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TITLE: Apophis's Loyal Servants
CATEGORY: Angst, hurt/comfort, pre-series, character background
SUMMARY: How did Aldwin become a Tok'ra host?
CHARACTERS: Malek, Aldwin
WARNINGS: Canon-typical violence and torture. Minor character death.
PROMPT: 007. SG-1, Aldwin, let's hear his background - why did he become a host?
NOTES: Written for Tok'ra Kree: round 4. (tokra_kree)

"Aldwin! Wait!"

He turned to look, and saw his sister. "Joana." He slowed down a little, allowing her to catch up.

"What is wrong? You left immediately after blessing - you usually stay and talk for a little while." Joana looked a little insulted at him.

"I need to return to my work. We have traders visiting, and they are buying large quantities of wheat - hundreds of sacks!"

"Yes, I know, silly! Everyone does! They were at Apophis praise yesterday. Besides, you greeted them, while I was standing beside you." She frowned. "I do not know why they were not there for worship and blessing today."

"I am sure they have their reasons. They are in a hurry to return to their people."

"Hurry? You cannot be in too much of a hurry for your god!" Joana scoffed. "They should be careful. Their behaviour has been noticed."

"What? Listen, Joana, they are nice people. Not heretics!"

"That is not what Silmon says. He also noticed they were only pretending to say the praises. He says he told the priests!"

"Silmon? I care not for anything that fool says or does!" Aldwin scoffed.

"Because he is interested in Peeta." Joana smiled. "He is a good choice, too. He is attractive... and his family is rich and important..."

"You are married. You have a child! Stop that talk! And leave me alone!" Aldwin quickly said a silent prayer to Apophis that Peeta would chose him.

"You are afraid Peeta will prefer Silmon!" Joana grinned. "That is why you were in such a hurry today. Silmon was sitting with Peeta!"

"I do not understand why you all like him so much! He is not a good choice. You know what he does to the servant girls!"

"You will stop that slander immediately!" Joana said, her voice suddenly hard.

"It is not slander. It is the truth," Aldwin murmured, but he kept his voice too low for Joana to hear.

"If you really want Peeta, you should be more direct! Otherwise she will never be yours!"

"I will. Soon. I just need to..."

Joana interrupted him, shaking her head. "Aldwin, you are almost 28! I know of no one else who has not married by that age!"

"I will not discuss this now. Joana, I will visit later today, but now I need to get to work." He waved at her, and started walking faster.

Joana did not follow, but just shouted after him. "Tell those foreign traders not to miss the praise tomorrow, if they are still here! It is an insult, and it could bring down Apophis's wrath on all our heads!"

"I believe we are ready to return now, Malek," Tavin said. "Aldwin just told me the last of the wheat has been bagged and is ready for transport."

"Good. I cannot wait to get away from here. The people of this world is fervently religious, and praises Apophis all the time! It is too much for comfort!"

"How can any amount of Apophis-worship not be too much for comfort?" Tavin grinned.

"Very true, but that is not quite what I meant. This place is dangerous. If someone should even suspect us, they would not hesitate to report us."

"Aldwin seems nice enough..." Tavin smiled. "Cute, too, though Gerim thinks his sister is more attractive. He is wrong. She has a look in her eyes I do not trust."

"That is not usually part of determining attractiveness," Malek said, smiling briefly. "Nor are we here to ogle the locals."

"Aw, come on! I am just looking! You are always much too serious! You must allow yourself to relax, now and then!" Tavin gave Malek a friendly push. "So, tell me. What do you think of Aldwin - and his sister?"

"We are here to work!" Malek shook his head, but then he smiled. "If we must talk of this... I think you are both correct. If the situation was different... I would not turn away either of them."

Tavin laughed. "Malek! Admitting to an interest in something not related to your duty! How shocking! Perhaps you are a living being after all! The others at the base will..."

They were interrupted by Aldwin suddenly rushing into the room they were in. "Tavin! Johan! You must leave. Immediately! Apophis's Jaffa have come!"

"What?" Tavin exclaimed.

Malek quickly transferred control to his host, Johan. "Through the... ring of the gods?"

Aldwin nodded. "Yes..." He got an embarrassed expression. "I fear someone from my village has reported you... for only pretending to praise Apophis."

"Lies!" Johan exclaimed, hurriedly. "No one worships Apophis more than we!"

"As I thought, but you must come quickly!" Aldwin said, looking nervously towards the door.

"I am not so sure this was a good idea," Malek whispered, nervously looking up towards the hatch above their heads.

"What other choice did we have?" Tavin said. "The route to the chaapa'ai was blocked, and the population is firmly convinced Apophis is a god!"

They heard a shout from upstairs, and then noise, as if a door was being broken. Then someone cried out. Moments later there were sounds just over their heads.

"It was definitely not a good idea!" Malek moaned. He quickly looked around the small room, searching for something that could be used as a weapon.

"Nothing!" Tavin said, having thought of the same. "Why did we not bring zat'nik'tels?"

"You know that would have been too dangerous. If anyone here should happen to see them, they would have reported us immediately. Only 'gods' and Jaffa may carry such weapons."

"It seems we got reported anyway. If we get out of this, we should buy our wheat somewhere else!" Tavin grabbed a broom. It was not a particularly good weapon, but it was better than nothing.

"I agree. I will talk to Garshaw - should we live." Malek looked grimly at the hatch. He could hear sounds like someone moving the table on top of it aside. Looking around, he decided on a large jar to use for a weapon.

The hatch above them opened, and a Jaffa gazed down. Malek threw the jar against the Jaffa's head, as hard as he could, and had the satisfaction of seeing the Jaffa lose his balance and fall down into the room below.

Tavin immediately hit the Jaffa over the head with the broom, knocking him unconscious.

The victory was short-lived, though, as several more Jaffa appeared above them a moment later.

Tavin groaned as he woke up. "Where are we?" He gently touched a sore spot on the back of his head. Feeling something sticky, he looked at his hand. There was blood on it.

"In a room in a storage facility of some sort, belonging to the man who sold us the wheat. He is dead, by the way. Killed by the Jaffa. His assistant, Aldwin, is over there." Malek nodded. "Unconscious."

"So he will suffer the consequences of helping us." Tavin looked unhappy. "How are you?"

"Johan and I are both reasonably well. We have some bruising, and a bump on the head, but not as bad as yours. Johan is awake also. How is Gerim?"

Tavin was quiet for a moment, searching for his symbiote. He frowned. "Unconscious."

"That is what I feared. You were hit very hard on the lower back of your head." Malek looked worried. "You should rest - for as long as they will let us. I will attempt to find a way out of here."

"There is probably not one. We are doomed." Tavin looked miserable.

"I am not yet willing to give up," Malek said, getting up and starting to search first the door, then the walls, methodically.

He had only gotten half-way when the door opened. Outside stood a group of angry looking Jaffa.

"Come with us! Now! All of you!" one of them ordered. "Bring the unconscious one!"

Johan/Malek and Tavin/Gerim did as they were told, and carried Aldwin between them. Ahead of them walked three Jaffa, and behind them another four. They were all armed and very much on guard, so there was no way to overtake them.

Aldwin was starting to wake up when they reached the living room in the house that had formerly belonged to the local trader. The Jaffa leader had claimed the place as his, for as long as he was on the planet. He was currently sitting in a comfortable chair in the middle of the room.

*It looks like the idiot is picturing himself a Goa'uld lord or something!* Gerim observed, dryly.

*Gerim! You are awake!* Tavin almost shouted aloud with relief.

*Yes, I am. My head is hurting terribly, though - as is yours I am afraid. I will do my best to heal us as quickly as possible. I fear we shall need our strength very soon.*

*Unfortunately, I must agree.' Tavin groaned as one of the Jaffa hit him behind the legs and forced him to kneel before the Jaffa leader.

Beside him, Malek and Aldwin had been forced to kneel as well.

"I was told you are heretics!" the Jaffa leader snarled at them.

"That is a lie! No one is more dedicated to Apophis than I am!" Johan insisted.

It was extremely important the Jaffa did not learn of the presence of Malek and Gerim. That would only prove they were Tok'ra, and that would mean they would be given to Apophis. At his hands they would suffer endless cycles of torture to the death and revival. Not to mention the risk they would give up information that could endanger the rest of the Tok'ra.

"A lie? I doubt that! I heard it from a very reliable source. Besides, why did you hide from my men if you were innocent?" The Jaffa leader grabbed a painstick that had been lying on a nearby table. "I think you are rebels. Heretics! You have come here only to cause dissent and doubt among the true believers!"

"No! I am innocent!" Aldwin screamed, terrified. "Please, I swear by Apophis!"

"Innocent? You hid these criminals!" the Jaffa leader pressed the painstick against Aldwin's neck and activated it. "And now you dare swear by our great Lord Apophis, even though you are unworthy of even mentioning his name! Suffer the consequences!"

Light shone from Aldwin's eyes and mouth, and he let out a terrifying scream. Malek and Tavin winced involuntarily, knowing how painful it was.

"Aldwin is innocent. Please, let him go," Tavin said. "He truly did nothing, except trade is the wheat."

"Shut up, traitor!" the Jaffa leader gave Tavin a hard blow with the painstick, making him fall forward on his face.

"Um, Fohk'r, maybe we should wait until Teal'c arrives..." one of the Jaffa said, nervously.

"Why? I can interrogate this heretic scum as well as he can, and if we learn something now, we may get rewarded by Apophis for once!" the leader, Fohk'r, insisted hotly. "If they die, no one will miss them!"

"But... Teal'c has ordered..."

"Shut up, Uh'kar!"

"Yes, master Fohk'r." Uh'kar bowed his head and stepped back.

No one else interfered as Fohk'r grinned maliciously before jabbing the painstick against the neck of Tavin, who was still on all fours after the blow he had been given a moment ago.

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