Chapter Seventy Nine
* * * * * *
"Shh...we'll be there soon."
Jack tightened his arms around Amber, as the car hit yet another bump, jostling her.
The rain was slashing across the roof, matching the mood of the car's occupants.
Amber was still wrapped in the air force issue blanket Teal'c had grabbed when the security guard had warned them of the outside weather.
It hadn't made a difference in her reactions.
She had no idea where she really was.
He caught Hammond's concerned glance in the mirror.
He had a lot of respect for the man, but he couldn't help his suspicions, either.
Especially in the face of Amber's mental distress.
One moment he could see and the next he was looking at a wall of moving steel.
Occasionally her thoughts would slice through him.
Teal'c was turned so he could watch both Hammond and Amber.
Even though he knew there was probably no need for Teal'c's vigilance, Jack was grateful.
Amber shifted again, and he felt another part of his body tremble with pain.
It was bad enough to feel the other's real injuries, but this remembered pain was worse.
He could remember receiving it the first time.
He looked out the window as they turned onto his street.
* * * * * *
Daniel dropped a laughing Samantha onto the couch and then flopped beside her...exhausted.
"Well, at least we know."
"Yeah, I probably wouldn't have made it in and out."
"Not with that pitiful streak you call stamina."
Daniel threw a pillow at Sam, grinning as she ducked.
"Leave me alone Miss I Wanna Ride Again."
Sam snickered, relaxing against the wall.
"Three runs did you in. Pathetic."
"Oh yeah...real pathetic. Let's see you run around the house carrying a squealing woman at blurring speed and not get tired. Sheesh, Sam."
Grinning at his mock pain, Sam ignored Cassie's shushing.
Cass was sitting Indian-style on the floor, her plate in her lap as she tried to hear the movie.
Daniel picked up his drink, smiling at the way Sam cuddled up to the arm of the couch.
"You know, we should probably get ready for Jack to show up."
"How? We don't know what's going on."
"I don't know...I just feel like we should be doing something."
"Daniel, that's so immature."
Sam moved her cup out of the way as Daniel threw a pillow at Cassie, too.
"Cassie, I'm older than Daniel."
"Not now, you aren't. Janet's younger."
*She's right. I'm three months younger.*
*I can't believe my luck. All I had to do was die, get reincarnated in a really weird way, and I lose two years off my age.*
Janet waved her hand, changing the scenery again.
*I like watching the man work.*
Jack #1 was chopping large logs into little logs for firewood.
Jack #2 was hammering one nail after another into a very long board.
He wasn't actually connecting it to anything, so Sam assumed it was just the muscle workout Janet was going for.
*Janet, when I said narcotic...I may not have been far off the mark.*
*They're mine. I'm keeping them.*
Sam laughed, not bothering to argue with Janet's fantasy world.
The real Jack O'Neill easily blew away the false ones, so she only had to wait until he showed up.
"I should probably enter today's weird stuff into the notebook."
"What weird stuff?"
"Bre at Golden Video, the Viner she said was following us, my fast moves...etc..."
"Ah...yeah, you probably should."
Cassie reached, getting another piece of pizza.
"Cassie, eat the crust."
"It's my party."
Daniel rolled his eyes, waiting for a second before speaking.
"Fine, if your mom won't come out and tell you differently then just...Oof."
"That was from Janet. We're supposed to be taking care of Cassie. She trusts us to make her follow the rules. Cassie, eat the crust."
Daniel pulled the mound of pillows off his head.
"You know why Jack has all these pillows, right?"
Cassie ignored Sam, munching on the new piece instead of the crust of the old.
Sam grinned, not missing Cassie's defiance.
She didn't blame her.
She didn't eat her crusts either.
Daniel's reply was lost as the front door slammed open with four dripping people entering very fast.
"Carter! Daniel! Here! Now!"
Sam jumped to her feet, knowing Daniel was doing the same.
They met the entourage at the door, stopping when they saw the General had accompanied Teal'c and the Colonel.
The group shuddered as they looked into Corvores' lifeless eyes as she draped over the Colonel's arms, the blanket billowing around her.
"Is she dead?"
Janet took over, turning to Cassie.
"Honey, either go watch the movie or go to bed, but for right now we need you out of here, okay?"
"Is she dead?"
Cassie's horrified gaze was fixed on Corvores and Janet was grateful when the Colonel replied.
"No Cass, she's not dead. She's in shock. We need to tend to her, so we need you to...thank you."
Janet took a close look at Jack, seeing he wasn't really that much better off.
Daniel took the umbrellas and wet jackets, tossing them into a corner before making sure Cassie was situated in front of the TV.
"Sir, we should probably go to the spare bedroom."
Jack turned, unable to follow Amber's thoughts at all.
They were disjointed, spraying into his mind and then sucking back out like a vacuum.
His head was pounding from the mental pressure and he wanted to kill who was responsible for the fear and pain slashing through them both.
He'd accepted the possibility of torture and capture.
Amber was completely and totally innocent in this...unprepared for this eventuality.
She'd never done anything to deserve this.
Jack passed through the door, laying Amber on the bed.
Just as fast, he lifted her back up.
"The bed's wet! Oh for crying out...Carter! What were you and Daniel doing while I wasn't here to supervise? Sheesh!"
As he talked, Jack walked into his bedroom, sighing as he saw Cassie's things all over his bed.
"Do I live here anymore?"
Daniel appeared behind Janet and Teal'c, moving to quickly pack Cassie's bag and set it on the floor by the dresser, shutting the top left drawer with his hip.
Jack moved so he and Amber were lying on the bed.
He started to let her go to take off his shoes, but she clutched at him, her nails digging into him through his shirt.
"Shh...it's okay. I'm not letting go."
He tried to talk to her mentally, but he couldn't get past the onslaught of discordance.
It was like having chaos all around the edge of your mind.
It was terrifying.
Daniel pulled off Jack's shoes, his eyebrow rising at the small bruises on Jack's ankles before moving to take off Amber's shoes.
Janet stepped past him, checking Amber's vitals.
"Someone needs to tell me exactly what happened."
Jack looked up, glad Janet was in charge.
He didn't know if she'd ever interviewed and counseled torture victims before, but she at least knew his medical record and would have a clue of what he'd gone through...the physical stuff, anyway.
The General sat down on the edge of the bed and Daniel left briefly, reappearing with two dining room chairs for Janet and Teal'c to sit in.
Teal'c demurred, so Daniel sat.
Jack watched Daniel.
"How long have you moved that fast?"
"Since we got here. I've got great coordination for the first fifteen minutes, but after that I start getting tired, making mistakes. I have to be careful or I'll run into a wall or something."
Jack smiled a bit.
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