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Standing in the Dark

Chapter 2

Nergal was pacing his throne room. Several of his spies had suddenly stopped any and all communications. He had been expecting no less than five reports. None had reached him. He swore when he realized that the obvious reason that they failed to report was that they had been captured. He would be forced to start building his spy network again. How annoying! Half a dozen women from his harem watched and waited fearfully on the steps that led to his throne. They knew that one of their number had died earlier in the day. If their god was in a foul mood, no doubt more would die before the day was over.

A Jaffa approached, stood at attention. "My Lord, we have word from the ships that eight System Lords and their al'kesh approach, as well as the Tau'ri vessel."

The Goa'uld waved a hand. "Destroy them."

The Jaffa blanched slightly, prayed that Nergal had not noticed. "Yes, My Lord." He hurried away to relay the message. As he passed two of the guards, he gave a hand signal. This would be their only chance.

From the shadows, two pairs of dark eyes watched, neither aware of the other. One tracked the movement of the Jaffa. The other watched as the body of the woman was taken to the chambers below. That one slipped quietly into a hidden passageway.

The keir'os examined the young woman. She was indeed beautiful. "Put her there," he said, pointing to one of the tables. He carefully strapped her down. He had his instructions. He took the syringe, filled it with the virus, and waited.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Daniel pulled himself to his feet. He had to tell Aaron and Erin. He was her husbandtheir son-in-law. They should hear the news…this horrible news…from him. He went into the bathroom to wash his face. He didn’t look in the mirror. He was pretty sure he looked like hell. He certainly felt that way. When he opened the door to his quarters, he found the men of SG-6 standing in the corridor. It looked as if they had been guarding the area. He wondered briefly if these men had heard his cries of pain. Decided just as quickly that he didn't give a damn. He didn't really give a damn about too much of anything right now. He looked at their faces, their own grief etched in every haggard feature.

"Doctor Jackson…if…I…" Major Parker looked down at the floor. "We'll get that motherfucker. I promise you that. We'll get him alive. And bring him to you."

Daniel gave a curt nod of acknowledgement. He didn't trust himself to speak, afraid his voice would betray him.

The men moved aside to let him pass. The regular crewmembers stepped aside as well, their eyes full of shock…sorrow… pity. He ignored them. When he finally arrived on the bridge, he was surprised to find that Jack and Teal'c weren't there.

"Is it possible to get a message to Gamma?" His voice was devoid of emotion.

"Yes, sir, but it will take a few minutes," the young communications officer replied.

"I'm sorry, Doctor Jackson, that message is going to have to wait," Colonel Bradshaw said quietly. When Daniel turned to look at him, the man simply pointed to the front view port. A planet loomed below them. "We've arrived, Doctor Jackson. That's Nergal's planet."

White-hot anger raced through his veins as he looked down at the planet. As hot as his anger flowed, it ran as icy cold. His heart felt like a stone in his chest. It looked familiar to him now, he recognized it from the short amount of time that the team had been here, in their first failed attempt to take Nergal out. When Casey and Sam had been his…guests. "Tell General O'Neill I'll meet him in the armory."

Colonel Bradshaw shivered. Whatever had been alive in the good doctor was now dead. The man was filled with nothing but grief…anger…hate…and a dangerous need for revenge. "Yes, sir."

Daniel had one thought on his mind. One thought only. Killing Nergal. And he was going to do it slowly. One inch at a time. He slammed the locker door open, pulled out a Kevlar vest and put it on. He was loading his P90, although he had already decided that he was going to use the Fire. It was burning so hot, his anger fueling it, that he had to release some of it before it consumed him. His first desire had been to die with her. Without her, there was no life. But a glance at a picture of his daughter and son had calmed that need. He had to live for them. They were all he had of her, now. He would make sure that Emily remembered her. Make sure that Nicholas knew what an incredible, wonderful woman his mother was…had been. He swayed against the lockers, put a hand out to steady himself. Tried to fight down the blistering pain that threatened to overwhelm him again.

When he entered the armory locker, Jack took one look at his face and knew that Daniel was in no mood for conversation. "We go in, and take this bastard out. We're going to ring directly to his throne room, and kill him. Then we're going to see if we can find…find her. No way in hell will I let her be buried there."

"She's dead. It doesn't matter where she's buried." Daniel replied coldly. He was checking his vest pockets, making sure that all the items that he might possibly need were present and accessible.

The older man took no offense. He knew pain when he heard it. And knew that later, when the pain wasn't so raw, Daniel would be thankful that they had insisted on bringing her home. He would need her nearby, even if she was…well, he'd need a place to go, to find…closure. If that was at all possible. He shook his head. Two wives, killed because of or by Goa'uld. He doubted that Daniel would ever remarry. Doubted Daniel would ever allow himself to love again. Hell, after Casey, it was possible that he would never find anyone to love again. "Let's go."


A  A  A  A  A  A


He carefully injected her. It would buy him enough time to do what had to be done. Making sure that no one was near, he stepped over bodies and carefully filled a canvas bag with the items he would need. A promise had been made. He would see to it that the promise was kept.

He hurried down the dank hallway, looked into each cell. There. This was the one. Vacant eyes stared at him. The last round of torture, the last attempt to pull information from the already badly damaged mind had been too much. "Find peace, little one," he said softly. He fired twice, watched as the young woman slumped over. He fired again, the only guarantee that she wouldn't be put into a sarcophagus just to satisfy some demented pleasure of that cold-hearted bastard, if the Tau'ri were unsuccessful.

The report the Jaffa had made let him know that time was short. At least the poor tormented souls in this hell would at last find peace. He carefully zatted each one. When he was finished, he gathered what he needed to take, and walked to the end of the corridor. He looked around. He was certain that he was alone, but he was taking no chances. It was difficult, he had to adjust the burden in his arms, in order to push his hands against the wall in three places. A hidden door swung open, and he disappeared into the darkness.

One pair of eyes watched from the shadows, unsure what to make of what he had just witnessed.


A  A  A  A  A  A


The Persephone began firing on the ships that orbited the planet as soon as they were within range. The Phoenix and Hak'tyl did as well. At this point in time, none of the people aboard those particular ships gave a damn if the Goa'uld around them became suspicious or not.

The ships flew low enough to take out all of the ground batteries that waited. When Marine One and Two ringed down, they were greeted by Jaffa who immediately gave the hand signals for Shakkafree Jaffa. Then led the Marines to where several dozen more waited.

"Uh, General O'Neill?"

"Go ahead Turk."

"There's some sort of rebellion going on here. We were just greeted by…well…by friendlies, sir. Seems to be about fifty or so, just waiting for the order to start fighting."

Jack grinned. At least something good was going to come out of this damned mess. "Tell them to take that palace! And I want that bastard alive!"

"Yes, sir!"


A  A  A  A  A  A


Nergal had heard the explosions, was on his way to safety, his priests leading the way. He turned when he heard the staff blasts nearby, and sounds from weapons that he had never heard before. With a slight bit of pressure, a wall gave way, and he boarded the ship. Several rooms of the palace fell to the bottom of the pit that was left when the ship lifted off. Once cloaked, none of the ships above him were able to track him.

"Goddamn it!" Jack roared as he watched the ship take off. How the hell did these damn snakeheads do it? It just wasn't fair!

Daniel said nothing. He stood in the middle of the fray, looking around as if suddenly lost. When he would have been killed by a staff blast, a figure darted from behind a pillar, and knocked him down.

"I am Tok'ra," the man said, pulling himself up, and helping Daniel to his feet, pulling him to the relative safety of the pillar. "You are the Tau'ri that Selmak said would arrive soon."

The young archaeologist looked at the man, then grabbed him by the front of his shirt, shook him roughly. "You knew about Nergal? You knew what a danger he was, and didn't think to tell us about him?"

"We did not know that you had ventured into this sector of the galaxy until recently. We were unaware of your activities until SG-1 entered the compound." the man replied, trying to pull away from the Tau'ri.

"You knew! You let that son of a bitch kill my Wife! He beheaded her! And you let him!" Anger, pain, emotions he wasn’t sure he wanted to identify flooded his heart, his mind.

The man flinched from the anger…the pain…the heartbreak in those haunted blue eyes.

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