“I wish you all a pleasant evening.” Rising to his feet, Jikaku bowed, and waited until they returned it. “There is one more thing you should know.”
Halfway to the door, SG-1 paused.
“When the case of Cho Hakkai was first brought to us, Kanzeon Bosatsu contacted the Asgard, and told them she had one of their Tok’ra allies, so they might collect it,” Jikaku said plainly. “The message they returned was simple. ‘Our allies state there is no Tok’ra Gonou’.”
Major Carter paled. “But-”
O’Neill held up a hand.
Sensing their : shock: and :calculation:, Jikaku nodded. “Think on that, Colonel O’Neill. And then consider why we might not have been swift to destroy Gyokumen Koushu.”
Oh god. Oh god, we’re in over our heads. We’re so far in, we’d need a crew of bulldozers to dig us out-
“Danny.” Jack’s hand on his chest brought his pacing to a halt in the middle of their quarters; a room not much bigger than Jikaku’s meditation chamber, but with chairs and futons for all. “You’re wearing a hole in the nice, clean floor.”
“Sorry,” Daniel stammered, absently noting that the anti-itch salve really did work. Jack and Sam looked a lot better, even if they did smell of mint and burnt pecans. Like Goku’s granola, though that had tasted just a little bit burnt. “It’s just- I know who she is, Jack. I think I do. And it’s bad. It’s really, really bad-”
“Danny. Breathe.” Jack took a step back, and gave him a look askance. “Who she is?”
“Koushu,” Daniel got out. “Jack… we know other Goa’uld don’t get onto Shangri-La. We know that. According to the Tok’ra, even Nirrti’s tried to crack the place. It wouldn’t be standing if anything she made got through.”
“Yeah. Except for Koushu,” Jack started.
“Jacob was lying.”
“You don’t know that,” Sam argued.
“I believe Daniel Jackson does,” Teal’c said thoughtfully. “It would be a reasonable deduction, even if he did not. The Tok’ra have been deceptive about Shangri-La from the beginning.” He gazed at Sam. “Do Jolinar’s memories include why Selmak wished to execute the child Son Goku?”
“They want her dead,” Sam said, after a moment’s troubled thought. “I hear Kanzeon’s name, and sometimes – sometimes there’s just this hate that comes up like acid. She has to die.”
“The Asgard would object,” Teal’c noted.
“Maybe not,” Sam said bleakly. “Sir, Janet and I had time to run a few tests before you left, we just haven’t had any privacy until now….”
Daniel started to object, then shook his head. If Jack hadn’t already thought of a dozen non-psychic ways they could be spied on, mentioning it wouldn’t help.
“…I think Goku is what was Lost.”
Jack raised an eyebrow, clear go on.
“He’s an alien, sir,” Sam said steadily. “Not variant human. Alien. But the youkai, and Sanzo – they are variant humans. Engineered with DNA from Goku’s species. Kanzeon’s researching them. She may be trying to recreate them. And if that one known original individual were destroyed….”
“Her research falls apart, treaty’s broken, and the Asgard hang her out to dry,” Jack finished. “Meaning everything she’s got, including the Scriptures, might be loot for whoever got there first. Like, say, some of Kanzeon’s nastier offspring, we’ve seen that before….”
Jack trailed off, and Daniel winced. On the one hand, good, he wasn’t stating the obvious. On the other-
He’s going to make Sam say it. It’s not fair.
But Sam squared her shoulders, and faced it like a soldier. “Or the Tok’ra.” She turned toward Daniel, the faintest hint of hurt shining from blue eyes. “That’s what you think. That’s why you’re panicking. You think Gyokumen Koushu is a Tok’ra.”
“I think we need to consider the possibility,” Daniel admitted, wishing he looked half as miserable as he felt. “But there’s something even more basic we need to think about. And it’s my fault we missed it, I should know better-”
“Danny,” Jack said quietly.
Daniel stopped. Took a deep breath, counted to three, and exhaled. “Jack, we’ve been so focused on alien we haven’t thought about people. Individuals. And we should, even the Goa’uld can listen, if it takes a whole Asgard warfleet to get them to the table-” Breathe. Sum up. “How do we know all the Tok’ra agree on what they plan to do to the System Lords?”