<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
Out of the Blue
Daniel and Casey walked into the 'gate room. There were nearly a dozen people they didn't recognize, family members of the woman and the young man who had volunteered to be Tok'ra hosts in exchange for medical miracles. The 'crew' from the Center was there, as well as the rest of SG-1.
Stephanie was talking softly to Ramir. He alone seemed to understand her excitement, her desire…her need to take this path. She smiled when she saw Casey Jackson. She squeezed Ramir's hand, hurried to greet her boss and his wife.
"You look…excited," Casey teased.
"I guess I am," Stephanie admitted. She looked up at Daniel. "I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. I'm not jumping into it blindly."
He nodded. "I hope not. There's still time…"
She shook her head. This man had taken more chances, pulled more 'crazy stunts' - as General O'Neill described them - to learn; to find the answers to the questions that burned inside him. To find the information they needed to fight the Goa'uld. Why couldn't he understand that this was something she had to do? Doctor Jackson had shown her more trust than anyone she had ever met, had put her in charge of three research projects. Why couldn't he trust her now? "I need to do this."
Need. She needed to do it. Needed to let a freaking snake crawl inside her. He was well aware of the fact that she didn't need his permission. He wished to god that she did!
"Thank you for trusting me, having faith in my abilities," she said, offering her hand to him.
He smiled. She'd made it easy to trust her. He hadn't met anyone who worked harder, was so eager to learn…a hell of a lot like himself, he thought. Admitting that he had seen her as his protégé. That he'd been…grooming her…to take her place in the archaeological community as an expert on at least three of the alien civilizations he had her researching. He had the utmost faith in her abilities…Oh, hell. He pulled her into a hug. "You've never given me a reason to doubt you." He pulled away, looked into her eyes. "Never. I won't pretend I understand this. But if it's something you need to do…just promise me you won't forget about us here on Gamma."
She smiled at him. He would never understand her willingness to blend with a Tok'ra. But he still had faith in her. She could see it in his eyes, in his smile. "Thanks. And I'll be visiting, as often as I can!" she promised. If only to show you that I made the right choice, that I'm doing the right thing…for me, she thought.
"I understand that this is a…difficult moment," Selmak said, standing in the middle of the ramp. "But I'm afraid time is of the essence. We must leave now."
Stephanie picked up the suitcase she'd packed. Mrs. J had been willing to store the rest of her belongings until she knew where she would be living. "I guess this is it," she said, trying to keep the tears from her eyes. "I hate goodbyes."
"Me, too," Daniel grinned. "So you just go do what you have to do."
Casey hugged the young woman. Took Stephanie's free hand, closed her eyes. Smiled. "I see a very, very long path for you."
The dark haired young woman smiled. "Cool!"
Ramir was waiting beside the ramp. "I will miss you, my sweet little friend."
"I'll miss you, too, Ramir."
"Perhaps I can visit you?"
"Oh, I'd like that!"
"And perhaps we shall even work together again."
"I'd like that, too."
Ramir put his hands around her face, held her gently, and softly kissed her. "Write to me often, promise?"
"I promise." She glanced around the room. Arlen and Susan Whitman had told her goodbye. Mike and Terry had also, all four of the Immortals hugging the young woman, all of them whispering that there was still time to change her mind. General O'Neill and Colonel Carter had wished her well. Colonel Carter had told her to seek out General Carter if she needed anything. Teal'c had nodded at her, not actually saying anything. But then, the large man rarely spoke, it seemed to her. The only person who hadn't been there …She saw him, standing by the door. He ran his hand over his beard, then smiled, nodded. Gave her a hesitant thumbs-up. She smiled, nodded, and returned the gesture. And turned to follow Selmak and the others through the event horizon.
Casey wrapped her arms around her waist. "Well, she's off."
"Her rocker," Jack muttered, shaking his head.
"No, Jack, I don't think so," Casey said softly. "We may have just earned one hell of an ally among the Tok'ra."
Daniel looked at her. "Can you see anything?"
She shook her head. "Nothing specific. But I have the feeling that Jacob and Selmak are going to request her to be their assistant."
"Depends on who the symbiote is," Daniel replied.
"I'm fairly sure Dad and Selmak can see to it that it's someone they trust," Sam said.
"As much as you can trust a snake," Jack snorted.
"Let's get back to work, people," Daniel said quietly to the assembled group from the Center.
A middle-aged woman approached Casey tentatively. "Mrs. Jackson?"
Casey turned around. "Yes?"
"I'm Patricia Lowell, Mark's mother," the woman said.
"Pleased to meet you," Casey said, offering her hand.
The woman seemed momentarily unsure of what to do, then shyly shook hands with the Immortal seer. "I…please…I just need to know he'll be all right."
She smiled gently. Closed her eyes. Listened. Looked. And decided that worried mothers didn’t need to know the whole truth. "He's going to be fine," she replied softly. Crossing her fingers mentally. The young man was destined to see a lot of battle. She couldn't see how long he would actually live. With a smile of relief, the woman hurried back to her family.
Kyle rushed into the room. "Potter just sent a message!"
"Potter?" Daniel asked.
"Methos' spy. The one who got himself captured by Penatil," Duncan replied. "Let's go find out what's going on." He turned to Turk, who had been standing guard with rest of Marine-2. "See to it that our visitors arrive topside safely," he said. A very diplomatic way of telling the man to get the civilians out of the way.
"Yes, sir," Turk replied. He managed to round up the families. "If you folks would come this way, please." He was polite, but the look in his eyes left no doubt that arguing with him would not be in their best interest. With a last curious look around, the men and women, and two children, followed the Marine to the elevator.
A A A A A A
Duncan read the message. Bit back a curse. "Not good," he said, handing the paper to Jack.
"What?" Sam asked.
"He doesn't have complete formulas. But Potter seems to think he has enough, and that it's only a matter of time before Penatil's geneticists reach the same place the NID had," Jack replied grimly.
"Oh, hell," Daniel whispered.
"Yeah," Jack nodded.
"But the NID hadn't actually succeeded," Casey pointed out. "Several of their scientists weren't convinced that they could overcome the problems they had encountered."
"I'm betting that Penatil has the resources to do that," Sam said quietly.
"We've got to take that bastard out, and destroy all of those notes," Casey sighed.
"Do we know that Methos' spy can be trusted?" Daniel asked. He was concerned that this 'spy' might decide to make a nice profit from those notes.
Duncan nodded. "He's Immortal. He and his wife, also Immortal, have a three year old daughter. This is personal, for him."
The team nodded. Only an Immortal parent could feel the terror that the knowledge of these experiments, and the possibilities of their success, could bring. Only an Immortal parent would fight to the death to stop the process.
"He didn't put himself at risk to get this message to us, did he?" Sam asked worriedly.
"No. It seems that there's a growing movement of rebellion among Penatil's Jaffa. He's not aware of it yet. And he has a large enough army of Jaffa that right now the number is insignificant, and he'd kill them all without blinking an eye," Duncan replied. "But for the moment it's a way to get messages through without fear of being caught."
Casey shivered. "Don't be so sure," she said quietly.
"Case?" the Highlander asked, frowning slightly.
She closed her eyes. Listened carefully. "He's not as unaware of the Jaffa rebellion as he's pretending. He doesn't know who, but he does know that there are those among his men who aren't as loyal as they claim. He's keeping those he trusts near him. And his scientists. Getting to any of them is going to be a nightmare."
"That nightmare will be a lot worse if we don't stop him," Jack pointed out.
"We've faced steep odds before," Daniel said. "We'll do it again."
"For now, I'm going to keep you on regular rotation. If anything comes up, I'll let you know," Duncan told them. He and Jack had agreed that SG-1 needed to keep going on missions. Because to sit waiting would drive them all nuts. And it might convince Penatil that the team was afraid of him. They were, just not in the way he would believe. "Casey, this afternoon I have some mission files to go over."
"I'll be there," she promised.
"We'll be there," Daniel corrected, lifting her fingers to his lips. He hadn't allowed her to attend the mission scheduling meetings without him since he had hired Julie.
Duncan grinned, nodded, then stood to his feet. "We'll get him."
"Damned straight," Jack swore quietly.
"If nothing else, the Immortals can…disappear…for awhile," Casey said.
"I've already considered that," Duncan said. "It won't be easy, but it can be done."
The team nodded. No, it wouldn't be easy. But then, nothing that they did ever was!
A A A A A A
She held tightly to his hand as they rode the elevator to the top. There were Cardorian tablets waiting to be translated. And the database needed to be updated. And there was a crate of artifacts that SG-10 had just brought back that needed to be catalogued.
"Case, is anything wrong?" Daniel asked softly.
"I just keep thinking about what that Ascended Being told me. That my babies would be instrumental in saving the Immortals. That scares the bejeezus out of me!" she admitted.
"Me, too, Angel." Something kept nagging at him, back in the recesses of his memory. If only he could focus on it, remember what seemed to be so damned important!
She followed him into the Center. And went straight to the restroom. And threw up. Twice. Daniel didn't think Susan would mind if he went into the room with his wife. After all, she and Casey were the only women working at the Center now. He held her hair, rubbed her back. Went out and found a cup so he could offer her a drink of water. All the while hoping that this particular phase of her pregnancy would pass quickly. He hated it when she was ill!
A A A A A A
They were sitting on the deck, wrapped in a blanket, looking at the stars. "How long before the joining occurs?" Casey asked softly.
"Probably not for a few days. The Tok'ra will want to make sure that these people will be able to handle the trauma of being…joined." He'd nearly said infested. Which is how he viewed it. Even if the host had volunteered. Good luck, Stephanie, he thought, watching the night sky. I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for.
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>