Chapter 48: Deception

A/N: Sorry, guys. I fail. But thank heavens the plot bunnies returned. I should have this finished by the end of the weekend. Hope you enjoy the next installment.

"This is Colson research sub 43509." One of the SEALs announced into the Satellite phone as the sub waited outside the giant doors of the Colson Underwater Facility.

"Access code?" Came a computer generated voice.

"Alpha Charlie 934 Delta." He answered, reading the code from Colson's instructions.

"Access granted."

"Well, that was easy." The commander said, his brow furrowed in confusion.

"Too easy," Daniel agreed. "If this abduction was done by rogue scientists and militants on Colson's payroll, then even his codes shouldn't work."

Teal'c nodded his own agreement.

"But we can't just sit out here and do nothing." The commander said finally. "We're going in."

Daniel inhaled as he turned to Teal'c. "Here we go," he muttered under his breath.


Jacob's eyes darted all around the hallway, watching for some sign of his sister. She had to be here somewhere. If only he was like his mommy and daddy–they could have done this by themselves. But they weren't here, and he was. And even though he was special, he wasn't special enough to have X-ray vision.

"Don't you two have, like, some kind of special connection? Can't you two just sense each other?" Steve asked as Jacob shoved open the door to a supply closet.

"What? Like the Jedi?" Jacob asked as he raised a skeptical eyebrow.

Steve swallowed. "Uh, yeah...kinda like the Jedi."

"The Jedi aren't real," Jacob said as he shook his head and rolled his eyes.

"Maybe not, but she is your sister, isn't she?" Steve returned quietly.

Jacob paused for a moment and then looked back up at Steve. "She was adopted."

"So?"

Jacob pursed his lips in thought for a moment before he returned his gaze to Steve. "Keep a look out, will ya?"

The older man nodded as Jacob closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Grace? He called in the depths of his mind. Where are you, Grace?

The silence in his mind was frightening. All he really wanted to do was wake up from this bad dream and climb into bed with his parents.

His thoughts of peaceful comfort from his parents were interrupted as an image of Daniel and Teal'c radioing for backup flooded his mind.

Jacob whipped around to Steve. "It's a-"

He fell silent as he faced the barrel of Steve's gun.


"Jack?"

The sound of his wife's voice jerked him back to reality from his thoughts, and he looked up at her with a bleary gaze. "Yeah?"

"There's something about this that isn't quite right." She said as she shook her head in confusion. She hated the way that her mind became cloudy when she was recovering from the effects of anesthesia. Her brow knit together in concern and concentration as she looked over at her husband. "Colson Industries...Colson Industries died with the Alec Colson securities scandal fifteen years ago. You know, when Brian Vogler doctored the books and took them to the SEC?" She paused for a moment. "Alec Colson lives off-world now. For his own safety!"

Jack raised an eyebrow. "But I just talked to him."

"Jack, you were there! You were the one who told the President to let him go live out his days off-world. That sending him to one of our allies was our best chance of plugging the leak, so to speak." She insisted.

"No, I'm starting to remember that," Jack said, nodding. "But how is it that no one else seems to? And how is it that I didn't remember?"

Sam looked surprised. "What do you mean?"

"Honestly, if it wasn't for one of the technicians aboard the George Hammond – a guy who claimed to know you from your days on the George Hammond, I wouldn't even have thought of Alec Colson." Jack admitted as he pondered the last few hours. "But after that, I went to visit Colson, and he was very helpful."

"Helpful how?" Sam pressed as concern wrinkled her brow.

"He provided us with all the right security codes and everything so that the SEALs could get into the compound." Jack paused for a moment as he paled. "It's a trap, isn't it? It was too easy to get those codes, and it was too simple to come to the conclusion that someone at Colson Industries was behind it."

"But why didn't you remember that Colson Industries had been dismantled?" Sam continued. "Something had to make it plausible to your mind."

"You mean, you think there's some other force behind this than just the NID?"

Sam tensed. "I think it's a definite possibility. Who was the technician?"

"Um, a...a Lieutenant..." Jack grimaced for a moment before he shook his head. "I'm sorry, Sam, I don't remember his name. And to be honest, I'm not sure I'd ever seen him before."

"Though that's not really surprising these days," Sam said honestly. She sighed. "What races have we come across who have been capable of camouflaging themselves to be like us, not just look like us?"

"Well, there was that guy that we thought was on SG-1, who really turned out to be an alien with tentacles and everything."

Sam grimaced at the memory. "Yes, Lieutenant Tyler."

"And then, there were those aliens who had the mimic devices." Jack continued.

Sam winced. "Another pleasant memory," she lied as she shook her head. "Let's talk about those two possibilities. Lieutenant Tyler was a completely fabricated identity. In fact, the Tok'ra synthesized a version of the Ree'ol chemical and sent Daniel undercover to Lord Yu. After that, Mitchell used the same chemical to go undercover in the Lucian Alliance. But in both cases, they had to be in close enough proximity to prick the object of the deception so that they could be affected by the chemical."

"The last time we used that chemical was fifteen years ago, Sam. Are you saying that someone couldn't have figured out a way to make the chemical aerosol in that time?" Jack asked as he shook his head.

"I'm not saying anything." She said, shaking her head. "I'm fully aware that fifteen years is more than enough time to make advancements in the field of science. But I am surprised that Cam and a team of Navy SEALs didn't figure out that the man you claimed to have seen couldn't possibly have been Alec Colson."

"What if it was, I don't know, contagious?" Jack offered.

Sam shook her head. "If that were the case, we wouldn't be having this discussion because, honestly, I wouldn't know that there was a problem."

"Unless the chemical contagion wore off." Jack countered.

Sam nodded slowly.

"So, I guess this means we're back at square one?"

She tensed. "I don't know. But what I do know is that if we don't call Mitchell soon, Daniel and Teal'c are going to find themselves in a lot of trouble."