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The Price of Peace
Duncan had received a reply from the EDA; the Russian government was vehemently denying any knowledge of a Stargate other than the one that rested within the belly of Cheyenne Mountain. The denial was expected, and the EDA was already making plans to send an investigative team into the country. Russia had, of course, filed a complaint, and had many allies who were willing to back them. Other countries were wavering on the edge of the controversy, willing to come down on the side that offered the most influence for their own pet projects.
Casey was pulling her lip between her teeth.
"Talk to me, honey," Duncan said softly.
"We need to do that sensor sweep, but it might not necessarily be in Russia," she said softly.
The others looked at her, then at one another. "Share with the rest of us, Case," Jack said.
She looked at her CO. "Jack, what if it's the NID? Wouldn't they have…the means…to buy weapons? Russia has been unloading a lot of armament in an attempt to stay afloat fiscally. How hard would it be to buy…or even steal, stock piles of weapons? We know that the Russians had an extensive build up of arms. I remember reading in the newspaper how so much of their stuff was 'misplaced'. A comforting way of saying stolen and/or sold on the black market."
Frowns creased every brow in the room. "Sounds typical of the NID as well," Jack replied.
"Has anyone bothered looking for Kinsey? We know that he had some very deep ties to the NID," Daniel said.
Duncan sighed. "Okay, I’m going to talk to George and Jeremy. I want you on the Prometheus, we need to find out if there is another Stargate on Earth being used by either the Russians, the NID, or some other rogue outfit. Then we're going to start looking for Kinsey. I'm betting that the NID has set up shop wherever he's at."
"Not bad enough that we have to fight the freaking Goa'uld, we have to deal with the renegade brain dead as well," Casey muttered.
Sam smiled. "Hey, at least it's job security."
Easy laughter moved around the table.
"Okay, team, gear up, get ready to go," Duncan said.
None one said it as they gathered their gear. But all of them were thinking it. The NID were probably more dangerous to them than any of the Goa'uld they faced. Being captured by that organization would be a nightmare from hell. Casey was sure it would be much worse in an NID laboratory than what she endured at the hands of the Balisians, or in Nergal's torture rooms. Neither experience was one she would care to repeat.
She glanced at her friends, and her husband. They had all endured torture; Jack had been tortured to death dozens of times by Ba'al, brought back to life in a sarcophagus, held on to his sanity with help from the Ascended Daniel. Daniel had been tortured by a group of religious fanatics on PY5 622, who were convinced that he was The Great Evil One. He had never told her about it, she had only heard his moans and the things he had mumbled during his nightmares. She had never had the courage to read his amended report on the mission. Sam had been captured and held by Osiris, tortured for nearly a week before the team was able to free her. Teal'c had been tortured several times over the years, the strong, quiet man had never mentioned any of those horrifying days. That didn’t even include the number of times they had been captured as a team and tortured. The members of SG-1 had been imprisoned, tortured, and killed more times than any other SG team, mortal or Immortal.
'Angel, are you all right?'
She looked over at him, watched him pull his fatigue shirt on over his tee-shirt. 'I'm fine, why?'
'Just an unexpected…unwanted…trip down memory lane,' she admitted.
'They won't touch you, Angel. I promise. No way will they get you, or any of us.'
She reached out, felt his determination. His return caress left her feeling warm and secure. 'Love you, Daniel Jackson.'
'Love you, Casey Jackson.'
"I wish you two would quit doing that!" Jack grumped, doing his best to hide his smile.
"Better than phone sex," Casey said, walking past the older man and out the door.
Daniel grinned at Jack's reaction…the older man stared for a minute, his eyes wide, then shook his head. He was sure that Jack was imagining, or trying to imagine, what they had been discussing. He was also sure that his friend would be disappointed to learn that most often it was reassurances, comfort, and simple words of love that they offered one another.
Sam giggled. "I don't know, phone sex can be…fun."
"Sam!" Jack hissed, his tanned cheeks reddening slightly.
Daniel laughed out loud. "Oh busted, Jack! Wait 'til I tell Case!"
Teal'c was grinning as well. "I shall have to ask Carlotta about 'phone sex'."
His friends looked at him, then laughed loudly. "Go for it Teal'c," Daniel grinned.
The team gathered at the bottom of the ramp. Duncan gave them a go, a 'Godspeed', and they walked up the ramp. Immediately upon arrival on the desert planet they signaled, and were ringed aboard the Prometheus.
A A A A A A
The ship had a new captain, a man who had recently moved his family to Gamma. His children were adjusting well, seemed to like the schools well enough. His wife wasn't making the transition quite as well. She missed her family; even though she had rarely seen them while they were on Earth, the thought of being on a completely different planet was almost more than she could take. He had been a fighter pilot during the battle against Anubis that raged over Antarctica. At the time he hadn't been able to discuss with her just how important his job was in protecting Earth. Now she knew the details, but he wasn't sure she really comprehended the danger, the need for him to do the job he was doing, and the need to do it from Gamma. He was hoping to have a chance to talk to the two most famous women of the SGC, and perhaps get an idea how to help his wife.
"Welcome aboard, sir," he said, saluting smartly as Jack stepped away from the ring transport.
"Thompson, sir, Randy Thompson," the colonel said, still holding the salute.
Jack returned the salute. "Thompson. You were at the Antarctica battle, weren't you?"
The man grinned. "Yes, sir. Kicked some Goa'uld ass that day!"
The general grinned, clapped the man on the back. "Yeah, we sure did."
"Does the general wish to assume command?"
"Nah. I'll just hover on the bridge and make all the kids nervous. My team will assume posts, though."
The man chuckled. "Aye-aye, sir."
SG-1 entered the bridge, heard a sharply called "Ah-ten-shun!", and all of the crew snapped to military attention. Jack and Sam, officers in the newly organized Gamma Military Force, which was made up of all of the military personnel who had left Earth for the Colonies in order to protect their home planet, and the crew members of all three of the Colony ships, returned the salutes, and the crew resumed their positions.
Casey stepped up to the weapons console. The young man who had been manning the station grinned at her. "Mind if I take a turn?"
"No, ma'am! It's an honor to meet you, ma'am," the dark haired young man said.
She smiled. "Actually, we haven't met…yet. I’m Casey Jackson." She offered the young man her hand.
"Vincent Sabotti, ma'am," he said, shaking her hand, trembling slightly at the thought of actually touching the beautiful woman. Wait until he told his bunkmates about this! Posters of the beautiful woman covered nearly every inch of their small room. To actually meet her…!
"Sabotti…are you related to Tony Sabotti?"
"My cousin, ma'am."
"I should have guessed, you look like him, and the name is Casey," she replied with a wide smile. "Tony is a good friend of mine."
"That's what he keeps saying. I didn't actually believe him."
Casey laughed. "Yeah, Tony does like to…embellish…the truth at times."
"I always thought he was just a bit of a liar, myself," Vincent said, chuckling.
"Well, I wouldn't know about that. He's never lied to me. Okay, Vincent, I'll take over for now." She smiled, then slid into the seat, and checked over the console.
Vincent watched her for a minute, then followed his friends from the bridge, relieved of duty temporarily by the legendary SG-1. The young bridge crew would certainly have a lot to talk about at dinner tonight!
Daniel had watched the exchange, a smile on his own face. She had no clue that the young man was probably now as in love with her as his cousin was.
"Status," Colonel Thompson said.
"Communications ready," Sam said quietly.
"Weapons ready," Casey said.
"Helm ready," Daniel reported.
"Navigation ready," Teal'c said.
The colonel looked at Jack. "Well trained," he grinned.
Jack laughed. "Wait 'til you see 'em in action. It's a thing of beauty."
"I can believe that!" the colonel declared.
"Okay, people, let's go to Earth and find that damn 'gate," Jack said quietly.
"Helm, all ahead full," the captain ordered.
"All ahead full," Daniel repeated.
"Give me a count down on hyperdrive."
"Hyperdrive in…fifteen seconds …ten…five…four…three… two…one."
Within an hour the Prometheus was cloaked and orbiting the blue and white planet that at one time had been home to all of them. Sam started her scan. "This could take awhile," she said.
Jack nodded. "Casey, tell me what's out there."
She nodded, closed her eyes. Waited until she felt Daniel's comforting presence. Even with Nergal dead, she wasn't comfortable doing searches alone. Wasn't sure that she ever would be again. She reached out, could feel the chaos of the planet below. She listened carefully, but couldn't pick out any specific threat. She tried to focus on a Stargate, but was unable to do so. "I'm not getting anything specific, just the usual," she reported.
The gray head nodded again. "Okay. I’m going to contact Cheyenne Mountain. See if we can't get an idea of where Kinsey went. It's been a few years, but they have records of all 'gate activity."
"Be careful, Jack," Casey said softly. "Don't talk with…ask anything of…anyone you don’t trust."
"I won't." He understood that if the NID found out that the colonies were aware, or at least suspected their activities, it could trigger an all out war between the organization and the free SGC planets.
"I have an al'kesh, closing fast," Sam reported.
"Weapons ready," Thompson ordered.
"Weapons ready, aye," Casey reported.
"Casey, can you tell if we're facing a Goa'uld?" Daniel asked softly.
"I can try and look," she replied. Once again she held tightly to him while she flew across the emptiness of space to look inside the ship. She could sense no Goa'uld, didn't see any Jaffa either. "NID!" she hissed suddenly. She shivered violently.
"Okay, people, we're cloaked, let's just stay calm," Thompson said. "Colonel Carter, let me know when and where they park."
"Why aren't they cloaked?" Casey asked. "We know that the SGC has satellites that keep watch out here. An al'kesh just showing up should result in some sort of response from downstairs, don't you think?"
"Unless…" Daniel shook his head. "NID may have control of the satellites, or at least has someone there that covers for them."
Casey shivered again. "Oh, hell!"
"Case?" Daniel asked, a frown on his face.
"I think the NID is controlling the EDA!"
"Yeah." If she was right, the NID already knew that the colonies were aware that something was going on.
"Get Jack back here," Daniel said quietly.
"General O'Neill to the bridge, stat," Thompson said into the intercom.
"Al'kesh has started a scan," Sam reported. "I know that the Prometheus and the Persephone have the best cloaks we can build right now. What I don't know is whether or not the NID has anything that can detect us."
"All hands to battle stations," the colonel barked. "Okay, Colonel Carter, tell me what you hear."
She listened carefully. The colony ships also had communication equipment that enabled them to 'eavesdrop' on the transmissions of nearby ships. "Sounds like they're expected, they're checking in. Standard orbit above South America."
Jack was on the bridge now. "What's up?"
"Al'kesh. Seems to be the NID," Thompson replied.
"They're making a pick-up!" Sam announced.
"Teal'c, I need you to get a message to Bra'tac. Have him take the Hak'tyl to coordinates seven by three by three, just to take a look, nothing more," Jack said. "Duncan just contacted me. We may have found Kinsey."
"How?" Sam asked.
"SGI-7 just came back from a mission. Shot to hell, and madder than hornets."
"The entire team is home?" Casey asked softly.
"Yeah, they're all home, safe and sound," Jack replied just as softly.
The young Immortal nodded. The thought of any Immortal being taken by those bastards made her skin crawl, and her blood run cold. "They wanted to have us declared an enemy of Earth. I think it's time we returned the favor. We need to let the people down there know exactly what is going on. The EDA won't do it, they're in cahoots with the NID. It's up to us to protect this planet, but we can't do it without their cooperation," she said, her voice firm.
Jack looked at her for a minute, then nodded. "Sam, get us one of those satellites. We have a broadcast to make."
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