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War of the Gods
Selmak sent a report to Duncan, which was relayed to the Phoenix. A man fitting Tony’s description had been seen on a small planet under control of a Goa’uld System Lord named Ashnan. It appeared that he was her lover. It was not known whether or not he had been implanted with a Goa’uld symbiote.
The Phoenix and the Hak’tyl sped toward the planet. They hoped that Ashnan didn't have any ships in orbit, they needed their arrival to go unnoticed. They were also praying that Tony was just a human consort, not a host to a Goa’uld snake.
SG-1, SG-6, and three Marine teams were seated in the conference room.
"Ashnan was a Sumerian goddess. She was the goddess of grain. According to their myths, she was created by Enlil to provide food and clothing for the gods. Which means she was probably a trader of some sort," Daniel said. "She was known as a kind goddess, and when she and Lahar, the god of cattle, got into a drunken fight, Enlil and Enki were called upon to break it up. So far there haven’t been any Sumerian writings found on Earth that explain what happened. However, we believe that both were sent through the ‘gate, or by ship, to different planets."
"Tossed out?" Jack asked.
Daniel nodded. "Yeah, pretty much. Now, we haven’t heard about her before, so I’m thinking we’ve stumbled across an entirely new bunch of System Lords. So far the ones we have found are Egyptian, Babylonian, Mycenaean, or Greek. All of Earth’s Nordic gods seem to be based on Asgard who were on Earth at the same time. We’re in a sector of space we haven’t been to before, and we haven’t gone through any of the ‘gates in this area yet."
"So, if she’s a ‘kind’ god, is there a chance that the others will be as well?" Sam asked.
He shook his head. "Just as we’ve found instances of benevolent god myths among the System Lords we know about, we’re sure to find a few with this group. The majority of Sumerian gods were considered benevolent, but then, good propaganda is par for the course with Goa’uld."
"Let’s just hope that it’s for real with this one," Jack said.
"Amen," Major Parker said softly.
"Okay, thanks Daniel." Jack turned to Casey. "Okay, young lady. Do your thing and tell me if there’s anything to worry about."
She couldn’t help but smile. She closed her eyes, ‘reached’ out to see if she could sense danger. "I can’t feel anything, but then, we might not be close enough," she admitted.
"Good enough," Jack said. "If you get a feeling, let us know."
"Okay, let’s gear up. We should be there in fifteen. Standard recon. We’ll set up a base, with a defendable perimeter. Marine Two, you’ll be staying behind at our set down site. That’s where we’ll set up our base. Marine One, you’ll be with SG-6. Marine Three, you’re with us. We’ll split up, move into the city from two sides. Let’s do this people. We have man to bring home," Jack said.
Casey was sliding a knife into the sheath at her belt when she felt it. She grabbed Daniel’s arm. "Now, Daniel, we have to get to him now! He’s got to…" she closed her eyes, tried to focus on the images that danced and twisted in her mind. "He’s got to fight for her, and it’s a fight to the death!"
Daniel ran to Jack, told him what Casey had just ‘picked up’.
"Okay, change of plans, campers. We’re going in hot and fast." He turned to Casey. "Can you see where we need to go?"
She closed her eyes and concentrated. That her ‘gift’ had become more…focused…more controlled, since she and Daniel had brought the engines of Thor’s ship back online, escaped her. "Center of the city. Large palace. Lots of Jaffa. I’m not sure where in the palace," she said finally.
"Okay, it’s going to be real hot. Expect fire upon arrival," Jack said to the men around him.
Casey looked at Daniel. "Can you bring him here?" she asked softly.
He shook his head. "I don’t know where he is," he replied. He didn’t have a clue how to find him, or use his power to retrieve him, either.
She nodded. "Just thought I’d ask."
He smiled, and took her hand. He kissed her just before they stepped into the center of the rings.
She smiled, Daniel’s shoulder against hers on one side, Teal'c’s on the other. This was right. The team was together, the way it was supposed to be. Standing in a tight circle, shoulder to shoulder, SG-1 ringed down to the planet.
Their luck was holding. The hallway they ringed to was deserted. Sam immediately contacted the Phoenix, and with in five minutes all of the teams were in the palace.
Casey followed Daniel as they made their way from room to room. "Shouldn’t there at least be servants, or slaves?" she asked.
He shook his head. "It’s a large palace. If there's…entertainment…about to commence, everyone would be gathered there."
They heard the shouts and cheers. "Found ‘em," she said with a smile. She radioed Jack and gave him their location. Quickly, silently, sixteen Tau’ri made their way toward the sounds.
They found an open arena. It was round, and surrounded by seating that went up several levels. The stands were full of shouting, laughing people. For the moment the arena itself was empty. Cheers rang out when a door on one end of the fourth level opened. A woman with long black hair stepped out. She was wearing a tight fitting red silk gown, and a long scarlet cape covered her bare shoulders. A crown sat upon her head. Four Jaffa stood near her. She lifted her hands, and silence filled the air.
"My people, welcome! Today we shall see if my Beloved is truly worthy of me. Should he win in battle this day, I shall make him my King!"
"Oh, brother," Casey murmured, rolling her eyes. Daniel glanced at her and grinned.
Tony was led into the arena. He was wearing nothing more than a loincloth, and his hands were bound in front of him. There were visible wounds on his back and arms. He held his head high, but each of the team members could see his weariness.
The crowd roared with approval. Jack signaled, and the group began to position themselves. With luck, they could provide a distraction and cover fire for Tony to get to them, then they would ring out, in three groups.
A large man wearing a helmet and carrying a sword and shield entered the arena. He raised his hands above his head as the crowd cheered for him.
"Talk about your set ups!" Jack hissed.
Tony’s hands were released, and he was given a sword. He gripped it tightly, watched his opponent carefully. After almost two weeks of abuse, he was more than ready to get a little payback before he was killed. "Come on, motherfucker, let’s see what you’ve got!" he said loudly.
"Oh, that boy is pissed off," Major Parker whispered, grinning.
"Alright, let’s take out all of the guards first," Jack whispered. He pointed to each group, and then to a specific section of the arena. With the silencers on their weapons, only quiet hisses of sound could be heard. The Jaffa began to fall.
When the first of the fallen guards was discovered, and a cry of alarm was raised, SG-1 and their companions rose up from their hiding places and opened fire with zat guns. Tony looked up in surprise when the large man in front of him fell to the ground, then a grin covered his handsome face. He ran toward the steps that would lead him to the level where his friends were waiting. Several men tried to stop him, losing their lives to the sword he still held in his hand.
"Go, go, go!" Jack shouted, sending the first Marine team back to the Phoenix.
Chaos was reigning in the arena, where people were trying to flee from the constant zat fire. Ashnan had disappeared. They were expecting guards to try to cut them off from behind; Marine Two was already taking care of that problem.
Tony had made it up the stairs. Casey grabbed him in a quick hug, then shoved him toward Major Parker. SG-6 and Marine Three ringed up to the waiting ship.
She grinned. No bad feelings. They were going to get out of this alive and well. She joined her husband and the rest of the team, along with Marine Two. They were ringing out as the Goa’uld and her private guards raced into the room.
Casey did a happy dance off of the transport circle. "We came. We saw. We kicked their butts! Oh, she has got to be pissed off! We took her beloved!"
"Let her be pissed off! I don’t think I could have survived any more of her ‘love’," Tony said, his voice raspy. "What the hell took you guys so long?" he grinned at the major.
"Had to find your sorry ass, boy," Major Parker replied, a grin on his own face. SG-6 welcomed back their missing member.
"Glad to see you guys made it out," Tony said, shaking Daniel’s hand, then Jack’s.
"Not before they got sold to a pleasure house," Casey giggled.
The young man’s eyes widened. "No kidding? Kinda glad I got pulled out first, then," he replied.
"Where did they take you?" Daniel asked.
"They put us on a ship, took us almost eight days to get here. Some sort of transport, illegal type, I think. It was a real rust bucket. They dropped us off at a mine near the other side of that rock. When Ashnan did a tour of the place, she…uh…saw me…and pulled me out of there."
Casey touched his shoulder. "Please tell me she didn’t beat you."
Tony smiled. "Okay, she didn’t beat me." He saw the flash in her green eyes. "Really, she didn’t. The guys in the mines got off on using those freakin’ whips, though."
"You said you couldn’t survive any more of her ‘love’," Jack said, his voice full of curiosity.
Tony dropped his eyes. "It kinda gets difficult to keep it up after the sixth time in a row," he mumbled. "She’d get really…pissy. Bitch was a freakin’ nympho!"
The men in the room began to laugh.
Casey winked slyly at Sam, received the same in return. "Wait a minute…after the sixth time in a row?"
The SF nodded, blushing brightly.
She walked over to where he stood, slipped her arm through is. "Six times? In a row? Same position?"
"Uh…no," he mumbled, his face turning a deeper shade of red.
Sam walked to the other side, put her arm around his waist. "She and you…six times? Every time?"
Tony nodded. He felt as if his face was on fire.
The men were looking on in confusion. Daniel and Jack were wearing matching frowns.
"Six times in a row?" Casey asked again. She looked at Daniel. "Six times. In a row." She turned back to Tony. "Okay, I have to ask. How the hell did you manage that? Is it something you can teach Daniel?"
"Hey! You’ve never had any complaints before!" Daniel objected over the laughter of the Marines, who were still standing with the two SG teams.
"I never knew a guy could do it six times in a row before!" she replied. She bit back a smile as the men laughed louder.
Tony grinned. "I think she put something in the wine."
Casey looked at Sam. "Are you thinking what I’m thinking?"
Sam grinned. "Probably has it in her bedroom. Quick in and out. We divide it fifty-fifty."
"Oh, I don’t think so!" Jack said loudly.
Sam turned back to Casey. "Think we can find out about it on the web?"
"Let’s go, girlfriend!" The two women left the room, waiting until they were far enough from the transporter rings to break out into giggles.
The men remained standing there, looking at one another.
"You realize that they’re going to tell every woman on Gamma about this," Texas said.
Tony shook his head. "I always knew she’d get me back, eventually," he said softly.
"Who? For what?" Jack asked.
"Casey. For uh…" he glanced nervously at Daniel. "For watching her take a bath that time."
Daniel grinned. Now he understood why Tony had been so angry over the incident with Ishtar. The man was secretly in love with Casey. "Pissing that woman off is the most dangerous thing a man can do," he said.
Jack rubbed his chest absently. "You got that right!" He looked around. "Let’s get Master Sergeant Sabotti to the infirmary. Stow the gear and get a meal, guys." He turned back to Tony. "Six times, huh?"
Tony grinned. "Yeah. After that, I just didn’t have the strength to move."
"No shit!" Daniel said softly.
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