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First lowered her eyes. "I understand." Her heavy heart was even more so now. They were not going to be allowed to speak with Casey's spirit guide, the old woman who was helping His Chosen find her way as a seer. Unless Casey, or Daniel, called for the Ascended Being, she was not able to help either.
"I know that it is difficult," the deep male voice said. "But we must not interfere."
"Even if they are in danger of dying?" Second couldn't help it. This just wasn't right!
"Be silent!" First hissed.
"If there is a danger that their Immortality cannot save them from, only then may you reach out to them."
The three started, stared at one another. Never before had they been given permission to do such a thing! The One and His Beloved were truly important to the Innocent who lived throughout the universe for such an exception to be made.
"Go now," the voice said. "You must observe."
With a nod, First led her companions away from the temple.
"I'm sorry," Second said, her voice trembling.
First reached out and touched the young woman's arm. "You must learn to control your emotions," she chided gently.
Third smiled. "At least we may stop any who would attempt to wipe Him, or His Beloved, from existence."
First smiled as well. "Yes, we certainly may. We must watch carefully. To make certain that none try."
Second and Third exchanged glances. First often surprised them. The look that she gave them said all that her words did not.
Casey moaned softly as she was taken down. Once again Ba'al stood over her, the healing device in his hand. If he was aware that it took little effort to heal her, or that several of the bruises had already faded away, he said nothing. She closed her eyes. Daniel! her heart cried out. Daniel, I need you! "Daniel," she whispered.
Again the name of that Tau'ri! This one was strong. An increase in the dosage of the ker'nish'ta would most certainly remove any lingering memories. He gave the order. Watched as she was injected. Soon, very soon, she would belong totally to him. He almost regretted allowing his Jaffa to take her. When he took her into his bed, she would serve him, and him alone. As soon as the priests had that antidote ready...
A A A A A A
How many days? She paced the room, her shoulder against the stone wall. When He didn't stick her with that sharp thing that hurt, the fog wasn't as bad. She could think. Sort of. Images continued to fill her mind. Most often images of blue eyes, a warm smile...feelings of happiness and...she shook her head. Dreams. Just dreams. Not real. He told her so. Anything she thought she remembered weren't memories. They were dreams. Planted by the one who'd sent her to this place. An evil creature named Hathor.
The rattle of metal against metal filled the air. She closed her eyes. She was a slave. She was nothing. Her purpose was to please her Master. If it suited Him to allow his Jaffa to have her, then she could do nothing but accept her fate. It just felt so damned wrong!
Images, like she'd never seen before, began to dance in front of her eyes. Terrified, she raced to the corner where the shadows were the darkest, tried to hide from what would not stop. Men...many men...trying to get to this keep. There were dangers out there, He said. If she tried to escape, the monsters of the dark would eat her soul. He'd told her that when she'd tried to run from Him, from his Jaffa. She couldn't remember why she'd tried that. Tears filled her eyes, shame washed over her as the memory of being taken over and over and over filled her mind. Another face began to dance in front of her eyes. She screwed them shut, only to find that the face remained, even behind her tightly closed eyelids. Dark, his skin was dark. And the tattoo on his forehead was gold. And not like that of her Master's men.
The door swung open. Two men stepped inside, looked around. Found her trembling in the corner. One was already opening the front of his pants as his partner pulled the woman to the middle of the floor.
No! No! No! she screamed silently. This isn't right! Those blue eyes returned. She tried to focus on them, watching them seemed to help, as the man on top of her thrust and grunted and groaned.
A A A A A A
Where in the fuck had they all come from? Louis Ferretti continued to fire his P90. It seemed that Ba'al had every damned Jaffa in his service on this damned planet!
"We can't hold out much longer," Captain Richards gasped beside him.
"The hell we can't," the older man growled. "Newsome, can you get your men to the north?"
"No way, we're pinned down," came the reply.
He ran a hand over his face. "Richards, get to the DHD. Dial home. We're pulling out."
The young man nodded. His heart fell. They hadn't even made it a mile from the 'gate before they'd been surrounded by Jaffa. He listened as his CO gave the word to fall back. He began to fire blindly behind their position, in an attempt to clear the way back to the Stargate.
It seemed like an endless wave of Jaffa continued to race toward them. Ferretti was madder than hell. Those tin-suited sonsuvbitches were the reason Casey Jackson was in Ba'al's clutches. And they were totally fucking up his plans to rescue her! With a roar of sheer rage, he stood to his feet, his P90 raining death on those of the enemy foolish enough to cross his path.
The sudden action of the man had temporarily surprised the Jaffa. They stopped, not certain just who...or what...they were fighting. Certainly the weapons these...Tau'ri...had were unlike any they'd encountered before.
Well, how about that, Major Newsome thought, taking note of the reaction to Ferretti's idiotic move. He stood as well, shouting at the top of his lungs. Heard Deke do the same thing to his right.
It was only going to delay them for a few seconds at most. But those few seconds could get them home.
"Major, the 'gate is open!" a voice called out, echoing through the radios of the men who continued to fire.
"Move out! We regroup and come back!" Ferretti shouted.
A A A A A A
They were filthy, they were hungry, and they were exhausted. But they were alive. Jacob sat in his chambers in Ravanna, waiting for his daughter and her friends to finish bathing. To'lene had brought food in, it sat waiting for them. As well as a message from General Hammond. It wouldn't be easy to give it to him. He'd never seen those cerulean blue eyes so haunted.
He forced a smile. "Sammy! You're looking a sight better than you were when I picked you up!" He accepted her hug, returned it just as lovingly. "You smell better too."
"Gee, thanks. You spend seven days hiding on a Goa'uld ship!"
"Hello, Jacob," Jack called as he led Teal'c and Daniel into the room.
"Jack. I was just telling my daughter she looks better cleaned up. You all do."
"Any word about Casey?"
Jacob looked at the young man. During the time spent returning to the Tok'ra base, which was closer than Earth, Sam had explained that Daniel had once again started slipping away from them; his grief, his anger, over Casey's capture breaking his heart.
"A rescue attempt was made. Five teams didn't even make it to the village. They had to fall back, go back to the SGC," Jacob said quietly. "General Hammond says that new plans are being made right now. Major Ferretti seemed to think they knocked out enough Jaffa to make a difference the next time."
"They are attempting to go in on the offensive," Teal'c said. "A covert operation would be much more efficient."
"I agree, Teal'c," Selmak said. "I do not understand why General Hammond has not ordered such an operation to be undertaken."
"Covert means time spent planning. And the op can take days. The first attempt might have been a long shot, but it was quick and to the point," Jack said quietly. "There was always the chance that it would have worked, that they could have made it all the way."
Daniel said nothing. He stared at his hands. Hands that had held her, touched her, made love to her...he should have made sure she was still beside him! He looked up when he realized that the conversation had stopped. "What?"
"I asked if you'd like something to drink," Jacob said softly.
He was about to refuse, when he saw the look in Jack's eyes. The worry. The fear. Probably afraid I'm cracking up, he thought scornfully. Yeah, I am, Jack. I'm losing my freaking mind! She's being tortured, for chrissakes! And I'm sitting here playing tea party with the fucking Tok'ra! "Yes, thank you," he managed to say.
They were halfway through their meal when it began. Against the odds, Zipacna had located the Tok'ra base. The usual message of destruction at the hands of their god filled the air. And then he'd launched an attack. It was sudden, and caught the Tok'ra completely off guard. It was late, and the majority of the rebels were in their chambers sleeping. Jacob/Selmak and three others had quarters near the council chamber and the control room. The others had been efficiently cut off. There were emergency evacuation routes, and they were being utilized. But Jacob and his guests were alone in their section of the tunnels. And were the only ones with access to the control room.
"We have to make sure that the database stays in one piece until we can get everything downloaded!" Jacob shouted over the sounds of alarms, and the deep rumble of bombs that seemed to be exploding everywhere.
"Where are these computers?" Jack asked.
"I can't let you go in there," Jacob protested.
"You don't have a choice!
After a very brief discussion with his symbiote, in which Selmak agreed that it was likely that Jack would order Sam to get copies of everything she could, it was most important that the information be saved. And if some of it fell into the hands of the Tau'ri, where, Jacob pointed out, half of it was supposed to be in the first place, then it was a small price to pay. "Let's go!"
"Dad, we're cut off from the rings, is there another way out of here?"
"There will be," the older man replied. He opened a chest, grabbed a leather pouch and stuffed nearly a dozen crystals into it. He led them into the tunnel, past several rooms where personal belongings were scattered about, into a large room with nearly a dozen computer consoles. "Start there," he said, pointing to the center console.
With a nod, Sam ran to the curved surface. Several clear data crystals sat on top of the glass top. "These?"
The retired general spared a glance over his shoulder. "Yeah! Hurry!"
"Selmak! Jacob, can you hear me?"
Jacob grabbed the communication device beside him. "I hear you Aldwin!"
"I have managed to get the Al'kesh into orbit. I can ring you up if you can get to the ring transporter."
"Give us a few minutes, we're trying to save what we can," Jacob replied.
"I cannot wait long. I am cloaked, but the Goa'uld ships are moving closer."
The sound of Jaffa armor clanking in the tunnel set five hearts pounding against ribs.
"It's got to be enough, we have to go!" Jack said, watching the doorway. He aimed his P90 as soon as he caught sight of the first Jaffa, and began to fire. Daniel and Teal'c stood beside him, effectively keeping the enemy from getting closer.
"We aren't going to be able to hold them back forever," Daniel said.
"It's enough," Jacob said calmly. He placed a dozen explosive devices around the room. "Let's go."
When they reached the end of the tunnel, Jacob stabbed a crystal into the rock wall. They'd witnessed how the Tok'ra 'grew' tunnels before. It was still just as awe inspiring. When they'd opened another one, Jack took aim, and destroyed the crystal, effectively closing the tunnel behind them.
They were nearly to the ring transport when they realized that they were surrounded by Jaffa.
"We can't make it," Jacob said. He felt strangely calm in the face of his death. He should have died five years ago. Thanks to his daughter, and her friends, he hadn't. And he'd had one hell of a good time.
Jack looked at his team. "One of us has to make sure that Jacob can get us all to that ship that's waiting."
"What are you talking about?" Jacob asked.
"Dad, you have to trust us. I'll explain later," Sam said quickly.
"Teal'c, he's going to need big and strong. You're big and strong," Jack said.
The Jaffa nodded.
"Carter, you get that damned thing activated. Daniel, we have to give her enough time to do it."
The young archaeologist nodded his understanding.
"On three. One...two...three!"
When the three bodies flew through the air, landing in the middle of the tunnel, the Jaffa were at first stunned into inaction. Those seconds gave Daniel and Jack time to get to their knees and begin firing, not actually aiming at anything, they were only trying to keep the Jaffa back long enough for Sam to activate the rings.
"Hurry up, Carter!" Jack shouted.
"Just a few more seconds, sir!"
Explosions from staff weapons began to singe the rock around them. Daniel went down, a gaping wound in his chest.
Jacob gasped, would have raced forward if Teal'c hadn't held him back. Just as the rings began to activate, Jack and Sam went down. The Jaffa yanked Jacob with him from their hiding place, raced toward the rings, made certain that his friends were safely within the circle, and watched as the Jaffa tried to reach them. "Not today," he growled quietly.
Once they were on board the Al'kesh, Jacob cradled the body of his daughter. "It shouldn't be this way," he said hoarsely. "I'm supposed to go first!"
"Do not worry, Jacob Carter. Major Carter will survive."
"Teal'c, she's dead!" the older man snapped.
He studied the grieving man for a moment. Reached for the hunting knife that he always carried. "Observe, Jacob Carter." Teal'c put a small cut on his thumb.
"Is this some sort of Jaffa mourning ritual?"
"It is not. When we have arrived at our destination, I will show you again."
The man has lost his mind, Jacob thought. Perhaps all that he'd been through...as the First Prime of Apophis, then betraying the one that he'd called 'god' for so long, fighting along side of the Tau'ri, being captured and tortured again and again...had been too much for him to deal with. Then watching his friends killed in front of him...yep, the man had lost his mind.
"Would it be possible for you to return us to Earth?"
"I need to get this information to the new site as soon as possible. But when I have, I promise, we'll take them home."
Teal'c nodded his head. "That will be acceptable." This was the first time that any of the team had taken advantage of their Immortality. It would be three days before his friends were...awake. Perhaps by that time Casey Jackson would be returned to the SGC as well. That would lighten Daniel Jackson's heart. And his own.
A A A A A A
She rolled her eyes. He'd made that man with the funny thing on his face jab her with that sharp thing again. She didn't understand why. She'd obeyed him. She'd done everything He'd asked her to do. She didn't understand why she had to do some things, but she was nothing, a Slave. It wasn't for her to question her Master.
Ba'al watched her as she sat quietly, waiting for him to give her a command. If he said nothing, she would remain in that corner until he did. He sighed. As long as there were sufficient amounts of the ker'nish'ta in her system, she was compliant, obedient. But as soon as the effects began to wear off, she began fighting him, struggling against his conditioning.
There was something about her, something...different. He hadn't used the healing device on her in three days. Yet her skin was as unblemished as it was when he finished healing her. There hadn't been any torture to speak of, he hadn't been forced to use the knives in several days now. But she continued to need discipline...there should have been bruises on her face...her breasts.
Perhaps he should have his scientists examine her. He nodded. Yes, as soon as he returned to Babylonia, he'd turn her over to them...for a time. Then he would have her. As of yet, he'd been unable to indulge, the supply of Hathor's drug was still prevalent in her. He could smell her from where he sat. Sweet. Fresh. Alluring. Perhaps it was that drug that was interfering with the ker'nish'ta. Yes, that must be it. The way her body regenerated itself, though...that thought prodded him, although he didn't recognize it.
"You are a slave. You must never look into the eyes of those who control you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Master," she whispered softly.
"Very good. You are nothing. No man will claim you. You are nothing."
"I am nothing," she repeated.
He continued to watch her. She was so beautiful...so...beguiling. Did he dare to risk it? Those pink lips, the way she tugged on that full lower lip with her teeth was so...arousing. "Come here."
She crawled on her hands and knees to where her Master was sitting.
He opened his robe, his cock already swelling. "Pleasure me, Slave."
Without hesitation she opened her mouth, began to give him a blowjob. Daniel always loved her blowjobs. Daniel! As they did every time that name filled her mind, images of blue eyes and a warm smile danced behind her eyes, feelings of warmth and safety filled her. Just a dream. Just a beautiful dream that helped her to sleep at night, when she was alone in the cold, stone cell that was her home.
Ba'al's eyes rolled back in his head. The woman had a tongue that was unbelievable! Her hands worked his body as well as her mouth, making him moan with gratitude as she took him to heights he'd never achieved from mere oral pleasure before. Oh, yes! This beautiful little siren would keep his bed warm at night. And she would do this for him again and again and again. All coherent thought was lost as she took him into her throat and began to swallow.
Miss Eloise wiped the tears from her eyes. If only she'd remember...would call to her! She longed to reach out and help her. Longed to comfort him as his heart continued to break. One day, that rotten bastard would pay. Oh, yes indeed. The One would exact revenge on that Goa'uld. Every wound, on her body, on her mind...on her soul, would be avenged. Yes indeed!
A A A A A A
The Tok'ra moved around him, all busy with setting up the new base from which they'd continue their struggle against the Goa'uld. "Jacob Carter, I must speak with you."
Jacob spared the Jaffa a glance. The large man had spent his time meditating, refusing to leave the bodies of his friends. To see him standing here now was a surprise. "What is it, Teal'c?"
"Please, I must speak to you in private."
With a sigh, the retired general nodded. Led the tall man into the chambers that were now his. "What?"
The Jaffa held out his hand.
"Teal'c, this is no time to play games," Jacob groused.
'Look at his thumb, Jacob!' Selmak gasped.
He stared. Where there had been a rather nasty, self-inflicted cut, was perfectly smooth, unblemished skin. "I don't understand," he stammered.
"Several months ago, SG-1 was sent on a very...routine...mission. Casey Jackson saw nothing of what was about to happen to us. We died there, in a very large, very ancient temple. We were brought back to life there. Daniel Jackson was put through a series of tests. Because he succeeded, the five of us were granted Immortality. Daniel Jackson is The One - although we do not understand what this means. Only two other people know about us. General Hammond, and Doctor Fraiser. They have been able to help us conceal our ability to heal quickly," Teal'c explained.
Jacob's eyes went wider. He didn't think he'd ever heard Teal'c say so much at once. And god, what he was saying!
"In three days, Daniel Jackson, Major Carter, and O'Neill, will be alive and well. Of this I give you my word. However, no one must ever know this secret. If the wrong people were to find out-"
"You would be experimented on indefinitely," Selmak finished. Jacob was, at the moment, too stunned to speak. "I give you my word, and that of my host, that your secret is safe with us."
"Thank you," Teal'c replied. "I must contact General Hammond and tell him what has happened."
"If no one is to know about your...secret, how will you explain taking three dead bodies into the SGC?" Selmak asked.
Teal'c frowned. "I do not know."
"Let's call George. I have an idea," Jacob said, having found his voice once again.
A A A A A A
George Hammond was not an emotional man. When he heard that his premier team was dead, but on their way home, he didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or do a jig. Selmak suggested that the team be ringed down directly to one of their homes, that keeping the team together was necessary if Teal'c was to continue to protect them. It was decided that they'd be set down at Sam's house, none of the men at all certain that Daniel Jackson could handle being in his own home, considering the circumstances, and Jack lived in an area where several amateur astronomers had telescopes in their homes. A beam from several miles above the planet into the interior of one of the neighboring houses would not go unnoticed there. It was risky enough to get them to Sam's. A quick phone call to set up the cover story, and he was ready to discuss the other nightmare that he was facing.
He walked into the briefing room feeling as if part of the weight on his shoulders had been lifted. The five teams who'd gone on the first rescue attempt waited for him. "Gentlemen, I have good news. I just spoke to Jacob Carter. SG-1 is with him, they're safe, but exhausted. Doctor Fraiser is afraid that if they return here, they will insist on going on any and all retrieval missions. Especially Doctor Jackson. Therefore, they are going to be returned to their homes, and they will be forbidden to enter the base until further notice. They won't be happy about it, but hopefully they'll get enough rest to be able to help us when they do return."
"With luck, sir, they won't have to worry about it," Major Ferretti said.
"Let's hope so, major," the general agreed. "Have you been able to come up with a plan?"
The men looked at one another. "We have a few ideas. But we could use some intel first," Major Anderson said.
"We'd like to send a two man team in. We figured a few canisters of BZ-3 gas would do the trick. Any Jaffa guarding the 'gate aren't going to want to admit to being knocked unconscious," Ferretti said.
"That could buy us time," Major Newsome replied. "The two man team would then stay put until a full team could come through for the operation."
"Just one team?" the general asked.
"Sir, whoever goes in is going to have to do it black and silent," Ferretti replied.
He glanced through the carefully prepared report. "Do it."
With grim smiles on their faces, the men rose, saluted, and left the room. General Hammond pretended not to know that a round of good old fashioned rock-paper-scissors among the team leaders had determined which team would be going after Casey Jackson.
A A A A A A
Her head hurt. She'd been alone all day. Her Master hadn't spoken to her at all yesterday, although he wanted her sitting in the corner where he could see her. He'd seemed...upset...about something. She tried to remember the words. Al'kesh. Ha'tak. Yu. She barely understood those words. They were...ships. Well, all but the last word. She didn't know what it meant. She frowned. Ships...there was something very important about ships...
Her shoulder pressed against the stone wall, she paced the perimeter of the room. The fog that always seemed to surround her was not as...thick...today. But her head hurt so badly it was hard to think. Those beautiful blue eyes just would not go away! That was all right. She didn't want them to go away. Those eyes, and that warm smile always helped her get through whatever she was suffering. Especially if she was being punished. She hadn't been punished in...how many days now? She didn't know. Yesterday He hadn't even talked to her.
Around and around the cell she paced. Unaware that she was humming. No one who might have heard her would know that it was a song called 'Lying Eyes', performed by a group of men known as 'The Eagles'.
Ba'al gulped his wine. Two weeks, and still no sign of those damned ships! Now he had to recall the Jaffa he had out looking for it. And hope that the message to his flag ship had been received in time for it to arrive before the System Lords who were gathering. He couldn't allow them to come here. They would be too curious to know what interest this backwater planet held. And he couldn't take the chance that one of them would stumble on that damned missing fleet. He never would have believed that the Goa'uld he had known could be so...so successfully devious. "Tem, you surprise me," he muttered.
"My Lord, word comes from Babylonia," his First Prime announced. He glanced around the room. Would much rather be back out looking for the mysterious fleet of ships than within the walls of this cursed place!
"And that word is?"
"It will take three days for your ships to arrive. Repairs are still being completed."
It was difficult to keep from striking out. For a few fleeting seconds he considered having his new slave brought to him for just such a purpose. But no, she'd been obeying so well. Training was going well. At this point, she no longer remembered her name. A few more days, and the second half of her training could begin. "Very well. Continue to search. Those ships are here somewhere, I want them found!"
"Yes, My Lord." The First Prime bowed, then left the room. He would lead the next group out himself!
A A A A A A
"Okay, this gas will only keep them down for about an hour. You have to be long gone and in position by then," Major Ferretti said. The two men, Major Newsome and Sergeant Kyle Spencer nodded their understanding.
"Remember, Mark, there are supplies in that cave," Deke Anderson said quietly. "Use it as your base."
"We will," the man replied.
"If you get the chance-" Evan Parker started, then looked down at the floor.
"If we get the chance, we'll get her," Newsome replied softly. He looked at the young sergeant beside him. "Ready?"
Newsome glanced up at the control room.
"Godspeed, gentlemen," General Hammond said quietly.
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