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War of the Gods
Ba’al was led into a room, his wrists tied securely behind him. He had no idea where his hand device was, it had been taken from him the minute he appeared on the bridge of the ship. He sorely missed it. He was shoved roughly into a chair.
Across the table from him sat four men. Aaron Desala, Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, and the shol’va Jaffa, Teal'c. The Goa’uld was aware that the older man was an Ancient. His anger fueled by Casey’s visit, and the love he had seen in her eyes for the Tau’ri Jackson, Ba’al sneered at the men who would be his inquisitors.
"You said you wanted to talk," Jack said. "That you had some information for us. Start talking."
"Perhaps I have changed my mind," the Goa’uld said.
Jack shrugged. "Okay, Danny, do your thing. Take him out for raping your wife."
Hatred flared in his blue eyes, and Daniel lifted his hand.
Self-preservation runs strong in all creatures, and Goa’uld are no exception. While it was true that what was left of the host of the body would welcome death, the symbiote would not. "There is but a small group that work to overthrow the Council of the Ancients. They work quickly, for they know that if they were to be discovered, they would soon be defeated. They plan to kill The Chosen in order to cause enough chaos to succeed in their plans to take over the Council," Ba’al said.
Aaron reached forward with his mind, and literally snatched the names of the renegades from the human brain.
Ba’al shook his head. He had felt the Ancient reach into his mind, quickly, forcefully. It had caused pain, a great deal of pain. For a fleeting moment the host pushed forward, freedom from his existence within grasp. "Please," he gasped. "You have what you need. End it! Please end it! I beg of you!"
Daniel nodded, then looked at Jack.
"Do it, Daniel. Let this man finally have some peace."
He raised his hand. "Go in peace, my friend," he said quietly.
The man nodded, a smile on his face, then closed his eyes. They flew open again, flashed with the light of the Goa’uld inside.
Daniel smiled, although the action held no warmth. "Thanks. That makes it much easier." He called forth the Fire, and threw it at Ba’al. Blue flame jolted the Goa’uld, sent him flying out of the chair to the floor. His chest smoldered where the fire had impacted upon him. "That’s for Casey," he said softly.
"Space ‘im," Jack said quietly to the SF’s who stood near the door. The two men took the body away.
Aaron was sitting quietly. "My assumptions, and the information I received from two old and trusted friends, was correct. Simmons is the mastermind of the entire plot. He has had ambitions for Council membership for some time now. His group is indeed small. But powerful. They must first destroy The Chosen before they can hope to gain control of the Council of the Ancients. They are hoping that Daniel’s death will cause enough chaos, and restart the long process of finding another to serve as Chosen. They need to make his death appear to be an accident, or the work of another. Then they can move against the Council…quietly, without anyone actually suspecting that there was foul play involved," he said at last.
"How did having him sold into slavery, into a women’s pleasure house, work into accidental death? He’s Immortal," Jack said.
The older man smiled. "So is his wife. I believe they had hoped that she would be convinced that his liaison with Ishtar was done by his own free will, that perhaps he even loved the young woman. And that she would become angry enough to behead him, when she finally found him, in a pleasure house…servicing…other women."
Daniel grinned. "If that had happened, she probably would have beheaded me."
"The fact that you were able to communicate with her, that she…felt…your despair, your frustration, and your anger over what happened, seems to have escaped them. Either they don’t know that you and Casey possess that ability, or they simply miscalculated."
Jack looked at Aaron. "You’re not thinking it’s a miscalculation."
"No. They know that The Chosen has powers, granted to him by…by Beings that are far beyond your scope of understanding. They also know that it takes time for these powers to manifest themselves, for The Chosen to be able to use them. They don’t realize just how powerful Daniel has become, how much control he already has," Aaron replied. "This gives us a distinct advantage."
"So now what?" Daniel asked.
"We continue to search for your Master Sergeant Sabotti. That young man is but an innocent victim in this battle. We shall soon learn if there are other Ancients willing…ready…to leave that plane of existence, as Erin and I have."
"What happens if they do?" Jack asked.
"If there are others willing to leave the plane of the Ancients, it will cause…discussion…among those who remain. It is then that we will reveal what we know of Simmons and his plans. He must work quickly, but even he cannot move as quickly as we can," Aaron said.
A A A A A A
The man opened his eyes, they flashed briefly. He recognized the room. He had been here before. He smiled. There was still pain, but it was fading. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep, dreaming of green eyes and long blonde hair, and the warm body that they belonged to. The haunted soul hiding in the depths of his own mind screamed in frustration.
"They have interfered yet again!" The Third said, anger in his voice.
"Yes, they have. But each time they interfere, they expose themselves," the First said calmly.
"Is the Ancient One correct? Do they not understand how powerful The Chosen has become?" asked the Second.
"Yes, he is correct. I had wondered myself if they knew. But their actions bespeak of their assumptions. They are assuming incorrectly. They believe that at this point he can do little more than communicate with His Chosen. They believe that it was the Ancient being who pulled the Goa’uld from his ship," replied the First.
"Will this Goa’uld not tell them what he learned, that it was The Chosen who pulled him from the ship, who killed him with the Fire?" asked the Third.
"No," the First said. She reached out with her mind, touched that of the sleeping man. "No, he will tell them nothing." She turned and moved away, her companions following her.
A A A A A A
Casey was sitting cross-legged on the floor, watching out the window into the darkness of space. Her heart was aching, her mind turning painful thoughts…images…memories, around and around. She felt him searching for her, heard him calling to her. She smiled, and closed her eyes. "I’m here, my heart," she whispered.
Minutes later strong arms pulled her to her feet. "Let it go, babe," he said softly, knowing by the look in her eyes what she had been thinking about.
She shook her head, lowered her gaze to the floor. "I’m so sorry," she whispered.
"For what, Angel?"
"I…I haven’t been…faithful…to our wedding vows," she replied.
Daniel put a finger under her chin, raised her face, waited until her green eyes met his. "Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’ve battered those vows a time or two myself," he said.
Again she shook her head. "Neferteri was…a job, a mission. You had Sectonin. The other girl…was forced on you, and you were drugged," she insisted.
"Casey Renee, why are you rewriting history to protect me? I slept with Neferteri…twice, before I had the Sectonin. Ishtar-"
Casey flinched physically when the unknown woman was given a name. She tried to pull away from his grasp, unwilling to let him see how badly that ‘indiscretion’ had hurt.
Daniel held her chin tightly, kept his gaze locked with hers, cringed at the pain that flashed in her eyes, his own heart breaking over what he had done to her. "Ishtar was a gift I should have refused. All we had to do was set up our own camp and we could have avoided the entire mess. I didn’t do that, I didn’t insist that we do that. Now, what have you done that is worse than that?"
"I made love to Duncan on Framone’s ship the first time he kidnapped me," she said. Her fingers toyed with the buttons of his shirt. She couldn’t look into those beautiful blue eyes while she confessed.
"Fire, babe. You couldn’t have stopped him. Better that he didn’t rape you, it would have destroyed him, and you knew that," Daniel replied. His fingers caressed her cheek.
"Then, I crawled back into that bed with Ba’al…"
"Where he raped you. You didn’t make love to him before that did you?"
She shook her head.
"Okay, go on. I’m still waiting to hear what horrible thing it is that you’ve done."
"I…I slept with Wade."
"Black hair, goatee, smile just like yours," she explained.
"Uh huh. After about six glasses of wine and at least four joints. You were so out of it I’m surprised you even recognized me when I did get there. Definitely not something you did of your own free will."
"I broke our vows three times, Daniel," she insisted. "You’ve…been put into…awkward situations twice."
He smiled. "Casey, you’re trying to make my screw-ups simple mistakes, something…forced on me; and your…encounters …something worse than they are. I have less to forgive than you do. I thought we weren’t going to even talk about Ishtar and …Wade."
She nodded. "I know. I don’t want to…it just keeps playing in my head. And then seeing Ba’al…"
He sighed. "You have got the most incredible heart, Casey. There was absolutely no reason to feel guilty, certainly no reason to apologize to the bastard that raped you. But you did just that. Don’t you dare tell me that you believe he’s right about you being a whore!"
"I was behaving like one on his ship," she said softly.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. "I seem to remember having this conversation before. Cold afternoon, sitting in front of a fire. Angel, I told you then that you have never, ever been a whore or a slut." He pulled away, took her face in his hand once more. He looked into her eyes. "I’ll tell you again. Never, ever have you been a slut or a whore. Never. Ever. Not when you were growing up. Not when you were on a mission for the Tok’ra."
"So why do I feel this way? Why do I feel so damned guilty?"
"I don’t know, babe. Probably because you’re too tender-hearted. Too willing to believe the best about others, and the worst about yourself," he said softly. "Casey, please, let it go. All of it. Just let it go."
"Have you let go of your guilt?"
He looked into her green eyes. She knew him as well as he knew her. He wondered if she could see in his eyes just how guilty he did feel, how it hurt him to know that once again he was responsible for causing her pain. "I have a lot more to feel guilty about," he replied. "I walked into my mistakes, my screw-ups, eyes wide open."
"Let it go, my heart. You’ve done nothing worse than what I have. The pot calling the kettle black, remember?"
He smiled, hugged her close again. "Do you love me, Angel?"
"Oh, Daniel, you know I do! With all that I am!" She put her arms around his waist, rested her cheek against his shoulder, drew comfort from his very presence
"And I love you with all my heart, with all that I am. I adore you. I can’t breathe without you, Angel. You’re the only woman who pleases me, the only woman I need, or want. Nothing that has happened can change that. You belong to me, Case, only to me," he said.
"I can’t breathe without you, Daniel. I love you so much it hurts. I need you so badly I ache. You belong to me, only to me," she replied.
He lowered his head, captured her lips in a kiss. Gave his love, and felt hers returned. He smiled when he finally pulled away. "Feel better?"
"Yeah, I do." Her eyes were still haunted, but the love was shining brightly in the depths.
"Good. Let’s go find something to eat. I’m starving," he grinned.
She smiled up at him. "Okay, let’s go eat."
He took her hand and led her down the corridor. He was sure they would have this conversation again. She was too willing to forgive him, and too quick to accept blame for what happened to her. He would talk her through…this…as many times as he had to.
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