Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the shows involved or any of the characters, and I’m not making any money out of them, I’m just doing this for the love of the shows and the love of Richie. All rights and ownership belong to whoever actually owns them, I’m just having a party in their flat and promise to clean up after myself.
Warning: This story contains non-graphic same sex relationships, so don’t read it if that sort of thing offends. There’s also the occasional bit of bad language, but I try to keep it to a minimum (except when Spike’s around).
For those late to the party…
Richie is back from the dead and he and Duncan have become lovers. Daniel Jackson, Jack Harkness and Xander Harris are all new Immortals and Jack O’Neill is a ROG named Angus McNeill. They have discovered that there are several Goa’ulds on Earth who have taken Immortals as hosts. Anyone who takes the head of one of these inherits the genetic memory of the Goa’uld along with the Quickening. Daniel, Methos and Xander have all recently taken the head of one and it was discovered that Richie and Duncan also did at some point in the past. They have found out that there are at least four more, but with no solid leads to work from, everyone is carrying on with business as usual…
Phew! Got that? Then on with the show…11. Lone gunman
SG-1 were heading out of the base for some R&R at O’Neill’s cabin, they had just passed out of the gate and were heading toward the main road in their SUV, driving parallel to the perimeter of the base. Mitchell was driving and was having a friendly argument with Daniel about what they should play on the radio, when suddenly Daniel turned his head back toward the compound.
“Cam, stop the car.”
“Aw Jeez Daniel, if it means that much to you, you can pick the station.”
“I’m serious, stop the car. I just felt an Immortal. Inside the perimeter.” Cameron looked at him and, after checking there was nobody behind them, slammed on the brakes. Teal’c and Sam leaned forward to better hear the conversation.
“Do you think it’s one of these Goa’uld ones?” Sam asked
“Only one way to find out. Come on.” They got out of the vehicle and headed to a small access gate nearby. To their dismay, they discovered that someone had already forced it open.
“Shouldn’t this have tripped an alarm?” Cam asked.
“It should have,” replied Sam, “I don’t know how they got past it, but Immortals have a lot longer than most to pick up skills.”
“Just ask Amanda.” Daniel grinned as he slipped through the gate. The others followed, a little distance away. Ordinarily Sam or Cam would take point, but today they were taking their lead from Daniel. He indicated for them to stay back, and he slipped through the trees toward the base. He came into a clearing near an emergency access hatch and spotted the other Immortal. He looked in his late twenties, was tall and athletic. He was taking readings of the area and making notes, but he looked up when he felt Daniel approach. Daniel drew his sword from his coat and advanced, but the Immortal ran away. Daniel gave chase, but he lost him in the trees, so he headed back to the others.
“Did you find him?” Sam asked. Daniel nodded. “Was he Goa’uld?”
“I can’t be sure, didn’t really get a good enough look at him. We’d better get going.”
“We should report the security breach.” Mitchell said. Daniel shook his head.
“The security patrol will spot this in an hour or so anyway. Besides, how would we explain how we spotted the damaged gate from the road?” They clambered back into the SUV, “We need to talk to Jack.”
“Are you sure he was a snake-head?”
“I can’t be sure Jack; I only got a brief look at him before he bolted. But why else would an Immortal be more interested in the base than me?”
“What’s worrying me sir, is they obviously know about the SGC.” Carter pointed out. “Do you think one of them is there on base?”
“No, it’s more likely a government official with clearance to read the files. It’s a big base, but I doubt an Immortal could have avoided me for ten years.” Sam pulled out her laptop from her bag and switched it on. O’Neill grinned. Ordinarily he would have ragged her for bringing it on vacation, but for once he was glad she was so obsessive.
“We can check the database for pictures sir; see if Daniel can ID him. The four confirmed Goa’uld only have old sepia pictures, but he might recognise one.”
“Or we can add a new suspect.” O’Neill said darkly. Sam punched up the pictures of the known Immortal Goa’uld and showed them to Daniel. He looked at them and pointed to the man he had seen earlier.
“There. That’s him.” Sam brought up the file and read out the details.
“Okay, Neil Anker, born in Egypt around three thousand years ago. Real name Ni..an..Nian…Daniel?”
“Thanks. Been off Watcher records since 1916, presumed killed in World War One. Things were a little chaotic back then, we lost track of a lot of Immortals.”
“Well clearly he isn’t dead.” O’Neill deadpanned, “Unless Daniel is seeing ghosts.” Daniel looked at him and shrugged,
“He seemed pretty corporeal to me.” he said straight-faced. Sam smiled and looked back to her computer.
“We can check him against personnel records to see if he is currently active in the military. I’ll also run a search on the other three to see if they throw up any matches. It will take at least an hour for the computer to run the search; it’s a lot of data.”
“Great.” O’Neill said, “Then let’s go eat.”
“You’re joking, right?” Methos said incredulously. O’Neill had called him to report the results of Sam’s search and Daniel’s earlier encounter.
“Nope, they were right under our noses the whole time. All four of them, five if you count Nefertiri, all in government jobs related to the military. One is in Britain, one in Russia and the others here in the US. One of them is even on the senate sub-committee that funds the SGC.”
“It makes perfect sense if you think about it. They do love power, and they’ve probably been trying to track down the gate.”
“Yes that does make sense. So what are you going to do about it now you’ve found them?” O’Neill noted the implication in Methos’ statement, but he didn’t comment on it, you didn’t become the oldest living Immortal by getting involved.
“I’m not sure there’s much we can do immediately. One Goa’uld in the government we could cover-up, but five would be harder to explain without revealing the existence of Immortals.”
“We definitely don’t want that happening. It would be the Inquisition all over again.” They both shuddered at the memory.*-*
“Tell me Adamo, tell me the name of your fellow witches and repent and perhaps you will not burn in hell for your sins.” Methos inwardly glowered at the man and was thinking of various inventive ways to disembowel his captor, but Adamo Muertez was innocent of witchcraft, so he bit down the scathing insult he wanted to throw at the priest, instead saying,
“Padre, please, a mistake has been made. I will gladly confess to my sins, but I am a good Catholic, I am not a witch and I do not consort with witches.” Adamo was now crying, Damn I’m good, thought Methos. Not that good, came a little voice, or you wouldn’t have been brought before the Inquisition in the first place.
“An elegant speech, Adamo, and I would be inclined to believe you, except that you were witnessed practicing the black arts by no less than five people. Do you deny that on Monday last you were stabbed in the chest by a robber? You fell to the ground dead, and then a few moments later, you were brought back to life by your foul majiks. How can you deny being in league with the devil?” Methos cursed himself mentally for allowing himself to be killed in the open, but he had been certain that he was alone at the time. You’re slipping old man, he thought to himself. When he got out of this, it was definitely time for Adamo Muertez to disappear.
“I was stabbed last week, yes. But the knife did not penetrate my skin. I was carrying a bible beneath my shirt, to protect it from the dust, and the knife entered that. I fell down because I was winded by the blow, then I got back up once I had my breath back. That is all, padre, I swear. It was a miracle, not black magic.” The priest turned to his fellow inquisitors and they had a hushed conference before he turned back to Methos.
“I am inclined to believe you Adamo. The rack will ensure you are telling the truth before we release you.” The colour drained from Methos’ face as the inquisitors left the cell. He never balked at torture in the past, but he had always been the one to dish it out, not receive it. Unless Kronos had been in one of his moods, added that little voice. He knew this was only going to end one way, they were determined to get a confession from him or he would die while they were trying.
Angus McNeill rode along toward Madrid. He had been on the road for over a week now, trying to track the Immortal who had killed his student. The boy had only been in the Game a few months, and was unprepared, it had been an unfair fight and that sat heavy with Angus.
As he neared a crossroads, he saw a group of men who were burying the latest victims of the Inquisition. Pausing to pay his respects, Angus felt the presence of another Immortal. He hoped that it was the one he was looking for, and so he got down from his horse.
“You there!” he called to the gravediggers, “I will give you this bag of gold if you give me a few minutes with the deceased. I believe one of them to be my brother and I wish to say goodbye, even if he was branded a witch.” The two men looked at the heavy purse that Angus held aloft and then at each other before nodding and snatching the purse from him.
“We will go to that inn for a drink senor. You will be gone when we return?” Angus nodded, and the men went into the nearby inn. Angus turned to the pile of bodies and found the one he sought. He unwrapped the shroud from the body’s face and gasped. Even with Immortal healing, the bruising was still extensive, so much that Angus nearly didn’t recognise Methos. Methos blinked in the sunlight and looked at his old friend.
“Well, are you going to help me out of this or what?”
“Don’t worry old man, I’m not about to go blabbing about our existence to all and sundry. I’m going to have to leave most of the legwork to SG-1 anyway; being dead kinda negates your clearance.” Methos chuckled.
“Well, if you will keep joining the military… You need to learn to keep a low profile.”
“Nah, hasn’t bothered me this far. What is it you’re always saying? Live, grow stronger? Something like that, well I’m all for the living, never was one to skulk in the shadows.” The barb stung Methos, but it was like a mosquito to an elephant.
“Yeah, well bright lights tend to get you killed. One day it will be permanent.”
“Do you use that line on MacLeod too?” O’Neill chortled down the phone, “You’re slipping, Methos. I’ll call you if we have an update. Meanwhile can you fill in your…student… and get his Torchwood lot looking for the one over there. Buenos Noches.”
“Goodbye Angus.” Methos hung up and shook his head. I’m surrounded by bloody Boy Scouts, he thought, and he chuckled as he headed to the fridge for a beer.
It was four in the morning, and Daniel was sleeping peacefully in his bed. They had returned from Jack’s cabin the day before and he was exhausted. Luckily, the nightmares had become less and less frequent as his mind processed the alien thoughts and shelved them away in a deep dark corner. He had slept soundly on most nights for about a month, and so he was dead to the world as the three men crept into his bedroom. Something made him wake up, and he saw the invaders, but before he could call out, one of them raised a silenced pistol and shot him twice.
“Is he dead?” asked the one with the gun.
“Yes, but he could come back any second.”
“Don’t worry, that head-shot will keep him out until we reach our destination. But tie him up just in case.”
Daniel woke up to find himself in the all too familiar position of being tied to a chair. He let out a groan and examined his surroundings. He was in a warehouse, very similar to the one in which he and Sam had been previously held captive by the Syndicate. He was currently alone, but he could feel at least one Immortal approaching.
A door opened and Daniel was momentarily blinded by the sunlight that came streaming through. It was followed by four men, two of whom Daniel recognised as the Immortals they were looking for, and they came towards him. One of them carried a large toolbox, and Daniel guessed that wasn’t for changing tyres.
“Ah good, you’re back. Good morning, Dr. Jackson isn’t it? My name is Mr. Smith, and I believe you’ve already met my associate Mr Anker. What we need to know from you, Dr. Jackson, is what you were doing at Cheyenne Mountain, and what you know about the Stargate.” Daniel looked at the two men, assessing the situation.
They already knew his name, and Smith worked on the senate sub-committee that funded the SGC, so the chances were they knew a lot more about him than they were letting on. He realised bluffing his way out wasn’t an option, perhaps defiance might earn him some respect.
“Which answer will let me keep my head?” The man with the case slapped Daniel on the back of the head, hard enough for him to see stars.
“Oh, wrong answer, Dr Jackson. You see, no matter what answer you give us, you killed my sister and for that you have to lose your head. Now I’ll ask you again, tell us what you know. I warn you now, Mr. Anker here is well-practiced in the arts of torture and he’s had millennia to hone his skills.”
Anker took the case from the third man and placed it on the ground. He opened it so Daniel could see that it contained medical equipment, pliers, guns and various nasty looking implements that Daniel didn’t even recognise. He looked up into Daniel’s face and his eyes glowed with anticipation, the Goa’uld inside him making them literally glow.
“Don’t worry about dying on me Dr. Jackson. If that happens I’ll just wait for you to revive and start again.” Anker said with a smirk. Daniel smiled back.
“Go ahead, I’ve been tortured by most of the System Lords, you won’t get anything out of me.” As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted them. He received another slap, this time from Anker, but Smith was grinning.
“So you do know about the Stargate. And I’d guess that you’ve been through it. We knew you were attached to the SGC, but our clearance wasn’t high enough to find out exactly what you do there. But that bravado won’t do you any good Dr. Jackson. Mr. Anker, why don’t you loosen our friend’s tongue? I’ll be back in a few hours, when you’re ready to talk Doctor.” Mr Smith strode toward the door as Mr Anker began to pull out his instruments.
Daniel prayed that he could withstand the torture until SG-1 found him, and that he would still have his head when they did. He remembered the previous times he had been tortured, and the masochistic part of his mind chose this moment to throw up the memory of Jack’s torture by Baal. He knew that dying and reviving over and over had nearly driven his friend mad and he hoped that he could be as strong if it came to it.
He steeled himself as Anker picked up a hand device and slipped it onto his hand. Well, at least I know what this feels like, he thought, before all rational thought was disrupted by complete and total agony.The L World Will Continue in Part 12: Live and Let Die