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"Samantha has been captured by Osiris?" Martouf asked, an expression of disbelief - and worry - on his face.

"Yes, the Tau'ri apparently found his stasis jar, and he took a Tau'ri host. Some female named Sarah Gardener. Apparently a friend of Doctor Jackson's," Anise explained.

Martouf nodded, accepting this. "That is most unfortunate. Also for Doctor Jackson's friend, of course. Osiris was last seen in the Tivek system, correct?"

"Yes. He has conquered the former owner, the Goa'uld Henet, and forced her to become his underlord."

"I see. Well, Lantash and I will go there to infiltrate his court and gather intelligence - and hopefully rescue Samantha," Martouf said.

"You are certain you are ready for this?" Anise asked.

Martouf dipped his head, giving Lantash control.

"We are fully healed. Of course we will take the mission!" Lantash insisted, a miffed look on his face.

"You may be healed, but you will still be sore for a few days, and both of you are in need of rest," one of the healers named Ka'tihna, said. "It was only three days ago that you were removed from stasis, and started to heal. You will be weak for a few days."

"You did just return from 'certain death' - according to Ren'al, at least," Anise reminded him.

Lantash snorted. "We will rest when we arrive at the Tivek system. Where is Jacob? We wish to talk to him before we leave."

"With the Tau'ri, going to stop an alliance between Apophis and Heru'ur. When he returns, he will be going on another mission that cannot wait," Anise said.

"Then I cannot wait for his return," Lantash insisted. "I will leave immediately."

"You are sure he is no longer a zatarc?" Delek asked, walking into the room.

"Yes, I am sure. The programming was destroyed by the second shot of the zat'nik'tel," Anise informed him.

"Is there any further intelligence we should have before we leave?" Lantash asked, ignoring Delek.

"Everything we know of Osiris - before and after his return - the Tivek system, and Henet, is on this data crystal." Anise handed it to him.

"Thank you." Lantash took the crystal and turned to leave.

"Lantash..." Ka'tihna called. "When you have gone over the content, sleep. You are not cleared to leave on the mission until tomorrow."

"Ka'thina, I am perfectly able to..."

"No, Lantash. This is non-negotiable. Tomorrow."

Lantash took a deep breath and nodded, an unhappy expression on his face. "Tomorrow." He left the room.


It was fairly late next day when Martouf woke up. He threw a look at the timestrip on the wall, and hurried to the bathroom to get ready. They had been relieved - and a little surprised - that their quarters were still there, and all their things as well. No doubt that was due to Jacob's intervention. They would have to thank him later.

Lantash woke up just as Martouf finished putting on the undercover clothing they would be wearing. *Wait! We overslept! It's after noon! Why didn't anyone wake us!*

*I know. They probably decided we needed the sleep, and truth be told, I am feeling much better now.* Martouf smoothed a wrinkle in the short, Egyptian style tunic he was wearing. It was made of fine, thin linen, and was decorated with gold embroidering. He also wore a leather belt with a golden clasp, styled with Goa'uld letters.

He had on sandals made from soft leather strips, and his legs were bare. Aside from that, he only wore a loincloth, which was hidden under his tunic. He had a hand device, but he had not put it on yet.

*So am I,* Lantash admitted. *Though we had better leave soon. Samantha needs us.*

*Yes, as soon as we have had breakfast, ah, lunch - and have picked up valuables from the commissary. We need to buy a great many things, including gifts for Osiris, if we are to convince him to take us on as an underling.*

*I know. I don't look forward to it. I hate pretending to be a Goa'uld! Which reminds me... do we really have to wear this?*

Martouf threw their Tok'ra uniform a wistful look, and sighed. *Yes, you know we do.*

*I hate this type of clothing... and the jewelry! Arm rings, finger rings, huge necklace...* He suddenly realized something. *Please tell me we are not wearing makeup!*

*Sorry, I can't tell you that...*

Lantash grabbed control and walked back to the bathroom and stared into the mirror. They were wearing typical Egyptian makeup - black kohl eyeliner, and blue-green eye shadow. *We look ridiculous! You know that!*

*I know. Unfortunately, this is the correct style if we want to work for Osiris - and Henet.*

*We do not! Though I know we have to pretend we do... for as short a time as possible!* Lantash grumbled, before he turned around and left to go and get something to eat.


*We need to buy some gifts for Osiris that will increase the likelihood of him offering us a position. What do you think would be suitable?* Martouf wondered, looking at the abundance of things... people, animals... anything you could imagine, that was on sale at the market.

*I really don't like the idea of getting Osiris anything! Particularly not something that would help him increase his power - which is probably what he would want most, given his situation,* Lantash mused.

*According to the intelligence we studied, he has Henet's Jaffa - about one hundred. In addition he has his own Alkesh, one Teltac that Henet owned, as well as a defective Alkesh Henet had, and which he will be trying to repair.*

*Yes, and that also makes it easier for us to decide what position we ask for. When he asks about my abilities, I will tell him I am skilled in engineering and science. Osiris would need someone to repair his ship, and whatever else old technology they have lying around. He will have taken charge of the military himself, and Henet probably got control of the mines and agriculture,* Lantash suggested.

*Sounds reasonable,* Martouf agreed. *So, what do we buy? There was little information about Osiris himself in the file.*

*Because he disappeared long before Egeria was born.* Lantash sighed, and adjusted his hand device. He hated wearing it, but it assured a certain amount of... respect, or often fear, from those he met, since it proved he was Goa'uld, if the clothing was not enough.

*You do know something about him, don't you?* Martouf asked, a little concerned.

*Yes. Egeria's queen-mother, Ma'at, knew Osiris. It is deeply buried in my genetic memory, but I do have some knowledge about him.*

*I'm sorry. I know how much you hate having to dig through the memories you have from your Goa'uld ancestors.* Martouf gave Lantash a 'hug'.

*They are often fairly unpleasant, yes, and they also remind me of what I could so easily be...* He shuddered. *Still, right now I will just be happy that I have some knowledge...*

*I agree. Should we buy slaves, you think?*

*Yes... both servants and beautiful females for... ah, other purposes...*

*He has a female host, but I assume that will not matter?*

*You know it will not. Osiris will not change his inclinations just because his current host is female. He will also want luxuries... gold, jewelry, beautiful vases and artwork. That kind of thing has always held his interest.*

*That sounds like every Goa'uld in existence!*

*True, they do tend to like those things.* Lantash sighed as he scoured his memories for more useful information. *He likes beautiful gardens. We should get him a gardener, and some rare plants also.*

*Okay. It's a good thing we brought plenty of valuables.*



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