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The mood on the base was somber. Everyone knew that Framone had once again captured Casey. Daniel frantically searched for any references that might give them a clue to where the Immortal Goa’uld would go. In the days that had lapsed, he slept little, ate only when someone forced him to do so.
"You wanted to see me?" Daniel asked, poking his head into Jack’s office.
The older man nodded and waved the his best friend in. "Yeah, Danny, have a seat." He waited until the younger man was seated to speak. "You look like shit," he said.
"Thanks," Daniel said, his voice tight.
"Daniel, we’re all doing as much as we can to find her. But you’re not going to do her a damned bit of good if you aren’t in any shape to go after her when we do locate her. Look, buddy, you need to get some sleep, eat right, keep working out with Teal'c and me. You have to stay fit, if you’re going to be of any use to us. Of any use to Casey," he added softly.
The younger man leaned back in the chair, let his head fall back, and put his hands over his face. "What is it with me? Why are the women I love destined to be taken from me?"
"Hey, you got Casey back the first time. You’ve been through the Fire Ceremony with her. You’ll get her back again. She’s smart, brave, resourceful…she’ll be fine, Daniel. Now, I want you to go get something to eat, and get a few hours of sleep."
Daniel nodded, rising wearily. His heart was breaking, every day away from her almost more than he could bear. But he knew that Jack was right. He went to the commissary, never noticed what was put on his tray, and sat down, trying to find the appetite to eat.
"Hey, Dr. Jackson," Tony Sabotti said. "Can I join you?"
"Sure," Daniel said, sighing inwardly. He wasn’t interested in conversation.
"Look, I know you don’t feel like talking," Tony said perceptively. "But I thought maybe this would help." He pushed a folder toward the scientist.
"What is it?" Daniel asked, his natural curiosity only slightly piqued.
"One of Casey’s mission reports," Tony replied.
Daniel shook his head. "I’ve read them all," he said.
Tony smiled, although it was one full of sadness. "This is the ‘unofficial’ version. Casey doesn’t know that I found this. What she put in the official report was a very…uh...‘censored'…version of what she went through. She’s tough, doc. She’ll make it." With that, Tony stood and left the archaeologist alone.
Daniel opened the folder. The pages had obviously been wadded up. He took them out and began reading. It was from a mission that SG-6 had been on over two years ago, one that Casey had accompanied them on. It had been a ‘first contact’ mission. From the MALP images of the area surrounding the Stargate, they had surmised that the planet was home to a civilization nearly as evolved as Earth’s. The plan was for the team to make contact and return, ideally within a matter of hours. They had been gone for nearly three weeks. During that same time Daniel had been with Sam and Teal'c working with the Jonas Quinn and the Kelowans, who were in the midst of starting their own Stargate program. He hadn’t realized until his return that there was anything wrong. She should have been there to greet him. Instead, Jack had stood at the bottom of the ramp, his face lined with worry. He could remember how Jack had tried to break the news gently to him. He could still recall the panic that had filled his entire being. Two days later, SG-6 had walked through the Stargate - dazed, beaten, hungry, but alive. Well, the mortals were alive. Tony was carrying Casey’s bloody, battered body in his arms. Tears began to roll down Daniel’s face as he recalled taking her lifeless form into his arms, dropping to the cold floor of the 'gate room, holding her tightly until she woke up. He remembered the look of sheer panic, the terror that had filled her eyes, how she struggled against him until she realized where she was. Then she had clung to him, weeping softly with relief.
The Balisians were a very aggressive, hostile race…as the Tau'ri would learn first hand…and had been shocked when six human beings had walked through their Sacred Ring. The team had immediately been taken as prisoners. According to Balisian myths, only demons came through the ring. They had all been imprisoned, beaten, each of them interrogated, then beaten more. At some point Casey had been beaten so badly she had died. And when she revived, she was whisked away from the others. The team hadn’t seen her again until she lowered herself into their cell through the air vent. They had escaped, and though they had been forced to kill several people, managed to get back through the ‘gate. Her report said that she had been subjected to medical tests, and had been ‘examined extensively’ for several days. Daniel began to read the truth about her experience at the hands of the Balisians…
After I died, the Balisians separated me from Major Parker and the others. At first they just ran routine medical tests. They took several vials of blood, and then they did something like an x-ray, and another test like an MRI. There were two that were like cat scans. There were tests on treadmills and other various pieces of exercise equipment, most of it very similar to what we have. I was taken back to a holding cell, and then some time later, I don’t know how long, Dr. Auldar Suken came to see me.
He introduced himself, and that was the only time he ever spoke to me, or treated me like a human being. He had the orderlies (I don’t know what they were called there, but that’s the type of job they were doing, so for ease of understanding, I will refer to them as such) pull me to my feet. He walked around me, looking at me like I was a zoo exhibit or something. Then he had them strip me.
His jaw clenched, his fists curled the pages in his hands.
He was talking, one of the orderlies was taking down everything he said. I think Daniel will be happy to know that, according to Dr. Suken, I appear to be a healthy, attractive female. I was allowed to dress, and then they left me alone for awhile.
I must have fallen asleep, and again, I have no idea how much time passed, but the same two orderlies came for me. They led me to what looked like an operating room. They stripped me, and put me on a (very cold!) table, and strapped me down. My feet were put in stirrups, a metal bar was fastened between my knees, forcing my legs apart. I was given a thorough examination, and then the doctor began to cut me - inside. He kept talking, reporting what he was doing and what the results were. They didn’t use any sort of anesthesia or painkillers…I know I passed out at least once. According to the doctor, I healed just fine. My post-mission examination with Dr. Williams concluded that I have no wounds or scars from this - test.
Daniel dropped the report to the table, his face ashen. She had never once let on that anything so horrific had happened to her. He looked, there were two more pages of her handwritten report. He noticed that the letters were shaky. Fear in his heart, he picked them up once again, and forced himself to read more.
One of the nurses, a female, asked the doctor if I should be given anything for the pain, (I think I had passed out again). He said no, that I wasn’t like them, and didn’t feel pain like they do. He said I was a freak of nature (gee, where have I heard that before?) and that I wasn’t to be considered anything more than a specimen to be experimented upon. He said that my immortality was important, that it could help their people in many ways, and that they would conduct any and every experiment he deemed necessary.
They started by seeing how many different ways they could kill me. I was poisoned, gassed, stabbed, electrocuted and shot. They cut me, counted how many cuts they could make, how deep they could make them, before I bled out. Thank heavens they didn’t try decapitation. Then they did experiments to see how often they could kill me in an hour, how quickly I revived after certain procedures were done. At one point they actually hanged me, not an experience I want to ever have to go through again.
It wasn’t until Suken decided to start cutting pieces of me out that the others started to object. He was going to see what happened if he began removing my internal organs. All the others refused to assist him, and in a fit of anger, he used a scalpel and slit me from my collarbone to my groin. I believe the repeated deaths and torture prohibited my Quickening from healing me like it should have. Watching the clock on the wall, I know it took about one and a half hours for me to bleed out and die. When I woke up, I was back in my cell.
He was sure that he was going to be ill. Casey, his beautiful Wife, the woman he loved more than life itself, had been treated with less care and concern than a lab rat. He was shaking now, the pages moving in his damp fingers, making them difficult to read.
could hear them talking at the desk just outside of my cell, they
were saying something about amputations. I’m Immortal, not some damned lizard!
So I figured I’d better get the hell out of there. I had noticed the air vent
in my room, but hadn’t been able to check it out, I usually dead or in
such pain when they brought me back to the cell that I couldn’t do anything. I
was never left in the cell if I was conscious and unwounded. I must have revived
sooner than they had anticipated after the last ‘tests’ that they had
performed. I was
able to move the bed under the vent, and crawl inside. It was tight, but I
managed to get through it. It was sheer luck that I heard the major and the
others talking. I was able to get down into the cell they were being held in,
and we made our escape plans. We had to move fast, because I knew that the
doctor would be coming for me at any time. I climbed back into the vent and
found an exit in one of the adjoining hallways. I disabled two guards and a
nurse, (panic and terror can make one capable of incredible feats , it seems,) and was able to find keys for the cell door. Once the men of SG-6 were out of the
cell, we were able to get out of the building with little trouble. The alarm had
been sounded by the time we made it to the museum where the Stargate was. Texas
(Airman Marvin Yates) was dialing while the rest of us held them off with the
weapons we had taken from the guards we disabled. Major Parker and Sergeant Tony
Sabotti were cornered, and I jumped in front of them to keep them from being
killed. Just before losing consciousness I heard Texas shouting that the 'gate
was open. When I woke up, I was in the arms of my husband, in the 'gate room of
The report slipped from Daniel’s fingers, unheeded. He sat, numbed by what he had read. He knew that she had gone to see Dr. McKenzie a few times after that mission, although she'd never spoken to him about those visits. Now he knew why.
Jack came into the commissary, saw Daniel, his arms wrapped around his waist, rocking slowly back and forth in his chair. He frowned, and walked to where the younger man sat. "Daniel?"
Haunted blue eyes looked up at him. "Jesus, Jack, they dehumanized her! They were trying to kill her!"
Jack’s frown deepened. "What?"
Daniel pushed the report towards the other man. "Tony found this. It’s the real version of what happened on PY3 279." He watched as Jack read the report, watched the man’s face go pale, his lips turn white as he pressed them together.
"Goddamn sons of bitches!" Jack roared, throwing the pages onto the table, oblivious to the stares of others around them. He'd been angry before regarding the treatment of the SG teams at the hands of 'aliens'. This however, outraged him in a way that should have worried those who knew him.
"It’s a wonder she didn’t go stark raving mad after that," Daniel whispered. He shook his head. "Tony was right, she’s tough. A lot tougher than she looks." He rubbed his hands wearily over his face. "It sure as hell explains the nightmares she had for awhile." For several weeks after her return, Casey had been loath to fall asleep, and when she did, she would cry out upon waking up. Daniel had never known the reason for the nightmares that had her murmuring and tossing and turning, pushing his hands away when he tried to comfort her. He certainly knew the reason now.
Jack had dropped to the chair beside Daniel. He put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. "Daniel, if she could live through that, and remain the happy, out-going, incredible woman she is, there isn’t anything Framone can do to her that will break her." He picked up the report. The president had asked for a list of planets that should be ‘re-visited’. This one had been on the list. Jack was going to take it off, and he was going to let the man know why…in explicit detail. With luck the president would let him send a battalion of Marines back to P3Y 279. He wanted this ‘doctor’ brought back alive. He had a few little experiments of his own that he’d like to try.
A A A A A A
Daniel stumbled to the quarters he shared with Casey whenever they chose to stay on base. Her robe was still laying across the chair where she had dropped it on the night before their last mission…just before she had climbed into bed beside him, and made love to him. He grabbed it and held it close, burying his face in the folds, inhaling her sweet scent. He dropped to the floor, sobs tearing from his throat. He cried for what she had suffered, and he cried at losing her now.
Warm light suffused the room, and a soft hand touched his shoulder. "Daniel."
He looked up. "Oma?"
"Daniel, what must happen, must happen. There is a reason. You will be with her again. You must sleep now."
"When? When will I be with her again?" He stood, then moved to the bed.
"I do not know. But do not lose hope. Her fire burns for you, and only for you. That fire will burn forever."
"That’s not very comforting." Daniel said, falling back on the bed, pulling Casey’s pillow into his arms.
"Once she is returned to you, she will never be taken from your side again. I can tell you no more than this." The light disappeared, and with it, Oma.
He closed his eyes, exhaustion taking over. His dreams were filled with laughing green eyes and a soft, willing body. Her smile danced in his mind. 'I belong to you, and only you...I love you with all my heart…forever and ever, Daniel,' she said, smiling at him. He reached for her, his heart breaking anew when his hands failed to reach her.
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