A crook of O’Neill’s finger beckoned everyone out of the office. “Want to explain why you hauled an innocent guy to some kangaroo court when you knew he wasn’t guilty?”
“Jack,” Dr. Jackson sighed.
“I didn’t know he wasn’t guilty,” Sanzo said levelly. “And if you think Cho Hakkai is innocent, you don’t know him very well.”
How very true, Hakkai reflected, darkly amused. How could he be, after all? He didn’t regret all the deaths. Not even most of them.
Gojyo rolled his eyes. “Lay off the sarcasm for once, will you? They don’t know you well enough to figure it out.” He shrugged at the colonel. “You have to remember most hosts on Shangri-La volunteered. Which means when a Goa’uld goes over the edge like this-”
“The host is considered willing and complicit in the symbiote’s actions, unless sufficient and tangible proof is presented otherwise,” Sanzo stated flatly. “In this case, there was such evidence, beginning with the fact that Gonou was not listed in any temple as having been chosen of Kanzeon’s favored, and ending with the testimony of the survivors of Cho Hakkai’s village. The very few survivors.” The priest held the colonel’s gaze, unflinching. “Gonou didn’t just go after the Centipede Clan. He warmed up on everyone he thought should have protected Kanan, first. Massacre pretty much describes it.” Violet flicked to green. “I’m sorry.”
“So am I,” the healer whispered.
“I’ll spare you the technicalities,” Sanzo went on. “Gonou was found guilty, but insane. After a period of parole, Hakkai was released on his own recognizance. And for some unknown reason, he decided to stick around with the rest of us.”
“Unknown?” Hakkai said lightly, giving the priest a frank glance.
Goku straightened up, worried. “Hakkai-”
“It’s all right.” The healer ruffled brown hair. “I don’t mind if they know.”
“Yeah? Well, I mind,” Gojyo grumbled. “I still think we should dial up Cimmeria, and to hell with the Tok’ra alliance.”
“Right. And strand Hakkai somewhere he doesn’t know the language, with no way home?” Sanzo countered, as he had so many times before. “I’m not leaving one of my people like that. Not if there’s another way.”
“And I don’t want to kill him,” Hakkai reminded the han’you. He glanced over a skeptical SG-1. “He lost the woman he cared for, and he went insane. I can’t wish anyone dead for that.” He drew a breath. “But I won’t let him hurt anyone else using me.” Never again.
“How do you intend to stop him?” Teal’c asked bluntly.
Sanzo stared back. “We will.”
No matter what it takes, Hakkai knew. Sanzo would shoot him, if there were no other way to stop Gonou. Sometimes, knowing that was the only way he could sleep.
“But if you’ve got a way to get Gonou out, we’d love to hear it,” Gojyo said easily.
“We’ll look into it,” the colonel answered, almost kindly.
They will? Hakkai thought, stunned. Oh gods. The nightmare might finally be over….
But what do they want for a price?