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The Recalcitrant Lo'taur
Daniel looked sideways at his friend as they walked into the men's locker room. "Has she eaten? Slept?"
"Had her staying at my place...when I could talk her into leaving the mountain. She mostly rearranged anything on her plate. I did get her to eat a couple of chocolate muffins," Jack replied.
He shook his head slightly. "So it'll take a month or so for her to put back on the weight she's lost. And then something else will happen," Daniel groused. He tugged off his boots. The leather pants hit the floor. If he never saw them again it would be too soon.
"The only way to change that is for the two of you to leave the SGC," Jack pointed out.
"Kinda hope you don't. Place doesn't feel right without you. Sure doesn't function like it should."
Tossing a grin at his friend, he grabbed the clean clothes that were stored in his locker.
"So, how bad was it?" Jack asked, following Daniel into the showers. He leaned against the wall beside the entrance.
"Annoying mostly. I did manage to piss Kali off to the point she had almost completely stopped talking to me," Daniel chuckled.
"You? Mr. Diplomat? Say it ain't so," Jack teased, a wide grin on his face.
"She had me scared the last night I was in her camp, though," Daniel admitted. "I refused to...well, you know..." He shrugged, his cheeks turning red. He turned the water on, wet his hair, then rubbed his hands over his skin.
"Wanted to do the horizontal hoochie-coochie, huh?"
"Yeah. When I wasn't so inclined, she...uh...she threatened to castrate me, let me bleed to death," Daniel said, his voice low. "It had been a few days since I'd been with Casey, and she uh...well, she sorta...she wrapped her hand around me. I wasn't attracted to her...I suppose she was beautiful enough. But her face was cold, you know, that whole Goa'uld thing," Daniel explained.
"Gotcha," Jack murmured.
"Anyway, I was hard as hell, and when I refused, she pulled out this knife. The bitch would have done it," Daniel continued. He shuddered slightly, began soaping himself. "If some other snake hadn't shown up, I'm not sure I'd be standing here right now."
He'd known that allowing Daniel to be caught had been risky. He'd wanted to prevent the entire thing. Knowing how closely Daniel had come to death, or at the very least living life as a eunuch, he shuddered as well. "Who was the other snake?"
Daniel shrugged. "No clue. Kali had ordered a camp set up on a planet where an old temple of the Ancient's was located. The rest of the city was in complete ruins. Anyway, she went back to the ha'tak, and I pretended to be the faithful lo'taur, wanting to pray for her safety. Went into the temple, managed to find the bracelet, had a plan all figured out for getting to the Stargate I could see..." He shook his head. "That's when Chaahk's spy got the drop on me."
"You said that guy helped you?"
"Yeah. When Udal...Udal Sasar was the spy's name. Anyway, when he grabbed me, I had my boots, a silk kilt, and the gold slave collar. I was pretty panicked, because I was just a couple of hours from needing a shot of the serum."
"How did you manage to keep Kali from knowing about it?"
"I didn't," Daniel admitted. "She just thought it was my 'drug of choice', and she was willing to let me keep it, in return for doing what she wanted."
"Which was?" Jack asked, one eyebrow raised.
"Lo'taur. She wanted me to serve as her lo'taur. And...translate a rare Ancient dialect for her," Daniel replied.
"So, what happened?"
"Well, Udal comes into the cell where Chaahk was holding me. Apologized for taking me-"
Daniel shrugged again. "I made Kali feed the slaves more than just once a day."
"You made her do that?"
"I had the skills she needed," Daniel smiled. "In that moment, I held the cards."
"So that impressed Oodle, huh?"
"Udal," Daniel corrected automatically. "Apparently. He had a bag with all my stuff in it. I mean everything...my uniform, everything I'd been carrying...even my pocket knife...which they'd taken from me on Kali's ship. He even had every sheet of papyrus that I'd been taking notes on. And the bracelet."
"Wow...guess you did impress him."
"I left the bag in the transporter room," Daniel sighed.
"Yeah, had your arms full of a blonde, as I recall. Don't worry. Radar will grab it for you," Jack grinned.
Daniel grinned, ducked his head slightly.
"So what happened with the guy...uh...Chalk?"
Daniel finished washing his hair, rinsed it, then grabbed a towel before replying. "If I'm right, Chaahk was one of Ra's contemporaries. If he's the same god as Tel-chaahk, he's the one responsible for using Ancient technology to build the first sarcophagus. He's the one who built that zombie making machine."
"Yeah. Right now he has one ha'tak, and the Jaffa serving him now once served Ares. One attack would wipe him out completely. If we don't, and he manages to reunite the Goa'uld Empire-"
"We're screwed," Jack finished.
"Pretty much," Daniel nodded.
"So, Colonel Ronson told us that Tieel Mogba had you."
"Yeah. The bastard showed up in the room they kept me in, telling me he was there to help me escape. He had a scout ship. Hid it the same way Aris Boch hid his," Daniel said.
"Aris Boch. There's someone I haven't thought about in awhile," Jack mused.
"Anyway, I gave Mogba the gold slave collar and the gold bands that Chaahk wanted me wearing around my arms. He gave me a communication orb programmed to contact him directly."
"And just why would we want to contact that slimy little bastard? I mean, in spite of the fact that he brought you home...he screwed us over."
Daniel chuckled. "And he's been hiding from SG-1 ever since!"
"No kidding? Well, that's almost funny," Jack said, grinning slightly.
"He risked his life to save mine, Jack," Daniel said quietly. "And he's a bounty hunter. He can hear things that we can't, that most of our spies won't be able to hear."
"That's good thinking, Danny," Jack said, nodding approvingly.
"I thought so," Daniel replied. He finished dressing. "Let's go. I'm starving, and I know Casey needs to eat something."
Jack grinned. "She'll eat. You're home, safe and sound."
"Just like she said I'd be."
"Still would have preferred to have just kept you home, and gone after those doohickeys in our own way," Jack grumped.
"It all turned out," Daniel said. "And we gained two allies."
"Tieel Mogba. And Udal Sasar. I sent him to Olokun's trading planet. Told him where he could find safety."
Jack shoved his hands into his pockets, frowning slightly. "My bet is Radar is going to insist those two men were the reason this whole...thing...had to happen."
"Might be," Daniel allowed. "I have to admit, I feel like the good guy, helping Udal, and letting Mogba know we were never gunning for him-"
"Ha!" Jack snorted.
"Well, we weren't," Daniel insisted. "I'll admit that if I'd run across the little shit, I'd have beaten the crap out of him. But that's all, and I wasn't hunting for him."
"Okay, I'll concede that fact," Jack said begrudgingly.
"And I told Mogba we wouldn't be hunting him. Gave my word that he'd be welcome here any time."
"Aw, crap, Danny! What about the next time he screws us over?" Jack demanded.
"I don't think that will happen, Jack. What he did, he did because he wanted to protect his wife...no...not wife, he called her his mate," Daniel mumbled as he corrected himself. "Anyway, he was trying to protect the woman he loved, and his children, from Ba'al."
"Man will do a lot of distasteful things to protect those he loves," Jack said softly.
"And no one would ever blame that man," Daniel said, his voice soft as well.
Jack clapped his best friend on the shoulder. "Let's go eat. I'm kinda hungry myself."
A A A A A A
General Hammond was relieved to know that his most valuable archaeologist was back at the SGC. According to the reports he'd been reading, made by the teams who had gone out 'searching' for Daniel, there would be those in the galaxy just as happy to know that Casey Jackson wouldn't be returning to learn anything she could about her husband's abduction. Jack's report had left him chuckling...and feeling the slightest bit sorry for the poor souls who'd had the misfortune of crossing her path during her 'rampage', as the new general had referred to it.
He sat back in his chair. One simple oversight. The entire crisis could have gone horribly wrong. The SGC could have been taken over by a Goa'uld, simply because of the lack of a safety mechanism on the transporter ring. They'd been damned lucky. No doubt Jack's 'training day' antics had actually helped to control the situation as quickly as had been done. Reports from the three levels where the Jaffa had appeared all indicated that the presence of 'other' Jaffa, the Marines who had been dressed as Jaffa, had had the desired effect of confusing Kali's warriors.
Another report, from Doctor Felger, insisted that as soon as the Jaffa on that particular level had been hit with water from various water guns, they had retreated to the stairwell. Luckily, they'd been able to lock off every level, leaving the majority of Kali's Jaffa trapped, and unable to do anything.
Without a doubt one of those Jaffa would have tried firing his staff weapon at the door. Which would have then allowed the very strong men get that door open. Those Jaffa would have spread the word, the SGC would have had the enemy on no less that seven levels....
Hammond shuddered slightly. Once again the SGC, and those within the concrete bunker, had prevailed. They'd learned a valuable lesson. Within hours after the attack, Colonel Carter and her associates had devised a locking system for the ring transport. A tech and a guard would be on duty in the room at all times.
He could only worry about what other possible breaches they might find in their security. It never paid to become complacent. Maybe he should have the SG teams looking for various ways to breach the security of the SGC. The men and women of those teams were the best of the best. Bright, capable, willing to do the impossible. Another thought made him pause. Maybe he'd contact Selmak. No doubt Jacob and his symbiote could gather a few Tok'ra who would be willing to make the attempt to make that breach. Alien minds thought differently than those of humans. He made a note, and then closed the last of the folders.
It had been one hell of a week. He shook his head. No, nine days. The latest SGC crisis had lasted nine days. One of the members of SG-1 had been taken, but was now home, safe and sound. And according to Colonel Ronson's report, Tieel Mogba had been moved from the list of antagonists to friends. No doubt Daniel Jackson had a great deal to do with that change of heart.
With a satisfied smile, he turned off the lamp that sat on the corner of the desk. He was going home early. His plans were to play with his granddaughters and have dinner with his daughter. Because for the moment, all was right in his world.
A A A A A A
Casey's face lit up when Daniel walked into the room. She shivered in response to that sexy, half-shy smile he offered. Felt her heart do flip-flops when his fingers wrapped around hers as soon as he was sitting beside her. "I went ahead and ordered, I hope that's okay."
"That's fine, Angel. What is today's special?"
Daniel nodded. The meal was actually one of the better menu options available in the commissary. He'd just taken a sip of his coffee...Sumatra Mandheling, his favorite.
"I brought it down from your office. There's still a bit left," Casey said, in answer to the question in his eyes. "And that bag of stuff is in your office, too."
"Good. I want to go over all the notes I took."
"You took notes?" Casey's eyebrows went up in disbelief.
"Of the temple Kali had me examining," Daniel explained.
She shook her head. "Only my Stud Muffin could walk away with notes taken while he was a Goa'uld captive," Casey said drolly.
"Lo'taur," Daniel qualified.
"Now I really have to find that bitch and kick her ass," Casey muttered, to the amusement of her husband and friends.
"You weren't mistreated?" Sam asked worriedly. She'd spent the time Daniel had been away just as concerned about her teammate as her husband and her best friend.
"Nope. Oh, I got slapped a few times. Just goes with the territory. But by the end of my first full day as lo'taur, Kali was getting pissy. By the end of the second full day, she didn't talk to me. Just told me what she wanted...then turned and walked away," Daniel grinned.
"You baited her," Casey giggled.
"Every chance I got," he confirmed. "Did the same thing with Chaahk. Who, by the way, we'd better take out while we can."
"Write it up," Jack said. "We'll debrief with General Hammond in the morning."
"Late in the morning. Not before ten," Casey said.
"Right, Radar. Not before ten," Jack grinned.
"I'm not kidding."
"Never thought you were."
"Daniel needs a decent night's sleep," Casey insisted.
And a bit of that horizontal hoochie coochie, and that Hathor-thing you've got going, Jack thought. "I agree."
Satisfied that her commanding officer fully understood that she and Daniel would not darken the door of the SGC before ten a.m., Casey turned her attention to the tray that one of the airmen working in the commissary had placed in front of her. She smiled her thanks, tore open one of the dinner rolls and added a generous dollop of butter, then looked around her. Her friends were all busy with their own meals. Daniel was already eating the stew. She gave a soft sigh.
"Case?" Daniel asked.
"Everything is just the way it should be," she said.
Jack looked around the table at the faces of his kids as they ate. "Yep."
"So were the bracelets important?" Sam asked.
Daniel finished chewing, swallowed, nodded. "Star map. And if I'm right, to the Ancient city of Atlantis."
"No way!" Jack said.
Again Daniel nodded. "The weird thing is, every bit of text I could find about it refers to it as a 'city alive'. Not a city full of life, but alive."
"That is strange," Sam agreed.
"I was able to copy all of the important sections of the text. I didn't actually translate, I didn't want to take the time. I should have a better idea after I've had a chance to decipher what I have," Daniel said.
"Better make it best time, Danny. If there's a city out there that's alive, we can't let the snakes find it first," Jack said.
"But that's tomorrow's problem," Casey said softly.
Daniel smiled. "Right."
He'd been pissed off, annoyed, scared, and downright terrified a time or two during the past few days. But he'd survived, returned in one piece with both Ancient bracelets, and thus the map that would lead to the Ancient city. The Tau'ri had gained an ally, and had learned about a Goa'uld who could be a potential nightmare. All in all, Daniel thought, the 'mission' had been a success.
For the moment, he was going to enjoy his dinner, the company of his friends, and the comfort of his Wife. He'd face the Goa'uld threat tomorrow.
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