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Deceptions and Illusions

Chapter 12

Aaron followed Daniel into the night as they left the mountain. "Can you…distract…a couple of guards?" Daniel asked his father-in-law.

"I suppose so," Aaron replied.

"I just want to talk to him," he said softly.

"And say what, Daniel?" Aaron asked his voice just as soft.

"Actually, I want him to answer some questions," Daniel admitted.

The Ancient studied his young companion. He could feel the anger that radiated from him. "I'll do my best. I am not as…strong…as I once was. You will have to be quick."

Daniel nodded. His father-in-law liked to downplay his abilities. Make everyone believe the Ancient had been totally stripped of them, as well having the knowledge of the Ancients removed from his mind. The archaeologist wasn't so sure...he suspected that Aaron Desala was a hell of a lot more powerful than he let on. He led the way into the barracks and onto the elevator. He smiled when the doors opened. Only one guard. He glanced over at Aaron.

Aaron stared at the young man. 'There is no one here. You are alone in the corridor. It's all right, you can relax, lean against the wall. No one will notice. You'll hear the elevator if anyone should arrive.'

The guard glanced around, then leaned back against the wall. He behaved as if he didn't see the two men standing in front of him.

"Sort of a Jedi type thing, huh?" Daniel asked with a grin.

"Some movies hit closer to the truth than most people realize," Aaron replied. "Quickly!"

Daniel slid his ID card in the slot beside the door, then punched in his override number. The lock disengaged, and he entered the room. Rayner was packing, using one of the SGC backpacks. "Going somewhere?"

Rayner nearly fainted when he came out of the bathroom to find Daniel standing beside the bed. "I was thinking about it."

"Well, stop thinking about it. You're not going anywhere. At least, not yet. When you do, it will be jail," Daniel said coldly.

"What do you want, Daniel?" Rayner asked. He had every intention of going to P3R 899. He had every intention of leaving tonight.

"I have a couple of questions for you. Sit down."

Rayner remained standing.

"I said sit down."

The icy tone of the man's voice forced Rayner to the chair beside the small table. "What is it that you want to know? Are you just dying to know how far I got with her, how much of that sweet body I saw…touched...tasted?

Daniel waved his hand impatiently. "I already know all the details. Why did you call my home?"

He shook his head. Wondered how much Casey had actually told her husband. Ruefully admitted to himself that very little had actually happened. "I wanted to hear her voice."

"Did you ever love Sarah?"

The question caught him totally off guard. He opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again, closed it again. He finally shook his head. "She never saw me. Not with you around. Even after you left she kept me at arm's length. We were good friends, nothing more."

Daniel nodded. "Did she…Sarah…know that I…that I…"

"That you didn't love her?" Rayner asked softly. "Not until after you left. She knew that you cared deeply for her. But when she found out that you were gone, she realized that you hadn't loved her, not the way she loved you."

He looked hard at the man sitting in front of him. "My son was hurt tonight."

"Sorry to hear that."

"Wouldn't have happened if you hadn't called my wife."

"So I'm to blame?"

"As far as I'm concerned, yes."

"So what, you're going to beat me again?" Rayner sneered.

"Don't tempt me," Daniel snarled in return. He looked at the bag. "Know this…if you ever come near my wife or my children, if you ever call my home again, there won't be enough left of you to identify. Just a pile of ashes. That's not a threat. It's a promise. Unpack, Steven, you're not going anywhere." He turned around and left the room.

Rayner sat for several minutes, willing his heart to stop pounding. When at last he could breathe without feeling as if he was gasping for air, he stood up, and finished what he had started.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Daniel stopped in Jack's office, picked up his daughter and hugged her tightly. "You can call off the guard. I've already said all I needed to say to him."

Jack looked at him, wide-eyed with surprise.

"I have a…talented…father-in-law. Think Jedi Knight," Daniel grinned.

"You're sure you're not going to snap and go up there and finish the job?" Jack asked.

There was no need for him to ever speak to Steven Rayner again. He had his answers, and he had made clear what would happen if the man ever came near Casey or the kids. Absolutely nothing remained to be said. "I'm sure."

The gray-haired man picked up the phone to recall the guard that had been placed at the door of Dr. Rayner's room. A decision that he and Daniel would both soon regret.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Daniel slipped back into the infirmary. Casey was sitting beside Nicholas on the bed, telling him a story. He had met up with Aaron and Erin, they would stop by the Jackson home and get a few things for Emily, then take their granddaughter to stay with them for the next few days.

Casey looked up when he walked in, relieved that he had returned. She hadn't heard any alarms, so he must have left Rayner alive. She smiled at him, held out her hand. "Missed you," she whispered.

He leaned over and kissed the top of her head. "Missed you," he whispered in reply, lacing his fingers with hers.

"Did you…take care of…whatever it was that you needed to do?" she asked, watching his eyes carefully.

She knows me too well, he thought, with a smile. "Yeah, Angel. I did." He looked down at Nicholas. "Hey, Nicholas, how's my boy?"

"I gots an ouchy, see?" The tot pointed at the IV that was in his arm, taped securely. "I hooked up good!"

Daniel grinned. "I see that. Guess they don't want you to get away, huh?"

Nicholas shook his blonde head. "I gots drips in me."

"Doctor Montigue told him that the IV dripped fluid into his vein, and that there was good medicine in it," Casey explained.

"What kind of good medicine?" Daniel asked.

"Anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics," she replied.

He nodded. He sat down on the foot of the bed. "So, was Mommy telling you a story?"

"Mommy tewwed me about when you was an Angew in the sky," Nicholas replied.

She shrugged. "I might have mentioned something about you being Ascended for awhile," she said when he looked at her with surprise.

"Now that's a story I'd be interested in hearing," he grinned.

"Well, too bad. I'd already reached the end."

"Daddy, you reawwy in the sky?" Nicholas asked.

Technically, he supposed his Ascension could be viewed that way. Had no doubt that the myriad of Angel stories throughout history were in actuality encounters with Ascended beings, who chose to contact mere mortal humans for one reason or another. "I don't remember, Nicholas. It was a long time ago, and I don't recall anything that happened while I was Ascended."

Nicholas frowned. "You fohgot?"

Daniel laughed. "That's one way of putting it. Yes, I forgot."

The tot's frown deepened. "That's 'kay, Daddy. Mommy was an Angew in the sky. Emmie says so."

Casey and Daniel exchanged a glance. "I don't know about that," Casey said.

Nicholas looked up at his mother. "Emmie says you wooks just wike reaw Angew. You gots a 'wo just wike reaw Angew's."

She leaned over and kissed the top of her son's head. "I think you and Emmie are just a bit partial. You love me so you think that about me."

Daniel shook his head, grinned in return when Nicholas grinned at him and shook his head as well. "We know better, don't we son? Mommy is an Angel. And we're very lucky that she loves us."

"Mommy woves us," Nicholas replied. "Wuv you, Mommy."

"I love you too, my sweet Little Man," she said, tears in her eyes. "I love you very much."

"Sing, Mommy," Nicholas said, just before a yawn that nearly split his face overtook him.

Casey smiled, searched her mind, then began to sing softly. She never noticed that Dr. Montigue, three nurses, two med techs, and Jack were standing at the door listening, the latter having arrived to check on his godson. "Some say love, it is a river, that drowns the tender reed. Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves your soul to bleed," she sang. "Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need. I say love, it is a flower, and you, it's only seed. It's the heart, afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance. It's the dream, afraid of waking, that never takes a chance. It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give. And the soul, afraid of dyin', that never learns to live. When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong. Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed, that with the suns love, in the spring becomes The Rose."

Daniel lifted her fingers to his lips. "That was beautiful, Angel," he said softly. She blushed, lowered her eyes, but her smile let him know that his compliment had pleased her. He glanced at the doorway, noticed people moving away from it as Jack entered. "Jack."

"Daniel. Hey, Tiger, how's my boy?" Jack asked, grinning down at the tot.

"I hooked up good, Unka Jak."

"Yeah, I see that. I think they do that so you can't leave here without them knowing about it. I have a system guaranteed to help you escape. When you're ready to break out of here, let me know," he whispered conspiratorially.

Nicholas giggled. His eyes were growing heavier by the minute. Case continued to gently caress his face, running her hand over his hair. He would be asleep shortly.

Jack looked at Daniel, pointed to the hallway. The archaeologist nodded, and the two men left the room together. Daniel filled the man in on all that had happened, the diagnosis and prognosis of Nicholas' injury. He also informed his best friend that as far as he was concerned, this was just another black mark against Dr. Steven Rayner.

Dr. Montigue told Casey that she could sleep on the bed next to Nicholas. "It would probably be better for you to be here, I'd rather him not wake up in the night and become frightened. If you're here, you'll be able to calm him much faster than any of us could." He didn't mention the two nights that Nicholas had been in the infirmary while Daniel had been missing, held captive by Betsy Harris, and Casey lay in a tank in a room down the corridor, kept dead until a cure for the disease-boosted nanovirus could be found. Both nights the child had cried hysterically for his parents, resulting in seizures.

She nodded. "I couldn't leave him," she said softly.

"Haven't met a mother yet who can," he replied with a smile. "My staff knows how to reach me should I be needed. I don't think that will happen. I had a mild sedative added to his IV. He should sleep soundly for at least eight hours."

Once again she nodded. "Thank you."

"Think nothing of it. Goodnight, Casey."

"Goodnight, Doctor Montigue."

Nicholas was asleep, so she moved from his bed to the one beside it. She stretched out, watched her son as he slept, listened to the monitors that beeped rhythmically as they kept track of her baby's heartbeat and pulse.

She wasn't aware she had fallen asleep until she felt Daniel lay down beside her. His arm wrapped around her, pulled her close and held her tightly to his body.

"Go back to sleep, Angel," he whispered. He smiled when she shifted, rolled until she could put her head on his shoulder. Like she had done, he watched his son, anger still boiling inside him. Steven Rayner had better hope they locked his sorry ass away for a long time. He'd better leave Gamma as soon as he was released, as well. If the bastard crossed his path again, Daniel wouldn't be responsible for what happened.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Rayner opened the door of his room, peeked out. The corridor was empty. He couldn't put the pack on his back, the weight was a burden his ribs refused to support. He'd have to carry it in his hand, the other pack as well, one he intended to fill with water and food.

When the elevator reached the lobby, he held the pack out of sight until he was certain that no one was at the admissions desk. He slipped out the door, and headed for the double doors of the mountain entrance. The two guards on duty looked up at him.

"You have to sign in, sir," one of the young Marines informed him.

Rayner grinned. Evidently not everyone on the base knew who he was. And not one mention was made about his…condition. He assumed it was because so many people returned from missions in such a state, at least, they did from what he had read. He pulled out his ID card, and signed the logbook. When he had to put his hand against the scanner he forced himself to remain calm. There was the chance that he was no longer in the system. Which meant he would be refused entry. He nearly sighed out loud when the light above his fingers flashed green.

"Have a good night, Doctor Rayner," the Marine said, keying the lock on the elevator door.

"You too," Rayner replied, stepping inside. He tapped his fingers against the side of his leg nervously. He hoped he could remember the way to the supply room. This mountain fortress was laid out like a freaking maze. Again, he made sure that the corridors were clear before completely stepping away from the elevator.

He recognized several signs, and with only three wrong turns found the supply room. He quickly gathered everything he would need. Food, water, digital camera, camcorder, first aid kit, pup tent, sleeping bag. He smiled. In a few days, a couple of weeks at the most, he would be walking back through that Stargate with the most amazing find of the century. And he would be the one on the front of Time. And the one running the Gamma Archaeological Research Center.

He packed carefully, bit back a groan when he lifted both packs. They were heavy, and his battered body protested at the strain he was subjecting it to. He pulled the Glock from his pack, screwed the silencer on the barrel, and stuck it down the back of his waistband. He glanced outside of the room, found the way clear, and moved toward the elevator again.

The 'Gate Room' was on level 28. He had read that this SGC was basically laid out the same as the one that inhabited Cheyenne Mountain, and that it had been designed that way on purpose. That purpose, according to the paper he had read, was so that all personnel who transferred from Earth would be instantly at ease, and know their way around. He actually couldn't care less. He just wanted to get to the control room, open that 'gate, and get back to those ruins.

The young man, Troy was his name, Rayner thought, was busy doing something on one of the secondary computers. Without any hesitation, he carefully lowered one of the packs to the floor, and pulled his gun into his hand. He took aim and fired. He tucked the weapon back into his waistband as he hurried into the room and sat down in front of the dialing computer. It only took a few seconds to figure out how it worked. Very simple really. He entered the planet designation number. P3R 899.

Begin dialing sequence?|

Hell yes!

Dialing sequence initiated. Confirm?|

Confirmed, dammit!

Klaxons began to wail, and the red warning lights began to flash as the 'gate came to life. Rayner cursed, and frantically searched for a way to silence them. When he couldn't find any, he concentrated on closing and locking all of the doors between the elevator and the control room. By the time they had the overrides in place, he would be gone. The dialing procedure had finished before he could find the controls for the door, however.

He grabbed the two packs he had left by the door, and hurried into the 'gate room. "Come on, come on!" he muttered, watching breathlessly as the last chevron clanged into place. He gasped when the powerful column of 'water' burst vertically into the room.

"Halt! Don't move!" a voice yelled behind him.

He glanced over his shoulder. Steven Rayner was a betting man. And right now he was betting that the Marines gathering behind him wouldn't shoot. He raced up the ramp and through the 'gate before they could get close enough to grab him.

"Son of a bitch!" the Marine leader cursed. "Better call President MacLeod and General O'Neill. They ain't gonna like this!"

When the Klaxons and beacons came to life, Daniel was off the bed in a flash, running down the corridor behind a squad of Marines. Casey remained in the room long enough to assure that Nicholas was all right, told him that Mommy would be right back, and then hurried after her Husband.

Daniel was standing in the 'gate room with Jack and the Marines when she arrived. "What's going on?" she asked. Every man in the room looked angry enough to spit nails.

"Rayner," Jack spat. "That idiot just went back to 899!"

Her eyes widened. "The Goa'uld could still be there!"

"I know, Casey," Jack said. "And if they are, chances are damn high that they're guarding that 'gate!" He looked up into the control room. "Troy? You okay?"

"Yes, sir, General. Just a bit pissed off. Bastard shot me in the back!"

"Yeah, typical. Get a MALP ready, will you?"

"You are not serious," Daniel said, his eyes going wide.

"Daniel, as much as you hate him, do you really want him in the hands of the Goa'uld?"

The young archaeologist shook his head. "No, I don't," he admitted softly.

Jack put a hand on the young man's shoulder. "We'll go drag his sorry ass back here. I think this would be considered an attempt to leave the jurisdiction. Adds another charge to the growing list. He'll be going away for a long time."

Casey wanted to find Steven Rayner and throttle him! Her baby boy was in the infirmary, and it could be as long as three days before they knew whether or not there would be any serious complications from the injury he had suffered. There was no way in hell she was letting Daniel leave Gamma without her. She wanted to scream. Her hands were at her sides, clenched so tightly that her knuckles were white.

"Case?" Daniel said softly.

"If we find the rat bastard, I swear to god I will not stop you from turning him into a ball of grease!" She whirled around, heading for Daniel's office. She needed to talk to her mom.

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