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6.

"In order to help you remember, you should wear this." Malek handed Sam a memory recall device. "It has been enhanced somewhat and should be better able to help you focus on specific memories, compared to a normal recall device."

Sam looked at it with some trepidation, remembering the last time she had worn one - and used it to attempt to access Jolinar's memories. It had been on Netu, and she did not exactly have pleasant memories of the experience.

Realising the necessity - then as now - she sighed and put it on, hidden partly behind her ear and under her hair, also like it had been then. Malek adjusted it slightly before she joined the others.

It was early evening down on the planet, which meant it was time for them to transport down.

Malek wished them good luck, and gave the order. The 'Egeria' made as close an approach as they dared, and Sam, Daniel, and O'Neill were beamed down, not far outside the palace that had once belonged to Jolinar.

It was already fairly dark, making it unlikely anyone would detect their arrival.

They were lucky and no one was near the place where they transported down.

They left their backpacks and weapon behind, except for one zat'nik'tel each, and the Tok'ra communicators.

Meeting no one, they were soon standing beside the walls of the palace, looking around in the twilight.

Sam felt a very strong wave of familiarity, and for a moment she was caught up completely in the memories.

"Sam?" Daniel wondered, when she kept staring into nothingness.

She shook off the effects and felt a flush creep up her cheeks. It was a good thing it was as dark as it was!

"This place... where we're standing. It was a large square... I mean huge. Up there..." Sam pointed. "...are the ruins of the podium where I... eh, Jolinar, I mean, were hailed as Lord of the planet, when I... she had just taken over after her father. It was also the place where Jolinar was almost assassinated by one of her Jaffa..."

"She was a Goa'uld?" O'Neill did not look happy.

"Once. Long ago. She changed allegiance very early. She befriended Egeria and they started the Tok'ra together." Sam frowned. "What did you think we meant by this once being her planet?"

"I thought maybe she was undercover or something. So, is that why she went all Goa'uld and took you, Carter? A little convenient regression to old times?" O'Neill asked, sarcastically.

"Jolinar's change to the way of the Tok'ra was very real. She always regretted her past, despite it not being something she could help," Sam sounded a bit angry... protective of her former symbiote.

"When was that? I mean, her ascension to power. It must have been a long time ago," Daniel said, looking at the place.

"I'm not completely sure, actually. At least 2000 years ago, maybe a little more, even. Selmak was born in Egeria's first Tok'ra clutch, and she's about 2000 years old. I think Jolinar was..." Sam wrinkled her brow. "...around 100 years old when that happened. She helped finding hosts for many of the Tok'ra."

"Weren't Selmak supposed to be the oldest and wisest, or something?" Daniel said.

"I think Jolinar spent some time in a stasis jar, making her effectively younger than Selmak - though I'm not sure. Besides, by the time Selmak called herself the oldest and wisest, Jolinar was dead." Sam suddenly smiled, a little wryly. "Also, I doubt anyone would have called Jolinar the wisest... she was more than a little impulsive and had a tendency to rush in where angels fear to tread. She was also fiercely loyal to her friends and to her ideals. I actually think you'd have liked her, General."

"Okay. Enough of this. Do we have any idea where this queen is supposed to be hidden?" O'Neill said.

"Probably in the palace, since that would have been the place where any Goa'uld would have stayed. There are also some Ancient ruins outside this city, but I doubt any Goa'uld would have hidden her there," Sam told them.

"How good is this intelligence, anyway?" O'Neill asked.

"Well, the Goa'uld Tikna must believe it strongly enough that he'd make a deal with the Jaffa. He must be pretty sure of its validity," Daniel said.

"Or desperate." O'Neill sighed. "Never mind."

"Tikna has owned this planet for many centuries. He must not have found out about the queen until very recently," Sam observed.

"Boy he must hate that he didn't find out before the Lucian Alliance moved in!" Daniel said, grinning a little.

"He probably does." Sam smiled.

"So, do we know when the snake was hidden?" O'Neill asked. "Recently?"

"No, most probably during the period where either Zipacna or Apophis reigned here. I think I'd have remembered it, if Jolinar knew about it - and she would have known, if it had happened during or before her time here. She was the planets absolute ruler. No other Goa'uld would come there to hide a queen - they would never do that on a planet belonging to another Goa'uld."

"Okay." O'Neill checked the time. "Teal'c and the others should have had time to talk to the local leaders by now. If they've done their job, the local Lucian Alliance representatives should be occupied by their newest, prominent guests. Let's try to find a way in and search the palace. Quietly."

"The Jaffa working for Tikna are probably either already here, or they soon will be. We should avoid meeting them if at all possible. The same is true for the members of the Lucian Alliance, of course. We shouldn't forget this is their headquarters for the entire area," Sam said.

"Yeah, it sucks they had to put it on this planet!" O'Neill grumbled.

"Well, let's hope the gifts Teal'c and the others, together with their cover story, is enough to convince the Lucian Alliance they have legitimate reasons for being here," Sam said.

"Yes, and that Malek is right and the local members of the Lucian Alliance hasn't met Teal'c or Mitchell - or any of us - but I guess we can't ever be sure no one we meet here has," Daniel reminded them.

Sam nodded. "They - or we - may be recognized."

O'Neill grimaced. "Let's not think of that now."


Sam and her group had received a communication that Teal'c and the others had convinced the local Lucian Alliance to let them stay as guests for the time being. Vala would try to sneak off and open a backdoor to the palace, letting the others in, as they had found all the entrances to be locked or guarded.

Daniel, Sam, and O'Neill were hiding in some bushes in a little trafficked part of the backyard of the palace, when they finally heard Vala call for them in a low voice. She had gotten a door open for them.

"Took you a sweet time," O'Neill complained.

"Sorry. I couldn't just walk off in the middle of dinner! I really couldn't get away until now, but I told them I needed to freshen up! The entertainment has just started. The dancers seem... talented and there's a lot of alcohol, so I'd gather Refan and his men will be occupied for the next several hours." Vala rolled her eyes. "They're behaving uncomfortably much like the Goa'uld."

"Well, good work." Daniel smiled, comforting.

"Thanks." She smiled. "I had better get back before they get suspicious."

"We'll be gone before you know we were here," Sam promised.

Vala hurried off, leaving them to find their way around.


As they moved through the palace, Sam experienced repeated memory flashes. She kept seeing it as it had been when Jolinar had lived there.

The palace itself was actually mostly the same. Goa'uld certainly built things to last, but the interior had been changed in many places.

"Why did the fools take down my fathers crest?" Sam suddenly said, irritated, as she looked at the wall opposite from where they were standing. "They shall regret it..." She raised her left hand, as if she was wearing a hand device and looked about the place, searching for someone to punish.

"Uh, Sam?" Daniel asked, nervously.

"Sorry." Sam shook her head and lowered her hand, staring at it. She gave him an embarrassed smile. "This is just so confusing, you know? For a moment, I was back - to when Jolinar lived here. When she was a System Lord. I felt her anger that someone had removed her father's crest. It hung just there." Sam pointed.

"Quiet!" O'Neill said in a low voice. "Listen, I don't think you wearing that thing is a good idea! What if someone hears you when you're going all Jolinar on us?"

"I'll try to be more careful. It's useful remembering everything here, though I'll admit it's also a little disconcerting!"

O'Neill snorted. "A little disconcerting! My ass!"

They continued searching through the palace, with Sam recognizing enough that she could find the way to all the places that could possibly be used as a hiding place.

They had a small scanner with them, which would detect the naquadah signature when it came within 10 feet of the stasis jar. However, there were many other things which sent out similar energy readings and they had to look at many things to confirm it was not what they were looking for.

Sam had several more memory flashes, some at very inconvenient times, and they had a few near run-ins with servants. However, all thankfully went well. Eventually, they had looked through all possible hiding places. It had gone surprisingly much faster than expected, because of the memories Sam carried from Jolinar.

"It's not here," Sam concluded, unhappy.

"I agree. Any other ideas?" Daniel said.

Sam thought for a while. "Perhaps that place with the Ancient ruins..."

They slipped out, sending a signal to Teal'c and the others that they had safely left. It turned out it was none too soon, as the party was almost over and many more people would be walking around in the palace - or to their rooms, as it was getting quite late.

After reporting to Malek they had found nothing, Sam and the others made their way back to the place they had beamed down and picked up their gear. It would be too dangerous for Malek to take the ship in and beam them up for the night, then down again tomorrow, as each time increased the risk of being discovered. They would have to stay on the planet until they had finished their search - hopefully with success.

By the time they had picked up their gear, Mitchell contacted them to inform that the party was over and they were back in their rooms. After O'Neill had informed him nothing had been found, they agreed that Mitchell's group should stay at the palace for now, making sure the Lucian Alliance was kept occupied, as well as keeping an eye on them.


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