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Only an hour later did Mitchell find himself squaring off against Kaitsenko. The Elders had not taken too kindly to what Thomon had confirmed. Several guards were given the task of bringing Kaitsenko in. Kaitsenko, on the other hand, seemed more pleased than concerned at this turn of events.
Weapons were laid out, available to both opponents—wooden staffs, iron ridged rods with sharpened tips, knives and daggers. Mitchell took off his hat and slipped out of his BDU shirt, leaving his black T-shirt on. Kaitsenko grinned as he selected his weapons.
"So, a Tau’ri actually thinks he can bring me down? I have to admit, I haven’t been this amused in years."
Mitchell ignored Kaitsenko, methodically going through the staffs and rods, securing a couple of knives in their sheaths.
"For me, this is merely a diversion. It won’t be too long now before you all will be kneeling before me, worshiping your new god."
Mitchell didn’t look up from what he was doing. "That what they promised you? To make you a god? Don’t suppose they mentioned the snake that burrows its way through the back of your neck, attaching itself to your brain stem, in order to accomplish that, did they?" He tested the weight and balance of the iron rod.
Kaitsenko ignored that remark, and removed his robes. Assuming a fighting stance, he said, "You ready to die, Tau’ri?"
Mitchell took his position. "If that’s my destiny, but you’ll be in hell right alongside me."
Roban struck the gong, signifying the beginning of the fight. While Kaitsenko was taller and more powerfully built than Mitchell, Cam had the advantage of being quicker, not to mention his thirst for vengeance. Regardless of the blows Kaitsenko managed to land, or how many times he knocked Mitchell down, Cam got right back up as if nothing had happened. The last time Kaitsenko’s weapon had connected, it opened up a gash on Cam’s cheek. Blood slowly trickled from the wound, which Cam would occasionally wipe away, but other than that, he did not seem to notice it.
Mitchell kept the knives for an emergency, but he preferred not getting in close enough where they would be most effective. He wanted revenge, but he wasn’t stupid. The spear had been too lightweight when he had tested it, so he used the wooden staff for a while, getting a feel for Kaitsenko’s fighting style. Once he felt comfortable in knowing what to expect to a degree, he switched to the iron rod.
He had been watching Kaitsenko closely as they fought. Holding the iron rod in both hands, he blocked a thrust, pushing Kaitsenko’s weapon up and away, at the same time as he swept out with his leg, hitting him hard behind the ankles and knocking his feet out from under him. As Kaitsenko fell, he rolled, putting his hand out to push himself back up. Mitchell saw his opening and took it, raising the rod up and bringing it down with all his strength, driving it through the back of Kaitsenko’s hand, and a good twelve inches down into the hard packed soil. Kaitsenko’s bellow of rage caused many of the Tanoans to shrink back in fear. He rose up and grabbed at the rod with his other hand, but between the hardened dirt and the ridges in the rod, it wouldn’t budge.
"Thomon! Remove the rod!" Kaitsenko yelled, his rage causing the veins to stand out across his forehead, mixed with the sweat, dirt and blood from the fight.
Thomon knew better. He would be lucky if the Elders didn’t execute him for being an accomplice to Kaitsenko in the past. He was going to do nothing that would tip the balance against him.
"I cannot do that."
"Remove this rod now, or I swear I will disembowel you with my bare hands, and let the vermin feast upon you while you watch!"
A cold chill ran down Thomon’s spine. He had no doubt Kaitsenko meant exactly what he said. But, if what he had seen in Mitchell’s eyes earlier was any indication, Kaitsenko probably would not draw breath long enough to carry out his threat.
Mitchell had taken three steps back, watching Kaitsenko, making sure the rod was going to hold, at least long enough for what he planned to do to him. He walked to the table where the godsticks had been laid out, along with the thick leather strap. He looked directly into Yonas’ eyes as he picked up a godstick in one hand, and the leather strap in the other; the Elder made no move to stop him.
Fitting the godstick into the notch of the strap, he slowly walked back to Kaitsenko, eyeing him as he struggled in vain to budge the rod.
"Ya know, Kaitsenko, we learned a lot about you in the last few weeks. Playing with the Goa’uld, betraying your own people, selling out the most sacred secrets for your own desires. Also found out you get off on causing pain and suffering in others. There isn’t any good in you—just hate, vindictiveness, cruelty." Mitchell wrapped the free end of the leather strap around his hand.
"With all your machinations in trying to attain your "god" status, you made one fatal mistake." Mitchell squatted down just out of Kaitsenko’s reach, and looked him square in the eye. "You took something that belonged to me."
For the first time that evening, Kaitsenko felt a knot of fear form in his stomach, because when he looked in Mitchell’s eyes, he saw no hesitation. The only thing he saw staring back at him was death.
"Not only did you kidnap my mate, you beat her, and tortured her."
Kaitsenko smiled cruelly. "You should have seen the way she begged me, Mitchell. It really didn’t take any effort at all to break her. And her screams…"
Mitchell’s fist impacted Kaitsenko’s nose before he even had a chance to realize Mitchell was about to hit him. There was a satisfying crunch as the cartilage broke against Mitchell’s knuckles. The force stunned Kaitsenko momentarily, but it didn’t stop him for continuing.
"…it took her a very long time to die."
Now it was Mitchell’s turn to smile, but there was no warmth in it.
"Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong, Kaitsenko. She didn’t die. She survived having one of your godsticks buried in her back for two days." Mitchell stood. "Where I come from, we have a justice called ‘an eye for an eye’. You do something to someone, you get the same in return."
Kaitsenko had no time to react as Mitchell brought his arm back and down in a hard arc, the leather strap coming down full force onto Kaitsenko’s bare back, burying the godstick completely in his flesh. His body jerked as if he had come into contact with a live wire. It wasn’t ten seconds later that sweat started beading along his upper lip, the tenseness in his muscles growing as the poison began to seep into his body.
Mitchell made his way back to the table, and fitted another godstick into the strap. "About that ‘eye for an eye’ thing." He took an assessing glance of Kaitsenko as he came back. "You’re a big boy. I’m guessing about, what, 240, 250? That would be almost double what Jessica weighs. You gave her one of these…" The strap whistled through the air again, driving the second godstick into his back. "…you get two."
It didn’t take long for the screaming to begin. Kaitsenko began grabbing at his back with his free hand, but could come nowhere near where the godsticks were embedded. Mitchell walked over to a nearby tree, sat down and leaned against the trunk, oblivious to the blood that was still trickling from his cheek.
Jack glanced at the others before making his way over to Mitchell. He squatted down beside him, one knee on the ground, his forearm resting across his thigh. He watched Kaitsenko writhing on the ground for a while before he spoke.
Another scream tore through the silence.
"How long are you going to leave him like that?"
Mitchell never took his eyes from Kaitsenko. "Long enough."
Jack understood better than anyone, this was something Mitchell needed to do.
"We’ll set up a perimeter, keep an eye on things. It’ll give Daniel time to talk with the Elders."
Mitchell gave a barely perceptible nod. Paid no attention to Jack moving away from him. He watched as Kaitsenko screamed in agony, the spittle running down his chin, his body contorting in convulsions. Saw in his mind’s eye Jessie as he found her on that temple floor, bruised, battered, the blood matting her hair, stiffening the fabric of her shirt, so damned close to death’s door he had been afraid to move her. He adjusted his position against the tree trunk, getting more comfortable. This was for Jessie, and he wasn’t going to miss one second of it.
The sun was moving lower in the sky before Mitchell stirred from his spot. Picking up his shirt, he slipped it back on, replacing his hat on his head. He had watched and listened to Kaitsenko until his screams were no more than hoarse rasps, his vocal cords swollen past the point of making normal sounds. Several Tanoans had stayed and watched, too. They were either survivors of Kaitsenko’s abuse, or relatives of those who weren’t so lucky. Daniel had sat with the Elders, recording their answers to his questions, and also filling them in on the true history of the Goa’uld. When Mitchell stood, though, Jack, Daniel and Teal’c came to immediate attention.
Over his hours of observation, Mitchell noted that the poison seemed to affect the body in waves. He waited until one of the waves had passed before he walked over to Kaitsenko.
Hearing the approach of footsteps, Kaitsenko weakly turned his head toward the sound.
"Not looking too hot there, Kaitsenko. What’s the matter, you can dish it out, but you can’t take it?"
Kaitsenko tried to speak, but it was more of a hissing noise than anything else, the hatred still burning in his eyes.
All present were listening to the exchange closely; not one made a move to interfere.
"You have caused nothing but pain and misery for years. You embraced the darkness; you made that choice. But what it comes down to is this; there’s a price to pay for that kind of evil. What goes around, comes around. This is the price you pay, your Karma."
The growl that came from Kaitsenko was more like that of a rabid dog.
Mitchell pulled something from his waistband. "The one thing that differentiates you and I, is that I can be merciful." Mitchell pointed his Beretta at Kaitsenko and put one shot right between his eyes, effectively ending any chance of him terrorizing another living being.
Mitchell stood there for a moment, watching as the life drained out of his foe before turning away. He dropped the leather strap onto the table as he walked by, making his way over to where Jack stood.
Jack looked at the younger man, noting his weariness, but also seeing a calm that had not been there earlier.
"Let’s go home."
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