It was even harder to avoid meeting anyone this time, than when we fled the holding cell, but we managed to get to an outside storage room, meeting only a few Jaffa. None of them gave us a second look, so being dressed as human servants is certainly a good way of getting around a Goa'uld palace.
"Okay, it shouldn't be too hard to get away from the palace grounds from here. We just need to wait until things quiet down a little, and they stop searching." I say.
"They will not stop searching for a very long time. In addition, the guard by the chaapa'ai will have been increased already." Lantash insists.
~He is correct, you know.~ Jolinar reminds me.
"It does not matter. We cannot leave yet regardless." Ihlkat says. "We cannot let Hurvu and Sihklat remain here!"
"Why not?"I ask. "They've chosen what side they wanna be on, and it's not the time to take revenge for them betraying you."
"No, that is not why. They have much important information, which they almost certainly have not shared with Heru'ur yet. They would give him little at a time, trying to make themselves as useful as possible, for as long as possible. This is how minor Goa'uld often gain influence - selling information about their previous masters!" Ihlkat says.
"In addition, Hurvu is likely innocent. I cannot imagine a host willing to assist his or her symbiote if they turn Goa'uld!" Lantash exclaims.
"True, but what if Sihklat does not yet suppress her host? What if she is tricking her host into believing this is something they do together? What if they are both brainwashed, in some way?" Ihlkat says. "We cannot risk that, to perhaps save a host - as regrettable as it is."
Lantash sighs. "You believe we should attempt to kill Hurvu and Sihklat?"
"Yes, most decidedly! There is no other save solution. We certainly cannot capture them and bring them back to the base!"
"So you want to stay here and see if you can kill her? Are you crazy? You'll be caught!" I tell them.
"Samantha, we are deeply grateful for you coming here, and we do not expect you to stay. Please, we shall do what we can to help you escape, and then you can carry the information about what has happened to the Council." Lantash says.
"Ah, no, I'm staying here. I may be able to help you. They think I'm working here, you know?"
"Yes, that is true." Lantash acquiesced.
~The Jaffa we hid will likely be found in less than a day, particularly now, when the palace is being searched.~
~Is that a 'I told you so?' Yeah, I realize we should have killed him, okay?~
"Why did the Council send you here? It is not that we are not grateful, but I am surprised they send a human." Ihlkat says.
"Or anyone at all. Samantha, did the Council ask you to risk your life doing this?" Lantash looks like he is angry at them for it. "They should not have done so!"
I take a deep breath. "No, not exactly. The Council didn't want anyone to go. You're right in that. However...Jolinar wanted to rescue you, more than anything else..."
"Jolinar asked you to do this? You should not have agreed to it! Do you not understand how dangerous a mission this is?" Lantash argues.
~Stubborn fool!~ Jolinar observes, anger creeping into her mental voice.
"Well, she couldn't just let you die, now could she? You wouldn't have gotten out on your own, and no one else was coming to rescue you, so you had better be happy that I am here!" I tell them.
"I am. We are. We are just...concerned for you." Lantash looks very sincere. "How did the..." He swallows. "Extraction go? Is Jolinar well?" He looks deeply worried.
~Jolinar...perhaps it is time to tell them...?~ I suggest.
~Yes, you are correct. It is.~
I bow my head, and Jolinar takes control. She flashes her eyes as soon as she looks up. The surprising gasp from both Lantash and Ihlkat is not something I will forget soon.
"Jolinar?" Lantash asks, not sure he can believe it. He looks...hopeful?
"Yes. Samantha agreed to...ah, give me a temporary respite before leaving her. We both agreed we wanted to save you."
"It was very risky, Jolinar. To take an unwilling host on such a dangerous mission..." He looks a bit angry.
"Samantha agreed to the risk." Jolinar interrupts him.
Lantash nods, accepting this, and no longer looks angry, though not quite as hopeful. Did he think I had agreed to be a permanent host? Hoped it? I feel a thrill. He likes me! "Then we are grateful for the rescue - and very thankful to Samantha for agreeing to remain your host for a while longer." He smiles at us.
~Samantha...may I kiss him?~
I hesitate only for a moment, because I realize I want this as much as Jolinar does. ~Yes.~
~Thank you.~ She grabs Lantash's hands, and pull him to her. "Lantash - and Martouf. Beloveds... we were so very worried for you. The relief to find you well, is beyond words."
Lantash smiles at her. "Thank you, my sweet Jolinar." He frowns. "Samantha was concerned as well?"
"Of course, how could she not be? You have made quite an impression on her." Jolinar smiled, and embraced him, leaning in to kiss him.
Lantash pulls back a little bit and hesitates. "Samantha does not mind?"
Jolinar shakes her head. "No, she does not."
He nods, and smiles at her/us. "That pleases me greatly to hear." He closes the short distance between us and gives Jolinar/us a soft kiss. I feel my heart beat fast, reacting to what Jolinar is feeling, though I am feeling the exact same. It is heaven to kiss him.
Jolinar embraces him tightly, and moves her/my lips against his, enjoying the long-missed feeling of his mouth against hers, and his body against hers/ours. This is confusing, and I can't tell with certainty what is me feeling something, and what is Jolinar feeling it, but I do not care. I just don't want them/us to ever stop kissing.
I feel the border between me and Jolinar blur, as she deepens the kiss and we both feel a pleasant surge of lust. Far too soon, Jolinar lets go, remembering where we are. She looks at him, with much love in her eyes, then gives him a quick kiss again.
It is several moments before my brain clears enough to think about anything but Martouf and Lantash. Ihlkat has waited patiently while Lantash and Jolinar (we?) kiss, and he smiles a little at us, showing he is not angry and understands. "So we are in agreement? We will remain here, and attempt to find a way to kill Sihklat?"
~Samantha?~ Jolinar asks me.
~Yes, I guess we need to take care of this.~
"Yes." Jolinar says, and Lantash nods too.
So I guess we're committed to doing this. I really really hope we're not going to regret it!
At the SGC
"And you've got no idea where Jolinar might have take Captain Carter?" Hammond asks.
"As Garshaw told you - and Selmak agrees - Jolinar would not have forced Sam to do this. As strange as it may sound, she must have agreed to it." Jacob tells them.
"Okay - why would she do that?" Jack wonders, not really willing to believe it.
"She may be feeling responsible, because Jolinar will be punished as soon as she has left Sam - and that Jolinar may be forced to remain in a tank for a long time. Or..." Jacob looks at the other Tok'ra. They all sigh, and frown. "Selmak thinks they may be starting to blend, at least to some degree. It was a very likely side effect of the treatment that healed Jolinar, and if that is the case, Sam may be...feeling some of Jolinar's emotions."
"For Jolinar's...mates?" Hammond asks.
Jacob nods. "Yes."
"Wonderful!" Jack says sarcastically.
"We do have an idea of where Jolinar and Captain Carter may have gone." Garshaw adds. "Which planet they may have gone to initially, even if they are not necessarily still there. However, we do not currently have any operatives that can be risked on this mission. Already four of our operatives are missing."
"We're more than willing to take the mission! Just tell us where to go!" Jack insists.
"It would be dangerous. They may all have been captured by the Goa'uld..."
"Yeah, we're tried that before. General?" Jack looks at Hammond.
Hammond considers it for a moment. "Let's start by hearing where they could have gone, what the original mission for Jolinar's mates were, and what the danger is. Then we can make an informed decision."
"General! With all due respect..." Jack begins.
"George, we need to rescue Sam. The Goa'uld in charge of that world..." Jacob says.
"I'm sorry, but we need the facts first." Hammond nods at Garshaw. "Please begin."
Garshaw nods, and begins explaining what little they know.
"So you're saying this Goa'uld Neper...on Stulkana, or whatever the hell the place is called...he's an underling of Heru'ur?" Jack asks.
"Yes." Garshaw answers.
"And Heru'ur would get the prisoners, if Neper catches them?" Daniel wants to know.
"Yes." Garshaw repeats.
"Could you be a little more forthcoming? We know who Heru'ur is, but not much. Is he a bad Goa'uld?" Jack says. "Powerful? Anything?"
"He is one of the worst, in many ways, O'Neill." Teal'c explains, a solemn look on his face. "As the son of Ra - and Hathor - he held much power and influence among the Goa'uld. With Ra gone, he has tried to take his place, but not yet succeeded. Many support him, but many are also his enemies. However, he is still very powerful...and he is also known for his...depravity, though the Goa'uld do not call it so."
"Your Jaffa friend is correct. Heru'ur is not known for leniency, and he is much feared, even among other Goa'uld, for his treatment of his prisoners. He seems to be deriving...pleasure, from torturing them. Even more so than most other Goa'uld." Garshaw says, apologetically.
"Well that's it! We can't leave Carter with him!" Jack exclaims.
"Colonel, we don't even know if he has her - or the others." Hammond calms him.
"We will do some intelligence gathering, to see if anyone knows if Heru'ur has them, but I am afraid that is all we can do." Garshaw says.
Hammond nods. "Then we will wait to hear back."
"No, Colonel. I can't send you into that kind of danger, when I don't even know if there is anyone to rescue! How do we know that Jolinar didn't go somewhere else? No. We will wait for more information. Dismissed."
"Jack?" Daniel looks at him. "What are you planning? I can tell you're planning something!"
"You're right. We're not going to leave Carter in the hands of that perverted madman! I've talked to Jacob, and he's going to meet me...ah, somewhere else...bring whatever intel the Tok'ra have on this...next time we go on a mission, I will be taking a small detour before coming back. I was hoping you would cover for me."
"I will of course accompany you on your mission, O'Neill." Teal'c says.
"Yeah, I'm coming too, Jack!" Daniel insists.
"It's a dangerous mission. Are you sure you want to do that?" Jack asks.
"It's Sam! Of course we're sure!" Daniel exclaims.
A/N: I am currently travelling, and I don't know with certainty when I have access to internet. I will be writing when I have some time, but it may be a while before I can post it. I am back again Sunday, so no later than that, at least ;)