~ is internal speak between host and symbiote

bold is the symbiotes speaking with the symbiote voice

Next day, after a night where we have both slept badly, and talked very little, Jolinar is called to the Council for sentencing.

~What will they say, do you think?~ I ask, worried.

~Relax. Whatever they decide to do to me, they will not punish you.~

I feel marginally more relaxed, but not much. Besides, part of me is really starting to feel sorry for Jolinar. She is fearing for her mates, whom she loves desperately. She has not been able to hide her feelings since yesterday when we learned they were captured. I feel both her fear and her intense love. Poor Jolinar - I do not truly want her punished, I only want her gone and my life back as if was before.

Though I know that will not happen. Even if Jolinar leaves me and I somehow get back to Earth - how? - I doubt the others will trust me after this, even when they check and see I am not a host anymore. My career is probably over in any case.

Jolinar was sentenced to be removed and put in a tank until they can find her a suitable host! She is shocked by the severity of the Council's judgment and so am I. Especially since she is not really strong enough to leave me yet, and it may kill her. Even with their help. They listened to my wish to have her out and go back as soon as possible, but this was not what I wished for. Not really. Especially not since she will be risking her life. The only reason her punishment was not even harsher is that she saved them from the spy, Cordesh.

She is angry and desolate - this means there is no chance for her to go rescue her mates. She knows it will be months before she gets a new host, and by then her mates are almost certainly dead.

I feel sorry for her. Guilty.

The punishment will happen tomorrow morning - unless they decide it will be too dangerous for me to remove her so soon. Then we will be locked up until they can remove her with little danger to me. The healers will decide.

~Samantha.~ Jolinar wakes me late at night when I have finally managed to fall asleep. It's not getting easier by the knowledge that these quarters are Martouf and Lantash's as well. I believe I can smell them on the pillow - though I know it is Jolinar who can. I don't even know their scent.

~Mmnn, yes? Aren't you asleep?~

~There will be little to do but sleep in the tank, so I think I will get all the sleep I need to catch up over the next months!~ Jolinar says, disgustedly.

~Sorry,~ I offer.

~Samantha, I beg you. I care not for what happens to me, but I cannot bear the thought of my beloved mates dying horribly at the hands of the Goa'uld - they will be tortured to death repeatedly!~

I shudder at the thought. I don't like that idea either. Not at all. I feel Jolinar's emotions, they are strong. I think I would like to meet the men that evokes such feelings in her, but...? ~What do you want me to do? I cannot say I will remain your host.~

~I do not ask you - not permanently, but for a little time more? Just long enough for me to rescue Martouf and Lantash?~

I sigh, thinking it over. ~Do you have any idea how to do it? And will the Council let you do it, even if I say to tell them to let you be in me for a while longer?~

~The Council will not let me do this. They rarely risk sending out operatives to save others, though it happens, if the operative or the mission is of high enough importance. Otherwise, they rely on the various undercover Tok'ra at the courts to help the operative, if possible, or otherwise the operative must escape on their own - or die. We are too few to do anything else, and our resources are stretched thin. However, in this situation it is simple stubbornness and principle, since I will sit in a tank otherwise. Oh, and no, they will not go back on that unless you actually wish to remain my host, permanently. In that case it would be punishing the host to remove me, and they would never do that for an infraction done by the symbiote.~

I nod, seeing the Council's points, but still feeling bad about this. Can I live with knowing Jolinar will sit for months in a tank while her mates are tortured to death repeatedly? Her mates who I already can barely think the names of without a strong wave of love? Wow, that's weird - I have only caught a glimpse of how they look from Jolinar, and I know next to nothing about their personalities - and I have never met them - and already my heart beats faster at the thought of them, and hurts at the thought of harm to them? What is going on here? ~Jolinar?~

~Yes, I caught your thoughts, as strong as they were. Feelings are affected by blending, but we are not blended yet. However there is already some small amount of merging, and we are both stressed, making it much harder to keep our feelings separate. I am sorry, but it may be best for you that I leave soon. If not you may come to love them, and that would be unfortunate. I do not wish you to suffer because of me.~

~I think I can handle it now when I know what is going on.~ I sigh. ~I can't let you sit in a tank while they are killed. Do you think we can get away? I mean, not asking?~

Jolinar is quiet for a moment. ~Yes - I believe it is possible. If you are certain?~

~I am.~ I lie - both to myself and her.

Quietly, Jolinar gets up and dresses, packing a few things. I itch to be in control, as I have done many times over these past days. Jolinar lets me have control much of the time, but there has been much she has had to be in control to do, and now she will handle the escape best, knowing the tunnels.

Armed with a zat'nik'tel, and with a hand device and several shock grenades in the bag, we slink out of the rooms and sneak through the corridors. Everyone seems to be asleep, and there are no guards in here. No one imagines Jolinar would do what she does - the Tok'ra are very loyal. I wonder how long it will be before they trust her again after this - if we survive, that is. Jolinar has warned me of the danger of this mission.

I am used to danger, and are mostly concerned by the fact that I will not be able to be in control much at all - we will be pretending to be a minor Goa'uld, looking for work, and hopefully find and free Martouf and Lantash that way.

Instead of using the normal ring transporter, Jolinar goes to a back entrance, used during emergencies. No one discovers us, and shortly after we are on the surface. We cannot breathe easily yet, though, as we need to get through the Stargate - and in order to get to it we must get past the guards.

Jolinar knows exactly where they are, and runs directly towards the place. Is she crazy?

I just have time to realise the guards are jumping out of the ground, when Jolinar swirls and runs in another direction, suddenly stopping just before a large rock and throwing a shock grenade at the approaching Tok'ra. She jump behind the rock and holds her ears and closes her eyes for a few moments.

I think we have been unconscious for a few moments, and my vision is sort of foggy, so I guess we caught a part of the effect of the shock grenade. Jolinar stands up quickly, swaying slightly, and raises her zat as she walks out from behind the rock.

The guards all got much more of the shock than we did, and are mostly still unconscious. When we pass the one that was furthest from the center of the explosion, he moans softly. Jolinar breaks into a spurt and reaches the Stargate in very short time. She tells me the guards will recover quite quickly, as the symbiotes can negate the effects fast. She hides it, but she clearly feels bad about stunning her friends and fellow resistance fighters. I guess there's also some danger to the whole base, having the guards stunned, so it is a good thing it is for such a short period.

The wormhole activates and Jolinar throws herself through, just as we hear one of the guards call out from behind, warning her not to do this.

Not surprisingly, she doesn't obey.

We have escaped!