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Hell Hath No Fury
She missed her journal. She could write out her fears...her frustrations. Perhaps even devise a plan to get out of the situation in which she now found herself...if she had her journal. Casey sighed, turned the corner abruptly. It had become a game to her, seeing how long it would take for the Jaffa assigned to 'escort' her to catch up. A nearby door caught her eye. With a wicked grin, she checked it, glanced over her shoulder, then slipped into the room. That should keep the Tweedle Twins busy for awhile, she thought gleefully. It was probably childish, but given the circumstances, she had to take her laughs where she could find them.
She stood beside the door, listening for the telltale clink of armor. Heard it as the two guards ran down the corridor. She giggled softly.
"Ahem." The sound of a throat clearing broke the silence.
Casey jerked, whirled around. Came face to face with a stockily-built man of medium height, with dark hair and eyes. "Oh...um..."
The man's eyes crinkled with mirth. He held a finger to his lips, then moved to stand beside the door with her. They listened as the rattle of armor moved away from them. With a smile, the man bowed low, the action acknowledgment of who she was.
"Please, don't do that," Casey said softly. She offered a slender hand, smiled at the man's look of confusion. She took his hand, placed it in hers, moved it up and down slowly. "I'm Casey Jackson."
"I am Nutesh. Ba'al's First Engineer."
She frowned. "You're the one he has working on that new palace of his."
The smile widened. "He has spoken of me?"
"Complained is more like it," Casey replied. "Personally, I think he's a demanding ass, and if I were you, I'd continue to stand up to him. If you do what he wants, and this place falls apart, you'll be blamed."
Nutesh nodded, then sighed. "It seems that after all of this time, I am to die over the building of a palace. I either complete the task in the allotted time, which is impossible, and so will be killed for failure to please him; or I cut corners, and will be executed when the roof caves in."
"Maybe we can find a way out of this," Casey said. She was taking a chance, a very risky chance, and she knew it. But she was feeling the presence of her astral stalker more each day. She had to get away from Ba'al, and soon. She had a battle to fight, she had to protect Daniel. And allowing the Goa'uld to know the full extent of her gift was just unacceptable. Right now her gift was telling her that this man could be trusted. She had no idea if what she was feeling was truth, or desperation.
"I fear I can see no alternatives."
"Leaving is always an option."
The man jerked slightly. "Leave?"
"Sure. Jump ship. Disappear. Fade away."
For one second dark eyes studied the beautiful woman who toyed with the parchment that was spread out on the table. He began to laugh. "You are teasing me."
She shook her head, took a deep breath. She could sense that this man knew the truth about Ba'al, understood that he wasn't a god, but a parasite. She needed an ally, if she were to find any chance of escape. "No, I'm not," she said softly.
He sucked in a breath when those beautiful green eyes focused on him. "You have but to command me," he replied, just as softly.
She shook her head, sending her blonde mane into motion. "No. I don't command anyone. Well, maybe my Husband....Daniel, not Ba'al" she said, giving Nutesh a weak smile. "I'm seeking a friend, an...an ally."
"Then you have found one," he said.
The sincerity in his eyes, the hope that was sparked there, made her want to cry with relief. The door opened, cutting off the words of thanks she intended to speak.
Ba'al strode into the room. "Casey! I am not amused!"
She rolled her eyes. "We're on a freaking ship! Where the hell am I going to go? I have to find a bit of entertainment somewhere!"
He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. He would not let her know how adorable he found her at the moment. His gaze lit on the engineer. "You have completed the work?"
"If you wish for the roof to collapse on you, then the plans are completed, yes. If you wish a structure that will withstand the elements, stand up against Time itself, then I must do more research. I need to know the density of the bedrock that will be the foundation of this palace. I need to know-"
"You need nothing!" Ba'al roared, his eyes glowing with anger. "If you cannot do the task set before you, then I will find someone else!"
Nutesh bowed his head slightly. "If that is what you wish."
"You have been insolent for the last time," Ba'al growled, lifting his hand, the stone in the center of the ribbon device beginning to glow.
"Stop it!" Casey cried, stepping between the two men. "Get over yourself," she hissed at Ba'al. "You trust this man to do the job, because he knows what he's doing, what he's talking about! Either listen to him, or suffer the consequences! A good leader will gather the best people around him, and then stand back and let them do what they are most capable of doing. Don't expect Nutesh to be able to change the laws of physics just because you don't have the patience to wait for the job to be done right!"
"How dare you speak to me in that tone!" Ba'al demanded angrily.
"I dare because I couldn't care less about you, snakeface!"
The words struck at his heart. The memory of her voice softly crying out the name of that damned Tau'ri filled his mind. He reached out and slapped her, sent her crashing into the table beside her.
She looked up, one hand covering her burning cheek, her eyes lit with the fire of hatred. "I am so going to enjoy watching Daniel kill you!"
Seething with rage, Ba'al barely resisted using the ribbon device on the woman he intended to take as his consort. "Return to my chambers at once!" he hissed through clenched teeth.
Still standing behind the young woman, Nutesh dared to reach out and unobtrusively pat her back. Telling her with his timid touch to continue to play the game, for now. She wandered the ship every day. He'd find a way to meet with her again. To plan the escape that he'd believed impossible.
Casey stood straight, her back stiff with anger. She brushed past the Goa'uld and the Jaffa who stood behind him.
Ba'al turned to Nutesh. "Finish it!" The Goa'uld strode from the room, returned to the pel'tak. His First Prime bowed as he settled onto his throne. "Send the word out, I will pay fifty measures of pure gold to the man who brings Daniel Jackson to me, alive and unharmed."
The First Prime inclined his head slightly. "Yes, My Lord." Fifty measures of pure gold! His god did indeed wish to capture the Tau'ri as soon as possible! With such a price on his head, the archaeologist of the infamous SG-1 would be found and brought before Ba'al within days!
A A A A A A
A A A A A A
Jack watched the door to the 'gate room. Knew that Daniel wouldn't be late. When the archaeologist appeared, he winced slightly. The man looked like death warmed over...his face was so pale it was almost ghostly white. The smile that he'd grown accustomed to seeing during the past year was gone. As was the twinkle in the blue eyes that blinked owlishly behind his glasses. Daniel was on the edge...and Casey was the only person who could pull him back to safety.
As soon as the archaeologist was standing beside him, Jack looked over at the window, behind which General Hammond and the control room techs watched anxiously. He heard Daniel mumble beneath his breath. Turned toward his friend. "Daniel?"
Daniel shook his head. "Nothing," he murmured.
Without a word Sam, Jack, and Teal'c surrounded Daniel, their physical stances a reflection of their thoughts, the concern of their hearts. They'd protect him, they'd help him find the woman who was his soul mate, the other part...perhaps the largest part...of his heart.
"SG-1, you have a go," General Hammond's voice called down from the control room. "Godspeed, people."
Jacob/Selmak was waiting for them. "I'm glad you came," he said quietly.
"We're here for one reason," Jack replied. "A ride to Babylonia. We don't have much time...Casey doesn't have much time."
The general nodded. "I know. We just received a report from our operative there. Ba'al arrived there yesterday, the agent wasn't sure what time. But he is positive that Casey is already in the temple."
Daniel swayed slightly. "Now. We go now."
"Can go to hell!" Daniel hissed. "I don't give a fuck about Sarah! That bitch set my Wife up to be kidnapped! If we don't get to Casey before they use that memory device on her, I'll never get her back!"
"Memory device? I do not understand, Doctor Jackson," Selmak said, a frown creasing Jacob's forehead.
"In the description of the Purification Ceremony is a mention of 'The Finger of Ba'al', which 'touched' the temple of the man...or woman...who'd been chosen. It was a round device, 'made of silver, from which Ba'al's touch could be felt on the very mind of the initiate'," Daniel replied, quoting from the text he'd looked up just before leaving the SGC.
"I see," Selmak said. "Then I agree, time is of the utmost importance. Let me inform Ren Au that we will be leaving immediately."
"Just out of morbid curiosity," Jack drawled, "where is Sarah?"
"In a holding cell," Selmak replied. "Do you wish to see her?"
Daniel shook his head firmly. "No. Not until Casey is safe."
Ren Au entered the room. "Greetings, and welcome."
The members of SG-1 nodded. None of them smiled, however.
"Doctor Jackson has made a discovery about the Purification Ceremony. It seems that Ba'al uses a memory device," Selmak said bluntly.
The Tok'ra leader gasped. "To use the device in conjunction with the..." her voice trailed off, the implications shocking her.
"Yeah," Daniel said. "She's already in that temple. Your agent says so. We have to go, now."
Ren Au nodded slightly. "I concur. I will wish you luck on this journey."
Daniel managed a small smile. "Thanks. I'll...we'll...take all we can get."
"When you return, you will speak to Sarah? We have hope that you will be able to get through to her," the woman said.
"I'll try. I won't make any promises," Daniel replied.
With a terse nod of his head, Jacob led the team to the ring transport, and up to the waiting cargo ship.
In her cell, Sarah stared at the wall. It was so quiet! She missed Karinda. What was going on? Why had they separated them? She felt a headache coming on. Closed her eyes.
When the gray eyes opened moments later, they were full of rage. Those responsible for this would be punished! She...Osiris, would rid the galaxy of the Tok'ra once and for all! No longer would they plot and scheme, maneuvering here and there, pushing Goa'uld into alliances that served only the interests of the rebels. And those among the Tau'ri who'd helped them would be punished as well! How dare they turn their backs on their gods!
A A A A A A
She looked around with trepidation. Like his ship, the temple was ornate...gold covered nearly every wall, text carefully inscribed into it. Daniel would have a field day in this place, she thought. As always, her heart shivered with pain at the thought of her Husband. "Love you, Daniel," she whispered under her breath, lest Ba'al hear her and become angry. Again.
Two rows of white robed people awaited them, expressions of excitement on each face. Ten men. Ten women. Priests and Priestesses. Balathu strode into the room, wearing a mantle self-importance that was damned near visible. The smug set of his mouth made her want to hit him.
"When next I see you, Beloved, it will be in the Holy Pool of Sacred Water," Ba'al said quietly. "Until then, you must prove yourself worthy of the blessing about to be bestowed upon you."
"Sounds ominous," she replied.
He smiled. "It will not be easy. It is physically trying. But you will do well, my Beautiful One. And when the ritual is complete, you will give yourself to me totally, forever, on the Altar of Life."
Not in this lifetime, cupcake! she thought angrily. "Right."
Ba'al let his gaze travel over the gathered holy men and women. "She will not be harmed. Do only that which is necessary to perform the preparations. She is to be neither struck, nor spoken to disrespectfully."
"We understand, My Lord," Balathu replied, bowing low before his god. He looked at Casey. Knew how hard she struggled against Ba'al. "If she fails to cooperate-"
"You will not touch her," Ba'al hissed, his eyes glowing.
The old priest nearly dropped to his knees. "Yes, My Lord."
The Goa'uld pressed a kiss against her forehead. "I wait anxiously, Beloved."
"Don't call me that," Casey responded automatically.
"The six days of preparations will seem an eternity to me," he whispered, ignoring her protest...as always..
Six days? Six days of what? Oh, now this was just wrong! The only thing in this life she wanted to do for six days was make love to Daniel! Anything else...forget it! "Yeah, right. I have the feeling it's not going to be much better for me," she replied dryly.
"You will endure. You are my Consort. She who has been chosen, above all women. You are worthy."
"Sounds to me like you're believing your own hype, snakeface," she retorted.
His eyes flashed. Then he smiled. "Your fire enthralls me. To tame you will bring such pleasure," he breathed, his lips next to her ear. "When I take you, it will be glorious!"
She closed her eyes. Shivered slightly. Let them think she was overcome with excitement. Her heart sank in her chest. She'd managed to put him off, the old Priest had even suggested waiting to consummate their 'marriage' on the Altar of Life, taking her as the virgin she'd once again be. At least, in the eyes of the people and the Jaffa and the priests and priestesses, and...oh, god, Daniel! Never in a million years did she believe she'd ever think it, but watching Ba'al walk away left her with a pit of fear in her stomach. At least with him, she knew what to expect. She'd never know what made her call out. "Wait! Ba'al!"
It was the first time his name had been on her lips. He couldn't help but smile, his heart battering his ribs with pleasure at the sound. He stopped, turned to face her.
Casey took a hesitant step toward the Goa'uld. Her enemy. The one person she felt the safest with at the moment. "I..."
Ba'al walked back toward her. Cupped her chin with his hand. "You will pass this test as well as you did the others, my Beautiful One. I promise you will not be harmed. The days will go slowly for both of us, Beloved. But they will pass."
"Don't call me that!" Once again her response was automatic, made without really thinking about it. She forced down the panic that was beginning to grip her. She was on a planet. There had to be a 'gate somewhere. If she could just get away from the choir who stood waiting, watching her, she might be able to find it. Get to the Alpha site...
Balathu stepped forward. "Come," he said gruffly. He raised his hand, then pulled it back. He had no doubt that this troublesome woman would fight them every step of the way. The longer she struggled against the conditioning, the less chance of the preparations being fully complete within the six allotted days. He already knew that Ba'al would accept no excuses. The Ceremony of Purification would be held at dawn seven days hence. Whether the intended bride was fully...prepared...or not. He looked into the eyes of his god, shuddered at what he saw there. His death...if this woman was harmed in any way. He held his arm out, waiting for her to accompany him to the chamber where the preparations would take place.
Feeling as if she were walking to her execution, Casey fell into step beside the old priest. The others followed, remaining in the two single-file lines. Daniel, wherever you are, you'd better have a plan to get here damned soon, she thought, grappling with the terror that was doing its best to consume her.
Led into an inner chamber, her heart sank further. There was one door. And she already knew that getting through it would take a miracle. She had the feeling that such a miracle wasn't going to happen.
The walls were richly decorated, the text illustrated with scenes of battles, each likeness of Ba'al depicting him defeating his enemies. There were two chairs in the middle of the room, facing one another. Near one of the chairs was a large basket, and inside the basket were dozens of scrolls. A long, low table near the far wall, on which were two large candelabras, each with a dozen slender tapers that were burning, providing the only light in the room. A pitcher and a glass sat in the center of the table.
"Sit," Balathu ordered.
She could fight them now, which would no doubt result in Ba'al showing up and doing who knew what. Or she could wait, choose a time to try to make her escape. She glared at the old man. Just on principal. Dropped into the largest, most comfortable looking chair.
Balathu grunted with anger. He understood she'd chosen that chair to spite him. He said nothing, however, merely motioned that the basket of scrolls be placed beside the smaller, less comfortable piece of furniture. He gathered his robe, and then sat down. "We shall begin. From this moment on, you will not speak. If you speak, we will begin again. We will take as many days as necessary to perform this ritual correctly. It is up to you how long it will be."
Casey swallowed. Okay, this wasn't going exactly as planned. Focus, she told herself. Just pay attention! Play along, get them all relaxed, so that they aren't watching you as carefully. Remember what Jack says...there are always opportunities. You just have to recognize them, and be able to take advantage of them. She nodded, more to herself than to acknowledge the priest.
The old man raised an eyebrow. Didn't believe for one moment that the Tau'ri would actually cooperate. "Good. Let the Finger of Ba'al touch you, that what you learn will remain in your heart forever."
Now that certainly didn't sound good! She watched as one of the priests opened a small box. Holy shit! That's a memory device! Jacob Carter had shown her one, when she'd asked him about it. Her curiosity had been piqued when Sam had explained about Jolinar, and how the Tok'ra's memories had been needed when the team had gone into hell, which was literally a planet, well, a moon Daniel had said, known as Netu, to rescue Jacob/Selmak. She understood what it was supposed to do. Stimulate memories. Bring to the front those which might be buried deep in the subconscious. Oh, hell! There were things she wanted left hidden in the dark recesses of her mind, thank you very much! She took a shuddering breath. No doubt the Goa'uld had made a few adjustments. They seemed to do that a lot, to and with the technology they stole from others. Made something meant to be useful into something hideous...a way to hurt and torture. Anubis certainly had, in that freaky Frankenstein's outpost of his.
She cringed when the small round device was placed against her temple. The initial sting of the device pricking her skin was followed by a sharp pain. She winced, closed her eyes against the feeling of needles poking her. For a few fleeting seconds she wondered if she'd find any safety in her gift...would her ability to 'see' hamper the device? She could only hope that this would be the case.
The first priestess in line filled the chalice with whatever was in the pitcher. Carried the large cup to the slender blonde and offered it.
Here comes the ker'nish'ta, she thought gloomily. She'd recognize the effects. She could fight it. She had to fight it. She took a small sip. Refused to drink more. When Balathu didn't seem concerned, her own worry increased.
Two priests stood behind Balathu, one holding a small gong. They began to chant softly, the gong echoing metallically every ninth beat of their incantation.
The old man leaned over, sorted through the scrolls, chose one, and opened it. "In the beginning, El created the heavens, and the stars. Around the stars he placed lumps of clay. Each lump of clay had the potential to become the home for mankind..."
She frowned. This was a creation story...and it was totally unlike any she'd ever heard! It was nothing like the myths and fables found on the tablets of ancient Babylon. She concentrated. Daniel would want to know everything she could remember.
The High Priest watched the young woman. Her expressive eyes surprised him as they widened, then seemed to focus on all that he said. Perhaps he'd been wrong. He watched as she leaned forward in the chair ever so slightly, as if eager to learn all that she could. Well, now, this was more like it! He carefully read every word of the scroll, looking up at her from time to time, to make certain that she was still listening.
What she learned was interesting. Her mind tried to keep up, translating what was said, dropping the hyperbole and seeking out the facts that lay hidden within the epic story, within the detailed descriptions that probably had little or nothing at all to do with the truth.
What she was learning was the history of Ba'al, according to Ba'al. There was mention of the slave uprising that resulted in the gods fleeing from the First World. Of course, the uprising was led by Ba'al, in order to free the people from the oppressive gods. And those people were overjoyed to worship him. Yeah, right. Facts had little or no place in the tale that the priest was telling her.
Even so, fables and myths, even those created solely to promote one person, or one Goa'uld, as it were, did contain nuggets of truth. So she continued to listen. Hoping that she could remember just a fraction of what she was hearing.
When the priestess offered the chalice again, Casey drank from it absently, still listening as Balathu read from the scroll. Ba'al was certainly a piece of work, claiming to be the creator...when he was actually third in line after El and his wife Asherah...well, if what the expert scholars knew of ancient Babylon was right. Of course, there were many who believed that 'El', which literally meant 'deity', could have actually been Elohim, the precursor for the Jewish god Yahweh...obviously those people had been descended from the Babylonians...there must have been a 'split' among the people somewhere along the line, with the Hebrews going one way, the Babylonians another. Daniel had even mentioned how similar the histories of the two groups were...
She was getting a headache. Which was odd. She shouldn't have a headache. She hadn't actually had one, or at least much of one, since she'd become Immortal. She stared at the empty chalice in her hand. Oh, shit! She probed her mind, trying to find any trace of disorientation...any of the familiar feelings of the ker'nish'ta taking control of her mind...and found none.
Balathu continued to drone on and on. When he reached the end of the scroll, Casey sat forward, ready to stand up. Okay, story time was over...or not, she sighed mentally, sitting back again, when the old priest rose, and another priest took his place, reaching for another scroll.
They were going to bore her to death. That was what was going on here, she decided. She wasn't allowed to talk, she wondered if she was allowed to yawn. Decided to risk it. The priest frowned, but continued with his recitation. A list of names. Who were they? Okay, more important, did she give a damn? Let's see...nope, don't give a tinker's damn. Okay. Moving right along...
Her thoughts began to wander. She wondered what Daniel was doing. Did he miss her as much as she missed him? She bit back her smile as she remembered the conversation they'd had on the way back home to pack for their mission, the day after she'd left the infirmary, her memory intact once again after her first run-in with Ba'al the Mighty. Mighty pain-in-the-ass, her mind added sullenly. That was the day after he'd reclaimed her, making love to her on the sofa, letting her know with every kiss, every caress that he loved her, needed her...wanted her.
"I don't ever want to go through that again," Daniel said softly.
"Me, either. I mean, I can't remember what happened, or most of it...but I was so scared...and I just wanted to be with you..."
He smiled. Took her hand and lifted it to his lips. "I remember every moment of being without you. Being scared to death about what he was doing to you, what you were going through...terrified that he was going to-" he broke off. Concentrated on his driving as the snow began to fall heavier.
"That he was going to do what?" she prodded gently.
He glanced at her. "Put a fucking snake in your head."
Like had happened to Sha're, her mind finished. "He didn't."
"I know. Thank god."
"I have these...images...these feelings...I can remember blue eyes, and how safe I felt whenever I looked into them," she said softly. "You were there with me, even if I couldn't remember."
"I'll always be there for you, I promise."
"Good." She smiled at him. "So, did you miss me?"
Daniel grinned. "Like crazy."
The sound of hands clapping in front of her face brought her out of her reverie. She shifted in the chair. Just how damned long had she been sitting here? If the numbness of her butt and the ache in her lower back was anything to go by, it had been hours. She glanced at the candles. They were only one third the size they had been. Okay, depending on how fast the wax burned, she had been here for several hours.
Six days. Six days? She was going to go through this for six days? She'd be a raving lunatic by the time it was over! She was already so sick of hearing about Ba'al she wanted to scream. Hmm...she couldn't talk...but no one had said anything about screaming. Maybe she'd give a good old-fashioned, blood curdling scream just to see what happened. Pickle Puss had said they'd start over, at the beginning...that the ritual would take as long as necessary...
"The six days of preparations will seem an eternity to me..."
Something told her that Ba'al would give the priest six days, and six days only. Regardless of whether the old man felt she was ready, on day seven, she'd find out just what this pool of holy water and whatever was about. She frowned once again. Ba'al had said something about that...about washing her himself...then...
Taking her on the Altar of Life. Oh, hell no! She'd made love on an altar before, but it had been Daniel who'd held her, touched her, made everything all right with his presence...his touch...his kiss...arousing her until where she was didn't matter, as long as his arms remained around her, and he put out the fire he'd so skillfully set burning in her. She could remember every moment, the look of love in his eyes as he slid into her, how wonderful it felt, so full of him...heart, mind, body and soul. The way he'd moved so slowly at first, grinding his hips against her, loving her, teasing her...
She took a deep breath. Blushed brightly when she realized that she was aroused. Tried to focus on the words of the priest. Ba'al built the great city...blah, blah, blah. Six days of this. Yep, raving lunatic. Daniel Jackson, you'd better be on your way!
She absently rubbed her temple...the one that didn't have that annoying device. What she wanted was a couple of Ibuprofen and a few hours of sleep. She hated headaches, always had...
A A A A A A
Daniel stared out the front of the ship, watching the aurora that shimmered as they moved through hyperspace. Casey was on the planet. In the temple. The main temple of Ba'al. Being subjected to six days of 'preparations' before the actual ritual washing of the Purification Ceremony. How long had she been there? Would she be able to fight the effects of drugged water and the altered memory device?
"Everything will be all right...even when things seem the darkest, everything will be all right...everything will be all right..."
"Hang on, Angel, I'm on my way," he whispered.
Jack watched his best friend. Ached for him. Casey had told Sam, who had told him, that being The One meant that Daniel would be under constant attack from those who wished to see him fail as the Champion of the Innocent. How better to attack the man than to target his wife? He shook his head mentally. It was bad enough dealing with the damned snakes. Knowing that the archaeologist was also fighting against evil - literally...and just how in the hell was that happening, anyway? Casey was the one who went skipping along the astro-turf. Where did Daniel come into play?
"He'll be all right," Sam said softly.
"Huh? What?" Jack asked, confused for just a moment.
"Daniel. He'll be all right. As soon as we have Casey, he'll be fine."
"So what's wrong?"
"Have you ever thought about how Daniel is supposed to be fighting the bad guys on the astro-turf? That's Casey's hang-out, not his," Jack said.
Sam smiled at his deliberate misnomer. "Not really," she admitted.
"I believe that every battle Daniel Jackson wages in our plane of existence, has repercussions among those who would do evil," Teal'c said. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor, and had been meditating. Or so his teammates believed.
"Well, I suppose that makes sense," Jack replied, although his tone of voice suggested otherwise. "Guess I'll have to ask Radar about it."
"Good idea," Sam smiled.
Daniel couldn't help but smile. He knew his friends hadn't intended for him to overhear their nearly whispered conversation. But to know that they believed in him, accepted who...what he was...had become, was a comfort to him. Knowing that they were behind him, no matter what, made it easier to deal with, when he actually thought about his position as The One. He frowned. Should he use the power that he knew he had? His gut instinct was to keep that secret from Ba'al, and the other System Lords, for as long as possible. If it was necessary, then he'd do so. Casey would let him know. She was his Guide, his very Heart...
"I have a layout of the temple," Jacob said, interrupting the thoughts of the four people in the cargo bay. The team followed him to the bridge of the ship. Watched as he created a holographic projection of the Temple of Ba'al. "This is the inner chamber where she's most likely being held," he said pointing to a small room near the very center of the temple.
"Oy," Jack groused. "Gonna be a pain-in-the-ass to get in that far."
"Maybe. Our spy reports that security is actually fairly lax there, no one expects an attack inside the temple. There's a ring transport here," Jacob replied, pointing toward the back of the structure. "Martellis doesn't believe it's been used in a very long time, certainly not since he has been in position in Babylonia."
"He works in the temple?" Daniel asked.
"Yes. He's one of the minor priests there. They have word of Ba'al's movements before anyone else. Even the City Administrator, a Goa'uld in Ba'al's service, gets his information from the High Priest, or the High Priestess. A newer ring, here," the general said, pointing to the front of the temple, 'is where Ba'al seems to do all of his coming and going."
The archaeologist nodded. If the information was accurate, they should be able to get inside the temple with little trouble...and right now, that was the best they could hope for.
"Martellis will do his best to keep this room empty, so that no one will know when you arrive," Jacob continued.
"As long as they don't hear the rings," Sam pointed out.
"Let's not borrow trouble," Jacob replied.
She nodded her understanding.
"Now, the room where Casey is being held will be full of priests and priestesses. I suggest you use this." He handed Jack a Goa'uld grenade. "She'll be knocked out as well, but it's your best chance of getting her and getting out of there."
"Right," Jack said, stuffing the orb into the large pocket of his vest. It made an odd lump, but he really didn't care, if it would help them get Casey out of the temple.
"I'll be waiting for your signal. With luck, this shouldn't take more than fifteen or twenty minutes."
"Sweet," Jack grinned. He glanced at Daniel. Saw the hope that filled his blue eyes. "You realize she'll be madder than hell about being knocked out. Maybe you should tie her up, just to keep from getting slugged when she comes to," he teased.
"I'll take that suggestion under advisement," Daniel responded, sounding more like himself than he had since Casey'd been abducted.
The grin widened. "I'm not getting within fifty feet of her if you don't."
"We'll be there in just a few minutes," Jacob informed them.
"Good. Home in time for dinner. I think there's a hockey game on tonight."
"We'll try to be back so you don't miss the kick off," Daniel smiled.
"Face off, Danny. There isn't any kicking in hockey," Jack sighed.
"I disagree, O'Neill. I have seen many hockey players kicking at their opponents," Teal'c said dryly.
Daniel chuckled. "Good one, Teal'c."
The Jaffa inclined his head
"Kicking is totally not allowed," Jack insisted. He sighed inwardly. Daniel was smiling. He was joking. In an hour Casey would be back where she belonged...and this latest nightmare would be over. Thank god...and the Tooth Fairy.
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