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Whispers in the Dark
The Tok’ra had word that Zinder, the Immortal who had worked for Framone, had taken over leadership of the group that had followed the now dead Immortal/Goa’uld. It seemed that he was trying to make an alliance with several System Lords. Including Osiris. The report had said that Zinder had managed to procure a ship, although no one knew where or from whom, and that he was meeting with Osiris. The plan was to get the Phoenix there, and with luck, destroy both ships, and the enemies on board.
The team ‘gated to the Alpha site, picked up two Marine teams, and ringed aboard the ship. Casey was at weapons, Daniel at the helm as they moved away from the planet that was home to the Alpha site. The regular crew on board was thrilled to have SG-1 among them. The team had earned a legendary reputation.
The Phoenix had been on regular patrols near Earth, and the crew reported that things were moving slowly, but were indeed moving forward on the planet they all had once called home. Surprisingly, President Taylor had been re-elected, no doubt due to all that had been revealed, and the battle that had been waged above the planet just hours later. He had managed to get a bill through Congress that made funding of the Stargate Program permanent. The Earth Defense Alliance was also helping to fund the program, each nation contributing either funds, personnel or equipment. The SGC on planet Earth was running at full capacity once again. Very few missions were actually run from that base, the people of Earth wanted defense, not research. Gamma, Alpha and Beta were doing enough of that, anyway, or so the thinking went. Which pleased the leaders of those three bases to no end. Better to not have to deal with teams still under control of politicians.
Daniel was pleased to hear that things were going well. He could still see the images of the riots, could still feel the anger and frustration over the entire episode.
Jacob Carter joined them from the Tok’ra ship they met up with. "Okay, kids, here’s the game plan. We’re going to ring two teams onto each ship. One team will guard the rings and keep control of them, the other team will plant explosives through the ship. We have enough devices for each of you to mask your presence on the ship for exactly one hour. Now, we need those who are going to plant the devices to be small and wiry, able to fit into tight places."
Casey and Daniel would be going to Zinder’s ship, he on the team to defend the rings, she on the explosives team. He gave her a quick kiss before they ringed over.
As soon as they were aboard the ship, Goa’uld, they noticed, Casey started getting a bad feeling. She glanced at the map that she had been given, located where she needed to be, and headed that way. She held her zat tightly, moved slowly from one corridor to the next, one level to the next. When she had located the access panel she needed, she carefully removed it and crawled inside. At first each member of the explosive teams were to be paired with a ‘watcher’, but it was feared that the ‘watchers’ would attract attention too readily, while those planting the explosives for the most part would remain unseen. So the plan had been altered to its present status. She would have liked to have been able to pull the panel back on, but there was no way to do so. She could only hope that the opening wouldn't be noticed until she was already long gone. The worst part was, she would have to crawl out backwards.
She planted the explosives, and was on her way out when she heard voices in the corridor behind her. She froze, tried to hear what was being said. The voices moved on, and she heaved a sigh of relief. She pulled herself out of the crawlspace, replaced the panel and moved to the next target. That feeling was getting stronger. She tried to ignore it; she had a job to do.
The next crawlspace was tight, and much longer than the first one. Selmak had been insistent that those planting the explosives be as quiet as possible, that any undue noise could be easily traced, and would lead to their capture. Which meant that it took her longer to get this device planted. More time for the missing panel to be detected.
She placed the device, set the timer, and slowly made her way out. A glance at her watch told her she had less than fifteen minutes to make it to the rings. Anybody not at the rings at the specified time was not going to make it off of the ship.
Her feet hit the floor of the corridor, she carefully replaced the panel, and turned around to see three Jaffa staring at her, staff weapons raised and ready. "Shit!" she exclaimed softly. She heard the whine of a weapon charging, and then blackness surrounded her.
She opened her eyes in a cell. This was not happening! She was on a ship rigged to blow in less than…three minutes, according to her watch. She looked at the opening. Could she get through it, and regenerate fast enough to get to the rings?
Another glance at her watch made her mind up. Then the ship lurched around her. Either they were under attack, or one of those devices had just gone off almost two minutes early. She didn’t have a choice now. She took a deep breath, and ran towards the force field. She screamed in pain as she passed through it. She dropped to the floor, her body twitching from being electrocuted. As soon as she was able, she was on her feet and running.
A A A A A A
Daniel paced at the rings. The rocking of the ship made them all nervous. Obviously one of the devices had detonated early. There was the chance that others would also. They had less than a minute. Two members of the explosives team were still missing. His Wife was one of them.
"Doctor Jackson, we have to go now," one of the SF’s from the explosives team said quietly.
Carrie Walters, one of the missing, came running up. "They got Casey, killed her. I don’t know where they took her," she said, gasping for breath. "I almost got caught myself."
Daniel groaned. "I’ll go find her," he said, starting to run in the direction Carrie had just come from.
The colonel in charge grabbed his arm. "No time, Doctor Jackson. If she’s not here by now, she’s not getting off of this ship. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is." The man gave a jerk, and pulled Daniel into the center of the rings. Teal'c stood silently beside his friend.
"No!" Daniel cried, even as he felt himself taken off of the ship.
More explosions were rocking the ship. Casey was running, trying to get to the rings. The corridor she needed to get down was full of flames. She hesitated for one second, tears filling her eyes.
As soon as Daniel was on board the Phoenix, he ran to the bridge. He stood at the window there, his eyes on Zinder’s ship, tears running down his cheeks as he watched the explosions rocking it, causing fires throughout. "Escape pods, Casey, get to the escape pods," he was muttering, trying to send the thought across space to her.
A A A A A A
"Escape pods, Casey!"
Casey whirled around, expecting to see Daniel standing there…she'd just heard his voice. Escape pods? Yes! She didn’t have time to wonder where Daniel was, or why she'd heard his voice...she'd worry about that little mystery later. A glance at her watch showed that it was no longer working, and as close as she could guess, she had about thirty-five seconds to get off of this doomed ship.
She retraced her steps, fired at three Jaffa who were coming toward her, though they didn’t seem to care about her at all. She found the pods, two were already missing. She locked herself in, looked around to try and figure out just how to work the damn thing, hit the red button and hoped for the best. She felt as if her body was being thrown around by a giant as she banged from one side of the pod to the other. Then it felt as if she were tumbling end over end. She put her hands against the sides to try and keep from being tossed around any further.
A A A A A A
Daniel dropped to his knees, a sob tearing at his throat when Zinder’s ship exploded into pieces. "CASEY!"
The crew and the SG teams stood stunned as they watched. Osiris’ ship blew apart seconds later.
Teal'c and Jack led Daniel to the quarters he shared with Casey, the young man nearly incoherent with grief. They were both in shock as well. It was supposed to have been an easy mission. No one was supposed to have been hurt; certainly no one was expected to die.
It was nearly an hour later. Daniel was lying in the fetal position on the bed, his face wet with tears. Casey was dead. His beautiful Wife, his lover, his friend, his Chosen, gone. He was alone. How could he live without her fire, without her love…without her?
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