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A Cascade of Echoes

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An older man in desert fatigues stood at the opposite side of the room from them. In a line beside him stood his team. Sort of across from the man stood a Tok'ra who had been chanting for several hours at that point. The man yawned, "Never in the history of boredom has anyone been more bored than I am right now."

To his immediate left was a tall blond woman with a ponytail and bangs, "Come on, sir, it's only been…" and she lifted her hand to glance at her wristwatch, "Whoa."

Three teammates down from her a man in glasses with short dark blonde/brown hair interjected, "It's almost over." When the rest of the team gave him questioning looks, he added, "The crimes they're listing are starting to sound familiar."

*He's right, you know. This is boring. There has to be a quicker way to do this, especially since the prisoner is in stasis and doesn't even have to listen to all of this.*

*I am aware this is quite tedious, however, it is how it has been done for many centuries as we began freeing humans from the Goa'uld System Lords.*

Like about half of the Tok'ra in the room, they were wearing tan and brown clothing with a hood covering the upper half of their face and a sort of leather bandana thing to cover the lower half. As far as anyone there knew, they were just another Tok'ra who had come to witness the extraction ceremony of the final System Lord.

As SG-1's conversation began heating up, one of the elder Tok'ra spoke to the assembled party, "Revive the prisoner.".

They remained silent for the rest of the ceremony, which thankfully didn't last very long unlike the three-hour chant that had preceded it. For the most part, she used the time to covertly study the infamous SG-1. She had known Cam, or at least another version of him, for decades. She had met Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c as well, but like with Cam, it had been alternates. Technically they were the same, at least the three first, but this Teal'c was, or at least should be, quite different.

Both of them also studied the Tok'ra. Her 'roommate' knew most of them unless they were Goa'uld who had converted their belief just as she had two millennia ago. The hosts she had known were long dead and the faces they saw were unknowns to them both.

Finally, it was over. Ba'al the Goa'uld was dead and had drawn its last breath right there in front of them on the floor. His now former host was strapped to the contraption they had used to remove the symbiote. The man was also unconscious.

As the same elder as before was about to dismiss them, she took a step forward and lowered her hood. "If I could have everyone's attention, please?" Curious faces turned toward her expectantly. "Hi, hello. I need to speak with the Tok'ra Council and SG-1, right now. I have news of importance."

It took some time for them to agree and then even more time as they congregated in a smaller room with a long conference table and enough chairs for everyone. SG-1 in particular looked annoyed at their delayed departure, but Vala looked upset as she had wanted to be there for the host when he woke up.

They and the elder ended up on the short side of the long table, but on opposite ends of it. "What is there of such importance that you felt the need to interrupt this momentous occasion?"

"And more importantly," O'Neill interjected, "Who are you?"

"My name is Buffy, and I'm the host of a Tok'ra who has been missing and presumed dead for a very long time."

This time it was Jackson who decided to interrupt, "Not that that isn't great news, but why do we", and he implied to his team with a vague wave of his hands, "need to be here for that? Shouldn't it be a private business for the Tok'ra?"

She smiled, "If that was all there was to it, then no, you and SG-1 would not be here, but since you're kinda partially responsible for it, and it directly involves SG-1. You get to be here and hear the exciting story."

The elder appeared as if he would've liked to huff at it all, but instead chose to ask a question. "Who are you blended with?"

Everyone suddenly gave her their undivided attention. The Tok'ra had lost or were presumed to have lost several hundred operatives in the last decade or so. Regaining even one of them would be a great boon.


In the defeating silence that followed her proclamation, Buffy closed her eyes as she briefly lowered her head. When her head was raised it was Egeria who was in charge.

"Hello, my children. It has been a very long time since I have been able to see you." The timber of her voice was softer than Buffy's, causing the difference to be clear even if she hadn't allowed the distinctive 'echo' of the symbiote to make her voice sound dual.

The elder stared at them with wide eyes, but he was cautious. "How can we be certain of who you are? Ra boasted of killing our queen more than 2000 years ago."

"He did not kill me. Instead, he removed me from my host and killed her. Then he imprisoned me in a canopic jar and placed me in a secret room in a temple on Pangar. Buffy found me quite by accident when she crashed into the temple. We have been blended ever since." They had previously agreed not to tell anyone exactly how their blending had happened, and especially not to tell the Tok'ra that their queen had broken their most sacred law. Even if it was by accident.

"When did this happen?"

"About 70 years ago."

Egeria's short reply caused chaos to reign for several minutes as her children tried to grasp the consequences of how long she had chosen to wait before making contact. While they spoke, Egeria silently turned control of their body back to Buffy. Buffy promptly whistled, loudly.

"This is where I explain why SG-1 is here." When she was certain she had everyone's attention again, she went on.

"The reason we didn't contact the Tok'ra right away is that things back there," and she indicated the large ceremonial room they had left not long ago. "Went very differently in the original timeline. Specifically, Ba'al revealed that he wasn't the last one. While he didn't explain himself it soon became obvious as people simply vanished. As far as I've been told, Vala Mal Doran was the first to disappear, then Teal'c. After that, more and more of the Tok'ra vanished. I'm not entirely clear on what happened next, but Ba'al somehow killed General O'Neill, and the remaining three members of SG-1 ran for the Stargate."

"They left my body behind?" The man was visibly shocked.

"From what I was told you told them to leave before you died of your injuries, so yes." Maybe she shouldn't have told them that part, but it was too late now.

"Colonel Carter, Cam, and Dr. Jackson made it to the Stargate, except instead of coming out at Stargate Command they ended up on a ship. Specifically on the Achilles, which was somewhere in the Antarctic, and pretty much an icicle."

Gathering her thoughts and conferring with her symbiote, they agreed a lot of the interplay could be dropped as it didn't concern the resistance. "The three remaining members of SG-1 soon realized they were in an alternate timeline. One where the Stargate Program had never happened due to the Stargate being lost on its voyage from Egypt to America. A year later Ba'al attacked Earth along with many of the now-living System Lords."

This part had always confused her, so she skipped a lot. "Ba'al either had or found a time machine. After Quetesh killed Ba'al we traveled from Earth to the planet where it was located and then Cam and I ended up in the past as the others were all killed. We had to stay for 10 years before we could kill the Goa'uld."

Jackson stared at her, "You're really bad at explaining things, aren't you?"

She smiled sheepishly. "Yes?"

"Point is, we're here and had to wait until time caught up before we could change anything." She smiled, despite knowing she had messed up. "Now it's time to talk about how we move forward."

"We're going to need more explanations."

Buffy sighed, *You should've done this.*