Chapter Eighty Eight
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Jack pulled on his pants and then looked around him, realizing he'd forgotten to grab a shirt.
Sighing, he picked up the towel off the vanity and began drying his hair.
He quickly ran a bit of gel through without looking and then tossed his dirty clothes into the hamper.
Opening the door, he stepped out and, grinning, he shook Cassie until she woke up.
"Your turn, Squirt. Come on. Up."
She groaned and entered the bathroom, dragging her shower bag behind her.
Jack chuckled, watching to make sure she wasn't going to fall over and then walked into his bedroom to get a shirt and check on Amber.
His smile vanished as soon as the empty bed came into view.
He sent out mental calls, but only heard those calls echo back to him off the wall she'd erected.
He dropped down, lifting the bedding to look under the bed.
Hopping up, he checked the closet and knew she was just not in the room.
He really hoped that Janet had her.
He pulled open his drawer to get out some socks, and paused, a smile curving his mouth.
He sifted through to make sure whoever had shuffled through the drawer hadn't left a note or other surprise and then set about finding out whether it was Janet who'd gone a'snooping again.
He'd caught her once before and had ducked back before she'd known.
Jack grinned at the memory of Janet jumping a mile high when Cassie, five bucks richer, had run into his room babbling about something she'd thought of that Janet just had to hear about right then.
Dropping the socks on the bed, he pulled on a shirt and walked, barefoot, out of the room to see where Amber was.
The smell of coffee led him to the kitchen where Janet was bent over, rummaging through the refrigerator and Daniel was eyeing him cautiously by the coffeepot.
Jack smiled enigmatically at him, enjoying the unshakable suspicion in Daniel's eyes, before focusing on Janet.
Daniel rolled his eyes and Janet looked back.
Jack relaxed when it really was Janet in charge.
He was getting tired of hitting on Carter by accident.
Janet's droll drawl made him chuckle.
"Why thank you, Colonel."
Jack looked around, taking the juice Janet held out to him..
Daniel watched Jack as he opened the bottle and handed it back to Janet.
*I do not believe he would harm you in a public place such as this.*
*He's going to get me back and I'm not going to like it. Public or private, the place doesn't really matter to Jack so long as it doesn't hamper his ability to inflict humiliation and pain.*
*You are over-reacting. He will not harm you.*
*Jolinar, I know. It's part of the game. I know he's going to do something. I don't make it easy and if I can go twelve hours without getting nailed by him, I win.*
Daniel smiled a bit at Jolinar's exasperated sarcasm.
He caught her silent thought by accident.
Something about Tau'ri ways giving her a headache.
He motioned to the sitting room.
"She walked in here, like a zombie and asked for some coffee. I was already making some so she sat down to wait in the living room. It's almost done if you want some."
Jack nodded, noticing Daniel's guard wasn't lowering one iota.
"Sunrise is in about forty-five minutes, so if you're not ready to go, get that way. Doc, is Amber ready?"
"We'll need to stop by her place to pick up some clothes, maybe a few personal items, but other than that, she's dressed to go."
Jack looked at her quizzically.
"Sam and I loaned her a pair of denim shorts, but since the tank top I had was a bit tight, I let her wear one of your white dress shirts over it."
"Oh...really...the ones I keep hidden in the back of my closet so I don't feel pressured to dress up?"
"Yes, sir. I snooped."
Jack just shook his head at the grin Daniel was wearing.
He wasn't sure what he was going to do to Daniel, yet, but it had to be good and it had to catch him off guard so he wouldn't pull a Road Runner on him.
A knock at the door caught Jack's attention and he walked to answer it, hearing Daniel's relieved sigh.
Oh yeah, definitely had to be a good one.
Opening the door, he lifted his eyebrows in question.
"Sir! Umm...sorry, sir. I'm here to see General Hammond."
Jack narrowed his eyes, suspicious.
Jack looked at the blond airman in front of him, trying to place his face, but failing miserably.
DejaVu was hitting him, but he couldn't place it.
"He's not available right now. You'll have to meet him back at the base."
"Sir, I'm afraid it's very important."
"I'm afraid it's going to have to wait...unless you'd care to share whatever it is."
"I'm sorry, sir. It's for the General's eyes only."
Jack looked him up and down.
"And that would be..."
"I'm sorry, sir, but it is for the General's eyes only. My orders are specifi..."
"And those orders would be from..."
"I'm sorry, sir, but..."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah."
"Wait here. I'll see if he's accepting callers."
Jack shut the door, walking into the living room.
Jack grinned then grimaced.
"There's a blonde airman at the door. He knows the General is here, wants an audience with him, and was rather surprised to see me here. I'm thinking listening device on the General."
"Could it not be in here?"
"Umm...if it was in here, whoever or whatever is listening would know that I wasn't certain when we were leaving."
"Very well. I will search the General."
Teal'c nodded and left.
Jack turned to Amber, glad to see a little color was in her cheeks.
Not much, but more than there was last night.
She looked up at him and he felt carefully along the mental wall, still unable to breach it.
"I need you to take a look at the guy on the front step. He seems familiar, but I can't place him. Since you seem to have better access...thanks."
Amber walked past him, her normal gracefulness tinged by a heart-wrenching uncertainty.
She carefully placed each foot to take each step, as if she were afraid she'd fall over if she didn't take care.
Jack swallowed and walked behind her, trying to clamp down on his unease so it wouldn't be the first thing she felt when she finally let him back in.
Jack stepped out of view from the door as she opened it.
He heard Daniel step beside him and he glanced back to see Janet standing curiously in the entryway, her juice already half gone.
As he turned to watch Amber, a mental fist shattered the wall between them, sending him literally off his feet, gasping.
He clutched his head, clawing at it, trying to stop the pounding as Amber's rising screams filled his mind.
The fist seemed to start in the center of his mind and would then slam into the sides....all the sides.
His vision blurred and he tasted blood, but the pain only increased as did the speed of his scratching fingernails.
Janet tried to hold Jack's hands still as he fell, afraid he would gouge out his eyes instead of just leaving bloody grooves in the wake of his fingers' destructive path.
Daniel caught Amber as she fell, lifting her and carrying her to Jack's room, rushing back an instant later to slowly help Jack get there, too.
Janet said something to the man at the door before closing it and following him up.
Amber was thrashing on the bed, her arms flailing everywhere.
Jack crumpled to the ground, his hands clasping his head, as soon as Daniel released him and Janet motioned for Daniel to grab his hands to keep Jack from digging his nails into his head again.
She picked up the phone and made a call, before heading to the spare bedroom.
Daniel held Jack's hands in place, wishing he could stop what was happening.
*She is no longer complacent.*
*Huh? Oh, yeah.*
*Hold his hands like this. You won't need to hold as tightly and it will be more effective.*
Daniel studied the mental flash Jolinar sent him carefully and then repeated the stance and hand hold, feeling his hand muscles release a bit.
*Much better. Thanks.*
*Who was Dr. Fraiser speaking with?*
*Someone at the Academy Hospital, more than likely. She said in the kitchen she wasn't going to trust her infirmary staff, so it wouldn't be one of them she'd call...I think.*
*We should question them as soon as we are able.*
*Umm...given the current situation, I'm not sure they would appreciate that.*
*If this is to be a regular occurrence, we should prepare for it.*
Daniel sighed, feeling Jack begin to relax.
He put his arm around the older man and half dragged him onto the bed where Amber was slowly quieting as well.
Daniel picked up the socks from where they'd fallen and tossed them onto the dresser, out of the way.
Teal'c entered the room, walking to Cassie's bag.
He lifted it, eyeing the bed's occupants closely for a moment before heading out of the room again.
Daniel watched him go and then shook his head.
*Your Jaffa friend is quite strange at times.*
*No arguments here.*
Janet rushed into the room.
Daniel raised a hand in greeting.
"How long have they been quiet?"
Daniel looked over at the now very still Amber.
Jack moaned occasionally, his hands holding his head.
"Just a couple minutes. As soon as she stilled, Jack calmed down, although you can tell his head's killing him."
Janet bit her lip.
"I should have some basic supplies here in about fifteen minutes, but I want that man out front gone before they get here."
Teal'c appeared in the doorway.
"CassandraFraiser is in the kitchen and knows she is not to leave it."
Daniel pushed Jack's damp hair back.
"I'll get some cool water and washcloths."
Janet smiled and nodded, her gaze fastening on Amber.
"She reacted to the man outside. I wonder why."
"Perhaps he was one of the airmen that she saw before."
Daniel left the room, pausing as he heard the General talking to the man outside.
"Well, how did you even know I was here?"
"Everyone knows you are here, General. SG-1 is followed everywhere."
Daniel slid next to the wall, listening.
"I'm tired of this."
"General, I'm sure you're aware of the gravity of the situation. Col. O'Neill's implant must be removed."
"So you say, but I also know what removing Dr. Corvores' implant did to her. I don't want that..."
"Are you sure you know what happened? Do you even know why it was done?"
"I'm not playing this game anymore. Unless you'd like to come in here and explain to SG-1 what is going on, you need to leave."
"Don't interfere with this."
"What exactly is this, airman?"
Daniel leaned a bit closer, accidentally knocking against a knick-knack on the wall.
He caught it before it made any noise, but held his breath in case they'd heard something.
"General, it's in SG-1's best interest to stay in Colorado."
"We're aware you've shared your information with them, and you need to be aware that you may have done damage to the operation."
"That was the point since it seems the operation is causing damage to my people."
"I assure you..."
"I'm not listening to anymore of your assurances, airman. Unless and until you furnish proof that my people are not in danger and bring SG-1 into the loop...the full loop, I'm not playing anymore."
"And I don't appreciate being bugged...literally."
The General stepped backwards and Daniel slipped back, too.
Teal'c appeared beside him, quietly passing him and Daniel watched as the General turned to Teal'c.
Teal'c turned to the airman.
"You wish to remove O'Neill's implant."
The airman's lips clamped shut and Teal'c moved faster than the airman had thought he could.
Teal'c's large hand grasped the airman's collar, dragging the man into the house.
The General stepped out of the way.
"You have information that we need. You will stay until we have it."
"You can't hold me here like this."
Hearing the door shut, Daniel whipped back into Jack's room. surprising Janet.
Snapping his fingers, he whirled around until he was facing the doorway.
"Oh, shoot. Forgot the water. Be right back."
Daniel walked casually back out of the room, passing a frowning General in the hallway.
Janet checked the Colonel and Amber one more time before walking to the General.
*If we had left at five, none of this would've happened.*
*Blame Teal'c. He was late in getting us up.*
The General paused, waiting for Janet to say something.
*Oh now he looks rough.*
Janet paused her stride so she could speak to the General before checking on Cassie.
"Sir. How are you feeling?"
The General didn't seem to see her for a moment.
Then his eyes flicked to her.
"Doctor, I need to get into different clothes since these seemed to be bugged, even though I couldn't find it."
*What about the Colonel's bathrobe?*
*Even if it fits...his middle, it'll drag on the ground. Not exactly dignified.*
Sam bit her lip, trying not to smile at the image it conjured, knowing it was a very real problem.
The General sighed.
"I'm just thinking that...nevermind. Teal'c has someone for you to take a look at."
Janet's eyebrow raised as the General pointed to the spare bedroom.
*He's trying not to give away more information than he already has...through the bug.*
"Sir, why don't you take a shower? That will help you relax a bit and will give you some time off from being heard by unknown persons. We'll figure something out, clothing-wise, for you."
"Thank you, doctor. I think I will."
Janet pulled out one of the Colonel's fluffy towels and handed it to the General.
"We'll get to the bottom of this, sir."
"I know we will, doctor."
As the General walked into the bathroom, Janet turned to the spare bedroom.
"Teal'c, the General could use a change of clothing. Do you have anything that might work?"
"Perhaps. This is the airman the General was speaking with."
Janet stared at the airman, sitting on the bed.
*Janet, put me in charge. I'm getting a weird sense.*
*What kind of sense?*
*I don't know...just a...it feels like when there's a Goa'uld near by.*
*No, I automatically feel Teal'c's symbiote. It's like background noise. I don't even notice it anymore. This is another Goa'uld.*
*Well, since the airman is the only new factor, it's probably him.*
Janet dropped into the armchair, immediately changing the scenery so she was lounging beside a pool.
Sam chuckled as she took control, taking a moment to watch Janet's world appear.
It never ceased to fascinate her.
Sam walked closer to the man in front of her.
His dusty blonde hair was tousled, his hat in his hands.
"So...you're obviously involved with the current project...to the point where you can help us. Now, what exactly was the purpose for the implants in the Colonel and Dr. Corvores? Also, what exactly was implanted?"
The airman sighed.
"I can't answer your questions. I wish I could, but I can't."
"You're not even going to pretend to be an airman, are you?"
The man stood and faced her.
"Ma'am, I am Senior Airman Hagar Trivies."
Sam stood her ground, looking him in the eye.
"You do realize you're coming across as a foe, Airman."
"Yes, ma'am, I do."
He was silent.
"Let me talk to your symbiote."
The man's eyes widened fractionally before turning to stone, no emotion in evidence.
"I'm sorry, ma'am. I can't comply with that order."
"I can sense your symbiote, Airman."
"With all due respect, ma'am, that's impossible."
"And why would that be, Airman?"
His eyes flashed a white glow as he looked at her.
"I am the symbiote, ma'am. Therefore, you can't sense my symbiote. You'd be sensing me, ma'am."
Sam froze, surprised.
This totally changed the ballgame.
"Then let me speak to your host."
"I really am sorry, ma'am, but I can't comply with that request."
"It wasn't a request."
"Since when do Goa'uld enlist?"
"Since the military first started, ma'am."
*Sam, ask him why you can't speak with his host.*
*Yeah, okay. I wish the Colonel were here. He's better at questioning.*
*Hey. You beat him at Monopoly every time. Your ruthless streak can be just as hard-nosed as his.*
Sam controlled her smile, but knew her eyes were twinkling because the Goa'uld relaxed a bit.
"Why can't I speak with your host? Why do you use his name instead of your own?"
"Permission to speak freely, ma'am?"
The Goa'uld took a step toward her, making sure she could hear him clearly.
"I was born here on Earth...in Washington. I'm a United States citizen, whether I'm physically human or not. My father's friend had a son who had been in a motorcycle accident and was dying. I blended with him, saving his life, but there was quite a bit of brain damage I couldn't heal. He's fully aware of everything that happens outside, but he's unable to control his own body. I'm permanently in charge because we would cease to breathe and we would die. I was not given a name before the blending. I share his name. I like his name. We both decided to join the Air Force, ma'am. So, I am Senior Airman Hagar Trivies, ma'am."
Sam was stunned.
So was Janet.
"Are you a Tok'ra, Airman?"
"In the same sense that you are, ma'am, yes, ma'am."
"I had no knowledge of the Tok'ra until Jolinar possessed you, ma'am. I then contacted my father and he was surprised, as well."
"So how did you become involved with..."
His face closed down and she knew she wasn't going to get any answers that way.
"So someone found out you were a Goa'uld."
"Yes, ma'am. I'd appreciate some food, ma'am. I haven't eaten breakfast."
Janet took over.
"Do you mind if I examine you and your host?"
"No ma'am. I have nothing about me to hide."
"Are you being monitored?"
The airman turned to Teal'c.
"Yes. They know everything I've told you."
Teal'c turned to her.
"We should strip him immediately..."
"Teal'c! That is not how we do things here."
Teal'c looked at her closely.
"You wish for his superiors to know what we say at all times?"
"No, of course not, but he is an American citizen."
*Janet...we'll get him clothes like we'll get the General clothes. Simple.*
*Wouldn't the Tok'ra know something about this?*
*I don't know. If he's telling the truth, then there are more questions to ask.*
"Fine. Teal'c if you will please find clothing for both the General and Airman Trivies, I'd appreciate it. I'm going to check on Cassie."
The airman sat down on the bed, watching Teal'c as he moved around the room.
* * * * * *
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