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In Your Own Backyard
Jack, Sam, Teal'c, and Carly were carefully examining the paintings, listening to what Casey and Daniel had discovered. Teal'c was unfamiliar with the tattoos that could be seen, and not one of the team was comfortable knowing that the Kelownans had indeed known about the Goa'uld. There had been proof that the snakes had been on the planet in the very distant past, carbon dating had put most of the artifacts well into the ten thousand year mark, ten centuries before Anubis arrived. But to know that a Goa'uld had been in residence only four hundred years prior was a bit unsettling.
"If Jonas had any idea about this, he would have told us," Sam said quietly.
Daniel nodded. "He's too honest of a man to have kept something like this a secret, especially after leaving here to join you on Earth. No, Jonas doesn't know anything about this."
"I'm betting that damned few people know," Jack said.
"It is obvious that the man who gave you these paintings does not know," Teal'c said. He was frowning at the painting of the island.
"What makes you say that, Teal'c?" Daniel asked.
"He would not have allowed these out of his possession if he was aware of the conspiracy," the large man replied.
"If he recognized the Jaffa in the background," Casey argued. "Obviously no one does, or they would have seen them by now."
Jack frowned. "Langara has a Stargate program now. Teams that are doing exploring. They've run into Jaffa. Surely they'd recognize them. Certainly Jonas would."
Daniel's frown matched that of his best friend. "The museum where we saw the first painting is old, small, rather run down. Most of the work was from this same time period."
"Did you notice anything unusual about the other stuff?" Jack asked.
The Jackson's exchanged a quick glance. "We never actually made it all the way through," Daniel admitted. "We saw the painting with the Jaffa, and headed for the library to do some research."
"Odd that the rest of the paintings by that guy would be stored in the library," Jack muttered, still frowning at the works of art.
"Not if they're considered to be some sort of historical record," Daniel mused.
"You think that somebody…or some group, is well aware of what happened," Casey said flatly.
"Considering that the people of this planet were as advanced as they are now before whoever it was showed up, there had to have been some sort of record of all that happened," he replied. "The survivors of what had to have been a war against the Goa'uld might have decided that technology was to blame. The survivors may have wanted to just forget the whole thing, or the survivors may have simply been trying to…survive. Everything was probably destroyed, just finding enough food and water may have been a daily struggle."
"You say that Johan Severis built a naquadria bomb to use against this snake?" Jack asked.
"That's what we found," Daniel replied. "I'm thinking he did what we did on Abydos, sent it up to the ship…which would explain why there wasn't any radiation damage to the planet."
Sam frowned. "Then this Goa'uld is out of the picture."
"Not necessarily," Daniel said. "How many times did Apophis manage to get away? Or Nergal? Or Ba'al?"
"Good point," she conceded.
"Well, we need to identify who this Goa'uld was," Jack said, "find out if he…or she…is still around. Then figure out what, if anything, to tell the Langarans."
"Telling the Langarans what we know probably isn't a good idea," Daniel said. "I rather imagine that there are those who know. And we already know how damned territorial they are. The idea of us knowing one of their 'secrets' will only cause problems."
Jack nodded. "Okay, let's just do this quietly when we get home. If the Goa'uld is dead, it will pretty much be a moot point anyway."
A A A A A A
Dinner was festive, each of the team members understanding that this was probably the last 'vacation' they would have for some time. Dessert and coffee were lingered over, until it was well after midnight when they said goodnight and went to their separate rooms.
Casey was humming as she went through her nightly routine. She caught Daniel smiling at her. "What?"
"You're in a good mood."
She returned his smile. "I guess I am."
"Care to share the reason?"
"Not really," she replied, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Just suffice it to say a little…girl talk…has helped a lot."
He frowned. When had she and Sam had a chance to talk? Casey had been with him since their arrival on Langara. He studied her for a minute. "Case?"
His blue eyes were full of questions. And Daniel wasn't the type to let something go if he had unanswered questions. She sighed. "There isn't any need to get into this," she said softly, not at all sure how he would react to the news that she had 'spoken' with his late wife.
Now his curiosity was totally piqued. He was well aware that her 'gift' allowed her to 'visit' with people on other planes of existence. He thought about what had been bothering her, the conversation they had had the night before. His frown deepened as a possible answer skittered across his mind. She had managed to 'call' her adoptive father when she was dealing with the scars from her childhood…Holy shit! "Sha're?"
She jumped slightly at the mention of his late wife's name. She sighed again. "Yes."
The frown became a grin. "Gonna tell me about it?"
The look on his face was enough to make her giggle. "No. What was said was between the two of us."
"Talked about me, didn't you?"
He was so damned full of himself! "No, we talked about the weather and chicken recipes," she retorted. "Of course we talked about you!"
The grin went wider. "So what all did you…discuss?"
She shook her head, gave in to the smile that had threatened to cross her face. "Mostly how much we love you. And that you and I were destined to be together. And her feelings about being a Goa'uld host."
He started. "She talked to you about that?"
"Yes. And it was between her and I," Casey said softly, firmly.
Without a doubt Sha're felt guilty. She shouldn't, but knowing her, she did, Daniel thought. He was certain more had been said, or Casey wouldn't be so hesitant to tell him about it. He looked into determined green eyes. If he pushed her, she would undoubtedly get pissy. But, god, he wanted…needed…to know that Sha're was all right! That she had learned that she had nothing to feel guilty about!
Another sigh. He might not push her now, but eventually he would wear her down, demand to know what his first wife had told her. She pulled her lip between her teeth. How much should she tell him? It would kill him to know that Sha're had been attracted to Apophis; which, under the circumstances, was understandable. For her, anyway. As much as he hated the Goa'uld, Apophis in particular, he would come unglued at the knowledge. "She told me that she loved you. That I was your Destiny, and that even if you had found her, and taken her to the Tok'ra to get rid of Amaunet, we would have met, fallen in love."
"Seems I told you the same thing," he said softly.
She tightened her arms around his neck. "Yes, you did. I really don't want to talk about Sha're."
He grinned again. "What do you want to talk about?"
"No talking, Doctor Jackson. Touching. Kissing. Loving."
"You have the best ideas, Mrs. Jackson," he replied, kissing the tip of her nose. He knew damned good and well there was a lot more to the conversation that had occurred between his first wife and Casey than she was letting on. He also knew that more that likely he would never find out what all had been said. The guarded look in those beautiful green eyes warned him that it was possible he might not want to know what all had been discussed. Experience had taught him that sometimes, it was best to leave things just the way they were. He scooped his Wife into his arms, and carried her to the bed.
For three hours they made love, soothing the fears, the worries away, taking and giving comfort from one another. Reassuring one another with each caress, until all that was left were feelings of bliss…happiness…contentment.
She snuggled closer to his chest, the rumble of his snore echoing beneath her cheek. "Thanks," she whispered. She closed her eyes, certain that she had heard a soft 'You're welcome.' For the first time she felt…peaceful, at ease with Daniel's memories of his first wife. She was certain that meeting Sha're, talking with her, learning that she and Daniel had been destined to be together almost before their births went a long way in soothing her heart.
A A A A A A
The next day was spent exploring the rest of the small, ill-kept museum. Sam was the one to point out that it was more or less hidden in what had become the industrial center of the city. Few people would wander into the area, lessening the chances of any accidental discoveries that might be made among the multitude of items from four hundred years into the Langaran past.
Teal'c noted that several items, supposedly simple household items, were replicas of Goa'uld technology. Obviously without crystal circuitry and the miniaturized circuit cards, none of the items functioned. Were they just simple reproductions, made in an attempt to mimic what the Goa'uld had? Or were they silent messages through the years to anyone who could recognize them?
Casey was studying a very realistic copy of a pain stick. "According to the tag, this was what most people used to push logs further into their firebox, to keep from being burned."
Daniel snorted. "Whoever made this had seen a pain stick up close. Had probably been tortured with one."
"You guys should take a look at this," Sam said quietly.
They gathered around her, stared at a ribbon device. It was too realistic to be a fake, they agreed on that. "Is there any way to know for sure?" Jack asked.
Sam glanced around. "Only one that I can think of," she replied softly.
Daniel and Jack carefully examined the glass box that covered the device. They could find no alarms attached. In fact, after a through investigation, they discovered that it wasn't even locked.
With her teammates gathered around her, concealing her movements, and Casey reading loudly from the card, Sam slipped the device onto her hand. Was able to make the stone in the center begin to glow. She took it off, put it back into the case. "Interesting," she said out loud.
"Indeed," Teal'c replied.
"Seems like a lot to wear just to be in the height of fashion," Casey said. According to the tag, it had been worn by women of high birth and station as a form of jewelry - as hand and wrist decoration.
"If you don't have to cook or do housework, why not?" Sam asked, shrugging.
"Good point," Casey agreed.
"Well, team, I'm getting hungry," Jack announced.
"Shall we try the local version of pizza?" Sam asked. "We could eat it in one of the rooms, play a bit of poker."
"Good idea, Sam," Daniel said, putting his arm around Casey and pulling her close.
The team wandered slowly to the door, said a pleasant goodbye to the young woman who seemed to be the only person working in the museum at the moment, caught a cab and headed back to the hotel.
A A A A A A
The pizza was…different, and not bad at all. Especially with the local equivalent of beer. Jack wiped his mouth on a napkin. "Okay, so we know that the Goa'uld were here four hundred years ago. These people know about Goa'uld. You can't tell me that they wouldn't at least recognize that ribbon device!"
"In plain sight," Daniel muttered.
"What?" Jack asked.
"They're hiding the proof in plain sight." Daniel turned to his Wife. "Didn't that young woman tell us yesterday that we're the first tourists to come into the museum in months?"
Casey frowned, and nodded. She took a sip of beer. "If the others were from Langara, it's doubtful that they would recognize any of the displays."
"What about the members of Langara's SG teams?" Jack asked.
"Why would any of them be interested in a bunch of junk from four hundred years ago? Anything they would be interested in would be included in the find that dated ten thousand years ago. Because they have no idea that the Goa'uld had returned to Langara not that long ago," Daniel replied.
Jack nodded. "Sounds reasonable. When we get back home, I want to know who this Goa'uld was," he said. "Right now, let's just get some sleep."
It took awhile for Daniel to finally fall asleep. His body was more than relaxed, totally satiated from making sweet love with Casey. But his mind continued to work on the puzzle that they had discovered. Something told him that this was going to be important. That the knowledge might be useful in protecting the planet from further attack. He closed his eyes. Until he knew exactly who the Goa'uld was, none of it would make any difference.
A A A A A A
Duncan listened carefully as the team explained what they had discovered on their 'vacation'. He frowned, looked over at Daniel. "Any identification on this mystery Goa'uld?"
Daniel nodded. "Yeah. Jordan."
"Oh, hell," Jack hissed.
"Yeah," Daniel agreed. "He's taking a beating from Penatil. Has lost over half of the planets he laid claim to. If he gets desperate enough, he's going to find out that Langara still has naquadah."
"And he'll be more than willing to return to a planet where the people succeeded in giving him the old heave-ho," Jack said. "A little retribution."
"Oh, that does not sound good," Casey said.
The Highlander looked at her. "Can you see anything?"
She took hold of Daniel's hand, moved and listened. She opened her eyes and shook her head. "I think we need to get a message to Methos. Those snakes need to get together now to get rid of Penatil. It might take the pressure off of Jordan. As it is, he's desperate, but not desperate enough to take on a civilization that has naquadah bombs," she said.
The dark haired man nodded. "I'll get it sent right away. In the meantime, there's a little matter that we need to deal with."
"And that is?" Jack asked.
"We managed to get a bit more information from Kinsey. The names he gave us check out as possible NID agents. The EDA has asked us to, and I quote, 'deal with the situation in whatever manner seems most appropriate'."
"So we're going to Earth?"
"Yep. I want you to stay out of sight. The Phoenix will be in orbit, cloaked, and will beam you to wherever it will be that you'll need to go. I want these bastards taken out as quickly and quietly as possible," Duncan said. He looked at Jack. "I want you to plan this mission. You've planned the other assassination missions."
Jack nodded. That he knew how to plan such missions was because of the black ops training he had received, and the black ops he had participated in. Damned distasteful work, most of the time. As long as nothing went wrong, however, taking out NID agents was a worthy cause, in his mind.
Casey sighed. Things were about to get…intense, for SG-1 and SGC Gamma. Again.
Daniel glanced at her. There were no personal demons haunting her, at least none that he knew about. He felt the same way she did. Just thinking about what they were facing made him tired. "Let's go home, Angel, spend some time with the kids," he said softly, lifting her hand to his lips.
Duncan nodded. "Back here at seven thirty in the morning. I'd like you leaving as soon as possible. With the NID involved, we need to move quickly."
Jack picked up the folder of information that Duncan had given him. "I'll have a mission plan," he said softly. He looked at the faces of his team. "Time to go to work, campers. Get a good night's sleep."
They filed out of the room quietly. The elevator ride to the surface was done without the normal chatter and teasing. They were all mentally preparing themselves for the days, the weeks, that lay ahead. Time that would be every bit as stressful as the other battles they had fought against other Goa'uld. Each coming to terms once again with the fact that this was their job, this was what SG-1 did, what they were good at. Fighting the bad guys. To protect the Innocent. A never ending job.
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