“Could explain the animosity,” Sam said, half to herself. “Behavioral dissonance.”
“Major?” Hammond drummed his fingers lightly on the table. “Given I would like to rescue some amount of cooperation with the Tok’ra, any insights you might have would be useful.”
“Well….” Sam turned to Teal’c. “From what I’ve seen, the Goa’uld have some things in common with an ant nest.”
“I believe Major Carter is correct,” the Jaffa said after a moment’s consideration. “The System Lord is in the position of power, while the Queen serves as a source of new larva to strengthen his Jaffa. But there is a resemblance.”
“Looked a lot more snakelike than bug-like to me, last time I checked,” Jack objected.
“And youkai aren’t wolves, either. Bear with me, sir.” Sam had that excited look in her eyes Daniel never got tired of; a silent, sparkling aha! “Now, the thing about human behavior is, it’s flexible. We can act like wolves or ants. Wolves when we’re in small groups, especially under stress. Ants, when we’re in big organizations working toward a common goal.”
“So we can act like youkai or Goa’uld?” Jack frowned, and glanced at Daniel.
Translation time. Don’t worry, I see where she’s going. “Behavior is a big part of culture, and culture determines a lot of how you decide who to trust,” Daniel picked up the thread. “Do you laugh at the same jokes? Do you cry at funerals, or not? Are you supposed to scream bloody murder during childbirth? Or maybe it’s a silent, stoic battle, and if you die, you’re honored like a warrior. If you can predict what someone will do, you can trust them – and if they’re from the same culture, they’re a lot easier to predict. And the best indication of that, is behavior.” He wet his lips. “In reference to the Tok’ra – I couldn’t say anything about it at the time because I didn’t know. My first focus was Egypt, and they had doors. Of sorts. But cultures in which there are no doors, no privacy? Those are groups that don’t trust each other. Proper behavior is only enforced by somebody watching you. People from groups like that will lie, cheat, steal, even casually murder, if they think they can get away with it. Which means, any time they’re out of sight of the main group. Like Tok’ra are on missions.”
The general looked somber. “Dr. Jackson, are you saying….” He couldn’t finish.
“I’m saying I don’t know, General. Tok’ra aren’t human. I could be wrong. But if they were a human social group, they’d have a lot in common with some of the primitive tribes Jared Diamond dealt with in Papua New Guinea. Groups that could not come in contact with other groups without trying to kill them, if they thought they could get away with it.” Daniel held up a warning finger. “They respect the High Council. So they won’t do anything they think the Council will come down on them for… if they think the Council will get a chance to hear about it.”
Silence, as the others absorbed that. “Would explain a lot,” Jack admitted. “Damn it, I like Jacob.”
“As do I,” Hammond said soberly. “However, that does not change the fact that Tok’ra behavior toward the SGC-” He shook his head.
“Pretty much fits that of certain tribe members toward anthropologists investigating them,” Daniel said ruefully. “We’re outsiders who don’t know all the rules, so we can be taken advantage of. Especially in a play for power against another tribe member. And since we’re outsiders, if something goes wrong – well, it must be our fault. Because we’re not them.” The archaeologist sighed. “But what Sam is getting at is, youkai can probably act a lot like humans, but from what we’re seen already, with two people who weren’t youkai to start with? I doubt they can drop the pack behavior enough to act like the Tok’ra expect from advanced races. The Tok’ra aren’t going to like them, and they are going to believe the worst of them, at any opportunity. And they’ll believe the same of anyone associated with them. Like Kanzeon.”
“But she’s Goa’uld,” Sam objected. “Wouldn’t she feel the same way?”
“People keep all kinds of strange pets,” Janet pointed out. “Most of us can understand dogs, and cats, and even fish. But there are people out there who think tarantulas and scorpions are the cutest things ever. Maybe she’s just weird.”