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Devil in the Shadows
"The three jars were found inside an altar that I believe was used for executions, which makes the theory I have that these Goa'uld were banished even more valid," Daniel reported. "What we have is a situation similar to the one with Osiris and Isis, only there were three Goa'uld banished in this instance."
"Okay, let's hear about them," Duncan said. He settled back in his chair to listen.
The young dark-blonde man nodded. "Garamil is considered the Creator of All, the most worshipped of any gods listed in Ancient Langaran history. He had two sons: Oatash, the God of War; and his younger brother Inatash, God of the Underworld. Garamil supposedly created his sons to help him rule, Oatash was supposed to have become the God of the Sky. But he liked to fight too much. Inatash was cursed by a goddess named Lorraine, for taking her daughter's virginity, and then refusing to marry her. The curse prevented Inatash from leaving the Underworld, where he went to visit the young woman after she had killed herself in shame for what she had done. The crone who controlled the Underworld tried to keep him from seeing the young woman. Inatash was strong, and battled with the crone, Vipa, for control. He killed her with her own sword. Because he was wounded in the battle, and had shed blood on the ground of the Underworld, he became the new god of the Underworld. Disappointed that his sons weren't going to help him, Garamil created his daughter, Milavine, to take that position. She, however, becomes the Goddess of Love. Both of her brothers were in love with her, and wanted her to be their Queen. She liked the attention, and the more she stirred the brothers against one another, the more attention she got. Oatash and Inatash began to recruit their friends, probably other Goa'uld, to try and assassinate one another. Garamil stepped in and banished the three of them. According to myths, he sent them into the molten chambers of tallest mountain on Langara, there to battle for eternity. Which explained the frequent eruptions. What happened, I assume, is that the three were removed from their hosts and put into the jars."
"So, is this Garamil still around?" Jack asked.
"I have no idea," Daniel replied honestly. "I haven't found anything that would indicate that he is. It's possible that he was killed, along with the other 'gods', during what is known in Langaran history as the "Age of Awareness". Apparently the people got tired of the heavy-handed ways of their gods and revolted. There are three hundred and sixty seven myths and stories about battles with the gods, and their subsequent deaths. Oatash, Inatash, and Milavine are all glaringly absent from these stories."
"Okay, so we have the names of the snakes. I still say we should kill them," Jack said.
"I agree," Daniel said quickly, his glancing lighting briefly on his wife.
"The sooner the better," Sam added.
Duncan nodded. "Okay. Doctor Montigue would like to take a look at them. I told him that he and his researchers have two hours, then I want them destroyed. He agreed."
Casey shivered. Which brought frowns to every face in the room. "Kill them now," she whispered. "Or we're in big trouble."
Jack, Daniel and Teal'c were already on their feet and running for the elevator when the alarm klaxons began to wail. "Shit!" Jack swore.
A A A A A A
The Marines stood firmly, their weapons aimed at the young blonde medical researcher who stood glaring at them, her eyes glowing. "Give it up, lady, you're not leaving here," the Marine n charge said.
"Where is my brother? Where is my Beloved?" the dual voice demanded.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the Marine replied honestly. "Now get down on your knees, or I will shoot!"
The young woman, Sara Parker, according to the nametag on her white lab coat, continued to glare. She glanced around the room. She let out a growl of frustration to find that there seemed to be nothing that she could use as a weapon. The Goa'uld inside her was furious that none of his things were nearby…he wanted his ribbon device; these insolent…humans…needed a lesson in how to behave in the presence of their god!
The three men of SG-1, followed closely by Sam, Casey, and Duncan, slid into the room. Daniel took one look around, glanced at the nametag of the now obviously Goa'uld infested woman, and moaned. "Damn it! Not again!"
"Not your fault, Danny," Jack replied quietly.
Casey stood just beside Daniel, her hip against the corner of work island that separated the group from the Goa'uld. "Sara, I know you can still hear us. We can't let this Goa'uld escape. You know that. I also know that you don't want to live with that snake in your head. We have to…we have to," she finished softly. She looked up at her Husband, knew that he was upset. "Daniel, you have to do this. You know it, for Sara as well as to protect the rest of us."
Daniel slowly raised his hand, torn between the desire to kill the Goa'uld, and the need to protect the innocent host. He gasped when Sara lunged and grabbed Casey by the sleeve, and yanked his Wife toward her. Panic wrapped him in its icy grasp. "Let her go!" he demanded, the anger evident in his blue eyes.
Sara wrapped her arm around Casey's neck, pulled the young Immortal back against her. Her other hand began to caress Casey's cheek. The Goa'uld began to taunt the young man. "She is very beautiful. A very…acceptable...host for Milavine, don't you agree? Move away, or I will kill her!" The Goa'uld held the scalpel that he had just located against Casey's throat, just above the arm of the young host.
"You're not leaving here," Jack said firmly. He reached toward one of the Marines, pulled the 9mm from the young man's holster, and quickly fired into both Sara and Casey. Both women fell to the floor. "Find the other two, kill them," he said to Teal'c. The tall Jaffa nodded and hurried into the adjoining room.
Daniel was kneeling beside Casey, pulling her body into his arms. He glanced up at Jack. "Contact Jacob. We can still save Sara," he said quietly. "We can keep her sedated while the symbiote heals her."
"Daniel-" Jack started to argue.
"I'll call right now," Duncan said quietly, his hand on Jack's shoulder. The Highlander motioned, and the Marines hurried to pick up Sara Parker, and take her to the infirmary.
"Wake up, Angel," Daniel whispered, pulling her body close, pressing his face against her hair. Five minutes later she took a deep breath, arching in his arms.
"Oh, yeah, that hurt," she murmured. She looked up at Jack and smiled wanly. "Payback for the time I shot you, isn't it?"
The older man grinned. "Yep."
"Sara?" Casey asked, looking up into her husband's troubled blue eyes.
"Duncan is calling for Jacob. We're going to try and get the snake out of her," Daniel said softly. "Welcome back, by the way."
She reached up and caressed his face with her fingertips. "Thank you. And she'll be fine, Daniel. What about the other two?"
Jack grinned. "Teal'c tore them apart with his bare hands."
Casey smiled. "You'd think he hates the Goa'uld or something," she said.
"Hate? I think what Teal'c feels for snakes goes way beyond hate," Jack replied.
A A A A A A
Sara had stirred shortly before Casey had revived, her wounds obviously not as fatal as intended, due mostly to the fact that she had been holding the young Immoral in front of her. Dr. Montigue had sedated the young researcher and had her in five-point restraints in a secure area of the infirmary. The drug seemed to have no effect. The Goa'uld inside her was livid, and screaming ancient Langaran curses at everyone in the room where she… he…was being held.
"Just thought you should know, your brother and sister are dead," Daniel said coldly, his voice low, when he entered the room a few minutes later. "No chance of them harming any more innocent people."
"You will die for you insolence! Inatash and Milavine will be avenged!" Oatash snarled from inside the young woman's body.
Daniel snorted. "Don't think so." He leaned close to the young woman's ear. "My friend opened those jars and tore them to pieces with his bare hands. I'm going to kill you with mine as soon as you're pulled out of this body. For daring to touch My Chosen." His voice, and his eyes, were icy. Without another word he turned and left the room.
The security tape of the lab where Sara Parker had been working showed the young woman carefully opening the jar, according to the instructions given by Dr. Montigue, following every safety guideline set out for the procedure. Because they had not been present when Osiris took Sarah Gardner, neither Daniel nor Sam were aware that the moment oxygen entered the jars, the paralyzing effects of the fluid the Goa'uld was in were neutralized. The symbiote moved faster than Sara had anticipated, and was boring into the back of her neck before she or the Marines had a chance to react.
With Sara sedated, a dangerously high dosage according to Dr. Montigue, and nothing to be done until Jacob arrived, Duncan sent everyone home. It had been a tough day for everyone. And things were about to get tougher.
A A A A A A
Daniel stood in front of the open French doors in the living room, staring out into the back yard. Again! He had fucked up and it had happened again! He knew what was in those jars! He should have broken the damn things open and ripped those fucking snakes apart! Now a young woman, a young woman named Sara…how freaking twisted was that?…was infested with a Goa'uld! He wrapped his arms around his waist in an attempt to ward off the feelings of guilt that wracked him.
Casey stood in the kitchen and watched him. She could see the anger, the frustration…the pain…etched on his handsome face. Knew him well enough to know that he was blaming himself for what had happened to her, blamed himself for the young researcher. Her heart ached to reach out to him, to touch him, but he was blocking her, totally…completely. Daniel was no more to blame for what happened to the young woman than he was for Sha're, or Sarah Gardner. He found himself at fault for their capture and infestation as well. She wanted to hold him, put her arms around him and comfort him…but when he was in a mood like this, he pulled away from her…at every level. She needed to hold him…needed to be held by him. Her stance mirrored his, her arms wrapped around her slender waist, a physical manifestation of her hurt, her worry, her own feelings of need…and abandonment.
Shot. Casey had been shot today. That was my fault, too. Jack never would have been required to use that gun if he had just done what he knew he needed to do, what he had wanted to do deep inside. Instead, he had allowed the scholar inside him, the logical side of him, the man who looked for good in everything, to remain in control. How many more times would his Wife, the woman he loved more than life itself, suffer because of his failings? He continued to block her, desperate to keep her from feeling this pain, this sense of failure. Desperate to hold her, comfort her, take comfort from her.
This was ridiculous! He needed her! She needed him! She had been terrified when Sara… Oatash…had grabbed her. The scalpel had sent shivers down her spine, reminded her too much of Nergal and his damned knives…She wasn't even aware that she was crying until he turned around and looked at her, which happened when she made a tiny sound of pain. The look of devastation on his face told her how much her tears affected him.
"God, Angel, what's wrong?" he asked. His long legs brought him from the living room into the kitchen with just a few strides. He pulled her into his arms, held her against his chest.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, and the first sob tore from her throat. Her body began to shake. "Knives…cut…she…he…oh, god!" The tears began to fall harder as she pressed against that warm, strong, muscular chest.
"Shh…it's okay, Angel, it's okay, it's all over," he crooned softly, swaying slowly back and forth, tightening his arms around her slender frame. My fault! he screamed silently, it's my fault! "I’m so sorry, Casey, so sorry," he whispered. My fault! My goddamned fault!
She struggled to control the tears that continued to force their way past her eyelids. "Nothing for you to be sorry about," she whispered. "Nothing for you to be sorry about. Nothing for you to feel guilty about."
If only that were true, he thought miserably. He pulled her tighter, held her as close as he could, pressed his face against the side of her head, the scent of her shampoo filling his nose, his mouth, his mind. Before he was even aware that he had lowered his defenses, she was there, touching him, caressing him, pushing the pain…the guilt…the anger…away, leaving only her love and soft sweet presence in the wake.
"You have nothing to apologize for, Daniel. Not to me. Not to Sha're. Not to Sarah Gardner. Not to Sara Parker." She looked up at him, the pain was still there in those incredible blue eyes. "Daniel, when Apophis came into that temple…pyramid, where you were living, he would have killed you had you been there. Sha're still would have been taken. Except she wouldn't have had you to turn to when her baby was born; her child wouldn't be safe now. There was no way to know that a living Goa'uld was in that canopic jar in Chicago. Certainly no way for you to know that Sarah was going to open the damned thing! Which, if I'm not mistaken, she wasn't supposed to do for the simple fact that the Egyptian government had forbidden it! And all our information led us to believe that the Goa'uld in those jars were in a state of paralysis! None of us could have predicted what happened today!"
Daniel listened to her words, felt them wrap around his battered, weary heart. One shaking hand brushed the tears from her cheek. "I should have been paying closer attention, never should have let you in that room today."
Casey wreathed his face with her hands. "Daniel, I was the one stupid enough to stand there. If it's anybody's fault that I got shot today, it's mine! Jack did what he had to do, to save both of us. I-" she broke off, refused to let herself look away from him. Her eyes flashed with pain. "It's just that the scalpel...it's just so much like a knife..."
"I know, Casey," he said quietly, his heart clenching at the sight of the torment that filled her green eyes. "I'm sorry, babe. I just seem to screw up every time it comes down to the line," he said desolately.
"No! That is not true!" she argued fiercely. "Daniel, you are the most incredible man I know …when it comes down to the line, you do the right thing, even when it means sacrificing yourself! Sit down if you have a couple of hours and I'll list all the times you've done just that! I won't even go into details!"
He couldn't hold back the smile that spread over his face. "Then why do I feel like such a failure?"
"Because you focus on what you perceive as failures, rather than looking at the whole picture, which would show you what a hero you are!" she replied.
He shook his head. "You're good for my ego, babe."
"Just stating the obvious," she whispered. "Please, Daniel, don't beat yourself up over this!" She reached out again, softly, gently, pushed back the feelings of anguish that she felt moving into his mind. Her fingers moved as tenderly over his face. "Because of you, and your quick thinking, Sara will be saved. The Goa'uld inside her will die. Because of you, Sha're's child is safe. I'm the one who killed Sarah Gardner. Because I had no choice. Osiris was killing you, and I'd have killed Jack if he had been the one standing there with that ribbon device torturing you to death!"
Daniel kissed her forehead. "That's my Tiger," he whispered.
"Damned straight," she whispered in return. "I will do what I have to do, kill anyone or anything that threatens you, Beloved. I have to, because I can't breathe without you, can't live without you."
"I love you, Casey Jackson," he said softly, taking her words to heart, wrapping himself in them and her love.
"I love you, Daniel Jackson," she replied as softly. The timer on the dryer chose that moment to start buzzing. "Guess I'd better take care of that."
"Are you all right?"
He kissed her forehead again. "I am now."
She smiled, ran her fingers over his jaw, then gently pulled away and went to tend to the laundry.
He watched her disappear into the laundry room, then walked to the French doors in the Conversation room. He still felt guilty. Just not to the extent he had just a little while ago. He closed his eyes. He needed a break. Knew Casey needed…deserved… a break as well. Vacation. He wanted to go on a vacation. As soon as Sara Parker was Goa'uld free, he was telling Duncan that he wanted time off. Hell, the entire team needed to get away. A couple of weeks at that resort on Langara was just what they all needed.
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