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 A Promise Kept


Chapter 2

Cam was in a good mood. Actually ‘great’ would have been a better description. For the first time in months he had seen a glimpse of Jessie…the real Jessie, instead of the shell she had become. That glimpse had gone a long way towards quelling any doubts lurking in his mind of whether she’d ever be completely ‘her’ again. When the call came that General Hammond wanted them in the briefing room, he was in good spirits, knowing they could inform the General that she was ready to venture out again. These issues had flooded his thoughts so much it didn’t even occur to him that the summons might be for something else.

As he rounded the corner, he saw Jessie stepping into the briefing room. Did his best to hide his grin and go into full Colonel mode. As he came in line with the door, he saw Jessie standing just inside the room, a second before her coffee mug slipped from her hand and hit the floor, shattering into tiny shards, the hot coffee splashing in all directions. No one moved. When Cam’s gaze came to rest on the weapon, he thought it was the reason for Jessie’s reaction, until he saw a movement near Sam. At that moment everyone heard the one strangled word that came from Jessie’s throat.


To say that all hell broke loose would have been the understatement of the century. When Cam’s brain registered who was standing next to Sam…who was stepping towards Jessie…all military protocol was tossed by the wayside. He launched himself at Kutkh, tackling him before anyone had a chance to react. It was total pandemonium as Jacob grabbed a hold of Thoran, pushing him back. Sam grabbed the cart and yanked it out of the way of the flailing bodies, trying to keep the weapon from toppling over. General Hammond was on the phone, calling for security. Jessie was frozen in place, staring at what was unfolding in front of her. Jack took one look at Jessie’s face, the name she had choked out echoing in his head. He was on his feet in an instant, and soon Chatka had both a Tau’ri General as well as a Colonel beating the living hell out of him, the former under the guise of ‘pulling’ his colleague off the Tok’ra, and the latter having abandoned all rules that defined his conduct.



"How did we manage to miss all the excitement?" Casey asked facetiously as she looked into the infirmary, assessing the damage.

"Well, if that 18-wheeler hadn’t flipped its load, we probably would have been in the middle of the fray," Daniel replied.

Jack surprisingly came out with the least amount of damage—a tiny cut at the edge of his eyebrow where an errant elbow had whacked him. Whether it had been Cam’s or Chatka’s was still under speculation. Cam was pretty bloody, but it soon became apparent that a good portion of the blood wasn’t his. A little bit of a nosebleed, a small laceration to the forehead, and some swollen knuckles were the extent of his injuries. Chatka, not surprisingly, sustained the most injury—broken nose, busted lip, bruises to the jaw and cheekbone, not to mention a variety of minute lacerations from where his face had gotten mashed into the shards from the broken coffee cup when he was down on the floor. By the time security arrived, and received a verbal reprimand later for being slow to pull the Colonel and General off the Tok’ra, Daniel and Casey had just made it into the mountain. Word had spread like wildfire about the fight, and the combatants were still being treated in the infirmary when they made it to that level. Jessie surprisingly had come out of her state of shock once the fight had broken up, and she was presently gently washing the blood from Cam’s face while Janet tended to the unwelcome Tok’ra several stretchers away.

Jack stood in the space between Cam and Chatka, his arms folded across his chest as he glared at the Tok’ra, now that his identity had been fully established. "A wise man once said, you can’t go around using women and children and not have some boys from the village have a chat with you."

Chatka glanced at Cam and Jessie before answering. "I did not know she was an operative. If I had, I would have done what I could have to get her out."

"What you did was inexcusable…"

"O’Neill, I did what a Goa’uld would do. You have to become the role you play. If you don’t, you die…and personally, I prefer living." He winced as Janet pressed the gauze against his split lip a little harder than was necessary. "Thank you, doctor, but I’ll be fine," he said as he pulled away.

Jessie had her back to Chatka, but was following the conversation nonetheless. She saw Cam stiffen in response to what was said, and she laid a hand on his shoulder. Blue eyes were blazing with anger, but the fire became tempered when he looked at her. She watched the myriad of emotions filter through the anger—sadness…pain…love. She instinctively leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to his lips, feeling his startled response as well as sensing a quietness in the room. It was the first time she had kissed him since…since before Neowe. Resting her forehead against his, she breathed in his scent, noting for the first time in a long time a calmness envelope her.

"So no one knew you were ‘Kutkh’," Jack said accusingly, his eyes boring a hole through Jacob as he stood in the corner of the room with Thoran.

"Only Delek," Chatka replied.


"He’s telling the truth, Jack." Casey stepped into the room, her eyes fixed on Chatka. Head tilted slightly to the right, she puzzled over the intensity of the feelings coming from the bruised Tok’ra. "There’s no deception. In fact…" Casey glanced at Jessie, who was still tending to Cam. "…there’s a great deal of regret, remorse for his actions." She jerked suddenly, as if zapped by an electrical current. "Why would Delek be using you?"

All three Tok’ra focused on the seer. "Using Chatka? How?" Thoran had been informed of this woman’s special abilities, and how she had never been wrong.

Chatka shifted his gaze from Thoran to Casey. "I don’t understand what you mean. I would report my findings to Delek…my observations within Ba’al’s inner circle. I was the eyes and ears…nothing more."

She shook her head. "He was planning…using the information." Her brow furrowed as she concentrated harder. "I can’t ‘see’ exactly what Delek was, or is, up to, but he’s hiding something. He had a vested interest in knowing what was going on with Ba’al on Neowe. He wanted to…" Green eyes widened considerably as more information poured in. "That son-of-a-bitch!"

Everyone, including Jessie, looked at Casey, the unexpected vehemence in her voice unmistakable.

"He did it on purpose! That sorry excuse of a…"

Jack interrupted what he sensed was going to be quite a tirade. "Radar! What the heck are you talking about?"

Realizing they hadn’t seen the images flitting through her mind, she backtracked. "Delek. When he came here after Chatka disappeared. He didn’t come to just inform us; he knew we’d send someone in to get the crystal. In fact, he was counting on it." Casey turned to Jack. "Delek knew the alliance between the Tok’ra and the Tau’ri is tenuous at best, given the past situations that have gone FUBAR. While Chatka’s disappearing act wasn’t planned, Delek used it as a setup for us going in, with the hopes that the mission would go tits up. He figured with crap stacked back to back, the alliance would fall through." Her eyes took on that faraway stare once again as she sifted through the information. "Someone…he was promised…a substantial reward if he could cause a rift between the Tok’ra and Tau’ri." Looking at Chatka, then Jessie, she continued in a quieter tone. "Delek knew what would happen to Jessie. He purposefully didn’t tell Chatka about the mission…didn’t tell him anything that was going on. He was counting on it being the straw that broke the camel’s back." Casey shook her head. "He used Chatka just as much as he used us…as a means to an end."

For all his talk about what had to be done undercover, Chatka couldn’t stop his stomach knotting up at the current revelations. Used…betrayed by one of his own. Looking at Miele…Jessie…tending to the Colonel, it was obvious there was something more between them than just being colleagues. Being a slave was one thing. Having to endure being treated like a slave when one wasn’t, what she had endured at his hands while trying to help the Tok’ra as well as the Tau’ri…Chatka swallowed hard against the rising bile in his throat. "I swear by all that I hold sacred, if I had known, I would have gotten her out. I wouldn’t have…" He closed his eyes, trying to erase the memories that were spilling forth.

Cam was wrestling with his own emotions at the moment. Despite the overwhelming hate and loathing he felt toward the Tok’ra in general, Chatka especially, he could sense true regret coming from Chatka.

Jessie didn’t…couldn’t…turn around. She continued to face Cam, her hands gripping his forearms. Anger helped her maintain her hold on reality; kept her from retreating within herself once more as the implications of what was being said weighed down on her. Focusing on the man in front of her, she took in the small cuts, the bloody washcloth she had used to cleanse his face lying on the floor next to the stretcher. Replayed in her mind what had happened in the briefing room.

He didn’t leave you.

Unexpected thoughts came rushing to the surface.

He was always trying to find you.

They were startling in their content…answering doubts she hadn’t voiced, much less knew existed.

He still loves you, in spite of what happened. It never mattered to him; he never thought less of you because of it.

The Goa’uld…Tok’ra…man she had to bow down to and serve for months was right behind her, yet the only thing she saw in Cam’s eyes for her was love. No disgust. No shame. Instead of pushing her away, he embraced her…sheltered her…protected her…fought for her.

He’s always been right here; he never left your side, even as you paid obeisance to another.

The realization that she had held so many doubts was startling enough; that they had been so overwhelming she couldn’t see what was right in front of her was mind-boggling. Tears welled up and slid silently down her cheeks. Jessie rubbed her hands soothingly over Cam’s arms, trying to reassure him as she struggled to reign in her emotions. Jessie had no doubt everything Casey said was true. As such, Chatka/Kutkh was as much of a pawn as the rest of them.

Clearing her throat a couple of times, she waited until she was sure her voice would be somewhat steady. Keeping her gaze locked with Cam’s, she asked, "Candrima?"

"Safe at the Tok’ra base," came Chatka’s reply.

One day she was going to have to tell Cam what had happened on Neowe. As it stood, Dr. Bailey knew most of the details…Jack came in second. One day she would explain the events behind the names. "Akari? Huyana…" One day. "Kaminari…Zillah?"

"Sold to honorable men who will see to their comfort and that they are cared for."

Sold…breathe in, breathe out. The ugly side of human nature. Saw the same thoughts reflected in Cam’s eyes. Then again, technically she had been sold to Cam…a thought she pushed from her mind. If there was one thing she wished she could forget, it was the time she had spent on Neowe, and with Kutkh.

General Hammond had silently entered the room, privy to the latter half of the conversation. His eyes hardened as he replayed Delek’s tale of woe during their meeting in his mind; the guilt he felt for having asked Dr. Watson to be part of the meeting, and how it had unwittingly played into Delek’s hands. The rigidity of the young woman’s back, her unwillingness to turn and face Chatka spoke volumes of the trauma she had experienced…trauma she was still trying to heal from. That she was with Colonel Mitchell gave him hope things might still work out…eventually.

"Casey, I take it you’re positive the description you’ve given of Delek is accurate?" General Hammond had no doubt that it was, but the question was more of a formality for Chancellor Thoran.

"Yes, Sir. There’s no doubt in my mind that Delek’s a traitor to all of us, for his own selfish gain."

Thoran was troubled by the seer’s claims, but given her reputation, he was more inclined to lend credence to the revelations. "General Hammond, if what this young woman says is true, and going by our prior conversations I’m willing to believe it is, then you have my humblest apologies for what has transpired. And given the situation, despite my prior reservations I have to say I now agree with Jacob; the Destroyer weapon should remain here, where Samantha can work on developing an artificial intelligence interface in order to activate the weapon. Until we can assure ourselves Delek was working independently, Tok’ra possession of the weapon could result in a compromised situation. I’m not willing to take that risk."

The General nodded his head. "Agreed. Dr. Fraiser, if all of the patients are ready to be released, I want you to assist Colonel Carter with the weapon research, given that you have all the prior biological information associated with it. We need to keep an ear to the ground as far as Ba’al and Camulus are concerned; once they’re done squabbling and realize it’s missing, I doubt either of them will back down in their quest to retrieve the weapon. The sooner we can get that interface operational, the better."




Several hours later Sam and Janet sat side-by-side, coordinating and correlating the data from the weapon, as well as the prior results concerning the nanites. Sam adjusted the eyepiece of the microscope, peering at the active nanites from one of the blood samples Janet had stored.

"If I can hone in on what frequency the nanites communicate on, I should be able to decipher the coding of the weapon." Turning to the keyboard, she pulled up the ultrasonic frequency analysis she had run earlier. As she continued to make calculations, she broached another subject with her friend and colleague. "So, how’s Jessie doing?"

"She’s holding her own. I was worried that what happened today would result in a setback, but surprisingly it seems to have brought her closer to Cam."

"I noticed that, too. She wasn’t trying to avoid him; it was almost like she reconnected with him in some way." Sam jotted down some notations before returning to the keyboard.

Janet retrieved another slide of nanites, placing the thin rectangle of glass beneath the microscope’s lens. "I’m hoping now that all her test results are back, she can put some of her fears to rest and let down the wall she’s had up between them."

"Test results?"

Janet pressed her lips together in a tight line before nodding. "Jessie was worried about being able to conceive and carry to term, given the miscarriage she had."

Sam turned away from the computer, focusing instead on her friend. "She thought there was something wrong with her?"

Janet shrugged slightly. "With everything she had gone through, it wasn’t surprising that was the conclusion she came up with. I told her there was a chance the nonviable pregnancy had something to do with Kutkh…well, Chatka…and a possible teratogenic response due to the chemical composition of the symbiote, or even more probable, that the nanites had something to do with the pregnancy not developing. Given the toll they take on the human body when interacting with the Destroyer weapon, it’s even more plausible they would prevent a pregnancy, perhaps as a protective mechanism for the host."

Sam glanced at the small glass slide. "I never even thought about that, but it does make perfect sense."

"That’s what I thought, too. If that’s the case, when Cam injected Jessie with his own blood, not only did he break the connection she had with the weapon by eradicating the nanites, he also gave her back the ability to bear children."

"Did you tell Jessie that?"

Janet nodded. "From what I can tell, she’s completely free of the nanites. If they were causing any disruption in her reproductive process, that problem has been eliminated. And just to make sure she has a chance to totally get back to normal, I took her off her Depo schedule. Between nanites, symbiotes and catastrophic stressors, the last thing she needs is something else altering her biologically. The best thing for her right now is a huge dose of normalcy."

A small blinking icon popped up on Sam’s computer screen, drawing her attention back to the task at hand. "Looks like we have one match," she said excitedly, her fingers flying over the keys as she confirmed the information. "Grab the slides from 2-C and load those next." With renewed energy, the two women diligently kept searching for the pieces to the puzzle.

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