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My Eyes Adored You
Duncan told Jack not to worry about the girls, he would send a team to deal with them. SG-1 and SG-6 were being recalled to base. They were ‘gating to another planet to be picked up by the Phoenix. Ba’al had been spotted again. And the Phoenix was now carrying more naquadah-based nuclear warheads. Plus a new jamming system that would hopefully knock out his shields.
Casey gave a sigh of relief to be leaving PX9 869. If she never saw the planet again it would be too soon. And she prayed that she would never lay eyes on Ishtar again. She slipped her hand into Daniel’s as they walked down the ramp on Gamma. She would still have nightmares about his…indiscretion…still hurt whenever she thought about it. But the pain would fade with time, the nightmares would go away. Daniel loved her, and that’s all she needed to know.
Daniel watched her, reached out, sensed that the hurt was still there. She would deal with this pain for some time to come, he thought bitterly. Drugged or not, he never should have allowed…this…to happen! He had known it was wrong! He had known what he was doing! He should have followed his heart and went back through the gate that night when Ishtar first came to him! Casey’s Grandma Rose was right, your heart would never lead you wrong!
Duncan watched as a subdued SG-1 returned. He turned to Kyle. "Dial it up," he said quietly.
Jack looked at the window to the control room. He gave a small nod. He and Sam were okay. Not great, but okay. What they had just learned about the slaves, and the drugs, and who was behind the entire mess had gone a long way to helping him find forgiveness. He glanced at Casey and Daniel. She was standing with her arm around his waist, her head on his shoulder. He had his arm around her shoulders and was holding her tight. No doubt their ability to communicate, and sense one another’s emotions had helped tremendously. For a brief moment he envied his friend those talents.
Daniel pressed his lips against the side of her head. ‘Love you, Angel.’
‘Love you, too, Sweetheart.’
The ‘gate opened, and the team stepped through. They signaled, and immediately ringed up to the Phoenix.
Casey gave a sigh of relief as they headed for the bridge. "Thank god that’s over!"
Sam nodded. "Amen to that. Now we can get on with…things."
Daniel and Jack exchanged a glance, heaved relieved sighs. Neither would go back home until there was proof that the slaves were long gone from PX9 869, and Gamma.
Jack slid into the captain’s chair, the colonel he was replacing saluting with a wide grin. "Okay, where is that snake-headed bastard?"
"Last location seven by nine by nine," was the reply.
"Then let’s get there," Jack said.
Daniel and Teal'c took the controls, and the Phoenix raced through the darkness of space.
A A A A A A
Wade had all of the men crowded onto the bridge. The other areas of the ship had been sealed off, and life support cut. He hoped that doing so would buy them more time. At the moment, they had an hour, maybe an hour and a half, before the oxygen was depleted, and the rest of life support gave out. He tried not to panic. Half of the slaves were grumbling that their lives had been comfortable, they had plenty to eat, lots of wine and drugs and women…what more did they need? He could feel the mutiny beginning to take hold. He clamped down on his emotions. If any of the men moved against him, he would kill them. Fewer men would use up less oxygen.
He waited, watched, but none of the men made a move. They complained, some of them doing so rather loudly, but nothing more. He shook his head. Years of being slaves had taken the fight out of them. These were broken, defeated men. Of the group, only twelve seemed to have their wits about them. He spoke quietly to each one. When he was finished, he had a crew. Now all he needed was a decent ship. And to live long enough to get it!
A A A A A A
"Sir, I’m picking up an automated distress beacon," Sam said from her place at the communication console.
Jack sighed. "Guess we’d better check it out," he said. "Location?"
Sam had already fed the location into the computer. Daniel and Teal'c altered their course.
"Already done, sir," she said with a smile.
He grinned. "Always have to be one step ahead, huh, colonel?"
The grin broadened, then he looked over at Casey. "Weapons ready. Could be a trap. Knowing our luck, it’s another one set by some other Ancient or Ascended Being or somebody else of that ilk out to screw us over!"
Casey smiled. "Could be, sir," she replied. If that had been the case, she would have picked up on it by now.
"Send out a reply, let’s see if anyone answers," Jack instructed.
"Yes, sir," Sam said. "This is the Gamma Ship Phoenix, responding to distress beacon niner-niner-five from transport ship Ke'nep, reply please."
Teal'c jerked at the name. "Ke’nep? That is Goa’uld for…merry-making…for…illicit affairs!" he said with surprise in his voice.
Casey moaned. "Oh, good lord! It’s her ship!"
Daniel and Jack both barely suppressed shudders. "She’s probably not on it," Daniel said quietly.
"Probably not. Want to bet there are slaves on it?" Jack replied.
Wade jumped when the metallic sounds of a translator came through the communication speakers. Slapped his hand over the control to enable a response. "This is the Ke’nep. Glad to hear from you, Phoenix!"
"Ke’nep, what is your emergency?"
"Phoenix, we’re down to about thirty minutes life support, I repeat, only thirty minutes life support left," Wade replied.
There was a pause. For a few seconds he feared that the ship was too far away, and would simply continue on its way, with no further communication.
On board the Phoenix, Teal'c and Daniel were already pushing the engines, heading toward the doomed ship.
"Ke’nep, how many souls?"
Wade frowned. What did they mean by that? How many souls for what…oh…how many people on board! He remembered now! "Phoenix, twenty-four men."
"Copy, Ke’nep, twenty-four men."
Sam called down to the infirmary, alerted the doctor and medics that they would soon have twenty-four men on board to take care of. Hopefully twenty-four living men. The ship had thirty-minutes of life support remaining. And it was going to take thirty-three to get there.
Casey pulled her lip between her teeth.
"What’s wrong, Case?" Daniel asked.
"They’re terrified," she replied.
"Yeah, I would be too," Jack said.
She shook her head. "Terror means adrenaline. Which means increased heart rate. Which means they breath faster."
"Which means they deplete their oxygen faster," Jack finished.
"Exactly." She closed her eyes, aching to help those poor men. She looked at her husband. "Daniel, can you help them?"
He started, looked at her, then shrugged. "How, babe?"
"I don’t know…‘think’ them to the Phoenix?"
He grinned. "I guess I could try." He closed his eyes and concentrated. After several frustrating minutes he sighed and shook his head. "Sorry, Angel."
"Perhaps Casey Jackson can help them," Teal'c suggested.
"Me?" Casey squeaked. "Hey, the only talent I have is sensing trouble!"
"Damn fine talent it is, too," Jack interjected with a cheeky grin.
"Give it a try, Angel," Daniel said softly.
She nodded slowly, took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She reached out…could sense them, huddled together, terrified, waiting to die. If only she could calm them down, soothe them. She sent what comfort she could with her mind.
On the Ke’nep, twenty-four men felt a soft touch against their minds…like a caress. It was soothing, relaxing. Several of the men sighed and closed their eyes.
Casey continued to ‘calm’ the men, not quite sure what she was doing, how she was doing it, or if it was even having any type of effect.
Jack watched her for a minute. "Keep it up, Case," he said softly.
She was holding onto the console, her efforts were tiring her quickly. Daniel reached out to her with his mind, holding her steady, sending his strength to her. He moved toward her, wrapped his arms around her, pulled her tight against his chest.
The men on the Ke’nep were getting sleepy. Wade feared that it was the result of lack of oxygen. According to the computer they had fifteen more minutes. It was possible that the computer was wrong.
"Phoenix," he said softly, "This is Ke’nep. Possible that we were wrong on life support. Men are going to sleep. If…if this doesn’t work out, thanks for trying." He put his chin in his hand and closed his eyes.
"It’s okay, babe, they’re asleep now," Daniel whispered in her ear.
She nodded, broke the ‘connection’, sagged in his arms. She looked up at him, weariness filling her green eyes. "Did it work?"
"Yeah, babe, it did. They’re all asleep. You probably bought them five minutes or so…enough time to get them here," he said gently.
"Okay. I’m kinda tired."
"Let her go lay down," Jack said quietly.
Daniel nodded and swept her into his arms. He planted a kiss on her forehead as her eyes drifted shut.
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