Back at the SGC, the computer and security systems remained intermittently operative, with the stargate still open to an unidentified address. Kentis, equipped with a variety of technological devices (some of his own design, some appropriated from the base), planned to go through the gate to lend assistance to SG7. He located Jethro and offered to take him along in search of his teammates, promising that he had a device to make them both invisible. Jethro agreed to go.
On Lira-ke, the female intruder from the SGC continued her tug-of-war with Devero as both sought to claim Ottonis. Sam used this distraction to make his way to some trees and conceal himself. The Jaf’fa watched with interest as Gar’i tried to give them orders and the woman shot at him. Throughout, the tug-of-war went on until finally Gar’i shot Ottonis, knocking him unconscious. With their erstwhile prisoner so much dead weight, Devero shoved the Goa’uld back through the gate.
On the heels of this mayhem, Selket’s Prime, Azul, arrived and demanded an explanation. (Unbeknownst to SG7, the Jaf’fa, and everyone else on Lira-ke, Kentis and Jethro arrived at this point.) Gar’i introduced himself yet again as Ares, a point upon which the woman who had tried to abduct Ottonis said “he may be Ares, but he’s made awfully good friends with the Tauri.” Then she complained to Azul that the lot of them had cost her her prisoner and that Nyllum wouldn’t be pleased with the lost bounty. She marched away, then, and both Azul and the Jaf’fa let her go without another word. Gar’i explained that he had infiltrated the Tauri, and that those present were his entourage. Azul, after considering this, welcomed Gar’i and told him that he had arrived just in time for the festival but that Selket was still a day or two from arriving. He offered Gar’i and his entourage the best accommodations the palace could offer, and presented Gar’i with three gold bracelets – enough for Gar’i, Clyde, and Devero. Gar’i requested a fourth bracelet for Sam and sent Clyde to find their missing teammate.
With the team mostly accounted for, Gar’i and his ‘entourage’ followed Azul through the city of Serquet to the palace. Jethro, invisible and having lost track of the equally invisible Kentis, followed the team. At the palace, a very deferential Azul assigned an impressive suite to Gar’i and a neighboring, but less grand, suite to Devero, Clyde, and Sam. Once the Prime had gone, Devero set up a noise-generator so they could speak freely and, at this stage, Jethro turned off his invisibility device and explained his arrival on Lira-ke and how Kentis was on the planet also, but he didn’t know where. Gar’i joined the group and explained to them that the golden bracelets meant they would be safe from capture and execution during the upcoming festival (he stressed the importance of this point to Jethro, who didn’t have one). Shortly after Gar’i’s joining them, the group was were interrupted by a servant offering a tour of the palace. As Gar’i knew that his people generally had an undercover operative on Lira-ke, he accepted.
Jethro used this opportunity to make his invisible way back to the Stargate where he attempted to send a report back to the SGC. He was not able to ascertain if he succeeded however, possibly owing to the technical problems that were plaguing the SGC when he left.
Back at the palace, the group (minus invisible Jethro) went along with the servant for the tour. Partway through, Gar’i asked if they could also tour the shipyards. When the servant didn’t know, Gar’i insisted she find out. The tour stopped and the team found themselves in a waiting room. Several servants bustled through, some on errands, others to pilfer pastries from the sideboard. An individual well-dressed enough to be a clerk stopped to stare at Gar’i until Devero loaded a plate of pastries for him and sent him away.
Jethro, on his way back to rejoin the group, overheard a man in rather ornate clothes talking to Azul at the palace entrance. Mr. Fancy-Pants told Azul that “if that’s truly Ares, then you should know that Kronos has put a price on his head.” Jethro went on from there to find the group, rejoining them just as their original servant-tour-guide returned to escort them to someone who might arrange a shipyard tour. That someone turned out to be the clerk Devero had just intimidated. He introduced himself as Mathis and, after a moment, he and Gar’i admitted they knew each other. Mathis was, in fact, the Tok’ra operative. He had maintained his cover for years and currently worked as Selket’s personal clerk, overseeing all the murder contracts that came through her office. He was waiting for the inevitable day when Selket discovered the location of the Tok’ra, when he would have to risk his own safety to send them a warning. Gar’i explained how they arrived on Lira-ke and Jethro revealed himself to share his revelation from the palace entrance.
Mathis asked about the visitor and, from Jethro’s description, identified him as a Goa’uld noble, Nyllum – whose ashrak, Gavryl, was the one who’d been sneaking around the SGC. Mathis said that Nyllum was ruthlessly ambitious and surely eager to collect both the reward and prestige for handing Gar’i over to Kronos. He added that escaping Lira-ke would be difficult at best, but that they might enlist Azul’s help. The First Prime, like everyone in Selket’s innermost circle, lived under severe threat from the Goa’uld’s paranoia. Selket, to insure Azul’s loyalty, had taken his children and grandchildren to live under her ‘protection’ at her secret base 120 miles south of the city. Mathis felt certain that, should SG7 help Azul’s family escape to safety, the First Prime would do anything to aid their own efforts in overthrowing Selket and/or securing their own freedom.