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Standing in the Dark

Chapter 5


He sat up on the bed. He had been asleep, dreamed he had felt her soft, sweet caress. He reached out. Tears filled his eyes, dropped down onto his cheeks when he felt her. He caressed her, touched her, soothed the worry she felt. Held to her, something they were only learning that they could do. Felt her hold him, her soft gentle caress touching him, soothing him, pushing away the pain, the despair…the darkness, filling him once again with her love and light. 'Casey? Oh, god, I love you!'

'I love you, Daniel! Are you all right? Did you kill him?'

'I'm fine now, Angel, I'm fine. Where are you? It's been two days since we found out that Nergal didn't behead you!'

She noticed that he didn't answer her question about Nergal's death. She assumed it meant that the bastard was still alive. 'Okay, this is going to sound weird, but Unlinkil, who is Immortal by the way, has been sneaking around Nergal's palace for almost two years now, just catching up on what's going on. He's been hiding out…mourning for Darilla for awhile.'

Daniel shuddered. He could understand the need to hide away and mourn. That was exactly what he had wanted to do when he'd believed she was dead. 'Go on.'

'Well, evidently when I revived, Nergal had one of his surgeons inject a nanovirus into me. Unlinkil had to give me a strong dose of poison to keep me dead so that the nanovirus couldn't work, until he got me to safety. He gave me the antidote as soon as I woke up.'

The Tok'ra had said he had taken several vials of antidotes. 'And that would be where?'

She could sense his eagerness…it bordered on frustration. 'Well, he was a little evasive on that one. He said that you have the answer in your hand. That you took down the glyphs from the wall in a tunnel. He said you'd figure it out.'

His mind began working. The extra marks with those coordinates had been bothering him ever since he had copied them from that wall. A thought…cold and bitter…filled his mind, gripped his heart. 'Is he holding you prisoner? Is he hurting you?'

'No, Sweetheart. He's treating me very well. And I'm assuming that I can leave at any time. Although…wait just a minute. Love you, Stud Muffin.'

He smiled. 'Love you, Angel.' He closed his eyes and let the sweet waves of relief wash over him. Just knowing she was alive had kept him from losing his mind. But after two days of trying to reach her, feeling only darkness, emptiness, he had started to believe that perhaps the Tok'ra had been mistaken, or lying. He wiped his wet cheeks with the back of his hand. She was alive, she was okay and she wasn't being mistreated! His world was righting itself once again. His heart was in his chest where it belonged, in one piece, beating with love.

'Daniel, he says that he won't let me leave unless it's with you, and only you. You can bring along whomever you want, but I can't leave unless you're here to take me. You have to walk through that 'gate and come get me. He says that you'll understand.'

He frowned. 'I don't understand, but if this is the way he wants it, fine. I'll figure out where you are, babe. I'll be there soon, I promise.'

'It better be really soon, Daniel. I don't know how much longer I can stand being away from you.' The need to hold him, be held by him, was an ache in her heart that was growing by the minute. Only his caresses could heal her hurts, only in his arms would she finally be safe, finally be free of her imprisonment by Nergal.

'Soon as possible, Casey.' The need to hold her was a physical ache. He needed to see her, see with his eyes that she was alive, and unharmed.

'Unlinkil says you have work to do. And that you can thank him when you get here.'

Thank him? For taking his Wife and not letting her return to him? Yeah, like that was going to happen! 'All right, babe. I love you, Casey. Always you, only you, forever and ever.'

'Love you, Daniel, always you, only you, forever and ever.'

He felt her caress him, then gently pull away. He turned on the light, found his clothes, and went to search for answers. He studied the piece of paper that the glyphs and marks were on. He just had to figure out where she was, and he could bring her home!


A  A  A  A  A  A


Daniel was putting the glyphs and the marks on a large dry erase board when Jack and Teal'c entered the conference room. He turned and grinned at them.

"Now that is the look of a man who has just talked to his wife," Jack teased, a wide grin on his face.

"Yep. She's with Unlinkil. Seems he saw Nergal's doctor inject her with a nanovirus. He gave her a poison to keep her dead until he could get her to safety, and get the antidote to her."

"That explains why Talin saw him take those antidote vials."

"I know."

"So, she'll be on Gamma when we get there?"

"Uh…no. Not exactly. Seems she can't leave unless it's with me. I have to go get her, or she stays there."

"Any particular reason?" Jack asked, a frown on his face.

"Apparently I'm supposed to understand." He turned to finish putting the glyphs on the board, then carefully added the marks. He dropped his arm, just stared at them for a few minutes. "Of course!"

"Of course what?" Jack asked.

Daniel turned to face him again, the smile on his face brighter than before. "I need to rescue her…she needs me to rescue her. After everything that happened with Nergal, I have to go get her! I need to, Jack, for myself as much as for her!"

"I understand, Daniel," Jack said quietly. He motioned to the glyphs on the dry erase board. "Now, can you figure this out?" 

"I don't have a choice." He took a deep breath, blew it out slowly. "I can do it." He stepped back and studied it. Something about the marks, and the way they were placed...it was a puzzle, and he had always loved puzzles. He just hoped that this one would be easy to solve. Casey wasn't the only one who couldn't take the separation much longer!


A  A  A  A  A  A


Two hours later he was still staring at them. It couldn't be that difficult! What was he not seeing? He took his glasses off, ran a hand over his face. What he needed was some help. From Sam. He stood up and headed for the bridge, he knew that Jack was there.

"I need Sam," he said as soon as he stepped into the room.

"Come again?" Jack said, his eyebrows going up.

"I can't figure this damned thing out. I need her to take a look at it. I need a fresh perspective," Daniel explained patiently.

The Persephone was taking a round about way to the coordinates where they would meet up with the Phoenix and Hak'tyl. Those two ships were also leading any potential pursuers on a long and tedious journey. Small, sudden jumps into hyperspace would prevent them from being discovered for a short time. They would arrive there in just a matter of minutes.

Methos suggested that they hide their ships at the edge of an asteroid belt. Once they were in position, Sam ringed to the Persephone to help Daniel.

She looked at the glyphs on the board. "What are these extra markings?" she asked, pointing to one such mark. There were six of them, above six different glyphs, two in each of the Stargate addresses.

"I have no idea," he admitted.

Sam stared at them. "They have to mean something, we're just not seeing it," she mused.

"It can't be this hard," Daniel muttered. He was doodling on the pad he had copied the marks and glyphs onto. "No, it can't be that simple either!" he said suddenly, looking at his 'doodles'.


He walked up to the board. "Look at this. Okay, see where the mark is placed? Take this part away, put the mark in…"

"And you have a completely different glyph!" Sam exclaimed.

They carefully changed each of the glyphs. "I'm assuming that the order isn't just random, that this is the first, this is the second, and so on," he said, pointing to each one.

"I agree."

Daniel grinned. "I've got it!" He raced to the com panel. "Jack? Get me to a 'gate! I've got it!"


A  A  A  A  A  A


Casey was laughing at the stories Unlinkil was telling her. She had already learned that he was one of the First Immortals, and had left Earth long before Ra had taken control of Egypt. He had taken a small group of people with him, an attempt to escape the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that were occurring in the area. The First Race of Immortals had been given some of the knowledge of the Ancients, most specifically the use of the Stargates. He 'remembered' several addresses, and it was this group that became the people of Terra.

Unlinkil was a wanderer, an explorer, he didn’t like staying in one place for long. Not when there was an entire universe just waiting to be discovered! He met Darilla on one of his travels. She was the first Goa'uld he had ever met. Unlike most of the others, she was a warm, caring, generous woman. She had her moments, of course, he told Casey. She could be egotistical, and domineering, occasionally cruel. But for the most part, she was a gentle, kind woman. He fell in love with her, and they were married. Soon he learned of the other Goa'uld. Quickly learned that Darilla was an exception to the rule. He lived on the run, constantly avoiding one Goa'uld after the other, killing many on the way. The Goa'uld knew only too well that Immortals had been created for one reason, and one reason only…to protect innocent humans from Goa'uld dominance.

While he was away, Darilla had become…lonely. Nergal was handsome, and available…and very persistent. It had hurt that she had taken a lover, but Unlinkil admitted that he had not always slept alone on his travels. It wasn't until he was unable to locate her for nearly a year that he realized she had been killed. He had never known when, how, or by whom, although he had always suspected Nergal. He still didn't know when. That wasn't as important to him as the who and how. He had his answers. His heart could at last be at peace.

Casey, in turn, had told him about Framone's madness, the Game, the Prophecy, how he had murdered all of the First Race except for Oma Desala, and him, it appeared. She told him of the SGC and Gamma and Hope, and their battle against the Goa'uld.

Sudden pounding on the door startled both of them. It was well after midnight, and Unlinkil motioned that she should hide. She moved into the narrow, dark hallway.

"Open up, damn you! I know you have my Wife in there!"

"Daniel!" She raced across the room and threw the door open before Unlinkil could reach for the handle.

"Casey!" He grabbed her up and pulled her close, held her tightly and kissed the side of her face. "Oh, god, Angel, you're okay!'

Her arms were around his neck, holding tightly, her face buried against his shoulder. "I'm okay, Daniel, I'm okay."

"Love you, Angel," he whispered in her ear.

"Love you, my heart," she replied in kind.

He held her for several minutes, his face pressed against her hair, just to feel the warmth of her body, smell her sweet scent, feel the movement of her chest as she breathed, feel her breath against his neck. She was alive, and well, and in his arms!

She pulled away from him far enough to be able to see over his shoulder.

Jack and Teal'c were standing just behind the young archaeologist, both grinning broadly. "Hey, Casey. Glad to see your head where it belongs," Jack grinned.

She giggled, and pulled away from Daniel's embrace long enough to hug both of her dear friends. Then she immediately went back into her husband's arms. She was clinging to him as if she would never let go, he was holding her just as tightly, his need for reassurance as great as hers. When his lips sought hers, she kissed him back with all of the passion, and relief, that she felt from him.

Daniel slowly pulled away from her, looked past her blonde head and studied the dark haired man who stood in the open doorway as he continued to hold her close. "Unlinkil, I presume?"

The man smiled. "Yes. You are Daniel, it would seem. The Chosen. Please, come in. Just pick her up, I doubt that she'll turn loose of you anytime soon."

All of the men smiled at this, and Daniel scooped Casey into his arms. She cuddled close, a smile on her face. They all stepped into the living room.

"I must admit, you are here much sooner than I had anticipated. Casey tells me that you're brilliant."

Daniel flushed slightly. "Took me longer than it should have."

Casey looked over at her host. "I don't want to seem ungrateful, but I'd really like to get home. I haven't seen my babies in over a week now."

Unlinkil smiled. "I understand. I have one request. That I may know where this…Gamma…is. I might like to visit there. Hope sounds like a very nice place. And if there are Immortals there, it would…be comfortable."

"If you have something to write on, I can give you the 'gate address," Daniel said. Unlinkil went to a small desk, returned with a pad of paper and a pen. Casey took the items with a smile, and carefully drew out the glyphs that would open the Stargate to Gamma.

Jack pulled a GDO from his pocket. His military training had allowed him to recognize an ally in the Immortal immediately. "You'll need this. Once the 'gate is open, press this button, it will send a signal through that lets us know who is dialing in. Otherwise it's a sudden stop against the iris."

The First Immortal nodded his understanding. Casey had told him of the irises put on the Stargates of many of the humans, and the protection it offered Earth and the SGC Colonies.

"Thanks for getting me out of there, and for taking care of that nanovirus," Casey said with a smile. Her eyes said thank you as well.

"Thank you," he said, smiling at her. "What you have given me more than compensates for anything I may have done for you."

She smiled. "You're welcome."

Daniel shifted Casey in his arms, kissed her cheek. "Ready?"

"I can walk, you know."

"Maybe. Maybe not." He looked pointedly at her bare feet.

"You're not going to let me." It wasn't a question. She already knew the answer.


She looked over at Unlinkil. "He gets a little possessive if he thinks I've died," she explained, a smile on her face, her eyes dancing with laughter.

Unlinkil laughed. "As would I, if I were in his place."

The young archaeologist looked at the dark haired Immortal. "Thanks."

The man grinned. "You are most welcome."

Jack cleared his throat. "Yeah, well, let's get moving. I have kids I want to see, too."

"Wait!" Casey said suddenly. "My manners! I'm so sorry! Unlinkil, you already sort of know Daniel. That's Jack and Teal'c. Guys, this is Unlinkil, he's an Immortal from the First Race."

He laughed. "She has told me much about both of you. All very good," he added. "It is an honor to meet you." His face became serious. "Nergal doesn't fear you, he believes himself too powerful to ever fall at the hands of mere humans. That will be your greatest asset against him…his own pride. You have delivered a blow, but it was by no means fatal. I suggest you find him before he has the time to rebuild his strength. For now he will concentrate on destroying those who united against him, taking over all that they have. He will be this…weak…for only a short time. Strike now. Or you will face this battle all over again."

Jack nodded. "Thanks. We will. You wouldn't happen to know where we could find him, would you?"

Unlinkil shook his head. "If I hear anything, I will let you know."

"Thanks again." Jack looked at Casey. "Finished here?"

She nodded.

"Okay, campers, let's go home."

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