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Fire of the Gods
Methos had taken the Hak'tyl, and examined the planet that had once held the weapon of the Ancients. It appeared that the earthquakes had stopped, and in several places volcanic eruptions were forming new mountains. Very little remained of the destroyed ships, most had already been caught in the gravitational pull, and had burned up in the atmosphere on the way to the planet's surface. With help from the Shakka, the Free Jaffa, he had confirmed what Daniel suspected. Bastet, Kali, Morrigan, Olokun, Zipacna, and Yu had been destroyed. So had Klorel. Jack was especially pleased to hear that he had been the seventh dead Goa'uld.
Casey was adding the seven names to the 'Snake Memorial' wall when Daniel approached her. She was so caught up in her work that she never noticed him. He watched her for a few minutes, secretly laughing at the smudges of paint on her cheek, the tips of her fingers. She had a bright blue patch beside her nose. She looked beautiful. She looked adorable. She looked sexy as hell. "Hey, gorgeous," he said at last.
"Hey, handsome," she replied, smiling up at him.
That smile, and the way she looked nearly did him in. He fought to maintain control of his body. "Looks good."
He crouched down beside her. "I got a resume today in the email. Quite impressive," he said.
"Has the security check been done on him?"
"Duncan has the report ready for me. I'm on my way to pick it up," Daniel replied.
She glanced up at him. "Your office is on the eighteenth level. His is on the twenty-seventh. This is the twenty-eighth level. Get lost, did you?"
Daniel grinned. "Nope. Commissary is on the twenty-second. Feel like some lunch?"
"I could eat," she said, wiping her hands on a paint stained cloth. "Give me a few minutes to clean up?"
He smiled. Too bad she wouldn't just leave the paint where it was. Damned sexy, seeing his wife, an archaeologist in her own right, looking the part. "I'll meet you there." He stood up, leaned over and planted a kiss on the top of her head, then walked back toward the elevator.
She sighed as she watched him walk away. He had the sexiest butt she had ever seen on a man. It didn't matter what he wore…jeans, BDUs, dress slacks, nothing at all…that was one fine ass. She sighed again. That fine ass belonged to her. A thought that made her very happy, and brought a smile to her face. She hurried to the women's locker room to clean up. How in the heck had she managed to get paint on her face? She washed up, able to get all but a few places on her fingers clean.
She was getting ready to step into the elevator when the wail of the klaxons, and the red emergency lights came to life around her. So much for lunch, she thought, turning and running toward the control room. "Is this one of the teams coming home?" she asked Kyle when she walked into the room, sat down in front of one of the terminals and watched as he checked for an IDC.
"Nope. Nobody scheduled for check-in or arrival," the young Immortal replied. "Unscheduled 'gate activation!" he announced over the speaker system. Within seconds the Marine teams were rushing into the 'gate room, moving into defensive positions, weapons at the ready.
Daniel and Duncan arrived at the same time, evidently they had been together in Duncan's office. Jack, Sam and Teal'c arrived within seconds of one another. "What's up?" Duncan asked.
"No scheduled check-ins or arrivals," Kyle told the Highlander. "Tok'ra IDC coming through."
"Open the iris," Duncan said, already heading for the 'gate room. The members of SG-1 were behind him.
The 'gate opened, and Jacob Carter/Selmac walked down the ramp, followed by four very familiar looking people. "We have a problem," Jacob said without preamble.
"Yeah, I'd say," Duncan replied. "What happened?"
"Near as we can guess, the same thing that happened to Casey," Jacob said. He turned to the four people with him. Major Samantha Carter, Colonel Jack O'Neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c of Chulak stared at the people who were staring up at them. "You've already been in this alternate universe for nine hours," Jacob said. "It could get bad fast, being in such close proximity."
Carter nodded. "I…we understand," she said, looking at her teammates.
Sam studied her counterpart. "Where did this happen?"
Jacob looked at Carter, then turned to his daughter. "They were on their way to Ravanna."
Casey shuddered. She had heard all of the stories connected with the fall of that Tok'ra base, the loss of life there, while Daniel worked to destroy the Goa'uld at one of the first gatherings of the creatures that had taken place in centuries. Anubis had reared his ugly, oily head at that time.
"Ravanna? That would mean their time line is…" Sam started.
"Nearly twelve years behind yours," Carter finished.
"Most details the same?" Sam asked.
Carter glanced at O'Neill. "There are still…differences."
Jack studied his counterpart. Remembered well the days of loving Sam, being unable to let her know, watching her date other men, trying to date other women…oy, the angst had given him heartburn! He couldn't imagine going back to a reality where he and Sam, his wife…couldn't be together.
O'Neill was staring at…himself. The face looked the same, which was odd, considering this man was in his late fifties! In fact, he looked damned fit for his age! And…happy. There was a light of happiness in his eyes. He glanced at Sam. God, were they together? Had they actually been able to move through the shit and the military red tape to finally reach one another?
Daniel and Dr. Jackson were staring at one another as well. Both noted that they looked basically the same. The blue eyes of the visitor strayed to the slender blonde standing at his counterpart's side, her hands wrapped around his arm…familiar…possessive. His heart lurched in his chest. Did this mean that he would actually find someone…find happiness…find love… again?
Daniel saw the flash of pain, of desire, recognized it for what it was. Remembered clearly the days of loneliness that he had endured before Casey had fallen into his arms, into his life. He slipped his arm around the shoulders of the woman who had brought sunshine, happiness, love into his life…brought light that destroyed the darkness that had filled his heart and soul.
Sam and Carter were dealing with the same feelings. Carter noticed the wedding rings on…her… finger, and the fact that the band matched…his. Oh, god, they had found a way to be together! Try as she might, she was unable to stop herself from glancing at her CO. Only to find him watching her. She felt that familiar rise of love…followed just as quickly by the realization that it could never be, and the pain of loss that followed.
Sam noted the look that filled familiar blue eyes for just a second, a look that only those who knew her well would even see. She couldn't even conceive of life without Jack as her lover, her husband, the father of her children. Could well remember the days when it had been just that way.
Carter noticed something else…"If you're twelve years in our future…you look darn…"
"Good," Sam finished, a smile on her face.
Jack shoved his hands in his pockets, rocked on the balls of his feet, a huge grin on his face. "Yeah, Immortality will do that for ya. Keeps ya looking good, feeling good…alive…"
"Immortality?" Carter asked, her eyes going wide.
Casey giggled. "Oh, yeah. Long story."
The two Teal'c's were eyeing one another. The Alternate Jaffa noted the wide gold wedding band on his counterpart's finger. "You have married?"
Teal'c bowed his head slightly. "An Immortal woman. She has much honor."
The alternate bowed his head in response. "My congratulations."
"Uh…how…when…" Dr. Jackson asked, looking from Daniel to Casey and back again. He hadn't missed the matching wedding bands on their fingers, either.
"Another long story," Daniel replied.
"Unfortunately we don't have time for any stories," Jacob said. "We have to find out how to get these people back where they belong."
"But the 'gate isn't accessible on Ravanna any longer," Sam said. Lieutenant Elliot, and Lantesh, had loosed the poison created by the Tok'ra, on the nearby Jaffa when they had taken him/them to the 'gate. The deaths had shaken Zipacna, especially when his scientists were able to determine what had happened, at the cost of three of their own lives. Fearing that the poison would remain on Ravanna, thus making it uninhabitable for them, the Goa'uld had taken the Stargate to another world.
"Like I said, we have a problem," Jacob replied.
"Let's go to the conference room," Duncan suggested.
The Alternate Daniel Jackson stopped and examined the 'Snake Memorial Wall'. "This is a list of Goa'uld?"
"Dead Goa'uld," Casey replied. "I'm in the middle of adding seven names."
"I like it!" O'Neill said, grinning at the list that was written in English calligraphy on the opposite wall. "Impressive," he added.
"It was all Geb's idea," Casey said. "That freaking snake was keeping score for us. So, when we killed him, well, keeping it up-to-date for him just seemed like the thing to do." Laughter surrounded her, and the group moved toward the conference room.
Anyone walking into the room would have immediately believed that a mirror was involved as the two SG-1 teams sat down facing one another, Duncan in his customary seat at the head of the table, Jacob/Selmak at the other end.
"Okay, so what are we going to do about this?" Duncan asked.
"Sam, you wrote a program when Casey was stuck in that alternate time line, one that helped you predict the solar flares for the area, right?" Jacob asked.
She nodded. "It was a fairly simple program. We need to check and see what solar flares occurred in the Ravanna region of space in…"
"2002, just after the New Year, actually," Carter supplied.
Sam nodded. "If I get started on this right away, I should have the expected solar flare predictions by the time you figure out how to get them there," she said to Duncan.
The Highlander nodded. "Take…um…" he glanced at Carter.
"Come on, you'll love my lab," Sam grinned. The two women stood and left the room.
"Okay, now explain to me how they could have been on their way to Ravanna, and got knocked off course, and end up where they did?" Duncan said.
"Our first theory was that at some point a Chappa'ai had been returned to the planet," Selmak replied. "We had a ship near enough to investigate. There is no Chappa'ai there. These people arrived at Norlonda. We have no idea how, or why. Major Carter indicated that there was an extremely bright flash as they passed through the wormhole. We assume that this…anomaly…is what caused this mishap."
"Extremely bright?" Casey asked. "I saw an extra flash, but nothing out of the ordinary in terms of intensity."
Selmak frowned. "This could be another factor. If indeed intensity is as much a part of the problem as the flare itself, it may be impossible to return them to their reality."
"Wait, why impossible?" Dr. Jackson asked.
"Because flares of immense proportion are extremely rare. The chances of a second flare of the same intensity are nearly zero," Selmak replied.
Dr. Jackson, O'Neill, and the Jaffa exchanged worried looks.
"If nothing else, we can send you through the Quantum Mirror to a reality where your counterpart no longer exists," Casey said softly.
"Which means breaking up the team, and most probably living in a world where the Goa'uld have at least attacked Earth," O'Neill replied.
"It's better than the alternative," Jack said quietly.
Daniel was tapping his pen against his lips. Since the Goa'uld had taken the 'gate from Ravanna, if they could just get one there, maybe they could send them back through from their intended destination. Too bad…He looked up and grinned. "We have an extra 'gate. We could take it there in the Phoenix II. Land, use the 'gate, then bring it back!"
"You have an extra 'gate?" Dr. Jackson asked, his blue eyes wide.
"Another long story," Daniel grinned.
"Why don't you tell us some of these long stories," O'Neill said. "Until Carter and…uh… Carter… come up with the info we need, we're not going anywhere."
Jack, Daniel, Teal'c, and Casey exchanged glances. "What do you want to know first?" Casey asked softly.
"About you," Dr. Jackson said quickly, automatically; then dropped his eyes, his cheeks burning ruddy red.
"You haven't met Wepwawet just yet," Daniel said, sitting back in his chair, lacing his fingers with Casey's, holding her hand firmly.
"Yeah, that's a mission you should just avoid. No matter what the Tok'ra tell you," Jack snorted.
"We had no idea our intelligence had been compromised," Selmak said defensively.
"I so won't go there," Jack replied, a grin on his face.
The twitch of Jacob's cheek let the others know that Selmak understood exactly what Jack had planned on saying.
"Anyway," Daniel continued, with a glance at his friend and the Tok'ra, "he managed to get back through the 'gate with us, him and a few of his Jaffa. It was only a matter of minutes and they were all our prisoners. But the NID got wind of him being in the mountain, and came, with orders from the President, to take him to Area 51. Instead, they took him to one of their 'safe- houses' in Seattle. He escaped, and took Casey as a hostage, forced her to drive him to a remote location, where he ringed up to a waiting ship."
"Why a remote location?" O'Neill asked.
"Too much interference for his ring transporter in the area," Jack replied.
The other man nodded his understanding.
"She was a slave for five weeks, while the Tok'ra looked for him. When we finally went through the 'gate, Casey had already killed him, and was on the run. Sam and I were following one of the paths to the camp when we heard someone coming," Daniel said, smiling at his wife.
"I heard a noise, and was terrified that the Jaffa had found me…again," Casey said.
"She dove under a bush…where I happened to be hiding. She fell into my arms, and into my heart," Daniel finished, raising her fingers to his lips.
"If we avoid the mission…" Dr. Jackson said softly, frowning down at his hands.
"Tacoma. Listed under Casey R. Webster. I'll give you a letter to take to her," Casey said, just as softly. She wondered if the letter she had left for the Daniel in the alternate reality she had visited had ever been used, if that Daniel and that Casey were together. Fought back the giggle that formed when she thought about the fact that she seemed to be the 'matchmaker' for the Daniel's and Casey's of other realities. She also planned on giving him a list of planets they should simply avoid…including Langara. At least, for awhile. She'd put in the note that it shouldn't be approached for…oh, five years from the time SG-1 had gone there should work, she thought. No need for this Daniel to die of radiation poisoning…even if he did Ascend! Especially if he found her counterpart in his reality. She wouldn't take being a widow well!
"Now, about this Immortality thing," O'Neill said, leaning forward in his chair and resting his arms on the table. "How and when does that happen?"
Duncan smiled. Knowing that one might become Immortal would be interesting. Especially if their reality differed enough from this one. It was possible that there weren't Immortals in their universe. He'd give them a list of all of the Immortals he knew, as well as Joe Dawson's phone number. If anyone could help them, he could. Especially if he wrote a little note to Joe. He would also see to it that they had the address for PX3-695. "Immortals were created by the Ancients to protect Innocents from the Goa'uld. Somewhere along the line things got very screwed up."
O'Neill frowned. "How did…do we…you…become Immortal?"
"That is a very long story, my friend," Duncan said. "There's a man named Methos, oldest Immortal alive, well of the Second Race of Immortals. He had heard whispers about a secret base buried in Cheyenne Mountain, where there was a device that transported one to other planets. He knew about the Stargate. He had been alive, although just a child, when Ra was overthrown and forced to leave Earth. Anyway, he managed to get himself a job as a linguist at the SGC. Called me one day and said there was a Pre-Immortal on the base. Not only that, but a very strong Pre-Immortal. Well, I flew to Colorado Springs, Methos killed Casey, and she became Immortal." He glanced at her, made a decision, and continued his story. "Oma Desala, I believe you know her, or of her," he said, looking at Jackson, who nodded, "granted SG-1 Immortality, a gift from the Ascended for all of their sacrifices, the work that they did saving various planets and civilizations."
Dr. Jackson glanced at Daniel. Had a feeling that there was a lot more to the story than what they were telling. "So you're all Immortal?" That explained why…he…looked so good at what… forty-five …forty-six?
"All of the Immortals whoever lived on Earth live here on Gamma now," Duncan said. "It's the only way to protect Earth from the Goa'uld without being in constant fear of our own safety."
Sam and Carter came back into the room, matching worried expressions on their faces. "We have a big problem."
"There isn't going to be another solar flare of the required magnitude and intensity," Selmak guessed.
Sam nodded. "That's what threw them so far off course. I don't know what would happen if we tried to send them back through with just a…regular…flare."
Duncan looked at Casey. "Can you see anything?"
While the alternate SG-1 team looked on with confusion, Casey closed her eyes and reached out. "Daniel," she whispered. She opened her eyes, looked at her husband. "You can do it."
"Do what?" Daniel asked.
"Increase the intensity. We just go back to where they came through, and when the solar flare erupts, you make it…bigger."
He studied her. The mission they had just returned from had given him a glimpse of the power that flowed through him. "Okay. Tell me how," he said softly.
"Okay, want to clue us in?" O'Neill said, looking at the faces around him.
"Daniel is The Chosen One. A very powerful man," Selmak replied. "He was granted those powers by Beings that the Tok'ra have heard only whispers about. Casey is His Chosen. She is a child of Ancients, as are all Immortals. She is also a very adept seer. Often it is her guidance that gives The Chosen the means to accomplish what he must."
"The weapon that you're looking for, in the Lost City," Jack said, "isn't exactly a weapon."
The alternate team exchanged worried glances. "Okay, what is it then?" O'Neill asked.
"It's a conductor. It just…focuses the power of the person…inside…it," Daniel replied.
"And not just anybody can operate it," Jack added.
"We'll worry about that later," O'Neill said. "We need to get home, before it starts getting… uncomfortable."
"Agreed," Jack said.
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