River of Stars Ch 5 bit – combat analysis

“Just one more thing,” Jack asked casually, as they started to move out. “How much does this sutra-watch of yours take out of you?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

That much, huh? “Nobody makes good decisions when they’re tired. Turn it off when you have to. Just give us a heads-up when you need a break-”

Violet knifed through him, cold as ice. “That’s. Enough.”

“Sanzo,” Teal’c said levelly; a warning, to anyone with half a brain.

“Sanzo,” Hakkai murmured quietly, hand barely touching the priest’s shoulder. “I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding, Colonel.” A pause. “There is no ‘off’.”

“So. Now that we’re done rehashing useless information-” Sanzo’s hand flicked out, a clear gather up and move.

Useless info, huh? Jack thought. I don’t think so.

Though he could see why Sanzo would try to call it that. What couldn’t be fixed, couldn’t be fixed. No point in having your team fret themselves raw over things they couldn’t do anything about.

Explains some of the cranky, Jack told himself as they walked; part of his mind keeping an eye out for an ambush, the rest considering what he’d seen since Sanzo’s bunch fell through the ‘Gate. In the light of battlefield-promoted team leader, not lost linguist.


From that angle, Sanzo’s complete lack of concern about Hakkai suddenly made sense. Homicidal? So what? As long as it was aimed toward their enemies, and not innocent civilians – Sanzo’s team had been working under insurgency conditions for over a year. With an enemy that could literally pop out of nowhere. A guy ready, willing, and able to kill at the drop of a hat was anything but a liability. Hell, he’d probably saved their lives. Multiple times.

Goku was a little harder to swallow, objectively. But rookies were rookies across the galaxy. Sanzo apparently tried to keep the kid out of the worst scenes, and sometimes that was the best anyone could do.

Gojyo was the hardest to pin down. Sha had been a captain, for crying out loud. He’d had command training. The real thing.

Only from what Jack could remember, reviewing his record, none of Sha’s prior commanders had ever expected him to make it past major. He was good, sure, and he cared about his people… only, not the way a commander sometimes had to. Sha could lead anyone into danger, but leave them to die? No. For him, the mission didn’t come first.

Add that to months as a POW-turned-lab rat, and having your whole head turned inside-out by alien instincts, Jack thought unhappily. Sha’s not fit for command anymore. Not without the kind of psych help he’ll never get here. Maybe not ever.

Bitter as it was to swallow, Sha’s best command decision… had been to not try and take back command.

Sanzo’s a pain in the ass, but he’s a sane pain in the ass. He’s got the kind of steel it takes to keep these four alive. And Ni never broke him; not the way Hakkai says Sha got broken.

Hakkai might be homicidal, but so far, he wasn’t a liar. If he said Captain Joseph Sha was dead… damn it, Jack believed him. No matter how much he wished he didn’t.

And this is the team Kanzeon uses for troubleshooters. Oh, joy.

Then again, the colonel reflected as they forded a stream, Goku pole-vaulting across with a whoop, it wasn’t like SG-1 was the model of sanity, either. Take Daniel: orphaned twice, grandfather insane, sorta, and off with giant intangible aliens, father-in-law on another planet, brother-in-law an ex-host, and wife… better not to go there. Or Carter, with her family all at odds with each other, dead, or a Tok’ra host now implicated in screwing the SGC royally. Or Teal’c, who’d turned his back on his entire way of life to do what was right.

And the less said about Jack’s own closet of nightmares, the better.

Okay. So they’re nuts. Given this whole planet seems to be nuts, we should give them a little leeway. Not too much. But a little. After all, “You wouldn’t believe it until you see it” instead of “You’re too primitive to be trusted with it”? Big difference. Huge difference.

Great. The people who worked for a System Lord treated them with more respect than the Tok’ra. What else could go wrong?

Jack rewound that thought, looked at it cross-eyed, and deliberately knocked on the next tree he passed. Just in case the universe had been listening.


27 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 5 bit – combat analysis

  1. Jack the universe is always listening . . . especially when trouble magnets dare to tempt Murphy . . .

    Good job pulling the pieces together there Jack, knew you’d do it once you got your brain actually working on the information presented . . .

    And yeah people with glass psych evals shouldn’t throw stones . . .

    >>The people who worked for a System Lord treated them with more respect than the Tok’ra.>>

    And should tell you exactly how the Tok’ra view you and the rest of humanity. They can talk all they want. When actions and behavior don’t match the words, believe the behavior.

    With some exceptions, the Goa’uld seem to be the alien snake embodiment of hitokiri wa hitokiri.
    A Goa’uld is a Goa’uld regardless of whether they call themselves a System Lord or a Tok’ra.


    1. A Goa’uld is a Goa’uld, yep. But the Goa’uld weren’t always this way. 😉 Kanzeon hits people with some bombshells in 8!

      Jack just had to get hit with enough weird, methinks. So he could figure out “Wait, I need to rethink this.”

      *Snrk* Yeah, SG-1 is not exactly a model of sanity….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. >>A Goa’uld is a Goa’uld, yep. But the Goa’uld weren’t always this way.😉 Kanzeon hits people with some bombshells in 8!
      I’m getting flashbacks to ‘The Dragon King’s Temple’.

      Not surprising considering you helped brainstorm the story based on the author’s notes.


      1. Though if Kanzeon and her brood are base-line Goa’uld (at least in comparison to the rest of the Tok’ra and System Lords) it might explain why they all consider her a threat/bonkers.

        Sanity tends to be defined by the majority after all and Kanzeon and her brood are very much in the minority. Ergo the mad think themselves sane and the sane are seen as mad.
        Sanzo: Please. The Hag is a lot of things, but sane isn’t one of them.


  2. >> What else could go wrong?

    Jack rewound that thought, looked at it cross-eyed, and deliberately knocked on the next tree he passed. Just in case the universe had been listening.

    Too late, Jack. Kanzeon has already heard and giggled. You’re screwed. Glad you’re finally UNDERSTANDING, though. It just took… several hits with the clue stick.


      1. Hakkai may not be a homicidal /maniac,/ but… a sadist? Well, you don’t murder 1,000+ youkai without being a sadist and embracing it. (Even as Team Mom, Hakkai is the one you REALLY don’t want to piss off. Sanzo will just shoot you, Hakkai makes you /suffer/.)

        Kanzeon favors anything that winds her favorite boys up and isn’t actually lethal. Jack annoying Sanzo promises to make him angry, stronger, and MORE likely to get into trouble… she’s waiving banners and urging him on, isn’t she?


  3. Careful Jack, that tree might have taken exception to being knocked on. (This is Shan-gri La, man eating trees are a distinct possibility)


  4. Jack, Jack… To quote you from a different fic (Veritas):
    “Oh yeah, we say it’s training. We say it’s instinct. Finely honed warrior reflexes giving warning at the very last minute.
    Bull. It’s that little twitch of hairs at the base of your neck, hairs that are tied right into the ears. All the better to hear Fate giggling at you.
    Clue time. Fate giggling is *bad*.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Wry G* One of the things that bugged me about Stargate sometimes was that Jack’s trauma was allowed to take center stage without question too much. And yes, he’s the lead character, there’s reasons to revisit his issues – but. Someone should have given him a talking-to.

      …Well, someone will. 😉


  5. *wild applause*

    He’s finally getting a clue! Jack, that is. I really like the way he thought his way through the roles occupied by each of the ikkou – even if he doesn’t have the inside knowledge to understand just what Goku’s doing as part of the team. Even if he seems like a rookie – which, what? How’d he come to that conclusion? For all that he looks like a kid, Goku’s probably their heaviest hitter, if Hakkai doesn’t drop the limiters. And seeing as that’s Goku with his *Divine* limiter on – he most certainly is not. Though Sanzo tries to take care of him and protect him anyway.

    Which is always adorable. At some point, if Sanzo ever remembers Konzen, there are going to be pretty, pretty fireworks. And tears, and messy catharsis, but the fireworks will be very pretty. (Have you read the most recent chapters of Reload Blast? I get the feeling Minekura’s going to get the Gaiden plot involved a whole lot more now.)

    And I’m agreeing with everyone else, here. Oh, Jack. That sinking feeling? Should tell you that the Universe isn’t just listening in. It’s watching you in 3D Surround Sound, has friends over, and has popcorn.


    1. I so need to find someplace to read Reload Blast. Last place I checked just had zip files, and my library apparently didn’t have an unzip program, sigh…

      I’m just imagining the look on Sam’s face when she finds out Goku’s limiter has nothing to do with regular tech. Heeee.


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