[ Chapter 1: Escape | Chapter 2: Stranded | Chapter 3: Where are we? | Chapter 4: Discoveries | Chapter 5: Finding Shelter | Chapter 6: Daily Life | Chapter 7: Strange Discoveries | Chapter 8: An Unpleasant Surprise | Chapter 9: Developments | Chapter 10: An Attack With Long-lasting Consequences | Chapter 11: Myth and Reality | Chapter 12: Breaking and Entering | Chapter 13: Rest and Results | Chapter 14: A Meeting | Chapter 15: Captives | Chapter 16: Revelations | Chapter 17: Some Explanations - and an Alliance | Chapter 18: Some Information | Chapter 19: A Dangerous Mission | Chapter 20: Prisoners | Chapter 21: A Fight - and an Escape | Chapter 22: Guests | Chapter 23: A Motel | Chapter 24: Next Day - and Travel | Chapter 25: A Pleasant Night, Followed by an Unpleasant Morning | Chapter 26: Meeting Ba'al | Chapter 27: Escape - and a Confrontation | Chapter 28: A Surprising Turn of Events | Chapter 29: Some Measure of Success ]

"Tell me again... how did you get me convinced to do this?" Scott asked, a bit nervously, as he prepared himself.

"You're the logical choice - you and that guy Daniel. The new alpha pack will surely want to try and recruit you, so if you go hang out somewhere isolated, they'll probably send someone to contact you and see if you can be swayed to their side." Allison smirked. "Also, you love me." She gave him a quick kiss.

"True... I do." Scott smiled, and returned the kiss. "You guys are gonna be there, right?"

"Of course! Don't worry about it!" Allison smiled reassuringly at him.

"Sure you don't want me to come along?" Stiles asked.

Scott grinned at his good friend, who as usual offered his assistance. "No, we'll be fine. But thanks!" He turned his head to see Daniel approaching. "You ready?"

"Yeah, I guess so. As ready as I'm ever going to get... I mean, we're going to be the bait for God's sake!" Daniel said, looking unhappy.

"You'll be fine," O'Neill promised, walking up to the others. "Jacob and Marty are going to do their thing... they're stealthy, you know." He smiled. "Carter is going to join them, and if that isn't enough, me and Teal'c will not be far away."

"My dad and I will be there too," Allison said.

"That's not necessary. We can handle it, and we're too many already," O'Neill insisted.

"Relax, we know what we're doing!" Allison smiled, but she had an expression as if she was not to be argued with. "Besides, we're allies in this, right?"

Martouf, Jacob, and Sam jumped up from the hiding places they had made in the ground, surrounding Scott, Daniel, and the werewolf that had approached them.

"Traitors! How dare you..." the strange werewolf began, but he did not have time to finish before Martouf had shot him with his zat'nik'tel.

Unsurprising, while the appearance of the werewolf briefly changed, he did not fall down unconscious. He seemed just as resilient as the others they had encountered. The second shot felled him, though, and Daniel - who was closest - leaned down to check his pulse.

"He's alive."

"Good," Jacob said. "Let's get him tied up and back to the others, before his friends show up."

"He's in the cell - and awake and angry," Jacob told them.

"Good, let him stew for a little while, then we'll have a word with him," O'Neill said.

"You should let us handle that part. You don't have any experience with werewolves," Kate insisted. "They're not like the regular human prisoners you might have had to interrogate."

"Oh, we have more experience with something like that than you may think. Maybe not with werewolves, but still... we've got experience," O'Neill told her. "More than we may like, actually - and not always as the interrogators," he added, in a low voice.

Kate snorted. "So the Air Force admits to submitting their prisoners to, ah, what is it they call it... enhanced interrogation techniques? What a surprise!" She shrugged. "It doesn't matter - I don't believe any of you are capable of doing what needs to be done to make an alpha werewolf talk. Especially not if this one is anything like those in the other alpha pack that has been pestering the area."

O'Neill took a deep breath, then nodded. "Okay, so you're in charge. You don't mind a couple of us tagging along? We have our own questions, which we would like answered."

"Suit yourselves, just as long as you don't interfere."

O'Neill looked over his people, considering who to bring. Himself, Teal'c perhaps... and maybe one of the Tok'ra. Would Selmak or Lantash be the best? O'Neill suspected all the Tok'ra probably had a good deal of experience with all kinds of interrogation - both performing it and being on the receiving end - but Jacob had an Air Force background, so he decided to go with him. He was a known factor.

"Jacob... Teal'c. Wanna join us?"

Teal'c inclined his head. "Of course, O'Neill."

"Sure, Jack," Jacob said, getting up from the comfortable chair he was sitting in.

"Okay - this way, then." Kate left through the door, and the others followed.

"Well, since that's probably going to take some time. What do the rest of you say we eat while we wait for them to finish?" Argent suggested to Sam, Daniel, Martouf/Lantash, and Allison, while throwing an uncomfortable look in the direction where his sister had left together with O'Neill, Teal'c, and Jacob/Selmak.

"So..." Allison said, studying Martouf. "You're my uncle?"

"Yes, I am," Martouf confirmed, putting his glass down on the table.

"That's all you're going to say? I just learned my dad has a twin brother - who because of some weird Air Force experiment is much younger than him. Don't you think you owe it to us to tell us something about yourself?"

"Ah..." Martouf threw a quick look at Sam, not really certain how much he was supposed to divulge about himself and where he came from.

"Yes, that's a great idea," Argent said, looking interest. He reached for the bowl with potatoes. Martouf handed it to him. "Thanks."

Martouf took a deep breath. "I do not believe there is much to say..."

"Oh, I'm sure there's a lot! Like... are you married, for instance?" Allison asked.

Martouf looked down, a pained expression flitting over his face, just for a moment. "She was killed. It happened a few years ago... well, it's longer now of course, but to me it does not seem so."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Argent said. He hesitated. "My wife... she was killed too."

"By werewolves?" Daniel asked. "Sorry, I mean... I'm sorry about your loss."

"Yes," Argent said, then added, "By werewolves."

"Martouf... that's an unusual name. Is that your first name, or your last name?" Allison asked.

"Martouf is my given name. My people do not make use of a family name."

Argent frowned. "You're not American?"

"Eh, no," Martouf admitted.

"But you're in the Air Force."

"He's an ally," Sam said hurriedly. "Anything more than that is... classified."

Argent shook his head slowly. "Okay. Well, there's something else I'm more interested in knowing anyway. What about our parents? Are they still alive? Do we have any other siblings?"

"Our parents were killed when I was seventeen. It happened during an... attack by enemy forces. I... we had a sister... well have a sister. I believe she is still alive, though she was taken by the attackers. I have not succeeded in rescuing her."

"Sounds like both my families have attracted misfortune." Argent sighed unhappily.

They finished eating, mostly in silence. They had only just decided to put the rest of the food aside, to be reheated when the others finished the interrogation, when the door opened and O'Neill entered, looking shaken. After him followed Kate, looking quite pleased with herself, and then Teal'c, and Jacob/Selmak.

"Well?" Sam asked, looking towards the new arrivals.

"Your sister is certainly... efficient when it comes to extracting information from prisoners," Teal'c offered, inclining his head to Argent.

"Yeah... let's call it that!" O'Neill exclaimed, sitting down by the table. "Efficient..."

"Why, thank you, Teal'c! I'm pleased you approve!" Kate smirked and gave Teal'c and appreciative look.

"You are gravely mistaken. Cruelty. however inventive, is not an admirable trait."

"Aww, come on!" Kate rolled her eyes.

"I'm afraid the food has gone cold." Argent said, steering the discussion in another direction.

"It's okay. I'm not hungry... any longer." O'Neill got a pained expression.

"I thought you guys were 'experienced'?" Kate mocked, giving them a faintly condescending look.

"Yeah, well..." Jacob said. He took a deep breath, clearly doing his best to put the memory of what had just happened away.

"Did you get the information?" Sam asked.

"Yes. He was quite cooperative... towards the end," O'Neill told them, a grim expression on his face. "What we learned... is not good."

"You can say that again!" Jacob scoffed, sitting down at the table, and eyeing the cold leftovers.

"The new alpha pack has apparently given the one that's here an ultimatum. Join them and work for their cause, or perish. That might be good or bad, depending on what happens," Kate said. "I guess we can always hope they kill each other."

"Yeah, I know who's going to be killed - with the weapons and abilities the newcomers have!" Jacob exclaimed.

"What do you mean? Weapons?" Argent asked, turning to look at Daniel. "Have you discovered any abilities different from normal werewolves?"

"I'm not really the one to tell, am I?" Daniel snorted.

"Of course. I apologize." Argent looked at his sister. "We should have Daniel talk to Derek. Have them compare abilities. Maybe we should run a comparison on their blood-work."

Kate shrugged. "Maybe. It seems they are a bit more resilient, and also a good deal stronger."

"That may not be a bad idea, Daniel," Jacob said. He sighed. "This... second alpha pack... if we can trust what that guy said... then they've been hired to make people feel unsafe. Just like those criminals we ran into further south. They also have access to advanced weapons - and they have a second objective, which is to keep their eyes open for anyone that might suspect anything. People who would work against Ba'al. People like us."

"Really? So they are working for Ba'al?" Martouf asked.

"Yes. The name we got was Joh'nar. He's their immediate superior, the one in charge of this undertaking."

"Joh'nar?" Sam wondered.

"He works for Ba'al," Martouf told her. "He is very loyal."

O'Neill sighed. "More snakeheads. Great."

"What are you talking about?" Argent asked.

"Never mind," O'Neill said.

"It's... some people we've had the misfortune to run into before," Jacob explained.

"Ba'al? The businessman that wants to be president?" Argent asked.

"Yes. That one," O'Neill confirmed.

"He's a slick bastard. I'm not surprised he's mixed up in something bad," Kate offered.

"You're more right than you can imagine!" O'Neill said.

"Did you learn anything else useful?" Sam asked.

"Yes. We've got the location of the place they've been meeting Joh'nar. We should go check it out," Jacob said. "It's a couple hundred clicks to the north-north east. Near the border to Nevada."

Chapter 19: A Dangerous Mission