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Deceptions and Illusions

Chapter 11

Steven Rayner was learning the hard way just how popular Daniel and Casey Jackson were on Gamma. He was given proper medical treatment, although the bedside manner of everyone who tended to him left a lot to be desired. He had requested, and amazingly had been given, the folder of notes and photographs from the briefing the day before they had left on that mission. He was still certain that the cavern he and Daniel had been trapped in held an incredible treasure. All of the preliminary findings pointed to that fact. He wanted to be the one to unearth it. He had managed to locate the designation of the planet on the report, penciled in during the last debriefing before they had walked through the Stargate. He had learned a lot about the dialing process, by questioning a nurse named Ellie, who seemed to be the only one in the infirmary who didn't treat him like the enemy. She wasn't overly friendly, but she wasn't openly hostile, either. All he had to do, it seemed, was get to the computer in the control room, enter the designation number, and the computer would do the rest.

After a week in the infirmary, he was allowed to go to his barracks room, although he was confined to the building. He could go to the cafeteria for meals, although that was an exercise in frustration. The cold stares and the whispers made eating there just too damned uncomfortable. He had taken to going down long enough to fill a tray, and then returning to his room to eat. He still had partial access to the computers, at least to read. He couldn't do anything else, but that was all right. He studied and he learned. He read everything that the SGC knew about the Goa'uld.

He was lying in bed, thinking about the situation he found himself in. There was one way out of this mess. And it would result in him accomplishing his ultimate goal of toppling Saint Daniel. He had to get back to that planet and find those hidden rooms. Hidden rooms always meant a wealth of artifacts. This one find could put him back on top where he belonged. Hell, it could take the directorship of the Center out of Daniel Jackson's hands and put it firmly in the hands of Dr. Steven Rayner. He smiled at that thought.

He glanced at the clock. She should be leaving the Center about now, if she had worked there today. He went to the window. Yep, there she was. Beautiful as ever. His breath caught in his throat when she looked up. Had she been looking for him? Or had she simply felt his eyes on her? So damned beautiful. He could still smell her, remembered the feel of her body beneath his hands, the way her nipple had tasted for those brief seconds that it had been in his mouth.

He watched until she disappeared behind the doors that led into the mountain. His thoughts full of her, he stripped and laid down on his bed. The baby oil was on the nightstand, and he poured some into his hand, then slowly caressed his aching cock. In his mind he could see her, lying beneath him, moaning softly, telling him what an incredible lover he was, how much he pleased her. Those tantalizing images of her, those memories of her sweet scent filled his brain as his hand moved faster. "Casey!" he hissed as he came, covering his belly with the results of his orgasm.

He laid there for a few minutes, then went in to take his shower. His face was still tender, the bruises were still purple, but at least his eyes weren't swollen nearly shut any longer. Bruises covered his ribs, and any amount of pressure against them was painful. Something told him, however, that he needed to get away from Gamma, get to P3R 899 and get busy looking for that treasure trove of artifacts. He had paid close attention to the activity around him. As far as he knew, his ID card would still get him inside of the mountain. If not…well, he had a contingency plan for that. Once inside, he would make a stop in the supply room, pack for several days at least. Then he would go to the control room. Late night…early morning actually, would be the best time, there were only two SF's in the monitoring room, and only one tech on duty in the control room. He learned that all of the techs who worked in that special area were Immortal. So he could shoot the tech on duty, and not have to worry about actually killing him…or her. Enter the planet designation into the computer, dial up that 'gate, and he was home free! He had already memorized the 'keys' that would dial the 'gate to return him to Gamma.

When Rayner emerged from his shower, the light on his phone was blinking. He had a message. It seemed that the DA wanted to talk to him. He called the number, smirking as he asked to speak to John Carlisle. It seemed that Saint Daniel was going to be charged with assault after all.

"This is John Carlisle."

"Mr. Carlisle, this is Doctor Rayner." Rayner sat down on the bed.

"Oh, yes, Doctor Rayner. I wanted to let you know that you're being charged with assault, attempted rape, possession of an illegal or controlled substance, and the unlawful administration of an illegal or controlled substance. The Public Defender's office has already received the paperwork, you should be hearing from them within the next day or so."

It was a good thing he was already sitting down. "Is this some sort of a joke? I agreed to drop the charges against Daniel Jackson. I understood that any possible charges against me would be dropped as well."

The DA sighed. "Doctor Rayner, Doctor and Mrs. Jackson may have agreed to drop the charges against you. But in Hope, we take rape, even attempted rape, very seriously. There is no way in good conscience that I can allow this incident to be ignored. I will tell you this, should you choose to re-file charges against Dr. Jackson, it would become an internal affair there on the base, for President MacLeod to deal with. To be perfectly honest, what happened to you was only what you deserved. Even on the off chance that you do make it to court, I can, and will, stack the jury with men who have wives, daughters and sisters."

Rayner shuddered at the implication. "This isn't fair!"

"You gave an illegal substance to a woman without her knowledge. You then tried to rape her. Is that fair, Doctor Rayner?"

He sighed heavily. "It wasn't like that. I don't care what Casey says, she was hot for it. She wanted it as badly as I did. She only started screaming rape when Daniel showed up."

"Not according to half a dozen witnesses. Nor does that story fit in with what we have on the security tape of the gallery in the Center."

Shit! He had forgotten about all of the fucking cameras in this place! "Look, I'm not feeling so well. I have three cracked ribs. I need to lay down for awhile," he said, hoping to remind the man that he was the victim in all of this mess.

"You're lucky Doctor Jackson didn't kill you. Which would certainly have saved us all of this paperwork. I doubt that charges would have been filed against him, considering the circumstances. After all, Doctor Jackson is a highly respected professional, and his contributions to Hope are well known."

Rayner thought for a moment that Hope was like some little backwater town where the richest man held complete control, and justice was whatever he deemed it was. Except here, it was three hundred and thirty-five Immortals who controlled what happened. "Yeah, whatever. I really need to lie down now," he said.

"I'm sure you do."

The connection was terminated, and Rayner did lie down. He closed his eyes. His window of opportunity had just grown smaller. He would have to leave soon. He wasn't feeling the greatest, but he should probably leave tonight. Yes, that's what he would do. He would sleep now, then pack what he needed, slip into the mountain during the middle of the night, and return to that planet. And make a discovery that would overshadow everything that Saint Daniel had ever found.


A  A  A  A  A  A


When Rayner opened his eyes, the room was dark. Light from one of the street lamps outside threw shadows against the walls. He sat up, gasped with pain when his cracked ribs protested. He pressed a hand to his aching side, and stood up. He tossed two pain pills down his throat, followed by a swallow of cold coffee. Yuck. He searched the food tray, found a piece of the orange he hadn't finished and ate it to rid his mouth of the rancid taste. He dug out the pack that he had neglected to turn back in after...that…mission, hidden in the back of his closet where he had left it. He pitched it onto the bed, and began to fill it with all that he thought he would need. Including the 9millimeter Glock that he was much better at handling than he let on. He needed to eat one very good, healthy meal before he left. He'd be surviving on military rations for several days, possibly weeks. He pulled on his clothes, went down to the cafeteria, carrying the tray from his last meal, which he simply left on an empty table.

As usual, the men and women who worked in the cafeteria had little to say to him. He had stopped trying to make conversation with these people. It had been so different when he had first arrived. Always able to come up with a joke or witty remark, Rayner had been fairly popular among those who lived and worked in the barracks. Now…he shook his head, took the tray back up to his room. He was sipping coffee, staring at the phone when the idea struck him. Just once, before he left, he wanted to hear her voice. Beside each telephone in every room of the barracks was a handy listing of all the personnel that worked on the base. It listed all of the numbers for every lab, every office in the mountain, and the Center as well. It also listed the home phone numbers for all of the officers and department heads.

He picked up the phone, and carefully dialed the number. It rang four times before he heard it picked up.


Her soft voice filled his ears. He could hear the sound of laughter in the background…children's voices laughing somewhere behind her. Daniel's laugh joined the high-pitched squeals that filtered through to him.




"Hello?" She frowned. There was someone on the other end of the line, she could hear the sound of breathing. "Hello?"

Daniel looked up at her from the floor, where he was lying, Emily and Nicholas crawling over him, trying to tickle him. "Who is it?"

She put her hand over the mouthpiece. "I have no idea. Whoever it is won't say anything."

In a flash he was on his feet, took the receiver from her hand. "Rayner, you call here again and I will come after you!" he snarled. He slammed the handset back onto the base. He let his hand move gently over Casey's face, then strode for their bedroom.

She followed.

"Goddamned, mother-fucking, monkey-cock-sucking son-of-a-bitch!" Daniel hissed as he paced the bedroom.

Casey giggled from the doorway. "I think that's the most I have ever heard you swear!"

He tossed a glance at her, then grinned. "Needed to get it out," he said with a shrug of his broad shoulders.

Before she could respond, Emily and Nicholas raced into the room, still intent on tickling their father. Nicholas was focused on his father, and not where he was going. "Look out! Watch out for the cedar chest!"

Daniel reached out to grab for the boy just as the tot ran into the heavy wooden chest. He could hear the air whoosh from his lungs. "Nicholas?'

Blue eyes, wide with surprise, looked up at his father. At first he couldn't cry. By the time Daniel had him in his arms, he had managed to take a breath, and let out with a wail of pain.

"Oh, god," Casey breathed, racing for her son. "Is he okay?"

"I don't know," Daniel replied honestly. "He hit pretty hard, right across his abdomen."

"Think we should have the doctor take a look at him?"

Daniel was gently running his hand over Nicholas' tummy. When the little boy cried louder, and pushed his hand away when his fingers came into contact with a particular spot, he looked at his frightened Wife and nodded. "I think we should."

"Emmie, we have to take Nicholas to the hospital. Where are your shoes?" Casey asked, willing herself to remain calm.

"Don't know," Emily replied, her own blue eyes wide as she watched her brother crying in her Daddy's arms.

"Find them!" Casey said sharply. "Now!"

Emily scurried from the room to obey. Something bad had just happened. All she and Nicholas had wanted to do was to tickle Daddy!

"Call the base first, Case, see if Doctor Montigue is still there." Daniel was trying to comfort his son.

She nodded, grabbed the phone, made the call. It seemed that the doctor was indeed still in the infirmary, and told her to bring Nicholas there straight away after learning what had happened. She made another phone call and then went in search of her daughter.

Emily was putting her shoes on when Casey entered her bedroom. "Emmie, I'm sorry I snapped at you."

"Is Nicholas 'kay?" Her blue eyes were as wide as Nicholas' had been.

"I don't know, Baby. We're going to take him to have Doctor Monty look at him. Meemaw and Peepaw are going to meet us there." She ran her hand over Emily's head.

"Nicholas and I gonna stay with Meemaw and Peepaw?" Emily asked, leaning against her mother's leg.

"I don't know, Baby. I hope not. I mean, I hope that we'll all just come home and have some ice cream before snuggle time. But it depends on whether or not Nicholas is hurt."

Emily nodded. "I don't want him to be hurt," she said sadly.

"I don't either, Baby. Let's go, Daddy's waiting in the car." Casey took time enough to grab her purse before following her daughter out to the garage.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Dr. Montigue was waiting for them when the entire Jackson family arrived. Daniel was carrying a still crying Nicholas. "Just put him down right here," the doctor said, motioning to a bed beside which he already had an emergency tray set up.

Nicholas refused to let go of Daniel, so he sat down on the bed, held his son in his arms as the doctor examined him.

"You say he hit a wooden cabinet?"

"Yeah. Right across the middle of his abdomen. The edge is fairly sharp," Daniel replied. "He hit it pretty hard, he was running. It knocked the breath out of him, and when I tried to touch him, he pushed my hand away."

Dr. Montigue nodded, then lifted the tot's shirt. A horizontal bruise was already forming on the tender skin. He probed it gently, pulled his fingers away quickly when Nicholas howled in pain. "Okay, let's get him to x-ray. I need to see what's going on here. I'm going to sedate him just a bit, not enough to knock him out, but enough to calm him." He pulled a syringe from the tray, crossed the room and took a vial from one of the cabinets. He filled it, and then went back to where Nicholas and his father waited.

Nicholas took one look at the hypodermic needle and began to cry louder. "No ouchy! No ouchy!" he cried, familiar with injections due to the faithful vaccination routine that Casey followed for both children. He buried his face against Daniel's shoulder.

Daniel's jaw was working. In his mind there was one person to blame for this. If Steven Rayner hadn't called his home, he wouldn't have gone into the bedroom, wouldn't have needed to go to the bedroom to let loose the anger that had flooded him. Which in turn meant that his son wouldn't have come racing into the room. "It's okay, Little Man. I'm right here…Daddy's right here. Hey, how about we go to the lake next week?" he asked softly.

Nicholas stopped crying, nodded his head. "Wake, Daddy."

"Okay, we'll go to the lake, and you and I will swim, just you and me, how does that sound? Mommy and Emmie can swim together, and you and me, we'll go swimming, and check out all the pretty girls in bikinis, how does that sound?" He glanced up at Casey, smiled and winked at her. 'Like the gorgeous blonde with that little green number.'

She smiled. 'Leaves me free to watch the hunks, like the one with those blue trunks that fit his ass so well.'

"Do you like that idea?" Daniel asked his son, still grinning at his wife.

"Pwetty girws?"

"Yep. Pretty girls," Daniel replied. "Remember that pretty little girl you played with the last time we went to the lake?"

Nicholas nodded. He had befriended a little girl with fiery red hair at the edge of the water, her parents watching from the blanket beside the Jackson's. The two had begun digging with gusto, squealing and laughing with delight when the gentle waves of the lake filled in the hole they worked on. "Pwetty girws!" He jerked, his eyes wide, when Dr. Montigue carefully injected him. "Ouchy, Daddy!"

"It's all over, Nicholas. That wasn't so bad, was it?" Daniel asked softly.

"Aww over," he repeated, although by the look on his face, he wasn't quite sure whether or not to be upset about what had happened.

Dr. Montigue smiled. "It shouldn't take but a few minutes to take affect," he said. He looked down at Nicholas. "Can I listen to your heart?"

The tot nodded, watched with fascination as the doctor put the earpieces in his ears and held the shiny metal diaphragm on his chest. "Me hear!" he declared after a few seconds of patiently allowing the doctor to listen.

The doctor laughed, and took the earpieces from his ears, placed them gently in the tiny ears of his little patient. He put the diaphragm on Daniel's chest.

Nicholas looked up at Daniel, his eyes wide as the steady beat filled his ears. "Heart, Daddy!"

"Glad to know it's still working," Daniel replied. It had damned near stopped when his son had looked up at him, his blue eyes filled with shock, and pain.

Dr. Montigue chuckled. "Let's head on down to x-ray. By the time we get there, he should be relaxed enough to let us take some pictures of his abdomen."

"I'll wait here," Casey said softly. "Mom and Dad should be here soon."

Daniel nodded, kissed her forehead as he walked by, his son in his arms. "Why don't you go get some coffee? Emily might like a milkshake or something. I'll have you paged as soon as we're finished."

She nodded. "Come on, Baby. Let's go up to the commissary."

Emily held tightly to her Mother's hand, and followed her onto the elevator.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Jack was sitting at one of the tables, a stack of files beside him. He looked up when Casey walked in. "Hey there! What's up?"

Casey forced a smile. "Let me get some coffee, and something for Emmie," she said.

He nodded, a frown on his face. He continued to watch the door for the other two members of the Jackson household. The frown deepened when they didn't appear. "So what's going on?" he asked when Casey sat down opposite of him, Emily at her side, happily digging into a dish of chocolate ice cream.

"Nicholas is getting a abdominal x-ray."

"What? What happened?"

She told him the events of the evening, starting with the phone call.

"Crap. I have the feeling I'd better put a guard on that sorry bas…basset hound," he said, catching sight of Emily.

"That would probably be a good idea," Casey agreed. She pushed her hair back with one hand, the other wrapped around her coffee cup. "It's bad enough that he-" she glanced at Emily. "He only made things worse by calling the house like that. Daniel is furious."

"No doubt. Hang on, I'd better do it now." Jack went across the room, spoke into the phone for several minutes.

"Daddy's furious?"

"That's right, Baby."

"What that means?"

She smiled. "He's very angry. At a man who isn't very nice."

Emily nodded. She had seen the look of anger that had filled her Daddy's eyes. She had known he was angry. She just hadn't known at whom he was angry.

Jack stayed with Casey and Emily, even after the DeSala's arrived. He took Emily to his office when the page came over the intercom for Casey. He figured she needed to be able to focus on Nicholas right now. And just might need her parents with her. Especially if, god forbid, something serious had happened.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Casey walked into the infirmary, saw that two nurses were putting Nicholas into one of the beds. "Oh, god!"

Daniel turned, hurried to her side, pulled her into his arms. "Shh, it's okay, Angel. He's pretty badly bruised, but nothing is broken. Doctor Montigue just wants to keep him over night."

"If he's only bruised…"

"Doc says he might have bruised his liver. If he has-"

"How bad?"

"We just have to wait and see." He tightened his arms around her, pulled her closer as her body began to tremble.

"Daniel, please, I need to know."

"Angel, we just have to wait and see. If his liver is badly bruised…it could cause a liver abscess."

"Which means?"

"They'd have to drain it. They'd insert a needle into him and drain it."

"Oh, god!"

"Where's Emmie?"

"With Jack. In his office."

"You and your mom stay here. I'll be right back." He hugged her tightly, pressed a kiss to the side of her head, then released her slowly.

"Jack put a guard on him," she said softly.

Daniel didn't reply. Instead, he nodded at Aaron, and the two men left the infirmary and headed for the elevator.

"Where are they going?" Erin asked.

"I think they're about to do something stupid," Casey replied. She hurried to her baby's bedside.

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