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Dead Men Tell No Tales
Casey was called in next. She was wearing the suit she'd purchased the night before leaving Silver Springs. The black skirt came to just above her knees, and the longer, tailored blazer accented her narrow waist. She was nervous, but not one of the Senators was aware of that fact. The seer looked like a model as she settled onto the chair. When she flashed a smile in return to Senator Shepperd's welcoming countenance, they were all charmed.
"Mrs. Jackson, we have just a few questions for you," Senator Shepperd said jovially.
"It's unusual for someone who lacks military experience to be put on an SG team, is it not?" Senator Tobin asked.
"No, sir, that is not correct. Daniel…er…Doctor Jackson had no military training when he became a part of SG-1. SG's-4, -5, -8, -10, and -13 all have scientists, mostly archaeologists or anthropologist's. Two teams have biologists assigned to them. All of these scientists have received training, but didn't have it before they became a part of their respective team," she replied softly.
"Did you receive such training?"
"Yes, sir, I did. I would like to point out that all of us, military or non-military, continue to train when we aren't on missions."
"Yes, so noted," Tobin sniffed. "You are responsible for killing a Goa'uld who had breached the SGC, is that correct?"
She blushed slightly. "Yes, sir."
"SG-1 was being held captive at the time, is that also correct?"
"And you were a part of SG-1?"
"I hadn't been assigned to the team at that point in time."
Tobin frowned, looked over his notes. "But the plan was to put you on the team."
"So I was told."
Senator Shepperd smiled. "I understand that you had the Jaffa who were loyal to that particular Goa'uld running for safety."
Her cheeks blazed with color. "I don't really remember."
"You don't remember?" Senator Brighton asked, her disbelief obvious in her voice, and on her face.
"It was my first…battle. Everything is sort of a blur," Casey replied.
"Those of us who have been in the military, and have served under fire, completely understand," Senator Hartley said, smirking at Brighton. Let the bitch chew on that for awhile, he thought peevishly.
Casey smiled with appreciation. And totally won over Senator Hartley and Senator Parker.
"Mrs. Jackson, have you ever had cause to question Colonel O'Neill's orders?"
Tobin's frown deepened.
"Have you ever questioned the behavior of any of your teammates?"
"None of them have ever done things that you disagree with?"
"There's a difference between disagreeing with someone, and questioning their behavior. My life depends on those people, and they depend on me to be there for them. We have to trust one another, or we'll all wind up dead…or Goa'uld slaves…or worse yet, have a snake put into us. We're a team, Senator. When we're on a mission, we're extensions of one another. We work together. No arguments. No questions. Because when you're being shot at, taking time to argue, questioning the orders of your superior officer can get you killed." It was all she could do to keep from glaring at the man. He was working for Kinsey. "Tell Senator Kinsey that he needs to back off the SGC. He might not like what happens if he doesn't," she said softly.
Senator Tobin jerked. "Is that a threat?"
"No, sir. That's a prediction. I'm not often wrong."
"Do you trust the alien…Teal'c?"
"Teal'c is Jaffa. His people were turned into slaves by the Goa'uld. Yes, I trust him. With my life," she retorted.
"Does he trust you?"
"Yes, he does."
"Does Colonel O'Neill ever question your…predictions?"
She smiled. "No, he doesn't."
Senators Tobin and Brighton exchanged glances. Something that Casey didn't miss. She cocked her head sideways. Gasped slightly. "Senator Shepperd, I think you should call your office. Someone called a press conference about your re-election campaign, and they're questioning some of your funding. They're going to focus on two groups from your home town who have raised a large sum of money for you."
Shepperd turned to look at Tobin. "I knew he was up to something. She's right, you're nothing but a puppet. This hearing is in recess until further notice. Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. You have been most delightful. And most helpful." The senator jumped to his feet and raced from the room.
"Don't think you've won just yet," Tobin hissed.
"And don't think that Kinsey has any intention of making good on his promises. In fact, if I were you, Senator, I'd spend the rest of the day making sure that I couldn't be linked to anything that Kinsey is associated with. Same goes for you, Senator Brighton. And um…I don't play in that particular sandbox. Don't think I'm not flattered, but I don't swing that way." Giving the senators her sweetest smile, Casey rose to her feet and left the room.
Senator Hartley began to laugh. "I think we should all start praying that the president doesn't decide to hire Mrs. Jackson to work for him. It would be damned difficult to continue doing business the way we do if he should become so inclined."
Senator Parker was chuckling as well. "It's a fair bet to say that if she ever decides to go to the press, we'll all be looking for work."
Tobin and Brighton left the room without comment. Fear had been present in their eyes, however. Both had much to lose if their…activities...were to come to light. They had very little time to…rearrange…their holdings, and their stances on several bills that were due to be voted upon within a matter of days. And they had to do it all without calling attention to their sudden change of heart. If Kinsey was going to go down, they had no intention of falling with him.
A A A A A A
Jack, Sam, Janet, and Daniel still had other meetings to attend; Shepperd had left word that those meetings would continue on schedule, although the hearings with the Oversight Committee wouldn't resume until the next day.
It was Teal'c who came upon what seemed to be the solution to the danger that lurked for SG-1. There were no other hearings where he or Casey would be called to testify. So it was decided that he would fly back to Silver Springs with Casey and Cassie. Arrangements were made for them to leave on an early evening flight. Leaving them three hours for a bit of sightseeing. They would continue to avoid the Lincoln Memorial. And hopefully, avoid what Casey had 'seen' as well.
Cassie had read about Ford's Theater, where President Lincoln had been shot. She wanted to see the famous…or perhaps it was infamous…theater.
Paul turned to Casey. "Think it would be okay?"
The young seer smiled. "We're with you and Teal'c, and it's not the Lincoln Memorial."
"But it is a memorial to Lincoln," the Air Force major pointed out.
Casey pulled her lip between her teeth. Having Teal'c and the major with them lowered the odds of anything happening. By now Jack's…friends…were probably watching as well. She looked at Cassie. The excitement, the hope in those brown eyes was her undoing. "I only saw the Lincoln Memorial. I'm not saying that you don't have a legitimate point. But I think Ford's Theater would be safe enough."
Paul couldn't help but laugh when Cassie squealed with excitement and hugged him, and Casey as well. "Okay, let's go."
"Now when we talk about this in history class, I can say I've really been there!" the young Hankan woman said excitedly.
"I never knew anyone so excited about history," Casey teased gently.
Cassie giggled. "It's more interesting because I'm from…Toronto."
"It's a shame we can't find out more about the history of your own people," Casey said softly.
"Daniel has told me what he could, he looked for as much as he had time for," Cassie replied. "I still remember a few things. He told me to write down everything I remember. So that I never forget where I came from."
She couldn't help but smile. That sounded like Daniel. Any way to preserve the history of any people, from anywhere, was important to him. Looking into the past, he had told her, allowed them to see the future more clearly, understanding where they had been, where they had come from, helped them to find their way to where they were going.
The cab ride from the hotel to the theater was a short one. Cassie had chattered the entire time, telling them everything she had learned about that particular time in American history. To say the young woman was disappointed was an understatement. "This is it?" she had asked, looking at the three story building, with its stark, red-brick façade, a slight frown on her face.
Paul grinned. "What were you expecting?"
"I dunno…something more like a theater?"
Casey smiled. "I’m sure it will be a theater inside."
While Paul made arrangements with the cab driver to return for them in one hour, Cassie, Casey, and Teal'c went inside the building, passing the closed windows of the ticket booths. The theater hosted plays regularly once again, after being closed down for one hundred and three years after Lincoln's assassination. Perhaps the next time the group visited DC, they could attend one such play.
Tickets purchased for one of the tours, they waited in the lobby, examining the displays of historical memorabilia. With only a few minutes before the tour guide would collect the group of tourists who gathered near the refreshment counter, Casey and Cassie decided to make a quick trip to the ladies room. Teal'c placed himself at the head of the narrow hallway that led to the facilities. Paul waited just outside the door.
Casey was washing her hands, debating with Cassie about where to stop for a bit of a snack after the tour when a woman stepped out of the farthest stall. She smiled, washed her hands. Reached into her very large purse. Cassie had just commented that it was nearly as large as Casey's when the woman withdrew a handgun.
"Now, we're just going to wait here, very quietly, until we hear from my associates," the woman said, her voice as cold as her eyes.
"Oh, shit!" Casey whispered. She closed her eyes. How could she have missed it? Major Davis had even pointed out to her that this place was a memorial for Lincoln! Stupid, stupid, stupid!
"I'm sorry, Casey," Cassie gasped, trying desperately not to cry. "It's my fault, I'm the one who wanted to come here."
"Not your fault, sweetie," Casey replied, putting her arm around the teenager's shoulders. The young woman was trembling as much as she was! "I should have seen this, I should have known."
The woman sneered. "Not such a great seer after all, are you?"
"Better than most," Casey shot back. "Kinsey won't get away with this. You and the three gorilla's you're working with won't walk away from this. And the guy with the scar on his face? He's going to double cross all of you."
The woman gasped. Obviously Casey Jackson was a very gifted seer. It was just as obvious that her 'gift' worked in strange ways, not giving her enough warning to avoid certain events. Like being kidnapped. She never stopped to consider that often certain events had to happen, so that the good guys could win.
"You realize that there is a very large man out there," Casey continued. "He'll knock the shit out of those guys without breaking a sweat. And Major Davis is no slouch, either. If you just walk away, I'll pretend this never happened."
"Nice try," the woman said. "Just sit down on that bench and be quiet."
Casey glanced at Cassie. The teenager was on the verge of tears, her brown eyes wide with fear. There was no way she could jump the woman. The risk of a stray shot hitting the young woman was just too great. She sighed, sat down, kept her arm around Janet's daughter. Swore silently to her best friend that nothing would happen to the girl if she could prevent it.
The tour guide had called the tourists together, and was beginning the tour. Paul frowned. He wanted to tap on the door, call out to Cassie and Casey, but he'd seen another woman enter the room as well, and was afraid that she might report him to security. He shifted nervously on his feet. Shrugged helplessly when Teal'c turned to look at him, one eyebrow raised in question.
When the door to the men's room opened, Paul instinctively stepped back, to allow them access to the narrow hallway. Didn't have time to react or call out when he was sprayed with a fine mist. He was on the floor, unconscious, in a matter of seconds.
Teal'c fared no better. The attack was so silent, so sudden, that he had no time to register that there was a threat before he too was out cold.
Both men were dragged into the restroom. Tied and gagged. There was no doubt that they would be found, and probably rather soon. The kidnappers only needed a few minutes to escape completely.
Casey and Cassie followed the woman to a waiting car, the men behind them, guns pressed into their backs to prevent them from crying out for help, or attempting to escape. Once settled into the back of the minivan, the prisoners were gagged, blindfolded, and the injected with a sedative. Neither were aware that they were transferred to a private plane on an equally private field in rural Virginia. Casey's fears had been realized. And for the moment, the rest of the team was totally unaware of that fact.
A A A A A A
Immortality, and the resulting changes in her physiology, prevented the sedative from lasting as long as it should have in Casey's system. She didn't move, remained still, trying to assess the situation, a lesson learned from Jack and Sam, and put into practice twice now when the team had been captured by enemies. Mental investigation let her know that she was bound hand and foot. She was lying on a couch of some kind. She could only assume that Cassie was nearby. She listened carefully, could hear the telltale sounds that informed her she was on a plane. It wasn't easy to fight down the panic that filled her. It would be damned near impossible for Daniel to find her if she wasn't in the city! She wondered briefly what had happened to Teal'c and Paul Davis. Hoped that the men hadn't been killed. If that was indeed the case, while Teal'c would reanimate in about three days, Paul Davis wouldn’t. And Janet would be broken hearted over that loss. On top of the panic of having her daughter kidnapped.
She shook her head mentally. It didn't…feel…like the men were dead. Unconscious, without a doubt. Probably hogged tied and gagged somewhere. Their being located quickly would be crucial to alerting the team that she and Cassie had been taken. If the two men were…hidden…somewhere, in a place where they wouldn't be discovered for awhile, it would be hours before her Husband and teammates knew she and Cassie were missing. And those hours could mean the difference between being found immediately, and not being found at all.
There was no doubt that these people had been very careful. No one had been nearby when they had been led through back corridors to the alley behind the theater. The kidnappers had been very careful to leave no witnesses to their escape. Anyone who had seen them would just assume that the group of people were leaving together, not realizing that there was coercion involved.
She strained to see if she could hear voices. Yes! There…the woman…and a man. Hard as she tried, she couldn’t make out what they were saying. She slowly opened her eyes. Well, the blindfolds had been removed. Probably so the kidnappers could easily tell if they were still unconscious. They were in a small compartment, it appeared to be a bedroom of some sort. Very fancy jet, she mused. She managed to sit up slowly, carefully. Looked out of the window. Cursed silently at the blinds that prevented her from seeing anything. How long had she been knocked out? It had to have been several hours; they had arrived at Ford's Theater shortly after lunch, and they'd agreed that three hours was the time limit for their sightseeing. The rest of the team was going to meet them at the airport, see them safely onto their flight for Colorado Springs, and hopefully return home themselves the following day.
Lying back down, making sure that she was in the same position she had been in upon awaking, Casey closed her eyes. Worried about Daniel. Hoped that he understood she wasn't running away this time.
A A A A A A
Daniel checked his watch for the umpteenth time. Something was wrong. Casey wouldn't be late like this. Not without leaving word somewhere, with someone. He pulled out his cellphone. Called the hotel and checked for messages. There weren't any. He thought about what she'd said, about leaving him involuntarily. Oh, hell, he thought desperately, fighting down the panic that wrapped itself around his heart.
Janet was peering toward the door. Smiled when she saw Paul running toward her. That smile faded, however, when the look on his face registered in her brain. "Oh, god, no!" she cried out.
Teal'c was right behind the major. He approached Daniel, guilt on his face. "I have failed you, Daniel Jackson. It is my fault that Casey Jackson and Cassandra Fraiser have been taken."
"That's not true, Teal'c," Paul said, his voice raspy. He coughed slightly.
"What happened?" Daniel demanded to know. His knees felt like jelly. How he stayed upright he had no clue. Took comfort from their presence when he felt Jack and Sam move in close behind him.
"Cassandra Fraiser voiced a desire to see Ford's Theater. Casey Jackson did not believe it would be dangerous," Teal'c said softly. "While waiting for the tour that we had procured tickets to join, Casey Jackson and Cassandra Fraiser decided to visit the ladies facilities. I placed myself at the front of the narrow hallway that led to these rooms. Major Davis waited beside the door. I am afraid I can remember no more."
"Three guys came out of the men's room, just across from the ladies room," Paul said. "I stepped back, the hallway was really pretty narrow. Anyway, I remember hearing the hiss of something being sprayed, and something cold on my face. I don't remember anything until we woke up. Tied and gagged in the men's room. They put us in separate stalls. We were out for about three hours. When we heard someone come in, we started making all the noise that we could." He put his arms around Janet, held her as she began to cry. "I managed to persuade the manager not to notify the police just yet," he added.
"Good thinking," Jack nodded. "The report can be filed later if it becomes important to do so."
Daniel felt his world begin to topple. That son-of-a-bitch! Without a doubt Kinsey knew where she was. He had already started walking when he felt a hand grab his arm. He looked over at Jack.
"I know, Danny," Jack said softly. "But if we go charging in, he'll order them killed. And if he finds out about Casey…"
His breath caught in his throat. If that bastard found out about Casey's Immortality, she'd disappear into the maze of Area 51, and chances were that he would never find her, never see her again. They'd dissect her in an attempt to find out just what made her Immortal. Not before torturing her to death, he was certain.
"He has some interesting plans," a familiar voice drawled.
Jack turned around. "I expected to hear from you last night."
Harry Maybourne shrugged nonchalantly. "Took a few hours to get here. I can't just take a commercial flight into the country, you know."
"So what do you have?"
"You called him?" Daniel asked, his voice cracking with surprise.
"He helped us find Sam last year," Jack replied softly. "If Kinsey is involved…and we know he is, right up to his slimy eyebrows…then Harry here can get the proof we need. And he can help us find them."
"I suggest we go somewhere a little less…public," Harry said quietly. He turned around and walked toward the nearest exit, not bothering to see if the group was following.
The team had no choice but to follow. Jack's cellphone rang as soon as he settled into the cab with Harry, Daniel, Teal'c, and Sam. Janet and Paul were in the cab behind them. He answered tersely, knowing who it would be, needing to know what had gone wrong. He listened for a few minutes, scowled, replied with one word in a what could only be a language from the Middle East, the clicked then phone closed.
Daniel stared at him. "What happened?"
"They saw T and the major take the ladies into the theater. When one of them checked the back alley, he wound up very unconscious. They must have used the same stuff on him. Anyway, the guy on the tour had seen the ladies go to the restroom, so he went along with the tour group, expecting them to catch up. He saw someone of…interest …also on the tour, and followed him. He also wound up very unconscious. By the time the guys were able to get together, it was too late. They're nine kinds of pissed. And they're waiting to hear back from me," Jack explained quietly.
The young archaeologist nodded. That explained the reply. 'Wait', Jack had said. In Farsi. Learned, no doubt, when he worked Special Ops in that area of the world. "We have absolutely no clue where he took them."
"That, Doctor Jackson, is not exactly true," Harry said quietly. "All it takes is a little…research."
"And time," Jack added.
Time. He moaned mentally. He would have to return to the SGC just to stock up on the serum he needed when he was forced to be away from his Wife, and her sweet, sweet honey. Senator Shepperd had left word that the Oversight Committee hearings would resume tomorrow. Once again he was forced to deal with bureaucrats when he wanted…needed…to be looking for his missing Wife!
Sam reached over and patted Daniel's arm. "We'll find them, Daniel."
"Damned straight," Jack said.
Daniel forced a smile. "We have to. I can't live without her." He had endured…survived… twenty-four days of hell without her. He wasn't eager to repeat the experience. And something told him that the longer she was away from him, the graver the danger she was in. I'm going to find you, Angel, he thought desperately. I promise.
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