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Daniel hung up the phone. "We need to get to the briefing room. Jack’s called a meeting for SG-1 and 7."
Casey picked up her cup of coffee, looking over at Jessie. "Did he say what’s it about?"
"Something about the Tok’ra, and a lot of mumbling underneath his breath."
Daniel threaded his fingers through Casey’s as they walked down the hall, Jessie bringing up the rear. If Jessie had thought they were going to get a break after their mission to Nanda, she was mistaken. Within twenty-four hours of being back home, Jacob Carter and two Tok’ra operatives arrived with information from their spies within the Goa’uld network; hence the meeting. Walking through the doorway of the briefing room, she saw Sam, Jack and Teal’c on one side of the table, Cam, Spencer and Pisano on the other, and Jacob was handing out copies of notes. Taking her seat, she picked up the packet of papers, glancing through the information.
Jacob cleared his throat. "As you know, we’ve been monitoring a planet called Tanoa for several months now. The indigenous people worship a god by the name of Tu-mata-uenga."
Jack looked at Jacob. "Tu-mata who?"
He set his papers down. "Any relation to king Tut?"
Daniel scanned the notes. "No. Tu-mata-uenga is one of the gods from Maori mythology. He was considered the origin of war."
Mitchell frowned. "Is this "god" still around?"
"Not that we can tell. Some think he might have been a minor Goa’uld several centuries back. There are a couple of references here and there, but nothing recent."
"So, these Tanoans, are they good guys or bad guys?"
Teal’c answered. "In general, they are a savage race, preying on the weak, taking advantage of any opportunity to increase their holdings. On the one hand they are very ritualistic in their societal interactions; on the other hand they are technologically advanced enough to have consistent use of their Stargate, and engage in trade on several planets."
"Over the last few months, it appears a particular sect of Tanoans, the Kootenay, have forged a new alliance with the Goa’uld. At least that’s the impression we’ve gotten since that part of Tanoa now seems to be a popular Goa’uld hang out." Jacob took a seat. "Rumors are starting to surface about the power of Tu-mata-uenga."
Mitchell frowned. "What info do we have on Tu?"
Daniel looked up from his notes. "According to Maori history, Tu-mata-uenga was one of the great gods; all war parties were dedicated to him. The legend is he wanted his brothers to kill their parents, but they nixed that idea. He got pissed off and started plotting revenge against his brothers."
Jessie nodded. "He’s known by six names, which describe characteristics he displayed in his victories over his brothers. Tu-mata-uenga means the angry face; Tu-mata-whaiti meaning cunning; Tu-kai-taua is the destroyer of armies…"
Jack held his hands up. "What is it that the Goa’uld want?"
"Actually, Jack, Dr. Watson just mentioned it. Tu-kai-taua. The Destroyer of Armies." Jacob activated the projector, displaying a picture of some ancient text. "According to their history, Tu-mata-uenga possessed the power to destroy the enemy by rendering their defenses useless. If you used Maori culture as a reference point, you wouldn’t think that would be a big deal. But if you look at it from the standpoint of Tu-mata-uenga having knowledge and access to a more advanced technology…"
"Then the power of rendering defenses useless would become a lot more important."
"Exactly. Which is why we think the Goa’uld have taken such a sudden interest in Tanoa. We need to find out exactly what the power of Tu-mata-uenga is, and if it’s something significant either obtain it before the Goa’uld do, or destroy it."
"Sounds like a plan. So how do you propose we go about doing this?"
"While our spies have been gathering intel, they have as yet been unable to find out what this thing is." Jacob switched the image on the projector, now showing a tall, bald, powerfully built man wearing some kind of ceremonial robes. "The high priest of the Kootenay, Kaitsenko, has been seen on several nearby planets, checking out the ruins. He’s searching for something."
Mitchell looked at Jacob. "Okay. We need to find out as much as we can about Tu, in relation to Tanoa. Maybe standing on the outside looking in, we’ll be able to find what Kaitsenko is looking for before he does."
"And I suppose you want us to do all the leg work on this one?" Jack drawled, looking at the Tok’ra.
"We can provide inside information, and a bit of sabotage if necessary, but the Tok’ra are stretched thin at the moment as far as manpower."
"Of course. Isn’t that the way it always is?"
"Jack, we wouldn’t have bothered you with this unless it was really important. If the Goa’uld get their hands on something that gives them a distinct advantage, we’re all going to suffer."
"We’ll see what we can find out, Dad," Sam said, giving Jack a look.
Jacob reached over and squeezed Sam’s hand. "Thanks, Sam. As soon as we get any new information, we’ll pass it along."
As the meeting concluded, each of them went about their assigned duties, with Jessie, Daniel and Casey heading back to his office.
"So, do you recall anything about Tu-kai-taua in Maori culture, besides just being a reference to one of the battles between Tu-mata-uenga and his brothers?" Jessie asked, still looking through Jacob’s notes.
"No. And it’s possible there won’t be anything beyond that. I bet most of the useful information will lie within Tanoan history. We’ll cross-reference both cultures to cover all the bases."
It didn’t take them long to find out Daniel was correct; all relevant references to the current mission were in the Tanoan records. The information they had in the database was hit or miss at best. Taking the notes Jacob had given them, they started the tedious process of entering that information into the computer.
While Jessie was working with Daniel and Casey, Mitchell spent some time with Jacob and the Tok’ra operatives reviewing their information of Tanoa, and correlating it with the activities of the Goa’uld. Although it was like pulling eye teeth, Mitchell was able to get a good idea of where their spies were located, and what use they could be if things got rough. By the time he was done, it was fairly late. He really wanted to talk to Jessie, but when he went by Daniel’s office, the lights were already out. With a sigh, he hoped he would be able to catch up with her the following day. Unfortunately, this scene played out for the next two days, the Tok’ra occupying all of their free time, and him missing Jessie whenever he tried to cross paths with her.
After another long and frustrating day, Mitchell went home. Unlocking the door to his apartment, he tossed his keys onto the counter. Thumbing through his mail, he threw the junk in the trash and laid the rest on his desk. Taking a few minutes for a quick shower, he put on a pair of boxers and climbed into bed, exhausted. Falling asleep fairly quickly, it wasn’t long before he was dreaming, or at least what he thought was a dream. He found himself back on Nanda, walking through the double doors from the terrace, with Brojorn close behind him.
"Why aren’t you with Jessica?" Brojorn was demanding.
"It’s not as easy as that, Brojorn," Mitchell said irritably. "Just because we were intimate, that doesn’t mean we’re together. Besides, she’s not interested in me."
"Are you blind as well as stupid? She’s been interested in you for some time now, well before you came here! You can’t tell me you actually believed those stupid rumors about her preferring females..." Brojorn’s voice trailed off as he looked closely at Mitchell. "That’s just great, I’m dealing with an idiot!"
"I am not an idiot! The rumors seemed to fit!"
"Those rumors were started by an asinine SF, after he was rebuffed by Jessica when he crudely propositioned her. I told you she had turned all of her attention to work. When her last relationship turned serious, her lover suddenly expected her to give up her work to be with him. She was horrified she had misjudged him so completely, so much so that she began to doubt her ability to pick a decent man. That’s why you haven’t seen her with anyone."
Mitchell rubbed his hand over his face, thinking about what Brojorn said. Looking at it from that angle, it was possible that he was right. But even so, he worked with Jessie, on the same team. The brass wasn’t going to be…
"Jessica isn’t military, so technically it doesn’t apply, but regardless, I’ve already taken care of that," Brojorn said. "They should be making the official announcement tomorrow about getting rid of the non-frat order."
"How in the hell did you manage that?"
"Apparently you didn’t read the trade agreement, did you? I made the removal of the order for the SGC a stipulation for the naquadah mining to commence." Brojorn leaned back against the heavy table behind him, crossing his arms "That’s one of the advantages of being telepathic; you know whether the other party is holding up their end of the bargain or not. Now, back to Jessica."
"You’re saying she’s interested…in me."
Brojorn rolled his eyes. "Yes, though for the life of me I’m beginning to wonder why." He sighed heavily, realizing he was going to have to spell it out for him. "She finds you pleasing on many levels--your work ethic, your loyalty, how you protect others. I don’t totally understand the term ‘Southern gentleman’, but it seems to be part of it, too. You don’t view females as being inferior. Different facets of your personality appeal to her. That, and she finds you physically attractive." Brojorn felt the shift in Mitchell’s aura, the doubt diminishing, replaced by contemplation. "You undoubtedly gave her a taste of the passion she is capable of. Even as we speak, she is restless with desire." Brojorn answered Mitchell’s unspoken question. "The only thing the sweets did was lower her inhibitions and anxiety a bit. It was not an aphrodisiac. That said, what you experienced was just a glimpse of what could be. She is very receptive and inquisitive by nature. Being with someone she trusts, someone she loves, she would be a very apt pupil when it comes to the complexities of sensuality."
‘Someone she loves…’ That statement echoed in his mind. Before Mitchell could question Brojorn further, the scene faded from his subconscious mind, replaced by a deep slumber. When he did awaken, the early morning light was beginning to shine through the blinds, and the details of the dream were still fresh in his mind. Mitchell shook his head. That had been too damned vivid to be a dream. Enough was enough. One way or another, he was going to talk to her today. A plan was already formulating in his mind, and it centered around one Jessica Watson.
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