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Blast from the Past
"…You take it on the run baby
If that's the way you want it baby
Then I don't want you around
I don't believe it
Not for a minute
You're under the gun so you take it on the run…"
"Take it on the Run"
by R.E.O. Speedwagon
Daniel leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head and watched her. She was sitting the way she always sat when she was working: one foot tucked beneath her, one arm on the table, leaning slightly forward, tapping her pencil under her chin as she studied the stone tablet in front of her. There was a slight frown on her face. She was absolutely breathtaking. His entire body responded to the sight, his heart pounded inside his chest. From nowhere came the though…the question…of whether or not his father had ever looked at his mother under the same circumstances and felt the same flood of emotions, the same rush of love.
Casey read the same segment for the seventh time. She was missing something. An entire section of the tablet was failing to make sense, no matter what 'respective' she used. She glanced at the edges, ran her fingers over them. Was there more to this tablet? She sighed. Even if there was, what she had should have some sort of logic to it. She scanned the text beneath it. Her frown deepened. When had the Cardorians begun using marks like the Asgard? No, that couldn't be right, could it? If that was true, then those people would have had to know about the small gray aliens, and the Asgard had chosen to remain very…anonymous. What if…She shook her head. She didn't think the Asgard would have gotten involved. She sighed again. "Daniel?"
She looked over at him. He was watching her. "Since you obviously don't have anything better to do than stare at me, haul that fine ass of yours over here, bring that brilliant mind with you, and help me figure this out."
He grinned, his cheeks turning ruddy at her assessments of him. "Your wish is my command."
She giggled. "Yeah, since when?"
"Hey, I've always been at your beck and call." He stood up and walked to where she sat, pulled the extra chair to her side.
"I just wish I was living in the same reality as you, if that's true," she said, rolling her eyes.
He was close enough now that the scent of her shampoo, and her own sweet scent, filled his nose, his senses. He leaned close, nuzzled her cheek. "Whatever you want, Angel, whenever you want it," he whispered. Satisfied at the shiver that moved her slender body. "Now, what's the problem?"
"This section makes absolutely no sense at all, no matter what respective I use to translate it in. Then, check out these marks," she said, pointing to the two areas of the tablet.
Daniel frowned as he read the text. Read it again. And again. "You're right. It's gibberish."
"Are these marks what I think they are?"
"Looks like Asgard. There haven't been any other Asgard markings or references, have there?"
Casey shook her head, pushed her hair back with one hand. "No. The freaky thing is, if I use Asgard to translate this-"
"It suddenly makes sense," he finished. "But you have to understand what the marks are, and that the section above it must be translated completely with that language. Is there anything that indicates that?"
Again her head moved from side to side. "I'm thinking this was like the Hustler List," she said, referring to the tablet that was a sexual manual when read in one direction, and listed all of Dagon's crimes against the Cardorians when read in the opposite direction. "Those in the know, knew, and those who weren't, didn't. Interesting way to keep secrets," she mused.
He read the short section. "These are instructions. For repairing some sort of device."
"I'm assuming an Asgard device?"
He nodded. "I assume so…it…hmmm…it almost looks as if it's text breakdown of a beaming device. I think."
"That would make Sam happy. She's been trying to reverse engineer one of them ever since Thor gave us that box full of them," Casey mused, once again reading the text that had given her such trouble.
"Yeah, it would. I'm sure it would make more sense to her than it makes to me," Daniel admitted.
"I'll translate it, and take it to her," Casey said, pulling the yellow legal pad closer.
He watched her as she wrote, her neat handwriting filling the page as she carefully translated what was on the tablet into English. Once again that love, that wonder that she was as fascinated by archaeology as he was, washed over him.
There were several words that she wasn't sure of, so she put parenthesis around them, certain that Sam would understand them even if she didn't. She could feel the weight of those blue eyes on her. It was a familiar feeling to her now. Had become so since the miracle return from her icy, watery grave on PY2 498. She could feel the love in the gaze, without looking at him to see it in his beautiful eyes. She smiled slightly. "Enjoying the view?"
He grinned. "Oh, yeah," he said softly. Felt his cock twitch when the tip of her pink tongue touched her lips. Deciding that getting a cup of coffee was the safest course of action for the moment, he stood to his feet and went to the small cabinet and poured a mug full of the rich brew that Casey had made as soon as they had arrived. "Coffee?"
The sudden wail of klaxons, the flash of red lights in the corridor sent the coffee he had just poured into the cup sloshing over his hand. "Damn it!" he swore softly. He grabbed a napkin and wiped his hand and the small amount that he had spilled.
"Are you all right?" she asked, looking over at him.
"SG-1 to the 'gate room!" Kyle's voice said, echoing in the air around them.
Casey finished the line that she had been working on, then followed her husband into the hallway and onto the elevator. Jack jumped on when the elevator reached level twenty-six.
"So what's going on?" Casey asked.
"Not a clue," Jack replied.
The three friends and teammates walked casually to the 'gate room. The klaxons were silent now, the lights stilled, obviously the event horizon had closed and any possible threat contained. Duncan was standing at the end of the ramp, his arms crossed over his chest. Marine 1 was standing guard, their weapons trained on the dark haired, leather-clad man who was standing on the ramp, smirking at them.
"I'll be damned," Jack muttered when they walked into the room.
"Camulus?" Daniel said, surprise in his own voice.
Sam ran into the room, Teal'c right behind her. She skidded to a stop. "You have got to be kidding!" she said.
Casey looked at the faces of her friends. "I take it you know this guy," she said softly.
"Oh, yeah," Jack muttered. He looked at the man. "I thought Ba'al had killed your sorry snake-ass."
Camulus smiled. "Luckily for me, I was aware of your treachery before I offered the device to him. I convinced him I knew where an active one was hidden." He barely glanced at the members of SG-1. His attention was riveted on the lovely blonde standing behind Dr. Jackson's shoulder.
"Yeah, you always were a smooth liar," Jack replied.
Casey had instinctively stepped slightly behind Daniel when those hazel eyes stopped on her; she tightened her grip on his arm.
Camulus brushed past Duncan, ignored the Marines who kept their weapons trained on him, and stopped in front of the young archaeologist. "Doctor Jackson, you must introduce me to this enchanting creature," he said, his eyes moving over her from head to foot and back again.
Daniel felt her hands tighten around his arm yet again. Any tighter and she'd cut off blood circulation. Not that he was complaining. If it gave her comfort, she could squeeze his arm until his fingers turned blue! "Casey Jackson, Camulus. Camulus, Casey Jackson."
"Jackson?" Camulus asked, one eyebrow raised.
"Yes. My Wife," Daniel replied. His voice was cold.
"Ah, yes." He focused his attention on Casey. He would have kissed her hand, if both weren't wrapped around Jackson's arm. "It is an honor, and a delight, to meet such a beautiful woman. And to find a woman as lovely you in a place like this, very refreshing."
Sam gave a loud harrumph.
Camulus turned to her. "Lieutenant Colonel Carter. It has been a long time." He grabbed her hand before she realized his intent, lifted it slowly to his lips, his eyes locked on hers.
Casey couldn't help but giggle. "Um, guess you guys weren't married when he saw you last, huh?"
The Goa'uld looked from Sam to Jack and back again. "Interesting."
"What do you want?" Jack asked bluntly.
"I have come to offer you information," Camulus replied easily.
"Yeah. Right. In exchange for what?"
Jack laughed out loud. "Again? Who did you piss off this time?"
Camulus shook his head. "I realize that you are unaware of the fact that I was able to take over most of Ba'al's holdings when he was forced from our…sector."
Jack would not be so easily sidetracked. "So who did you lose them to?"
Nervous glances were exchanged. Intelligence reports had indicated that Ptah wasn't strong enough to move against any System Lords.
"You would be a poor strategist to lose to a Goa'uld who held nothing," Teal'c said, saying out loud what everyone in the room was thinking.
Camulus glared at the Jaffa, his eyes glowing brightly. "Do not speak to me in such a manner, shol'va!"
"He's right, Cammy," Jack grinned.
"I was betrayed," Camulus said, his voice low, angry.
"That's a good story," Duncan said.
Camulus stared at him. "We have not met."
"I'm Duncan MacLeod. CIC of SCG Gamma."
"You are leader here?" Camulus looked at Jack with a smirk on his face.
The Highlander nodded. He glanced at Jack. Who had been in command the last time the Goa'uld had been seen. "Jack is too busy fighting snakes to run the place. So I do it. He takes care of everything else."
Jack grinned at the man whom he did technically work for. The explanation seemed to put him in control once again. "So, Ptah, who had nothing, kicked your ass."
"As I said, I was betrayed."
Casey cocked her head sideways. "You trusted her…you loved her. You didn't realize she was working for him until she turned on you, tried to kill you," she said softly.
The Goa'uld's eyes widened. "You are a seer." It was a statement, not a question.
"One of the best," Jack replied proudly.
"When you killed her, you walked away. You didn't even try to fight," Casey continued. Part of her could feel sorry for the man. The pain that he felt was deep.
"I had no reason to fight, nor heart to do so," he said softly. The pain that filled his eyes was apparent to all.
She continued to study the man. "You spent almost a year with the Tau'ri."
"As their prisoner," Camulus replied.
"But long enough that you came to know them in a way you never had before. They were free, strong, proud…intelligent…dangerous. Not like the humble slaves that they had been when you had last been on Earth. You gained a respect for them…us," she said softly. "Of all the civilizations in all of the galaxies, this group is the only one you trust, that you feel safe with."
All eyes turned back to the Goa'uld. He was looking at Casey, his face softened, he nodded slightly. "It is an…unexpected…feeling. To know that those who were…are…my enemies, are the only ones with enough honor to stand beside their word," he said, his voice as soft as hers had been.
Casey stepped out from behind Daniel, turned loose of his arm, took Camulus' larger hands in her own. "Don't be afraid," she whispered.
Camulus nodded slightly, closed his eyes.
'Casey, what in the hell are you doing?'
He strode towards her in the meadow, his eyes flashing with jealousy. "What in the hell are you doing?"
"We need to know if he's serious, or if this is some sort of ploy to find out what we have, and what our intentions toward Ptah are. He was defeated by Ptah. Betrayed by the woman he'd chosen as his Consort. He's devastated, Daniel. Truly, honestly heartbroken. But we need to know if he's working for Ptah." She reached up and wreathed his face with her hands, pulled him close and kissed him. "My eyes see only you, Beloved," she whispered.
"You're the only woman my eyes see," he replied softly, "so you'll have to forgive me when I feel threatened. Even if it is by a snake. Take a look, Angel. I've got you." He pulled her close, held her tightly, pressed his face against the softness of her neck.
She reached out, slowly. The heartbreak, the anguish that he felt was difficult to move past. She caught sight of the host. He was weeping quietly. She could sense that he had loved the woman as well. Which, she thought, was a totally bizarre and creepy thought. Ptah hadn't so much defeated him as simply walked in and taken over when Camulus had walked away, his grief so deep that nothing mattered to him. The information he had would be sketchy at best. But there was a feeling…a sadness…a weariness…she pulled away slowly, stunned by what she found.
She opened her eyes, kissed Daniel again. "He wants more than asylum."
"What does he want?"
"To work with us."
"He's tired, Daniel. Of the killing. The anger. The hatred. The constant spying and plotting and scheming. Cara, the woman he loved, was human. She had been a slave to Ba'al. Camulus freed her. Fell in love with her. Listened when she spoke of freedom and the evils of the Goa'uld. I don't know how or when Ptah managed to turn her against him. But when she betrayed Camulus, it…it changed him. Her love had changed him, actually. Her betrayal...he wants nothing more than to be rid of every Goa'uld that lives and breathes."
"Yeah, so he can rule instead."
Casey shook her head. "No. So that he can die in peace."
Daniel's eyes went wide. "Casey, I don't think it's possible for a Goa'uld to change. Certainly not that much."
"I only know what I can see. That's what I see. I'm not saying that in six months or a year he won't be rarin' to take over the universe again. I do think it would be to our advantage to use him. For as long as we can."
He nodded. "Okay. Let's tell Jack and Duncan."
She opened her eyes. Looked up into Camulus' hazel eyes. "We should go sit down and talk." Her voice was soft.
Camulus lifted her fingers to his lips. "Thank you," he whispered.
She smiled, nodded. Turned to Jack and Duncan. "Can I see you guys for a minute?"
"Damned straight!" Jack said, grabbing her by the arm and dragging her toward the corridor.
Daniel was right behind them. He calmly pulled Jack's hand from her upper arm. "You're hurting my Wife," he said quietly.
Jack shook his head. "Sorry. Sorry Case. Just what the hell was all of that about?" he demanded in a fierce whisper.
"He's hurting, Jack. Deeply. He was very much in love with a human woman. He never would have considered taking a woman like her as his consort, not before spending a year on Earth. Even if it was as a prisoner. He…Jack, he wants revenge. Not just on Ptah. On all Goa'uld. In his mind, right now, all of them are guilty of her death. He had to kill her, she was trying to kill him. I don't know how Ptah managed to turn her, but he did." She glanced into the 'gate room. Camulus was looking at her. He smiled. "He killed her, Jack, in self defense. And then he held her and cried. I mean broke down and crawled on his knees and screamed and cried."
Daniel shifted uncomfortably. He understood that depth of grief all too well, from personal experience. He had done the same thing when he had thought Nergal had beheaded her. And when the room in the Oannes' underwater city collapsed on her.
Jack glanced at the young archaeologist. He realized that Daniel could identify with that grief. "So you're saying that he's changed sides?"
"Not exactly. I mean, he's still a Goa'uld. That will never change. But his…goals…are different now. I don't know how long it will last. I do think we should take advantage of the situation," Casey replied.
"I guess it wouldn't hurt to see what he has to say," Jack conceded.
"You've dealt with him before," Duncan said. "I'll let you deal with him now."
"He's not the same man he was before," Casey said softly.
All three men started, looked hard at her. They hadn't missed that she considered him a 'man', and not a Goa'uld. Daniel frowned slightly. "He's still a Goa'uld," he reminded her quietly.
"But not the same Goa'uld you dealt with before," she repeated, unaware of her 'slip'.
Duncan rubbed his chin with one hand. "Okay. Let's talk to him."
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