Chapter Seventy Seven
* * * * * *
George was furious.
He'd never been more so.
The paper in his hands chilled his bones with its clear, concise lettering.
They refused to change, no matter how long he stared at it.
[Implant activation confirmed. Inserted during initial exam in Dr. C. Inserted during physical in Col. O. Implant in Dr. C removed. No change. Telepathic initiation between Col. O & Dr. C possibly permanent. Distance testing ordered.]
That's all SGC personnel seemed to be.
Whether to aliens or their own government.
George swallowed, a metallic taste filling his mouth.
The implant could only have been removed recently.
That meant whoever had done it was probably still here and, more importantly, might have allowed one of them to see him or her.
They were counting on him keeping this a secret, but if he didn't...
George pushed back his chair, grabbing his brief case, knowing he was about to embroil himself even further in a scheme he didn't like being on the fringe of.
He hated spy games.
Shoving the paper and accompanying tapes into the case, he secured the cabinet and walked out the door.
Straight into Teal'c.
"General Hammond. We must speak."
"Actually, Teal'c, I want you and the Colonel ready to go in five minutes. I'm driving. Meet me at the elevator."
"AmberCorvores will accompany us."
George paused for a moment, knowing instinctively something had happened to cause the mistrust in Teal'c's eyes.
"Fine. Let's go."
"Perhaps you should accompany me."
Teal'c wasn't taking chances, apparently.
"Lead the way."
Teal'c didn't waste a second before leading the General to Dr. Jackson's office where O'Neill had taken Dr. Corvores.
As he stepped inside, George's breath caught at the sight splayed before him.
The Colonel was sitting on the floor with his back against the desk, the phone beside him.
George figured he'd probably called the other half of SG-1.
What shocked him, though, was the woman in O'Neill's arms.
Her eyes were open, as if seeing things that weren't there.
No sounds came out of her mouth, even though it moved slightly...silent words.
He was shaken as connections made themselves in his mind.
He still didn't have all the pieces, but this was obviously something to do with the implants.
Something he'd probably unwittingly helped.
Her body shook, catching his attention.
He started to speak to the Colonel, but realized by the haunting in his eyes that he was seeing whatever it was she was seeing.
An imaginary world, perhaps.
George wasn't an imaginative person by nature, but working at the SGC had opened his mind in many ways.
He thought of things now that never would have occurred to him before.
So he turned to Teal'c.
"I know part of this, not all, but part. I need to know the rest, and all of you need to know what I know."
George stepped closer, knowing it probably wouldn't do any good if the room was bugged, but every little bit helped.
He whispered, knowing Teal'c could hear it clearly.
"Let's go to the Colonel's. I'm assuming that's where everyone else is?"
George nodded back, turning to the Colonel.
"Colonel, I need you to come back to us,"
"I'm here, General."
The immediate response was unexpected, but the hatred, bitterness, and fear in O'Neill's tone tore through him.
Gulping, he reached down a hand to help the Colonel up as Teal'c gently lifted Dr. Corvores.
He flinched as she bonelessly flopped in Teal'c's grasp.
As O'Neill took his hand, he turned back noting the fighting stance the other man was ready for a fight.
He straightened his shoulders, meeting the Colonel's accusing glare with a strength that had served to make him a General.
He didn't like what was going on, but he hadn't deliberately hurt his people.
The Colonel was going to just have to deal with that.
George ignored the self-accusations he'd just been flinging at himself, choosing instead to take a stand and lead these three out.
"Let's go, Colonel."
O'Neill nodded, and then faced him.
Picking up the phone off the floor, the Colonel made another call.
* * * * * *
Cassie put the Matrix in, glancing back to see what Daniel and Sam were doing.
She grinned as Sam breathed deeply before snuggling closer to the human pillow who's lap she'd appropriated.
Daniel caught Cassie watching and grinned conspirationally as she pushed her cup of ice his way.
Careful not to wake Sam, he moved so he could take a piece of ice out of the glass.
Cassie felt anticipation build as Daniel moved the ice cube to the top of Sam's collar.
Moving swiftly, knowing his life would probably end in the next few moments, he shoved the ice as hard as he could, mentally encouraging it to make it to somewhere she couldn't immediately dislodge.
Sam sat up with an ear-piercing screech; his name crossing her lips like a particularly disgusting obscenity.
The vicious retaliation her eyes promised prompted Daniel to move faster than light.
He was off the couch, across the room, and into the spare bedroom before Cassie had blinked.
Both females stared for a moment, shocked at how fast he'd moved.
Then Cassie laughed out loud, absolutely delighted with the way things were going.
The sound knocked Sam out of her surprise.
She made a detour into the Colonel's kitchen, grabbing the bag of apples the General had so thoughtfully packed for them.
Making her way to the bedroom, she noticed the lights were off inside, giving Daniel the advantage of being able to see her shadow under the door.
*Sam, Jack keeps a spare key to the door lock in his underwear drawer...and no I'm not going to tell you how I found out.*
Sam grinned, knowing there was probably an innocent explanation, but not wanting to hear it.
It would spoil all the naughty fun her thoughts were having.
She slipped into the Colonel's bedroom, heading for the antique dresser.
*Top drawer on the left.*
Chuckling at Janet's mysteriousness, she opened the drawer and laughed out loud.
*Ooh...those weren't there the last time I snooped.*
*Janet, this is blackmail worthy information.*
*I agree. We should take pictures...oh shoot. The camera Corvores sent is still in your duffel bag.*
*In the trunk. Let's get Daniel and then take pictures.*
Janet grinned, moving so the hands of Jack #2 had better access to her shoulders.
Sam shuffled through the drawer, grinning so hard it almost hurt.
Finally, she found a small keyring at the bottom.
Shutting the drawer, she opened the plastic bag the apples were in and prepared for her attack.
The first key she tried didn't work, but the second one did.
She listened for movement, but didn't hear anything.
She moved to the side, then slammed the door open.
A pillow sailed into her face, eliminating her aim so she threw blindly.
A muffled curse brought the smile back to her face and it became a war.
She pelted the room with apples and Daniel alternated between slinging pillows and taking cover until she pretended to be out of ammunition.
As soon as she saw his head she hurled her last apple and his disgust was loud and clear as he found out this apple wasn't hard like the others, but was softer with squishy spots.
Sam felt rather than saw movement behind her and turned to see Cassie sneaking over to see what they were doing.
She motioned her closer to whisper.
"In Janet's trunk is my duffel bag. Inside is a digital camera. Grab the bag, but get out the camera and bring it here, okay? Any pictures taken with it get sent to the Colonel tonight."
Sam turned back to the fight, laughing as Jack #4 kneeled beside Janet with a platter of grapes.
*I thought you said that was corny.*
Janet's answer was distracted.
She wasn't paying much attention to anything outside her body right now.
*I did. I'm reconsidering.*
Sam laughed harder as another pillow flew out the door.
"Daniel, give up."
"Why? I have pillows galore in here and I have every apple you sent in here. You only have a few pillows...if you can get past the door to where they've landed without me pelting you."
Sam had to concede that point and waited for Cassie to get back.
As if reading her mind, Cassie chose that moment to show and was delighted to note not only the camera, but Teal'c's watergun.
"Where did you get that?"
Cassie mouthed back, mimicking Sam.
"In the trunk. It was in Daniel's bag."
Sam's eyebrows raised and she caught the gun as it flew from Cassie's hand.
Three pillows came out the doorway as it went past.
"Hey! What was that!"
Checking to make sure it was loaded, Sam decided it was Terminator time.
She jumped into the doorway, unleashing a barrage of water in Daniel's direction.
Giving up on the pathetic coverage the room offered, a very wet Daniel Jackson lunged at her, toppling them both onto the floor as they wrestled for control of the gun.
The watergun gave up the ghost before they did, emptying it's freezing contents between them both.
Sam gasped for air as she and Daniel mouthed "truce" at the same time.
They laid on the floor catching their breath while Cassie laughed hysterically in the doorway.
"These are going to come out great. Jack's going to kill both of you for messing up the room."
With that, she disappeared into the living room to rewind the tape that had been playing to an empty room.
Daniel sighed, turning on his side to look at Sam.
Her retort was accompanied by a small pillow impact on his forehead.
Chuckling, he got to his feet and held out his hand to her.
Getting to her feet, she yawned, stretching.
"Maybe a little."
"I think Cassie may outlast us this time."
"She just might at that."
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