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Devil in the Shadows
Teal'c joined them at the table. He glanced over at the three men as he sat down. "Carlotta is with the Desala's and the children. Mrs. Peterson has joined them as well. I have instructed her to return to Kelowna City and go through the Stargate with them if anything should happen to us. I gave her contact information for Jonas Quinn."
Jack nodded his approval. "Good. Danny, I want you to take Casey and go for a walk. Head towards those rocks out there. It's nice and deserted. We'll wait here and see if they follow."
Daniel nodded. "Come on, babe. Let's go play bait." He held out his hand, squeezed her fingers reassuringly when she placed her hand in his.
Casey slipped her arm around his waist, comforted by the weight of his arm around her shoulders. They began to walk slowly, leisurely up the beach.
Two of the men stood and went into the hotel. Teal'c excused himself, then followed them. Sam and Jack remained at the table, surreptitiously watching the agent who remained to watch them.
"Damn, I wish we had radios right now!" Jack whispered. He took Sam's hand, toyed with her fingers.
"Or Daniel and Casey's way of communicating," Sam said. She forced a giggle, knowing that the agent was still watching them.
"Yeah, that would be pretty cool, wouldn't it?" Jack chuckled.
He saw Teal'c slip out one of the side doors. It seemed that goons one and two were indeed following the Jacksons. "Okay, baby, let's take a walk of our own. We know this guy is going to follow us. I'm thinking we should go upstairs first, grab our guns."
Sam nodded, and let him lead her inside. She watched the reflections in the window. Sure enough, goon number three was following them. "Do you think we can take that one out?"
Jack grinned. "There are two of us and only one of him."
A A A A A A
Daniel watched Casey's face. "Anything?"
She nodded. "They're following. Two of them, I think."
He shook his head. "I've had enough of this shit!" He climbed up on one of the boulders, helped her to follow him. He sat down. "Now, they'll have a hard time finding a place to watch us without being obvious about it," he said.
Not more than five minutes later the two men appeared, hesitated, then began to walk back and forth along the beach. Both men tried to appear casual, but it wasn't easy to watch the couple without being noticed.
Casey cocked her head sideways. It was almost as if…she reached out, could sense that Teal'c was nearby. He must have tried to…catch her attention. She'd have to remember to ask him how he had done that! "Daniel, Teal'c is just behind us, hiding in the rocks. I'm guessing that Sam and Jack will be here soon."
"Okay. We'll just sit here and wait."
"Just sit here, huh?" she asked, a sparkle in her eyes.
"Yep. Can't think of anything else to do," he teased, his blue eyes dancing with laughter.
"Not even one little thing?" she pouted prettily.
"Well, maybe one thing comes to mind," he admitted. He leaned over and kissed her.
"Oh, that's nice! More, please?" she said softly
"Oh, Mrs. Jackson, when you ask so nicely, I can't help but give in," he whispered. He leaned over and kissed her again, watching the two men on the beach. He closed his eyes when he saw them looking at him and Casey. Daniel moved his mouth to her neck, looked through his lashes to see where the NID bastards were. They were taking the bait. They were moving closer. "Babe, in just a few minutes we're going to be grabbed," he whispered in her ear.
"Okay," she whispered in reply. Even knowing what was going to happen, she let out a squeal of surprise when Daniel was yanked away from her, and strong arms wrapped around her from behind.
"Let my Wife go, or I'll kill you," Daniel growled, meaning every word.
"Not gonna happen, Doctor Jackson." The man pulled a hypodermic 'gun' from his pocket and pressed it against Daniel's neck. Daniel slumped, unconscious.
"Daniel!" Oh, god! Where was Teal'c? Before she had a chance to fully comprehend what had happened, she felt a prick against her neck, and blackness surrounded her.
"Too damned easy," the first man grinned. He had allowed Daniel to fall to the wet sand. "Call Sutton, tell him to signal the ship. The shuttle can land right here, nobody can do a damned thing."
"Oh, now, I'm not so sure about that," Jack said, stepping out from behind the rocks. Teal'c and Sam followed him, the three of them holding 9 millimeters, aimed at the two NID agents. "And Sutton had a very nasty accident. Took a header off of the stair landing on the ninth floor. Langaran officials are already on site." Jack had contacted Jonas Quinn and Duncan, and alerted them to what was happening. The police who arrived were already aware of the identity of the dead man. "Sam, check 'em out, make sure they're okay," he said, nodding to where Daniel and Casey lay, unconscious.
Teal'c walked to the men and disarmed them, his large hand moving roughly over them, checking for all weapons. "I have only found these," he informed Jack, tossing the two hypo-sprays and two small handguns into the sand at the general's feet.
Jack looked down at his unconscious friends. "How long?"
The goons looked at him, but refused to answer. Teal'c wrapped a muscular arm around the throat of goon number one and began to squeeze. "Not more than thirty minutes," the man finally gasped.
"I'll have Aaron come back and sit with them," Jack said. "Come on, campers, let's take these two back to the hotel. Then we're all going to have a nice long chat."
Neither of the goons was willing to risk dying, and the looks on the faces of the two men and the woman holding the guns told them that nothing would bring more pleasure than to have an excuse to use those weapons. They began to trudge back up the beach toward the hotel.
A A A A A A
Casey opened her eyes and groaned. She sat up slowly, held her hands to her throbbing head. "This is getting ridiculous!"
"Yeah, it is," Daniel replied. He had been conscious for almost ten minutes, and was becoming worried about her. He reached out and rubbed a hand over her back. "Jack, T, and Sam have the two goons back at the hotel. Ready to go see what we can find out?"
She nodded. "Dad?" Her father was sitting on the other side of her.
"Jack asked me to come make sure the tide didn't carry you off before the drug wore off," the Ancient grinned.
She smiled. "Glad he thought of that. Okay, let's go." She stood and brushed the sand from her legs and arms. "I don't suppose we could have a quick shower first? I have sand all over me."
Aaron grinned. "I don't think Jack would mind."
She looked up at her father. "Okay, where is he holding them?"
"They're tied up in the vegetable cooler for now. He said he wanted you there when he interrogated them." The Ancient's blue eyes were twinkling with laughter.
"Well, they can just cool their heels a little longer. I want a shower," she said.
Daniel chortled. "Bad pun, Case."
She giggled. "You still laughed."
He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "Good point."
A A A A A A
Thirty minutes later, Casey and Daniel walked into the room that the hotel manager had happily given them to use for their interrogation of the NID prisoners. It was a storeroom, and the two men were tied to chairs in the middle of a large, clear area. Jack, Sam and Teal'c were perched in front of the men on various crates and boxes. Aaron was there as well.
"Hey, Jacksons. Glad to see you up and around," Jack grinned. His grin faded when he looked back at the two prisoners. "Casey, I want to know everything they know."
She bit back a grin. This was a game she and Jack had played before. "Jack, you know that it could damage them if I have to dig around in their heads. Let's see what they're willing to tell us before I start doing that." She could see her father fighting to keep from laughing.
Both men looked startled, and exchanged worried looks.
"If I give you a direct order to find intel, I expect it to be obeyed, do I make myself clear?" Jack asked firmly.
"Crystal clear, sir," Casey replied.
Daniel and Sam struggled to hide their grins.
"Okay, who the hell is running this little segment of the NID?" Jack asked.
Again the two prisoners exchanged looks.
"Don't make me order her to find it. Last time we did that, the guy ended up in really bad shape. Wears a diaper, has a feeding tube. Probably be kinder to just shoot his sorry ass," Jack said calmly.
Daniel coughed in an attempt to cover up the chuckle that escaped. Jack frowned over at him.
"I don't know who the top man is," one of the goons said nervously. "I only know who we report to. He's on the ship in orbit right now."
"Shut up, you little asshole!" the other goon hissed.
"Hey, I'm not getting paid enough to put up with this…or…worse," the man said, glancing worriedly at Casey.
"Sam, tell Jonas that the NID has a ship in orbit out there," Jack said. "Tell him we're going to be on it soon."
With a nod, the tall blonde hurried from the room.
"So, who is it that you contact?"
"Man by the name of Emerson," the man replied.
Daniel's eyes narrowed. That was a name he would never forget! "You don't think…"
Jack frowned. "Wouldn't surprise me a bit," he replied. "Just so I don't have to call you Asshole One and Asshole Two, what are your names?"
"Foster, Tim Foster," the man 'talkative' man said.
The other man shook his head. He glanced up at Casey. "John Murdock," he said, his voice low.
"Okay Tim - can I call you Tim?" Jack asked. "Tell me just exactly what you were supposed to do here."
The man swallowed, glanced at Casey and Daniel, then looked at Jack. "We were supposed to knock them out, signal the ship, and they would send a shuttle to pick us up. There wasn't any worry about getting away, we figured that nobody would dare fire on the shuttle, they wouldn't want to risk it blowing up or anything. Then Emerson was supposed to take them back to headquarters."
"Which is where?"
Foster shrugged. "I have no idea."
Jack looked at Murdock. "What about you, John, any clue as to where Emerson was going to take my friends?"
"I was only getting paid to grab 'em. Didn't need to know any more than that, didn't want to know any more than that," the man grumped.
"Uh huh. Casey, why don't you just take a little look-see-"
"Wait!" Murdock said, his eyes wide, sweat breaking out on his forehead. "They might be taking them to Earth. They have some safe houses in South America that they use."
Jack and Daniel exchanged a look. "Well, isn't that just peachy?" Jack asked. "Didn't we just have a little run in that exposed the drugs moving out of South America to the NID?"
"Guns, too," Daniel said quietly.
Casey was already moving toward the man, Daniel holding tightly to her. He was telling the truth. And neither man knew any more than that. "Jack, why don't we go visit Emerson…he is the bastard that took me off the Phoenix, right?"
Daniel's eyes flared with anger. "Yeah, Angel, he is."
She looked over at him. He had never said much about her rescue. "Daniel? Is there something you need to tell me?"
He shook his head. "Nothing that you need to worry about."
She looked at Jack. That man just shook his head. A glance at Teal'c netted the same response. "Okay, you guys, stop trying to protect me," she said softly.
Jack cleared his throat. "You were still unconscious in the back of the limo when we got there. Emerson had unbuttoned your shirt…he was getting ready to-"
"Okay, got it," she said softly. She looked at Daniel. His jaw was working. She reached out and caressed him gently. "You aren't going to hurt him are you?"
"I should kill him," Daniel replied.
"Maybe. But not until we find out what he knows," Jack said.
The two prisoners looked at one another. "What about us?" Foster asked, fear in his voice and on his face.
"The local authorities will take you in for assault and attempted kidnapping. You'll be doing some prison time here," Jack replied.
Considering their options, neither man was willing to argue.
"Case, does Emerson know we have his agents?"
She shook her head. "He'll wait until they make contact."
Jack studied the men in front of him. "Let's contact Duncan, have him send some gear through, Jonas can have it here in a couple of hours. Then we'll go visit Mr. Emerson."
The teammates looked at one another. So much for their vacation! After a brief discussion, it was decided that the Desala's, Carly, Mrs. Peterson and the children would return to Gamma as soon as possible. There was the chance that there were other agents on Langara who would have no qualms about taking the children of Dr. and Mrs. Jackson. The governor of the province where the resort was located sent a special team of security agents to escort the family members to Kelowna City and the 'gate.
Casey and Daniel hugged and kissed Emily and Nicholas, watched as her parents climbed into the long vehicle that would take them, Mrs. Peterson, the O'Neill girls, and Carly to the airport, where the governor's plane was standing by to take them to Kelowna City. Jonas was waiting there to take them to the Stargate.
A A A A A A
They waited nervously for word that their children were safe on Gamma. She was pacing their room, he was laying on the bed, hands behind his head, eyes closed. "Shouldn't they be there by now?"
He checked his watch. "Another few minutes," he replied. "C'mere, babe."
She stretched out beside him, put her head on his shoulder, her arm across his waist. "How can you stay so calm?"
He smiled, took her hand and put it over his heart. She could feel it beating…hard and fast. "Looks can be deceiving, Angel," he said softly. The phone rang, they both jumped. He put his arm around her, held her close, reached for the instrument with the other hand. "Hello?…Yeah, thanks, Jack...Okay, see you in a few." He kissed the top of her head. "They're home, safe and sound."
She closed her eyes, sighed with relief. Her babies were safe on Gamma.
"Duncan sent our gear through. It's in the lobby. Jonas put it on a special flight to get it here ASAP."
She moved up slightly, kissed his lips, then kissed his chin. "Thank you," she whispered.
"For being so…you. For being here for me. For keeping me from going nuts waiting to hear that my babies were safe," she replied softly.
"No thanks necessary, Case. I was worried too, you know."
She smiled. "But you dealt with it much better."
Now it was his turn to smile. "No, I'm just better at hiding it."
"You're amazing, you know that don't you?"
He cocked an eyebrow at her. "How so?"
"Just your touch, your presence, whether in my mind, or in the same room, can help me…calm me…ground me. Your love…your love keeps me safe, keeps our babies safe," she replied.
"Your love is the only protection that she, or your child, will ever need. There are dangers ahead for you. But your love will protect them."
Sha're's voice, and her words, echoed suddenly in his head. He shivered slightly. "C'mere," he whispered. He held her tightly for just a few seconds. He reached out, caressed her, closed his eyes when she caressed him in return. He sent his love to her, felt hers fill his heart, his mind… his soul. He let it wrap around him, comfort him. "We have to go get our gear, get ready to do this," he said softly.
"I know." She pulled away slowly.
When they reached the lobby, they found that Duncan had sent SG-6 as well. They took their half-ready packs upstairs to their rooms, adding toiletries that might be needed. Daniel suggested that they pack everything else, although the hotel manager assured them that the rooms would remain undisturbed and available for them as long as necessary. Jack thanked the man, and promised his wife, Teal'c and the Jacksons that they would finish their vacation.
Casey carried her boots back to the lobby. She put them on and tied them while Daniel loaded a 9millimeter and P90 for her. She pulled the vest over her tee shirt, put extra ammunition, a couple of packages of C-4, and a personal first aid kit in the various pockets. Radios were clipped on, earpieces inserted, transmitters checked and double-checked. At one point she glanced up and noticed that several of the hotel guests were watching, wide-eyed, as the military personnel geared up.
Jack had been filling Major Parker and "the boys" in on the events of the day. The two NID prisoners were sitting in cells in the most secure facility on Langara. Foster had given him the radio, the frequency, and code words needed to contact Emerson.
"Okay," Jack said, "this is how we're going to play this. Here, put these on." He handed large tropical print shirts to Daniel and Casey. "Put 'em on over your vests. We just want it to look like you've been captured during your vacation. We're only after the illusion for a few seconds." He handed two more shirts to Tony and Texas. "When that shuttle lands, you four will get on, and you'll have about thirteen seconds to take it. That's how long Sam calculated it would take the pilot to contact Emerson if there was a problem."
The four nodded their understanding as they buttoned the shirts over their uniforms and vests.
"The rest of us will be hiding in the rocks. When you have it, toss the pilot and anyone else out, we'll get on board. Local authorities will take care of those left behind. We're going on board blind, so Case, I'm going to need everything you can give me."
"Okay, campers, let's get this done. Duncan wants Emerson alive." Jack looked over at Daniel. "And able to communicate, do I make myself clear?"
Daniel nodded his understanding. His eyes and the set of his mouth let everyone know he didn't like the order.
"We're going to move right on up the food chain, people. And we're going to take these sons-of-bitches out for good. Move out."
Sunset colored the beach in brilliant pinks and reds, the blue of the sky above them darkening with each passing minute. Daniel and Casey held their arms behind their backs and knelt in the warm sand. Tony and Texas stood behind them, only the 9 millimeters visible in their hands.
Tony looked at the radio. "General, how do we know that the intel is good?"
Jack grinned, and looked at Casey. "We got it straight from the horse's mouth. Or brain, in this case."
Tony chuckled. "Good enough for me." He keyed the radio, read the message written on a napkin, then received verification and shuttle ETA.
"So far, so good," Jack whispered. "Daniel, remember to look sufficiently pissed off. Case, try to look scared."
"Not a problem, general," Casey replied. Her teammates all chuckled.
A A A A A A
The small shuttle flew by the four visible people waiting on the beach. Nervously they watched and waited. Had the pilot realized it was a set up? No, here it came again, settling on the sand just a few feet away.
Tony pulled Daniel to his feet, shoved him toward the vehicle. The door on the side was already opening. Texas held Casey's collar as he pushed her forward. There was one guard, sitting in the co-pilot's seat. Daniel raised the zat he had been holding behind his back and shot both the pilot and the guard. Texas and Daniel pushed the bodies out onto the sand. The rest of the team raced toward the small, box-shaped vehicle and climbed in. Jack and Teal'c sat down at the controls.
'T, tell me you can pilot this thing," Jack said, looking at the instrument panel.
"Indeed I can, O'Neill."
"Good. Let's go. Casey, talk to me," Jack said, turning to look at her.
She smiled, Daniel was already moving toward her, his presence warm and gentle and comforting. She searched…looked… listened. She'd only had a few seconds to search the mind of the pilot, she hoped she had found enough. "Okay, when we get close to the ship, we have to give the right signal."
"Do you have it?"
"I think so." She guided Daniel to the information. Some of it made no sense to her.
"Got it," Daniel said quietly. The code words were random letters and numbers.
"Okay, anything else we should know?" Jack asked her.
"I'm only sensing about twenty people. It must not be a very big ship," she replied, her eyes closed as she tried to 'see' what she was feeling.
"I like that," Jack said, grinning.
"Emerson is excited," she informed them. "Our capture guarantees his…promotion…within the ranks." She opened her eyes and looked at Jack. "If his boss has never seen him before, and I'm thinking that's how these people work, we can move up that food chain a little faster."
"Now that's what I like to hear!" Jack looked at Daniel. "It might get…uncomfortable…for you and Casey."
"We can do it," Daniel said calmly.
Jack smiled. "I know you can, Space Monkey. And when we get to the top, well, I think I'll just let you do whatever you see fit."
Daniel grinned. "Now that gives me something to look forward to."
Casey watched Daniel for a few minutes. Gone was the eager archaeologist, who ran around like a child in a toy store when a new discovery was made, trying to see and read everything at once; gone was the man who preferred peaceful solutions, willing to negotiate no matter how long it might take, able to calm the most difficult leaders; gone was the man who anxiously raced forward to meet new people, make new friends. In his place was a man determined to protect his wife, his children. Willing to do whatever was required to insure their safety. She knew that the men they were coming up against had no clue that this cold, unflinching…warrior…was the Dr. Jackson that they would be facing. She smiled. The NID had no idea how dangerous an enemy The Chosen was!
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