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Hell Hath No Fury
"...What if I'd never met you?
Where would I be right now?
Funny how life just falls in place somehow
You've touched my heart in places
That I never even knew
'Cause nobody loves me like you do..."
"Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" by Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson
He sat at his desk...numb. Angry. Terrified. He'd tried to sleep, had actually managed to doze off a time or two...until dreams of her...seeing her reaching out to him, begging for his help, woke him. He hadn't been able to sleep in their quarters. The sheets smelled of her. Her terrycloth, government issue robe was flung over the chair beside the desk, left there the last time they had slept on base, arriving back so late, with a debrief only a few hours away, that leaving seemed pointless. So they had showered and slept in the room assigned to them.
His journal was open...the one he had started for the mission to PX8-478. The pages were full of information about the Vikings...how they lived, how they made many of the goods they traded. Hastily drawn sketches of the long house owned by Gandalf, and the household goods within it...the layout of the village...copies of the runes and Chinese symbols that decorated the pillars of the temple built to Lord Yu, but which served as the Hall of Thor.
Trembling fingers picked up the pen that had been laying beside the red book. He wrote one simple paragraph. That permission for mining had been granted. That the mining team was now in place. And that Casey had been taken from him...again.
He reached for another journal, a thicker one, the binding well worn as he read and re-read his entries. The good, fun times. The days that he feared he'd never find her when she had fled from Silver Springs. The days of love they had shared. The journal that he added to daily. He opened it to a random page. Smiled at the memories that flooded his mind as he began to read...
Daniel ran a hand over his face. Casey had told him of the horrible things Helen Webster had said to her on a daily basis. How Sheryl, her adoptive sister, had stolen money, and Casey had been beaten for it...about the times she had slipped away from that house of horrors, only to be confronted and punished when she returned...about the comfort...the love...she found with her Grandma Rose...
He wiped away the tears. Picked up his pen. He had written every day she had been missing, hiding in a tiny little town called Los Noche, convinced that he no longer loved her. He had written his fears as he waited for her to return to him as she lay on the infirmary bed, Ba'al's drugs and brutal treatment controlling her mind for hours. He had written his anger when she had been taken by Ba'al the second time.
Third time's the charm...
He shook his head. Began to write...
He dropped the pen to the desk, wrapped his arms around his chest, as if trying to keep his breaking heart from falling out onto the floor. "Please," he moaned softly, "I just need to know that she's all right! Miss Eloise! Oma! Someone...anyone!"
Second looked at her companions, her dark eyes pleading. "Please..."
First nodded. "Be still, child, while I offer what comfort I can."
Third and Second stood silently behind First, followed her deeper into the room.
When the corner of the room began to glow, Daniel felt his heart stop beating. "Miss Eloise?"
"I am known as the First of Three, of the Triad who observe and protect The One."
He frowned. Casey had said that they...he...was protected. Because of who he was. Beings from a higher level than Oma Desala, who was an Ascended being. He'd still like to know exactly how many levels of existence there were; to know about the Beings of each level, what their function, their purpose was. He shook his head mentally. "Casey?"
"Is well. No harm has come to her."
He felt his body go slack in the chair. "Thank god," he whispered. "Where is she?"
"I can tell you no more than what I have. Know this...what she has said is true. Believe her. Believe in yourself."
Before he could reply, the glow had faded. He knew that whoever had just visited, was gone. Believe her...
"Everything will be all right, Jack. Even when things seem the darkest, remember that everything will be all right."
"Thank you," he whispered. The fears that he had, the worries, faded slightly. Oh, he had no doubt that Ba'al would try to rape her. But Casey was a very...inventive...woman. She'd find a way to hold him off. "Just hang in there, Angel," he whispered. "I'll find you and bring you home."
The anger that had been burning at the edges of his heart, of his soul, began to move forward, past the grief that consumed him. What the hell was he doing here, when he should be out there, trying to find her? He pushed away from the desk and strode to the door, determination in each step. Right now, he didn't give a damn about military protocol. His Wife was out there, in the hands of a slave trader, on her way to Ba'al. He'd be damned if he'd just sit by and wait!
General Hammond looked up with surprise when Daniel stalked into the briefing room. "Doctor Jackson, this briefing-"
"Is not my concern," Daniel said, barely containing his rage. He didn't even notice the team sitting at the table was Major Ferretti's. He didn't know that they were preparing to embark on a mission to find the man who had taken Casey. His calm voice belied the fire in his eyes. "My Wife is missing. We have seven planet addresses known to be where bounty hunters and traders, slave traders especially, operate. We know that a trader named Tieel Mogba has Casey. I'm going through that 'gate, and I'm going to find my Wife."
"Doctor Jackson, you need-"
"I need to find Casey, General," Daniel said, again not letting the man finish. "I can do this with your blessing, or without. Right now I really don't care which."
The general nodded. Considering the circumstances, and what Daniel and Casey had already been through in their first year of marriage, the outburst was understandable...and not unexpected. "I believe the other members of SG-1 are still on base. Tell Colonel O'Neill I've signed off on this, Doctor. You can leave as soon as you're ready."
He relaxed the tiniest bit. "Thank you, sir."
With a sharp nod, General Hammond turned back to the men who sat around the table. They would be going to one of the last known places where the bounty hunter/slave trader had been seen. He gave them to understand that any information they could gather was to be sent to the SGC as soon as possible, so that it could be passed on to SG-1. He understood that the premier team wouldn't rest, wouldn't be able to rest, until Casey had been returned home.
Fifteen minutes later, he watched from the window in the briefing room as SG-1 disappeared into the event horizon. "God speed," he whispered. "Find her, Daniel. I don't want to lose both of you."
A A A A A A
Selmak waited anxiously beside the Chappa'ai. Sarah Gardner was due to arrive at any moment, if Karinda's message was accurate. The Tok'ra knew that it was a distasteful thing, but if Karinda had to take complete control to return the woman to the hidden base, she would do so. When the inner circle of the huge monument began to turn, she and Jacob both sighed silently with relief. "Welcome, Sarah, Karinda," Selmak said, as soon as Sarah stepped into the cavern room.
"What was so urgent that you had to interrupt me?" Sarah asked, tossing her strawberry blonde curls haughtily.
Jacob now understood why Selmak had instructed Aldwin to wait just out of sight. Sarah was no longer Sarah. She was Osiris.
"A matter of some urgency," Selmak replied calmly.
"I really don't have time for this. I must move against the others before they can unite against me. I control most of that which had belonged to Anubis. But I must gather those who served him, demand the same loyalty."
Jacob's head nodded subtly. Aldwin stepped forward, from the shadows, and quickly injected the young woman.
"We must proceed quickly," Selmak said, pulling back so that Jacob could carry the young woman to the room that had been made ready, complete with a force field in front of the doorway.
Ren Au stood ready, as did Malek, to see to it that the wounds the host would suffer were immediately tended.
Karinda slithered from Sarah's mouth. The Tok'ra leader gently lifted the symbiote, and put her into a waiting vat; Malek aimed the healing device toward the wound in the back of Sarah's throat. For the moment, they could do no more. A young woman from a farming colony which supplied the Tok'ra with their food had expressed an interest in becoming a host. She had only been in training for six months, but it would have to be enough. She was due to arrive within the hour as well. What Karinda knew was too important, and right now delays of any length could be the worst thing for the innocent victim in all of this...Casey Jackson.
The sedative had been designed to wear off quickly. Sarah opened her eyes, looked around. "No!" she screamed. "No! No! What have you done? I'll have you punished for this! How dare you! Where is she? Karinda!"
"Sarah!" Selmak called sharply. "Sarah listen to yourself! You are not Osiris! You are Sarah Gardner!"
Gray eyes focused on the older man who stood nearby. "Who are you?"
"I am Selmak. The man that you see is my host, Jacob Carter."
Confusion filled her eyes. "I don't know you. Where am I?"
Worried glances were exchanged. "You are on the Tok'ra base. You are safe here, I promise."
'Oh, hell,' Jacob groused. That had been the first thing Sarah had asked when Osiris had been removed from her.
"Doctor Jackson is not here," Ren Au said gently, in heavily accented English. She was quickly learning the language of the Tau'ri, but understood far more than she could speak.
"I won't talk to anyone but Daniel!" Sarah flopped back onto the bed, crossed her arms over her chest, and lay rigid, anger flushing her cheeks.
"I have never seen anything like this before," Ren Au admitted softly.
"Nor have I, " Selmak admitted.
"Excuse me, I was told to come here," a soft voice said from the doorway.
Heads and eyes turned to look at the young woman who stood there. She was petite, her hair a mass of deep auburn curls, her light blue eyes full of eagerness.
Selmak smiled. "You must be Lorraine."
The young woman nodded nervously. "Yes. I'm to be a host."
"Welcome, Lorraine," Ren Au said, stepping forward. "We realize that your training isn't complete. But the situation is...dire. We need to move forward with the blending as soon as possible."
Lorraine nodded. "I understand." Her eyes moved around the room, stopped and focused on the tank where Karinda swam slowly. "Is that..."
"Karinda," Ren Au smiled. "One of our most loyal Tok'ra. I believe the two of you will find much pleasure in one another's company."
"This is...this is permanent, is it not?"
Selmak frowned. "Yes, it is."
The auburn head moved up and down. "Good. I was born when the Urdalan moon was full. That signifies loyalty. Those born under such a sign make friends for life."
The older Tok'ra in the room exchanged glances, and smiles. "Come, let us prepare," Ren Au said, putting her arm around the young woman's shoulders.
Sarah watched, hatred filling her eyes. How dare they? Karinda was hers! She needed the symbiote in order to speak with the voice of a god! The Jaffa would never obey her orders otherwise. She needed a symbiote! And she needed to talk to Daniel. To explain her plan for protecting Earth. She would rule the planet, bring peace where there was war, make certain that all were fed...and all served her. Temples would be built to Osiris in every city, and no Goa'uld would dare to approach. He would be so happy...he would stand proudly at her side, as her consort. She just had to talk to him...to explain...
A A A A A A
Major Ferretti shoved the door of the tavern open with his boot. He was in a lousy mood. This was the fifth such place in less than ten hours. He and his team had been following leads as quickly as they could, hoping against hope to catch up with the bounty hunter who had taken Casey. He was tired. He wanted a pizza and a beer and to sit and watch a ball game. Hell, he'd sit and watch hockey with O'Neill, as long as the point spread was right. But more than anything else he wanted to find Casey Jackson.
He walked to the bar, noted that this place was just as run down, as filthy, as the others had been. Weren't there any decent taverns or bars off-world? He shook his head mentally. He wasn't here for a drink. Ferretti glanced over his shoulder at the young man who had filled Sergeant Taylor's billet. His name was Rueben James. Just like the Kenny Rogers song. The kid had a knack for learning languages, almost as good as Doc. He spoke Goa'uld as well as he spoke good old American English. "Tell 'em what we want, Kid."
Rueben nodded, stared at the bartender. "We're looking for a trader by the name of Tieel Mogba."
The surly bartender stared, but said nothing.
"Ask again," Ferretti growled.
The SF repeated his request.
The scraping of chairs had Willy Lopez and Lieutenant Patrick Driscoll bringing their P90's up threateningly. Ferretti shook his head. "Kid, tell that bastard that if one of those assholes twitches, we'll put more holes in this place than he's ever seen before."
"My boss says if just one of your friends sneeze, he'll put holes in him. And everything else around here," Rueben said, his voice deceptively calm.
"Cron'la-shak," the bartender growled.
"Oh, that was stupid," Rueben said, almost sadly, shaking his head slowly.
"What?" Ferretti demanded to know.
"He more or less called me...er...us...sons-of-bitches."
Ferretti's eyes narrowed. He swung his P90 toward the bar. And began to fire. When he was finished, the wood plank bar was full of holes, not one whole glass or stein could be found among the shards of glass, and everyone in the room was huddling on the floor. "Ask one more time, Kid."
"Where is Tieel Mogba?"
"He is not here," the bartender replied, his voice shaking. He stood slowly to his feet, surveyed the damage to his establishment. The air was quickly filling with the smell of alcohol, from the bottles that had been destroyed. He eyed the lantern that was hanging nearby...one stray spark, and there wouldn't be enough left of his tavern left to salvage.
"And just where would he be?"
"There is a place where he goes when he has finished with...business."
"I don't suppose you know which symbols on the Chappa'ai would take me to this place," Rueben said, resting the muzzle of his weapon just inches from the man's belly.
With shaking hands, the bartender pulled a thin cloth toward him. Grabbed what looked like a piece of charcoal, and sketched out a crude representation of the 'gate symbols.
"Thanks. Much obliged."
"Who will pay for this?" the bartender demanded angrily, motioning to the damage around him.
"Just charge it to Tieel. Or Ba'al. Either one," Rueben retorted. He held up the cloth. "This is where the guy goes when he's completed his deals."
"Let's head home. Get the whiz kids working on the computer designation for the place," Ferretti said. No way was he walking through the 'gate without MALP telemetry, and any images that would give a clue as to what was nearby. He'd sure as hell prefer not to walk through the 'gate without Casey's blessing, but until she was found and returned home, that wouldn't be happening, would it?
The men of SG-3 backed out of the tavern. And ran all the way to the Stargate. They had a location. Now, all they needed was a bit of luck!
A A A A A A
He watched as she lay on the bed, tears of heartache on her face. She would not be able to ignore his presence much longer. He shifted slightly, ran one hand absently through his cropped, almost white-blonde hair. She was beautiful. No doubt his...colleague...would be most interested in her. She was weak, it would not be difficult to bring her to this place, keep her here. And by doing so, he would make certain that the will of his...superiors...was fulfilled. He had no fear of a feeble human. No matter what he was called among those of the other planes of existence. It did not matter that he had been granted Immortality. There were ways to kill him. When she was unable to protect 'The One', he would be free to accomplish his task. Not much longer now...
Casey stared at the silk gown that Shanda held up. She'd refused to change her clothes the day before...she'd been shocked when Ba'al hadn't demanded that she obey him. Nor had she been willing to bathe or change when she finally awoke from a night of terrifying dreams and aching loneliness. It seemed, however, that Ba'al's patience had come to an end. Not that she had any intention of cooperating now! "I am not putting that on."
"Your god demands it," Shanda spat in return.
"He's not my god, cupcake," Casey retorted.
"Ba'al will expect you to be dressed as his consort. If you are not, he will be very angry."
"I could care less what that snake expects. And he can be as pissed as he wants! I am not putting it on!"
"You will!" Shanda reached forward, grabbed the front of Casey's shirt with one hand, and yanked. "You will do as he wishes, or I will kill you!" she hissed.
"I don't think you want to do that," Casey replied, tugging against a grip much stronger than she expected. "He might not take it well."
"I would rather be dead than serve you!"
The cold fury in those dark eyes brought her up short. No doubt Shanda would happily slit her throat, even if it did mean her own death. And having that snake find out about her Immortality...oh, hell no! With a sigh of defeat, she shoved the young woman away. And began to undress. Followed numbly when she was led into the opulent bathroom, where water was running in a large, gold tub. Allowed the young slave to do whatever it was she needed to do.
She stared at her reflection in a mirror that was made of polished brass. The emerald green of the gown made her eyes appear larger. She had expected it to fit loosely, yet it seemed to hug her curves, draped low on her breasts, exposing a great deal of cleavage. Daniel would love it, she thought briefly. Her breath caught in her throat at that thought. "Daniel," she whispered.
Shanda adjusted the straps that held the gown in place, said nothing as the word, she knew it to be a name, left the blonde's lips yet again. She remembered the look of panic, and then the relief, the love, that had filled blue eyes when the man and the others had burst into this very chamber, and had tried to take this woman away. She remembered how desperately this woman had wanted to get to the man who had been in the holding cell. She didn't understand how deeply the two loved one another. She knew only that she had been reduced from Ba'al's lo'taur, to a lowly handmaiden. For his Consort. Once again she wished with all her heart that she had killed this h'as on that day!
Ba'al entered the room nearly an hour later. His eyes lit up, he smiled warmly. "You're beautiful, Beloved."
For just a moment, Casey forgot who he was, what he was. Where she was. The compliment was sincere, his approval shining in his brown eyes. She blushed, lowered her eyes, and smiled. "Thank you."
"We shall dine in the main dining hall. Where the others will be as mesmerized by your beauty as I am."
"I'm not hungry."
His eyes flashed. "You will accompany me. You will eat."
Better to be where there was less chance of being raped, her mind told her. If he was on this consort kick, chances were he wasn't going to be doing any sharing. That was a good thing. Keeping the bastard at bay had been easy enough so far...she had simply claimed to be on her period. But it wouldn't hold him off forever. She closed her eyes. Please, Daniel, find me! I don't have much time, she thought frantically. In more ways than one!
She opened her eyes at the tenderness in his voice. The look of concern on his face took her aback. "What?"
"You will not be harmed. I am a god. You are my Consort. It is expected that we sit in the places of honor while we are on the ship." Ba'al watched her carefully. She needed to understand that along with her position came responsibility.
"Right." That single word dripped with sarcasm. "Excuse me if I really don't give a damn what's expected."
Brown eyes flashed a second time. "You will learn your place."
Or be killed, she finished silently. Oh, this was so not good! The team had better be looking for her, or she'd be nine kinds of pissed off! And the next time Daniel got the lame-brained idea of going to the base in the middle of the damned night so that his brilliant mind was too tired to remember little-bitty details like arranged marriages to children before the situation got out of hand, she was going to shoot him! If he'd been on his toes, they would have been through the 'gate before she'd had to go to the bathroom so damned bad...and she was never going to go anywhere without backup again! Sam, Jack, Teal'c, it didn't matter...someone was going to have her back twenty-four/seven, or she wasn't budging an inch!
Ba'al held out his hand. Stood stoically until she finally placed her fingers against his. She was headstrong, this one. So full of fire! But he would tame her...oh, what pleasure it would be to tame her!
When it was apparent that he would stand there waiting as long as she did, she sighed mentally and let him take her hand. Maybe she'd get one of the Jaffa to show her his staff weapon. And she'd blow Ba'al's ass into tiny pieces. Or at least put a nice big gaping hole in his chest. Then she could get the hell off of this ship...and go home!
A A A A A A
SG-1 walked down the steps warily. Few villagers even bothered to look up from their tasks. It seemed that people arriving through the Stargate was a common occurrence. When Daniel would have led the way, Jack's hand stopped him. "Let Teal'c take point," he said calmly.
"Because the last time we were in this situation, you were in a shoot-first-talk-later mood. You might shoot somebody with the information we need."
Daniel stared at his friend. "We were on a ship. They were enemy Jaffa."
"True. But these folks don't have a thing to do with this," Jack said, nodding toward the men and women who were busy doing whatever it was that they were doing. Simple chores, it appeared.
"I know that."
"Good. Take the six."
The trading center of the city...well, small town, actually...was located on the outskirts, accessed by dark, narrow alleys. Walled off from prying eyes, the inner perimeter of the area was lined with cages on three sides. In the center was a large platform. On either side of the platform were kiosks, Daniel surmised that they were where the actual exchange of money, or whatever was used to buy and sell the slaves, was done.
"Not very inviting," Jack murmured.
"Must have hit it on an off day," Daniel replied, nodding toward the empty cages.
At the very back of the walled of area was a small building. Jack led the team toward it. "We'll just see if anyone's home."
When they walked into the room, they were immediately surrounded by half a dozen men, who were armed with zats. The team stood shoulder to shoulder, facing the enemy. For several tense moments the two groups stared at one another.
"Talk to 'em, Daniel."
"We seek information."
"What information would that be?" The owner of the voice stepped forward, adjusted a leather sash over his ample stomach.
"Tieel Mogba. Where is he?" Daniel asked.
"I have no idea who you're talking about."
"One eye. Bad arm. Works mostly for Goa'uld."
"Never heard of him."
Daniel turned to look squarely at the man's face. "You're lying."
Before anyone could move, Daniel had fired off nearly fifty rounds. The noise, the damage, so surprised the armed men that they did nothing but stand with mouths gaping. "Tell your men to drop the zats, or the next blast goes through you."
"Daniel! What the hell are you doing?" Jack demanded angrily.
"Trying to find out what he knows about Mogba," Daniel spat. He turned back to the trader. "Tell them!"
"Do as he says," the trader said. He tried to appear calm, although he was shaking beneath his robe. He had never witnessed such weapons!
Sam, Jack, and Teal'c continued to keep their own P90's trained on the bodyguards. Who had lowered their weapons and taken a collective step backwards.
"Now, where is Tieel Mogba?"
"I do not know," the trader replied. "He does not come here. He does not deal with ordinary slaves."
"Any idea where he might be?" Daniel asked.
"No. I am just a simple slave trader. I ask no questions. I've lived a long life not knowing many things."
Daniel had no doubt of the validity of that statement. "Not even a guess?"
The trader studied the young man. "Mogba has taken from you something...someone...very valuable."
"My Wife," Daniel replied. Felt his stomach clench at the words. How many times had he sought information about Sha're? How many times had he uttered those words...'I'm looking for my Wife'? How many more times would he repeat them?
"Then my condolences are yours. If he has taken her, it is because he knows of one who wants her."
"Ba'al," was the emotionless response.
"Ah, a System Lord. I suggest you forget her, my friend. You will not free her from one such as Ba'al."
"I have before...twice," Daniel said through gritted teeth. Even as he acknowledged in his heart that he hadn't done so, either time. Teal'c had brought her back the first time. Casey had managed to free herself, and then her teammates, the second time. This time, by god, he would be the one to bring her home!
The trader's dark eyes went wide. "Two times he has taken her, two times you have freed her?"
"I'll do the same this time."
The trader waved the scowling men away. "If you are powerful enough to free one slave from Ba'al-"
"She is not his slave," Teal'c interjected. "He has taken her to be his consort."
Dark eyes went wider. "You would take the Consort of a god?"
"He's not a god," Daniel hissed. "He's just a parasite, in the body of an innocent host. I'm going to kill him with my bare hands. And he has taken my Wife!"
Plump hands made the sign of a blessing in hurried, jerky motions. "If you do this thing, you would be very brave...and very powerful. Ba'al owns many-"
"I don't want to take over," Daniel said wearily. "I just want my Wife back."
"I do not know where Tieel Mogba is. Nor do I know where he would take your wife."
Heart breaking, Daniel nodded, and lowered his weapon. "Thanks. Sorry about..." he waved his hand toward the shredded curtains that had separated the front area of the room from the rear.
"I understand your grief, and your anger," the trader said sadly.
Daniel started, looked at the man. "You've lost someone you love as well."
"It was many years ago. When I was but a slave myself. But I have never forgotten her," he said softly. "Go with the blessings of the gods, my friend. I will pray that you find your wife."
Tears filled his eyes at the simple offer of kindness, more poignant coming from such an unexpected source. "Thank you." Without another word, he turned and walked out of the building.
When they were on the outside of the walls of the 'trading center', Jack grabbed Daniel by the arm, whirled him around so they were face to face. "So help me Daniel, if you ever do anything that stupid again, I'll shoot you myself! Those guys had zats! They could have killed us, and then very easily disposed of our bodies. Three shots...poof, gone...remember?"
"I remember," Daniel said softly.
"Damn it, Daniel," Jack said helplessly. He squeezed the younger man's shoulder. "Let's go check in. Maybe somebody's learned something."
His heart heavy, his feet like lead, Daniel followed his teammates. I'm looking for you, Angel, he thought. Just hang in there. I'm on my way.
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