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Heroes and Jellybeans
So far Casey didn't seem to be suffering from whatever it was that had affected her. Daniel gave a silent sigh of relief. The sight of her battered face haunted him, flashed in front of his eyes as he worked. He sat back on his heels, dropped his chin to his chest. It seemed that he was either battering her heart, or battering her body. How long could she take it? How long would she take it? He felt a soft caress against his mind. He grabbed the feeling, held tightly to it.
'Let it go, My Heart,' her voice said softly.
'I don't know if I can this time, Angel. Your face…your beautiful face…'
'Is just fine. Daniel, neither one of us were…well, sane! I don't remember it. You don't remember it. Let it go.'
'I'll never forget those bruises, Casey. Bruises that I put on you!'He jumped when he felt her hands on his shoulders. He stood up. "Angel, I can't forgive myself for what I did to you."
She put her hands on either side of his face. "Oh, my sweet Daniel!" She leaned up and kissed him gently.
His arms went around her, pulled her close. He slanted his mouth over hers, deepened the kiss, the fleeting question of how many more times he'd be kissing her like this skittered across his mind. It brought a moment of panic, of black grief so intense that he almost cried out. He felt her reach into his mind, soothe him, calm him…caress him.
"I'm not going anywhere, my heart," she said softly.
"So you're reading my mind now?" he asked with a tender smile.
She shook her head. "I felt the…grief…the pain. I…recognize that feeling. I've felt it before myself. Daniel, you're stuck with me. Forever and ever."
He crushed her against his chest, buried his face in against her neck. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, too, Sweetheart." She held as tightly to him as he held to her.
When he finally allowed her to pull away from him, he kissed the tip of her nose. "What did you find in that room?" he asked. She had been investigating the room that connected to the one they were standing in.
"Not much. A few pottery shards so far. Looks like I might have located a fire pit." She shrugged. "I'd say it's pretty typical for a group of people just barely out of the caves."
He nodded. "Okay, let's keep looking. They liked to draw…there seem to be representations of local animals, probably that they hunted. A few look like mythical creatures, but you never can tell. They might have been real."
"I'll see what I can find around that fire pit," she said.
He kissed her again. The look in his eyes said as much, if not more than words could. She smiled, cupped his cheek for just a minute, long enough for him to turn his face and kiss the palm of her hand, and then she moved away from him, back into the other room.
Jack radioed that Sam had managed to get the DHD repaired. Daniel replied that they were on their way to the 'gate. They had taken plenty of pictures, captured every drawing that they could find. There wasn't anything left to examine. He had carefully photographed the warning 'sign', had made a tracing of the stone. It was more than obvious that the people who lived in the village had not left that warning. It had been left later, much later. They had discovered no graves, although they really hadn't searched for any. And there were no skeletal remains to be found.
Tired, but unharmed, SG-1 and SG-6 walked back down the ramp into Gamma's 'gate room.
Dr. Montigue examined them carefully, took blood from all of them, and took saliva samples from Sam and Casey.
A A A A A A
Daniel was sitting in his office, going over the photographs of the walls in the cave. There was something about them that bothered him. Something about one particular set of drawings. They didn't seem to depict anything particular…they were just random lines and squiggles, a few circles. He was frowning, staring at the color photo when Casey came in with coffee.
"What's wrong?" she asked handing him a cup of black, rich liquid. She smiled when he took a sip and winked up at her.
"I just can't figure out how these markings fit in with the others. They seem so…random. Every other drawing depicted a part of their lives…hunting, building, planting, even dancing and feasting. But this…" he waved his hand at the photo. "Makes no sense at all."
Casey picked up the photograph and looked at it. Stared at it, actually. She felt something… strange…in the back of her mind. Then a sudden rush of heat, of need. She let the picture fall from her fingers. It fluttered to the floor unheeded. She looked down at Daniel, smiled, then carefully put her coffee on the desk. She knelt in front of him. "Give," she whispered.
"Oh, hell!" he breathed. He grabbed her wrists, reached for the intercom. She bit his hand, drew blood. Within seconds he felt anger surge through him. He jerked her to her feet, slapped her face, sending her flying backward to the floor.
She got to her knees, began to crawl toward him. "Give!" she demanded, her eyes full of fire.
"No!" He backhanded her, sent her sprawling backwards again. He reached down, and grabbed the front of her shirt. He yanked her to her feet, slapped her again. "Submit!"
"Holy shit!" one of the SF's in the monitoring room whispered. His eyes were glued to the screen as he watched Dr. Jackson beat his wife. He hit the alarm, and sent armed guards to the office.
Casey was on her knees once again, reaching for his belt when several armed SF's rushed into the room. One of them grabbed her, two others grabbed Daniel's arms. Casey struggled against the man holding her, reaching out toward Daniel. "Give!" she begged, her eyes pleading.
Daniel watched her, the blood boiling in his veins once again. He fought with the two men who held him, but was unable to free himself from their grasp. "Submit," he hissed at her.
Jack and Duncan raced into the room. "Oh, damn!" Jack moaned.
The two were taken to the infirmary and sedated. Dr. Montigue took blood from them, and hurried to conduct more tests.
Jack was sitting with Daniel when the younger man opened his eyes. "Hey, Danny."
Daniel looked around, then groaned. "What happened?"
"You were slapping the crap out of Casey," the general answered bluntly. "She's completely out of it again."
"Oh, god!" He looked at his friend. "I want to see the tape."
Jack shook his head, knew that the young man would torment himself with what had happened. "I don't think that's a good idea. Daniel, you were as out of it as she was." He frowned, the question necessary, although they...the doctors...already had an answer...one that had him scared to death. "Daniel, can you remember what happened before she…freaked out?"
He closed his eyes. He remembered sitting at the desk. Studying that photo…remembered her giving him the coffee, taking the photo…"The photograph of those odd…markings…the lines and circles…she looked at it…then…" Daniel shook his head. "It gets really blurry from there, and then nothing."
Jack nodded. "We looked at the tape. She bit you. That's how you came in contact with her saliva."
"Now what? Do I take her back to that pool? It seemed to 'cure' her the last time."
Dr. Montigue, who had been standing in the doorway listening, walked into the room. "She wasn't cured, Daniel. Something in that water simply caused the virus to…retreat…become dormant." He turned to Jack. "I have a theory. But I need Colonel Carter's help."
"I'm not going to like this, am I?" Jack asked wearily.
"I doubt it. I need that photograph, Daniel. I need to see if Colonel Carter reacts the same way."
Daniel nodded. "It's in my office."
Thirty minutes later, Sam was under sedation as well. Dr. Montigue told the men that until a real cure was found, the two women would have to remain sedated. All medical personnel who worked with the women were instructed to wear complete hazmat protection, and that they were to avoid contact with any of their bodily fluids at all cost.
Duncan, Daniel, Jack, Teal'c, and Dr. Montigue were sitting at the conference table.
"Whatever it is, it was airborne. I would like some samples of the 'pollen' that you said was so profuse in the air."
"I will gather the samples," Teal'c said quietly. "I have been so far unaffected by this 'pollen'."
Duncan nodded his approval.
"The only way that the two of you seem to be affected is from their saliva, Doctor Jackson, you were correct about that. What I'm most concerned about is that this doesn’t seem to be…well, a naturally occurring virus. The fact that just looking at those symbols 'reactivated' it makes me think we could be looking at some sort of nanotechnology."
"You mean someone created that virus, and planted it there?" Daniel asked, his eyes wide.
"I believe so. I'm curious as to why the warning that you and Teal'c found was so far from the gate. Unless the virus had somehow been contained to the area where the ruins are now. If that's the case, then over time that virus was able to 'escape' and make its way outside of that village," Dr. Montigue said.
"How do we get the virus out of our wives?" Jack asked.
"Right now, until I know more about it, I haven't a clue," the good doctor admitted.
Jack and Daniel exchanged nervous glances. "Find out, doc. Do it fast," Jack said.
A A A A A A
Dr. Montigue had dismissed him after finding that his latest blood test showed no signs of the virus. Daniel walked into the monitoring room. He looked at the SF's, nodded. "I want to see it," he said softly.
"Uh, sir, I'm not sure that President MacLeod or General O'Neill would like that," one of the young men said.
"I don't care if they like it or not," Daniel replied. "Show me the damned tape!"
The two young men looked nervously at one another. With a sigh, the tape was located and loaded. Daniel watched in horror as he slapped Casey around the room. He managed to find the door, made his way down the corridor. When his legs refused to carry him any farther, he slid down the wall, wrapped his arms around his legs and sat staring at the wall opposite of him. He closed his eyes - the images of his fists hitting her playing over and over again behind his eyelids.
"Just couldn't leave it alone, could you?" Jack's voice asked from somewhere above him. He cursed himself for not having that tape destroyed immediately. It was gone now, but like closing the proverbial barn door, the horse was already out.
Daniel opened his eyes, looked up at the man who had been his friend for almost sixteen years now. "How can you sit here and talk to me, after I did…that?"
"Daniel, you were as out of it as Casey was! You don't even remember it, do you?" The young man remained silent. "Do you?" Jack pressed.
He shook his head. "No, I don't. I should, though. Something that…horrible…should be burned on my brain forever!"
"Just so you know, I was slapping Sam around out there, too. I have no idea how badly I beat her. You're not going through this alone. The upside in all of this is that they don't remember it either. I don't want Sam remembering how out of control she was. She hates being out of control. That would bother her more than anything. I sure as hell don't want her remembering that I beat the crap out of her! And to be honest, that's something I don't want to deal with."
Daniel rubbed his eyes. "I saw what I did to Casey…in living color."
"You weren't supposed to."
"Yeah, well…" he let the sentence drift off. "So, any theories on which Goa'uld planted this virus?"
Jack laughed. "That's your job, Danny boy. You tell me."
Daniel put his head back against the wall. Something about those symbols…Symbols! Not just random markings, those were symbols! Obviously meant to trigger the nanobots that infected the women of that planet. Was that part of the ceremony? Or were the symbols there to let others know who had done this? He pulled himself to his feet. "I think I just got one." He hurried back to his office.
On a hunch, he looked for and located the books he had on Sumerian gods. He found the photograph of the symbols, and began to compare them to the known symbols of those ancient Earth gods.
A A A A A A
Teal'c had returned to the planet, and collected the samples that Dr. Montigue wanted. Just before he walked back through the 'gate to return to Gamma, he was sure that someone watching him. He turned and scanned the area carefully, but could see nothing. Nor did he hear the dark laughter that rang through the air just before the 'gate closed.
Kyle was on duty as the 'gate closed behind Teal'c, his attention on the display monitors. He didn't see the small 'splash' just before the event horizon collapsed completely.
The tall Jaffa hurried through the corridors of SGC, the vials of samples held firmly in his carefully gloved hands.
"Thank you, Teal'c. Now let's see if my theory is correct," Dr. Montigue said. He placed several of the 'pollen' samples onto a glass slide and put it under the powerful lenses of a microscope. "Tell President MacLeod and General O'Neill that I was right. These are nanobots. Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of the damned things!" He sighed. He wished that Colonel Carter was…coherent. She had experience with nanotechnology. He could certainly use her help. He grabbed the latest issue of Science Weekly…there had been an article that might be of some use…
A A A A A A
The men were once again gathered around the conference table. "Nergal." Daniel said as he dropped into his customary seat. He glanced at the empty chair beside him.
"Excuse me?" Jack replied.
"Sumerian god of the underworld. And mass destruction. And plague. He took a bunch of demon dragons and created havoc in the underworld until Ereshkigal, the goddess of the underworld, agreed to marry him. Those markings on that cave wall weren't just random. They're the symbols for Nergal."
"You're saying that this Nergal was a Goa'uld?" Duncan asked.
"Fits in with what we've learned about the so called 'gods' so far," Daniel replied. "He probably created the virus, turned it loose on PR3 291, then sat back and watched what happened. When he was finished, or bored or whatever, he left. And the virus remained."
"It certainly fits in with what I have found," Dr. Montigue added. "That 'pollen' is organic matter 'seeded' with nanobots. It wouldn't take long to breathe in enough to get the little buggers started in the body. Which is exactly what happened to Casey Jackson and Colonel Carter. Since the three of you weren't infected by the nanobots themselves, just the chemical changes that they cause, I am assuming that this virus was created to affect only women. It's pure speculation on my part, but it could have been an experiment to try to make women more…receptive…to sexual advances by men, or perhaps more aggressive toward men. Whatever the reason they were created, we need to stop them. I need a sample of water from that pool. Something in it 'turns off' the nanobots until they're 'reactivated'. Evidently, just seeing those…symbols, is enough to restart the process. I've been monitoring the women carefully. I take blood samples every two hours. Those things are increasing in number. I don't know how long it will be until their blood is literally nothing but nanobots."
Daniel sat back in his chair. "What happens then?" he asked hoarsely.
The doctor shrugged. "Then we have two women who are nothing more than…robots, basically. Organic robots, but robots just the same."
Blue eyes went wide with shock. Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! Couldn't they go on just one goddamned mission without something happening that brought them to the very brink of losing one another? Would they even make it back this time?
"Teal'c, take Marine Two. Get some of that water. Get as much as you can and get it back here stat!" Duncan said. He looked at the doctor. "From what you've said, I take it that if we can just turn the damn things off for awhile it would give you time to figure out how to get rid of them?"
Dr. Montigue nodded. "We haven't much time left. Ten hours, twelve at the most."
"I'll go with them," Jack said softly. "I know where that pool is."
"Me, too," Daniel said.
Duncan shook his head. "Daniel, I need you here. I want you to go over everything we have from the planets we've been going to. I want to know how many more of these Goa'uld are out there, and I want to know if this Nergal is still around."
"Let's go, gentlemen. There are two women who are running out of time," the CIC said softly.
A A A A A A
Green eyes fluttered open. Where was she? Oh, yes. The Jaffa. She sat up, tossed back the blankets which covered her body. She pulled the strange wrapping off, and stared into the mirror. A little on the slender side. Light colored hair, and green eyes. Not too bad at all. She walked toward the door, then wondered briefly if she should put that strange robe back on. Yes, she thought, it would probably be for the best.
Casey struggled against the entity that seemed to have control of her body. Had she been infested with a Goa'uld? Was that what was happening? What about her Quickening? Why wasn't it destroying the parasite? She had to find Daniel! He would help her! She tried to reach him, but found she couldn't overpower whatever…whoever…it was who seemed to be inside her. If she could just distract…her?…long enough, maybe she could get out an SOS. That thought echoed in her head. SOS. Let's see, how does that go? Dash dash dash...dot dot dot...dash dash dash? Yeah, that sounded right. If she could just get control of one hand…
She moved down the corridor, which was empty. Good. All she had to do was get to the Chappa'ai. She searched the brain for the information she needed. There was something very…different…about this woman. Perhaps she was…defective? Better to find a more suitable host, as soon as possible. Yes, here it was. She began to run through the corridors. She didn’t stop to look as a man with short, dark blonde hair and blue eyes stared after her.
"Casey? Where do you think you're going?" He started off after her.
Daniel! Daniel, please! Help me! Oh, god, Daniel! I love you! I will always love you!
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