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6. The Casino

"The decor is... certainly unusual," Bra'tac said.

"Indeed," Teal'c agreed, frowning.

"I did not think the Tau'ri shared such questionable taste with the Goa'uld!" Martouf said, looking around at the polished, colourful walls and floors. Many places were covered with gold - or something that resembled it at any rate. There were also large statues in the ancient Egyptian style, as well as palm trees and fountains.

Jacob snorted and spoke in a low voice, "More than you can imagine, sometimes. In fact, I'm not always so sure it's a Goa'uld trait specifically. Anyway, please don't talk loudly about the Goa'uld, or the Tau'ri - or anything else that would sound strange to people here. For God's sake don't mention other planets or spaceships or whatever!"

"We already assured you we would not!" Bra'tac said, looking insulted.

"Good. Now, come on - let's get this over with."

A couple days later, they had finished checking out the casinos and had picked one. Martouf had dressed up in a black suit they had bought for him, and was about ready to go to the entrance of the casino, where he would meet the escort Jacob had hired.

"You're sure you don't have any more questions?" Jacob asked.

Martouf pulled at his tie for the fourth time since Jacob had tied it for him. "No. I am prepared." He pulled at the tie again. "Do I have to wear this?"

"Yes, and leave it alone!" Jacob tightened the tie again for him and straightened it. "Repeat what you're going to do."

Martouf sighed. "I go meet the 'escort' on the stairs to the casino. I give her this." He raised his left hand and showed the flower he was carrying. "Then we go eat at the restaurant there, before continuing to the gambling area of the casino. In order to make it look like I am merely there to have fun, I try a few different types of games, including "craps", "blackjack", and "poker". I should focus on "blackjack", since I have the best chance with that game. Lantash counts cards while I "joke" and "flirt" with my escort. When I have hopefully won enough, I give her maybe an extra thousand dollars, and then I leave."

"Excellent." Jacob smiled and patted him on the back. "You'll do just fine."

"Good luck," Teal'c told him.

"We'll be in there too - if something goes wrong," Jacob assured him.

"So, you won a large sum of money, and now you want to see if you can win more?"

Martouf nodded at the young woman sitting across from him at the restaurant. "Yes, miss Jameson, that is correct. I wish to try and win more money - and have fun while doing so," he added, prompted by Lantash.

"Well, in that case I think you should call me Kira instead of "miss Jameson" - don't you think it sounds a bit... formal?"

"You are correct. Kira." Martouf gave her one of his charming smiles. "I apologize, I am not very experienced with the correct behaviour in situations such as this."

"Been a while, huh?" Kira grinned. She took a drink from her glass of wine.

Martouf took a drink too, and was saved from coming up with anything to say when the server brought their food.

"I need to see your ID to let you enter, sir," the guard said. "You too, miss."

Kira gave the guard her ID, and Martouf did the same, feeling a slight apprehension that it might be recognized as fake.

"Okay, you're good. Welcome miss Jameson and mr. Bourne." The guard gave them back their IDs.

Martouf let out an inaudible sigh of relief and pocketed his ID card.

"So - what do you want to try first?" Kira asked.

Martouf looked out over the vast room, filled with various kinds of gambling tables and many people flocking around each of them. He listened to Lantash's suggestion, reminding him to pretend to have 'fun'.

"I believe I would like to purchase a drink first. For both of us, if you are amenable - and then try out a number of different games. Perhaps starting with 'blackjack'." He smiled at her.

Kira smiled and hooked her arm under his. "Lead the way."

Martouf got into the car and handed the sack of money to Jacob. He took a deep breath and relaxed back into the seat,

Jacob grinned. "You do know you were supposed to 'have a good time', right? You seem as tense and stressed out as if you'd been caught by a Goa'uld."

Martouf snorted and gave Lantash control. "Perhaps we would have had 'a good time' if the success of the mission did not hinge on us being able to behave suitably like a Tau'ri - while at the same time pretending to have fun and counting cards and keeping an eye on everyone in our surroundings."

"Good thing you are two, then!" Jacob smiled. "Sorry. You did a great job. We hit one more casino tomorrow, and if it goes as well as this one we'll have more than enough for what we need."

Lantash sighed. "Yes, Jacob."

"I actually found it most illuminating to learn about this part of Tau'ri life," Bra'tac said. "Of course, gambling is not an honourable profession for a warrior."

"Of course not." Lantash rolled his eyes, but not so that Bra'tac saw it. He and Martouf had seen how Bra'tac - very eagerly - played several games in the casino.

Two days later they had managed to get together enough money for carrying out their plan, and they left Las Vegas.

"I called Harriman. He'd managed to dig up a bit more information about the place they're holding Sam. He got hold of some old floor plans, which he's mailing to Jack's cabin. We can pick it up there," Jacob said.

"We are going to Colonel O'Neill's cabin now?" Martouf asked.

"Yes," Jacob confirmed. "We're buying a few things on the way, but we should get there before the letter does."

"How are we going to free Samantha?" Martouf wondered.

"I haven't figured that part out yet," Jacob admitted.

"Could we not just make an assault on the prison?" Teal'c asked. "We are four, and have zat'nik'tels - and you have hand devices as well. We should be able to take it."

"Or we can blow up the entrance with this 4C of yours," Bra'tac suggested.

"C4, and using either explosives or alien weaponry kind of defeats our plan for a covert mission. Ignoring the fact that we're not supposed to let anyone outside Stargate Command and a few others know of aliens, we also don't want to alert Doctor Jackson to our presence here. It'll be hard enough to get to him as it is. No, freeing Sam must be done in such a way that it appears she escaped on her own, or with the help of friends here on Earth," Jacob said.

"Then Colonel O'Neill could perhaps free her - with the secret help from us," Teal'c said.

Jacob nodded slowly. "Possibly - but I suspect we'll need him to be free of suspicion when we're moving on Doctor Jackson."

"Then, perhaps Samantha could be given some drug that makes it appear as if she is gravely ill or in a deep coma?" Martouf suggested. "Would they not take her from her cell and bring her to a healer's place, where we could easier free her from?"

"That is not a bad idea, actually." Jacob dipped his head, giving Selmak control.

"We could create a drug for Sam to ingest, which will make her violently ill - for a short time. If we inform her it will happen, she can then be ready to escape on her own, perhaps with some minor assistance, when she has been taken to an infirmary or hospital."

Jacob got control again. "I think that's the best plan we can come up with, for now at least. We'll check out the floor plans when we get them."

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