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Strange Bedfellows

Chapter 3

Daniel had never ceased to be amazed at how quickly things could happen at the SGC. Within hours of the revelation that the Chinese were, for some as of yet unknown reason, after him and Casey, and that the G8 leaders would be meeting at the secret facility to discuss the matter, one of the empty store rooms on level seventeen was being transformed yet again into a meeting room for the heads of eight of the most powerful nations in the world. Six of those leaders were about to have everything they ever knew turned totally upside down.

He was sitting in the control room, waiting for a reply to the message that had been sent to Thor. He smiled up at her when his Wife walked into the room, carrying two mugs of coffee.

"Do you have to be here when Thor calls back?" she asked, using the now familiar SGC 'lingo'.

"Not personally, no," he admitted. In truth, the little gray alien would probably be more inclined to speak to Jack, or Sam.

"Good. I'm tired."

He said nothing as she perched on the edge of the table that held the computers and monitors and identifying devices that were part of the main control for the Stargate. His hand moved on its own accord, or so it seemed, caressing her uniform covered thigh almost absently.

Casey had always watched people's eyes. While their words might say one thing, often their eyes would expose their true feelings, their true intent. Daniel's beautiful blue eyes were carefully guarded. The wrinkles on his forehead told her that he was thinking about something...worrying about something.

There was no doubt in his mind that if an event...a major event...one as crucial as the Stargate program going public...was about to happen, Casey would have seen it. That she hadn't gave him hope that everything would continue as it had been. He struggled with the conflicting emotions that waged within him. Part of him wanted the program to be revealed. So that he'd be vindicated in the eyes of the archaeological community. And that thought brought up another, that what he was doing was far more important than having his name among the Who's Who of archaeologists. That he shouldn't allow such petty feelings to even form. Another part of him wanted the entire project to remain completely secret from any and all foreign knowledge and influence. It was often difficult enough to deal with Congress. How much more so could it be when dealing with the political 'advisors' of seven other countries as well?

"What will happen, will happen," Casey said softly.

Daniel couldn't help but smile. He swore she could read his mind. "I hope whatever happens, we can deal with it."

It was her turn to smile. "We won't even notice a difference."


"Trust me. The people involved with the program are the ones who were meant to be involved with it," she said quietly. "That's the reason the Stargate is here, and not in a missile silo elsewhere."

He thought about that for a moment. "I'm certain the leaders of the G8 countries are going to insist on being involved at the very least on an advisory capacity."

"I'm sure they will. But whatever happens, there's a reason for it."

"So our fate has already been determined? We have no free will?" For a man as independent as Daniel, the thought was not a pleasant one.

She shook her head. "Life is about learning and growing. What we do with the circumstances we're thrust into is what determines our next...step. Nothing is written in stone. But not everything has been left to chance, either. We each walk our own path, but we walk with others as well, and our steps leave marks on those joined paths. The...type...of marks we leave are determined by us. We can leave light, or we can leave shadow. We can bring peace and joy, or chaos and heartache."

For a moment he thought she sounded like Oma Desala. It had taken him hours to finally understand what the Being, in the guise of a temple monk, had been trying to tell him. He was fairly certain he understood what Casey was saying. Or the gist of it, anyway.

The inner ring of the 'gate began to rotate. The alarm klaxons wailed, the red strobes flashed.

Myers checked the monitor in front of him. "It's General Carter, sir," he told Daniel.

"Better call General Hammond. And Major Carter," Daniel replied, rising to his feet. He laced his fingers with Casey's. "Let's go greet Jacob."

The rest of the team was in the 'gate room by the time the event horizon was open. Watched as Jacob walked down the ramp.

"I don't mean to be rude, but I hope you're not bringing bad news," General Hammond said, as soon as greetings had been dispensed with.

"Is something going on?" Jacob asked immediately, a frown on his face.

"Seems the Stargate program is about to be announced to world leaders," Hammond replied.

"Holy Hannah!"

"My feelings exactly."

"What brought this about?"

Hammond held his arm out, indicating that Jacob should walk ahead of him. "Let's go to the briefing room."

"So, General, why are you here?" Daniel asked.

"We wanted to alert you to the appearance of a Goa'uld who hasn't been in this sector for at least five thousand years," Jacob replied.

"Oh, peachy," Jack grumbled.

"Can't say it's ever boring around here," Casey quipped.

"I like boring," Jack insisted.

"That's why you go fishing, boss."

"You're a smartass, Jackson." Quiet laughter moved over the group. "Is this snake going to be a threat?"

"Not directly, no," Selmak replied. "However, there is the possibility that he'll ally with others...or at least one. If he does so, then together the two will be as much a threat as Ba'al is at the moment."

"And just who are we talking about?" General Hammond asked.

The team and the two generals settled around the conference table. "Ares has returned. He and his companions, those of the same genetic family as he, were exiled by Ra for conspiring against him."

"Ares? As in the Greek god of war?" Daniel asked. He frowned. Just what were the chances of Casey working on that particular section of the database on the very day that the Tok'ra would show up with news about a Goa'uld named Ares?

"The very same," Jacob confirmed.

"And you say that all of the others..."

"Still in exile. Unless they have plans to join up with Ares. I doubt it, however. Ares was always a bit of a troublemaker. Not well liked among his peers," the older man replied.

"You mean Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Aphrodite...they're all Goa'uld?"

"Are you truly surprised, Doctor Jackson? Have you not learned that the majority of the 'gods' in the myths of your world are indeed Goa'uld?" Selmak asked.

Daniel shook his head. "I suppose I'm not," he admitted. "It's just that the Greek pantheon are probably the most well known of any group of gods in our history."

Jack frowned. "That's a bit odd, don't you think?"

"Not really. The Greeks are credited with giving modern man the civilization we enjoy today," Daniel replied.

"Credited? You don't believe that they did?" Sam asked.

"The Sumerians gave us just as much, the Egyptians, who have the longest recorded history, are the true architects of western civilization. The Chinese have a history nearly as long. But they chose to keep to themselves. Though they traded freely with those who went into China, they kept the details of their empire hidden from outsiders. I suppose the Himalayas made going into China a bit of a challenge, and least from one side," Daniel said. "So only traders would have been interested in making the trip, and traders usually don't care about politics...unless it effects their profits."

"Who will this Ares ally himself with?" General Hammond asked.


The answer was totally unexpected. "Tem?" Jack asked, rolling his eyes. "That snake doesn't have much left...a bunch of kids running around calling themselves Jaffa. Three ships that we know of."

"Ares has far more. Tem is the Goa'uld with whom Ares worked to overthrow Ra. We do not know who recruited whom for that task, although we suspect that Tem approached Ares," Selmak said.

"You said Ares has returned," Sam said. "Just where exactly is he?"

"On his home planet of Thracia. He's sent out word that all of those under his rule are to travel to this city and celebrate his return," Selmak replied.

Casey cocked her head sideways. She hated it when things were so damned murky! What she could see...was confusing. "We need to keep Tem and Ares from teaming up, and focus them individually on Ba'al."

Jacob smiled. "Your gift serves you well," Selmak said.

"Not well enough," she murmured, although only Daniel heard her. He reached over and took her hand, squeezed her fingers gently.

"I'm afraid this will have to wait until after the summit with the G8 leaders," General Hammond said.

"When will this meeting take place?"

"Day after tomorrow," Hammond replied.

'So, are you psychic now as well?' Jacob asked his symbiote. She'd been the one to insist that they might be required to stay for a day or so.

'Very funny, Jacob. I merely wished to make certain that General Hammond understood the seriousness of the situation. I was also hoping that you'd take the time to call Mark, and have dinner with Samantha.'

He rolled his eyes mentally. 'I don't need help with my kids.'

'I disagree.'

'He's the one who won't talk to me!'

'We'll have this discussion later,' Selmak said firmly.

"Well, I was hoping to stay for a day or two," Jacob said aloud, still grumping silently at his symbiote. "Would the presence of a Tok'ra help?"

Casey giggled. "Don't count on it. But it'd be interesting to watch Selmak put them in their place!"

It seemed that the young seer knew his symbiote better than any of the others. Selmak was the quintessential diplomat. She did, however, have a temper that rivaled Jacob's. And a tongue as sharp as her temper was hot. "Yeah, she's something when she's riled up," Jacob chuckled.

Lieutenant Myers knocked hesitantly on the door. "Sir, we just received a message from Thor. He said he'd be most pleased to speak to the leaders of the Tau'ri. He understands the need to prove the validity of the SGC."

Everyone in the room associated with the SGC heaved a sigh of relief. It would be easy enough to discount Jacob Carter, insisting that the duel voice and flash of the eyes could be faked somehow. It would be damned hard to argue with a little gray alien. Especially if he beamed into the conference.

General Hammond wiped his face with both hands. "I suggest we all get some sleep. We have to get ready for what promises to be one hell of a day on Thursday. We'll have a lot to accomplish tomorrow."

The weariness that settled over the group had little to do with physical fatigue. Explaining to six world leaders about the Stargate, and the program that sent Tau'ri into the galaxy on exploration and into battle would be difficult at best. Every bit as grueling as the battles against the Goa'uld.

"Jacob, I'll arrange for one of the VIP rooms for you."

The man nodded. "Thank you. Selmak and I will do what we can to help."

"Thank you, I appreciate that," Hammond said quietly. "Dismissed."

The team rose, waited until the two generals had left the room. Jack shook his head. "I hate dealing with politicians."

"Look at the bright side," Daniel said. "No Kinsey."

"Nice point," Jack agreed. "Let's do what the general said. Sam, do you have a dress uniform here on the base?"

"Two, why?"

"We'll just stay here. No sense tempting fate," he replied. He led the team to the elevator, conversation unnecessary as they walked together.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Quiet 'goodnights' were exchanged. Daniel closed and locked the door of the quarters he'd been assigned when he'd become a part of SG-1. He crossed his arms over his chest, watched as Casey began to undress.

She glanced over at him, caught him studying her. "What?"

He smiled. "Just enjoying the view," he said softly. His heart beat faster at the blush that colored her cheeks.

"You see it every day," she mumbled.

"Love seeing it every chance I get," he countered lovingly.

"Not tired of me yet?"

There was a teasing tone in her voice, but her eyes were full of hesitation...a touch of worry. "Nope. Never will be."

"I dunno, Stud Muffin. In five years or so, you might decide you've seen it often enough."

"Won't happen. Besides, you might become bored with me."

She gave a very unladylike snort. "Right. That'll happen," she said dryly.

"If you won't get tired of me, what makes you so sure I'll get tired of you?"

One slender shoulder moved up and then back down. "It's been known to happen."

How often? he wondered. How often had someone shown interest in a little blonde girl, too thin to be healthy, beautiful green eyes full of pain and loneliness, only to lose that interest later? How many times had she been abandoned by social workers, teachers, adults who should have recognized the signs of a child being abused? He moved closer. Pulled her into his arms. "Forever, Casey. I want you at my side forever. I want to be beside you...forever."

She snuggled into the warmth and security of his familiar embrace. Breathed deeply, the masculine scent that surrounded him comforting, arousing. "I like the sound of that," she murmured.

"Good." He pressed his face against the soft silk of her hair. Content to simply stand and hold her, to feel her clinging to him so tightly, pressing her warm body against his. Felt her shoulders begin to shake. Worried, he pulled away gently. Looked down into green eyes dancing with amusement. "What?"

"Oh, I was just thinking about the looks on the faces of those politicians when we hit them with the news about the Stargate. I'm thinking trout."


"Yeah, you know how they look laying there in the ice...mouths open, eyes all wide, so surprised at being caught."

Daniel chuckled loudly. Her sense of humor had never yet failed her, no matter what the circumstances. "We should have cameras."

"Most definitely. And we'll add captions. Like, 'stunned bureaucrats learn the truth about the universe', or some such thing."

"Or, how about, 'Miracle occurrence...politicians left speechless'?"

"I like that one. Although I doubt seriously that the miracle will last long."

"Probably not. Let's get some sleep, Angel. Tomorrow is going to be a long day." He shed his clothes, joined her in the queen-size bed that he had ordered specifically for this room. Pulled her close, turned off the lamp on the bedside table. Rolling slightly, so that she was on her back beside him, he nuzzled her cheek, sought her lips with his own.

Dear goddess how she loved his kisses! There was nothing in the world that could hurt her when she was in his arms. The world...the universe didn't matter when he kissed her. He and she were the only beings in existence when his lips, his tongue caressed her, touched her...coaxed soft moans of pleasure from her. What he wanted, she gave. What he demanded, she supplied. In turn he poured his love into her, filling every empty place that had ever existed. Curling her toes with the exquisite delight that was his kiss.

Good lord, what the woman could do with a kiss! Every worry, every concern about the outcome of the upcoming meeting of the G8, the threat of Ba'al and the newly returned Ares...and every other thought, was pushed out of his mind and into the far corners as her tongue so shyly moved over his. No matter how many times they kissed, how often they made love, each time was special...precious...the most amazing declaration of love he'd ever experienced.

Her hand moved gently up and down his chest, her fingers toying with his nipples, pleased at the soft gasp in response. "I want to taste you," she whispered, moving her mouth from his only far enough to speak.

"Do it," he whispered in reply.

Quickly, before he was completely aroused, she slid down his body, took him into her mouth, burying her nose in the coarse nest of hair that surrounded his manhood.

"Sweet Jesus!" The only time she was able to take all of him orally was before he was fully erect, although he was well aware of the fact that she relaxed her throat to take him. Within seconds he was too swollen, too large for her to accommodate. "Turn around, Angel. Let me taste that sweet nectar you make for me."

It was her turn to shiver, his whispered words letting her know just how he felt about his addiction to her...how much he enjoyed 'indulging' in her honey. She rose up, waited until he shifted to his back. She reached out to touch him, find him in the pitch black darkness of the room, then moved over him, settled her hips above his face, one hand wrapping around the anaconda that continued to swell rapidly in anticipation.

Her hand circled his throbbing flesh once again, stroking slowly as she began to tease him...make love to him. He reached out, tugged her hips lower, until that sweet flesh was exactly where he wanted it. He took a deep breath, reveling in the sweet smell of her, then began to lick those velvety soft folds. One hand slid forward to cup her breast, tugging first one nipple, then moving to give the same attention to the other.

The game began, each of them determined to drive the other to the brink of insanity, over the edge of sensation and into the rolling waves of pleasure before falling. They came within heartbeats of one another, quiet moans of completion filling the air as softly as the scent of their lovemaking. Satiated, they settled onto the bed; she at his side, her head on his shoulder; he with his arm around her slender shoulders, holding her closely. Within minutes the only sound in the room was that of their slow, steady breathing as they slept.


A  A  A  A  A  A


The alarm jangled somewhere near his head. Daniel reached out, shut it off. Searched for his glasses. Opened his eyes to...blackness. What the hell...oh, yeah. His hand fumbled again, found the switch for the lamp. Casey was curled on her side, pressed up against him. He leaned over and kissed her shoulder. "Wake up, Angel."

She shifted...stretched...yawned. "Do I have to?"


"Afraid you were going to say that." She rubbed her eyes with her fingers, sat up and looked around. She'd forgotten momentarily that they were on the base. "I want to know what the security teams found."

Her way of letting him know she was concerned about their home. She loved that house, she'd told him. And she was damned protective of it. It gave him an immense sense of satisfaction to know that he'd been able to provide her with a home of her own. Their sanctuary from all things SGC. "First thing," he promised.

They showered quickly, donned clean BDUs. Casey opened the door to find Jack standing there, poised to knock. "Good morning," she said, raising one eyebrow slightly.

Jack gave her a lopsided grin. "Good morning. There's a team of Marines waiting to escort you home...just long enough to get what you'll need to dress for company. You won't have time tomorrow, and you'll be spending tonight here as well."

"Oh," she replied. The revelations of the night before had pushed any thought of getting the clothes they'd need for meeting with the members of the G8 completely from her mind. "Right. What did the security teams report?"

"You house is being watched. Apparently Carter and I aren't as interesting. No sign of forced entry. You can take a look around when you get there. We'll do an electronic sweep," the older man replied, the words an admission that it was possible their home had been broken into, in spite of the outside lack of evidence. "Let's grab breakfast. Only God knows when we'll get lunch, and even He might not be so sure."

With a nod, Casey grabbed her shirt, tugged it over the black tee shirt. "Come on,  Stud Muffin. Our long day has just begun."

"Terrific," Daniel grumped. Until he'd had at least one cup of coffee, and right now he didn't care what kind it was, he wasn't speaking to anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.

With a grin, Jack followed the very not 'morning person' couple down the corridor. "General Hammond is here. President called about an hour ago. Seems that the G8 leaders will all be here by oh-eight-hundred tomorrow morning. They're going to try to slip in unnoticed. They'll each have a body guard, but other than that, they're going to be just 'regular' first class passengers on a couple of flights coming into Denver. We'll send a truck to pick them up."

"Won't they be recognized?"

"Maybe. No one will be looking for them, or expecting them. And let's face it, most folks around here don't even know the names of any of the foreign leaders, let alone what they look like," Jack replied.

"Good point," Casey nodded. "I suppose that they'll all have convenient excuses for disappearing for three or four days?"

"Three at the most," Jack said. "And yeah, they each have a well-paid staff to deal with the media and the public during situations like this."

"If all of the G8 leaders disappear at once, you know that someone will put it together, and know that there's a meeting going on somewhere."

"Possibly. That's not our problem, Radar."


"So just what are we going to be working on today?" Daniel asked, just before a yawn overtook him.

"Jacob brought all the intel the Tok'ra have on this Ares character. We're going to take a look at it, and then come up with a plan to keep him and Tem from joining forces," Jack replied.

Sam and Teal'c were already in the 'chow line' when the three arrived. They joined their teammates, exchanging greetings with the others who waited as well.

The air was heavy with expectation. Everyone in the secret facility was aware that the secret might not remain that way much longer...and all knew that the resulting backlash would affect each and every one of them. Many worried about their families, and the safety of their loved ones when the inevitable anger and shock sent those already prone to violence, those looking for a ready excuse to wreak havoc, into the streets. Several had instructed wives to gather the kids, what they wanted to keep safe, and go visit family in far-flung, 'safe' areas - small rural towns and farms and ranches. Anywhere away from the cities, where no doubt John Q. Public's most vitriol reactions would occur.

Casey was aware of the looks that were tossed in her direction. Waiting for, hoping for an 'information dump' that would give them an idea of what to expect. When Ferretti looked over at her, she gave a small smile, shrugged slightly. The older man grinned, nodded. Then leaned back in his chair as if he'd settled in for the duration, sipping his coffee as if he didn't have a care in the world. The exchange didn't go unnoticed. Several others visibly relaxed as well. Goddess bless that man, she thought, grinning at him.


A  A  A  A  A  A


General Hammond heaved a sigh. It was always nerve-wracking when preparing to host any dignitaries for summit-type meetings. The last meeting that had filled him with such apprehension had been the meeting between the Goa'uld and the Asgard, and the fate of Earth, as a protected planet, had hung in the balance. This meeting was just as crucial...and the well being of planet Earth was once again in question. Not from outside threats, but from the danger of its own citizens reacting in fear...panic...anger...over learning the secret that two hundred of the best men and women in the country, and a handful of politicians and Pentagon generals, had known about...lived with, for over seven years now. An even smaller number, not more than fifty, had known about the Stargate for much longer.

He signed yet another form, this one indicated that he'd seen and approved the request for the food that would be available for their...guests. There'd be no need for guest quarters to be made ready. The group of men arriving the first thing in the morning had a single day with which to deal with the problem that faced all of them. A problem of which, for the moment, only two of those men were aware.

It was impossible not to scowl when someone tapped on the door of his office yet again. There were daily reports that needed his attention. Seven SG teams were out, three more preparing to leave. Which meant three briefings. And he had yet to have his second cup of coffee!

"General Hammond?"

The scowl melted to a smile when Casey stepped into the room. "Casey! What can I do for you?"

It was impossible not to return the warm, welcoming smile that always greeted her when she spoke with the base CO. "Actually, I think I can do something for you," she said softly.

"I see. And just what would that be?"

"Well, it's about the upcoming missions. I have a little more intel for the teams."

The general waved toward the chair that waited in the corner. "Pull up a seat and let's talk about this. Should I call the teams together?"

Often it was necessary to make certain that there were no misunderstandings when she 'saw' events or people connected to missions. Which meant meeting with the team members personally. "I don't think so, I'm more than willing if you think it's necessary."

"Why don't you tell me what you have, we'll decide if the teams need to be called in," Hammond suggested.

With a nod she gave him the 'details' that she'd seen. One of the teams needed to beware of loose stones on a narrow path. Another should carry bug spray, to protect themselves from a swarm of 'nasty looking little biting things'. And the third team should carry plenty of Pepto Bismo. General Hammond had chuckled at that warning. A now familiar 'flash', and she cocked her head to the side.

Information dump, General Hammond thought, watching the young seer closely. If she needed to write something, it would be up to him to interpret the need and provide paper and pen. He could only hope that whatever she was learning, it would not bring yet more bad news to the SGC.

"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," she murmured, then began to giggle. She glanced up at the man watching her. "Give me a second, I want to make certain that I understand what I'm seeing...well, the part that needs to be deciphered. Part is very...self explanatory."

"Very well. Should I call SG-1?"

She nodded. "And General Carter as well. We're all supposed to meet and go over the information he has for us...this will...add...to that."

With a nod, the general picked up the phone, requested that SG-1 and Jacob be paged to report to the briefing room. He was aware that Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter were overseeing the set up of the room where the summit would be held, no doubt Dr. Jackson was there as well, his understanding of the cultures involved adding insight to the seating arrangement.

Casey shook her head. The Goa'uld had never failed to surprise her. Never failed to aggravate her, either. She shivered slightly. What she'd seen was troubling at best. The SGC, the Tau'ri, were going to be walking a fine line. The trick would be not falling. She took the time to inform the general of what she'd seen. She could see the added stress weigh down on him. Her heart went out to the man who carried the burden of command of the SGC.




Jack was the last to arrive, walking into the room, both hands in his pockets, looking for all the world like a little boy caught skipping school. "What's up?" he asked cheerfully.

She ducked her head. It seemed that Jack had managed to 'escape' from his job of supervising the preparations for tomorrow. Sam's irritated glance at her lover confirmed it. It was difficult to keep from laughing out loud. "Oh, you're gonna love this," Casey replied.

The colonel looked at the seer. Took note of the worried look in her eyes. "Oh, I'll bet I'm gonna not," he replied.

"Casey had an 'information dump' a few minutes ago," General Hammond announced. "Casey, if you please."

She nodded. "General Carter, Selmak, if I have anything...wrong...please let me know," she said softly.

"Of course," Jacob replied. Apparently this 'information dump' had concerned Tem and Ares. It would be interesting to learn just how much she knew...and how much more she'd tell the gathered team than what he would be able to.

"Tem and Ares worked together to overthrow Ra. Tem approached Ares, and they became...close."

"How close?" Sam asked immediately. The closer allied two Goa'uld were, the deeper the hatred if one perceived betrayal at the hands of the other. Facts had little to do with perceptions, and many a Goa'uld had lost his or her life over nothing more than imagined slights.

While some of the hazy images gave her an idea of the relationship between the two Goa'uld, she'd say nothing until she was absolutely sure. This wasn't a situation where lives were in immediate danger. Caution, when dealing with the Goa'uld, was always the best policy. "I'm not sure...although this...closeness...ended abruptly," Casey said.

"Perhaps when Ares and the others were exiled?" Selmak suggested.

"That 'feels' right. Ares was furious. But Tem..." she closed her eyes, 'sorted' through the 'images' once again. "Tem had already been abandoned in what is now Washington state."

"We know that Tem was conspiring against Ra, actually fighting against him with Seth and Hathor as allies," Daniel mused. "It's possible that Ares is the one who betrayed him, and expected to be rewarded, rather than banished."

Jacob nodded. "Ra would have seen only that Ares had conspired as well," Selmak agreed.

"We don't need to keep them apart," Casey said softly. "We need to make certain that they manage to hook up again."

Daniel frowned. When dealing with Casey's 'information dumps', it was as important to listen to how she said something as it was what she said. Something about her statement caught his attention, but alluded examination. He'd think about it, certain that the answer would come to him.

"But if they do, they'll be as big of a threat as Ba'al," Sam reminded the seer.

"No, they won't. Because they'll be busy dancing around each other, waiting for the right moment to even the score. They'll be friends on the surface. But they'll be plotting against one another."

"Typical snake behavior," Jack sighed. "I thought you had something new to tell us."

Smiles flickered around the table. "It's probable that Tem is already aware of Ares' return," General Hammond said. "What we need to do is make sure they meet up, face to face."

"And how are we going to do that?" Daniel asked.

"There will be a feast on Thracia three days from now. He claims nearly a dozen planets. On which are villages and cities that have existed in peace since his banishment. To maintain that peace, worshippers from these diverse places will swell the streets of the city..." Selmak started.

"And five more won't be noticed among the crowd," Daniel finished.

Once again Jacob nodded. When his glance moved toward the young archaeologist, everyone in the room tensed. "According to our sources, Tem is looking for Casey as well. Convinced that her skills as a seer will make him invincible."

His teammates cast nervous glances at him. Daniel frowned. He and Sam had already discussed the fact that by now most of the Goa'uld were aware of Casey's talent. Not the full extent of it perhaps, but enough to make her...valuable. And that she was a Tau'ri, and part of the 'infamous' SG-1, only heightened that attraction. "So, we're going to use Casey as bait?"

"No. Not exactly," Jacob replied. "We're only going to have our spies...whom he believes to be working for him, inform him that SG-1 has been ordered to investigate the arrival of the 'new' Goa'uld."

Jack tapped his fingers on the table. "As long as Kinsey doesn't recognize her..."

Jacob shook his head. "Our sources inform us that Tem is still drugging Kinsey," Selmak said.

"Even if his memories are still intact, he can't access them," Daniel surmised.

"Exactly. Not after being subjected to the ker'nish'ta for this length of time. His memory is as good as erased," Jacob confirmed. Everyone in the room was now very familiar with the drug favored by the Goa'uld. Continued use of ker'nish'ta chemically destroyed the neural pathways in the brain, allowing the brutal 'training' a slave received to create new pathways to new memories, and prohibiting the old memories from interfering. Depending on the length of time the drug was used, the damage could be irreversible. There were those who, after many years, had regained some, if not all of their memory, after the ker'nish'ta had been discontinued. The longer the drug was used, the more severe the damage, and the less likely of any 'recovery'.

Unconsciously, Daniel and Casey reached for one another, their hands locking tightly beneath the table. Both had been given the drug while in Ba'al's custody. Both had been lucky enough to escape before the damage done by the drug was permanent. Daniel rested their entwined fingers on his Wife's thigh. "I'll see what I can find pertaining the worship in the temples to Ares."

General Hammond nodded. "Jacob, is there anything else we should know?"

It was obvious that the man was a bit uncomfortable. "We've had word that Ba'al is positioning himself."

"For what?" Sam asked.

"An attack on Earth."

To get me. Casey's eyes dropped. "No. I'll surrender to him before I let that happen."

"What?" Daniel's face lost all color. "Like hell you will!"

"Let's not go surrendering to anybody just yet," Hammond said calmly. "If we're successful, Tem and Ares will become an immediate problem for him."

"And with luck, the snakes will knock each other out," Jack added. He watched his youngest 'kid'. Seemed that he needed to have a talk with her. No doubt she'd do exactly what she'd said, if she felt it were the only way to protect the Innocent people on Planet Earth. He gave a mental sigh. Only a handful of those people were worthy of such a sacrifice. And not one of them would be willing to allow her to make it! Casey, however, was just stubborn enough...and she'd be sneaky enough... to find out where the snake was, get herself through the 'gate. "Let's keep this little tidbit of information between us. Don't want the damned politicians getting any ideas," he growled.

Daniel had been reaching for his mug of coffee. He froze mid-movement. Oh, hell! If things went bad, and Ba'al did head in this direction, with the G8 knowing about the Stargate, and all that the knowledge of the portal entailed, they'd hand his Wife over on a silver platter to save their own asses. The idea of disappearing through the 'gate, to a nice, quiet planet was beginning to sound like a damned good idea!

It seemed that Selmak was thinking along the same lines. "If these...leaders...should decide that such an act is necessary, the Tok'ra can hide Doctor and Mrs. Jackson, for as long as it might take to turn Ba'al away from Earth's front door."

The archaeologist looked up, gave a weak smile, and a nod of appreciation. "Thanks," he murmured.

"If worse comes to worst, Selmak, we'll gladly accept your offer," General Hammond replied.

Jacob gave a nod of acknowledgement.

"Okay, Radar, any other cheery tidbits for us?" Jack asked.

She smiled. "We should have cameras for the summit tomorrow."

He couldn't help it. He started chuckling. Daniel tightened his fingers around hers.

"Why?" General Hammond asked.

"Well, I think we should record for posterity the looks on their faces when those men learn about the Stargate. You know. Trout faces."

"Trout faces?" Hammond frowned.

"All open mouthed and wide-eyed."

It was impossible for her teammates to remain quiet. Laughter erupted around the table...the two generals joining in as well. The few airmen walking past the conference room smiled. If SG-1 was laughing, things couldn't be too bad, could they? 

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