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Lost Souls

Chapter 6

Ba'al watched her. Even as much pain as she was in, and he knew that it had to be considerable, she continued to fight him. Such spirit! He paced in front of her. Made his decision. The fact that it was actually his aching cock doing his thinking for him was completely lost. "Take her, bathe her until the perfume she wears lingers no longer. Then call for me. I will heal her, as I promised," he said. He turned his back. Left the room. Torturing her hadn't brought forth the information he wanted. He smiled. He'd just have to fuck it out of her. A much more...pleasurable...way to learn what he wished to know.

One of the Jaffa kept his arm around the slender waist of the nearly unconscious woman. The other released her arms, which dropped uselessly to her sides, deprived too long of blood circulation to be of much use to her for awhile. He unclamped the manacles from around her ankles, carefully withdrew the knives that held her legs against the metal web. The woman passed out when the last of the bloody knives was laid gently on the floor.

The first Jaffa scooped her into his arms. There was a table large enough to lay her on in the kitchen of this place. Water was readily available there as well. He hurried in that direction, his companion on his heels.

The table was cleared of all utensils with a quick toss to the side. "Oreon, bring water," the first Jaffa ordered.

Oreon, a tall man with reddish brown hair and a goatee, nodded, grabbed a bucket and hurried toward the well. He'd never seen a well inside of a building before. But it was damned convenient.

A pile of square, cleaning cloths, just washed from the looks of them, was stacked on a stool near the hearth. The Jaffa grabbed them, then turned back to the woman in his custody. He pulled his knife from its sheath, began to cut the bloody clothes from her body. He jerked slightly when his fingers came into contact with her skin. So soft! So warm and soft and fragrant. His Lord had seemed...disturbed...by the perfume the woman wore. He'd heard rumors of Lord Hathor, and the drugs she'd used to beguile men. It was obvious that Ba'al suspected this woman of being able to do the same thing.

Oreon gasped when he turned around. "Bo'teal! What are you doing?"

That man looked up. "I am removing her clothes. We have to bathe her, do we not?"

Oreon shook his head. "Forgive me. I saw you with your knife, and assumed that you were going to try to protect our god from one who knows the secrets of Hathor."

Bo'teal smiled. "If our god needs protection, then he is not a god, is he?"

Oreon's eyes widened, he glanced around nervously. "To speak in such a manner will one day bring about your death!"

With a shake of his head, a slightly amused smile tugging at his lips, Bo'teal continued with his task.

When the dirty, bloodied clothes had been cut away from her, both men stared. Her slender body was attractive, even with the bruises of her beatings, and the wounds of her torture. Scraps of dark blue silk and lace covered her breasts and her mons. Bo'teal cut them away as well, soaked one of the thick cloths in the water, and began to bathe the woman. Three times water was drawn, three cloths were used to cleanse her. Not one inch of her body had not been seen or touched by the two as they followed the command of their Master.

When she was as clean as they could get her, Ba'al was summoned. He stopped in the doorway. The room was permeated with the smell of spring flowers and vanilla. He frowned. Hathor had implanted tiny devices in the roof of her mouth that emitted the drug that she used. Her sweet whispers of love were nothing more than a means of getting her victim to breath deeply of her poison. Her kisses were the kiss of death. This woman had somehow managed to find a way to do the same thing. As long as he stayed a respectable distance from her, the drug would have little or no affect on him...or rather, his host. Certainly he could never allow her bodily fluids to touch him.

He stepped into the room. When he raised his hand, a device for healing, rather than torture, was wrapped around his fingers. He began to heal her. Even as he decided to have his priests begin working on an antidote to Hathor's poison. Eventually Casey would run out of the drug. By then, of course, she'd be completely under his control.

 

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She opened her eyes. She was on that damned metal web again. She shivered as cool air moved over her body. Odd that her BDU felt so light. She glanced down, barely bit back a moan. She was wearing a chemise. And with her arms up the way they were, it didn't completely cover her. This is so not good, she thought miserably. Daniel, where are you? Why haven't you come for me?

"Good. You're awake," Ba'al said pleasantly. "We shall begin where we left off. Now, you were about to tell me to where those who were with you have disappeared."

Disappeared? Good, that meant that the team...the teams...had managed to get back to the caves. No doubt planning her rescue. Taking comfort from the thought, she raised her chin. "I have no idea."

Ba'al frowned. He hated to mar that beautiful flesh. He let go of the knife. Listened to the scream that bounced off of the stone walls around him.

 

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It seemed to take forever to reach the cave. Exhausted, their breath coming in painful gasps, the men of SG-2 lurched into the cavern, dropped to the dirt floor. Major Parker and Major Anderson exchanged a worried glance.

"Newsome, what's going on?" Deke Anderson asked.

"Cap...chured," the man managed to gasp.

"SG-1 has been captured?" Major Parker shook his head. Not good news, that's for sure.

"Casey...Ba'al has her," one of the other men explained.

"So where does Colonel O'Neill need us?" Deke asked. Wondering why the leader of the premier team hadn't simply used the radio.

Newsome shook his head. "Ringed up."

Parker glanced at Deke again, shook his head. "Catch your breath, then tell us what the hell is going on."

Pulling oxygen into his lungs as quickly as possible, Newsome closed his eyes, willed his pounding heart to slow. He sat up, gratefully accepted the canteen of water that Tony Sabotti handed to him. "Doctor Jackson was talking to those folks, trying to explain that we're the good guys. That old man didn't seem interested. Just turned around and headed inside. Everybody else did the same thing. Doc tried to holler at them a bit, but I guess Mrs. J convinced him that it just wasn't working."

"Shouldn't have bothered messing with them in the first place," Martinson muttered, still breathing hard.

"Well, you know Doc. He's got to try and save everybody," Deke said.

"Yeah...well, we were getting ready to leave when Jaffa showed up. Shit load of them. We caught sight of them, they're Ba'al's, so we knew then that snaky bastard is back. Anyway, the colonel orders us to head into the woods. Next thing we know, we hear Casey Jackson screaming." Newsome took another mouthful of water, held it for a minute, then swallowed. "Seems she saw some kid, stopped to show her the radio, and give her some candy. Have no clue why. Teal'c was right behind her, and he stopped too, trying to get her to move. Jaffa were all over that village, and they caught her. Teal'c managed to stay hidden, it took awhile, but he got to us. We waited until dark to move toward that castle. Took us four hours just to get inside, we had to go over that freaking wall! It was just damned good luck that they didn't think they needed to guard the far side of that place."

"They only have guards on the front, that faces the village," Gibbs said. "I guess it's a show of force for the villagers."

Parker nodded. "I doubt they thought anyone would try to break into the place."

"Well," Newsome said, picking back up on his narrative, "that place is laid out like a fucking maze. Took a couple more hours just to find the front of the damned building. We were able to get inside the inner courtyard. We had the perimeter, the colonel moved -1 toward the center of the room, there were stacks of crates there. Before we knew what was happening, those crates, and SG-1, were ringed up. There was no way that we could do anything; hell with eight of us we were looking at an uphill battle standing on banana peels," Newsome groused.

"That sick motherfucker is torturing her," Martinson said, shaking his head. Her screams still echoed in his brain.

"Oh, god," Deke muttered.

"As long as those Jaffa are by the 'gate, getting out isn't gonna be easy," Parker said.

"We could take them out," Texas suggested.

The three majors looked at one another. "It could make it worse on her," Deke said.

"We have to let Hammond know. Maybe the Tok'ra could help locate SG-1," Newsome said.

"Yeah, after the last couple of fiascos, those snakeheads owe us big time," Parker nodded.

Newsome stood up. "Break everything down. Pack everything in those boxes. We'll leave it here for now."

Parker nodded. "Good idea. First chance she gets, she's out of there, and she'll need supplies."

It was a long shot, and every man in that cave knew it. But it was better than thinking about the alternative. They had a plan, and even it if wasn't the best, it was all they had for the moment. Until they had more than just a few P90s and a few grenades, any attempts to rescue Casey Jackson were doomed to failure. And finding SG-1 had to be a priority as well. Moving with the efficiency of training, the cave was 'squared away', the two tents taken down and packed into a container, along with the sleeping bags that had been inside them. Careful maneuvering of several large rocks near the back of the cave helped to hide the dark green containers. Anyone just casually looking into the opening would never see them.

It was well after twilight when the three teams surrounded the Stargate from three sides. The attack was swift and precise, and the squad of Jaffa down before they were aware of being watched. Fifteen minutes later, the only Tau'ri left on the planet was hanging on a metal spider web, weeping with pain.

 

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General Hammond's frown continued to deepen as he listened to the reports from the three teams who'd rushed through the 'gate not more than twenty minutes earlier. Casey Jackson a prisoner of Ba'al, being tortured. SG-1 had been ringed to the Goa'uld's ship, albeit accidentally. And no sign of Tem's ships were to be found.

"Sir, we thought maybe the Tok'ra could get to SG-1, and bring them home," Newsome said, glancing at his companions.

The general nodded. "That's a good idea. They owe us a favor or two." They owed Daniel and Casey Jackson a hell of a lot for what those two young people had endured.

"That's what we figured," Deke said quietly. "Sir, permission to return to the planet. There's a chance that we could get her out of there."

It was never easy to make these kinds of decisions. But by their own reports, there were well over three hundred of Ba'al's Jaffa on the planet. By now, they were aware that someone had been there, and had left. The Stargate would be watched even more carefully. Chances were too high that any teams attempting to return would be captured as well. And rescue missions for large groups were always damned near impossible to pull off. It was risky enough going after one person. "I'm sorry, gentlemen. I can't let you return until we have a full plan of action in place. I know that you want to bring her home. I want her home as well. But running back blindly will only get her, and you, killed."

It was a difficult thing to admit, but the general was right. Each man struggled with that knowledge. Even as they each determined that they would bring Casey Jackson home.

 

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She was strong. And stubborn. For two days now he had tortured her, healed her. But still she fought him. Ba'al picked up the needle. It would be more difficult to learn just exactly what this siren knew of Hathor with the drug in her system. But he had every intention of wiping her memory clean, and training her as his own slave. Whether he started today, or tomorrow, or next week, really didn't matter. He handed the instrument to the Jaffa. "Inject her."

Casey struggled. Knew instinctively that things had just gone from bad to worse. She could feel the drug beginning to take hold in her mind. No matter how she fought against it, the fog just continued to envelope her...cold and dark and empty.

"Casey," Ba'al whispered. "Can you hear me?"

"Yes," she mumbled. What language was he speaking? What language was she speaking?

"I am your god, Casey. Your Master. You live only because I wish it. Do you understand?"

"No. No...not Master," she replied, still fighting with all the strength she could find.

The little bitch! How dare she continue to defy him! He turned to his Jaffa. "Prepare yourselves," he hissed. He turned his attention back to the prisoner. "If you disobey me, if you displease me, you will be punished. You are nothing. You are my slave. I am your Master."

She managed to shake her head. "No," she said again. What were those guys doing? This was no time to be jerking off! Oh, wait, maybe they were like snakeface...they got off on torture. Snakeface? Her eyes moved toward her tormentor. His face was so damned familiar! Blue eyes began to dance in front of her. Another face...handsome...familiar... "Daniel," she whispered. Where was Daniel?

"Do not anger me, Casey. I am your Master."

"No."

Anger flared, his eyes burned with golden light. "Take her!"

One of the Jaffa lunged forward, eager to have the beautiful blonde. His large hands grabbed her hips, he pressed against her, forced his erection between her spread legs and into the warmth of her body.

Oh, god, no! Not right! He shouldn't be doing that! Only Daniel! Goddess it hurts...not ready...it hurts! She cried out as the man began to thrust in and out of her. He slapped her, she cried out again. Was slapped again.

The metal 'spider web' allowed access to the prisoner's body from either side. Another Jaffa walked behind her. His hands pushed against the soft, firm roundness of her ass, he pressed forward, shivered with delight as he shoved himself into her. The scream of pain that echoed off of the stone walls meant nothing to him.

The...sessions...with this beautiful prisoner had left Ba'al in need. Convinced that somehow she continued to produce Hathor's perfume in some similar manner as the Goa'uld herself, Ba'al refused to remain near the blonde for more than a few minutes. Would never allow her blood or saliva, or any other bodily fluids, come into contact with his skin...even though he ached to take her for himself. As his need grew...deepened...he'd sent his Jaffa to the village to find one or two young women to satisfy his burgeoning lust. They stood to the side of the room, horrified by what they witnessed. With the wave of a hand, one of them was dragged to where he sat. The woman was shoved to her knees between his legs.

She'd been forced to do this before. Had been beaten when she'd hesitated. Fearing the same treatment as the woman on the spider's web, she opened her mouth, and began to pleasure the man...no...he was a god, he'd said so, and it must be true, he was able to do things...magical things. She sucked noisily, trying desperately to please the man...the god...so that she might never be tortured as the blonde was.

"I am your god, Casey. Your Master," Ba'al said breathlessly.

The young blonde being raped could only cry as the two bodies humped against her. Daniel, her mind cried out. Daniel!

 

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The haze that constantly filled her head - confused her - wasn't as thick today. How many days...she didn't know. She understood that she was a prisoner. That she was being abused, beaten, raped. Raped...that word brought fear and shame...escape! She had to escape! If she could just get away...

Two Jaffa arrived. They always came in twos. Just like the others. Others? She shook her head mentally. There had been other Jaffa here...not His. She remembered that now...

Daniel! 

Oh, god, she had to get out of here! She had to get home, return to the man she loved so much! Her heart, mind, body and soul belonged to him...to Daniel. Why hadn't he tried to rescue her? Or had he? Her heart clenched in her chest at the thought that perhaps he'd come for her...and His Jaffa had killed...no...no...can't think that...Daniel is alive...he has to be alive! He loved her. She must never forget that. It was important.

Escape. She had to try. They were taking her back to Him. Neither were paying close attention to her. When she saw the shaft of sunlight, she yanked her arms free, began to run toward that beckoning strip of gold. Faster, she had to move faster!

Another Jaffa appeared, as if from nowhere, reached out and grabbed her hair as she moved by him. She screamed as she was jerked roughly to a halt. Her hands and feet were tied, and she was carried to the room where He waited.

It took Ba'al three hours to make her scream. Twenty Jaffa had taken her before she began to mumble incoherently. When she was injected, she began to beg forgiveness. The Goa'uld smiled. There was yet hope that this one could be trained.

 

First watched the scene of brutal torture before her, the ache in her heart weighing her down. She was forbidden to interfere. As much as she wished to offer comfort, she could not. She glanced at her companions. Tears flowed freely down Second's face, and the dark look of anger that covered Third's handsome features was one she'd never seen before.

"We must do something!" Second whispered.

"It is not allowed," First said, her own voice soft.

"We are not allowed," Third pointed out.

She glanced at him, noted the smile that tugged at his lips. "Miss Eloise!"

"She can at least offer comfort to The One," Second said. She wiped the tears from her cheeks. If only His Beloved would call for her guide! The old woman could help her as well!

 

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The klaxons wailed, the red emergency lights flashed as the inner ring of the 'gate continued to spin. The Marines rushed into the room, took up their defensive positions. General Hammond marched into the control room. Couldn't completely push down the hope that it was SG-1; that his premier team was about to come rushing through the event horizon.

"Receiving Tok'ra IDC, sir," Sergeant Harriman informed him.

With a brisk nod, General Hammond hurried toward the 'gate room. Jacob Carter was already coming down the ramp when he walked in. "Jacob, I'm glad you could get here so quickly."

"Your message was marked urgent," Jacob replied. "What's going on?"

"All hell seems to be breaking loose," Hammond replied. "We have a Goa'uld in hiding here on Earth, Casey Jackson has been taken by Ba'al, and SG-1 was ringed to his ship and are now missing."

The man's eyes had gone wide. "Damn, George!" he muttered.

"To say the least. Come on, I'll give you the details."

The two men settled in chairs in the general's office. "Tell me of this Goa'uld who is here," Selmak said.

"Hello, Selmak," Hammond smiled. "We never would've known about him had SG-1 not gone on a little vacation." He described what the team had found, what Dr. Jackson had discovered, and what Casey's gift had shown her...all of them. He handed the folder of information on the Goa'uld to his friend, gave him time to read it.

"So you sent your people to locate and destroy this fleet?" Selmak asked.

"That was the plan, yes," Hammond replied.

Jacob frowned. "It'd be nice if the Tok'ra could take control of it, we could use the extra ships."

General Hammond raised an eyebrow. "We wouldn't mind having a ship or two of our own. If I thought for a minute that we could get them here, I'd have ordered it done."

Jacob didn't reply to the comment. Relations between the Tau'ri and the Tok'ra were...strained...at best, and it wasn't easy to convince his old friend that Selmak had very legitimate concerns about the Tau'ri controlling what they didn't understand. "You say that Tem hasn't made any advances to come here?"

"None. We have no idea what he's waiting for."

"It's possible that he's...content...for now," the retired general said.

"That would be rather...unusual, wouldn't it?"

"Perhaps. It's also possible that with the satellites he controls, he's already sent messages to his Jaffa."

"That fleet of ships could be on their way here," Hammond said, sitting back in his chair. Dr. Jackson and Major Carter had agreed that such a thing was possible. "It might explain why my people couldn't find them."

Jacob nodded. "If SG-1 is on one of Ba'al's ships, it shouldn't be difficult to locate them. I'll send word, have the search begin immediately. We...the Tok'ra owe them, Doctor Jackson and Casey especially, a great debt."

"Yes, Jacob, they do," Hammond said softly.

 

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"Okay, so where are we headed?" Jack asked, his eyes fixed on the door behind his giant friend. It had taken three attempts in as many days to finally make it into the engine room.

"It seems that this ship is being sent to Babylonia," Teal'c replied.

"You're kidding," Daniel said, wide-eyed. "Babylonia? As in Babylon?"

"It is not uncommon for Goa'uld to name their home planets after the lands that they ruled on the First World," Teal'c explained.

"A bit of nostalgia?" Sam asked.

"So it would seem," the dark man said.

"And just where is this 'Babylonia'?" Jack asked.

Teal'c and Sam studied the star chart. "It's on the other side of this nebula," Sam replied, pointing to a large ruby colored mass.

"That tells me nothing, Carter," Jack said dryly.

"It's a long way from where we were," she told him.

"Why would he send his ship back?" Daniel asked.

"He is confident that he will find Tem's fleet. And he no doubt intends to command the fleet personally," Teal'c said.

"So this ship isn't going back?"

The large man shook his head. "I do not believe so."

"Getting to a 'gate on Ba'al's home planet won't be easy," Jack grumbled.

"Merely getting off this ship to his home planet will be most difficult," the Jaffa said. He frowned. "We have dropped out of hyperdrive."

"Why?" Jack asked immediately.

"I do not know."

Sparks began to crackle and fly from one of the nearby columns, where the crystals that controlled everything from the engines to life support were aligned.

"Problems," Sam whispered.

"Never thought that the Goa'uld would have simple engine problems," Daniel mused.

"We have to get out of here campers, now!" Jack ordered.

They were barely within the safety of the shadows, created by the support beams in the corridor, when five Jaffa and two men ran into the engine room.

"Goa'uld," Teal'c whispered, nodding toward the silk clad figures who disappeared around the corner.

Daniel leaned his head back against the wall. Hoped that the damned snakes could get this ship moving again. The longer he was away from that planet, the higher the risk that Ba'al would find Tem's ships, and disappear to who knew where, taking his Wife along for the ride. Her screams haunted him. He forced back the tears, and the darkness that tried to wrap itself around his very soul.

 

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She could barely hold her head up to look around. She was lying on a bed...no...a table. Her body ached. Images...blurred, distorted images...filled her mind. Faces leering down at her, all of them sporting that bizarre tattoo in the middle of their forehead. So many of them! She felt...ashamed. Something bad...really bad...had happened to her.

"You are awake, I see."

She turned her head. It was Him.

"Shall we continue with the lesson?"

Lesson? What lesson? She watched as a large man wearing funny looking metal clothes jabbed a needle into her arm. She jumped from the slight pain that accompanied the action. Felt that damned fog overtake her once again.

"I am your god. Your Master."

She closed her eyes. She had...she'd displeased Him. She'd been punished, so brutally punished. She moved slightly, gasped at the pain that grabbed her and refused to let go, felt the wetness between her thighs. Blood? Blood and...well, there was something else there, she was sure of it. She just couldn't remember what it was...what it was called.

"I am your Master. Say it, Slave."

"I am your Master," she mumbled.

Ba'al smiled. It wasn't exactly what he had wanted to hear, but it was progress. After five days, he was at last making progress. He stood, walked to stand beside her. "Not quite. I am your Master."

She struggled to think clearly, to understand what this...man...wanted from her. "Master," she whispered.

"Very good. Say it again."

"Master."

"I am very pleased. Who are you?"

"Slave."

"Yes. What are you?"

"Nothing."

He smirked. She still fought him, whenever the drug began to wear off. Which it seemed to do much faster than it should. His priests were still working on an antidote that would protect him from her Hathor drug. And then he'd take his turn at enjoying that most delightful body. "Very good. As a reward, you will be fed. Bathed. And you will rest."

 

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Deke Anderson was standing at the front of the briefing room. Five teams were listening closely as he described the area near the Stargate. He pointed to the pictures that he and his team had taken during the first week they'd been on the planet. "It's a safe bet that as soon as they hear the 'gate activate, they're gonna take cover. Which is why we're gonna use grenade launchers. Between concussion and shrapnel, as well as the gas, we're hoping to take them down long enough to get through the 'gate, and into surrounding forest."

Major Newsome raised his hand. "What are the chances of those Jaffa knowing about the caves?"

The Air Force major giving the briefing frowned. "Hard to say. Unless they have a reason for going that far up river, they wouldn't know about them, and it's a fair hike from the 'gate."

"So we can assume that the caves are still snake free?" Major Parker asked.

"We can assume so. It'll be damned good for us if they are, those caves will offer the perfect place to set up operations," Deke replied. He looked at the general, who sat at the head of the table.

General Hammond frowned, continued to stare at the picture. "You say that Doctor Jackson was unable to convince these people that we could help them?"

"Yes, sir," Major Newsome replied. "The old man wouldn't even talk to him."

"Any chance that Ba'al knew you were there?" Major Ferretti asked. SG-3 was one of the teams picked to go on this mission. Along with -7 and the teams who'd been on the planet with SG-1. This was personal. That friggin' snake had Casey Jackson. And she just happened to be a favorite in the mountain. Not just because of that gift of hers, which kept them all safe, and one step ahead of the snakes. Which brought another frown to his face.

"No way. If they had, those Jaffa would have been hot on our tails."

Major Tim Andrews, leader of SG-7, raised his hand. "This is probably a stupid thing to ask...but why didn't Mrs. J see this coming?"

General Hammond cleared his throat. "I believe that she did," he said quietly. "Several days before we received word from SG-12 that Ba'al had arrived, she came to me. And told me that things were going to get...bad. And that whatever happened, needed to happen."

"She knew that she was going to be caught?" Sergeant Tony Sabotti asked.

"I don't believe she had...details," the general replied. "There's a reason for this, gentlemen. We have to believe that. And we have to bring Mrs. Jackson home. I'd like for that to happen as soon as possible."

"Yes, sir," Deke Anderson replied.

"'Gate room, ten minutes," General Hammond said. When he stood, the men around him stood as well, staying at attention until he'd left the room.

Ferretti looked at Deke. "What are the odds?"

The man shrugged. "80-20. Against," he said.

"Shit," Ferretti mumbled.

"We gotta try," Texas said softly.

"Damned straight," Major Parker agreed.

"That woman saved my life," Andrews said. "I'll go into fucking hell if I have to."

"I hear that," one of his men said.

Ten minutes later, the teams were gathered at the foot of the ramp. Four men stood just at the edge of the event horizon of the open Stargate, grenade launchers in hand. On either side stood Marines, with loaded launchers in their hands, and boxes of grenades at their feet, ready to reload.

"Fire," General Hammond called from the control room.

When the objects came hurtling into the air above them, the Jaffa were caught off guard. They were standing in wait, ready to attack whoever came through the Chappa'ai. These...devices...were unexpected. The first to explode was a concussion grenade, which knocked them to the ground, those closest to the explosion suffering internal damage. Prim'ta writhed in agony within the pouches of the downed Jaffa. The next two rained metal upon them, sharp and hot, tearing into any flesh that was exposed. More of the cursed things flew through the air, more explosions. And then four odd shaped canisters rolled down the steps. Within seconds the air around the monumental ring was unbreathable.

The men in the 'gate room of the SGC anxiously counted the seconds. "Masks on!" Ferretti called out. He'd been at the SGC longer than the others; his experience and tenure setting him into the leadership position. Which meant, he thought wearily, if this thing went tits up, he got the blame. He glanced over his shoulder at the control room window.

"Godspeed, gentlemen. Bring her home," General Hammond said softly.

"Move out!"

 

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Daniel and Jack remained pressed against the wall. Willed the damned Jaffa to leave the room. The 'kitchen' wasn't as big...or as well stocked...as Yu's had been, Daniel told them. But there was enough that they were able to sneak bits out, filling canteens from the supply of water stored in the corner.

"Now!" Jack hissed, watching the backs of the retreating warriors.

Daniel raced forward, grabbed what he could, carefully filled two canteens, then dove back into the shadows. "That's all there is," he whispered.

"It'll have to do," the older man sighed. Seven days. Seven goddamned days. He still wished that the idea of putting on the armor of the Jaffa they'd taken down two days go would have been more feasible. They'd tried, but the armor was heavy, didn't fit Sam at all, well, it fit, she just couldn't move very well. Teal'c had reported that rumors were beginning to circulate about the Jaffa who were missing. It wouldn't be long until someone decided to have a look around to see what was going on. 

Back in the cargo bay where they'd set up temporary quarters, hidden by the crates and boxes that filled the large room, they settled down to eat the bits of bread and fruit that Daniel had managed to find.

He slept little, his dreams...his nightmares...filled with Casey's screams. He could see her, green eyes filled with tears, reaching out to him, for him, begging for his help. Then...then he watched as Ba'al put a symbiote on her, watched it crawl inside her, take over. Those green eyes flashing with that eerie gold light... If they didn't get off of this damned ship soon, he was going to lose his ever-loving mind! He refused to entertain the thought that Ba'al had already taken her away. Or that he'd discovered her Immortality, which would only lead to more torture, and no doubt another death. He had no illusions that if the Goa'uld took it into his head to kill her...permanently, he'd do so in the most horrific way possible.

Sam glanced at Daniel, then at Jack. She and her teammates were concerned about the archaeologist. He couldn't sleep, spoke seldom. He was behaving in the same way he had when Casey had left Silver Springs. Only this time, they knew where she was. And what she was going through. He'd been injecting the nifty serum that prevented withdrawal every other day. At least that was one less thing to worry about. Unless their...trip...took longer than expected.

"Colonel O'Neill, do you copy? Over." A voice crackled softly.

The four people jumped, hearts pounding. Jack looked at his team. "Trap?"

"Possibly," Sam said.

"I don't think the Jaffa speak English," Daniel pointed out.

"Jack this is Jacob Carter, are you there?"

He grabbed his radio. "We're here, Jacob. It's damned good to hear your voice!"

"I'll bet. Can you get to the rings?"

"We can damned sure try," Jack replied.

"Do it. Signal as soon as you're there."

For the first time since their arrival on the ship, hope began to flare. Daniel had his radio in hand. "Any word on Casey?"

The pause spoke volumes to those who waited. "I'm sorry, Daniel, I haven't heard anything," the older man said.

He closed his eyes. Hang on, Angel. Just a little longer. Just hang on.


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