The Night Sun Part 6
By: Stacy L.
Jack O'Neill made his way silently into Anubis' complex, Sekhem, with very little difficulty. He was all too aware that his entrance here was a bit too easy. He entered the main room, glancing around, when he heard coughing and wincing. As he focused on the far side of the room he saw a cell. When he glanced closer in that direction he froze...in one of the cells, almost directly opposite a throne, was a person. The blondish brown hair, the camouflage pants and the black t-shirt were all Jack needed to see to know that he had finally found his friend. He knew to go to that cell now was a very obvious trap but, as his eyes focused on the lone figure of Daniel Jackson, his feet moved of their own accord. He approached the cell and without thought zatted the lock then ran over to his friend. His only concern right now was for Daniel. He kneeled down beside the still form of his friend and gently touched his arm. Daniel jerked awake screaming then muttered, "No..."
Jack slowly turned Daniel towards him afraid to touch him in case he had any hidden injuries that couldn't be seen. As he looked into the youthful face of his friend he saw the bruises first then the blood running from his nose and mouth. He muttered, "Awe Danny, what happened? God, I'm so sorry..."
Daniel vaguely heard his name being said...but no one ever called him Danny...nobody except his parents...and Jack... As Daniel thought of Jack he suddenly remembered the trap. Oh God! Please don't let Jack be the one calling to me! He had to warn him. He had to wake up. As he heard a voice saying, "Daniel," he recognized it as Jack's voice. He made himself come fully alert and managed to utter, "Jack? That you?"
"Yeah Danny it's me."
"No Jack...have to... You have to get..."
Jack was suddenly hushing him, trying to calm him. He spoke softly, "Don't try to talk, Daniel. Save your strength."
Daniel shook his head no despite the pain slicing at him from the simple movement. He had to make Jack listen, to make Jack understand. He coughed and winced as his ribs protested. He then swallowed hard and spoke again, praying his throat would hold out a bit longer. He continued, "Jack...you have to...get out of here...trap... It's a trap Jack."
Daniel no sooner finished his warning when jackal guards filed into the room. Jack silently cursed realizing that they were both now prisoners. He knew to attempt escape now would be totally useless, so he stayed with his friend.
Daniel struggled to sit up. Jack helped him noticing that Daniel could barely stay upright. Jack gently ordered, "Lean against me."
"Daniel, you'll fall down if you don't. Lean against me."
Daniel obeyed Jack leaning against his body. Jack sensed Daniel wasn't going to stay conscious much longer. He pulled Daniel closer not wanting the young man to collapse onto the floor. Jack watched as one of the guards approached the cell, smirking evilly at Daniel, then secured the door yet again. Jack whispered, "Who the hell is that?"
"Kelsham? Who the hell...?"
"Osiris' First Prime, Jack."
"He doesn't like me all that much."
"Ya' think?" Jack couldn't help but notice the cruel look Kelsham had directed towards Daniel. Any idiot could tell Kelsham hated his friend. Jack wondered why that was. He noticed Daniel smirk then asked, "What are you smirking about?"
"Your comment Jack."
After Kelsham moved back Osiris stepped forward. Daniel added, "And that is Osiris."
"Yeah we've met. Charming girl..."
"Jack..." Daniel uttered a bit annoyed as he recalled how charming Sarah was before her possession. Osiris glared intently at Jack then said, "You should have listened to your friend..."
"Yeah I know. I have a real problem with that sometimes...probably because Daniel's just way smarter than me."
"Jack..." Daniel replied. Why did Jack have to piss everyone off? Of course he really had no right to complain about that trait of Jack's. From hanging around Jack so much some of it rubbed off on him.
Osiris glanced at Daniel briefly then back at Jack continuing, "You walked right into my trap. Welcome back, human."
"Gee thanks. I didn't know that you missed me."
Osiris glared at Jack then at Daniel. Daniel glared sinisterly at Osiris who then smirked and said directly to Daniel, "Doctor Jackson, I told you that if anyone attempted to help you they would be captured. I refuse to let you get away from me so easily this time."
"Glad to know you care so much..." came Daniel's very sarcastic reply. Osiris grinned at him responding, "Still so spirited...but for how long?"
Daniel again glared coldly at Osiris. Osiris turned to address the guards, "I want two guards placed at all entrances to this room. I will not lose Doctor Jackson again."
Daniel was all too aware of the look Jack directed his way when Osiris made that comment. He tried not to let that look of Jack's unnerve him. Jack asked, "Why does Osiris want you so badly?"
"Shh, Jack...long story..."
Daniel listened as Osiris switched to Goa'uld, "There are at least two more who will attempt to rescue Jackson and O'Neill. One is a woman the other a Jaffa. Bring the woman directly to me. We have some unfinished business."
Jack's voice interrupted, "What’s he saying, Daniel?"
"He's telling them that there are at least two more people out there who will attempt a rescue. One is a woman and the other Jaffa..."
"And he wants Sam brought to him. They have unfinished business."
"Well, Sam helped me in the attempted capture of Osiris on Earth and even shot at him before he was ringed aboard his ship. He probably wants revenge on her for daring to..."
"Help you maybe?"
Daniel felt tiredness and exhaustion suddenly attempting to tug at him again. His head dropped slightly forward then Daniel lifted it up. Jack looked at Daniel in worry. Daniel looked extremely exhausted and was fighting just to stay awake now. Jack suggested gently, "Daniel, get some rest."
Jack eased his coat off of himself managing not to jar Daniel all that much in the process. He pushed his back against the cell wall and pulled Daniel upright some more. Daniel groaned as his ribs were jolted yet again. Jack questioned in sudden worry, "Are you all right?"
"Yeah Jack just...ribs."
"What about your ribs, Daniel?"
"Broken, some fractured, bruised...not healed yet."
"Haven't died yet Jack…"
"What?" but as Jack asked the question he knew what Daniel was saying. He had not died yet therefore he hasn't yet been resurrected, which meant...Daniel had been suffering for quite sometime. Jack felt anger and rage enter his mind and body. Daniel said he had broken ribs...how many days has he had them?
Jack noticed Daniel's eyes drifting slightly shut but Daniel again caught himself. Leaning against Jack felt so comfortable. Daniel could feel his exhaustion as it started to settle around him. Jack offered, "Here," then placed his jacket over Daniel's upper body like a cover. Despite the fever, Daniel did feel a bit chilly and the jacket felt so warm covering him. Daniel sensed that sleep would soon claim him.
Osiris turned back glaring at his prisoners. He noticed that Jackson was exhausted and wouldn't remain alert much longer. He smirked. So the young doctor was growing weaker, was he? Good. Osiris smirked even more then glared at Jack. Jack returned the glare then said "You know that he’ll die if he doesn't get help soon."
"I have no intention of allowing him to get away from me again. He will not die...that is too easy for him."
"How will you prevent that when...?"
Daniel's sleepy voice came to Jack as he said, "Sarcophagus, Jack... He'll just revive me again..."
Then Daniel could stay awake no longer as the veil of sleep cocooned around him, and he succumbed to its demands.
Jack could tell the instant Daniel was asleep and wrapped his arms protectively around his young friend. Jack glanced at Osiris as the Goa’uld lord verbally confirmed, "He sleeps..."
"Tell me one thing, answer me one thing... Why him? Why Daniel?"
Osiris smirked at Jack saying, "You are a smart man O'Neill, you should be able to figure that out."
"Look how about you leave Daniel go and keep me? I'll gladly take his place. You just leave him go. It's an even trade..."
"It is far from an even trade."
"Because to me Doctor Jackson is more valuable than you are."
"Why? Why is Daniel more valuable?"
"Because of the things he knows and the information he carries..."
"He knows everything that I know."
"Nice try Colonel O'Neill, but I know otherwise."
"How could you possibly...?"
"I know a lot about Daniel Jackson. My host and him were quite close at one time. She has provided me with information about Doctor Jackson and about what he knows..."
"So you're just keeping him to taunt him?"
"No. He holds information that I want. Doctor Jackson is of great value to me. It is just an added bonus that I get to kill him and revive him as often as I would like."
"It's an even trade. Let Daniel go and I'll stay."
"No! I have already told you that Doctor Jackson is of much greater value to me than you are or ever will be. Do not worry yourself, Colonel. Doctor Jackson will remain with me and you...you will be sold to Apophis," with that said Osiris turned to leave then added, "I will send Jotham down later to check on you. For now you may want to follow your friend's example and rest."
Jack watched in outrage as the Goa'uld Osiris exited the room. Osiris refused to trade him for Daniel so that meant he’d have to find a way to get them both out. He looked at his sleeping friend, now resting, leaning against him. He was very thankful that he found Daniel, but Daniel was in no shape to travel far distances, which could be a problem.
As Jack thought of Daniel's present condition he realized that he hasn't yet surveyed the man's body to determine how severe the injuries are. He silently chided himself. He always was observant, but he hadn't checked on his friend's injuries yet? Damn! He looked at Daniel's upper right leg and winced. He knew what a blast wound felt like from his experience on Netu. They hurt like hell and burned like hell. The wound Daniel has looked several days old. Jack could see that it had bled a good bit as blood, Daniel's blood, mostly dry now except over the wound in various areas, tinged his camoes making them look darker green almost black as a result. Daniel would have a hard time walking with that particular injury. He glanced over his friend and had a feeling Daniel had more hidden injuries beneath his t-shirt...especially if, like Daniel had told him, he hadn't died yet. Jacob had told him that Osiris was very good at interrogation and torture. He enjoyed inducing pain on his victims, his prisoners. Knowing that, Osiris probably deliberately dragged out Daniel's torture to make him suffer longer. If that was the case there was no doubt in his mind: Daniel had more injuries.
He heard his friend groan then lapse into a violent cough. The cough was so violent that Daniel actually shook from the effort it took him to expel it. Daniel shook so badly that the shaking flowed directly from him into Jack. As Jack also shook with Daniel, since his friend was leaning against him, he could tell just how bad Daniel was. He was getting worse. Jack was extremely glad when Daniel ceased his forceful coughing, but he tensed as he heard the shallowness, then wheezing, as Daniel struggled to pull air into his lungs. Jack remembered Daniel told him he had some broken, fractured and bruised ribs and as he listened to Daniel's shaky breathing and gasping it was confirmed. He now labored for every breath. The sound of his gasping and wincing sent stabs of ice-cold fear throughout Jack's body. He silently found himself urging Daniel to breathe, just breathe. He sighed heavily in relief as he heard Daniel successfully get back to breathing relatively normal. He still labored but not as badly as he was. Jack looked down into the sleeping face of his friend. Even in sleep, he could see the lines of pain etched on Daniel's face. He also saw the blood Daniel had just coughed up. Oh God, please don't let him have a punctured lung! If Daniel continued to cough up blood it would be a sure sign that a lung had been punctured. If that was the case Daniel didn't have much time.
Jack raised his right hand rubbing his eyes and as he lowered his hand he caught Daniel in the shoulder. He was unprepared for the cry of pain erupting from the young man as he connected. What the hell was that from? On instinct, he knew that he had bumped a hidden injury. Jack eased the flack jacket off of Daniel's right shoulder then gently pulled up the sleeve of the t-shirt he wore. He didn't have far to pull it up before he saw the charred, raw flesh on Daniel's upper right arm and shoulder. He cursed out loud rage filling him as his eyes took in the second blast wound. So not only did Osiris injure his leg he also injured Daniel's shoulder. The bastard! The shoulder wound looked more recent then the leg wound. As Jack examined what he could see of the injury he sighed in relief. It was only a flesh wound severe enough to cause extreme pain but not kill him. He gently pulled the sleeve back down being extremely careful not to bump the injury again. Then he pulled his jacket back up over the young scientist, covering him up yet again.
Daniel stirred slightly attempting to shift a bit. No doubt when Jack accidentally bumped the shoulder wound he probably brought Daniel at least to semi-consciousness. Daniel shifted only slightly turning his head to his right now. He moved his arms and Jack felt pure anger searing at him when he heard the jingle of the metallic shackles. The shackles imprisoned Daniel's wrists holding them in its bitingly painful grip. Then Daniel calmed as sleep lolled him back into its clutches. Jack sat there just watching Daniel as he slept noticing how flushed his face was. Daniel was also hot. Fever had found him and now held him in its grip, as well. As he watched his friend resting, Jack soon followed in suit drifting asleep as his young friend used his body as a pillow.
* * * *
Daniel was the first to awake as the cell door was unlocked. He could feel the anguish in his body and the fever. God, he still hurt all over. He was glad he had something to lean on...something to lean on? He turned violently saying, "Jack..." but as the sudden movement sent rivulets of pain arching throughout his entire body Daniel greatly regretted the move. He again left some very colorful words leave his mouth in several different languages. Jack had still remained with him even after Daniel had warned him of Osiris' trap and they both were now his prisoners. He was glad when he noticed Jack still slept undisturbed by his quick movement. Daniel sensed Jack hasn't been sleeping much, especially since his disappearance.
As Daniel heard footsteps he remembered coming awake to the sound of his cell door opening. He glanced up half expecting Osiris or Kelsham to be standing there staring coldly at him, but neither of them were there. Daniel glanced at his visitor who was smiling at him. He commented, "Daniel, you have a way with words."
"What are you doing here?"
"Osiris sent me to...check on you."
"Then he doesn't know..."
"No he does not."
"I have brought water for you and your friend."
"Jotham, this is Jack."
"At least you are no longer completely alone. What does Osiris plan to do with your friend?"
"Either sell him to Apophis or...use him against me..."
"I am sorry..."
Jotham approached Daniel and kneeled before him questioning, "How are you feeling?"
"Same as before..."
"Like a truck struck you?" Jotham commented with a gentle smirk on his face.
Daniel smiled then said, "Yes Jotham, like a truck struck me."
Jotham's head dropped then rose again as the symbiote spoke, "Why do you use such strange words? A truck struck you?"
"Hello Nivan... Honestly, I don't know." Daniel then lapsed into a violent cough yet again. He leaned forward ignoring the pain in his ribs; he didn't want to jar Jack awake. He wanted to scream as the coughs tore painfully from his dry, parched throat. He swallowed hard as the coughs seized him even more. He could feel the sudden change in his breathing. He was gasping again and felt as if he was about to wretch. He vaguely was aware of a gentle hand rubbing up and down across his back. Then he heard Jack's voice demanding, "What the hell are you doing?"
He knew why Jack sounded so angry. Daniel quickly gasped out, "Jack...don't..."
Jack was ready to grab Jotham around the throat. He had awake as soon as Daniel was gripped in his first fit of coughing. He saw the stranger immediately and was sure he was one of Osiris' goons. He was ready to defend his friend and saw the man place his hand on Daniel's back. He tensed preparing to attack when Daniel had managed to choke out his name and don't while caught in the grips of the wracking coughs. Jack made himself stop and struggled to maintain control. Daniel didn't seem threatened by the man, so Jack held back staring intently at the man preparing to jump in and help Daniel if necessary.
As Daniel's coughs subsided they were replaced with his haggard breathing. He began to gasp and wheeze again. The man spoke up, "Doctor Jackson, you must calm your breathing. Try to relax."
Jack tensed up even more when he heard that gravelly voice of a Goa'uld speaking to Daniel. He had to use extra strength to contain himself after that. Why the hell would a Goa'uld even bother to lend aid to his friend? He nearly sighed out loud in relief when he heard Daniel's breathing again returning to a half decent breathing pattern.
Daniel raised his head looking directly at Jotham. Nivan questioned, "Are you all right now, Doctor Jackson?"
"For now yes... Thank you...again, Nivan."
"You are welcome... Jotham says that you must drink."
"Nagging you already...is he?"
"Yes he is."
"All right...Jotham, I'm drinking now."
Nivan held the glass of water to Daniel's still cracked, dried lips. He spoke softly, "Drink slowly Doctor Jackson. Remember you have not had much water."
Daniel sipped at the water. Nivan pulled the cup away as Daniel struggled to swallow, coughing as the cool liquid ran over his sore throat. Nivan gently encouraged, "You must try to keep it down."
Daniel obeyed managing to do so then he nodded to Nivan. Nivan again pressed the cup to Daniel's lips as he sipped the water.
Jack watched leerily. Obviously Daniel knew this Goa'uld or he would never willingly accept water and aid from him. What made Daniel trust this snakehead enough to allow him to touch him, offer him aid and offer him water? Jack didn't like it one bit. He watched as the Goa'uld helped Daniel drink water and gently coaxed him to accept more and to keep it down. Nivan spoke breaking the silence, "My presence here disturbs you greatly does it not, Colonel O'Neill?"
Jack glared at him. Now how the hell did the snakehead know his name? He continued, "You will be wondering how I know your name..."
"Easy...Osiris told you."
"You need not worry about me, Colonel O'Neill. I mean you and Doctor Jackson no harm. I am only here to help."
"But you work for Osiris."
"No, I work for Anubis."
"So you're keeping Daniel alive because Anubis has plans to trade him to Apophis?"
"No that is incorrect, Colonel O'Neill."
"Give me one good reason why I should believe a word out of your lying, traitorous..."
"Jack..." came Daniel's stern voice of warning. Jack looked at Daniel then back at the snakehead, "I'm waiting."
"Jack, Nivan...Jotham is a Tok'ra...a spy... He's been helping me since I was first brought here."
Nivan dropped his head then raised it now the voice of Jotham spoke, "It is true, Colonel O'Neill. Did Jacob Carter not tell you of my presence here?"
"Jacob Carter? What? What does that name have to do with this?"
"Colonel O'Neill, I know that Jacob has brought you here. He is waiting up in the Tel'tak now orbiting the planet. Waiting for you to contact him so that he and Selmac may ring you to the ship. I am guessing that Major Carter and Teal'c are also with you some where on this planet. These are the two people Osiris wishes to capture. He has much anger towards Daniel, and he has anger towards Samantha Carter. He will not rest until he has captured SG-1...all of SG-1..."
A sudden silence fell over the room after Jotham said that. Jotham then continued, "I must go now before Osiris returns. I will come back to check on you later Daniel, and I will bring more water."
"You are very welcome, Daniel. Now you must rest to conserve your strength."
Daniel smirked then said, "You’re as bad as Jack..."
"Get some rest, my friend." Then Jotham left removing all traces of evidence that he had done more than just check on Daniel. He was worried about Daniel still. His friends had finally come for him, but one of them was already a prisoner. They had to get Daniel out of there. Jotham couldn't help but notice the fever burning in Daniel's eyes or how flushed his face was. Daniel needed help and soon.
Jack watched as Jotham left. He still didn't trust the man. He reached out gently placing his hands on either side of Daniel's arms, careful not to touch the blast wound, then gently prompted, "Come on Daniel."
Daniel glanced briefly at Jack. Jack saw Daniel waver as he sat leaned forward and steadied him. Jack continued, "All right Daniel..."
"Jack I'm fine."
"The hell you are! Lean against me… Come on."
Daniel felt guilty about leaning against Jack for support, especially when the coughs wracked his body shaking it excessively. Leaning against Jack just felt so damned comfortable and he was damned tired, more tired than he's ever been, but he couldn't keep leaning on his friend.
Jack knew that Daniel would protest, but he also knew that Daniel couldn't remain upright without leaning against something. He'd rather have Daniel lean against him then against the hard cell wall. It was uncomfortable as hell and provided little relaxing sleep. Daniel could sleep deeper and longer if he leaned against Jack instead of that wall. Jack said, "I want you to lean against me, Daniel. You know as well as I do that you’re exhausted. You also know that sleeping on this hard floor or sleeping leaning against this hard cell wall won't be comfortable. Daniel just...please..."
"No Jack, I can't keep leaning on you."
"Come on Daniel."
Daniel swore he wouldn't lean against Jack again but as sleep crashed into him from all sides he found that he could no longer protest against his persistent friend's arms pulling him back. He felt himself leaning against Jack. Then, of their own accord, his eyes drifted shut as sleep again pulled him downwards. Jack whispered, "That's it Daniel, sleep. Rest. You need to rest."
Jack picked up his flack jacket then laid it across his friend's upper body to keep him warm. Daniel felt the warmth cocoon him and was vaguely aware that hands wrapped gently around him holding him in a protective embrace before he slipped head long into the chasm of much needed rest.
Jack smiled, glad that his young friend was asleep yet again. Daniel needed sleep, with sleep came healing. He sensed Daniel had spent more time unconscious then actually asleep the last few weeks. Jack also noticed Daniel had lost a lot of weight and that wasn't good. He also knew that despite the fact he didn't trust Jotham one bit, he knew Daniel was in desperate need of water. He noticed Daniel's lips were cracked and dried...definite signs of dehydration. Daniel also wasn't perspiring as much as is normal for a person ridden with fever. He was hot but didn't sweat much because his body was severely lacking the water it desperately needed. His body was clinging on to what little water was in his system to help sustain his life. He needed to stop his worrying, but he couldn't help it. Daniel was in danger and his friends were being hunted. He had to worry. It was his job to worry. He suddenly recalled Teal'c's words to him while aboard the Tel'tak: 'Why will you not learn to forgive yourself and stop taking on the responsibilities you do not need to take on?' He had heard, but didn't listen. Teal'c was right, as always, but Jack refused to listen. Jack leaned his head back against the cell wall holding Daniel against him. He found himself listening to his friend's breathing. He could hear the struggle Daniel was having with inhaling and exhaling due to a badly injured rib cage but his breathing still sounded somewhat healthy.
Jack felt great comfort in being here with Daniel. After all of their searching he had located his missing friend. He was very glad that Daniel was with him, very alive and very real. He refused to admit to Daniel, or even to himself, that one of the reasons he insists on Daniel leaning against him to sleep is because he wanted that reassurance that Daniel was real and was here. He needed that reassurance that he had successfully located his friend.
Jack looked at his friend's face once more noticing the pain was still etched across his features but not as pronounced right now. Daniel was sleeping peacefully and deeply, probably for the first time in a long time. Jack then leaned his head back against the cell wall and stared at the ceiling. He found himself unconsciously tightening his hold on Daniel not wanting to lose his friend again. When he realized what he was doing he relaxed his hold. He stared blankly at the ceiling, holding his friend in his arms and listening to Daniel's breathing. Shortly thereafter he found himself likewise falling prey to his own exhaustion. His eyes drifted shut as sleep wrapped around him. He slept easier feeling Daniel's body leaning against his own. This was another indication that he indeed found Daniel and that Daniel was with him.
* * * *
Daniel awoke with a start later that evening. He groaned aloud as pain reverberated throughout his body. He was faintly aware that he was leaning against something, something warm and comfortable...no, not something, Jack… Jack was here with him. Daniel tried to open his eyes but they felt so heavy, as if they were being held down by heavy lead. He heard the graveled voice of a Goa'uld speak, "Time to wake up, Tau'ri. Your god wishes to speak with you again."
"Get up or I will yank you up and surely wake your friend in the process."
Daniel glanced behind him at Jack who was resting peacefully. He could tell by the lines on the older man's face and the bags under his eyes that Jack hadn't had much rest, and he needed it badly so he glanced back up at Kelsham saying, "Okay."
Daniel then carefully untangled himself from Jack's protective hold careful not to jolt him or wake him. Kelsham seemed to have infinite patience as he waited, without comment, for Daniel to get up. Once Daniel got up he glanced again at his friend, sighing when he noticed Jack still slept. Good he didn’t wake him...good.
Kelsham ordered, "Move."
Daniel obeyed placing one shaky leg in front of the other. His body was wracked with stinging anguish, but he ignored it following Kelsham back to the dimly lit room that had been his prison for the last few weeks. Kelsham ordered, "Do not fight me or I will choose to torture your friend instead."
Kelsham violently shoved Daniel in response to that comment. Daniel screamed as he landed hard on his knees directly below the wrist shackles he had been imprisoned in for the duration of his stay. He could feel the impact of his knees to the floor driving a wave of agony up over his legs to his blast wound. He wanted to yell but held back. Kelsham yanked him upright by his hair then demanded, "Stand! If you fall Tau'ri, you will greatly regret it!"
Daniel felt himself wavering unsteadily and nearly did crash back to the floor again, but some how managed to comply with Kelsham's demands. Kelsham quickly removed the wrist shackles temporarily binding Daniel's wrists together in front of him. Daniel yanked his arms away after the shackles were off. Kelsham was extremely outraged that Daniel would dare to pull from him so, without thought, he viciously lashed out backhanding Daniel so harshly that Daniel was stunned. The backhand threw him off of his feet and sent him crashing into one of the cell walls. Daniel found he could only cry out as he felt the left side of his body literally slam into the hard, cold stonewall of his prison. A horrible scream of outrage and anguish tore from between his lips as all he could feel was the biting, stinging, excruciating waves of torment sweeping through his body upon impact. His thigh felt as if the wound was once again torn open. He had very little doubt of that. He had been only faintly aware of how his body sounded as it impacted sickeningly with the stone wall and of how he slumped immediately after impact feeling sharp rock digging and tearing mercilessly at the left side of his face, shoulder, arm and upper leg. It felt as if the stone actually dug and scraped deep grooves into the side of Daniel's face. He found he couldn't move as he became aware that he was sitting, half curled in on himself, leaning against the wall he had just struck with extreme force. He tried to sit up and succeeded in only causing himself to whimper as the pain increased. He fell silent deciding he was just too damned battered and too damned tired to move right now, so he made no more attempts. He didn't have long to wait before he was suddenly seized around his upper arms. He felt brutal hands bruising the tender flesh of his upper arms and fingers digging cruelly, bitingly into his skin. He knew he'd have bruises where those damned fingers now were. He felt himself being yanked upwards and literally dragged to the center of the room. He was faintly aware of his shirt being removed then his left arm being jerked above his head. He screamed as he felt the cold iron manacle snap painfully onto his wrist biting deeply into already bruised, cut up, chafed skin. He felt his other arm being shackled likewise then was left go. He immediately felt himself falling rapidly towards the ground then felt the cruel manacles wrench his arms bringing him to a very painful, jarring halt in mid-air. Daniel screamed again feeling the renewed pain ignite within his own body. He started to see bright lights, extremely bright lights and couldn't focus as he began to feel dizzy. He heard persistent ringing in his ears only increasing to match the loud pounding of his heart in his skull. He was going to pass out. He knew that he would soon. It was unavoidable, and as he felt his body becoming limp and his limbs turning to jelly he cursed violently then was swallowed up and dragged deeply into a pool of black, murky endless water as darkness descended upon him. He collapsed into unconsciousness once again.
Osiris entered just then smirking when he saw Doctor Jackson again in his cruel restraints. He walked over to Daniel and grabbed a lock of his hair yanking his head upright. He saw the blood first then the nasty grooves of shredded flesh along Jackson's temple, upper cheekbone and lower jaw line. He demanded, "Kelsham, what have you done?"
"He dared to resist, so I backhanded him. He struck the wall hard... slid down it after impact."
"He is unconscious. I wanted him alert. I am disappointed Kelsham."
"I will correct my mistake, My Lord."
"You had better."
* * * *
Jack O'Neill slowly started to awake. Something was wrong...something didn't feel right here. He wondered where he was and couldn't remember but as he opened his eyes and saw the cell ceiling he remembered. He was a prisoner of Osiris, him and Daniel...Daniel! Where the hell was Daniel? He knew something felt odd; Daniel was no longer with him.
Jack stared around the cell desperately hoping that maybe Daniel just moved away from him, but the cell was empty except for him. Where the hell was Daniel? What the hell did they do with him? He became extremely worried and afraid for his friend. Oh God, what if they took him again to further torture him? I'm so sorry...so sorry... As he lifted up his flack jacket he could still smell a faint scent, Daniel's scent, his natural scent. Daniel had been here. Jack hadn't imagined that he had found his friend, and now he had lost Daniel all over again. What would they do to him? Where would they take him? Would he survive or would he have to be revived? Jack didn't even want to think of what could possibly be happening to his friend right now. He felt so damned helpless, trapped in this damned cell, unable to lend Daniel any kind of aid. Jack quickly got to his feet and began pacing the small confines of the cell. He would not relax until Daniel was returned.
* * * *
Teal'c and Sam found a place to meet where they were most likely to avoid Anubis' guards. Sam said, "Teal'c, we have to get them out of there."
"We will Major Carter."
"So why the hell are we just standing here?"
"Major Carter, we must find a way to assure that we will be able to flee this planet and evade capture."
"We need to get them out..."
"We need to also remember that Daniel Jackson is injured. Therefore, he will obviously slow down our progress. We must have a plan that takes into account that Daniel Jackson will not be able to walk on his own. To free our friends is only one step in many..."
"Okay, so we know that Daniel is injured. He has an injured leg for sure and is weak..."
"That is correct Major Carter."
"O'Neill will be fine."
"He may also be injured..."
"Major Carter, O'Neill will not be harmed."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Osiris does not have an interest in him. He wants Daniel Jackson. He will most likely focus on continuing his interrogation of Daniel Jackson. O'Neill is of no use to him except as a possible bargaining chip to use against Apophis."
"No, I don't believe that I..."
Teal'c's friend Za'tar, arrived approaching the two rapidly. Teal'c looked at his friend then asked, "How are O'Neill and Daniel Jackson?"
"The last time I checked on your friends they were both asleep. Osiris has captured O'Neill. He has been leaving the two alone for the most part."
"And what of the present condition of Daniel Jackson?"
"He grows weaker. He is wracked with violent coughs that steal his breath, but he is a strong one. He is a fighter... Osiris has him secured..."
"Secured? How?" questioned Sam.
"Daniel Jackson is wearing wrist manacles. Osiris refuses to leave him even a moment of freedom..."
"And the Colonel? What of him?"
"O'Neill is not restrained in any way. He is only being held in the same cell as Doctor Jackson."
"But why? Why would Osiris shackle Daniel and not the Colonel?"
Teal'c answered, "Because Osiris wants Daniel Jackson to be totally unable to escape. Should he attempt escape the shackles would hinder his progress. He is already weak, Major Carter. He would need free movement of his arms should he attempt escape. Osiris is only ensuring that Daniel remains his captive, his prisoner. He does not want to leave Daniel Jackson go. He will most likely plan to trade O'Neill to Apophis and leave this planet with Daniel Jackson still in his custody."
"Well, we can't allow that to happen."
"I have no intention of allowing that to happen."
"So how do we get in?"
"I have a plan."
* * * *
Osiris entered the main throne room. Doctor Jackson was still unconscious. He would have to check on the man shortly. He smirked as he saw Jack O'Neill pacing his cell like a caged animal. As soon as Osiris entered the room O'Neill stopped in his tracks turning to glare at the Goa'uld. Jack demanded, "What have you done with Daniel?"
"He has been temporarily relocated."
"Where? Where did you take him?"
"Relax O'Neill, your friend will be returned to you in due time."
"If I what Colonel? If I what? Your friend has been with me for some time. Tell me what you will do if I continue to harm him? He has already suffered by my hand as was his due. He will continue to suffer. I will not allow you to take Daniel Jackson away. We have much to talk about."
"He won't talk, so what's the use...?"
Jack watched as Osiris cocked his head in response to that comment. Jack continued, "He hasn't told you anything yet, has he? I told you he won’t talk, so what’s the use of keeping him?"
"To torture him O'Neill...to make him pay for all of the wrongs he has done to me."
"He has done to you? You invaded his friend, stole her body and stole her life! Daniel has done nothing wrong! You have!"
"I will tell you what I told your friend...you are allowed to survive, allowed to breed, only to provide us with hosts. You are a slave to the Goa'uld. We harvest you and allow you to breed so that you may serve us. I have every right to this body I now possess, O'Neill."
"Boy that is some imagination you have there..."
Osiris sneered in response to that comment then jeered, "Doctor Jackson responded in much the same way you just did. Do you know what the price was for his vile tongue?"
Jack glared sinisterly at Osiris as he caught the meaning Osiris was insinuating in that comment. He gritted his teeth clenching his fists in rage at what Osiris implied with those few words. Osiris continued, "He screamed... At first he did not, he remained stubbornly silent. I was amazed that the ribbon device did not affect him as it should have. He remained stubbornly silent refusing to give voice to his pain, refusing to allow us to see his torment in his eyes. Of course I had to work on drawing that scream out of him. He refused to tell me of the Tok'ra. He refused to tell me anything, so I made sure he learned what happens to those who deny their god. He did not scream that day, but I made sure that he did the following day. It is absolutely amazing what electric shock will do to a person, especially when it is placed at the base of the neck. He screamed and he convulsed in response to the shock. His screams bounced off of the walls of his cell. It was truly invigorating."
"You sick twisted bastard!"
Osiris looked at Jack as his eyes sparked glowing white. Then he threw his head back and laughed diabolically. The laugh sent chills climbing Jack's spine. Osiris was totally insane...and Daniel was at his mercy...Oh God Daniel I'm so sorry...Daniel, please hang in there.
"My Lord..." interrupted the deep voice of Kelsham. Daniel had said that this person was Osiris' First Prime. He also said Osiris' First Prime didn't like him all that much. He noticed Kelsham glance up at him briefly glaring then lowered his voice some, but Jack strained to hear it and succeeded. He managed to catch, "He is awake again. You may now continue."
"Thank you Kelsham. You may come with me. I am sure Doctor Jackson misses you."
Kelsham snickered in response to that comment then headed out of the room. Osiris said, "Do not fear so for your friend, O'Neill. Should he die I will revive him. I have no intentions of allowing him eternal death. He will always be revived. He will be brought to you when we are done questioning him...oh, and O'Neill, if you listen close enough you may just be able to hear your friend's screams..."
Then Osiris laughed harshly again leaving the room and Jack alone in his anger, rage and his fear for his friend. He was sure the one Kelsham said was now awake was, of course, Daniel. He must've either passed out or was knocked out. Jack again felt totally helpless so to attempt to calm himself he began his rapid pacing once more, back and forth in the confines of a cell worrying and fearing for his friend. What would they do to him? Questions and more questions filled his mind and no matter how hard he tried he could not silence them as he again heard those taunting words of Osiris', 'He screamed...he screamed and he convulsed... It is amazing what electric shock will do to a person... It is amazing what... If you listen close enough...you may just be able to hear your friend's screams...to hear your friend's screams...'
Jack cursed violently. He felt full of anger and hatred, rage burned within him. If they...he'd kill them with his bare hands! Why him? Why Daniel? As he asked himself that question for about the hundredth time he heard Osiris' response yet again, 'Doctor Jackson is of great value to me. He is more valuable to me than you are...' Jack wanted to curse and scream. He wanted to kill!
* * * *
Daniel slowly awoke. Where was he? He tried to move his arm feeling the shackles tense up preventing him from lowering it any. Then he remembered...Kelsham had come earlier to escort him down here leaving Jack in the cell. He had then been backhanded and struck the wall...hard. He could feel the stinging of his newest injuries across his face and the left side of his body. He would have some more nasty bruises he was sure. His whole left side felt bruised and sore. He could also feel ripples of anguish digging at his wounded leg. When he had struck the wall the impact tore open the blast wound again. He could feel more wet blood seeping into his torn camoes. Damn, the wound hurt like hell! He heard the door to his cell being opened...Kelsham no doubt, and if Kelsham was here then so was Osiris. He struggled to open his eyes tensing as the simple motion sent a throbbing ache to his head. He had to force his eyes open and as he did so he felt queasy as the floor pitched and rocked under him. He clenched his eyes shut again resisting the urge to empty the small contents of his stomach. He waited until the persistent throbbing in his head fell to a tolerable ache. He then inhaled deeply leaving out an extremely shaky breath as the simple act of inhaling sent torrents of severe agony to his rib cage. Damn it, he had forgotten about his ribs! How the hell was that possible? He cursed vily as he tried to regain at least a semblance of a normal breathing pattern. When he felt his ragged breathing slowing some he swallowed hard then lifted his head. Osiris stood before him that evil glint in his eyes and that cruel ghostly smirk on his face. He was going to be tortured again. He only hoped that if he screamed Jack wouldn't be able to hear him. Awakening to find Daniel absent was already going to cause Jack some guilt and anger. If he were to hear Daniel's screams of pain, should he do so without being able to keep silent, Jack would only get angrier and worry himself even more.
Kelsham walked behind Daniel, but Daniel couldn't miss the shock device he held gripped in his right hand. Daniel began to mentally prepare himself for the agony that was sure to begin tearing through his body in the next few minutes as the electrical discharge from that crude device was going to be used on him. He winced as Kelsham rammed it suddenly against his right side. Then he heard Kelsham chuckle, the bastard! Osiris stepped directly in front of Daniel saying, "What will it be, Doctor Jackson?"
He felt another jolt against his right side, groaning in response he eyed up Osiris angrily. Osiris continued, "Tell me what I want to know or suffer...those are your choices. We have been over this before, Doctor Jackson. You definitely are not that forgetful."
"Oh, I don't know about that."
"But I know. I know how smart you truly are, Doctor Jackson. A genius, in fact, can speak over fifteen languages fluently. You are a real linguist...should I go on? You see I know everything about you that your Sarah knows. I have all of her memories..."
Then Osiris smiled and deliberately placed his left hand against the right side of Daniel's face, cupping it against his cheek. He stepped closer to Daniel then continued smiling as he saw the man immediately tense up in response to Osiris' closeness. He continued, "All of them Daniel..."
"You bastard!" Osiris laughed teasingly, like Sarah used to. Daniel found that he wanted to spit in Osiris' face but his mouth was already too dry. In fact, his throat was so dry he could barely even talk. He jerked his head violently away groaning as pain lashed out at him and resounded throughout his body and his mind. It was a struggle to turn back and face Osiris. When he successfully did so the look he directed towards Osiris was venomous. Daniel despised Osiris even more for just using his first name and again reminding him of how he had free access to most of Sarah's memories. Damn the bastard to hell!
Osiris drew Daniel's attention back as he continued, "Your choice Doctor Jackson, what will it be?"
"I don't know anything."
"And even if I did I would never tell you, so why don't you just give up?"
"No...no I do not think so Doctor Jackson. Tell me what have you done with my queen?"
"Nothing. I don't know where she is."
"You will tell me what I want to know or you will suffer and die repetitively...make it easy on yourself Doctor Jackson. Tell me where is Isis?"
"I don't know...ah..." He winced clenching his eyes shut as Kelsham directed the shock device to Daniel's side for the third time. He silently cursed again feeling an incredible urge and want to give Kelsham a taste of his own medicine. He wanted to wrench that damned torture device out of the First Prime's hand and direct it at him, for now he settled with glaring menacingly towards Osiris.
Osiris watched him as he recovered from the sudden jolt. He noticed the anger and rage was back. Jackson wanted to lash out and injure, Osiris could just see it, just read it in those eyes and he smiled. Then he gently rubbed Daniel's cheek continuing in Sarah's whispering voice, "Where is my queen? Tell me Daniel..."
Daniel wanted to tear Osiris' throat out for using such underhanded tactics to get him to respond and answer. Osiris was playing with him again...using Sarah's voice and rubbing his face like Sarah used to. Daniel felt his anger and rage triple. He was seething and wanted to yank that damned snake out of Sarah's body with his bare hands. He remained stubbornly silent still eyeing Osiris up with deadly precision. Osiris' mouth twitched as he continued, "The longer you remain stubbornly silent the more you will suffer..."
"Well, then I guess I’ll suffer a lot because I don't know anything. I’m of no use to you." Daniel's thoughts continued, 'and if you don't get your damned hand off of me I'll fuckin' kill you!' He hated when Osiris attempted to persuade him by using his past relationship with Sarah against him. Damn him for stealing her body! Damn him for stealing her memories and using them as weapons! Daniel continued to glare at Osiris as the Goa'uld responded, "Why must you continue to defy me, Doctor Jackson? Why must you make things so hard on yourself?"
Daniel didn't even bother to entertain that question with an answer. He just remained stubbornly silent, wincing as Kelsham rammed the device against his side again. Osiris continued, "Stubbornness will only cause you more pain and suffering. You will be with us a very long time, Doctor Jackson. Do not think that just because your Colonel O'Neill is now here with you that you will be rescued. Your friend will only be staying with us a short time. He will be sold to Apophis and you will remain here. Your other friends will be captured. Anubis' guards are already searching for them. They will no doubt come to your Colonel O'Neill and to you in an attempt to rescue you both. Like O'Neill, they too will walk into a trap and become prisoners. As I have said before you will not escape me again. There is no escape for you. You are out of options, so tell me where is my queen?"
Daniel cried out again as Kelsham rammed the device against his side this time holding it there longer before pulling it away. Osiris reached up to Daniel's hair as if he were going to stroke it then, without comment, he gripped it and yanked harshly backwards erupting a scream from Daniel as the pain in his head flew back at him, escalated by the cruel grip in his hair. Osiris reached up with his free hand and began to stroke Daniel's right cheek saying in a soft voice, "Doctor Jackson, will you ever learn the penalty of defiance? Why must you persist in testing my patience with you? You seem to be forgetting that no matter what you do I hold all of the power here. You may fight me, yell at me, scream at me but in the end I will simply cut your lifeline, steal the breath from you then revive you again. No matter what you do you will die repetitively and be resurrected repetitively. In a way you will become immortal, always dying but always returning to life. You will be spending eternity with Kelsham and I..."
"Then I'll see you in hell!"
Daniel struck out with his right leg catching Osiris in the gut. This time Osiris didn't double over excessively. Osiris must have been expecting Daniel to lash out at him. He eyed Daniel up with an icy look of pure hatred. Kelsham held back from striking Daniel since his lord still gripped the man's hair, but he had to struggle to keep himself in check. Osiris eased up on Daniel's hair raising the hand device above Daniel's forehead. Then he said, as his eyes flashed bright white, "Impudence will not go unpunished, Doctor Jackson."
Then, with that said, the ribbon device sparked to life. Daniel screamed as the excruciating, blind, white-hot pain sliced at his already pounding, aching head. He tried to choke back his scream but had little success in doing so. He couldn't move as every nerve went on end and his body stiffened horribly up as the ribbon device burrowed deeply into his skull making his head pound excessively. He felt himself starting to slump and was sure blackness was about to descend over him. The device was then shut off, turned off as quickly as it had been brought to life.
Daniel left his head fall forward as cruel, wicked coughs gripped his body shaking it violently. His screaming only made his throat burn more and strained his throat. The screams tore and lashed at his dry, parched throat igniting new pain that mingled with old pain. As the nasty coughs wrenched from deep inside him he could feel his ribs loudly protesting the sudden jarring. Each cough was violent and deep, sending anguish stabbing at his chest, showing no mercy. Each cough felt as if it was cracking his ribs open even further. He was sure he was soon going to pass out. He started gasping as his breathing became severely constricted as a result of the new pain in his rib cage and the horrid coughs now tearing out from deep inside of him. Daniel felt dizziness sweep over him as, no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't seem to drag enough air into his oxygen-starved lungs. He felt as if he was choking to death. He had to calm his breath or he would soon lose consciousness. He focused solely on easing the horrible coughs that seized him, gripping him in a battle to draw air into his body. He nearly cried out in relief when his coughing began to ease up. Thank God he was starting to breathe normally again. He had been on the verge of panicking, sure that he would die shortly of suffocation due to those horrifying coughs. He found his breath but as he inhaled and exhaled he wheezed. His breathing felt extremely shaky and ragged. He swallowed hard nearly crying out as swallowing made his strained throat want to tightly constrict. Shortly after his breathing seemed to calm some Kelsham spoke up behind him, "You will apologize to your lord Tau'ri, or you shall suffer."
Daniel tried to speak but his throat hurt excessively. He said no in his head not realizing that he spoke aloud in a choked whisper. He heard Kelsham say, "Then you will suffer."
With that said Daniel felt the shock device being pressed against the base of his neck. As the punishing, brutal electrical current entered his body Daniel couldn't speak, couldn't scream. The pain flooded his senses, erupting in his body like a volcano, exploding, sending his body into an accumulation of severe agony and pain. He could feel the electrical current ripping through muscle and veins hungrily consuming every inch of his body, driving him into an inferno of extreme, outright torment and pulsating, throbbing, searing pain. The pain was so extreme that it stole his breath, stole his voice. He was trapped in the grips of the horrible electricity now zapping and snapping at his insides. Suddenly a scream full of rage and anguish tore out from deep inside himself giving voice to the horrible torment his body was now in. He didn't even realize that he was screaming. His scream spoke volumes of how excruciatingly painful the shock device was being to his body. His scream was so loud that it bounced off the walls and down the hallway outside of his cell, and all thought was rendered near impossible as his senses were numbed by the sharp burning current presently traveling throughout his entire being. Just when Daniel felt a small inkling of relief the convulsions began, violent gut-wrenching convulsions. Daniel felt almost numb with pain. He couldn't stop it, couldn't fight it. The electrical current held him cruelly in its intense grip refusing to give him a moment's solace. He again started to scream as vicious convulsions sent his body jerking and bucking against his shackles. The pounding in his head only increased hammering at him pushing him ever closer to the brink of unconsciousness. As another extremely painful, biting shock wave drove into his body Daniel found himself spinning out of control, falling into an endless pit. A wave of inky darkness washed over him, seized him then yanked him under. In the next minute Daniel Jackson collapsed. He collapsed from the severe, gut-wrenching agony still enveloping his already battered, abused body. He became completely oblivious to his body's twitching and jolting as the device lapsed into its third stage of torture.
Kelsham showed no mercy holding the device to the base of Daniel's neck. He refused to remove it even after Daniel collapsed. He waited then shut it off. Kelsham looked at his lord hearing Daniel's now shaky breathing. He violently kicked Daniel's right leg in rage and watched in glee as the leg refused to hold him upright any longer.
Osiris lifted Jackson's head up looking at Daniel's face. He said, "Doctor Jackson is still alive. Take him down, get his shirt on him then put him back in the cell with his friend...chain his wrists. Check on him occasionally. If he ceases to breathe bring him before me."
"Yes My Lord."
Osiris then left. Kelsham glared at the pathetic human then removed the chains that presently held him. He watched dispassionately as Daniel crumpled to the floor in a heap. Then he retrieved the t-shirt and quickly pulled it on the man. After Kelsham was done with that he again put iron manacles on Daniel's wrists and lifted him up in his arms. He carried Daniel's unconscious limp form to the cell presently holding his friend then unlocking the door he carelessly flung Daniel's still form into the cell. Jack jumped at him, grabbing for Kelsham. He yelled, "You fuckin' bastard!"
Kelsham glared at Jack then said, "It would be best if you were to attend to your friend. His days are numbered."
Jack was ready to kill but as he saw Daniel's still form he dropped down beside his friend gently turning Daniel over onto his back. He noticed the new cuts across the left side of Daniel's face and the burns on his forehead were now darker. He wondered if Daniel still lived and sighed in relief when he saw the young man draw in a shaky breath. Jack then jumped to his feet noticing Kelsham watching he yelled, "You son of a..."
"We taught him the penalty for outright defiance and impudence. Your friend has a lot to learn..."
"I ought to..." Jack fell silent realizing he was losing his control quickly. He had to keep control of himself. He wanted to murder Kelsham but becoming angry would not help his friend. Kelsham turned and exited the room. Jack could think of a thousand things he wanted to do to Osiris and Kelsham. He quickly shut those thoughts off as he went back to his friend's side. He gently shook Daniel saying, "Daniel? Daniel can you hear me? Daniel? Come on Danny give me a sign here. Daniel?"
He didn't get a response, which bothered him excessively. He began to worry about his friend. He slowly scanned Daniel's exposed flesh. He winced as he noticed the scrapes across Daniel's temple, cheek and jaw line. His shoulder was torn open as well and the leg wound was bleeding badly. It must've been struck harshly again. Daniel was paler than earlier, and Jack couldn't help but notice the nasty burns on the bridge of his nose and on his forehead were now darker. A ribbon device had obviously been used on him again. He also noticed a fresh bruise and tender swelling arising on Daniel's right cheek. He had also been struck there again. Daniel's nose and mouth were also bleeding and fresh blood now ran down his arms from the shackles securing him.
What had they done to him? What have they been doing to him all this time? Daniel had said he hadn't died yet so obviously Osiris and Kelsham have been toying with him and torturing him. Jack unconsciously shook at that thought. He then turned his attention back to Daniel and began checking his body for any more broken bones. He sighed when he found no more, but Daniel's rib cage was probably worse now. It probably throbbed horribly as Daniel's ragged breathing shook it. He cursed when his eyes fell to those damned wrist shackles, so even though he was unconscious and couldn’t possibly escape Osiris still felt the need to keep him chained? Jack cursed again then carefully lifted Daniel into his arms. His only sign that Daniel even registered he was being lifted was a moan of pain followed by gasping as Jack's arm contacted some unforeseen injuries...so there were more injuries after all? He managed to sit back down leaning against the cell wall; he gently eased Daniel back against him again trying not to notice how Daniel's head flopped against his shoulder. After he had Daniel propped against him he picked up his jacket and again covered his friend with it. Right now he was sure that Daniel was unconscious, so how long would it be until he awoke? As Jack glanced at his friend's still flushed face he found himself again silently questioning what they did to him this time, and what did they do to him before? He could only imagine what all they did to Daniel throughout his captivity, and he didn't like the thoughts that entered his mind.
Jack refused to go to sleep vowing he would be awake when Daniel finally was. He could not sleep. He refused to do so. He sat there watching his friend drawing breath then propped his head against the wall staring at the ceiling. Daniel remained still as death not moving at all except to breathe. Jack didn't like it when Daniel was that still...he was just too still.
* * * *
Later on Jack lifted his head as he heard the cell door open. He glanced up seeing the Goa'uld Daniel had said was actually a Tok'ra entering. He was rather surprised when the man rushed over to him. He watched Jotham suspiciously wondering just what he was up to. Jotham glanced at Jack then saw the grooves now marring the left side of Daniel's face. He spoke with anger lining his voice "Osiris came for him again did he not? Did he not?"
Jack glared at him then spoke sternly not trusting Jotham for a minute. He responded, "Yes...care to tell me what the hell they did to Daniel?"
"I do not know, Colonel O'Neill. I was not there and was not informed that he had been taken again."
"Well, he's been unconscious for the last few hours...what the hell would cause that?"
"He has been unconscious? Has he moved?"
"No. So tell me what could have been done to him?"
"Colonel O'Neill, will you please ease Daniel forward for me?"
"So that I may look at the back of his neck...Please."
"The back of his neck? Why?"
"Because I want to see if what I fear is true. Please Colonel O'Neill..."
Jack slowly eased Daniel forward holding onto his friend so that Daniel wouldn't fall forward. Jotham reached over to Daniel's back and gently eased the neck of the t-shirt downward. Remembering the nasty flesh wound on Daniel's shoulder presently he was very careful not to jar it. When he looked at the base of Daniel's neck he had his answer. He mentally cursed. Damn it! They had used that damned shock device on him again. Jotham looked up, coldness reflecting in his eyes, he continued, "Do you see the base of his neck?"
Jack leaned forward looking at it and found himself wincing and feeling half ill as he saw the charred skin there. Daniel had been burned there several times. Jack demanded, "What the hell is that from?"
"He will not awake for several more hours. Even now pain is within him. He will not awake until it eases some."
"What do you mean pain is within him?"
"Daniel was exposed to the Goa'uld shock device. A powerful device used to send jolts of electricity into the body of its victims. Once it enters it courses through the victim's body and limbs then sends the person into violent convulsions followed by muscle spasms and twitches. After it's discharged it drives the victim into unconsciousness rendering them completely helpless. The worst of the pain does not end at final discharge. It then leaves the victim with a severe migraine and makes them excessively weak. Daniel will not awake for at least several more hours. The device was originally created to cause severe pain to a symbiote within a host. If it is applied on a human, devoid of the Goa'uld larva, it creates extreme anguish and renders a person unconscious."
"And this is what was used on Daniel?"
"I am afraid so Colonel O'Neill. Kelsham rather enjoys tormenting Daniel with the device."
"Those sons of bitches!"
"I must return before Osiris searches for me. I will be back to check on Daniel again."
Jotham exited the cell after helping Jack ease Daniel back against him. Then he left the room leaving Jack to think of how Daniel must've felt when he was exposed to that crude device. Damn them, damn them all! What did Daniel ever do to deserve such vile treatment? Why was Osiris so keen on making him suffer? He found that he wanted to know exactly what had happened the first time Daniel ever met Osiris. Something obviously happened for the Goa'uld to have wanted to even abduct Daniel to begin with.
Jack found himself yet again focusing on Daniel's breathing and staring at the ceiling in silence...silently fuming over the suffering his friend had and has been enduring.
* * * *
Major Samantha Carter had eyed up Teal'c with great uncertainty when he told her of his plan. The plan was rather risky. Za'tar was to bring Sam before Anubis saying that he had found her outside the complex. Once Anubis saw her they expected him to contact Osiris. Once Osiris was drawn away from Daniel and Jack Teal'c would enter the main room, still in serpent gear, and tell the guards he was to escort the prisoners to Anubis' chamber where Osiris was waiting. While in the room he would free the two and lead them out as if to take them to Anubis. He expected Daniel to be awake for this and able to move rather quickly, which was a lot to ask of the archaeologist knowing his present condition. Once passed the guards Teal'c would get them out right under their noses. It would be up to Za'tar to get Sam out. The plan was not excessively detailed and was shaky at best but it was the only plan they presently had with Daniel being in such bad shape. It could work or it could backfire. Once they were all gotten out they would have to head for the transport rings so that Jacob could ring them aboard, to head for the Stargate would be total suicide. Daniel was in no shape to run and would be both weak and injured. He would be unable to move quickly and would most likely have to be supported by one of them. The Stargate was just way too risky for that so they would have to journey into the jungle, eluding the guards and make their ways to those rings. Teal'c just hoped that Daniel would at least be able to travel some.
* * * *
Jotham returned to Jack and Daniel's cell carrying Daniel's jacket with him to give to the young man. He noticed that Jack still was wide awake. The man looked extremely exhausted but refused to sleep. His concern for his friend kept him awake. Jotham noticed that Daniel was still unconscious, as well. Jotham approached the two questioning, "How is he?"
"He still hasn't moved."
"And what if he doesn't?"
Suddenly Daniel's pain-laced voice spoke questioning, "Ja'k?" Jack would've jumped for joy if he wasn't holding his friend right then. Daniel had spoken...finally.
Daniel started to drift awake. He was so tired and his head throbbed and pounded excessively. He wanted to wake up but struggled to comply with that thought; he had to wake up. As he started to surface from the darkness of unconsciousness the first thing he was aware of was the extreme pain and anguish thrumming in his body. God, he hurt everywhere! What had happened? Why was he having such difficulty awaking? Why did he feel so weak and so tired? His mind was a jumble of thoughts some clear, some foggy. He tried to focus on waking and opened his eyes to slits seeing brightness invade eyes that had been closed too long. He faintly heard a voice speaking asking how he was. Another voice, deeper, responded that he still hadn't moved. He knew that voice; how did he know that voice? Why couldn't he think of who the owner of that voice was? The ache in his body and the extreme hammering in his head nearly made thinking impossible. As he heard that voice again he placed it and muttered, "Jack?"
God how his throat protested at saying that one simple word… He didn't even think he spoke the word aloud. His throat was so raw and so dry that his voice came out as a hoarse, pain-laced, whisper. He could feel warmth behind him and was sure Jack was there holding him again, supporting his weight to keep Daniel from falling to the floor. He heard Jack speak again louder this time, louder to his ears as consciousness flew at him and roused him from unconsciousness. Jack's calm reassuring voice spoke gently asking, "Hey Daniel, how are you feeling?"
Daniel was awake now but kept his eyes closed temporarily. He spoke louder this time "They used that damned device on me again."
"Shock device...like what was used on Jolinar...when she was a prisoner on Netu..."
"When she was on Netu? What?"
Daniel was referring to the Tok'ra that had, at one time, occupied their friend Major Samantha Carter. Jolinar had been the only one to escape Netu alive. When Sam's dad was taken prisoner, SG-1 freed him. They had used the memories of Jolinar that Sam had in her mind to free him. While she had been under the influence of the memory recall device she had remembered a time when Jolinar had been tortured. Her tormentor used the Goa'uld shock device on her, laughing as she screamed. Sam had been shaken up after experiencing that memory. The memory had been so real to Sam that she had felt the pain that device created in Jolinar. Their friend, Martouf, had apologized to Sam shortly after she had the flash telling her that when the recall device was set on high it could create some very real flashes, so real that the pain of the victim could be experienced. Afterwards he had lowered the setting on the device to spare Sam the experience of feeling what Jolinar had undergone on Netu. Sam had later told Daniel of her experience and by Jack's reaction she never told him. Daniel continued, "Sam didn't tell you? Jolinar was tortured...Sam felt her pain when the memory...device triggered a flashback... The device used on Jolinar...was the same device Osiris has been using...on me."
Jotham stared at Daniel unbelievingly as Daniel spoke of Jolinar. He held Daniel's flack jacket in his hand, but it was forgotten as Jotham listened to Daniel's comments. He now knew for certain that Daniel has knowledge of the Tok'ra and held that knowledge all along denying Osiris any access to it, denying that he ever even heard of the Tok'ra. Jotham found he respected the young archaeologist even more. Daniel Jackson was indeed a very strong Tau'ri. Strong and wise for he had to of realized that to even admit he knew of the Tok'ra could endanger the remaining Tok'ra still in hiding.
Daniel opened his eyes seeing Jotham. He spoke, "Jotham...wha...?"
As Daniel spoke his name Jotham refocused realizing he now held Daniel's jacket still in his hands. He then said, "Daniel, I have brought your jacket. You must escape soon and you will need your jacket to do so."
"My jacket? What?"
"I took it upon myself to confiscate it before Kelsham could. It has not been searched. You may need what is inside. Here you are my friend." He extended it to Daniel who responded, "Thank you Jotham."
"Oh Daniel...your glasses are still in the left hand breast pocket. They are not broken."
Daniel looked at him in confusion then questioned, "Thought didn't search it?"
Jotham smiled gently then said, "What can I say? I was curious."
"But I did not take anything out... Oh you may want to check the right hand pocket when I leave."
"Thank you Jotham."
"You are welcome my friend. I have brought water for you. You must..."
"I know...I know...I must drink."
"Yes you must."
Jotham laid Daniel's flack jacket down then kneeled beside Daniel. He said, "Are you ready my friend?"
Jotham gently placed the cup to Daniel's cracked lips then gently placed his free hand behind Daniel's head to help support his neck some and help to keep Daniel's head from flopping completely back.
Daniel ingested some of the precious water again coughing as it jarred his throat, leaving a searing trail of pain in its wake. Daniel had to literally force himself to drink it. The pain alone made him want to protest. After he drank some Jotham helped him to eat some bread. Daniel managed to choke it down. After Daniel refused to eat and drink anymore Jotham said, "Anubis' guards still search for your friends. They have not yet been captured. Osiris has plans to send Daniel with Kelsham to another planet. His main goal is to get Daniel off of this planet so that he can no longer be rescued."
"Kelsham will come for you tomorrow, Daniel. When he takes you, you will not return."
"Shit!" came Jack's grumbled response. Jotham continued, "I will give your friends until midnight to come for you both. If they do not then I will take Daniel with me and will radio Jacob Carter to retrieve us. I will not allow Osiris to move you again. If he were to do so we would most likely never locate you again. He would make sure to take you some where no one would ever find you."
Daniel unconsciously shivered at that thought. If Osiris succeeded in his plan then all of his threats would come true. Daniel would never die. He would always be resurrected and tortured. He would eventually go insane as he was repetitively pushed to and beyond his endurance. As he died and was resurrected again his life would be a hellish nightmare for all eternity. Daniel prayed that would never happen. He felt the veil of sleep again descending on him and leaned his head back against Jack. His eyes drifted slowly shut. He would not sleep. He would just temporarily close his eyes, but as he mentally voiced that thought sleep subdued him sending him deep into its soothing grip.
Jotham watched as Daniel struggled to remain awake and alert knowing that Daniel was fighting a losing battle. He was extremely exhausted and had been denied rest off and on throughout his captivity. His body was no longer giving him the choice to remain awake or go to sleep it was sending him to sleep because he needed it. He watched Daniel's eyes drift completely shut then his head rolled gently to the right, his forehead pressing against Jack's chin.
Jack glanced down realizing the instant his friend was asleep again. He slowly wrapped his arms protectively around his friend careful not to jolt him or wake him. Then he leaned his head forward gently pressing his chin onto the top of Daniel's head. He silently urged his friend to sleep, to rest. He looked up at Jotham as the man suddenly moved grabbing a jacket he gently placed it over Daniel's still sleeping form and tucked it around him like a parent would tuck in their sleeping child...maybe he had been wrong about this Jotham. Jotham might be telling the truth. He might be a Tok'ra after all. It was obvious to Jack by Jotham's movements and actions when with Daniel that this Goa'uld cared for his friend. Jack found that a very odd thing indeed, a Goa'uld caring for a Tau'ri? Jack would've never believed such a thing possible but he knew, could tell, that Jotham was very protective of his young team mate and was very concerned and worried for him as well...All right, so he has been known to be wrong on occasion...on occasion, mind you.
Jotham stayed only a short while longer then left promising to return to check on them.
* * * *
Sam and Teal'c decided to try this crazy plan they came up with and hoped it wouldn't backfire. Sam went with Za'tar and Teal'c followed behind them. Once at Sekhem they split up. Za'tar entered the complex with Sam. He then approached Anubis.
Anubis looked at the serpent guard then at the young woman before him asking, "Who is this?"
"This is the woman Osiris seeks...Major Samantha Carter."
"Ah, I see...Tyran?"
"Yes My Lord?"
"Go retrieve Osiris. Tell him that we have a most unexpected guest."
"Yes My Lord." Tyran did as ordered, finding Osiris he informed him of the woman's capture. Osiris smirked sinisterly then he went to where the woman and Anubis were waiting.
* * * *
Teal'c, meanwhile, headed for the main throne room where he knew Daniel Jackson was being held. He told the guards he was here to retrieve the prisoners to take them before their lord. One of the guards approached the cell, unlocked it and then retreated. Teal'c looked at his two friends. Daniel had been injured further since he last saw him. He was now asleep and Jack was holding him. Teal'c approached the two issuing a command, "Get up Tau'ri, it is time for you both to meet your lord again."
Jack glanced up recognizing the serpent guard at the cell door. It was Teal'c, thank God he hadn't been captured, but what of Sam? Jack glanced down at his still sleeping friend. He hated to wake Daniel, the man was extremely exhausted, but time was not on their side. Jack spoke softly, "Daniel? Daniel, can you hear me? Come on Daniel, we have to get up now..."
No response. Jack started to get afraid. Daniel was sleeping extremely deep, deeper than he had ever seen him sleep before. He tried again speaking louder this time, "Daniel? Daniel wake up."
"Wha...what?" came Daniel's lethargic reply. Jack sighed heavily when his friend spoke. Then continued, "Come on Danny. Rise and shine."
"Ja'k? Jack what...?"
"Time to go."
Daniel awoke completely when he heard that comment. Then asked, "Jack, where...?" He stopped when he saw the serpent guard from earlier. He froze. Jack gently assured him, "Daniel it's all right. It's all right. Teal’c’s here."
"Teal'c here? Oh right... Jack my head hurts..." came Daniel's half-incoherent response.
"I know it does Danny. I know it does."
Teal'c looked at Daniel in concern then at Jack for an explanation. Jack added, "They used the Goa'uld shock device on him only a few hours ago."
"O'Neill this complicates matters. He will be weak for quite a while."
Daniel cut in, more awake and more alert now, "I'll manage." He slowly rose nearly falling as his leg threatened to buckle again. Jack was there to stop his descent. Jack added, "Don't push yourself Daniel."
"Jack we have to go..."
Teal'c approached Daniel then quickly undid the wrist shackles imprisoning him. Daniel sighed aloud as the vile things dropped off of his wrists. Then he began to gently rub over his raw, cut up, sore flesh. He said, "Thanks Teal'c."
Teal'c could see the nasty grooves and cuts encircling each of Daniel's wrists where shackles had imprisoned his friend for the last few weeks. Jack paled when he saw those marks. He remembered a time when his wrists had looked that badly abused from cold metal cuffs. The memory served to chill him to the bone. He unconsciously began to rub over his own wrist as the memory seized him.
Daniel noticed Jack become suddenly quiet and turned a concerned look his friend's way. When he saw the blank stare on Jack's face and the way he rubbed over his own wrist Daniel felt a stab of guilt shoot through him. Jack was remembering a time when he was held captive and the marks on Daniel's wrists served to bring the memory to the surface. Damn it! Daniel gently placed a comforting hand over top of Jack's. His gentle pressure served to still the movement of Jack's own hand. Daniel prompted gently, "Jack? Jack look at me. Listen to me. Jack, we have to go. Jack..."
Jack snapped out of the memory seeing the sudden concern in Daniel's eyes and realized he had frozen in the grips of a memory of his own tormented past. Daniel spoke his name again. His calm gentle voice and the look of gentleness and understanding reflected in those penetrating deep blue eyes of Daniel's served to ground him. He replied, "Thanks Daniel."
Daniel nodded his head smiling at him. It was then that Jack felt a warm hand covering his own cold hand. Daniel, it was Daniel's hand now gripping his to comfort and reassure him. Jack looked back up then said, "I'm all right now Danny. I'm all right." Daniel inclined his head then slowly removed his comforting hand. Jack continued, "Here put your jacket on."
Daniel accepted his jacket and managed to ease his left arm into the sleeve. He pulled it around him then attempted to pull it onto his right arm. The simple movement sent pain slicing at him as the shoulder wound was jarred. Daniel gritted his teeth tightly together trying to bite back the pain. He tried to again pull the jacket on the rest of the way but knew with that injury he couldn't do it alone. He spoke up, "Uh Jack? A little help here..."
Jack looked at Daniel and for the first time noticed Daniel struggling to pull the jacket on the rest of the way. He suddenly remembered why then quickly offered his aid saying, "Oh your shoulder wound..."
Daniel looked up at Jack questioningly. How did Jack know of that wound? It was covered with the t-shirt unless... Obviously Jack had examined him for serious injuries and had found the shoulder wound. Daniel simply responded, "Yeah..."
As Jack gently eased the right sleeve up over Daniel's arm and used extreme caution so as not to jar the bad injury Daniel muttered, "Doc Fraiser is going to be so angry at me when she sees me."
Jack laughed then said, "You know Daniel, you're probably right about that."
"Just what I need...a vacation in the SGC infirmary. What a great life we lead."
Jack smiled at Daniel then Teal'c interrupted saying, "Indeed..." Teal'c then continued, "We must go."
Teal'c escorted Jack and Daniel passed the guards then out of the compound. No one even bothered to stop them, which surprised the hell out of Jack. Teal'c waited for the guards to change over and took that time to lead Jack and Daniel away from the vicinity of Sekhem. He led them to a building where they could remain concealed. He told them he was returning for Sam and Za'tar. He then looked at Daniel, who seemed to be waning again. Jack whispered, "Go. I'll take care of Danny."
Teal'c inclined his head then left to help Sam and Za'tar, but not before telling Jack that if he was not back soon he would have to get Daniel to the ship himself.
* * * *
Daniel watched as Teal'c left the building then turned to Jack saying, "I'm sorry."
"Sorry? About what?"
"Being so damned weak..."
"It's not your fault. It's that damned shock device and all the..."
"Jack, don't let me endanger the rest of you..."
"Daniel, we came here to find you. There is no way in hell we're leaving without you!"
"But Jack if..."
"No! Now you need to sit and relax. Conserve your strength." with that said Jack sat down against the wall then continued, "You just rest a bit. I'll wake you in a little while."
"Daniel, don't argue with me."
Daniel sighed heavily then sat down beside Jack. He felt so weak, so tired. He hated feeling like that. He would only slow them down as they made their escape. Daniel was too exhausted to keep going. He felt hot and suddenly remembered the fever. He would close his eyes only a few minutes...he only needed a few more minutes...Daniel drifted asleep again. Jack watched his young friend as he again fell prey to sleep.
* * * *
Teal'c entered the one chamber where Za'tar had led Sam. He saw Za'tar standing with Sam beside him. Anubis was sitting and Osiris was entering the room. Osiris smiled evilly when he saw Sam. He said, "So we meet again. It has been so long. Where is your other friend the good doctor...what was her name? Fraiser, Doctor Fraiser, I believe. We have some unfinished business as well. You will be joining Doctor Jackson shortly. I will not lose him, and I will not lose you either. I have waited so long to get my hands on you, Doctor Jackson and Doctor Fraiser. She will be joining us as well. I will have my revenge!"
Sam questioned, "Your revenge? Revenge for what?"
"For the three of you daring to attempt to capture me. It is because of you, because of Doctor Jackson and because of Doctor Fraiser that I was trapped on that primitive planet. I had plenty of time to plot my revenge on the three of you."
"So your only interest in us is to seek revenge?"
"My interest in Doctor Fraiser and you is that, yes."
"Oh Daniel...Yes Daniel... He is another matter indeed. It is true I want my revenge on Jackson, but I want more than that from him...much, much more."
Osiris smirked evilly then continued, "Your friend is quite the spirited one. I love a challenge and Doctor Jackson will prove to be a difficult one..."
"So you only want him to break him?"
"No, no. I want more than that from your dear Doctor Jackson, much more. But you do not need to concern yourself with such matters. What I want from Doctor Daniel Jackson is really of no concern to you."
* * * *
Jack checked on Daniel once more before going to make a sweep of the building. Teal'c most likely already did that but Jack needed to make a sweep too. If Anubis' guards were some how drawn this way he would have to find a way to get Daniel and him safely away from here and fast. As he examined the building his first thought was the size. The building was small. There were two exits and two exits only. Jack didn't like that, but he noticed the building sat back behind taller structures. It was relatively hidden, probably just a forgotten structure amongst the huge structures now overshadowing it. Once he was satisfied with knowing the immediate lay out of the area he reentered the place and approached his friend again. Daniel was still sleeping. His skin was flushed. Jack gently touched his forehead...fever was still with him. He then sat where he could keep a look out while also keeping an eye on his sleeping friend. They had to get Daniel off of this planet and soon. He was running out of time...
* * * *
Teal'c listened to Osiris speaking with Sam and knew he would have to get her and Za'tar out of there before Osiris discovered he was now missing his prize prisoner and Jack. If Osiris found that out Sam would pay the price. She would take Daniel's place. Osiris would take all of his anger out on her then, when he got his hands on Daniel again, he would make Daniel suffer as well. Teal'c had to get them out before Jack and Daniel's sudden disappearance was discovered. Osiris seemed to want Sam almost as much as he wanted Daniel. Teal'c found that he didn't like that one bit...
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