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Blast from the Past
It was just a few minutes after two a.m. when Wade let himself into the house with the key that Daniel had given him. The lamp on the sofa table was on, revealing the couch already made into a bed for him. He grinned. Even though he wasn't really tired, he would lie down and try to sleep. He had learned, working with Methos, that opportunities to rest should never be passed up. He sat down in the armchair and pulled off his boots.
"Hungry?" a voice asked softly from the shadows of the hallway.
Wade jumped slightly. "Maybe a little bit."
"Case made up a plate for you. If you don't eat it, you can explain why," Daniel said, with a grin, coming into the room, his sweatpants riding low on his lean hips.
He grinned in return, followed his older sibling into the kitchen. "So, what's all this about?"
Daniel took the plate from the refrigerator, put it into the microwave and turned it on. "Beer?"
He opened the fridge again, grabbed two beers. He opened them, handed one to his brother. "A Goa'uld we knew several years ago showed up today. Seems the woman he loved very much tried to kill him. He had to kill her in self-defense. He's…he's broken up over it. And wants every Goa'uld dead."
Wade's eyebrows went up, a perfect imitation of his brother. "And you believe this?" The microwave had dinged. He grabbed the hot plate, moved it from hand to hand to keep from burning his fingers, sat it on the bar, accepted the fork, and took a bite. Even warmed up, it was delicious.
"Casey took a look. She said…" Daniel took a mouthful of beer, swallowed. "She said that he held her while he cried. As in, 'crawled on his knees and screamed and cried' is how she put it."
The dark haired man frowned. Remembered the hours immediately after Casey's supposed death at the hand of Nergal. And the days after her death in that underwater city. He looked up at Daniel. The two men had truly bonded during that time. When Wade had arrived, two days after Casey's death, Erin had taken the children home with her. Daniel explained what had happened. Then he had totally trashed the den in a grief-filled rage. Wade had held his brother while the man had screamed in agony; his heart so broken that no one believed it would ever heal again. When Daniel had fallen silent, the sobs that had wracked his body stilled for a time, Wade had led him to the living room. Let him talk. And cry. He had comforted his brother all night. "That's a deep kind of grief," he said softly.
Daniel, whose thoughts had paralleled those of the man sitting in front of him, nodded. "I never did thank you for being here that night," he said, his voice soft.
Wade shrugged. "You're my big brother."
"Casey doesn't know about most of it," Daniel said, a slight frown on his face. "She has no clue that her mother had to put the den back together."
"Not even Erin knows that we drank every drop of booze that was in this house that night," Wade replied.
"You bought a case of Southern Comfort for me. I couldn't sleep without it," Daniel said.
"I hope to god I never have to go through that kind of pain again."
"I hope so too. You're a cheap drunk, but you're a dead weight when you pass out," Wade teased.
Daniel managed a grin. "Anyway, Casey seems to think that we can use this…change of heart…to our advantage. She doesn't know how long he'll feel this way. His first target is going to be Ptah…the one he is holding responsible for his…lover's…death. Which is where Methos comes in. We're going to see if Camulus is willing to give Methos the information that will make it possible to take Ptah out."
Wade nodded. "Okay. Then what?"
"Well, Camulus claims to have taken over Ba'al's territory-"
"Which he didn't do," a soft, feminine voice said from the doorway. She stepped into the room. "Hi, Wade." She kissed his cheek, accepted his kiss in return.
"Okay, Smartass, how long have you been standing there?"
"Since you thanked Wade for being here that night. And yes, I did know that Mom had to put the den back together, she told me. And yes, she knew that you drank all of the booze in the house. She had to throw all the bottles away. You guys are really messy drunks, from what I hear." Neither man could miss the twinkle in her eyes. She walked over to Daniel's side and wrapped her arms around his waist, put her head on his shoulder. His arm went automatically around her shoulders, pulled her closer.
"You said that this Camulus didn't take over Ba'al's territory?" Wade asked, deciding to guide the conversation back to a less painful topic.
"He couldn't have. We'd have heard about it. Camulus might have taken holdings in a sector we aren't familiar with, but Ba'al's main holdings went to Morrigan and Yu and Olokun," Casey said. "Camulus managed to trick Ba'al out of a few things, only enough to survive. He never defeated him."
Daniel grimaced. "You're right! Which means knocking Ptah out won't mean squat to the System Lords around here."
"But we still might be able to use Camulus to take them out as well," Casey pointed out.
With a yawn, Daniel finished off his beer. "We'll discuss it at the meeting. Wade, you know your way around. See you at breakfast. Don't expect to get any sleep once Emmie knows you're here."
Wade grinned. "I won't. See you in the morning."
"Technically, it is-" she started.
"Let's go to bed, Case," Daniel said, pulling her with him toward the doorway.
The dark haired man chuckled, watched his brother and sister-in-law walk down the hallway, arm in arm.
A A A A A A
"Unka Wade? You asleep?"
He opened one eye. Emily was standing beside him. "Yes."
"Nuh uh! You just talk-ded to me!"
"C'mere, squirt. It's too early to get up." He lifted the blanket, shifted to his side and pressed his back against the cushions of the sofa. Emily crawled up beside him, put her head on his arm. He settled the blanket back around them, and closed his eyes. With luck, he'd get to sleep at least thirty more minutes.
When Casey walked by the room an hour later, she smiled at the sight of her daughter snuggled into Wade's embrace. She started a pot of coffee, then hurried back to her bathroom. She wanted to take her shower before facing her brother-in-law. As had become their custom since her return, she and Daniel had just finished making love. Something that she didn't want Wade aware of. Well, she was sure that he was probably aware of it. She just didn't want him smelling it on her.
When she emerged forty minutes later, clean and dressed, Daniel and Wade were already drinking coffee, and Emily and Nicholas were eating cereal. She stopped, swayed slightly, put her hand to her head.
Daniel saw her, frowned, then raced to her side when she reached out for something to grab hold of. "Angel?"
"Oh, Daniel, we have trouble, big trouble!" she moaned.
Daniel bit back his curse. He helped Casey to the breakfast bar, sat her on a chair and reached for the phone. His first call was to Erin. She would have to see Emily onto the school bus this morning. His next call was to Jack. Who would alert Duncan and the rest of the team.
Erin arrived not more than ten minutes later, carrying a duffel with the clothes she would change into. She hugged her daughter, son-in-law, and Wade, sent them on their way. She had reached out as soon as Daniel had called. She didn't have the strength that she used to have, but she was able to see the ships that were once again approaching Gamma.
A A A A A A
It was barely seven-thirty a.m. when the team, plus Methos and Wade, met in the conference room. Casey had explained about Camulus and Ba'al's territory, and then informed them that Dagon was on the move again.
"Why don't you let me take this Camulus. We'll take care of Ptah. Shouldn't be much of a problem if we know how many Jaffa we're facing, how many ships, and where they are," Methos said. "There's always a chance that most of them will choose to fight for their…former…god, especially if his treatment of them was better than what they're receiving now."
Jack and Duncan were both nodding. "This will also let us know just how far we can trust him," Jack said. "We have a list of…babysitters. We'll send two with you. He goes nowhere without them, or the two of you."
Methos rubbed his jaw. "We could have one of the men pose as his lo'taur. Wade can help him with that."
"Okay, about Dagon," Duncan said. "How much time?"
"One, maybe two hours. He still has six al'kesh. And he's bringing them all," Casey replied.
"Then we have the chance of knocking his sorry ass out once and for all," Jack said. "Case, take Methos down and introduce him to Camulus. Then get your butt to the armory. Persephone should be here in twenty minutes."
"Yes, sir," she said, giving him a mock salute.
"Smartass," the older man mumbled, although he was grinning.
A A A A A A
Camulus eyed the man with his lovely young…friend…when they walked into the room. "Good morning, Casey."
"Good morning Camulus. Cam…is it okay if I call you Cam?"
He winced slightly. Cara had called him that. He nodded. "You may."
"Cam, this is Methos. Methos, Camulus."
The two men eyed one another. "I sense…you are…or were, a host," Camulus said.
"I was joined with a Tok'ra," Methos replied, using the same dual voice that Camulus had.
"You are not now? How then do you speak as a god?"
Casey rolled her eyes. "Look, I would love to hear this conversation, believe me, but I have to get my butt moving before Jack starts looking for me."
Camulus looked sharply at her. "You are not allowed to visit me?"
She shook her head. Reached out and put her hand on the Goa'uld's arm. "I can visit you whenever I want. Right now, though, we have trouble headed this way. We have to take care of it. Methos will tell you all about it. And all about how you're going to knock Ptah out. I really want to put his name on the Snake Memorial Wall, guys. Don't let me down!"
The Goa'uld raised an eyebrow in amusement. "I wish to hear more about this…wall."
Methos grinned. "I'll be glad to tell you about it." He caught Casey by the arm as she walked toward the door. "Be careful, Brat."
She smiled, hugged the Immortal's neck. "Always. You call me Brat one more time, Old Man, and I'm putting you into permanent orbit around Gamma!" Methos' laugh was still echoing from the room as she ran toward the elevator.
Methos sat down in the chair by the table. It seemed that Camulus had just finished his breakfast. "She's far too tender hearted," he said.
"You believe she's wrong to trust me," Camulus replied.
"I just think she's not looking…deep enough," Methos said. He watched the man carefully. He had read the report of the meetings, with Camulus and without him, and the transcript of the conversation she had had with the Goa'uld the evening before.
"Perhaps she has looked deeper than anyone else would have bothered to," Camulus countered.
"Perhaps. You will do exactly what you are told, at all times. Failure to do so will result in your very immediate and permanent death."
Camulus smirked. "A threat?"
"A warning. The man who…poses…as my lo'taur is her brother-in-law. He has a passionate hatred for Goa'uld. He watched his brother suffer when it was thought that Nergal had beheaded her. That…incident…only fanned that hate, made it hotter, deeper. Step out of line and Wade will rip you from that host body with his bare hands," Methos said quietly.
"She is Immortal," Camulus said. He hadn't missed the fact that Casey had called Methos 'Old Man. Which could only mean one thing. "You are Immortal." This news was…disconcerting. He, like all Goa'uld, knew that Immortals had been…created…to destroy the human-host taking 'parasite', as the humans here referred to all Goa'uld.
"All of SG-1 is Immortal," Methos said, taking secret delight in the look of shock that filled the Goa'uld's eyes. "Duncan is Immortal. Almost all of the SG teams here are. Hope is a city of Immortals."
Camulus shifted uncomfortably. His fate, it seemed, was now sealed. He had no choice but to continue on the path that his pain, his anger, his grief, had set him on. He closed his eyes. Cara would be overjoyed to know that he was about to join humans…Tau'ri, in the battle against Goa'uld. That thought brought a surge of pain so deep it made him gasp.
Methos said nothing, but continued to watch his adversary closely.
He opened his eyes. "She…Cara…would have been happy to know that I am about to go to battle against…parasites," he said softly.
Now it was Methos' turn to shift uncomfortably. There was no mistaking the love that had flared in the Goa'uld's eyes when he spoke her name. He often wondered what Alexa would say about his activities for the past ten plus years. He hoped, was pretty sure, that she would be proud of him…mostly proud of him. There were things she would most certainly disapprove of, even knowing the necessity of them. He felt an uncharacteristic flood of compassion. "I'm sure she knows."
Camulus nodded slightly. "Thank you."
"I'll have the guards get you ready to leave. We'll 'gate to the planet that serves as my…base. Then we'll board the Hak'tyl."
"I will be ready."
"Don't let her down," Methos said, moving toward the door.
"Her?" Camulus said, slightly confused.
"Casey. And Cara." Without another word, Methos rapped on the door, slipped into the corridor as soon as it was opened.
Camulus leaned his head back against the wall. Let the tears fall, again. "Cara!" he whispered.
A A A A A A
SG-1, SGI-3, SGI-5, SGI-7, SGI-10, and Marine 2 were waiting in the transport room of the Persephone. Jack was giving last minute instructions. "Case, ready to take a look?"
She nodded, gripped Daniel's hand firmly.
They met in that meadow. "Hold me tightly," she whispered.
"Always, Angel," he replied. He wrapped his arms around her, pulled her close.
"Yep." He allowed her to take the strength that she needed from his Fire. Raced through the stars with her. Waited while she flittered from ship to ship. My little Tinkerbelle, he thought, grinning broadly.
She frowned. There was no dark…curtain…that hid him from sight. Had he given up on using his seers? She looked carefully, could find none of the priestesses who had been responsible for keeping his fleet hidden. Every Jaffa he owned, and the Undead Soldiers, twenty…no, twenty-three of them. All were on the ships. Dagon was on the pel'tak of the lead al'kesh. She watched him for a few minutes. His eyes were glazed with anger. Rage. And not a little insanity.
"Please don't let go," she whispered.
"Never, Casey, never," was the soft reply.
She moved forward slowly. Cold. So full of anger. Hate. Fear? Yes, fear. He had to prove himself; he had to take Gamma! The priest had nearly succeeded in sending what was left of his fleet into certain defeat. Dagon had been furious. He had killed the priest himself. Now he was desperate. If he could take Gamma, it would strike fear into the hearts of all of the other Goa'uld who were already beginning to move toward him, ready to strike him down. If he failed here, he would surely die at the hands of his enemies.
She saw Steven, still rocking to and fro in absolute terror. He was no longer blind. But the more he saw, the more terrified he became. She could…hear…his thoughts...
'Just like Sarah, a prisoner in her own mind. Just like Sarah. I miss Sarah. Just like Sarah, a prisoner in her own mind. I'm a prisoner in my mind. I don't like this! I'm so scared! Can't move! Can't move! Just like Sarah!'
Casey shuddered, moved away. Even if they could remove Dagon from Steven's body, there was little chance that his mind would return. Armed with the information she needed, she slowly, carefully pulled away.
"Thank you," she said, looking up into his blue eyes. "It's so much…easier…when you're with me. I’m not as…afraid."
"You're welcome, Angel," he replied softly. "I'll be here for you always. You don't have to be afraid. I'm right here."
She leaned up to kiss him. "One of these days, we're going to make love in the grass. Right here."
He grinned. "Sounds good to me. But not today."
She sighed. "No, not today." She kissed him again, let him move away from her. "Daniel?"
"I love you."
"Love you, too, Casey."
Jack was pacing beside them. "Well?" he asked, as soon as their eyes opened.
Casey grinned. "He has no Jaffa in the engine rooms. Which is really kind of odd, since we beamed in there the last time he tried this. Anyway, every Jaffa he has, and the twenty-three Zombies are with him. He's going to try and hit Gamma with everything he's got. He's desperate. The sharks are already circling to take him out, not just Penatil, either. If he can't take Gamma, he's history. "
The general nodded. "Okay, same drill as before. We go in, plant the C-4, drop the grenades, get the hell out."
"We'll be using the same computer virus," Sam said. "This time all you have to do is insert the data crystal into the port. It will target and lower all shields." The software experts had worked hard…since the first time the teams had had to try and stop an advancing fleet…on a program that wouldn't require any hacking on the ship, saving valuable time. The Tau'ri were tenacious in their fight against the Goa'uld, and every mission offered valuable 'learning experiences'. And each 'learning experience' rendered new techniques, new weapons, new strategies for dealing with their enemy.
"Okay, campers, let's do this and get rid of this ass once and for all," Jack said. "No longer than fifteen minutes."
Heads nodded in understanding, and the tech on duty began to send the teams to their 'assigned' ships.
SG-1 beamed to the ship Dagon was on. The engine room was empty. Teal'c stood guard, Jack watched the doorway that opened onto the catwalk just across from them. Sam, Casey, and Daniel planted the explosives, then gathered near the 'beam-in' point. Sam jammed the crystal into the computer. Jack dropped the grenades, and Casey signaled the Persephone.
Five minutes after they had returned to the ship, all of the teams were on board, and the explosions had begun. Jack led the team to the bridge. Colonel Bradshaw was already firing on the ships as they exploded.
"Any escape pods?" Jack asked.
"Negative," was the reply.
"It's all or nothing for him," Casey said softly. "He wins it all, or he loses it all. If he lost today at Gamma, by tomorrow the other Goa'uld would have killed him."
One by one the ships exploded. Dagon was no more. As far as they knew, there were no other Zombies, no other laboratories with the facilities for creating them. Casey smiled. Maybe now the 'Big Boy's' would have no need to watch the Ancients so carefully. And thus would leave the Ascended and The Others alone as well. She wasn't positive, but she thought she heard…felt…a soft breeze. A quiet 'thank-you'. What Simmons had put into action was finally ended, once and for all.
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