Page 19

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Sam gradually regained consciousness, but couldn't for the life of her figure out where she was.
Then, two different waves of fear rushed over her.
She didn't know how, but she could tell the difference between the sources of the fear.
Only one belonged to her.
A now familiar presence was very terrified.
She tried to put as much good feeling as she could into the thought she directed toward the Tok'ra.
*It'll be okay.*
*Okay??? How can this ever be okay? I never imagined I would join a host that would then join another host. I have no controls over anything. I am trapped all over again...*
*Whoa...whoa...wha? What do you mean...holy hannah! I'm inside someone!*
*Can you say anything more inane?*
Sam instantly nailed Jolinar with every mental dig she could, full of annoyance.
Then, she felt Jolinar...a physical feeling...move against her.
*It is my mind you are feeling. I am trying to find a way to contact our host. She is amazingly strong. Stronger than you.*
Sam suddenly realized where she was and the memory of all that had happened after the Colonel had stopped trying to walk through her.
She'd watched the dying man stand, his feet still inside his dead body, much as she'd done when she'd died, but then, instead of attaching to someone or even seeming to be trapped by a force field, a ... how do you describe to yourself something your mind can't handle seeing ... being...a being so lovely, so beautiful that Sam's mind ached trying to remember it properly...appeared.
She'd wanted to go with the being...but it hadn't come for her.
It had come for the man who'd just died.
The being had held out a hand and gently guided the man, obviously revering the man, to...somewhere.
She tried to go after them, feeling the warning tug of the force around her, but ignoring it...desperate to go with them.
Janet had gotten between her and the departing being.
The force had tugged her into Janet, but there was another force that seemed to connect with it.
She'd blacked out between the strength the two disparate forces used on her.
Now, she was inside Janet.
Well...time to try contacting her since Jolinar hadn't seen fit to update her on her progress.
Very aware the Tok'ra was more adept at contacting a host, Sam tried to send a thought in any direction.
*That will not work.*
*Well excuse me, I've never done this before.*
*She has trapped us in a mental box. I am so tired of this. Just watch. You will try and try and you will only slightly crack it after awhile.*
* said when you cracked the box I trapped you in, only parts of your memories were able to come out so it stands to reason that with two of us cracking the box that Janet will start having both of our memories and...*
*...will end up thinking she is going insane. What a great plan.*
*You have a better idea?*
Jolinar sighed with disgust.
*No. I suppose you want me to teach you the mental techniques I learned both before and during my stay in your mind?*
*Definitely. Even if it doesn't help here, something's bound to and then maybe I'll be better equipped...*
*You talk too much. Just do not expect a miracle. I am not certain of how long it took me to put a crack in my prison, but it felt like an eternity.*
*How long have we been in here? I have no sense of time passing...just endless black or mental images, but no time sense at all.*
*Bingo. We do not know how long it has been.*
*Getting a handle on numerous sarcastic human sayings, aren't ya? What's the the Tok'ra not have any?*
* We have some, but I have never been inside as tiresome a creature as you before.*
*You're not inside me anymore, though, are you?*
*No. We are side by side inside your friend so in that way I suppose I am free. Your kalesh...soul, I suppose, is now as trapped as mine was inside you. There is a rather strong element of justice in that.*
Sam gritted mental teeth.
*How about teaching me whatever it was that initially allowed you to crack the box?*
*Picture us inside a box.*
Sam concentrated and came up with a refrigerator box.
*Could you have come up with something a bit smaller? I would hate to have too much room in here.*
*For someone that hasn't had to use sarcasm much, you're sure free with it. You said picture a box. Here's a box. Want something specific? Ask specific.*
*Now you have to get used to picturing me in a physical form. Samantha! I am not a slug! I will picture me, you picture you. I am used to controlling a human form so that is how I see myself. I will use Rosha's form since she was so much more pleasing than you are. You just picture your form and will you please picture a larger box...even a room would be better than this even if it would be more mentally daunting for us to break out of.*
Sam winced as the barrage of indignation and impatient words finally died down.
Finally giving in to her own anger, she pictured the dirtiest outhouse she'd ever been forced to use and was rewarded with Jolinar's disgust.
* should be careful if you wish to take this game to that level...I have over a hundred of your years of experience to draw on and I promise I will draw on it with enthusiasm if you do not simply accept defeat now and do as you are told.*
Sam, realizing the experience part could be rather unpleasant, pictured an empty shed.
*That is an improvement. Thank you.*
*I'll listen to what you have to teach me, but if you really want to get out of here, it sounds like you'll need my help. Try being a bit nicer. It's not like I meant to trap you. I just didn't understand.*
Jolinar was very quiet.
*It is very difficult to let go of the bitterness that I have built up for so long. Can you imagine what it was like? To feel Lantash and Martouf so close, connecting with you and not be able to reach out to them? I do not know if I can forgive you the grief I went through...trapped in myself, unable to touch anyone anywhere...not even you.*
Sam felt very small.
*I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please...let's work together now and maybe neither one of us will ever have to go through that again.*
Jolinar was still very distant.
*We will work together. I promise nothing else.*
*That's all I can ask. Thank you.*
Jolinar suddenly appeared 'physically' in front of Sam.
Sam had just become 'physical' and wasn't prepared to see Jolinar in person yet.
Catching her breath, she realized she and Rosha had been very similar in appearance.
There were many differences, though...Her own eyes were a slightly different shade of blue, and her hair was thicker.
The most important fact, though, was that Sam was taller.
*Vain, are we not?*
*After the way you and Martouf described Rosha, can you blame me for wanting to find ways I'm better?*
*No, although whether your height is more desirable or not is disputable.*
*Whatever...what now?*
Jolinar looked around.
*This is a physical representation for our minds. Even if you had simply thought of a flimsy box, it would be as strong as naquadah if that is how strong Janet's mind is. So do not expect to be able to take a zatnikitel and shoot it apart. Okay?*
Sam nodded.
It made sense.
*So what do we do?*
Jolinar sighed.
*We find weak areas. We walk along the walls, until we find a place that is not quite as solid as the others. Then, we batter it with every strong memory we have until it seems to crack.*
Sam cocked her head at Jolinar...incredulous.
*That's it? That's what took you forever to do?*
Jolinar scowled at her.
*Find a weak spot, Samantha. Then, after you find one, I will be very happy to visualize you choking on those words as you eat them.*
Sam had a sinking feeling.
*There's a catch, isn't there?*
Jolinar moved away to start pushing on the walls.
*There is always a catch. Start searching.*

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