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Let the Games Begin
Jack looked over at Duncan. "I don’t like this. Not one bit. Something's up."
"It is our base, don’t you think we should…monitor…the situation?" Duncan asked, a frown on his face. He didn’t like what was happening either.
The three men hurried to listen in on what was going on. Daniel, Jack, and Duncan crowded around the monitor that showed Jack’s office in full living color. The volume on the microphone was turned up.
"Have you had a chance to read the latest intel on Ba’al?" Jacob was asking.
"We were just going over it," Sam replied.
"We want to get someone inside," Jacob continued.
The men exchange uneasy glances. None of them liked where this was going. Daniel sat down. He was going to be paying for that damned mission for the rest of his life, he thought, and here was the proof. They were going to coerce his wife into a mission just like it.
"Don’t you already have an operative working for Ba’al?" Casey asked.
"Yes, but we have reason to believe that he’s willing to make a deal with the Tok’ra, and the Tau’ri. He’s been taking more than his agreed upon share of the spoils left by Anubis. The other System Lords are starting to grumble, and it looks as if they might form an alliance against him," Jacob said.
"So, what does that have to do with us?" Sam asked.
"Ba’al has a weakness for women with blonde hair," Anise said. "We believe that this…weakness can be used to our advantage. If we send word that the two of you are willing to meet with him, we will discover what it is that he wants. We believe you will have more success than either a Tok’ra operative, whom he would never trust, or the male members of SG-1."
"You want us to walk onto his ship, and talk to him?" Casey asked.
"No! No way in hell!" Daniel muttered. He was not going to allow his wife to go on board Ba’al’s ship, not without him!
"Put simply, yes," Selmak replied. "Ba’al has a reputation for treating his…women…with consideration. Not all of them, and not at all times, of course. But we believe this would be a relatively safe mission. Given the fact that he seeks dialogue with us, he will not be so willing to harm you, or see you come to harm."
"Okay, so what do we do?" Casey asked.
"You agree to help us?" Anise looked surprised.
"Sure, why not," Casey replied. "Have to admit he is kinda cute…if you can get past the whole Goa’uld thing."
Daniel groaned. Cute? A freakin’ Goa’uld? She couldn’t be serious! Couldn’t she see how dangerous this could be? What in the hell was she thinking? She was not going, if he had to hog-tie her and lock her in the closet!
"Sam? What about you? We would prefer that neither of you go in alone. Our operative will be able to help you, but together it will be easier to keep Ba’al…under control." Jacob asked.
"I’ll do it. If we can find out what he wants, it can only help us out." Sam replied. "Case?"
Jack hissed a breath. "Like hell you will," he muttered to himself. He was going to throttle Jacob and Selmak. How dare they ask this…he glanced down at Daniel. They dared because the Tok’ra had asked before, and got exactly what they wanted. Hell! This was not good!
The men were so upset that they missed the nervous look the two women exchanged. A look that would have told them that something was wrong, something was up.
"Then it’s a go," Casey said.
"Sammy, I want you to think carefully about this," Jacob said. "I want both of you to think carefully about this."
"Why all the secrecy?" Sam asked.
"We do not wish your husbands to influence your decision," Anise said.
"Sort of like you didn’t want me to influence Daniel?" Casey asked.
"Emotions hinder decisions that need to be made based upon logic and available information," the Tok'ra replied.
Daniel felt his heart constrict in his chest. The same words had been used to convince him to keep Casey in the dark. How many times were the Tok’ra going to use them, take advantage of them? And how many times were they going to allow it? "Jack, I am not letting Casey do this," he said firmly.
Jack shook his head. "I’m not letting Sam do it either."
Duncan cleared this throat. "What makes either of you so sure that you will have anything to say about it? Neither of those women are going to take kindly to you demanding that they obey you."
Daniel took his glasses off and rubbed his hand over his face. Duncan was right. If he tried to order Casey to stay home, she’d go just to prove that she was independent. So he’d have to charm her into staying home.
"Chances are they’ll use the same excuses, the same reasons we gave ourselves the last time this happened," Duncan said.
Jack and Daniel exchanged uneasy glances. Those reasons were too easily justified, too easily accepted.
"Yes. I personally guarantee that you will be given an ample supply of Sectonin." Selmak was saying.
"The drug that…" Sam broke off.
"The drug that will render Ba’al unconscious, and susceptible to the suggestion that he has engaged in sexual intercourse," Anise replied.
"I have one question about that," Casey said. "I can see it working on a woman … but …well, won’t he know? I mean, couldn’t he…well…um…get a bad case of…um…blue balls…from this?"
The men in the control room could see Jacob trying not to laugh, grinned when he didn’t succeed.
"More than likely he’ll simply have a…" Jacob started, his eyes on the ceiling.
Casey frowned, then grinned. "Oh…a wet dream. Okay. Just needed to know."
Daniel couldn’t help but laugh. Duncan was laughing also. "Only Casey would ask a question like that," Daniel admitted with a grin. His grin faded as he looked at his Wife’s face. No way could he let her do this. No way in hell.
A A A A A A
The message that Jacob feared would come arrived less than twenty minutes after talking with Sam and Casey, a ‘briefing’ that was only supposed to be a joke, a way to pay their husbands back for being jerks. Selmak argued with Talek for nearly an hour, then gave in, realizing that this mission had just become real. The Tok’ra was so upset that it took Jacob another hour to calm her down. The only thing they could do now was to make sure that Sam and Casey had everything they needed, and as much up-to-date intel as they could provide.
He found the two women huddled together in Sam’s office. "I have some bad news," he said softly.
Casey looked up at him, her green eyes wide. "It’s for real, now, isn’t it?"
"I didn’t think it would…we were only…" Casey looked over at the man. "Please tell me I didn’t come up with this on my own."
"The council has been discussing this report, and what to do about it," Selmak replied. "I don’t doubt that one of them would have come up with the same idea eventually."
Casey looked over at Sam. "Sam, I am so sorry! This is all my fault! When am I going to quit letting jealousy do this to me?"
Sam smiled and put her arm around her friend. "Hey, I was right there with you all the way. I was the one who called Dad immediately."
"You can both say no," Jacob said softly.
Sam shook her head. "Dad, look at the reality here. This is a great opportunity to find out what’s going on, maybe even indebt Ba’al to us. And the intel you’re using is all real. Nothing fake about it."
"Sam’s right, Jacob. The two of us will go together. But, I’m telling Daniel. I mean, I figure he already knows, but he doesn’t know that I know that he knows," Casey said.
"He does now," Daniel said quietly from the door. No one had noticed that Daniel and Jack had been standing just outside of the open door listening, having followed Jacob to Sam’s office.
Casey turned around and looked at him, expected to see anger, rage in his blue eyes. Instead she saw love, worry, even a bit of amusement. "If you’d quit dragging your tongue on the ground over brunettes I wouldn’t get so pissy," she said, trying to smile.
"I wasn’t dragging my tongue on the ground," he said indignantly.
"Wanna watch the security tape?" she asked dryly.
His cheeks reddened, thinking about his behavior earlier in the day. "Not really." He held open his arms, she rushed into them.
"Casey, I could wring your neck," Jack said, stepping into the room beside them.
"Go ahead, I deserve it," she said softly.
"General O’Neill, I believe that this…idea…was already being discussed among the Council. Casey…we …came up with this simply from reading the reports. The council members can read as well. If not today, then certainly within one or two days they would have decided on this very plan," Selmak said.
"Jack, don’t put all the blame for this on Casey," Sam said softly. "I’m the one who called Dad."
"Fine, I’ll wring your neck, too."
"If we’re going to be on Ba’al’s ship, it’s too bad the Phoenix couldn’t be there, too," Casey sighed, her head against Daniel’s shoulder.
Jacob looked at her, Selmak was already jumping on the idea. "Let me make a call. I’ll be right back," he said.
Casey looked up at Daniel. "At least you know about this, know it’s all a carefully planned mission. I think you’ll probably even be spared seeing me standing there kissing him."
"At least you get that ‘handy dandy drug’ at the beginning of your mission," he replied. "And what do you care whether or not he gets a case of blue balls?"
She couldn’t help but giggle. "I care because my safety could depend on it. A Goa’uld with blue balls isn’t going to want to just sit and talk, my heart."
Daniel and Jack exchanged glances, then started laughing, in spite of their disquiet.
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