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*We have to land. There is no other option. If we do not, we will be stranded,* Martouf concluded, closing the door to the crystal chamber. *Too many of the rerouted circuits have burned out... and two of the crystals...*

*I know. At least we made it further than expected. Unless I am reading the maps wrong, that planet down there is Ro'ahok... a minor planet in Bastet's domain. Belongs to Khnum, I think.*

*Still not good, but it could be worse. Am I correct in assuming it is one of those planets that do not have a permanent Goa'uld presence?* Martouf gave Lantash control, and he hurried to the peltak.

*I am fairly sure that is so, yes.* Lantash sighed, as he pushed several buttons and pulled a lever, before placing his hands in the control mechanism so he could steer the ship. *The landing is going to be hard, I fear! The internal gravity generator is unstable, and the levels are fluctuating.* He flipped a switch to the internal communication. "The landing will be hard! Brace for impact... Jolinar!"


Lantash picked himself up from the floor, and quickly assessed whether he had any injuries. Nothing major - a bruised rib and a bump on the left thigh. He hoped Samantha had gotten away as lightly.

He ran through the Alkesh to find her sitting not far from where he had left her. "Samantha! Are you all right?"

Sam looked around. "Where is she? Who is she!" She frowned at him. "I am all right! Why are you so obsessed with this Samantha?"

Lantash sighed, relieved she seemed unhurt, but exasperated that she was still confused and thought she was Jolinar. "I am happy to hear that. Jolinar... we should leave. No one was following us, but I cannot know if someone on this planet saw the ship... land. It is a Goa'uld world, and while I assume no Goa'uld is here most of the time, we could be unfortunate and have arrived just when one is."

"I understand." Sam again tried to get up.

"Stay. There are some things I need to collect before we can leave."

Sam nodded, and Lantash hurried off to pick up the hand devices, the valuables he had brought to the Alkesh earlier, as well as a large bag with clothes and other things he would need to keep the illusion he was a minor Goa'uld, should they meet someone.

He could not afford to look anything but impeccable, with perfect makeup and clean, whole clothes, should he need to masquerade as a Goa'uld. Anything else might give rise to suspicion, which they could not afford. Sam would be his lo'tar. Hopefully, they would meet no one until she was herself again.

He also grabbed a couple water bottles and a box of emergency rations. He checked if there was anything else, like a healing device, but unfortunately the Alkesh had been emptied of almost everything useful when it had been mothballed.

He went back to Sam and helped her stand, and leaning on him, they exited the Alkesh.

"What about this... 'Samantha'?" Sam asked, as they walked away from the ship. "Who is she?" She gave him a suspicious look.

*What do I say?* Lantash wondered.

*The truth... or some version of it. Part of it. Tell her... that Samantha is her new host. It is the truth... or was the truth, at least.*

Lantash agreed, and stopped and looked at Sam. "You cannot remember because of the drug, probably..." He took a deep breath. "Jolinar... Rosha died. Samantha became your new host."

"Rosha is dead? What happened?" Sam exclaimed, a look of shock and pain on her face. "No! I could never forget that!"

"She... there was an ashrak. Sent by Cronus," Lantash said, sadness clear on his face.

"No..." Sam shook her head, not willing to believe it.

"I'm... sorry... It is the truth."

Sam was silent for a long time, just standing there, looking down. Eventually, she looked up again, and wiped tears from her eyes. "I... remember."

"What happened?" Lantash asked, hoping to get to know what Sam had not been able to remember before.

*Lantash... I'm not sure that is a good idea...* Martouf began.

*You want to know as badly as I do.*

Sam's expression became distant, and she spoke flatly, slowly. "The ashrak caught up with us. I thought I was fast enough, but he injured us. Badly. We fled... to Sesnak V... He found us again, before I could heal my Rosha. We fought... then Jaffa came. We escaped, but Rosha was mortally wounded. We got to another world, then on to Rilvak. We could not return to the tunnels, we were not sure we had lost the ashrak... We hid, waiting to die, but at least we were together..." She looked up, and grabbed Lantash's hands. "We thought of you and Martouf... That we would never see you again. Our dear, sweet beloveds... Lantash, I am so sorry! If there was anything I could have done. If I could just have saved her..."

He squeezed her hand, deeply moved. "We know... Jolinar. We understand."

"Some travellers found us. One of them became my host. Tempory host. Before this one. Samantha." Her eyes suddenly widened. "She was unwilling! Lantash! I broke our highest law! Is that... Is that why you are angry with me?"

"Angry?" Lantash frowned, caught up in his own emotions, and Martouf's, and not understanding what she was talking about.

"Why you are behaving so... coldly towards me."

"Coldly?"

"You have not hugged me, or kissed me - well, only on the cheek." Her lip quivered. "Even after we escaped the enemy... Osiris. Not even now!"

"Jolinar, I am not angry..." Lantash said. *What do I do? Samantha would surely not like it if we treated her like our mate, however much we want to, but right now she thinks she is Jolinar...*

*I know, and it hurts... tell her Samantha... is a new host, and not yet ready for more... intimacy. We are holding back for her sake.*

*Good idea.* Lantash 'hugged' Martouf, and turned his attention outwards, to Sam.


Sam was still heavily affected by the drug, and they moved slowly. After some hours of walking, they took a break and ate some of the emergency rations. Martouf and Lantash also managed to convince Sam that she should sleep for a little while.

She had ended up sleeping for several hours, and it was mid afternoon when she awoke.

*I really hope Samantha is herself again. Having her think she was Jolinar... It was... painful,* Martouf observed.

*It was,* Lantash agreed. He gently touched Samantha. "Samantha..."

"Yes?" Sam opened her eyes, and then stared in shock at Lantash. "Martouf! Lantash!" She shook her head. "No! You are dead! Or at least in stasis, and you're likely never going to be healed! That's what they said. And I killed you."

"Samantha, I am here. Alive!" Lantash said.

"No, no you are not. I am... hallucinating." She shook her head again, then groaned as the world spun. "I must be! The Goa'uld. Osiris. She... he... drugged me."

"Yes, Osiris drugged you. That is correct! But you are not hallucinating me!"

Sam stared at him, wiping tears from her eyes. "I really wish you were real!"

Lantash dipped his head and gave Martouf control. *You try!*

Martouf gave Sam a charming smile. "Hello, Samantha."

Sam closed her eyes and shook her head. "No, no, no! You can't be real! Stop tormenting me!" She made a low sob, and whispered. "This is my punishment. I killed you! I killed you... and... and I loved you."

*Did I hear that right? She loves us?* Martouf wondered, not daring to believe his own ears.

*It... it sounds like that...* Lantash was as disbelieving as Martouf.

Meanwhile, Sam had gotten up and started walking away from Martouf/Lantash. Her legs were still somewhat unsteady, but nothing compared with earlier. She angrily forced herself to walk more steady, and glared at her surroundings which wobbled a little before her eyes.

"Samantha!" Martouf hurried after her.

"No! Don't do this to me! Don't tempt me with something that doesn't exist!" She tried to hasten her steps, and stumbled.

Martouf quickly caught her, stabilizing her. "Please... listen to me, Samantha. Let me prove I am real! Explain how I can be alive."

"I'm not listening!" Sam suddenly stopped, staring at something ahead of her. "No, I'm also not listening to you!"

*Who is she talking to?* Martouf wondered.

*How should I know? It could be anyone, but if she is actually hallucinating someone, it will make it harder for us to convince her we are real.*

"If I am not saying anything, can I walk with you?" Martouf asked.

Sam gave the imagined person ahead of her an offended glare, then turned and gave Martouf a pained look, then shrugged. "Why not?" They walked for a little while, them Sam threw Martouf a sideways look. "I guess I can figure out why I am imagining you are here... What I don't understand is why you are dressed like that. Like an Egyptian pharaoh, or something."

"This is quite normal clothes for many Goa'uld. Osiris prefers this style, and I pretended to be a minor Goa'uld looking for a position, in order to free you."

"Makes sense... as much as any of this makes sense." She half-smiled. "It's a bit... unusual, to say the least. Not really your style - particularly the makeup... and the gold jewelry and gemstones! I do like the short, thin tunica - mostly for how little it covers!" She blushed as she said it.

"Thank you... I think..." Martouf smiled. *The drug makes her a bit less... reserved. More direct.*

*Very much so. Though I guess thinking we are hallucinations helps too.*

"The sun is starting to set. We need to find a place to stay for the night." Martouf looked worriedly at the sky. "I think a storm is coming."

"I wonder if we... I am even walking in the right direction to the Stargate."

"We are. Can't you sense it? Try! It's far away - about seven days journey, I think - but you should be able to sense it, I think."

Sam stood still for some minutes, concentrating. Then she slowly turned around until she was facing Martouf/Lantash. She pointed at them. "I sense a signature in that direction. Fairly strong."

Martouf sighed. "That is Lantash you are sensing."

"How can I sense a hallucination?"

"Because we are real!" Martouf exclaimed, frustrated.

Sam hesitated, then shook her head. "No. You can't be," she finally decided. "It is my imagination... or it's the Stargate I sense. I should probably walk towards it."

Martouf sighed and quickly took several steps to get ahead of her, in the direction of the Stargate. "Do that, then."

"I think I will," Sam said and started walking. She was walking much more steadily now, so Martouf was hoping she would soon have neutralized the drug and be herself again.

"By the way, if I'm just in your imagination, why do you talk to me?"

"Maybe I'm going crazy?" Sam suggested, a laconic expression on her face.

"You are merely still affected by the drug. You will soon be well, and then you will see that I am real."

*There is a village up ahead! We should not approach it looking like this!* Lantash warned.

"Samantha, stop! Do you see? There are some houses further down the road. A village most likely."

Sam squinted through the darkness of the rapidly falling night. "I don't see anything... Wait, yes, I do! Great! Let's get there and find a place to sleep, and some real food!" She hesitated. "I don't have anything to pay with!"

"I do, but while your clothing is acceptable here, I do not believe it would be a good idea for me to go in there dressed like this!"

Sam grinned. "No probably not - unless you want them to believe you're a Goa'uld!" She sobered, and looked sad. "Of course, since you only exist in my imagination, it doesn't matter what you wear."

Martouf sighed, and considered how to convince her to wait while he 'borrowed' some different clothing, since he did not feel it would be safe for her to enter the village alone, in her current condition. He feared she would do or say something that made the villagers angry - particularly since they probably would be convinced the Goa'uld were gods.

"Samantha... you do not know this type of culture. They are usually very convinced the Goa'uld are gods, and it takes little to make them suspect you are a blasphemer - particularly since you are... confused right now."

*You cannot convince her right now, and it's only a matter of time before some villagers sees us. Use the kara'kesh to render her unconscious while we acquire suitable clothing and find a place for us to stay,* Lantash suggested. *I think that will be safest for her. We cannot risk that she says something that makes them think she insults the gods or is a witch. We may not be able to save her.*

Martouf thought it over for a moment. *I believe you are correct. However, you are better at using the kara'kesh for something as delicate as this. I would prefer if you took control for it.*

*I do not believe there is much difference in our abilities in that, but I will take control if you prefer that.*

*Thank you.* Martouf bowed his head, and Lantash took control.

He took the hand device from his bag and quickly put it on. "Samantha?"

"Yes?" Sam turned around to look at him again. "I am imagining Lantash now." She smiled at him. "Hi, Lantash."

He quickly closed the distance between them, and took her left hand in his right hand, hiding the hand with the ribbon device behind his back.

Lantash searched for some excuse, then smiled at her. "Samantha... Martouf and I are very relieved that you are safe from Osiris's clutches."

"Oh, so am I! I'm not sure how I made it out, but somehow I did..."

"Martouf and I rescued you." He pulled her closer. "May we kiss you, Samantha?"

"Uh... kiss me?" Sam looked surprised, then smiled and shrugged. "Sure why not? If I'm fantasizing you being here with me, then I can as well kiss you. Lord knows I've wanted to! At least I'll know how it feels for me to kiss you, and not just Jolinar. Well, sort off..."

Lantash closed the last distance between them and kissed her. Sam made a soft sound and wrapped her arms around him, returning the kiss. Lantash and Martouf soon lost themselves in the sensation, and it was several moments before they remembered that they were going to render her unconscious.

With regret, Lantash finally allowed the hand device to activate, and while he continued kissing her, he held the kara'kesh to her head and sent out a soft energy ribbon that caused her to fall unconscious.

He lifted her up and carried her over behind some bushes where he laid her down on the soft grass. He left her there, hidden, while he went to acquire some different clothing and scout out the small town.



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