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There were six members of the negotiating team from Earth, representing the three different corporations. Casey’s first impression of the men was that of pit vipers. She was especially distrustful of one man from Aracorp, a company that specialized in military weaponry. She was the first to notice that he seemed to know one of the crew.
"Looks like we might have found our NID mole, kids," Jack said softly. They watched from the shadows as the crewman and the representative talked in hushed whispers. "Okay, let’s get the meeting started."
Wearing his black suit, a white shirt and burgundy tie, Daniel looked every bit the part of a corporate negotiator. The conference room was set up to give strategic psychological advantage to him and SG-1. The table was triangular, and he sat alone at the top ‘point'. The representatives were seated three to a side. The team from Aracorp was separated, on purpose. SG-1 sat at the ‘base’ of the table. The team, dressed in green BDUs, was already seated when the men from Earth were led in. Daniel rose to greet them, but the team remained seated. There were also two armed SFs standing at attention near the door.
"Is their presence necessary?" one of the men asked, nodding at SG-1, obviously agitated at the sight of the armed team.
"Yes, it is," Daniel replied.
"Don’t trust us, eh?" Asked the man the team had witnessed with the crewmember.
"Not any farther than we can throw you," Casey said softly. She caressed the grip of her P90, making the movement blatantly apparent.
"I don’t see how we can be expected to conduct a business meeting in an atmosphere like this," another of the men said.
"We don’t have to conduct a meeting at all," Daniel replied. "This is the way it is. If you don’t like it, we’ll ring you back to the SGC and you can go home. We’ll go home. The Terrans and the Tollans will buy our Orrinite."
The men shifted in their seats and exchanged glances. "Doctor Jackson, we’re very interested in your…uh…Orrinite," the first man who had spoken said. "So let’s get down to business."
Daniel read from the report that described the ore, and the qualities already known about it. He looked up and asked if there were any questions.
"How much are you willing to sell us?"
"Two hundred pounds," Daniel replied calmly.
The six men began to protest loudly. The one who seemed to be the spokesman of the group held up his hand. "This is just for the initial sale, correct?"
"No. Two hundred pounds per year. Period. Take it or leave it."
Again the men began to protest. "And how much are you asking per pound?"
"One thousand dollars." Daniel replied.
Two of the men jumped to their feet. "This isn’t a negotiation. This is extortion," the older of the two said.
"That’s our price. I suggest that you think about it. You can each contact your bosses and see what they say. We’ll meet back here in two hours." Daniel stood. The SFs who had been waiting near the door escorted the men out of the room.
Casey giggled as soon as the team was alone. "Oh, they are not happy," she said.
"They’re going to try and outbid each other for the entire amount," Daniel said, grinning.
"Don’t care who gets it, as long as we get top dollar," Casey sighed. "We’ll need the money for doing business with several of the other companies who are interested in contracts with us."
Jack grinned. "You’ve always impressed me with your negotiating skills, Space Monkey."
"I’m going to go get us some coffee," Casey said. "I’m sure there will be a steady stream of reps in here for the next hour or so." She glanced at Teal'c before she left the room. He gave a barely perceptible nod.
She hadn’t made it far from the conference room when strong arms wrapped around her, one hand clamped over her mouth. Her P90 was taken from her hands, her side arm was taken as well. She recognized the crewmember as he stood holding her weapons. He looked at her as if she were nothing more than a piece of meat. Not a good thing, she thought, her heart pounding. She continued to struggle.
"Don’t make trouble, sweetheart, and this will be much easier for both of us," a voice hissed in her ear.
She was dragged…backwards…by whoever it was that still had a firm grip on her. She was being taken to the ring transport. If this bastard managed to get her off the ship, she was in big trouble. She bit the hand that covered her mouth, grinned at the surprised yelp, then screamed at the top of her lungs as soon as the hand moved enough. A fist impacted with her jaw, sending her reeling into the wall. She was hit again, and the blackness of unconsciousness surrounded her.
Teal'c jumped to his feet. "I believe I just heard Casey Jackson scream," he said. He was already out of the door before Daniel and Jack had time to react to his words. They heard the rings activate before they could reach the transporter. The Jaffa was already checking the controls when the other two men reached him.
"Can you tell where they went?" Jack asked.
"Yes, O’Neill. We will ring down to the same location."
The men stood shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, weapons drawn. Daniel’s eyes blazed with rage. They ringed down into the middle of an abandoned warehouse. Heard a vehicle engine roar to life. Running in the direction of the sound, the three men split up to surround the vehicle and prevent it from leaving.
Rolland Emerson sat in the back seat of the limousine beside the unconscious Immortal. Jesus, she’s beautiful, he thought, reaching out to touch her hair. He grinned. Before he turned her over to his boss, he was going to get to know this woman…intimately. He let his hand trail down her arm, caress her breast. He looked at the driver. "Let’s go. And raise the window," he ordered quietly. The black divider went up, sealing him into the back alone with his helpless prisoner. He was already unbuttoning the green military shirt that she wore. He was surprised…pleasantly so…to see a lacy black bra. He let his finger trail the pale skin above the lace.
The car started moving, then jerked to a sudden halt, throwing Emerson onto the seat opposite of him. Casey was now slumped completely on her side. Sliding back into his seat, he started to pick up the phone to find out from the driver what was happening when the window went down and the barrels of two guns came through, pointing at him. The door beside him was yanked open and Daniel Jackson threw himself onto the seat in front of the startled kidnapper.
Daniel took one look at his Wife, saw her shirt unbuttoned, and barely maintained control. He looked at the man who was sitting beside her.
"How…" Emerson stammered. He had managed to drop away from the other representatives as the SFs led them back to the room they had waited in earlier. He had grabbed her as soon as she'd left the room. The crewman, an agent of the NID, had helped him, having been waiting for such an opportunity. Levins had helped him program where he needed to ring to, and he'd brought her down. No one had seen them leave. When she'd screamed they'd been far enough from the conference room that no one there would have been able to hear her, and Levins had assured him that there was no one else on that particular level of the ship.
"Teal'c heard her scream," Jack said quietly. He glanced at Daniel, saw the rage burning in his eyes. One glance at Casey was enough to have it burning in his own veins. "Right now your best bet is to cooperate fully. Daniel here isn’t too happy that you abducted his wife. He’d as soon kill you as look at you. So we’re all going to go back to the rings, and back to the ship. Got it?"
Emerson nodded slowly. He had been so careful, planned this for weeks. He was frustrated that his plan had been thwarted so easily. His own distrust of people had left him with only two accomplices: Levins, on the ship, who worked for the same people he did; and the now unconscious driver. He should have hired guards for this warehouse, he thought, angry at himself. He winced in pain as Daniel jerked his tie loose, and pulled it from around his neck.
"On your knees, your head on the seat," the young man said. His voice was deadly in its calmness.
Emerson obeyed. He had never been able to stand pain, a fact of which his employers took full advantage. One look in those icy blue eyes told him that Dr. Jackson wanted nothing more than for him to disobey so that he could hit him. Or worse.
"Hands behind your back."
Again Emerson complied. He winced as Daniel tied his hands as tightly as possible.
Within minutes Emerson was back on the Phoenix. Daniel had his Wife in his arms. He carried her into the conference room, and laid her gently on the table there. He carefully buttoned her shirt, his eyes blazing whenever he looked at Emerson. The other five representatives were already there, and Teal'c brought Levins in shortly after.
"How many of you knew about this?" Daniel asked. His voice was hard and cold. He looked at each man. From what he could see in their eyes, none of them had any idea about the attempted abduction.
"Doctor Jackson, I can assure you that-" the man who had been the group spokesman started.
"You can’t assure me of anything," he snapped angrily. "Jack, is that link set up yet?" Daniel had thought he knew what anger was, what rage was. He thought he had felt such a thing when Apophis had taken Sha’re; when Framone had taken Casey. What he felt boiling in his veins right now went beyond rage. Had Casey not had one of her ‘feelings’, had they not discussed the possibilities of what could happen, had they not been prepared for such treachery, right now she would be on her way to an NID laboratory. Thoughts of what could have happened to her…his beautiful Wife, his lover, his best friend, his Chosen…made the fire of his anger even hotter.
Jack looked over at the young technician, received a nod, then nodded to Daniel. "You’re on, Daniel."
Daniel looked into the camera that Teal'c held against his shoulder. "Sorry to interrupt your programming, ladies and gentlemen, but we thought you’d like to know just what some of the corporate leaders of Earth are doing. The beautiful woman lying unconscious on this table is my Wife. She’s an Immortal. Less than thirty minutes ago a man representing Amacorp, a corporate front for the NID, tried to kidnap her. This man was with a group who were supposed to be negotiating a trade agreement with Gamma. If this is how you intend to do business with us, we’re not interested." He nodded slightly and Teal'c turned the camera off.
Jack watched as SFs surrounded the men. "Get these bastards off my ship," he said gruffly.
A A A A A A
Casey opened her eyes. She was lying on the bed in the quarters assigned to her and Daniel while they were on the Phoenix. "Where is that bastard?" she said, sitting up. Her hands were balled into fists.
Daniel grinned. He was sitting beside her, leaning up against the headboard. He ran a hand gently up and down her back. "Easy, Tiger. He’s already back on Earth. The whole group is."
Jack looked over from where he sat. "Daniel made a…um…‘public announcement’ when we got you back up here. Right now all hell is breaking loose among the corporations that want to do business with Gamma; the House and the Senate are coming unglued that the NID is still operational, because they're taking the blame for the lack of defense on Earth now; and the Earth Defense Alliance has already called three times to apologize and to make sure this won’t affect our treaty with them."
She smiled. "Well, we knew it was going to happen, and we knew I was the most likely target. I’m just glad that Teal'c was listening to my wire." She looked over at the Jaffa and winked. She giggled when he winked in return.
One of the SFs knocked on the door, then entered the room. "General O’Neill, sir, the representatives from DeMoore are requesting to come back on board."
Jack stood up. "Bring ‘em up. Daniel, you’re on."
The team made their way back to the conference room.
"Mrs. Jackson, I’m glad to see that you’ve suffered no injuries from your ordeal," the spokesman said as soon as they were all seated around the table.
"That’s only because I’m Immortal. If I weren’t, I’d probably have a broken jaw," she said dryly.
The men looked at each other, shifted uncomfortably. "Doctor Jackson, we have been authorized to offer you five thousand dollars a pound for the full two hundred pounds of Orrinite."
Daniel looked down at the notes he had take during a conversation with two companies willing to sell goods to Gamma. Because of what had happened they were offering a fifty percent discount for the first year of the contract. It was more than enough to buy the things they wanted. "Done." He pulled out a contract, filled in several places, then slid it across the table to be signed. He grinned and winked at Casey. Her eyes glowed with love, and that love wrapped itself around his heart.
Eight hours later, the cargo bay full of the supplies they had purchased, the Phoenix headed for the Alpha site.
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