examine Martouf and learn about the zatarc programming. I know Samantha suspected the same - I heard them talk. If Ren'al had not died when the tunnels collapsed, I would...* He calmed himself with difficulty. *It does not matter. Soon we will also be dead. I am sorry I have failed you.*
*This is not your fault!*
*If I had been stronger, I could perhaps have healed you. Perhaps we could all have escaped. Somehow...*
*Lantash...stop it! I agreed to be your host.*
*But you would want me to leave when and if it became possible,* Lantash observed, having again sensed this from his host. *I give you my word I will do so, if it ever becomes possible.*
*I'm not sorry I'm your host and I'm glad I'm not alone here right now. I am happy to have gotten to know you. Don't ever think otherwise! It's just...I miss Earth and my friends...and it is a little strange to have someone in your head, talking. Well, more than a little strange...* He smiled wryly.
*We have not fully blended - there was no time before. We will not do so now, it will make it much easier on you when I leave you. At least the cursed sarcophagus has healed my body and yours - we should both survive me leaving you.*
They woke up when the door to their cell was opened. Looking up, they saw a group of Jaffa arriving, two of them dragging an unconscious man between them. They stepped into the cell and threw him in the corner, one of the other Jaffa training his staff weapon on Elliot, daring him to try anything.
The man fell, still unconscious and face down, his fall mitigated slightly by the blankets lying on the floor there.
*I wonder who that poor soul is?* Elliot wondered.
*We should see if we can help him in any way,* Lantash suggested.
*Yes, of course.* Elliot got up. *Lantash...if you can heal him...if he agrees...*
*I will ask him, but you should not hope too much. It is rare for people to agree to become a host.*
*He is wounded. Dying, perhaps.*
*Even so, it is still a rare individual who agrees,* Lantash sighed. *I shall ask. If he becomes conscious. I need his permission - I will not take him against his wishes.*
They were almost beside the man when Elliot stopped, prompted by Lantash.
*It is very faint...but I am certain...he has a small amount of naquadah in his blood...*
*He was a host?*
*Yes, I believe so. His upper body is naked, but his pants are similar to those the Tok'ra wear. Very strange...*
*Did you have any former hosts on your base?*
*No, they are very rare. Samantha was certainly the only one there during the attack, and this one is a male,* he suddenly urged Elliot on, getting a suspicion he dared not even hope for.
Elliot moved the blanket aside, from where it was covering the man's head and shoulders. There was no entry scar - not surprising, as Lantash recognized the man. Elliot gently turned him over, confirming it.
*Martouf!* Lantash felt his heart ache for him. His host - former host - had been tortured. He needed him, needed his symbiote.
*How badly wounded is he? Can we wake him?*
*It is bad, but nothing I cannot repair. Zipacna must have had him healed and resurrected in a sarcophagus before they tortured him.*
*Where did they get him? I thought he was dead?*
*So did I. Ren'al must have put him back in stasis after examining him. Probably reasoning she might learn more from his body later, despite having been told she had done enough examinations of his brain.*
*How could the sarcophagus bring him back?*
*He must not have been out of the stasis chamber for long - perhaps Ren'al and her team even kept his body functioning with some sort of machines, while they examined him. They may have had reasons to do so - may have needed him as well...preserved as possible. I do not know. He obviously cannot have been dead for too long a period of time - the sarcophagus can only bring back people who have been dead less than 5-6 hours - maybe a little more, but it is not certain after that.*
*Do you think he is himself? I mean, would he have brain damage from Ren'al messing around with him and the zatarc-stuff and all?*
*There is no way to know.* Lantash felt a deep ache for his former host, combined with fury over what had been done to him. To both of them. *Perhaps. I hope not. There is no way to know until he wakes up. It's obvious they tortured him for information, though, so I would assume any brain damage cannot be too pronounced.*
*I hope he's okay - and agrees to become your host. No offense - but I think I'd like to just be me again. Even here.*
Lantash sighed. *It may not stop Zipacna from torturing you, and I feel responsible for both of you. However, if you are certain that is your wish, we do not have to wait. I can change hosts immediately.*
*I thought you needed to know he is willing?*
*Normally, yes, but I do not need to ask Martouf. He has already given his consent once, and he does not need to do so again. I know he would be happy to be my host again. We're very close friends. Closer than friends. He would never say no.*
*Okay, lets do this, then.*
*There is one more thing. You must understand, that even though I am completely healed and in perfect condition, there is always a significant danger of death when attempting something like this, perhaps to all three of us, depending on how badly injured Martouf is. Leaving a host and keeping him or her alive is...difficult. I want to be certain you know this before you make your choice.*
*You can die?* Elliot sounded surprised.
"Yes, but that is a risk I am willing to take. However, I cannot make this choice for you. The worst that could happen is that I do not manage to free myself completely without damage, since I would have to be careful not to injure you. I could even die within you, and there would then be a risk I would not be strong enough to prevent you from dying as well. However, as I am currently in perfect health, I do not believe that will happen."
Elliot thought about it for a moment. *Okay, if you're willing to risk it, then so am I.*
*I will disconnect from you very carefully, of course, waiting until the last moment to sever connections needed to supply myself with oxygen, and such, of course. Also, I will give your body instructions to begin healing at an accelerated pace, as soon as I leave you. It will work for some minutes, maybe more. Enough to almost completely heal the remaining damage from me disconnecting and leaving. I will block the pain while I disconnect, of course.*
Elliot kneeled beside Martouf. *What do I do?* He felt Lantash begin to disconnect. It felt strange, but it did not hurt. Yet, anyway.
*As I said, you will heal quickly, but there will be some pain for a little while. I'm afraid I cannot help that.*
*I understand. It's okay.*
*In a moment I will have disconnected completely, and then we cannot communicate. When that happens, turn Martouf a little on his side and hold his mouth open. Try to hold him so his tongue is more or less out of the way, then lean in as if to kiss him and open your mouth. I will handle the rest. Observe that there will be a short, sharp pain at the moment when I leave you.*
Elliot nodded, doing as he was told. He felt the connection to Lantash disappear completely, and all of a sudden he felt very alone, almost regretting his choice. He felt a tearing pain in the back of his throat, just as he opened his mouth above Martouf's. Then something long and slippery slid over his lips and into Martouf's mouth. It only took a moment, and as he pulled back, he saw the last of a long body disappear into the other man. Moments later, Martouf's eyes flashed yellow-white.
"L...Lantash," he got out, coughing a little. It made his throat hurt more. "Did you make it all right?"
"Shhh...do not speak. You need to heal. Sit back and relax - and let us hope the Goa'uld does not come back soon. I freed myself without injury, so do not concern yourself over me. Right now I need to focus on healing Martouf. He is still unconscious, and I prefer he stay that way until I can repair some of the damage causing him pain."
"Can you tell if he's okay?" Elliot whispered.
Lantash gave him a reprimanding look, not liking that he caused himself pain by speaking. He still felt protective over his - newest - former host. "I do not detect any signs of brain-damage, except perhaps for a small amount of missing memories, which was to be expected. The sarcophagus must have been able to heal it all."
Elliot sat down to relax and let his injuries heal, while Lantash focused on healing Martouf. They were quiet for a long time, but fortunately Zipacna did not seem to want to interrogate them right now. Probably he was focused on something else.
Martouf slowly awoke, trying to remember where he was and what had happened. It did not take him long to remember he was a prisoner of the Goa'uld, and that he had been tortured for information. He also remembered waking up in a sarcophagus before that, but not how he had come to be captured, nor how he had died. He did not think it had been from torture that time?
Actually, he remembered very little that had happened since...he tried to focus. Tried to remember... he remembered being told Anise had tested some sort of alien technology - armbands of some kind - on SG-1. He had been angry at her for endangering them. What else? His memory of the time after that was fragmented. He could remember leaving for a short mission to...to Tenshawna? Then, vague memories of the SGC, but nothing else.
His mind cleared and while he could still not remember any events after Tenshawna, he suddenly clearly remembered the first thing he had realised after waking up in the sarcophagus. He was alone. Lantash was gone! He again felt the cold fear and then deep grief return. What had happened to his symbiote? His closest friend...his soulmate? He had never felt so desolate before, and he did not even want to live anymore. Not without Lantash. He no longer cared what happened to him. Did not even care about the torture, the physical pain barely registering, compared to the emotional - something which had infuriated Zipacna.
Not getting any answers, or even a satisfying reaction from his prisoner, the Goa'uld had eventually given up, and ordered the man sent to a cell. If he lived, he might be more entertaining later.
Suddenly, Martouf realised he felt a...presence in his mind. Lantash? For a moment he felt joy. Was it nothing more than an hallucination that had made him think his friend gone? That would explain why he felt almost fully healed, something which had confused him earlier.
Or...the fear returned...was he now host to a Goa'uld? Would the hated enemy use him to cause pain to the Tok'ra? The Tau'ri? He had much information that might endanger both.
He felt the presence become stronger, as the symbiote awoke from sleep. Likely resting after healing him.
*Lantash?* He asked, worried, though he believed...hoped the presence felt familiar.
*Yes, Martouf. It's me.* He gave Martouf a warm hug. *I missed you.*
Martouf hugged him back. Happy. *So you were actually gone? It was not a horrible dream?*
*No, I am afraid it was not. I am back, though. There is much to explain. I believe we should blend again now you are awake. Synchronize our memories. It is the easiest way.*
*Samantha knows we love her?*
*That I love her, at any rate, though if she gives it any thought, she will know you do as well, as she knows we love as one.*
*She did not give you the answer you hoped for,* Martouf concluded. It was not a question.
*No. She did not. I believe some of it was shock. She may yet come to love us. I hope. Of course, that is only if we find a way to escape. Currently she believes we are both dead, and she may soon be proven correct, if we do not find a way out of here.*
*We have escaped worse. We will get out.* With Lantash back, Martouf suddenly felt optimistic.
*We will,* Lantash agreed, hoping it was the truth.
Martouf opened his eyes and slowly sat up, looking around the cell they were in.
*Should not your...former host, Lieutenant...Elliot, be here as well?*
*He should.* Lantash felt fear. *They must have come for him while I was healing you - or while we were blending.*
*Lantash...do not feel guilty. You cannot protect both of us, and Elliot did not want you to stay with him. I do. You did the right thing.*
*In my mind I know it is the truth...it is still hard, though...I feel responsibility for the both of you...*
*That is not all...*
*No, Zipacna may have a sample of the symbiote poison developed by a group of Tok'ra scientists. If he does, it is imperative the Tok'ra get that information...Zipacna may use it against them otherwise - and we have no way to warn them!*
"My Lord...I hope it is not an inconvenient time for you." He threw the dead man on the floor a look.
"Ah, Hurtak." Zipacna acknowledged the underling. "Not at all. This pathetic...Tau'ri did not last long. Earlier I had a Tok'ra to play with - now the cursed heretic seems to have fled his host. No doubt choosing death to avoid facing me again! The Tok'ra are all cowards!" His expression changed to a friendlier one. "What news from Ares?"
"He will subjugate himself, and support your side, as long as he keeps his homeworld."
"Excellent." Zipacna smiled to himself. "A celebration is in order." He suddenly noticed the dead man on the floor and frowned. "Take that and throw it away!"
"Yes, my Lord." Hurtak turned to the nearest Jaffa. "Take the corpse and..."
"Wait! Perhaps we are being premature. He is of the Tau'ri...one of their soldiers...a Lieutenant Elliot I believe he called himself. While the Tau'ri are of course no danger to myself, they are a constant irritant, much like their allies, the Tok'ra. This one might yet have useful knowledge which could bring about their downfall." Zipacna pondered it for a moment. "Yes, revive him, then return to Lord Ares and invite him for a celebration in three days." Zipacna rose and left the room.
Hurtak bowed to him, then turned to the nearest Jaffa.
"Have the Tau'ri revived, then return him to his cell."
"Yes my Lord." The Jaffa bowed and left to do as he was told.