“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.