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His Father's Eyes
Casey sat down in the chair in front of General Hammond's desk; General Vidrine was voicing his concerns on the delays of the two Daedalus class ships still sitting in a secret hangar in Nevada. Apparently all of the crew members had been through training and were now just sitting and waiting. Although, scuttlebutt around the mountain was that the crews were onboard the ships, so they were at least able to familiarize themselves with their new duty stations.
"…understand, it's the hyperdrive systems. We need those ships out there, and apparently both are being plagued with problems. Wasn't there a problem with the same systems when the Prometheus was built?" Vidrine asked.
"Yes, there was," General Hammond replied. "Casey Jackson was able to sense the NID in connection with those problems. SG-1 was sent to deal with the situation."
"If I'm remembering the mission reports correctly, they ran into problems other than the NID on that shake-down cruise," the president chuckled.
Casey shivered at the memory.
"Mr. President, General Vidrine, Mrs. Jackson is here right now, if you'd like to speak to her," Hammond said.
"Hello, Mrs. Jackson," President Hayes said jovially.
"Hello, sir," Casey replied. "Hello to you as well, general."
"It's nice to speak to you again," Vidrine said amiably.
"Mrs. Jackson, is there any way that you could do one of your searches, to see if there's something going on that we should know about?" the president asked.
"Of course, sir. Um…I'd prefer to wait until Daniel can be here, if that's all right."
General Hammond lifted the black phone and requested that Doctor Jackson be paged to his office immediately. The speakers in the corridors echoed the request before he'd replaced the receiver. "Gentlemen, while we wait for Doctor Jackson, I'd like to take this opportunity to inform you of a new threat that seems to have raised its head."
"What now, George?" the president asked. Everyone involved in the call could hear his sigh of resignation.
"This morning two former slaves of Ba'al came through the 'gate. The village where they live was attacked this morning - well, just before dawn their time. Most of the strong men, women that we believe are meant for a harem, and all of the children were taken by Jaffa we believe to be serving a just returned Goa'uld named Chaahk."
"That name sounds familiar," Hayes murmured.
"Yes, sir. He was the Goa'uld who captured Doctor Jackson, and was in search of two Ancient artifacts."
"Ah yes, I remember now. Has Doctor Jackson determined just what those things are?"
"A 'gate address," Casey said. "The problem is, it has seven symbols, which means it's in another galaxy."
"The problem with getting to another galaxy has to do with power consumption of the Stargate itself, is that correct?" Vidrine inquired.
"Yes, sir," Hammond confirmed. "Colonel Carter is working on a possible work-around for that problem, including a portable energy source for any team sent through to those coordinates to use to return home."
"If anyone can do it, she can," Hayes proclaimed.
"I agree, sir," Hammond said, smiling.
The president sighed loudly. "But back to today's problem."
"I've already sent two teams back to the planet with our visitors, just in case this Goa'uld decides to return," the general responded.
"Is that a possibility?" Hayes asked.
"According to Teal'c it is," Hammond said. "If the Jaffa report that there were those left behind who would make suitable slaves, the Goa'uld sometimes chooses to return and take the remainder of the villagers. We'd like to stop that if at all possible.
"Is it usual to take all the children of a village?"
"No, general, not that we're aware of," Hammond sighed.
"Daniel thinks the children will be used as sacrifices," Casey said, her voice breaking slightly.
"Oh, god," Hayes gasped.
"We have someone who knows where this Goa'uld is located. Our plans are to go in and get rid of him, and rescue those villagers," General Hammond said.
"Good. What are the chances?"
The general raised an eyebrow at Casey, nodded his understanding when she shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.
"We're not sure just yet. Whatever plan is devised, we'll be forced to use one of the ships to get teams into place, as the planet this Chaahk is on doesn't have a Stargate."
"And that's another reason for getting those two ships in Nevada out there now," the president sighed.
Daniel walked into the room at that moment. "Sir?"
"Doctor, the president has asked Casey to do a search to find out what the problem is with getting our two newest ships launched," Hammond explained.
He glanced at his wife, and smiled at the shy…almost guilty…look she gave him. It was obvious that she'd requested his presence before doing the search. He didn't know if it was because she was aware of how much it terrified him when she did each search, or if it was because she truly believed she needed him. It didn't matter her reason, only that she wanted him to be with her as much as he needed to be with her each time she traveled the astral plane. "I understand, sir," Daniel acknowledged.
Casey waited until he was seated in the chair beside hers, then stood up, smiled at the general, and made herself comfortable in Daniel's lap. She closed her eyes and began taking slow, deep breaths, centering herself before reaching for that place where she always met her spirit guide.
The meadow was sunny and bright and smelled of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle. "Miss Eloise?"
The old woman appeared, walking toward her with a happy smile. "Hello, Sunshine!"
"Hello. We have another problem."
The old seer cackled. "You do seem to have those a lot."
"Comes with the job," Casey smiled.
"What's wrong this time?"
"We have two ships that should be finished, and ready to launch, but they're not."
"Think someone is messing with them?" Miss Eloise asked.
"That's what I need to find out," Casey sighed. "It had better not be the NID or some other rogue government group, or I'm going to go postal on somebody's ass."
Once again the old seer laughed. "Look, Casey. See what you can."
Holding to the old woman's hand, Casey felt herself pulled up…above the clouds. She was moving quickly toward the desert. She recognized the city of Las Vegas in the distance.
One of the ships was in a hangar above ground, the other in the same hangar where the Prometheus and the Daedalus had been built. The ship in the underground facility seemed to have even more 'upgrades' than the Daedalus, and the ship above ground was identical to its sister ship.
Casey moved around each vessel, carefully examining the men and women who were working…
Frustration…there was a lot of frustration. They knew the ships should be ready, but…
She frowned as she moved closer to two of the workers. A man in a suit caught her attention. She 'listened' for a moment, wondering just how the man had managed to get into such a secure area.
One of the contractors…one of the biggest contractors in the country…was providing a computer guidance system. They had been told that the systems were for experimental aircraft. The CEO and the board members of that company wanted more information about the aircraft…details that the Pentagon wasn't willing to offer. So they had sent representatives…men who could easily adjust the systems to fail on command.
"Damned corporate assholes," Casey muttered. "I swear to the Goddess they're as bad as the Goa'uld!"
In General Hammond's office, both the general and Daniel tried to hold back their chuckles at Casey's indignant outburst.
She hurried back to where Miss Eloise waited. "I'm so going to kick ass about this!"
Miss Eloise looked up at the young woman. "I think I'm gonna stick around for this. Should be entertaining."
Casey couldn't help but smile. "I promise not to swear at them."
"Don't mind if you do. Might even shake them up a bit, to know that they've ticked off someone who can rattle off private, personal information about them," the old seer chuckled.
"Thanks, Miss Eloise."
"You're welcome, Sunshine."
Casey opened her eyes. "Northwood-Gromwell. They want details about these experimental ships so that they can have their lobbyists start working to get them exclusive contracts to build more. The computers they've been providing will work just fine if you get the guys in the suits off the ships and away from the area, and get Sam and her group of computer whizz-kids to reprogram them."
"This is going to be a political pain in the ass," President Hayes grumbled.
"Sir, I can give you a couple of tidbits that should shut down the CEO and his board members, and probably a few share-holders as well."
"That, young lady, would make my day," Hayes chuckled.
Casey relayed the information that she'd 'picked up' as she'd looked around the group of men. "You might also want to tell them that their lobbyists can be charged with half a dozen crimes. I have that list for you as well."
"I'm all ears," Hayes replied.
Vidrine gave a soft whistle when Casey had finished listing the activities of three of the most well-known Northwood-Gromwell lobbyists. "That borders on treason!"
"Guess they haven't been as careful as they thought," Hayes said.
"Well, sir, to be honest, they've probably done an excellent job of hiding their activities. We just happen to have a seer who can find all those dark, dirty little secrets," General Hammond said, winking at Casey, a wide smile on his face.
"Gentlemen, I've got a call to make. George, if those ships aren't ready by the end of the week, I want Colonel Carter and her people to take care of the problem," the president instructed. "Send along any personnel you deem necessary to - discourage - these corporate hounds."
"And good luck getting this Chaahk. Whatever those people need, George."
"Hopefully SG-1 can get those children home before-" The president paused, and cleared his throat. "Get those kids home safely."
"Yes, sir," Daniel replied softly.
The call was ended, and General Hammond thanked, then dismissed Daniel and Casey.
"I want to get those kids home, too," Casey sighed.
"Let's go to Sam's lab. I think she has the device that Tieel gave me," Daniel said. "I need to contact him as soon as possible."
"You know, we should just meet him somewhere," Casey said. "You said his ship is small enough to fit into the hangar on the Prometheus, so we could just let him come aboard. That would give him time to give us the scoop while we head for Chaahk."
"That's not a bad idea," Daniel mused. "He'd probably be more willing to do that than come to Earth, anyway."
"He's that afraid of us?"
"Not afraid, I don't think. He just doesn't want to take any chances."
"Well," Casey smiled, "At least we know he's working with us for sure, this time."
Daniel chuckled. "True." And that was one of the stranger facts in his life. The man responsible for stealing Casey from him, delivering her into Ba'al's hands, was now an ally. Oh, the urge to beat the crap out of the bounty-hunter was still lurking in the back of his mind. But he ignored it. Mogba had rescued him from Chaahk, and it would have been impossible to escape on his own. Unless Tieel Mogba screwed them over again, there was no reason not to treat the trader/bounty hunter/spy with a modicum of respect.
A A A A A A
Ferretti sauntered into the duty office. Offered a wide grin to the sergeant behind the desk. "Here to pick up the fresh meat…er…the new officer for Cheyenne Mountain."
The sergeant grinned in return, and nodded toward the corner, where two chairs were available. One was occupied. The occupant of that chair jumped to his feet.
The grisly Marine gave the airman a once over, and a quiet 'harrumph'.
Michael Graham, Junior, the young lieutenant who was waiting anxiously, felt his stomach begin to churn. He still wasn't sure why he'd been singled out of his class of fighter pilots for a 'special assignment'. True, he had one of the highest scores in the class, but he wasn't at the top. He was actually a bit of a rogue, more interested in pushing his aircraft to its limits, just for fun, than following the test parameters exactly. Maybe he was going to be assigned to an outdated transport plane, one flying over hot zones in Afghanistan or Iraq. Two words impacted on his brain. Cheyenne Mountain. He frowned slightly. He was certain his transfer papers had been for Peterson, he'd reported to the duty office as ordered…
"Relax, son, all will be made clear soon enough," Ferretti said, his grin going wider.
"Yes, sir," the lieutenant responded automatically. Then noted that his escort was a Marine. Now he was confused! What the hell did Marines have to do with Air Force bases?
Without another word, or a backwards glance, Ferretti turned on his heel and headed for the door.
The lieutenant was left grabbing for his flight bag and duffel, and hurrying after the Marine. What in the hell is going on?
Ferretti, as part of his 'asshole' persona, made certain to stride as quickly to the jeep as he could manage, without actually running. He was behind the wheel, sipping on his coffee by the time his charge was close enough to toss his luggage into the back, and crawl into the passenger seat. "Might wanna try to keep up, son. Falling behind can be deadly."
For one moment, Jay felt as if he were back in boot camp. "Yes, sir," he mumbled.
"My name is Ferretti. Major Ferretti. Learn it. You'll be cussing it soon enough," the Marine grinned.
"Lieutenant Michael Graham, Junior," the pilot responded.
"My dad wanted to call me 'MJ', but mom just called me Jay," the lieutenant said. "So that's what I go by."
Jay winced slightly. He had the feeling he was in for a rough adjustment period. His mentor had told him that every new posting required time for adjustment. Each command was slightly different. If there were Marines involved, and he was heading to Cheyenne Mountain, he figured this assignment was as different as they came. He could only hope to learn what he needed to know quickly.
"First thing we'll do is get your will made out," Ferretti said jovially. "Then there's some paperwork to be signed."
"M-m-my will?" Jay stammered.
"I'm going to be assigned overseas duty, right?"
Ferretti barked with laugher. "Not exactly. Where you'll be going, if you make the grade, is a hell of a lot worse than a war zone."
Worse than a war zone? What the hell could be worse than flying in a hot zone, being shot at by insurgents and radical extremists, whose only desire was to kill him?
"How'd you rate in boot camp?"
"Uh, fifth out of a class of sixty," Jay replied.
"Not bad." Ferretti looked over at the young man long enough to make an assessment. "I give you three days before you break and go home crying for your mommy."
"Now wait just a minute…sir!" Jay said, ire in his voice and in his blue eyes. "I've trained hard, and I'm as capable as any man in the Air Force!"
Ferretti chuckled loudly. "Son, you don't know shit about shinola."
Jay found himself stewing in the silence that ensued; it seemed the Marine wasn't going to expound on just where they were going, or what was to be expected of him. The lieutenant's bars on his collar were proof he had the education and the training to be an officer. Anything this…this jarhead thought was just opinion.
For his part, Ferretti noted the arms that had crossed the broad chest, and the defiant tilt of the chin. Good. He's pissed off. If he stays that way long enough, if he's determined to prove me wrong, he just might make it.
A A A A A A
When the communication orb had begun to hum from its place on the mantel, Tieel Mogba's first thought was that Ba'al was once again summoning him. His heart lurched, and his eyes automatically sought to ascertain that Relinna was nearby. She was…and he could see the children playing happily in the yard just outside the open door. He took a breath to calm his pounding heart and still his shaking hands. Ba'al didn't have the code to reach this particular orb. He checked the readout and frowned slightly. The number flashing wasn't one he recognized. It certainly wasn't for any of the Goa'uld ships he knew about. Hesitantly, he passed his hand over the orb, nervously waiting to see the face of his caller.
"Tieel? It's Daniel Jackson."
The bounty hunter-turned-spy nearly collapsed with relief when the face of the Tau'ri appeared. "So it is. And what is it that I can do for you, my friend?"
"We need to take Chaahk out. As soon as possible. To do that, we need the location of his planet…the one where you rescued me."
"Ah, I see." Tieel reached out, tapped in a series of numbers. "I'm sending the coordinates now."
"Thanks. You wouldn't have any current intel on him, would you?"
Tieel frowned. "No, but give me a few hours. I should be able to learn if he is still there, and if his fleet has grown at all."
"That would be great, Tieel, thanks," Daniel smiled.
"Glad to do it for you. Of course, a man has to eat," Tieel replied, smirking slightly.
Daniel chuckled. "Yeah, we'll have something for you. A bit of gold, maybe a gemstone or two?"
"Ah, a generous man you are, my friend. One bar of gold. Two gemstones, whatever you have on hand."
Again Daniel chuckled. "I'll see what I can do."
"Contact me in…" Tieel did a few quick calculations in his head. "Five standard hours. I should have something for you by then."
"Good enough. Five hours."
The communication orb went dark and silent.
"You are leaving?" Relinna asked softly.
"For a day or so," Tieel replied. He reached out and caressed her cheek with his good hand. "What I do, I do for a friend."
The dark-haired woman smiled. "Then you will be safe?"
"As much as I can be."
"Return to me soon."
"As soon as possible," Tieel promised. He kissed her, then began filling his pack. To actually be doing something against the Goa'uld filled him with absolute glee. No more would he cower to the System Lords. He would, instead, do all within his power to help bring them to their knees…and see them all dead.
A A A A A A
Daniel finished copying down the symbols that had flashed across the orb, repeating half a dozen times before fading away. Then put the orb back on the shelf where Sam was keeping it. "We'll call back in five hours. I have the feeling he's going out to do a little snooping around."
"Well, as long as he doesn't get caught, that's a good thing," Sam said.
"He won't," Casey assured, her head tipped slightly to one side. "He's good at what he does, and he has the…tools? equipment?…whichever…he has what he needs to sneak around unobserved."
"His ship has some impressive cloaking abilities," Daniel nodded. "I think he has upgrades that Aris Boch would love to have."
"Aris Boch?" Casey frowned. The name wasn't one she recognized, which meant whoever Aris was, he or she wasn't a Goa'uld.
"Bounty hunter," Sam replied. "He was going to turn us over to Sokar if we didn't help him capture the Goa'uld he was after."
"The Goa'uld turned out to be a Tok'ra spy, and Sokar wanted him," Daniel added.
"Sokar knew the Goa'uld was a Tok'ra spy?" Casey asked.
"I'm not sure," Daniel admitted. "But, we helped Boch, sorta. I mean, there was no way that we could let the Tok'ra be exposed."
"Teal'c offered himself as a 'prize' for Boch to give to Sokar," Sam said quietly.
"Boch destroyed his ship, although he and Teal'c managed to get into the escape pods first, and as far as we know, Sokar was never the wiser," Daniel said.
"He even gave me a sample of the drug the Goa'uld used to addict his people, in order to keep them 'loyal'. So far we haven't been able to find anything to either replace it, or defeat it, but I have hope," Sam said.
Casey smiled. "SG-1 magic. You help people, and manage to turn them to the good side, all at the same time."
Daniel and Sam exchanged glances, then grinned. "We're good, baby," Daniel chuckled.
"I still think Tieel should join up with us. He'll be able to get us close enough to Chaahk without being exposed," Casey said.
"I'll mention that to him when we call back," Daniel promised.
The seer cocked her head sideways. "We should pick up a few things for his kids, and his wife."
"We should?" Sam was surprised by the suggestion.
The young seer shrugged. "Can't hurt…if we acknowledge his family, he'll feel all the more obligated."
"And that helps us," Sam nodded.
"Or at least keeps him honest with us," Casey replied.
Jack sauntered into the room, hands in his pockets. "What's up, kids?"
"Just sent a message to Tieel Mogba," Daniel said. "He's doing a bit of checking around, wants us to call back in about five hours."
"I'm still not sure I trust that little weasel," Jack muttered.
"Well, Casey suggests we pick up a few gifts for his wife and kids," Sam said, grinning broadly. "Just to keep him obligated."
"And worried," Daniel added, grinning as widely as Sam. "It'll be proof we know all about his family."
"Sweet," Jack responded. "I'm all for keeping him obligated."
Casey glanced at her watch. Was stunned to realize it was already well past ten. "Anyone up for a cup of coffee?"
"Sure," Sam said, unwinding her long legs from the stool she was sitting on.
"Daniel's office." Casey was already heading for the door. "It won't take long to have a pot of coffee made."
"Coffee's already made in the commissary," Jack pointed out.
"It's already been a hell of a day, Jack," Casey drawled. "I am not in the mood for base sludge. I need real coffee."
Daniel nodded. "Me, too."
"Coffee snobs," Jack sniffed. He watched Sam follow the Jacksons. "You, too."
"Oh, quit complaining," Casey's voice echoed from the corridor. "You drink our coffee whenever you get the chance."
Sam's eyes twinkled as she looked up at her husband. "She's got ya there."
"You're all mouthy today," Jack grumbled.
"Says you," Daniel replied.
"Should we call Teal'c and Janet?" Sam asked.
"Yep," Casey nodded, punching the button for level eighteen. "You call, I'll make the coffee."
"Deal," Sam agreed.
The four stood quietly on the elevator for a moment. "We have to get him," Casey said softly.
"I know, Radar," Jack acknowledged, his voice just as soft.
"I want to get him before-" Her voice broke, and she turned her head to the side, an attempt to hide the tears in her eyes from her companions.
"We'll do our best, Angel," Daniel said quietly, slipping his arm around her shoulders. He pulled her close to his side.
"We're SG-1." Jack reached out and tapped the tip of the young seer's nose. "We'll get those kids home."
No one mentioned that he didn't say 'safe and sound'. Chances were, the children had already been brutalized. Just being stolen from their homes was traumatic enough. But returning them to the arms of loving parents would help to heal whatever wounds had been put on their bodies, and their souls.
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