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Once they had keyed in the address correctly, they found the planet that Kaitsenko hadn’t, the one that contained more pieces to the puzzle. Daniel and Casey personally recorded every bit of information contained within the temple, the sixth temple, according to the descriptions. That meant Jessie had been in the fifth temple. And the last, and final, temple was located on Tanoa. Mitchell put a temporary hold on that mission, however. It pissed the Tok’ra off, which made Jack more than willing to hold off the troops until Mitchell accomplished what he needed to.
Daniel had stopped by the infirmary, checking with Janet to see if there had been any change in Jessie’s condition, before he went to his office. Walking through the doorway, he pulled up short. Mitchell was in Jessie’s chair, logged into the computer.
"What'cha doing?" Daniel asked, setting his coffee cup down on his desk.
Mitchell turned in the chair, looking directly at Daniel. "I’ve been going through the Tanoan rituals. Those godsticks are used in the Nadako warrior ceremonies. It is one of their most sanctified rituals. The godsticks represent the embodiment of Tu-mata-uenga. They would not be used as random instruments of torture."
Daniel thought about what Mitchell had said.
"Although the Goa’uld have been on Tanoa for a while, Kaitsenko and a handful of his helpers have been the only ones engaging in the search for this ‘destroyer of armies’. I’m betting the Elders of the Kootenay have no idea what Kaitsenko has been up to."
Daniel nodded his head. "That’s definitely a possibility. From what I’ve learned of their culture, their ceremonies are the highest form of worship. In turn, I would think anything relating to their gods would be sacred also, not something to be bartered about among the Goa’uld."
Mitchell turned back to the computer screen. "So sacred, that any violation is punishable by death."
Daniel sat down on the edge of the desk, waiting to see where Mitchell was going with this.
"By their own laws, someone can seek retribution for an injustice done to a family member. If the injustice is grave enough, the person seeking retribution can elect to engage in a battle with the offending party to the death."
Daniel took a breath. "Okay, but the only problem with that is those laws apply to Tanoans, not to those from off world. It wouldn’t apply to us."
Mitchell smiled, but it never reached his eyes. "I’ll bet if we let the Elders know Kaitsenko used a godstick to torture Jessie, they would be willing to make an exception."
"Possibly. But still, the rules clearly state the retribution applies to a family member."
Mitchell stood up. "Jessie’s my mate, Daniel. Don’t see how much closer to a family member you could get."
Before departing for the planet, Jack made sure the Tok’ra had set up a diversion for the Goa’uld amongst their spies. The last thing they needed was Goa’uld planet-side, and it was time for the Tok’ra to pay the piper. Jack made sure they understood in no uncertain terms, if this backfired, they would be coming for their collective ass. Jacob assured them things would go as planned.
Teal’c, Jack, Daniel and Mitchell arrived on Tanoa with one thing in mind—retrieving the final piece of information to locate the Destroyer of Armies, and exposing Kaitsenko’s betrayal. They quickly made their way to the seventh temple, which was as described in the sixth, located well away from the main village. Daniel slipped in, scanned the contents, and found the section he was looking for. He wrote down the information, as well as recording it with the camcorder. Once he was sure he had everything he needed, they headed for the settlement.
Their initial arrival had gone unnoticed, because they made it all the way to the edge of the settlement before the alarm was raised. Mitchell had done his research well. When the guards surrounded them, he announced, "We are here to address the council of Elders."
The guards hesitated, but nonetheless led them into the village. They waited while the guards alerted the Elders to the strangers’ request. Before long, they were led to a large open area and brought before the council, five individuals seated in a semi-circle, a table draped with a rough textured cloth before them. Daniel and Mitchell stepped forward to address them, while Jack and Teal’c stood close behind.
One of the Elders spoke. "We were informed that you have requested an audience with us."
Daniel nodded. "That is correct."
"You are not from Tanoa. Who are you, and why do you seek this meeting?"
"I am Dr. Daniel Jackson, a Tau’ri. This is Colonel Cameron Mitchell. General Jack O’Neill, and Teal’c. We are here to plead our case for retribution."
The council exchanged glances. The gentleman seated in the center spoke. "I am Yonas." He indicated the others. "This is Eilgorn, Roban, Alouette and Goral. We are the Elders of Tanoa. What is this retribution you speak of?"
"We accuse your high priest, Kaitsenko, of crimes against one of our own, as well as sacrilegious acts against Tu-mata-uenga."
A murmur arose from those gathered to witness the meeting.
"These are serious charges," replied Alouette. "Exactly what are you accusing Kaitsenko of doing?"
Daniel adjusted his glasses. "He kidnapped one of our members, Dr. Jessica Watson, a female archaeologist and linguist. He took her to the planet where the fifth temple of Tu-mata-uenga is located, and forced her to translate a hidden chamber he discovered in an attempt to find the secret of Tu-kai-taua, so he could give the secret to the Goa’uld. During this time he beat her, and used the spirit of Tu-mata-uenga as a device of torture."
There were several gasps and angry outbursts from the Tanoans, and Yonas stood, calling for order.
"Do you have proof of this?" asked Eilgorn.
Mitchell pulled the plastic bag containing the godstick from his pocket and laid it on the table in front of the Elders. In contrast to the outburst earlier, there was complete silence as Goral held up the plastic bag for all to see.
Eilgorn watched Goral. "Where did you get this?"
"It was removed from the back of Dr. Watson. It had been driven straight in next to the shoulder blade, where she couldn’t reach it. From our physician’s estimation, it was in place for approximately two days. In addition to that, she had several broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, multiple contusions, lacerations, and a possible concussion." Mitchell looked at each of the Elders before continuing. "Jessica Watson is my mate, and as such I am here to stake a claim of retribution against Kaitsenko."
Yonas signaled one of the men present. A brief conversation ensued, and the man left, only to return a short time later with a package. Unwrapping the package before the council, he displayed the strap and the godsticks of Tu-mata-uenga. And sure enough, one of the godsticks was missing; the one Mitchell had given them.
"We are very sorry for your loss, Colonel," Roban replied.
Cam’s gaze was hard. "Jessica still lives."
Shock was evident on the faces of the Elders. The passage to the highest level of warrior was enduring the spirit of Tu-mata-uenga from sundown to sunrise. Only those who survived that trial attained the honor of Nadako. For a woman to have survived four times that was unthinkable. And if she were able to manage that, they couldn’t even begin to imagine the type of warriors who stood before them now.
Roban clasped his hands in thought. "When did this kidnapping occur?"
"Six days ago."
That correlated to the time Kaitsenko had been off world. Roban signaled one of the guards. "Summon Thomon."
A short time later the guard returned with Thomon close behind. One look at the council, and the strangers gathered before them, he knew Kaitsenko’s actions were about to catch up with him.
Yonas explained to Thomon who the strangers were, and their accusations. "Did Kaitsenko kidnap that woman?"
Thomon knew if he wanted to live, he could no longer cover for Kaitsenko. "Yes, Yonas, he did."
"Was he seeking Tu-kai-taua, and did he torture the woman like the Tau’ri have described?"
"Yes. I tried to stop him from using the Sacred One, but his rage was too great. He threatened me with the same fate if I interfered."
Roban turned and looked at Mitchell.
"These offenses are punishable by death. According to our laws, since you are the one seeking retribution, it is up to you how it is carried out. Do you wish for us to execute Kaitsenko, or do you wish a battle to the death?"
Mitchell had been hoping that was the reply they would give. "I would prefer a battle to the death."
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