“The rest of the lab,” Jack pounced. “As in, a lab you didn’t tell Śakra about?”
“Honestly, it took me a few decades to find the place, even when I was pretty sure I’d deciphered the love-notes correctly,” Kanzeon shrugged. “But I did find it. And inside were….” Her voice softened. “Wonderful things.”
Wonderful things. Daniel closed his eyes a moment, remembering that first picture ever taken of Tutankhamen’s hidden tomb. Even in black and white, it was enough to stop your heart. “Not weapons.”
“No. Something even more critical,” Kanzeon said soberly. “Dr. Jackson. What’s the one element the entire Goa’uld Empire can’t do without?”
Daniel winced, and waved it over to Sam. I should have known, Goa’uld only care about things….
“Naquadah,” Sam said grimly. “Everything runs on it.”
“Yes. And Queens need a fair portion of it, to pass along to every larvae,” Kanzeon stated. “Otherwise, the few who earn their own hosts can’t activate any of our tech. The very few. Think of it! Naquadah used on thousands of larvae to produce just a few Goa’uld! Every year, for thousands of years. It’s inefficient.”
“You were trying to shorten your supply lines,” Jack said thoughtfully. “How?”
“By going back to how Goa’uld technology – stolen technology – was originally activated,” Kanzeon stated. “Not with naquadah. By energy manipulation. That’s how the Ancients did it.” She paused. “The Ancients, and a few others they worked with. Because if the Asgard have told you anything, Colonel, then you know the Ancients used to be part of a multi-species alliance. That’s what I found on Shangri-La. A lab, a collaborative facility, where two very different species came together to create something to reshape dead worlds to life.”
“The Tenchi Kaigen scriptures,” Daniel breathed, facts falling into place. “That’s why the text doesn’t look like written Ancient. It’s Ancient with something else.”
“It is,” Kanzeon agreed. “Though given they nearly killed me the first time I touched them, I stayed away from those for a long, long time. I was much more interested in the DNA samples, and the bodies. Ancient bodies, put into stasis for medical research. And… some bodies of the other species, as well, for the same purpose. Once I started deciphering the biotech and historical information in the records….” Her smile was eager as Sam’s about to pounce new tech. “I had a solution, ready for the taking. All I had to do was integrate the right genes into host bodies, and the larvae wouldn’t have to have any naquadah. Oh, they’d still have a trace, we can’t get it all out of our systems. But a Queen’s requirements would go down by a factor of several thousand. That, was something I could take to Śakra. To raise my status in the court, and possibly even find favor with Ra himself; Egeria always did want him taken out most of all. And humans think dealing with their exes is awful.” She took a breath that did interesting things to transparent silk. “Then I found the lower levels, with the emergency stasis chambers. And Thor showed up.”
I’m about to die. Right here, right now.
Kanzeon clutched her zat and glared at the little gray enemy with his knowing black eyes, ignoring the ribbon device tucked into her girdle. Even if the Asgard Supreme Commander didn’t have countermeasures, concussive force would be far too damaging to throw around in a chamber full of life-support devices. She hated the idea of even using a zat’ni’catel, one shock in the wrong place could be fatal… but she had the right to fight for her life. And she was not going to roll over and die here, not when the Asgard had just left these children to linger alone for untold centuries….
“You wish the individuals here to survive.” Black eyes blinked, slow and languid. “Why?”
“Because they deserve the chance!” Kanzeon snarled. Why bother lying to a telepath? “Because I’ve seen the records; what they are, what they can do. They’re fierce and wild and beautiful, and if I could see them back in the universe again….”
I want us to be wild. I want us to be free. I want my children to live, not suffer as pawns in Egeria’s revenge!