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Hell Hath No Fury
Sarah stared at the wall. Her head hurt continuously now, in spite of all the sleeping she seemed to be doing. No one would talk to her, would tell her anything. She sat on the narrow cot, pulled her legs up and wrapped her arms around them. Something was going on. Every day it seemed as if fewer people passed by the room where she was being held. Several times she'd seen men carrying boxes.
She longed to talk to Daniel. She wasn't even sure why. She knew he'd been present when Osiris had been taken from her. Oh, god, that had hurt so much! But what a relief to be free of the creature that had tormented her for three long years! She still had the memories of what she...what Osiris...had done, using her body, her hands, her voice. Horrible things. Unspeakable things. Humiliating things.
Daniel had been so sweet when she'd opened her eyes, alone in her mind for the first time since she'd broken the seal on the canopic jar. But his eyes...they'd had a far away look in them. Like they did when he was excited about a project. She'd overheard him talking, telling whomever he'd been speaking to that he was certain that she'd be fine, that he wanted to get home to his wife.
It was hard to believe that he was married. Well, married again. She'd met Amaunet. Who'd been in possession of the body of Daniel's first wife, Sha're. She'd been a beautiful woman. A different sort of beauty than Casey's. The minute she'd seen his second wife, watched the two walk into the warehouse where the staff of the SGC were throwing a birthday party for Daniel, she'd known. Could see it in his beautiful blue eyes. He'd never see any other woman. And Casey's green eyes, so full of love when she looked at him, would never see anyone but him.
Sarah sighed. She wanted to be happy for him. She was trying to be. It wasn't easy. She felt the darkness moving deep within her mind. The pain became unbearable, and she closed her eyes, trying to fight against it.
Weakling! How she despised that part of her that had survived, had remained. Had so willingly joined with a Tok'ra. Although that had worked to her advantage. Soon that part of her would exist no longer. Then she would be Osiris, the mightiest of the System Lords.
Jumping to her feet, she began to pace. Somehow the little bitch was able to prevent her from seeing the 'memories' of what occurred when she was unable to maintain control. She was certain something was going on, but she had no clues, nothing that might give her a hint of what was happening around her.
Voices echoing softly through the corridor had her moving to the door, standing as closely to the force field as she dared, ears straining to catch every word.
"...Daniel Jackson captured as well. It seems that SG-1 was just minutes too late from rescuing his wife."
"Ba'al will not hesitate to kill him, in order to control Casey Jackson."
"This is why all efforts are being focused on finding Ba'al's flagship. SG-1 escaped from there before, there is every hope that they can do so again."
"We must pray to the Higher Powers that this will be..."
No! No! I have to get out of here!
She would find Ba'al, take Daniel...if she could find the others of SG-1, she could trade them for the man she loved. By now that little twit of a wife had been brainwashed, or turned into a slave, or whatever Ba'al had planned for her. She would be of no consequence. Once she had Daniel at her side, she'd make him understand...he'd see how logical, how absolutely brilliant her plan was. She would protect the First World from the other System Lords. In return, the people of the planet would worship her. It was a very equitable trade. It would also make her the most powerful System Lord in the galaxy. Other Goa'uld would bend their knee to her, giving her access to their own fleets. With which she'd move outward from this galaxy, into the others that just waited to be conquered.
She had to find a way to escape!
A A A A A A
Jacob shook his head. "Nothing on the scanners. If he were coming here, then we'd be able to find him."
"And if we leave, he could show up," Jack sighed.
"Is there any way that other Tok'ra ships could investigate the other known hideouts, so that we could wait here, at least for another day or so?" Sam asked quietly.
"I can ask," Jacob replied. "Doesn't mean we'll get the help. Right now, the Tok'ra are in the middle of a move."
"Because of Sarah?" Jack asked.
The older man nodded. "The last report from Ren Au was...confusing. One minute Sarah seems in control, very quiet, very afraid. The next, it's Osiris who is in complete control."
"Is it possible that the Goa'uld was not killed, but merely hid during the process to rid the host of the parasite?" Teal'c asked.
"I was right there, Teal'c. I watched Osiris crawl out of her. I watched Malek kill him."
Sam was frowning. "Two personalities...one her own, or what we assume is her own, the other that of the Goa'uld who'd brutalized her for three years. She could be suffering a form of dissociate dementia."
"Multiple personality disorder," Jacob said. "I'd already thought of that. Selmak was going to do some research, she understands that medical mumbo jumbo better than I do. But we haven't had the chance yet."
"I don't mean to sound crass, but right now I couldn't care less about Sarah and how crazy she is. There are two of my people out there, as a direct result of that lunatic bitch. I'm more concerned about them," Jack said coldly.
"Let me send a message. We'll wait here. This is usually the first place Ba'al comes when he wants to hide," Jacob said.
The three SG-1 team members went back into the cargo bay. Sank down onto the benches that had been left there during some other mission the ship had been used for.
"When everything seems the darkest, remember that it will be all right," Sam whispered.
"What?" Jack asked softly, reaching for her hand.
She laced her fingers with his. "What Casey said. When everything seems the darkest, remember that it will be all right."
Jack closed his eyes, leaned his head against the wall behind him. "God, I hope so. Radar, don't let me down now!"
A A A A A A
Ba'al walked into the room. The man hanging on the metallic web was conscious, barely. He grabbed a handful of dark blond hair, yanked his head back until Daniel was looking at him. "She is mine!" he hissed.
"No," Daniel managed to murmur.
"She sleeps at my side," Ba'al continued, using his words to torment the man's heart and soul. "When she is deep in sleep, she cuddles next to me. Her hands touch me."
"Thinking that she's touching me," Daniel managed to rasp. The thought of her touching this bastard, even unknowingly, tore at his heart. Because he knew that when she realized what was happening, her guilt would consume her. He had to let her know that everything was okay. That he understood. Even if it hurt, he understood.
Ba'al doubled up his fist, hit Daniel with all the force he could, satisfied to hear the crunch of his nose breaking.
"Agh!" Pain, red hot and excruciating, radiated through his face. He cried out again when a needle was jammed without care into his arm. He fought against the fog that began to envelope his mind. This is what Casey had endured...for over two weeks, this was what his precious Wife had lived through. His last coherent thoughts were of killing the bastard who'd done this to his Wife...
The Goa'uld seated himself, waiting for the drug to take affect. This was the third day, and still the damned Tau'ri fought him. So much like his wife...former wife, Ba'al corrected himself smugly. Casey was his now. He refused to even acknowledge the fact that she continued to weep each night. That when she did reach for him, she'd awake suddenly, jerk away from him, and this damned human's name would fall from her lips. She still paced the ship, hour after hour, the pain in her green eyes almost more than he could bare to see.
"If he kills The One, then he will learn of his Immortality," Second said worriedly.
"That will not happen," First said calmly.
"He has been beaten nearly to death. His Immortality cannot heal him quickly enough to prevent more damage from occurring," Third said.
"He will not die," First said confidently. She had her orders. She'd follow them to the letter.
Second and Third exchanged a worried glance. "Perhaps we can distract this Evil One, if only for a time?" Second whispered hopefully.
"Do not be so judgmental, Little One," First chided gently. "We cannot interfere. But perhaps we can...encourage...those who would help She who is The One's Destiny."
Third smiled. "If she learns that he is on the ship, she will search until she finds him."
First smiled as well. "And be quite upset to find him in this condition."
Third's smile became a grin. "Then perhaps it is that one," he nodded toward Ba'al, "for whom we should feel pity."
Second giggled. "He will certainly get what he deserves!"
"Yes," First replied, "he will."
Shanda watched Casey pacing the corridors, followed her at times, remaining hidden in the shadows as she was so good at doing. Doubts assailed her. Her conscience plagued her. The woman no longer fought adamantly over everything, her protests were perfunctory, nothing more. She stood woodenly as she was dressed. She ate little, slept little...the bruises beneath her eyes were becoming darker with each passing day. The sadness in the green depths tore at her own heart.
When the blonde was ready to turn the corner, the slave hurried to her side. "We must speak," she said softly.
"I don't really give a damn what Ba'al wants now," Casey sighed wearily. She was barely able to put one foot in front of the other. This...pacing...was the only way she could find any respite...she relived every beautiful, precious memory of her life with Daniel as she trudged through the corridors. She'd keep those memories alive, treasure them always...hold them near to her heart.
"Please," Shanda said beseechingly.
Casey looked at the young slave. "I don't care about Ba'al, Shanda. As much as you want to kill me, I want to kill him. I just haven't figured out how to do it and live long enough to get off this ship. But you can rest assured that as soon as I have figured it out, I'm going to do it. I'm going to kill that snake bastard!"
Anger flared in her veins. How dare this woman threaten her god! How could she even think such terrible things...her mind pushed forward the thoughts of murder she'd entertained. She looked into those pain-filled green eyes. She glanced at the Jaffa who walked two steps behind them. Moved closer, whispered in Casey's ear. "What if I told you that I knew where one named Daniel is being kept?"
She stopped so suddenly that Shanda had to scurry back to her side. "Daniel?"
"I can take you to him."
Casey looked over her shoulder. "Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee here probably won't allow it."
Shanda looked at the guards again, then returned her attention to the blonde. "I know that I have given you no reason to do so...but...trust me?"
For one moment Casey feared that this was a test, some sort of a trap that Ba'al was setting for her. She didn't dare use her 'sight', not much anyway. She reached out just as far as the young woman. Could feel no deceit. She nodded slightly.
The young slave put her arm around Casey's narrow waist. "Come, My Lady. You are weary. Let me draw a bath for you."
"I don't want a bath," Casey said, her refusal as automatic as breathing. Whatever she was asked to do, told to do, she refused; she balked at every turn. It was the only thing that kept her from sliding into the deepest pits of despair...all that kept her from giving up hope that she'd find a way out of this...and back to Daniel's side. Fighting was all that was keeping her alive.
"Please, My Lady, I fear you are unwell," Shanda insisted. Just as she'd hoped, the Jaffa moved closer at her words. "Please, My Lady must rest. Take us back to our god's chambers."
Not sure if she had indeed been set up, or if this was part of Shanda's plan, whatever it was, Casey felt herself being lifted off of the floor. She struggled against the strong arms that held her tightly. "Put me down, damn it! I can get there on my own two feet, when I'm damned good and ready!"
Days of not eating enough, nights of little sleep...what she did get interrupted by nightmares of her Shadow Stalker, which annoyingly interrupted dreams of Daniel...the ache that filled her heart constantly, caught up with her, and for a minute she felt as if she were going to faint.
Shanda was genuinely concerned when the slender blonde went suddenly pale, at least, paler than normal. "Hurry, I must tend to her!"
Knowing that if anything happened to his Consort, Ba'al would hold them responsible, the two Jaffa led the way at a run. The man carrying her gently put her on the bed. Shanda fluttered her hands at them, shooing them away. "I must tend to her, go, leave us!"
As soon as the door closed behind the armored men, Casey sat up. "Where is my Husband?"
The young slave pulled her lip between her teeth, an action she'd witnessed from the woman staring at her many times. She had no doubt that this man named Daniel was in no shape to be of any help to his wife. Seeing him might only upset her more...
"Shanda, where is Daniel?"
"You must follow me, do as I do," Shanda whispered. Her heart was hammering against her ribs. If Ba'al discovered what she was doing, he'd have her killed immediately.
"I promise," Casey whispered.
With a nod, Shanda went to the door, peeked outside. She motioned that it was clear, waited until Casey was beside her. "You must make no sound," she warned.
Casey nodded her understanding. Then followed the young slave into the corridor. They hid behind the support beams, moving from shadow to shadow. She was surprised when the young woman led her to one of the access shafts.
There was no way for Casey to know that after the team's last 'visit' to the ship, the young slave had determined to discover how the tall blonde had managed to be 'inside the ceiling' of the ship. And had discovered the many access and ventilation shafts; and, more importantly, the fact that she could move from level to level without anyone being aware of it. She'd found places to hide, and ways to access rooms sealed from the outside.
They climbed down two levels, hampered by the gowns they wore. Determination saw them to the lower level, where the holding cells were located.
"This way," Shanda whispered. She pressed her ear to the door, listening for any movement within that would signify that it was unsafe to enter. When she heard nothing, she touched the control panel.
Casey nearly screamed when she saw Daniel, hanging on the web. His clothes were drenched with blood, and his breathing was uneven, his lungs seemed to rattle in his chest with every breath. "Oh, god, Daniel!" She raced to his side, gently took his battered face between her hands, lifted his head. "Daniel?"
He rolled his eyes. Squinted through swollen eyelids at the woman who was standing in front of him. She was so beautiful...no! He wasn't allowed to look! Something about slaves and being punished and goddamn he hurt!
"Daniel, can you hear me?" Casey asked softly.
Unlike Casey, who'd been left alone for days at a time, Daniel had been subjected to nearly constant harassment, voices continually telling him what he was and wasn't allowed to do. Non-stop torture, being told he was nothing, a slave unworthy of life, living only because Ba'al, his god allowed it, and the constant overdoses of ker'nish'ta were doing exactly what his captors intended. His Immortality was unable to keep up with the wounds and the drugs; his mind was beginning to falter. In the lucid moments, when within his body the blessing he'd been given was able to flush the alien drug from his brain, he fought, long and hard. Went over and over all that he could remember, pulling forth every memory, every bit of information he could. Doing so was the only thing that had kept him from slipping into the void, the darkness that was all that was left for the slaves trained in this manner, slaves who didn't have Immortality, or anyone to rescue them before it was too late.
She pulled her lip between her teeth as icy fear tore at her heart. From his condition, it was obvious that he'd been here, tortured, for several days. Surely he hadn't been broken...not yet...oh please, goddess, no! "Please, Daniel...say something! Daniel?"
Daniel?...Daniel...was that who he was? Sounded familiar. Sure, whatever, he was Daniel if that's what the gorgeous blonde with the great cleavage wanted. If he wasn't so damned sore, he could think of a thing or two he'd like to do with her...to her...for her...she smelled nice, too. Sweet...like flowers and...and...something. No...no, not allowed to think those thoughts...he'd be punished...god, he couldn't take any more...she smelled so damned good! He rolled his eyes again.
She watched his eyes, what she could see of them. His pupils were so constricted she could barely see them, the blue of the irises bright and almost fevered looking. "Daniel?"
"I obey," he managed to mumble, the words an attempt to ward off any further punishment.
"That fucking ker'nish'ta!" Casey hissed. She saw the box sitting on a table nearby. She picked it up, hurled it to the floor with every ounce of strength she could muster. Watched with satisfaction as the vials broke, and the liquid began to seep onto the floor. She turned to the young slave who was standing behind her, mouth agape. "Is there a place where we can hide him?"
Shanda's eyes had gone wide. She'd only intended to let the woman see the man, not help her defy her god, and take the prisoner, hide him! She watched as the pool of clear liquid grew larger. Ba'al would be furious!
"Damnit Shanda, is there a place to hide him?"
"Y...y...yes," the young woman stuttered.
"I see I have arrived just in time," a voice said softly from the door.
Both women whirled around. Casey's heart had leapt into her throat, terrified that Ba'al had discovered them. Neither she nor Daniel would live if he had, and having that snake find out that they were Immortal...she shuddered mentally. When she saw the smiling round face of Ba'al's First Engineer, she nearly passed out with relief. "Nutesh! This is Daniel. Please, I have to hide him, tend to him until he's well enough to escape."
Nutesh looked at the young slave. "There is a room on the lower level, near the cargo bays. It is locked, but if you open it from the inside, it will trigger no alarms. Hurry, you know how to get there. We will be there shortly."
Knowing that she'd crossed a line, that even if she went to Ba'al now to expose the traitor...traitors, she thought, her glance going to Casey, he'd never believe her. She'd be killed. She had no choice now. She nodded slowly. Confused at the turn of events, her place in them, and the fact that she didn't feel as guilty as she believed she should, the young slave hurried toward the door.
"Shanda!" Casey called softly.
The young woman stopped.
"Find my clothes, the ones I arrived in. I'll need them. And Shanda...thank you."
Even though her eyes were still troubled, the smile on the blonde woman's face was so happy, so full of joy, that she couldn't help but to smile in return. Perhaps, her heart told her, she'd done a good thing. "You are welcome."
"Go!" Nutesh ordered. He turned to Casey. "I will try to carry him. You must see to it that our way is clear." Without waiting to see if either woman was obeying, he hurried to the man's side, carefully released the shackles that held his feet, and then his bloody wrists. The man groaned with pain as the stocky engineer heaved him over his shoulder.
With a nod, she ran into the hallway. Peeked around the corner at the first junction. "Clear," she whispered.
"There is an elevator that is rarely used, that way," Nutesh said, pointing with his chin.
Casey slipped behind one of the support beams, worked her way down the corridor in the direction her ally, her friend, had indicated. Luck was with them, no one was around. Please, she thought, praying to any true gods who might be listening, just let me get him to safety.
Minute after agonizing minute passed as the two snuck through the corridors; both hoping, praying, that the wounded man on Nutesh's shoulder wouldn't groan out loud, and give them away.
Shanda was waiting anxiously in the doorway to storage room when they arrived, nearly ten minutes later.
"I need blankets, food, water, something to treat his wounds," Casey said, as soon as Daniel was lying on the floor.
"I'll see to it," Nutesh said quietly. Shanda was not the only one on the ship who had discovered the relative safety of the access shafts. The same tall blonde had spurred his own investigation of the secret places within the ship. "You must return to Ba'al's chambers, change your clothes. You cannot alter your routine. You must continue to pace the corridors each day. I will make certain that your Daniel is cared for."
Tears of gratitude in her eyes, Casey kissed the man's cheek, surprising him so that he nearly squeaked in response. "Thank you."
"You are welcome, My Lady. Now, go. He will not be found here." Nutesh checked to make certain the door was once again sealed.
Dealing with the mixed emotions of delight...happiness to find Daniel on the ship, the anguish of knowing how badly he'd been hurt, and the fear of being caught, Casey followed Shanda back into the access shaft. The young slave led them as far as they could go, then into the corridors once again, the two women hiding in the shadows, unseen by the Jaffa who patrolled indifferently, men who did not believe that there was a need to alert on the ship of their god.
She was already counting the minutes, the seconds, until she could slip away from Ba'al and be with Daniel.
A A A A A A
Shanda moved quietly around the room. "There is an herb, that will make my...our...my god, sleep soundly. He will not miss you if you leave his side." Especially if I take your place, she added to herself.
Casey tugged her lower lip between her teeth. "I don't know how safe that would be. What if the Jaffa need to wake him for some reason? If I'm not here..."
The young slave frowned. "I do not think there would be a reason for the Jaffa to disturb him. Not as long as we remain hidden."
"This ship left Babylonia soon after you and Ba'al were on board. He has come to that place where he knows he will not be discovered." Shanda was a slave...an uneducated slave at that. But she was far from stupid. She watched, she listened, and she remembered.
"He what? He promised...Oooh! That snake-headed bastard! He abandoned them! He just left them!" Casey hissed angrily.
"I do not know if he wished for you to know this," Shanda gasped. Judging from Casey's reaction, it was a safe bet that Ba'al had had no intention of his Consort learning the truth, not about the flight from his home planet; he'd especially wish to conceal the fact that her husband had been captured.
Tears filled green eyes. "All those people," Casey said sadly. "He just abandoned them...they were being killed, their homes destroyed...that yellow-bellied coward!"
For the first time since becoming a slave, Shanda began to examine the actions of the man she called her god. And the consequences of those actions. What her heart began to whisper frightened her...angered her. And still she listened, began to consider more carefully the doubts that had long lurked in the back of her mind, banished there by her blind love for the one known as Ba'al.
It was only now, after having learned that Daniel was on the ship, getting him to relative safety, that Casey began to wonder just what had happened. Just where...how...and when had Ba'al captured Daniel? She assumed that somehow, somewhere, the team was able to discover where she was. She had no idea how long she'd been in that inner temple chamber, but she knew it had been a considerable amount of time. Enough for General Hammond to get word of her whereabouts, and to give Jack the go-ahead to mount a rescue. She hadn't seen much of the city, she and Ba'al had ringed down directly in front of the temple. Had the team come through a Stargate? She shook her head mentally. On his home planet? Not very likely. It would have been heavily guarded.
Although...it was possible that a UAV had been launched, and then grenades sent through...if the 'gate was far enough from the city for the team to get through relatively undetected. But the UAV would have caused a bit of an uproar. She hadn't been around Ba'al long enough once they reached the planet to overhear anything...it was possible that there had been such a to-do about the odd looking little plane, she supposed.
But no matter how he came to be on the ship, the fact of the matter was that Daniel had been captured. And no doubt Ba'al himself had been responsible for the wounds on his face, the blood on his clothes. She was certain that Daniel had broken ribs, and possibly a collapsed lung...or at least fluid on his lungs; the sound of his breathing told even her untrained ear that much. She paced the floor, hoping that his injuries weren't severe enough to kill him. She trusted Nutesh, she was certain he'd keep any secrets for her. But she didn't trust Shanda. Not completely. Something that...big...would be impossible for the young slave to keep from her master. And having Ba'al find out about them...oh, hell no!
Hell, she sighed, stopping in her tracks, for all she knew, Shanda would spill the beans entirely as soon as Ba'al walked through the door. Which would not be a good thing. Another nagging thought began to plague her...what would Ba'al do when he found his prisoner missing?
She frowned, began to pace once again. Ba'al. That rotten son of a bitch had beaten Daniel, injected him with ker'nish'ta - and that was done for one reason, and one reason only. To erase the memories, destroy the mind of the captive who would become nothing more than a slave, a drone incapable of doing more than the mundane tasks assigned to him, or her.
How in the world was she going to sit across the table from him, and not scratch his freaking eyes out; for even if she refused to eat, he insisted that she join him for dinner. She wished she hadn't destroyed all of that drug. It would be interesting to see just how well a Goa'uld snake could deal with the drug, especially a nice big overdose...
Her eyes went to the chest where the drug had been stored before. She hurried over to it. Searched carefully. Yes! Just a small box. Only four vials. She found the hypodermic syringe. Filled it completely with as much as she could get into it. Three vials, and just a bit from the fourth. Good enough. She turned to Shanda. "You are going to keep this our little secret," she said firmly.
Shanda nodded her head. With all she'd done, her life was forfeit if Ba'al even suspected her of complicity in the prisoner's escape. Whether intentionally or not, she'd placed herself at the mercy of this woman. She had no choice but to obey her Mistress.
"Shanda, when we leave, Nutesh is leaving with us. You're welcome to join us as well," Casey said softly.
The young slave gasped with surprise. "I threatened to kill you! I have wished evil upon you!"
Casey smiled. "Yeah, well, love will do that to a woman. Even if she's in love with the wrong guy."
"I will do whatever you wish of me, My Lady," the young slave said softly.
"Okay, well, for starters, we can't let Ba'al know that we're friends."
The young slave smiled. "He would not notice anyway."
"Don't be so sure. He's a snake in the grass, and I don't trust him at all. Hell, for all I know, he could have this room bugged!"
Shanda looked around quickly, her eyes searching for creepy crawly things that might be lurking. "This ship has never had bugs," she said worriedly.
She couldn't help but giggle. "Not actual bugs...listening devices. Cameras that let him see and hear everything that is going on."
"Those are only in the holding cells, the rooms where Ba'al meets with his allies and enemies, and in the chambers assigned to any...guests...who come onto the ship," Shanda replied immediately.
"Well, that's handy to know." She frowned slightly. If there had been cameras in the room where Daniel had been beaten...no, the little voice whispered. Ba'al didn't want to risk anyone not already 'in the know' to learn exactly how he broke slaves. That was his own dirty little secret. And he trusted it to very few, perhaps only one or two.
The knowledge that Ba'al had deliberately left his home planet to the mercy of another poked at her. How many times had Ba'al deserted those who trusted him...worshipped him? If he'd desert his own people, his home planet, then how could he be trustworthy? What kind of a god treated his followers in such a callous fashion? "Did he really desert them? Leave them all to die at the hands of his enemy?" Shanda asked softly.
"It seems so," Casey replied, her own voice soft. "They didn't deserve that. They trusted him to protect them. Worshipped him as their god, and he just...abandoned them."
"What kind of god would do such a thing?"
"A false god, Shanda. Ba'al isn't a god. The real Ba'al is a parasite. He looks like a snake. He crawled into the man you see, it was very painful for the man...the host. And Ba'al took control."
The young woman frowned. "His is powerful."
"He has technology that makes him seem that way. He can't do anything that any ordinary man can't do. He just has the tools...the weapons...at his disposal to trick people, to frighten them."
What she'd learned, what she must now admit was truth, was rocking the world as she knew it. She knew, deep in her heart, she'd never look at her god...no...not a god...at Ba'al, with the same eyes. "I think, if Nutesh will have me, that I would like very much to go with him," she said softly.
"I don't think Nutesh will argue," Casey replied. "Now, I suppose I'd better get ready for dinner."
"Will you fight me as you always do?" Shanda asked, with a shy, teasing smile.
"Every step of the way," Casey smiled in return.
When Ba'al walked into the room not more than a ten minutes later, it was to hear Casey shouting that she could bathe herself, and to leave her alone. Shanda answered hotly that Casey would abide by the will of her god. He couldn't help but smile. Oh, he knew that he should take Shanda to task for speaking to his Consort in such a manner. But he still had feelings for the young slave. The fleeting thought of bringing her into his bed, along with Casey, once he'd sampled every bit of that sweetness, had his body stirring vigorously.
Tonight, there would be no more excuses. Tonight, he was taking Casey, would consummate his 'marriage' to her. The ceremony would have to be held later. Perhaps on the ship...he was certain that Balathu...he frowned. Had the old man even made it on board before he'd left? His First Prime had reported that the main temple had been destroyed. In the intensity of the situation, the need to escape, he'd not bothered to ask about survivors. He shrugged mentally. It was of little concern. He was Ba'al. He was a god. He would give the orders, they would be followed. He would bathe her, in sight of all of those on board the ship, symbolically purifying her. And then, he'd take her on an altar, one that he'd christen the 'Altar of Life'.
His excitement reflecting in his eyes, and in the bulge of his pants, he settled himself at the table. "Casey! Join me!"
Casey winked at Shanda. Usually the slave was dismissed for the evening after she'd made her mistress 'presentable' for her god. Of course, with her luck, Casey thought drolly, the bastard would decide to keep her around. She didn't think Shanda would be able to fool the snake for long.
The two women stepped into the room, Shanda walking behind Casey, as was proper.
"Leave us," Ba'al said, as soon as his eyes met Casey's. Such fire! She was angry about something. It didn't matter. Soon, she would be his!
Shanda slipped from the room. She went to her own only long enough to gather a few things: a blanket, a pillow, the medicinal herbs and balms she'd secreted away from the priests, and a bit of food she'd snuck from the kitchen earlier in the day. She wrapped everything tightly, stuffed it into large bag. She'd wait until she knew that only those on guard were roaming the corridors. The lights would be lowered, and it would be easier for her to gain access to the shaft not far down hall. She'd help Nutesh care for Lady Casey's Daniel.
A A A A A A
He opened his eyes. One small light was shining in the room. The first thing he was aware of was the fact that he was no longer hanging on that...thing. Oh, god he hurt! He shifted slightly, gasped in pain.
"Do not move, your wounds are severe," a voice said softly.
He wasn't sure he understood, all he could focus on was the instruction...he wasn't to move. Okay, that sounded like a damned good idea. No moving. He heard something...water?...being poured into another something. Metallic, from the tinny ringing sound it made. Something soft was pressed against his face, he winced in pain.
"I am sorry," the voice apologized.
Again, the words held little meaning for him. He tried to search his mind...hell, even his brain felt bruised! He remembered a face...with a...what was that thing in the middle of the forehead?...and an evil grin...and, oh yeah. Beaten. Hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. They'd been asking him questions, but he didn't know if he'd answered. Then another man came in. Said things that hurt...not physical pain, but pain deep in his heart. It was so hard to think! Difficult to stay awake...
Nutesh watched as the man drifted back into unconsciousness. Worried that the severity of the injuries might require the skills of a keir'os to treat. Unfortunately, there was no one on this ship he could trust. Other than Lady Casey, he thought with a smile. He cleaned the wounds he could see, as best he could. He'd need to find clothes for this man. Those he was wearing were encrusted with blood.
He jumped slightly when the grate over the ventilation shaft above him opened slowly. He reached up to take the bundle that came through, then helped the young slave to the floor.
"He sleeps still?" Shanda asked softly.
"He was awake for a moment, just before you arrived," Nutesh replied.
"Lady Casey will be coming later. I am not needed, all believe me to be in my room. You may go now, if you wish."
"I must make an appearance in the dining hall," Nutesh admitted. "And I must change my clothes first." His shirt was stained with Daniel's blood.
"Be careful," Shanda said, smiling shyly.
"I will," the engineer replied, smiling just as shyly in return. "You will be able to get out of here?"
Shanda pointed to several dusty crates. "I can use those," she said reassuringly.
Nutesh nodded. "I will return when I can." He tugged one of the crates to sit beneath the vent opening, grinned at the young slave and shoved another on top, then climbed into the shaft.
She watched; the darkness swallowed him quickly. She set about making the unconscious man as comfortable as possible. Somehow, at some time, Nutesh had found a basin and a flask of water. He'd been trying to clean the man's wounds. She unwound the sash in which she'd hidden healing herbs, a balm for sore muscles, an ointment to put on the bruises that covered his face.
Gently, trying to cause as little additional pain as possible, she began to clean him, cutting away his filthy, bloodstained clothes. She'd toss them into the incinerator. There'd be only ashes left, and no one would be able to tell that the ashes had been the clothes of the Tau'ri.
A A A A A A
Casey stared at Ba'al. He'd hit Daniel. Had probably enjoyed it. Had he taunted her Husband as well? Telling him things that weren't true? Would...did...Daniel believe the lies?
"You must eat," Ba'al said gently. Unaware that the woman sitting across from him was clutching a hypodermic needle in her lap, with fingers clenched so tightly the knuckles were white.
"I'm not hungry," she replied icily.
"Well, I will have the tray left. You might be hungry afterwards."
"After what?" She had the sinking feeling she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"Tonight, Beautiful One, we will make love. You will become mine forever."
"Not even in my worst nightmares," she hissed. Which, she had to admit, were becoming downright hideous. That poking in the back of her mind was nearly constant now. She didn't know how much longer she could hold out, before she was dragged into battle on the astral plane. She had to get Daniel to safety first. When he was safe, and there to hold her, then she'd do what she had to do. Whatever it was.
"You will come to my bed," Ba'al said firmly. "It will be much more pleasant for both of us if you do not fight me."
"Making things pleasant for you isn't in my job description," she retorted.
She watched him. Waited for him to continue.
"I love you. Does that mean nothing to you?"
Whoa! That was totally unexpected! The look in his eyes made her shiver. It was so like the look that filled Daniel's blue eyes. Blue eyes that crinkled with laughter when she made a joke or an 'off the wall' comment. That burned with excitement and curiosity when one of the SG teams brought back artifacts of long lost cultures. Darkened with desire when he made love to her, the love so deep within them that she could feel herself drowning in them...in that love. And she welcomed that feeling, of being totally enveloped in that warmth. Only those blue eyes held her world. Only Daniel, her heart cried out. Only Daniel! "I love one man. Daniel Jackson."
"You must forget him, Beloved. For you, he no longer exists."
"Even if you found him, and killed him, he would always exist; in my heart, in my soul, in every thought, every breath I take. And I'll never stop loving him, never," Casey replied.
He studied her carefully. How would she respond, to see this man she loved broken; no more than a mindless slave, his body beaten until he was near death? No doubt she'd only respond with more fire, more anger, more...venom. No, it wasn't yet time. Let Jackson suffer longer. He was giving the Tau'ri nearly three times the normal dosage of ker'nish'ta. He wouldn't be able to fight against it. Already his mind was shattering into pieces that would never be whole again. When she realized that the man she'd known as Daniel Jackson no longer existed, she would be willing, would be happy, to stay at his side. "We will make love. Now."
She began to shake. She had one chance to get the ker'nish'ta into him. With luck it would kill the bastard.
Ba'al stood to his feet, held his hand out. "Do not make me take you by force," he said softly.
"Then don't take me at all," she whispered in reply.
"Don't you understand, Beloved? I can wait no longer! Each night, with you sleeping at my side, has been agony. I love you...I want you...Please, Casey, come to me."
His eyes, his voice begged her. This was something she'd never considered. Never dreamed possible. That a Goa'uld could actually love! No doubt it was just a passing thing. She'd piss him off, he'd kill her, find some other poor woman to harass. Right now, she just needed to knock the bastard out...She stood to her feet, kept her hand tightly against her side.
She didn't fight him when he pulled her into his arms. He held her close, breathed deeply of her sweet scent. He hadn't seen any bottles, as far as he was aware, she'd arrived without any belongings. Yet, the Hathor perfume was as strong now as it had been the first time he'd seen her, in that castle on the planet that had once been Tem's. He breathed deeply. He didn't care any more. If he became addicted to her, so be it. His body would just follow his heart, for he was already dependant upon her...seeing her each day, the smiles that he could occasionally coax from her. Yes, his heart was already addicted to her. Why should his body not be?
When he buried his face against her throat, she brought her hand up, stabbed the needled into the back of his neck, pushed the plunger with all her might.
Ba'al cried out with pain, jerked away from her, grabbed at the needle in his neck, tossed the syringe to the floor. His eyes glowed with anger. "What have you done?"
"A little taste of your own medicine, snakeface." Casey watched as he stumbled backwards, fell onto the bed.
The Goa'uld rolled his eyes, tried to focus on the woman who stood beside the bed. Dark fog began to close around his brain. He closed his eyes, passed out from the overdose of the mind altering drug he'd received.
Casey pulled her lip between her teeth. If the drug was used in conjunction with training, what would happen if he was left in silence? She glanced at the door. If she locked it, then no one would be able to get inside without breaking the damned thing down, if that was even possible. She hurried over, listened carefully. She could hear the faint sounds of a Jaffa shifting. Well, maybe they'd be expecting a few screams...but they weren't going to hear any. Her fingers moved over the control panel. She held her breath when the lock clanged into place. There were no shouts of alarm. So she could only assume all was well.
She took the time to pull Ba'al up completely onto the bed. Popped a few bites of food into her mouth, then hurried into the bathroom. Her BDU was hidden in the bottom of one of the storage cabinets. She pulled it on, relished the feeling of being in her own clothes again. The ventilation shaft in the bathroom required her to drag one of the chairs in from the bedroom. It meant that Ba'al would know exactly how she'd managed to escape, if he came to before she got back. No doubt she'd be kept under lock and key if that happened. The snake might even take it into his head to turn her into a slave after all. But with luck, she and Daniel would be long gone within a day or so. As soon as she could figure out how to get off the damned ship! She wondered briefly if Nutesh could pilot any of the small craft that she'd seen lined up and waiting in the hanger bay.
A A A A A A
Shanda was dozing when Casey dropped down into the room. "Ba'al?"
"Passed out, full of ker'nish'ta."
"Beats me, I didn't check his pulse," Casey admitted.
"You truly hate him," the young slave said softly.
"You'll never know how much," she replied.
"I will leave you alone with your Daniel," Shanda said softly. "I will wait near the opening in the corridor. When you must leave, find me, and I will return to sit with him."
"Thank you," Casey whispered.
"You are welcome," Shanda replied.
"I locked the door to Ba'al's quarters from the inside. I just hope I can remember how to get back there!"
"If you cannot, I will help you," the slave vowed solemnly. She squeezed Casey's hand, then crawled on top of the crates, lifted herself into the shaft. "What will you do if Ba'al is dead?"
"I have no idea," Casey replied. "I hate to even say this, but if he is, we get Nutesh to help us get him into his sarcophagus."
"I suppose that would be a wise choice. I will leave you now. Do not allow yourself to stay too long. I know it will not be easy. But even if Ba'al is unconscious now, he must not wake to find you missing," the young slave warned.
"Right," Casey said. "I won't stay long, I promise."
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