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Hell Hath No Fury

Chapter 6

As soon as the young slave had disappeared into the darkness of the shaft, Casey settled beside her Husband. She held his hand, gently brushed his hair from his forehead. "I love you so very much," she whispered. "We'll get out of here, I know we will."

In his dreams, Daniel saw green eyes. Alluring cleavage. Felt a soft touch on his skin. Heard whispered words of love. The pleasant images battled against those of a much more sinister nature... beatings...shouting voices...so much pain...

Casey examined him, careful not to disturb the bandages that wound around his battered torso. There didn't seem to be a place on his body not bruised. His face was shiny, oily. Apparently Shanda had applied something to the cuts and bruises. She longed for him to wake up, to know that his memories were still there...still intact.

"Hurts," he mumbled, moving slightly. "Hurts... Casey... Casey," he sighed, before sinking into deeper sleep.

"I'm right here, Daniel. Right by your side. I love you, Stud Muffin," she whispered. "We'll get through this together, you and me."

He was alive. For now, that was all she could ask for. His Immortality would restore his body. With luck, it would restore his memory again as well. She sent up a silent prayer that his beautiful, brilliant mind would suffer no long term affects from the drug, the poison, that Ba'al had subjected him to.


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Ryk'teal stared at the empty web. It was not possible! He'd been given the task of breaking the one named Daniel Jackson. Ba'al had visited this room daily, until this very morning, when he'd turned over the 'training' of this slave to him. It was a great honor to be trusted with such a task, especially when this man was part of the infamous SG-1! He was given responsibility over only the lowliest of slaves. Yet, his god had given this...slave...into his care for training. He'd certainly be killed if Ba'al were to discover the Tau'ri was missing!

He ran a hand over his face. There was no way the man could have gotten free on his own. When he'd left this room, the man who had been known as Daniel Jackson had been unconscious, and barely alive. Which was the reason for his return. If the Tau'ri was dead, he'd have to put him into the nearby sarcophagus, the one reserved for reanimating slaves and prisoners; so that their training, or their punishment, might continue.

It might be possible to prevent Ba'al from knowing that Jackson was missing...at least for a day or so. He'd not asked after him today. If pressed tomorrow, he'd report that training was going well. And pray that his god would not wish to see the slave.

After staring at the metal web for several moments, he finally noticed the box of ker'nish'ta - or rather, what was left of it. With a muttered curse, he hurried over to find all that he could salvage. Closed his eyes with disbelief to find every vial broken, and empty, the wooden box shattered into pieces. Things had just gone from bad to worse. It was possible that one of the priests who were on board would have a supply of the drug. Whether or not he could procure more...quietly...was another matter.

The Jaffa opened his eyes, stood to his feet. He had only hours to find the missing prisoner. And he'd have to search alone. There was no way he could allow anyone to know what had happened. His eyes went back to the metal web. Someone had taken the prisoner. He just had to determine who that someone was!


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Sarah was convinced that the base was being deserted. She'd heard the 'familiar' sound of tunnels being 'collapsed'. The Tok'ra were moving. Again. Why? She frowned. Without Karinda, there'd be no reason for the traitors to offer any information to her about what was going on, or where the new rebel base was located.

Time was running out for her, she was well aware of that fact. She continued to refuse to speak to them, although no one had bothered her for days now. Food and water was delivered to her morning and night. A small shower had been 'added' to the room for her 'convenience'. Because she wasn't allowed out of the room for any reason.

She frowned. The tanks that held the symbiotes waiting for hosts would be among the last of the equipment that would be moved. And she needed a symbiote if she was going to remain Osiris.

Searching the tray that had been brought to her earlier, she looked for anything that could be used as a weapon. The three-pronged fork was all that she found. It would have to do. If she could stab whoever brought the next tray in the neck, she'd be able to escape. If she hit the jugular, that person would die. She shrugged mentally. The Tok'ra were traitors. Death was their just reward.

Trembling fingers rubbed her forehead. The headache was getting worse...

She was standing beside the table. Didn't remember even getting up. In fact, she didn't remember anything after falling asleep yesterday afternoon. She stared at the tray of half eaten food. Were the Tok'ra drugging her? If so, why? What had she done? Where was Karinda? And why wouldn't anyone talk to her?


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Pain. That was his life now. Mind numbing pain. He forced his eyes open. Looked up into the most beautiful green eyes he'd ever seen. Flinched, and instantly lowered his gaze, waiting for the blow of punishment certain to come. Jerked slightly when a soft hand gently caressed his face.


He had absolutely no idea who she was talking to. He tried to look around. It seemed that they were the only ones in the room. "I obey," he murmured through cracked lips.

Tears fell onto her cheeks; tears of anger, tears of dread, tears of frustration. So far, he continued to speak only in Goa'uld. Just as she had when Teal'c rescued her from Ba'al the first time. First time. This is getting ridiculous! She was going to kill that bastard! "No, Daniel, you're not a slave. You're Doctor Daniel Jackson. You're part of SG-1. You're brave and strong and brilliant and don't you dare give up!"

Daniel listened carefully. Felt the stirring in his mind. The memories, the thoughts, the knowledge...all was there. The drugs had been intended to eradicate the ability to access those places. "I obey," he whispered again.

"Look at me."

Blue eyes immediately focused on her face. She was so beautiful! So...familiar. God, she smelled so damned good...another thought that prodded his bruised, drugged mind.

"You are Doctor Daniel Jackson. You're strong, you can fight this. Don't let that bastard win. Don't let him take you from me!"

It was absolute agony, but he managed to lift his arm, brush away the tears the rolled down that soft, pale cheek. "I'll fight," he promised. He had no idea exactly what 'fight' meant. But he'd figure it out...for her.

She smiled, brushed his hair from his forehead. "Good. Here, you need this."

When she smiled, he felt the entire room light up. He'd do anything, anything at all, to see that smile again! She held a flask to his sore lips. The water was lukewarm, but oh it tasted so good! He drank a few sips, then turned his head. His stomach was already rolling in protest.

Shanda had left all of the medicinal supplies. Casey found a balm she recognized, carefully covered his cracked lips with it.

The soft touch of the woman's fingers was reassuring, even as the balm eased the pain.

"Sleep, Stud Muffin. You need to rest. I have to go, I don't dare get caught. But you'll be all right. Just keep quiet, and I'll get us out of here as soon as I can."

He frowned slightly. He understood three things...he was to sleep, he was to be quiet...and she was leaving him. "Please," he said, daring to touch her arm.

"I'll stay until you've gone back to sleep. I'll be back, I promise."

Satisfied that she wasn't leaving right away, and that she'd return, he closed his eyes. Smiled when he felt her fingers moving through his hair. The touch was reassuring...calming...relaxing...and somehow familiar. It felt so nice...

He was breathing slowly, steadily. The rattle in his lungs that had worried her so was better now. The Immortality that flowed through his veins was healing him. Slowly, but surely. When she was certain he was asleep, she climbed back into the ventilation shaft.

Shanda was waiting exactly where she'd said she'd be. Nervous that she'd be unable to find her way back, she asked the slave to lead her to the bathroom of Ba'al's chambers. The two women checked the Goa'uld, relieved to find him alive, although still unconscious.

The young slave promised to sit with Daniel as long as possible, and slipped into the darkness of the shaft once again.

Casey pulled the chair back into the room. She stripped her clothes off, hid the BDU in the cupboard until she needed it again. Exhausted both physically and mentally, she curled up on the edge of the bed. A thought, how random it was could be debated, crossed her mind. With a grin of absolute wickedness, knowing that Ba'al would have no memory of anything that had happened after being injected with the ker'nish'ta, she decided to make him believe he'd succeeded in bedding her.

It wasn't easy getting the Goa'uld undressed. He didn't have a bad body, she thought, when she at last had him naked. But Daniel Jackson he wasn't! She managed to roll him to one side of the bed, so that she could pull the sheets back. With a groan, she rolled him again, then turned the sheets back on the side of the bed where she curled each night.

Now, as long as this didn't bite her in the butt, maybe the damned bastard would leave her alone!

His dreams were full of green eyes, long blonde hair, the soft touch of her hands. Her body was warm and welcoming, and with a long moan, he let go, sending his very essence into her.

She'd almost been asleep when she heard the moan. When she checked on him, the reason became clear. Apparently the silk sheets were enough to get him off. Talk about blue balls! she giggled. With a sigh, she cleaned up as much of the mess as possible. In another spark of inspiration, she wiped some of it onto the sheets in the middle of the bed.

For the first time since this nightmare had begun, she had hope. Daniel was here, and soon he'd be well enough to help her plan their escape. Together. She'd insist that Nutesh and Shanda be taken with them. For the second time, she wondered if Nutesh would be able to pilot one of those ships...Curled once again as close to the edge as she could get, she drifted to sleep.


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Jack looked at his watch. Nearly midnight at home. They'd been sitting in the same spot for four days now. Unbelievably, the Tok'ra had sent ships to every set of coordinates where Ba'al was known to lay low. So far the snaky bastard hadn't shown up anywhere. Selmak had admitted that it was possible that he'd chosen a 'new' hiding place. And the galaxy was a damned big place!

While the Tok'ra tried to decide what it meant that Ba'al would just abandon his home planet, he, Sam and Teal'c took turns monitoring the scanners. Selmak was needed at the new Tok'ra base, so had left them with the ship. Teal'c could fly it...if they needed to go anywhere.

"Everything will be all right, Jack. Even when things seem the darkest, remember that everything will be all right."

Casey's promise continued to play in his head. "So help me, Radar, I'm gonna bean you and the Space Monkey both! You're giving me gray hair!" he muttered.

He nearly jumped out of his skin when the communication port began to crackle. "Teal'c! Get in here! Might need a translator!"

The large man hurried into the bridge.

"This is Raully. Colonel O'Neill, are you there?"

He frowned. Now why did that name sound so damned familiar? He shook his head. He and the kids had met just about every Tok'ra there was when they got that nifty necklace award thingy from them. "This is Colonel O'Neill. Whatcha got?"

"We have located a ship that we believe to be Ba'al's."

His feet, which had been propped on the side of the box that held...whatever was in it...dropped to the floor. He sat straight up, his hands gripping the armrests of the chair tightly, his heart racing. "You think it's Ba'al's ship?"

"We are too far away to run full scans, but so far the computer is identifying the ship as being Ba'al's flagship," was the reply.

"Tell us where, we'll meet you there!" He turned to look back toward the cargo bay, where Sam had been sleeping. "Carter!" he bellowed. "Need your brain up here!"

Sam jerked awake, stumbled to stand beside Teal'c. "What?"

"The Tok'ra have located Ba'al," Teal'c said calmly. His voice, his face camouflaged the pounding of his heart.

She dropped down into the co-pilot's seat, read the information that was scrolling over the monitor. "Got it," she said excitedly.

"We will await your arrival," Raully said quietly.

"And we'll be there as soon as possible." Jack jumped to his feet. "Get us there, Teal'c, before that goddamn bastard disappears again."


A  A  A  A  A  A


General Hammond read the message, sagged with relief. Ba'al's ship had been located. SG-1 was on their way to rescue its two missing members. With a little bit of luck the team would be home in time for a late afternoon briefing!

The klaxons began to wail. He hurried from his office to the control room. "What's going on?"

"Unknown, sir," Walter replied. "Unscheduled wormhole. No IDC."

"Any teams late for check in?"

"No sir."

Walter sighed, then looked over his shoulder at his CO. "IDC coming through. It's SG-8, sir."

The general frowned. That team hadn't been gone for longer than ten hours. He hurried down to the 'gate room.

Dripping wet, the four men and the woman who made up SG-8 squished down the ramp.

"Colonel Barnes," General Hammond said, his address both a greeting and a question.

"It started raining right after we got there. We just barely made it back to the 'gate before the river started rising," the colonel replied. "I decided we'd better bug out while we could, sir."

"Very well. Get cleaned up, something warm to eat. We'll debrief in an hour."

"Yes, sir." Barnes headed for the door to the corridor. Stopped, and turned to look at his commanding officer. Had Casey Jackson been here, no doubt she'd have seen the flashflood, and would have warned them against going to this particular planet. At least, until the rain stopped. "Any word on Mrs. Jackson, sir?"

"I just received communication from the Tok'ra. Ba'al's ship has been located. I don't have any other information at this time," General Hammond replied. He didn't add that he was hoping to have all five members of the premier team home by nightfall.

Barnes nodded. "Yes, sir."

Hammond shook his head. It hadn't been a life and death disaster. But the danger had certainly been there. Casey most certainly would have prevented the team from going...although she would have, no doubt, made a comment about having a boat nearby if he did decide to send the team. Once again he found himself sending up a prayer that the 'resident seer' and the archaeologist responsible for the entire Stargate Program would be returned home as quickly as possible.


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Ba'al opened his eyes. The pain that woke him was beginning to fade. He frowned. Why would he have such pain? He rolled to his side, realized he was naked. He quickly forgot the pain as it faded completely, and a smile moved over his face. He shivered slightly as his memory filled in the blanks. He'd taken Casey...made love to her. He reached for her, ran his hand over her bare shoulder. "Good morning, Beloved," he said softly.

"We don't have a briefing today," she grumbled, curling more tightly around her pillow.

He had no idea what she had said. It was obvious that she was complaining. He pressed a kiss against her shoulder.

"Mmm...Daniel," she murmured.

Anger raced through his veins as the name of the man who was his nemesis - at least, his enemy when it came to the love of this woman - fell from her lips yet again. He tossed the sheets back, slid from the bed. He could see the evidence of their lovemaking. Which served to calm him down. He strode to the bathroom. Later, he'd take her again. But first he wished to torment his newest slave with the knowledge that Casey was his, totally, and forever!

The sound of water in the shower brought her fully awake. For a few seconds she was disoriented. She could have sworn that Daniel'd been in bed beside her...she'd felt him kiss her...Her eyes focused on the room. Ba'al! Oh, that bastard! How dare he! Slowly she recalled what she'd done before allowing herself to go to sleep. Bit back a giggle. Seemed the snake had bought her 'story'...hook, line and sinker.

Before he could stop her, Casey pulled her clothes on. Unlocked the door. She was ready to begin her day of pacing. Today, however, it would be only a means of passing time until she could be with Daniel once again. Her heart lighter than it had been in days, she followed the same path she had every morning. Tweedle Dum was the only guard with her this morning. She wondered absently where Tweedle Dee was.

The answer hit her like a ton of bricks. Oh, god...by now they knew Daniel was missing! They were searching for him...and if they checked the internal sensors, they'd be able to find him...Panic filled her eyes. She had to find Nutesh...had to ask him if there was a way to prevent her Husband from being captured a second time...Arms wrapped around her slender waist, she began to walk more quickly.

She stopped, whirled to face Tweedle Dum. "Where's the Jaffa who walks with us?"

The man looked uncomfortable. "He has requested to be returned to his regular duties."

Casey couldn't help but smile. "Got bored, did he?"

The Jaffa dared to return the smile. "I believe that was mentioned."

"So how did you wind up the unlucky one, having to follow me around?"

"I requested to...protect...you."

The response surprised her. "You...you did?"

He nodded, dropped his eyes shyly.

"What's your name?"


"Well, O'nan, shall we wander?"

"Whatever pleases you, My Lady," he replied.

She studied the man. It was possible...no...not yet. She didn't want to expose Nutesh or Shanda. If this man was a rebel Jaffa, he'd find a way to let her know. She hoped. She also nurtured the hope that if push came to shove, even if he wasn't willing to 'desert' his god, that he'd help her. "I'm sorry for trying to ditch you," she murmured.

"I do not understand...'ditch'?"

"Trying to get away from you."

O'nan dared to smile. "It was an...invigorating...game."

"Yes, it was," she giggled softly. Remembered the 'games' she played through other corridors, with another Jaffa. Felt her heart twist slightly wondering if Teal'c, and Sam, and Jack, were alive and well. Daniel'd been captured - had they managed to escape? That little voice in the back of her head reassured her. Her teammates were fine. And looking for her and Daniel. And no doubt Teal'c would see to it that she was absolutely drenched the next time they 'played'. In retaliation. Her smile widened at that thought. 

The Jaffa smiled when she turned and began to walk again. There was a spring in her step today...she no longer shuffled along, as if each step was leading her to her doom. He couldn't help but wonder if her happiness had anything to do with the fact that the prisoner, Daniel Jackson, was now 'missing'. Nothing had been said; he was certain Ryk'teal did not know that his secret was not his alone. O'nan had watched quietly, when Lady Casey was safe within Ba'al's chambers. He'd heard her whisper the name, and was aware that Ba'al had captured the man for whom she pined. He'd seen the anguish in those green eyes. So he watched. Although if pressed, he'd have been unable to give a reasonable explanation. He had no desire to bring Ba'al's wrath down on himself. But to make the Lady happy, to see the smile that so rarely lit her face, he was willing to risk much...perhaps everything...

There were two things he'd heard that made him question what he was doing as a Jaffa in service to Ba'al, question even who he was. The first was that Ba'al had deserted the people who lived in Babylonia to his enemy. O'nan's family, all of them, lived...served...in Babylonia. He could only assume that they were now dead, or slaves of another Goa'uld. That was something he never would have believed could...or would...happen. The second thing he'd never listened to before. But now...his heart, his mind was questioning whether or not Ba'al was indeed a god; how could one who would run - one who would abandon so quickly, so easily those who served him - be a god?...He wondered about the rumors he'd heard, rumors of the Free Jaffa. Perhaps Lady Casey would tell him more of these warriors, for all knew that the Tau'ri of the First World were allied with those he'd only known as shol'va.

The poking in the back of her mind was incessant. Soon she'd have to deal with that particular problem. One disaster at a time, she told herself, echoing Jack's oft uttered phrase. She'd found Daniel. They'd be off of this ship in a day, two at the most. Then...then, she sighed, she'd have to deal with The Shadow. For now, she had to walk the corridors. Waiting to be with Daniel again.




Yes, he thought, able to see what she was thinking in her green eyes. You will have to deal with me, soon. And I shall win, Pretty One. You are mine, and you will garner me much power. He stretched luxuriously. She could not ignore him much longer, her own gift, that power which warned her of danger, would see to that.




Nutesh slipped into the room. Shanda was asleep, her hands curled beneath her cheek. She looked like an innocent child. He knew, however, that her innocence had been stolen from her long ago. He gently woke the slave. "You must tend to your Master," he said gently.

With a nod, and a yawn, the young woman stood and stretched. "He has not awakened. I have applied more salve to his wounds. It seems to be working well," she noted. "If he wakes, try to get him to eat."

"I will do so."

"Will you not be missed?"

Nutesh smiled. "I have made it my habit to be absent as much as possible. No one bothers to seek me out. Not even Ba'al."

Shanda frowned. "You do not consider him to be your Master...your god?"

The engineer shook his head. "He ordered my family killed before my eyes. Then took me into slavery. I was smart, I learned quickly. I knew what to say, and when to say it. But I know what he is. And a god he is not!"

"I have learned many things in the past hours. My heart is heavy with that knowledge," Shanda admitted.

"It is never easy to learn that one's god is a coward, a murderer," Nutesh said gently. "You must search your heart. Ask yourself if you can continue to serve...to worship...one such as Ba'al." He patted her shoulder, a bit awkwardly; helped her onto the stacked crates, watched her disappear into the ventilation shaft. Freedom was within his grasp for the first time since he'd been a child. He wouldn't miss the opportunity. But neither would he squash the hope that he might not flee alone.


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Ryk'teal nearly panicked when he learned that Ba'al intended to speak to the prisoner. He'd given orders that no one other than he was to be allowed into the room. He searched his mind for an excuse. Found the only one that would buy him the time he needed. He closed the lid on the sarcophagus. He'd tell Ba'al that the prisoner had died. And was being reanimated. As severe as the injuries had been, it would be several hours before the prisoner would be awake, alive once again. Precious little time to find a man who was nearly dead, his mind broken from ker'nish'ta. But who'd somehow managed to get away from the wall of punishment, and disappear. He tried to calm himself. There were few places the man could go; it was a ship, after all. He'd have to do an internal scan of the ship. Which would not be an easy feat. The Jaffa in charge of the scanners would most surely be curious as to the reason for such a scan. Such curiosity would lead to questions...whispers. Whispers which could be overheard by their master. And Ba'al must never know of the prisoner's escape.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Nutesh doused the light. There was a chance that the sensors would pick up the heat signature. Coming from a room that was sealed off, and supposedly empty, would raise questions. And undoubtedly at least one Jaffa would be dispatched to see what was going on. Using the computer console in the room where he worked, planning the palace that Ba'al wanted built in an impossible place, in an impossible amount of time, he'd managed to get far enough into the system to alter the scanners so that any bio-signs which might have otherwise been registered, would not do so. He had no illusions that his tampering would not be discovered. But if no one noticed for several days, well, by the time Ba'al was alerted he, and Shanda, and the man named Daniel, and Lady Casey, would be long gone. A thought that brought a smile to his face.

He was nearly asleep when he heard the man beside him begin to stir.

Daniel opened his eyes. At least, he was pretty sure he had. His head was pounding, he ached everywhere, and his mouth was bitter with the taste of blood. He tried to sit up, gasped at the pain in his side. His Immortality was working to heal him, he could feel the 'tingle' that always accompanied the process. Damn, he hurt!

A small light came on, just to the right of him. "I see you are awake," the man said pleasantly.

"I guess..." he shook his head. Regretted the movement instantly. "I guess so," he said in Goa'uld.

"She was quite upset when she saw you."

"She? She who?"

"Lady Casey."

His heart began to hammer against ribs that throbbed with pain. "Casey? She's here? She's all right?"

"She is here. She is fine," Nutesh smiled. "She is much better knowing that you are well, also. Or, as well as you can be, considering what you have been through."

Hazy memories flooded his mind. He remembered one beating, but was certain that he'd suffered more than just the one. At least, to be as injured as it felt like he was, he was pretty sure there had been multiple beatings. He also remembered...needles! Ker'nish'ta! He frantically searched his mind. Everything seemed to be there. Although, with the headache he had, he couldn't be positive.

"Drink this. You must try to eat as well." He pulled a vial from the pocket of his robe. "I know of the effects of ker'nish'ta. This will help to ease the pain."

Daniel stared at the vial.

"It is quite safe, I assure you. I would do nothing to harm you. Lady Casey has offered me the hope of freedom, a dream I thought lost to me many years ago," Nutesh said softly.

Well, that was Casey, he thought, giving the man a weak smile. She'd save the freaking universe if she could. "Thank you. Where is she?"

"Pacing the length and breadth of this ship," Nutesh replied.

"I don't understand," Daniel admitted.

"Shortly after Lady Casey was brought on board, she began to wander the corridors of the ship, pacing hour after hour, day after day. She spoke to no one. Rumors have it that she and the young slave who was given to her argued daily, over everything. She also stood firm against Ba'al, denying him what he wanted the most from her."

"Her body," Daniel said flatly.

Nutesh smiled, and shook his head. "Her love."

"What?" Love? Goa'uld? He didn't think so. His memory was working just fine, he decided, when images of Apophis, lying on a bed in the SGC infirmary, declaring his love of Sha're...no, of Amaunet...danced before his eyes.

"Ba'al is quite in love with Lady Casey. Who would slit his throat the second the opportunity presented itself."

He grinned, winced when his cracked lips protested the movement.

"Here, this will help." Nutesh handed the patient a small bowl which contained an aromatic balm, then watched as Daniel rubbed the ointment on his skin. It seemed that the bruises weren't nearly as dark, the cuts smaller, none of them bleeding any longer. He was certain that Shanda was skilled with healing balms and potions. But as badly as this man had been injured, his recovery was...remarkable.

"So when will I get to see her?"

Again the engineer smiled. "I am afraid it will be some time. She dare not change her routine. Too many questions would be asked. When Ba'al sleeps, she will come to you."

"Is there somewhere you should be?"

"I suppose I should show up in the space allotted to me for working," Nutesh conceded.

"I'll be all right," Daniel said. "I think I'd just like to sleep more."

"Eat this, and then I will leave you. Do not leave the light on, for it might trigger alarms. I have managed to trick the sensors into believing the room is still empty of human inhabitants, but artificial heat sources will still register."

"I understand." He chewed slowly on the soft bread. There was fruit as well, he chose a piece and ate it. Hoped it would stay down. Nutesh offered him more water.

"I will bring more when I return," the stout engineer promised.

"Thank you."

"For her, I would do anything," the man said softly.

Yep, that was his Casey. People flocked to her, to that gentleness that seemed to flow from her. She commanded respect, and loyalty, from all who were blessed enough to know her. Daniel smiled again. "As would I."

"I will leave you now. Rest. Either I or Shanda will be back soon."

Shanda. That name seemed familiar. His head throbbed in protest when he tried to pull forth any information that went with that memory. Fine, he'd just lay here and rest. Sleep sounded good...

"Remember, turn off the light," Nutesh warned. He climbed the crates, and disappeared into the shaft.

Daniel fumbled with the lantern for a moment. Then plunged the room into darkness. He settled back against the pillow. He was on Ba'al's ship. The same ship Casey was on. He'd see her later...much later the way his new friend...it occurred to him in that moment that he didn't know the man's name. Time enough to learn it, he supposed. With a sigh, he closed his eyes. Sleep overtook him almost immediately, his body still struggling to repair itself.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Ba'al glared at his First Prime. "As soon as he is awake, send for me!"

"Yes, My Lord." Ryk'teal heaved a sigh of relief. He had two hours. Three at the most. Thankfully, Ba'al had not noticed the trail of blood that led out of the room. He would follow it, and he'd find Daniel Jackson, and whomever it was who'd helped him. And his god need never know of the deception.

The Goa'uld whirled around, returned the way he had arrived. There were details that needed his attention. He had to determine if he dared to move from hiding. Make certain that all of his ships and Jaffa were waiting at the coordinates they'd been sent. If he could convince his enemies that he was weaker than he was, then his victory would be quick and decisive. Sacrificing Babylonia had not been an easy decision. It had been his home planet for centuries. However, he had found a much more suitable world in a nearby sector. One with a rich source of naquadah. Which would allow him to build more ships. There would surely be planets nearby with humans who could, and would, be conscripted into his army, and taken as slaves. Just as in a chess game, he must first set up his pieces for victory. And some of those pieces had to be sacrificed in order to win the game.

Pleasure, whether in the arms of his Consort, or tormenting the man to whom she'd once belonged, must wait until he had dealt with the details of his conquest, his rise to become the most powerful Goa'uld in the Empire. He would rule the galaxy. And Casey, with her powers as a seer, would be at his side.

When Ba'al reached the pel'tak, he ordered the ship moved. He'd been in this place for nearly three days. It would not do to have his enemies discover him here. Even a random freighter might pass on information of seeing his ship at these coordinates. He moved as closely to Amaterasu's territory as possible. He'd send in gliders to investigate the moon that had destroyed itself. There would be traces still that would explain what had happened. Let the h'as object. She would be easily destroyed.

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