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The Price of Peace
"We found a 'gate," Jack said quietly. "It's located in Russia. Siberia to be exact. We have the coordinates. We ring down, tag it, and ring back. Then it will be beamed aboard the ship."
Daniel's eyes widened. "And just what are we going to do with it?"
"Put it into storage. Just like the one at Area 51."
"Uh, Jack…I don't mean to be a pain in the ass, but are you sure that the 'gate in Siberia isn't the same 'gate that is supposed to be in storage in Area 51?" Casey asked.
Jack looked at her. "Shit!" He looked over at Sam.
"I'm on it. If it's still there, even packed away, we should be able to detect it," the blonde colonel said.
Twenty minutes later Sam met the rest of the team at the transport rings. "There is no sign of any naquadah at all at Area 51. Except for the 'gate, everything was moved out of there when we left the planet. So it should be easy enough to find. It's not there. We scanned three times to make sure. I did two deep scans just to double check. I scanned the 'gate at Cheyenne Mountain to make sure I was getting accurate readings. The second 'gate is missing."
"No it's not," Casey reminded her friend. "It's just been relocated. Which we're going to do again."
Sam smiled. "We did a thermal scan. There's what looks like a barracks of some sort about six hundred feet from the building the 'gate is in. We counted thirty bodies there. None are near the 'gate itself."
Jack nodded. "Okay, we're going in hot and hard. I want this done in less than fifteen minutes."
The team stood shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, weapons up and ready. The rings activated, and they found themselves in what appeared to be an abandoned hanger. The 'gate was connected to several computers.
Sam checked for alarms, found none. "They don't seem to be worried about being caught," she whispered.
"Tag those computers. We need to check and see what's on them," Jack ordered.
His wife nodded, and carefully disconnected cables, put the equipment in several of the containers that were under the table the computers were sitting on, and put transmitter tags on them. Casey was helping her, searching for any discs that might be available as well.
Teal'c, Daniel and Jack had put three transmitters onto the Stargate. As large as it was, Sam had insisted that three be used.
"Okay, let's do it," Jack said. He signaled the Prometheus, and in five flashes of light, the Stargate and all of the pertinent equipment disappeared. The team was already ringing out when they heard the sound of an alarm.
"That was easy," Daniel said, stepping off of the ring transport. He took the strap of his P90 from around his neck.
"Yeah. Makes me nervous," Jack replied. He turned to Sam. "I want every bit of information you can get off of those computers. Pull whoever you have to from wherever you have to, to help you."
She nodded. "I'm on it."
"Daniel, we need to know everything we can about Ptah. I want to know what we're up against," Jack said.
"Casey, take a look and tell me what's happening on R3X 114," he said softly.
She nodded, gripped Daniel's hand and closed her eyes. She reached out, searched, listened. "They're mining. They don't seem to know that anything has changed."
Jack smiled. "Good. Let's hope that it takes awhile for the news to reach them." He turned to the Jaffa beside him. "Teal'c, I hear we have a couple of NID prisoners. Let's go have a little chat with them. Casey, want to join us?"
She grinned. "Love to."
Jack stopped at the intercom. "Colonel Thompson, get us the hell out of here. Head for Gamma, best speed."
"Aye-aye, sir, best speed to Gamma," was the reply.
A A A A A A
She hadn't expected either of the two NID operatives to be cooperative. The Colombian, a man by the name of Artero Torres, shifted uncomfortably in the chair he was shoved into. He refused to even acknowledge Casey's presence, a fact that neither Jack nor Teal'c missed.
"Casey, I want you to question him," Jack whispered.
"Because you scare the bejeezus out of him."
"What should I ask?"
Jack took a small notepad from his pocket. He scratched out a question. Casey smiled.
"Since I've already pulled all the names and locations of all the NID operatives that you know about from your brain, which is pretty chaotic and creepy, by the way…" she said.
Jack snorted, Teal'c smiled.
"...I'm going to ask a few simple questions. How many of those operatives are Goa'uld?"
The man stared at Jack.
"Think you can find that information, Case?" Jack asked.
"I'm sure I could. The thing is, I might have to dig for it, and I don't know how much damage I'd do. It could leave this man nothing more than a shell," Casey replied. "I'd really hate to do that, Jack. I'd hate to leave him nothing more than a vegetable."
Torres jerked. He still refused to look at the young blonde woman.
"Casey, if I order you to find that information, I expect my order to be obeyed," Jack said coldly.
"Yes, sir. I understand," she said. And hoped that Jack was bluffing.
"I do not know how many are Goa'uld. I do not believe that there are any of…them…on Earth," Torres mumbled.
"How many NID operatives are there, how many levels?" Casey asked, reading from the pad.
"I do not know," Torres said gruffly. "I only had a list of the operatives because I was the one that they contacted. I passed on the orders that came from Kin-" he broke off.
"Kinsey!" Jack hissed.
"Or Ptah, depending on who's in charge at the moment," Casey reminded him.
"Good point," the older man conceded.
"How many civilizations have weapons been given to?" she asked, again reading from the pad.
"I do not know."
"Don't make me order this woman to pull it out of your head," Jack warned.
The man in front of him glared for several seconds. His eyes flickered to Casey, then he heaved a sigh. "We have sent only three shipments of weapons out. Two of cocaine."
"How many and what type of weapons, how much cocaine?"
"AK-74's and AN-94's. About fifty of each. Fifty pounds of cocaine."
"That's all that's left the planet?" Jack demanded.
"That I am aware of," Torres replied. "A ship arrives, we put the crates in a certain place, and they are ringed up."
"What about the Stargate in Siberia?" Jack asked.
The man physically recoiled from the question, his eyes wide.
"It's okay, it's not there anymore," Jack grinned. "It sort of went…missing. How much went through that 'gate?"
"The 'gate has only been operational for a month or so. As far as I know, only troops and supplies have been sent through. I do not know where."
"How many troops? A few, a lot?"
"I do not know. It cannot be many, the disappearance of too many would be noticed. The EDA has become increasingly paranoid over citizens leaving the planet. They monitor the people carefully."
"Hello, Big Brother," Casey murmured.
Jack looked at the young blonde. "Well?"
She studied the man, reached out and touched him carefully. He was frightened, mostly of what would happen to him when the NID found out about his capture, and the fact that information was taken from him. But she could find no deception. "He's telling the truth."
"It hasn't been quite four years. I'd say that this scheme is just getting started," Jack said. "That's a good thing, as far as we're concerned. Okay, let Mr. Torres go back to his cell. Let's have a little chat with Mr. Olansky."
A A A A A A
Thirty minutes later, they were sure that the operation they had stumbled across had just opened for business. Casey had managed to extract a few more names from the Russian, but he knew less than Torres.
The Prime Minister of Austria, standing with the Austrian EDA representative, announced on CNN that a list of all NID operatives had been located. It was expected that these men and women would try to escape. Within hours all but seven were in EDA custody, and the citizens of planet Earth were demanding that they be tried for treason against the People of Earth.
Jack smiled as he watched the news report. "Well, we certainly threw a monkey wrench into the works. They're down a ship and crew, it won't take long for those seven people to be caught, not with the attitude on Earth right now. So, as far as we know, we've taken out a nice chunk of their agents there."
Casey looked at him. "You don't think that all of them were captured?"
He shook his head. "We'll be lucky if the list you found was even half of them. But it's a start. The EDA itself is undergoing quite a shake-up. It's not going to be easy for the NID to re-establish their network. That buys us some time to find more of the bastards, and take them out."
"What about Kinsey…er…Ptah?" she asked.
"That little expose that you sent to CNN should prevent anyone from doing business with him. At least for awhile. Like I said. We bought ourselves some time."
Daniel and Sam arrived, having been summoned to the briefing room to give a report on their progress.
"Ptah wasn't just an Egyptian god," Daniel said. "I found mention of him three times in some of the tablets found on Alteria that Ishmael sent to me. I'm betting that he was the one who took people from Egypt and dumped them there. Interestingly enough, when I ran a comparison of several of his known names and qualities, I found references from three other planets. We never would have located this if Casey and Stephanie hadn't put all of this information into the computer." He reached over and took his wife's hand, lifted it to his lips.
"Told you a database would help," she smiled.
"So, what have you got?" Jack asked.
"He's referred to as the god of architecture in all references. Only on Earth is he also known as the god of death. He was the fourth 'most powerful' god in Egypt, but was only a minor god everywhere else, with the exception of Alteria. He was the only god known there," Daniel replied.
"So what does this mean?"
"We’re probably looking at a Goa'uld that was never a major System Lord, until recently," Daniel replied. "He found a way to change that, using the people in the NID who had escaped Earth. It's possible that they set themselves up on a planet that he either ruled, or actually inhabited. I have no idea if he has plans to 'reconquer' Earth or not."
"Sam, what did you find?" Jack asked.
"Well, they've only dialed to three different gates. But all of them repeatedly. R3X 114 has been dialed seven times. The other two have been dialed three times each. All three received mining equipment, water, food, blankets, medical supplies, but no weapons are listed on the manifests. It doesn't mean they weren't sent, it just means they weren't reported as sent," she told them.
"It's possible that Ptah has no use for the weapons except for giving to the locals for mining rights. Although why a Goa'uld would do that is beyond me. Send the addresses to Duncan, I'm thinking we need to take a look at what's there. We'll drop off the 'gate and the computer stuff at Gamma, then we'll join the Hak'tyl at R3…whatever," Jack said.
Casey nodded. "R3X 114 is the big one. I don't know why, whether it's the amount of naquadah, or the fact that it's their first 'successful' mining expedition."
"We're going to either put the mine under new management…namely ours…or we're going to shut it down," Jack replied.
"Remember, Jack, there are innocent people living there. We have to be careful that they don’t get caught in the crossfire," Daniel said quietly.
"I know, Danny. I'd rather take that mine over. We could use the naquadah for ourselves and our allies," Jack replied.
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