“So if her Sanzos are being targeted – and Kanzeon’s no dummy, she knows they are,” Jack picked up the thread, “then soul or no soul, what better guy to grab for a backup apprentice than somebody who knows the Tok’ra screw people over?”
“How could she know that?” Daniel objected. “All she’d know was he was from the SGC… and the guy who just saw his team wiped out because the Tok’ra gave us bad intel. Right.” He sighed, and glared at the tablet again.
“What’d those poor reports do to you lately?” Jack wondered.
“Poor reports,” Daniel snorted. “After what we’ve seen Sanzo do with a paper scroll… how does that even work? It’s paper, but it’s tech, and there’s no way that should mix, I don’t care what techno-origami types think.”
“Oh, you don’t know the half of it,” Sam breathed, slipping out specific pages into a separate stack. “Sir, I’ve got it!”
Oh, thank god. “I looked,” Jack pointed out. “Didn’t see any codes in that mess.”
“It’s not a code, sir.” His major looked downright delighted. “Daniel, I think I need that tablet. Did you see the watermarks in the pages?”
“Locally made paper,” Daniel frowned, handing it over. “It would have more watermarks than we’re used to in factory sheaves. That would be a tricky way to set up a code.”
“It’s not a code. And it’s not handmade.” Sam’s eyes gleamed. “They’re printed circuits. All the pages have them. But Sha said to use divisible by itself, which means primes. Take out the non-prime pages, starting with four, and give it a power source….” Sam shuffled a stack together, set it down, and rested the tablet on top.
A pale shimmer, and a hologram flickered into being.
“The non-primes act as buffers, keeping the whole circuit from linking up.” Sam leaned over the pretty lights, ruefully admiring the tech. “If you don’t know what pages to use, it’s unreadable.”
If you’re smart enough to read this message, floated over the translucent model of the Heavenly Palace, hopefully you’re smart enough not to need it.
“Floorplan, good,” Jack stated, as Sam played with the blinking lights, zooming in and out of various levels to focus on a highlighted path that led down into what looked like a back subbasement set of rings. “Not much good getting out of here if we don’t have a key to the ‘Gate-”
One corner of the stacked pages smoked, darkening with an audible hiss. A line of sparks flared, and a small oval of no-longer-paper dropped away.
…You’re welcome, flashed up under the first message.
Daniel picked it up before it’d even stopped smoking. “It looks like one of the Tok’ra ‘Gate talismans.”
“What did we say about not poking hot stuff?” Jack let Daniel drop it into his hand, eyeing it gingerly. “Does at that.” He glanced at Teal’c.
The Jaffa inclined his head thoughtfully. “If Daniel Jackson is correct that Sanzo is allowed to break certain rules, then it seems likely Kanzeon is relying on him to use his knowledge of the Tau’ri to decide when it is best to intervene. And in what fashion.” A fraction of a shrug. “Would we trust a ‘Gate talisman given to us by a System Lord, when we are otherwise at her mercy?”
“We wouldn’t.” Daniel rubbed at his eyes. “So she gives it to us by not giving it to us, so Sanzo will. Right.”