“Colonel. Report. How’s the field trip so far?”
“Eh, we’re good, sir.”
Which meant they probably were, the general knew. ‘We’re okay’, would have meant they were anything but.
“But we’re on a party line, so let’s keep it brief. Don’t want to run up the bill,” O’Neill went on. “Any word on our unwelcome guest? We’d all kind of like to know if he stayed put. He may have been out of it for a while, but the people he got chained up with are pretty sneaky.”
So Hammond had gathered. “I’ll have a highlights reel waiting when you get back,” he promised. “Jacob seems to think he’ll stay put; moving too often can be lethal, and he thinks our guest is insane, not suicidal. So far Janet’s brought out the extra-strength restraints and grabbed some of Major Carter’s minions to design ballistic throat armor, just in case.”
Sanzo’s voice on the line; Hammond nodded thoughtfully. Apparently Kanzeon’s people respected SG-1 enough to make it obvious when they were listening in. This might work. Maybe. “I sent a message to a mutual small acquaintance.”
“Sir?” And there was no way Jack was even half as innocent as he was trying to sound.
“In short, I mentioned that we’d recently run across evidence that the world we had a joint Tok’ra mission with two years ago was associated with the Asgard,” Hammond went on. “Given that we prefer not to step on our allies’ toes, I asked for some clarification regarding Shangri-La.”
“Oh?” Jack drawled.
“We’re still analyzing some of the reply,” Hammond stated. Which should let his team know they’d gotten a considerable amount of information. Surprising, given their usual interactions with any offworld allies. “In short – apparently at some time in the very distant past, Shangri-La was terraformed. By what race, they wouldn’t say.”
“And this changes things?” Jack said skeptically.
“Actually, it might,” Daniel put in. “An untouched life-bearing planet – we know some people would leave it alone, to the species native to it. But if you made it alive, you’d have a claim on it.”
“That does indeed seem to be the case,” Hammond stated. “In short, Colonel – Kanzeon Bosatsu is recognized by the Asgard as standing in loco parentis. So to speak.”
“Do the Tok’ra know that, sir?” Major Carter sounded worried.
“It has been indicated to me that they have been informed,” Hammond said dryly.
Hammond felt the hairs on the back of his neck twitch. Whenever a certain archaeologist sounded like that, all hell was about to break loose.
“Oh?” Jack pounced.
“I… think I might have an idea,” Daniel said cautiously. “But I need to do some research, first.”
“You mind sharing that research, if you get a chance?” Sanzo said grimly. “I’d like to know why I’m shooting people.”
“I, um… really think I need to ask Kanzeon, first,” Daniel stated. “Because if I’m right – I really hope I’m not right, but if I am….”
“She might not want us to know?” Sanzo sounded almost amused. “It’s your negotiations, Dr. Jackson. Go for it. If it causes havoc, I’m sure she’ll be laughing up her sleeve if you do tell us.”