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Dance of the Heart
Aaron returned, looking grim faced. He had discussed the findings with the Council of the Ancients. The solution they saw to the problem was to rebuild the nursery and begin again, even though several of the Immortal women on Gamma were now pregnant. He was angry, and he was not about to admit defeat. He talked to Oma, and the two of them left again. They would seek out the allies that he'd had before the first nursery was created. They had been defeated that time. This time, however, they would be successful. Never again would a laboratory ‘nursery’ be used to ‘create’ Immortals. They would be born of caring, loving parents. If he could gather enough support, it would force the Ancients to step in and help the Immortals who waited for a cure to the disease that killed them.
Daniel was speaking to Erin, using the hologram projector that Thor had on his ship. Emmie was confused, she could see her Daddy, but couldn’t touch him. He ached to hold his precious daughter, but he couldn’t make himself leave the ship. He was afraid that if he did, the decision would be made to just ‘let go’ of the Immortals who had died. He couldn’t, he wouldn’t allow that to happen. Aaron had been instrumental in keeping Thor and his scientists working on the problem. With the Asgard unwilling to give up, Dr. Williams and his team were more or less forced to continue with their own research.
A A A A A A
Dr. Williams was going over the results of the failed test…again. The computer projections had shown that the treatment would work. So why hadn’t it? It was tedious work. But after watching Daniel and Sam for a few minutes, as they stood in the hold, each of them lost in their grief, he couldn’t give up, even when the logical part of his brain was insisting that there was nothing left to be tried, to be done. He sat upright at the desk. It couldn’t be that simple! He shouted out…then laughed. "I found it!" He yelled, punching the air with his fist.
Scientists from three separate labs came running. Daniel and Sam were among them. "What?" Sam asked breathlessly. "What did you find?"
The doctor held the palm pilot out to her. "Read that line."
She read the line out loud.
"Okay, that’s what should have been entered into the computer. Now, read this line, the line that was actually entered."
Again Sam read the line out loud. The scientists around them began to groan. The simple misplacement of a single decimal point had resulted in complete failure. There was a scramble to reprogram the computer, which would then correct the genetic ‘mistake’ in the dead Immortals.
Daniel and Sam stood side by side, his arm around her shoulders as Thor started the process. The Immortals chosen, Jack and Duncan, had been put on life support systems. Their bodies were functioning once again, albeit artificially, so that the computer would be able to tell when the virus had left their systems. Forty-three nerve wracking minutes later, both men were fighting the ventilators and the other life support machines. Dr. Williams and his assistants hurried to disconnect them.
Sam rushed to Jack’s side, Daniel almost dropped to the floor with relief. Two hours later, every Immortal was awake and healthy. With one exception. Casey remained comatose, with no brain wave activity. Her body was on life support, but the genetic ‘repair’ had not worked on her.
He stood beside her, too numb to cry, his heart so battered that he couldn’t even feel. Dr. Williams and Dr. Montigue were stumped. They had absolutely no idea what to do for the young Immortal.
"She’s dead," he said, his voice emotionless when he saw Aaron approach her bed. "She’s really gone."
"Don’t give up, Daniel. She wouldn’t give up on you," the Ancient said softly.
Daniel shook his head. "Thor said that her body is beginning to…break down. They have maybe fourteen hours before there won’t be any way for the Quickening to reanimate her, or heal her."
Aaron grabbed the side of the bed. "They’re sure?"
The younger man nodded. He looked up at the man opposite of him, his blue eyes filled with pain. "How am I supposed to go on? How am I supposed to live without her?"
A warm light began to glow around them, encircling the two men and the young woman on the bed.
"You are The Chosen," a soft voice said. It sounded female.
"As she gives her fire to you, so you must give your fire to her," another voice said. A different female.
"Open your mind, Chosen," another voice…male this time.
Daniel shook his head, looked over at his father-in-law. "Am I going crazy?"
"I hear them too, Daniel," Aaron replied. "Listen to them, my son. You are The Chosen. You have the Fire."
Outside the circle of light, Sam, Jack, Teal'c and Duncan watched breathlessly. They'd heard something…like a soft breeze, but no distinct voices. Nor were they able to get any nearer to Daniel and Casey than they were.
Daniel closed his eyes, tried to move past the grief that held him.
"Feel the Fire, Chosen," one of the voices said.
He concentrated. There, he could feel it. It wasn’t much…but…how could this help? No, don’t doubt! Focus! Save her! Save his heart, his love, his Chosen. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes. It was stronger now, the flames were starting to move up and down his spine. Framone had ‘programmed’ her, changed her, made her different from all of the other Immortals. Find the difference. "Compare her DNA to the others," he said softly.
Sam was the first to understand the implications of what he said. She ran to the laboratory where Dr. Montigue and Dr. Williams were working frantically. She repeated what Daniel had said, both men rushed to the computers to start the comparison.
Daniel took her hand, felt the Fire jump from his fingers into her body. Her back arched off of the bed. There was no change on any of the monitors. "Don’t leave me, Angel," he whispered. "Stay with me, babe. Just a little longer." He continued to hold her hand, blue sparks of energy flowing up and down her body as he held her hand, the Fire allowing his Quickening to fight the decay that had started in her cellular structure.
Four agonizing hours later Dr. Montigue and Thor were reprogramming the computer. It took them twenty-seven minutes. Thor started the process. Forty-three minutes and fifty one seconds later, Casey opened her eyes and began to struggle against the tube in her mouth.
"Easy, Angel," Daniel said, tears on his cheeks. "Don’t fight it. Let them take it out."
Her eyes locked on his, her fingers grasped his tightly.
Dr. Montigue pulled the breathing tube from her throat, began to disconnect the diodes and catheters that had kept her body functioning.
"Welcome back, my star," he whispered, holding her fingers to his lips. He closed his eyes, silently thanking whoever it was that had come to his aid. When he opened them again, he was looking into green eyes filled with love.
"How long?" she asked, her voice raspy from having had the tube down her throat for so long.
"Not quite two weeks."
"Emily is fine, Angel."
She nodded. "You?"
"I’m okay, now." He brushed the hair back from her face, his fingers trembling with relief.
She smiled weakly, her Quickening not quite back to its normal strength. "Me?"
"You’re going to be just fine, babe."
She took a deep breath, let it out slowly, closed her eyes.
He was overcome with a moment of panic. "Casey?"
"Just resting. Chill out." Her lips were pulled up into a smile.
He laughed out loud. "You’re a real smart aleck, you know that?"
She smiled again, stronger this time. "Yeah, but you love me."
"With all my heart and soul," he whispered.
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