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It's Hard to Say Goodbye
Daniel stood in front of his teammates, all of them giving him their rapt attention. "Toren is a very obscure god from Terra, known as one of the ancient 'overlords'. There wasn't much about him, but of the five references I could find, there were inferences of him 'battling' with a 'fish'. Now, Dagon is most often depicted as half man, half fish. Could be a coincidence, but I'm more inclined to believe that these two have been fighting each other for a very long time."
"How can he be the god of the dead and agriculture and be half a fish?" Jack asked.
"Dagon was also known as a god of the waters, or oceans," Daniel explained calmly.
"Yeah, real multi-tasker," Jack grumbled. Casey giggled.
Daniel couldn't help but grin. "Well, here's an interesting little tidbit. It seems that Toren was an underworld type god. And that he amassed armies of the dead to fight against the other 'overlords' in an attempt to wipe them all out. In comes a 'fish', and successfully wipes out his army, and, I'm quoting here, 'the great scaled one, the Fish of the heavens, took that which belonged to Toren, yea, all that had been in the hands of Toren fell unto the Fish, and from his own lands was he driven'."
"So Dagon managed to wipe out Toren's zombie army, then took over his holdings. Which had to have included the laboratories, and the scientists, who created the zombies for Toren," Sam said.
The archaeologist nodded. "Toren had already managed to take quite a bit from the 'overlords'. I'm thinking he had more than Dagon realized, and was able to 'rebuild' fairly quickly. Which prevented Dagon from growing any more powerful than he already was."
"Who were these other 'overlords'?" Duncan asked.
Daniel checked his notes. "Two gods, one goddess. Frygntyne, the god of meysan, um, those are like horses, and of wine."
"I'm not even going to ask," Jack muttered.
He glanced at his best friend and grinned. "Then there's Syrmth, the god of the air and music."
"Oh, for crying out loud!"
"And then Dalyne, the goddess of the hearth, and time."
Jack tossed the folder onto the table. "Do you make this stuff up?"
He gave in to his laughter. "No, Jack, I don't. It's quite common for deities to be 'in charge' of several things, and none of them related. That happened over time, as people found new things that they needed to explain, needed a god for. They would chose one who already existed, and simply add to his list of 'duties'," Daniel explained.
Casey was giggling. "Hmm…that would sort of be like putting Jesus in charge of saving souls and making creamy peanut butter."
Sam burst into giggles. "Or Buddah, in charge of meditation and cruise ships."
Duncan was chuckling as well. "Okay, so we know that these two have a history of bad blood between them."
Daniel nodded. "I can't seem to find much about Toren, possibly because when Dagon took over his territories, he had all traces and mention of Toren removed. That was a common practice among the Pharaoh's of Egypt, and most of the gods of Terran and Langara as well."
"The best way to defeat an enemy is to deny his very existence after he's been beaten," Jack said. "Probably kept any followers from planning surprise comebacks for the guy as well."
The Highlander turned to Casey. "We need to know where Toren is," he said softly.
She gave a nod. She smiled up at Daniel, waited until his hands were wrapped around hers.
She caressed his cheek in that meadow, just before she reached out and began her search. She listened, reached out a bit farther, looked around. There! Three habitable planets in one solar system. She moved closer. Found a dark curtain of haze around on particular area. If Toren had adept seers, she could risk discovery just ripping the cover apart. She needed to find a way in. She moved around, examined every corner, every edge. Wait! Did the haze descend into the ground as well? Nope! Okay, let's just tunnel in! She 'walked' slowly, trying to cause as few 'ripples' around her as possible.
The temple was large, and unlike Dagon's monstrosity, was spartan in design and decoration. Definitely a temple to Toren. But where was the Goa'uld himself? Oh, there. Nice palace next to the temple…not too overdone, yet…sumptuous. Swimming…no…bathing. Wow. Cute. Oh, yeah, step out of that big old marble tub. Very, very nice. Long dark blonde hair. Looked thick. Blue eyes…almost gray. Nice shoulders. Tight ass. She froze when those blue-gray eyes seemed to focus on her. She backed away slowly, carefully, then raced for safety. She watched and waited, checking to see if he was following her. He wasn’t.
She opened her eyes. Licked her lips.
Daniel frowned at the look of Fire in her eyes. "Well?"
A glance at his eyes told her that he had seen her…reaction…to the man…Goa'uld. "He's alive and well," she reported. Sam raised an eyebrow in her direction. She hadn't missed the reaction either…had seen it during the show when the Chippendale's had performed at Esteban's.
Okay, he didn't like this one bit. 'Show me.'
She turned to face her husband. 'What?'
'Show me. Take me there.'
'Daniel, it's really-'
She shivered slightly. His fingers tightened against hers.
She closed her eyes, met him in that meadow, approached him slowly. 'Daniel-'
He reached for her, pulled her roughly against his body. 'Let's go.' His voice was low. Angry. Knowing that she would need his strength to help move them through space, he was already sending it to her.
'No! Too much!' she gasped, as the power threatened to overwhelm her. 'Please,' she begged softly.
Her soft cry brought him to his senses. He jerked the Fire back into his own body. 'Oh, god, Angel, I'm sorry!' He pulled her close, held her tenderly.
His anger…and actions… had fueled her own ire. 'You wanted to see him.' Without another word she reached out, pulling Daniel with her, reaching inside him and taking the power that she needed from him just as abruptly as he had sent it. When they reached the palace where the Goa'uld resided, she led him to the chamber where the man was still drying his body.
Daniel watched for a moment, then turned, surprised that he could actually see her. And the flames of anger that were burning in her eyes.
The Goa'uld turned suddenly, his eyes focusing on Casey.
'Oh, shit!' she murmured. She pulled back, moving as quickly as she could. Damn it! He was trying to follow her! She shoved Daniel into the meadow; he hit the grassy turf and rolled from the force of his 'return', then jumped to his feet, grabbed her tightly, watched her eyes flutter shut again as she raced back out to make sure that the bastard couldn't follow her. She barely managed to avoid colliding with the Goa'uld.
"So you are the little witch that has Dagon, and his new host, all excited."
His voice was soft, low…sexy. She looked around. They were standing on top of a mountain. She could feel Daniel's arms around her. She let the security of his embrace push away her fear. One cry and he would be here to protect her. "And you're the snake-head who has him running scared."
Toren laughed softly. "Yes, I suppose I am. Tell me, little one, what name do you go by?" He reached out and tucked a strand of long, blonde hair behind her ear.
She swallowed, mesmerized by his blue-gray eyes. "Casey," she responded, her voice a soft whisper.
"An unusual name. Casey." He let the name roll off of his tongue. "Casey. Yes, I like it." He ran his fingers over her cheek.
This is a Goa'uld, her brain screamed at her. The same thing as that bastard who killed the guys of SG-6. Her eyes flared with anger. "Gee, I'm all a-quiver knowing that."
He laughed again. "Beautiful, and full of fire. Very intriguing package. One that shall delight me for many years to come, I believe."
"Not even in my worst nightmares!"
His eyes glowed. "That, my sweet Casey, can be arranged!"
"Knock yourself out. My husband, The Chosen, will whip your ass any time, any place!"
He backed up slightly at the mention of The Chosen. Reports had been filtering to him that the mythical Chosen had indeed appeared, and was killing Goa'uld at an alarming rate. "We shall meet, my beautiful Casey. Soon."
She was suddenly alone on the mountain. It began to fade, and she raced back to her own mind, terrified, but certain that the Goa'uld wasn't following her.
'Hold me, please hold me,' she begged, locking her arms around his neck, her body shaking.
He had no idea what had just happened. Only that it was something that was his fault. He pulled her close. 'I’m sorry, Angel, I'm so sorry.'
She buried her face against his neck, clung to him until the tremors stopped.
A sudden giggle made him pull away far enough to see her face. 'What?'
'We have got to stop getting so damned jealous! It gets us into trouble every time!'
He laughed. 'Yeah, you're right. It just…when I saw that look in your eyes…the…lust…it just…"
'I'm sorry,' she murmured, dropping her gaze.
He wrapped his hand around her chin. 'No, Angel. You have no reason to be. You reacted to the sight of a naked man. Just like I reacted to the sight of those three women getting it on with each other. Especially when one of them reminded me so much of Sha're. It was…chemistry. Simple biology. Nothing more. Certainly nothing to be held accountable for…or have to feel guilty about.'
'You're the only man I'll ever want, ever love,' she said softly.
'You're the only woman that I'll ever want, ever need, ever love,' he replied. He kissed her gently. 'Ready?'
With one final caress, he moved away from her.
She opened her eyes. Smiled at Daniel, caressed his cheek when he lifted her fingers to his lips.
"Okay, what the hell was all of that about?" Jack demanded to know.
"I found Toren. Daniel…uh…wanted to make sure it was really him. It is. And he's…uh …well, his host must be, that is…a seer. Pretty damned good one," Casey replied.
Duncan and Jack exchanged glances. If there had been anything else going on, and they were almost certain that there was, chances were they would never hear about it.
'Not telling them I threw a jealous fit.'
She smiled at him. 'Oh, I plan to make you pay.'
He grinned. 'Whatever you wish, My Lady.' His grin widened when she shivered slightly.
"Is this going to be a problem?" Duncan asked.
She pulled her lip between her teeth, glanced at Daniel. He nodded slightly. "It might be. He, uh…He caught me-"
"-nosing around, followed me, I managed to get Daniel back to…safety, and then I…uh…well, I guess you could say I met him."
"Casey!" Duncan exclaimed.
"Are you crazy?" Jack asked, his eyes wide.
"Not that I know of," she retorted. "Look, I know what he's capable of. He has no clue what I'm capable of. Just…looking…doesn't take that much. He also has no clue how powerful Daniel is. I did tell him that my husband is The Chosen, that seemed to rattle him a little bit. He was in a hurry to leave as soon as I mentioned him."
"Okay. Anything else?" Duncan asked.
"He seems to be…amused…that Dagon is trying so hard to get Daniel and I. He didn't say anything about it, but, I could… sense it," she replied.
"Well, according to Methos," the Highlander said, "we put a serious case of hurt on Dagon. He's left with not more than three al'kesh, possibly one ha'tak, and as far as he can find out, we managed to wipe out his army of zombies. He does have another lab, but it's not as large."
Jack shook his head. "Except for the very lower level, that lab wasn't being used. Didn't appear that it had been used for some time."
"Then it's possible he has another one some where. The planet he had his zombies on didn't have a 'gate, which tells me he's afraid of somebody finding them. Methos said that from what he could learn, only two of Dagon's planets have Stargates."
"He has dampening fields around all of his compounds, I'll bet," Sam said. "That would make it difficult for any approaching ships to inform their boss of the location of his holdings. As fast as those al'kesh showed up, he has a way of notifying those ships and getting them where he needs them very quickly."
"Which keeps the fight away from his palaces and zombies," Jack nodded.
"And that many ships would have made moving armies of zombies relatively easy, and difficult to defend against," Teal'c added.
"Now, the question is, will Toren move in on Dagon now that we've weakened him?"
Casey was pulling her lip between her teeth. For just a few seconds Toren had been…distracted. She had felt more than 'seen' or 'heard' his thoughts. Was that on purpose, to mislead her, and thus the team, or had he truly been thinking with his willywacker?
"Casey?" Jack asked quietly.
"There's something…if I could just focus!" she said, annoyed that the information she wanted was right at her fingertips, but still out of reach.
"Can I help?" Daniel asked softly.
She looked at him. "Maybe." She took his hand, smiled when his fingers gently squeezed hers, just before his thumb began to caress her knuckles.
"Show me," he whispered.
She was pacing in the meadow. 'It's here! I know it is! I just can't…find it!'
He began to look around. 'Any idea what it would look like?'
'Not a clue.'
He grinned at her. 'Okay, let's just take a deep breath. We'll do this logically. We'll start in one corner, and work our way to the next, back and forth. If it's here, we'll come across it.'
'Okay. You start in that corner, and I'll start over here.'
He hadn't gone three steps when a small slip of paper caught his eye. It looked blank to him. 'Case?' He held it up.
'Yes! That's it!' She threw her arms around him, hugged him tightly.
In the conference room she gave a cry, and launched herself into Daniel's arms. "There is nothing my gorgeous hunk of an archaeologist can't do!" she declared.
Daniel blushed, raised her fingers to his lips and held them there.
"Okay, so what did he do?" Jack asked, a grin on his face.
"Toren…well, his host…is a strong seer. Toren himself, snake that he is, has to let the host do all of the…seeing. And any astral travel has to be done by the host as well. Toren isn't as in control of his host as he would like to be," she said.
"Is it possible that the host would help us?" Sam asked.
Casey shook her head. "He's been…with…Toren too long. He's as warped as the snake is. But, because of this…tug of war, that goes on for control of the body, Toren hasn't had much time to expand his territory. He's managed to hold off his enemies with the psychic power of the host. I have a feeling that he's not opposed to doing to other people what Nergal did to me."
Daniel's fingers tightened around her hand. "Are you in danger?"
She shrugged. "Probably not any more than anyone else he decides to target."
"Can Aaron protect you?" Sam asked, a worried frown on her face.
"I don't know," Casey admitted, "he wouldn't be able to protect me 24/7."
"What about Daniel?" Duncan asked quietly.
"Again, he'd have to be there 24/7, and that means that basically neither of us get anything else done," she replied.
"What if we take the fight to him?" Daniel asked.
Casey looked at him. "I can get you there, but the fight would be up to you. I can shake things up, when I pull strength from you. That's all I can do."
He nodded. "Then we should do it."
Jack was frowning. "I don't like it. There is no way for us to help you, if you need help."
"Maybe there is," Casey said slowly. "Dad has a lot of power. He tries to downplay it, but I know that he does."
"So Aaron could go with him," Jack said.
"Or maybe even help you, or even two of you, come with us." She looked around the table. "It might be that this is something that we'll have to deal with alone. Daniel is The Chosen. If anyone can whip snake ass on the astral plane, it will be him!"
Once again his cheeks reddened at her praise. After what he had just done, the danger he had put her in, and she sat there, declaring to the world that he was her hero. His heart pounded with his love for her.
"Let's get Aaron in here," Duncan said. "I hate the idea of you being vulnerable to this asshole."
"That makes two of us," Daniel said quietly.
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