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What the Eye Beholds, the Heart Denies
"Carter, time?" Jack asked, carefully placing the block of C-4 against the joint of the support column. The major had become the 'time-keeper', although he'd have been hard pressed to explain how that had actually happened. He was still pissy about the idea of the team being completely split up. That was never a good thing for SG-1. But it was the only way to plant the explosives in nine very different and very scattered locations, in the very limited amount of time that they had. Casey would join back up with Daniel, Sam with Teal'c. He would place the last two charges on his way back to the transport rings. Or so the plan went.
"Plus sixty-one minutes, sir. We have plenty of time to get back to the rings."
"Daniel's putting the last explosive into place."
"I am on my way to the elevator," was the very quiet reply.
"We're at the rings ASAP," Jack ordered quietly.
"Right," Daniel's voice acknowledged.
"I am on my way," Teal'c said.
"Meet you there," Sam's voice confirmed.
He sighed. So far, so good.
He was making his way down the corridor when he felt it. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck began to stand up. Never a good sign. Well, so much for counting his chickens before they were hatched, he grumbled silently. He slid into the shadows, so that he could take a quick look around...hoping that whatever was beginning to worry him was a problem for him to face, and not one of his 'kids'.
A A A A A A
Teal'c waited among the shadows as the Jaffa passed. That particular group was loyal, for there had been no surreptitious glances, looking for the Tau'ri who were supposed to be on board, planting the devices that would bring an end to the Goa'uld System Lord known as Ares.
As silently as a cat, he moved from one side of the wide corridor to the other, his head swiveling as he watched both directions. He needed to make it to the cross corridor before he could slip to the back elevator, and down to the level of the ring transport.
His path had been clear as he made his way toward the rings; there had been no one near to notice his exit from the lift. The distinct sound of raised voices brought him to an abrupt halt. He ducked behind one of the ever present support columns, listening carefully. It was instantly apparent that there were two groups of Jaffa near the ring transport...the Rebels, with whom SG-1 would escape the now doomed ship, and those loyal to Ares.
He watched the corridors carefully...if any of his teammates appeared, he would have to catch their attention before they turned toward the rings...and the quarreling Jaffa.
A A A A A A
Sam slid into the shadows created by the closed door of one of the laboratory rooms. Ares was striding down the corridor, followed closely by his personal guard, barking orders to three men...must be scientists, she thought fleetingly, the tickle that she felt when near Goa'uld alerting her to the presence of more than one symbiote. The Goa'uld was as arrogant as she remembered him being in the garden where he'd managed to capture Daniel...she nearly giggled out loud at the thought she should call out and ask if his balls had healed. Which led to the curious question of how the sarcophagus could heal or even regenerate badly damaged organs. As soon as the group had turned the corner, Ares' voice still ringing loudly, she dashed toward her goal...the back elevator.
A A A A A A
Daniel inserted the timer. "Let's go," he whispered into his radio.
Casey nodded from her place beside the door on the far side of the hanger. The internal sensors couldn't see them. And there was something about the isotopes creating odd images on any visual scanners. But being caught in the open was never a good idea. She dashed across the open floor of the bay, reached for him as soon as she was close enough. The warmth of his hand around hers was reassuring, and helped to slow the rapid beating of her heart.
The sound of approaching Jaffa had the two ducking behind a group of carefully stacked boxes. Considering the location, the crates had no doubt been placed there by the rebel Jaffa in anticipation of the team's arrival. They offered the perfect hiding place.
Two Jaffa entered the hanger, one looking around intently, the other less so. The second glanced toward the boxes, then deliberately walked in the other direction. "So where are these intruders?"
"I know I saw someone come in here!" the first Jaffa insisted.
"Unless they are in the gliders, there is no place to hide."
The first Jaffa turned. Spied the crates. "They could be there," he said, nodding in that direction.
The second Jaffa heaved a sigh. "Shall I look? Will that please you?"
"Yes, it will," the other snapped.
Daniel wrapped his hands tighter around his P90, prepared to kill the two guards. Casey put a restraining hand on his arm.
The second Jaffa glanced at them, then shook his head. "Perhaps if I call for them? Are there intruders here? Show yourselves!"
He barely bit back the hiss of relief. Obviously the second Jaffa guard was a rebel. He gave a nod of acknowledgement. Glanced over to see Casey beaming a smile at the man. Hoped like hell the poor guy could keep from giving them away.
The first Jaffa gave a grunt of impatience, then stormed toward the door. "I know what I saw."
"Then perhaps we should call others to help us search," the second Jaffa replied.
"That will not be necessary."
"As you say. Where any intruders would come from is beyond me, after all, we're in the middle of the dark void, with no ships in sight..." His voice faded as he continued to berate his companion.
The Jaffa left the bay, leaving the two Tau'ri weak-kneed with relief. "Let's go, Angel, before that guy changes his mind and decides a search party is a good idea."
He led her toward the door, wishing that there was a way to open the damned thing more slowly. But like all the other doors on the ship, it was automatic, and opened completely when activated. A glance down the corridor...empty.
They ran for the 'back' elevator, the one that Jacob insisted that they use, having received word from Bra'tac that it would be completely under the control of the rebel Jaffa for the duration of the operation. When the team left Ares' ship, they would be bringing fifteen rebels with them.
"Does it seem to you that this mission has gone too smoothly?" Casey asked, watching the lights that indicated that they were moving up in the ship.
"We deserve a break," Daniel replied.
"True. But we are SG-1. Our good luck doesn't kick in until after the bad luck has run its course."
"Don't you dare jinx this mission!"
She glanced over at him. "Would I do that?"
"I wouldn't be a bit surprised...especially if you were bored." He couldn't help but grin, his blue eyes teasing.
"Daniel Jackson! I would never-" The elevator was slowing. They pressed themselves against walls on either side of the door.
Again Daniel peeked out. Yanked his head back inside, motioned that there were three people in the corridor...the very one which they had to take to get back to the rings.
All they could do was wait. And hope no one noticed...or became overly curious about...the open doors, and the fact that no one had stepped off of the lift.
A A A A A A
Jack pulled himself into the access shaft, watched from behind the cover of the grill as the squad of Jaffa marched past him. Someone was on their side...making certain that the enemy was rarely able to sneak up on them. Apparently the Goa'uld weren't into stealth, or they would never have come up with the stupid looking armor that made enough noise to wake the dead. Tin suits, as Casey referred to them. That the armor had been created long before the Tau'ri were even aware of such things as the Stargate and Goa'uld...long before his ancestors had tossed Ra from the First World...didn't occur to him. Wouldn't have mattered if it had. He would continue to believe that someone had planned the Jaffa military wardrobe specifically with aiding his team in mind.
He stuck a block of C4 in the shaft before he crawled out...just an extra ka-boom. Radar would like that, he thought, grinning broadly.
The feeling that something was about to go tits up was still tickling the back of his mind...but he was doing his best to ignore it. None of his kids had reported trouble. He hadn't been grabbed yet by Jaffa who could see him, even if the internal sensors couldn't. Nope, not going to worry just yet. No sense borrowing trouble.
A A A A A A
Sam barely bit back her yelp of surprise when a strong black hand reached out and grabbed her.
Teal'c said nothing, merely inclined his head toward the sound of the voices.
She peeked around the support beam. It looked as if the two groups were ready to come to blows...and that really wasn't a good thing.
With a finger to his lips, the Jaffa led her into the room where the final C4 that they carried was to be placed. Whatever happened between the Jaffa who served Ares, and those who were turning their backs on the false gods...happened. It would be to their disadvantage if Ares were to learn of the rebels before they and SG-1 were able to escape from the ha'tak...a ship rigged to blow in...he glanced at his watch...twelve minutes.
A A A A A A
Daniel and Casey heaved sighs of relief when the three Goa'uld hurried into a nearby room after a lengthy discussion held in the corridor; she'd been able to sense the duality in them as she and Daniel waited impatiently, counting off the seconds in their heads.
"I thought they'd never leave!" she hissed.
"Gotta have faith, Angel," he grinned. Wrapping his fingers around hers, he led her off of the elevator.
The detonators in three different areas clicked...as if invisible fingers had readjusted the time settings. Within seconds, the first of the explosions would begin.
Sam and Teal'c were back in the corridor. Jack arrived from the opposite direction at almost the same time as Casey and Daniel slipped into the shadows. The discussion between the two groups of Jaffa had resulted in the arrival of a higher ranking Jaffa, who was demanding to know exactly what was going on.
Teal'c and Daniel quietly translated. Yep, Daniel thought, things are getting ready to go tits up. If they got into a firefight with those Jaffa, they could lose precious time in trying to regain control of the rings. He glanced at his watch. Eight minutes and counting.
The first explosion echoed through the corridors, knocked the team to their knees, and out from behind the safety of the support beams. Noticed by the Jaffa who were trying to regain their feet, the alarm was sounded. The rebels opened fire, in hopes of taking out those loyal to Ares.
A second explosion sent a fireball down the adjacent corridor, effectively cutting off the route to the rings. Jack shook his head. "Escape pods," he ordered sharply.
"We have the radios to contact the Prometheus," Daniel argued. "If we don't make it to the rings, those Jaffa won't make it off the ship!"
"If we don't make it to those escape pods, we won't make it off the ship!" Jack barked.
"Jack, we have to try! There has to be another way-" Daniel found himself whirled around and shoved forward. He wanted to continue arguing; part of him desperate...in an attempt to save innocent lives...to get through to the sometimes stern military man that Jack could become, although another part knew that Jack was right. - and fully agreed with him. That part was just as desperate to get Casey to safety.
A third explosion rocked the ship around them, sending them sprawling. Jack grabbed the back of Sam's collar and dragged her to her feet, Daniel was doing the same to Casey. Teal'c was already leading the way, running toward the elevators that hopefully were still functioning. Four levels. They were four levels below the escape pods.
Fate was smiling on them...mostly. The elevator was still working. When it began to shake, and then stopped abruptly, five hearts stopped with it. Teal'c and Jack forced the doors open, just a scant foot away from the floor of the level they needed.
Wary of any enemy who might be lurking, the team scrambled up through the narrow opening between the elevator doors and the floor.
"What the hell is going on? Those timers were supposed to go off all at once!" Casey demanded, running behind Teal'c.
"I don't know," Daniel replied.
"If the others go off as scheduled, the ship will be completely destroyed," Sam assured them.
"Let's just hope we get off of this tub before that happens," Jack groused.
They slid around the corner...just a few feet from the escape pods. And then things really went to hell.
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