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Dead Men Tell No Tales
It was difficult to remain motionless when she heard the door to the compartment open. For her sake, and Cassie's, she had to make these people believe she was still unconscious. She concentrated on keeping her breathing slow, steady, not too shallow.
"The girl we take straight to the lab. The other one Kinsey wants in the house. He's got plans for her," a male voice said.
Another man laughed softly. "I'll just bet he does. Wouldn't mind having a sample of that myself."
"When the good senator is finished with her, I rather imagine we'll all get a turn. Hope we get a taste of the girl, too," the first man said.
She had to bite her tongue to keep from responding. There was no doubt that getting free of the kidnappers as soon as possible was imperative. She had no desire to be raped, especially by Senator Robert Kinsey. And no way in hell was she allowing something so brutal, so horrible, to happen to the fifteen year old daughter of one of her best friends!
The plane was starting to descend. If only she knew how long she had been unconscious, she'd have more of an idea of where they might be. She forced herself to remain limp when she felt arms lift her off of the couch. The desire to open her eyes just enough to see where they were going was almost impossible to fight down. She listened, however. And heard nothing but the sound of crickets in the distance. She tried to reach out, to see around her with that special sense. Rural…definitely rural. She thought she could detect the smell of…hay? It seemed familiar at any rate.
Another van. The ride was bumpy and uncomfortable for several long minutes. She could tell when they turned onto a paved road. A few more minutes and the van stopped. There was no way to know if Cassie was being lifted out as well, not without opening her eyes a bit. And it was just too dangerous to do that right now.
She was put on a bed, her hands and feet remained tied, the ropes checked carefully, and then she heard the door to the room she had been carried into locked. Shit! She dared to open her eyes just enough to look through her lashes. There was a small lamp on. But the room was empty save for her. She scanned the corners and tops of the tall pine wardrobe and dresser, looking for anything that might be a camera. Didn't see anything. Hoping that the physical training that Teal'c had been instructing her in would come to her aid, she began to fight against the ropes that held her captive.
A A A A A A
Cassie opened her eyes slowly. She shivered when she shifted, the cold metal beneath her sending a chill of terror down her spine. She was strapped to a table. What appeared to be an operating table...Oh, god, what are they going to do to me?
She remembered a conversation she had overheard at school, when several of the kids were discussing the recent history lesson about Roswell, New Mexico. How they had laughed about the fact that if there had been aliens on the crashed ship, if such a ship truly existed, they would have been 'carved up' in an attempt to 'learn about them'. Can't just say 'Hi, how are you…what are you?' Cassie thought bitterly. She knew instinctively that the people who were holding her prisoner would never believe that she no longer possessed any telekinetic powers, that Nirrti had 'fixed' her. She was certain that there had been reports in the SGC on the matter. Something told her that the people involved in whatever was going on didn't believe those reports.
She looked around slowly. She was in what looked like a typical operating room. She shivered again. She had to get out of here…she had to!
Calm down, she told herself fiercely. Think! There's always a solution to the problem, you just have to look for it! How often had her mother said that when she was struggling over a problem in math or geometry? The answer was there. She just had to find it.
It was instinct that had her tugging against the leather straps that held her down. There was no doubt that she had to free herself. She wondered where Casey was…hoped that the she was all right. As soon as she could get free, she had to find the beautiful seer. And then they had to get back to the hotel!
A A A A A A
Harry leaned back in the chair. "This could take awhile."
"What?" Jack asked.
"I'm doing a search for any foreign or domestic real estate Kinsey might own, or be connected to in any way."
The colonel nodded. It was the best, and the most logical place to start. "Think they're still in the city?"
Harry shook his head. "He'd have them taken as far away as possible, as quickly as possible, all the while establishing alibi's for his whereabouts for the past week, and most especially today. We can only hope that he gave the order for them to be left…unharmed."
Daniel fought back the bile that rose in his throat. Casey was a beautiful woman. She had those enticing Hathor-genes. She was also still battling wounds and scars on her very psyche from years of abuse at the hands of her adoptive mother. If she were hurt…brutally raped, he had no doubt that the shame would destroy her, would cause a complete break from reality. Oh, god, he had to find her! He had to protect her! He'd failed Sha're, he couldn't fail Casey! Not when she was so fragile…not when she needed him!
Jack took one look at his best friend and knew immediately what the young man was thinking, what he feared. "We'll find her, Danny."
The young archaeologist nodded numbly. Jack had told him the same thing when he had been searching for Casey after she had run away from Silver Springs, convinced that he no longer loved her. He'd found her, well, not personally. But he'd driven to that tiny New Mexico town, had taken his Angel back into his arms, and brought her home.
"Well now, this is interesting," Harry said quietly. "It seems that the good Senator has been smart enough to put most of his real estate holdings into his wife's name. They have a townhouse in Manhattan."
"What the hell does he need with a townhouse in New York?" Jack asked.
"Beats me," Harry shrugged.
"Think he had them taken there?"
The former NID agent pursed his lips. "I doubt it. Too many people around. It would be too easy for them to escape and find help. He'd take them somewhere…remote."
"I don't suppose anything like that has come up," Daniel muttered.
"No, it hasn't," Harry admitted.
His heart twisted in his chest. How could he save her if he didn't even have a clue where to look for her? If she could get free, if by some miracle she and Cassie could escape…He grabbed the phone. Dialed for the operator, and asked for the number to Shady Dan's in Los Noche, New Mexico. Shaking fingers punched the number for the run-down tavern where Casey had spent three weeks as the 'bouncer'.
Jack nodded. If Casey could break free, heading there would be a great start. As long as Kinsey didn't know about the young seer's…adventure…he'd never know to look for her there.
"Yeah, Tank? This is Daniel Jackson…Not so good, actually. Casey's been kidnapped…Yeah, we're fairly sure we know by whom. The problem is, we don't have a clue where he might have taken her. We're trying to determine that right now. If Case can escape, there's a chance she might head your way…No, no, I'd rather you didn't do that. If she does manage to get away, it's a sure bet my phone, and the phones of our friends, will be tapped. I'll check in with you every so often. I might need you to…hide her…Yeah, thanks, I appreciate it. If anyone but me shows up looking for her, or calls you about her, don't tell them anything. That's right, if it's not me, don't trust them. Thanks, Tank…Yeah, me too." He let the receiver drop back into the cradle. Wiped a hand over his face.
Harry was busy tapping away on the laptop computer.
"What are you doing now?" Jack asked.
The man looked up and grinned. "Making sure that phone call never happened."
He wouldn't even ask how Harry could do that, Jack decided. It was enough that he could.
A soft knock on the door brought all of the men to their feet. Sam entered, Teal'c right behind her, Janet and Paul behind him. They were carrying bags of take out food, no one really hungry, but all aware that they had to keep their strength up.
Harry's attention was back on the laptop. He grinned. "Bingo!"
"What?" Daniel demanded to know.
"It seems that Senator Kinsey's wife has a brother who owns some property in Wyoming. Ranch house on about a hundred and thirty acres of land. And right next to this property is a medical clinic that was shut down three months ago due to lack of funding and doctors willing to settle in the area. Also owned by the brother," the former NID agent replied.
"Then we go to Wyoming," Jack said.
"No, Jack, I go to Wyoming. You all carry on as if you have no clue where Casey and Cassie might be. I suggest you call a press conference." He pulled a CD case from his pocket, took a CD from the drive and placed it inside the case. Handed it to Jack. "Give them this."
"What is it?"
"A list of Kinsey's offshore bank accounts. And a list of names. I don't know who they are, but they might be important. Let the newsies do the digging, they have more…resources…than you have."
"That's a good idea," Paul nodded.
Daniel was frowning. "Maybe we should hold off on that for a bit. If he's feeling pressured, Kinsey will kill them," he said softly.
"I agree with Daniel," Sam said quietly.
"How about calling a press conference to announce that Casey and Cassie have been kidnapped?" Paul said. "During the media circus, someone will connect Kinsey to the…uh… Deep Space Telemetry program, and to you folks. He won't dare try to leave town as long as the search is going on."
"That might keep those goons in check for awhile," Jack nodded. "They won't do anything until the boss gets there."
"Why can't we have our press conference, and while we're on camera, begging for information about Cassie and Casey, have that information just show up somewhere?" Janet asked.
"I say make copies, give one to every newspaper and TV station in town," Jack said. "If they arrive anonymously, at all of those places-" he broke off at the look on Harry's face.
"I can do that right now."
"Do it," Jack said, making the decision on the spot. He handed the CD to Daniel. "Keep this safe, Danny."
The younger man accepted the case, nodded.
"Call the police. You have a wife to report missing. And you have a daughter to report missing," Harry said, looking from Daniel to Janet.
"We'll have to go to the police station to file a report," Daniel argued.
"What about what happened to Paul and Teal'c, should we say anything about that?" Janet asked.
"You tell them everything you know," Jack replied.
With a sigh, Daniel picked up the phone again. Called the desk and asked for the police. Told the shocked desk clerk that his wife was missing, as was the daughter of his friend. Sat down on the bed where he had held her, made love to her. Tried desperately not to fall apart.
A A A A A A
Cassie pulled her wrists up as high as she could. When she relaxed, she was certain that the straps felt a bit looser. Encouraged by her progress, she began to strain against her bonds, grunting slightly from the exertion.
In the ranch house a mile and a half away, Casey was still struggling as well, escape the only thought on her mind. She paused, laying totally still when she heard footsteps on the other side of that locked door. Listened to them fade as whoever it was continued down what must be a hallway, or at least she assumed it was a hallway. She had managed to find the knot that had been tied in the rope around her hands. She was nearly twisting her fingers off in an attempt to work at the rope, but fear…and not a little desperation…kept the pain at bay. She had to get loose! And then she had to find Cassie and get the hell away from these people! Her mind continued to work on the puzzle of their location as her hands and fingers worked on the task of getting free.
Almost…she could almost slip her wrist all the way through now, Cassie thought excitedly. Heart pounding against her ribs, sweat beading across her forehead, she continued to tug and jerk at the leather restraints. She froze when she heard the sound of a door closing in another room, it sounded as if it were to the left of her. She closed her eyes, pretended to still be unconscious. Go away, she thought irritably. She dared to open her eyes. Wondered if this room had cameras like the rooms of the SGC. Very carefully she moved her eyes around the dimly lit room. She didn't see anything that resembled a camera. But it was impossible to tell what might be hiding in the shadows. Fear of discovery kept her still for several long minutes. Until finally the desire…the need…to escape overcame that fear. She continued to work her wrists and hands up and down, pushing against the straps as hard as she could. She licked her dry lips, her thirst now annoying in its insistence to be quenched. How long had she been here now? It seemed like hours. There was no clock, no windows that would give her a clue as to what time of day…or night…it was.
She almost cried out when she felt the knot slip just the tiniest bit. Even more determined now, Casey continued to work at the rope, her gaze focused on the window just a couple of feet from the bed where she lay. The shades were drawn, but it seemed to her that it was dark outside, there was no light peeping around the edges of the blue linen pleats. Her heart skipped a beat when the knot began to unfurl. Tugging as hard as she could, she pulled the ropes from her wrists. Sat up on the bed and untied her feet. She glanced at the ropes, then tossed them under the bed, and slipped towards the window, barely daring to breath. She'd have to crawl out of it. Determine exactly where she was. And then try to figure out just where this 'lab' was, where Cassie was being held…
The teenager closed her eyes against the tears of relief when she slid one hand free of the restraint. Reached over and unbuckled her other hand. Sat up and unbuckled her feet. Her mother was a doctor, she was familiar with an operating room. She began to open drawers as quietly as possible. She needed a weapon to protect herself. A smile of grim satisfaction lifted the corners of her lips. Couldn't get any more deadly than this, she thought, holding the scalpel up so that the dim light glimmered off the shiny surgical steel. Now, she just had to get out of this room, and find Casey…
A A A A A A
"Yes, sir," Daniel responded wearily to the police detective's questions. A photo of Casey and one of Cassie's school photos had been faxed to the precinct from Cheyenne Mountain. It was a good thing that he and Janet kept such photos on their desks. An APB had been put out on the missing women. He was certain that the fact that General Hammond had used his considerable influence to spur the local authorities into taking immediate action had helped greatly.
"So, as far as you know, there isn't anyone that would want to take your wife?" the man asked…for the sixth time.
Daniel glanced at Jack. Was well aware of the fact that the detective had noticed. "There's always a possibility of making enemies in this town," he replied.
The detective struggled to keep his face impassive. These men knew more than they were telling. He sat back in his chair. "Doctor Jackson, it makes it extremely difficult to do our job, the job that you expect us to do, if you're less than truthful. Now, I'll ask you once more, is there someone you know, or know of, who would want to take your wife?"
Jack shifted, made a command decision. "How interested in getting involved with a rather sticky political mess are you?"
The detective knew immediately what the older man, an Air Force colonel, was saying. He gasped slightly. "Are you telling me that one of the politicians here in DC did this?"
"Of course not," Jack replied. "I'm telling you that he hired it done."
"So it is a he?"
"I don't suppose you want to give me his name?" the detective said.
"That wouldn't be my first choice, no," Jack said. "If word gets out that we know that he's involved, more than likely he'll order Mrs. Jackson and Miss Fraiser killed. And then no one will ever be able to link him to their disappearance."
The detective Wayne Jennings' frowned deeper. "I realize that the Air Force has no jurisdiction to conduct a search. What I'm going to do is call in the FBI. If there is a politician involved, chances are those women aren't in DC."
"That's what we thought," Jack said.
"Casey wouldn't have gone willingly," Daniel said. "Not unless she was being held at gunpoint, or Cassie's life was being threatened."
"What we need to do is find out if there was anyone in the alley, or looking out of windows of the nearby buildings, at the time that your wife and the daughter of your friend were taken. I'd like to do a press conference right away, see if we can't get someone to step forward with information," Jennings said.
"Think it'll work?"
The man smiled grimly. "Doctor Jackson, your wife is a beautiful woman. People are going to remember seeing her. It's just possible that someone will be inclined to tell us if they've seen anything. Now, I'd like to make arrangements to hold that press conference at six am. That'll get it on the news in time for the morning commute. Lots of people will at least hear about it. And an abduction like this will stay on people's minds. We'll keep running their photos on television every couple of hours."
Daniel sighed, and nodded. Wondered just what the media coverage would do to the Committee hearings schedule. Which spurred another thought. "We should alert Senator Shepperd," he said softly.
"I take it that this isn't the politician you suspect of being involved," the detective replied.
"No, sir. If anything, the senator may be the only friend we have on Capitol Hill," Daniel said, repeating what Casey had told him after the first round of hearings.
Jennings waved toward the phone. "Be my guest. Press star-seven to get an outside line."
Daniel conferred with Jack for a moment, opted to call the senator at home rather than leaving a message at his office. It was now four am. His Wife had been missing at least fourteen hours. She could be anywhere. Could be suffering anything. He didn't give a damn if he did wake Shepperd up.
The senator was unhappy to be awakened, Daniel could hear it in his voice. Even more so to find out the reason for the middle of the night call. He told Daniel to stay put, and that he was on his way to the precinct.
Daniel couldn't help but smile. Casey had been right. Senator Shepperd was going to be the one man in this town they could trust.
A A A A A A
Senator John Shepperd kissed his wife gently, then hurriedly pulled on clothes. "Kinsey, what the hell have you done?" he asked quietly, of no one. He slipped out of the room, hurried through the comfortable Georgian townhouse that he had rented upon arriving in the city. It was going to be a long damned day. He called his assistant from the car, telling him to get word to the other committee members. As far as he was concerned, the hearings were now officially over. They had everything they needed to make their decisions on the funding for the Stargate Program. With luck, this incident would allow him to push the full budget through with no modifications whatsoever. It hadn't hurt that Major Carter had described the alien technology that was now providing power for the secret base. Kinsey had screwed up big time. And it was going to backfire in a dozen different ways. Shepperd would see to that personally.
A A A A A A
Sipping from the Styrofoam cup that held bitter, lukewarm coffee, Daniel paced the police detective's office. Janet and Paul had joined them, as had Sam and Teal'c. Each of the team members had been questioned separately. By now Harry Maybourne was on a plane bound for Wyoming. He clenched his free hand into a fist. The one that he was going to shove into Kinsey's face at the first opportunity.
The media were already on alert, police scanners and the hastily issued APB bringing several to the precinct. Cameras began to whir and click, two reporters called out questions to Senator Shepperd as soon as he arrived.
"Senator! Senator Shepperd! Why are you here? Does your presence have anything to do with the missing women?" one of the reporters shouted.
The shouts had echoed through the building. The team followed the sounds to the reception area. Jack rolled his eyes. Damned scavengers! Even if they were going to have to use the bunch to force Kinsey into tipping his hand, the colonel had a deep distrust and dislike for the Fourth Estate. They never bothered to get all sides of the story, only what 'sold' went out to the public. Even it if was nothing but half truths and distortions.
The politician stopped, turned to face the group of reporters and their cameramen and women. The Stargate program was top secret. He had just spoken to General Hammond. For now, the women were being listed as merely missing tourists. He would allow that story to stand. "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am here because of the missing women. When two women, one just a teenager, are abducted in broad daylight from one of our most famous landmarks, a tourist destination for nearly everyone who visits this city, our nation's capitol, everyone who lives here must stand up and declare to these criminals that we will not allow this to happen. And that we, as a city, care about the tourists who visit Washington D.C."
"Is there any personal connection between you and either of the women?" another reporter asked.
Shepperd smiled. "Mrs. Jackson was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. You know, the real Washington."
The reporters chuckled.
"I have been honored to represent that fine district for four years now. She may no longer live in Tacoma, but her family does, and as their representative, I will do my best to find their daughter."
Daniel moaned silently. No doubt this would go nationwide. Casey's picture would be splashed on every news channel, every newspaper. And without a doubt Helen and Frank Webster would know just where their daughter was. Well, sort of. From the few things that Casey had told him, it was highly likely that Helen Webster would play this up, get as much attention for herself as possible. He cringed inwardly at the thought of the mother-daughter reunion the press would expect when Casey was finally found. He could only hope that she would be strong enough to deal with seeing that…bitch…again. A thought flickered in the back of his mind. He grabbed it, examined it. Stepped forward and tapped Senator Shepperd on the shoulder.
The man turned, smiled at Daniel, offered his hand. Cameras whirred and clicked. "Doctor Jackson, I want to assure you that everything will be done to locate your wife, and Ms. Fraiser."
Daniel nodded. Or at least, he was pretty sure he did. He leaned over to whisper into the Senator's ear. "Casey is adopted. Not good. She's been estranged from her…uh…family…for over ten years. After all of the abuse she suffered, she would prefer to keep it that way."
Senator Shepperd's face paled. He had long been an advocate of open adoption. To hear that an adoptee had been abused in a home selected to care for her…"I'm sorry for opening that door, doctor," he said softly.
The young archaeologist shrugged. "Just make sure that Helen Webster can't get anywhere near my Wife when she's located."
"It's a promise, Doctor Jackson," Shepperd replied.
Detective Jennings stepped forward. "Doctor Jackson and Doctor Fraiser will be holding a press conference at six. Right now, neither they nor the Senator have anything else to say." With that, he hustled Daniel, the senator, Major Davis, Janet, and the rest of SG-1 into his office.
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