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Leap of Faith
Oskron told Daniel that it would be three months before the In-Betweens would be appearing among them. He also said that there was no way to contact them for an earlier visit. He did, however, agree to try to get a message to the rebels topside.
Daniel continued to sort through the books that filled the library. Jack had taken a walk, curious to see what was going on. He was greeted with caution by most of the men, several however, were openly hostile to him.
"I guess they're the ones who would have to compete with women for the men's attention," he told his friends upon his return.
Several men had been overly 'friendly' towards Daniel; Jack and Teal'c teased him about being a 'heartbreaker'. The young archaeologist rolled his eyes, not amused in the least. Too many rumors during his first few years at the SGC had made him sensitive to such perceptions.
They were sitting with their backs to the wall, watching the street outside of the library, eating MREs. Teal'c was the first to notice that they weren't alone. He put his food aside, stood up, and moved toward the shadows on the other side of the room. Jack was on his feet as soon as the large man had started moving.
Teal'c reached into the shadows, felt his fingers close around a slender shoulder. Something touched his arm, something that sent a jolt of fire up his arm. He dropped his hand, unable to maintain the hold he had. "I believe our…observer…was a woman," he said quietly. "The shoulder I managed to grasp was too slender, too delicate, to be that of a man."
"Could have been a kid," Jack said.
The Jaffa shook his head. "I do not believe so."
Daniel brought over the flashlights, and they could see a small gap in the wall, too narrow for any of them to try to get through. "Hey, look at this!" He bent over and picked up a small, folded piece of white paper. He unfolded it, read it, then smiled.
"What's up, Danny?" Jack asked.
"Well, according to this, we're to stay here, and if possible, collect all of the material that tells of life on Dovinia prior to one hundred and thirty years ago. And our wives are going to be brought down to us." Daniel looked at his friends. "I'm guessing that this is a message from that rebel faction."
"Or a message from someone determined to stop it," Jack countered.
The young blonde man frowned. "Okay, we won't turn over any books to anyone unless we're certain that they're part of the rebel group. Maybe Sam and Casey have been contacted by this group as well."
Jack nodded. "Get the stuff together, Daniel. We're keeping it safe until we know who we're dealing with."
Daniel nodded, and began to carefully gather all of the books relevant to the planet's history that he had found. He put in the medical books as well as the others the men had found, for good measure. Jack went on another walk-about, and brought back two of the crates they had hid behind the night before. The books were carefully put inside the crates, and then covered with a large canvas drop cloth that Teal'c had located near the now destroyed wall. Their gear was then piled carefully on top, obscuring the tarp as much as possible.
Jack made himself comfortable, Teal'c stood guard at the front of the room, and Daniel continued to sort through the books that still cluttered the room.
Two in particular caught Daniel's eye. They were written by someone he thought was an archaeologist, and both mentioned 'Ancient Ones', and the 'city of the Ancient Ones'. He took his notebook from his pocket and began to copy passages that might be important. Duncan had dedicated one MALP for looking in the quadrant of space that Aaron had suggested, but so far, there was no sign of the Lost City of the Ancients. He paused when he felt her, just a gentle touch. Smiled when her love surrounded him. He caressed her in return, sent his love to her, soothed the worry, the fear that he still felt in her mind. She pulled away slowly, with one final caress that widened his smile. He went back to his search.
A A A A A A
Casey had taken the last watch, and when Sam was awake, went in to shower. As soon as she had finished Sam took hers. They were both dressed, wearing their BDUs, and had started a game of gin when a knock on the door brought them to their feet.
A very young woman, her dark hair caught back in a severe bun, wearing a simple white smock, rolled a cart into the room. On it was what they assumed was to be their breakfast. The young woman smiled, nodded, and left.
"They're really into the fruit and veggies around here," Casey said, looking over the selection.
"Very little protein or carbs," Sam replied.
"Yeah, I noticed that. Seems to me that all of these women are very thin. Is the lack of protein and carbs intentional, or is it because they don't have a source for the foods rich in both?"
"I don't know. I haven't noticed much dairy, either, other than the sherbet last night."
Casey sighed. "These women seem healthy enough, but I'm wondering how strong they are. Other than those guards, I haven't seen anyone with sufficient body mass to have much muscle built up. And with a diet like this, muscle tone isn't going to be that good." She popped a piece of fruit into her mouth.
"Well, we might be stronger, but they still out number us," Sam pointed out.
"True." Casey wondered just how many they could take out before the numbers overwhelmed them…or would the fact that they could defeat a large number be enough to have the rest backing off? She shrugged mentally. Unless cornered, she and Sam had agreed to let Ihat try to break them out of their comfortable prison.
They weren't even finished eating when Rai arrived. She informed them that The Lady had instructed her to take them to the medical facility to ascertain that neither carried diseases that could be harmful to the residents of Dovinia Minor. The two blonde women exchanged a glance. Ihat had told them this would happen. Point one for the redhead.
Since their arrival, they hadn't left the tower. From what they were learning, it seemed that each tower was a small community unto itself. Unless one worked outside of the tower, there was no need to ever leave it. When Sam asked, Rai admitted that many of the older 'sisters' never left their tower at all. Each tower in the city was the same. And there were dozens of towers.
The doctor that approached them was beaming, thrilled to be the first among her colleagues to actually examine aliens.
Sam gave a nod, and Casey took a deep breath. "Rai, I'm sorry, please tell your doctor that we mean no offense, but unless she has been trained as a…uh…godar, and undertaken the vows of…uh…um…the Valkyries…she isn't allowed to touch us. Our souls would be damned to…uh…Valhalla for eternity if we allowed her to examine the temples of…uh …Thor."
Sam barely managed to bite back her giggle.
Rai nodded solemnly. "I understand, Casey. We have no wish to violate any of your religious laws."
A sudden thought popped into her head. If she was going to use Norse mythology, she might as well make use of all of it. "Rai, we haven't been allowed outside, and we must be able to say our prayers in a quiet place, close to the heart of…uh…Thor. The garden we arrived in would be sufficient. Would it be possible to return there, so that we might say our daily prayers?" She glanced at Sam, who was nodding with approval, her blue eyes shining with amusement.
"I will make this request," Rai said. "Until I know for sure, I must take you back to your quarters."
"That's fine," Casey said. She and Sam followed the young interpreter back to their room.
"Good move, Case," Sam said, when they were alone again.
Casey smiled. "I had to think fast. If they speak Goa'uld, they'd probably understand anything Egyptian, and possibly even some Latin and Greek. The only thing I could think of was Norse mythology. And the followers of that religion really do worship out doors. I thought if we could get close enough to the 'gate-"
"We could go through, get reinforcements, and come back for Jack, Daniel and Teal'c," Sam finished.
"Exactly. If nothing else, maybe we can find a way to get to where they are," Casey said.
"From what was said last night, I don't think they want us around the others. Have you noticed that whenever we go anywhere, the halls are empty?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, now that you mention it."
"Come here," Sam said, moving to stand by the door. There was a small peephole in the thick door. "Check it out."
The hallway that had been unoccupied when Rai took them to the medical floor was full of pedestrian traffic. Casey shook her head. "They're clearing the way when we're moved from one place to another. The Lady and the Prefect are scared to death of us!"
"Probably because we're proof that the rebels are right. If that gets out, I have the feeling that there would be a large-scale revolt," Sam said.
"I keep picking up the…disquiet. And there is a lot of it! The question is, when did somebody realize that this system is wrong? If this is how you were raised, and you didn't know any differently, why would you question? Someone, somewhere told, or showed, these women that their society is abnormal, or at least is by the standards of just about every other society we've ever encountered, and it raised questions."
Sam nodded. "Last night The Lady admitted that they do trade with others. If I had to guess, I'd say that the women who dealt with the traders were exposed to a 'normal' society. And brought the information back."
"The Prefect was totally worked up when I told them that we wanted to exchange knowledge and technology," Casey said.
"Yeah, she was. Which means they are desperate to keep these women ignorant of what's going on around them."
"Let's hope Ihat and her group are successful in changing all of this," the young blonde replied.
It was not quite an hour later when Rai returned, her face lit with a smile. "The Lady has agreed to allow you to go outside. However, you will be taken to a smaller park, near this tower. You will be allowed as much time for your prayers as you need."
So much for getting to the 'gate, Casey groused. Well, at least outside they had a better chance for escape. "When can we go?"
"It will be awhile. I apologize, but I have…um…another matter I must tend to first," the young woman said, refusing to meet their eyes.
"They have to get everyone cleared away," Sam said, her voice flat.
"Yep, sounds like it," Casey replied. "That's fine, Rai. Whenever you're ready."
The smile returned, and Rai nodded. "I shall be back soon."
"Okay, we're going to check this park out. If Ihat hasn't busted us out by this time tomorrow, we ask to return to say our prayers, and then we try to make a get away," Sam said.
Casey nodded. "Agreed." They started yet another game of gin. She couldn't help it, she had to know that he was there. She reached out, caressed him, felt his gentle touch in return. Just knowing that he all right, and that he was nearby, helped to calm the fear that hovered at the edges of her mind. She sent her love, felt his love flood her being in return. She smiled. If they weren't able to do this, she would be stark, raving mad with fear. She glanced at her best friend. Wondered how the woman could deal with not knowing. She smiled. Until she and Daniel had discovered this ability, they had managed to cope. She caressed him one last time, then slowly pulled away.
It was nearly two hours later when Rai returned for them. Once again the hallways were empty. They were taken through a door near what they perceived to be the back of the building. A large courtyard area was also unoccupied. The Lady and the Prefect were taking no chances, it seemed.
The garden where they found themselves was small, but lovely. Casey wandered the perimeter, telling Rai that it was important that they 'align' themselves with Thor. Sam nearly cracked up. She had no doubt that the next time the team saw the little gray alien, Casey would be certain to tell him about this…adventure, and his part in it.
Casey could see what looked like a wall near the far side of the park. She kept her head down, chanting a mantra that she had learned from Teal'c, but her eyes were scouring every inch of the wall. There! Was that a door? She knelt down, Sam followed suit. While she continued to chant, Casey began to move her hands, simple movements taken from the kata that she had seen Duncan do many times. She managed to point at the door. With a flourish both in her hands and the chant, Casey finished, and lowered her head to the ground. Again Sam copied her movements.
Rai had watched, fascinated by the alien religious rite. The hand movements were beautiful, and the chant was very…calming.
Casey and Sam stood. "Thank you, Rai. Our hearts rest easier now. We will be able to do this again tomorrow?"
The young brown haired woman smiled. "Of course. The Lady requests only that you give us time to…prepare…this park for you."
She nodded. "That's fine. It would be better if we could do this around midday. That is our…normal…prayer time."
Rai nodded. "I will tell The Lady."
Still looking around carefully, the two prisoners followed their keeper back to the tower that was their prison.
A A A A A A
Oskron entered the library slowly, almost reverently. He carried a basket, filled with food he had purchased from the café. He sat it down on the table. "I sent a message to the rebels, to where I have been instructed to reply to them. I do not know if they have received it."
Jack and Daniel exchanged a look. Either the rebels had gotten the message, and Oskron just didn't know it, or their visitor was a set-up. "Let's keep our visitor a secret for now," Jack said quietly. Daniel and Teal'c nodded.
"Jack says that we'll just have to wait then," Daniel said, seeing that the man was watching them.
The tall, dark haired man nodded. "If they have received the message, I will get a reply sometime tonight. I brought you food. I did not think to bring any this morning, for that I apologize."
Daniel smiled. "Thank you. We appreciate your thoughtfulness."
Oskron pulled a loaf of bread, what looked like a block of cheese, and three skewers of meat…although none of the men of SG-1 had a clue as to what kind of meat it was…from the basket. The food was good, and the men shared it. Oskron told of his childhood, listened with fascination about theirs, asking questions of each of them. The more he learned of these men, the more he wanted to know. Stories of their world captivated him, and he began to dream of walking through the Chappa'ai and seeing this amazing place for himself.
A group of men approached the open front of the room, nearly bowing as they got closer. "We wish to speak to the strangers. We have many questions that the one named Daniel may be able to answer," a burly redhead said.
Oskron turned to his new friends. "Do you wish to speak to them, or should I send them away?"
Daniel and Jack exchanged another look. "If they have questions, they should be allowed to find the answers," he replied. He turned and translated for Jack and Teal'c.
Jack chuckled. "Don't be surprised if they just want to hear about sex again," the older man said.
Which, Daniel was to learn, was exactly what they wanted to talk about. And they wanted to hear the skinny from the man who knew first hand about holding a woman, making love to a woman. Although Daniel was a bit embarrassed when the questions became more personal, he tried to answer as honestly as possible without giving actual details of his love life. The thought that these men would probably be shocked to hear that he and his beautiful Wife indulged in a bit of bondage made him smile. Images of Casey - so beautiful, her skin glistening with body oil, tied to the bed, moaning with need and Fire - danced in his head, and he had to struggle to keep from getting an erection. Something that several of the men he was talking to had been unsuccessful at, he noticed.
After nearly three hours of talking, the questions coming as fast as he could answer them, Oskron shooed the men away. "It is late, my friends. You must rest. Tomorrow we will hear from the rebels, and they will tell us what we should do."
Daniel nodded. "Sleep well, my friend. Let us know as soon as you can."
The tall man nodded, then disappeared down the street.
Jack was chuckling again. "Gonna be a lot of pud pulling tonight," he grinned. He hadn't understood a word of what had been said for the past three hours, but he could sure as hell see the results that the discussion caused.
Daniel rolled his eyes, but couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah, well, it's just something new to them, something …perverse…according to the laws of their society. The forbidden has always been the most desirable."
The older man nodded. "True. Let's get some sleep. Same watch rotation as last night. We need to be ready for whatever happens tomorrow."
Daniel pulled his sleeping bag around him. He'd never realized how much…roomier…it was to have his bag zipped together with Casey's. How much warmer it was with her curled against him. "Love you, Angel," he whispered as he closed his eyes.
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