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Devil in the Shadows
When she opened her eyes this time, she was lying flat. She shifted slightly. She was on a table of some sort. Her hands and feet were strapped down, although her head seemed to be free. She looked around. Daniel was strapped into a chair directly across the room from her. He was still unconscious.
The room itself looked like an operating room. She fought down the nausea that threatened to overwhelm her as memories of being a prisoner in a hospital on another planet forced their way into the front of her mind. She had no doubt that there wouldn't be an easy escape this time.
Easy escape…oh hell! Whoever had them wanted to know what Daniel was capable of doing. And he had shown their captor…or captors…exactly how to deal with him. She looked at him again. Yep, his hands were tied down, behind his back. It would be impossible to use the Fire now! She could feel panic starting to rise up in her stomach. She knew that she was about to suffer greatly.
'Daniel?' She didn't think that their captor was aware of their ability to communicate telepathically. She laid her head back down on the table. Something tickled the back of her mind. Escape was possible. But only if she remained calm…and used every skill she had.
"I'm here, My Heart."
"Oh, hell," Daniel muttered when he saw her strapped to the table in front of him. He tried to move his hands, found that he couldn't. This wasn't good. Wasn't good at all!
'Don't let them know we can talk to each other.'
'Good idea, Angel.'
"They let us escape," she said softly.
"Yeah, looks that way. I guess I let them know exactly what they needed to know, didn't I?" he said, his voice full of regret…and guilt. He tried to move his hands, even the tiniest bit. It almost felt as if they had gloves on his hands, which were tied down completely. He couldn't even wiggle his fingers. This was getting worse all the time.
"Daniel, I'm scared," Casey admitted softly. Her delicate features revealed the terror that filled her. She had been tortured too much in the past few months to be able to face more with her usual tenacious spirit. She was dangerously close to the breaking point. She could feel it. He could see it.
"I know, Angel. I’m scared too," he replied. 'Meditate, Angel. It will help calm you. Think about how much I love you. How proud I am of you.'
She smiled, cursed herself for letting her face reveal anything. "You're just saying that to make me feel better," she said, hoping that anyone watching would think that was why she was smiling.
Daniel grinned. "Maybe. Maybe I'm sitting here just as afraid as you are."
"Nah. Not with everything you've been through. This will be a cake-walk for you," she teased. The sound of a door opening made her heart begin to pound with fear.
"Well, Doctor Jackson. And his lovely wife, Casey Jackson." The speaker came into view. He was a tall, thin man; his pockmarked face was arranged in a sneer. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Doctor Bernard Campfield. It is quite an honor to meet The Chosen. Although I must admit that I didn't believe in the mythical 'Chosen', until now. It will be interesting to see just what…skills…you do have, will it not, Doctor Jackson?"
"Go to hell," Daniel replied.
The man 'tsk, tsked' impatiently. "I somehow doubt that you will be so uncooperative once I have explained…the rules…of our little…arrangement…to you. I have been given carte blanche to find out exactly how…powerful…you are. And to find out just exactly what makes your lovely wife Immortal. Up to and including vivisection."
Daniel felt his heart stop. "You touch my Wife, and you won't live long enough to regret it!" he hissed.
"Really, Doctor Jackson, all of this posturing is so tiresome. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to stop me," Campfield snickered.
Casey listened, her heart in her throat, her stomach full of butterflies. Yep, it was going to be a long, painful night. That 'something' started poking at the back of her mind. If only she could focus on that tiny thought!
A A A A A A
Duncan had all three Marine teams ready to go through the 'gate. SG-1 was missing, and the NID was suspected. SG-6 was going to accompany the very angry Gammian president to Earth. The NID still had working cells there - he was going to find out exactly where his people were, and he was going to see to it that the rogue agency found it impossible to do business on Earth, or any other civilized planet. If he could cut off their supplies, he could cripple them enough to knock them out once and for all. And Duncan MacLeod was determined to do precisely that.
"I want them found and brought home. In one piece, gentlemen," Duncan said softly. "And I want to see light in Casey's eyes."
Each man knew exactly what President MacLeod was telling them. A broken, battered Casey Jackson was not an option. They had to find her, and protect her from the sorry sons-of-bitches who would do whatever they could to break her.
"We'll have 'em home before dinner," Turk promised.
Duncan gave the man a smile. "I have no doubts," he replied. He watched the Marines walk through the event horizon. Those men were pissed off. The NID had made this personal when they'd attacked SG-1. None of those involved with their abduction, and any subsequent torture, would live to see the next sunrise.
A A A A A A
Casey shivered from the cold. Campfield had stripped her, leaving her naked on the cold metal table. At least he hadn't cut her clothes off, she thought, biting back a hysterical laugh. He had watched Daniel's face as he ran his cold, clammy hand over her body. But he had done no more than that, so far.
Campfield was busy hooking electrodes up to both of them, it seemed that he was going to monitor all the routine vitals…heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, even skin temperature.
'Stay with me, Angel,' Daniel pleaded.
'I will, My Heart. I'm okay.'
His heart fell. Okay. One step above falling apart. Two side steps from terrified. 'I'll get us out of this, I promise.'
'I know you will.'
"Now," Campfield said, almost conversationally, "shall we begin?" The man began to arrange a variety of surgical tools and instruments on a tray beside the table where Casey was lying.
She closed her eyes. Began to repeat the mantra that Gwenyth had taught her almost two years ago. She felt Daniel soothe her fear away, his presence offering comfort, support. That something was still poking at her, jabbing harder with each passing moment.
A A A A A A
Jack looked over at Sam and Teal'c. They were all sitting in cells, separated only by the cold metal bars that surrounded them on three sides. The shiny metal wall behind them offered no means of escape. So far no one had even bothered checking on them. "I think they're more interested in what Daniel can do, than us," he said quietly. "We need to find a way out of here, get Danny and Casey and get the hell off this planet."
"I concur, O'Neill. But how will we accomplish this?" Teal'c asked.
"I'm still working on the details," Jack admitted.
"Is it just me, or is it cold in here?" Sam said, rubbing her hands quickly over her arms.
"Yeah, it is kind of chilly," Jack said.
"Unless they have a power generator that can provide for air conditioning, I'm thinking we're not on the same planet," Sam continued. "It's possible we're even in space."
Jack rolled his eyes. "I don't want to hear that, Sam. Space means harder to escape."
"Not necessarily," his wife replied. "It might make our captors a bit…inattentive. That could help us."
"Now see, that's the kind of thinking I like," Jack grinned. "Let's get out of these damned cages, then see where the hell we are."
A A A A A A
Casey waited, her heart pounding, as Campfield held a scalpel just above her stomach. The man reached up and turned on a recording device.
"1730 hours, March 6, 2014. Subject…Casey Jackson. Known Immortal. I shall attempt to locate and identify all internal organs visually. I am about to make my first incision." He looked at her, his eyes cold and full of hate.
She swallowed. Tears filled her green eyes. This was going to hurt like hell.
Daniel nearly cried out at the man's words. He struggled against his restraints, desperate to get free and save his Beloved.
If only I could talk the jerk out of this! she thought. That nagging something was nearly clanging at the back of her head. Talk him out of it! She took a deep breath. 'Hold on to me, Daniel.'
'Just do it…hurry, please!' She waited until she felt his gentle, familiar presence. She held tightly to him, then slowly moved forward. 'Daniel, tell him that you think the circulation has been cut off in your hands.'
"Uh…hey…asshole. I can't feel my hands. I think the circulation has been cut off," Daniel said.
Campfield glanced at the archaeologist. "I don't think that matters."
"It will if your bosses want to know what I can do. If I can't use my hands, I can't do anything."
The man seemed to falter just the tiniest bit. Casey moved forward, again, whispering that the men in charge of this project, whoever they were, this…doctor…didn't seem to know anything other than 'The Boss' and 'The Director', would be quite put out if The Chosen was rendered… useless. If they were put out, it could be dangerous.
Campfield hesitated for another moment, then put the scalpel back on the tray and walked to where Daniel sat. He checked the bindings. Too tight, Casey whispered. Too tight. They have to be loosened. His hands must be freed. The man hesitated yet again, then carefully began to loosen the specially designed gloves.
'More, Angel. I need these damned things off.'
'I'll do my best.' She continued to move around in Campfield's mind, holding tightly to Daniel, gathering what information she could. She began to whisper again. Check his hands, she said. Make sure that his fingers still have color in them, that they're not blue from lack of circulation.
Campfield pulled off the gloves, checked Daniel's fingers, then loosened the restraints a bit more. Satisfied that The Chosen would now be able to 'perform' for his employers, he hurried back over to where the Immortal waited. Once again he picked up the scalpel. "I understand that you feel pain just the same as real people," he said. "That shall be one of the many things we either prove or disprove." He made a vertical cut on her, from hollow of her throat to the top of that narrow vee of curly blonde hair. He made two more horizontal incisions, one near her mons, the other just below her breasts.
The scalpel was sharp, and at first she felt nothing. She watched, horrified, when he began to gather hooks. He had every intention of opening her up! Oh, god! She couldn't take it! She closed her eyes, felt a tear make its way down the side of her face. She struggled to lay still, to maintain control. To keep from screaming.
Daniel had quietly wrapped his hands around the metal of the handcuffs that kept him prisoner in the chair. 'Send me your Fire, babe,' he instructed.
It took effort, but she began to call up the Fire, and sent it to him.
Sweat broke out across his forehead and upper lip as he quietly held the metal chains in his hands. He could feel the heat, feel it burning, blistering his fingers. He watched Campfield, knew that he had made at least one incision, worried as the man counted out hooks. Oh, god, no! He wasn't going to…no way in hell! He tugged, almost cried out when the chains held fast. He concentrated, willing every ounce of energy, of Fire, into his fingertips. Now! He could feel the metal beginning to give way! He tugged again, his hands were free. He carefully, quietly began to burn through the other chains.
"This will probably hurt," Campfield said, as he began to insert the hooks into her skin. He jumped slightly when she screamed in pain.
"You goddamned mother-fucker!" Daniel cried, tears in his eyes as he listened to Casey cry out. Almost…almost…just a few more seconds…
"Subject shows signs of distress as hooks are put into place," Campfield intoned. He reached for more hooks.
Daniel stepped up behind him, wrapped his arm around the man's throat and began to squeeze. "Take those goddamned things out of my Wife! Now!"
Shocked to find himself in the grasp of a man he knew to be chained to a chair, Campfield began to tremble.
"Take them out gently…if she cries out, I'll break every one of your fingers. Do I make myself clear?"
The man put shaking fingers on the hooks, tried to work them out of the skin of the woman who laid crying on the table. When she whimpered, he jerked slightly, making her cry out.
Daniel grabbed the man's left hand, and began putting pressure on his index finger.
"Please, Daniel…no…" Casey gasped. "Don't be like them," she begged.
"You're lucky my Wife has such a generous heart," Daniel hissed in the man's ear. "Get the rest of them out of her!"
The four remaining hooks were removed from her abdomen, and immediately the blue sparks of her Quickening began to dance over her skin. Campfield watched, fascinated as her body healed itself. Within minutes there was no trace of the incisions or marks from the cruel hooks.
"Release her," Daniel commanded. He didn't loosen his hold on the man's neck as he moved around the table so that 'doctor' could unbuckle the restraints. As soon as she was free, Daniel glanced over at her. "Get dressed, Angel."
Casey was more than happy to comply. She hurriedly pulled her clothes on. She glanced around, then searched. There were cameras in the room, several of them, and she could sense that they were recording. But she didn’t think they were being monitored. "I'm ready."
"Can you find out where we are?"
"I can try," she replied. He was still holding her, still caressing her, had been since she had reached out to him. "We're on a ship! It must have been in orbit above the planet that Oatash escaped to!"
Campfield looked over at the woman, his eyes wide. "How did-"
Daniel tightened his hold, and within seconds the man was unconscious. He grabbed Casey and hugged her tightly. "Come on, Angel, help me out. Let's get this creep on the table." Daniel made sure that the restraints were tight around the man's ankles and wrists. Then, for good measure, he tore a length of fabric from the man's lab coat and shoved it into his mouth. "Can you feel Jack, or Sam, or Teal'c?"
She reached out again, her fingers wrapped around his hand. "Yeah, I can feel them. They're okay."
"Good. Let's go." For the second time in three hours, they began their escape.
A A A A A A
Duncan stood on the bridge of the Persephone, his eyes flashing with rage. "As of this moment, all contact with Earth will be cut off. There will be no trade goods allowed through, no tourists, no immigrants, not even messages. Until the EDA, and the people of Earth take steps to rein in the rogue elements of the NID, the Stargate Command Colonies will cut off all communication. You have one hour to respond!" He gave the signal, and the broadcast, which had been a fifteen-minute rant, ended.
Colonel Bradshaw grinned. "That should shake their sorry asses up. Especially since those three big firms were all set to start moving in next week."
Duncan grinned. "I figure that right about now the average man on the street understands only one thing…the SCC isn't going to be out here protecting his sorry butt. That's all that matters to them."
The communication tech began to giggle. She looked over at her CO. "Chatter on the networks is panicked. CNN is demanding that the EDA hand over any and all NID agents to the SCC immediately!" She continued to listen. "Message coming in from the EDA, sir."
"You're on, Mr. President," Colonel Bradshaw said, his grin growing ever wider.
"To whom am I speaking?" a voice demanded over the speaker.
"President MacLeod. To whom am I speaking?" Duncan replied.
"I am Fredrick Willoughby, UK representative to the EDA. We understand your anger, President MacLeod, but you must understand that we haven't the resources to seek out each and every rogue agent in an organization as large as the NID. Because this agency is one that was formed in, and operates from, the United States, we insist that you deal with them as you see fit, but allow the rest of the EDA members to continue trading with your colonies."
Duncan snorted. "You still don't understand, do you? You're all in this together. The NID has agents in every damned country on that planet! Let me put this as succinctly as possible. You either swim together, or you sink together."
There was a moment of silence, then a heavy sigh. "Very well, we shall see what we can do." The com link went dead. The UK rep had 'hung up' on them.
"What's on CNN?" Colonel Bradshaw asked the com tech. She pulled up the link, sent it to one of the overhead monitors.
"…dealt with this before! Those people out there are working hard to protect us, and this is how we thank them? I believe they not only have every right to be angry, they have every right to leave Planet Earth to whatever fate awaits it!" one of the suit-clad men on the panel declared.
"I have to disagree with my colleague. How are we supposed to keep track of members of an organization that aren't even on Earth? Isn't space…out there…their jurisdiction? And haven't they told us time and again that their duty is to protect us? This is nothing more than a temper tantrum because one of their SG teams has gone missing."
Duncan growled at the monitor.
"Not just any team, John. SG-1. The premier team of all of the SGC's! This team has single-handedly saved Earth from destruction no less than a dozen times. Not only do they deserve our eternal gratitude, they deserve to know that they can do their job without the interference of the NID. Which, by the way, was supposedly disbanded by the US government several months ago. Obviously there are still factions that are working here, and they have to be getting their funding from somewhere! Without their Stargate, which they stole from Area 51-"
"And was in turn stolen by the 'great' SG-1-"
"There is absolutely no proof of that and you know it! As I was saying, without their Stargate and the loss of their largest ship, the NID hasn't been able to move weapons or cocaine to use to sell to other cultures. Again I say they are being funded by someone, or some country!"
The Scot made a motion across his neck and the com tech turned of the transmission. "Yep, things are going to get pretty hot down there for politicians."
"Don't care about the politicians," Bradshaw said. "I do care whether or not those people down there will finally understand that the NID is a problem that won't go away unless they make it go away!"
"As soon as this latest 'crisis' calms down, those people will go back to business as usual," Duncan predicted. "Which is why we have to keep them stirred up until the NID is completely eradicated from Earth."
"Could take awhile, sir," Bradshaw replied.
Duncan nodded. "Yep."
A A A A A A
Casey's hand was still wrapped in Daniel's - they were standing against the wall in the corridor just outside of the room where they had been held. They moved slowly, watching and listening for anyone approaching. Casey had glanced around, not seeing any cameras. She was certain that they were there…somewhere. She hoped that they weren't being observed right now.
Daniel checked around the corner. A group of four…no…five men stood near the door at the end of that corridor. Their stance was casual. They were just talking. He took a deep breath, lifted both hands. Smiled when he felt her slender hands on his back, felt her Fire flow into his being. He paused for just a few seconds. Today marked the first time he had used the Fire to kill anyone not Goa'uld, or associated with Goa'uld. Or a not a renegade Ancient. No, these men were human enough. NID agents. Just as freaking bad as Goa'uld, his mind told him. And more than willing to dissect his Wife, his Chosen. That thought stirred his anger once again, and he let go of the Fire that had been burning in his fingertips.
Two of the men went down, smoldering holes in their backs. The other three turned toward him, wide-eyed. One went for his weapon, Daniel took him out with another fireball. The other two ran toward the door, their hands shaking as they tried manipulate the keypad.
"You have to stop them, Daniel," Casey said softly. "I can't go through…that…again, and they'll keep hurting me, to control you, if they recapture us."
He nodded, his anger flaring again, dropped the surviving men where they stood. He led her into the hallway, took the weapons from the bodies. "We can't leave these guys here," he muttered. They dragged the bodies into the room where they had been held. Dr. Campfield was still unconscious. Daniel shoved the men against the far wall, behind several large pieces of equipment, two that were monitoring stations for the electrodes that had been connected to them while they had been prisoners. Satisfied that the bodies were out of the way, and wouldn't be seen immediately if someone entered the room, Daniel led her back into the corridor. "Can you tell where Sam, Jack and Teal'c are?"
She closed her eyes. "Found them. They're in the cargo bay. Well, it used to be a cargo bay. It's not well heated or ventilated."
Casey pointed in the direction they needed to go. Clinging to his hand, his presence still offering comfort in her mind, she followed him to the elevator. She couldn't sense anyone nearby. But she had the distinct feeling that they were being watched. 'Daniel, I think they're watching us.'
'I know, I feel it too.'
'Are they letting us escape…are they just…toying…with us?'
'I don't know, Angel.'
The thought that they were like rats in a maze, being herded wherever it was that their captors wanted them to go - only to be subjected to more torture - made her shudder. She wanted this nightmare to be over. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be anywhere but on a ship controlled by the NID!
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