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It turned out that Daniel had gotten quite a bit of information from March, including the identities of several key figures in the organization called The Trust.  In addition to the location of the facility he'd seen in his original vision, he'd also learned about a warehouse that The Trust had, plus a couple of smaller places that were primarily used for meeting places.

Over the next three days, the task force assigned to bring down The Trust stayed busy spying upon the members they now had names and addresses for, as well as the locations Daniel had discovered.  Wiretaps were made and bugs planted.  A spy satellite was placed in a stationary orbit over the main facility, and a van was parked on a low, nearby hill with equipment that was listening in on everything the people in the facility were saying.  What they'd heard and recorded was quite interesting.

Sam managed to tap into the facility's Internet connection, which enabled them to read all the information that was being sent and received.  Through that connection, she was also able to infiltrate several computers and get data off them.

The information that was gathered over the course of those three days was invaluable.  They learned the names of a great many people in The Trust and got a clear picture of what the organization's plans were.  They also got all the proof they needed that it was The Trust that ordered the hit on President Hayes and killed Kinsey.

It was the morning of the fourth day that the secret surveillance came to an unexpected end.  SG-1 was in the van that was listening in on the main facility when a cell phone inside a room that had been identified as an office rang.  It was answered by a man who responded to the caller with short, clipped questions and responses.

"That was Johnson," the man said, apparently to someone else in the room.  "He's been compromised.  He found a listening device in his house, and the phone has been bugged.  We need to assume that the authorities either already know about this place or soon will."

Everyone in the van looked at each other.

"Crap," Jack cursed.  "They're going to run.  We need to move in on them now!"

Immediately, every member of the task force that was watching the various people and locations connected to The Trust were told to move in on their targets.  As that was being done, SG-1 and a large force of men jumped into vehicles and raced down to the facility.  They smashed through the security checkpoint and screeched to a stop outside the main entrance.

Before they even made it to the door, they were under fire.  They took shelter behind their vehicles.

"Daniel!  Can you do something about this?" Jack yelled.

The words were barely out of the colonel's mouth when there was a commotion inside the facility.  The enemy fire instantly halted.

SG-1 and the task force rushed to the entrance, taking cover where they could.  At the door, Jack peeked in and saw several men sprawled unconscious on the floor, looking like they'd been tossed up against the walls.

"Good job, Daniel," he said.  He gave orders to the task force, telling them to separate into groups and sweep through the building.

"Jack, we need to go that way," Daniel said, pointing down one of the hallways.

Not questioning the archeologist's instincts, Jack and the rest of SG-1 went in that direction, Daniel in the lead to clear the way.  As they headed down the hall, several people in the complex suddenly opened fire on them.  Not a single bullet made it through.  His mind focused absolutely upon defending his teammates and stopping the men who were attacking them, Daniel halted the bullets in midair, letting them fall to the floor.  It didn't take long for the Trust members to realize what was happening and decide that escape might be the wiser course of action.  They never got the chance.  Fire roared up at the end of the hallway, blocking their escape route.  Trapped between an impassible wall of fire and the man who created it, most of the men and women chose to surrender.  Those few who didn't were brought down by SG-1's weapons.

The captured personnel were all put in a room with no exit, and Daniel melted the lock of the door so that they couldn't get out.  He and his teammates then continued forward, stopping at every room Daniel sensed had someone inside.  With many of the rooms, the archeologist merely repeated the process of melting the lock.  For those that had another way out, a zat gun took care of the inhabitants.

At last they reached the room that was Daniel's goal.  It was the main lab, and he knew without doubt that five of the most important people in The Trust were there.

Warning his teammates to take cover, Daniel focused his mind upon the locked steel door baring entrance to the room.  With a groan of tortured metal, the door buckled and caved inward, ripping from its hinges.  As it fell to the floor, the people inside opened up with their weapons.  Taking shelter to the right of the door, Daniel psychically looked into the room.

"How many?" Jack asked.

"Twenty-three," Daniel replied.

"Can you handle them all?"

"Yes, but I don't want to toss them about like I did the guys in the lobby.  A lot of things could get broken."

"You mean like bones?"

Daniel stared at him.  "That wasn't really what I was talking about, but, yeah, that, too."  He took a "peek" inside the room again.  "How about if I disarm them, and you guys zat them?"

"Works for me."

Daniel's eyes slid shut.  Moments later, guns began jerking out of the grasp of the people inside and hurling across the room.  Before they could retrieve their weapons, SG-1 came rushing inside, zat guns firing.  Eleven people were brought down by the weapons.  The remainder held up their hands in surrender.

"Watch them, Daniel," Jack said as he, Sam and Teal'c came forward to bind the prisoners.

Suddenly, one of the men who had been zatted pulled a gun from beneath his pants leg and aimed it at Jack's unprotected back.  In the next instant, he cried out in pain and clutched at his hand, the gun falling from his grasp.  Jack walked up to him and kicked the gun away, looking at the man's hand, which was now sporting a nasty second degree burn.

The colonel tsked at the man, shaking his head.  "You really should have known better than that, you know."  He looked at Daniel over his shoulder.  "Glad to see you remembered what I said about not melting loaded guns.  Melting the hand holding the gun is a lot safer."  He turned back to the man.  "You're lucky he only blistered you a bit.  I've seen what he can do to someone when he's really serious, and it's not pretty," he turned to look at all the other prisoners, "which is something the rest of you might want to keep in mind."

Not surprisingly, no one else tried anything.  The hands of the prisoners were bound behind their backs, and they were made to sit on the floor.

"Okay, all the head honchos please raise your hand," Jack said once everyone had regained consciousness.  "Oh, that's right.  You can't.  Okay, just say 'I'."  He wasn't surprised that no one said a word.  "Cat got your tongue?"  The colonel turned to Daniel.  "I guess it's up to you."

The archeologist approached the group of men and women.  It didn't take him long to find the ones he was seeking.  The four men and one woman were separated from the rest.

Just then, a member of the task force came in to say that the facility was secure.  Virtually everyone had been captured or killed.  More forces were on the way to round up the prisoners and help go through the building.

Leaving the people they captured in the care of two members of the task force, SG-1 went outside to await the arrival of the others.

"We did good," Jack said to his team.

"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.  He was satisfied with how things had turned out, knowing that many of the people who intended to slaughter the Jaffa had been captured.

The colonel looked at Daniel.  "The way you stopped those bullets was sweet.  How come you didn't do that at Camp David?  It would have saved you from getting shot."

"The assassination attempt happened too quickly for me to think of doing anything except push the president out of the way.  Besides, I didn't know I could do that.  It wasn't until later that I remembered something."

"What?" Sam asked.

"When you guys were taken prisoner by Nirrti, Jack tried to shoot her, but Woden stopped the bullet.  I figured that, if he could do it. . . ."

"You could do it." Jack concluded.  He smiled.  "So, it turns out that you don't have to be the Man of Steel after all.  It doesn't matter that the bullets won't bounce if they never hit you in the first place."

"True."  Daniel paused.  "But it would still be cool to be able to fly."

Jack patted his shoulder.  "Give it time."

Within the next few hours, reports from the various teams came in.  The operation had been a success.  Only a handful of people were known to have escaped, and all the buildings had been seized.  The Trust had been brought to its knees, though everyone knew it was likely that some people involved would never be found.

The next day was a long and busy one for Daniel.  Figuring that he might be able to get more information, he turned his abilities upon quite a few people who were captured, just as he had done with Frank March.  He found out the identities of still more members of The Trust, plus several people who had ties to them.  Among those named were some high-ranking people in the military and government, who were all arrested.

It was from one of the leaders that Daniel learned what The Trust's plans had been regarding Osiris' Al'Kesh.  They had intended to steal Earth's Stargate with it and use the gate to send rockets full of symbiote poison to Goa'uld controlled worlds that had a large number of Jaffa on them.  He also found out what had been done with the stolen sarcophagus.  Their scientists had taken it apart and were studying it in an effort to come up with a technology that could heal without the addictive effects that repeated use of the sarcophagus caused.

SG-1 learned something else that day, something that surprised all of them.  The assassin was dead, killed in, of all things, a car accident.  The first clue the local police had that something was fishy about the passenger of the taxi that got hit by a dump trump was when they found out that his ID had a bogus name and address.  Then, upon examining the body, the medical examiner discovered that the man was wearing a fake beard and mustache, blue contact lenses and latex to change the appearance of his nose.  This had sent all kinds of red flags waving.  A DNA sample was taken, and it was found to match one of the samples gathered in the motel room the assassin had stayed in when he attempted to kill the president.  Though the damage to the man's face made it impossible to ID him that way, this was enough to tell them who he was.

The man's fingerprints identified him as John Benedict.  As Jack had suspected, he'd been in the military years ago.  Interestingly, the man's photograph did not match the drawing made from Daniel's description.  Everyone figured that he must have had plastic surgery sometime after leaving the military.  The FBI was now in the process of linking Benedict with several other assassinations that had been committed in the U.S. over the past twelve years, and possibly some in other countries.

After learning all of this, Jack shook his head.  "I find it almost funny that, after a dozen years of being an international assassin and all the ways that he could have been killed doing his job, he buys the farm in something as ordinary as a car accident.  It just goes to show that the universe definitely has a well-developed sense of irony."

By the time SG-1 returned to the SGC Tuesday night and gave the general a preliminary debriefing, they were all exhausted from long hours and little sleep, especially Daniel, who spent countless hours getting information from the people who were captured.  He was ready to crawl into a nice warm bed and sleep for ten hours straight.  Unfortunately, Janet had other ideas.  Too tired to argue with her, the archeologist submitted to her tests, only barely managing to stay awake during them.

As it turned out, Daniel was granted his wish of a nice warm bed after all when he fell asleep on one of the beds in the infirmary while awaiting the results of Janet's tests.  Smiling down at him, Sam carefully removed his shoes and covered him with a blanket.  The doctor came up to her.

"Ah, I see that Sleeping Beauty finally succumbed," Janet said.

"Yeah.  He was beat.  Actually, so am I.  It's been a very long week."

"You should go home, Sam, get some sleep.  Daniel's fine.  The tests all came out normal."

Sam smiled a little.  "Home.  I haven't slept in my own bed in two weeks.  We usually end up at Daniel's.  I've already got a drawer of my own and a section of the closet in his bedroom.  I have a toothbrush there, plus shampoo and other stuff.  Daniel and I agreed that we shouldn't move in together yet, but we're virtually living together now.  I've gotten so used to sharing a bed with him that I don't think I'm going to sleep well by myself.  Fortunately, even though we were on duty, the colonel let me and Daniel share a hotel room while we were out of town."

Janet smiled.  "You're lucky.  When I got married, it took weeks for me to get used to having company in my bed every night.  Of course, the fact that my husband snored like a bear with a sinus condition didn't help in that regard.  There were times when I was tempted to stick a sock in his mouth."

Sam laughed softly.  "Daniel doesn't snore, well, not much, and it's a little snore when he does.  Of course, I already knew that from missions.  Colonel O'Neill, on the other hand. . . ."

"Ah, yes.  I've heard that snore on more than one occasion while he was here.  It's not nearly as bad as my ex-husband, though."

"The funny thing is that he doesn't snore on missions.  It's as if his training somehow keeps him from making noises even in his sleep that would alert an enemy to our presence.  But when he's in a safe environment, like when we're all sacked out at his house, out comes the snore."

Janet's eyes returned to Daniel.  "Well, I don't think we should disturb him, so I'm afraid that you'll be sleeping by yourself tonight, that is unless you want to sleep in the bed beside Daniel's."

"No thanks.  I spend too much time in an infirmary bed as it is.  I'll take my bed at home, thank you very much."

"Well, if he wakes up during the night and is alert enough to drive, I'll send him to your place."

Sam looked at her.  "You're staying the night?"

Janet nodded.  "Two members of SG-16 were seriously injured on a mission, and I want to keep an eye on them.  It's not like it would be the first time I've stayed all night."

"Well, try to get some sleep.  Oh, by the way, I'll be going to the Academy hospital tomorrow.  I found out just before Kinsey was assassinated that a friend was among the pilots injured during the battle with Anubis.  He was one of the 302 pilots.  Actually, we owe him our lives.  He shot down an Al'Kesh that was heading straight for us.  I've known Cam for several years, though we haven't stayed in touch as much as I'd like.  He was hurt pretty badly.  For quite a while, the doctors didn't think he'd make it, and they're giving low odds that he'll ever walk on his own again."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Sam."

"I just wish I'd known sooner.  I would have gone to see him before now.  Daniel might go with me.  He wants to thank Cam for what he did, and the colonel said something about going to visit him, too."  Sam looked at her watch.  "Well, I'd better get home."  She walked up to the head of Daniel's bed and kissed him softly on the forehead.  "Night, Daniel," she whispered.

Wishing Janet a good night, Sam went home.  It felt lonely there.  Pushing that thought aside, she got dressed for bed and crawled under the covers.  For a long time, she stared at the empty place beside her, wishing Daniel was there.  This was ridiculous.  She should be able to survive one night without him.  She'd been sleeping alone for years.

Determined to get some sleep, Sam closed her eyes and eventually drifted off.  She didn't know what time it was when a movement of the bed woke her up.  Her eyes flew open and met Daniel's blue ones, which were only a few inches away, his head resting on the pillow beside her.

"Hey," he said.  "Sorry I woke you."

"No, that's okay.  So, I guess you woke up and decided you didn't want to stay in that infirmary."

"Yeah.  I got lonely."

Sam smiled.  "I was lonely, too."

Daniel pulled her into his arms.  It was then that she realized he was naked.  Sam smiled against his shoulder.

"I thought you were tired."

"I am.  I just wanted to feel you."

"Good idea."

Daniel helped Sam out of her clothes, and they came together, skin against skin.  He placed a kiss over her beating heart, then lay his head upon the softness of her breasts, arms wrapped around her waist.

"I love you, Sam," he said.  "I want to spend forever with you."

Sam was warmed by his words, which touched her deep inside.  But there was something in his tone that bothered her.

"Daniel, are you all right?"

"Yes, I'm okay.  Janet wouldn't have let me leave if I wasn't."

"That's not what I meant."

"I'm all right, Sam, just tired."

Accepting his words, Sam closed her eyes.  She was asleep within moments.

Daniel lay in the dark, holding Sam and listening to her breathe.  He hadn't really been truthful with her.  Something was wrong.  He had awakened abruptly in the infirmary, the images of his dream still vivid in his mind.  Someday in the future, something was going to happen that would separate him from Sam.  He didn't know what it was, but it terrified him.

Drawing her closer, Daniel closed his eyes, hoping that, whatever the future was going to bring, he'd be able to keep the woman he loved safe.

Oma wandered through the abandoned temple, the place that had been her home for so many centuries.  Weeds now choked the garden, and several climbing plants were festooning the walls of the courtyard.  Inside, things did not look all that different, with the exception of the dust on the floor and the lack of fire in the torches.  The latter she fixed with a brief thought.

In the newly created light, Oma gazed at the place where she first laid eyes upon Daniel Jackson over four years ago.  Much had changed since then, especially for Daniel.  What had happened to him and what Oma sensed was yet to happen were things that she could not have foreseen on that day she began guiding him on the path to enlightenment.

Oma sensed the approach of one of the Others and turned to see Shifu coming toward her.  The boy, in human form like she was, greeted her.

"I had hoped to find you in this place," he said.  "I sensed that you would be here."

"I have not been here since that day Daniel came in search of you."

"You are here because of him," Shifu guessed.


"He has grown very strong.  The Others speak of him often."

"I know.  Some feel that he is too powerful," Oma said.

"Yet they cannot deny the wisdom he has shown in using the power.  He surprises them."

Oma smiled at the comment, knowing that it was true.  Some of their fellow Ascended, upon realizing what was happening with Daniel, believed that he would let the power go to his head.  She had insisted that wouldn't happen and told them that he would teach them many things, about both humans and the Ascended.  And, indeed, he had, though it was a lesson some did not want to learn.

"The path that yet lies ahead of him will not be an easy one," Shifu stated.

"The paths of greatest importance are never easy to travel."

"This is true.  Yet I sense that there are obstacles to come that may cause him to fall."

Oma smiled at Shifu.  "Daniel has fallen many times in the course of his life, yet he always regains his feet and keeps walking forward, no matter how difficult or how painful."

"Some would say that he ceased to walk forward when he chose to forsake ascension and return to human form."

"Yes, some would, but they are ones who do not understand that, for one such as Daniel, leaving ascension behind and becoming human again was the only way that he could continue forward on his true path.  His place was not among us, not then.  It is only as a human that he has been able to become what he is now, and it is in the body of a mortal human that he will find the truth about himself, a truth that he already knows, yet cannot see."

"And if he never sees it?" Shifu questioned.

"I cannot teach him what he already knows, but the light of a small candle can sometimes be enough to see the universe."

"And you will light the candle?"

Oma did not reply for a moment.  "If, in lighting it, I do not destroy what I seek to bring into sight."

The woman and boy went back outside.  The sun had disappeared behind dark clouds, and there was the sound of distant thunder.  To the two Ascended Beings, the approaching storm was like a harbinger of things soon to come, and neither of them knew if what lay on the horizon would ultimately bring back the sun or plunge them all into darkness.

To be concluded.

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