River of Stars Ch 5 bit – weapons you can’t find

A/N: With apologies to Sir Pratchett, but it really does describe Sanzo….


“Kanzeon’s a System Lord,” Jacob said flatly. “She’s part of what we fight. Remember?”

“Yet from your own description, she has not been part of the System Lords’ battles for longer than many Tau’ri civilizations have existed,” Teal’c noted. “Who is Gyokumen Koushu?”

“A Goa’uld who got onto the planet about nine centuries ago,” Jacob said after a long moment. “She poached Ni Jianyi into her service – he’s one of Kanzeon’s spawn, in case you’re getting any delusions about what kind of creature she is. And then Koushu ran into Konzen’s pet, and the whole situation blew up.”

“Take it you mean that literally,” Jack noted.

“Pretty much. For some reason the Asgard didn’t like the situation, and….” Jacob turned up empty hands. “Kanzeon lost a lot of lesser Goa’uld that day. Konzen included.”

“And the youkai?” Sam asked.

“Never heard from again,” Jacob shrugged. Looked the general in the eye. “You’ve got to hold Genjyo here. If we can keep him alive, we can finally figure out-”

“You’re lying,” Daniel blurted out. Oh, not a good thing to say…. But it was so obvious. Like nails scraping down a chalkboard. How could Jacob even imagine they were fooled? Think, think; you can’t catch him out on that one, but earlier- “You said Konzen died for his pet. Why would the Asgard shoot a child?

“They didn’t.” Sam’s voice was quiet, with terrible surety. “Selmak did.”

Jacob drew himself up, face cold. “There were reasons.”

“And we’re all dying to hear them,” Jack said with mock lightness.

“Sorry,” Jacob said, in the level tone that meant he wasn’t sorry at all.

“Jacob-” the general began.

“Council business, George. It’s not going to happen.”

Hammond nodded once. “Then this discussion is over.”

“What? George-”

The general pushed a button to signal the guards outside. “Security will escort you to your quarters.”

“You’re making a mistake,” Jacob insisted, as a sober airman entered. “And it’s going to be a big one.”

“The terms of our alliance with the Tok’ra,” General Hammond said flatly, “are for there to be a free and open sharing of information between us, as allies. You’ve deliberately lied to us about Shangri-La, about the zatarcs, about the sutra, and about your plans for them all. Given you’ve been pursuing the System Lords for over two thousand years, it may be that Byzantine dealings are endemic to the Tok’ra as they are all the Goa’uld-”


“-But so long as the Stargate has been open, Earth’s survival has been threatened on a yearly, if not weekly, basis. We are not going to be played with, Jacob. We don’t have the time.” He nodded at the airman. “Enjoy a quiet evening, Ambassador.”

“This isn’t over.” Granting Hammond a nod, the Tok’ra turned on his heel and left.

“He’s right,” Jack said soberly, after the door closed. “If we don’t know what Sanzo’s using-”

“It’s biological,” Janet stated.

“Dr. Fraiser?” the general raised a brow.

“That’s why the Tok’ra can’t find it,” the doctor went on. “There’s no device to find.”

“The alterations in his DNA,” Sam realized. “But how-?”

“How, what, I don’t know,” Janet shrugged. “But his friends – or should I say, his pack – knows what Sanzo can do. And what it costs him.” She eyed them all. “Right now Hakkai’s gotten about half a bottle of Scotch down him, and last I saw, they were likely to finish it off.”

“He’s getting him drunk?” Jack said, disbelieving.

“I said he’d had half the bottle. He’s definitely not drunk.” She took a small cigarette out of a labcoat pocket. “And he and Captain Sha are both getting a good dose of a drug I’ve never seen before. Sha says it’s reasonably harmless to humans, like chocolate. I’ll need a full analysis to check that. But my preliminary results indicate that to someone with certain nonhuman genes, this probably has an interesting effect on regulating neural networks. Particularly calcium ion release. Which would fit with Sanzo’s blood work, the alcohol, and what Daniel told me about his diet.” She eyed the dried herbs, and put it away. “This is just an educated guess so far, but… Goku’s little disappearing trick with that staff? Sha says it’s energy manipulation. The same kind of thing the limiters hold in check. The kind Sha was afraid they’d block; that’s why Hakkai had his off. We know that healing and ribbon devices involve heavy use of the neurons. Alcohol stimulates calcium release inside the brain; that’s part of what makes it so damaging when people overindulge. It also tends to wipe out certain vitamins from the system… stuff you tend to find in a lot of fermented foodstuffs, whole grains, anything made with yeast, and citrus in general.” Janet shook her head. “He knows he’s not normal anymore, General. And they know. Hakkai’s treating him. I can’t blame Sanzo for wanting to get out of here. Essentially, he’s a hypoglycemic stuck with people who think sugar’s only something you use off-duty.”

“You’re kidding,” Jack said dryly. “Doc. Are you telling me we have a guy who’s one hundred percent, bona fide, knurd?

33 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 5 bit – weapons you can’t find

  1. So I looked up knurd- the definition as written by Pratchett, which was pretty damn funny- and yeah, it really does fit Sanzo all too well. To not see clearly, is to lie to himself… I imagine it’s something along those lines.

    And now I see why all those, ah- eclectic- food choices were tossed at Sanzo earlier.


  2. Sanzo is knurd . . . . suddenly some things make perfect sense.

    And I’d say you are correct – that is the only word for it.

    I’m cheering about the Tok’ra getting their hands smacked for not abiding by their own agreements – something they pitch a fit and fall in it when they even think SGC is doing the same thing.

    It must be very galling to be told that you are immature children by people who throw temper tantrum every time they don’t get their way. Or is the behavior of bratty human toddlers considered the behavior of mature adults for Goa’uld . . .

    Well as you said before: Goa’uld don’t ask. They take. And whatever ideals they claim to posses and may indeed follow (Sometimes. Like when it is convenient. Sorry – my inner Jack grumbles a lot whenever Tok’ra idiocy is on display), the Tok’ra are still Goa’uld.

    As for Jacob / Selmac’s statement about Ni being Kanzeon’s offspring being all the proof need that she’s a bad person . . . Selmac, people with glass relatives should not throw stones.

    By that logic, any Tok’ra is the offspring of the same Queen of that ones who have harmed SGC and Earth should be treated as that individual was. Which, at minimum, would make most of you persona non grata on Earth and at maximum they should be blasting you into oblivion.

    I know they aren’t rational about Kanzeon but I’m thinking that logic is not something passed down to little baby snakes from their Queens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >>*EG* In 8 you’ll meet Kanzeon. Jack is going to want to strangle Selmak. 😉
      That would imply he doesn’t think about doing so normally.


  3. *gleeful cackling* You know, I’ve explained Sanzo as “knurd, but gives negative fucks” on occasion. (Ukoku may have been so knurd that he’s… he’s something else now. And it’s scary.) Then again, with Kanzeon as your patron Goddess, booze miiight be required by default.


  4. *dies laughing* Oh my gosh. Oh, that was just perfect. You’re right, he really is knurd. And that setup to the joke was amazing.

    On another note – ever since I read chapter 3 on ao3, I’ve had this horrible suspicion that the Tok’ra are responsible for Gyokumen Koushu being there. It sort of makes sense from their side; they’re interested in looting some of Kanzeon’s stuff, so they let another Goa’uld know about the planet, maybe help her move in, and while the two butt heads, sneak in and get what they want while everyone’s distracted. Except it didn’t work, and since they don’t want to feel horribly guilty about inflicting another Goa’uld on these people, they just kind of deny she’s there at all or insist that all the atrocities are Kanzeon’s fault, really.

    Now, when I’m feeling *really* suspicious, I wonder if maybe Gyokumen Koushu herself is a Tok’ra. Of course, then I remember that she’s a Queen, and the Tok’ra don’t have any of those. Except for Egeria, and she’s dead. (Or is she? No, that would be too improbable. Still…)

    In any case, the Tok’ra are being suspicious and cagey enough about Gyokumen Koushu that I’m pretty sure they have to be involved in that mess somehow. Besides killing Konzen, that is. And, Jacob? No matter how much you call Goku a pet, the fact remains that Selmak *tried to assassinate a little kid*. Now is probably the time to look at that Moral Event Horizon and think, really hard, about just who the bad guys in this mess are…


    1. You’re right that the Tok’ra are in this up to their ears, though Koushu is definitely not a Tok’ra. Jolinar knows what Selmak reported to the High Council… which may not be exactly what happened. And the Tok’ra didn’t directly kill Konzen.

      As for the “little kid” mess… well. Long story short, the Tok’ra got a very hard look at Goku without his limiter.

      …Yeah. Trust me, little kid was the last thing they were thinking….


    2. >>…Yeah. Trust me, little kid was the last thing they were thinking….

      Of course there is the question as to why Goku took off his limiter.
      Show of hands: who thinks the Tok’ra are at least indirectly responsible for kidGoku deciding everybody needed to die?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And now presenting the Discworld, with Sanzo as Vimes, Sha Gojyo as Sergeant Collins, Goku as Carrot, Cho Hakkai as Nobby Nobs only clean, and Kanzeon as Vetitrini.

      ….. Apologies, Sir Pratchett. But it was too good to pass up.


  5. Now I can’t stop wondering who else in my favorite fandoms suffer from being knurd. Tony Stark and or Loki? John Constantine? Jim Kirk and or Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy? Miles Vorkosigan or Ivan Vorpatril? Deadpool? Everyone in the Naruto-verse? It seems if the character is at least slightly mad and has problems with drugs, alcohol, and/or aggression; they may be suufering from some degree of knurd or rather too much reality.


  6. Not gonna lie, Janet being so damn whip smart and adaptable makes me gloriously happy. She has seen so much shit at this point she’s not even rolling with the punches she’s almost ahead of them. It’s glorious. Also your explained magic fills me with paroxysms of joy. I always always want more. I also really really like how this theory feeds into the ways people and animals instinctual self regulate necessary minerals ex- if you put a tray with several types of powdered nutrients where a herd of cattle can access it the cows will on their own regulate the type of thing they need to ingest from the tray. based on whats lacking in their diet/ the existing soil Its actually really impressive. although I grant you things like chickens are not that smart and will OD on non-water soluble vitamins if left to their own devices, because chickens are really really the dumbest animals that still manage to survive.


    1. Definitely. Though I would like to add domesticated turkeys to that list. The wild ones still seem fairly smart, but we have both kinds where I live and the one turkey hen…*shakes head mournfully*.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Depends on the chicken. Banties are usually quite bright, and almost impossible to catch. Plymouth Barred Rocks are less agile, but usually smart enough to come in out of the rain. Your average white commercial egg-layer, though, is often so panicky they’d kill themselves given an excuse to bolt into a window.

      Janet is the one doctor who can make Colonel O’Neill stay in the infirmary when he doesn’t want to. I’d be willing to bet she’s one of the smartest and most creative people on the base!

      And yes, a lot of animals, including humans, will follow food cravings to get what they need. Of course, you have to be careful those aren’t actually food allergy addictive cravings instead. Nasty, those.


  7. Yanno, I’m kinda surprised that (USAF General) Jacob Carter hasn’t called Selmak out on all the alliance violations. Although I can see a number of reasons against it, starting with “without Selmak, he dies”, and heading towards him seeming like a bit of a dick, all on his own. Of course, there’s also the factor that sharing memories means that the biases of the creature that formed those memories come along with, so there’s probably some mitigation there, too.

    I look forward to seeing what you have planned out in this regard.


    1. Well, in canon, Jacob had been planning to pull all kinds of strings to get Sam into NASA without actually asking if she wanted to go. So there’s a certain “run over people to do what you want” already at work.

      And the mess with Kanzeon is… messy. I’m just working up to the point in 8 where Daniel drops the anvil on Jack of what’s really going on. Hee.


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