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Fic, Stargate SG-1, Invasion, NC-17, 14/21

14. A Walk in the Forest


 

"So, this is what I used to disrupt the mimetic device originally," Sam said, turning on the small machine. A loud tone was emitted. "Unfortunately, it no longer works." She turned it off again.

"Unless it does, and they just found a way to shield for it," Martouf suggested.

"True," Sam conceded. "We should start by looking into that."

"Samantha, we cannot do much until we have studied the... Targ, and scanned the frequencies his forceshield - if any - protect against."

"So you're using that stupid name too, now." Sam sighed.

"It is better than calling them 'aliens'. Or 'extra-terrestrials', as I have heard Janet do. Aliens can be anyone, and extra-terrestrials could just as well be us Tok'ra."

Sam smiled. "You're right."

He returned her smile. "Lantash suggests we take a break. There are still a couple of hours of daylight. Would you like to take a walk?"

Sam nodded. "Yeah, getting some fresh air sounds nice, actually." She stretched. "Very nice."


They were walking along a narrow path, following a river that meandered through the forest that Janet's sister's cabin was located in. Firs and tall pines stood closely, with smaller bushes and grass growing in the open patches, and along the river.

She smiled at him. "It was a great idea, going for a walk. I really needed to clear my head."

"Lantash and I have also enjoyed our walk, Samantha."

"It's... great working with you on the disruption device." She glanced quickly at him.

"As dark as the situation is, working with you is something we truly appreciate."

"I really hope we're going to succeed. I must admit it almost seems hopeless. We don't know who we can trust!" Sam stopped. "Sorry, I need to take a break. I'm still not back to full strength." She took several deep breaths.

He stopped as well. "It is understandable. You have not used your muscles much for many months."

She looked at him, then down, shaking her head. "Sometimes it all still seems unreal. I mean, you being here - and dad, Janet, Aldwin... so many people that I thought were dead."

"It does sound as if the world you created with your minds, was not a pleasant one. Even compared to this one."

She thought about it for a moment. "Yes - and no. It is true that there was a lot of terrible things that happened, and a lot of people died that I... well, it was painful." She cleared her throat, and swallowed, clearly affected by the memories.

Martouf put his hand on her elbow. "I am sorry you have such painful memories. At least they were not of the real world."

Sam nodded. "True. There was some good things that happened too, though. We killed all the System Lords, for instance. And the Jaffa, and many human worlds, were free. Of course, that led to chaos, and..." She shook her head. "Never mind. It's no use dwelling on something that never happened."

"The System Lords being gone would be worth a great deal of other misery, I will say that," Martouf said. "Lantash and I would happily lay down our lives, if it meant that menace was gone."

"I agree that the end of the System Lords would be a wonderful thing, and that I'd sacrifice a lot for that to happen." She gave him a small smile. "I just really don't want your lives to be one of those things."

He took her hand and squeezed it. "We are both alive and well, and I promise you we intend to stay that way. As for the fall of the System Lords? That is something that will happen, eventually. We must believe that, Samantha. The Tau'ri and Tok'ra will succeed, together."

"I very much want to believe you." She sighed and closed her eyes for a moment, drawing a deep breath. "It's so nice here," she said. "Peaceful. Standing here, it's hard to believe the planet is being threatened by aliens. Targs."

Martouf nodded. "Yes, it is very pleasant here."

She shivered a little. "The sun is setting, and it's getting dark down here among the trees. We should return before it gets too cold. It's the middle of October, after all." She pulled her jacket closer around her.

"Are you cold?" Martouf asked, concerned.

"A little. Let's begin walking again, that'll help."

They walked for a short time, then Martouf turned to her, since it was obvious she was still feeling cold.

"Do you want to borrow my jacket?"

"No! Of course not! I don't want you to freeze!"

"I would manage. Lantash can temporarily raise my body temperature."

"That's nice, but I bet it would still be unpleasant." She smiled at him. "Thanks, but keep your jacket. I'm not that cold, just a little chilly."

"All right." He smiled. "Let's get back to the cabin."

They walked side by side through the now rapidly darkening forest. Sam was very quiet for much of the walk, but then she suddenly reached for his hand.

"Martouf... Lantash... you have no idea how happy I am that you are alive. I missed you guys so much."

He smiled. "Thank you."

She gave him an embarrassed smile, and pulled her hand away. "Sorry, you must think I'm an idiot."

"Samantha! I would never think such a thing about you!" He looked hurt.

"Thanks," she mumbled.

He took her hand again, caressing it with his thumb. "Samantha, as I told you before, Lantash and I very much enjoy spending time with you. We... have become very fond of you."

When she did not pull her hand away, he entwined his fingers with hers.

Sam looked down at their hands, clearly having a feeling of deja-vu. She smiled. "I was thinking of that time in the desert."

Martouf nodded. "Me as well. I... apologize for what I said back then, when I asked you to become host to Selmak."

She shook her head. "Forget it. I know I got angry then... or maybe scared is a better word for it, but that was a long time ago. Well, a couple years, at least. Anyway, I understand why you did it. You missed her. Jolinar."

"I did. Sometimes I still do, but now I am able to think of the happy times we had without being sad." He gave her a half-smile. "Well, maybe a little... melancholy, sometimes."

"Well, it's good you've gotten there."

"Yes, it is. Also, I want you to understand that the, the fondness Lantash and I feel for you is not because of Jolinar."

She smiled. "Thanks. I'm glad to hear that. I think of you as, as a close friend too."

They slowly began to walk again, holding hands as they continued back to the cabin.


"Ah, finally! We were about to send out a patrol to look for you kids!" O'Neill said, when they entered the house. "I've made my famous pancakes, and they're getting cold!"

Sam grinned. "Sorry, sir."

"Truly. It was... thoughtless of us to stay out so long," Martouf said, raising an eyebrow.

O'Neill shook his head. "My cooking is too good for you! And here I was thinking of making omelettes for breakfast tomorrow."

Sam rolled her eyes. "With you secret ingredient?"

"Of course!" He left for the kitchen. "Come and get it, guys!"

Martouf looked at Sam with confusion. "Secret ingredient?"

"Beer," She smiled "Come on - I'm hungry."


"Hi," Sam said, walking up to Janet who was going through a box of medical supplies that Malek and Daniel had brought back from a trip to the city.

"Oh, hi, Sam!" Janet smiled. "How are you doing now?"

"Much better. The infection is gone, as you know, as is any trace of the wound on my arm."

Janet nodded. "Those healing devices are pretty fantastic." She gave her a sceptical look from top to bottom. "Still, you were very sick."

"Stop worrying, Janet. Only thing that's still bothering me is that damn weakness from not using our muscles for all that time we were in the alien facility. I really hope that passes soon."

"It will get better when you use your muscles, but it can take a long time to get completely back to normal. Many months, actually."

Sam grimaced. "Damn." She sat down beside Janet. "I wanted to ask you something else. Cassie - do you know how she's doing?"

Janet smiled. "She's fine. With my sister, actually. I didn't think it would be safe for her to go with us here, so I... told her I had to do some offworld work and that she had to stay and go to school. She wasn't happy, I can tell you that."

"I believe you." Sam smiled.

"She eventually accepted it, though. She also promised not to tell my sister, and just say I had taken on some important work for the Air Force in a place where it wouldn't be safe to bring Cassie. I think my sister thinks I'm in the Middle East, and she sure didn't approve, but she promised to look after Cassie for me."

Sam nodded. "I'm glad to hear she's safe. I really miss her, and I look forward to seeing her again."

"Me too. Very much," Janet said.

"So, tell me. You and Malek?" Sam grinned.

Janet rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Me and Malek."


"Welcome back, dad!" Sam smiled, giving her father a hug. "You too, Teal'c - and Aldwin."

"Hi, guys!" O'Neill said. "You got one of the Targs?"

"Indeed. He is currently in a stasis chamber onboard the teltac," Teal'c told them.

"Yeah, we thought it was best not to risk him being awake and seeing anything here. We don't really know how their telepathy works, or if they can somehow use it to locate one of their own," Jacob said.

"Probably a good idea," O'Neill agreed.

"You've made any progress on the disruption device?" Jacob asked.

Sam nodded. "Yeah, dad. We've got it as far as we can without more research on the alien. We can get on that immediately"

"Not without eating your breakfast, hmm?" Janet said, stepping into the room. She smiled at Jacob and the others. "Hi, guys!"

"Are we going to interrogate this, uh, Targ?" Daniel wondered. "I mean, we could probably get a lot of information from him, if we just find a way to stop him from communicating with the other aliens."

"That is doubtful," Teal'c said.

"We took the teltac out of the solar system - I mean, that has got to be beyond the reach of their telepathy, right?" Jacob said. "We then tried letting him out of stasis, only to learn that while the mimicking effect was still working, he wasn't connected to the mind of Ferretti any longer. He couldn't - or wouldn't, I guess - speak anything but that guttural alien language."

"So we can't interrogate him unless he's receiving some sort of transmission, namely from the mind he's linked to. Question is if we're going to be able to filter out all other transmissions - and if we can be sure he can't use the mind link to do anything else," Sam said.

"Well, it's doubtful he'd say anything anyway," O'Neill observed. "Remember how willing they were to sacrifice themselves last time they attacked. Not the types to cave under interrogations."

"Okay, but at least we can use him to figure out how to disrupt their mimetic devices - and maybe learn something about their telepathy," Sam said.

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