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Ba'al read the message carefully. So, Tem thought he would be the one to find Casey Jackson. He threw the pad across the room, the reading device hitting the wall, then clattering to the floor.
When he'd first realized that Casey had tricked him, that never once had he actually experienced her, not once had he made love to her, his anger was so great that her death was all he could think about.
Now...he sighed. It had been a very long time since he'd been so deeply in love. He understood that the reason she fought him so hard was the Tau'ri to whom she was bound. Rid the universe of Dr. Daniel Jackson, and she'd come to his side...willingly. He did remember enough of their time together to know that she had feelings for him. Even if she'd done her best to suppress them.
Tem would never lay a hand on the woman destined to be the consort of the greatest of all Goa'uld. He turned to the Jaffa who waited apprehensively for his orders. "We go to Thracia," he said gruffly. "It seems that there are two Goa'uld who need to be reminded of their place in the Empire."
The Jaffa hurried to obey. Their god had been in a foul mood for months now. No doubt the result of losing his consort and lo'taur to a shol'va.
Ryk'teal watched through narrowed eyes. He'd barely escaped death at the hand of his god. Only the fact that he'd located the bounty hunter, and had been successful in returning Ba'al to his ship, and sarcophagus...from the bowels of the mountain the Asgard used as a prison for Goa'uld...had saved his life. Ba'al had said nothing, but the Jaffa was aware that his failures had not gone unnoticed. His greatest wish was to find, and kill, the Tau'ri known as Daniel Jackson.
A A A A A A
Kinsey watched from the shadows cast by the tall column. Tem and Ares sat together, speaking quietly. Too quietly for him to hear what was being said. It wasn't an easy thing, going from Beloved to 'pet' once again. Nor would he stand for it! No, his place was at the side of his god, his lover. Not this Goa'uld who had betrayed Tem! When he'd tried to point out that Ares had betrayed him once, resulting in his imprisonment on the First World, Tem had struck him. Ordered him to the corner of the room.
Habib had received several reports. Kinsey sighed. He was certain that the old man hadn't told him everything. It might be better to just be rid of the old fool, assume the position, and hope that Tem would allow him to remain there. At every opportunity he listed the duties, stressed the importance of loyalty from the High Priest, trying to prod Tem into making the move to place him in that position. No doubt he was too busy being fucked by Ares to think about what was going on around him.
The silver haired man sighed. It wasn't going to be easy to set things 'right'. To put himself back at Tem's side, and into his bed, once again. Where he belonged. Kinsey frowned as that thought rattled around in his head. Something felt...not quite right...about it. Which was impossible, wasn't it? He'd been trained by his Master's hand. He knew only Tem. He had no memory of his life before.
This was another thought that rolled around, and made him uncomfortable. Obviously he'd been...somewhere. Had he always been with Tem? Or had the man he loved rescued him from something horrible...another Goa'uld perhaps? The more he examined the questions, the more that seemed to form. Who was he, really? Who was this man named Kinsey...other than the 'pet' of the god known as Tem?
A A A A A A
Daniel studied the fourth section of text. The first three had been prayers. At first he thought they were those that followers sent up to Lord Yu. But now...he shook his head. His stomach growled. Loudly. Insistently.
"Doctor Jackson, you have been working steadily for three hours. I am aware that you have not eaten since yesterday. You must eat."
Three hours? He whirled around...or at least attempted to. Once again his chair was turned. Her head hung down, her hair tousled, and hiding her face from his view. "Casey?"
She lifted her head. The pain from the clamps on her nipples had radiated all the way to her shoulders. Her arms ached, and her hips hurt from the unnatural angle her legs had been forced to remain in. She'd done her best to remain silent, not wanting to distract Daniel, nor bring that bastard's attention down on herself.
Even from across what was literally two rooms he could see the tear stains on her cheeks. "Oh, god," he murmured. He looked up at his captor. "Let. Her. Go."
Once again, the absolute fury in those icy blue eyes made Kwan shudder. He looked over at the notepad. Pages of notes had been taken. Obviously the skills of the archaeologist had not been exaggerated. As long as those notes remained in cuneiform, they were useless to him. And he had no doubt that Jackson would refuse to give him the key if there was not a compromise reached.
"Untie her. She could suffer permanent muscle damage," he said coldly. "And find her something to wear, since your goon cut her shirt to shreds."
"May I remind you, Doctor Jackson, that you are my prisoner," Kwan said coldly.
"I know what this says," Daniel retorted. "If you want to know, you'll give me what I want."
"I could kill you both."
"Go for it. You'll start an international incident that'll turn the entire world against China. How many countries will continue diplomatic relations with a government who'd sneak agents over the borders to murder their citizens?" Daniel replied.
Kwan fumed. This man was his prisoner! Yet he made demands as if he were the one in control of the situation! The anger faded when the truth of what the doctor said seeped into his thoughts. With a grunt of suppressed anger, he motioned that the woman be released. He refused, however, to dress her. As long as she remained partially nude, any thoughts of escape would not enter her mind.
Daniel hadn't believed for a minute that the man would give Casey clothes. Keeping her half naked was his way of continuing the mental torture on her. But at least she'd be a bit more comfortable. He winced when she cried out as the clamps were released. Could see the angry red marks on her creamy skin. She moaned again when her arms were released.
The 'needles and pins' sensation that raced up and down her arms was almost welcome after the strain her shoulders had been under. Her nipples burned, and she was certain that it would take hours for them to heal. Hopefully, Mr. Dickhead wouldn't notice. When the gag was removed, she forced a smile to her lips, mouthed a thank you to her Husband.
He smiled and winked. Turned back toward the table.
"You will eat," Kwan said, determined to remind both prisoners just who was in charge.
"Feel like a bit of lunch, Angel?" Daniel asked softly.
"I could eat," she replied. Hopefully she could keep it down.
He turned to his captor. "Food would be appreciated, thank you."
Kwan frowned. As annoying as the archaeologist was, he was a very good diplomat. He motioned with his chin, and the guard who'd been waiting beside the door hurried out of the room. "You will eat. And then you will finish."
"I'm translating as quickly as I can," Daniel told him. "If this is what you believe it is, just the slightest error could result in a most deadly mistake."
It was a weapon! He tried to keep the excitement from showing in his face or eyes. There had been doubt, several of the experts who had worked on the device weren't certain. But now...his excitement grew. One step closer to his dream. To the dream of a powerful China. "You will eat. And then you will finish," Kwan repeated firmly.
When the food was brought in, some fifteen minutes later, Daniel's legs were released...chains had been holding them in place, and he was allowed to move closer to Casey. Sandwiches and water were all that was offered, but it was certainly better than nothing at all.
"Hang in there, babe, this will be over soon enough," he said softly. Her arms had been tied so tightly, for so long, that she was still unable to move them without wincing. Her hands shook so badly she was unable to even feed herself. He'd been restrained once again, although they were sitting face to face, their knees touching.
"I know," she replied. She bit the sandwich that he held for her...leaning forward as far as she could, as he moved away from the chair as far as the chains would allow. "We're alone now," she whispered.
"Mr. Dickhead, some guy who looks like he swallowed a freaking raft, my own personal hooded bandit-guard, and then a couple of guys who take turns by the door. All of them except Raft-boy smoke. I can smell it on them."
He nodded, unable to keep from grinning at her descriptive names for their captors. He'd been correct, it seemed, that someone able to shift his weight easily had been behind him. "Do they stand behind me all of the time?"
She shook her head, tried to drink as much of the water as possible. Not easy considering that Daniel couldn't tip it far, and she couldn't get any lower to assist him, and her damned arms were completely numb. "Mr. Dickhead and Raft-boy sit in chairs behind you while you're working. Well, Dickhead paces a bit."
Another nod of understanding. His gaze drifted to her breasts. The red marks made by the clips were still visible. "How are my beauties?"
She smiled. "Sore. And don't you dare blame yourself! That asshole would have zapped me regardless of what you said or did. He got off on it."
"How do you know that?"
"He was sporting a boner every time it happened."
That sick, twisted, no-good son-of-a-bitch! As soon as he could figure out how to get free, he was going to snap that sorry motherfucker's neck! "I'm almost finished. As soon as I am, I have the feeling they'll knock us out, and disappear."
"They won't kill us?"
"No way. This guy knows about the Stargate program. He knows who I am. I don't think Simmons gave them any information on you, at least nothing more than the fact that you're my Wife," Daniel replied. "He knows that if anything happens to me, there'll be a federal investigation. And there's no way to cover every track. They'd trace our murders to him. And if I don't miss my guess, what he's doing isn't on the daily agenda in Beijing."
"So they'll leave the country before we wake up."
"That's what I think," Daniel said.
"You realize this means we're still owed a day off," she said grumped.
"I'll point that out to General Hammond," he grinned.
He was abruptly yanked backwards, the bottle of water he'd been holding for her wrenched from his hand by the sudden movement, spilling down the front of her.
"Swell," Casey grumbled. Both were surprised when no 'punishment' was forthcoming.
A A A A A A
Jim Peterson drove slowly past the old Phillips' place. Jeri wasn't the type of woman to become hysterical over nothing. The fact that she came to him alerted him to how upset she was. Their divorce had been...well, not exactly messy. But certainly not pleasant. He was as much to blame as she was. Maybe more. At least her leaving had shaken him out of his stupor. He'd gone to his first AA meeting the night their divorce became final. And he'd been sober ever since.
Well, just like she said, two rental vehicles. One from Salt Lake City. He recognized the sticker. The other car had Colorado tags. He turned into the driveway. His training kicked in. Interesting that the man who had rented the place deemed it necessary to have a look-out. Because that guy on the porch was most definitely keeping an eye out. The look-out disappeared into the house.
"Dispatch, this is Peterson. I'm at the old Phillips' farmhouse. Looks like we might have some interesting folks here. You might want to alert Homeland Security."
"Jim? This is Don. What the hell is going on?"
The sheriff, Don Watson, had been present when Jeri had expressed her concerns. He trusted Jim's intuition, and had agreed that the deputy should pay a visit to the Taiwanese visitors. Between his gut, and the information he'd found when he'd Googled certain 'suspicious behaviors', and the fact that a certain country had a well know reputation for backing any type of rebels who aimed to take down the government in power..."I don't think these guys are from Taiwan, Don."
"I'm going to talk to them. I'll advise when I'm back in the car."
"You be damned careful!"
"I will be." His hand patted the automatic revolver at his hip. He put his hat on, and stepped into the early afternoon heat. Tried not to be obvious as he looked around. All of the windows on the main floor had been covered. Something black. Whatever was going on in there, they didn't want anyone to know about it. That was never a good sign.
The deputy walked across the porch, rapped on the door.
Li Yin opened the door slightly. He'd watched the law enforcement officer approaching, was well aware that the man had noticed everything about the house and the surrounding area. "Yes?"
"Hello. I'm Deputy Peterson. Just out doing my rounds, thought I'd stop by and introduce myself. Ms. Baker says that your family chose our fine city to vacation in."
"Yes, yes, very fine city. We need nothing. We do nothing wrong. We pay money to be here. You go now." Yin said, trying to appear as much the part of an ignorant tourist as possible.
The man was certainly proclaiming his innocence quickly enough. That set off alarm bells in any lawman's head, and he seemed damned eager to see the deputy leave. Nor was this man the round faced, gray haired Taiwanese gentleman Jeri had described. "So, how do the little ones like it here?" he asked casually, as if he hadn't heard the 'request' for him to leave.
"Yeah, the kids. Your children."
"They like very much," Yin replied quickly.
"Well, if you're looking for a few things to do, Happy Hollow Golf is a great place to take them. Miniature golf. Lots of family fun there. Couple of nice swimming pools as well."
"Yes, yes, we do that. You go now."
That was twice. This guy was hot to get him off the property. And pushing could get ugly. "Well, you have a nice day," Jim drawled. He touched the brim of his hat in a polite salute, then turned and took his time strolling back to his car. He could feel the man's eyes burning a hole in his back.
Daniel swallowed, the blade of the knife against his throat putting pressure on his Adam's apple. The blade had appeared the same moment that a knock on what he assumed was the front door, had echoed through the empty house. It hadn't taken but a few minutes to work out the fact that he and Casey were being held in an empty farmhouse. Where that farmhouse was...not a clue. He had no idea how long they'd been unconscious, no idea how much traveling had been done while they were out cold.
Casey shuddered imperceptibly. The thought of someone bursting into the room to save them was something to hope for, and something to dread. She'd die a thousand deaths to have a dozen or so law enforcement agents see her as she was at the moment. It was probably irrational, but she'd never been accused of being the most rational person on the planet. Especially when she was chained down, half naked...and it's supposed to be my goddamned day off!
When the blade eased away from his neck, Daniel knew that whoever had been at the door had left. He never said a word, but returned to the translation. His captor, who had yet to actually introduce himself, had helped him turn the box so that he could work on the last of the four sides.
He ran his fingers over the box, thought that it might be made of naquadah, or at least had naquadah in it. The running theme had been power...strength...eternity. If this was a weapon...would he be able to convince this bastard that it wasn't? He shuddered mentally as the thought again worked its way across his mind...the Chinese in possession of a Goa'uld weapon...so not a good thing!
Casey watched his back. She could tell by the way he tensed his back muscles, or the way his shoulders hunched forward, or the rapid movement of his arm that indicated he was making notes in an almost furious pace, just how well the translation was going. She rolled her head, trying to ease the ache in her back and neck. After they'd eaten, she'd been tied again, her arms not pulled as tightly, but still the position was a strain on her body. Hurry up, she thought, wishing that she could transfer her thoughts to him. She didn't know how much longer she could take being tied to the chair as she was. Please, Daniel, hurry!
A A A A A A
Sam, Jack, and Teal'c were huddled around the conference table, going over the statements that had been gathered from Daniel and Casey's neighbors by Air Force security. Jack tossed down the last of the forms. "Nothing. We got nothin'," he complained.
"I might have something," a voice said from the doorway.
Everyone looked up to see Janet standing just inside the room. General Hammond, who was still sitting at the head of the table, waved the doctor toward the table. "What have you found?"
"This is definitely an anesthetic. It was produced in China. And from what I can tell, this stuff seems to break down quickly. Which means it won't keep them unconscious for long periods of time," Janet reported. "It's used as a general anesthesia. Six hours would be the maximum limit of one dose."
"Can it be re-administered?" the general asked.
"Yes, sir. The thing is, if they're given too much; more than three doses in less than twenty-four hours, it could cause fatal arrhythmia, or induce myocardial infarction. I don't know if the Chinese, or whoever is working for them, are aware of these dangers or not, or if they'd care were they aware," Janet sighed. "What they'd do with Daniel and Casey if they died..." She shrugged helplessly.
"So we can assume that Chinese agents have succeeded this time," Hammond said quietly. There was no need to interpret the look on his face. The Texas general was furious. "The only question that remains is, what is it that they need Doctor Jackson to do for them?"
"Translation of some sort, would be the best guess, sir," Jack replied. "I'm guessing that they have something with Goa'uld on it. Only a handful of people in the world can read and write Goa'uld, or are even aware of it."
"Daniel successfully deciphered the cover stone for the Stargate, and in two weeks," Sam added. "If Simmons was working for the Chinese, there's no doubt they had an agent watching him. Someone who probably had access to his computer. That agent would have pulled everything he...or she...could find regarding the Stargate program. Including information on Daniel, and his skills."
The general nodded. "I'll notify the president. We'll know in a few hours if these agents attempted to leave the country with Daniel and Casey."
Jack shook his head. "Sir, I don't think they'd have taken the Jacksons far. It'd be impossible to get them on a plane while they were sedated. And conscious, Daniel and Casey would both put up a fight."
"I concur," Teal'c said. "It would appear that these Chinese agents have come here to impel Daniel Jackson's assistance. Casey Jackson has been taken to assure his cooperation. Whatever it is that the Chinese wish to have deciphered cannot be large."
"It would be easy enough to call it a sample," Sam said. "A prototype of some sort, or given the appearance of some of the artifacts, a piece of art."
"If it's packaged properly for transport, no one is going to look too closely at it," Jack nodded. "As long as it doesn't set off the dogs for drugs or explosives, getting something suitcase sized, or smaller, into and out of the country wouldn't be that difficult."
"Doctor, just how long would one dose of that sedative knock them out?" General Hammond asked his CMO.
"Considering their Immortality, not more than four hours," was the immediate reply.
"Let's see if we can find anyone who's rented a house, I'm thinking secluded, in the past few days, within a four-hour radius. We'll check on arrivals of any Chinese nationals as well," the general said. Heads nodded their understanding. "I want everything you can find in..." he checked his watch, "two hours."
"Yes, sir," Jack replied, answering for his team.
"Doctor Fraiser, I'd like for you to fax a copy of your findings to the president right away. He has people who can pinpoint just where that sedative came from."
Jack's expression was grim. If the Chinese had Space Monkey and Radar, anything could be happening. Neither of those two made the best hostages, both had attitudes that would most likely get them hurt. And the Chinese weren't above hurting anyone to get what they wanted.
A A A A A A
Jim Peterson shook his head. "No way. Whatever those guys told Jeri, it was a line of shit. Every window on the first floor has been covered. I'm thinking black tarp. The guy who answered the door wouldn't open it more than a crack. He was damned anxious for me to leave. I didn't see any sign of kids. Lots of cigarette smoke, though. They're going to have to fumigate to clear that stink out."
Don Watson took a deep breath, let it out. Just what he needed, a damned terrorist training camp in his jurisdiction! "Let's put in that call to Homeland Security. I'm more than willing to let those guys deal with this."
The deputy nodded his head. "I have the license plate numbers for both cars. Can't rent them without a credit card. Of course, the cards were probably either stolen, or opened with false identities."
"Probably," Don replied. "Tell Jeri to stay the hell away from there. Don't need her getting hurt."
His stomach clenched at that thought. "I'll call her now. She won't relax until she knows what's going on." Jim wondered if asking his ex-wife to dinner was a violation of any of Miss Manners rules of etiquette.
A A A A A A
It had been difficult to maintain her focus. She'd been trying to meditate, to ignore the agony she was in. She couldn't take it any longer. The pain in her body was one giant, throbbing ache, and she just couldn't take it. Even as she berated herself mentally for her inability to cope with the torture, Casey cried out.
Daniel tried to turn as quickly as he could. "Casey?"
"I'm sorry," she gasped. "I just hurt so badly!"
"Please," Daniel begged the man who was standing beside him again, "please untie her. You have my word that neither of us will try to escape."
Kwan studied the artifact. He could tell from the places where Dr. Jackson touched it that he was nearly finished with the translation. It would serve no purpose to continue to torture the woman. Especially if doing so would make the archaeologist balk at continuing.
"Untie her. Let her stand up."
"Let her go to the bathroom. Let her freshen up," Daniel said softly. "And you make damned sure that not one of your men touch her. I don't even want them looking at her!"
"You do not give the orders here!" Kwan shouted.
"No, I don't," Daniel replied calmly. "I am, however, the only one who knows what this says."
Once again Kwan struggled to rein in his temper. He needed that translation! He needed it quickly. If the American sheriff returned, he would not go away so easily. For him to discover the captives...With a growl of impatience, he nodded at the man who had been the 'keeper' of the woman.
"Perhaps Doctor Jackson would care to go to the bathroom as well," a quiet voice said from near the door.
Kwan turned to look at his second-in-command. Then gazed at the American. "Very well. Take the woman. When she is finished, return her to the chair. She doesn't need to be tied. But if she attempts anything, shoot her."
Her legs refused to cooperate after hours of being restrained in such an uncomfortable position. She fell to the floor, agony crashing through her body, leaving her shaking in pain. "Daniel!"
Instinctively he tried to rise out of the chair. The chains held him firmly in place. "Please," he whispered.
There was no denying the love, the protectiveness that filled the blue eyes that stared at him, pleaded with him. Once, when he'd been but a young man himself, he had loved as deeply. He would have reacted in exactly the same manner to protect her. Kwan flexed his scarred shoulder, unaware of doing so. He had reacted in exactly the same manner. Until he was offered a choice. His life...or hers. He'd had his plans, dreams...Even after all of these years, memories of Jiao haunted him. He could still see her shock as he made his decision. The accusation that had filled her eyes. "Release him. Let him assist his wife," Kwan said softly.
The second that he was able to move, Daniel was across the room, pulling her into his arms. She cried against his shoulder, the hours of pain, of fear, of stress, taking their toll on her. "Shh, it's okay, Angel. It's almost over," he murmured softly. He pulled away far enough, long enough to pull his tee shirt over his head. Helped her put it on. Let the bastard get pissy, he thought. "We're going to stand now, okay? Just hold on to me. Can you get to your knees? That's my girl...here we go..." his voice was soft, soothing, calming.
Kwan watched silently as Jackson followed Xin through the door, and down the hallway, his arms protectively around the slender woman. When the bathroom door had closed, he turned his attention back to the artifact. His eye was caught by the words written at the top of the page of the legal pad. Power. Strength. Eternity. His smile was grim. He held within his grasp the key to the future of China. His name would be remembered forever!
A A A A A A
Tem snuggled into the embrace of his lover. "We shall find her, Ares. The little Tau'ri witch with gift of sight. And she will be our consort. Together, my Beloved, we will rule the universe."
Ares frowned over the dark head on his chest. He'd come to the conclusion that Tem was insane. Once he had the information he needed, he'd kill the poor fool. Put him out of his misery. Oh, he had every intention of taking the Tau'ri known as Daniel Jackson and Casey Jackson. Thanatos would have such a delightful host. And the idea of making Casey his consort...he chuckled slightly. It was a rather pleasant thought. How cooperative would she be? Knowing that the man who had been her husband was no more...yet being able to have him, be held by him...or his body at any rate. Thanatos would no doubt be just as beguiled by her beauty as he was.
And with the knowledge of Daniel Jackson at his disposal, his return to the First World would be triumphant. He smirked silently. Let Zeus and Hera, Apollo and Athena, Eros and Aphrodite challenge him then! Let them raise their voices against him! He'd have all of Ra's children under his rule. And with that strength, he would strike down the house of Zeus, once and for all!
Kinsey watched from his corner, his cock rock hard from the display of sex he'd witnessed. He'd been forbidden to touch himself. His balls ached. His cock ached. And he was no closer to taking Habib's place than he'd been the day before, or the day before that. The old man was crafty. Kinsey, however, was patient. Already two of Habib's spies were speaking to him. Not before they reported to the old priest. But soon, soon they'd tell the old fool exactly what he wanted him to know. And his fall from grace would be imminent. Then, he would take that place. And Tem would show him love...and respect...once again.
A A A A A A
Casey had managed to get her arms around Daniel's neck, and stood sobbing in his arms. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have broken like that! I'm so sorry!"
"Shh...easy. It's okay, honey. Shh..." His arms locked around her, one around her shoulders, the other around her waist, holding her tightly, swaying gently, rhythmically back and forth. "It's all right, Angel...don't cry."
It took a few moments to compose herself. "I failed you," she whispered.
"I saw the shadows, Daniel. I knew someone would try to get you. I should have seen more! I failed you."
The misery, the guilt in her green eyes cut him to the quick. "Casey, you didn't fail me! As I recall, I'm the one who nixed the idea of telling anyone! Next time, I promise I'll listen to you."
"I was so scared. I felt something...and opened my eyes..." the sobs started again.
Daniel glanced nervously at the closed bathroom door. The fact that there was no window in the room was the only reason they'd been allowed any privacy. There was no where for them to go. He could see the shadow of someone standing beside the door, probably listening. Let them, he thought irritably. Let them listen to him calming his wife because they'd been fucking abducted! "Shh...let's get washed up a bit, okay?"
With a nod, Casey looked around. Someone had put two washcloths and two towels, and a brand new bar of soap on the edge of the pedestal sink. There were even two brand new toothbrushes, and a tiny tube of toothpaste. She assumed that the man who had suggested that Daniel be allowed to clean up had put the items in place.
He lifted his shirt off of her. Cupped her breasts, inspected the cuts that the metal teeth of the clamps had left on her skin. They had to have been worse than this...it had been a several hours since he'd convinced Mr. Dickhead to take the damned things off of her.
She filled the sink with warm water, and they began to wash each other. She winced slightly when he carefully cleaned her breasts.
"Sorry," he whispered.
"It's okay. A couple more hours and they'll be fine." She smiled when he lowered his head to gently kiss each nipple. She took the opportunity to go to the bathroom, then washed the lower half of her body, Daniel did the same thing. They were both feeling better by the time they finished.
Daniel had just started brushing his teeth when pounding on the door evidenced the fact that their captor's patience was at an end. "Just a minute," he called around a mouthful of toothbrush and toothpaste.
Clean, Casey covered in his tee shirt, they followed their guard back into the double room. He watched carefully as she was led back to the chair. She had to sit, but wasn't restrained. When he sat back down, he offered his wrists for the leather cuffs.
"No, Doctor Jackson, you have proven yourself to be a man of your word," Kwan said softly.
Something had come over the old bastard, Daniel thought. Not willing to waste time worrying about the apparent change in his captor, or the Jekyll and Hyde demeanor, he pulled the chair closer to the small table, and settled back to work. Three phrases in the center of the fourth side caught his attention. He frowned as he translated. It didn't sound right. He turned the artifact. On all three sides he found the same inscriptions. Strength. Power. Eternity. He heaved a sigh. Okay, if that was strength...he examined the glyph again. It wasn't 'strength'! It was potency. And that wasn't 'power'...it was energy. His frown deepened. Okay, was this a power source? Eternity. The glyph was eternity. But not meant that way. He examined the fourth side again, read the text that he was certain was a prayer...for stamina. He carefully wrote the words out. Potency. Energy. Stamina. Barely bit back his smile.
With a new...and he knew the correct...translation, he examined each side of the artifact again. This was a portable shrine. Probably set up wherever the owner happened to be. And the owner was Lord Yu. He went over the 'prayer' yet again. It wasn't to Yu, it was by Yu. Which meant...his eyes moved carefully over the text. This shrine belonged to Lord Yu. Apophis had stolen it at some point in time, and had had someone inscribe his text over the old on two sides. Why hadn't all four sides been changed? Had the scribe been interrupted, or killed...or had Apophis been killed before the task was completed?
Kwan leaned forward when Daniel began to run his fingers over the sides of the artifact. Was he about to activate it? The fool could destroy them all! A glance at the notes in cuneiform...had the archaeologist learned the secret of how to utilize the weapon? He couldn't be allowed to take control of such power! "You will not touch it!"
"If this is what I think it is, you'll probably prefer to see it here first. Could be a bit embarrassing to open it in front of your boss," Daniel said dryly. He found the hidden mechanism that allowed the sides to swing open.
Casey was leaning forward as well, just barely able to see over Daniel's shoulder.
Daniel carefully opened the shrine. Well, how about that! Fully illuminated. A tiny spotlight glowed brightly on the center section, and the item encased in black silk. In spite of all efforts to remain stoic, he was unable to hold back the laugh that rumbled from his chest. Standing upright, in the place of honor, was a ten inch phallus. A very accurate representation of aroused manhood. A penis carved from pure jade.
Casey tried her best not to laugh out loud. Slapped a hand over her mouth when a tiny squeak slipped out. A dildo! The Chinese had risked an international incident to have Daniel translate a box that held...a dildo!
"What is this?" Kwan screeched, pointing at the length of carved jade.
"This is Lord Yu's...um...phallus," Daniel gasped, still laughing. "It's quite a weapon all right. I'd say that thing is ten inches at least...um..." his brain quickly did the calculations. "That's about twenty-five centimeters. Yep, it's a dangerous weapon."
The Chinese man was livid, his face red with his barely suppressed rage. "This is a weapon! A weapon of great power!"
"No, it's not," Daniel replied, in control once again. "This is an artifact stolen from our warehouse. It's a shrine. It belonged to Lord Yu. Would you like to hear the prayer? One that is spoken for potency, energy, and stamina."
Shaking with anger, disappointment making him ill, Kwan struck out, knocking Daniel from the chair. He stormed out of the room, leaving only Raft-boy and the man who continued to stand guard over Casey.
A A A A A A
The general called SG-1, into his office. "Homeland Security just received a phone call from the sheriff of a small suburb of Salt Lake City. It seems that a man who claimed to be Taiwanese rented a farmhouse several miles from the city, three days ago. I've also had confirmation that four men with Taiwanese visitor's visas arrived in Denver three days ago."
"So the group that came through Denver knocked Daniel and Casey out, and drove to Salt Lake City," Jack mused.
"It seems that way. Pave Hawk is standing by. Go bring them home," General Hammond ordered quietly.
"Yes, sir," Jack said. He and Sam saluted, Teal'c inclined his head in his usual manner, and the three hurried toward the elevator.
When he sat down, the general couldn't help but smile. No doubt Casey was madder than a hornet. Hopefully they could get the Chinese out of the country before she laid her hands on a weapon. Flying for twenty three or so hours with mangled balls would not be an easy thing to do. Although, the bastards deserved it! That thought, and mental image, had him chuckling out loud.
A A A A A A
Jack checked the supply of ammunition in his vest. He didn't want to get into a fire-fight with Chinese on some farm in Utah. He sure as hell wasn't leaving there without Daniel and Casey, no matter what it took!
Sam was watching the ground below them. She'd read the reports filed by the P3 squadron captured by the Chinese. And she had no doubt that the same people were involved. Daniel and Casey had been Goa'uld prisoners. Nothing that these creeps did would be anything new. It still rankled to know that one man was responsible for the entire situation. Simmons should be taken out and executed for betraying his country...and the people of the SGC; people without whom the entire planet would be serving Apophis! Damned slimy bastard!
Teal'c wore a mask of quiet determination. He alone seemed to understand that Daniel's position as The One made him a target for those who would see the Goa'uld in power, or evil itself to gain the upper hand in the battle that raged on so many levels. It did not make the times that Daniel and Casey suffered easier to bear, for them, or their friends. Casey insisted that the team was watched over by Beings she called 'Guardian Angels'. Perhaps it was these Beings who saw to it that the members of SG-1 prevailed. Perhaps, he thought, it was sheer determination and teamwork that brought about their many 'miracles'. He would concede that it was just possible to be a combination of the two.
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