Category: Angst, Drama
Season: Season 9 and later
Featured: Samantha Carter (later, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, Jack O'Neill)
Summary: Sam's earth-bound mission is top secret even from the Team. But it takes more to help her deal with the mission's aftermath than she thought.
A/N: Suggestive language, a violent scene; adult theme
Disclaimer: Freely admit I don't own rights to these characters and this series. Just borrowing for non-profit fun. Sincere thanks to dreamer-one who tirelessly beta'd; any errors are strictly the fault of this author's hard head.
I. Solo Op
Lt. Col Samantha "Sam" Carter strode through the secluded VIP entrance of the hotel lobby and toward the special elevators. She noted no staff around as she passed by in full military mode, wearing her dress blues. She was fixed only on the mission ahead.
The Air Force escort waited stone-faced with her, standing nearest the elevator doors with his back to her. When the elevator arrived, he smartly stepped aside for her to enter. He saluted her as she passed him, and retreated as the doors closed. Inside, Sam returned the salute of the new escort. She watched as he pushed the penthouse floor, and they began the ascent twenty stories up.
Sam stood at parade rest, keeping her weight balanced. Never in her military life had she come up against this situation, and it made her almost ill preparing for it. Yet she was an officer, and officers had orders to follow, and her presence here was an order.
The elevator stopped. The escort had his head turned toward her. Sam regarded him from behind her regulation sunglasses without turning her head. He couldn't seem to stop leering at her, she noted from his reflection on the elevator doors. He reached for the controls then stopped.
"I'll be seeing you later, Colonel," he said, with an insulting tone and sweeping look. Sam snapped to attention without looking at him, and he released the doors.
Yet another formal escort waited for her in the corridor. He took a moment to study her, almost showing surprise, before saluting and executing a sharp right face. Sam returned his salute and followed him. The penthouse floor had a small reception area, quiet except for the marble tiled floor announcing the progress of her dress heels.
Then her escort opened a door into a plush carpeted suite. Sam noted the expensive euro- style furnishings; the silver, black and white color palette reminded her of an icy landscape. He ushered her into a den where her mission would finally be detailed. The escort showed some hesitation, even regret as he saluted her and left, closing the door quietly behind him. She faced her mission CO seated behind a sweeping glass topped desk. A dress uniform jacket was hanging on a coat rack, its rainbow blocks of medals in glaring relief against the dark fabric.
He wore only a robe over his slacks.
"Lt. Col. Samantha Carter reporting as ordered, sir," Sam announced. She came to attention and saluted.
Major General Pernell Newcombe, United States Air Force was close to salivating. Here she was at last. His usually indifferent libido was fully activated, and he hadn't had to resort to supplements, not with the thought of this prize. He let her salute hang while he studied this excellent specimen of military womanly form. Maybe he was past the age of her father but he was still a warhorse where it counted. Her arm didn't waver; Col. Carter seemed ready to hold this position for as long as it took. He kept that thought in mind for her "mission."
"At ease, Col. Carter," Newcombe said finally. Her arm dropped smartly to her side. "Do you know why you're here, Carter?" He asked, lounging in the high back tufted leather chair. She didn't respond immediately. "Take off the glasses, Carter. It's a shame not to see those lovely eyes I've heard so much about."
Sam reached up and removed her shades. The midday sun coming through the wall of glass windows made her blink.
"My orders said only to report here for special assignment, sir."
She registered the well-preserved, white haired general devouring her with his sharp eyes. Concentrate and get through this, she thought.
"Very special, Colonel," Newcombe replied. A thrill of excitement raced over him. Her clear blue eyes looked right through him. "I think I should remind you that you are under my command at this time, and how far under is to be determined!" He chuckled at his humor. Carter stared impassively. "Well at least sit down. And the cap, remove it. Ah, good; good girl."
Sam didn't show how glad she was to finally sit. She wished she could hurry this all up, but this was not her option. Sam kept her eyes on his even when he began to stroke the lapel of his robe, deliberately revealing more of his chest. He seemed eager to attract her attention, and almost boyishly proud of his physique.
"I've studied your career, Carter. Seems impressive, especially for one so young, and might I add, sexy? So, I wondered just what made you so special," Newcombe spoke casually. He considered the lovely features before him, carefully blanked. "Yes, you're brilliant, and it's said you saved this planet on more occasions than anyone's counted. But I noticed that most of the accolades come from a few select men," he continued. At last. He saw a vein pulse in her jaw. That was telling. "These men are Maj. General Hammond, Brig. General Jack O'Neill, a civilian scientist by the name of Dr. Daniel Jackson, and an alien with the odd name of Teal'c. Quite a collection."
Sam allowed a blink, then continued her mute demeanor. This was going down territory she should be used to, but somehow she wasn't, not completely. She knew what was coming next.
"Apparently, General Hammond is your... godfather. And your father was —drum roll here- an Air Force general, as well! My, my, how cozy you must have been at the SGC. perhaps even at the Academy," Newcombe said, his voice low and crafty. He watched as moisture built in her eyes, making their color luminous, then was fascinated as they cleared almost immediately. Had he taken his own eyes off of her for a few seconds, he would never have seen it. Carter's eyes were now fastened on some point over his shoulder.
Sam concentrated only on maintaining her composure. She knew he would try the favoritism angle; it had already been tried and was always unsuccessful. Her grades, her theories and accomplishments came without benefit of any clandestine help, a well-documented fact. Gen. Newcombe was either less informed than even a low junior officer, or he hadn't felt the need to plan his offensive like a general. She steeled herself for the final, predictable falsehood. It was the toughest to guard against.
"And of course, serving for nine years with the venerable Brig. General O'Neill, known around the galaxy as a hero and man of honor," Newcombe hissed with sarcasm. Her eyes flickered but did not actually turn to look at him. When the time came, he would order her to look him in the eyes. His eyes swept over her with fanatic possessiveness as he leaned forward on the desk. "Tell me, does he do it for you in bed, Carter?"
The words hit their mark even though she was prepared, sort of. No one had ever phrased this so crudely to her face; only rare snippets overheard behind her back, out of sight in the lockers or in the commissary. She could see the glee on his face at his accusation, waiting for her reaction. Anger began to uncoil deep within her.
"That good, huh? Well, you must be his match. Talk is he's quite a stud; and he hasn't been seen with any other fillies lately. Which brings me back to you, Carter, my dear." He grinned. Her face was pale as marble. He wondered if her hands, her skin even, was cool or warm to the touch. His breathing deepened. Of all the other females he had "secured" for his private amusement, Lt. Col. Samantha Carter was surely going to be the most memorable, at least for a good while. She was certainly the highest ranking officer he'd collected. "The gallant general doesn't like to share, I assume, so here's my offer to you."
Sam felt her muscles fill with blood. Her vision sharpened. She heard the change in his breathing, as he became more excited with his fantasy. Her thoughts blazed with revulsion. It made her furious to know he'd done this to soldiers she knew, and others she didn't know.
"I won't inform the Joint Chiefs that you propositioned me in return for, oh, privileges including higher rank. In return, you will willingly keep me company here today. Only today."
Sam took her first deep breath, unable to prevent the shudder that came with it. She knew his pattern. Once was not only with him, but the men who escorted her here as well as any others he needed to bribe for their part in this. She recalled the words of the soldier in the elevator. The general wasn't honest enough to inform her that he was ordering her to submit to them, too. Newcombe now slouched back in his chair, waiting for her capitulation.
"Hate to cut in on what must be an intriguing thought process of finding a way out of this, Carter," Newcombe said. His low, oily tone was irritating. "You'll spend the day with me, or my trusty guards will swear they overheard you telling me about the Brig. General's affair with his second in command, that's you, in return for the same privileges. I have the ear of the highest levels in the Pentagon, my dear, and O'Neill has a few high placed enemies. They'll take my word, and your so honorable former CO will resign in disgrace. All because he gave his comely subordinate officer a lot more than he's supposed to."
Sam's eyes snapped onto him like a target sight. The fire in the blue eyes that, a fraction of a second before, were glacial startled Newcombe. A seasoned soldier, he bounced back from his lapse and gave her his implacable CO stare. His large hands tapped idly on the glass desktop.
Interesting, he thought, no tears, no pleas for the bargaining chip (O'Neill) or herself. He expected the second in command of someone like O'Neill to have some guts, but she was damn near as ruthless. Her eyes were locked onto his with nary a blink; clear, cold and merciless. Newcombe felt the first tinge of unease since his well-planned trap had been sprung. He wasn't wrong to choose her, he couldn't be.
"Your surrender, Carter, and now."
Sam kept her seat, barely. Had she risen she knew she would have gone at his bared throat like a wild creature.
"Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, US Air Force."
Newcombe froze. Slowly, he inched forward until he was upright, his jaw agape. Carter was looking dead into his eyes, still.
"What the hell..." Newcombe growled. He stopped. She was playing one of her head games, that was it. "I see. Miss Astrophysicist thinks she can out-flank an Air Force general with forty years experience, does she?" He said, grinning at her ploy. "I admit none of the others gave resistance a second thought. Already you're making their bawling and whining so pathetic. Soldiers? You wouldn't have thought so, Carter," he said casually, as if disappointed.
Sam strained for control. He shook his head as if he described boot camp washouts, not proven, commissioned female soldiers who hadn't a chance against his blackmail. He looked in her eyes again.
"Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, US Air Force."
"Won't work, Carter. You're not a prisoner of war. You're in the service of the Air Force, and under my command. I've given you the terms of your current mission. If you don't comply, you're insubordinate." Newcombe retorted, his hand now a fist on the smooth surface. "Court martial for you, and O'Neill."
"Lt. Col. Samantha-"
"Disgrace for Gen. Hammond!"
"Lt. Col. Samantha Carter..."
"WILL you comply, Carter?"
"ATTEN-HUTT!" Newcombe barked as he jumped to his feet. Sam followed immediately. Her eyes were burning him, reminding him of cold, blue laser light. Something was off. He had expected her resistance and looked forward to it. He hadn't expected his trump card to be blown out of mid air by this tactic. Studying her now, standing tall and mutinous, he craved her even more. This was personal; he wasn't about to let her best him. He eased around the desk, letting his robe fall open to his bare chest. Her gaze wavered only fractionally; he saw her hands in defensive hand combat mode. He smirked and kept his distance. "Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, your mission is to remain in my company today and to follow my orders as given. Whatever those orders are. Comply, Carter."
Sam knew he was over the edge now. He was just close enough to spot any move she might make in defense, but far enough away to keep her offensive moves futile. Except this one.
"Negative, sir," Sam replied. He stiffened. Good. "I cannot be compelled to obey orders that are illegal, and it is illegal to fraternize with a superior officer. Sir." Sam gazed at him with contempt. "You can't compel me to dishonor the Service, which you did to Air Force SOLDIERS."
"So you know about them, do you?" Newcombe asked, a thread of warning thickening in his head. He was a battle-trained officer, and he sensed something forming, something dangerous nearby. He looked at his latest conquest. She wore her dress blues naturally and proudly but too damned defiantly. He had her in his power, he knew it. The O'Neill gambit hadn't fazed her much, but he had been assured that it was the way to break her. She didn't look broken. "They wanted it. We all do. The frat regs? For monks. Hell, even monks need a woman! They think we're eunuchs, walking around stunners like you, Carter, and prime men like me and O'Neill, and tell us to keep our hands off?"
"Yes, sir, so one of us has the right to say no."
"They didn't say no."
"You only gave them an option to say yes."
"No, they had a choice! They chose me. I made it easy; disgrace if they resist, or they could accommodate me. I know how to satisfy a woman, Carter. I taught them how to satisfy a man."
Oh, god, he was one twisted idiot, she thought. How had he hidden his sickness all these years?
Sam remained, keeping alert to his body language. He was a large man and could overwhelm her close in. He was psyching himself up, reasoning his lust to its peak. This was it, then. Sam readied herself.
"I'd rather be disgraced, SIR."
"Would you? To have all your fellow soldiers who look up to the Immaculate Genius of SG-l hear that you slept your way up the ranks?" Newcombe sneered. "Don't think for a moment that your colleagues won't believe it. Ten years of sainthood vanishes with a few select words, Carter." He was inching forward, sizing up her resistance. "No female officer can afford to have even false accusations like that; and you? You'd be a fallen woman, to put it nicely, in less than a day."
Sam flinched inwardly at that truth. Too bad he didn't realize she'd already beaten that kind of buzz. She eased away when she noted him creeping closer.
"You don't have to do this, General. You have forty years of experience to lose, and that includes your rank and pension. We can end this right now."
Newcombe halted. But he recovered; he wasn't going to lose anything, least of all her. So he returned a smile with all his teeth, raking her with a slow hot gaze, finally ending at her eyes. He liked the sight of her rising wariness.
"Target acquired, Carter. You're here. I have all the ammo I need to take you down, on the couch, perhaps?" Newcombe replied. "Or the desk. I've a fancy to have you on the glass."
"Why?" Sam asked, easing around the floor lamp near the elegant leather sofa. "What kind of general has to force himself on a fellow soldier?" She hardly thought appealing to his honor would work on him, and she was right. But his laughter bought her precious seconds to reposition herself.
"Still thinking, Carter! I'll tell you what kind of soldier I am: the same as you, the best! And that's why we'll suit. We have the passion of warriors, Carter." Newcombe barked. "Anyone who matters knew the old rumors were false, anyway. O'Neill's always been too damned noble for his own good." Newcombe hardly noticed he had just clipped his own trump card. She kept slipping around the furnishings, just out of his reach. It was time to show the Little Colonel who was top dog here. "I'm the best the Air Force has to offer and I want it all. If Gen. O'Neill didn't have the balls to take you, I do!"
Sam saw him blink but caught his action too late. He grabbed the floor lamp backhanded and flung it at her. She dived away, trying to stay away from him. Sheer discipline let her catch the lamp before it tripped her. But he was on her. Sam shifted the pole like a staff, sweeping an arc that caught him in the solar plexus. He cursed as he grabbed his side. As Sam made a run, he unbent and swung her around into him.
"Revenge is sweet," Newcombe panted. His face glistened with sweat as he pinned her to him. He grinned at her whenever her struggles forced her against him. "Yes. This is how soldiers should come together, in mutual combat and conquest." His teeth cut into her ear. "He should have done this like I told him..."
"Not gonna happen!" Sam gritted out at the bite.
The sharp pain made Sam see lights hovering around her eyes. She struggled to free her legs so she could knee him, but he had anticipated that move, and the slim skirt also hampered her. Furiously she used her diminishing advantage to swing her arms up in an arc and smash her fists into his ears. Newcombe howled and his grip slackened enough to let her breathe, and attack him at any vulnerable point she could reach. He barely managed to counter her, but crowed when they toppled down on the desk, Newcombe on top.
But his victory was short lived; Sam bucked violently. In that instant of surprise, she whirled and put all her weight into the hand that struck right over his heart. Newcombe gasped as the organ lost it's rhythm, his face suffused and mixed with shock and fury. He staggered and fell back on the desk, breathless.
Sam glared down at the incapacitated general as he sprawled over the glass. For just a blink of time she was somewhere else, somewhere whose smells were heightened in a cluttered half lit space. And this man was someone else who dared believe he had the power, the right to defile her and any woman. She looked at the imprint of her hand on his bare chest and knew she could have delivered a lethal blow that would have stopped his heart or whatever organ resided there. She looked into his eyes and knew he saw her intent.
Then the doors exploded.
To be continued.
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