They walked into a slightly less numerous and hostile welcoming committee than last time. Jikaku was seated on a comfy stool near the earnest shaven monks manning the controls, a cup of tea in one wrinkled hand. “Hmph, youngster. Nobody’s dead yet?”
“The day is young,” Sanzo said dryly.
“Ha! So it is.”
“This is the same set of transport rings,” Sam frowned.
Jack raised one eyebrow. Well, yeah, obvious.
“You can link transport rings to more than one location?”
Oooh. Not so obvious.
“It takes a certain amount of programming knowledge, but it’s more than possible,” Jikaku observed.
And Koryo had a word for programming, even if it sounded like it’d wandered in from Ancient. Which was a Danny-esque thought, or maybe a Carter-esque one; both his science geeks were eyeing the transport ring controls like they wanted to come back with cameras and a crowbar. Of all his team, only Teal’c looked slightly taken aback – which meant the former First Prime of Apophis was doing some serious recalculating of his own. One thing to learn Kanzeon had let her people get to gunpowder. Programming?
Then again – Kanzeon’s Favored. Want to bet they’re not just healers? “So… any of these other places you can program it to include back by the Stargate? So we could drop a note back home?”
“Ah!” Jikaku sipped his tea. “The man puts me in a quandary!”
Sanzo glared at the high priest. It lacked most of the heat Jack had seen him turn on real idiots, but it still rated at least a ‘Ack!’ on the scale. “Explain.”
“Well, if I said no, I might be lying.” Another patient sip. “If I said yes, I might be implying that the revered and honored Genjyo Sanzo, heir to the Seiten and Maten sutras, beloved of the Merciful Goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu, might have dragged emissaries of another world over hill and dale merely to roust a sluggardly temple into sending aid to a common village assaulted by youkai.” Jikaku eyed the depths of his cup. “Dear me, what to do, what to do….”
Goku muffled giggles behind his wrist bracers. Sha poked him. More than once.
From the not-so-hidden winces and sweating, Jack figured the locals really weren’t used to high priests bantering that way. From the even less hidden looks of resignation… Sanzo had done this a lot.
“Or you could just admit I don’t know where all the rings are,” Sanzo said dryly. “Security.”
Now that, Jack could actually buy. “Just in case you pick up a hitchhiker.”
A gasp from the assembled guards; one of the hosts, Jack realized, seeing the ornaments and non-robe-type blue dress. “Not even the false gods would dare!”
Sanzo cut off her protest with a stern look. “Anybody can be unlucky.” Glanced back at Jack. “Though Kanzeon Bosatsu has stated that any false god who dares to invade the holy body of a Sanzo would regret it. Briefly.” He arched a brow, and nodded toward the console. “Your call.”
Hmm. Update George when they hadn’t done that much yet, or not leave a cranky System Lord waiting? Decisions, decisions.
Then again…. “I think there’s something we both need to check on.”