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Sand in an Hourglass

Chapter 5

Her breath was coming in short, shallow gasps as he moved slowly toward her lace covered breasts. The tiny bow between those beautiful orbs held the teddy closed. If he untied that bow...just like...that...and then tugged gently...he began working the satin ribbon from the lace eyelets, watching as more and more of her creamy skin was exposed. When the ribbon had been removed all the way to her navel, he gently pushed aside the lace, freeing her breasts from their sheer covering. So damned beautiful! He lowered his head and began to suckle; the need had been burning in him from the moment he first traced those pink tips with his finger.

Her back arched automatically toward him as he began to make love to her. His hands held her, caressed her, cupped her breasts as he moved his mouth hungrily back and forth, each nipple wet and hard from his attention. Fingers of pleasure stretched through her being, touching off the flames of desire that burned deep within her. She filled her hands with his hair, her fingers curling as the sensations grew ever more intense.

He couldn't help but grin as her body responded to every touch, every kiss; her need becoming evident in the scent of her arousal, and the soft little noises she was making. He knew that she became aroused when she made love to him. And that it would take little to send her soaring into the heavens. He would, however, take his time, making certain that her climax was as intense...as fulfilling...as he could possibly make it.

When he settled himself on top of her, she knew that soon he'd be between her thighs, giving her the attention she wanted...needed. She moaned softly when his mouth moved toward her belly, felt his response to the sound in the gentle caress of his hands. It was true that the new piercing did make her more sensitive, and he delighted in teasing her...tormenting her. He held her still while his tongue moved in and out of her bellybutton, tugging at the tiny platinum ring, preventing her from wiggling beneath him, in spite of her body's desire to do just that.

The lace crotch of the teddy was narrow, it was easily pushed aside to allow his fingers to stroke that wet, velvety flesh. He moved his fingertips over her swollen nether lips, again and again, felt her hips press up against his hand. "Like that?"


"It's time, Angel. I want you naked," he whispered, pulling away from her.

She opened her eyes and sat up, watched him as he pushed the satin straps from her shoulders. Shivered when he leaned forward, his lips following their descent down each arm. She pulled her arms free, lay back when his hand pushed tenderly against her.

"Raise your hips," he commanded softly.

She obeyed, felt him tug the lacy garment free, watched him toss it over his shoulder with absolute glee. Couldn't help but smile when his hands moved over and over her body, caressing her gently.

He pushed her thighs apart, knelt between her legs, his hands still moving over her torso, cupping and massaging her breasts before sliding down to caress her hips, then her thighs. "Most beautiful, amazing Christmas present I've ever unwrapped," he said softly, smiling at her.

"I'm glad you like it," she smiled in return.

The warm vanilla and floral scent of her skin, accompanied by that sweet musky aroma wafted to his nostrils. He took a deep breath, filling his lungs with her. His body began to tremble with need...anticipation. His gaze captured and held hers as he slowly lowered himself. The first taste of her had him shaking. He ran his tongue over the soft folds of her womanhood, searching for any sweet nectar that had escaped that sexy little honey pot.

Her eyes fluttered shut once again as he began to lick her. She moaned when he thrust his tongue inside her, felt the sweet release, the soft waves of pleasure rolling down her belly into her hot and aching center. Heard as well as felt his soft moan as he took what he needed from her, feeding the addiction she'd caused in his body. As much as it bothered her that he was physically addicted to her, creating a need for him to carry the serum that Janet had developed - which mimicked the pheromones and the chemical make up of what Daniel called her 'sweet nectar' - it also thrilled her. Thrilled her to know that only she could give him what he desperately needed.

Her hips were beginning to move up and down...she was feeling good...moving closer to the edge of the cliff. Satiated for the moment, he began a thorough investigation of her sweet little twat, licking and kissing and nipping from one thigh to the other, from her mons to the opening that continued to leak that sweet honey. Each time she moaned, every little sound of need made his heart pound, his soul rejoice, and his cock throb. As soon as she was flying, he'd calm that ache, by sheathing himself inside her. A thought that made him throb all the harder.

If he didn't take care of her aching clitty soon, she was going to be reduced to dealing with it herself! Her hand was already moving toward her thigh. She opened her eyes when she felt his fingers close around hers. He kissed them gently, then placed her hand on her breast. She squeezed without thinking about it, the sensation racing to join the others that were dancing through her. Smiled at the look of lust that filled his eyes as he watched her caress her breast.

He loved it when she tried to take control. Oh, he understood that she had no idea that was what she was doing. She was merely seeking a bit of relief. From the fire that he'd created, fed, increased with each kiss and caress. Her entire body was trembling, her soft moans had turned to softly whispered pleas. Her breasts were beginning to heave, her flat belly rolling as she stretched toward, reached for, that shimmering release.

When he wrapped his hands around her thighs, she knew she was about to take flight. Her body tensed, her hands were in his hair again, fingers clenched tightly, her hips pressed up against him as he continued to tease her.

He ran his tongue over her swollen clit. Her body shivered. When he wrapped his lips around it, she moaned softly. As soon as he began teasing it, her hips once again began to move up and down against his face. He slid two fingers into her warm well, began stroking her, moving his tongue back and forth. Listened as that beautiful whimper filled her throat. He suckled gently, and she sang an aria of love, her well convulsing around his fingers, her sweet honey pouring over his hand. He moved down, wasted not a drop of her precious nectar.

She dropped back down onto the bed just as he entered her, thrusting deep and hard into her still quivering body. "Nngg...yes," she whispered, arching against him once more, pressing her breasts against his chest as he settled over her.

Her hips met his thrust for thrust, grinding against him each time he pushed into her welcoming body. Making love with her was the most amazing, exquisite thing he'd ever experienced. "Love you," he whispered breathlessly.

"Love you, too," she murmured. She tugged his shoulders closer, wrapped her legs around his waist just a bit tighter.

He pressed his face against her throat, smiled as she held him closer to her soft body, wrapping around him like a blanket. Their hips continued to rock in that age old rhythm... he was well aware that soon, very soon, they'd both be out of control, demanding from each other, taking what they needed, giving back without reservation.

More...she needed more, wanted more! Faster...harder...deeper...Without conscious thought her hands moved to his hips, she locked her legs behind his thighs, and she began to grind against him, trying to pull him ever deeper into her body.

"Take it, babe," he whispered in her ear, then moved his tongue over and into it.

So close...she could feel the wind against her face...see the lights beginning to flash...she was almost there...

He knelt on the bed, grabbed her hips, grinding them against his own as he began to thrust harder and deeper. Her hands went to her breasts, tugging at hard, pink nipples, driving him out of his mind as he watched her.

That whimper filled her throat once again, just seconds before she began to moan. Colors began to spin and whirl and explode like fireworks as she flew off of the side of the mountain and out among the stars. "Daniel!"

He turned loose of the control he'd been clinging to...pounded into her quivering, shaking body. He could feel sweet release building, hot and tight in his stomach, moving into his aching balls, then shooting up and out of his throbbing cock. He roared his pleasure as he held her hips against his, his cock pulsing deep inside her, filling her with his love. He dropped down on top of her, panting...spent...totally satisfied.

"Merry Christmas," she whispered.

"Thank you," he grinned. With the last bit of energy he possessed, he rolled over, keeping her body tight against his own. Sleep crept into his brain before he was even aware of it.

She smiled against his chest as he began to snore softly. Snuggled just a bit closer, felt his arms tighten around her. The perfect Christmas. It had been the perfect Christmas. Never before had she experienced such a beautiful, perfect holiday. There was only one reason for the perfection. Daniel. She closed her eyes. Dreamed of blue eyes and a sexy, warm smile, arms that held her tightly...and more love than she could have ever imagined.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Jack stretched his arms over his head. "Come on, Carter. Make up your mind. Me, or Radar?"

Casey grinned. They were in the middle of their third game of Risk. And it appeared that unlike the first two games, both of which Jack had won, this one would not be decided as quickly.

They'd been on base all day; Daniel and Sam had both been wrapped up with work until almost nine o'clock...twenty-one hundred, according to the military personnel around her. Jack had decided that there was no way he was going to allow his team to ring in the new year working. He'd sent an Airman to the grocery store with a list and a wad of cash, telling the young man not to come back until he'd found every item on the piece of paper in his hand. When the Airman had returned, Jack had dragged the team into the lounge on level twenty-five, where officers were quartered. At the moment, they were the only people on the entire level. She had to admit to being glad he'd done so. It was a much better way to spend New Year's Eve. This was much better than sitting in Daniel's office sorting through paperwork. Much better than sitting at a bar, trying to pretend she was having a good time, for the sake of her best friend.

Junk food covered one of the tables beside them. What was left of two party trays, one of meats and cheeses, the other vegetables and fruits, were half buried under the bags of crackers and cookies and chips and pretzels. So far, they'd managed to drink three six-packs of soda. Being on duty, and on the base, prevented them from drinking anything stronger. Although, unbeknownst to his kids, Jack had slipped in two bottles of non-alcoholic, sparkling cider. It wasn't champagne, but it would do.


Sam frowned up at him. Even though the president himself had given them permission to be together, suspending the non-fraternization rules for those working in the SGC, she and Jack had agreed that it would be best to keep a low profile. On base he was still 'Colonel' or 'sir'. She was 'Carter' or 'Major'. "I'm still studying my options, Colonel."

"Well study faster, will ya? I'd like to finish this game sometime this year." He grinned at his wit.

The blonde major rolled her eyes.

"Eager to be taken out, Jack?" Daniel teased. He was safe. Well, for the moment, at least. He'd started out in Australia, and had continued to build up his armies, luck being with him each time Teal'c or Sam tried to attack. Casey had captured and kept South America. She'd be into Central America if the roll of the dice went against Jack. She held England as well, although she hadn't seemed too worried about defending it.

Sam took a deep breath. "Casey, I'm taking England."

"You can try," the slender blonde replied, grabbing the dice. Four rolls later, she was tossing her armies back into the box that they were stored in. "So not fair," she grumbled.

The major giggled. "Okay, sir. I'm going after Greenland."

"Give it your best shot, Major."

Sam was giggling as she continued to 'march' into North America. Jack managed to hold her off at the Northwest Territories. She collected her cards for winning, squealing with delight when she had yet another 'set' of three cards. "That's worth twenty armies!"

Daniel moaned. When Sam had cleared the western hemisphere, she'd focus on Asia. And Australia. Where he and Teal'c were barely hanging on, just going through the motions of attacking one another.

"I believe it is time to review our strategy," Teal'c said quietly.

"You have a plan?" Daniel asked.

"Indeed. If I allow you to take these two countries, it will enable you to build up a larger army. We can attack Major Carter's European armies, and weaken her."

The archaeologist nodded. "Good idea."

"It'll never work," Sam gloated.

"Never say never," Daniel replied, winking at Casey.

It was her turn. She could take Jack out, or she could try and push Sam back. She studied her friend...her best friend. "Payback time," she said, taking up the dice. She managed to push Sam all the way back to Greenland.

"Way to go, Radar!" Jack crowed.

She 'retreated' to Central America, leaving only as many armies in each territory she'd taken as was required by the rules.

True to his word, Teal'c 'allowed' Daniel to capture two of his countries. Daniel pushed the majority of his armies forward. Sam was now under attack from three sides.

"Attention! It is now twenty-three fifty-five."

Jack jumped up from his chair. Grabbed the bag with the two bottles of sparkling cider. "It's not Dom Perignon, but it'll do," he grinned. He popped the cork, grabbed five plastic cups from the bag on the table.

The team stood up, accepted the cups of cider from their CO with smiles. "This was a good idea, sir," Sam smiled.

"Thank you. I have them from time to time," Jack grinned. He grew serious. "It's been a hell of a year. We've had some close calls, but that marvelous SG-1 good luck has seen us through. We've gone through some changes, the best one being the addition of Casey to our little family. Seeing that smile on Danny's face is worth every nerve wracking moment we spent in that alternate universe."

Daniel grinned, put his arm around his wife and pulled her close.

"We've all changed...or been changed, I guess I should say. I think it's a good thing. Certainly came in useful during that attack on the Tok'ra. There were a few things I could have lived without. Next time you think Daniel doesn't love you, come talk to me," he said, putting his finger under Casey's chin. "Don't ever run away again, Casey. Come to us. We'll get you through whatever is happening. And when I give an order to run, don't stop until I tell you to."

"I promise," she said softly.

"We're about to go into the lion's den again. But we're the good guys. So we'll win. Here's to another year of defeating Goa'uld. And happiness..." he looked from Daniel to Casey, then to Sam. Held those sapphire blue eyes for just a moment, then up at the dark gaze of his friend Teal'c. Who, if Sam and Casey were to be believed, was still 'ringing Gracie's bell' on a very regular basis. "Continued happiness...for all of us."

"Hear, hear," Daniel said softly.

The cups were pushed together, and the toast drank to. Jack checked his watch. "Almost time."

The team watched the clock on the wall as the second hand counted off the last few minutes of the year. "Happy New Year," Casey said softly, as the hands lined up at midnight.

"Happy New Year," Daniel murmured. He dipped his head and kissed her. How long had it been since he'd had anyone to kiss on New Year's Eve? So long that he couldn't even remember the last time.

Jack gave Sam a gentle kiss as well.

Teal'c was surprised, but pleased, when Casey gently kissed his lips.

"Happy New Year, Teal'c," she smiled.

"Happy New Year, Casey Jackson." He couldn't help but smile when Sam kissed him as well.

A recording of Auld Lang Syne began to play on the speakers overhead.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne?" Casey sang softly.

"For Auld Lang Syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne," Daniel joined in.

They were standing in a circle, arms around one another, softly singing the old Scottish folk tune, one that had come to be used every New Year's Eve. And rang in the new year together, as a team. Safe, sound, healthy, happy. With luck, they'd remain that way for the majority of the new year.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Casey swung the staff around, blocked the blow that Teal'c intended to deliver. Followed through and went on the offensive.

"Stop!" Teal'c called, panting slightly. "You learn quickly."

"I have a good teacher," Casey gasped. She wiped sweat from her forehead. "Did I do it right this time?"

"You are still dropping your arm too quickly, allowing the staff to become a potential liability against you." Teal'c demonstrated, showing her how the dropped arm allowed her opponent to wrench the staff from her hand. "Keep your arms up. I know that you become weary. The weight of the staff is a factor which increases your fatigue quickly. Do not allow your physical discomfort to cause you to lose. To do so could mean your death."

She nodded her understanding.

Teal'c glanced at the clock on the wall. Took note that half a dozen Marines, including Major Ferretti, had been observing their workout. Which was not unusual. Most of the men in the mountain came to watch Casey Jackson, especially if she was doing aerobics. "We have a briefing in half an hour."

"Yeah, I know," she said quietly.

The Jaffa jerked, looked down at her. "Have you witnessed something that troubles you?" he asked softly.

She shook her head, smiled slightly at the wording of his question. "No. Just the same thing I've seen every time I look around this mission. I can't 'see' anything, but I can't shake the feeling that this mission is going to be...difficult."

"There is no doubt that we are taking a risk being in such close proximity to Anubis. However, we have no choice if we are to render him helpless, and kill him, in order to save this world, and many others," Teal'c replied.

"I know. I just wish I could see more."

"Perhaps you will, when it is prudent that you do," he suggested.

"I hope so," she sighed. She put her training staff beside Teal'c's. They were displayed on the wall when not in use. As far as she knew, no one even touched them, let alone took them down. She followed the Jaffa into the corridor, waved at him when she went into the women's locker room.

Tiesha Taylor was just stepping into the shower when Casey walked into the stall beside her. "You're looking good with that staff," the dark woman said, flashing a smile.

"Thanks," Casey replied. "One of these days, I might even be good enough to hold my own against a real enemy."

The SF giggled. "I think if you had a staff weapon and started swinging it around like you already can, it would probably surprise some damned Jaffa so much that you could whip his ass without half trying."

"Oh, now that's something I hadn't considered," Casey said, her giggle echoing with Tiesha's. "Of course, it will only work as long as surprise is on my side."

"Well, if you're taking them out, they sure won't be spreading the word."


Tiesha rinsed her hair, turned to look at the slender blonde. "Rumor has it that 1 is going on a really dangerous mission. Something you might not come back from."

"I believe SG-1 has gone on a lot of missions like that. They've always come home," Casey said quietly.

"Honest, Case...are you...are you going to be all right? Have you...seen...anything?"

The concern in the woman's voice touched her. She was still struggling with the fact that she had so many friends among the women who worked in the SGC. Oh, there were a few, two nurses to be exact, who were rather stand-offish, but Gracie and Tiesha and Cathy insisted that it was only because they were jealous that she'd managed to capture Dr. Daniel Jackson's heart...forever. "I haven't seen anything...bad," she admitted. "But I do know that it's going to be a hard mission."

"You'll come back," Tiesha said confidently. "You're SG-1."

"Gotta love that SG-1 luck. What about you?"

"We get a couple of days down, then back out again."

"I went over all of the mission folders, General Hammond has everything I can give him," Casey said.

"Glad to hear that! I hate going through that 'gate without a head's up," Tiesha smiled.

"I do my best," Casey smile. Yet another thing that amazed her. No one in the mountain doubted her gift. It was taken as fact, the same as her blonde hair and green eyes. She'd never expected that, either.




Daniel was already on the elevator when she and Teal'c stepped onto it twenty minutes later. "Hey, babe," he said softly. He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulled her against his body.

"Hey, Stud Muffin." She looked up at him. Could see the unease in his eyes. "We'll be okay," she whispered.

"You're positive?"

She lowered her gaze to the crew-neck of his tee shirt. "Not exactly."

He cursed himself mentally, kissed the middle of her forehead. "We'll be okay," he said, hoping that he sounded more convincing than he felt. He hated every aspect of this mission. Hated the fact that even though the team would all be on Osiris' ship, they weren't going to be together. Casey and Sam would be in the harem; he, Jack and Teal'c would be in a holding cell. And Sarah/Karinda had not been able to guarantee that Anubis wouldn't take it into his twisted snake brain to take any or all of them as his own prisoners. Which would totally complicate matters. Could even get them killed. Permanently.

Jack and Sam were already in the conference room when the three walked in and took their usual seats. Jacob/Selmak had arrived earlier, with all of the information the team would need for their 'capture'. He entered the briefing room with General Hammond.

General Hammond looked at the faces of his premier team. Noted the worry. The stubborn resolve. Dr. Jackson looked less than pleased...no doubt the man would scrap the entire mission in a heartbeat if given half a chance. But he'd agreed...reluctantly...to cooperate. Only because Casey insisted that it was necessary that Anubis be taken out. Or at least stopped. She still hadn't been able to see exactly what it was that he was doing...only that he was 'creating' something. Whatever it was, it had her concerned, and if she was concerned, he was concerned!

"Teal'c, I spoke with Bra'tac," Selmak said, once greetings had been dealt with. "The Jaffa...Shakka...who will capture SG-1 were former Jaffa to Osiris. Their absence will be explained away by them having been captured, and then escaping. Bringing SG-1 to Osiris will guarantee their acceptance back into the ranks. They'll recruit as many rebels among the remaining loyal Jaffa as possible."

Teal'c nodded. "This will indeed insure that their appearance among the loyal Jaffa is met with no hostility. Having captured SG-1, they prove their ability to serve their god."

"The two Jaffa whom we hope will be allowed to serve as guards were in service to Apophis, and will swear their allegiance to Osiris." Selmak turned to Jack. "The planet where you will be captured has nothing of interest that we could find."

"The story is that you're on a standard recon," General Hammond added.

Jack nodded. "How long after arrival do we get captured?"

"Karinda...Osiris...will be sending a squad of Jaffa. She has told her First Prime that she has heard from one of her spies that SG-1 will be on the planet," Selmak continued.

"Wait a minute...just how would Osiris get information like that?" Jack objected.

"You must remember, O'Neill, the Jaffa believe their gods capable of many things. They would not question the information, nor the order to seize us," Teal'c said.

"Right. Gods. Omnipotent. In their dreams," he added, under his breath. Grinned when Casey giggled.

"M'zel, who was once in service to Osiris, will lead the others. Adal and Aron will be his 'prisoners'. He will capture you...Karinda will see to it that Osiris' Jaffa are witness to this fact. M'zel will then demand to be taken before Osiris to present SG-1 to his god. There is no way that the other Jaffa can refuse," Selmak said.

"Sure they can," Jack argued.

"Not unless they want Osiris ticked at them," Daniel replied quietly. "The First Prime will take the credit for returning the loyal Jaffa to the service of their god. That's about all he'll be able to do."

Teal'c nodded again. "Once we are aboard the ship, Adal and Aron will be given the chance to serve Osiris. Because their god is dead, they will gladly vow their allegiance to a more powerful god."

"Will there be any questions asked among the other Jaffa, questions that might get back to Anubis, about Adal and Aron being put in charge of the prisoners?" Sam asked.

"I do not believe so. They will be most anxious to prove themselves to their new god. Making certain that none of the prisoners escape will do this. There will be no questions asked when they report to Osiris that SG-1 has escaped, especially when they report the numerous times the team has escaped from other System Lords...particularly Lord Apophis," Teal'c replied.

General Hammond looked around the table. "Any other questions, suggestions...concerns?"

No one said a word.

He looked at Casey. "Would you mind looking one more time?"

She smiled. Closed her eyes...


"Miss Eloise?"

"Hello, Sunshine!" The old woman beamed at the young blonde

"You're looking chipper," Casey said. She cocked her head sideways. "You don't know anything that could be of use...or important...to this mission, do you?"

Miss Eloise cackled. "Nope. Sorry. Even if I did-"

"You couldn't tell me," she finished with a sigh. "There's more...information...I know it. I can feel it. Why can't I see anything?"

"When the time is right, you will see exactly what you need to see," the old woman replied sagely.

"Yeah. Thanks. That doesn't help me."

"Look, Casey. Listen, and look."

She felt herself pulled toward the planet where SG-1 would be captured. Desert. Figured. Well, a tropical planet, or even a heavily forested planet would make it difficult for Osiris' Jaffa to witness their capture, she supposed. Of course, they all had to hope that nobody got their signals crossed and those loyal Jaffa witnessed M'zel and the others arriving! It had to look as if they'd been there for awhile before the team walked through the 'gate. Osiris...Karinda...would tell her Jaffa that the planet had once belonged to Moloc. And that SG-1 was to show up there. If everything went as planned, the team would be on the ship, and heading toward Anubis' ship within an hour or so of their 'capture'. She shuddered as she looked around that particular Goa'uld. Just like she did every time she 'looked' at him. So much blackness around him! There was something about Anubis...something...different. More than just Goa'uld. But that didn't make sense!

Miss Eloise watched. Could sense that Casey had 'picked up' something about Anubis. More than just the safety of Earth, and other free planets in the galaxy, depended upon SG-1 taking on this particular Goa'uld. Because those who understood the true threat he posed were bound by their own rules, forced to stand by and watch helplessly. These five humans were carrying the hopes of the Ascended on their shoulders as well as the future of all humanity. She could feel the others watching. Waiting. Hoping. Praying that the decision of the Higher Beings, making Daniel Jackson The One, would have the intended effect.

"Miss Eloise, there's something about Anubis," Casey said, pulling her lip between her teeth.

"He's a Goa'uld."

"I know that," the young woman retorted. "But there's something...more. Something...something that he's not supposed to be. I know that sounds weird."

"No, it doesn't," the old woman said softly.

Casey stared at the old woman. Knew that unless she asked the right questions, she'd get no answers. "Feel like a game of twenty questions?"

The old woman grinned. "Haven't played that in a long time."

"Any rules?"

"I can only give you yes or no answers."

Casey nodded. "I understand. Okay...Anubis is more than just Goa'uld."


Well, she already knew that, she thought, but at least it was confirmed. "He's not building a ship, is he?"


"He's...he's creating something, right?"


"Can you tell me what he's creating?"


"Figures," Casey mumbled. She studied the old woman again. What the hell about that damned Goa'uld was bothering her so? Why couldn't she shake the feeling that what he was would be important to their mission? Her green eyes went wide. "Is he a demon, or something like that?"

Miss Eloise looked up, as if she were listening to someone else speaking. "No."

"But there is something...more than just the Goa'uld symbiote, right?"

"Yes. And no."

Casey rolled her eyes. "Oh, thanks heaps! That helps so much!"

"Think, Casey," the old woman said softly.

"Okay, either he's more than just a Goa'uld symbiote, or he's not..." Green eyes went wider. "Holy shit! He's not a symbiote...at least...not now!"


The look on the old woman's face told her that she'd just figured out something significant. She could feel that poking in the back of her mind. But she couldn't focus on it...not yet. The only thing that she knew for certain was that it was important. Very important. "Okay, he's not a symbiote any longer...he's...changed...somehow, and that makes him more dangerous, and he's creating something...and he wants to wipe out the First World."

Miss Eloise nodded. A question hadn't been asked, so she was forbidden to respond. At least...vocally.

"Because we're a threat to whatever it is he's trying to do?"

"Yes, and no."

"You're not helping!" Casey protested. "I know...think, Casey." She took a deep breath. "The SGC is a threat to him?"


"SG-1 is a threat to him?"


Frustrated, she crossed her arms over her chest. Heard a voice echoing in her head. Deep, resonant...speaking of love, and The Great Force...The One..."Daniel!" she whispered. "Daniel is the threat, isn't he?"


"Does Anubis know?"


She frowned. "He knows...or at least suspects...that someone on Earth is a threat to him. Anubis knows about The One. Am I right about that?"


"Does he know that Daniel...or this person who is a threat to him, works for the SGC?"


"Anubis is much stronger than anyone realizes."


"And Daniel has to face him."


"Because Daniel is The One."


She felt her blood run cold. "Oh, I don't like the sound of that," she murmured.

Again the old woman looked up, as if someone was speaking to her. "You have what you need. But you must not reveal too soon what you know. It will make the others uneasy. Your mission must proceed as planned. When the time is right, you will tell them, tell Him, everything that we have discussed."

She had to be certain that she didn't hesitate at the wrong moment. Miss Eloise wouldn't be able to tell her, she was certain of that. But if she could ask...She smiled. "Will you...confirm...that moment for me?"

Miss Eloise cackled. "Very sneaky. And very good. Yes, I will be able to do so, because you asked only for confirmation."

She sighed with relief.

"Go and tell them what you can. And remember this: together, you cannot be defeated."

"So Daniel and I have to be together to beat Anubis?"

Miss Eloise nodded.

Casey grasped the old woman's hands. "Thanks. We will be okay, right?"

"I don't know. I do know that there will be moments when you will fear for your life. When you will feel as if your heart is breaking. And that all hope is lost. But never give up. Never let Him give up."

Oh, that so did not sound good! She watched the old seer disappear. Opened her eyes.

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