The world blazed into energy, and they were elsewhere.
Not a ha’tak.
Sam drew in a breath of outdoor air no spaceship could fake, warm breezes carrying scents of ponds and flowers in with the sunlight spilling through open windows into this grand stone hall. Polished, gold-veined pale marble; brilliant tapestries; vases and works of delicate art in alcoves along the far wall, with benches obviously meant to relax on and look in or out as desired. The contingent of guards ready to meet them were carrying zats and longswords, dressed not in a Jaffa’s metallic armor, but black leather greatcoats with the white-and-black yin-yang of the Heavenly Army on their shoulder patches. They weren’t ranged into quite the nasty crossfire SG-1 had met in the temple, but they were formed up in good order… with looks that made her blink, and try to stuff Jolinar’s hate away.
That’s not arrogance. That’s curiosity. What the heck? Goa’uld are a lot of things, but not curious–
And then her brain kind of hiccupped, taking in the white-scaled… humanoid leading them.
A youkai? But youkai have hair, not scales… only he has hair too, even if it’s kind of purple, and those horns… and he’s dressed in the same uniform, so he’s part of Kanzeon’s army too. I think.
The look of not quite hidden curiosity definitely matched, if she was reading red eyes right. And then he looked over Sanzo’s group-
And froze. Just for a heartbeat.
“I am Goujun, Dragon General of the Western Sea.” His voice thrummed, like standing in the control room above the Gate when it was spinning. Red eyes skimmed over them all again, halting on Hakkai for a long moment before fixing on Sanzo with a sort of bewildered shock. Reluctantly he tore his gaze away, and looked the colonel straight in the eye. “Colonel O’Neill. Genjyo Sanzo. The Merciful Goddess has no patience for court formalities today. She requests that you all meet her in the eastern gardens, so we may enjoy the sunlight.”
The colonel traded a look with Sanzo. “I’m good with sun,” Jack shrugged. “But….”
“No buts I know about,” Sanzo started.
Goku latched onto his right arm, and gave the dragon general an oddly piercing look. “Why are you staring at Sanzo?”
Goujun gave the young youkai a careful once-over, something softening in his gaze. “I’m… certain it’s nothing as important as your meeting, Son Goku. Shall we, Colonel?”
“We shall,” Jack declared just as graciously, following Goujun’s lead as the dragon and half the soldiers started down the hall. “So. You know these guys?”
“I am not often in the East,” Goujun stated. “I am certain I would remember such… unique individuals.”
Ooo, irony alert, Sam could almost hear Jack snark in her head.
“I have read the reports,” Goujun went on.
And he can do dry sarcasm, too!
Sam tried to hide a shudder, not sure if it was humor or hysteria. “You’re a host.”
She could almost feel Sanzo’s sigh.
The worst of it was that he had every right to. This was supposed to be a diplomatic mission.
Well, yeah, so was Leia Organa’s, she could almost hear Jack snark in her head. We know how that went. I blame the cinnabun hairstyle. Asking to get eaten.
“I am a dragon.” Goujun sounded wryly amused. “It is not quite the same for one of my people as it is for yours.”
“Dragon-folk or not, you look like a man faced with one of the Goddess’ practical jokes,” Sanzo observed. “Is all well with the dragons beyond the Western Sea?”
“The Heavenly Army’s air and sea patrols are keeping Gyokumen Koushu’s forces at bay, for now,” Goujun stated. “The Goddess believes we are currently immune to the zatarc broadcasts, but some of our merchants who have ventured to the East have recently gone missing.”
Hakkai’s gaze went hard. “Koushu has them.”
“It is likely, Fi-” Goujun cleared his throat. “Demon-slayer Cho. We are gravely concerned.”
You’re not the only ones. Sam shoved past he’s a host, they’re all hosts, to focus on what was important.
There’s a whole other sentient race here on Shangri-La. One nobody mentioned. What else don’t we know?