River of Stars Ch 8 bit – Not a princess

“We can worry about who’s got which weird ancestors up the family tree later.” Sanzo tapped his notes. “If these are accurate, and I think they are, centuries ago Gyokumen Koushu was….”


“One of Śakra’s Queens?” Jack didn’t bother hiding a skeptical eyebrow as they all headed toward the temple’s transport ring chamber. We’re off to see the Goa’uld, he hummed under his breath, the Kanzeon Bosatsu Goa’uld….

Behind him, Jack heard Sha trying to stifle a cackle.

Fair enough. The guy’d earned a laugh, putting up with Sanzo on a long-term basis. If Jack hadn’t seen Sha fight, he would have sworn there couldn’t be a homicidal bone in the captain’s body, to put up with-

 What that old hellfire parish priest back in Chicago would’ve told you, if you’d ever been dumb enough to walk back through the church doors, Jack thought reluctantly. What Sara tried to tell you.

Which was why he’d left the faith, and let Sara go, and had the good sense not to walk into a church since. Because nobody, but nobody, could tell him it wasn’t his fault Charlie was dead….

Only Sanzo hadn’t done that. Sanzo had stalked in where everyone else left him to sit in the dark with milk and cookies, yanked down the blinds, slapped him, and told him to suck it up and walk, soldier.

It was… different.

Can’t die, need to shoot Sanzo first.

It was an oddly cheering thought.

Sanzo tapped his glasses back up, deliberately ignoring Sha with the force of a thousand aggravated suns. “Koushu came to Shangri-La with Śakra almost exactly sixteen centuries ago.” The priest looked over his newest sheaf of translucent pages one more time before he handed them over to Daniel. “She apparently likes to change up her name and duties every few centuries, but some version of the Jade Princess turns up as a constant for seven centuries of Goa’uld bureaucratic bitching.”

Jack had to halt right there in the corridor, no matter how people piled up. Because ow. “Are you telling me you waded through seven hundred years of Goa’uld water-cooler gossip?”

“Sanzo has a remarkably high pain tolerance,” Hakkai observed, smile almost chipper. Which was somehow even scarier than the usual air of suppressed mayhem.

“And a good search engine,” Sanzo said dryly, storing his glasses back up his sleeve. Jack was starting to seriously wonder about those sleeves. “Kanzeon shows up about seventy years later. And just a few decades after that, she’s got her Arrangement.”

Aha. Jack knew a clue when someone was dangling it. “Shows up from where?”

“Good question.”

“Jack?” Daniel was glancing between the pair of them, obviously trying to put a finger on exactly what had set both of them into aggravated frowny mode. “I mean, we know Queens mature and then take a host, and it’s not always easy for even the Tok’ra to figure out where they were as prim’ta.”

“Only Hathor was locked up in Central America, so she couldn’t exactly be leaving baby snakes around to grow up,” Jack pointed out. “So… whoever Kanzeon came from is some other lineage, like Amaunet. And that matters, right? The whole genetic memory thing.”

“What matters more is that I can’t find her,” Sanzo said bluntly. “Goa’uld usually attach some kind of divine backstory to their Queens, put in the records so all the lesser Goa’uld know the line to spout when they’re grinding slaves’ heads underfoot. Kanzeon’s – on the surface, it scans. But if you’ve read the Legend of Miaoshan-”

Daniel perked up. “The princess ordered to marry by her father, who managed to get herself into a temple instead, and then executed, only they threw her out of Hell because she was saving everybody?”

“That’s the one.”

“You can get thrown out of Hell?” Jack broke into the geeking, amused. “Nifty. Carter, see what we’ve missed by not burying ourselves to our noses in fairytales?”

Sam smiled, even if it was just a little shaky at bad memories. “I don’t think being nice to people would have gotten us off Netu, sir.”

“Darn.”

Teal’c took a slightly longer stride, bringing him close enough that Jack couldn’t miss the Buddha smile. “I do not think you would make a convincing princess, O’Neill.”

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32 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 8 bit – Not a princess

  1. “Can’t die, need to shoot Sanzo first.”
    Why do I think that line has run through many of Sanzo’s companions heads? And augh, seven hundred years of Goa’uld gossip. Researching anything is often tiny flashes of useful information buried in mountains of painful drudgery. I love the details like this and the mythology bits you work into the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, if it gives them the motivation to stay alive… *G*

      And yeah. I’ve done enough research – libraries, journals, and web – to know sometimes all you can do is cast a really big search net and hope a more detailed examination turns up something you can use. (I once found a paper on the economics of extreme surfer tourism in the south Pacific while using search terms meant to find agroforestry. Odd, that.)

      Miaoshan is one of the legends connected with Kanzeon – although that connection may have been made by the mistake of a researcher back over a thousand years ago! Hee.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *cackles* I think “Can’t Die, Need to shoot Sanzo first” is a very good motto to get many a person through the day.

    Yikes! 700 years of Goa’uld Gossip is a gluton for punishment no matter how you read it!

    *humms* And now, I’m wondering if we’ve been reading this wrong and *Kanzeon* was once Tok’ra who disagreed with what they were doing….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. *cackles8 Never happen. Not when a sudden idea occurs to Danny Boy and he hasn’t had a chance to engage his brain to mouth filter. Just hope everyone has fast reflexes and can *duck* should that happen…

        Like

      2. In the upcoming situation it’s probably going to be more “poke and see what happens, we’re not going to get a better chance to get out of this unshot.”

        …Lucky for him, I think Kanzeon appreciated Jack’s urk.

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  3. I have never watched The Wizard of Oz. That said, I highly doubt she qualifies as the man behind the curtain. She actually has a nasty bite to her bark, for one. Although it’s less of a bark and more of a perpetually dangling Smuck Bait. You want it, right? Come And Get It. I Dare You.

    “Can’t die, need to shoot Sanzo first.”

    Now there’s some motivation.

    Throw the two into a game of extreme paintball.

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    1. The Schmuck Bait will appear in 9, I think.

      The Sanzo-ikkou plus Lirin versus SG-1 plus Cassie with water pistols? Oh, the carnage….

      And yes. Yes, that is definitely motivation. There’s wanting to stay alive for your own sake, and then there’s wanting to stay alive so you can rip someone’s lungs out.

      …Ahem. Well. It does work….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t help but think that the especially bitchy parts from 700 years of Goa’uld court gossip played on an infinite loop might make an effective torture device.

    Also I think reading even through a small portion of the drudge will make their claims about superiority even harder to take seriously.
    “We are much more advanced than you.”
    “After reading just a century’s worth of official snakes bitching about other snakes sessions, I roll to disbelieve.”

    And let’s all be honest here, everyone – us the readers, Vathara the author, and the characters in story, all just pictured Jack O’Neill in a pretty princess dress. A pink pretty princess dress, complete with tiara and wand. Nothing wrong with pretty pink princess dresses if that’s what you like (male or female or both or not) but you got to admit that it’s not very O’Neill look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To quote Jack a little later in here, “if somebody leaves a tiara on my bedroll, I’m going to have to take steps.”

      …Ooo. Court gossip torture. I could see Jack asking for some to give Hammond, so the general can have something to break NID guys with….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. (Grabs bowl of popcorn and waits for madness to ensue)
        (Throws extra butter and the white cheddar flavoring salt that they sell at the theaters on top because no one’s here to complain)
        If I’m gonna be enjoying this, might as well do it my way, instead of casting a longing gaze at what I *really* want to eat because I have to share…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. > First, they meet a dragon….
        Don’t you mean another dragon? They’ve already met Hakuryuu after all.

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      3. >*Toothy G.* Yes and no?>
        Jake: I don’t care what you want. We can’t bring you home with us.
        -the dragon wrapped around Daniel’s neck lets out a series of chirps, warbles and hisses-
        Jack: Smee, translate.
        Sanzo: Mostly empathy with images attached but it boils down to ‘I am a Dragon. Your argument is invalid.’

        Liked by 1 person

    1. In canon, yes, that’s exactly what happened. In canon Hakuryuu can turn into a Jeep, too.

      This is a Stargate-setting ‘verse, though, so living things don’t turn into machines and Kanzeon had a way to make sure Goujun survived, based on tech I’ve already stated she has. 🙂

      …He may regret that. Oh, the headaches in store…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ah, but this isn’t quite canon. (Plus here, Hakuryuu is female.)

      The reincarnation aspect – well, it’s coming up. But I don’t think it works on wyvern-dragons. 😉

      Like

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