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A Storm of Shadows
Cam went to Daniel’s office, hoping they might have discovered something from talking with the children Pisano had brought back. He found Casey and Daniel sitting side by side, papers spread out on the table in front of them and the laptop open.
"Hey." Cam had prepared himself beforehand, but it still cut through him like a knife seeing the expression on Casey’s face, reflecting his own worry and fear. "Did you find out anything from the kids?"
"Grab a chair," Casey said, motioning him over to the table.
Cam took the chair in the corner and rolled it over next to Casey before sitting down. The notes on the table were Jessie’s, along with the mission report from Nahane. "From what we were able to gather from the girls, Jessie was responsible for saving their lives. They were going to be Ba’al’s…entertainment…for the evening." Casey stopped speaking, struggling against the wave of nausea that hit her.
Daniel reached over and squeezed his Wife’s shoulder. "It’s common knowledge that when the mood strikes him, he takes young girls and, well, let’s just say that they don’t survive his…attention," he said. "Jessie found them just before they were to be taken to him. Jessie argued with Pisano and insisted they take the girls with them."
Casey reached up and wrapped her fingers around Daniel’s. "They were almost out when they heard Ba’al’s guard coming. Jessie was bringing up the rear and apparently the guard saw her. The girls think Jessie didn’t follow them deliberately, to give them a chance to escape." The anguish on Cam’s face made Casey take his hand in her own. "After talking with them, some things stood out, and we started going through Jessie’s notes."
"Casey, if you’re trying to say this all has something to do with the shaman, or Calandra’s crap, I’m just not up for the mumbo jumbo black magic shit. I don’t mean any disrespect for what you believe, but Jessie’s been captured by Ba’al because of some fucking Tok’ra bullshit."
Casey felt Daniel stiffen beside her, and she discretely tapped her foot against his beneath the table. "That’s okay. If I were in your shoes, I’d probably say the same thing. I would like to show you what we found, from what the girls told us. That way you can draw your own conclusions."
Cam’s frustration was making it difficult for him to be civil to anyone, but these were his dearest friends. He ran his hand through his hair. "Sorry, Case. I don’t mean to be an ass…"
"Hey, it’s okay. I just want you to be aware of everything so when we go in to rescue her, you’ll know what we’re up against." Casey pulled out a set of Jessie’s personal notes. "Remember right after the mission to Nahane, when Jessie was having trouble sleeping? She was having nightmares and weird dreams." Laying a sheet in front of Cam, she pointed to one section. "Here she wrote out a description of one she kept having over and over. She was standing outdoors in front of some carved totems, surrounded by tall trees. The sky grew dark as a storm approached; shadows covered the totems and the wind picked up. The thunder grew louder, the shadows darker, and she could hear the sound of flapping wings, moaning, and from deep in the woods she could see a pair of silver eyes. Then she’d wake up." She then set the mission report in front of him. "In here you said Thoyetlini read your totem and Jessie’s totem. He also said there were three trials you both had to go through for your and Jessie’s connection to be whole. Remember?"
Cam nodded his head.
"He said the trials were like shadows, trying to hide the path, coming in between the wolf and the raven. In the totems he said your guardian was the wolf, and Jessie’s was the raven. The shadows were in the past, present and future. From the descriptions, the past matched up with Jessie’s relationship with John, and the present matched up with Calandra’s obsession with you and her efforts to break you and Jessie up." Casey glanced at Daniel. "And while Ba’al may fall into the realm of the future shadow, since you and Jessie hadn’t dealt with him in the past, something that the kids said made me wonder if it might be something else."
"What’d they say?"
"Well, apparently Ba’al has been working with a minor System Lord recently. The girls had seen him with Ba’al and overheard them talking. We couldn’t find much information on him as a Goa’uld, but we did find references to the name he’s using from deities in Asia." Casey handed him the print out. "His name is Kutkh."
Cam looked at the paper.
Taking a deep breath, he pushed the paper back. "Anything else?"
Casey pointed to Jessie’s notes on her totem. "Thoyetlini said the last shadow was possibly the most difficult of the three. For the raven, the deer and mockingbird would be strong, leading her where she normally wouldn’t go. Jessie wrote the description of the deer to be ‘gentleness, love, camouflage, strong connection to children. Knows what action needs to be done in the best interest of all’. For the mockingbird she wrote ‘a song of experiences, circumstances. Ability to communicate with all around you. Strong protector, fearless’. I think it was her strong connection to children, being a protector of them that led her where she normally wouldn’t go. She put herself in harm’s way to save those girls."
Cam rubbed his hands over his face, letting out a long sigh. "So you think this situation, this is the third shadow Thoyetlini talked about?"
"I’m certain it is."
"Why? Why is this the shadow, instead of just the end result of something the Tok’ra need their ass kicked for?"
"Well, Kutkh for one. A Raven god, altercations with the wolf. Kamchatka, which is a combination of your name and the spy that disappeared. The descriptions of the deer and mockingbird list the characteristics that caused Jessie to put herself in danger in the first place in order to save the children. And there was that recurring dream she had, of the totems, the storm and shadows, along with what could be seen as a raven’s wings and a wolf’s eyes. Lastly, there are the children themselves."
Cam frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Their names are Kivuli, Saar, Makani and Hunapo. Kivuli means shadow. Saar means storm. Makani means wind. And Hunapo means hidden darkness." Casey watched Cam, saw the internal struggle reflected on his face, along with the realization when the points she had made hit home. It hurt to see that pain, but he had to know what he was up against. "The main thing you need to remember is what Jessie wrote here," she said as she pointed to the screen. "No matter how dark these shadows seem, as long as you do not lose sight of your true bond, you will be able to overcome the obstacles. Remember the bond you share. Even when it seems like all is lost, the bond is still there. It can only be destroyed if you let them destroy it."
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