Part 7: Madman’s World
“Which way, Carter?”
Samantha scanned the area with a hand-held device. They’d been able to isolate the mirrors energy signature from their examination of Kuk’s room in the warehouse. The device had been modified to pick up that energy. “This way, Sir. About two miles north.”
The team made it’s way without incident. As they closed in on the signal, they expected to see regular soldiers—Kuk wouldn’t have any Jaffa because he had no larvae to implant in them. He would have to make due with ordinary humans. They were so close now they could hear the hustle and bustle of Kuk’s slave laborers. No sentries, no guards. They hid behind a grouping of rocks, watching with binoculars.
Daniel looked around nervously. “Is it just me, or does anyone else have a bad feeling about this?”
“You are right to be worried.” A voice called to them from a distance. “I’ve been expecting you and your noisy little group.” Several armed soldiers burst up out of the sand and began firing.
SG1 was taken by surprise. Samantha got winged in the side before she managed to dive behind a rock.
“Samantha, are you alright?”
“I’ll be fine. It just grazed me.”
SG1 fired back with a vengeance. Kuk had about ten men with him. He hadn’t counted on his enemies having energy weapons, too. He had only been able to procure a few for his most trusted guards. The others had been forced to use primitive weapons stolen from earth.
Jack spoke low to the others. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I never thought I’d see the day when these guys had to resort to bullets. What next? Spears and rocks?”
Kuk waved a hand for his men to stop firing. “Impudent dog! How dare you insult the God of Darkness in such a way? Who are you?”
“Colonel Jack O’Neill of Earth. We’re here for the humans you’ve kidnapped. If you surrender now, we promise you’ll be taken back to your people. They can help you.”
“My people? The other gods?”
“The Tok’ra.” For a moment it looked like he was softening up, but at the mention of the Tok’ra, his face hardened into a cold mask.
“The Tok’ra? The betrayers? Yes, boy. Take me to them so I can make them suffer as Naufri suffered. I would gladly give them the same fate they left her to.”
Jack turned to the others. “I don’t care how old he is, it’s hard to be called ‘boy’ by someone who doesn’t look any older than you. I guess he found his new host.”
Daniel added, “Or symbiote.”
Teal’c glanced over the top of the rocks. “Daniel Jackson, I believe that Colonel O’Neill is correct. It appears that Kuk has taken the body of the missing detective from the warehouse. I doubt that he joined with Kuk willingly.”
Daniel thought Kuk’s new body had looked familiar. He just hadn’t paid as much attention as Teal’c apparently had. The detective’s picture had been among the many pieces of information gathered from the warehouse incident. So that was Blair’s partner. From all accounts, Blair and Detective Ellison were very close. He’d been hoping they would find Ellison alive and well for Blair’s sake. Things had just gotten a whole lot more complicated.
Kuk hailed them from where he stood behind his men quite a distance away. “You are correct. I’ve never taken an unwilling host before, but I had no choice this time. Things have worked out for the best, though. Fate ordained for James Ellison to come to me! His body is more powerful than any human body I have ever encountered.”
Jack frowned. “Anyone care to guess as to how he heard us from way over there when we were whispering?”
Samantha wondered if they’d been bugged somehow.
“Fools! It is as if you are standing next to me. I have been given new powers to destroy my enemies. This was meant to be. With this body I can hear and smell and see farther than anyone. Who knows what other mysterious abilities await me? Surely this is a sign of my impending success. My brother and sister gods who have gone on before me still keep watch over me. Naufri blesses me—and condemns you! Kill them! Kill them all!” Kuk turned without another word, lost in his own little world. He walked off, laughing hysterically.
Daniel was dumbstruck. He could hear and smell and… No. Could it be? A man with heightened senses? It was true. Blair’s dissertation had all been true. But he told everyone he was a fraud. Why would he..? James Ellison was Blair’s friend. He threw away his academic career to save his friend.
Jacks’ voice broke through his thoughts. “You know, when fighting the bad guys, it usually helps to shoot back. They don’t fall down by themselves.”
“Oh. Right.” Daniel scooted closer to the rocks, trying to make himself less of a target as he fired.
Teal’c popped up from cover to shoot one of Kuk’s men dead on. Then dropped back down again. He peered around the rocks every few seconds. Then he would pop up in a different spot and shoot another one. One of the soldiers nailed him in the arm, but Teal’c barely noticed he’d been hurt and kept firing.
Jack wished he had five more Teal’cs—except without the juniors. A bullet whizzed by. He needed to keep his mind on his own shooting. He heard something in the bushes to the left. He turned and shot. One of Kuk’s men fell out of the bush. “They’re trying to surround us. Carter, you’re with me. Daniel, Teal’c. Cover us.”
Daniel and Teal’c started firing like crazy, giving the two of them time to crawl away from the rocks and into the bushes. From there they could see three more headed their way. They both took careful aim, trying to synchronize their shots. They wanted to take out two of them at once and then the third before he had time to react. Jack looked at Carter. She nodded. They both fired. Jack swung his weapon into position and took out the third man before he had a chance to raise his gun. They stayed in the bushes, waiting for any more men to attempt a sneak attack. None came. They no longer heard any sounds of gunfire at all.
Jack spun around. “Teal’c! How many times do I have to tell you to stop sneaking up on me? Especially when I have a weapon in my hand.”
“My apologies, O’Neill. We are here to inform you that all of Kuk’s men have been dealt with.”
“When you bring good news like that, you’re allowed to sneak up on me.”
There was a noticeable twinkle in Teal’c’s eyes. “If you say so Colonel O’Neill.”
“Jack. I think we need to go back to SGC and regroup. We have a lot of new information to deal with now. If what I suspect is true, there’s no way we’ll be able to sneak up on Kuk. He’ll hear us coming and summon even more soldiers. He might even be listening in on us right now.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Kuk now inhabits the body of a Sentinel.”
Daniel tried to explain himself on the way back, but he hadn’t read Blair’s entire paper and didn’t quite have a handle on the idea himself. Jack couldn’t believe in the concept and Samantha wanted to see scientific evidence. All Teal’c would say was that he had never heard of such a thing, but that did not mean Sentinels did not exist. They debated the issue even as they entered the Gate.
As they came through, Jack was the first to speak again. “Come on, Daniel. Heightened senses? Even this guy, Sandburg, confessed that he made the whole thing up.”
“He was protecting his friend, Jack. I had a hard time believing that Blair would fake a dissertation, but throw away his future for someone he cared about? That sounds like him.”
“Not Blair. Not that much.”
“Aren’t you the one who told me Blair was against guns and now he carries one as a cop? Nope. No change there.”
Jack sent Teal’c and Samantha to the infirmary while he and Daniel headed for General Hammond’s office. The general had wanted them to report to him immediately. Jack thought it was odd that he hadn’t been waiting for them at the Gate. As they approached the door, one of the guards spoke up.
“Sir. The general is in a meeting.”
Daniel looked puzzled. “A meeting with whom? We know his schedule for the day and he’s not meeting anyone.”
“He’s with a Colonel Sanders.”
“Colonel Sanders? Is this some kind of joke?” Jack knocked on the door. “Sir, you wanted to see us?”
“Not now, Major O’Neill. I’m busy at the moment.”
Major O’Neill? Something was wrong. He nodded to the others. He pulled his gun and kicked in the door.
Daniel was shocked to see Blair Sandburg holding a gun on the general. “Blair?”
Jack took no comfort in the fact that he’d been right. “Some people do change, Daniel.”