She put her head and after yawning massively. She had lain looking at the ceiling and thinking for nearly an hour. It was getting harder and harder to burn off all her energy every day. She was feeling restless all the time. Still finally you might say her eyes fell close and she slid into dreams. She walked across a sand dune. It was strange almost like she could hear some sort of distant set of voices singing a hymn. Something was drawing her towards the top of the next dune. She walked up in the hard sun but didn't sweat. She felt strangely at peace maybe even resting as she did so. She came upon a dip in the backside of the dune she had just crested. There was a single white sandstone, a small bush. And two blond women one sat on the rock studying the horizon. She leaned back her head and looked her over seemingly studying her then after giving her a pleasant smile she turned back and looked back over the trackless landscape.
The other a woman with a shy smile and sandy blond hair walked up to her in her flowery dress. “You don't remember,” she said, “but we've met before.”
“Am I dreaming?” she asked.
“Yes and no, we're in dreams, but this is not really a dream,” the woman replied. Suddenly she remembered her name. It was Tara and Tara had died.
“You're dead,” she said.
“Yes, but that doesn't mean much to you does it,” Tara asked.
“No,” she agreed. Strangely it really didn't feel weird to her.
“Buffy, you don't remember. You will. One day you will. One day when you're ready,” Tara said.
She felt as if a distant wind was approaching. Their dresses started dancing in the warm wind. “What will I remember?” she asked.
“Who you are... What you can become,” Tara said when with a sudden roar they were enveloped in a sand storm.
She woke up coughing and looked around her room. Outside the birds were singing and everything seemed normal. It had just been another dream, she decided. Then a voice different than Tara's said in her mind, “You don't know yet, but one day you'll remember... Who you are... What you can become.” It seemed surprised and had a strangely German accent like those villains in the movies.
She nearly jumped out of bed and checked her room, under her bed even in her closet, but she was alone. The voice didn't say anything else.
“So it's Saturday and we both have oodles of time today. What do you think, how about we go into town, workout for a bit and get a couple of massages. I've heard there is a really good movie out, which I would be glad to pay to watch as well. Is my daughter interested?” she asked.
Buffy nodded vigorously. They were a few days into February and she thankfully had the day off. It had been another rough week with the entire Aschen affair and hurting her arm. She wanted the work out to gouge if she still had her light sprain and maybe get the kinks worked out in the massage.
They hadn't been too lucky lately she mused as they cleared the breakfast table. First the Tollan had been wiped out by Tanith and his mysterious master then they had nearly gotten wiped out by the bioweapons of the Aschen. It was a good thing it was finally time for a bit of time off. The general had rotated SG-1 out of the active roster for the next two weeks. Although experience told her that a crisis needing their attention would crop up before the fortnight was over.
“So mom, I wondered about something. You said I got my new hair from you. Do you have weird dreams a lot? Because I had one last night and well it was majorly weird,” Buffy commented.
She wondered what Buffy meant, but then again given the life she led and Buffy led along with her more than a few weird dreams weren't out of the question. “Yeah, I get really weird ones every once in a while. You know dreams is just our subconscious mind telling your conscious mind about things it thinks you should know. They're important but they're not mystical or anything like that,” she explained.
Buffy seemed to study her for a few moments then shrug. “I have to put my hair in a pony tail before we go,” she said and ran off.
They both slowly relaxed as they got their wellness massage. She didn't care that some people would consider Buffy a bit young to get one of those. She knew better than anyone how hard Buffy worked out and studied every day. Buffy was apparently channeling all her available energy into keeping busy and learning. Her rate of progress given that she didn't have to follow any curriculum or schedule was shocking.
Apparently the education program they had set up for Buffy worked exceptionally well. She had gone up to a straight A student now, she was studying all her material at sophomore high school level at a minimum and had actually entered into college preparatory levels in all but her history and language courses. Especially her science courses had picked up but given that she had twice as many classes in Maths, Physics and Chemistry it did make sense. Still Buffy was a kid of eleven maybe a year from starting College.
“Uhhhh, this is so good,” Buffy groaned.
“Yeah, I've always liked it,” she agreed. It appeared her arm was alright too. She had trained it today carefully at first then intensely a half hour before they had gone to their massages.
They walked out of the fitness center chatting. She had almost forgotten about her dream this morning and was pretty much just enjoying the day. It felt great just walking with her mom, talking about their day ahead, about yet another boy she had gotten to swoon with little more than a coy smile and how much she was to her own surprise actually enjoying the challenges her math teacher was giving her, now that he had finally convinced her she could use her studies for something.
Her mom didn't know it, but the entire Cassandra matter a few months back had given her an idea, which was slowly becoming a plan. Maybe if she worked hard enough she could get into the Air Force Academy and follow her mom into the SGC. At that point in the future her mom would probably be somewhere high in the military and she'd be able to work in some sort capacity on a SG team or maybe on one of those space ships she was sure they'd build sooner or later. She'd like that. Helping her world, protecting her friends and having adventures. Of course she hadn't told her mom about her plan yet, she had gotten the sense a few times that her mom wasn't really all that enthusiastic about any connection between her and the military.
Still as they turned the building and headed for the parking lot, she started thinking about how cool it would be to have her own car. Of course the thought of having to leave home by then was a little disturbing. She didn't really want to leave her family behind. They rounded the corner and walked towards their other car aside from the restored classic: An SUV with actual hidden armor that her mom had bought from some overly paranoid now-pensioned businessman. She didn't much like its ominous black paint and toned windows feeling it looked a bit too scary government agent for her taste.
She heard wheels screech. Her mom pushed out in front of her. Two large van slid into place in front of them. She readied herself for battle. There were two strange sounds and she felt a sting in her thigh. She looked down. A tiny dart was embedded there.
“Buffy run!” her mom yelled and charged a guy dressed all in black like a commando of some sort. Her movements seemed uncoordinated and sluggish. She had to help. Her head seemed fuzzy. The drug they had given her was strong. She decided to play possum and swayed uncontrollably as if she was also about to keel over. Her mom fell limply in the two guys arms.
She didn't run, she couldn't bring herself to abandon her mom. Two men grabbed her arms. One commented, “I thought she was supposed to be strong and smart.”
“Doesn't matter we gave her enough to put down a bear,” the other replied.
She couldn't help smiling ferally as she grabbed their forearms and easily hammered the two fools into each other face to face. It felt great as they dropped prone in pain and surprise. She was about to finish them up when she was hit by another dart right in the shoulder. She looked up and saw the man next to the driver lowering his dart gun. Her mom was dragged into the first van completely out of the fight. She drew the dart from her shoulder and tossed it under the car. She hoped it could give someone some sort of clue.
“Oh, no,” she whispered as the world seemed to swim for a moment. She couldn't stay upright anymore. She fell to her knees. She tried hyperventilating but it didn't help. Finally after a few more heartbeat her entire body felt numb. Her world seemed to become greytoned and her view coming from a distant tunnel before fading completely.
She woke up in some sort of bed. Buffy was nowhere in sight. “Where... What happened?” she asked and tried to blink the strange fuzziness out of her eyes.
A bald and nervous seeming man with beady eyes stepped up to her and licked his lips. “Stay calm Major. If you just stay calm this will be over soon,” he said trying to be soothing and only seeming creepy.
“What have you done? Where am I?” she said as the memory of her kidnapping. Of her daughter's potential kidnapping. She had no idea if Buffy had gotten away.
“In a hospital,” the bald man said.
“I demand to be released,” she said and struggled against what turned out to be restraints usually meant for difficult or dangerous patients. She was locked to the bed by her hands and feet.
“Now now Major, relax, this will all be over soon. I had so hoped... Oh well you'll understand in time, we're doing great things here. What we do here now could save the lives of millions. Now just relax we need to do a few tests,” the creepy guy in his white coat adjusted her IV and walked away.
Her head started to feel fuzzy again. Still she said, “no no you've got the wrong woman.”
Her head throbbed. Something... no those were the sound of shoes... someone was in a room with her. She hadn't opened her eyes. She tried to keep her breaths shallow and listen. Someone else walking clumsy came in a bit out of breath in the otherwise silent room. “The major is awake. Have you gotten what you needed from the kid?” a deep male voice asked.
“Yeah, I have a good feeling about this. If we can crack the secret of her abilities, her immune system we'd be set for life and think of the lives saved as well,” a younger voice replied. She felt a shiver down her spine. It had happened she had been made a labrat. The thought sickened her.
She opened her eyes and looked around. She was in a hospital ward of some kind. Old, worn and abandoned. The windows had been painted with some sort of white paint to keep curious eyes out and limiting her view. “Ah you're awake, little miracle girl,” a young sandy haired man said.
His balding buddy worried her more though. His eyes racked her body with a greed she found disturbing. Not lust just greed for something to do with her. “I AM NOT A LABRAT! Let Me GO” she screamed hoping someone somewhere would react. At the same time she thrashed on the bed to test her bonds. She was almost like welded to the bed however she felt a bit of give already. She looked down and found that she had been shackled to the bed and her legs as well as her stomach and chest were strapped to the bed as well.
The men walked over to her. “She is really strong, the entire bed nearly jumped,” the younger guy said to the older guy completely ignoring her.
“We knew that from the recordings we got of her training and testing,” the balding guy replied.
The younger guy checked her shackles and seemingly satisfied said, “It looks like we'll have no problem holding her though.”
“Good, let's get ready for the Major's biopsy. We'll do the kid once we have her rates and numbers down,” the balding guy apparently the leader said. She didn't like that they had let her see them. That meant she knew them and that again meant they could go to jail if she ever got to talk to the police. She was in danger, but worse her mom was somewhere in the building according to what the other guy had said. And they were about to do something really painful to her. She tested her bonds again. They couldn't hold her she was sure of that. She hadn't used her full power in her tests. In fact she was pretty sure she had yet to really use her muscles to their limit while on Earth.
She could not make many mistakes if she wanted to rescue her mom and in the future protect the rest of SG-1. She needed to get cleverer fast. First she needed to get away from the hospital room. The white walls sent a shiver through her and she remember the monsters that would walk the halls of these places. Her captors weren't exactly changing her mind about that either. She was actually very scared, but she tried hard not to think about it.
She considered if the bed could actually take her full strength if even the shackles couldn't. It looked like a regular hospital bed. The bed probably couldn't take it either, she decided.
She heard another few steps and a guy walked into the room but stayed out of sight at the door. She leaned back and saw a security guard kind of guy with another of those dart guns. That meant she had to postpone her escape attempt until he was distracted or a better opportunity presented itself.
“The Air Force Academy security guys checked in with me just after eight. Buffy had not come to school. I called Carter but she didn't respond,” he explained to Teal'c.
George looked up from his papers and said to Teal'c, who had just joined them. “The forensic team we sent over found nothing in her house. According to her neighbors, Major Carter and Buffy left in her SUV around 9 Saturday morning,” the general explained.
He hadn't read that report yet he realized. He would get a copy to read while heading out to find the girls. “That's over 48 hours,” he said more to himself disappointed it had taken that long for anyone to notice that Sam and Buffy was gone.
Daniel came in. He had been talking on the phone. The general was using him a lot for liaison stuff these days. George had really gotten to trust the scientist. “The police found Sam's car, her and Buffy's training bags and a discarded tranquilizer dart. They promised to send a sample of its contents over to Janet's department, but they're keeping it for analysis. I told them to treat it as a kidnapping and that the Air Force and FBI will have to get involved because of Sam and Buffy's clearance levels,” he said.
“Good work, Daniel,” George said.
“Anything else,” he asked.
“They had no witnesses and the area is not part of any camera arcs,” Daniel replied and sat down while frowning.
He got up. He must have let his expression show his intent, because the general said, “Colonel, we have no jurisdiction outside this facility.”
He knew that. But thankfully he had actually once lived a life that involved operating outside the rules and jurisdictions of the entire world. It was a greytoned world filled with death and violence. It still haunted him but that didn't mean he wouldn't let his older darker ability come into play to get his girls out of trouble. “I know, but we can still look, can't we?”
The general silently nodded and looked down at his papers without saying anything. That way it was neither an order or tacit approval. The SGC was safe.
“Coming,” he asked Daniel and Teal'c, who both promptly got up and followed.
As they walked down the corridor he turned his head towards them and said, “I need to get a hold of a few sources, check somethings out and maybe visit a friend or two out of town. Daniel, you and Teal'c go to that parking lot and find something. Anything we could use.”
“Jack, you have no idea...” Daniel said then paused. “The soldier in the Orlin incident. You think the NID might have tried something again,” he continued.
“Yup, and I am going to talk to an old buddy of mine about that,” he said. The thought of contacting that weasel nagged him greatly, but Maybourne was his best chance at getting someone to talk to him.
Daniel and Teal'c turned and went towards the elevators, while he headed for his office. He sat at his rarely used computer and used his one finger key tapping skills to open the internet and find the website he had only seen once before. He spent a half hour puzzling out the way to join the movie posting board and then write his message, “Hutch, we need to meet.” Now all he could do was to wait. He hated spy games, but it did come naturally to him.
“I do not understand, why not more of the SGC is out looking for Major Carter and Buffy Summers,” he said.
“We're not really allowed to act within the US borders. The police is because they have proper authority and oversight for this kind of thing. So we have to deal with this as if we're friends looking for a friend,” Daniel Jackson explained.
He thought about that. It was not far from the ideal of honor and retribution that his people practiced. It was proper that he as a friend of Samantha Carter and joint protector of Buffy Summers was the agent of retribution. They walked onto the parking area... lot as Daniel Jackson had called it.
He looked around. Whoever had planned this had known the schedule of Samantha Carter too well. If indeed Buffy Summers was a target as well then it was most likely that they had been under constant surveillance for a while. “I don't see anything special,” Daniel Jackson said.
“Daniel Jackson, I believe I might have seen something of interest,” he said after spotting something at the end of the parking area. A small home constructed from what looked like leftover materials. It looked a lot poorer than any other Tau'ri dwelling he had seen before except on television.
“I think the police might have... You know what it's worth a try,” Daniel Jackson said. They walked up to the dwelling. He kept back to avoid intimidating the usually smaller Tau'ri. Looming Buffy Summers had called him recently. He had looked it up and he had realized that many in the past had behaved as if he really was a looming person.
Daniel Jackson examined the seemingly empty dwelling. He however had noticed the feet sticking out from under one of the cardboard box and cloth buildings. Daniel Jackson moved some leaves, when the figure inside jumped up. A scrawny, bearded and unwashed elderly looking man appeared.
“His feet, I said. Look at his feet. With feet like that he's huge. Would you trust a man with feet that big?” the elderly man mumbled cast nervous glances at him several times before fixing Daniel Jackson with a look.
“Hello,” Daniel Jackson said and approached the fidgeting man.
“Go away. This is my stuff. I just got it all together again. You know the police came here,” the man said.
“I just want to ask you some questions,” Daniel Jackson asked.
“You... you got a dollar?” the man asked.
Daniel grabbed his wallet and pulled out some of the Tau'ri money. That was one of those things that puzzled him. They were using paper. Something as worthless as paper for money. That would never have worked on Chu'lak or anywhere else with the Jaffa. Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill had many times on their visits to the city tried to explain it to him. He had smiled and waited until they were finished as he sometimes did when the Tau'ri tried to explain an idea he felt was not all that clever.
“Here's a dollar,” Daniel Jackson said and haded the paper to the hand.
“Thanks,” the man said and walked into his dwelling again. He intended it seemed to extend the negotiations or play them for a fool. Had he been on Chu'lak they would have been discussing over drawn weapons at this very moment.
“Were you here Saturday?” Daniel Jackson asked apparently a little surprised from his tone of voice. He felt it was impolite to enter the conversation at this point and a threat might not be all that useful. It often seemed Daniel Jackson was better at judging these things anyway so he deferred and waited.
“Why should I tell you?” the man answered.
“I gave you a dollar,” Daniel Jackson suggested.
“I thought you were being generous,” the man said.
“Listen, I can give you more. Please I need your help. A good friend of mine and her daughter were kidnapped from this lot Saturday. I'm afraid they'll get hurt if we don't find them,” Daniel Jackson pleaded while holding out a hundred dollar bill.
The man stepped closer to them. He decided there was no chance this man could shake off a tracker given the rancid smell he gave off. “You a cop?” he asked.
“No, we're just two guys trying to find our friends. Listen one is a woman about 5'9'' blond, the other a kid also blond long curly hair,” Daniel Jackson replied.
“Wouldn't believe me if I told you,” the man said and turned away shaking his head.
“Listen please, I have seen some crazy stuff. I will believe a lot more than anyone else you have met,” Daniel Jackson said.
The man turned and looked them over. “What did you see?” Daniel Jackson asked still holding out the money.
“They were feisty, put up a fight. They had to shoot the kid twice,” the man said. He fixed the man with a stare. Halfwitted as he clearly was it was clear he was telling things from his memory given the look on his face.
“Fight with whom?” he asked.
“Ninjas, four in each van. Happened fast, they pulled up in two white vans, shot them, grabbed the woman then the girl. The girl knocked two of them out. Strong kid. But the ninjas I've seen them before I've been telling the police about them for years,” the man explained.
“Right... Okay, here,” Daniel said and pressed the money into the man's hands.
As they walked away Daniel Jackson turned his head and said, “Jack was right. This stinks of NID or someone like that.”
“Could it not be anyone else?” he replied knowing that the Earth was a large and diverse planet.
“Information on Sam is pretty well contained to SGC, NID and a few Russian military. Even less people know anything but false information about Buffy. Jack tried to make sure of that. Of course it could've leaked, but according to what the General and Jack has told me over the years the Pentagon is actually running a rather massive operation with the NSA, FBI and CIA to fight and contain all leaks. We only get involved if it is in any way associated with alien technology or incidents,” Daniel Jackson explained.
“Then we must find our enemy quickly before Samantha Carter and Buffy Summers Carter comes to harm,” he said and thought that if he had been more honest with Daniel Jackson he would have added, “Or I will have to extract retribution from their captors.” But as usual it was better to not tell the Tau'ri that. Their methods could still work and if they didn't he might be able to move Bra'tac and a few other loyal Jaffa to come aid him in determining the guilty. Of course there would be one issue, he had yet to perform the ceremony of protection over Buffy Summers, however since that first day when Daniel had called for them all to protect her he had considered that a mere technicality.
Buffy had a guard day and night it seemed. The creepy doctors had been by a few times to put probes on her skin and attach her to monitoring devices. They had also drawn a blood sample. She couldn't sleep she was too wired. She just wanted to find a way to distract the guard long enough for her to get free and free her mom. Then they'd pay. She would make sure.
Sam was conscious again. They had taken samples from her. She had aches and pains that made that obvious. She was coming out of narcosis. She needed to escape. She twitched purposefully. They hadn't tied her down yet. The bed she was being moved on stopped. “You gotta see this. We got the first results on her blood tests back. We found an unusual protein marker. It seems to occur naturally in both of them. And there are traces of an unidentified heavy metal,” a voice she hadn't heard before but which sounded clearer and more secure in himself than the one of the balding man's.
“What do you mean unidentified,” the balding man asked.
“Nothing I or the lab have ever seen before. We think it might be from a stable element group beyond the transuranic. That's the only possibility I could come up with anyway,” the other guy said.
“Send out the samples to the lab in Phoenix and file everything correctly in the shared database,” the balding guy said.
She lifted her head and spotted a small table close by with several medical tools. She got an idea, but knew she had to play it smart. She rolled off the bed smashing into the tray. The tools flew every where. She quickly grabbed a scalpel and hid it up her sleeve trying to ignore her head spinning.
“She's strong. I gave her enough chloral hydrate to put down a man twice her weight,” the younger guy said. She could hear them walk over.
“All right Major. Very impressive but ultimately futile,” the balding guy said. “Besides if you run we'll just hurt your kid, so no running okay,” he continued.
She felt a warm flash of hatred. She swore if Buffy was hurt these two motherfuckers would be going straight to hell.
He knew he had to go out and about. It had been nearly a day since he had posted on that forum. Maybourne couldn't contact him while he was in the SGC the security there was way too tight. He stopped at a gas station. Daniel and Teal'c had gotten him confirmation on his suspicions and so he now had to take next step. He wondered if Colonel Simmons the NID liaison that had been involved in the Orlin business a while back was tied up in all of this too.
He started pumping gas into his SUV, when someone walked up behind him. The steps indicated a smaller guy. A gun was pressed against his back. “Don't turn around,” Maybourne's voice said.
He turned around anyway. “Harry, how are you? You never write, you never call. You could've at least left me an adress to give the guys so they could kill... I mean arrest you,” he said.
“I've got a gun,” Maybourne said as if he needed to be told. He knew the feeling of a gun against his back and that earlier had been one.
“Me too,” he replied although he also had two knives there was no need to remind Harry aware of that.
“I'm just trying to keep you out of trouble. I am a wanted criminal, someone might not be happy with you not arresting me since it is your duty,” Maybourne replied.
“Always thinking of me, that's so nice of you Harry. How'd you find me?” he asked. He often wondered how the NID kept track of him since he swept his house and car for trackers and bug every week.
“Played a lot of hide and seek as a kid. Funny, I could always find anyone or anything anywhere but they could never find me,” Maybourne said.
He thought about Harry's personality and said with a smirk, “that's because they didn't want to. I mean they knew you a little right.”
Maybourne rolled his eyes and looked around nervously. “What do you want Jack?” he asked.
“Carter and her kid is missing,” he said watching Maybourne intently.
“Really,” Maybourne replied and there it was. Just a faint hint hidden by Harry training and skills as a spy but still enough for him to see. Harry hadn't known. At least he had done it then. A bit of his tension drained.
“Bunch of guys in white vans with tranqs took her and her kid out about four days ago. Figured it might be some of your old friends,” he said again watching for hints.
“Not the word I'd use for them,” Maybourne muttered and looked thoughtful for a moment.
“What do you know?” he asked hoping Maybourne might say something.
“Sorry, I can't help ya,” Maybourne replied and started backing away.
“You didn't come back here, worked your way into the country and risk execution just to see me,” he said and realized that given the trouble such an act entailed and the short time it had taken Maybourne to seek him out. Harry had already been in the country.
“God knows Jack, I could think of a hundred reasons why the NID might want the Major and her kid well if the rumors are true you could just as soon add a few hundred more. But I swear to you I don't know if, why or even where she was taken. Why don't you ask the NID?” Maybourne smiled at his suggestion as if it was clever.
“Gee, thanks, hadn't thought of that,” he replied getting a bit irritated again at the smug bastard.
“You know what, try User 4574,” Maybourne suggested.
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“Wish I could stay and chat but I gotta go,” Harry said and backed to stand against the door of his car. Clearly the audience was over. He debated taking the guy in but to be honest with himself it worked better for him having Harry out and about. He might shake something loose. He knew the former Colonel hated secrets he wasn't in on. He would do a bit of his research for him. It was time to track him though. Of course having access to certain intelligence resources through his various buddies that wouldn't be too hard.
“Harry, we're talking about Carter here,” he said trying to make the man understand that he would not accept this. Of course Maybourne and the NID acted like they didn't know but there was actually a large number of people, who was getting more and more upset. One or two of Buffy's teachers had even called him up and asked if they could help in the investigation. Of course he had placed them with Buffy because they were like that, but he couldn't just go and have a military force run around the US without a proper target.
“I know. Listen, I'm really sorry Jack. I know what she means to you and I've seen pictures of the kid I am sure she is nice too. But you know how this game is played and the kind of people who play it. You gotta prepare yourself for the possibility that she might not be coming back,” he said through the open window on his car and drove off.
He took out his phone and dialed the general.
He heard as the general said, “That's all he said: User 4574. I think we know who that is Colonel.”
He looked up. They did, he wondered.
“User 4574, is the SGC security designation of the NID liaison officer assigned at the Pentagon to watch the SGC,” the general said.
Simmons, he thought. That man did seem all to false nice with just an undertone of evil. It was another hint that the NID might be behind it all.
“I will get a bird ready to take you over to the East Coast immediately bye,” the general said and hung up.
“So another clue,” he asked.
“Could be misdirection, Doctor Jackson,” the general reminded him before dialing someone else. The general seemed as preoccupied as Jack with this. Of course that might be because the NID could be provoking another drop in the quality of relations with the Tok'ra. He was sure that Jacob would consider the kidnapping of his daughter and granddaughter enough of a reason to speak out against helping the SGC as much as they already did.
He had been there since the morning. Buffy and Sam had been gone for almost exactly five days and now he was cooling his heels in the front office of Simmons with his secretary trying to give him the polite brush-off all morning. He got up. “I demand to see the Colonel now. He is not in a meeting, there are no phone calls. Get me in to see him now or so help me god I will call the Joint Chiefs and ask them to force Simmons to see me,” he said and knew he could actually have the general do something much like that.
The secretary seemed to take him seriously. She got up and walked into the office behind this one. She carelessly however left the door open behind her and so he followed her in and heard her say, “I am sorry, sir, but he is getting a little...”
“Pissed is the word. It happens when you keep someone waiting for nearly an hour,” he said and gave Simmons the look of disdain he reserved for Goa'uld or people he considered to have equivalent morals to.
“Well... Welcome to the Pentagon, Colonel. Thank you Dolores,” he said and nodded to his secretary.
“You have to forgive me, it's just I have a lot on my plate at the moment,” Simmons said.
“Yeah, well, it's just two people's lives at stake. Sorry to take you away from your busy time of doing nothing about it,” he replied. The NID should've been all over the police and busily helping the SGC investigating Sam's disappearance days ago. But they seemed to have done nothing.
“And I am the one whose sorry because you've obviously wasted a trip to Washington as well as my time,” Simmons replied looking unperturbed as always. He was a slick guy that much was certain.
“I don't think so,” he said.
“You know, I was just reading about Major Carter's disappearance. I couldn't help but wonder more glowing aliens had anything to do with it. Or maybe oh I don't know maybe her kid took a trip home,” Simmons replied with supreme arrogance. Right at that moment the bastard had no idea how lucky he was that he hadn't been able to bring a sidearm. The moment of anger passed though.
“Look Simmons. I don't expect you to just tell me what's going on, but I guarantee you this trip will not be a waste. If I have to I'll spend the rest of my life in this building getting to the bottom of all this and how it ties to you,” he said suddenly sure that the smug bastard was involved somehow.
“Why do you even think that I have something to do with this? The NID has nothing to do with the kidnapping of US military officers or civilians,” Simmons glibly replied.
“A reliable source told me,” he said.
“Really... I think I know what source you're referring to. Colonel, are you telling me you're trusting a convicted traitor over me... and the entire NID?” Simmons asked and managed to look offended.
“More than you and especially more than the NID,” he replied.
“Look your opinion of me and this organization has been tainted by the actions of the very man you got your information from and by his cadre of rogue agents,” Simmons replied.
“I doubt very much that Maybourne alone was in command of this. He doesn't have the inclination,” he explained.
“The NID is a legitimate organization financed by the Government, which has been duly elected by the people of this country,” Simmons said.
“I know this part,” he said tiring of mincing words.
“Our mandate is clear, Colonel. We provide vital civilian oversight of top secret military operations,” Simmons said. He just rolled his eyes in reply.
“Who watches over you?” he asked.
“We're not unaccountable, Colonel. And I admit there have been some minor indiscretions in the past, perpetrated by a few renegades. But they've been exposed and they will be brought to justice with or without your help,” Simmons explained.
“Maybourne is pointing the finger at you,” he said.
“And you never considered that Maybourne is just trying to mask his own part in this,” Simmons said while digging out a folder from his desk. He handed it over.
He scanned the page it was a list of money transfers as well as several notes about where and when the money had been moved to and from. “We recently traced a deposit made into the one of Maybourne's offshore bank accounts that we luckily knew about. The transfer took place from a numbered company on the Caymen Islands and we have yet to ascertain who it was from but we're working on it,” Simmons explained.
“Great and in the mean time anything could be happening to Major Carter and her daughter,” he replied.
“It's the best we can do. We're not counterespionage Colonel,” Simmons said.
“Three million,” he mused.
“Makes you wonder what he did to earn that kind of money. Doesn't it?” Simmons said.
A few minutes after Jack O'Neill had left his office he picked up his phone. “How far along are they?” he asked.
“They're still testing the Major, sir. They'll move on to the kid tomorrow or maybe the day after. They'll have to implant him soon though,” the voice on the other end replied.
“Our timing needs to be perfect. We need to move in and get him before they use the kid's blood to kill the symbiont,” he said.
“It could get dicey,” the voice replied.
“Listen either way we get things out of this. If you get it right we get a Goa'uld to pump for information and the kid for further investigation. If you get it wrong we still get all their results,” he said.
“I know. Simmons when are you coming out here?” the voice asked.
“I am flying down tomorrow,” he replied and hung up.
It was night outside maybe early morning. Sam slipped the scalpel out of her sleeve and started working on her cuff. She glanced at the camera in the corner trying to make sure no one could see too clearly what she was doing.
Buffy opened her eyes. The guard was still awake and watching her. Damn she had hoped, but it seemed they had yet to slip up. The scary bald guy had been in today and told her that she would soon be tested and to be calm as all would be over soon. She hadn't taken much comfort from that though.
“Jack, you with us,” he said talking to the conference phone sitting between him, the general and Teal'c.
“Yeah,” Jack replied. He was flying back from Washington following the morning across the US.
“Okay, we pulled a few strings with the NSA and they got the name of the holding company that owned that Cayman Islands account that was used to pay Maybourne. They told me not to ask how. Anyway it's a subsidiary of Zedatron Industries,” he explained.
“That sounds familiar,” Jack said and the General nodded.
“It's owned and run by a single man Adrian Conrad. He made a couple of hundred million in something called Fiber optic host channel adapters and then had the good sense to diversify before the .com bubble burst. Now Zedatron is into everything from shipyards to sportsware. Certain components that will be used for the X-302 and X-303 projects have been commissioned from Zedatron subsidiaries,” he explained.
“But what is his connection with Maybourne,” Teal'c asked.
“Isn't it pretty common for ex-spies to sell information or even their skills in the private sector?” he asked.
“We know Maybourne had access to extensive files on the SGC including every member of SG-1. We can only guess that he must have continued access to learn about Buffy,” George said.
“Maybourne did let slip he knew about Buffy, so that is a given,” Jack said over the crackly phone.
“The other interesting thing about Adrian Conrad is that he hasn't been seen in public in six months. His last appearance was a live video conference from their head office in Seattle to a Zedatron stockholders meeting,” he explained reading from his notes.
“Hmm, my guy in the FBI told me that they have clues indicating Maybourne might have been in Seattle lately. Maybe he is still there. General, I am changing my flightplan all right?” Jack said.
“All right and while you are there make inquires about Zedatron. We will continue our investigation from here,” the general replied.
He had been considering entering Zedatron and see if he could shake something loose, but as luck would have it, he had seen Maybourne arrive. It had been easy to sneak into the basement and await him there. He saw Maybourne return from his meeting and approached as silently as possible. He swore if the slippery ex-spy didn't give him answers he would allow himself to use certain older skills at extracting information that were strictly held illegal but he was getting to the point where he didn't care anymore.
“Harry,” he said as he grabbed Maybourne and disarmed him.
“Jesus, Jack,” Maybourne gasped as he let him go.
“You're stealing my routine,” the upset little man said.
“Call it a homage,” he said.
“What's up Jack? I thought we trusted each other?” Maybourne asked and tried to look emotionally wounded.
“You lied to me. Get in the car and start talking as we drive. If you tell me enough we'll go for a bite if not I will start retraining old skills on you,” he said.
“Hello again, Major Carter,” the bald man said. She had known he was there but she only sullenly turned towards him.
“If you don't mind I'd like to ask you a few questions. I don't know if I mentioned what a thrill this is for me,” he said with a smile. She tried to express all her hatred in one look. It seemed to work as his smile fell.
“I mean I wish we didn't have to do it under these conditions given the circumstances. You and your daughter are very unique individuals. You may well hold the key to the future of medical science,” he said.
“Nothing you can learn from me and certainly not from my daughter can help you. You've made a big mistake, we...” she said trying to maintain cover.
“Please, we know what happened to you. We know that you were both at some point the hosts of an alien symbiote,” he replied. Damn that indicated they knew about the SGC.
“I'm a physicist. I study deep space radar telemetry. I don't know what you're talking about,” she said repeating her cover story.
“Please Major. Don't waste my time with that ridiculous cover story. Tell me what you can about the symbiote and how you got rid of it. How was the process different for you and your daughter?” he asked with the mad intensity returning.
“Bite me,” she replied and looked away.
“First of all technically I didn't lie. I said I didn't know where Carter and her kid was or why she was taken,” Maybourne said rather urgently something in his expression seemed to make the usually unflappable man nervous.
“What were the three million dollars for?” he asked.
“I acquired a piece of merchandise from the Russians and sold it to Zedatron,” Maybourne said.
“What,” he asked a little bit angry for the continued evasion.
“A symbiote,” Maybourne replied.
“What?! Are you nuts, you let some private company buy a real live Goa'uld symbiote,” he yelled.
Maybourne winced and said, “The Russians captured a Jaffa on their second trip out. They've been keeping him underwraps moving him around while trying to decide how to deal with him or use him. They were getting antsy though. Apparently the symbiote was almost mature.”
“So why kidnap Carter and her kid,” he asked.
“I am not sure, but the Major did have one in her once. Maybe they thought she might hold the clue to getting rid of it again. I've heard from fascinating things about her daughter on that front as well,” Maybourne commented.
“Maybourne, you rotten dirty bastard,” he cursed.
“Listen Jack, I obviously didn't know. I also don't know how Zedatron found out about me, the SGC or anything else. But when people offer you three million dollars, you don't ask too many questions,” Maybourne explained.
“Why not?” he asked still angry.
“Believe me Jack, I never thought it was going to come to this,” Maybourne replied.
“What did you think was going to happen?” he asked while considering how to find Sam if she was in Zedatron's hands.
“Well in the right hands a symbiote could lead to all kinds of medical breakthroughs,” Maybourne offered.
“And it could also result in a Goa'uld running free here on Earth,” he replied.
“Are you gonna turn me in?” Maybourne asked.
“Actually the urge to shoot you has come back,” he said.
“You still need me Jack,” Maybourne said.
“Really,” he asked very unsure that was the case.
“Because I know the name of the Doctor, who took delivery of the symbiote,” Maybourne replied.
He and Teal'c sat with the general. Jack and Maybourne were on the phone and Janet had just sat down after reading the documents that Jack had faxed over from some doctor's office. The general had finally made it a foothold situation and now it was officially a SGC matter.
“I've read through the files and it would appear that Adrian Conrad is in the late states of an extremely rare disorder known as Burchadts Syndrome. It's a condition that affects the immune system leaving the body defenseless against a host of diseases. There is no known cure,” Janet reported.
“Except something like the healing powers of a Goa'uld symbiote,” Teal'c said.
“The only way that would work would be through implantation. I mean Conrad isn't a Jaffa,” he said.
“They may be studying the symbiote, trying to isolate and artificially reproduce its healing properties, but that could take decades to really figure out and even longer to get a process ready for application,” Janet said.
“Major Carter's experience with Jolinar would make her body a valuable source of information,” Teal'c suggested.
“What are their chances of success?” The general asked.
“Well, obviously we've been researching this for some time, sir. Even with unlimited resources, I would be surprised if they came up with even the right questions to ask quickly. And if they're trying to save Mr. Conrad's life they certainly don't have enough time,” Janet explained.
“How do we find him?” Jack asked over the phone.
“Given his condition, he would require constant medical supervision. He must be in some kind of a hospital or well-equipped facility,” Janet explained.
He remembered something, “Saint something... When I was checking out the holdings of that numbered company,” he looked at his papers scanning line after line as quickly as he could. “St. Christina's. It's a hospital in the Seattle suburbs that's been shut down for a couple of years.”
“I'll contact the local authorities. Daniel, you and Teal'c can meet Colonel O'Neill there. A jet will be prepped and ready to go by the time you get to the airstrip,” the general said.
“Orders?” Jack asked over the phone.
“Retrieve the Major and Buffy Summers. Then secure the symbiote or if someone has been implanted then the host as well. And Jack godspeed,” the general replied.
It was late. Her restraint has been sawed through a few moments ago. Sam quickly planned her actions before pushing herself off the bed. She made her way into the corridor. She debated what was best finding Buffy or escaping to call help. Her concern for Buffy won over. She found a set of stairs and was about to go up.
There was a noise. Steps of someone coming down towards her. She went a few steps down instead of up and crouched. A man walked out in front of her looking into the corridor she had left. They had already found out she was missing. She dashed up before he sensed her and kicked the back of his knee. As he stumbled she grabbed his head and hammered it with all her weight into the door sill. She reached down and grabbed his gun. She didn't where Buffy was so she had to carefully search from floor to floor starting with the one she was on.
She noticed her guard stepping out into the corridor. Buffy angled her head and saw him looking down the hall instead of looking at her. She smiled. Finally her chance had come. She flexed her muscles and enjoyed the sound of metal groaning. The bedside gave away before her shackles. She immediately tipped the bed to the left giving her cover. Just in time to hear the impact of a dart against its underside. “This is floor four, the girl is loose,” she heard the guard report.
She freed her legs and tore off her other restraints. She was left with the heavy metal shackles but she decided she didn't have time to handle them. She got off the ground and dashed along the wall. Another dart flew by, but this time she was prepared. She caught it out of the air as it passed. She came up against the wall. The corridor was on the other side of it. And her guard was out there firing in from the opening set in it. She flipped the thing in her hand and jumped sideways.
She flew past at his head height just was he about to crouch down and fire at her again. Like it was a thrown dart in a game she let the one she had caught fly. It hit him in the neck and he tumbled back. She waited a few seconds. “But... someone... h...” the guard stammered then there was a thump. She didn't any chances. She slid herself low out of the door along side the fallen guard and took his two guns. The tranquilizer had a magazine with two more darts in it. The gun was like her mom's service sidearm. A... 9 millimeter semiautomatic she remembered it was called. She picked them both up but put the semiautomatic in the back of her left hand keeping the tranquilizer in her right for starters.
She went down the corridor checking room for room. She remembered somehow that the best way to enter was low and quick along the walls.
They pulled up outside the hospital. It was barely visible from the staging point of the Seattle PD SWAT team that were getting ready. He then realized from the weapons the zats and the automatics that these weren't Seattle SWAT. As he started recognizing people he realized that the General was taking no chances and had put SG-12 and 13 in the field undercover. Teal'c and Daniel were there in disguise looking over a map.
“You just play nice,” he said to Maybourne before getting out of his car which they had gone back to retrieve.
“Hey, guys, you were here fast,” he said as Teal'c nodded in greeting and Daniel smiled.
“General Hammond thought it prudent to be swift so we found that a fast jet was ready to take us and the SG teams here and well a troop transport helicopter was ready to fly the last bit of the way along with disguises,” Daniel explained.
“Okay, how's the layout,” he asked and looked at the map getting ready to plan. Maybourne to his annoyance looked him over the shoulder.
“Damn it,” Simmons said after lowering his binoculars.
“What sir,” one of his people asked.
“The SGC got here first. I just spotted two SG teams and most of SG-1 getting ready to go in. That hospital will be surrounded and sealed with us losing any chance of getting our conciliation prizes. Listen I need an unguarded way in. If this goes on they won't even implant Conrad and we won't get our own Goa'uld,” he said.
“And the girl,” his man asked.
“At this point if we try to slip away with her, they won't stop looking under every rock until they find us. No, if we leave her, it should be sufficient to at least throw off immediate pursuit. No matter what Conrad can't get out of there without either a Goa'uld or a bullet in his head. He knows enough to implicate me,” he explained.
“I understand sir. Good thing we have a way in that shouldn't be on any of the blueprints,” the man said.
“I better speed up the process inside,” he said and opened his phone.
Sam had checked nearly the entire floor. Buffy wasn't here, but there seemed to be a lot of unused laboratory equipment. A few guards had been looking for her and she had even seen a man in a wheelchair, but so far she had avoided getting caught. She needed to find a phone, a Internet connection or some other way to signal the SGC of her whereabouts and status.
A lock of blond curly hair fell into her eyes. She wished she had a scrunchy to keep it in a pony tail. Steps echoed along the now darkened corridor. She had smashed the fusebox at the other end of the corridor a few minutes ago. She was actually getting good use out of her science classes. Strangely that felt both good and totally new in a way little else had done in a long time. The darkness would not hamper her as it would her enemies. She seemed to see almost as good in the dark. It was not like in the light but still good enough for her to fight by.
She watched as a guard got close to the first one she had downed. He couldn't see her from his position. She had lifted herself up amongst the pipes usually hidden by a drywall ceiling, but the slabs had been easy to lift out of place. She carefully aimed and fired the tranquilizer giving off a little hiss as the gas escaped and the tiny glass ampule flew towards its target. It hit him right in the neck where his blood flowed towards the brain. He fell prone in seconds.
Carefully she moved her position to the other side of the corridor sliding along the pipes. One of them was hot she discovered as she burned her hand. She ground her teeth together and made herself ignore the intense pain and quickly finished her move. She moved another one of the tiles to the side allowing her a new view of her target area.
“Hey, what happened,” a guard carefully moved up. He was moving as if he expected her to be in her room firing out. He edged up against the wall and looked at his two downed comrades. She aimed and took her easy shot dropping another one however that had been her last tranquilizer dart. Which meant that she had to wound people now or knock them out at the very least. She put the gun down and jumped out her newly made opening rolling in the air and landing in a crouch. She went over, disarmed the guards who unfortunately didn't have more tranquilizer guns and moved two of them into her room.
She considered leaving the trap set, when she spotted the radio on the floor. She picked it up and listened. “We need to get lights back on that floor. The kid has taken out Jones and Rodrigo,” a voice said.
Another was about to answer when she forced all her inner wild nature out into her mind said, “I am coming for you next,” while letting her inner warrior set the tone. It came out ice cold and maybe even a little psycho sounding. She quickly put down the radio and dashed out into the corridor.
She knew where they were going next. Even if they suspected a trap they'd try to fix the power first it seemed. Thankfully hammering her recently removed left shackle several times into the fuses had pretty much screwed with that option, but still she couldn't take any chances. She drew the gun as she passed the stairwell and heard movement. She debated fighting them there, but decided she had too little cover in the corridor to fight alone.
As she slid into the room with the fuse box she heard someone behind her call out, “I see something by her room.” She smiled thankfully she hadn't decided to hide all the bodies, but a voice in her head warned her they could just be faking their sentences while moving towards her using hand signals to communicate. It was a good thing that the voice in her head was suspicious bitch.
A closet gave her a full view of the fuse box and the door. She hid inside and left it just enough open to be able to fire out. She unhitched the gun's safety.
“They are just outside. If you want to keep the symbiote you'd have to act now,” his informant said.
“I can't the process isn't done yet,” he replied and hung up. He sat for a moment contemplating. Maybe the stories were just that. He had never been able to find confirmation of any real danger. Either way his NID source was right. He had no other choice. He couldn't tell his people that their arrest might be imminent.
“Listen up, we're doing it now. Strap me down and get that thing into me,” he said and guided his wheelchair over to his bed.
“Sir,” one of his two cronies asked. He called them his mad scientists to Diana but they didn't have to know that.
“Listen, you can continue the research with that thing in me right. I am dying now. I won't be with it. You deal with the symbiote. Get it out of me when I am cured,” he insisted.
“Honey,” Diana his lovely girlfriend looked very worried.
“I have to do it this way. We always knew it was most likely to go this way. How could we have known that the girl's blood did nothing,” he glared at the doctor, who looked away in shame.
“But it could take control of you,” Diana said.
“Major Carter was able to subdue hers and kill it. If she could so can I,” he said and cursed the Major who had eluded his guards for more than a half hour now.
“Excuse me sir, but we have to restrain you,” his doctor said.
They suddenly heard a shot fired somewhere above them. “Get a move on,” he commanded. One of the doctors left probably to check with security.
She looked up. Someone had fired a pistol on the floor above. “Buffy,” she whispered feeling ice cold fear gripping her. She went for the stairs again. She fought to remain careful and not panic.
He looked up. That had been a Tau'ri weapon. “Someone fired a weapon,” he said and looked at his comrades for confirmation.
“Right that's it. Everyone move out. You cover the area. You two go through the front. Maybourne you and I we take the backway. Stay together and find the girls first,” Jack O'Neill said.
He nodded and with Daniel set out of the main entrance of the older damaged looking building. There was a noise, another gun shot. They increased their speed.
“We will have to abandon our ruse,” he said as they came up to the door.
“No, I'll go in and distract them. You just start firing the second they look away from the door,” Daniel Jackson said.
He watched as Daniel Jackson went ahead and quickly followed him inside trying to remain as silent on his feet as possible. He slid inside and saw two Tau'ri with their backs to him. He fired at the one closest to Daniel Jackson first, then quickly switched to the other. The Zat'ni'katel easily downed the two. He was unsure about killing them but decided that his comrades would consider it cruel and he didn't know if they had hurt his friends and so needed to suffer more. Of course if they were just doing their job they didn't deserve additional punishment.
“Thank you for letting me help. I feel this is partly my fault,” Maybourne said.
“Just be quiet,” he said and slipped into a room he thought he had seen movement in. It turned out to be empty.
“Hold it right there,” someone said out side. Through the glass wall that he could see an indistinct armed figure. He dashed around and out the other door. Quietly he moved up behind what looked like a guard and grabbed him in a sleeper hold. The long moments passed as always until the guard passed out. Maybourne stepped forward and took his guard.
“Hey,” he said.
“Come on Jack, I am not here as you prisoner right. Now am I watching your back or not. I mean we do make a great team,” Maybourne said and smiled. The weasel seemed to insist on suggesting he should betray his country and come work with him.
“Just go on ahead and be careful, there could be a kid around here,” he said.
She edged into the darkened corridor. She saw a figure lying on the floor against the reflection of the outside lights. She quickly ran up finding a tranquilized guard. She looked sideways and saw another two tranquilized guards as well as a smashed hospital bed. It looked like the other two had been dragged inside.
She heard a moan coming from the other end of the corridor. She turned and ran down that way. She looked into a room. And there next to a crackling fuse box two more guard lay groaning. Both had been shot in their right knee.
“Mom,” a triumphant voice said from the room. She looked around and spotted Buffy crawling out of a closet.
“Buffy,” she said and felt better immediately.
“You did that,” she asked.
“Of course, I thought if I took out several guards there would be less or maybe no one to guard you. I guess if they had used you as a hostage for my surrender it would be a problem, but the trick to that is that they can't threaten you unless they know where you are,” Buffy said.
“Thank god, you're alright,” she said and pressed her daughter against her. She could feel Buffy's heart beating fast.
“Mommy,” Buffy cried and suddenly seemed like a little girl rather than a dangerous warrior.
“Shh, it's alright you don't have to be brave anymore,” she whispered.
They moved out into a corridor which unlike the other ones was darkened. Someone was coming up the stairs after them. “Teal'c,” Jack said.
“O'Neill, we have yet to find Samantha Carter and Buffy Summers, however we have just spotted a wounded man in this corridor, which has lost power it seems,” Teal'c reported.
“Sir, we're alright,” he heard Sam's voice from down the other end of the hall.
“Hey, everyone is here. Thanks,” Buffy said and gave them a smile even while her face looked red from crying and her hair was matted with sweat and dirt.
“Now you're a sight for sore eyes. Thank god, you're alright,” he said.
“Thanks, Daniel. I am not sure but I think they kidnapped us to find a way to get rid of a symbiote,” Sam explained.
She looked at them then spotted something behind him. “Sir, Maybourne is right behind ya,” she said.
Buffy seemed instantly alerted by her mother's tone. To his shock she drew a 9mm pistol from the back of her pants. “He's helping,” Jack said sounding upset.
“What the hell. Buffy put that down. Drop it now,” Jack nearly yelled. He winced. He knew why Jack didn't want to see a kid any kid with a gun in his or her hands.
Buffy seemed startled but to everyone's surprise immediately dropped it as if Jack's word was her command. Sam bent down and took the firearm. He noticed the safety had still been on. Jack looked around. “Listen we don't have a lot of time. Teal'c, you and Maybourne go up. Look for the missing symbiote. If you can get it safely, we'd like it for experimentation. If you can't then who really cares. I want Conrad as well. That bastard knows way too much and he has a lot to answer for,” Jack said.
“Daniel, you're with me. We'll get Sam and Buffy out then continue down instead of up... Go,” Jack said and they started heading down.
“Good work on that guard,” Jack said to Sam as they headed down.
“Actually I was kept a floor down. Buffy took out all the guards who came up there. All five of them. We need to get an ambulance in. She shot two of them in the knee cap,” Sam said. Jack gave her then him a shocked look.
“Who taught you to use a gun,” Jack asked a bit more intensely than he had probably planned.
“No one, it's not like its hard. You undo the safety. You make sure there's a round in, you aim and fire. If there is wind or a lot of distance you won't hit precisely but I had no trouble with those two men. I think I'd have like a bow or crossbow better though,” she said.
“What? Why?” he asked.
“They hurt more but it looked like it would have caused less bleeding. Of course I didn't look too closely so,” she said and shrugged then got a faraway look. He had seen it before when she noticed she had just referenced something she couldn't really remember.
They got down to the ground floor and out the main entrance. Major Fallwell the leader of SG-13 ran up and guided Buffy and Sam to safety, while he and Jack went back inside.
They had caught a doctor trying to escape by a fire escape. “I'll guard him,” the treacherous man called Maybourne had offered. Teal'c did not trust him, but as they did not have any means by which to tie men except their clothes and he considered it unworthy to stun a prisoner he had agreed.
He had gone on and checked the remainder of the last floor alone only to return and find the prisoner unconscious and the traitor gone. He felt a cold anger flood his mind. Next time he saw the liar he would punch his lights out as O'Neill called it.
They entered an active lab and he immediately spotted two problems. One was a symbiote holding tank empty the other was two dead people on the floor. “Neither of them is Conrad,” he said. One was his girlfriend Diana Mendez, the one who had given Maybourne the brush off. The other was a bald guy in a lab coat, someone had stabbed in the eye with his own pen.
“Jack, there is a basement under this place,” Daniel suggested.
“Damn, are we covering those exits,” he said and remembered that they hadn't even had a clear schematic of the basement. If he knew hospitals well enough they were bigger than one building and usually they used tunnels to move stuff and patients between those buildings.
“We need to get down there,” he said and headed for the stairs visible just down the hall. Daniel followed him.
They got downstairs and looked around. “You go that way, I'll go this way,” he said and gestured left then right.
He looked down a passage and saw nothing. It ended blindly. However there was a wet footprint on the floor. Without changing his expression he moved on back towards Daniel away from the exit just up ahead.
He stopped and waited with baited breath. A man in hospital clothes stepped out of the passage and turned towards the exit. “No no no, stop right there,” he commanded and brought up his gun.
The man turned. His eyes glowed for a moment showing the anger of the snake in his head. “How dare you?” it started to complain.
“Oh shut up. You're gonna come quietly or I'll shoot you dead,” he said. He was actually considering doing it anyway. Neither the man nor the snake had any of his sympathies.
“If you shoot me you'll also kill my host,” the Goa'uld said.
“Well I was actually talking to your host. I am gonna have to you killed one way or another,” he said.
“You're bluffing,” the Goa'uld said and turned slightly. He was about to fire when two shots rang out. His arm filled with pain and the impact on his vest sent him down. He blacked out for a little while.
A voice faraway said, “Jack... Jack are you alright?” It was Daniel.
“I was shot,” he said.
“Jack,” Daniel said and helped him up.
“Damn it, I was shot from behind. Someone helped that snake. He's out there now,” he said.
It was a few days later. She was a bit uncomfortable. Not because of any damage done by those crazy doctors working for Adrian Conrad. No, because she was actually at George Hammond's home. Officially so that Buffy could meet and play with his nieces. Two really nice girls whom George adored. That was just a cover.
Buffy was in fact outside playing with the two girls. She had been unwilling to talk to anyone except her and Buffy's psychologist about her experiences at the hospital. But thankfully it seemed that they had done little more than take blood. All the research at the hospital had been looked over and then destroyed.
“Can I get you anything, Major,” the general said and sat across from her in a very comfortable chair. They were in his very cramped study.
“Sir, I wanted to talk to you off the record and quite frankly,” she said.
“Someone has been watching me and Buffy with the express purpose of kidnapping my daughter. This is someone who works with the SGC or at least has access to SGC material,” she said.
“The NID, Major,” he replied.
“Maybe sir, anyway this has rattled me. Buffy is a marvel. She will no matter what path she chooses in life become great. That is sure. Orlin told me this. Her teachers tell me every time we meet. I know it in my heart. However I am afraid sir. My association with the SGC has gotten me my child, but I am afraid it might both endanger her and damage my relationship with her on a daily basis,” she said.
“I am not sure what you mean Major,” George replied.
“Well it's not simple. Buffy is a protector at heart. She wants me to be safe. She doesn't waste many thoughts on her own safety a lot of the time. She is still a kid and she knows what I do. This is giving her nightmares, sir. And furthermore I now have to add to this problem by having to constantly fear my own government and its agents. I... Sir, I talked with my dad on the radio last night. The Tok'ra wants us to come for a visit. Something important is up. They also insist that Buffy should come along this time,” she said.
“You could just say no Major,” he replied.
“Ah, no. I will take Buffy to see them. I am just not sure if I want to bring her back,” she admitted.
“What? Sam you can't be serious,” he said.
“Dead serious, sir. My dad has offered to take care of her. The Tok'ra have several very secret hideouts not connected to any of their operations and from where they never stage anything. Each cell of Tok'ra is given access to only two of those and each cell get a different one. Lantash and Selmak are the only ones who know about the place he wants to take Buffy,” she explained.
“You can't be serious. What about her life, her school, you?” the general asked.
“That's why I am here General. I need you to help me. Please, I don't want to take my daughter away from Earth. I know the SGC needs me and that's why I won't follow her, but sir she needs to be safe here. I need her to be safe,” she said.
“And the other problem?” he asked.
“I am considering if I should be rotated out of the active duty roster more often and only go out on special need missions like Janet. I'd do just as much good in a lab,” she said. She knew she'd hate losing the active duty and directly doing something. But she couldn't keep it up anymore. Her career was not a factor compared to her daughter. And this way she'd still be around to help with the scientific problems.
“What can I do to stop you from making these mistakes Major,” George said. He knew she was here to ask him for a solution a way to avoid doing some of these things.
“I want constant security on Buffy. I want a signed guarantee that there is no surveillance on me or my daughter at any time. And I want all research on my daughter to stop. I am not sure about the duty roster thing yet,” she said.
George studied her. “I think that is only fair,” he said finally. He leaned back in his chair and studied her. “Sam between you and me, I would do something like that too,” he said.
“Sir, apparently the Tok'ra have bowed to a demand by Selmak that says if Buffy disappears again the Tok'ra will attempt to rescue her and it may influence the state of our treaties with them too. I didn't ask them for that and I don't know how serious Selmak was when he said it,” she said.
“Really. Major, why are the Tok'ra so fascinated by your daughter. This isn't the first time they've asked for her presence,” he asked.
“I don't know. And no I don't like that much either,” she agreed.
They sat for a while looking at Buffy and the girls caring for the girls' pony. “How is the Colonel doing?” he asked.
“He's complaining a lot. I think he is mostly angry that Maybourne tricked him,” she replied.