River of Stars Ch 7 bit – Why did it have to be snakes?


“Everybody, just stay still a minute,” the priest sighed. “Need to shift a hold.”

Making sure his grip was good, Daniel used the respite to revisit that first, impulsive conclusion. It rang true, unfortunately.

See Jack. See Jack meet suspected telepath. See Jack test suspected telepath to destruction.

And how better to do that, than drag up a memory any rational person would recoil from?

Only Sanzo wasn’t rational. Not by SGC standards. A rational person would never have launched that assault on the Centipede Clan castle-

Well, maybe Jack would have. Which wasn’t exactly a good argument for sanity, either.

And one thing Jack never counts on, Daniel admitted ruefully, is somebody else being as good and crazy as he is.

But Sanzo’d not only launched it, he’d carried it off. And gotten his people to safety, and run over a year of search-and-destroy missions after that, all the while working with a group of people that could only charitably be described as a rag-tag group of misfits. Which meant that outside of the obvious anger management issues, Sanzo had a trained, practiced self-control that made SG-3’s Marines look like tired kindergartners.

And Jack – just handed Sanzo exactly what he needed to Ginsu him. Oh. Hell.

Reasoning ahead of his facts, Sam would say. Though she’d probably be a bit more blunt, and sprinkle in a Holy Hannah or two. He didn’t have any proof. None.

But it fits. The NID guys? Paralyzing fear. Hakkai in the infirmary? Janet felt safe. And she says half of healing is believing you will make it. The way Sanzo can sense enemies, the way he can read youkai instinct even though it’s not human-

Oh. Oh, gods. No wonder the priests would rather die than talk.

After all, if for some reason the Tok’ra had one Dr. Daniel Jackson with intent to use him against the SGC, and he knew it….

Still – speculation. He wouldn’t have even considered such a crazy idea, if he hadn’t met Thor. But given Kanzeon had-

“That which is Lost.” What if Sam and Janet are right? If this is some kind of species reconstruction, using human DNA to fill in the gaps? If you’re trying to get something that works, you’d test all kinds of mixes. And – this isn’t exactly Buddhism, not by a long shot, but monasteries? Groups of people organized into communities, praying and meditating. Mental training.

And I’d bet anything that Sanzo aside, not all the monks and nuns have to be celibate….

“Oh, Daniel,” Jack’s voice floated down, dryly exasperated.

“Ah, right,” the archaeologist stammered. “Moving.”

A few more scrapes, and familiar hands pulled him up. Giving Jack a shy smile, Daniel shook out his arms and walked clear of the edge. Jack could say climb with your legs all he liked, sometimes you just had to reach, and-

Catching everyone else’s focused attention, he whipped his head around to see two robed, shaved-bald figures approaching. The older one carried a ring-topped staff, and wore layered robes in something close to saffron; the other looked to be mid-teens, wearing only a shorter, belted tunic.

Monk, and acolyte in training?

Whoever they were, they didn’t exactly look happy to see visitors. Daniel squared his shoulders, started to step forward-

Sanzo breezed past, face expressionless – yet Daniel could have sworn he saw a glint of mischief in violet eyes. “Acolyte. Arms out.”

“Revered Sanzo, I- ai-yi-yi….”

Brown and tan scales, faintly diamond-patterned in dusty rose, slipped out of the folds of Sanzo’s rain cloak into the acolyte’s nerveless arms. The older monk gulped, and stood perfectly still.

Behind him, Daniel could almost hear Jack not cursing.

“Careful,” Sanzo warned. “Don’t drop her. All the little mother wants is a warm spot to curl up and incubate. She won’t bite you if you’re calm. Be calm.”

“Y-yes, sir.” Pale and wide-eyed, the teenager cradled his armful of venomous serpent.

Sanzo’s gaze weighed him; the priest nodded, and took a step back. “You’re getting a bit lazy, little mother. There’s not always a priest to catch a ride on when you need one.”

If snakes could flick their tongues innocently, this one did.

“You picked that up on the way up here?” Jack demanded.

“Would you rather she bit you?” Fingertips on the acolyte’s shoulder, Sanzo steered him toward one of the higher rock piles. “Down, gently, hands out….”

The snake uncoiled down, slithering up and out of sight in the rubble at a measured pace.

The acolyte sat down, hard.

“Now, if you can just keep the same level of concentration in your chants, you’ll get somewhere.” Sanzo eyed the monk. “Escort us to the high priest. The villagers of Takei have been murdered.”


33 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 7 bit – Why did it have to be snakes?

  1. *giggles* Sanzo acts all grumpy, but then he does something nice like that for an animal. That is most definitely one way to teach an acolyte how to be calm and centered.

    *guilty smile* I confess I’m sorta stalking your blog here for the little scenes you post in this story, just to enjoy until you post the next chapter of “River of Stars”.


    1. Stalk away!

      …I like this bit with the snake. It draws off some stories I’ve read of a samurai and a priest traveling together. The snake just crawls over the priest as if he’s not there; the samurai’s warrior aura frightens it off into the bushes. IIRC, in the story the samurai is upset that he frightens an innocent creature, but the priest points out that the snake is dangerous, and because the snake feared the warrior it retreated, and neither he nor the snake were harmed, so he should not be ashamed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like a really interesting story, actually. I love hearing tales and stories from other countries.

        *blushes* as for stalking, should I confess to having copied and printed out your “Upon a Fiery Steed” into a three ring binder back in ’04 so I could read it while I walked on the treadmill? It was wonderfully motivating, and I never noticed how far I’d walked until I got through the story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s in “The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi” by William Scott Wilson. 🙂

        And heh! I have a bunch of fics printed for reading away from the computer myself; especially anything by Sleeps With Coyotes (who after a long hiatus has started reposting stuff on AO3). Always good to have a story to cuddle with!


    2. Tazzy: Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. At least one of her betas (*cough*who me?*cough*) stalks her regularly (or semi-regularly of late) on chat. And email. And has saved all of her stories on one’s hard drive. And has, yes, printed them out sometimes for the hardcopy reading. (And has put “Upon a Fiery Steed”, “Shadows in Starlight”, and “Entanglements” into e-pub versions. “Embers” is being worked on for that at present.)

      Yep, you’re not alone. 😉


  2. Now that? I loved. Shows a interesting sense of humor- which, now that I think of it, is actually pretty similar to Kanzeon’s. Just a bit… milder. Kinda.


    1. >>which, now that I think of it, is actually pretty similar to Kanzeon’s. .
      Don’t ever suggest that in his hearing.

      You probably won’t like the outcome.


  3. That is Sanzo. He establishes himself as a BAMF right away, dispenses wisdom, and then throws the bine of distraction.

    And Daniel is smart. And calm. And, soothing(?) enough to stand between Jack/SGC and Sanzo-ikku. He manages not to stomp the dominance button at least. And Jack will defend to the death.

    Oh, that’s a scary plot bunny. Someone managing to get into Jack’s head and twist the memories so that he’s chosen to protect whoever/whatever against the NID, and then events play out Aizen-like to expand that to the SGC. Not sure how the plans of the Aizen-wannabe could get derailed, but it needs to happen to be a happy ending. Or at least a break even ending.


  4. D’aww. As a snake friendly person I approve. A good example of Sanzo teaching – he may be terrifying, but he is effective… Bet that acolyte doesn’t consider meditation and focus/practice chanting boring or useless now!


  5. I confess my ignorance of Ginsu. ??

    Sanzo is a telepath or empath? Or… both/neither? Because he seems to be riding the empath wave to me, but Daniel might not know that.

    Sanzo would look at marines, snear, then tell them to come talk big when the can beat “the Kappa” in a spar (Goku, if he’s in a bad mood and even the slightest bit impressed with the remainder “don’t break the marines. Be gentle. “)

    Self control and Sanzo? Everyone is gold, the stromg willed are steel, and he’s over here in adamantium-plated diamond. The amazing thing about Sanzo is that he /doesn’t/ expect to find his level of self control in other people.

    Hee. Poor acolyte, your trials are just beginning.


    1. Mostly empathy, very close-range telepath with someone else who can project. And now you know at least half of why Sanzo hates people.

      *Snrk* I’m not even sure Sanzo would bother sneering at Marines. Just raise an eyebrow of “why are you still bothering me?”

      I suspect the older Marines would get the point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m wondering if Sanzo is more of an empath, with close-range telepath abilities? Since he usually doesn’t get actual thoughts or images unless he’s in close range to someone or if they active direct their thoughts at him.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Sanzo’s celibate by choice rather than by oath. 🙂


  7. Hehe . . . well, that’s one way to teach people focus – stay calm or the venomous snake will bite you.

    Danny is on the right track, no matter how outrageous it might sound to someone else. Of course, it’s not like Danny is afraid of theories that would be considered out there by the mainstream.


  8. You were right, I do love the part with the snake. (Different species, but with how docile that snake was, she reminds me of my best friends pet ball python who has a very sweet personality that I never thought I would see in a reptile).


  9. Wait a minute….is that monastery the one I think it is? Is that Alcolyte little Yo? If so…Hoo boy. It wasn’t just bullet holes they were patching up. *giggles maniacally*


    1. The youkai are part of the species reconstruction. That Which Is Lost – well, you’ll find out soon. 😉 (Hint: Think of the Alliance mentioned on Ernest’s Planet.)


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