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The Power of Love
Daniel opened his eyes. Green. It was green above him. Tent. He was in a green tent. He groaned as he sat up, his sleeping bag falling to his waist as he did. It had already been ten days. He felt torn apart, desperate to find Casey…wanting to go and search for her, race from planet to planet in an attempt to locate her…terrified that if he left she would come here. He pulled on his clothes, cursed again that he had forgotten to pack extra razor blades, and stepped into the sunshine.
He stood outside the tent, stretching. He looked around. The Marines and SFs of SG-3 and 5 were moving about, sentries were changing, fires being tended, weapons being checked and cleaned. For a moment Daniel was sure that he was going to go mad. He put his fists to his head, willing himself to remain calm. He would do today what he had done every other day since arriving; examine the ruins for clues. So far he hadn’t found anything that could be useful. But he would continue. Just for the sake of having something to do.
"Morning, Doctor Jackson," Sergeant Anderson said, already pouring a cup of coffee for the archaeologist. The young man's need for coffee was well known among the men, and they made sure that plenty was available. Daniel’s reputation with SG-1 had earned him the respect of these professional soldiers. Casey’s gregarious nature and friendship with all had earned her their loyalty. Whatever happened, these men would not go down without a fight, would not allow Doctor Jackson and his beautiful wife to remain separated if they could help it.
"Thanks, Deke," Daniel said, taking the cup, and sipping gratefully. He was about to inquire as to what MREs were available for breakfast, when Macintosh came running up the path.
"Five people just ringed down by the altar," the man reported.
In an instant the men in the camp had grabbed their weapons and were stealthily making their way to the temple ruins. Daniel’s heart was racing, his pulse throbbing in his ears. Please, god, he begged, let her be there, and all right.
They moved carefully, staying among the trees for cover. When they reached the ruins, Daniel sagged with relief. She was there. Duncan stood beside her, and another man stood in front of her. Two men, undoubtedly guards, stood behind the couple.
"Take your places," Framone commanded.
Duncan stood definitely, raised his chin and clenched his fists. His hands were bound, as were his feet.
"Eat shit and die, snake," Casey snapped, her green eyes filled with hatred.
The man raised his hand and slapped her, causing her to stumble against Duncan. Duncan braced himself, put his hands up to help her regain her feet. He snarled at the Goa’uld, doing his best to put himself between the enemy and the woman he loved. Framone looked at the guards, and the two felt themselves heaved upon the stone altar. They took enough time to free Duncan, then stepped back.
"Last to one, one to last, strong hearts burn with the fire. Blood boils, hearts burn, one from two, two as one," Framone began. The ground beneath them began to shake. Determined, the Goa’uld continued. "Hearts entwined, purified by the fire, reach one for the other, fulfill your desire. Burn together, burn with desire, he burns for her, she gives him the fire. Take flames to your arms, burn as one."
Daniel was on his feet and running down the path. "No!"
Framone wheeled around, his eyes blazing. He held up his hand, and with a Goa’uld ribbon device sent the human flying backward.
A flash of light, and Oma was standing beside the altar. "You will cease this at once," she demanded. Duncan took advantage of the distraction, and leapt off the altar, taking Casey with him, ignoring the feelings that touching her wrought.
Framone glared at her. "You can do nothing. You cannot interfere."
Oma looked at Daniel, who had made it back to his feet and was approaching the altar once again. "Choose your path." She turned to Casey. "You also must choose your path."
Daniel pushed his way past Framone’s guards, the men of the SG teams on his heels. The guards were unable to react; they found themselves surrounded by men who held automatic weapons, and yearned to use them. He reached out to his Wife, and when his hands touched hers, fire ran from his fingertips to his spine, down his legs and into his groin. He looked at her, wide eyed. He could smell her, the sweet aroma of her hair, her skin. He burned with the need to touch her, taste her, feel himself inside her.
As soon as Daniel had touched her, Casey had felt the flames shoot up inside her. She needed him, burned for him, her mouth watered to taste him. She reached for him again, felt him pull her into his embrace, the very smallest contact between their bodies sweet agony.
Oblivious now to anyone, or anything other than each other and their burning need, Daniel led her back to the altar. He gently lifted her back onto the stone, and climbed up beside her. His lips sought hers. He couldn’t get enough of the taste of her lips, the smell of her hair, the feel of her skin. The sound of her breathing echoed in his ears, thrummed in his head. Around them, the altar began to glow. Flames began to shoot toward the sky. Those observing could barely make out the two people on the stone.
Daniel kissed her neck, her jaw.
"Oh, Daniel," Casey whispered as he planted tiny kisses along her throat, "I knew you’d find me, save me." Tears began to slide down her cheeks. "I missed you so much!"
"Don’t cry, babe. It’s okay. I’m right here." He gathered her into his arms. They were kneeling on the stone, kissing, hands seeking among clothes and finding openings to bare skin. Daniel pushed the robe from her body, sighing as he filled his hands with her breasts. Her nipples hardened against his tongue as he suckled, his two-day beard leaving red marks on her skin. He slid a hand between her legs, finding her sensitive spots, caressing her there. He gasped when her hand closed around his rock-hard shaft.
"Love me, Daniel," she whispered. She laid back on the stone, holding her arms open.
He pushed his pants out of the way, leaned into her embrace, and moved his hips against her body, gaining entrance to paradise. She wrapped her legs around his waist and began to move with him as he thrust into her.
Framone watched, the flames obscuring most of what was happening on the altar at this point. "This cannot be," he stormed. "I created her for the Highlander!"
Oma looked at the Goa’uld and smiled. "You did nothing more than bring together the two cells that create life. You created nothing. You control nothing. This ceremony was created by the Ancients. The Ceremony of Fire can only occur when both hearts burn for one another. Only true, pre-Destined love can survive the Rite of Fire. Any attempts to bind two hearts that do not burn are bound to fail. The Fire cannot be forced, or induced. It must come from within, given freely, taken freely."
Framone growled at her. Everyone was watching the couple on the altar, hearing the gasps and cries, although the ever-growing flames hampered their vision of the scene. Before anyone could stop him, the Immortal Goa'uld and his guards ringed up to his ship.
Major Mike Davis approached Oma slowly. "Ma’am…are they okay?" he asked, pointing with his P90 toward the altar. The men watching had had to move away from the altar, the heat coming off of the stone too much to dare being near.
Oma smiled. "Yes. Witness the power of true love." With a flash, she was gone.
Inside the fire, Casey was nearing her climax. She was whimpering, grinding her hips against Daniel.
"I love you, My Star," he whispered in her ear. "Give yourself to me, babe. Give it to me now."
With a cry, Casey arched her back off of the stone, and shuddered with her release. She tightened her arms around Daniel’s neck, and began to kiss his chin, his neck, his shoulder. "Fill me with your love, Daniel," she whispered. "Let me feel you throb inside me."
With a grunt, Daniel raised himself up, supporting himself on his outstretched arms. He began to thrust harder and deeper into her body. He threw his head back and roared out his completion. Panting, exhausted, he dropped down, lying on her chest, his head just below her chin.
As the flames began to die down around them, the men of SG3 and 5 turned their backs, making their way back to the camp, allowing the couple privacy to recuperate and dress. Duncan had watched for another moment, knowing in his heart that Casey was lost to him forever, then followed the other men into the camp. A message was sent through the gate to let those who were still waiting know that the mission was complete, and successful.
An hour later they walked through the gate back to the SGC. Jack was standing at the foot of the ramp, a wide grin on his face. "Welcome home, campers," he said.
"It’s good to be home," Casey said, a smile on her face.
A A A A A A
Casey sat on the top of Daniel’s desk, watching him as he worked at the long table, the surface covered with books, papers and stone tablets. He was trying to find any mention of the Immortal Council in connection with the Ascended. So far he hadn’t had any luck. As for Casey, she was content to just be in the same room with her husband. Even if his attention was somewhere miles away.
She turned and smiled at the tall Scot who stood at the door. She noted that the haunted look had not left his eyes. But she had seen him on the phone, had heard him talking to Tessa. With time, he would get over her, and with luck, he would find his way back to the woman he had loved so dearly before. "Hi, Duncan."
Duncan entered the office. He looked around, it was the first time he had actually been inside the room. The volume of books and artifacts that cluttered the room was impressive. His attention was drawn to a set of thick tablets, encompassed by a band of what appeared to be metal. Before Casey could cry out a warning, his fingers closed on the closest of the tablets. There were sparks of light, and the metal fell away, revealing two separate tablets.
The light brought Daniel’s head up. He looked at Duncan for a moment, then at the tablets. He smacked his hand to his forehead. "Reggie said that you’re The One!" he groaned, irritated at his lack of perception.
Duncan looked confused. "I don’t understand," he said.
"When Casey and Methos touched those tablets, they were both severely burned. The top tablet of each pair says that only The One can open the secrets held within," Daniel explained.
The Immortal looked down at the glyphs and frowned. "I may have opened it, but I haven’t a clue as to what they say."
Daniel looked at the tablets. The second tablet was covered with glyphs, so tiny that they were barely discernable. He grabbed the large magnifying glass that he had been working with earlier. He began to read, his finger tracing each column as he read. "This seems to be the history of the Immortals," he said excitedly. He handed the other metal-bound tablet to Duncan. Again there were sparks, and the tablets separated. The second hidden tablet was also covered with the glyphs. After several long minutes of total silence, Daniel looked up at them. "Wow," was all he said.
A A A A A A
The anticipation in the room was palpable as every Immortal Duncan and Methos could find crowded in and tried to find a seat. There were at least two hundred of them; men, women, some very young, some much older; some of them at least several decades into their immortality, others several centuries. Various members of SGC teams were also in attendance…as well as Sam, Jack, and Teal'c.
Daniel stood in the front of the room, the tablets now prominently displayed behind him. He looked out at the expectant faces. This was one of the good days, as Jack liked to say, when things went right. It was days like this that made what they did, what they fought for, worthwhile. Today the Immortals would learn of their origins, their history, their purpose. "Good afternoon," he said, smiling.
There were smiles and nods, and a lot of shifting in seats. These people weren’t in the mood for pleasantries, they wanted what they had come for, and they were getting impatient.
Daniel took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. "I realize that you have all had the questions - 'who am I? Where did I come from?' These tablets," he said, pointing to the intensely glyphic stones, "hold the answers."
Unconsciously every Immortal in the room leaned forward; waiting...hearts pounding, pulses racing, eyes examining the stone tablets.
"Millions of years ago, a civilization of very advanced beings was doomed, due to the collapse of the star that was their sun. They searched, and found a blue and white planet that was everything they needed. They left their home, and journeyed to their new home. They colonized the planet, the one we know as Earth. Their civilization continued, grew, prospered, they created the Stargates, and continued to explore the galaxy. The Ancients, as we call them, found an indigenous people already living here. The Ancients became the protectors of these people, these…humans. As the Ancients evolved, they readied themselves to leave our galaxy, perhaps even our known universe. Because they already knew about the Goa’uld, the Ancients were determined not to leave the ‘innocents’ as they called mortal humans, unprotected. So they…created…the First Immortals. They were genetically human, with Ancient DNA to make them immortal. Before the Ancients left, they created the Council of Immortals to carry on the work. You are the second race of Immortals, you are human and have Ancient DNA. There is a list of names, Ancients who gave their DNA to create you. These people are your…parents. You are, for all intents and purposes, the children the Ancients."
There were murmurs in the room, Casey thought she heard a sniffle or two. Finding out who they were, where they came from, why they were immortal filled the holes that had gaped in every Immortal heart.
"Framone, the Immortal who we believe to be Goa’uld, was one of the biologists on the Council of Immortals. These tablets were written by someone who suspected that Framone had become Goa’uld, or at the very least, was bent on creating a race of Immortals so that he could rule the galaxy."
Jack snorted. "Damned Goa’uld delusions of grandeur," he grumbled. Everyone in the room laughed.
"Framone carried out the work of the Council, creating new Immortals according to the wishes of the Ancients. He also ‘programmed’ several Immortals to respond to the Ancients Ceremony of Fire with one woman, who was the last Immortal created. And who just happens to be my Wife," he grinned. "He created not only the second race of Immortals, he also ‘created’ the prophecy about The One and The Last bringing forth a new race, the third, of Immortals. He wanted them as his own private army. He was certain that the Ceremony of Fire, used by the Ancients, would allow them to have children, so he destroyed the…uh…laboratory where all the Immortals were…created and…born. This was to prevent any others on the Council from creating more Immortals to fight against him. It seems that the Ceremony of Fire was a marriage rite used by the Ancients, and not until a couple went through it were they able to procreate. Framone didn’t understand one thing: the rite was created by the Ancients, and so would affect only the Ancients. The rite of fire won’t change an Immortal, won’t make them…fertile."
"Oma said that the two people involved in the rite had to be truly in love for it to work," said one of the Marines who had been present when Daniel and Casey consummated their relationship in the Ceremony of Fire.
Daniel smiled. "I think the Ancients preferred that people who wanted to have children be in love. We do know that once the ceremony is completed, the two are mated for eternity…the fire burns forever in their hearts." He looked over at Casey with a grin. "Looks like you’re stuck with me, babe." Laughter again filled the room. "But, unfortunately, Immortals will remain childless, until we can find a way to genetically counter the ‘Quickening’ that halts any fertilization."
"Where do the Ascended come into this?" Duncan asked.
"The Ascended are beings that operate beyond our realm of understanding. Several of the First Immortals were approached by these beings, and became Ascended themselves. Oma was one of those Immortals. She sat on the Council of Immortals until Framone began killing them off. The Council of Immortals was sort of the ‘bridge’ between the Ascended and the rest of the civilizations that work to protect the innocent. That Council must be rebuilt. That's one of the tasks that lay before us," Daniel answered.
"What about the Game?" asked Methos, who was sitting in front between Casey and Duncan.
"Framone, again. He wanted only the strongest, the brightest, at his side when he created the third race of Immortals. He had no intention of letting the Game continue until there was only one left. He would have gathered the remaining Immortals and started his battles to take over. He almost succeeded with his plan. He damn sure would have been upset to learn that in spite of the Ceremony of Fire, Casey was never going to become the ‘Mother of Future Generations’."
"So, now what? As children of the Ancients, it’s our duty to protect the innocent…but how?" a voice asked from somewhere near the center of the room.
Daniel looked over at Jack. The question had been anticipated, and the answer carefully considered. "That's an excellent question, and I’ll let General O’Neill answer that."
Jack stood and walked to the front of the room. "Well, folks, we have a big problem with the snake-heads…er…Goa'uld. It’s complicated by the fact that Framone is a Goa’uld. What we weren’t sure of was if the Goa’uld took over Framone, or Framone took over the Goa’uld. We uh…conducted a little experiment," he said, looking down at Methos. The young/old man shrugged his shoulders, although he never smiled. "There was a Tok’ra symbiote willing to…uh…participate. Methos here agreed to a joining with it. But, when it was over, Methos got all the memories and knowledge of the symbiote, but the personality, all that was Olmack, is gone. MRIs and CT scans show that the symbiote is gone. He does have the glowy eyes thing going on, and he can use the voice thing. So we’re assuming that infestation by a Goa’uld isn’t really possible for Immortals. Knowing that, we’d like to create SG teams made solely of Immortals. For security purposes, and the obvious ‘why isn’t that guy getting older’ stuff, we’ll run them out of our Beta site. As well as a new site we’re going to call Gamma-I…Gamma Immortal. We already have several planets picked out, none of which have any local folks we need to worry about bothering. We can have Gamma up and running in about six months. We’d like for you folks to join us in fighting the Goa’uld."
Daniel stepped back up to the lectern. "I've been told there are several historians among you. We need for you, as historians, to continue ‘keeping the history’, which is also part of the job the Ancients left for you to do. It’s vital that the work on Beta and Gamma-I be recorded as well. There’s a lot of work to do, we’re in a race against Anubis to find the lost city, which has the weapons that can help us finally get rid of the Goa’uld. We’re trying to build naquadah-based weapons systems to protect Earth, and new naquadah-based energy sources. We need the expertise and experience you have as scientists."
Jack looked down at Casey, and smiled. "Come on up here, youngster, and make a plea."
Casey stood up and looked around. "I don’t know what I can say that Daniel or Jack haven’t already said." She paused, looking down at the floor for a moment. She raised her eyes, and looked around at the faces watching her expectantly. "All I know is this…I am a child of the Ancients. They trust me to do what they created me to do. I can’t do any less. I’m in this fight to the end. What you do is up to you. But it would certainly help if you joined us."
"If you’re interested, there are information packets on the table in the back of the room. Take one and read it tonight. The buses will be ready to take you back to your motel rooms in about an hour," Jack said, officially ending the meeting.
Just before Casey left the room with Daniel some time later, she glanced at the table. Not a folder was left. She smiled, and followed her husband to the jeep.
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