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The rifle had been found sitting several feet up in a pine tree.  A member of the forensics team scaled the tree to examine everything for fingerprints and other trace evidence, but nothing was found.  The stuff would all be taken to the lab for closer examination.

Daniel and the rest of SG-1 were waiting as the rifle and the device it was mounted on were lowered to the ground.  Sam took a close look at them.

"Well, there's the camera and the transmitter for sending the video feed to the monitoring equipment," she said.

"What's that thing it's mounted on?" Jack asked.

Sam studied it closely.  "I'm not sure, sir, but, if I had to make a guess, I'd say it's a remotely controlled arm used for aiming the rifle.  It makes sense.  Firing a gun remotely, you couldn't always count on your target stepping into the rifle's line of fire.  You'd have to have a way to move the weapon."

"So, he used the video feed to show him where the president was, then aimed the rifle with that thing.  The video feed probably has targeting crosshairs, like a scope."

"Most likely.  This is quite a set-up, sir, something I'd imagine our government developing."

"For all we know, they did.  So, what this means is that the shooter could have been anywhere."

Sam shook her head.  "The range on that transmitter is limited.  I'd guess that he was probably in DC somewhere."

"Since he failed to get his target he may still be there."  Jack looked at Daniel.  "So, you ready to do your thing?"

Daniel nodded.  Not wanting to get his fingerprints on the rifle, he asked Sam to put a latex glove on the hand of the arm that wasn't in a sling.  He then touched the weapon and closed his eyes.  Images flashed through his mind of a brown-eyed man in his mid to late fifties.  He saw a jet, someone jumping out of it, and then the parachutist landing in a forest at night.

As the images faded away, Daniel opened his eyes.  "He parachuted in.  He was wearing night vision goggles and something that looked like an oxygen mask."

"HALO jump," Jack said.  "High Altitude Low Opening.  You jump from a very high altitude, then wait until you're close to the ground before opening your chute.  It's a tactic used a lot in the military.  I get the distinct feeling that our shooter is military-trained."

"Parachuting in would make sense," Sam remarked.  "Weighed down with all that equipment, it would be difficult to get here by foot, especially with all the security measures in place around the area."

"I think this confirms our suspicions about who was involved in this.  The assassin had to have inside information.  He knew right where to go for the best place to set this weapon up."  Jack turned back to Daniel.  "See anything else?"

"I know what he looks like."

"Sweet.  We'll hook you up with a sketch artist.  I suppose you didn't get a name."

"No, afraid not."

"Well, this is a lot more than we would have had without you.  We need to find out what planes were flying in this area last night.  I'm guessing it was last night that this was set up."

Daniel nodded.  "And I can probably tell you exactly when."

"When you had the dream?" Sam guessed.


"Okay, let's go back to the lodge and fill in the president," Jack said.

It turned out that one of the navy personnel stationed there had some art training, so they didn't have to wait for a sketch artist to be brought in.  With Daniel's precise description of the hit man, they were able to create a good sketch of the man.  The archeologist also gave them the man's coloring and his approximate height, weight, and age.

Hayes shook the archeologist's hand.  "Thank you, Doctor Jackson.  Not only did you save my life, the information you've given us may enable us to catch the assassin."

"I'm glad I could help, sir."

"Well, I have to get back to DC, and I believe you four have a flight home to catch."  Hayes smiled.  "I have to say that this was probably the most memorable weekend I'll ever spend here."

"It was quite the weekend for us, too, sir," Jack said.

Hayes said goodbye to SG-1.  With an army of Secret Service surrounding him, he got into his helicopter and flew off.  A short while later, he was back at the White House.  The second he walked in the door, he was besieged by a dozen staff members, every one of them asking if he was all right and wanting to know what information there was about the assassination attempt.  Hayes told them that he was fine, and they'd be filled in as soon as possible.  The president then went to the Oval Office, where he was joined a short while later by the vice president.

"I'm relieved that you're all right, Mister President," Kinsey said.  If Hayes hadn't known better, he'd almost believe that the man was being truthful.

"So am I, Bob.  I wouldn't be if it wasn't for Doctor Jackson.  He sensed the danger just in the nick of time and pushed me out of the way.  Hit got hit by a bullet that was meant for me."

Hope blossomed within Kinsey.  Maybe there was a chance that the archeologist would die after all.  "Is it serious?"

"No, he was hit in the arm.  But, even if it had been serious, he'd probably have been okay.  He healed himself right in front of my eyes.  It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

Kinsey blinked in shock.  "Healed himself?"

"Oh, that's right.  You haven't read that report, have you.  It seems that Doctor Jackson has the ability to heal injuries in himself and others, a little something left over from the download of all that Ancient knowledge."

The news that Jackson had yet another psychic ability did not go over well with Kinsey, though he tried his best to hide it.

"Also thanks to Doctor Jackson, we have a description of the shooter and know how he got into Camp David."

Kinsey was starting to get really nervous.  "Any idea on who hired him?"

Hayes studied the vice president closely.  He and SG-1 had agreed that it would be best if Kinsey didn't know that he was under suspicion, at least not yet.

"Not yet, but with what we have, we just might be able to figure this out and catch the ones responsible," the president replied.

Kinsey relaxed.  He knew that, even if they caught the assassin, there would be no tracks leading back to him.  If things started heating up, he would have to get rid of the cell phone, but he would hold off on doing that.  Right now, he needed to keep in touch with his contacts, and he wouldn't have the opportunity to set up another cell phone number registered under a fake identity.  Things around here were going to be touchy for the next few weeks.

Benedict stared in shock at the news report of the assassination attempt.  The sketch of a face was being shown, the man identified as the possible assassin.  It was his face.  How could anyone have identified him?  Not a soul had seen him at Camp David or anywhere near there.

Benedict was now very grateful that, years ago, he'd chosen to have plastic surgery so that he could not be identified through his military record.

Knowing that if the motel clerk was watching the news, he might be identified, Benedict quickly packed up and left, leaving the key for the room on the dresser.  Fortunately, he had already wiped down everything, so there was no danger of leaving fingerprints behind.  As for DNA, no one would be able to ID him from his DNA since he had no criminal record, and his military career was from before they began keeping DNA records.

As he drove away from the motel, the assassin began wishing that he'd left the country as originally planned.  Whenever a hit was successful, he always left the country immediately, if possible, but when the hit was not successful, he would stay until he received further instructions from the person who hired him, as long as it wasn't too dangerous to do so.  Since he had believed he was safe, he had chosen to stay.  Now, everything had changed.

Benedict stopped at a gas station and went into the bathroom.  There, he proceeded to change his appearance.  He put on a fake moustache and beard and blue contact lenses.  This would do for now.  As soon as he had an opportunity, he would add some latex to his nose and dye the grey out of his hair to change his appearance even more.

The next thing Benedict did was dump the car.  There was a chance that someone at the rental agency would remember him.  Before getting rid of the vehicle, he thoroughly cleaned it so that no evidence would be left behind.  He left the car in an area where it would likely not be noticed for quite a while, then walked to where he could catch a bus.  After renting a new car under a different identity, he retrieved his luggage from where he'd stashed it.

Going to an Internet café, Benedict logged on to get his email.  He read the angry message asking him what happened.  He was displeased by the tone of the message, finding it to be unprofessional.  He sent a reply to that email, but also sent an email to the other address he had for the ones who hired him.  Now, all he had to do was wait for those who hired him to respond.

By the time SG-1 got back to Colorado, news of the attempted assassination was all over the radio and TV.  The president was scheduled to have a press conference at 7 p.m. Mountain Time, and the team wanted to be sure to watch it.

SG-1 went straight to Hammond's office.  The general came forward and laid a hand on Daniel's shoulder.

"You did good, Son," he said softly.

"Thank you, sir."

"Colonel O'Neill said that you were shot in the arm."

Daniel looked down at his left arm.  Once they arrived at Dulles, he had removed the sling and the bloody bandages since there was no longer any reason to wear them.

"I was, sir, but I'm fine now."

"He healed himself, General," Jack informed Hammond.

Surprise colored the general's face.  "That's good to hear.  I'm sure that ability will come in handy in the future."

Jack looked at Daniel, smirking slightly.  "There's no doubt of that, sir."

Hammond returned to his seat.  "Colonel, you said that you're pretty certain Vice President Kinsey is behind this."

"Yes, sir, him and those rogue NID guys."

"But there is no proof to back this up?"

"I'm afraid not, General," Sam admitted.  "Maybe if they catch the hit man, they'll be able to get something from him."

"If Kinsey was an idiot like before, he'll have something on his computer," Jack said.

"But they can't go looking on his computer without revealing that he's a suspect, which the president doesn't want to do yet," Sam stated.

"I'm afraid that this must be left in the hands of the president and the investigators, at least for the present time," Hammond told the teammates.  "Consider yourselves off-duty for the rest of the day, SG-1."  He looked at Daniel.  "Doctor Fraiser is expecting you in the infirmary, Doctor Jackson."

The archeologist let out a groan, which made the others smile.  They accompanied him to the infirmary.

When Janet saw him come in without a sling, her frown got even deeper.

"You.  Sit," she commanded firmly, pointing at an exam table, her tone making it clear that she was not happy.

"Janet, I—" Daniel began.


Daniel hesitated, then went over to the table.

"Take off your shirt," the doctor then ordered.

"Janet, there's no—"

"Save your excuses for later," Janet told him.

The archeologist sighed softly and took off his shirt.  Janet stared in puzzlement at the smooth, flawless skin of his arms.  She turned to Jack.

"You told me he was shot in the arm."

"He was," the colonel confirmed.

"This is what I was trying to tell you," Daniel said.  "I healed myself.  The wound's gone."

Surprised, Janet stared at him for a few seconds, then thoroughly examined the place he had been shot.  "You're sure that the bullet is not still in there?" the doctor asked.

"There was an exit wound," Sam replied.

"Even so, I'm going to take some x-rays to make sure something wasn't left behind and that no bones were damaged."

The x-rays were clean, no sign of anything that shouldn't be there.

"Everything appears to be all right, but I'm still not happy that you refused to go to the hospital, Daniel," Janet said.

"There were things that I needed to tell the president about the shooting," Daniel explained, "and I also knew that there was a good chance I'd be able to get information about the assassin from the weapon.  I decided that catching the person who tried to kill the president was a lot more important than going to the hospital for a gunshot would in the arm that had already been treated by a medic."

Janet met his gaze for a long moment, then let out a sigh.  "I guess I can't argue with that.  Just don't do it again, or you will be sorry."

"I won't . . . unless I have to."

Janet frowned at him severely, thinking that maybe she could dream up a whole slew of annoying tests to subject Daniel to.  And then there were the various vitamin shots and inoculations she could make him suffer through.

The doctor sighed mentally, knowing that she wasn't mean enough to do that to him.

"Can I go home now?" Daniel asked.

"Since there appears to be nothing wrong with you, I see no point in keeping you here," Janet responded.  She focused her sharp gaze on Daniel.  "But if you have any pain or other symptoms, I want you back in here right away."

SG-1 went to Daniel's house, picking up some dinner on the way.  They had just finished eating when the time for the press conference came.  Daniel turned on the TV and tuned it to one of the network stations.

There was a brief introduction, then the president came on.

"As you all know, this morning at eight o'clock, an unknown individual attempted to assassinate me.  Investigators are now seeking to find the people responsible for this."

After saying a few more words, the president started answering questions from the press, some of which he couldn't answer with complete candidness, such as the one about how they knew what the shooter looked like.  Hayes told the press that it was obtained through a source that preferred to remain nameless.  He did not say anything about having a suspect for who ordered the hit.

Once the press conference was over, Daniel shut off the TV.

"All I can say is that they'd better find some proof that Kinsey had a hand in this," Jack said.  "First, he tries to have Daniel killed, and, now, the president.  That man is way too dangerous to be allowed to stay free."

Jack and Teal'c stayed for an hour longer, then left.  Not having slept well the previous night, Daniel decided to go to bed early.  As he and Sam lay holding each other, a feeling came over the archeologist that this was far from over.  Something else was going to be happening, something big.

Getting no premonition of impending danger, Daniel decided not to let the feeling bother him.  With a sigh, he closed his eyes and joined Sam in sleep.

It had been three days since the failed assassination attempt, and Kinsey was in an extremely foul mood.  Hayes was pushing forward with his plans to give Daniel Jackson the Medal of Freedom, and there was nothing the vice president could do or say that would change the man's mind.  Even if there had been before, there most certainly wouldn't be now, not since Jackson risked his own life to save the president's.  Hayes had become one of the archeologist's biggest fans.  It was enough to make Kinsey want to scream.

The assassin had replied to the vice president's email with the explanation that he had failed to hit the president because Jackson unexpectedly pushed Hayes down, covering him with his own body.  The hit man then revealed that his second shot did hit its target, but not in the intended location.  So, the bullet that struck Jackson hadn't been meant for the president after all; it had been the one intended to kill the archeologist.  Unfortunately, it failed to do so.  Wanting to make sure that the assassin knew that he'd failed twice, Kinsey emailed him back, saying that the second target only received a minor wound.

As soon as he was able to do so, the vice president called his contact and told him that the hit man said he missed because Hayes suddenly bent over at the very moment the shot was taken.  This was the story that the president told the press when they asked.  Though he wanted to give credit to Jackson for saving his life, it would lead to too many questions about why the archeologist was at Camp David.

When Kinsey asked his contact what they were going to do now, the man said that he would be told about their plans when the time was right.

Since then, Kinsey hadn't had time to do much of anything, not even checking his email for any other messages from the hit man.  The investigation was in full swing, and he had to keep a close eye on it to make sure the trail wasn't leading to him or the organization.  He did so under the guise of a concerned vice president who wanted to see the perpetrators caught.

Government, military, and criminal records, both in the U.S. and internationally, had been searched for someone matching the assassin's description, but, so far, he hadn't been identified.  However, the clerk for a cheap motel in one of the seamier areas of DC had called to report that he recognized the face of the assassin.  A team was immediately sent there, but, of course, the assassin was long gone.  The forensics team had gone over the room and came away with fingerprints and DNA samples, but it was unlikely that any of the prints belonged to the hit man.  He was too professional to leave behind that kind of evidence.  None of the prints had been ID'd yet, with the exception of those that belonged to the maid.

Kinsey had wondered why the assassin picked that kind of motel until one of the investigators pointed out that such motels were better for keeping a low profile since the clerks made a habit of not paying much attention to the people who checked in, which was often a man in the company of a prostitute.  They were lucky that this one had paid enough attention to recognize the sketch on TV.

Also being sought was a pilot named Job Norris.  The investigators had determined that only one plane flying in the area the night before the assassination attempt could have been the one from which the hit man had parachuted.  Norris had avoided capture by the team that was sent to arrest him at his home and was now a fugitive.

Today, Kinsey was scheduled to talk to a civil rights organization that was making noises about some of the new policies that the president was hoping to implement.  The vice president would rather have cancelled the thing, but Hayes didn't see any reason to do so.  After all, it wasn't Kinsey that someone was trying to kill.

The vice president and his retinue of bodyguards entered the auditorium and walked up onto the stage.  Kinsey glanced over and saw that his speech notes were in place on the lectern.  He always preferred not to step onto a podium with his notes in his hands, so he usually had them placed on the lectern ahead of time.

Taking his seat, the vice president waited to be announced.  As far as he was concerned, this was a waste of time.  So what if a bunch of civil rights liberals were ticked off that the president had plans they didn't like?  The organization wasn't big enough or influential enough to put a stop to anything.  Taking the time to try and appease them was not necessary.  But the decision was not his to make.  Kinsey swore that, someday, he'd be the one making the decisions.

At last, Kinsey was introduced to the crowd.  With a smile he tried to make look genuine, the vice president stood and went to the lectern.

He began his speech, which he thought his writer had done a pretty good job of crafting.  If the idiots couldn't see reason after he was finished, it would be no fault of his.

Reaching the end of the first page of his speech, Kinsey lifted it to set aside, but froze, the sheet of paper still in his hand.  What had been revealed was not the second page of his speech.  Instead, it was a short note with only three words on it: "You were warned."

It took only one second for Robert Kinsey to figure out the meaning of the note.  In the next second, he realized that he'd made a terrible mistake and his life was in danger.

In the second after that, a single gunshot rang out.

The four members of SG-1 approached Hammond's office.  The general had ordered them to come see him immediately.

"What's up, sir?" Jack asked as soon as they arrived and saw the grave expression of Hammond's face.

"Vice President Kinsey has been assassinated."

"What?!" exclaimed the three human members of the team.

"How?" Daniel asked, stunned.

"He was shot while giving a speech to a civil rights group."

"Forgive me for saying this, sir, but are we sure he's really dead this time?" Jack asked, recalling the last time Kinsey was supposedly assassinated.

"Yes, Colonel.  There's no doubt of it.  He was hit in the chest and bled to death in front of hundreds of witnesses."

Everyone was silent for a few seconds.

"Did they catch the hit man?" Daniel asked quietly.

"No, and this is the reason why the president contacted me right away.  The Secret Service agents with the vice president figured out immediately that the shot came from a control booth above the auditorium.  When they got there, they found a set-up similar to the one used in the attempt to kill President Hayes."

"Then this means that the same guy pulled the trigger," Jack concluded.

"Yes, it does," Hammond agreed.

"But why?" Daniel wanted to know.  "If Kinsey was in on the attempted assassination of the president, why did the people he's in league with kill him?"

"When they tried to kill him before, it was because they considered him a liability." Jack replied.  "I'd guess it was the same reason this time."

"You may be right, Colonel," Hammond said, "although there could be more to it than that.  Someone apparently planted a note in the vice president's speech.  It said, 'You were warned.'"

"Warned?  About what?" Sam asked.

"That is something we don't know."  Hammond looked at Daniel.  "Doctor Jackson, the president wants you to come to the White House."

"Me?  How come?"

"He's hoping that if you touch a few things in Kinsey's office, you might be able to see something that would give us a clue about who these people are and what this is all about."

"Are all of us invited, sir?" Jack asked, not wanting Daniel to go alone.

"Yes, you are, Colonel.  The president already figured that you'd want to come with Doctor Jackson."

"So, another lovely commercial flight to DC, huh."

"Not this time.  You'll be taking a flight out of Peterson.  The president wants you in DC as soon as possible.  So, go home, pack an overnight bag, and get to Peterson."

"Yes, sir," the colonel said.

"Oh, there is one more thing.  Kinsey managed to say a few things before he died, most of which were pleas for help.  But there was one thing that the Secret Service men made particular note of because he said it twice."

"What's that, sir?" Sam asked.

"The Trust."

Benedict casually packed his bags.  There was no need to rush since he knew that no one would be identifying him this time.  The disguise he'd worn at the auditorium when he set up the weapon had completely changed his appearance.  The description anyone gave would be that of a blond-haired, heavyset man.

The assassin was satisfied by the success of his most recent contract.  He was certain that the target was dead.  His aim had been true.

He thought about what had happened since sending off those two emails three days ago.  The one he'd sent in reply to the question about what went wrong with the hit was responded to with yet another angry message, which didn't surprise him.  What did surprise him was the reply to the other email he'd sent at the same time, the one to his original contact.  The email had asked what he was talking about when he referred to a second target, making it clear that the person knew nothing about Benedict's instructions to kill that other man.  The conversation that followed led the hit man to believe that the person who ordered the second hit had not done so with the approval of all parties involved.

The last email Benedict received told him that there was a new target: the vice president.  He was provided with all the information he needed to make the hit.  There had been one unusual request, however.  His contact had told him to leave a note where Vice President Kinsey would find it and had given explicit instructions that Benedict was not to kill the man until after the note had been read.

That note made Benedict guess that the person who told him to kill that other man had been none other than the vice president.  The hit man didn't know the whole story behind it, but it appeared that Vice President Kinsey had wanted the second man dead, but the others didn't.  They had apparently warned Kinsey to leave the man alone, and he chose to disobey them.  His disobedience cost him his life.

Finishing his packing, Benedict loaded everything into his car.  He drove to an alley and dumped all of the equipment into a trash dumpster.  He disliked doing it because of the expense involved in replacing it, but it had to be done.  He also got rid of anything else that might cause suspicion, including the parachute and his makeup kit.  The airport would be crawling with authorities looking for him, and chances are that airport security would be examining more luggage than they normally did.  He couldn't take the chance that his would be among the ones opened.

Keeping only his clothes and laptop, Benedict drove to the rental agency and turned in the car.  There, he awaited a taxi to take him to the airport.

The taxi driver was one of those idiots who apparently believed that, if he tried his level best to break the sound barrier on the way to the airport, he'd get a bigger tip from his passenger.  He was in for a rude awakening.  Benedict never tipped.

They were weaving in and out of traffic like a drunken man on a ship caught in a storm when the idiot driver decided to shoot through a light that was just about to turn red.  Benedict yelled out a warning, but it was too late.  The light turned red when they were still about two car lengths from the intersection, too close for the driver to stop at the speed he was traveling.

Benedict heard the loud blaring of a horn and the sound of squealing brakes.  He looked out the window to see a truck heading right toward them.

The sound of breaking glass, crumpling metal and a cry from the taxi driver were the last things John Benedict heard.

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