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She opened her eyes. She was lying on the living room floor, mostly on top of Daniel. Her mother was slumped sideways on the couch. Her father, Teal'c and Jack were unconscious as well. She sat up, pulled the dart from her leg, glanced around. Her panicked screams woke the others.
"My babies! Oh, god, they have my babies!"
Daniel jerked awake, nearly tossed her aside in his haste to get up. He pulled her close. "Shh…easy, babe, we'll find them, I promise."
Jack's cell phone rang. He grabbed it, listened, then grinned. "Nicholas and Emily are eating ice cream in the commissary with Sam."
Casey ran across the floor, launched herself at the gray haired man. "Thank you," she sobbed.
"It's okay, Case," Jack murmured, running his hand up and down her back. "Let's go, we have some work to do." He looked over at the Desala's. "Is there someplace you can take the kids for a few days?"
Aaron nodded. "I know a lovely planet with wide sandy beaches, green forests, and no civilization anywhere." He looked at his daughter. "When it is safe, call me. Anything else that comes through that Chappa'ai, I will destroy."
She nodded. "Thanks, Daddy. You too, Mom."
Erin looked at her husband. Noted the tears in his blue eyes. Her daughter would never know what a precious gift she had given her father. That he'd longed to hear his little girl call him 'Daddy'. He'd been robbed of that sweet pleasure. Casey would never know that he'd wept many nights over that loss as they wondered about her, worried about her…loved her. "You're welcome, my darling daughter. After all, your children are our grandchildren. Let me pack a few things for them."
"We need to get going, campers," Jack said gently. "Duncan has the freighter grounded - the crew and those scientist geeks are in custody."
Casey swayed. Put a hand to her head. Cocked her head sideways as she 'listened'. "This is what that meeting is about! They're waiting for the…they're waiting for confirmation…to know that the…operation…yes…operation, that it was a success! They want the first test results before they leave Earth."
"Goddamned bastards," Jack hissed.
"Wait a minute," Daniel said, a frown on his face. "If they're waiting on test results, why leave Earth through the Stargate?"
"Another lab?" Jack asked.
"They…blood…serum…if Nicholas and Emily are…Immortal, then they can make a serum that will…" she shook her head. "That's what they're waiting for, test results on whether or not they're Immortal. The fools think that by draining every last drop of blood from my babies they can become Immortal themselves. Not all of the NID agents. Just those seven leaders. And the group of scientists they have…hired…to work on this…project…something about… soldiers…but it's really…I can't see it clearly…yet."
"Let's see what we can find out," Jack said.
"I do not understand," Erin said. "If they merely wish to be Immortal, any of the children of Gamma born to Immortals would fit their…criteria. What is it that they really seek to learn?"
Casey smiled grimly. "They want to be Immortal. But they're betting that my psychic abilities are genetic. They think that a transfusion will give that gift as well."
"They're delusional!" Daniel exclaimed. "Blood transfusions aren't going to make a difference to their genetic makeup!"
"They're desperate, but they're not stupid. I'm willing to bet they have a bit of Goa'uld technology up their sleeves as well," Jack said. "Let's go."
A A A A A A
Casey was trembling when Emily and Nicholas ran into her arms. It was impossible to hold back the tears as she hugged them, holding them tightly against her body. She felt Daniel's hand on her back, then he was kneeling in front of her, holding them all just as he had earlier. She pulled slowly away from them. "The two of you are going to go with Meemaw and Peepaw."
Emily's eyes were wide. "Will that bad man follow us?"
Daniel swallowed the bile that rose in his throat. His daughter had been traumatized. Nicholas probably had been as well. Who knew how long it would be before the child could speak of this latest crisis in his little life? "No, Princess. Peepaw is taking you somewhere very safe."
"You wouldn't wakes up, Daddy," Emily said, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I tried and tried, but you wouldn't wakes up! You or Mommy wouldn't wakes up! Then that bad man came in, and took-ded me!"
"Oh, Princess," he whispered, pulling her close. She had watched her mother shot and killed, and witnessed him being kidnapped by Betsy Harris. Had been shot herself, bore a scar on her leg as a reminder. Now this. How in god's name were his kids supposed to have a normal life? He almost laughed out loud at the thought that 'normal' parents would be a good start. "I’m so sorry, Emmie."
"I thought you was dead-ded!"
"No, Baby, no, we weren't dead. Just…asleep. Did you see the darts that hit us?" Casey asked softly.
The little girl nodded.
"Well, there was…bad medicine…on those darts, and it made us all go to sleep." She suspected that the darts had actually been poisoned, but the Quickening of the Immortals had been able to overcome it before they succumbed to death. Which was a very good thing.
"Why did those bad men want me and Nicholas?"
"Because they want to hurt us," Daniel replied.
"Because they're bad men."
He smiled. "Princess, I have no idea."
"The bad man told me that he was gonna be Im'ortal, just like me, and that if I survive-ded and grow-ded up, he was gonna fuck me senseless," Emily said. "What that means?"
Daniel's vision narrowed, everything in his peripheral vision was colored with a red haze. He could see only his precious daughter. He could feel the blood pounding in his ears. "Which one, Princess?" he asked softly, calmly.
"He had a decoration on his arm just like on your chest," Emily replied, pushing her finger against the spot where the Mayan symbol marked him as The Chosen. "What that means?"
"It means he wanted to hurt you, Princess," Daniel replied. One look into green eyes let him know that this was something she needed to witness. That she was just as angry. He glanced up at his friends, saw the shock, the anger on their faces as well. "Duncan, would you mind staying with the kids until Casey's folks get here?"
"Not at all," Duncan replied quietly. "We should get the scum off the base. Their friends will expect them to be here. I'm thinking that Methos might like to visit with them. We can send them to Regatta. He can get there without exposing himself."
"I suggest we head for that planet where all of this crap was supposed to take place as soon as we have what we need," Jack said.
Daniel nodded. "I agree."
"I concur," Teal'c said.
"Me, too," Casey added.
"Count me in," Sam said. Her heart was breaking for what Casey, and her children, had endured during the past two hours. She stopped on the way to the armory and made a phone call. Just to make sure. Mrs. Peterson assured her that Evvie and Amber were sound asleep.
For the first time since its founding, the city of Hope was at risk from the NID. Duncan had called Robert, who had agreed that it was possible that all of the Immortal children might be looked at as potential…blood donors. Announcements were already being made on the radio, the Sentinel would carry the full story, and the early morning news on GNN would be sending out the alert as well. Parents were being advised to make sure their children were not alone. GMF units would be dispatched to guard both daycare centers, the three elementary schools, and the middle school. High school students would be warned to be suspicious of any adult they didn't know, and to report any encounters immediately.
Wearing BDUs, Casey was filling her pack with bottled water and MREs.
"Put those in here, Angel," Daniel said softly, watching her take another half dozen bottles.
She nodded, put the water into his pack. "He's an animal."
"I want him dead."
"He will be."
"I want you to rip his balls off. I want you to rip his dick off! I want his tongue ripped out of his head!"
He reached for her, pulled her close, let her cry against his shoulder, knowing that the tears held her fears as well as her anger. "Cry it out, Angel," he whispered.
Jack and Sam came into the supply room. Teal'c was just seconds behind them. "Daniel?"
"She'll be okay," he said softly.
Sam walked over to her friends, hugged both of them tightly. "We'll stop these bastards."
"Damned straight," Jack said quietly.
"Indeed," Teal'c's deep voice added.
A A A A A A
Daniel nodded at the guard who waited beside the cell room door.
The young man had already heard about the prisoner inside, and what he'd said to a four-and-a-half year old girl. He wanted to pop the slimy bastard himself, but that privilege belonged to that little girl's father. Dr. Daniel Jackson. He stood, stretched, and wandered to the end of the corridor. "I need to check on the other prisoners, sir. Will you be all right?" Both men knew that there were half a dozen SF's guarding the cells just down the corridor.
He gave the young guard, Peterson, according to name on his uniform, a grim smile. "I should be okay, thanks. Just make sure not one of those monsters can get out."
"Yes, sir. I'll make sure they're nice and secure. They're not going anywhere. Not on my watch!" He turned and walked away.
Daniel was reaching for the door when Jack and Teal'c appeared at his elbow. Casey and Sam were with them. "I wasn't going to kill him," he said softly.
"Why not?" Jack asked, and opened the cell door. "We just found out that there is absolutely no record of these people anywhere."
"Just like those…the agents who tried to abduct us during your speech at the UCLA," Casey said. The young people who had been…coerced…by the NID were living happily on Langara; useful, productive citizens from all reports that had been received.
The team stepped into the cell. The man inside was stretched out on the bunk. He gave a cursory glance at his visitors. He surveyed Sam, took in the long legs and deep blue eyes. Grinned up at her before his eyes focused on Casey, moving up and down her slender frame with obvious interest. "Should have taken the time to see if you're as soft as you look," he said calmly. The grin went wider when he looked up at Daniel. He'd read the file on this…geek. Scientist. Pacifist. Had to hide behind one Colonel O'Neill and that freak Jaffa for protection. He hadn't bothered to read the cover sheet, which stated that the information within the folder had been gathered prior to May 1998. It had been gleaned from the reports of the men who had returned from Abydos after that very first mission. Added to shortly after the archaeologist came back to Earth, and became part of the now famous SG-1. His eyes went wide when Daniel jerked him to his feet.
"I should rip your tongue out of your head for what you said to my little girl," Daniel said, his voice low, cold...dangerous.
"Ya know, there are a hell of a lot more of us than you realize. Right here in Hope," the man replied, unaware that all of the men on the freighter were now prisoners just down the hall from him. "I'll be out of here by morning. We'll get those brats of yours. Then the science-brain boys will make us Immortal. I'm gonna try and keep that little girl of yours alive, if I can. Don't know if I'll bother waiting for her to grow up before I fuck her good. She's a cutie, ain't she?"
Daniel's eyes filled with ice. "Guess I'll just have to make sure that never happens."
The man screamed in pain as a hand wrapped around his genitals and squeezed. The screams became panicked when he felt the heat, felt it burning him.
The man's 'partner'...as well as the four men caught earlier, the five scientists and fifteen crewmembers from the freighter...who occupied the cells down the hall, heard the screams of terror, of pain, all of them shaking with fear at the sounds. One of the Committee Members had warned against taking on the Immortals, and Daniel Jackson. Especially as the ranks of the NID had been reduced to the hastily recruited, often coerced prisoners who had little or no military training. He'd been branded a weakling, and killed for his efforts. The agents now prisoners in the Gamma SGC were to a man wishing they'd listened to those warnings. Like rats on a sinking ship, several of them were making plans to negotiate for their lives.
"Stop him!" the man gasped, tears of pain rolling down his cheeks.
"Daniel, stop," Casey said softly.
He turned to look at her. "What?"
"Stop. Please. You're better than him," she replied.
With a look of disgust, Daniel tossed the man back onto the bunk. He shook his head mentally. Saved. His Angel had saved him. How close had he been to losing it completely? How close had he been to mutilating this man? He stepped closer to her, pulled her into his embrace. "Thanks," he whispered.
"For what?" she whispered back.
"Saving me. From the Dark Side."
She smiled. "You never would have gone that far. I just wanted to spare you the guilt you'll feel about this later."
He smiled, kissed the tip of her nose. Turned to look at the man who writhed on the cot, his hands cradling his groin. "Guess we should call the doctor."
Jack grinned. "Yep. And talk to the guys down the hall."
Daniel started. Then grinned. That was why his friends had let him do as much as he had! The others had to be panicked by now!
Dr. Montigue examined the patient, and said that he was somewhat bruised, there were what appeared to be mild burns on his penis and scrotum, but he would survive. Casey struggled to keep from asking the good doctor to castrate the bastard who had dared to talk about her daughter, and to her daughter, as he had. He gave the man an injection of pain medication, not bothering to be gentle about it, and left him in the cell.
A A A A A A
The team was sitting side by side by side at a long table. Each of the prisoners were brought in, one at a time, and questioned. The scientists were most forthcoming in what they had been expected to do, boasting about their plans; and the scariest thing, as far as Daniel was concerned, they truly believed that their scheme would work!
Without doing deep searches, there was no way to know what the prisoners might possibly be hiding. And they agreed that they needed to know everything that these men did, no matter how trivial it might seem. A plan was hastily agreed upon. Casey was fairly certain she could do what Jack wanted, without actually permanently damaging anyone. She would undoubtedly render them unconscious, and they'd probably have one hell of a headache for a day or two. But she would do a deep search of their memories, for anything that might possibly help them.
The prisoners had been brought in as a group. Dr. Huong Wang, the head of the 'research team' that had been on the freighter that had docked at the Gamma Space Port, was put in a chair in the center of the room. His ankles were strapped to the legs of the chair, his hands to the armrests. It wasn't necessary, it was done as a show of strength…of dominance.
"Okay, Casey, see what he knows," Jack said quietly.
She nodded. Closed her eyes. Met Daniel in that sunny meadow.
"Be careful, Angel," he said softly. "Just find what you can, then back away."
She nodded. Understood that if she were to allow herself to give in to her anger, she could become Judge, Jury, and Executioner, without ever intending to be. She wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders. Daniel would protect her. Even if it meant protecting her from herself.
She moved forward slowly. The mind was very organized. Very…clinical. Very little emotion. No…that wasn't true. She pushed a bit deeper. Dark. Cold. This man's family had been killed in front of him when he'd been just a child. A relative had managed to get him to Taiwan from his home in China. He was smuggled to America. Only to return to China when he turned thirteen, expelled because of the people he lived with. So much anger…so much hatred! He'd pushed it down, controlled it, funneled it into his interest in medicine. He'd performed the experiments that none of the other doctors were willing to do. Cruel, painful, horrible things…She gasped, moved back.
"NID. Immortals," she whispered. There. There was the information she was searching for. Satisfied that she had found all that she could, she pulled away, slowly, gently, not wishing to harm the man, no matter that he had become a heartless monster. She'd seen the terrified little boy, the confused teenager. For them she would leave the man unharmed.
"So sad," she said softly, holding tighter to Daniel. She raised her face when he nuzzled her cheek, accepting the kiss that she so desperately needed.
"We have to go, Angel," he sighed, pulling away from her.
She opened her eyes. Recited the information she'd found. Watched as the man's eyes grew wider with each name she gave, every safe house address, every bit of research information that he had. "They're babies," she said softly, her eyes locked with his.
"They are Immortal," he replied coldly. "They could hold the key to Immortality for all of us."
"You could kill children so easily?" she asked, visibly shaken.
"Children are an easily renewable resource. Yours are but freaks of nature. To examine them is the logical course of action."
For one fleeting second it was all that she could do to keep from begging Daniel to launch fireballs into the man. She took a deep breath. "I'm sorry that you had to witness the brutal killing of your parents. And that you were returned to China without having a chance to ask for asylum on your own. I'm sorry for what you suffered at the hands of your…trainers. You're full of anger, and hate. One day, it's going to kill you."
Tears rolled down his cheeks, images from long suppressed memories, disturbed from their slumber, flashed through his memory, but he never uttered a sound. Turk released the restraints that held him in place, cuffed his hands behind his back and led him to the bench at the side of the room.
The man Daniel had…grabbed, was next. His eyes were wide with fear, and he moved slowly, trying to keep his legs as far apart as possible, to offer a bit of relief to his burned and battered balls and dick.
"I wanted him to die," she admitted.
"So did I. I'm glad you stopped me."
"I still want him castrated."
He chuckled. "I'll see what I can arrange. See what you can find, Angel. I have you," he whispered.
She reached forward, recoiled slightly from the touch. Filth. Anger. Fear, so much fear. Always the bully. No friends. Never belonging...Pop hates me...Mom hates me...I'll show them! Living on the streets. Selling his body so that he could make enough to eat...used...abused by so many men, powerful men, angry men...forced to do such shameful things...more anger...She shuddered.
"NID. Immortals," she whispered. Once again the information made itself available to her. Very little of import. Just recently 'drafted' into the ranks. Not trusted. Too volatile. Expendable. She moved away, ready to pull completely from his mind when she saw it…heard it. Images of this man…and her precious baby girl. Her temper flaring, her heart pounding with fear, she stepped closer.
Watched as he tied Emily to a bed, her little body naked and spread-eagled. Her blue eyes wide with terror. Watched as the man stripped, then stroked himself to full erection.
"Ever seen a cock, little girl? Ever seen your daddy like this? Ever seen your daddy fuck your mommy, ramming his big old cock into her cunt?"
Emily shook her head. "I want my Daddy!"
"Just be quiet. I'll be your daddy now," he said. He got onto the bed, knelt in front of the child. He continued to stroke himself with one hand, the other he put between her thin little legs, running his fingers up and down her immature body.
"No!" Casey screamed. She raced forward, into the room, began beating the man with both fists.
He managed to get back to his feet, reached for her, grabbed her by the front of the shirt, slapped her…hard.
She shook her head. Teal'c had taught her well. She began to jab at him.
In the meadow he could feel her anger, the absolute rage that poured off of her. Felt her shaking, struggling. Knew that she was fighting him. "Casey! Casey stop it! Back away! Come on Angel, stop!"
His voice filtered through to her. She glanced around. Emily was gone. The bed was gone. He was crumpled in a corner of the room, bleeding, bruised, but alive.
She pulled away as gently as she could. Stood trembling in Daniel's arms. "He…he was going to rape her, Daniel…I couldn't let him do that to my baby…I couldn't," she gasped between sobs.
"Shh…it's okay, Angel, it's all over. Emmie's fine, honey. It's okay," he crooned softly. He swayed gently back and forth, his hands moving up and down her back, his face pressed against her neck as she slowly regained her composure.
She took a deep breath. "I'm okay now."
She opened her eyes. The man was unconscious. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
Jack looked at her. She was shaking…and shaken. "What happened?" he asked softly.
"I…when I was searching…it must have been a fantasy or something…he…he had Emmie…he had my baby…on a bed…naked, tied up…he was going to-" she broke off, turned her head, buried her face against Daniel's shoulder, felt his warm, strong hand on her back.
Jack glared at the man. "Get that piece of shit out of here," he growled.
Turk was more than willing to comply.
A A A A A A
Two hours later they went through the information that they had been able to gather. The seven NID 'bosses' were heading to a planet already designated by the SGC computer as P7Y 4X9. It was along the furthest reaches of the galaxy. There were indeed Goa'uld devices in place in the laboratories, the scientists involved certain that they understood and could control them. Casey wasn't as sure, and told her teammates that she had picked up from one of the scientists that there were those who had their doubts about the process.
Duncan sent a MALP through. The team was standing in the control room, watching as images from the planet were sent back to them. It was dark, planet side. Infrared cameras were switched on.
"Holy Hannah," Sam whispered.
Three buildings were visible. Three large Quonset hut type buildings, their domed shapes reflecting the available moonlight.
"Okay, obviously this place has been there for awhile," Duncan said.
"This must be where some of that equipment went to," Sam said, recalling the list of 'gate activity she found on the computers confiscated when the second Stargate was removed from Siberia.
"I'd say so. Any sign of life?" Jack asked.
"Let me launch a UAV," Sam suggested. "I have thermal scanners on a couple of them."
"Do it," Duncan said.
She hurried out of the control room, heading for the storage rooms where the MALP's and UAV's were housed and repaired.
Daniel looked over at Casey. "What can you 'see', Angel?"
She closed her eyes, met him in that meadow.
"I can't do it alone," she whispered.
"I'm right here, Case," he whispered in reply. He opened himself slowly, wrapped his arms around her tightly. Felt her pulling him along, watching as they moved past the stars so quickly the lights looked like streaks of white.
The three Quonset huts were set side by side, facing the Stargate, a good fifty yards from the steps that led to the DHD. Each hut was at least sixty feet long, and about twenty feet wide. Behind them were three more of the metal structures, maybe twelve feet wide and forty feet long.
She moved closer to the buildings, felt his hand close around hers. The center building served as the kitchen and mess hall. The building to the right was a huge laboratory. She pointed out what appeared to be Goa'uld equipment. The building on the left had what looked like private quarters. Eight rooms, which opened off a narrow, central hallway, four on each side. Six of the rooms were occupied...whoever they were, they were sound asleep. Three smaller labs lined the front of the building. The center building in the back was storage, and held food, water, clothing, medication, weapons, equipment - all enough to last for several years it seemed. The buildings on either side were open barracks.
Daniel counted fifty bunks in each hut, and both huts were filled to capacity. There were half a dozen bunks that had screens around them, offering privacy to the occupant. Apparently those people were higher ranking than the others. He glanced to his left when Casey tugged at his arm and pointed. Seven small…cabins…were being erected. All but two were nearly finished. Probably for the seven NID bosses who would be coming through the 'gate at any time. "Let's get back, Angel."
She nodded, held tightly to him when they returned to the meadow. "I'm getting a bad feeling about this," she said softly.
"We have to take this place out."
"I know. If we don't, this particular group won't give up until they have our kids."
"Time to go to work." He kissed her thoroughly, and the thought that he should probably pack plenty of the Hathor-gene serum crossed his mind. This was going to be a tough battle.
Sam had launched the UAV while they had searched. She confirmed their findings, and located a camp of some sort nearly ten miles away, near a narrow river.
"Okay, we know that the bosses are waiting for a message," Jack said. "I suggest we get there while it's still dark so we can get set up. We need to get the MALP and UAV back before anyone there sees them."
Duncan nodded. "Marine-2 will go with you. I'll give you thirty after going through the 'gate, then Toby will send the message." Using the information Casey had gleaned from the minds of the geneticists, they knew what the NID bosses were waiting for. And they would receive the message, though they would probably never have the time to figure out it was a fake.
The team members nodded. Turk and his men were already waiting in the 'gate room.
Jack led SG-1 into the large room. "Okay, let's go show this group of assholes what happens when they start messing with kids on Gamma!"
The 'gate opened with the usual breathtaking display. They could only hope that no one was awake to hear the chevrons engage and the 'gate open for a third time. There had been no sign of guards. Jack and Teal'c both theorized that the group on this planet was secure in the fact that their camp was completely unknown to anyone, certainly a secret from the SGC, and SG-1 in particular.
For the final time that night, the 'gate was once again opened, and the SGC equipment sent back through. Either no one heard the sounds, or they were being watched, and ambush at any moment was a possibility. They hoped for the former, assumed the latter. The two teams slipped down the steps, and headed into the woods to the magnetic south of the huts. It was near dawn when they found an area that would afford them a view of both the 'gate and the huts.
As soon as the leaders walked through the 'gate, they would be taken out. Casey had done another search, it seemed that there was one leader already in residence on the planet. She would be the next target taken out, when she'd been identified. Jack had given Casey the go-ahead to target the woman when she was certain. It would be a free-for-all when the bosses were assassinated; and Jack, Turk, and Teal'c agreed that the remaining agents wouldn't expect their unseen enemy to fade farther into the forest. So that was exactly what they were going to do. No doubt they would be followed, but it would be much easier to pick off the more numerous enemy a few at a time if they had the advantage of surprise. The two teams would split up, and circumvent the camp, meeting back up at the 'gate thirty-six hours after initial contact with the enemy. Plans made and agreed upon, the duty watch settled in, and the others settled down to get a bit of sleep.
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