a/n: Because of the long wait in updating this story, I wrote a nice sized chapter with quite a bit of action. Okay, so I'm not great at writing action, but a lot does happen in this chapter, so hopefully that alone will buy me forgiveness for my lack of updating in the last few weeks. (Flutters eyelashes) Am I forgiven?
Katie was born with her abilities to hear other's thoughts, to move objects, to heal without so much as a band-aid. It wasn't something that she gained or learned over time. It wasn't something that was given to her or taught to her. It just was. It was a part of her. A part of her genetic make-up. It didn't define her, or complete her, it was simply her.
She never considered it a gift or a special ability. It wasn't a separate part of her. It wasn't something that could be taken away or increased. It was her. No one questions the limbs they are born with. Those limbs are a part of the human body. They are not special or unique, they are simply normal parts of the body. Katie's abilities are limbs to her. She was born with them, they are as much a part of her as her limbs, as her brain, as every cell in her body.
She was also born with the distinct knowledge that her abilities were hers alone. Not another human on earth could do what she could. Some day, through evolution, many humans would acquire these abilities, slowly at first, maybe one or two out of a generation. Their brains would operate slightly different than they do now, and an ability such as telepathy or telekinesis would be accessible. These abilities would be passed down from generation to generation until the brain expanded even larger and more abilities would be accessible. Eventually, as centuries would pass, these humans would become capable of all that Katie is now.
She was the only one now, but she knew it was not always so, and would not always be.
As a young child, Katie could not control the thoughts she heard. She easily picked up conversations from over a hundred yards away, and could pick up another's thoughts from twice that distance. It was normal for her, something that had always been there, and so was never bothersome to her.
That is, until she reached junior high. A large, two-story brick building filled to capacity with confused, spiteful, acne-covered, puberty-reaching, adolescents. The thirteen and fourteen year olds were going through massive physical changes, from voice-changing for the boys, to menstrual cycles for the girls. The boys were growing taller, developing hair follicles in new, manly places, while the girls were squealing over graduating out of training bras.
It was an awkward time. It was also the time where cliques were initially formed. It was war. Everyone fought for the popular cliques, and no one was exempt. Rude comments and mean stunts were pulled on just about everyone. Some cried, some fought, some sought revenge. Words were the weapon of choice, and if you had a sharp tongue, you were quickly at the top of the pyramid.
It wasn't the words spoken aloud that bothered Katie. Living with a drunken Pete gave her enough experience to ignore the silly juvenile insults. No, the spoken words didn't hurt at all. It was the unspoken words that ripped Katie's heart out. It was the thoughts her so-called friends had as they stood right in front of her with a smile on their heavily-clad make-up faces that hurt the most.
"God! Look at her! She thinks she's so cool! I can't wait to bring her down!"
"Katie is such a bitch! I can't believe she really thinks we're friends!"
"I bet she breaks out in zits by winter. Haha, she'll look so ugly! I can't wait!"
Katie often cried herself to sleep in the early days of seventh grade. She couldn't believe what vultures her friends had turned into. The only ones who were still allies were Janet, Matt, and of course, Caleb.
By the time Thanksgiving rolled around at the end of November, Katie had dug deep inside her own mind, something she rarely ever did. She spent much of the American holiday teaching herself how to block out other's thoughts. By the time Monday came back around, Katie was relieved to discover that her lessons on blockage had worked.
For the most part, she could be a normal thirteen year old. She could hang out with her friends, and be just as blissfully ignorant of their real feelings as they were. Once in awhile, a person's thoughts would slip in, and she could easily unblock her mind to pick up another's thoughts, but she never went out of the way to do so unless she needed to.
When she started dating Rob, she never felt the need to read his thoughts. She was his girlfriend, and she needed to respect his privacy. And so she did. Even after Caleb's warnings, she never delved into his thoughts. The truth was, she was scared to. Rob was a nice guy. He was amusing and entertaining, and Katie really enjoyed his company, not to mention how jealous it made Caleb. But, if Caleb was right, and she looked in his mind and discovered this, she would have to give up her fun little courtship with the handsome, young cadet. And up until that point, she just wasn't ready to do that yet.
They were driving down the highway, heading Northwest. Katie was sitting in the front seat, next to Rob driving, while Caleb was stretched across the back. Her eyes were closed as she thought back over all that had recently happened. Caleb, once again, had been her knight in shining armor. Always there to help her, always there to save her if need be. He would give his life for hers, she knew that without the need to read his mind. It was clear. It was undeniable. Just one look in his eyes as they gazed upon hers and she knew he would die a hundred deaths to keep her safe. To him, she was treasure. Treasure that he never wanted to lose.
Katie opened her eyes and glanced over at her boyfriend. He was good-looking, young, fit, an awesome kisser, not as good as Caleb, but still. She could trust him, right? He had never been anything less than gentlemanly towards her.
"What was Colonel O'Neill talking about back there, Katie?" Caleb spoke up, jarring Katie out of her reverie.
Easily enough, Katie allowed her mind to accept Caleb's thoughts. She knew he was being vague because of Rob, and his words were an invitation into his mind.
"What did he mean by knowing you were in danger before I called?"
"He's different than everyone else. He's like my mother."
Caleb nodded, understanding her cryptic answer. He knew all about her internal relationship with her mother. "How is that possible?" Caleb asked aloud.
Katie dropped her gaze to her lap, her fingers fretfully pulling on each other, her nerves starting to get the best of her. "He's…….," she glanced around, noting Rob's attention still on the road before them. She bit her bottom lip as she sucked in a breath of air through her nostrils. "He's my biological father," she admitted barely above a whisper.
"WHAT?" Rob's voice screeched from beside her, causing her to jump about an inch in her seat.
The look on Rob's face was enough to scare Katie. Her eyes widened and her forehead wrinkled at his sudden jump in personality. He looked pissed. Beyond pissed, and Katie couldn't fathom why. As his angry eyes burned into hers, Katie did something she told herself she would not do.
She unblocked his mind from hers………
"How is this possible? How can he be her father? How does the Trust not know this? This could complicate things! O'Neill will do anything to save her! Damn it, how did this kind of information slip through the cracks?"
Katie's eyes widened even larger as his thoughts echoed through her frazzled mind. NOOOOOOOOO! How could this happen? Stupid stubbornness! Why did she have to be so naïve?
"Jack, I need you!"
"Where the hell are you?"
"North I-25, just south of Denver. Jack, I made a big mistake and Caleb and I are in danger. Help us!"
"Are you in a vehicle?"
"Yes, we're with Rob Baker in his red mustang. He's part of the Trust."
"Shit!……. Can you get away from him?"
Katie glanced back at Rob, whose attention had returned to the road. She looked out the windshield, noticing the small town they were quickly whipping by.
"I-I think so. There's a town, can you get there?"
"I'm already on my way. I'm only about ten minutes behind you. Run Katie, I'll find you."
Katie blinked and licked her dry lips. She adjusted casually in her seat and glanced back at Caleb. She lifted her eyebrows and gave him a frightened look.
"What?" he immediately questioned silently.
"You were right about him all along," she stated in a calm, cool voice.
"Who? Rob? Did you read his mind?"
"What the hell, Katie? What took you so long? Damn it, I trusted you to know what he was up to!"
"I'm sorry," she told him in a soft voice.
"Sorry for what?" Rob asked, his voice much harder than normal.
"For trusting you," she told him in flat tone, her head swiveling to take in his startled response.
His eyes widened briefly before narrowing and a menacing look took over his handsome features. He opened his mouth to speak, but before any sound came out, his car came to an abrupt stop. The sudden drop from 70 mph to 0 mph, caused all occupants of the car to jolt forward, being restrained from going through the windshield only by the seatbelts.
The passenger airbag had conveniently been turned off, but the driver's airbag had inflated immediately as if the car had been struck by an outside force. As Rob battled with the inflated bag, Caleb and Katie quickly exited the car and fled into the surrounding city.
They ran side-by-side down a side street, both glancing back periodically as they ran. It only took a few seconds before they heard Rob's voice and the sound of his feet heavily hitting the pavement. Caleb grabbed Katie by the shirtsleeve and directed her down another street, Rob running quickly behind them.
There was a convenience store on the corner, and Caleb pulled Katie behind the building, ducking behind a large, smelly garbage dumpster. They squatted down, Caleb's large arm wrapped around Katie's small frame and his body blocking hers as much as possible.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Rob sneered in a sing-song malicious voice from the other side of the dumpster.
Katie bit her lip and pressed her body closer to Caleb. Chastising herself over and over again for allowing this to happen.
"Oh come on now, hide and seek is over. I win," his voice rang out, sounding even closer. "Then again, I usually do," he laughed. "I have to say, I was ecstatic when they switched me from Caleb to you, Katelyn. You are much prettier for one. Not to mention, the make-out sessions were a blast."
Caleb's grip on Katie's arm tightened in anger as Rob's words reached their ears.
"Ah, but then you were kind of boring, I knew you were hiding something, but you were such a closed book. That is……until I came upon you and your friends at the park." He laughed mockingly. "Imagine my surprise when I discovered what you could do! Imagine the surprise of my superiors when I told them! Oh hell yeah am I getting a fat bonus when this is all over. Maybe my own planet, for my father and I to live the rest of our lives on, that'd be nice."
"Go to hell!" Katie screamed out, no longer able to hold in her emotions.
"You first," came a snively voice, way too close to them.
Katie glanced behind her to see Rob standing there with a gun pointing at the both of them. He grinned cockily at her.
"Bastard!" Caleb hissed and launched himself at the man.
"NOOOOOO!" Katie screamed, and at the same time, Rob went flying through the air and crashed into the brick wall ten feet behind him. The sounds of several bones breaking on impact filled the air, but Katie was oblivious to them. She immediately dropped to her knees and pulled Caleb's limp body to her lap.
"Caleb, Caleb," she cried out, her hands frantically searching his body for his injury. It was a large, open chest wound. The gun shot at point-blank range had ripped through his chest cavity and shot clean out the back. She put her hand over his heart, trying to stop the bleeding, but it kept pouring out. With her other hand, she checked his pulse, but she couldn't feel a thing. "No, no, no, no, NO! Don't you do this to me, Caleb!" she cried.
Sniffling a few more times. Katie felt a sense of peace wash over her body. Her mind and body went completely numb, and as if on auto-pilot, one hand covered his wound while the other found its way to his forehead. With nothing but tranquil thoughts surrounding her, she felt the numbness in her body leave and an overwhelming feeling of love and strength fill her. A bright light surrounded them both and she pushed all the love and strength she felt into Caleb's body. In seconds, the wound completely healed, and Caleb coughed hoarsely, gasping in between for air.
"Katie!" Came a familiar, anxious yell.
Katie whipped her head around to see Jack jogging towards her, his gun in his hands, ready to fire if need be.
"You okay?" he asked, gripping her by the shoulders and assessing her quickly of any injuries.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Caleb was hurt, but, but, he's okay now."
Jack glanced down at Caleb, still somewhat unconscious on the ground. "You sure?"
"Yeah, he was shot, but I-I healed him."
Jack looked back at the young woman he held tightly in his grasp. "Healed him? How?"
Katie shook her head and shrugged her shoulders, her eyes lingering on Caleb before coming back up and seeking out her father's. "I-I'm honestly not sure how," she told him.
Jack let out a loud sigh and then pulled her towards him, his relief that she was okay, washing over him as he hugged the teenager.
"Aww, such a heartfelt father/daughter moment. I almost feel bad for interrupting."
Jack and Katie slowly separated and turned as one to see the owner of the new voice.
"Ma-mom?" Katie choked out.
Ba'al smiled widely at the young woman. "I am very pleased to meet you at last, Katelyn. I must say, I'm not surprised at all to see you've sought out your biological father."
"What?" Jack breathed from beside her.
Katie turned her head slightly to gauge Jack's reaction. She let a small, worried smile creep onto the outer edges of her lips. "Congrats, it's a girl," she told him in a half-hearted attempt at humor.
He looked at her, his eyes taking in every detail of her as if it was the first time seeing her. "You-you knew?" he breathed out, his eyes not leaving hers.
Katie licked her lips and lowered her head, nodding ever so slightly at his question.
"As touching as this is, I am a bit impatient in acquiring my new host."
Jack's head shot back to Ba'al's in an instant. "What? Over my dead body!" he raged, pushing Katie behind him.
Ba'al smirked, Carter's bright blue eyes dazzling with evil joy. "That can most definitely be arranged, colonel," she announced, her hand raising to reveal a small goa'uld killing device.
Jack stiffened in front of Katie, planning on protecting her to the end.
"However," Ba'al continued, his hand relaxing and lowering somewhat. "Without you and Samantha, I'd never have this opportunity to become the most powerful being in the galaxy. So, I'm willing to compromise." Ba'al paused in his speech and grinned brilliantly at the two huddled closely behind the garbage dumpster. "Give me the child, colonel, and I'll give you the mother."
"What?" Jack gasped.
"Come now, your combined genes created her, surely you'd be capable of making another. She's merely one child. I shall take excellent care of her, O'Neill."
"Go to hell!" he snarled in response.
Ba'al smirked his evil smirk again. "I will have your daughter as my host O'Neill. No matter if you're dead or alive, I assure you."
"You won't get away with…." As Jack spoke, Ba'al's face contorted and seconds later, he fell over, a knife embedded in Sam's chest. "What the hell!" Jack screeched.
Katie glanced behind her at a kneeling Caleb, his hand still poised from the throw of the knife. She whipped her head back around, the body of her mother sprawled out on the hard, cement ground, blood pouring from the knife wound.