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Fire of the Gods
Lord Yu signaled the ships that followed his, and they took positions above the planet. The patrol he had sent to the ruins through the 'gate had not yet reported back to him. Insolence! he thought angrily. He needed to know that his Jaffa controlled the weapon. Jarren was still…occupied…with Morrigan. He turned to his First Prime. "Take a squad of Jaffa. Ring down to the planet below us. Make sure that the weapon is ready. When I give the order, you will destroy the ships that wait with us. Do you understand?"
"Yes, My Lord." The Jaffa saluted, then hurried from the room, gathering a squad to take with him.
The Goa'uld returned to his place by the window. He had waited all his life for this moment. Soon he would be the most powerful Goa'uld in the universe. But how long would he enjoy his position?
A A A A A A
The sound of Goa'uld transport rings nearby brought a groan from Jack's throat. "Okay, kids, get ready to rumble again." He cast another look at Daniel and Casey. Hurry up, you two! he thought anxiously.
The Jaffa who ringed down were immediately on guard when they saw the bodies of their fallen comrades. The First Prime led the squad slowly toward the building that stood alone among the ruins. Inside was the greatest weapon ever created. He had heard Lord Yu speak often of it.
Sam, Jack, Teal'c, and Aaron prepared for the battle that they were about to face. The Ancient cocked his head sideways, giving no doubt as to where Casey had gotten the gesture. He smiled. "We need to move toward the walls," he said softly.
"We can't see them if we're up against the walls," Jack responded gruffly.
"No, Jack, we need to move, and now," Aaron replied, grabbing Sam and pulling her toward the corner of the room where Daniel and Casey sat.
In an instant the conscious members of SG-1 understood, and flattened themselves against the worn walls of the shelter. Aaron knelt in front of Casey, his body protecting hers, and that of his son-in-law.
The Chosen was about to use the weapon! It was time! It had been so long…move toward the podium, prepare to focus the power of the weapon…and then rest…sweet, blessed rest…
Daniel stepped cautiously into the tube. "C'mere, Angel," he said, holding out his hand. Casey pressed her body against his. The glass partition closed around them. He could feel her tremble. "It's okay, honey, I have you," he whispered. "Send me the Fire, Angel."
She wrapped her arms around his neck, began to will the Fire that flowed in her veins to him. Could feel him take it from her gently, slowly.
He looked up, could actually see the ships in orbit around the planet. He needed the…beam…to split in seven directions …straight up, and then…He took a deep breath, and felt the power from the machine that now surrounded them add to the Fire that burned in him. Never again would these System Lords kill innocent people. Never again would they subject Innocents to the horrors of being a Goa'uld host. Never again would Jaffa be forced to serve them. Never again would Jaffa blindly loyal to false gods victimize men, women and children…Never again!
A flash of light, and then a steady, powerful beam tore through the floor of the tiny building, making the walls tremble. Cracks began to form, dust began to fall from the ceiling as the low frequency decibels created by the beam shook it.
The Jaffa approaching the building dropped to the ground, terrified at what was happening. The First Prime tried to contact the ship above him, to no avail.
Lord Yu watched, with morbid fascination, as the beam of light advanced towards his ship. Had that fool of a First Prime activated the weapon without his order? No answer formed in his mind, as the light moved around and through him, erasing him - both Goa'uld and terror maddened host - from existence. Around him his ship began to explode, as did the other ships that hung in space nearby.
The light from the beam and the subsequent explosions lit up the darkness of space for thousands of miles around. Three separate planets in two neighboring systems had small, developing civilizations on them. All three groups witnessed the unusual light in the night sky, moving from one 'star' to the next. Two took the event as a sign from the gods. The third wondered what phenomenon had just occurred, hoping that photographs of the incident would offer some sort of a clue.
Taking advantage of their distraction, Jack ordered his team to open fire on the Jaffa who stared at the light that poured from the building.
Deep within the belly of the planet Daniel and Casey began to cry out from the heat that built around them, flowed through them and up into space above them.
It is done! No need for The Chosen and His Chosen to be sacrificed! Not this time! Please! Not this time! Protect The Chosen One…Protect His Chosen…so tired…not much strength left…just one last thing to do…protect The Chosen One…then rest…one last thing to do…
First looked worriedly at the bodies of The Chosen and His Chosen. The force from the weapon had set off a series of deep quakes that would shake the planet apart. They had little time to make it back to the Chappa'ai. The Triad was not to interfere, yet they were to guard Him, protect Him…her mind made up, she signaled that her companions should remain and take care of those in the building that was on the verge of collapse. She raced to where The Chosen remained trapped within the machine.
"Chosen! Chosen! Let go! Release the power!"
Daniel heard the words coming from somewhere nearby. He struggled, fighting the power that continued to course through him. So damned hot…too hot…
"She will perish if you do not release the power!"
He opened his eyes, looked down at the face of the woman he loved. Burns were appearing on her beautiful cheekbones. He cried out, pushed the power away. Could feel the connection snap between him and the weapon. "Casey?"
She opened her eyes. "Did it work?" she asked weakly.
He smiled. "Yeah, it did. Angel, you have to get us out of here, now."
She nodded wearily. "I'll try."
"You can do it, Case. I'll help you all that I can."
She reached out, searching for the place where her father and their friends waited. There…it seemed so far away…
The room began to disintegrate around them. "Casey, do it now, or we're not getting out of here!"
With all the strength she possessed, she moved upward, felt him holding onto her, felt him sending his Fire to her. Faster, they needed to move faster!
Daniel jerked, opened his eyes. "Casey?"
She opened her eyes, smiled, then collapsed against him.
"Danny?" Jack asked.
"Yeah?" He was still a bit disoriented.
"We gotta move! This place is pulling itself apart. We're gonna have to double-time it to the 'gate," the older man said.
"Teal'c is strong, he should carry Casey," Aaron said quietly. "You are tired, Daniel. I will help you."
With a weary nod of consent, Daniel allowed Teal'c to take his unconscious Wife from his arms. He accepted Aaron's outstretched hand, managed to get to his feet. His legs were cramped from being in the same position for so long. "Let's go," he said, staggering slightly.
If the ruins had been difficult to negotiate before, they were doubly so now as earthquakes continued to rock the planet beneath their feet. Several times large stones shifted, rolled toward them, leaving them leaping aside toward safety.
When a chasm opened in front of them, swallowing whole what was left of at least three buildings, the team teetered on the edge, staring down into the darkness. The red dwarf was on the horizon now, and the white giant was just sending up the first fingers of light. They could see the Stargate in the distance.
There was no choice but to search for a way around the ever-widening crevasse. Jack led the way, trying to pick the easiest path he could find. He and Sam offered a steadying hand to Teal'c as he made his way over the rubble that covered the ground, Casey still out cold in his arms. Aaron assisted Daniel, the young archaeologist so weary that he could barely remain on his feet.
The bright sun was moving higher, the heat of the day growing with every passing minute. They paused long enough to take long drinks from their canteens. Daniel poured water into his hand, gently let it drip against Casey's lips, then wiped her face, letting the moisture cool her as it evaporated.
Jack urged them forward. The earthquakes were almost one steady rumble now. He briefly wondered if they had at last come to the end of that fabled SG-1 good luck.
They won't make it…not without assistance. Protect The Chosen…Protect His Chosen. Very little strength. It must be enough! Move closer…yes…there… now, one last task to perform…
All of them felt the prickle of energy. It seemed to surround them. A flash of light, and they were standing just a few hundred feet from the Stargate.
"I'm not even going to ask," Jack muttered. "Let's move, people," he shouted, reaching for Teal'c and helping the giant of a man over another pile of fallen stone bricks. "Sam, get to that DHD and get it dialed!"
The leggy blonde colonel hurried to obey.
Aaron had his arm around Daniel's waist, was holding the young man's arm around his shoulders. Daniel was nearly unconscious himself at this point. The…power…that had surrounded them, somehow whisked them across several miles seemed…familiar. The Ancient didn't have time to think about it now.
Daniel tried to keep his feet moving. The 'gate was open now, that shimmering circle offering their escape, dancing just out of grasp now. He was leaning heavily against Aaron, his eyes on Teal'c's back as the Jaffa carried the most precious thing in his life.
The ground groaned beneath them, shuddered again. The DHD began to lean precariously.
"We have to get out of here before we lose the DHD," Sam shouted.
The last few yards seemed miles long. Another shudder of the ground, another crack in the planet that shifted the rubble beneath their feet. Aaron and Daniel went down. Teal'c was near the steps of the 'gate, he paused and looked back at the two who struggled to get to their feet behind him.
Jack ran back to help his best friend and the Ancient. "Go, go, go, go!" he screamed. Sam and Teal'c raced through the 'gate. Jack and Aaron were dragging Daniel now.
Safe. They would be safe now. So tired…so very tired…rest now…all is finished. Rest…
Jack practically threw Daniel through the 'gate, stumbled after him, Aaron's arm gripped firmly in his hand. The three men tumbled down the ramp, the 'gate shutting suddenly behind them.
Duncan was waiting at the bottom of the ramp. "Tell me something good happened," he said quietly.
"Big, bad, honkin' weapon…and it wiped out seven Goa'uld ships," Jack said, a grin splitting his dust covered face.
"With the Goa'uld on them, I hope," Duncan replied, grinning in return.
"As far as we know. I think Case knows which ones. We'll ask when she comes around," Jack said.
"And the weapon?"
"Gone. Destroyed. What power was there Daniel and Casey used to destroy those ships," Aaron said quietly. He would have to explain that the power had been only enough to run the computer. Which did nothing more than harness and focus the power of The Chosen, and His Chosen. The two of them together had been able to use the weapon one last time against the enemies of the Innocent.
"Let's get 'em to the infirmary," Duncan said.
Teal'c followed the Highlander, Sam at his side. Jack and Aaron wrapped their arms around Daniel's waist and half carried, half dragged him.
A A A A A A
Casey and Daniel slept the remainder of the afternoon. Dr. Montigue insisted that Teal'c, Sam, Jack and Aaron rest as well. That none of them, especially Jack, argued with him attested to their weariness.
After the team had awakened, and had gone to the commissary for coffee and sandwiches, Duncan called them in for debriefing.
"So, tell me what happened," the dark haired Scot said, settling back in his chair.
"We came, we saw, Casey and Daniel used that weapon, and we whipped their asses," Jack grinned.
Casey giggled. "Yep. That's pretty much it."
"Well, there were two squads of Jaffa we had to fight off," Sam said.
"And there was the trip through solid rock to that room," Daniel added.
"What? Solid rock? Jaffa? I want details, people," Duncan said, leaning forward in his chair, his arms folded on the table.
"Do not forget the being that we sensed," Teal'c added.
The team was laughing at the excited look on Duncan's face. "First off, this place was the pits," Casey said, settling back in her chair, pulling one foot beneath her. "Hot as hell, nothing but ruins, and I do mean ruins, as far as the eye could see. We had to crawl over all of those stones and broken columns and pieces of wall-"
"And it was really hot," Jack said, winking at the young Immortal. "Too hot to travel safely. So we found a place that had some shade, to rest and wait until that damn sun went down. "
"It was during that time that I sensed we were being observed," Teal'c said. "I woke Casey Jackson, and she was able to sense the being also."
"I never could get near it, though," Casey said. "It just…well…ran is the best way to describe it. Very quickly."
"We weren't being threatened by it," Jack said, picking up the narrative again. "When the sun went down, we started for that building again."
"I had been picking up energy readings from it," Sam interjected. "The closer we got, the stronger the readings became."
"Wind was a bitch, too," Daniel tossed in. "As soon as the sun was completely down, the wind started blowing. It was hard to move in it at times."
Jack nodded. "Yeah, it was. Anyway, we got to that building…took a lot longer than we thought it would…when we got there, there wasn't much to it, four walls, a ceiling, a cracked floor…and a podium thingy."
Sam ducked her head to grin at her husband's description of the narrow control console. "It wasn't working, so I took off the cover of the control panel to see if I could fix it. There was no power at all…until Daniel touched one of the crystals."
Duncan looked at Daniel. Didn't miss the expression on Aaron's face. "I take it you have an idea what was going on?" he asked the Ancient.
"There was…residual power. Just enough to run the main computer. It…fed…from Daniel. That's why the readings seemed to increase as we drew nearer," Aaron said quietly. "He was able to…start…turn on…the machine, because he is The Chosen One. The…Pure of Heart."
Daniel felt his cheeks begin to flush. He still couldn't believe that anyone…or anything…could find him Pure of Heart.
"I…knew…where he and Casey needed to go. The Guardian told me," the Ancient continued.
Casey's eyes went wide. "The Guardian…the being that Teal'c and I sensed?"
Aaron nodded. "I knew that I would only be allowed to take you close enough for you to… sense…where you needed to go."
"Wait a minute," Duncan said. "You three went through solid rock?"
"Not exactly," Casey replied. "Daniel and I were sitting in a corner of the building. We…our …spirits, our souls, whatever you want to call them…that's what went down into that room."
"I don't understand," the Highlander admitted.
"That which we are, the power that each of us possesses, comes not from the body that contains it," Aaron explained.
Duncan nodded. "Okay. Go on."
"Well, we got down there, it was really hot in there too," Casey said.
"Cuneiform on all four walls. I wish I could have gotten film of them," Daniel bemoaned. "It was the history of the city, and the weapon." His teammates laughed at his disappointment, understanding that in all of what they had experienced, the inability to record those walls for further study would be all that he would choose to readily remember of the mission.
"Anyway, my gorgeous hunk of an archaeologist figured out what we had to do," Casey said, wrapping her fingers around Daniel's hand. She smiled when he squeezed them gently.
"I couldn't have done it without, Case," Daniel mumbled. "She's the one who had the faith in me."
"Well, while they were busy doing that, a few of Yu's guys showed up," Jack said. "We managed to get rid of them all. About thirty minutes later another group shows up, only they've ringed down to the planet, so we knew that the ships were up there. Then Aaron tells us to get against the walls, and a beam of light just shoots straight up through the building, and into space. It distracted the Jaffa long enough to get rid of them."
"We managed to…get back up," Daniel said, lifting Casey's fingers to his lips, "and then we headed for the 'gate."
"There were severe earthquakes," Sam interjected. "I think that whatever that weapon was, it started a…vibration…that shook the entire planet. It was starting to pull itself apart."
"Any ideas about what this weapon was?" Duncan asked, looking from face to face.
"There was never a weapon on that planet," Aaron said softly. All eyes went immediately to him. He looked at Daniel. "Not until we arrived."
Sam's eyes widened. "It was a conductor! It…focused…Daniel's power; enhanced it…"
Aaron shook his head. "It only focused it. Casey enhanced his already…considerable… power."
Now all eyes shifted to Daniel. "Damn, Space Monkey! Just how powerful are you?" Jack asked quietly.
Daniel shook his head, his mind still reeling from this new information. "I…I honestly don't know, Jack," he replied.
"Anyway, we took out those ships, made it…back…to the building…and started for the 'gate," Casey said.
"Something…happened," Jack said. "We weren't going to make it, like Sam said, that planet was tearing itself apart. Or at least rearranging the landscape. Then there was this…flash of light…and we were suddenly about a hundred yards from the 'gate. I sent Sam ahead to dial in, Teal'c was carrying Casey, and I went back to help Aaron with Daniel."
Duncan nodded. "Any ideas on that flash of light?"
"The Guardian," Casey said immediately. She shrugged when her companions looked at her. "It just makes sense," she said.
"I agree," Aaron said, nodding his head.
"Do you know who the Goa'uld were?" Duncan asked.
She shook her head. "I didn't look long enough, hard enough. I'm sorry," she whispered.
Duncan frowned at the sudden look of guilt in Casey's green eyes. "It's no big deal, honey. Methos will hear about it soon, and he can give us the list. Let's hope that it was some of the more annoying ones."
Daniel had also seen the look of guilt in those beautiful eyes. 'Stop it right now.'
She glanced up at him. 'Stop what?'
'You did nothing wrong, nothing to apologize for.'
'I didn't get vital information! I know better than to just skip over a bunch of Goa'uld ships and not see who's in them!'
'I think you were a bit…preoccupied…at the time. Worried about me, as I recall.'
She could 'feel' his smile. 'I was terrified for you. Afraid that I was about to lose you. The Goa'uld weren't very high on my list of priorities at that moment.'
'So, don't worry about it. Let it go.'
"Wait!" Casey said suddenly.
"What?" Duncan asked.
"We know that Lord Yu was one of the Goa'uld…simply because of the arrival of his Jaffa," she said excitedly.
"True," Duncan agreed.
"Who would he associate with? Why would he agree to bring them right to the weapon they were all looking for?"
"Because he was going to use it against them!" Daniel surmised, his excitement mirroring his Wife's. "And I think I know exactly who was with him."
"Share with the rest of us, Daniel," Jack said.
"Yu was totally pissed off when his was the only vote to exclude Anubis from the Alliance of System Lords. That was when his influence started slipping, when he…fell out of favor…with the rest of the System Lords. Ba'al is dead. Svarog is dead. Whoever else was at that conference were in those ships," Daniel said. "Bastet; Kali; Olokun; Morrigan; Zipancna."
"That's six known. Who was our mystery guest?" Duncan asked.
"I don't know. There weren't any others still alive who had been there," Daniel admitted.
"Okay, so we wiped out someone that we haven't identified yet. I'll have Methos see what he can find out," Duncan said. "If that's it, then we're finished here. Take tomorrow off. Well done, team, as usual."
"Never let it get old," Jack teased.
Duncan grinned, and with a nod, left the room. SG-1, and Aaron, were right behind him. It had been a long twenty-two hours, and they were all more than willing to go home.
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