I've been keeping my senses trained on Colonel O'Neill, knowing that I can't afford to miss any sign of deception here and I have to admit that --luckily-- so far I haven't found any. Of course, seeing how the decision won't be up to him, the fact that he is not lying doesn't necessarily mean we are safe. In fact we are anything but.
This is it, the cards are on the table and now all that's left for us to do is wait for their answer only that answer won't come for a while. That means that the next few days are going to be extremely dangerous. Sure, we can plan for the eventuality of our own disappearance, we can make sure that it doesn't go unnoticed and that it becomes a liability for anyone trying anything against us... but I'm not sure how much use that would really be. I am all too aware that, if it comes to that, by the time anyone notices we are missing it will almost certainly be too late.
That means that even though we need a plan in case we disappear, our emphasis is going to have to be on prevention and that is not going to be easy, not with what I suspect we may be up against. I know that, if we have to, we can count on Simon and probably on Jack Kelso. That at least gives us something to work with... though I also know there's a limit as to how far Kelso is going to be willing to risk his neck for us, just as I know there's a limit in terms of what we can ask of Simon if we dont want to put him in danger.
As for me I'm going to have to keep my eyes and ears open for any possible surprises, the problem is that in a city as big as Cascade that is not an easy thing to do. There are too many potential warning signs I usually dismiss as irrelevant and the worst part is that trying to keep track of all of them would drive me crazy in a matter of minutes. For a moment I consider the possibility of going camping for a few days while we wait for that answer but I dismiss the idea almost immediately. It is true that out in the woods suspicious sights and sounds would be much easier for me to spot... but it would also be much easier for us to vanish and that means we can't leave. The way I see it the best we can do is to keep our cell phones handy, to stay in touch with those we trust and to keep our schedule unpredictable... in fact maybe it would be a good idea for us to steer clear of the loft as much as possible, at least until we know just where we stand... and those contingency plans are just the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to that there's the fact that we are going to have no choice but to inform Simon that we will be leaving Cascade... permanently.
That is the part I haven't really wanted to think much about, the part I'm still struggling to come to terms with.
I am the Sentinel of the Great City, that's what Incacha called me and now leaving Cascade feels almost like a betrayal... but at the same time I know I can't stay. If O'Neill and company agree to our terms we will be relocating to Colorado Springs and if they don't... if they don't we will have no choice but to disappear. If they don't agree then staying here would be way too dangerous.
In other words, while leaving Cascade is not something I'm looking forward to, the fact remains that I know it is going to be all but unavoidable. If they agree to our terms we'll have to relocate and if they don't... well... if they don't then we can either flee or wait for them to come get us... and either way that would spell the end of the Sentinel of the Great City.
I was born here, Cascade has always been home... even though at times I've tried to deny it, even though at times I've hated this place, even though I've tried to escape from it and the memories it held more than once... especially from the memories it held.
The thing is that right now I'm not looking forward to my future, no matter what that future holds. Even if O'Neill somehow manages to pull off the impossible --even if he somehow manages to come through for us-- our lives are about to change and as Sandburg knows all too well I don't handle change gracefully under the best of circumstances --to say nothing of sudden change-- and that is exactly what we can no longer avoid.
The way I see it we have one week from the moment in which O'Neill and the others leave for Colorado... that's how long I think we can afford to wait before the risks become too great. That should be long enough for them to figure out if there's some way for us to join them but not long enough for anyone else to make their move.
I think we can hold them off for that long but in the meantime Im going to have to make the necessary arrangements for us to get away, arrangements I hope we won't need, however I am well aware of just how careful I'm going to have to be here.
I still have my contacts and a few markers I can call but the problem is that I don't know who to trust. Yes, I have my contacts but those are, for the most part, military contacts and the fact remains that we may well end up having to flee the military so, with a couple of exceptions, trusting them will be a dangerous proposition... and I won't just be trusting them with my life, I'll be trusting them with Blair's as well.