<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
She was standing on the ledge in front of the highest cave. She peeked inside. It was empty, save for the drawings that covered the rock walls. "Miss Eloise?"
"I’m here, Sunshine," the old woman said softly.
"I need to know," she said. "I need to get onto that al’kesh...find out what they were carrying."
"If this is a journey you wish to take, it’s one you’ll have to make alone," the old woman warned.
"You won’t...can’t...go with me?"
"No, Sunshine, I can’t."
She felt a sense of panic. "I can’t do it alone!"
"Yes, you can! Casey, you have...powers...that can take you beyond what I’m capable of doing. Your strength continues to grow; your abilities are growing, expanding, with that strength. You know what you need to do. Now...do it."
"I still need you," she whispered.
"And I’ll still be here. I’ll be waiting for you, Sunshine."
She nodded, and took a deep breath. There was a quarter moon in the sky above her, the last quarter; it did little to light the path she needed to follow. She needed a flashlight. As if by magic, a slender tube appeared in her hand. Now that was pretty nifty, she thought. She flipped the switch, hoping she wouldn’t have to ‘conjour’ up batteries as well. The beam was narrow, but bright.
Carefully, slowly, she made her way into the valley. It seemed to take hours, the moon had shifted significantly above her. "Where is it?" she grumbled.
She paced at the edge of the forest. It was right there...right freaking there! Big and weird looking and...whoa! She stepped back involuntarily when the ship suddenly loomed in front of her. She could see the damage, the black scars left from the battle that had raged in the sky.
Her heart pounding against her ribs, she took a step closer. And another step. And another. There had to be a door on this damned thing somewhere! She walked toward the other side. A shaft of gold lit the bare dirt where the ship had churned up the earth as it slid across the surface of the planet, before coming to its final resting place. She moved closer. There were no sounds...no sounds at all...no crickets in the brush, not even a breeze moved through the silent air. The oppressiveness of the silence sent a shiver down her spine.
She moved slowly, carefully, around what was left of one corner of the ship...the golden light that had caught her eye and shone down on the bare ground was coming from a portal on the side of the craft. A metal ramp leaned precariously between the opening and where she now stood. She stepped onto it hesitantly, felt it sway unsteadily beneath her weight. Forcing down the fear that pounded in her veins, she ran up the wavering incline and stepped into the ship.
She'd been on a Goa’uld ship before. Nothing but a maze of corridors that all looked the same; gaudily decorated rooms...chambers...where danger always seemed to lurk. She looked around nervously. She didn’t have a clue where to begin.
Stopping in the center of the junction of two corridors, she tugged on her lip. "I can’t do this alone!" Her voice echoed eerily, bounced off of the walls and rang in her ears. Terrified that she'd just given herself away, alerting any guards of her presence, she dove for cover behind one of the support pillars that lined each and every passageway.
Breathe! she ordered herself firmly, fighting against the panic that tried to grab onto her.
Daniel settled behind her, pulled her back to rest against his chest. Again her breathing became erratic. Which worried him. He had no clue what she was doing...seeing... perhaps suffering. He tightened his arms around her. Pressed his lips to the side of her face. "Be careful, Angel," he whispered.
Jack, Sam, and Teal’c exchanged worried glances. They were accustomed to her warning them of impending danger. Protecting them from walking blindly into situations that could turn sour on them in an instant. Even finding the occasional clues that helped them accomplish their mission, whatever it happened to be. Never before had Casey attempted to do something like this. Never before had they asked her to do something like this. This was uncharted territory.
Shifting in his chair, Jack checked his watch. Five minutes. What worried him the most was the fact that he, and Sam, and Teal’c...even Daniel, was helpless to do anything should Casey need them. There was no way to rescue her...save her...if she ran into trouble of any sort. And it was a plain and simple fact that if SG-1 lost Casey, they'd lose Daniel as well.
She smiled when she heard a soft murmur, the familiar voice soothing her jangled nerves. Taking a deep breath, she stood to her feet. Okay, what was on this ship that Ra was so hot to have? That Seth and Hathor were so eager to get their hands on?
Walking slowly down the corridor, taking the time to carefully check each room that she passed, she continued to work on the puzzle before her. The conspirators had been together when the ship had been attacked. Seth and Hathor had raced for the escape pods. Seth had managed to escape detection, Hathor had been taken by Ra’s Jaffa before she could get away from the pod.
The room was empty, save for three chairs...damn, the Goa’uld had the worst taste when it came to decorating! The heavy wooden arms and legs and high backs were intricately carved, with faces...human faces...in various states of agony, from what she could see. Wait...that circle on the floor...
Lights flickered on around her as she moved deeper into the room. She hoped like hell that there weren’t alarms going off somewhere that would send Jaffa in this direction... no...no this ship was empty...she was the only living thing on it...in it...at the moment.
Ugh! Yep, those were the ugliest damned chairs she'd ever seen! She slowly lowered her body into the chair that seemed to be the ‘center’. A round computer console rose from the floor.
Great. Computers. She needed Sam here to figure this thing out! As far as she knew, there weren’t simple ‘on/off’ switches on these damned things. She examined the glyphs that covered the smooth glass surface. Hmm...that was the glyph for ‘begin’. Start? She touched it. Jerked her hand back when a holographic projection of Earth began to spin just above the console. There were dozens of red dots, located all over the planet. One gold dot above Egypt. The Stargate! That dot represented the Stargate! She frowned. Where was the gold dot for the ‘gate in the Antarctic?
She looked at the glyphs again. Searched for any that might bring up a representation of...ah...here. How easy...’ship’. She touched it, and watched as pyramid shapes began to flicker on, in ‘orbit’ around the planet. Five were red, six were green. His and theirs? Which was which?
Okay, this was a battle plan. This was the reason Seth and Hathor had been here. But...what about the others? There were at least two others who should have been here. She glanced around her. Three chairs. Maybe not. Maybe the two extra ships belonged to...Tem! His name was Tem!
Why did they feel the need to rebel against Ra? She sat back, crossed her arms over her chest and frowned. Ra was an asshole. That was easy enough to pick up. Oooo! Damn it! She needed Sam to figure this computer thingy out, she needed Daniel’s brilliant mind and knowledge of the Ancient Egyptian gods...Calm down. Deep breath.
Her hands had curled into fists. She was breathing hard, fast. Was she running? Fighting? It was all he could do to keep from shaking her, to try and bring her out of the trance she'd slipped into.
Jack paced nervously at the foot of the bed. It had been fifteen minutes. "Pull her out," he said softly, making a command decision.
Daniel looked up at him, tears standing in his eyes. "I can’t, Jack. She has to come out of it on her own." He wasn’t sure how he knew that. Only that he did. And he hated knowing that he couldn’t reach her, couldn’t help her...couldn’t wake her up.
"Damn!" the older man hissed.
The red dots...hey, those coincided with the ‘gods’ they knew to be Goa’uld. There weren’t any at all over the area close to the North Sea. Where the Norse lived. The people protected by the Asgard. Hmm...no red dots near the Antarctic, either. Probably too cold.
But there should be a gold dot right...there! Her finger poked into the south pole, where the second Stargate had been located. Except, according to this, it wasn’t there. So where was it? On this ship?
If it was, there was only one place it could be. Like a shot she jumped out of the chair, raced down the corridor for the nearest lift. IF she was right, it might still be there...because the ship was still intact. She slid to a halt. The Goa’uld didn’t have beaming technology. So how would Ra have gotten the ‘gate to his ship without landing and making a manual transfer? She'd have ‘seen’ that, had it happened. And this ship had been destroyed from space...well, maybe not space...but from damned high up.
Radiation. If this ship had been destroyed, as in kaboom...the radiation from all the naquadah would have burned everything for miles around. The ship was destroyed! She'd seen that! It had disappeared! Disappeared...cloaking...that was it! That was what Ra was desperate to get! That’s why Seth and Hathor were heading here, they were convinced that the ship was still here...because...oh, shit!
She ran back toward the hatch where she'd entered. Took a wrong turn twice. Tem had taken his sarcophagus. The ship was badly damaged, but when the Goa’uld in the aquarium had taken those kids as hosts, they'd contacted Ra, who had sent two ships for them. They'd gathered up the residents of this valley, Ra had taken them to Egypt and shoved them through the ‘gate. Then he'd come back for the ship...or rather, the cloaking device that was on the ship. That his most loyal Jaffa had found... And everything else of value, including the freaking engine! All ringed piece by piece from here to his ship. And then he'd blown the nearly empty hull of this ship up, knowing that Tem was somewhere nearby. The destruction was symbolic...Leaving him stranded was his punishment... and where the hell was that second ‘gate?
Her feet were barely touching the ground as she ran out of the ship and across the valley. It took half the time to return as it had to get to the ship in the first place.
Miss Eloise was sitting beside a fire on the ledge in front of the cave, meditating. She opened her eyes and smiled at the young woman. "You found your answers."
"Yeah, which only bring more questions," she panted.
The old woman laughed. "Such is the way of things." Her face grew serious. "When the time arrives, you must help Him, Casey. You are his Beloved. He draws his strength from you, just as you draw yours from Him. Guide Him."
"I’ll do my best," she promised. "I really need to tell them what I found."
"I’m not...I still need you."
"I’ll be here, Sunshine. Whenever you need me."
She opened her eyes. "Cloaking device! Tem had a cloaking device...which was what Ra was after...he...Tem that is...was going to cloak all of his ships, and he promised Seth and Hathor help and they were going to take down Ra because he wouldn’t give them access to the ‘gate...which the second one wasn’t in the Antarctic and I don’t have a clue where that one came from but Ra found out and he was really pissed..." she said, the words pouring out of her in true Casey fashion.
Daniel grinned. "Whoa, easy, babe. Slow down!"
Jack was grinning as well. "I understood two words out of that. ‘Ra’ and ‘cloaking device’."
"That’s three words," Sam teased.
Teal’c’s dark eyes were full of laughter. "I believe you have learned the identity of the Goa’uld we seek."
Casey nodded enthusiastically. "Tem. He was the instigator of the whole rebellion thing...He was a smooth talker, that’s how he convinced Seth and Hathor to go along with him. I have no idea where or how he got a cloaking device-"
"Maybe he stole it from Ra," Daniel suggested.
"Could be," she allowed. "Ra knew that Tem was still in that valley when he destroyed the ship. The kids...teenagers...that were taken as hosts by the snakes in the aquarium...the ones that took Tonane’s people from here...they didn’t know squat about the cloaking device. That’s why Ra just banished them."
"Okay, slowly tell me what we know so far," Jack said.
Daniel pushed his glasses up, took a deep breath. "Well, let’s see...this is all just theory... based mostly speculation," he warned.
"So speculate away," Jack replied.
"Okay. Ra managed to get his hands on a cloaking device. Tem, who must be a very minor god, because I’m drawing a blank on him right now, manages to steal the device, and convinces Seth and Hathor to join him in overthrowing Ra...so that they have access to the Stargate, which apparently Ra controlled completely. Ra finds out, battle ensues. Tem’s ship is damaged and crashes in the valley where a group of Salish Indians live. Tem’s host is badly wounded, and for some screwy reason he takes the Prim’ta from his loyal Jaffa, and puts them into the river, which he had to know was too damned cold."
"Too cold?" Jack asked.
"Too cold," Daniel nodded absently. "Tem takes a new host, totally freaking out the local inhabitants, and proceeds to behave in typical Goa’uld fashion. When the leader refuses to back down, which would've been a major problem since he had no Jaffa to do his fighting for him, he crawls out of the first...victim, and takes the leader as a host. He manages to get his sarcophagus out of the ship..."
"Probably had the poor Indians carry it for him," Sam muttered.
Daniel smacked his palm to his forehead. "Duh! That had to have been it! Anyway, a group of very curious teens slip on board the ship, and find a tank that holds mature Goa’uld symbiotes...for a very bizarre, cannibalistic ritual," he explained when Jack’s eyebrow moved up.
"Sick bastards," Jack said.
"Anyway, for some reason the kids open that tank...maybe they were going to try and kill the snakes. The kids are taken as hosts, who immediately contact Ra. He sends them through the ‘gate into banishment, along with the people who lived in that valley."
"Seth and Hathor used escape pods when the battle started," Casey added. "Seth got away, Hathor didn’t."
"Ra destroys the ship..."
"After stripping it of everything he could, including the engine," the young blonde interjected.
He grinned. "Leaving Tem alone to go nuts. Then the slaves in Egypt begin to rebel. They overthrow Ra, and force him and the other Goa’uld to leave. Hathor is already in the sarcophagus as punishment, Tem is abandoned, Seth... probably assumed dead, all three are left behind."
"You know, I’m thinking that those slaves had to have had a little bit of help," Casey said.
"We already know that the Oannes had...agents...working here to fight the Goa’uld." Daniel said. "It could have been them."
She shrugged. "Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to have been the Tok’ra? But anyway, Tem was left here to go completely insane, and at some point lost his sarcophagus."
"Lost it?" Jack asked.
"I’m assuming so. Because when I saw him in that...boardroom...I sensed that he takes new hosts as often as he needs...or wants," Casey replied. "He wouldn’t need to do that if he had a sarcophagus."
"Yes he would," Sam said quietly. "To keep from being recognized."
"So it’s likely he still has the damned thing," Jack said.
Daniel and Casey both shrugged. "It’s possible that he has it, but that it doesn’t work," the young man suggested.
"Why was Seth looking around up here, and why was Hathor trying to get back here, if that’s what she was doing," the older man asked.
"They didn’t know that Ra destroyed the ship. They knew it had crashed," Daniel said. "If not for wanting to strand Tem, he probably wouldn’t have bothered."
"And we’re technically advanced enough now that they could have MacGyver-ed the thing together," Sam added.
"It was badly damaged," Casey said. "Ra had his Jaffa strip it of anything and everything of value. Destroying it was an act of pure spite."
Jack sat back in his chair. "Which leaves us looking for one Goa’uld named Tem, who wants our Stargate."
"He wants to enslave Earth," Casey corrected softly. "Access to the ‘gate will give him the means to reach his fleet."
"It’s been thousands of years," Sam objected.
"If this Goa’uld had a fleet in hiding, it is unlikely that the Jaffa who served him would have changed their ways," Teal’c said. "They await the return of their god. And the fleet is in full readiness."
"The second ‘gate, the gate in the Antarctic? It wasn’t on the map," Casey said.
"What?" Jack frowned.
She carefully explained what she'd seen. "It wasn’t there. No little gold-marks-the-Stargate-spot."
Daniel smiled. "Tem probably didn’t know about it."
She thought about this for a moment. "Okay, that works."
"Casey, you’re sure that you could recognize the city if you saw it again?" Jack asked.
"I’m pretty sure," she replied.
"Okay, tomorrow we find internet access. See if we can find the city this guy is hiding in."
"Then what?" Daniel asked.
"Then we tell General Hammond what we know. We still have sixteen days of vacation left. I intend to take them."
"Far away from here," Casey murmured. She looked up at Daniel. "I know you want to stay here, and help Mike with this dig..."
He was shaking his head. "Too much about the snakes here."
"So we pick somewhere else to go," Jack said. "Let’s get some sleep, campers. We pull out tomorrow. Report to the general, and then continue with our interrupted vacation."
In full agreement, the group said their goodnights. A few minutes later, Casey snuggled against his side. "Did I find enough?"
Daniel smiled into the darkness. "More than enough, Angel."
"Good. Because I am not going back. That was just too creepy!"
His smile widened. He tightened his arm around her, relaxed against her soft, warm body, and drifted to sleep.
A A A A A A
Jack contacted General Hammond the very first thing the next morning. The general acknowledged that the excavation needed a continued SGC ‘presence’, and agreed to send out another SG team. Because he also agreed that SG-1 had earned, and still needed, down time.
Daniel explained to Mike that another team would be arriving to ‘help’ with the dig. And that the Air Force would maintain an ‘interest’ in the site until it was no longer deemed a ‘security risk’. The college professor wasn’t thrilled at the thought of having military personnel ‘stomping around’, but the younger man was able to convince him that the men and women who would be arriving had experience with archaeological digs, and that most likely a team with an archaeologist assigned to it would be sent.
"Are you telling me that you’re not the only archaeologist that works for the Air Force...for this program?" Mike asked, his eyes going wide.
"No, I’m not. I mean, I was at first. We have three others now, as well as two botanists, an entomologist, three anthropologists, a couple of biologists, and a couple of honest-to-god rocket scientists," Daniel grinned.
Mike stared into his coffee cup. "I take it that working for the Air Force comes with a price tag."
The smile faded. "Yeah, it does. It means having to play the game their way. General Hammond usually listens to me when I argue against the military way of doing things. But sometimes...well, when the big guys give the orders, he has to follow them."
The older man nodded. "Don’t think I’d do to well in an environment like that," he admitted.
"What I’ve seen...done..." his eyes took on a far-away look. "It’s worth it," he said softly.
"Yeah, I’ll bet it is," Mike acknowledged. He glanced over at Casey, where she sat talking with Sam, Teal’c, and Alley. "Casey knows all about Sha’re, and your year on Abydos?"
Daniel followed the older man’s gaze. "Yeah, she does. She’s filled every empty place that Sha’re’s abduction and death left in me," he said softly.
"I can see that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so happy." His eyes flickered over to his lover, who was talking with Annette, Willis and Katelynn. "She still loves you."
For a moment the younger man was taken aback. "Yeah, I kind of...she gave me a letter she wrote right after..." he shook his head. "I know."
"I didn’t tell her about you...getting married, I mean. I didn’t want her to...when she moved in, I wanted it to be because she wanted to be with me, not because you were unavailable," Mike confessed.
That explained her reaction when they met in the hotel lobby, he thought. "I can understand that," he replied.
"She was totally pissed at me...said she made a fool of herself in front of you, your wife, and your friends," Mike continued.
"She didn’t," Daniel argued.
"Well, she felt like she did." He shook his head. "It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Bernie that pissed off."
"Yeah, she has a temper," Daniel agreed. "Almost as hot as Casey’s!"
"That beautiful creature...temper? I don’t believe it!" Mike teased.
"That beautiful creature can tear a grown man down to size with three words and a look, and you don’t want her pissed enough to start yelling at you!" Daniel said, grinning.
"Ah, the voice of experience."
"Unfortunately." He watched his wife for a few minutes. "She’s the best thing that ever happened to me, Mike...well, Sha’re was great for me too," he admitted.
"You’re a lucky man, my friend. To have had a woman like Sha’re, and now Casey," Mike said.
"Very lucky," Daniel agreed. He couldn’t resist the urge to wink at the beautiful blonde who held his heart in her hands when she glanced over at him, loving the slight blush, the way her lips curved into a soft smile.
Jack walked into the diner, dropped into the empty seat beside Sam. "It’s all set up. Major Lewinski will be here with SG-14 tomorrow. He’s a good man, has a good team. They’ll do what you ask," he told Mike.
"Do they know what to do on a dig?" Mike asked.
"Yeah, they do. Daniel has trained every team, so that they aren’t messing stuff up before he can see it," Jack replied.
Mike looked at his young friend with renewed appreciation. "I’m impressed."
"You should be," Jack grinned. "He’s a damned tough instructor!"
"He was a pretty popular professor in Chicago," Mike laughed. "I think that was just because of his long hair and pretty blue eyes."
Jack chuckled. "Yeah, I hear that. Shocked the shit out of me when I came to work one day, and the boy was ‘squared away’!"
"I wasn’t a ‘boy’, and I just got tired of dealing with it," Daniel said. He'd never admit to Jack that he'd cut his hair in the hope that he'd ‘fit in’ better with the military personnel he worked with every day. It had helped, it seemed that he'd been taken more seriously...probably because he looked older than he had with his hair longer.
Mike finished the last of his coffee. Daniel had explained why he and his friends were going to be leaving...and he could certainly understand. His respect for Daniel had deepened considerably since learning what the young man had been doing for the past six years. He suspected that there was much more that Daniel hadn’t said, there was a look in his eyes...as if he'd lived a lifetime in those years. "I’m damned glad I got the chance to see you, meet Casey and your friends. I’m glad that you were there when that totem pole was found," he said quietly. "If it helps you find this...thing..." He shook his head. "You do what you gotta do, Danny."
Daniel smiled. "Thanks, Mike. It was great to see you, too."
Rapping his fork against his coffee mug, Mike stood to his feet. The few other diners in the restaurant turned to look at the group of people gathered around the three tables that had been shoved together. "I’m sure by now you know that Daniel and his beautiful wife, and his very charming and interesting friends, have to leave us. I’ve managed to find some help to replace them, they’ll be here tomorrow."
"You’re just leaving because it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow," Alley teased.
"Busted," Casey giggled.
Mike grinned. "It’s been great getting to know you folks, we’ve had a very...interesting... time. I...we...all wish you the best of luck in all of your...endeavors." He sat down to the applause of his companions.
As soon as breakfast had been eaten, Mike and his crew headed back to the dig site. SG-1 returned to their rooms to pack. Daniel and Jack informed the proprietor of the hotel that they were checking out, but that the rooms would be needed for the ‘new help’ that was arriving the next day. If the old man was surprised, he didn’t let it show.
"We’ll head to McChord, we can use the computers there," Jack said. No one argued. At the Air Force base, Jack would be able to secure a private area for them to work...and for Casey to search for the city skyline she'd ‘seen’. After reports were filed, they'd continue with their vacation.
A A A A A A
To say that the officer in charge of the facility was upset was like saying Niagara Falls was a little bit of running water. He glared at Jack, demanding to see the ID cards of everyone on the team. He checked each card, scrutinizing each photo, then comparing it to the card owner's face. Slowly...meticulously...typing in each identity code.
Sam was beginning to feel a little steamed under the collar as well, and considering that the OOD was a lowly lieutenant, she couldn’t understand why Jack was allowing him to treat them so rudely, and said as much.
"This is a secure communications room, Carter," he said, just loudly enough for the young man to hear. "I’d be a hell of a lot more pissed if he wasn’t careful about who comes in here."
"By now he should know we hold the highest clearances available," she groused.
"Yeah, he should. I’m just waiting for him to realize what that means," Jack replied.
Casey giggled. "You can be mean, you know."
"Me? I have never been mean a day in my life!" the older man objected.
"Not what I’ve heard from the cadets in training," Daniel grinned.
"Colonel O’Neill, you and your...friends...are cleared to enter," the young man said. It was obvious that he was still a bit upset that group, clad in civilian attire, acting far too nonchalant for his liking, were given access to such a sensitive area. But their clearance codes were the highest he'd ever seen!
"Thanks...uh...Lieutenant...uh...Haines," Jack said, checking the young man’s ID badge. "You did a good job, son. Don’t trust anybody."
"Yes, sir," he replied, saluting smartly. Secretly pleased that his diligence had been noted, and approved.
Jack led the way into the room, found a nice secluded corner, and waved Sam to the keyboard. "Call home, major."
"Yes, sir." Her fingers flew over the keyboard, access codes were typed in and accepted. She adjusted the small camera that sat on a shelf above the computer. Within minutes the familiar face of General Hammond filled the monitor.
"Well, colonel, what do you have for me?" General Hammond asked.
Giving a careful run down of what they'd found, and what had happened, things he'd been unable to reveal while talking to the general on his cell phone, Jack brought his CO up to speed on the situation.
"You believe you can recognize the city where this Goa’uld might be?" he asked Casey.
"Yes, sir, I do. We’re going to pull up every photo we can find. If I’m lucky, I might be able to see the building as well," Casey replied.
"Very well. Do what you can. Report to me, and then get on with your vacation. And for heaven’s sake, try to avoid any more archaeological digs for awhile." The last was said with a smile, his blue eyes twinkling.
Daniel grinned. "That shouldn’t be hard to do."
"We’ll be in touch, sir," Jack said. "SG-1, over and out." Hammond chuckled, and the connection was severed. "Okay, let’s see if there’s a skyline that Casey likes."
Sam opened a browser, and began to search for images. "Do you know if it was an American city?"
Casey shook her head. "I don’t know. I only saw the skyline for a few seconds before I was...in...the building."
With a nod, Sam began to open windows, pulling up the images that had been located so far.
Nearly an hour passed, the only sound was that of Sam’s fingers on the keyboard as she searched for more cities.
"There! That one!" Casey said excitedly, pointing to screen. "I’m positive."
"Well, how about that," Jack mused. "Rio de Janeiro. Okay, Radar, see any familiar looking buildings?"
She studied the photo, examining each building that she could see. She shook her head. "Can you zoom in?"
With three keystrokes, the city appeared to move closer.
"I’m not one hundred percent sure," she said, "but I think it’s that one."
"Can you focus on that building?" Jack asked.
"I can try," Sam replied. She manipulated the photo. "If I can hook up to the satellite, I should be able to get a better view."
"Do it," Jack told her.
Using her personal IDC, she tapped into the satellite system. "It will take a few seconds to get the images from the last pass," she said.
Daniel draped his arm around Casey’s shoulders. He could feel her trembling. He had no idea if it was fear...or the excitement of finding the location of the Goa’uld. He couldn’t help but smile when her arm went around his waist, and tugged slightly, bringing him closer. He shifted, pressed his body against hers.
"Okay, how’s this?" Sam asked.
"Wow!" The seer exclaimed. The images were unlike those that the blonde major had found on the web. Each building stood out in crystal clarity. Casey shivered. "That one," she said, pointing to a tower near the southern edge of the city.
"Pyxis Enterprises," Sam murmured, reading the side of the building. "Odd name."
"That’s a southern constellation," Jack said as he scrutinized the image.
"Why would he call his corporation by that name?" Casey asked.
"It’s probably the constellation where his home planet is located," Daniel replied.
"Well, we know where home is," Jack grinned. "Call the general. Let’s see if we can’t get a team through the ‘gate to his home town."
General Hammond was more than pleased with the information. Without a doubt an investigation into Pyxis Enterprises would begin immediately. Any and all activities would be carefully monitored, and a complete dossier on the CEO of the corporation put together as soon as possible. The general informed them that at least one SG team would be sent to any planet with a Stargate located in that particular section of space. If Tem had a fleet waiting, with luck it wouldn’t be there long! With sighs of relief, knowing that all that could be done was indeed being done, they dropped into chairs, the tension that had filled the room dissipating.
Jack rubbed his hands together. "Okay, now on to important matters. I’ve been giving this some thought-"
"For how long...five minutes?" Daniel teased.
The older man checked his watch. "Not quite." Which brought laughter from his companions. "What about a nice trip to Las Vegas? Check out some shows...lay by the pool..."
"Ooo...lay by the pool...I could so get into that," Casey said.
"Sounds good to me," Sam agreed.
He looked at Daniel and Teal’c. "Well?"
"I’ve never been to Las Vegas," Daniel replied.
"I have read about this city. It was founded by those who operated outside of the law. It is considered to be ‘Sin City’," Teal’c said. "I would find it most interesting to visit this place."
Casey giggled. "Can’t beat an endorsement like that!"
Jack grinned. "Okay, campers, let’s go."
"Fly...or drive?" Daniel asked.
The older man glanced at the faces around him. "It’s up to you."
"Let’s drive," Casey suggested. "Teal’c has never been on a road trip."
"We need munchies," Sam said immediately.
"And music," Casey said. "If we hit a Wal-Mart, or a Kmart, or something like that, we can get an ice chest, and ice, and munchies, and a few cd’s..." She looped her arm with Teal’c’s, began to lead him toward the door. "You’ll love it, T, I promise. I’ll teach you how to dance in the seat."
"I look forward to your instruction," the Jaffa replied, his cheek twitching.
"Good lord, what have I done?" Jack asked in mock horror.
"You gave them the choice," Daniel grinned.
"Yeah, I did. We need this," he said quietly.
"Yes, we do," Daniel agreed. "I have the feeling things are going to be hell for us when we get back."
"Me, too, Danny. Let’s go, Space Monkey. Before that wife of yours gets it into her head that she’s going to drive," Jack said.
The team left the building, and the Air Force base. They were all well aware of the fact that Tem had to be stopped, and he had to be stopped soon. But for the next sixteen days, they weren’t going to think about Goa’uld, or saving the world. They were going to think of nothing but relaxing and enjoying themselves.
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>