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When I wake up again, the first thing I noticed is that the annoying buzzing from the light fixtures is gone.

For a moment, I wonder if they have fixed it, before opening my eyes and realizing I am no longer in the holding cell.

I no longer feel hot, as if I am burning up. The fever and the pain is gone, but my head feels strangely heavy. As if I have been drugged, perhaps, or maybe it is just a lingering effect of my high fever.

I sit up, carefully, and examine my body. My clothing is still bloody and torn, of course, but my leg looks normal, and my ribs are at most slightly sore. I can take a deep breath without feeling pain, and I take several, despite the air in the room smelling bad. It is wonderful to be well again, though I must admit I am puzzled. Did they decide to put me in the sarcophagus anyway?

I stretch and look around, wondering what has happened to my cell mate. Or the holding cell, for that matter. It is clear I have been moved somewhere else.

The room I am in now is not much larger than the cell was, and it is dimly lit. It is bare of any furniture, but it holds several crates and boxes, as well as undefinable piles of junk. Something in here smells bad - like burned electronics combined with something more organic.

Among all the stuff, I also see pieces of broken and twisted metal - perhaps some of it might have been part of the interior of the ship, but it has clearly been damaged. Had that happened in the attack the other SG teams had made? Jolinar and Rosha had mentioned they had managed to set off one explosion, at least.

That is when I remember what has happened. Jolinar! I am now a host! Why do I not sense this Jolinar? I would have thought you would feel their presence?

I concentrate, and try to 'feel' for her. Doing so, I believe I sense a faint presence, which becomes a little stronger as I 'touch' it.

*I am here.* Jolinar tells me, her voice sounding weak, and sleepy. It still startles me.

"Are... are you all right?" I ask, not sure what else to say. The sensation of having someone inside your head, talking to you, is weird. To say the least.

*Do not speak out loud - we may call unwanted attention. Yes, I will be 'all right' - though right now I am very weak, and need to rest some more.*

*That's good.* I manage to speak internally this time. It is weird. Another thing which is weird, is that I feel very much relieved to hear Jolinar will be fine. While I was uncertain if blending was a good idea, I thought it might be better than being completely alone, at least. Having Jolinar with me feels... reassuring, somehow. Strange, but I trust her completely already. *I wonder where we are, and why we are not in the cell?*

*I agree, it is strange. I do not know where this is.*

I get up from the floor where I have been lying, and immediately see Rosha's body. I gasp out loud, the ache I feel intensified by emotions not my own. *Rosha!* I hurry to her.

*She is dead.* Jolinar observed, pain in her voice. *My poor, sweet Rosha.*

All of a sudden, I feel completely overwhelmed by Jolinar's feelings of sorrow. She had loved her host so very much.

*Oh, god...* I feel tears well into my eyes, and I have to put an arm out to the wall to support myself.

*Sorry, I did not mean to let them affect you.* Jolinar quickly blocks her emotions from affecting me. That feels even weirder, than having her feelings affect me. All of a sudden, these emotions which feel like my own, are just turned off.

*No, it's okay. I'm sorry about what happened to her.* I lean down and check Rosha's pulse, even if I know she is dead. *I wonder why she's here too?*

I suddenly get a strange feeling... as if someone is rummaging around in my mind.

*Forgive me. I was examining your recent memories. You were awake, briefly, shortly after I had entered you.*

*So that was real! I wasn't sure if I hallucinated.*

*Normally you would not have been awake at that point, but I was so weak that I lost consciousness immediately after entering you. Since neither blending or healing had been initiated, you were able to wake up. However, it seems I had control, even unconsciously. I apologize. It must have been... disquieting for you, so soon after becoming a host.*

*Nah, I was too feverish to really realize what was going on. Though, does that mean the Jaffa thought we were dead?*

*Yes, I suspect your pulse was very faint due to your weakness, and since you did not react at all, they thought you were dead. It was our... luck, that Cronus had merely ordered us disposed of. This is most likely a place where various kinds of... garbage is placed, before it is taken care of. There seems to be two - presumably dead - Jaffa over there.*

I go and check on them, carefully. *They're dead, yes.*

*We should find a way out of here. The door is unlikely to be locked, but may not have been constructed to be opened from the inside, without a portable handle.* Jolinar is quiet for a moment. *I would wish to find a way of disposing respectfully of Rosha's body. I do not want Cronus's Jaffa to merely... throw it to dogs, or something like that.*

*I understand. We'll find a way.* I promise. It is suddenly very important to me.

*Do the Jaffa have anything useful on them still? Like a weapon?*

*I'll check... sure you don't want control?*

*No, I will take control if I must, but I honestly prefer to wait until I have rested, and regained strength. Besides, you may wish to get used to having me in control slowly.*

*Maybe so...* I agree, grateful. Suddenly worried, I ask, *Jolinar, are you okay? You were more badly injured than I thought?*

*I was injured extensively by the torture, yes, and that made it harder for me to change hosts, meaning I was injured by that as well. Add to that weakness from trying to heal and keep Rosha alive, and healing you... yes, I am not well. I will live, though, and I will also regain my health and strength. It will, however, take weeks before I am there - and many months, at least, before I can change hosts.*

I nod, kneeling beside the first of the dead Jaffa. Strangely, it does not bother me... that I am stuck with Jolinar. *You should rest, then. I'll... call you, I guess... when I need you.*

*I shall rest - but not until we are safely out of here.*

*Don't you trust me?* I know I sound hurt, but I feel that way.

*Yes, I do, never worry about that! However, you have never been aboard a Goa'uld ha'tak before. I have. I know vastly more about the schematics, as well as about the technology. It is logical that I remain awake - until you are able to access my mind easier.*

*Access your mind?* I ask, as I search the Jaffa.

*Yes. Now when we are blended, you will be able to search my memories, as well as your own. It becomes easier over time, though, and you would not be able to do it quickly enough right now.*

*Okay. Sounds... interesting.* Very interesting - as well as more than a little strange, actually. I finish checking the Jaffa. *Nothing - no weapons or anything. Not even a knife.*

*No, it was to be expected. The Jaffa have their own funeral rites, and the only reason they are left in here would be if they had died in dishonour, so they would not be allowed those rites. Usually, the weapons are left on their bodies, and only removed just before they are burned. The knife remains with them in death. It is... part of Jaffa mythology, which I do not know much about.*

*Right. Makes sense, I guess, since they're a warrior culture.* I go to the other Jaffa, and check him too. *It's too bad they are both huge - we won't be able to steal their clothes. I guess we could have pretended to be a Jaffa?*

*Yes, but Cronus does not use female Jaffa as warriors, so we would need different clothing in any case.*

*Oh, okay.* I pick up a small device from the Jaffa's clothes. *What is this?*

*It is used for starting a fire.*

*That could help us! If a fire were to break out in here, wouldn't the doors open, you think?*

*No, on the contrary. The ship's automatic systems would seal off the area, sound the alarm, and initiate automatic fire extinguishing measures - which includes extinguishing the oxygen in the area. Not something we want.*

*Ah, no, that's for sure. However, I noticed Cronus have those braziers standing everywhere, and they seem to like torches as well, in addition to the electrical light. How does that work?*

*All Goa'uld have those - it is... meant to create the right 'mood', I suppose. The system is programmed to recognize those.* Jolinar is quiet for a moment. *We can probably use the small powersource in the firestarter, but we need a couple other components to create something that can open the door. We also need a weapon, or at least some way of concealing ourselves.*

*I'll check the piles of junk - it smells like some sort of electronics was burnt, so maybe there's something we can use there.*

*Perhaps, I recognize part of a control console, however, the control mechanism itself would be crystal based, rather than how it is on your world. Any whole crystals would have been salvaged.*

*Let's take a look before we decide it's futile, shall we?*

*Of course.*


*You sure this will work?* I look at the contraption I am holding.

*Yes... fairly sure. I will have to admit I am surprise the Jaffa have left behind a working control crystal.*

*Maybe they were in a hurry. So, what do I do? Just open the door and leave?*

*No, we need a distraction... and I have an idea, which will also dispose of Rosha's body so that it cannot be shamed by the Jaffa.*

*What do you suggest?*

*The container we found, the one with cooling fluid - it will become a highly reactive substance if combined with even a small amount of naquadah.*

*Which you will get where?*

*Almost all Goa'uld technology contains naquadah. Do you not sense it everywhere around you?*

*No... uh, is it that constant... I don't know... humming, tingling in my blood?*

I had noticed it, but not really paid attention to. Now when I do... it is a bit weird.

*Yes. Now, since it is all around us, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where something like a smaller, nearby source is located, but with practise it is possible. Believe me, there is refined naquadah in that half-destroyed computer there.*

I look in the direction Jolinar indicates, and see a device. I walk to it. *This?*

*Yes.*

*Now you mention it... I do feel an... intensification of the tingling from that.* I search through the open, partially broken computer, finding the place Jolinar wants me to look. *Got it!*


*Hurry!* Jolinar urges, as I place the makeshift door-opener on the door.

*Relax - didn't you say it would be a couple minutes before the explosion?*

*Yes, but I would prefer we found a place to hide before the alarm goes off. The Jaffa will arrive quickly. Also... even with the door closed behind us, it would be preferable if we were not too close when the cooling fluid/naquadah combination goes off.*

The door opens and we step out, listening for a moment for any nearby Jaffa or others. All seems quiet, so we leave the storage room, hoping to find a place to hide - and quickly.

I turn a corner, and see a door to my right. Jolinar informs me we are not sensing a symbiote nearby, so I can open the door. I feel a little embarrassed that I had forgotten to pay attention to this easy way of telling if there were Jaffa around. I really need to get used to 'sensing' symbiotes.

I open the door, and hurry inside. It is empty of any people, and seems to be used for storage as well - though clearly not for either corpses, destroyed apparatuses, or buckled pieces of interior.

The door close behind us, and we can feel a little safer. *How powerful will that explosion be, exactly?*

*I am not sure - it depends on the exact composition of the cooling fluid, but I am confident it will burn all organic material in the room almost instantly.*

*What! That's... that's crazy! If we hadn't been able to escape, we would have been killed!*

*We escaped, so what do you worry about? It will be a fitting funeral for my beloved Rosha.*

*And no one will be able to tell we escaped either...* I realize.

*Another benefit, that is very true.*

*Won't they wonder how the explosion happened?*

*They will find remnants of naquadah and the container that held the cooling fluid. Any suspicion will fall on the Jaffa who carried the garbage to that room, and failed to remove either the cooling fluid or the naquadah. That was a criminal negligence, which any Goa'uld would punish severely - exactly to avoid explosions such as this. True, it is unlikely to happen without tampering, but it is possible, if the two materials were placed closely together by accident, and the cooling leaked onto the naquadah.*

Jolinar has just finished her explanation, when there is an explosion, followed by the sound of some sort of metal breaking or shattering. It sounds very violent.

*The door broke?*

*Most likely. We should find a place to hide, in case the Jaffa makes a sweep of the area - I doubt it, since they will be occupied by the effects of the explosion, but you never know.* She 'nudges' me, so I spot several large crates at the other end of the room. *Perhaps behind those.*

I hurry to the crates, ducking down behind them, just as the alarm sounds. It is almost deafening.

*What's inside those crates, you think? Anything useful?* I ask, when the sound level of the alarm has quieted some. Yeah, we may be talking internally, but I still felt the sounds was drowning me out. Stupid, maybe, but then you do have the saying 'too loud to think'.

*Possibly. Let us concentrate, and listen for enemy movements for a moment before we do anything else.*

We do, but we do not pick up the sound of any Jaffa approaching. We can vaguely hear someone shouting some distance away, but otherwise the alarm is still loud enough to drown out everything else.

*I think we're okay.*

*Agreed. As for the crates - you are correct. We should check.*

Guided by Jolinar, I press the symbol on the box that opens it, and we look down on - zat'nik'tels.

*Weapons! Now that is useful!*

*I agree. Take one.*

I do, then close the box again, before moving to the next of the crates, checking that. It contains more zat'nik'tels, as does the next crate, but the one after that one holds something else. *What are those?*

*Stun grenades. That's just what we need to escape!*

*Yeah... and how do you plan to do that, exactly?*

*Well, the chaapa'ai is literally under a whole mountain of rock - which has collapsed on top of it. It may take Cronus months to get to it, and by then it will be heavily guarded and difficult to access, so I do not believe hiding on this planet and waiting for that, is a good plan.*

That was my fear as well, though I cannot say I had thought it would be possible to dig it out that quickly.

I sigh. *I think I agree, though I really don't like the idea of abandoning this world.*

*There is little we can do here on our own, but I promise you we shall not forget about your planet. It will be free again.*

*Thanks.* I feel grateful for that.

Jolinar gives me a 'hug'. It really feels like a hug, and it is very reassuring.

*Since your Major Kawalsky is now host to a Goa'uld that works for Cronus, we cannot pretend to a Goa'uld and offer our services. The option remaining to us is stealing a ship, and escaping that way.*

*Cronus only has one mothership here - you can't intend to steal that!*

*I do not.*

*Those death gliders - they're not space-worthy, are they?*

*They are capable of flying in space, but they do not possess hyperdrive - that was what you meant, correct?*

*Yes - so what did you have in mind?*

*He did not bring any alkesh, though I believe some are on the way, as well as at least one more ha'tak. However, there are usually at least one or two teltacs on board an ha'tak. I intend to try and steal such a vessel.*


We have been hiding out in the storage room for more than an hour. Except for one time, where a Jaffa opened the door and looked inside, no one has disturbed us.

Jolinar has been silent, keeping her thoughts and feelings to herself, as she mourns Rosha.

I have spent the time thinking as well. Soon I will be leaving the planet - possibly forever - to join an alien resistance movement. With all that has happened, this does not bother me as much as I might have expected. I have little left here on Earth. Jack died a year ago, my dad almost two years ago. I do have my brother Mark, who is married and has two children. However, I have not kept in touch with them as much lately as I would have wanted to.

Thankfully, they survived the attack by Apophis a year ago, and they have been doing reasonably well. I hope Mark and his family will get through Cronus's attack and occupation as well, though I know their lives will be much different, and hard. As will the lives of most people on Earth. I really wish there was something I could do to help.

Part of me feels guilty for just leaving it all, but this way I may actually be able to help. I will be fighting the Goa'uld more directly, than I did before.

*Jolinar... before we attempt to escape... would it be possible to, I don't know, blow up this ship? With all these grenades, perhaps?*

*You want to blow up this ha'tak?* I hear amusement in her voice. *I can understand your wish, but it may not be as easy as you think. For one thing, we cannot use these grenades - they are stun grenades, and while they have a strong effect on living beings, they have little on other things.*

*Okay - any ideas, then? I really want to do something to help my planet, before I just... I guess, run away from it all. If nothing else, then just slow him down - give people time to hide before he can start bombing them or sending his Jaffa out, or whatever.*

Jolinar considers it for a moment, then nods. *I may have an idea. I do not believe we will able to destroy this ship - there are too many Jaffa on it, and they are too much on guard after your SG teams sabotage mission. However, that mission damaged one of the back-up power stations, as well as one of the control stations. While they have no doubt worked hard to repair the damage, I doubt they have finished yet. This means - among other things - that their internal sensors are only working at low capacity, and we should be able to move around fairly freely. As long as we avoid the Jaffa, of course.*

*Okay - go on. What can we take out?*

*It will only be a temporary setback for him, and may not even be a long one. However, if we can get to my - former - quarters, I have a reprogrammed control crystal - part of an attempt by the Tok'ra to see if we can disable their ships when needed - among other things. If we can switch the corresponding control crystal in the engine room, the whole engine power core will overload.*

*And blow up the ship?* I ask, hopeful.

*No, I am sorry. It will not explode - there are safety protocols to avoid that - but it will be unusable for... some time. Several hours, at least. During this time the weapons will have minor power. The hatak will be mostly defenseless, except for the death gliders, of course, and it will not be able to pursue us. Afterwards, Cronus would most likely look for any accomplishes the escaped saboteur might have had, and would not be able to focus on attacking the planet's population. It might give them several days in which to find a safer place to hide.*

*Not as good as what I had hoped for, but it's something. Okay, let's do that.*


Getting to Jolinar's former chambers was easier than expected, as Cronus and Deimos were keeping the Jaffa occupied with cleaning up and repairing after the explosive fire in the storage room - and then calling together all the Jaffa and yelling at them. We heard a group of Jaffa talk about it, as they passed the place we were hiding.

We have fetched the altered control crystal and made it almost to the engine room, when we hear the rhythmic footfalls of marching Jaffa.

Jolinar - who is currently in control - quickly jumps behind a curtain that covers a small niche. She holds her breath while the Jaffa pass, but fortunately they do not notice us.

*That was close!* I feel like I would have fainted from the relief, had I been the one in control.

*Too close.* Jolinar waits a little longer, and when the sound of the Jaffas heavy steps has become muted by distance, she sticks our head out from behind the curtain and looks in both directions. When no one can be seen, she decides to risk it, and continues on towards the engine room.

*Won't it be guarded?*

*Yes, that is why I brought the shock grenades. Samantha... you must not disturb me for the next several minutes - the engine room is nearby, and I need to focus all my concentration on doing this as quickly as possible.*

*Sure. I'll be quiet,* I promise. I am handling it fairly well - this, having Jolinar control my body - but I must admit I look forward to being the one in control again. Jolinar has assured me most new hosts need time to get used to having someone else control their body.

Jolinar peeks around the corner, and spots two guards outside the engine room. They do not look particularly attentive. She activates one of the shock grenades and throws it towards them, ducking back behind the corner.

With the Jaffa unconscious, Jolinar hurries into the engine room, shooting the one Jaffa that are in the room with her zat'nik'tel.

She pushes in the commands that will allow her to open the small compartment with the control crystals.

We both fear it will for some reason not accept the commands, and that a group of Jaffa will enter the room at any time. Fortunately, the door to the compartment opens, and the crystals can be accessed - and no Jaffa appears.

Jolinar force herself to be calm, and her hands to be still, as she replace one of the control crystals with the faulty version. The compartment closes, and the crystal is accepted. It makes the normal humm, Jolinar says, and no alarm goes off.

*Seems everything works correctly otherwise - and that the fault was not detected. Let us get out of here!* Jolinar throws a look in the direction of the Jaffa who is waking up, and she shoot him again with her zat'nik'tel, likely killing him, but right now that cannot be helped.

When did I become this cynical?

She opens the door, finding that the Jaffa outside is still unconscious, and that no one has discovered them. With a deep breath of relief, shared by us both, she sets out on the safest route to the specific cargo bay she knows there should be a teltac in.

I really hope she is correct.


*Hurry up!* I urge.

*Nearly ready...* Jolinar punches in a few more commands, and then resends the signal to the huge door in the wall. This time it responds, and an opening starts to appear, slowly growing larger.

*Now would be a good time! The Jaffa are coming through the door!* I tell her, calling her attention back to what is going on outside the teltac. How can she not notice, when she gets the same sensory input as I do?

*Relax. Stress is not good for you, and who gets to repair any damage to your body?* Jolinar grins, as the teltac rise from the floor, turn a half round, and then flies off towards the opening.

I feel like rolling my eyes, but Jolinar is in control, so I just send her the image. She ignores it.

We approach the doorway at an alarming speed, and the opening does not seem to be large enough. Behind us, the Jaffa are firing at them.

If I had been in control, I would have screamed, but seconds later we plunge through, missing the sides by a few inches on each side. The forcefield has lowered for barely more than an instant, and springs back up again behind us.

*You're crazy!* I complain.

Jolinar laughs out loud, as much from relief as anything else. We speed up through the atmosphere at maximum safe speed. Behind us, the ha'tak is just starting to lift off.

The ha'tak is less maneuverable in the atmosphere, and the teltac reaches space before the larger ship. Jolinar checks the controls, and then punches in the navigational data for the planet she wants us to go to.

Behind us, the ha'tak has suddenly lost momentum, and stopped climbing. It had gotten almost out of Earth's gravity well, but not quite.

*I think the flaw in my control crystal must have started affecting them.* Jolinar looks at the readout from some of the scanners. *Yes, their power output is dropping fast, and should reach minimum soon. Their orbit will start to decay, but I fear they will have everything back up running before they can crash.*

I look at the image of the ha'tak on the screen, shown in front of the planet. *Can we turn the ship around for a moment?*

*Yes, but you will at most see their ship as a small point at this distance.*

*That's okay - it's not the ship I want to see.*

*Ah, I understand.* She turns the ship around, and we look towards Earth. Jolinar gives me control.

At this distance, Earth fills most of the screen. I look at it, giving myself a moment to just enjoy the image, and to imprint it on my mind. When I was a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. Back then, I had wanted to join the Air Force, like my dad. As things turned out, I never actually expected to get to go into space, but now I have.

I briefly think of Mark and his family, and hoped very much they will be all right.

I look at the planet again, then sigh. I also had not expected to have to say goodbye to my planet, to leave it, with an evil alien dictator in control.

I make a silent promise that I will return, and that I will do all I can to free my world. I will dedicate my life to fighting the Goa'uld. As a Tok'ra.

*I'm ready. Let's get out of here.* I give back control to Jolinar.

Jolinar nods. She gives me a hug, and promise me that we will be alright - and that the fight will be one we fight together. She activates the controls, and we jump to hyperspace.



THE END.

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