Chapter Eighty One
"I don't pretend to understand it, but when I was looking for the notebook, she knew and told me where it was. She had already gotten better access to my memory than I had. It's not both ways, yet, anyway, but that's no guarantee it won't go both ways later."
"This would be better if she were in the infirmary or the hospital. Then, I could..."
"No. Absolutely not. I guarantee that'll mess her up, Doc. I was in and out of hospitals, clinics, and military infirmaries for months. She won't appreciate it any more than I did."
"Sir, that sedative. Did the nurse say anything about it?"
"Just that it was something Warren thought would make our link go dormant."
"So it had extra factors in it. I should call Dr. Warren and ask him if he even knew about it."
"Not until we're more sure who's in on this, Doc."
Janet sighed, stuck until Corvores woke up and she could see how much damage control was necessary.
Cassie slipped into the room, handing Daniel and Teal'c their drinks.
She set Sam's on the dresser and then curled up on the bed beside Jack before anyone could tell her not to.
Leaning close to his ear, she wiped away the thin tear streaks on his cheeks.
"I'm sorry she's sick. Who is she?"
Jack turned a bit, careful to keep most of his body against Amber so she wouldn't panic.
"Her name is Amber Lea Corvores and she's twenty-four years old. She's a medical doctor with a couple of Ph.D.s and a sweet batting average."
No one in the room spoke, having no clue what they would say if they did.
Cassie laid her hand on Amber's shoulder, resting her arm on Jack's.
"She sounds nice."
"She is, just scared of a lot of stuff."
"She went to prison?"
A general "Cassie" was heard through the room, her name tinged with unsurprised resignation.
Jack tilted his head at her.
"What have I told you about spying?"
"Not to do it until I could do it without getting caught and then only if I get paid to do it."
Janet's outburst met Jack's unrepentant grin.
"She needs to know these things, Doc."
"I don't wanna leave. I heard almost everything and I never tell anyone anything."
Teal'c stepped forward, picking Cassie up off the bed.
She wriggled for a moment and then gave up trying to get away from Teal'c with a sigh.
"CassandraFraiser, you should not hear anything that will be said in this room. You will behave and do as you are told or it will be I that decides what to do with you."
Cassie looked up at him, well aware he'd never hurt her, but also knowing from experience that Teal'c was disgustingly creative when it came to discipline.
Her slow, reluctant answer brought smiles to everyone's mouth, but Amber's.
Teal'c carried her out of the room, passing the General.
Janet accepted her drink and Hammond set Amber's water on the small table beside the Colonel's bed.
As soon as Teal'c returned, Daniel shut the door.
Jack eyed the General, wondering if the older man had decided against revealing what he knew.
"Sir? While we're waiting for Amber, if you could let us in on what you know, we'd appreciate it."
George looked around the room at people he'd called friend many times, hoping that wasn't about to go down the tubes permanently.
"About a year ago, the President told me he wanted a private way to monitor what was really going on in the SGC. In case other people were trying inside jobs - like Maybourne has in the past. A case in point-the whole incident with the second stargate has everyone concerned. That's more recent, of course, but we've been concerned about that type of thing happening from the beginning of the program. The story being leaked to Mr. Selig, the reporter, also re-emphasized our need for inside information."
He paused when he saw Jack wince, knowing that particular wound hadn't healed.
"I told him I'd look into it. A month later, he let me know that he'd set up the Grapevine...a gossip creator and gatherer. False rumors would be spread, while rumors that might be true would be recorded and investigated depending on the rumor. I thought it was interesting, and figured it would simply supplant the gossip community the SGC already had."
Everyone but Teal'c sat down, listening.
"I first got a clue the Grapevine was more than just an information community about four months ago when an airman..."
"A blonde airman, sir?"
"Yes, Colonel, a blonde airman was sent to my home with the President's authorization. We set up a drop schedule. At the time I didn't know what was going to be dropped, but soon, it became an information swap. He'd tape an envelope to the bottom of my chair while I was out of the office and I'd tape my reply the same way."
George opened his briefcase, laying out the collection of papers on the bed.
"These are all of the papers he left for me. I thought it was a good way to know what was going on until orders were given in the papers. You'll notice four of them, two of them the most recent, actually tell me to do something rather than just informing me what was going on. Confirmation orders were standard, but telling me to allow surveillance cameras to be set up in private areas, to send Capt. Carter's body...before it disintegrated, I might add...to Area 51, and to keep Dr. Fraiser off duty until Wednesday..."
"...to name just a few. The latest papers have a different tone to them, too."
He spread the pictures he'd been given beside the papers.
Eyes widened as familiar situations were shown in the photos.
"Since SG-1 was usually at the middle of whatever was going on, you'll notice you're in pretty much all of the shots."
Daniel flinched as one photo of Sam's beheaded body was shown and then covered.
Teal'c picked up the photos, scanning them.
"Nurse Morhs is not a vampire?"
Hammond's eyebrows rose.
"Vampire? Is that why you all were following her?"
George snorted and then stopped, thinking.
"Actually, Teal'c...I wouldn't rule that out."
Daniel looked up, surprised at the seriousness of Hammond's tone.
Jack picked up the papers, his rage growing as he read them until it was blowing away Amber's wall.
Her pain-filled scream shocked everyone into almost falling off their chairs as Jack covered her mouth, knowing it would probably make her terror grow, but trying to keep the neighbors from hearing her.
"Shh...it's okay. You're in my home. Amber, it's okay..."
He whispered over and over, trying to counter the white-hot fury in his blood, knowing she could still feel it.
He was so incensed he could hardly think straight.
"Sir, are you sure it's the President behind this? It smacks of Maybourne."
"I'm sure the President started it, but I don't know if he's fully aware of what it's doing. This doesn't feel like something he'd do...not to this extent. Maybourne's not smart enough to pull this off, Colonel. He follows orders, it's just the one who's giving those orders we need to work on finding out."
"If it's not Maybourne...implants, sir?"
Jack knew his voice was harsh, but he didn't apologize when he saw the General straighten and meet his eyes.
"That's what decided me on telling you what was going on. I knew nothing about it, Jack. Not until I got that paper and the one after it confirming the implant activation."
Janet stepped forward, taking the paper out of the Colonel's hand so she could read it.
"I don't understand, sir. Someone would've had to have repeatedly doctored the test results for this to get by the infirmary staff."
"So what do we do...fire everyone with blonde hair or just hang Demona?"
Daniel didn't really expect a response to that and so wasn't surprised when no one answered.
The stress from not knowing what to do to help Jack or Amber had been intensified by Jolinar's memories.
It showed in his responses to Jolinar's angry ranting.
*The Tok'ra have been compromised. I knew they would be...that there was no secure room...*
*Fine, Jolinar. Congratulations. You and your paranoia were completely 100% correct. Happy?*
*Of course not, but the Tok'ra must be informed that the conversation was monitored. They may also have had video surveillance. What if personal conversations between Selmac and Martouf were recorded?*
Daniel just sighed, not knowing the answer and watching Jack's eyes.
They had darkened to black, the fire in them scorching anyone he looked at.
Daniel stepped out of the room, grabbed the notebook, and re-entered, sitting down in the chair.
Taking the papers from Jack and Janet, he started entering information.
His hand slipped a few times in shock as he read, but gritting his teeth, he wrote it down.
*We already know most of this.*
*We didn't know about the listening devices or the extra cameras, not to mention the orders to send Sam's body to Area 51 for study...I didn't even think about what was done with its remains.*
*They do not trust the Tok'ra.*
*Considering the Tok'ra don't trust us, I'm not exactly on your side on that one.*
*I do not understand. We have an alliance.*
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