10th July 2001

'OK, so let's see what's on offer here. An alien... 'agency' I guess is the best word... is looking to recruit me in their fight against a race of galactic

megalomaniacs who apparently, consider humans a slave race. Earth first stumbled into this conflict back in '94 and has since started an alliance

with this agency after they became fully engaged in a secret war.

My personal record against this enemy--needing my arse saved, after getting my brain fried. However due to the AHA incident a year ago they

think that I'm worth recruiting. Bottom line, they're bloody desperate!

So why am I even considering smashing what remains of a broken promise to stay out of situations like these? Basically, I kinda enjoyed the AHA

incident – and I could not join Earth's fight directly, I don't have either the skills or nationality necessary to fit in on a US military team. It comes

down to this: do I accept this offer?'

These thoughts were driving me crazy. Tok'ra work sounded similar to what was needed to take down the AHA i.e. I could do it, but--there was

one reason why I had made that promise in the first place. If I kept up the...let's just say 'undercover work'...then I was going to run out of luck

sooner or later. So far, no one had worked out that the employee who turned his bosses in, had taken up the job with this in mind, let alone who

that person's real name was. I wanted to keep it that way.

Then again, the job would have me based on another planet, and so no one would be able to get at me anyway. However I did want some people

to get at me, and with all this 'classified' stuff, General Hammond would probably write to my parents claiming I'd died while visiting his facility. Fuck

that!

I decided to take a walk around the base. You can only spend a certain amount of time in a VIP suite when you're not a VIP!

I hadn't been walking long when I came across a science lab with its door ajar and upon looking inside I saw a familiar face.

"Uh, Sam is it? May I come in?" It would be useful to bounce my thoughts off someone.

"Sure Rick"

I entered the lab. "Whatcha doing?" I asked

"Studying some of the stuff we found in that warehouse back in London," was the reply. I took a closer look at the object she was working on.

"Looks like the thing that Shu used to fry my brain."

Sam chuckled "We call it a hand device. Anyway many of them were found in those crates with this added." She held up what looked like a

microchip. "It appears to hold an unknown liquid, could be a drug of some kind, I'm in the middle of analysing it now"

"How did you work out who Shu was?"

"A couple of months ago NASA detected what looked like a Goa'uld spacecraft on it's radar. Closer scans showed that it was badly damaged. It

later crashed into the middle of the Atlantic. Divers found a lot of dead Jaffa and what looked like one dead System Lord. Fast forward to a couple

of weeks ago and Daniel found an embryonic website for Shutech. We got lucky really."

"Hey Rick, thought you'd be in the VIP room?" I heard Jack's voice behind me.

"Decided to take a walk" I replied "What's up?"

"There's a new bar that's just opened in town, wondered if you'd like to talk to someone about the Tok'ra offer?"

Good a shot as any "Sure"

At about 8pm Jack and I were in McAdams, a bar even the Colonel hadn't been in before. SG1's previous hangout had been a more established

place called O'Malley's, a bar-grill which his team were since barred from, after they wrecked the place under the influence of a set of experimental

Tok'ra... armbands? Very interesting!

"So from what I heard, you headed up the original team back in '94?" I started

"Yeah, that's when I met Daniel. It was primarily an exploration team and Danny was only there to decipher the symbols to get us back home, only

things didn't go to plan and we came across Ra. The original plan was for me to stay behind and set up a nuke that would have killed both me and

the locals."

"I can't seriously see you as a suicide bomber Jack"

"You didn't know me back in '94. The bomb instead wound up on Ra's ship, Danny decided to stay behind and get married. End of story."

"Except it wasn't"

"Nope. A year later Apophis attacked a next to abandoned SGC. By some miracle the guards held them off but one of them got kidnapped. I was

brought out of retirement and headed up a team, including two veterans of the original mission and Carter, who was a Captain at the time, to bring

Daniel back home. Next came the Chulak assignment..."

"...which was in the dossier on the plane. What about the other guys from the original mission?"

"One of them commands SG2, the other one used to...before he got taken over by a Go'auld."

Shit! "I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it. You want to talk about the Tok'ra offer?"

"You want my honest opinion, my brain's a bit of a whir. After the AHA incident, I swore not to get involved in that sort of thing again. However

someone's just told me that I could help long-term, in a major galactic conflict, against some pretty nasty pieces of work. part of me feels like I

should take the offer, but another part says to refuse ."

"I heard something about some British teams coming here. Why don't you go back home and enlist in the military? You could come back here in a

few years?"

"I'd never fit in with the military way Jack. I'm not particularly good at taking orders for the hell of it!"

Jack chuckled "I've worked with more than one person like that, and one of them is a USAF cadet! Sure you don't want to enlist?"

"Dead cert! Shit I'm jet lagged!"

"Best head back to the base then. If your want my opinion I'm in two minds about it as well. To be perfectly honest with you, despite the fact that we're supposed to be allies, a lot of Tok'ra, don't have much respect for us, although we've just killed our sixth system lord. Any new Tok'ra that actually care about Earth would be useful."

"What about Jacob Carter?"

"He's probably our only real friend amongst the Tok'ra. But despite that fact, you've still got to watch your step. We're talking much higher stakes than you've been involved in. It's your call though"

We were now approaching the base.

11th July 2001

After breakfast in the base canteen, I decided to get evidence of the malaise in Earth/Tok'ra relations and found my way to a records office where I found a database of SGC missions. Searching for entries relevant to the Tok'ra, I have to say that I couldn't blame Jack for being nervous. From Earth's side it looked like the Tok'ra were being plain arrogant at times, but then again, the Tok'ra had done Earth a few

favours as well. I decided it would be interesting to hear the other side of the story. Besides, I had a proposal to make. There was one way I knewof to get the SGC and the Tok'ra to trust each other. And if they were making me an offer...

1 Fifteen minutes later

"Come in," Jacob Carter responded to my knocks.

I entered his quarters. "Oh, hi Rick made your decision yet?"

"No," I replied. "But I'm interested in a few things. For starters, you appear to be the only Tok'ra from modern day Earth. What are you doing with

the Tok'ra in the first place?"

"Not dying from cancer," answered Jacob. "George Hammond and I go way back, and I knew that Sam was working under his command, but I thought that it was some deep space radar project that George had bagged to take him into retirement, It wasn't until about '98 when I was dying in a military hospital that I was told what was going on."

His symbiote continued the conversation. "At the time my previous host was dying of old age..."

I interrupted. "I'm sorry, do you have a name?"

"Yes, Selmak. For your information, we do not have genders, and most Tok'ra symbiotes have had both male and female hosts. My last host was

female, but as I have said before her time was running out. SG1 had previously arrived at the planet that we were using as our base at the time,

wishing to form an alliance, but the Tok'ra high council were looking for new hosts and it took Samantha Carter's offer of her then dying father to

secure an alliance."

"OK, so why do you need someone like me? A 21 year old British computing student and one time 'vigilante'"

"Because, since you already know about the Goa'uld, General Hammond felt that it would be best to get you to 'join the team' in some way and due

to your 'vigilante' experience, he thought you would be best amongst the Tok'ra."

"So if I accept your offer, what happens?"

"We presently have a few hosts that will not be alive for much longer. One of them is host to Seng'ok, who has volunteered to be your symbiote if you wish. You will be taken by Stargate to our current base and prepared for blending."

The man before me again bowed his head then looked up. Jacob was in charge again. "The deal also includes a get to know you session with Seng'ok"

Now it was time for my proposal.

"Only problem is, once I join, I won't be living on Earth will I?"

"No you won't. It'll be a bit tricky to justify"

"Well try this for size. I had a talk with Colonel Jack O'Neil last night and I gather that Earth-Tok'ra relations aren't the best."

"No they aren't. I know of Earth's concerns, but there is a general feeling amongst the Tok'ra that the Tau'ri have a habit of looking before they leap. They kill System Lords without thinking about the consequences, namely that it makes the armies of Apophis larger, and they have a disastrous record when it comes to procuring Goa'uld craft!"

"I know that the Tau'ri need the Tok'ra, to an extent, the Tok'ra need the Tau'ri's way of thinking and tactics, which the Goa'uld don't seem to know how to deal with. What I'd like to propose is that I join the Tok'ra. This offer means that you've got a guy on a second planet in case of an emergency and the SGC have easy access to a Tok'ra operative when they need it."

Selmak took over. "Your request is unprecidented! Where will your loyalties lie?"

"To whoever needs them!" I yelled back. "Earth and the Tok'ra are supposed to be on the same side in a war!"

"I'll have to report back to the High Council" Jacob replied calmly "To be perfectly honest with you, I've no idea whether your request will be granted!"

We both left the room.

That afternoon I got called into General Hammond's office. I didn't need to be a genius to work out why.

"Rick. Jacob's just told me that you propose to join the Tok'ra, but remain at the SGC. Is this correct?"

"Yes"

"What is the reasoning behind this proposal?"

"Can I speak honestly General?"

"You're a civilian son, and not even a US one at that. Speak up!"

"I'm not going to pretend that I'm 100% comfortable with the whole idea. A year ago I took down the AHA. At that time, I swore to anyone that it would be a one off. I then came across a US military team talking about the company I was working for at the time, and my boss in particular and I wanted in. The reason? I wanted more of what the AHA incident gave me. Being able to go inside something bigger than myself and take it down. Things did not go according to plan there I admit. But I still know that I can do the job offered, so I don't want to turn it down. However it isn't just the major issues that matter. I can't speak for Jacob but the Tok'ra homeworld would never become home to me. Theonly reason I took on the AHA is that they had framed my best friend and put him in jail. Staying on Earth is probably the best way to make sure

remain who I am and do what I want to do for the right reasons."

"OK Rick that's your choice. However if you stay on Earth, specifically in this facility, then you can't tell anyone about this project. The US President does not feel that the general public is ready for knowledge of the Stargate and neither do I."

I'd worked that one out already. "OK."

"Would you be willing to go on assignment with SGC teams if needed, and take orders from the officers on that team?"

I knew there had to be a catch somewhere. "If necessary, but I'll decide which assignments I go on."

This was not what Hammond had counted on. "Fine," he sighed resignedly before continuing. "Now, Jacob is currently off world talking to the Tok'ra

high council about your request. He is due back tomorrow. Any questions?"

"No".

"Dismissed"

July 12th 2001

"Congratulations Rick, the High Council accepted your offer!" Jacob announced, having returned from the Tok'ra homeworld. I was stunned, as it

finally sunk in as to what that meant. "Come on, you're not going to back out on me now are you?"

"No" I replied, still stunned.

"I'm talking seriously here"

"I'm still up for it" I replied, not sounding at all certain but it was too late to back out now.

"If that's the case, then the High Council is in a bit of a rush to get the blending underway. We leave in one hour.

2 One hour later

The best way to describe Stargate travel? OK... you walk up to this circular pool of water and you basically step into the pool and...the nearest

comparison I can come up with is with a high speed water flume! You're getting swung in every possible direction, glided across what looks like a

starscape, blasted every which way again, before getting spat out at the other end, gasping for breath!

"Rough ride, isn't it?" grinned Jacob

"You can say that again," I panted. "Does a symbiote help you out with that?"

"Not really, you just get used to it"

It was then that I noticed the welcoming committee.

"Greetings, Rick Francis, I am Per'sus, leader of the Tok'ra – I am told that your wish is to remain among the Tau'ri after your blending, is that

correct?" A woman said, blatantly speaking with her symbiote's voice.

"Yes" I replied "To be honest with you, I don't know why you need me, but it is certainly not in my interests to see the Goa'uld win this war, and in

my opinion the Achilles heel of both the Tau'ri and the Tok'ra is a lack of mutual trust. I hope to build that trust up again by remaining in residence

on Earth."

"Very well. Seng'ok has been looking forward to meeting you. He is a great admirer of the Tau'ri!"

I was hoping that I wouldn't disappoint him! One thing is for certain, I was standing out like a sore thumb here with my jeans and T-shirt amongst

all the brown outfits.

After walking though a variety of crystal tunnels I enter what can only be described as a cavern. In it was an old man.

"Seng'ok." Per'sus gestures towards him.

"Uh, hi. Rick Francis. I'm your new partner"

"Partner? I don't know that Tau'ri word"

"Colleagues, allies, maybe friends, two individuals that work together!"

"I see. Being your 'partner' will definitely be an experience for me. I have heard of your previous work Rick, and it has impressed me greatly. Gall is

the greatest quality of the Tau'ri!"

'Easy on the flattery mate!' "Uh thanks, but to be perfectly honest with you, all that your dealing with here is a crazy loose cannon that's probably

out of his depth"

"I have been a member of the Tok'ra for 500 years. I certainly am not out of my depth, even if you are."

'500 years? Woah shit!' "Have you spent all that time in one host?"

"I have had two hosts previous to this, though this is the longest time that I have spent in one host. Sarang has been very reliable – unlike my two

previous hosts, who were...what's that phrase you used?...loose cannons."

"Sounds like a bad omen."

"Maybe, but for the time being, I will just be glad to be in a young host!"

'Well if he's happy with it!' I thought

Jacob then entered. "Sorry to interrupt the chat, but The High Council wants to get the blending over and done with."

3 A few hours later

'Well Seng'ok, welcome to Earth.' I'd just come back through the Stargate.

"Rick, good to see you back" greeted General Hammond "Could you please see Doctor Frasier in the infirmary for a check up."

'Rick, I sense that you are unnerved' that was Seng'ok

Well, who wouldn't be given the circumstances, this felt very unreal. However, if someone thinks that I can help fight an enemy as big as the

Goa'uld, then who am I to say no.

One sure thing – life was about to get very interesting indeed

Next up...Back from Behind.