River of Stars Ch 3 bit – zatarcs and limiters

“Kanzeon offered me a spot as a trouble-shooter,” Sanzo said at last. “Koumyou used to do that all the time, but with the way Gyokumen Koushu’s escalated the violence in the past year, a lone priest is in over his head pretty damn quick. So I get to take these four with me.” He looked the archaeologist straight in the eye. “We’ve stamped out a lot of fires this past year. Blasted a few underground labs. Saved some lives, maybe. And with luck, we’re getting closer to finding out what Gyokumen Koushu wants, and where the hell she is. So we can stop her.”

Permanently, Hakkai added silently, and knew he wasn’t alone.

“But why doesn’t Kanzeon-” Dr. Jackson stopped. And thought. “She can’t, can she? She’s got an agreement with the Asgard not to interfere in people’s lives….”

“And unless the bitch-Queen goes after her temples straight on, the Merciful Goddess can’t lift a finger,” Gojyo stated dryly. “There are good people on Shangri-La, Dr. Jackson. They don’t deserve what Koushu’s doing to them.” He paused. “And picking us for the job? Kanzeon’s smart. We’re not part of the youkai or the human community on Shangri-La. The only side we’re on is ours. Meaning when we go into a mess, we don’t jump to conclusions about who started what or who deserves to die. We find the problem, we fix the problem, much as we can – and so far we’ve managed to keep the race war Koushu’s trying to set boiling down to a simmer. More youkai are picking up limiters. More of their human neighbors are reaching out, at least to the kids, and getting the ones who are still sane toward Chang’an or someplace out of Koushu’s reach-”

“Wait a minute,” the archaeologist broke in, frowning. “What do limiters have to do with this?”

“They seem to block the zatarc programming,” Hakkai informed him. “We’re not certain exactly how. I think it might have something to do with the way they redirect chi… the energies youkai can use. A youkai wearing a limiter isn’t exactly in his true form, and it’s that which the programming seems to need access to.”

Dr. Jackson was shaking his head. “But if they grab you to program you in the first place, can’t they just take it off?”

“First, taking a limiter off a youkai who doesn’t want it off is like loading a revolver, pointing it at your head, and pulling the trigger,” Sanzo stated, level and cold. “Second – the problem on Shangri-La is, Koushu’s found a way to broadcast a limited kind of zatarc programming.”

The archaeologist went white. “Oh my god.”


21 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 3 bit – zatarcs and limiters

  1. >>“Second – the problem on Shangri-La is, Koushu’s found a way to broadcast a limited kind of zatarc programming.”
    And that’s the sound of the other shoe dropping.
    >>The archaeologist went white. “Oh my god.”
    I have the sneaking suspicion that Jack’s response to this little bombshell will involve a lot more profanity than Daniel’s reaction.


    1. And this would be one of the big reasons Sanzo has absolutely no problems working for Kanzeon trying to stop this. Because it only works on youkai right now… but what if Koushu can get it to work on humans?

      Yeah. Nightmare fuel.


  2. Eep! . . . well that is “Bring Me My Brown Pants” situation if ever there was one.

    On the plus side, if Jack is told within Goku and Hakkai’s hearing, they will be getting an Earth vocabulary lesson? A limited lesson yes but still . . .

    And if the Tok’ra know about that, I have sneaking suspicions about at least one of their reasons for looking at Shangri-La’s zatarc programming. Suspicions that will probably spring to the minds of those in SGC after they are done swearing up a storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >>Darwin award anyone? Fresh from the tok’ra!
      Despite their so-called ‘more enlightened’ mentality etc etc, they are Goa’uld at the end of the day and biology plays a massive role in behavior.

      Also you have to look at any of their interactions with humans in canon and in Vathara’s works. They only ‘work’ with humans when posing as normal Ga’uld, looking for a new host or using them as pasties/cannon fodder.

      The only people they seem to consider equals and interact with on a regular basis are other Tok’ra. Humanity doesn’t factor into their plans except for hosts or minions.


      1. Jacob was better than that for a while – see the whole mess with Seth – but less than a year later when a death glider experiment went wrong he was blunt that he considered it Earth’s fault for messing with tech they didn’t understand. He did help SG-1 out more than once, but stated that the Council thought he was too involved in Earth’s concerns instead of theirs. And eventually the whole Tok’ra alliance with Earth pretty much falls apart because the Tok’ra thought Earth cost them too much without providing enough in return. By which they meant 1) hosts and 2) taking out System Lords only on the Tok’ra schedule.

        Seriously, the first thing they say after SG-1 manages to defeat one set of enemies is, “And now you’ve made Ba’al even more powerful.”

        SG-1: Well excuse us for trying to defend our planet, we can’t pick up everybody and move to a new one at a moment’s notice!

        On the Tok’ra side, they’ve lost more agents dealing with the SGC than they have in the past hundred years. So yeah, helping Earth cost them too much.

        Bottom line: Tok’ra wanted to intrigue their way to victory, Earth wanted to kill the enemy. Cooperation just wasn’t working!


  3. >>Bottom line: Tok’ra wanted to intrigue their way to victory, Earth wanted to kill the enemy. Cooperation just wasn’t working!>>

    Which tells me this less a rebellion based on moral outrage / moral enlightenment (or whatever their excuse is) and more like the standard Goa’uld politicking. Intrigue and backstabbing until you are King of the Mountain. So, of course, they are pissed off at Earth for offing System Lords. How can they be King of the Mountain if someone has bombed the mountain to rumble.

    And I maintain that the only reason Earth costs them so many agents is because they lie to them all the time. Of course we spoiled your cunning plan – because you told us that you were doing X instead of Y. Which meant we had no reason to avoid doing the things that spoiled Y. Because we had no idea they would cause a problem. Because someone didn’t inform their own allies who were working with them in the same area supposedly on the same mission what their mission actually was.

    And generally refuse to help unless someone volunteers to let an alien parasite reside in their body. And allegedly allow them freedom and choice – which we have no proof. How do we know it’s Jacob Carter talking? It’s not like Selmak has to use the booming voice and glowy eyes when he speaks. We only have their word for it. A word that has been proven consistently to be worthless. Did Jolinar allow Sam to speak at all when she possessed her? And how do we know that it was actually Carter?

    Add in your attitude that is inevitable but acceptable losses when humans and Jaffa are killed but not when Tok’ra are killed? How many humans have died because of the Tok’ra’s actions? Probably a lot more. And I notice that they only complain about the symbiolate being lost, not their hosts. So if the snakes had escaped alive but their hosts died, it would have all been fine?

    And why shouldn’t Jacob be concerned with humans and Earth? In case they have forgotten, he is human and from Earth. And if he suddenly doesn’t give a hoot about his own species and home planet, it is not help ally the ‘host is allowed to exercise control is bullshit’ suspicions.

    Maybe Earth and the Tok’ra sound file for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

    Okay, rant over.

    Now in River of Stars, I’m fully hoping for an alliance with Kanzeon and half-rooting (at least) for Earth to tell the Tok’ra “good-bye and good riddance.”


  4. >>Bottom line: Tok’ra wanted to intrigue their way to victory, Earth wanted to kill the enemy. Cooperation just wasn’t working!

    I admit I have my doubts about the whole ‘intrigue their way to victory’. Their only real way to get rid of the System Lords without having them kill each other. The problem with that is that it leaves the sole survivor(s) with more territory, salves, power etc meaning the Tok’ra did one step forward, two steps back.

    My personal theory is that they intended to supplement/replace the System Lords with themselves somehow and them wipe out Ra’s get.

    >>On the Tok’ra side, they’ve lost more agents dealing with the SGC than they have in the past hundred years. So yeah, helping Earth cost them too much.

    That tends to happen when you don’t tell a supposed ally that they shouldn’t blow up threat XYZ since you have a plot currently in the works there. The ally assumes that there isn’t a problem and removes the threat before it can hurt them.

    “How where we supposed to know that we just got a bunch of your long term operatives killed? We asked you about the situation and told you what we were going to. You said jack and s**t so we gave the go ahead.”

    “You shouldn’t have been able to pull that off anyway!”

    “Dude, take a second look at our track record. We totally could pull it off.”


    1. You know, from a meta perspective, what really gets to me is we never find out why Egeria suddenly decided enslaving other races was Wrong.

      I was discussing exactly this with Kryal the other night, when we were trying to figure out Motives for the Tok’ra in later parts of Around. We both thought there must be info in the show canon we’d just missed. But given that we and every other fan we’d talked to had no clue, we got suspicious and started searching online databases. And found… zip. Egeria is never given a reason, ever.

      Seriously, taking other species as hosts is part of Goa’uld biology. To the point that on what’s apparently their home planet with the Unas, “wild” Goa’uld who’ve never seen a human will take them as a host.

      So why the big turnaround? Why decide she can’t tolerate this anymore? Not just for herself – hey, humans become vegetarians all the time, weird but happens – but for the entire Goa’uld way of life? To the point she literally births a resistance movement against Ra?

      Intelligent beings don’t do things that drastic without a reason. It frustrates me that Egeria is never given one.

      Bottom line, we still haven’t hashed out exactly why Egeria might have done what she did. But we did figure out why, in this AU, Kanzeon has done what she has. So that’s something.
      Long story short: no one’s hands are completely clean. But the Tok’ra have a very specific reason to hate Kanzeon. When Jack finds out what it is, he’s probably going to want to kill something. Poor guy.

      In a more specific answer – I tend to agree with you on the whole “Want to be King of the Mountain” bit, which I think was made worse by writers taking the easy conflict of “we think you’re too primitive” versus the more complicated “allies don’t agree on everything” route. But I do try to write the Tok’ra as actually doing what they say about cooperating with hosts… they just don’t know how arrogant they really are.


      1. The lack of motive – more evidence of lazy writing in Stargate. *sigh*

        >>Long story short: no one’s hands are completely clean.>>

        They seldom are in these kind of situation. Truth and reality are almost never neat and tidy, one side completely bad, the other completely good.

        >>But the Tok’ra have a very specific reason to hate Kanzeon.>>

        Sounds similar to Stheno Coatlicue from Upon A Fiery Steed. They had very specific reason to hate her too. One that I cannot entirely blame them for. Through I still want to smack the Tok’ra into next week for the live vivisections of Medusa.

        As they put in that story: “She helped save us yes but before that, she did terrible things.”

        >>When Jack finds out what it is, he’s probably going to want to kill something. Poor guy.>>

        Intriguing. And ominous.

        Hope Jack and the rest of SGC get the nuanced version of the story. By which I mean, both sides of the story since neither side is probably capable of giving a mostly unbiased version of the story. Not failing of either Kanzeon or the Tok’ra, just that sometimes you simply cannot do give an unbiased as possible version. Too close or the feelings are too strong to put enough aside.


      2. >>You know, from a meta perspective, what really gets to me is we never find out why Egeria suddenly decided enslaving other races was Wrong.

        Could be that it was less ‘enslaving other species is wrong’ and more that she felt that they’d get better results if they managed to convince/bamboozle other species into thinking being a host was a good thing.

        That way they wouldn’t have to deal with constant rebellions etc and the stronger empires and factions that could pose a threat to them would be less likely to simply declare war.

        Basically she wanted to go the used car salesman/politician method while Ra went Warlord.


      3. Hmm. Yet that doesn’t seem to fit with the tretonin mess later. After all, if she’d given some of her offspring enough memories that one of them could jump someone to let her out, wouldn’t that be preferable to thousands of offspring dying?


      4. Here I had a thought on the way home from work about Egeria finding things easier with a willing host. Like, say, messing with brain patterns and thought ways. To me, it makes more sense if Egeria learned something along the lines of it’s easier to control hosts, and thus her change in philosophy. Most of this, I admit, is from the natively pessimistic view I have of Tok’Ra. I’m, still working out why she ended up going to war over this.


      5. Re: How Egeria might have found a willing host – that’s actually fairly easy. Brainwashing. While CotG showed Apophis grabbing reluctant, potentially rebellious people, I imagine not all Goa’uld necessarily go for that. Their people (in general) believe that they are gods. It’s quite possible that at least some would regard it as being an honour to host one of the gods.

        (There are at least a few fanfics where that potential is explored, or at least mentioned. A Square Peg in a Round Hole, or Junior Year of High School, A Clone’s Tale, Revised by MarbleGlove – SG-1/HL crossover – is one that has a mention of it, in the flashback that gives Methos a basic idea of what’s going on.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s