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The Darkness Within

Chapter 9

The teams were standing beside the ring transporter. Jack was giving them last minute instructions.

"The last report we got from Unlinkil is now three hours old. At the time, Nergal was still inside the cottage, no sign of any Jaffa or Rotalle. As far as we know, he's alone." Jack looked at Casey. "Okay, Case, can you take a look and see if we're in for any surprises?"

She glanced up at Daniel. "Ready?"

"Yep." He closed his eyes, moved slowly toward her. Smiled when he felt her gentle caress. He held her, felt her hold tightly to him.

"Here I go," she whispered. She reached out, searched…listened. There! She recoiled from the evil, felt Daniel hold her tighter. He was in a cottage, not a large one. Two rooms. His sarcophagus took up one entire room. The other room had a mantel and small firebox, a cupboard, a table and two chairs. A small cot was shoved in one corner. Certainly not what he was accustomed to! He was asleep on the cot, he seemed to be dreaming…or having nightmares. She pulled back slowly, let Daniel continue to hold her. She opened her eyes. "He's alone, and right now he's asleep. I think he's having nightmares.

Jack nodded. "We surround the place. Then T, Daniel, and I are going in for him."

"Be careful," Casey warned. "He still has his ribbon device."

"I have the Fire," Daniel said grimly. He had every intention of using it, as well.




The teams ringed down, it was pre-dawn on the planet. The cottage was small, and hadn't been well cared for. The thatched roof was in need of repair, none of the windows had shutters. There was no smoke coming from the chimney, even though the air around them was rather cold.

Major Parker and SG-6 moved silently to take up positions at the back of cottage. Nergal would never escape from them.

Jack and Daniel exchanged a look. Teal'c shoved the door open, and the two men rushed into the small, crowded room.

Nergal had been awakened when the door opened, he jumped to his feet, raised his hand, preparing to use the ribbon device.

Daniel raised his hand, a blue ball of fire flew from his fingertips. When it impacted on the Goa'uld, it tossed him against the wall. All three men were shocked when the dark haired man managed to regain his feet.

"Don't look so surprised," Nergal laughed. "I am a god, after all!" He glanced around. "Where is she? I can smell her, feel her presence. I will make her a goddess, she will be my Consort, my Queen."

"Like hell, " Daniel growled.

Casey entered the cottage, stood behind Daniel's shoulder. "He's not alone!" she gasped.

Jack and Teal'c looked around nervously.

"Demon?" Daniel asked, sensing what she was thinking.

"I think so," she replied.

"Anyone we know?" Jack asked.

"Who are you?" Daniel demanded.

Nergal laughed. "I am Nergal. I am the god of all. Kneel before me, and you shall become my favored servants."

"Not gonna happen," Jack said.

"You are not Nergal," Casey replied. "Although it is fitting that he's hiding from you, the same way that the host of that body hid from him for so many years."

"Is the host still alive?" Daniel asked her softly.

"No," she whispered. "He died in the attack on the palace."

"Don't tell me that the palace was some sort of gate to hell," Jack moaned.

She couldn't help but giggle. "No. I don't know where this demon came-" she broke off. "He's been there the entire time! When Nergal took over the body, the demon entered with him. Somehow the host managed to keep him…it…in check. I have no idea how."

Nergal stepped closer. "Come to me, my Beautiful One. You belong to me."

Daniel pushed Casey behind him, stood between her and the Demon/Goa'uld. "She is my Wife. My Beloved. She's not going anywhere."

Once again the hand came up, the ribbon device began to glow.

Again, Daniel's hand came up. He felt Casey press her body against him, felt her sending her Fire to him. He concentrated, sent the Fire to his hands. When he could stand the heat no longer he launched two matching blue fireballs at the creature.

Nergal's chest exploded, spraying blood and bone and tissue around him. The body sagged, dropped to its knees. They could hear the demon screaming, trying to stand once again.

"Again, Daniel," Casey whispered.

Two more blue fireballs impacted on the body. By now, the torso was completely destroyed.

"Oh, god!" she whispered.

Immediately Daniel was reaching out to her. He 'grabbed' her, felt her 'grab' him. 'I’m right here, Angel.'

She looked around the room. There, in the far corner. Black and hideous and evil. There was no way that she could fight this thing, not even with Daniel's help. Who would have the power that she needed? She cast about hurriedly in her mind. "The Triad! Daniel, call the Triad!"

He nodded. "Hello? Uh…Triad? I…we…need your help. I'm not letting her face this thing alone!"

Jack and Teal'c exchanged worried glances. Casey and Daniel had told them about the Triad. If they were calling for help, this thing must be really big…and really dangerous. "Casey?" Jack asked nervously.

"Get out, Jack, you and Teal'c need to leave. Get everybody clear of this cottage," she whispered.

"You and Daniel-"

"We'll be fine. Trust me," she replied.

"No offense, Case, but we all stay. We're in this together," Jack said.

The First smiled. "As it should be."

Casey gasped. Standing beside them were two women and a man. They were beautiful, and seemed to glow from within. "First?"

The women with long dark hair nodded. "I am the First."

Daniel smiled. "Nice to meet you," he said.

First smiled. "I have been honored to be guardian to you and Your Chosen." She glanced at the corner. "You were wise to call for help. You, Chosen, must defeat this demon. We can do no more than offer assistance."

Casey stepped to Daniel's side. The demon hurled a ball of bright light toward her. Daniel was barely able to stop it before it hit her.

"Stay back, Angel," he said softly. "Send me the Fire, Case."

She closed her eyes, pressed both hands to his back, willed the Fire to him.

He kept his eyes on the dark creature, felt the Fire moving once again through his veins. Just when he thought he had built up enough, he felt a surge of power coming from the Triad. It was almost more than he could handle. He struggled for a few seconds, trying to keep control of the heat, the fire.

The demon took advantage of Daniel's distraction, and aimed at Jack. The older man dove behind the table, which exploded into splinters around him.

"Hey, you want to fight, you fight me," Daniel said. He threw a white-hot ball of fire at the demon. The scream that filled the air chilled them all to the bone. Another white-hot ball impacted beside the creature, leaving a gaping hole in the wall. The third hit again, bringing another spine-chilling scream. One more, and the creature exploded into splinters of blackness, which vaporized as they hit the ground.

Daniel dropped to his knees, gasping for breath. Casey knelt in front of him, and pulled him into her embrace, smoothing his hair from his face. "Thank you," she said softly to the three Beings who stood watching.

"You are welcome," the First replied. With nods and smiles, the Triad faded away.

"Hey, Space Monkey, can you walk?" Jack asked quietly.

"Yep, just give me a second."

"I have to do something," Jack said, looking into Daniel's eyes.

Daniel nodded. "Do it. We have to make sure."

Jack gave a nod in return, and pulled a sword from the long pack he had been carrying.

Casey gasped. "You're going to behead him?"

"Best way to make sure he stays dead," Jack replied. He walked to where what was left of Nergal's dead body still smoldered. He wrapped his hands around the hilt, and then brought the sword down with all his might. The head dropped forward, then rolled toward the hearth.

Casey closed her eyes, unable to look at the glassy-eyed stare of the severed head. "Can we go now?"

Daniel pulled himself to his feet, helped her to hers. "Let's go home."

"Sounds good to me," Jack said.

Sam had been standing just outside the door the entire time. Her face was pale. "Tell me that we're not going to be fighting demons from now on!"

Daniel grinned. "Only if they're in the Goa'uld we're fighting."

The slender colonel shook her head. "Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We've fought all manner of strange creatures."

"Yeah, well, it makes fighting Goa'uld seem a bit…ordinary, doesn't it?" Jack teased.

"I like ordinary. Ordinary is good," Casey replied.

"I agree, Casey," Teal'c said. "Ordinary is most acceptable."

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