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Dead Men Tell No Tales
It was barely seven a.m. Daniel smiled as he pulled on his shoes. He'd had an incredible fix of his Angel the night before. Three hours worth of lovemaking to be exact. He watched Casey put her toiletry bag back into her duffel. "Love you, babe," he said softly.
She looked over at him. Smiled. Felt her heart do flip-flops when he smiled back. That sexy, half shy smile that always, always turned her knees to mush. "Love you, too, Stud Muffin."
"You guys decent?" a voice asked on the other side of the closed, connecting door.
"No, but come in anyway," Casey called back.
The blonde woman giggled. "It's okay, Cassie, come on in."
The teenager came into the room. Was a bit disappointed to find that Daniel was fully dressed. He'd already shaved, it looked like. "Think there might be an IHOP in the next town?"
"I take it that you want pancakes for breakfast," Daniel said.
"Rooty-tooty, fresh and fruity," Cassie intoned.
"Oh, that sounds so good!" Casey agreed.
"Fine. You two can look for any IHOP signs."
"Can't look if we're sitting here," Cassie pointed out.
"You've been hanging around Casey too long," the man groaned.
"Come on, we'll bring the jeep around while Daniel checks out," Casey said. She tucked the .38 into the back of her jeans. She would put it in the glove compartment as soon as she was in the passenger seat. Daniel would put his 9mm in the console compartment. Out of sight, but within easy reach if they were needed.
Once again Cassie was reminded that this wasn't just a fun get away, that she and Casey were literally on the run. "You don't suppose anyone around here was watching the news last night, do you?"
Casey and Daniel exchanged a worried glance. "We can only hope they weren't," Casey said softly.
A A A A A A
Senator Kinsey walked into his office. Noted immediately that none of his staff would look at him. "What's going on?" he asked. His assistant shrugged, pointed toward the inner office. He felt his world come crashing down around him when he opened the door. Three poster sized photographs were hanging on the wall behind his desk, held up with duct tape. Photos of his…party…in Wyoming yesterday afternoon. There was no way to deny that he was the man in the middle. Nor was there any way to deny the evidence of the drugs right beside them. Without a word he turned and walked out of the office.
"Hypocrite!" someone hissed at his back.
He paused, then continued on. Doing the things that he did made an escape plan a requirement. For a few minutes he regretted that Richie and Jimmy wouldn't be flying him anywhere. They would be found together in a hotel room. Dead from overdoses of heroin. Several pieces of evidence carefully planted linking them to the kidnapped women. He tossed his cell phone into the nearest trash receptacle. Went into the men's room, opened his briefcase and took out the false bottom. Used the cell phone he took from that secret compartment to call for passage to Miami. From there he would fly to the Cayman Islands. Where he would empty those accounts, and disappear into South America. He could live comfortably there. It wouldn't be as well as he had hoped to be living, but the key was that he would be living.
Kinsey would never know that his staff took down the pictures, destroyed them. Then quietly went back to work. None of them doubted that their boss was about to disappear. They would all answer truthfully that he had come in for a few minutes, walked into his private office, and then had left again. They speculated on whether or not he would have an 'accident' that would leave him free to flee the country. His staff had been hand picked. None of them were…clean. Documents and files were shredded. The confetti that was left would be taken home by his assistant, and burned in the barbecue pit. Any traces of illegal activities, any questionable donations or associations would be impossible to prove. Not one of them would ever be linked to the Senator's crimes.
He didn't look at the driver when he got into the car. It was an older sedan. Well, he couldn't expect them to destroy a new car, could he? He was ready when the car stopped thirty minutes later.
"Put these on," he was told. He took off his clothes, underwear and all. Pulled on the cheap, discount store clothes. Was forced to help put his clothes on the cadaver that closely resembled him. The driver's 'double' was ready and waiting in the trunk.
There was a stretch of highway that led from Washington DC into Virginia that was notorious for the curves. Several deep ravines butted up to the narrow road in several places. It was into one of these ravines that the car would be pushed, and then blown up. The investigation that was certain to occur would point a finger at an unknown assassin. It wasn't as satisfying as setting Jack O'Neill up for his supposed assassination, but it would keep anyone from ever looking for him.
Two cars were waiting at the 'crash sight'. Kinsey took one, the driver got into the other. Both had been stolen in New York City. He had been warned to wear a hat and gloves. He was smart enough to comply.
Four hours later, driving through North Carolina, he heard the breaking news of Senator Robert Kinsey's apparent death in a tragic and freak automobile accident. He smiled. He was home free.
A A A A A A
Jack tossed down the report he had been reading when the news came through to the SGC. "That sonuvabitch!"
"You don't think that Kinsey is dead?" Janet asked.
"Of course not! This was an escape plan," Jack replied.
General Hammond knocked on the office door. "Have you heard from Doctor Jackson today?"
"Not yet, sir."
"Tell him to come on home. I just spoke with the president. We're going to smuggle Casey and Cassie to back into Wyoming. They'll be 'found' by the FBI. And Doctor Jackson and Doctor Fraiser will be there to 'greet' them when they're flown home to Denver."
Jack nodded. "There's a body there to deal with."
"I believe I just heard something on the news about it. The dead man had a personal business card of Senator Kinsey's. As well as a few other interesting papers. Kinsey will be linked to the kidnapping. We have to make certain that no one can try to point fingers at Doctor Jackson or the SGC for Kinsey's 'death'," the general said.
"Will that be difficult?"
"Not with the president backing us. It seems that the information Harry Maybourne…released…has tied Kinsey with several other mysterious disappearances and deaths. Two supposed suicides weren't. Four accidents weren't," the general told them.
"Kinsey was going down big time," Sam murmured.
"Yet Harry let him get away," Jack mused. He frowned. "Then again, Harry didn't have a lot of faith in our judicial system when it came to politicians. Kinsey might be deader than we think. Maybe not this minute. But soon."
"I won't speculate," General Hammond said. "Let's hope Doctor Jackson checks in soon."
"Just out of curiosity, where will Casey and Cassie be 'found'?"
"We know that their fingerprints will be found in the house and in that clinic," the general said. "So it was important that they be found nearby. It seems there's an old airfield on the north end of the ranch owned by Kinsey's brother-in-law. There's also an old hanger there. They'll be found there. Reports will be that they're dirty, hungry and dehydrated. We'll be able to put the press off for a few hours. Of course, it will be a media circus when they land in Denver."
The phone on Jack's desk chose that moment to begin ringing.
A A A A A A
Since the 'fugitives' had decided to go north, Daniel headed out of Dalhart and toward Stratford.
"Don't these people believe in IHOPs?" Cassie grumbled.
"It's probably because the towns we're going through are small," Casey said. "How about we stop at the next diner or truck stop?" She cocked her head sideways. "Um…Daniel, call Jack."
"Now. And…I have the feeling we shouldn't be seen…which means no restaurants. We can have Daniel go into a grocery store somewhere and get donuts or something," Casey said softly.
Daniel dialed the SGC. "Jack?"
"Danny! Get home, Space Monkey. The plans are in the works to find Casey and Cassie."
"Got it. On our way. It's going to be a few hours."
"That's okay. Gives the FBI time to set up and do their 'search'."
"Good. See you sometime this afternoon."
"We'll be here."
Daniel closed his phone. "Time to go home. The FBI is going to find the two of you."
"They're taking us back to Wyoming," Casey said, her eyes closed. She smiled. "Our kidnapping will be directly linked to Kinsey."
"That bastard is going down!" Daniel crowed. He turned on the radio. When the news was given, he and Casey exchanged glances.
"He's not really dead," she said softly.
"Is he still a threat?" Daniel asked.
"No. I don't think so…he's not even in the country. He's long gone," Casey replied.
"Asshole," Cassie muttered.
"Hey, Mom calls him that!"
Casey began to giggle. "I love Janet," she sighed.
Daniel grinned. Wrapped his fingers around her soft hand. Damned glad that the nightmare was just about over.
A A A A A A
Five hours later Casey and Cassie were put into the back of a black van. Three FBI agents interviewed them about what had happened as they returned to Cheyenne.
"We'll be able to keep the press from getting a good look at you, but we're going to have to put you into the 'containers' that we found on site," the lead agent, Ed Hutchins told them.
"We should probably look a bit dirty and…unkept, don't you think?" Casey asked.
"Probably," the man replied. "We'll worry about that when we get there. For now, just get a bit of rest. Things are going to happen quickly once we…find…you."
"Agent Hutchins, we…we aren't in any trouble are we?" Cassie asked softly, her voice trembling slightly.
"No, Cassie, you're not in any trouble," the agent told her gently. "What happened to you was terrifying, I know. You and Mrs. Jackson did what you had to do in order to survive. The fact that you managed to get away is the only reason you're still alive."
"If Kinsey had found us, Cass, he would have killed us," Casey said softly, putting her arm around the teenager. "Keeping out of sight made it easier for these guys to get the evidence they needed to nail his ass for this."
"Too bad he fled the country," one of the other agents snorted.
"You don't believe he's dead, either?" Casey asked.
"Not for a New York minute," the man replied. "The body will be identified as Kinsey, just so that it will be damned hard for him to show up again."
"I feel sorry for his family," Casey said. "They're victims in all of this as well."
"One thing is for sure, he'll be remembered as the first senator in United States history to be tried for crimes posthumously," Agent Hutchins said.
"They can do that?" Cassie asked, wide-eyed.
"Yes they can, and will. It's important that the American people feel that justice is served, even if the man guilty of the crimes is already dead."
"Better get down, ladies," the driver of the van said. "Media is already swarming."
Tucked under black tarps, Casey and Cassie remained silent as the van bumped along the grass runway toward the dilapidated building where they were about to be found and rescued.
Casey had been the one to remember that they needed to be wearing the clothes that they had been kidnapped in. The agents rubbed dirt on the clothes and their faces, messed their hair up as much as possible. One of the female agents suggested putting a bit of baby oil on their hands, and then running oily fingers through their hair.
"Remember, Cassie, you have to look terrified," Agent Hutchins said quietly. "Can you do it?"
"I can do it," she said firmly.
The two were tied and gagged, and tucked into the old parts crates. They smelled of dust and oil and jet fuel. Hutchins looked out at the reporters who continued to press against the line that the local sheriff's department had put up. Knew that there were several cameras with telephoto lenses.
"Okay, people, let's make this look good," he said. "The president is counting on us."
The agents already on the scene when the van carrying the two kidnap victims had arrived had been there for less than thirty minutes. The entire 'rescue mission' had been very carefully coordinated, down to the last detail.
On cue, one of the agents hurried toward the deputies who waited, those men not a little frustrated at being kept out of the search. "Can you guys give us a hand? We're fairly sure the victims are still here, somewhere. But there are a lot of places they could be hidden in there. And our doctor is worried that if they've been put into any of those barrels, they're running out of time."
The deputies hurried back to the hanger, all of them determined to find the kidnapped women.
"Let's do this right, people," Agent Hutchins called out. "Nice, logical movements. If they're here, and alive, chances are they're either unconscious, or bound in a way that prevents them from making any noise. Get moving."
Starting at one end of the hanger, the agents and the deputies began searching every barrel, every box, every crate that was big enough to stuff a body into. Thinking that it would look better, and certainly more convincing, if the deputies found the two, Agent Hutchins steered his people toward one side of the tin building, while the deputies took the other.
It had been well over an hour when the deputy pried the top off of the box. Casey looked up, blinked against the light that flooded the dark box. "I found one of them!" the man yelled excitedly. "It's okay, Miss, you're safe now. It's all over."
Actually hearing the words brought tears to her eyes. It was over! She could go home, and resume her life with Daniel. Even though she hadn't actually been a captive for longer than a few hours, all that she had endured for nearly four days, events that she had been playing over and over in her mind, was enough to make her shake.
"Here's the girl!" another voice called out.
Doing as Casey had softly instructed her, Cassie had also been thinking about all she had been through, from the first terrifying moment when that women had pulled a gun on them in the ladies' restroom. She too was crying as the deputies gently pulled her from the crate.
The FBI agents rushed over, wrapped blankets around the two women. The agency doctor was on scene, along with a local ambulance. The women were ungagged, untied, and then carried to the waiting medical unit.
Casey could hear the click and whir of cameras, could hear reporters shouting out questions.
"They're alive, and that's all we know at this time," Agent Hutchins said. He stepped into the ambulance behind the doctor and the two agents who had managed to maneuver themselves into position to pick up the women, and closed the door.
"So far so good," one of the agents said quietly.
The two women were put on the waiting gurneys. IV's were 'attached' to their arms with surgical tape. The sirens began to wail, and the ambulance began to move.
"We've already alerted the staff at the nearby hospital. I know one of the doctors there, and I made sure he would be on ER duty today," the FBI physician told Casey. "Being an expert on kidnap victims, I can make sure that he and I and one nurse are the only ones in the examining rooms. I have no doubt that we'll be able to secure their cooperation in this matter."
Casey smiled. "Seems like a lot of work."
"To catch someone like Kinsey, it's worth it," Hutchins replied.
Of course the press had alerted colleagues, and a swarm of reporters were waiting at the hospital. Cassie was crying for real now, all of the drama of the situation overwhelming on top of the time she had spent as a captive, and on the run. Casey was feeling the same heart pounding emotions, her green eyes wide when the doors of the ambulance opened. Again cameras clicked, flashes blinded the two women as the doctor and the agents hurried them into the building. Two vans of FBI agents had arrived as well, and set up a perimeter near the door, not allowing any of the reporters into the emergency room.
A A A A A A
Daniel and Janet were watching on the television in Janet's high ceilinged living room; Sam, Jack, and Teal'c sitting nearby. Already calls were coming in from friends who were thrilled to know that Casey and Cassie had been found. Janet's tears were real, knowing that her daughter would soon be back in her arms, safe at home once again. Daniel felt himself tearing up, watching how wide Casey's eyes were as she was wheeled through the door, could see the actual fear and panic in them. Everything that had happened was crashing down on all involved parties, and emotions were running high.
When his cell phone rang, he looked at the number before answering. It was Melody Wheaton. "Hello?"
"Doctor Jackson, I'm sure you're watching CNN," the reporter said.
"Yes. Two FBI agents arrived here in Silver Springs this morning. They informed Doctor Fraiser and myself that they were certain that they had located her daughter and my Wife."
"I'm sure that you're relieved that they were found alive. They looked…they looked as if they had lived through hell," Melody said softly.
"I'm sure they did," Daniel replied softly.
"Will you be flying to Cheyenne?"
"No, we've been told that as soon as they've had another IV of fluid, been fed and cleaned up, they'll be flown to Denver," Daniel said.
"Well, I'm glad this has worked out so well. I just wanted to let you know that I've done a bit of checking since we last spoke. Several neighbors were more than willing to talk about Helen Webster. The two who live closest report that over the years they've heard screams coming from the Webster home at all hours of the day and night. I've also located five of Doctor Hayling's former patients. Doctor Jackson, your wife wasn't the only little girl he was victimizing. And each of the girl's parents had been referred to Hayling by Helen Webster."
"So she is guilty of setting the whole thing up for Casey to be hurt," Daniel hissed.
"I'm afraid so. The local DA is looking into filing charges against her. It's possible that there will be a class action civil suit against her as well."
Daniel closed his eyes. "Thanks, Ms. Wheaton. I appreciate it."
"Thank you, Doctor Jackson. This could turn out to be the story of the year!"
"Not to mention that the victims of that bastard will finally get closure," he retorted dryly.
"Of course," she added hastily. "I'm sure that you have plans to make, so I'll let you go. I'll definitely be in touch about Mrs. Webster. Perhaps your wife would consent to an interview?"
"Ms. Wheaton, my Wife was kidnapped. She's just been found. Dealing with memories from her childhood isn't something she's going to want to do right now," he said, exasperation in his voice.
"Yes, of course. Maybe later."
"Yes. Well, goodbye, Doctor Jackson."
"Goodbye, Ms. Wheaton."
Jack raised an eyebrow. "What was all that about?"
"It seems that Ms. Wheaton has found a few others who were molested by Doctor Hayling. And all of their parents were referred to that bastard by one Helen Webster."
"Do tell," Jack replied, his eyes narrowing. "This could get interesting."
"Yeah, it could," Daniel admitted.
Janet's home phone had been ringing off of the hook, mostly local reporters looking for a statement. Sam groaned when she looked out the window. "General Hammond was right. It's a media circus."
"According to the general, word of Kinsey's involvement will break just after the big reunion," Jack said. "I guess the president has friends among the press."
"Lucky him," Janet groused.
"Lucky us," Jack corrected. "All attention will focus on the late Senator Kinsey. His staff will come under scrutiny, as well as his family. Those sharks will tear him apart."
"What about the people really involved in taking Casey and Cassie?" Daniel asked.
"FBI has a lead on them. They won't get away," Jack said quietly.
What he'd like to do was beat the shit out of each one of the kidnappers. Daniel sighed. He'd settle for seeing them sent to prison for putting his Wife, and the daughter of his best friend, through four days of terror. The scars that the two, especially Cassie, would carry for the rest of their lives would be deep, and painful. Thank god it was over!
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