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Wish Upon a Star
"In the misty moonlight by the flickering
Any place is all right long as I'm with you
In a faraway land on the tropic sea sand
If your hand's in my hand I won't be blue..."
"In the Misty Moonlight" by Cindy Walker, as performed by Jerry Wallace
Jack looked around. "Okay, kids. Let's see what we can find."
The palace hadn't been deserted very long. A few months at the most. Reports from the spy network that Methos had set up said that a Goa'uld by the name of Geb owned this over-decorated monstrosity. Daniel's brief had reported that Geb was the name of an ancient Egyptian god, one whose reign had been fairly uneventful. His research showed that the 'god' left Earth and allowed his children, including Osiris, to rule in his stead. Whatever the story was, he wasn't at home now.
The team moved carefully from room to room. The Goa'uld must have left in a hurry, because very little had been taken. Daniel was in his element, recording everything, talking excitedly about the finds he was making, touching the statues and the furnishings, much to the consternation of his teammates.
Casey shook her head and smiled. He was like a kid in a candy store. She watched him trying to explain to Jack, using his hands and arms, what an incredible find they had made. Almost every room had hieroglyphs on the walls. Casey was carefully recording each room, one section at a time, carefully marking each disc so that they could be put together, and a representation of each individual room created.
"Good thing he's Immortal," Sam chuckled.
"What?" Casey asked. She turned off the camcorder and looked at her friend.
"Daniel…it's a good thing he's Immortal. He's going to give himself a heart attack."
She giggled. "I suppose so. That means ten minutes of peace, at least."
Sam laughed. "Then he'll just start all over again."
"We wouldn't want him any other way," Casey said with a smile. She stopped to watch him. He was trying to read everything at once, nearly running from one wall, one room, to the next. Goddess, how she loved him! He was so darned cute when he was this excited!
"Case? I need another disc."
"I already have that wall," she said calmly.
"Did you get a close up of this section?" he asked, his eyes dancing. "This talks about the battle that took place on 'the First World'…Earth! It depicts Ra being overthrown by the Tau'ri! This is the first time we've come across anything that refers to that rebellion in such detail! I'd say that Geb was happy to see Ra get his butt kicked."
"Or it's a warning not to let your slaves get organized," Casey replied dryly. She handed him a disc, watched him take careful pictures of each section.
"Could be. Look at this section! It's a list of all of the 'gods' that have-" he broke off, and began to frown.
"What's wrong, Daniel?" she asked, taking him by the arm.
"Case, tell me what you're feeling, right now," he said quietly.
She closed her eyes, then shrugged. "I'm not feeling anything."
"Nothing at all?"
"Nothing!" she whispered. She looked up into his blue eyes, saw the worry there. Her green eyes reflected her own worry and fear. She had told Daniel what she had felt…the blackness, as if she were being 'blocked'…when he and Jack had gone to meet with Seleconne. She was feeling that way now…exactly the same way. Simmons had been the cause of the first problem. He was dead. So who was 'blocking' her now?
He didn't have Casey's 'gift', but he was getting the feeling that they had walked into a trap. "These are all of the 'gods' that SG-1 has personally taken out," he said quietly.
Jack and Sam exchanged worried looks.
"Maybe we should just head back to the 'gate," Casey suggested.
"Good idea," Jack replied.
Teal'c turned his head slightly. "I do not believe we are alone," he said very quietly.
Casey shivered. Suddenly she was getting a very bad feeling. She pulled her lip between her teeth. Whoever, or whatever had been blocking her was gone now. It was as if all of a sudden that blanket of darkness had been lifted off of her.
"Case?" Jack asked. He had seen the shiver, the look of surprise, then panic that had flashed over her delicate features.
"Bad, oh, very bad," she whispered. She unconsciously reached for Daniel, held tightly to his arm. They carefully put their camcorders in their backpacks, and the group moved slowly toward doorway where they had entered. Wherever the people who lived here - served here - had gone, she was sure that they had returned.
They were in one of the inner chambers of the palace. If Geb and his Jaffa were back, it would be difficult to get out now! The sound of Jaffa armor clinking down the hallway in their direction had five hearts pounding with fear.
Jack signaled, and each of them found a hiding place. Daniel watched to make sure that Casey was completely hidden before sliding behind one of the tall statues.
'I'm right here, babe.'
'I don't like this.'
'I don't suppose you could just think us to the 'gate?'
'Just thought I'd ask. Love you.'
'Love you, too, Angel.'
Four Jaffa entered the room. They looked around, Casey could have sworn they looked right at her, where she hid behind a heavy, satin curtain. After a few minutes, the armed men left. The team sighed silently, moved from their hiding places and towards the doorway once again.
Daniel found several indentations on the wall beside them. He hadn't noticed them before, when he had been busy trying to translate what was written. He reached out to touch them, just as Casey took hold of his other arm. When his fingers came in contact with the cold plaster, the wall itself moved.
"Damn it, Daniel!" Jack hissed, as the sound echoed in the room. When was that archaeologist going to learn to quit touching alien stuff?
"Sorry," Daniel mumbled.
Casey peered into the darkness. "I suggest we take this way out," she said.
Jack looked at her. "Any reason why?"
"No Jaffa," she replied.
Teal'c grabbed his flashlight, and led the way into what became a very long, narrow corridor. The air was stale, and dusty. The farther into the tunnel they went, the harder it became to breathe.
"I need to rest," Casey said, panting slightly.
Sam nodded. "Me, too."
Neither Jack nor Daniel said anything, but they were breathing hard as well. A grinding noise from behind them startled them all into defensive positions. After a few moments of silence, they began to relax.
"I'd say the door…er…wall, just closed behind us," Sam said.
"That would be my bet. Just as long as nobody heard it," Jack replied.
Casey linked her shaking fingers with Daniel's long, strong warm ones. He squeezed her hand slightly. His touch was reassuring, and she was thankful that they were at least together, even if they were in trouble. "Guess we have to go on now," she said softly.
They started walking again, moving slowly, finding that they kicked up far less dust by doing so. According to his watch, they had been moving down this…hallway…for almost an hour. Daniel was quite sure that they were underground, and at least a mile or so away from the palace. The only question was, which direction from the palace had they gone? He pulled his compass from one of the many pockets of his vest. The 'gate had been south of the palace. They were heading…east.
Daniel could feel the tremors in her fingers getting stronger. He squeezed them again reassuringly. Why had he touched that wall? He thought about the situation they had been in. Maybe it was a good thing he had, this at least kept them from being discovered by Jaffa. He glanced at her face, lit by the flashlight she carried. Her eyes were wide. She was scared to death. He reached out and caressed her gently, tried to ease her fear. Smiled when he felt her soft touch in return.
He glanced behind them, saw that Jack and Sam were hand in hand as well. He looked ahead again at the strong, wide back of the Jaffa they all called friend. He wondered how difficult it was for Teal'c to leave Carly behind on each mission, wondered if his friend felt…lonely, when the four of them had their respective mates with them.
His fingers were wrapped tightly around her own, his mind touched hers gently, reassuringly. Casey smiled at Daniel's tender touch, felt him trying to soothe her fears. She reached out again, just to 'feel' him. She thanked whatever gods, or beings, had bestowed such a gift upon them. It certainly went a long way toward keeping her sane! Perhaps that was part of the reason it was given…considering what the Chosen, and His Chosen, would have to go through…it was a way to help them hold onto their sanity. Not to mention keeping their marriage intact! Had she not been able to feel his anguish, his heartbreak, his anger, over what had happened with Ishtar, she wasn't sure she could have forgiven him, wasn't sure she would have gone after him when he was captured. What had happened between her and Wade had cancelled out his indiscretion in her mind, although the memory of the young slave girl wrapped around him, holding him tightly, still haunted her dreams at night.
Teal'c came to a sudden stop. "We have come to a dead end," he said quietly.
Jack and Daniel exchanged a look. "Nobody digs a tunnel this long, reinforces it with timbers and…concrete…just to go nowhere. There has to be another secret entrance…or exit." They all began to search the walls around them.
Casey was brushing a bit of dust from the wall, looking for a hidden release mechanism, and sneezed. When she did so, she took a step back. And felt herself falling.
"Casey!" Daniel tried to grab for her.
She looked up, could see Daniel and the rest of the team peering down at her. "At least it's not a well. My feet are dry."
They all chuckled.
She turned and moved her light around to see what was around her. And began screaming when the beam reflected off three skeletons.
"Easy babe, calm down. Deep breath, Angel," Daniel said gently.
She closed her eyes, her body shaking so hard that she could barely hang onto her flashlight. She fought to regain control of her emotions. Felt his warm touch against her mind. She latched onto the feeling of comfort, let him soothe the fear away.
"That's it, Angel. Deep, slow breaths. I'm right here, babe."
Jack looked down at her, could see even in the dim light that she was absolutely terrified. "Okay, Case, what is it?"
"Three…uh…skeletons. These guys have definitely been here for awhile." She looked around again, noticed that behind one of the skeletons there seemed to be stones attached randomly to the wall. If only Daniel could see this! She was sure he would know what it was, what it meant! "Daniel, there are…well, they look like stones, just ordinary round stones, but they're stuck on the wall…I can't see any kind of pattern to it."
"Babe, move back, I'm coming down there," he said immediately.
"No way, Daniel. We're going to get Casey out of there the same way we did when she fell into that well," Jack said.
Daniel shook his dark blonde head. "Jack, I have to take a look at that wall. If it's what I think it is, we'll all have to go down there."
"Trap?" Sam asked.
"If you don't know the password," the young archaeologist replied.
Jack heaved a sigh. "Okay, Danny. Do your thing."
He sat down at the edge of the opening, then carefully lowered himself. He was grateful that he lifted weights… Teal'c had once told him that sleeping with Casey on top of him improved his upper body strength, as well. He couldn't help but grin at that thought. It certainly improved his sleep! He dropped about eight feet to the dirt floor of the small…room. He pulled Casey into his arms, felt her body trembling with fear. 'It's okay, Angel, I'm right here.'
She wrapped her arms around his neck, buried her face against his shoulder. He smelled of dust and sweat and Old Spice. 'Hold me, please, just hold me for a minute.'
He pushed his face against her hair, pulled her tighter against his chest.
"So, what do you see?" Jack asked.
Daniel shined his flashlight on the wall. And grinned. "A way out of here," he replied. He carefully moved one of the skeletons aside. "Sorry, guy…or gal…or whoever you are…or were. We need to get to this wall."
Casey had started shaking visibly when he touched the dry, brittle bones.
"Just think dig, babe," he said softly. He studied the wall again. The stones appeared to be random, but if one knew what to look for, the pattern was there. He had Casey shine her light on the wall as well, so that he could discern the color of each stone. Now, all he had to do was decipher the message that should be somewhere near, that would give the order in which he was to turn the rocks. "Look around, babe. There should be hieroglyphs somewhere nearby.
It took them ten minutes to find the message. They were all starting to feel light-headed. The tunnel was running out of fresh air.
Daniel was frowning. "When the fire of heaven falls, give to it your hunger."
"Now that makes absolutely no sense," Jack grumbled from above them.
"It's not supposed to be easy," Daniel said. "And anyone who is supposed to know about this tunnel would know exactly what it means."
"Daniel, we have to get out of here. And it has to be before we all pass out from lack of oxygen," Jack replied.
'Daniel, could it mean a meteor storm?' Casey asked. Not talking out loud would save what little good air seemed to remain.
'It could. Maybe even just a single falling star…give it your hunger…that's the part that has me stumped.''
'Okay, what kind of hunger are we talking about? Hunger for food? Or for power? Or for wealth?'
Daniel grabbed her and kissed her. "You're a genius babe! 'Wish upon a star'!"
She stared at him. "You're sure about that?"
He pointed to the hieroglyphs, and then to a representation beside them. "Yep." He looked up. "It's going to be crowded, but you guys need to get down here. When I open this, that will close. At least I think it will."
More dust filled the air, making it just that much more difficult to breathe, when the rest of SG-1 joined them in the tiny 'antechamber'.
Daniel again had all of the flashlights pointed at the wall. He checked the glyphs one last time, then carefully turned the stones on the wall. For a few seconds nothing happened. Then the trap door above them slammed shut, dropping more dust on top of them.
"Daniel?" Jack asked nervously.
"Just wait a second," Daniel said confidently.
Almost two minutes later the wall began to move. Toward them.
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