“Okay, see, problem here,” Jack said easily. Weighing his team’s odds of getting out of a whole palace of not-quite-Tok’ra in one piece. Right now, he’d say fifty-fifty. “You said Furling kids need a parent, or they go nuts.” He nodded toward Goku, currently waving his bo staff around for the pretty blonde. “Kid looks pretty sane to me.”
“He wasn’t right after Konzen died,” Kanzeon said quietly. “He kept it together long enough for me to put him back into stasis. Then I had to leave him there, for a very long time. I tried introducing other kami to him, but none of them linked. I thought I’d failed.” She winced. “And then about a decade ago, one of my Sanzos turned up dead, and another went missing. Tenkai Sanzo, the youkai holder of the Maten Sutra. And Ukoku Sanzo, keeper of the Muten Sutra.” She grimaced. “Koumyou and Tenkai were friends. He reached Tenkai in time to claim his sutra, but not in time to save him. It hurt Koumyou. It hurt me; I liked Tenkai. Put that together with the chaos of another Sanzo just gone, sutra and all – someone used the mess to steal Goku’s stasis pod. I couldn’t find him.”
Sam sat up very straight, one finger tracing water drops down the side of her glass. “So you thought adding some of Konzen’s DNA would let Dr. Genjyo find him.”
“Except that’s not exactly what she did.” Jack kept his gaze on the not-Tok’ra. “We don’t have fancy genetic analysis doo-dahs back on Earth. What we’ve got… well, it can tell when something not human got tossed into the mix. Sometimes. But hey, grab a few cell samples, use a few nanites – instant clone. And how could we find that with our tech?”
“I have a feeling you’re about to tell us,” Goujun said gruffly.
Oh wow, the dragon hadn’t turned into a statue. Jack had been wondering. “It’s really low-tech,” he said wryly. “Been used on our planet off and on for… oh, centuries, at least. You probably wouldn’t even want to bother with it. Boring.” Raising his hand, palm out, he wiggled his fingers.
For a moment Kanzeon blinked at him, eyes just a bit darker blue-violet than her nephew’s-
Then she laughed. Not a polite lady’s titter, or the cruel-edged cackle he’d heard from Hathor. A full-on, gut-deep laugh, arms wrapped around herself to keep her from falling off the silver-laced divan.
“My lady?” Goujun growled, gaze flicking between them as if he wanted to be absolutely sure a certain colonel wasn’t about to pull a knife.
“Fingerprints!” Kanzeon got out between giggles. “Oh, I love your people, Colonel. You keep things so interesting.”