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It's Hard to Say Goodbye
"What's up?" Jack asked, upon entering the bridge.
"Phoenix II just arrived. Sensors show that those al'kesh decided to follow us."
"How are we for ammo?"
"Techs are loading missiles and nukes right now. They'll need at least ten more minutes to finish. Kerry…er…Colonel Bailey reports all missile ports full and ready to go.'
"Good, she can buy us that ten minutes if necessary." Jack slid into the chair that Bradshaw vacated. SG-1 took the controls of the various stations, the regular crew moving out of the way willingly.
"Colonel Bailey, this is General O'Neill."
"General, good to hear your voice, sir. We were getting concerned when you were out of contact for so long," the woman's voice replied.
"Yeah, well, you know us, just when you think we're down for the count, we jump back up again," Jack grinned.
"So I hear, sir," Kerry replied. Her voice held a smile.
"Okay, here's what we're going to do. We're gonna play dead. You're going to limp around, as if you're trying to help us. We'll draw the bastards close enough, then we're going to get rid of them. All auxiliary power to shields for this one," Jack said.
"Haven't done any acting since college," Kerry said. "Should be fun."
"Sam, how long to get engines back online if we shut 'em down?"
Sam's blonde head jerked in the direction of her husband. "Ten minutes. At least. That's not including the five minutes to charge the hyperdrive system."
"Shut 'em off."
"Trust me," he said quietly. "Colonel Bailey, we're shutting off our engines. We're going to be depending on you to keep those ships off our ass if need be."
"Trust me." Jack looked pointedly at Daniel. "It's going to be up to you, Danny, to keep us in one piece."
Daniel nodded his understanding.
"Now, is there any other way to make us look more damaged than we are?"
"If we go to emergency systems, their scans will pick that up," Sam replied.
"Do it. Tell all hands to prepare for a rough ride." Jack looked over at Casey. "Let 'em get close. Then give 'em hell."
"You got it," she said quietly.
"Tell me what they're doing, Case," Jack said.
Daniel leaned over and took her hand. He winked at her, smiled when she winked back, then waited for her to hold on to him.
She reached out, felt the shadows that surrounded the ships. Another freaking seer! How many did he have? Her frustration turned to speculation as she moved close enough to be able to catch glimpses of three women sat on the floor of a small room, their hands firmly locked. Was that…yep…more of that happy juice. Okay, these bitches weren't 'naturals'. Their abilities were induced by drugs. Well, time to show the asshole what a real seer was capable of. "Daniel, I need you," she said softly.
"I'm right here, Angel," he replied.
In the meadow, she wrapped her hands around his face. 'I'm not sure how to do this. I need you to come with me," she said.
He nodded. 'Take me there, Angel,' he replied.
Just as she had when she had taken him through the planet into the room where the Ancient weapon had been hidden, Casey could 'feel' Daniel with her, could sense the 'drag' that he created as she tried to move.
He could feel her frustration. Unsure what was wrong, he focused his own Fire toward her, keeping control of it, but allowing her to draw from its strength. Suddenly they were moving through space, the light of distance stars a blur around them. It was similar to riding through a wormhole, he thought briefly. Whoa! Ships! At least, he thought they were ships. There was a haze of darkness around what seemed to be al'kesh shapes.
'I need to get rid of that haze, so I can see what's going on,' she whispered softly. 'Can you do it?'
'One way to find out,' he replied. He raised his hand, and in a flash of light, ripped the darkness into strips, giving it the appearance of shredded gauze. 'How's that?'
'Perfect,' she smiled. 'Don't move…stay right where you are.'
He wasn't so sure he wanted to hear that, certain that he didn't want her to leave him here. He could sense that she was moving around, darting from one ship to the other. He couldn't help but laugh out loud when the thought that she was a bit like Tinkerbelle, flitting from one place to the other, crossed his mind.
'What's so funny?'
'Nothing, Angel. Just do what you need to do.' He felt her take his hand, the simple touch comforting for both of them.
She checked each ship carefully, hoping that she would find evidence that Dagon had been killed. Nope. That rat bastard was asleep. Anger flooded her being. He was the reason that the men of SG-6 were dead! For that alone he needed to die. She drew the strength from her husband once again, could feel the warmth of his Fire, but not the actual Fire itself. She reached out and shook all three ships, as hard as she could. She gave a satisfied smile to see that she had thrown that Goa'uld bastard from his bed. She returned to the ship where his druggie seers were. She still had no answers as to why they were never on the same ship as he was. The women were most certainly looking around. She wrapped herself around Daniel for a few seconds, until she felt their gaze move on.
'Just making sure we aren't noticed,' she whispered. The women were chanting louder now, each of them raising the gold chalices to their lips. The light from the flames within the braziers danced off of their naked bodies. She waited…now! She shook the ship, and just as had happened before, by waiting until the chalices touched their lips, she was able to send most of the concoction into their mouths. It ran down naked breasts, and when they began to lick it off of one another, she couldn't hold back her giggle.
'What?' Daniel asked. He could see the ships, but nothing else. He could only sense her gentle presence, he couldn't actually 'see' her.
'I uh, gave Dagon's Priestess' something better to do than to hide him and block our communications.'
'Do I want to know?'
'Probably, but I'm not telling you. I don't have time for you to sit and watch three women getting it on.'
'Nice try. Time to go back.'
He grinned. 'Not even a peek?'
She giggled again. Oh, why not? She concentrated, took his hand, and led him carefully to the ship where the three women were kissing and caressing one another passionately.
It was as if he was standing in the room with the very…busy…priestess'. 'Whoa!'
'Want to join them?'
She giggled. 'Good answer. Let's go.'
'Just a second.'
His heart had stopped beating for a moment. One of the women, stretched out on her back, her companions suckling happily at her breasts, looked like Sha're. That woman had turned her face toward him, her brown eyes glazed with lust. A second glance and he could see that she was not his late wife. The likeness was uncanny however. 'Never mind, Angel. Let's go.'
She pulled them back to the meadow. Her eyes met his, she noticed the troubled look in the blue depths. 'What's wrong, Daniel?'
He shook his head. Couldn't hold her gaze. 'Nothing.'
She pulled her lip between her teeth. 'Whatever you say.' She started to move away from him.
He sighed, caught her hand, pulled her close once again. 'One of those women looked like Sha're.'
Her cheeks paled slightly. 'Oh.' She didn't know what else to say, what to even think about the situation. She stepped away quickly, for the first time anxious to feel him move away from her.
On the bridge of the Persephone, he refused to let go of her hand, even when she tugged to free her fingers. 'Love you, Angel.'
He frowned. The response was automatic, and held no emotion. He couldn't sense any anger in her. Confusion. But no anger. No doubt a discussion about Sha're would be forth-coming, and he would once again be assuring her of his love. He shook his head. If she saw Ba'al, or Nergal, or hell, even someone who looked like Wade, he'd be a bit…pissy…as well. He didn't want to think about the fact that any, or all of those men might fill her dreams, and her arms, at night.
"Well?" Jack asked.
She pulled her hand free of Daniel's, her body trembling slightly. "Well, we shook him and his friends up again. Left his seers busy doing other things. He's ticked off, so when he gets here, he's going to want to take us out as quickly as possible, I think," she added.
Jack grinned. "Good! If he's ticked off enough, he'll react in anger, make mistakes. Okay, let's get ready to give him a good old fashioned SGC welcome."
'Are we all right?'
She thought about what had happened. Just because he had seen a woman who reminded him of his late wife was nothing to freak out about! Hadn't he told Sha're goodbye in her dream? Told her that he was the one unworthy…let the dark haired woman know while he would never forget her, his love for his wife, his current wife, was deep? 'We're fine, Stud Muffin.'
He grinned when a wave of love so soft, so sweet, so incredibly wonderful washed over him. He sent his love to her, saw the shiver and the smile that tugged at her lips.
The ship shuddered around them, hit by one of Dagon's weapons. The bridge was plunged into darkness, and then the blue emergency lights began to glow once again.
"Oh, he is pissed!" Casey said softly. She giggled. "I don't know if he knows who keeps messing with him, but he's pissed off!"
She had no more than reported to Jack when the com screen activated. Steven Rayner's face filled the screen.
"Is Doctor Jackson and his lovely wife with you?" the duel voice asked.
"What…no hello, no 'how's it going', not even any of those tired old clichés that you snakes seem to like so much?" Jack asked conversationally.
The brown eyes glowed. "Is Daniel Jackson and his wife with you?"
"What's it to you?" Jack asked in return.
"Surrender them to me, and I will let you live. I'll even spare that laughable colony of yours…Gamma I believe you call it."
"Uh…gee, let me think about that for a minute. Okay. Thought it over. No."
"Why would you allow all of those under your command to die for just two people? I give you my word that no harm will fall to you if they are transported to my ship immediately."
Casey had tugged at Daniel, and was doing a surreptitious look into the Goa'uld's mind. She signaled to Jack that she had found something.
"Tell ya what. Let me talk it over with my crew. Call back in five minutes." Jack motioned to the com tech to cut the transmission. "Talk to me, Case."
"He has no idea that it's me. He thinks that the seer of another Goa'uld…by the name of Toren, is responsible. He wants Daniel, and me, because he thinks that we're the weapons he needs to beat that snake, and rule the universe."
Jack shivered slightly. Dagon was right. If he had Daniel and Casey at his disposal, forced to do what he wanted them to do…nope, not even going there. Too nasty to contemplate. "Anything else?"
She grinned. "Yep. He has absolutely no idea about the true extent of Daniel's strength. So I'm thinking that when I give 'em hell, Daniel should toss some of those cool blue fireballs into the mix. That will confuse him a bit, he won't be sure if it's Daniel, or our weapons."
"I like the way you think," Jack grinned.
"He's scanning us," Sam reported. "He's going to think we're crippled. Which technically we are until the engines are back online," she pointed out.
"Right here, sir," the woman's voice filled the bridge.
"When that first ship gets close enough, I want you to make a start for it, then stop. As if your engines are giving you trouble. Flicker your shields a bit, then leave them on," Jack said. "Casey, drop our shields."
Her eyes went wide. "Are you nuts?"
"Casey!" His voice was sharp, a tone that he rarely used with his team.
She jumped slightly. "Dropping shields."
"Jack, they'll try to board us," Daniel said quietly.
"They'll want to move in closer, right Teal'c?"
"Yes, O'Neill. If they believe these ships to be crippled, Dagon would order his ships to dock with ours, to move his troops on board much more quickly than with the ring transporter," Teal'c replied. "He will do so in an attempt to locate and kidnap Daniel Jackson and Casey Jackson."
Casey began to giggle. "Oh, man, I am never playing Risk with you!"
Jack chuckled. "Bring the shields up as soon as you open fire," he told her. "Sam, as soon as Casey opens fire, you bring those engines online."
Sam was grinning as well. "Yes, sir!"
For a few minutes, it seemed that Dagon was not going to move his ships any closer than he was. Then slowly two moved forward. Following Jack's orders, Kerry Bailey made it appear that the damaged Phoenix was going to try and protect the much more badly damaged Persephone.
"Another scan," Sam announced.
"Okay, kids, hang on," Jack said softly. The silence on the bridge was deafening, the tension palpable as they watched and waited for the three al'kesh to move ever closer. "Just a little closer…Colonel Bailey, open fire when Casey does."
All three al'kesh moved ever closer to the Tau'ri ships. "Now!" Jack ordered.
Casey began firing all weapons, could see the streaks from the missiles that flew from the Phoenix as well. Daniel had moved near the window, targeted the ship that Dagon was on, and began to hurl fireballs at it. The two forward al'kesh were caught completely off guard, taking considerable damage before they were able to begin moving away. Dagon had moved as far away from the battle as possible.
"That's good, Danny," Jack said quietly. "Engines?"
"Four minutes," Sam reported.
"We have gliders coming in," Casey announced.
"Launch all fighters," Jack replied.
Fighters from both ships joined the fray, taking out the first wave of gliders with no problem. It seemed the Jaffa pilots that the 302 fighters were up against lacked the experience of those they had battled two days prior.
"Engines online, hyperdrive standing by," Sam said, the grin on her face echoed in her voice.
"Colonel Bailey, let's go get 'em," Jack said.
The Phoenix began to move toward the Goa'uld ships. When the Persephone began to move as well, the enemy ships began to retreat. The ship furthest from the battle suddenly jumped to hyperspace.
"That dirty rat bastard," Casey hissed.
"Track him!" Jack ordered.
Sam shook her head. "I'm sorry, Jack. They're jamming us. I can't get a reading on them."
"Case, arm the nukes, take those two out before they can jump," Jack said.
"Arming nukes." She flipped the switches. She had green across the board. "All nukes ready."
"One at a time, let's not waste 'em," he said softly. "Fire at will."
As she had before, she reached out only as far as the Goa'uld ships. Found the weakest point in both. Her fingers moved over the targeting computer. "Firing nukes one and four," she said softly.
"Move us out of the way, Danny," Jack said. Colonel Bailey had begun moving back as soon as she saw the Persephone backing up. Good soldier, that colonel, he thought.
The darkness of space exploded with light when the missiles impacted on their targets. Seventeen seconds later the energy wave hit the Persephone, shaking it from side to side.
Jack rubbed a hand over his face. "Let's go home, people. We're not going to chase all over looking for his ass. We'll wait until we have intel. Colonel Bradshaw, you have the con."
The regular crew resumed positions as SG-1 wearily left the bridge. The war with Dagon had started. And already the cost was too high.
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