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Sand in an Hourglass

Chapter 7

Ba'al gazed at the Jaffa warrior who stood before him, waiting for a reply to the message from Anubis. An invitation. No...no, it had been more like a summons. He was well aware of the fact that he was one of the few Goa'uld who were not...allied...with Anubis. That Goa'uld had been thought dead for nearly a thousand years. Amazing how the most annoying ones had a habit of popping back up. Like Tem. No one had heard from him since before Ra...and the all the other Goa'uld who had remained there...had been forced to flee from the First World. He'd been gone for so long that the fool had no idea what was going on. Information from his spies had alerted Ba'al to the fact that Tem's mysterious fleet had been destroyed. Tem believed it to be the work of the Asgard. He snorted. The Asgard were in no position to have made such an attack. Not that any of the Goa'uld were willing to force the issue to prove out their theory that the tiny gray beings were no longer as strong as they'd been for millennia.

He forced his wandering thoughts back to the issue at hand. "Tell your master that I accept his...invitation."

With a nod, the Jaffa left the room, prepared to ring back to the small scout ship that had located the ha'tak on which Ba'al was spending the majority of his time.

He'd been making small, precision attacks on three System Lords; minor Goa'uld who posed no threat to anyone, but held ships and resources he wanted...and needed. No doubt Anubis was going to plead the case that he leave the fools alone. He'd listen to the pleas. Perhaps even agree to cease his attacks. But he'd do as he damned well pleased! He was one of the strongest System Lords in the galaxy. He had no need to fear anyone.

When his ha'tak drew close to the ship where Anubis waited, it was difficult to hide his surprise. The ship was unlike anything he'd seen before! It was without a doubt a powerful vessel. Ba'al frowned slightly. He could feel the balance of power in the sector shifting...and it was moving in the wrong direction! Rather than gathering the reins of complete control into his own hands, he could feel them slipping into those of Anubis.

It had been months ago when he'd stumbled upon the 'rumor' of Tem's ships. Several minor System Lords, including those he was attacking, had already begun looking for them. The addition of a dozen ships to his fleet would have made his the largest in the galaxy, would have made him the most powerful. He shook his head. Perhaps he'd spent too much time in search of those damned ships. He hadn't paid close enough attention to what was going on around him. An often fatal mistake. Well, he was aware now. And he'd watch Anubis closely. He continued to stare at the huge ship as they moved closer. He would have that ship. With it, no other System Lords would dare defy him. The irony of his plan was completely lost on him as he continued to scheme.


A  A  A  A  A  A


The First Prime approached the door hesitantly. The new personal guards were standing sentry, and came to immediate attention. Very good, he thought. These Jaffa had been trained well. With a deep breath, he tapped on the door.

Mirim opened the door just a bit, one eye pressed against the crack.

"I have a message for Osiris. It is from Anubis."

She was just a lo'taur, lower in rank than even the lowliest Jaffa. She opened the door, allowed the First Prime to enter the private chambers of his god.

Sarah had awakened, and had quickly moved toward the closest body. Which just happened to be Casey Jackson.

Startled from sleep, Casey struggled slightly.

"Yes," Karinda hissed. "Fight me. It pleases me when you do so."

Immediately she understood. Tried to look as panicked as she knew she should be. From the smile the Tok'ra host gave her, she must have been succeeding.

"I beg your forgiveness, My Lord," the First Prime said, averting his eyes from the bed. But not before he'd seen the hand of his god moving beneath the satin sheet, toward the slender blonde woman's legs...or more aptly, what lay between them.

"What?" Karinda growled. She didn't actually touch Casey, but did her best to make it appear that she was.

"Word from Anubis, My Lord. He will arrive at these coordinates within the hour, and wishes to see you immediately. You are to ring to his ship as soon as he is within range."

"Very well. Go. Scan carefully. Make certain that there are no...shadows...lurking nearby." By now Jacob had maneuvered the Tok'ra freighter just below them, close enough that the two ships would appear as one on the scanners, and would remain 'invisible' to any scans Anubis would perform, thanks to the new shields, the designs of which Karinda had managed to steal from that Goa'uld.

With a bow, the Jaffa turned and fled from the chamber. He heaved a sigh of relief as he walked down the corridor. Had he been just a few minutes later...he shuddered. Even though the message was from Anubis...which meant that it was to be delivered to his god immediately, no matter what...to have disturbed Osiris in the middle of - he shook his head mentally. The rage would have been painful to endure. He forced from his mind the images of his god's supple, feminine body and those of the two newest slaves. It would not do to allow such thoughts to linger in his mind, lest his god find them there, and take offense.

"You did very well," Karinda said, as soon as the door had closed behind the Jaffa.

"Thank you," Casey muttered. "Let's just hope we don't have to do that again."

When Mirim appeared with clothes for Casey and Sam, the two Tau'ri were momentarily confused. "Osiris would not allow you to continue wearing the grab of warriors," she pointed out.

"Oh, hell," Sam mumbled.

Casey examined the tunic. It didn't look so bad. She heaved a sigh when she reached for her bra, only to have Mirim shake her head. Oh, Daniel was so not going to like this! The silk of the tunic was thin. The Tok'ra who posed as lo'taur clipped a belt around her narrow waist. Well, that certainly made it shorter! It barely covered her hips as it was! Thank goodness she was allowed to keep her thong on!

Sam was just as dismayed at her costume. This hadn't been part of the deal! At least she'd be spared the embarrassment of appearing in front of Anubis looking like this!

Karinda knew that what needed to be done now would not be easy for either woman. "Now that Osiris has...raped...you, he would take great delight in letting the men of the team know exactly what he had done. This will not be easy. Your demeanor must be that of women who have been assaulted, taken against their will."

While she didn't have the actual memories to draw on, the shame of knowing what had happened to her still lurked in her heart. Casey had no doubt that she could use those feelings to help her with this unexpected 'scene' that she'd be expected to play.

Sam shivered mentally. Memories of one horrible night on a Goa'uld ship, just before she'd managed to escape, and free her teammates, rushed forward from the dark corner where she had hidden them. She'd told no one, not even Janet, about what had happened. Thankfully, Janet hadn't thought to give her a pelvic exam after the team had returned from that mission, or her heart-wrenching secret would have been exposed. She'd borrowed a dozen books from the library about rape and recovery, self help books that she'd used to heal herself. If she'd been a bit...stand-offish for awhile, unable to bear being touched for several months, she'd always been able to hide behind quickly formed lies. If anyone suspected, no one said anything to her about it.

"Sam?" Casey asked softly. The look of absolute terror that had flickered in the major's sapphire blue eyes worried her. She reached out, took her best friend's hand. And was assaulted by images. Her own green eyes went wide.

The look on Casey's face alerted her to the fact that the seer was getting an 'information dump', as she called them. And when those green eyes had locked with hers, Sam knew in an instant what she'd 'seen'. She could feel her cheeks blazing.

"I won't say a word," Casey whispered. "But if you ever want to talk-"

"I won't," Sam replied curtly. She hadn't spoken of what had happened. Never. There was no reason to start now!

Casey gave a short nod. "Of course."

"Is there a problem?" Karinda asked quietly, a deep frown on Sarah's lovely face.

"No," Casey replied. "None at all. Let's get on with this, shall we?"

"I am afraid this is necessary, and will be expected," Karinda said apologetically. Leather chokers were put around Casey and Sam's slender throats. Chains that looked more like jewelry than restraints were connected to each. The delicate links were deceptively strong, however. Karinda took the leather wrapped ends in each hand. "Now, we visit the cell, which will be the signal to both your teammates, and the other operatives on the ship, that the second phase of the mission begins."

Mirim followed immediately behind the two 'newly captured slaves' as Karinda strolled down the corridor.

M'zel and his companions surrounded the women, as would be expected of the personal guard of the Goa'uld. As soon as the Tok'ra ringed to the ship of Anubis, Adal and Aron would see to it that SG-1 'escaped', and were able to carry out their part of the plan.

"I will speak to the prisoners," Karinda said firmly, for the benefit of the Jaffa who were still quite loyal to Osiris. "I want them to see that there is no escape, that their lives belong to me."

Casey nearly rolled her eyes. Karinda sounded exactly like a Goa'uld. Completely over the top and delusional. She tugged at the bottom of the tunic. Felt as if she might as well be parading around naked. And why was the damned ship so freaking cold? Probably just the lack of clothes, she thought miserably. Oh, Daniel is going to freak when he sees me!




The men were on their feet at the sound of approaching Jaffa, the unmistakable clinking of armor making their hearts race. They were unable to see the end of the corridor, had no idea if they were about to get word from allies, or be tortured by loyal Jaffa.

Three hearts pounded with relief when M'zel appeared in front of them. "Your god will speak to you," he said firmly.

Daniel translated. Gasped out loud when the Jaffa 'opened' their ranks and Sarah/Karinda stepped closer, Sam and Casey on either side of her. His first thought was that she was cold, evidenced by the firm nipples poking against the thin silk of the tunic she wore. Which made his mouth water to taste them, and his palms itch to cup those beautiful breasts. His second thought was that she looked damned sexy in that little get-up. Which threatened to have him rising to full mast. His third thought was that way too many Jaffa were going to get an eye-full of his Wife. Which totally pissed him off. "Babe, are you all right?"

Those softly spoken words brought tears to her eyes. She wasn't all right. Oh, she hadn't actually been raped. But they were on a Goa'uld ship. They were surrounded by loyal Jaffa. And Anubis was on his way...probably here now, she amended mentally. She was terrified. The feelings of dread she'd been dealing with since walking through the Stargate a few hours earlier were only becoming more intense. "I'm okay," she whispered, not even realizing her 'slip'.

Okay. She was 'okay'. That could only mean she was as far from okay as she could get before admitting that something was indeed wrong. What the hell was going on? The fact that she wouldn't meet his eyes had him worried.

"Carter?" Jack asked softly. He too noticed that both women were acting far more...frightened...than was actually necessary. He too worried that something had happened, something...unexpected.

"I'm okay, sir." She closed her eyes. Pushed back the memories. Forced them back into the corner where she'd kept them for so long. Where she intended for them to stay.

Karinda waited, knowing that Osiris would have taken perverse pleasure in allowing the team a few moments to speak to one another. "I have taken that which once belonged to you. They are mine now...completely."

"You may have taken their bodies. You'll never break their spirits!" Daniel spat.

The Tok'ra laughed. "As you can see, I have already begun. When I have completed my business with Anubis, I shall break you. Completely."

"You can try," he replied.

With a subtle nod at the men in the holding cell, Karinda looked up at M'zel. "Come. Anubis is waiting."

The three men watched until they could no longer see the Tok'ra and her entourage. Daniel leaned back against the wall. "Something is going on."

"Yeah, I picked that up," Jack frowned.

"We will be informed of any change in plans as soon as they are able to do so," Teal'c said in his usual, unflappable manner.

Daniel looked at his Jaffa friend. "I just hope we don't find out something has gone wrong after it's too late," he said quietly.

Jack rolled his neck, flexed his shoulders. "Let's get ready. Sam and Casey should be back here any time now. We have to focus on the mission," he said quietly.




Karinda had led the two 'slaves' back to her quarters, where she'd prepare for her meeting with Anubis. She and Sarah had been trying to determine just exactly what this sudden meeting was about, and why the insistence that it be held in such an...empty...sector of space.

Sam and Casey waited quietly, sitting together on the large bed. Offering comfort and support to one another with their mere presence, their hands locked tightly, their bare shoulders touching occasionally as one or the other of them shifted.

"It is time," Karinda said softly. "Major Carter, I will leave you to...what is the word...oh yes, hack...I will leave you to hack into Anubis' database. Sarah believes you can do so from the terminal in my...laboratory. Mirim will take you there. She will make it appear that Osiris is going to tattoo you, as he does all of his slaves. There are those among the Jaffa who can be trusted, Mirim knows who they are, and will have them standing guard. When it is time, you will join the rest of SG-1 and ring to Anubis' ship to carry out the mission."

Sam nodded. She hadn't planned to do anything other than plant explosives, but a chance to gather as much intel as possible on Anubis, and any information he had on the other System Lords was one to be grabbed and embraced.

"You will not be expected to be complaisant, at least not yet," Karinda continued, looking at Casey. "However, do not fight too strenuously against me, I don't want Anubis to decide that Osiris cannot handle his own slaves. That might give him the idea of taking all of my...Osiris' prisoners."

Casey shuddered. "Got it."

Sam squeezed Casey's hand. "SG-1 luck. We'll pull this off," she said softly.

The young seer nodded. "Right. We're the good guys."

"Exactly," Sam smiled.

Karinda attached the chain to the collar around Casey's neck, and led her from the chamber.

Sam watched the two women walk away, the door close behind them. She shivered. In the past, whenever the team had become separated, bad things had happened. Very bad things. She could only hope that this would be an exception to that rule.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Karinda moved with confidence down the corridors. To have done otherwise would have caused suspicion. Even though her heart...Sarah's heart...was pounding with apprehension. Not knowing what to expect from Anubis was frightening. Osiris might be the Goa'uld's second-in-command, but that fact could change in a heartbeat.

She nodded when the Jaffa informed her that Anubis was waiting for her. Well, waiting for Osiris. She followed him to the large chamber where the Goa'uld preferred to hold his meetings. The size of the room was impressive. Which was exactly what Anubis wanted. The new ship was a constant source of worry for the Tok'ra. It had been built in secret, apparently several System Lords providing needed parts and equipment, but none of them aware of exactly what the items were going to be used for. The rumor that Anubis was working on another, even larger, more dangerous ship had caused panic among the Tok'ra High Council. Already reports from their operatives informed them that defeating the ship that Anubis lived on, as he'd yet to establish himself on any unclaimed planet, was not going to be easy, perhaps not even possible. Thus the need to destroy it. And the need to discover just exactly what Anubis was up to. According to Casey Jackson, it wasn't another ship that he was building. Just something that he was creating. Something that the young seer insisted was not good. Whatever it was, Anubis had to be stopped, and it had to be now.

Casey didn't have to pretend to be frightened. Although the poking in the back of her head wasn't annoying, or painful, it was there. Which always meant that something was going on that she couldn't hear, or see. Miss Eloise's words of warning flashed through her mind.

"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," the old seer had said.

She shivered. That feeling of dread was wrapping around her, suffocating her. Oh, hell! Things were about to go very, very bad!

Anubis was sitting on his throne, in a room the size of a banquet hall, when Karinda entered. An empty chair waited for her, on his right. On his left, was another chair. Seated in it was a Goa'uld she hadn't seen in years. Ba'al.

Casey took one look at the Goa'uld sitting to one side of the dark robed Anubis, and felt her heart fall to her feet. Ba'al! Oh, holy shit! She'd never wanted to turn and run as quickly as she did in that moment! It took every ounce of strength she possessed to put one foot in front of the other, to follow Karinda...Osiris, she reminded herself.

Ba'al's eyes had gone wide. "Well, I see that you have taken what is mine," he said casually. He hadn't seen Osiris since his 'return'. Someone had found where the Goa'uld had been imprisoned, and had freed him. He was a bit taken aback by the very lovely female host.

"My Jaffa took her, as well as those with her, just yesterday," Karinda replied. "So obviously she was not yours."

"I had nearly completed her training when she was...stolen...from me."

Anubis chuckled.

The sound was like the grating of metal against stone. And made the hair stand up on the back of her neck. He wasn't a symbiote any longer, Casey knew that for certain. Just what he was she hadn't figured out yet. She dared to look at him. His face was hidden by the deep cowled hood of the black robe he wore. Black gloves covered his hands. There was something almost...familiar...about him. But not familiar at the same time. Evil. Very evil. If he isn't a demon, he's damned close, she thought. That poking in the back of her mind became stronger.

"If you are unable to hold your prisoners, that is no concern of mine," Karinda sneered.

Ba'al leaned forward. He could smell her. No doubt Anubis could as well. That thought prompted another, even bolder thought...an idea that would prove beneficial to him, and the downfall of Anubis. He smiled malevolently. "Perhaps you would allow me to...purchase...this slave."

Karinda waved a hand in the air dismissively. "You have nothing that interests me."

"Why does this slave hold your attention so?" Anubis inquired.

Ba'al sat back. Continued to smile. He'd have to be very careful. If Anubis suspected anything, he'd take the slave for himself, no doubt. "I always finish what I start. As I said, I had nearly finished with the training of this one when she was stolen from me. I wish to...complete...the task."

"By now the training is forgotten," Anubis pointed out.

"Of course," Ba'al agreed easily. "But training her the first time proved to be very...entertaining. I am certain to enjoy repeating the experience."

Anubis chuckled again.

Ba'al heaved a silent sigh. Turned his attention back to Osiris. "Now, about that deal..."

"There is no deal," Karinda insisted coldly. Felt Anubis watching her. If Ba'al offered enough, there was no way that she, as Osiris, would be able to refuse. Perhaps if she insisted on more...after all Ba'al had been training her as a slave. Osiris had taken the woman into his harem. Which raised her 'value' significantly.

"Two planets, both very nice. Rather remote. Uninhabited. But both have ample supplies of gemstones. I send mining teams as needed," Ba'al said casually.

She barely bit back a gasp of surprise. Struggled to keep her face from revealing her emotions. "Interesting. But not enough." She tugged the chain, pulling Casey closer to her side, reached out and ran her fingertips from Casey's wrist to her shoulder. "Not nearly enough."

Ba'al watched, felt his cock harden. Memories of that sweet, hot mouth wrapped around his aching flesh had him shifting uncomfortably. Even though Osiris now inhabited a female body, it was apparent that the beautiful Tau'ri had pleased him as well. "One hundred slaves. And the planets, of course."

Karinda looked up at Casey. Sarah was beginning to rant in anger at the turn of events. There was no way she could refuse the offer. Not without raising suspicions in both of the Goa'uld. "You have pleased me, my Beautiful One. But you are not pleasing enough to turn down such a...generous...offer."

Her heart was pounding against her ribs. Casey could feel terror rising up in her belly, ready to completely overwhelm her. Situation normal, all fucked up, as Jack would say. Here was that curve that they'd been expecting. And it was a doozey! She wanted to laugh out loud...a laugh of complete hysteria.

"Does she speak Goa'uld?" Anubis asked.

Karinda glanced at Ba'al. Tried desperately to remember the report that the Tau'ri had shared about the abduction. Sarah pushed forward the pertinent information. "She understands enough," she replied.

Ba'al smirked. The beautiful Tau'ri understood and spoke Goa'uld quite well. Apparently she'd been able to hide this fact, or partially hide it, from Osiris. Of course, he thought presumptuously, Osiris had only had her in his custody for a few hours. And for part of that time her ability, or inability, to speak Goa'uld would not have been important. He felt his body stirring again at that thought.

"Conclude your deal. We have more...important...matters to discuss," Anubis instructed.

A scribe was called in. The terms of the deal were written out, later the contract would be carefully transferred onto Goa'uld reading devices. Osiris signed the document, as did Ba'al. It was witnessed by Anubis.

Ba'al looked up at Casey. "Once again, you belong to me," he said softly.

For once, Casey was actually too frightened to speak. There were no smartass remarks as Osiris handed the chain to Ba'al. That Goa'uld tugged hard...jerked her to his side. She gasped slightly as the collar tightened around her throat. She reached up to pull it away, enough to allow herself to breath again.

Karinda and Sarah were both panicked. This was a most unexpected complication! By now SG-1 had 'escaped', and should be on the ship, planting the explosive devices. If...when Ba'al left with Casey...and they were unable to follow...Karinda forced her attention back to Anubis. It was crucial to find out why Ba'al was even here! Then they'd worry about removing the young Tau'ri from his clutches.

With a desperate glance at Sarah/Karinda, Casey resisted as Ba'al continued to tug on the chain, trying to move away from him.

"It seems that the Tau'ri has retained some memory of you," Anubis remarked, amusement in his strangely modulated dual voice. "She seems most uneager to return to you."

Ba'al smiled. "Which will make her all the more...entertaining...to retrain."

Karinda retained tight control over the body she shared with Sarah. Making certain that neither her face nor eyes gave her away.

Sarah was on the verge of hysterics. No doubt Daniel would blame her...blame her symbiote...for this latest disaster. He'd be absolutely furious! If Ba'al managed to leave with Casey...she didn't even want to think about it!

Something that Teal'c had told her, during one of their grueling training sessions, flitted through her mind. Casey grabbed the thought, focused on it. They'd been discussing her imprisonment by Ba'al. He'd assured her that if she were ever given ker'nish'ta again, it would take much more of the drug to affect her. And that she'd 'recognize' the feelings, the 'signs' that she was under the influence of the drug, and thus be better equipped to fight it. And even use it to her advantage. She just had to concentrate, she told herself. Let snake-face think it was affecting her...he'd be more apt to drop his guard...giving her the opportunity to escape. Bide her time. That's all she had to do...just bide her time.

Ba'al gave a final jerk on the chain. His eyes lit from within, he looked at her, a warning in the glance. He was anxious to get this meeting concluded, to be alone with this bewitching siren. His scientists had located old writings that described the drugs that Hathor had used. The ancient texts spoke of her experiments, using hundreds of men and women to create the perfect poison. One that didn't kill its victim, only rendered him powerless to stand against her. The moment the scientists located the 'recipe', they sat to work on an antidote that would protect their god from the drug. Never bothering to read further, to discover that the drug had been inspired by the natural abilities of a woman who'd been host to Hathor for many years. An oversight that would protect Casey, and any other women like her. Ba'al hadn't cared about the discovery of the texts, only what it meant for him. He cared about one thing...being able to experience...to taste and hold the beauty now staring at him with contempt in her eyes. She would be his. He'd train her, and keep her at his side. Oh, yes, he'd take her until the fire she'd created in him burned itself out.

Anubis settled back in his throne. He'd been amused by the events that had taken place. Now it was time to focus on the reason for the meeting. "Ba'al, I am pleased that you agreed to meet with me."

The Goa'uld simply smiled and gave a small nod of acceptance.

"I am certain you wish to know why I have summoned you."

For one moment the glow of anger filled Ba'al's eyes. He'd answered no summons! He'd merely agreed to meet with Anubis! He'd survived for millennia among the Goa'uld. He knew just how treacherous they could be. "I am curious, yes," he replied aloud. Letting Anubis know, with his casual manner, that he was sitting there for no other reason than idle curiosity.

"Many of the System Lords have allied themselves with me," Anubis said.

"I believe most of them bow their knee to you," Ba'al retorted.

"They are allies," Anubis insisted. While it was true that he demanded absolute loyalty, it would not do to let Ba'al suspect just how subservient the other System Lords were. Once the Goa'uld beside him had vowed his loyalty, then the lessons in humility would begin.

"As you wish," Ba'al said. He toyed with the chain in his hand. His intent to convince Anubis that he was growing bored.

"I wish for you to stand beside me."

Well, there's a surprise, Ba'al thought peevishly. "And what would I gain from such an alliance?"

Your worthless life, Anubis thought angrily, unaware that the two Goa'uld and the handful of Tau'ri slaves in the room could feel the waves of anger flowing off of him.

Casey frowned. There was something so damned familiar...in a dark, evil sort of way. If only she could figure it out! The poking in the back of her head was becoming stronger by the moment.

"You would benefit from my protection, the protection of brothers and sisters who stand at my side," Anubis said out loud.

"What makes you think I need protection?" Ba'al asked.

"You are not as strong as you wish to appear," Anubis replied. "You have angered the others by taking the lion's share of what was left when Apophis was cut down."

"That others were unable to move quickly enough, were not strong enough to take and hold that which they wished to take is not my concern." 

"If these Goa'uld should band against you, your death would be slow and painful." 

"You speak as if I am incapable of protecting myself." 

"Perhaps you are."

Ba'al studied the Goa'uld beside him. Or rather, stared into the dark shadows that hid Anubis' face. He wasn't as helpless as most of the Goa'uld around him believed.

"The days of the old Empire are drawing to a close," Anubis said. "You have two choices. Be a part of the new Empire, or be destroyed."

He frowned. The fact that the threat was made openly, without fear, concerned him. "Of course, one could say that that is no choice at all," Ba'al replied.

"It is still a choice. To live, or to die."

Now he was really becoming concerned. To be this openly hostile meant that Anubis believed himself invincible. There had always been Goa'uld who thought they were 'untouchable', until another proved them wrong. But never were threats made so openly, so boldly. "Still, to...ally...myself with you, this is something I would have to think about."

"Of course," Anubis said, waving a gloved hand. "I propose that you return to your ship. You may give me your answer in six hours."

Ba'al's eyes went wide. Six hours? There had to be a reason! What was Anubis up to? His gaze moved to Osiris. The second-in-command. That shuttered face offered no clue as to what might be going on. "Agreed."

Anubis rose, left the room, his black robe billowing behind him, without so much as a backward glance.

"If I were you," Karinda said silkily, "I would make that choice sooner."

Ba'al watched the strawberry blonde disappear into the corridor. Six hours. He had six hours to discover just exactly what Anubis had that gave him the confidence to openly threaten other Goa'uld. He glanced up at Casey. And he had training to begin. That thought made him smile. "Come, my beautiful little siren. Your retraining begins immediately."

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