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Dead Men Tell No Tales
A soft rain was falling on the street below. The tall man watched for a few minutes. Then turned away from the window to face the three men sitting in the room watching him. "Something is going on. I want to know exactly what it is. I want to know why that woman suddenly showed up at the SGC. I want to know why Hammond was so damned eager to put her on SG-1. And I want to know just how…talented…she is. I also want to know about that girl, the one Doctor Fraiser adopted. She's an-" He stopped short. The men sitting in the room weren't privy to the top secret information he had access to. No reason for them to know anything that might tempt them to use the information for financial gain. "The last report we received indicated that she had developed some astonishing abilities. I believe, gentlemen, that these two ladies would be very interesting to talk to, don't you agree?"
The men nodded. They were, after all, well paid 'yes men'.
"Now, I know that Mrs. Jackson will be accompanying her husband to the hearings. I don't know if the girl will be coming with her…uh…'mother'…or not. It won't be difficult to get the seer away from the rest of the group. I want those women. And I want them before the end of the week."
"Yes, sir. When we have them?" The speaker was a dark haired man. A long, red scar on his cheek, the result of a knife fight during his reckless youth, marred his otherwise handsome face.
"Take them to the ranch in Wyoming. I'll get there as soon as possible."
"I don't want anyone knowing about this," the man warned.
"We already have a fall guy picked out."
"Anyone in particular?"
"Just a street punk. Four drug convictions, three assault charges."
The man nodded. "Good. See to it that he doesn't have the opportunity to prove his…innocence."
Again the three men nodded.
"I don't want to see any of you again, until we meet up at the ranch."
The men stood, adjusted suit jackets, nodded once more, then silently left the office…the back way.
The silver haired man turned back to look out the window. He was going to gain control of the SGC, or he was going to shut it down. At this point in time, he didn't care which happened. Those pests who called themselves the 'premier team' of the SGC had been a thorn in his side from the beginning. General George Hammond had been just as much an adversary. He had the ear of the president, and that had been a problem from the beginning. No matter that the administration had changed since the Stargate Program had started. It was time to shut this group down once and for all! They had interfered with his plans once too often. Never again!
A A A A A A
Senator John Shepperd sighed when his secretary announced the call. He picked up the phone, forced a note of pleasantness into his voice. "Robert! Nice to hear from you."
"John, I apologize for not calling sooner. I really wanted to thank you for arranging for me to attend the Oversight Committee meetings this week," Senator Robert Kinsey gushed. Sitting in his office, he grinned malevolently. This man was so easily played it was almost disappointing. Almost.
"Well, you've been instrumental in helping me get two of my bills onto the floor," Shepperd replied. A fact that still rankled. Kinsey had been very careful not to promise more than that. And the minute the bills hit the floor, both had been soundly defeated. Had Kinsey thrown his political clout behind them, the younger man was certain they would have passed.
"They were damned good bills," Kinsey said. "I did my best, John, I really did. But you know how it goes. We just couldn't get enough backing."
"John, I just wanted to assure you that these meetings are essential," Kinsey continued. "We are throwing way too much money into this program, and we're not seeing nearly enough return on that investment. Not to mention the lack of thorough oversight. I still believe that we need to have at least one NID officer in residence to ascertain that these people are upholding the laws of this great nation. Operating out of the public eye makes it crucial that they be held responsible by those of us who value our God-given freedoms."
Shepperd rolled his eyes. Kinsey was the most notorious flag-waving, Bible thumping politician on the hill. None of it meant a damned thing. It was all for show…a way to garner votes from the religious right. "From what I've read, Robert, those people are doing an incredible job."
"Well, it seems that way on paper, I know. However, it's very easy to write a report."
"Are you saying that they would falsify their findings?"
"Not at all. I'm just saying that I believe they would say whatever they believe the Oversight Committee wants to hear in order to continue their operations."
The younger senator frowned. He hadn't sensed any deceit when he had visited the facility that lay buried in Cheyenne Mountain. Granted, he hadn't been greeted with open arms. Quite the opposite. His visit had been heralded with open hostility from many of the people who worked on the top secret project. No doubt a result of the interference from the man he was speaking to at the moment. The 'sixth sense' that had guided him throughout his political career began to nudge him. Kinsey was up to something. And knowing the career politician, it wasn't good. "So what is it exactly that you're after?"
"I'd like to see tighter controls put on Hammond. Or shut the program down if the cost is proven to be too much higher than any benefits that we might…or might not…be reaping."
"Robert, I can't promise anything," Shepperd replied. "We'll talk to General Hammond, and the members of SG-1. If we find discrepancies, or any signs of inappropriate behavior, we'll take the needed steps to remedy the situation."
"That's all I'm asking you to do," Kinsey replied. He didn't give a damn what happened as a result of the meetings. Oh, shutting down the SGC would make him happy. Being able to take control of the place would make him even happier. He would see to it that one of those things did happen. But right now, he just needed that meddlesome bunch out of his way. He had more important plans to attend to, and he didn’t want interference from them. If what he had read, and been told, was true, well, things were about to change for him. In a very lucrative way.
Once again the younger man rolled his eyes. Kinsey was after something. He just had to figure out what it was. "Well, I'll do my best."
"Thanks, John. I'll see you at the first hearing tomorrow morning."
"I'll be there."
With a feral grin, Kinsey hung up the phone. Crossed the name off of his list. Lifted the receiver and dialed again. Sat back in his chair. This time, no one from the SGC could stop him. No one.
A A A A A A
Casey settled into the seat beside Daniel. As was the norm when they flew, he was sitting in the aisle seat, which afforded him the opportunity to stretch his long legs during the flight. She smiled at the airman who was sitting beside the window. She loved sitting next to the window, watching the ground below them, looking like a giant quilt of greens, golds, and browns. But she wouldn't subject her Husband to being squeezed into the center seat. And neither of them could bear the thought of not sitting next to each other. Jack was in the aisle seat across from them, Sam and Janet beside him. Teal'c was sitting on the aisle directly in front of Jack, facing the bulkhead, the seat the most comfortable available for the large man, Cassie beside him, already lost in the book she had brought with her.
Daniel smiled when she laced her fingers with his. He could feel them trembling slightly. She hadn't flown often, and was still a bit apprehensive. The thought that flying should bother her, after going through the Stargate, brought a wider smile to his lips. Holding her in the afterglow of their lovemaking the night before, he'd promised her a tour of the nation's capitol. She'd been as excited as a child, peppering him with requests and questions. Without a doubt he'd be sending a package of souvenirs back to Silver Springs.
"Here we go," Jack muttered, as the plane took off, his teammates smiling at the comment. He shook his head. Casey had warned the team quietly just before boarding that something was going on…'beneath the surface' she had said. His own sixth sense told him that there was most certainly an underlying reason for the hastily called hearings. Knowing that Kinsey would be attending the meetings put all of his focus on that slimeball. The bastard was up to something. As much as he hated to, he was going to make a call as soon as they landed. The other slimeball was still on the top of his most-disliked list. But Harry occasionally had his uses. The former NID agent had certainly come through in helping to get General Hammond back in as the OIC of the SGC. And he had been instrumental locating Sam when she had been kidnapped by Adrian Conrad the previous September.
He smiled again when Casey leaned against his arm. Daniel knew that she didn't noticed the looks of envy that the young airman beside her tossed in his direction. He noticed, however. And his heart pounded against his chest, which swelled with pride that such a beautiful woman loved him!
As long as she was with Daniel, she was safe. The poking in the back of her head warned her of impending danger. If only she could focus on it! She shivered slightly.
"Casey?" Daniel asked softly.
She smiled up at him. "Somebody walking across my grave," she replied softly.
He frowned. "You're sure nothing is wrong?"
She was tugging at her lip without realizing it. "Nothing…specific."
It wasn't easy to hold back the moan threatened to escape. Even without specifics, when she 'felt' something, especially something bad, it never failed to turn out to be the worst kind of trouble. "Bad?"
Casey looked up into beautiful blue eyes…that were full of worry. She slowly nodded her head.
"Oh, hell," he murmured.
Jack had heard the soft curse. "What?"
"Oh, hell," the older man echoed. Casey hadn't been wrong yet. He glanced at the slender blonde. It hadn't been until Casey had returned to Silver Springs with Daniel that she'd admitted that she'd known that Daniel was 'leaving her', before the young archaeologist left the SGC with Jacob Carter on that damned mission for the Tok'ra. Each of her teammates had admonished her to tell them any time she felt even the slightest twinge that might indicate trouble.
Sam jerked. Looked around Jack and Daniel. Saw the look of fear in wide green eyes. "Casey?"
The young woman shook her head. "Later," she said softly. That one word struck fear into the hearts of her companions. Casey glanced at Cassie. Felt her heart constrict, nearly gasped for breath. Whatever was about to happen concerned the Hankan teenager. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she was involved as well. She closed her eyes, tried desperately to concentrate on thoughts and images that refused to come into focus. She was left frustrated, and with a feeling of impending trouble. She glanced over at Janet. How in the world was she going to tell Cassie's mother that the young woman was in danger?
Daniel watched those green eyes. They had widened with fear. Whatever she was sensing had her scared to death. And worried. He tightened his grip on her fingers. Felt the gentle pressure returned.
She took a deep breath. "So, when we get to DC, we check into the hotel first?"
"That's the plan," he replied softly. "Then we'll see about going to the Lincoln Memorial." She had stated a definite desire to see that particular attraction.
It was as if a steel band had suddenly been clamped across her chest, and was being tightened. "No!"
"Angel, talk to me," he said quietly, her outburst worrying him.
"Um…maybe we should do that another day. Thursday, or Friday," she said softly. Her teammates immediately picked up on the fact that whatever was wrong, whatever was about to happen, that particular place was a part of the equation. If she wanted to avoid it, wild horses wouldn't be able to get any of them near the place.
"As long as Cassie gets a chance to see it," Janet said, unaware of the warning that had just been issued.
"Well, if not this trip, definitely the next one," Sam said quietly. She exchanged glances with her best friend. Watched as brown eyes went wide with understanding.
"Yeah, next time," Janet said hoarsely.
Jack noticed the unobtrusive interest that one of the airmen working as a flight attendant was paying to the conversation. "We'll settle on a sightseeing itinerary when we get to the hotel," he said firmly. Once again what was left unspoken was much more important than what had actually been said.
Daniel and Casey began a quiet conversation about the list of museums that she wanted to visit. Jack, Sam, and Janet joined in occasionally, offering opinions on various restaurants as well. The seemingly innocuous discussion offered Casey a chance to 'search' around each place, evaluate any potential danger. She had closed her eyes twice, apparently dozing off. In reality she had reached out to see if she could discern where the threat came from, who was involved. So far, she could 'see' nothing. Was left with only that sense of dread. And the certainty that Cassie, and she, should stay away from the Lincoln Memorial.
A A A A A A
Senator Kinsey settled back against the seat of the limousine. He was certain that his presence at the hearings starting tomorrow morning would be a surprise to Hammond and SG-1. He had been very careful about letting anyone know that he was attending. He was counting on that surprise throwing them off enough for Shepperd to catch them off guard. He was also hoping that the individual 'interviews' that the Committee had planned with each member of the team would offer some… inconsistencies. Enough to at least put a hold on operations at the SGC for a time. Long enough for him to wrap up the…project…he was working on, and perhaps even pull the reins of control into his own hands. He smiled to himself. It had been a long time coming. But Colonel Jack O'Neill was about to discover he'd crossed the wrong man.
A A A A A A
Jack slipped to the bank of payphones while the team waited for their luggage. The call was short. And assured him that backup was on the way. The second call wasn't even acknowledged. But he knew that it had been…understood. And that whatever information Harry could find would be in his hands by the end of the day.
Casey shivered again. 'That' feeling was settling over her, fear wrapping around her heart and squeezing. Things were about to go to hell for SG-1. She sighed. There was absolutely nothing new about that!
A A A A A A
She looked around. It was a typical hotel room, just a few blocks from the Capitol Building, where the team would be going each day to attend the hearings. She sat down on the edge of the bed.
Daniel stood watching her, his hands shoved into his pockets. She had been unusually quiet during the cab ride. And very uncharacteristically for her, she hadn't seemed the least bit interested in the historic streets that they'd traveled. "Babe?"
"I'd never leave you voluntarily," she whispered. "Never again, I promise."
The statement was so unexpected that he physically stepped back from the impact as the words hit him. "What?"
She shook her head. "Promise me that if something happens, you won't be angry…that you'll look for me."
The panic that filled those beautiful green eyes had his heart hammering with fear. She often made such…odd…comments, unaware of what she was even saying, when she was 'seeing' something, or at least sensing something. "Talk to me, Case," he begged softly. He sat down beside her, laced her fingers between his.
Shit! Apparently she didn't know what she had said…was unaware of her…prediction. "What do you see, Casey?"
Once again that blonde head moved back and forth. "I can't seem to get any…details. Only that things are going to go…badly. I guess…I'm assuming that means that the hearings are going to be a royal pain in the ass."
"You said you'd never willing leave me…well, voluntarily was the word you used."
"And you wanted…want…me to promise not to be angry if something happens. That I'll look for you."
She pulled her lip between her teeth. "Will you?"
"Always, Angel. No matter what happens, I'll never stop loving you. If something does happen, if someone takes you, I won't stop looking until you're back in my arms."
Turning slightly, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "I'm afraid," she whispered.
His heart sank. "I'm here, Angel. Right here," he whispered in return. Cursed mentally when the phone began to ring; wanting - needing - to hold her just for a little while. Knew instinctively that it was Jack. "Hello?"
"Ready for lunch?" Jack asked. His voice sounded strained.
"Meet us in the lobby."
"On our way." He glanced down at his Wife. The fear in her eyes fueled his own. She hadn't been wrong yet. He had no reason to believe that now would be any different.
The team opted to buy sandwiches from a local deli, and eat them at a nearby park. Jack used his experience from his past as a Special Ops agent to look for potential spies. Teal'c was scanning the area as well. Satisfied that their conversation wouldn't be overheard, he settled at one of the wooden picnic tables. "Okay, Radar. It's 'later'."
Casey smiled. "I wish I had more to tell you. All I can feel…all I can see is…darkness."
"Are you being blocked again?" Daniel asked immediately. It had taken time for her to realize that that had been what had happened when he had gone on the mission for the Tok'ra, what had prevented her from sensing the details of the ordeal that he had gone through.
She shook her head. "No, this is a different kind of 'darkness'. I-" she glanced at Janet and Cassie. "What's about to happen-" she broke off again.
Janet was an astute woman. Had noticed that Casey's eyes had continued to turn toward her daughter. "Just tell us, Casey. We need to know."
"Whatever is about to happen, is going to happen to Cassie…and I think I might be involved somehow."
The diminutive doctor felt her world spinning out of control. "I'm putting her on the first plane out of here."
"No! No! She can't be alone!" Casey cried out softly.
Shivers moved over Janet's petite frame. "What do you 'see'?"
"I don't have any details. Just…somebody…someone is very interested in her. And me."
"Why?" Sam asked, frowning slightly.
"Because we're different," Casey replied. "Mind Fire! They…" she frowned, closed her eyes as images, words, feelings…all flooded her mind in a cacophony of sights and sounds. "They…no…he…he thinks that he can…manipulate…Cassie. He's hoping to discover the…um… secret…he thinks it's some sort of secret, that it has to do with the fact that she's…alien."
"Kinsey," Jack hissed. "It has to be that bastard!"
"And he wants you because you're a proven seer," Daniel said, his blue eyes flashing with anger.
"So what do we do?" Janet asked. Her arm was around Cassie's shoulders protectively. And for a change, the teenager wasn't trying to pull away, embarrassed by the show of affection. If anything, the young woman moved closer to her mother.
"I don't think we can get her into the hearings. They're top secret, and not everybody knows that Cassie isn't from Toronto," Jack mused.
"We all have to be there, General Hammond as well," Sam added.
"If she's in a public place, it might make it more difficult to grab her," Daniel tossed in.
"What about a tour?" Casey suggested. "If she's with a group of people where her absence would be noted, that might help."
Jack nodded. "Good idea." He turned to Janet. "Go through the brochures at the hotel. Find the longest tour you can. Get her on it as soon as possible. One of us might be able to slip out tomorrow afternoon to be with her."
"I can try," Sam offered.
Casey pulled her lip between her teeth. "I'm afraid that if I'm with her…" she let the sentence trail off.
"So we make sure that the two of you are never alone together," Daniel replied.
Again Jack nodded. "Teal'c, I want you as close to them as possible."
The Jaffa inclined his head. "I will endeavor to protect Cassandra Fraiser and Casey Jackson at all costs."
Jack grinned. The Jaffa had just told them that anyone trying to grab either woman wouldn't live to tell about it. He sighed. "I think, given the circumstances, this is the best we can do, right now."
Sam glanced at him. "Right now?"
The older man shrugged. "I called in a couple of favors."
Daniel studied his best friend. No doubt these favors were from the same people that Jack had contacted when Casey had gone missing. Within hours of hearing from Agent Leigh, Jack had received a phone call verifying her whereabouts. Daniel had no idea how that man, or those men, he wasn't sure which it was, had been able to find her almost as quickly as the Secret Service agent. He was, however, eternally grateful that the agent, and Jack's friend, or friends, had been able to do so. "Any chance of them getting here before tomorrow?"
"I don't know. Possibly. I can tell you this, when they do get here, we won't know about it. Not unless…or until, somebody tries to grab Cassie and Casey."
The young archaeologist nodded. He liked the idea that his Wife and the young woman he considered to be like a daughter would have some sort of protection. And the 'invisible' type of protection could be the best. If those who were after Casey didn't see 'bodyguards', they couldn't take them out.
"Anybody up for going to a museum this afternoon?" Janet asked, trying to smile.
"Sure," Casey replied. "Which one?"
The discussion turned to which of the many available museums the group would tour, while waiting for the hearings, and whatever danger was about to befall them. As it so often happened, for the moment waiting was all they could do.
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