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Devil in the Shadows
Teal'c guided the shuttle to the ship that Casey pointed out. It turned out that the ship was much larger than she had believed. Daniel sent the code words. They could see the bay doors open, ready to receive them. Sam was already working to get the jammer set up to link into the ship's computer. She, Teal'c, Major Parker, and Trenton would take and hold the engine room. Tony and Texas would take their 'prisoners' to Emerson, Jack would stay on their six until the NID agent's capture was secured. Then they would take out the rest of the crew. A quick stop at Gamma to pick up the stand-by crew of the Phoenix, and they would be on their way to Earth, and the next link in the chain.
Casey and Daniel were tied this time, any of the crew seeing them had to believe that they were prisoners. Sam connected to the computer and started the jammer. She pulled up the schematic of the ship, and pointed out the three possible locations of Emerson. Casey reached out, found him, and the game began.
'Are you all right, Angel?'
Daniel reached out to soothe her. She was frightened, but not as afraid as she had been on the last NID ship they had been prisoners on. 'Can you sense anything?'
She reached out, shook her head. 'I think we're really going to be able to pull this off. I'm picking up that there aren't that many…loyal?…yes…that's it…not many loyal NID agents. Most of these people are nothing more than hired guns. Remember those kids we caught at your speech at UCLA? Guess they weren't the only prisoners to be recruited. When the shit starts hitting the fan, most of these people are going to start singing for their freedom.'
Daniel grinned. 'So that’s a good thing, right?'
She bit back her giggle. 'You've been hanging around Jack too much.'
He struggled not to laugh. They stopped in front of one of the hatches.
"This is it, Doc," Tony said softly.
"Okay, we do this, and we make it look good," Daniel replied.
Tony knocked, the door slid open. He pushed Daniel into the room, then shoved him onto his knees. Texas was treating Casey just as roughly.
Emerson turned around, a wide smile on his face. He stared at Tony and Texas for a minute, then shook his head. He had met the…kidnappers…just once, a month ago, and hadn't actually seen them for more than a few minutes. He honestly couldn't remember what the men looked like. His attention went to Daniel. "Doctor Jackson. Nice to see you again. Although the circumstances are much different today, aren't they?" he said sarcastically. "This time I'm the one in control. I would kill you now, for what I suffered because of you. But, my…employer…wants you unharmed." He turned to look at Casey. "You, my dear, I can do with as I wish. Unless your dear husband agrees to cooperate with us. Since we both know that he will refuse to work with us…at first…you and I will become very…close."
Casey shuddered. Emerson had a scar on his face that he'd not had before. "Daniel will kill you before you can touch me."
The brown haired man laughed. "Ah, yes. The mythical 'Chosen'. Just a load of crap. I can understand the need to keep such a myth alive. I'm sure that it makes it much easier to deal with primitive cultures when they believe you're some sort of god, doesn't it?"
"You touch my Wife, I'll cut your balls off, and shove them down your throat," Daniel growled.
The man laughed harder. "Doctor Jackson, that is an impressive threat. But you and I both know you haven't got the stomach for that. You're not a fighter. You're a bookworm. A geek."
Casey was already searching the man's mind. His arrogance was unbelievable! She searched further, bit back a smile when he suddenly sat down, put his hand to his head. She tightened her grip on Daniel, and began to dig, not caring how badly she hurt him. "Got it," she grinned. "That SG-1 luck is holding. He has a name, a contact number, and a code word. He also has a computer password to make sure the code word is still valid. We have to have this creep, but he'll do what he's told."
Tony and Texas were untying them.
"W…wh…what's going on?" Emerson demanded, his head pounding. It felt as if his brain was on fire.
"You're not as 'in control' as you think," Daniel replied. He crossed the room and grabbed the man by the front of his shirt, yanked him to his feet. "I should end your miserable life for just thinking about my Wife."
"After we get to the next link, Doc," Tony said softly. "I'll even hold the little weasel for you."
Emerson began to shake. "Please, I'll tell you everything."
"I’m sure you will," Daniel replied. He keyed his radio. "Jack? We have him." He shoved the terrified man back into the chair, and tied him securely. He grabbed the man's hair, jerked his head back. "Don't even look at my Wife, do you understand me?"
"Y-y-y-yes," Emerson managed to stammer.
Texas opened the door, and Jack slipped into the room. Daniel let go of the man and turned to face his friend.
"Casey, let's you and I chat with Mr. Emerson. Daniel, you go with the boys. Contact Parker. I want this ship, and I want the crew in the brig ASAP."
"Jack-" Daniel protested. He didn’t want to leave Casey's side.
"Daniel, we'll be fine. Go."
'It's all right, My Heart. I'll be fine here with Jack. Besides, he's afraid if he leaves you alone with this creep, you'll kill him.'
Daniel smiled. 'He's right.' He turned to look at his friend. "We'll be back shortly."
"I want as many prisoners as possible. I want to know everything they know about this organization." Jack nodded at the door. "Be careful. Let 'em know we mean business. Toss some of those cool blue fireballs around."
He couldn't help but chuckle. "Okay, Jack, I'll do that."
Jack dumped Emerson onto the floor. He remembered what this little shit had planned to do to Casey. He settled down in the chair. "Now. Let's find out what you know."
"I don't know anything, really I don't. A few names, a couple of passwords. I'll give them to you! I swear I will!" the man pleaded.
"Jack, he's afraid…he doesn't like pain," Casey said softly, having moved into his mind again.
"Really? Bet it hurt like a bitch when you got that scar," Jack said conversationally.
Emerson moaned softly. He had screamed and cried like a little girl when the hot branding iron had been pressed into his skin. A reminder, the Boss's minions had told him, of who he worked for. He had no doubt that he was going to be beaten and tortured. Something in Dr. Jackson's eyes had let him know that the archaeologist had not forgotten what he had tried to do to his wife. He had been a fool to taunt the doctor again. He stared at Jack, his eyes begging for mercy. He found none in the steady gaze from those brown eyes.
"Casey, how much did you get?"
She began to tell her CO what she was able to pull from the man's brain. In spite of the warning, Emerson couldn't help but stare in disbelief as she told Jack everything he knew.
A A A A A A
Daniel and the two SG-6 team members slipped down the corridor. Casey had told them the crew was small. And the ship they were on, which appeared to be an old Terran battleship, was quite large. "Let's get down to engineering. We can use the ship's internal sensors to locate the bad guys," the young archaeologist said. His two companions nodded.
Fifteen minutes later, having not seen a soul, they entered the engineering section. Sam was already in complete control of the ship.
"Why haven't we heard alarms?" she asked. "Anyone on the bridge should have sounded the alarm by now!"
"Unless there isn't anyone there," Daniel replied.
She turned on the internal sensors. "You're right, Daniel. Nobody there. They really believe they're invulnerable, don't they?" she said softly.
"Comes from being damned near invincible for so long," he said. "They don't think we're smart enough to turn the tables on them. Guess they figure I'm too much of a geek to fight back, and that SG-1 is only capable of fighting Goa'uld."
Trenton snorted. "If they think you're a geek, they haven't been paying attention."
Daniel grinned. "Thanks, Trenton."
Tony was leaning against the console where Sam was working. "So, Doc, can we expect any new posters of Case?"
The grin on Daniel's face widened. "God, I hope so. You should see her in that new green bikini!"
"Excuse me, I'm in the room," Sam said, trying to hide her smile.
"Sorry, ma'am," Tony said, grinning broadly. He winked at Daniel. "Looks good in it, does she?"
"On a scale of one to ten, she's a twenty."
"Ah, hell, you'd say that anyway," Tony argued. "She's your wife!"
"I'm telling Casey about this, Daniel," Sam said. "I'm sure she'd be interested to know how you talk about her when she's not around."
"Hey, I'm only telling the truth," Daniel objected.
Sam couldn't help it. She began to giggle. "Yeah, well you know how she feels about the whole poster thing."
"Yeah, she's uncomfortable with it," Daniel admitted.
"More than that, Daniel," Sam said softly. "It…scares her. She's afraid that it will hurt you. Or make you angry. She's already afraid of any man she doesn't know. This just makes it worse for her."
"Casey's afraid of men?" Tony asked, his eyes wide.
"Long story, Tony, and hers to tell, but yeah, she is," Sam said.
Daniel was frowning. "I knew that it…bothered her…when men watched her. I didn't know she was afraid of them."
"Casey is quite an accomplished actress," Sam said. "She may look cool as a cucumber outside, but most of the time that woman is just seconds and a few wrong words from falling apart. She's strong; she can take more…abuse…than any person I've ever met. But she's not indestructible. The problem is, it will be something simple that will break her."
Daniel studied his friend. He had been in Casey's mind. She was stronger than Sam realized. But he was just beginning to understand just how much his Wife was able to keep hidden from him. It seemed that he needed to have a talk with her. And do a little bit of 'searching' of his own. "Thanks for the heads up," he said quietly.
Sam looked at him, noted the expression on the handsome face. She wasn't sure whether she had done Casey any favors.
"Okay, people, let's get that crew under our control," Major Parker said. "Let's start with the smallest group, less chance of them setting off any alarms."
"It might be easier to do it one deck at a time," Sam said.
"I concur Samantha Carter," Teal'c said. "With which deck shall we begin?"
"From the scans I'm getting from the internal sensors…hang on, we have three headed this way," Sam said.
"Let them in," Daniel said. "We'll take them out as soon as they're through the door.
Sam remained at the console while the men of SG-6, and Daniel and Teal'c hid, arranging themselves so that the three crewmembers would be able to offer little, if any, resistance.
She watched the control panel. When the lock for the door was accessed, she opened it.
"Hey, who the hell are you?" asked a tall, black haired woman as soon as she and her two companions, another woman and a man, entered the room.
"Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter-O'Neill. SG-1," Sam said, taking pleasure in the wide-eyed looks of disbelief.
"You're full of shit!" the tall woman spat.
The sounds of weapons being cocked and readied to fire filled the air behind the three. "Maybe not," Daniel said, stepping up behind them. "She might be telling the truth. Of course, we could all be figments of your imagination."
"On your knees," Major Parker barked.
The woman glanced around her. She had spent five years in a women's correctional facility on drug charges. She knew exactly when to fight and when to walk away. This was a situation she would prefer to run from. She went to her knees. Her companions followed suit.
"Hands on your heads, cross your ankles," the major instructed. The women and the man were tied, hands behind their backs. They were pulled to their feet, taken to the side of the room and put on the floor, backs to the wall, and their feet tied securely.
"Now we have a few questions, and you have the answers," Sam told the new prisoners. She pulled a roll of duct tape from her pack. She had started carrying it when she learned that Casey used it for everything from holding ripped BDU pants together, to gagging prisoners. When she had her answers, she would make use of the tape.
"Gentlemen, let's head out," Daniel said. He went to the scanner. Let's start here," he said, pointing to an area where several red dots seemed stationary. "That seems to be crew quarters."
"They're asleep, looks like," Tony said.
"Let's give 'em a wake-up call, shall we boys?" Major Parker said.
"Will you be all right?" Daniel asked Sam quietly.
She smiled at his concern. "I'll be fine. They work for the NID. I won't have any problems pulling the trigger if I have to."
The three people tied up on the floor exchanged worried glances. The NID may have trained them to work on this ship, but they sure as hell weren't being compensated enough to be willing to die protecting it!
A A A A A A
Daniel followed Teal'c into the corridor. Major Parker and the rest of SG-6 went one way, the two SG-1 team members went the other. They went up one level, searched, found no one there. On the next level they found two men working in the galley. Both were subdued quickly and quietly. When they were tied up…the same as their crewmates in engineering, in a shadowy corner of the pantry…Teal'c gagged them, then closed the door.
They moved on. Seven crewmembers they found asleep in their beds. Those people were tied and gagged and left in their quarters.
"Doc, how many down?" Major Parker's voice asked quietly in his ear.
"Nine so far, not counting the three in engineering," Daniel replied just as quietly.
"We just took out eight. We counted twenty-two red dots, and Emerson, Casey and the general were not in that count, right?"
"Yep. Means we have two more somewhere," Daniel replied. He exchanged a look with Teal'c. They moved toward the elevator, and came face to face with the two 'missing' crewmen. Both were young, both shocked to be looking down the wrong end of a P90 and a Goa'uld staff weapon. Daniel tied them and pushed them back into the elevator. They could join the three in engineering. "Major, we found 'em. We'll meet you in engineering."
"Roger that. On our way," Parker's voice replied.
A A A A A A
Sam had adjusted the internal scanners on a hunch when SG-6 and Daniel and Teal'c, and their two prisoners, walked in. She scanned the cargo bays. And felt her blood turn to ice. "I have hostiles in cargo bays one and three," she said softly. "Low body temps."
Daniel and Teal'c exchanged a look. "Active?" Daniel asked.
"No, they aren't moving."
"Seal those damned bays off. Let Jack know," he replied.
"Copy." She took a deep breath. "Jack, we have about forty low body temp signatures in cargo bays one and three," she said.
"You're shitting me," Jack said, his surprise evident in his voice.
"No, Jack, I'm not kidding."
"Okay, can you tell if they're in any sort of special…containers?"
Sam turned on the cameras for the bay. "No. They're just…sitting there. Eyes closed. Like they're asleep."
"Good. Open the doors, baby. Space 'em," Jack instructed.
With a nod, fingers shaking, she complied. And watched as the abominations were sucked into space.
A A A A A A
Casey was carefully writing down the names of contacts, what 'level' they were in the organization, code words, pass words, addresses and phone numbers, drop sites, and any other information she could find in Emerson's head.
His eyes were focused on his hands, his breathing shallow, his heart pounding with fear, his head pounding with pain. He was a dead man. If these damned Immortals didn't kill him, the Boss certainly would! It was no use to try and bargain with his captor, not when she could just waltz into his brain and find what she wanted. He shuddered, his glance flickering toward her. She was so damned beautiful! Goddamned bitch. If not for her, he could find a way out of this! He wished he could have poked her just once! He could still remember how sweet she smelled, as he dragged her to those transport rings, remember how soft the skin of her breast felt when he undressed her in the back of that limo.
She had looked over at Jack when Sam had reported her findings to him. Her eyes went wide. His narrowed as he looked at Emerson.
"Find out about those damned things," he said quietly.
"Jack, he needs a break, I need a break; can we just do this the old fashioned way?" she asked.
The gray-haired man looked at her, saw her true intent, and smiled. "Sure, Case." He turned to the softly moaning prisoner. "Okay, asshole. What's the story with the lizard people?"
Emerson's eyes went wide with horror, the color drained from his cheeks. "They forced me to bring them! They're programmed to protect the ship!"
"Programmed?" Jack asked.
"Yeah…they…they take…people…agents who have…" he shook his head.
"Fucked up?" Jack offered.
Emerson nodded. "Or people who were recruited, and then changed their minds when they found out what they would be doing. Anyway, NID agents went to P3X-367 after the report that SG-1 filed, dealing with Nirrti and her biological…experiments. They took everything they could find, and gave it to their own biologists."
"They want to build the perfect warrior," Casey whispered.
Emerson nodded. They can…program them…and give them specific tasks. So far that's all they're able to do."
"Where do they do this?" Jack asked, his voice strangled with distaste.
"Somewhere in Siberia. They keep them where it's cold, so that being in space isn't such a shock for them. They can breath in just about any atmosphere, or so I'm told."
"Can't breath vacuum," Jack mumbled.
Casey looked at her friend. "Think the EDA will do something about it?"
"They damned well better. I'd be more than willing to bomb the place from a few miles up," he retorted.
"I think we need to take this ship to Gamma, we could use it, and let the Shakka have the Phoenix. We need to find out what all the NID is up to before we start killing off the bosses. I have a feeling some of this stuff will keep going, and a vacuum will fill itself, right? So, killing one set of 'bosses' will only create another, right now." Casey asked.
Jack nodded. "Unfortunately. Okay, we put a hold on killing the bosses…for now."
"General, the ship is ours," Major Parker's voice reported.
"Sam, get us to Gamma, best speed. And find a way to get me in touch with Duncan. We have a problem," Jack instructed.
"It will be easier to do from the bridge," Sam's voice replied.
"Fine. Case and I will meet you there. Major, I want you and the boys to find a nice place for the crew to wait."
"Some nice holding cells available," Parker's voice said.
"Good. Keep 'em tied up. We can't take the chance any of them will get loose."
Jack stood up, doubled up his fist, and hit Emerson across the jaw. That's for Casey, he thought to himself. He looked at the young woman. "Keeps him from trying to get free before the major gets to him," he said in way of explanation.
She nodded. "I understand."
A A A A A A
SG-1 met on the bridge of the ship. Daniel and Teal'c were already working helm and navigation. Sam had contacted SGC Gamma.
"Jack, how's it going?" Duncan asked.
"Well, I'm bringing a new ship home," Jack said, grinning.
Duncan laughed. "Like hearing that our fleet is growing."
"Casey suggested we let the Shakka have the Phoenix. We could call this one the Phoenix II."
"Sounds like a good plan. I'm sure Bra'tac would be happy to have another ship."
"We have a problem."
They heard Duncan sigh. "Nothing new about that."
"We found out where they're creating those lizards. Just spaced about forty of the damned things," Jack said.
"Tell me it's somewhere we can flatten."
Jack looked at the faces of his team. Only Casey knew the truth at this point. "Not exactly. Seems that the NID went to P3X-367, the planet where Nirrti was doing all of her experimenting on those folks, trying to make the perfect host. The NID got hold of her notes, and decided to create the perfect…er…warrior. They're doing it out of Siberia."
"Sweet Mary, Mother of God!" Duncan hissed. "I'll let the folks at the EDA know. Any idea how many are out there?"
"Best guess is there are several dozen on every ship they have. Right now we have no clue how many ships that might be."
"Okay, I'll contact the EDA right now."
"Tell them that these folks aren't volunteers. It's what happens if you try to quit working for the NID," Jack said.
"Jesus! Okay, how long until you're home?"
"Hopefully a couple of hours. I suppose this means we can't finish our vacation?" Jack asked.
Duncan laughed. "Hell no, I paid for two weeks!"
The team laughed. "Okay, we'll 'gate back as soon as we get there. Think we'll leave the kids home, just in case," Jack replied.
"Sounds good. Good work, team. See you soon."
They heard the disconnect. Sam looked over at Jack. "You're sure about this?"
Jack looked pointedly at Casey.
"Shit!" the tall blonde hissed.
"Yeah," Daniel said softly.
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