<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
Three hours later they were standing in front of the obelisk. Daniel was reading it, Casey was taking film of it, Sam was doing a scan for any of the ore that she had found near the city. Jack and Teal'c were keeping an eye on 'their scientists', each of them pacing and staring into the distance.
Marcus stood, feet shoulder-width apart, arms crossed over his chest, watching. Each of them moved with the ease and confidence of experience. It was clear that they trusted one another implicitly. He had been a loner all of his life. What would it be like to have someone...or several people...in his life whom he could trust completely? He shook his head mentally. In his line of work, partners were usually the first to double cross their 'friends'.
"Got it!" Daniel said excitedly. "This is the gate to all that is sacred, according to the text."
Jack eyed the red stone warily. "Okay, we all go together."
"Better get close," Daniel replied.
The team members stepped closer, until their shoulders were brushing one another. "Come on, Marcus," Casey smiled. She held out her hand.
No way would he refuse the chance to touch her, even if it was just her hand. He wrapped his fingers around hers. Held tightly.
Daniel frowned slightly, wrapped his hand around the fingers of her other hand. Tugged slightly until she shifted closer to him. With his free hand, he reached up and touched the stone.
In a blinding flash of light, the team found themselves in an empty cave-like room. Flashlights were found and switched on. "This is not what I saw," Casey exclaimed, as soon as her eyes had adjusted enough to see by the dim light of the flashlight beams.
"Kind of empty," Jack affirmed.
Daniel carefully examined the room around him. This wasn't a 'hall', built to test the residents of the planet, to determine if they were mature enough to meet the Asgard. This had been one of their laboratories. So where was everything? If the cavern was empty, Casey would have seen an empty cavern. Unless...
"Force fields," Sam said, scanning around them.
"Protecting or hiding" Jack asked.
"Both?" Sam queried.
"Possible. If this was their last hope to escape the massacre that was happening in the city, they might have worried that their enemy could find this place," Daniel mused. "They might also have 'hidden' the laboratory on the off chance that one of the Cardorians might stumble in here."
Jack turned slowly. "Doesn't seem all that big," he said finally.
Daniel reached out and touched the wall. The feeling of rough, cool stone against his fingers surprised him. "There has to be an entrance to the main laboratory, to the room Casey saw."
"I suppose we're looking for some hidden mechanism," Jack sighed.
"I suppose so," Daniel replied absently, his hands moving methodically over the wall.
"Casey?" Marcus said, quirking an eyebrow.
Casey smiled up at the man. "We think we have to find a way from here to the laboratory that I saw," she explained.
He couldn't help but grin. He spent a lot of time looking for hidden doorways and passageways. He looked around the cave as much as possible in the bright beams from the flashlights his companions carried. Stepped to the wall opposite of where the doctor was searching, taking note that the man was moving with precision. Obviously he had experience in conducting such searches as well.
Teal'c and Jack stood nervously, senses alert, ready to grab and protect any of their teammates. Sam continued to monitor the force field.
Casey's slender hands were moving over the stone walls as well. "Ouch!" She jerked her hand back, noted that there was blood in her finger.
Two men reacted immediately to the sound, racing to her side. Marcus reached her first, by mere milliseconds, took her hand and began to examine it.
Daniel stared at the man, firmly removed his Wife's hand from his grasp. Checked her bleeding finger. Kissed her knuckles as the blue sparks of her Quickening dealt with the wound. "Show me," he said softly.
She pointed to the spot on the wall where her unknowing fingers had come into contact with something very sharp.
Carefully, Daniel ran his fingertips over the rock. Felt the sharp protrusion. Examined it with his thumb and forefinger. It felt metallic. And it also felt like a trigger of some sort. He would wager a guess that at some point in time there had been a cap that had covered the sharp edge of the metal. He moved it experimentally, it didn't budge to the right or the left, nor would it move up or down. "Hang on," he said quietly.
Sam, Jack and Teal'c moved closer automatically, gripping their P90's tightly.
With a deep breath, Daniel pushed against the metal. The distinctive sound of stone grinding against stone filled the air. To their left, the wall began to slide sideways. Exposing an impressively large cavern. Various computer type machines lined one wall. Two work tables stood in the middle of the room. Storage cabinets with glass doors on the front and filled with various pieces of equipment lined a second wall. And on the third wall, seven tubes, by now familiar looking to the team, stood against the stone.
"This is it," Casey whispered. She immediately crossed the floor to examine the cryogenic tubes. Put her hand on one. Shook her head sadly. "She's gone."
"When?" Daniel asked.
"Within the past few hours, I guess," the young seer replied. "It's my fault. If I had seen more...had been more insistent, we could have gotten here sooner..."
"It is not your fault," Daniel said gently. He moved to stand behind her, put his hands on her shoulders.
"It is!" Casey insisted. "What good is my gift if I can't see enough to save the people...or person, I'm supposed to help?" She turned and pressed her face against Daniel's shoulder.
Jack shook his head. Joined the couple beside the tube. "Casey, you see what you see. You have no control over it, you certainly can't force information out of the air into your head."
She remained silent, not recognizing that her grief was not her own. Tears continued to slide down her face.
Sam began to examine the other tubes. Frowned when she found the last one was empty. "Casey, when you saw this room, were all of these chambers in use?"
"Well, somebody woke up."
Everyone in the cavern froze at that announcement. Casey looked around, reached out slowly, carefully. "Daniel, how much Asgard can you speak?"
"Enough to say hello and thank you," he admitted warily.
"Better try the hello," she replied.
With a nod, he looked around the cavern. "Hello? Greetings from Daniel Jackson."
A tall being stepped out of the shadows. The body, covered by a simple robe of what looked like silver, was obviously female. Her large, dark eyes were full of fear...and curiosity. Her arms seemed long compared to those of humans, and her skull much larger, the dome rising from a high forehead, devoid of any type of hair. Her skin was pale, more white than gray. "You are Tau'ri," she said quietly.
"You speak our language?" Daniel gasped.
The woman smiled. "It is easy enough to translate, with the proper tools, of course." She took a tiny device from her ear. Walked over an put it on the table.
Teal'c frowned. Crossed the room and examined the object. It was exactly like the device he had stolen from the laboratory of Apophis' scientists. Had been what he had used to learn the language of the prisoners who had intrigued him so.
Casey understood what the device could do, glanced at Marcus, and then at the woman. Was surprised when the woman nodded at her. Was this...Asgard...psychic as well? She picked up the tiny piece of metal, smiled at the Terran, and carefully inserted it in his ear.
"This should help you," she said softly.
Marcus flinched when the metal became hot, and felt a sharp pain shoot across the top of his head. Before he could cry out, the pain was gone. The device, however, was still hot when he took it out of his ear and placed it back on the table.
"You should understand me now," Casey smiled.
Eyes wide, the dark haired Terran nodded. "I...I understand you...and...how can I speak a language I've never learned?"
The Asgard smiled. "The device is able to translate a few words and extrapolate the remainder of the language. It then...implants...that extrapolation on that part of your brain where learning and memory - and language skills - are focused. In essence, you have 'learned' the language. It merely happened in seconds, rather than the much longer 'manual' method."
"Well, now that we all understand each other," Jack said, "just who are you?"
"You are the intruders. Who are you?" The woman asked.
"I'm Doctor Daniel Jackson, I'm an archaeologist," Daniel replied quickly. He put his arm around Casey's shoulders. "This is my Wife, Casey Jackson. Colonel Samantha Carter," he said, nodding toward Sam. "Those two men are General Jack O'Neill, and Teal'c of Chulak. He's Marcus Tiberius," he added almost sullenly.
The woman's gaze moved over Teal'c. "You are Jaffa."
"Yet you stand with these Tau'ri."
"I am honored to be allied with them against the false gods. These people are my friends," the large man responded.
The Asgard smiled again. "It is with great joy that I hear your words. I am Astrild. I was part of the original team of scientists who traveled to your planet, and studied the groups of humans who lived there."
All eyes moved to Daniel. He frowned, drawing from the information stored in his amazing mind. "You're the Norse Goddess of Love," he smiled.
Astrild's smile widened. "It's lovely to be remembered in that manner. In the few meetings I held with humans, I tried to be kind...and gentle."
"During...you mean when you were examining and experimenting on them?" Jack demanded roughly.
She shook her head. "Never! We never...Loki was the one always so eager to experiment...searching for the way to perfect the cloning process," she replied.
"So you just...talked to them?" Daniel asked.
"Yes," Astrild replied. "It was quite interesting to learn of their way of life. It was before we were forbidden to approach any indigenous...intelligent life forms."
"I suppose that rule came about because of Loki," Daniel said.
"It did." She studied the people standing in front of her. "You have come through the Chappa'ai?"
"Yes," Daniel affirmed. "We were interested in studying the ruins of the city. Of learning more about the Cardorians."
"Cardorians?" Astrild frowned. She thought for a moment, then smiled. "The refugees. How fitting that they called themselves the New People."
Casey looked at Jack. "We should contact Thor."
Astrild started slightly. "Thor? He...lives?"
"He's saved our lives on several occasions," Daniel replied.
"We've saved his little gray butt a time or two," Jack announced.
"Little...gray...?" Astrild's large dark eyes returned to Daniel. "I don't understand."
"For the past thousand years or so, cloning is the only way the Asgard have remained alive. If I understand the situation correctly, they began cloning bodies to replace their dying ones several thousand years before that," Daniel explained.
"Thousand years? I have been here for a very long time," Astrild said softly, the reality of the situation settling over her, bringing sadness to her face.
"At least sixty thousand years, we think," Daniel replied.
"The Asgard we know don't resemble you," Casey said softly.
"I see. Then I must speak with Thor immediately!"
"Do you remember what happened?" Daniel asked.
"Of course I do! We were being attacked. We sent the refugees through the Chappa'ai to a planet we knew to be safe. We had every intention of joining them. But I didn't dare leave my work to be discovered by the enemy, or the Goa'uld. So I returned here with my assistants. I was going to destroy everything-"
Casey gasped. "Destroy it? Why?"
"Because my research showed that cloning would lead to the eventual inability to produce offspring. We would be come sterile."
"Which is exactly what happened," Sam said.
"Loki!" Astrild hissed. "He must have taken copies of what I had. I kept telling him that the research was not complete, that I needed more time...he wouldn't listen!"
Jack shifted slightly. "If you can get us out of here, we can get you back to Gamma, and contact Thor," he said gently.
"It's the new home world for the Immortals," Daniel said.
"I see," Astrild said.
Casey moved back to the cryogenic pod. "I'm sorry we didn't get here sooner."
Astrild stepped behind the young seer. Put her hand on the slender shoulder. "She was gone when I woke up. There was a malfunction...it activated my chamber. It should have done so before-" she waved helplessly at the other tubes.
Casey wiped her eyes. "So it was you I was sensing. Not her."
"I assume so," Astrild said gently.
The Asgard said nothing, but Casey could feel the deep pain of loss. "She was...close...to you?"
"She was my daughter."
"I'm so sorry," Casey whispered.
"You have nothing to apologize for. Come, I must speak to Thor. And hope that I can undo what Loki has done."
"Thor would be pleased to hear that," Daniel said comfortingly.
Astrild took a few moments to compose herself. Then she moved toward one of the machines on the far side of the room. "Please stand together."
The team, and Marcus, obeyed. Astrild joined them, and a few seconds later they were standing on the desert floor once again. Astrild was willing to ride the ATV behind Teal'c. It would be late by the time they reached camp, but they would arrive before midnight. Jack alerted the Marines who waited, instructing them to get a message to Duncan, and to send immediately for Thor.
A A A A A A
Like the fire that had burned the night before, keeping the camp warm, another was flickering merrily when the ATV's roared to the edge of the camp. The noise awakened the sleeping campers - three scientists and three Marines. The Marine on guard duty was on his feet, P90 at the ready...just in case the riders of the vehicles weren't who they were supposed to be.
"Coffee," Casey demanded as she neared the fire, still shivering from the ride across the desert in the chill of the night.
Cory Baker was the Marine standing duty. He grinned, headed for the fire. "Yes, ma'am." His gaze moved over the tall, alien looking woman. "Message came through from President MacLeod about an hour ago. Thor will be there about 3 a.m. Gamma time."
Jack looked at his watch. Just after 11 p.m. at home. "Drink your coffee, Case, then let's go home."
Turk nodded toward in the direction the team had just arrived from. "Anything out there to worry about?"
"Not now," the general replied.
Casey sipped her coffee, managed to finish it just seconds after the event horizon had been established. She handed the empty mug to Baker. "Thanks," she said softly.
"You bet," the young man grinned.
Turk watched SG-1 and their two guests disappear into the watery blue surface that filled the center of the Stargate. "Something interesting is going on," he mumbled. He glanced toward the desert again. If there was danger out there, Casey Jackson would have told them about it. It took a bit of doing, but finally he convinced the two geologists and the metallurgist to go back to bed. Why they thought sitting up half the night - discussing what might be there rather than getting some sleep so they could find out for sure come daylight - was such a grand idea, he couldn't understand.
Duncan was waiting at the foot of the ramp. He had the report on one Marcus Tiberius of Terra on his desk. Suspected petty thief. Sometime pirate...although he had never been caught...nor did any of his 'victims' seem willing to press charges against him. Adventurer. There were no reports of violence...it seemed the man used his charm and his wit to get what he needed...and what he wanted. There was a string of outraged fathers and furious husbands from one end of the galaxy to the other, however. It seemed the man had a penchant for finding the daughters of high ranking officials...or women married to wealthy businessmen.
"Astrild, may I introduce Duncan MacLeod, President of the Stargate Command Colonies, and the Commander in Chief of SGC Gamma," Daniel said, motioning toward the man who waited for them. "Duncan, may I present Astrild, of the Asgard."
"I'm honored to make your acquaintance," Duncan said, smiling at the alien woman.
"And I to meet you," Astrild replied regally.
"This is Marcus Tiberius," Casey said next, her hand on the man's arm. "Marcus, Duncan."
"Pleased to meet you," Marcus said, offering his hand.
He couldn't help but smile. The man had one hell of a way about him. Reminded him of Richie Ryan. That thought caused his heart to clench tightly for a moment. Duncan took the extended hand. Shook it briefly. "Mr. Tiberius."
"Please, call me Marcus. 'Mr. Tiberius' sounds so damned...proper," Marcus grinned.
Casey ducked her head, giggled quietly.
"All right...Marcus." Duncan turned to Astrild. "I've contacted Thor. He's quite anxious to meet you."
"Thor and I know each other very well," Astrild replied coolly.
Surprised glances were exchanged.
"Yes, well, perhaps you'd like to rest? I've had one of our VIP rooms made ready for you," Duncan continued, giving her his most charming smile.
"As you wish."
With a nod at the waiting SF, Duncan motioned to the guard his hand. "This gentleman will escort you to your quarters. As soon as Thor arrives, I'll let you know."
"Very well." Without another word the Asgard turned and followed the guard.
When she was well away from the 'gate room, Duncan shook his head. "Not very friendly, is she?"
Daniel was frowning. "She was friendly enough earlier," he mused.
"Something tells me that she's not looking forward to seeing Thor," Sam said.
"I picked that up," Duncan replied. He returned his attention to Marcus. "There's a room waiting for you as well."
"I could use a bit of sleep," the man admitted. "I don't suppose it would be possible to have a meal as well? It's been a long day."
"I'll have a tray sent to you," Duncan said.
Another SF was standing nearby, and led the Terran from the room. Duncan watched the man leave. "Get checked out, get something to eat, and then meet me in the briefing room."
With weary nods, the team wandered into the corridor. "Picking anything up, Case?" Jack asked.
She shook her head. "No, sorry."
"Just wondering. I have the feeling it's going to be interesting watching Astrild and Thor meeting up again," he grinned.
"You don't suppose they were adversaries, do you?" Sam asked.
Daniel shook his head. "I don't think so. Astrild is an old Nordic name for Cupid. She doesn't appear in Norse mythology...exactly. Her name is mentioned a few times, mostly in love poems. Most historians didn't think she actually existed."
"They didn't believe most of the 'gods' existed," Casey replied drolly.
"It's a given that most of the myths have their basis in fact somewhere," Daniel argued. "Most were stories told to explain away the powers of nature. Some were the stories of real people, who had done something brave, or amazing; who were then empowered as gods through the telling and retelling and re-retelling of the story, until the myths were created."
"And what does all of this have to do with us?" Jack wanted to know.
Daniel smiled. "Probably nothing. But it's interesting that she's one of the few Asgard who visited Earth that isn't well known in Norse mythology."
Casey swiped her ID badge. Leaned against the wall and studied her husband. "Because the Asgard went back to Earth, to study humans, after Astrild and her daughter, and... assistants... were frozen in time."
"Sort of looks that way," he admitted.
"So why didn't they go back for her? Why leave her there if they knew there was the chance she was alive?" Casey asked.
Daniel frowned. "She said Loki took her research notes. It's possible he told them that nothing remained...that she hadn't survived the attack."
"Sounds like that little gray bastard," Jack agreed.
"Maybe she's ticked off that we found her, and not Thor, or one of the others," Sam guessed.
"That's a possibility," Daniel said.
More tired than they wanted to admit, the five dragged themselves into the infirmary. The doctor on duty, a young Immortal woman named Catherine Belford, cleared them in just a matter of minutes. Hunger drove them to the commissary.
Choices were few as they walked through the line, eyeing the available food. A few sandwiches. Pudding...vanilla. A half dozen pieces of cake...only two of which were chocolate, and which Sam and Casey snagged immediately.
"MREs are starting sound good," Daniel complained.
Jack put a sandwich on his tray. "Yep."
"We could order a pizza," Casey suggested.
"It's after midnight, babe," Daniel pointed out.
"We have got to do something about that," she replied. "We could go to the diner near the spaceport. It's open twenty-four hours."
Sam eyed the limited variety of the remaining sandwiches. "Sounds good to me."
Putting the items back, taking only their coffee, the team ambled out of the commissary. Heading for the conference room. They'd debrief, and then find something more appetizing to eat.
A A A A A A
Duncan was sorting through several folders when the group walked into the briefing room. He glanced up, surprised to see them so soon. "Have you eaten?"
Casey shook her head. "We're going to go to the diner when we're finished."
The Highlander grinned. "Nothing edible left, eh?"
"Not much, no," the young seer smiled in return.
"Okay, tell me what happened."
"Sam was running her tests, Case and I were translating the stele's in front of what appears to have been a civic center of some sort...court house or government offices maybe. Anyway, she'd already 'seen' that cavern laboratory. We were looking for any references to it," Daniel began.
"We...I found the reference," Casey said. "So Jack and Teal'c were going to take a look around outside of the city while we continued working. First thing the next morning, we found Marcus."
"Who, by the way, has quite a reputation," Duncan replied. "He hasn't actually broken any laws, but he's certainly danced close enough to the edge. He's a wanted man...five angry fathers and about a dozen disgruntled husbands are looking for him."
Daniel snorted. "I have no doubt about that!"
He bit back his smile. "I haven't notified anyone that he's here."
"Don't," Casey said immediately.
"Why not?" Duncan asked.
"He's not dangerous, or a threat. He's-" she broke off, shook her head.
"He's a damned con artist," Daniel huffed.
"Oh, he is not!"
"He's certainly got you defending him! Next you'll be telling us that he's just misunderstood," the archaeologist snapped.
"I will not! And I'm not defending him! I'm just stating that he's not a threat! And it's just possible that he might have intel that would be beneficial!"
"I don't know! He's a treasure hunter...that's what he spends his time doing-"
"When he's not seducing other men's wives," Daniel muttered under his breath.
"And he might have seen things, or heard things that would be of interest," she finished, ignoring the comment.
Duncan frowned. "I'll have to ask the same question as Daniel. Just what would he know that could help us?"
"Perhaps I could answer that," a voice said from the door.
"This is a classified briefing," Duncan said immediately.
"I'm sorry, sir. Mr. Tiberius asked to see you, I didn't know the briefing had started," the SF escorting the Terran interjected.
"Don't worry about it," Duncan said, flashing a smile at the nervous young man.
Casey smiled up at Marcus. Pulled out the chair beside her, an obvious invitation to sit down. One that he was quick to take up. "Maybe you've heard something about Jordan. Or some other Goa'uld. Or even the NID."
Marcus frowned. "I haven't heard about the NID. I mean, I've heard of them," he qualified quickly, "I just haven't heard anything about any activities. Nor have I heard anything about Jordan. I've heard rumors that Morganna is allied now with a Goa'uld named Methos. It seems that the two are quite...close. Amaterasu is said to be nervous about the... friendship."
Not one smile...not even the tiniest flicker of recognition moved across any of the faces that watched the Terran. "Go on," Duncan said.
The dark haired man shook his head. "I'm afraid that's all I've heard. Neither Methos nor Morganna seem to be posturing for an attack...but that could change in an instant. My...sources...seem to think that Amaterasu will try to ally herself with the two. Against whom, I don't know."
If nothing else, they now had proof that Methos' ruse was working, and that he had indeed been accepted among the ranks of the Goa'uld. If there were any questions about him among the snakes, it was a fair bet that humans would never hear about them.
"This Methos is said to have united nearly a dozen system lords against Nergal...and defeated him, and Ptah, and Camulus. Rumors are that he tortured Camulus to death in an attempt to learn more about Morganna," Marcus continued. "It's even rumored that Methos is the one who sent information to Lord Yu about the City of the Ancients, which led to his destruction, and the deaths of another half dozen system lords. If any of these rumors are true, this is one Goa'uld you should keep an eye on. Chances are he's going to be sitting high enough on the food chain that he'll be untouchable."
Casey carefully studied her fingers. The Old Man was sneaky, she'd give him that. More than likely he was bedding Morganna. She wouldn't be surprised to learn that he'd done the same to Amaterasu, especially if she became an 'ally'. His reputation was growing, no doubt with the help of his spy network, and carefully 'leaked' information and downright rumor-mongering. "We should probably see what we have in the files on Methos."
Duncan nodded, mentally congratulating the Old Man on his success. "I agree. Anything else?"
Marcus studied the ceiling for a moment. "Not that I can think of. Unless you're interested in the location of an old Egyptian settlement. It's on the moon of a very small, very obscure planet."
Daniel sat forward. "Egyptian?"
The Terran nodded. "I located several...items...had them evaluated for authenticity. I'd never heard of the Egyptians before. Seems they're from your home world."
"They are," Daniel confirmed. "What did you find?"
"Just a few things...a couple of scarabs, a few tablets with hieroglyphs on them. Nothing of value."
"To a treasure hunter," Daniel replied. "Where are these...items...now?"
He shrugged. "I have no idea. The man who evaluated them is a private collector. I assume he still has them. He was willing to pay handsomely for them," Marcus grinned.
"I'd like to have the man's name," Daniel said.
Marcus shook his head. "He's a private collector. I've done business with him several times, and would like to be able to do so again."
"But if he-" Daniel started.
Casey put her hand on Daniel's arm. "Where is this settlement?"
"On the moon of a very small, very obscure planet."
"You said that before," she smiled. "Coordinates?"
"Well, I can't just hand over what I know without a bit of compensation, now, can I? How would I survive...stay in business?"
"What is it that you want?" Duncan asked.
"Well, that brings me to the reason I asked to speak with you. I've had a few...unfortunate incidents...and I'm-"
"Wanted?" Daniel said snarkily.
"Let's just say that there were a few...misunderstandings," Marcus replied, "and certain people are very anxious to...speak...with me."
"I take it you're not so hot to talk to them," Jack said.
"Not particularly, no," Marcus replied.
"And you want me to keep your whereabouts quiet," Duncan said.
"If it wouldn't be too much of an imposition. The less said about my being here, the better. Particularly for you."
"And in return?"
"The Chappa'ai symbols for the moon where that settlement is."
Jack and Duncan exchanged glances. No doubt it would be better for Gamma if no one knew that Marcus Tiberius had ever set foot on the planet. "Let us think about it," Jack told the man.
"I can ask for no more," Marcus said cheerfully.
"Until we've decided, you'll remain our...guest," Duncan said.
"As I expected." He stood to his feet...managed to snatch Casey's hand, lifted it to his lips. "I do hope that you'll visit me during my...stay."
"I'll try," she replied. Couldn't help but smile at the twinkle in his brown eyes.
With a nod toward the man at the head of the table, Marcus turned around and left the room.
Daniel glared at his wife for a moment. How could she let him do that? Not that she'd actually been flirting...her hands had been folded on the table in front of her...the unscrupulous bastard had moved so quickly that she hadn't had a chance to pull away. But still, she let him kiss her hand, damn it! And then she'd all but promised she'd visit him! Smiling up at him like that, those green eyes full of...amusement? He wiped a hand over his face. Rein it in, Danny, he told himself. She didn't do anything wrong. But he was still going to knock the shit out of that son of a bitch! Just for touching her.
Knowing smiles flickered over faces as they watched the anger in Daniel's eyes. "Did you get everything you wanted from those temples?" Duncan asked.
Casey shook her head. "We never even went inside them."
Duncan looked over at Sam. "I suppose you'd like to be around for the tests run on that ore?"
"If possible, yes," Sam admitted.
"Okay, you can go back tomorrow," Duncan said. "Now, what about this...Ice Queen-"
"Ice Queen?" Casey asked her eyes going wide.
"According to Norse mythology, she's the goddess of love," the Highlander replied.
Sometimes she forgot just how long Duncan had lived, the scope of his knowledge and experience. Both of which made him the perfect leader for Gamma. "That's the queen part, I think."
"She's rather...cool...aloof," Duncan continued.
"She's frightened. She's mourning the loss of her daughter. She's angry at Loki...and possibly Thor," the young seer pointed out. "The Asgard aren't exactly known for being emotional."
"Why is she frightened?" Sam asked.
Casey shrugged. "I have no idea. I could only sense that she was. For all I know, she's afraid of us. It must be quite a shock to find the humble villagers she once knew as advanced as we are...waging war against the Goa'uld."
"She doesn't exactly know that...yet," Daniel said.
"She might not know it as fact...but if we're going through the Stargate...then she at least suspects," Casey replied. She turned back to Duncan. "When we found the obelisk, thanks to Marcus-"
Daniel snorted softly.
"-Daniel was able to translate it, and got us as far as the outer chamber," she continued, casting a curious glance at her Husband. "We found the way into the laboratory...and she was there. Something went wrong with the cryogenic tubes she and the others were in. She was awakened, although not in time to save the others...they had been dead for a long time...but her daughter..."
"Astrild didn't understand why the safety protocols on the computer hadn't awakened her sooner. She's feeling a lot of guilt for the deaths of her assistants, I think," Daniel added.
"She was willing to come with us...not that she really had a choice," Sam said. "I mean, she couldn't stay in that lab, all alone."
"I guess we'll find out more when Thor gets here. Written reports on my desk by the end of the week," Duncan said.
"What about Marcus?" Casey asked softly.
"Just knowing that Methos has been as successful as he apparently is warrants keeping quiet about his being here. If we can get the 'gate address for that moon, all the better."
Something about what the Terran had said poked at the back of his mind. "Did anyone notice...he didn't say 'ruins'. He said settlement," Daniel mused.
"Now that you mention it," Jack nodded. "Better send the MALP through. We could be walking into a Goa'uld controlled village."
"I'll get the address, have images for you later today," Duncan promised. "Let's finish up on PX5 726. Then you can investigate this Egyptian village. Go get something to eat... Thor won't be here for a couple more hours. I know you're tired, but I'd like you to be here, in case he has questions about where or how you found her." He gathered the folders in front of him, wished for a bit of sleep himself, and stood up and quietly left the room.
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>