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There's A New God In Town
With a groan, his battered body protesting, Daniel pushed himself into a sitting position, leaned weakly against the metal wall. "Jack?"
"Hurt like hell."
"Shouldn't take long."
"At least we have that to keep us going."
"Yep. Nice to know that what should take days to heal will be good as new in a few hours."
"Yep." Daniel shifted slightly, unable to hold back another groan as he did so.
"We can't take much more of that, if they come back before we've finished healing."
"We have to find a way out of here."
"Sam's gonna kill me," Jack grumbled.
"Before I took off, she told me not to do anything stupid."
Daniel couldn't help but chuckle. "Yeah, well you never were one to follow orders."
Jack grinned. "At least I have an excuse. If I hadn't seen that ship uncloak when that ring locked onto the scout ship, no one would have a clue where we are."
His head came up from his chest, he moaned again from the pain that the action wrought. "What?"
"I managed to activate the automatic distress beacon on the F-302 before it was caught in that beam thingy. Damned thing pulled me straight into the hanger bay."
"Hell if I know. That's what they call it on Star Trek." The fact that Zeus had been able to capture the F-302 in such a manner was disconcerting. It was a technology that the Goa'uld they knew about didn't have. It was also a technology that would be best to keep those snakes from getting their hands on. There was something about it...Asgard! The Asgard had beaming technology. Was it possible for that particular device to be modified, and used in the way that Jack had described? He rolled his eyes. Anything was possible out here! And the Goa'uld had a nasty reputation of taking stolen technology and twisting it to fit their needs. Another thought pushed past the pain he was still struggling against. Zeus had been banished to a far galaxy. It was more than possible that there were other civilizations out there who had the same, or similar, advances to those of the Asgard. That thought brought another wave of panic. It would not bode well for the Tau'ri of Earth, for any of the humans in the Milky Way galaxy, if the 'upgrades' Zeus obviously had became common among the Goa'uld.
Jack grinned again. "I also set the auto-destruct. If they start messing with that ship, and that means opening it without keying in the correct sequence on the keypad beside the canopy, it all goes up. Probably blow half of this ship off."
"I thought so."
"Keeps them from learning too much about us," Daniel mused.
"Exactly. I'd prefer the snakes to continue thinking we're poor, weak, defenseless Tau'ri," Jack said.
"Do you think that Sam and Teal'c have been able to locate us yet?"
"Don't know. If they have, we'll know about it," Jack reasoned. "Snakeface will be in here bitching about the pissed off blonde and the big black Jaffa tearing his ship apart."
Daniel chuckled again. The sound died in his throat. "I hope Casey is all right," he said softly.
"She is, Danny," Jack said just as softly. "You know her. Tough as nails, and twice as sharp."
A A A A A A
Miracle of miracles, the engine room was deserted. She had no idea if it normally was, or what the routine would be for this ship. Ba'al insisted that at least one Jaffa be present in the engine room of his ship at all times. For what reason, she had no clue. But apparently this Goa'uld wasn't as paranoid.
She stood in the middle of the room, looked around at the dozen or so pillars which contained the crystal circuitry that controlled every system on the ship, including the engines that were just on the other side of that large, closed door. She knew from experience that the only thing out there was a narrow catwalk. Which led up or down to other equally narrow metal grated landings.
Now, all she had to do was screw with things a bit. She lifted one hand, pointed at the nearest pillar. "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe," she said softly, moving her finger around the room, pointing at each column in turn. Walked to the pillar where the children's nursery rhyme had ended, and pulled open the middle drawer. "Very pretty," she murmured. Pulled one of the large crystals, a blue one, which just happened to be her favorite color, from its place.
She was at first tempted to just drop the crystal to the floor, but thought better of it, fearing that the shattering noise might draw unwanted attention to the supposedly empty room. She placed it on the floor, then stood on it, grinned when she felt it break beneath her boot.
"Okay, how about a red one?" Again, she put it on the floor and stepped on it. She glanced around, and frowned. Nothing happening. Probably just clogged the toilets, she thought irritably.
Moving toward the adjacent pillar, she opened it. Took out two yellow crystals. She looked at the green one...hadn't Sam once told her that the green ones were usually connected to life support? Or was it the blue ones? She frowned. Okay, being able to breathe, and not freezing to death was important...however...the frown turned to a smile. Life support was very important. It could keep them busy long enough for her to find Daniel and Jack, and for the three of them to find a way off this damned ship! Two green crystals, and another blue one cracked into pieces beneath her boots.
A A A A A A
Diokles sauntered into the room, a quick stop before he continued on to the harem as Zeus had instructed. He was merely checking to make certain that the prisoners hadn't been inconsiderate enough to die before his Master could gain the information he sought from them. He, too, understood that the slender blonde was connected in some way to the younger of the two men. It was most important that he be alive.
It took every ounce of strength he had, but Daniel made it to his feet, noted with relief that Jack had been able to do so as well.
"Do not worry. Your god has found a much more...pleasant...means of learning that which he wishes to know. I will take the woman to him. He will take her, make her his own. And she will tell him everything." With a smirk, he turned and left the room.
Jack looked through the bars that separated him from his best friend. "Take it easy, Daniel," he said quietly.
The archaeologist whirled around, gritting his teeth against the pain, blue eyes filled with rage focusing on his companion. "Take it easy? That bastard has my Wife, is going to do God knows what to her, at the very least rape her, and you're telling me to take it easy?"
"This is Casey," Jack said, his voice calm. "If Balls, who has experience dealing with us, couldn't hurt her, you think this chump stands a chance? Radar will chew him up, spit him out and having him begging for more in five minutes flat. Hell, by now she's probably flying this damned thing!"
The fact that the ship suddenly shuddered around them had both men staring at one another in surprise.
"If she flies like she drives, we're in trouble," Jack groused.
In spite of his anger...his terror, Daniel chuckled.
A A A A A A
Casey glanced around, two more crystals in her hand. Okay, that was interesting. What else could she do that would cause the most heartburn? She had time to destroy four more crystals before another shudder in the floor alerted her to the fact that she'd definitely screwed something up!
She moved to the next column, slid open the drawer, and began to remove all of the yellow crystals. The floor was beginning to crackle beneath her boots due to the amount shattered glass beneath them. Deciding that the crystals in the column behind her should be removed, she turned around, and began removing just the blue ones. Across the room, she concentrated her effort on any red crystals.
Taking a deep breath, she went back to each drawer, located any green crystals that she could find. Removed one from each column, crushed them beneath her feet. No doubt there were plenty of the damned things waiting in secure storage somewhere, but all they needed was a little bit of time...
That thought spurred another. She hurriedly searched the floor, seeking large pieces of the destroyed crystals. She began to jam the broken pieces randomly into the openings that had been left as she had removed them. Just a little more work for the tin men, she thought. The ship shuddered again.
The sound of approaching Jaffa had her scrambling to find a hiding place. The room offered no safe haven...she groaned mentally, raced through the door. This was so not where she wanted to be! When she reached out to grab onto the metal railing, she realized she still had crystals in her hands. She dared to look down into the engine. Glanced to her left and right, and above her. There were three doors, two on each of two levels below her, one above her.
She let the crystals fall over the side, grabbed the railing to steady herself, willed her heart to stop pounding so damned hard, and then began to climb. If she were very lucky, wherever that door opened, it would be empty as well. "Just a little longer," she whispered. "I just need the good luck to hold for a little longer."
Carefully, opening the door just a crack, she peeked into the room. Heaved a silent sigh of relief. It was dark, the only illumination coming from two computer consoles...the monitors of which glowed brightly. Although dim, they offered just enough light for her to make her way across the room, to the door on the opposite side.
She slipped inside, took a moment to try and orient herself. Wondered briefly what the computers monitored...or controlled. A thought that brought a smile to her face. She knelt down, unlaced one boot, and took it off. And began to smash the consoles. Alarms began to scream above her head. Warnings were being given, echoing throughout the ship. She took enough time to put her boot back on, then slipped into the corridor, hiding in the shadows.
Daniel and Jack hadn't been in the detention cells. Which meant that they were probably in one of the 'interrogation' rooms. If her Husband had been hurt, she was going to kill the damned snake in charge! She hurried toward one of the ventilation shafts. Hopefully, the snake and the tin men would be too busy trying to fix whatever it was she had broken to worry about who might be sneaking around the ship between the walls and the floors.
A A A A A A
Sam frowned. "We can't just ring onto the ship, it's too risky. Whoever has them might kill them the minute the alarms go off."
Teal'c nodded his agreement. "To wander the ship in search of them would not serve us well. Our chances of being caught would only increase the danger to O'Neill, and Daniel and Casey Jackson."
"We have to do something," Ronson said, his frown matching Sam's.
"For now, I suggest we keep the ship in sight. Colonel's message was clear, he doesn't want the Goa'uld to know about the Prometheus or our fighters, not yet. If we stay cloaked, and follow the ship, maybe a way to get to our people will present itself," Sam said.
The commander of the Tau'ri ship sighed. He agreed with Jack. The longer their ships could remain a secret, the better their chances of using them against the Goa'uld. But if revealing the existence of the Prometheus was the result of rescuing the three missing people, he'd do so willingly. "All right. But I want as many contingency plans as you can possibly come up with."
She smiled. Jack always insisted on having plans A through Z. Running like hell was always the last resort...usually. "Yes, sir."
With a nod, Ronson turned and left the briefing room, to return to the bridge.
"There is another possibility," Teal'c said quietly.
"Which would be?"
"If we were to take two of the fighters, it's possible to get them into the landing bays of the ha'tak," the Jaffa replied.
Her eyes went wide. "We'd need access codes to do that."
"Indeed. But I believe that you can determine what those codes are," Teal'c said, his confidence in his teammate shining in his eyes.
Sam chewed on her lip. "There are decryption codes," she murmured. "It might take a few minutes, and if anyone on the Goa'uld ship detected the connection, it would give us away."
"Unlike Goa'uld gliders, the F-302's have cloaking abilities," Teal'c reminded her. "If we are not seen, it is likely that the connection would be viewed as an anomaly. It would still allow us a chance to gain access to the bays."
She nodded. "There are several simple programs, I'd need to rewrite one using Goa'uld symbols."
"I will assist you," Teal'c said.
With another nod, she led him toward the engineering section of the ship. From there, she would be able to work more quickly, and have access to all of the data she needed.
A A A A A A
For the moment, the prisoners were forgotten as Zeus demanded to know what was happening. He was not pleased at the reports that began to filter to him. Someone had wreaked havoc in the engineering room. His First Prime told him that it appeared that at least fifty crystals had been destroyed. And that every system on the ship, including life support, had been affected. Then came the news that the control room just above the engineering section had been attacked. Repairs would take hours, if not days. A message was sent to Thracia...one of the other warships would arrive and stand guard as the repairs on the flagship were carried out. Those on the now crippled ha'tak were unaware that the message would take longer than usual to reach the Jaffa waiting on planet...the communications system had been severely damaged as well.
Roaring with anger, Zeus demanded to know who had caused such damage. The First Prime had no answers for him. The Goa'uld snapped out orders, life support was the first system to be repaired. Then communication systems, then shields, then the engines. And word went out that the saboteur, or saboteurs, would not live to see another day.
Determined to use the time to learn what he could about the Tau'ri, Zeus ordered that the woman be brought to him...in his quarters. If he couldn't beat what he wanted to know out of her, he'd fuck it out of her. Of course, that option would be instigated in full view of the sandy-blond haired man.
Diokles entered the harem. Smiled and accepted the caresses of the women there. He alone among the Jaffa was free to take any woman in this part of the harem. Later, when his god had released him from his duties for the day, he would indulge. In the meantime, Zeus was waiting.
The First Prime unlocked and opened the door of the private chamber. Felt his blood run cold. He glanced around the room. Checked behind and under the satin covered table, then beneath the bed. It wasn't possible! He turned to face the women who watched curiously. "Where is she?"
Wide eyes stared back at him, several women stood gaping.
"Who has allowed the woman kept here to escape?" Diokles struck out, sending the woman closest to him staggering backwards, shoving three other slaves against the wall in turn. Dark eyes narrowed as he looked from face to face. Terror was etched on the gentle features as heads were shaken from side to side.
"No one has been near that room, I swear it," one of the older slaves spoke up.
"Who has been here?"
Several voices called out the names of the Goa'uld scientists who had taken their pleasure earlier, one of them missing the entrance of the First Prime by mere minutes, having fallen asleep as soon as his lust had been sated.
One of the slaves pushed forward, her eyes locked with those of the man who served the god known as Zeus. "The woman brought here was a witch. I felt the power within her," she said loudly.
Diokles studied the slave for a moment. She tossed her long, black hair over her shoulder, her gaze never wavering. She'd once served as a seer to Zeus. She had angered him, and as a result, had been relegated to the harem. "How would you know this?"
"You are aware that I am a seer," the woman replied. She knew that Diokles recognized her. Remembered her. Not that he ever deigned to acknowledge her when he visited the rooms to indulge the needs of his flesh.
"Then tell me where prisoner is!"
Charis shivered slightly. "I cannot. My...gift...is sporadic at best," she admitted.
Frustrated, Diokles slapped her, then grabbed her shoulders roughly. "You will tell me where the woman is!"
"I do not know! I know only that she is powerful! It is her power that prevents me from seeing!" Charis replied, her firm voice belying the shaking of her body. The lie fell easily from her lips. It seemed plausible. That she was more charlatan than seer, able to discern facts from carefully disguised questions, was a fact that could get her killed, and a fact that had been the reason for her present situation. One that she remembered a moment too late.
With a growl, Diokles pushed the slave away from him. Telling Zeus about this would not bode well. No doubt he would experience the agony of the ribbon device that the god wore on his hand. He would task two squads of Jaffa to search for the missing prisoner, before taking the bad news to his god. Something in his gut told him that the prisoners they'd brought on board were the harbingers of doom. Or at least very bad luck. The thought that they might be demons sent to torment his god crossed his mind. A thought he would share with Zeus...as soon as he was able.
A A A A A A
The first room had been empty, though the evidence of torture was visible in the stains on the walls and the floors. Moving slowly, carefully, listening for any noises that would alert her to the presence of either prisoners or guards, Casey eased her way to the vent that would let her see into the next room.
She bit her tongue to keep from crying out. His face was battered, his chest and stomach bruised and cut. She could see where beads of sweat had rolled over his shoulders, leaving a grimy trail on his skin. Jack didn't look any better.
With a sigh of relief that the men were alone, she eased back the way she had come. She needed to get in there and open up the cages where Daniel and Jack sat waiting. Hopefully they'd heal soon...she wouldn't be able to help both of them at the same time, and moving one at a time would be dangerous.
Checking carefully before she slid from the shaft, Casey made certain that there were no Jaffa anywhere near to see her emerge from her hiding place. It seemed that most were responding to the alarms that continued to wail, filling the air with enough sound to cover most of the inadvertent noises she made as she moved through the walls and floors of the ship.
Dashing into the room, she raced toward the cage where Daniel sat, his head back against the wall, his eyes closed. "Daniel?"
His eyes flew open at the soft, sweet sound of her voice. He jumped to his feet, wincing from the sting of broken ribs not completely healed. "Casey?"
"Oh, that damned bastard! I'm gonna kill him!" she hissed, reaching for him, her fingers moving over him as soon as he was close enough.
"Later," Daniel grinned with chapped, split lips. "Can you get us out of here?"
She looked around. There had to be keys somewhere. Knowing the Goa'uld, they'd be in plain sight, tormenting the prisoners in the cages with their presence...a sign of freedom that remained out of grasp. There! On that post...she ran toward the pillar, grabbed the iron ring, and hurried back. It took four tries before she located the correct key. Luckily the next key on the ring fit the door to the cage where Jack waited impatiently.
"Let's go," Jack said softly, leading the way to the door.
Her eyes stopped on the pain stick. The wounds on the chests and bellies of the two men had been made by that damned thing. She reached for it just as the sound of armor clanking, moving in their direction, filled the air...and three hearts with dread. Her fingers curled around the instrument of torture, her green eyes blazing with fury. Come on, you son-of-a-bitch, she thought. Let's see how you like it! She'd raised the stick, the wickedly sharp points aimed in the direction of the approaching Jaffa.
Diokles stopped mid-stride when he saw the two men; men who had been damned near dead, standing and looking much too hearty for belief. And between them - those green eyes full of fire and anger, and focused on him - was the missing woman.
Casey darted forward, with every intention of using the stick against the warrior who stood staring at them.
"No time," Daniel growled. He grabbed her arm. Jack was thinking along the same lines it seemed, as he grabbed her other arm. The men began to run down the corridor, Casey between them, her feet dragging the floor as they half carried her, facing backwards, still glaring at the stunned Jaffa.
The First Prime watched in confused dismay as the three disappeared around a corner.
The word echoed in his mind as Diokles slowly shook himself from his stupor. Zeus would be most displeased at this turn of events. If he remained silent on the escape of the two men, he could concentrate on finding all three of the escaped prisoners, hopefully before his god learned the truth. He shivered slightly. This day was getting worse with each passing moment!
Casey took a moment to look around. Okay, detention level, that meant that if they could get to the access shaft at the end of the far corridor, they could climb to one of the upper levels. "Go left," she instructed. Felt Daniel and Jack veering. "No, left damn it! My left!"
"Your left is right!" Daniel told her.
"Right," she said.
She rolled her eyes. "Did I say right?"
"Yep," Jack panted.
"I said go left! So go left! No! Now we have to backtrack! Let go of me!"
The two men stopped abruptly in front of the door to one of the armories. "Can you open it?" Jack asked.
"Instructions are right here," Daniel replied, hastily reading the 'sign' beside the door.
Jack squinted. All of the hieroglyphs looked the same to him! He tightened his hold on Casey's arm as she continued to squirm.
"Here, hang on to her," Daniel said.
"She's your wife, you hang on to her."
"Can you read this?"
"No, but you can tell me what to do."
"You could just let me go," Casey said sweetly.
"Uh uh," Daniel said.
"No way," Jack said at the same time.
"Because we don't have time for you to go chasing after Jaffa with that thing."
"Piss me off and I'll nail your ass with it," she threatened.
The men exchanged a look. "Right," Daniel said, holding firmly to his Wife's arm. She'd been furious to find him and Jack in such bad shape. The way they'd grabbed her to escape from the First Prime had only increased her ire. For the moment, keeping her from knocking them senseless was in their own best interest. He fumbled slightly, then managed to press the symbols in what he hoped was the correct order.
When the ship shuddered around them, nearly knocking them to their feet, they looked around worriedly. "What the hell did you do, Radar?" Jack asked.
"Just broke a few crystals. All the yellow ones in one drawer, the blue ones from another column, red ones in the column closest to the door, a few green ones-"
"I thought green were for life support," Daniel said.
"That's what Sam said," she agreed.
"But you broke them anyway?" Jack asked incredulously.
"Hey, I needed a major distraction, so I could find you guys, and we could get the hell out of here!"
"What time is it?" the older man asked suddenly.
Daniel and Casey looked at him as if he had suddenly grown a second head. "Time?" Daniel croaked. "You want to know the time?"
"The self-destruct on the 302 is set. It's only got a six hour timer. If we're going to use it to get out of here, we have to stop that timer."
Casey glanced at her watch. "Five after three. That's a.m., at home," she informed him.
Shit! They were down to less than three hours. "We have to get down there, campers, or we aren't getting off of this tub in the 302."
"How much damage will the explosion do?" Daniel asked, trying to remain calm.
"Probably take out the hanger," Jack admitted.
"Which, coupled with the damage Casey wreaked, could seriously jeopardize this ship."
"Would the two of you please let go?"
The men exchanged a look, then slowly released her arms. At that moment, Diokles slid around the corner. Casey was off like a flash, heading for him, the pain stick crackling as she ran it along the wall.
Jack and Daniel were behind her, managed to grab her again, just after she swung the stick and connected with the First Prime's jaw. He staggered backwards, the blow unexpected, and most painful.
"Damn it, Casey!" Jack snapped. "Stand down!"
Once again the men ran up the corridor, the woman held between them. This time, however, she was running with them. "Trust me," she said, darting to her right.
"I thought you said left," Jack grumbled.
"I did, way back half a ship ago," she replied. The corridor ended in a blind corner. However, an access panel was hidden on the far wall. She pried it loose, then slid into the shaft, the pain stick still held firmly in her hand.
"Go," Jack said, pushing Daniel forward. He crawled in backwards, lifted the panel back over the opening, snapped it into place.
The shaft had been intended for workmen to slide through, to access the plumbing and electrical systems that ran like webs through the walls. There was enough room to move easily, and the pipes and tubes were carefully marked as to what they were. Daniel studied one of the conduits for a moment.
"Wonder what would happen if we shorted some of this out," he mused.
Jack frowned. "Probably mess things up even more."
"I'm assuming that these wires are for the rooms on this level, maybe the level above us," Daniel continued.
Jack nodded. "It might even make the levels inaccessible."
"If nothing else, it's more work for them, and right now, that's the last thing they want," Casey pointed out. "And they won't believe for a moment that we had anything to do with it."
"What?" Jack asked. Having been thinking about how much damage they could afford to do before they risked their own safety, he'd missed what the young seer had said..
"What what?" Casey asked, frowning.
"What'd you just say?"
"I dunno, I wasn't listening."
He looked at her as if she'd lost her mind. Figured that given the circumstances, it was possible that she had. "And yet, you expect me to listen to you?" Jack said, rolling his eyes.
"Hey, one of us should, I might say something important!"
His cheek began to twitch.
Casey's eyes were dancing with mischief. And her smile grew wider. They continued to stare at each other, began to battle the laughter which threatened to break loose.
Daniel frowned, cast a stern glance at each of them. Since when had he been delegated as the grown-up of the group? Usually Jack was the one keeping everyone's attention on the objective. He heaved a sigh. "Okay, Abbot and Costello, we really need to stay focused here!"
Jack grinned, gave Casey's shoulder a squeeze. "Let's do a little damage here. We'll move on, head for the hanger bay. Radar, can you get us there?"
"I think so. It's the level below the cargo bays. I think," she added.
"Most Goa'uld ships have escape pods, right?" Jack asked.
"Most of them, yes," Daniel replied.
"Okay, if we can't get to the 302 before it blows, we'll head for the escape pods. The Prometheus is out there. They'll see the pods, and follow them down."
Daniel nodded. "432 would be the closest planet. If we're still in the same place we were captured from."
Jack nodded as well. "Okay, those are plans A and B. Now for plan C..."
"Did you guys ever find out who the snake of the day is?" Casey interrupted. Jack only grinned broader.
"Zeus," Daniel told her. He and Jack were carefully removing access panels, exposing nearly a dozen circuits.
"You've got to be kidding!" she gasped. "As in the Zeus, god of thunderbolts and lightening and screwing every maiden he comes across?"
Daniel grinned. "That's him."
She gave an involuntary shudder. She could well understand why those maidens were so willing to fall into his arms, and his bed. "The others won't be far behind then, will they?"
"Okay, Case, you're so eager to use that thing, have at it," Jack told her.
With a grin, she maneuvered herself in front of the opening, and pressed the prongs of the pain stick against the components she could see. Sparks flew, and small flames began to dance around the wires. The three exchanged surprised glances. Shorting out the equipment had been the plan. Fire had not. While fire was always a risk when shorts occurred in wiring, it hadn't been a risk they'd contemplated during their hastily contrived and executed plan. Fire in the narrow confines of the access shafts was one thing that could quickly become life-threatening for them.
"Shit! Time to go!" Jack said. He pushed Daniel ahead, then gave Casey a shove, keeping her between himself and her husband.
The shaft was quickly filling with smoke, and it seemed that another alarm was adding its screech to the already ear-splitting cacophony of warning sounds that echoed around them.
Daniel found a shaft that led up, or they could go down. Hoping that the smoke would rise, he began to climb down. And prayed there wouldn't be Jaffa, or armed technicians, working nearby who would see them, and possibly try to stop them.
Their luck was holding. And they wouldn't question the blessing.
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